"Our lives here have never been easy, so we should live as a family and help each other. We should fight against our common enemy and not among ourselves, especially due to petty reasons. He or she, as a pest our community, must be investigated to prevent any further rumors."
Huang Shangxiang's expression changed. "How How do we go about the investigation?"
Luo Zhangyu answered, "Easy. The entire village only has 41 people, including Gu Xijiu. Everyone only has to make a face-to-face confrontation. Madam Leng, from where have you heard about the rumor?"
When he was serious, his presence would easily intimidate the people surrounding him. Moreover, they respected him a lot, so they were willing to obey his instructions. Hence, one after another, they started pointing out from where they had heard the rumor. The last person left was Huang Shangxiang! Her face turned pale, and she was trying to push the blame to someone else, but she could not point out the next person.
Everyone in the village was present except for the ones in the expedition team. She could accuse any one of them without being found out.
Determined, she pointed out a name from the expedition team at random. She thought that his absence would help her get through her current situation.
To her surprise, Gu Xijiu pursed her lips and responded softly, "I will bring him here now."
She turned and disappeared instantly.
Huang Shangxiang did not know how to react.
Not even half a minute later, Gu Xijiu re-emerged along with the person whose name was aforementioned.
Puzzled, the person was still unaware of what happened.After listening to Luo Zhanyu's explanation, immense fury filled his heart. He stared at Huang Shangxiang furiously. "When did I tell you that? We have not spoken since yesterday! My brother can prove it for me. I was with my brother after my return. We were drinking together. I went straight to bed after that and departed to join the expedition this morning. I have not seen you at all!"
Now that the story had played out like this; she was obviouslythe one who started the rumor.
Luo Zhanyu answered icily, "Huang Shangxiang, anything else that you'd like to say?"
Huang Shangxiang was startled. She was at loss of words to prove her innocence. In the end, she decided to go for the cowardice strategy, "Yes I saw that Miss Gu was surrounded by all of them, like a myriad of stars surrounding the moon. I also saw that she talked to Captain Leng, so so I misunderstood. I talked about my doubts as if they were the truth I did not spread the words intentionally; it was merely a slip of the tongue."
Luo Zhanyu seemed disappointed. "Huang Shangxiang, I was hoping that you would take this opportunity to admit your wrongdoing and apologize to Miss Gu. Maybe I have punished you too severely But I did not expect you to tell more lies! You are beyond redemption."
He gave his orders, "Zhang Rui, prepare her meals for five days and send her away."
There was no way out from here. Sending her away indicated that she would be sent to the mountains to run her own course.
There were beasts in the mountains. People would usually go into the hills in groups for hunting. If she were sent there alone, she would probably not make it out alive.
Huang Shangxiang was not expecting such a heavy punishment and was thoroughly panicked. She fell on her knees and repeatedly bowed, "Brother Luo, I am sorry! I like you, and I have been taking care of you all these years by making your food and clothes. Can you forgive me just this once? I will never do it again."
There were very few ladies in the village, so all of them were as valuable as the endangered pandas.