Furthermore it was unknown when military vehicles began rolling into the village, but many had arrived and even more were coming. There were also huge trailer trucks which brought large sandbags to the two banks of the Dong River. They kept piling sandbags onto the banks to stop the river from flooding!
Yuan Hai was taken aback. What had happened while he was asleep?
At that moment, the village secretary ran over. “Yuan Hai, what are you doing? Quickly help out. Wake up everyone in the village. Tell them to pack up and prepare to evacuate!”
“Evacuate? Where to?” Yuan Hai jolted back to his senses and exclaimed.
“Is there a need to ask? The river is already overflowing. If this continues, our village will be flooded! Quickly evacuate. It will be too late if we delay!” The secretary was burning with anxiety as well. They had assumed it would be a heavy but short-lived downpour, taking the news Li Cheng had brought them with a pinch of salt, but overnight, the river had risen. It was Li Cheng who sent his division an urgent notification which resulted in having troops rush over overnight to help stop the river breach. If not, the water would have longed flooded the village already!
But even then, the troops did not imagine that the river would rise that quickly. Therefore, they did not evacuate the villagers at first, but now they had no choice but to evacuate with such dire circumstances.
Yuan Hai turned anxious as he quickly ran home. On the way, he saw saw many people going from door to door to wake up the others.
The moment Yuan Hai returned home, he shouted, “Wife, quickly pack our things! The river has risen. We need to make an emergency evacuation. Take all the valuables and leave the rest behind!”
“What? Wasn’t it said that it would be fine yesterday?” Yuan Hai’s wife turned nervous as well.
“It was fine yesterday, but it’s no longer fine today. The rain is just too heavy,” said Yuan Hai.
“What about the troops?” Yuan Hai’s wife, He Shuilian, asked.
“The troops have been working valiantly the entire night. Many of them look exhausted and can’t keep it up much longer. Let’s evacuate!” After Yuan Hai said that, he lifted up the groggy Yuan Xingxing and helped her put on a raincoat.
He Shuilian also understood that the situation was dire. She quickly packed away all the valuables which were easy to bring with them on person. Instantly, there was chaos.
After a mad rush, the family rushed out the door. A huge trailer happened to drive over, unloading a troop of soldiers.
They heard someone shout, “Brothers from the 3rd Company are here. 2nd Company go ahead and rest!”
The moment that was said, the soldiers lugging cement bags jolted awake. Upon hearing that they could rest, their bloodshot eyes seemed to turn awake. A person by the side said, “We can rest?”
“Yes, Brother. Good job,” said a soldier from the 3rd Company.
Then, the other soldier collapsed to the ground like a deflated ball.
“Medic!” someone exclaimed.
While the soldiers had been working hard the entire night, they only had one thought driving them: ‘Blockade the river, protect the villagers!’ For this thought, they had already lost count of the innumerable sandbags that they had moved the entire night. They had no idea how many trips they had made. As long as they could move, they persisted on! They persisted just a little longer, for just a little longer more, for when reinforcements would replace them. They just needed to persist a little longer before daybreak.
This constant self-hypnotism and constant cheering themselves on allowed them to finally last until daybreak.
Now with reinforcements arriving, they were finally able to feel relieved after being severely enervated all this time. They slumped to the ground like dominoes, hoping to sleep. They couldn’t even move a single finger. They were exhausted and sleepy. All they wanted was to sleep.
When Yuan Hai saw this, he passed Yuan Xingxing to He Shuilian. “Take Xingxing to the village council. I’ll be helping!”
“You Eh! Bastard, get back here for me!” He Shuilian exclaimed. However Yuan Hai had already departed. He helped the soldiers up the trailer.
Upon seeing the unconscious soldiers, He Shuilian was too embarrassed to continue the fuss. She sighed and carried Yuan Xingxing to the village council. Not long later, they sat on the trailer and were evacuated to a hill elsewhere. There were temporary tents, food, and drink provided, but it was somewhat chaotic.
After Yuan Hai was certain that his family was alright, he began joining the soldiers in helping out in the crisis. He was unable to give much help, but since he was strong, he took the responsibility of carrying the sandbags. He went back and forth countless times.
Fangzheng stood by the side watching. At that moment, he finally understood why Yuan Hai’s merit clearly eclipsed his negative karma. The merit must have come from him helping in the disaster.
After two hours of hard work, Yuan Hai could not carry on. This was already only because he had pressed on after being stimulated by how the soldiers beside him seemed to have strength like perpetual machines. If not, he would have long since given up.
At that moment, it was unknown who shouted. “Not good! There’s a breach! Quickly come here! Block it!”
Yuan Hai traced the cry and saw that the water had torn through a hole in the sandbags that were supporting the levees. As the water flowed, the hole grew bigger in size. The river water surged straight for the village!
Yuan Hai only had one thought: Run! He subconsciously muttered, “We’re doomed.”
However he was astonished to see none of the martial police and soldiers beside him run. Instead, they ran forward with sandbags! They stabilized both sides of the levee, and a group of people went hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, as they forged their way to the levee, forming a human wall. The turbid river water inundated these strong shoulders, striking their shoulders red. All of them gritted their teeth as they endured the pain. The others quickly rushed over to throw the sandbags to block up the breach.
When he saw this, Yuan Hai managed to conjure strength of unknown origins. He roared and lifted a sand bag as he charged over.
There were many villagers just like Yuan Hai. Some of them threw their raincoats away. At this moment in time, what use were raincoats? Onward!
The villagers charged forward as the martial police and soldiers risked their lives to finally block up the breach. When the breach was sealed up, there was a zealous shout of joy. Then, a bunch of people cried in pain at their painful backs. Of course, most of the people who did were villagers. This immediately amused the high-strung martial police and soldiers.
At that moment, a command was given. Everyone had been successfully evacuated. They were to abandon the area and retreat en masse.
Everyone also knew that if the rain stopped there and then, they could continue fighting, but since the rain continued, even if their wills prevailed over the heavens, it would only be a small victory.
Yuan Hai got onto a vehicle and turned to look at the gradually distancing village. He felt some conflicted emotions. Once the river overflowed its banks, would his house still be left intact?
The scene changed. The rain had persisted for two days, and the river had flooded, swamping the village.
On the mountain, although Yuan Hai and company could not see their homes, they could tell the situation of their homes from noticing the height to which the river reached. All of them shook their heads, sighing. There was nothing they could do.
Not far off, He Shuilian was busy preparing meals with Yuan Xingxing. Although there were people to take care of them, they were used to doing things for themselves. Therefore they chose to help. Yuan Hai was particularly gratified that Yuan Xingxing did not kick up a fuss. Instead, she had rapidly matured because of the flood. She learned to cherish things for what they were more and to show respect and take care of others.