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    Chapter 59: He'll Quietly Guard Her Along the Way

    He Zhiran knew that Mo Jiuye had fully come to terms with the situation.

    "Alright, let's work together and ensure those people don't harm our family in any way."

    Inside the house, the couple displayed their unity, while outside, the officials were already calling for preparations to be made for their journey.

    The sisters-in-law had long packed everything away. Some carried tents on their backs, while others carried the new quilts they had purchased the day before.

    Food, vegetables, and a large iron pot were divided by He Zhiran the previous day between the Fang and Xie families, with each responsible for carrying their own provisions.

    Peng Wang had mentioned earlier that morning that his health was no longer a concern, so he wouldn't be squeezing with Mo Jiuye on the wooden cart.

    Therefore, the Mo family placed all the food and kitchen utensils on one side of the cart, leaving the empty space for Mo Jiuye.

    Recalling He Liang's tragic death, Mo Jiuye, for safety reasons, decided against continuing to ride on the wooden cart. He asked He Zhiran to support him as they exited the room.

    The women of the Mo family were all aware that Mo Jiuye's severe injuries were feigned, but they were still stunned when they saw him walk out of the house.

    Given the presence of outsiders, everyone tactfully refrained from asking questions.

    Instead, Peng Wang approached in surprise.

    "Mo Jiuye, don't overexert yourself. I just didn't see you for a day, and now you're walking around?"

    Mo Jiuye tried to soften his expression.

    "I'm in good health, thanks to Madam's attentive care. I should be able to manage the journey."

    As he spoke, he cast a sympathetic glance towards the He family's direction.

    "I've heard that He Ming's injuries are more severe. To avoid delaying our journey, my wife and I have decided to lend them our wooden cart for a few days."

    Hearing this, He Zhiran couldn't help but inwardly criticize Mo Jiuye.

    This man was truly cunning. Not only did he plan to use others as scapegoats to divert attention, but he also saved the Mo family the labor of pushing the cart.

    Indeed, it was a clever move that served two purposes.

    Thinking of what the He family had done, He Zhiran felt no sympathy for them; instead, a sense of satisfaction washed over him.

    The He family held deep resentment against Mo Jiuye, and it was impossible for them to forgive the past just because he had given the wooden cart to He Ming.

    However, considering the He family's current situation, they indeed needed that wooden cart.

    Seeing that Peng Wang didn't object, He Zhiyuan didn't even bother to express gratitude. Instead, he immediately went forward to push the cart away.

    Mo Hanyue stood there, confused. Seeing so many of their belongings still on the cart, she grew anxious.

    "Brother Nine, our stuff is still on the cart. What if someone steals it?"

    Mo Jiuye replied calmly, "Don't worry. With all these officials here, who would dare to steal from others?"

    His words would have been fine if not for the fact that they almost made He Zhiyuan throw the items off the cart in anger. However, he managed to suppress his rage with great effort.

    If he were to do that, it would indeed relieve his anger momentarily. But what about He Ming?

    The household consisted only of women and children, as well as a man like him who couldn't lift a finger or shoulder any burden. How could he possibly carry the sturdy He Ming on his back?

    No one noticed He Zhiyuan's face darkened like the bottom of a pot. At Peng Wang's command, the group of exiles set off once more.

    On the official road out of Yunlai County, Zhou Laoba was listless the whole time, stealing glances at He Zhiran from time to time.

    Walking at the rear of the group, he was far enough from He Zhiran and Mo Jiuye that they didn't notice anything amiss with him.

    However, Zhou Laoba's actions did not escape Peng Wang's watchful eyes.

    Peng Wang disapproved of this, but such matters were delicate, and he couldn't straightforwardly criticize it. Instead, he had to find a way to make Zhou Laoba realize the difficulty of his intentions.

    "Mo Jiuye used to be so majestic. I still remember when he returned victorious, the Emperor himself led the civil and military officials out of the city to greet him.

    I witnessed that grand scene with my own eyes – it was a sensation throughout the entire city. Even though he is now being exiled for his crimes, it cannot erase the glory he once held."

    Hearing Peng Wang suddenly mention Mo Jiuye, Zhou Laoba was highly sensitive.

    "Boss, why bring this up all of a sudden?"

    Peng Wang strongly suspected that Zhou Laoba was deliberately evading his question.

    Since he had already started the conversation, he had no intention of letting the other man continue to dodge it.

    "I'm saying, Mo Jiuye is a remarkable man, and his wife is no ordinary woman. They seem like a perfect match, both talented and beautiful."

    "Boss, no matter how glorious Mo Jiuye once was, that's in the past. He's now been exiled. Even if he manages to survive the journey to the northwest, he'll only be an ordinary citizen in the future. A lifetime of laboring as a farmer, face buried in the earth, can he really provide happiness for the Het family?"

    Zhou Laoba picked up on the underlying meaning in Peng Wang's words and sincerely wanted to refute them.

    "Moreover, Het has already shared an intimate moment with me. How could Mo Jiuye not look down on her? Rather than having her savior suffer a lifetime of disdain from her husband, it would be better for her to stay with me – at least I can treat her well."

    Listening to Zhou Laoba's stubborn words, Peng Wang wished he could slap some sense into him.

    "Peng Wang treats you like a true brother to say these things to you," he said with a pause, gesturing towards He Zhiran and Mo Jiuye supporting each other in the distance. "Don't deceive yourself, can you? Look at Mo Jiuye - does he despise the He family? They're a loving couple. I advise you to put an end to those unwarranted thoughts as soon as possible."

    Indeed, Zhou Laoba's words came from his sincere heart. He was a man of loyalty and affection, especially after learning that He Zhiran had awakened him personally. He felt a sense of responsibility towards her. It was a basic obligation for any man.

    However, upon closely following Peng Wang's gaze, he noticed Mo Jiuye wiping sweat off He Zhiran's forehead.

    He had to admit that, as the leader said, Mo Jiuye did not despise He Zhiran but instead treated her with great care. This was an undeniable fact.

    If that was the case, he would just silently protect her along the way.

    "Leader, if Mo Jiuye can continue treating the He family like this, I won't interfere."

    Upon hearing Zhou Laoba say this, Peng Wang felt somewhat relieved.

    His brother was too emotional, and Peng Wang was afraid that he would get too deeply involved and lose himself in it.

    However, reminding him too much would only lead to annoyance. Thus, Peng Wang changed the topic to chat with Zhou Laoba, hoping to distract him from constantly staring at He Zhiran. Otherwise, if the Mo family noticed, He Zhiran would be put in an awkward position...

    The large group traveled for a day as usual. Before nightfall, they reached a small river, where Peng Wang ordered everyone to rest.

    The officials went to the river first to fill their water bags, then leaned against big trees to rest.

    The prisoners, likewise, ran to the river to refill their water bags if they had them.

    He Zhiran observed the Mo family's womenfolk readying their water bags to follow suit, and promptly interceded.

    " Sisters-in-law, the riverbank is crowded; let's wait a little longer before we go."

    The Mo family now heeded He Zhiran's words almost without question. Without asking for an explanation, they obediently resumed resting where they were.

    In imitation of He Zhiran's previous actions, Mo Jiuye sought out a sturdy branch and, using a patrol officer's waist knife, sharpened it to a point, preparing to attempt catching some fish in the river to augment their meal provisions.

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