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    Chapter 85: In the Face of a Flood, the Best Option is to Seek Higher Ground

    The straw hats on the Mo family's heads were soon soaked through, leaving their only remaining use being to shield their faces from the direct onslaught of rain.

    Adapting to the situation, He Zhiran instructed everyone to expand the tent slightly, using it temporarily as a makeshift rain shelter.

    The earth beneath their feet became increasingly slippery.

    He Zhiran and Mo Jiuye ran to Old Mo's side simultaneously, fearing that she might inadvertently trip.

    Indeed, Old Mo found walking a struggle. Only with the support of her son and daughter-in-law did she feel a sense of stability.

    Sisters-in-law and Mo Hanyue also relied on each other for support, and not only that, they all tried their best to hasten their pace.

    Other families mimicked the Mo family, closely following in their footsteps.

    At this moment, the hardest part was for the He family.

    Not only were they usually hungry and sleep-deprived, but they lacked any means of protection from the rain. Now, they had to push their heavy wooden cart with great difficulty.

    Their current situation truly embodied the saying - trouble never comes alone, but always in multiples, especially when one's roof is leaking during a downpour.

    Adding to their woes, the wooden cart inconveniently sank into the mud at this moment.

    Apart from He Zhiyuan, the only adult male in the He family, the rest were either elderly, weak, or women and children. Several of them tried to help, but failed to pull the cart out.

    The officials, in a hurry to reach their destination, saw the He family falling behind and, without hesitation, lashed out at them with whips.

    This left the He family howling in pain.

    Considering that the wooden cart carried the Mo family's food supplies, vegetables, and daily necessities, Mo Jiuye entrusted Old Mo to He Zhiran's care and strode purposefully towards the stuck cart.

    Upon seeing Mo Jiuye approach, the He family immediately ceased their cries.

    Mo Jiuye didn't spare them a glance. Instead, he grasped the cart's handles firmly and, with a burst of strength, pulled it free from the mud.

    Seeing Mo Jiuye pull the cart away, He Zhiyuan wiped the rain from his face and hurried after him, instinctively lending a hand to push.

    With Mo Jiuye's intervention, the He family finally didn't fall behind.

    He Zhiyuan gazed at that solitary, proud figure ahead.

    "Many thanks for your assistance."

    Mo Jiuye's choice to pull the cart wasn't out of a desire to help the He family.

    Upon hearing He Zhiyuan's gratitude, he replied coldly, "I'm doing this for my own supplies. Don't read too much into it."

    He Zhiyuan's thank you was sincere, regardless of Mo Jiuye's intentions in helping pull the cart. Ultimately, he had relieved the He family from an immediate crisis.

    "In any case, I must thank you for this."

    Mo Jiuye didn't respond further but lowered his head and continued to pull the cart...

    The torrential rain showed no sign of ceasing, quickly flooding the road up to everyone's ankles.

    A sense of impending danger stirred inexplicably within He Zhiran's heart.

    Ancient roads lacked drainage systems; should the heavy rain persist, unforeseen disasters could unfold.

    At that moment, Peng Wang pointed ahead and said, "Hurry up, everyone. That village isn't far from here."

    He Zhiran followed the direction of Peng Wang's finger.

    Through the veil of rain, they could vaguely make out a hamlet in the distance.

    The group, as if glimpsing a beacon of hope, quickened their pace once more.

    In no time, they arrived at the entrance to the village, following Peng Wang's lead.

    Fortunately, the water pooling on the ground here wasn't as deep as on the road.

    Peng Wang seemed familiar with the village, leading them straight along the path into it. Soon, he stopped in front of a substantial courtyard and knocked on the door.

    "Is Village Officer Liu at home?"

    Perhaps due to the heavy rain, Peng Wang's calls went unanswered despite his efforts.

    With no other choice, he pushed the door open and entered himself.

    Not long after Peng Wang went in, the door opened again, revealing an elderly man who seemed to be in his fifties or sixties accompanying him out.

    Pointing at the crowd by the entrance, Peng Wang said, "Village Officer Liu, all we need is a place to shelter from the rain."

    Upon seeing so many people standing at the door, Village Officer Liu was momentarily stunned.

    "Sir, there are so many of them. I'm afraid my house isn't spacious enough!"

    "P Village Officer Liu, as long as it can shield them from the rain, it's fine even if they have to squeeze together." Not giving Village Officer Liu a chance to refuse, Peng Wang led the group into the courtyard.

    Reluctantly, Village Officer Liu unlocked the doors to his two side chambers.

    "There are only these two empty rooms. Sir, you decide what to do with them!"

    Peng Wang chose one room for himself and the officers, while the rest squeezed into the other side chamber.

    Upon spotting a shelter from the rain, everyone rushed in like a swarm of bees entering a hive.

    Fortunately, the annex was spacious enough that all the prisoners could stand shoulder to shoulder without being drenched further.

    The downpour showed no signs of abating.

    Water had already started accumulating in Village Officer Liu's courtyard and was threatening to seep into the house.

    Standing by the entrance, a Fang family member cried out, "Oh no, the water's flooding the house!"

    For some inexplicable reason, He Zhiran felt a sudden surge of anxiety.

    She tugged at Mo Jiuye's sleeve beside her and whispered, "I have a feeling we shouldn't stay here to seek refuge from the rain."

    At that moment, Mo Jiuye also wore a worried frown.

    "Mm, I'm concerned that if this heavy rain persists, a flood might occur here."

    He Zhiran continued, "Just now, I saw a mountain to the south of the village. It would be safer for us to go there."

    Mo Jiuye pondered for a moment before nodding. "I'll discuss this with Brother Peng right away and see if he agrees."

    Peng Wang sat on the sole chair in the annex, gazing at the still overcast sky with an expression of deep distress and resentment.

    Spotting Mo Jiuye's arrival, he took the initiative to ask, "Brother, your place is too crowded. Why not stay here with us temporarily?"

    Mo Jiuye had no intention of making do with this arrangement, so he went straight to the point.

    "Brother Peng, if this rain doesn't stop soon, I'm afraid the entire village will be submerged within a few hours."

    Upon hearing Mo Jiuye's words, Peng Wang instinctively glanced at the water accumulating in the courtyard.

    Indeed, the water level in the yard was much higher than when they first arrived. Mo Jiuye's warning was no exaggeration.

    "What do you suggest we should do?"

    Mo Jiuye pointed to a nearby hilltop.

    "In the face of a flood, the best course of action is to seek higher ground."

    Despite acknowledging the validity of Mo Jiuye's argument, Peng Wang still hesitated.

    Putting aside the question of whether the scenario Mo Jiuye described could actually occur, if a flood did strike and they couldn't find shelter on the mountain, they would likely be drenched to death.

    Peng Wang voiced his concerns straightforwardly. "Brother, what if we can't find a place to take cover from the rain once we're up there?"

    He had initially thought Peng Wang was astute, but it seemed the man had lost his wits at this critical moment.

    "Brother Peng, there are two options. One, there's a chance we'll get caught in the rain on the mountain. Two, we stay down here and risk being swept away by the flood," Mo Jiuye pointed out, deeming it necessary to emphasize the severity of the situation.

    Peng Wang understood the logic, but he still clung to a sliver of hope. If the rain stopped, wouldn't their efforts have been in vain?

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