Yang Chen saw this coming and he stopped them with a teasing grin. “You have to answer when adults ask you a question. You’ll be whacked if you run away.”
The girls trembled as they took a few steps back.
“Eh, why did you run?” Guo Xuehua bent down and proceeded to ask her. “Little girl, tell us. Who ordered you guys to sell these mooncakes?”
Yang Pojun walked forward with a curious gaze. Pitying little kids was not his thing. Catching bad guys was a different story.
“We...we don’t know,” the leader said.
“How is it possible? Don’t be afraid, everything will be fine,” Guo Xuehua asked patiently.
“We really don’t know…” The other girl was close to crying.
Yang Chen squinted his eyes and he lowered his head. “How about this? If you tell us the truth, we will buy all of your mooncakes. Deal?”
The girls seemed interested but seconds later, they shook their heads hurriedly as if they were reminded of something.
Yang Chen’s face darkened and he threatened them. “I won’t let you guys go if you won’t tell me. Little girl, you are all selling expired mooncakes. I will report you to the police.”
The girls were frightened and they looked up at him with dewy eyes.
“Yeah.” Yang Chen continued to act like a villain. “Do you know what happens after getting caught by the police? You will go to jail. Do you know what it is? They will lock you up and you won’t get food. They will even hit you…”
The girls were so terrified that they started choking with sobs.
Lin Ruoxi couldn’t bear it anymore. She blocked Yang Chen from their view and smiled at them gently. “Little girl, don’t be afraid. Just tell us who it is and nothing will happen. I will promise you.”
The tanned skin girl muttered, having sensed her kindness. “But...if we tell you…we will get hit.”
Guo Xuehua and Lin Ruoxi turned solemn. Their suspicions were confirmed, someone else was behind this.
There had been numerous articles about people who used children to earn money. They never expected to witness this themselves.
For someone who loved children so much, which was obvious by her active participation in charity. Guo Xuehua despised it the most.
Yang Chen’s eyes gleamed when he heard this. He walked forward and gripped the girl’s frail arm.
“No! Don’t hit her! Let her say it slowly.” Guo Xuehua stopped him, thinking that he had lost his temper.
The girl was startled too, judging by the way she tried to squeeze herself backward.
Yang Chen laughed. “Do I look like I will lay my hands on a child? You’re really looking down on me.”
“Then…” Guo Xuehua was flustered.
Yang Chen said nothing and rolled up the girl’s sleeve to reveal her thin limb.
Guo Xuehua and Lin Ruoxi’s eyes reddened. They couldn’t even bear to look at it for another second.
There were an unimaginable number of wounds on her arms! The worst part was that there were scars all over her skin because of the lack of treatment.
“How can someone be so cruel?! She’s just a child!”
“Little girl, who hit you? Is it the same person who forced you guys to sell mooncakes?” Lin Ruoxi tried to force a smile.
The little girl nodded slowly with a look of confusion on her face as if she couldn’t understand why Lin Ruoxi was so close to crying.
“No, we can’t ignore it. I have to know which animal did this to them!” Guo Xuehua was livid. “Son, let’s not go back yet. We have to investigate this.”
Yang Chen didn’t mind it. This was something worth standing up for.
“Little girl, bring us to them. Don’t worry, they wouldn’t dare to hit you, but if you won’t bring us there, we will call the police for real,” Yang Chen said with a smile.
The tanned skin girl had no choice. She exchanged glances with the girls and they all nodded obediently even though their eyes were filled with worry.
Since the sky was getting darker, no one paid them too much attention as they walked along the street.
After going around many corners, they left the bustling area and came to a quiet old street.
Soon, the girls stopped in front of an old two-story house and they pointed to the rusty and moldy gates.
“Uncles and aunties are here.” One of the girls said.
Guo Xuehua frowned when she saw the dirty surroundings. There was trash everywhere and the sewers reeked badly.
Yang Chen walked forward to push the gates and the view inside left him flabbergasted.
The front yard was piled with boxes and plastic bags. There were also plastic films all over the place.
In the middle of it were eight boys who seemed to be around the same age as the girls. They all looked so small and skinny as they sat on small stools with something in their hands.
Some of them were pulling out the used plastic fills to organize them. Some were classifying the plastic bags whereas the rest were cutting and flattening the boxes to store them.
If it wasn’t for their young age, this place could have been mistaken as a waste processing workshop!
They looked up curiously when the gate was opened. A look of confusion showed up on their faces when they saw the girls.
“Xiaojia, did you guys sell everything?” A boy with messy hair asked.
The tanned skin girl squeezed herself through the door. With a small voice, she shook her head and replied to the boy, “No...we got into some trouble.”
“Ah, then go and sell it quickly! Or else we won’t get dinner!” The boy sounded extremely anxious.
Xiaojia turned around and looked at Yang Chen with a troubled gaze.
Guo Xuehua entered the yard and asked with a perplexed voice while looking around, “What’s going on? Why are the children doing this?!”
“Hmph.” Yang Pojun grunted. “Isn’t it obvious? This is child labor.”
His face was dark from the disheartening view.
At this time, a hoarse voice was heard from the main door.
“Who is it out there?”
A plump woman in her forties walked out while wearing a colorful sweater. Her hair was permed and she had lipstick on.
Her face fell when she saw foreign faces, “Who are you?! Why are you guys here?!”
Guo Xuehua questioned with a cold voice, “You are forcing the kids to do labor work? Do you know that this is a crime?”
The plump woman eyed her and those behind her. With a mocking smile, she said, “Yo, someone’s here to act as a good samaritan? Hmph, I’ve seen enough of people like you! Scram before I hurt you guys!”
“You...what did you say?!” Guo Xuehua was infuriated. She had always been a rational person but it was impossible to be reasonable with a fishwife.
Yang Chen held his forehead when his mom had failed. He was about to butt in but the plump woman started to scold the girls instead.
“Brats, haven’t I done enough for you guys? How dare you bring people here to anger me?! Do you guys want to be spanked, huh?!”
The plump woman whipped out a bamboo broom from the door before rushing towards the girls!
The girls’ legs were trembling with fear and they threw their bags of mooncakes to cover the head as if they were prepared to be beaten up.
Even Yang Chen’s heart clenched at the sight of this, let alone Guo Xuehua and Lin Ruoxi!
They couldn’t imagine the number of times they had been beaten, especially when the girls were clearly so afraid that they wouldn’t even dodge her beating!