Naaah... the girl was probably just fretting over whether the reason the "thief who picks flowers" was not interested in her was because her chest was not big enough yet. GDL never means any harm...
Chapter 41 –Tailing the Pock-Faced Person
The breeze blew, rustling the weeping willows and rippling the surface of the lake.
Guo DaLu was still strolling along slowly, peeling the skin off the lotus root and humming a little tune. After walking what could be considered a fair distance, he abruptly whipped his head around and noticed straight away that behind him, with a broken dish in hand, was a beggar. What’s more, this beggar had a pockmarked face.
The instant he turned back to look, the pock-faced man hid behind a tree. This man’s skill in following people really was not all that good. If Guo DaLu had not been so preoccupied with his own thoughts these last two days, he would have detected his presence a long time ago. Was this man with the pockmarked face the same one that Shui RouQing had spoken about?
Casually, Guo DaLu turned around and, with small steps, ambled over in the direction of that pock-faced man. He had planned that, as he got close to the man, he would suddenly jump forward and seize ahold of him.
But the pock-faced man, surprisingly, was on his guard and immediately turned and sped back along the way they had come. When Guo DaLu picked up his pace, the man’s footsteps would instantly quicken also. Out in broad daylight and in front of so many people, it would be rather ridiculous to use lightness kung fu, so all Guo DaLu could do was lengthen his strides and chase after him. In the beginning, it had been the man who was following Guo DaLu, but now, things had changed so that it was Guo DaLu pursuing him instead.
The girl on the boat gawked at them with an expression of surprise on her face as, one in front of the other, they ran past. She really could not understand why a constable would not try and catch a thief and would actually be chased by the criminal instead. To her, there were just too many things in the world that could not be explained and that was why she always felt troubled and worried. But as she gradually grew older and the number of things she knew became more and more, she finally truly understood that life had actually been happier when she did not know anything at all.
Early summer. The time for enjoying the lake.
On the lakeshore, young men and ladies were dressed up in bright, attractive clothing and tourists were swarming around. Of course, where there were many tourists, there would also be particularly many beggars. People who come out to have a good time are exceptionally generous, especially when there is a flower-like beauty at their side. And so, in that crowd of people, there were beggars to the east and the west. This time of the year had always been their busy season, so even the laziest of beggars was out and about today.
As the pock-faced man wove around in the crowd, there were several times that Guo DaLu nearly lost him. It was fortunate that Guo DaLu’s luck was quite good. Every time he reached a critical moment, he would always manage to spot the pockmarks on that face. People with distinctive appearances have never been suitable for tailing someone.
After a while, the pock-faced seemed to grow nervous about the pursuit and left the lake area to head towards a place where there were fewer people. It was as if he wanted to lure Guo DaLu to an isolated place to take care of him.
Guo DaLu, however, was not the least bit concerned and in fact, pursued him with even more fervor. He had originally been planning to find a secluded spot, seize the man, and question him until everything was clear – did he know Yan Qi and know her whereabouts. It was true that Guo DaLu had learned a thing or two from GunZi regarding the technique of making people tell the truth.
He had thought that he would be able to catch up to the pock-faced man very soon, but surprisingly, not only was the man incredibly swift, his endurance was also rather good. It seemed like he never grew tired as, amazingly, he was in fact running quicker and quicker. Guo DaLu, though, was starting to feel as if he would not be able to last much longer. With the lifestyle he had been living recently, one day was enough to make a person age one year. He could not help yelling, “Wei! Don’t run! I do not want to give you trouble. I just want to ask you a few questions.” The pock-faced man had not really been exherting himself before, and when he heard this, he actually unleashed his strides and tore off.
It was a common occurrence to see beggars being chased around as they ran wildly all over the streets. Whether he was being chased by a person or a dog, no one seeing this would find it out of the ordinary. However, a person dressed all neat and smart pursuing a beggar and running haphazardly around the streets was probably a little absurd.
Guo DaLu knew that people were starting to pay attention to him, two of whom appeared to be real constables. These two had been patrolling the neighbourhood, and now, they were preparing to bar the way in front of Guo DaLu and ask him what was going on. Once Guo DaLu was obstructed, the man with the pockmarked face would immediately be able to run off and vanish without a trace. This was his one lead and Guo DaLu would definitely not let it escape easily. His eyes glinted and he suddenly acted first to gain control of the situation. Pointing at the pock-faced man racing in front of him, he shouted, “That beggar is a pickpocket! Anyone who helps me capture him will be rewarded with twenty liang.”
That last sentence was very effective. Without waiting for him to finish, the two constables had already turned around to chase after the pock-faced man. People were also standing off to the side cheering and jeering.
The pock-faced man appeared to be truly nervous now, and with a sudden leap, he had flown over five or six people’s heads and onto the roof of a house up ahead. His lightness kung fu was very profound such that his skill was actually among the first-class of jianghu. But with this display, even the people who had not wanted to be nosy began jeering, “It seems that this person is not only a thief but a cat burglar as well. He absolutely must not be allowed to get away!”
The number of people creating the uproar may have been many, but there was not a single one who could go up on a roof to chase a person. Those two constables were only able to stand at the foot of the wall and watch with angst. After all, lightness kung fu was not something everyone could learn, and at most, only one or two out of 100,000 people had lightness kung fu that could compare with the pock-faced man’s.
Fortunately, Guo DaLu was amongst those one or two.
He also swept over the crowd and scurried onto the roof as loud shouts came from his lips: “I am a constable from the capital city who has come here specifically to capture this cat burglar. I hope that the heroes and good men from all around will lend a hand in assistance.”
He knew that, no matter where those heroes and good men came from, they would not come meddle in this very odd business of someone else. He was shouting and calling out loudly like this because he wanted to make the pock-faced man panicked and flustered. That was because he really did not have confidence that he could catch up to him. Even though he had practiced his lightness kung fu and had reached a level where it was quite good, he had not had many opportunities to put it in actual use. Regardless of whether one was comparing skill or experience, he still seemed to be a notch lower than that pock-faced man.
Sure enough, though, the man appeared to have grown nervous as a result of his shouts. Out there in broad daylight, there a person was leaping and soaring over someone else’s eaves. That really was too big of a target to miss. And so, he was finally forced to jump back down to the ground.
Down below was what could not be considered a very wide lane. Altogether, there were only six or seven households in it. As Guo DaLu sped over there, he was just in time to see the man’s shadow flit away and through the front doorway of one of the households near the entrance of the lane. This family’s door was actually open. No matter how peaceful the times may have been, there were not many households who left their door open all day long. This family must have some relations with the pock-faced man and, perhaps, this place was even his house.
Without giving any thought, Guo DaLu immediately followed after him and charged inside. There was no one in the courtyard. However, up ahead in the living room, someone was laughing and saying, “No wonder people always say, ‘Out of ten pockmarked people, nine are weird.’ You really are a monster.”
In exultation, Guo DaLu darted inside with one large stride. “This time, there is no way you can escape now!”
But, inside that living room, there was not even half of a pockmarked person.