“Im not trying to interfere, but I know that if you continue to cause the delay, the soldiers will not have anything to eat tomorrow morning,” Qiao Mei said to Zheng Yuan.
She looked at Zheng Yuan evenly, in a manner that was neither servile nor overbearing.
“I had wanted to ask you.
Didnt you say that you wanted to wash your clothes Dont tell me that you used the water from the storage tanks” Zheng Yuan asked.
Qiao Mei laughed out loudly, amazed that Zheng Yuan thought of herself as being skillful enough to make things difficult for Qiao Mei.
As Qiao Mei had expected, it was Zheng Yuan who did the dirty task and then went on to play the trick of a thief calling another person the thief.
Such a small trick was not enough to do anything.
“What are you laughing at” Zheng Yuan looked at Qiao Mei in confusion.
Nothing, its nothing.
I just find it quite interesting.
You said I did it Do you have any evidence” Qiao Mei looked at Zheng Yuan and asked.
Zheng Yuan looked at Qiao Mei and said, “Everyone in the army knows that only medics and soldiers from the cookhouse can use the water in the water storage tanks.
Other soldiers are self-disciplined enough not to do it.
You wanted to leave the camp on your own this afternoon and I stopped you.
Who knows if you went to the water tanks to get water after that”
This seemingly meticulous logic was actually untenable at all.
The way Zheng Yuan was behaving, it was obvious that she was single-mindedly trying her best to set up a trap to frame Qiao Mei.
However, Qiao Mei had the upper hand and was simply watching her dig her own grave.
“Then why dont you explain how I know that there is a water source five kilometers away If I really stole the water, why am I bringing all the cookhouse staff to the water source and not just secretly transporting it back to fill in the shortfall” Qiao Mei said.
“You! Of course you wont say anything! Because you want to frame others!” Caught unaware and embarrassed by the question, Zheng Yuan flew into a rage and shouted angrily as she looked at Qiao Mei.
“Me Who am I framing Im helping you guys solve the problem of the water source.
Is there a need for me to frame anyone” Qiao Mei shrugged as she looked at Zheng Yuan, who was starting to get disconcerted.
“Who knows if youre lying about the water source youre talking about!” Zheng Yuan said as she pointed at Qiao Mei.
“Im lying Why would I lie to these dozen or so men Im the only woman here.
Why would I lie to them to trick them into going outside Moreover, theyre all soldiers.
Is there a need for me to lie to them” Qiao Mei was incredulous to hear what Zheng Yuan just said.
She wondered how Zheng Yuan got to the position of deputy battalion commander with this level of intelligence and means of doing things.
Anyone from her village was a hundred times more capable than Zheng Yuan.
“You! You!” Zheng Yuan did not know what else to blame on Qiao Mei.
She was so angry that she pointed at Qiao Mei but could not find anything to say.
The noise from the commotion reached Xia Zhes ears.
He opened the tent door and saw a group of people gathered in the distance but he could not tell what they were arguing about.
Xia Zhe jogged over to find that it was Qiao Mei and Zheng Yuan having an argument, and he hurriedly ran to stand behind Qiao Mei.
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Xia Zhe gently hugged Qiao Meis shoulder.
Qiao Mei was shocked by the touch and turned around only to see Xia Zhes gentle expression.
His warm arm holding her shoulder made her feel doubly at ease.
“Whats happening Can someone tell me” Xia Zhe did not even look at Zheng Yuan and only stared at the cookhouse squad leader as he spoke.
When the cookhouse squad leader saw Xia Zhe, he finally felt a reassuring presence and said forcefully, “Report! The cookhouse team has made a mistake!”
“The cookhouse squad leader will follow me.
The rest of you are dismissed.” Xia Zhe looked at the soldiers and gave his order.
“Report! No! We have to find a water source before we can be dismissed! Otherwise, the rest of the soldiers wont have anything to eat tomorrow!” said the cookhouse squad leader.
Qiao Mei also looked at Xia Zhe and gently tugged at the corner of his shirt.
She said softly, “Report… I found a water source in the distance where they can go.
Its five kilometers away.”
Xia Zhe looked at Qiao Mei and then at the cookhouse squad leader before saying, “Approval given.
Take Qiao Mei with you and be careful on the road.
I will allow you to use the army trucks and you must ensure Qiao Meis physical safety, do you understand You can also take the water storage tanks with you on the trucks so theres no need for so many soldiers to go together.”
“Yes!” the cookhouse squad leader said animatedly.
“Comrade Qiao Mei, you have to work with the cookhouse deputy squad leader to look for the water source.
You have to be careful of your own safety, understand” Xia Zhe looked at Qiao Mei and said seriously.
In actual fact, it would be more appropriate to term his words as a reminder rather than an order.
“Yes, I promise to complete the mission!” Qiao Mei said.
Looking at how cute Qiao Mei was, Xia Zhes heart melted.
However, he had to remain solemn and lived up to the standard of being a good battalion commander in front of everyone.