Within a residence in Bamboo Orchid Alley, Jiang Wenhe was currently organizing some things.
Now that he rose to East Port Town’s Substitute Town Supervisor, according to normal reasoning, he could switch to a larger residence. After holding office in this East Port Town for fifteen years, he never changed residences, so he actually had a bit of sentimental attachment towards this place. Only, now that his age was great, this residence also rather dark, always living here made him feel a bit cold and damp, while the Town Supervisor Manor for better or worse faced the sun, the terrain also the highest in all of Bamboo Orchid Alley.
The rain outside poured heavily, releasing light pi pa sounds on roof tiles. Suddenly, he seemed to have heard the sound of knocking, at first feeling like he heard incorrectly. He was thinking that it was already so late, the rain even pouring until it was hard for even umbrellas to remain standing, how could there be anyone who came to knock on his door?
However, after just a few breaths of time, the knocking sounds became louder and louder, finally determining that it wasn’t that he judged incorrectly. After mumbling strangely to himself a bit, he put on a jacket, and then after opening an umbrella, walked into the courtyard’s downpour.
The rain was great to the point where even his umbrella almost couldn’t support itself. After walking just a dozen or so steps through the small courtyard, his two trouser legs were completely soaked.
When he opened the main entrance, seeing the face of the person in front of him, Jiang Wenhe’s face immediately became bitter, feeling that it wasn’t something good.
What immediately left him stunned again was that there were several people following behind Lin Xi, one of them precisely the Land Manager Zou Yishi.
Lin Xi closed his umbrella, standing under the courtyard’s eaves. He gave Jiang Wenhe a bow of respect, and then said, “Town Supervisor Jiang, do you know about our East Port Town’s river blocking dam?”
Only now did he see the faces of Jiang Xiaoyi and Chen Haozhi behind Lin Xi. After staring blankly for a bit, he said, “I do. What is it?”
“This is Chen Haozhi, a resident of Mulberry Elm Circle. His grandfather participated in the building of the dam, as well as its fortification thirty-seven years ago.” Lin Xi pointed at Chen Haozhi behind him, explaining, “The following days might have severe rainfall. Moreover, his grandfather is certain that with the current water levels, the river blocking dam might collapse at any time.”
“There was this kind of matter?” Jiang Wenhe wasn’t too familiar with this agricultural irrigation work’s matters, so he couldn’t help but turn around to look at Zou Yishi.
Originally, the skinny and dark skinned Zou Yishi’s face was darkened, not immediately speaking.
At this time, under the rumbling thunder and rain sounds, Lin Xi instead continued to calmly say, “Because of the urgency of the matter, I want to ask Sir Zou to immediately accompany me to the river dam for inspection, but Sir Zou believes that this is outside of my range of authority, that I have absolutely no jurisdiction over it, which is why I invited Sir Zou to come here with me, have Town Supervisor Jiang make the decision.”
Jiang Wenhe immediately understood why Zou Yishi’s face became so dark.
This was indeed outside of Lin Xi’s jurisdiction. To be dragged under the dark night and torrential rain to see the Town Supervisor by a colleague who didn’t have any authority over the matter, no matter who it was, it wouldn’t feel good.
Moreover, this was right after Lin Xi dragged down Lian Zhanshan and Town Supervisor Dong, so he was full of prestige, or else this Trade Sector official might have just directly shut his great gates, not following Lin Xi here at all.
“Sir Zou?” Jiang Wenhe’s face became bitter again, looking at Zou Yishi, waiting to see if he had anything to say.
Zou Yishi’s face produced a bit of anger, saying with a sunken voice, “The river dam is extremely sturdy, Breath River’s water flow is also calm, I believe that the words of an elder who has already laid sick in bed for many years are not worth trusting. Under this type of torrential rain and darkness, even if we arrive at the dam, there is no way we can determine if there is anything wrong with the river dam.”
“Sir Lin?” Jiang Wenhe then turned around to look at Lin Xi. He felt like what Zou Yishi said was rather reasonable.
Lin Xi gave him a look, and then said, “Sir Zou isn’t a fool, I am not one either, neither are you, Sir Jiang. Those Mulberry Elm Circle’s residents aren’t complete idiots either. If that elder truly is muddle-headed, then why would so many of Mulberry Elm Circle’s villagers believe him? I believe that whether there is reason or not should be something we determine after we head there.”
“This…” Jiang Wenhe felt like what Lin Xi said was also reasonable, but this Judicial Sector official forcing a Trade Sector official to do this type of thing, once news went out, it really wouldn’t be too good. Moreover, he felt like Lin Xi and himself might not necessarily be as knowledgeable about the water irrigation matters as Zou Yishi. Since Zou Yishi wasn’t that worried, could it be that they really still had to hurry over under the night’s downpour?
“Sir Zou, Sir Jiang, please think about it on your own.” Lin Xi saw that Jiang Wenhe was hesitating, his brows furrowed, his voice becoming a bit cold. “I indeed only have jurisdiction over the Enforcer and Warden Offices, unable to manage Trade Sector’s affairs, but if something does end up happening to the river dam, drowning many people, it won’t have much to do with me either, but for the two of you, it will be different. If no one issued a report and something really happens, then Sir Zou, you would at most just remove some people from their positions. However, now that someone has issued a report, yet Sir Zou refuses to deal with it, I believe that not only will Sir Zou be removed from your office, at the very least, you will be sent to the border. As for Sir Jiang, all of your achievements will definitely be stripped.”
After a slight pause, Lin Xi looked at the two of them and said, “The two of you have both held your posts for a long time, comparatively, you two should understand even more clearly that in the royal court, caution stirs on a ship for ten thousand years. Even if there is only a shred of possibility… to just avoid something that has a slight chance of happening, what does hurrying through a rainy night count as?”
Right at this time, a streak of lightning tore through the sky, lighting up the entire sky.
Zou Yishi and Jiang Wenhe’s hearts immediately went cold.
“Sir Zou, just to be cautious, I think we should still make a trip. I’ll accompany you all.” After recalling the Yuhua Family small banner Lin Xi handed him previously, Jiang Wenhe immediately made his decision, turning around to look at Zou Yishi, saying this.
Zou Yishi didn’t say anything either, silently nodding his head.
“Why isn’t Haozhi back yet?”
On a muddy path, five or six farmers were holding umbrellas, reaching out their necks as they watched nervously.
Among them was a bamboo chair, a skinny elder laying on it. His legs were a bit shriveled, clearly already paralyzed for a long time.
Because the rain was extremely great, even if they held umbrellas, it wouldn’t block everything, the thin blanket covering the elder’s body was already completely soaked through, rolled up and placed to the side.
This aged elder whose white hair was even sparse to the point of not having many strands left suddenly erupted into violent rage. He straightened his body, clutching the yellow wood walking stick in his hand and striking against his bamboo chair, screaming in fury, “Haozhi can’t even take care of this small matter! You all might as well just carry me all the way there! If the great dam suddenly bursts, my Chen Family aware of it, yet completely powerless to do anything, even if I immediately die, how can I face my ancestors, see those people who repaired the dam with me!” 
The farmers there all clenched their teeth, starting to raise the bamboo chair, moving through the muddy path one step after another.
Under the violent rain, they couldn’t even see more than ten steps ahead of them.
After who knew how much time passed, under the thunder and rain, there vaguely seemed to be some unusual sounds.
These farmers stopped in shock. A moment later, they saw a horse suddenly appear under the pitch-black curtain of rain.
Because it ran so fast, the rider on the horse didn’t seem to expect there to be people on the way, there was not enough time to even guide the horse. Under the forceful pull, they only saw that this speeding horse’s front hooves flew into the air, standing upright.
“There are people! Halt!”
The rider on the horse immediately shouted behind himself, but his voice was actually extremely calm.
Right behind him, sounds of horses stopping could be heard. Immediately after, several more horses appeared before these farmers’ line of sight.
“Haozhi! You came back?!”
When they saw the figure seated behind the rider clearly, some of the farmers released cries of pleasant surprise.
This group were precisely Lin Xi, Jiang Xiaoyi, and the others.
At the very front was precisely Lin Xi. Right now, he also saw the completely drenched elder seated on a bamboo chair.
“I am the Town Police Officer Lin Xi, Trade Sector’s Land Manager and Town Supervisor Jiang are both here too!” Lin Xi got off his horse, directly arriving in front of these farmers and the elder lying on the bamboo chair. He immediately guessed at the identity of this elder who was already half soaked, but still had these people bring along him under the rain.
When he landed and released the light shout, he immediately gave these farmers and elder a serious bow of respect.
This elder was originally angry, but now, he instead became rapt with joy.
“Lin Xi… Young Sir Lin… Good! Good! Our Mulberry Elm Circle’s people and land having good officials watching over us is a blessing of the heavens!”
“This old one is Chen Yangzhi, previously served as Trade Sector’s Craftsman Supervisor. Sirs! The river dam situation is approaching a crisis, we need large amounts of manpower and wood!” The elder suddenly shouted loudly. It was unknown where he got the strength, but his voice actually made everyone’s ears ring with noise.
“Elder Chen, Yunqin’s resources must all be used in appropriate areas, they cannot be used because of a single person. Since we came here today, we naturally wish to protect this dam.” Lin Xi’s clear voice sounded again, “I must ask Elder Chen to show us proof.”
“Sirs, please bring me to the dam!” The elder’s throat was already a bit damaged from the fierce shout just now, so when he spoke loudly with all his strength now, his voice was already a bit strange.
However, everyone could see that his mind was still clear, completely without a trace of muddled-headedness.
“I must ask Elder Chen to please lead the way!”
Lin Xi didn’t waste any time either, directly removing his woven lush raincoat, placing it over the elder’s body. Then, he lifted the elder, bringing him back onto his horse.
A fast horse moved at the very front again, rushing through the curtain of rain, sprinting through the paddy fields, charging towards the great dam.
On the dam, there were several hundred strong men who were shouting and bustling about.
Several large wooden stakes were currently being hammered to the bottom of the dam, there were also straw sacks of sand and stones that were added.
The dam was extremely wide, enough for two carriages to move side by side. Even though the river flow wasn’t fast, the water level was only less than a meter from the top, making Lin Xi feel a great pressure, as if it was a filled washbowl, a slight shake would cause a large splash, or perhaps even water pouring over the dam.
Lin Xi stood on this dam, supporting the elder on the horse. He saw that this side of the dam already far exceeded the elevation on the other side of the dam.
Meanwhile, there were some sections of the dam that were uneven, to the extent where there was even a small hole that was chewed out. This dam was indeed already extremely old.
“Sirs, please look!”
The elder’s distorted voice continued to sound as if he was crying tears of blood. He directly reached out his hand.
Lin Xi and the others saw that in between the parts of the dam the elder pointed at, there was a vat sized deep hole. The rainwater couldn’t be stopped, seemingly continuously flowing through the dam.
“Back then, this great dam had one stake every thirty steps, having a total of seventy two stakes, just like seventy two giants overlooking the dam. Later on, they were connected with wooden beams. I’ve already looked into it, finding that over half of these wooden stakes have rotted!”
“Sirs, only by repairing these stakes, and then stuffing sand and stones for further strengthening, is there a chance of stabilizing this water situation, preventing the dam from bursting!”
When he saw these holes, sensed the unsteadiness of this river, and then saw the hundreds of robust men who were frantically working, Zou Yishi’s face immediately turned pale. He turned around to look at Jiang Wenhe and Lin Xi, a bit beside himself as he said, “The stakes need to be a certain length, only complete pinewood can be used. With Trade Sector’s budget… there is completely no way of gathering it all within a short amount of time.”
“If Trade Sector’s budget isn’t enough, we’ll use the other sectors’ for now… if it still isn’t enough, then ask the merchants for a loan first! Town Supervisor Jiang, have Fourth Grandpa Zhu and the others come and help out as well. If there isn’t enough manpower, then transfer over soldiers!”
Lin Xi took a deep breath, and then said with a slow and calm voice, “I will shoulder all the responsibility for the consequences.”
1. Haozhi here is a nickname that means mouse or rat. It has similar pronunciation, but uses different characters.