Chapter 329 The Horse Race-Learning to Ride
Another two weeks have passed. Anar finds that Ze Yitong and Dun Zhu become busy recently. She asks about the reason and knows that the annual Naqu Horse Race will be held in two months. Except for the horse race, herdsmen living within hundreds of miles will bring their goods. The Horse Race also works as a big fair. As for Ze Yitong’s family, they need to exchange for enough necessities for the coming year at the fair.
The family has two horses, fifteen cows and forty sheep. For herders, they are not wealthy. It’s easy to tell because Ze Yitong and Dun Zhu’s traditional Tibetan clothes are not sumptuous. All Tibetans have their own traditional clothes. Except for wearing them on festivals, the clothes are also one of the best dowries for Tibetan girls.
Anar hears from Dun Zhu that traditional a piece of clothing of girls from rich families may worth hundreds of thousands of yuan. Such clothes are made from the best fabrics and finest turquoises. However, Ze Yitong’s family doesn’t have many cows and sheep. Dun Zhu worries that there will not be much dowry for Ze Yitong in the future. Dun Zhu hopes that Ze Yitong will have a grand wedding, so she already starts to prepare Ze Yitong’s dowry although Ze Yitong is only twelve years old.
“Ze Yitong’s nana can’t see clearly. I took her to the hospital three years ago and she was diagnosed with cataract. The surgery to treat it costs tens of thousands of yuan. The award for the winner of the horse race is 100 thousand yuan. We have to fight for it.”
Dun Zhu says to Anar while tidying up furs she collected. Dun Zhu’s Mandarin is not very good. It is a little difficult for her to communicate with Anar, but Anar feels that Dun Zhu speaks with a spirit of never giving up on life.
“Dun Zhu, can I sign up for the horse race?”
Anar doesn’t know what she can do in return for the food and accommodation Ze Yitong’s family provides to her. If she could win the 100-thousand-yuan award, it would be helpful for them, right?
Dun Zhu stares at Anar, “Can you ride a horse?”
Anar thinks for a while and shakes her head, “I don’t remember.”
The next day, Ze Yitong takes Anar and a horse to a place without cattle or sheep to practice riding. It turns out that Anar truly doesn’t know how to ride, so Ze Yitong is really happy to be her teacher.
The twelve-year-old Ze Yitong rides skillfully on the horseback and makes some really difficult and thrilling moves. Seeing all of these, Anar blushes about the idea that she can win the horse race that will be held in two months.
She only has two months to practice. Can she be more skillful than the herdsmen who ride horses every day when they grew up?
Anar rides on the horse’s back cautiously. Ze Yitong first walks slowly with the reins in hand. After walking for a long time, Anar feels she gets used to how the horse moves and asks Ze Yitong to release the reins.
The horse starts to trot. Anar sits straight on the horseback at first, but the horse suddenly accelerates, and she has to lean down to reduce the friction of the wind.
The loud wind blows over Ze Yitong’s ears, taking away the purple flower she wears on her ear. The cold wind on the grassland blows right into Anar’s neck, mouth and noses. She narrows her eyes and calms down from the nervousness soon.
“Relax! Relax your body and moves with the horse!” Ze Yitong shouts behind her.
It is strange that the horse runs faster and faster today. Anar soon knows something is wrong.
A light of panic passes through Ze Yitong’s eyes. She whistles to stop the horse but fails. The horse still runs faster and faster.
Anar guesses that something unexpected has happened. The only thing she can do now is to hold the horse’s neck tightly to avoid falling because of its violent moves. The wind blows even louder. The horseshoes trample the flowers on the grassland. The peaceful moment is destroyed in no time.
Ze Yitong runs to the yurt. They still have a pony at home. Although it can’t run fast, it is better than having nothing. Ze Yitong hopes that the pony can help her reach Anar’s horse!
Anar stays calm since the accident happened. The horse runs madly, but she acts like this is not her first time of being in a dangerous situation like this. At a moment, Anar even gets the time to think about how she was in the past. Did she come across dangerous accidents frequently? If not so, why is she not afraid at all now?
Anar relaxes her body and follows the moves of the horseback. She holds the horse’s neck tightly while the grassland gradually disappears in her sight. A lake that shines like silver shows up in front of her.
The mad horse slows its steps and stops completely by the lake.
Anar rubs her thighs that suffer greatly from the jolts and slides down the horse.
Dun Zhu said that she found her by a silver lake. Can it be this one?
Anar is both expecting and afraid.
If Dun Zhu really found her by this lake, are there any clues of her identity? This is what Anar expects to find out. However, if she couldn’t find anything here, the possibilities of finding who she is would be even smaller.
Dun Zhu said that she can go to the police station to find out who she is, but she doesn’t think it will work. Anar doesn’t even remember her name. It will be extremely difficult to find her identity among more than one billion people of Huaxia only by using the face matching system if she doesn’t have a criminal record.
What matters most is that a voice in her heart is screaming she has to find the memory of the old “Anar” on her own. Otherwise, it will become troublesome.
The surface of the lake glows with a cold silver shine in the sun. The water is calm. The lake looks like a mirror made of glass.
Anar walks closer to the lake. There are many messy footprints on the wet lakeside. This means many animals drink the water of the lake and there is nothing wrong.
Anar reaches out and touches the water. It is super cold and almost freezes her fingers.
Is the water in the lake melted snow? It is too cold.
Anar rubs her hands and blows on her palms to warm them. After warming up her hands and feet, she begins to search carefully by the lake.
She pushes aside the dense waterweeds and searches the lakeside thoroughly. After walking for a few miles along the riverbank, she finds some shallow footprints on the west side of the lake. They don’t seem to be left recently. Anar steps into the footprints and finds that her feet are in the same size.
Anar feels a little excited because she knows she has found the right place.
She then searches all the waterweeds around, but she doesn’t find anything valuable. Anar wonders whether she is wrong.
Probably not…… Her eyes fall on the glittering lake. She is closer to the lake now and the water is clear, so she can see fish and waterweeds in the lake. Something suddenly catches Anar’s eyes. There is a black backpack that is mostly covered by water weeds at the bottom of the lake a few meters away from the bank.
Few people come here, and the black backpack is in such a coincident place at the bottom. Anar feels that she is breathing quickly. She jumps into the lake before she gets time to think carefully about why she has such good eyesight. That backpack may confirm her identity and help her find her true self!
The water in the lake is freezing cold. Anar almost convulses. She has to get the backpack before she is frozen with cold.
However, it seems that God is not on her side. The shoulder strap of the backpack is stuck on the rotten tree roots at the bottom of the lake. Anar can’t pull the strap out in a short time, but the air in her lungs is decreasing sharply. She is in great danger.
Ze Yitong finally comes around on the little pony following the track Anar left behind. She only finds the horse that Anar just rode eating grass leisurely by the lake. Where is Anar?
“Anar……Anar……” Ze Yitong jumps off the pony and shouts by the lake. There are wolves on the grassland. Although it is daytime, the wild wolves sometimes will be too hungry to wait until night falls.
The little girl despairingly calls for Anar for a while. Is Anar really eaten by the wolf?
Ze Yitong puts her hands on her knees and cries.
A sound of water comes from the west of the lake. Anar comes out of the water holding a backpack. Her whole body is wet. Ze Yitong is shocked yet delighted. She runs quickly to Anar.
“Ajia, Ajia, you are not dead!”
“Ajia” means “sister” in Tibetan. With surprise and happiness, Ze Yitong shouts out the word she wants to call Anar for a long time.
Anar is her “Ajia”. She has made the decision!