Chapter 330 The Horse Race-The Horse of Heaven
The cold makes Anar numb on her halfway back to the lakeside. Ze Yitong gets into the water and drags her out.
“Are you out of your mind? How dare you go into the Silver Lake! It can freeze you to death!”
Ze Yitong doesn’t care about her wet pants. She bursts into tears again when she sees Anar’s mouth turns purple because of the cold.
Anar doesn’t have the strength to explain to Ze Yitong. She only holds the black backpack tightly and says with difficulty, “Make a fire……to warm……up.”
Ze Yitong nods and puts Anar on the grass. Ze Yitong knows the water in the Silver Lake is extremely cold. It’s impossible for Anar to get on the horseback when her body is stiff like this. Even if she could get on the horse, the wind on their way back would make her seriously ill. Apparently, Anar is not as strong as girls who grew up on the grassland. She can’t stand such cold, right?
Whether it is easy or difficult to make a fire on the grassland depends on if you can find dried cow dung in a short time. Today is not a good day for Anar, but Ze Yitong gets lucky. She finds a big piece of dried cow dung only dozens of meters away. Her tears are soon replaced by laughter. She holds the cow dung in her arms and walks quickly to the lakeside to find a few dried branches. There are no trees on the grassland. These dried branches must be washed down from the mountains by the stream of melted snow.
Ze Yitong thinks she is lucky. Dried cow dung is the best material for making a fire. It doesn’t have strange smells when burning. Instead, it burns with a delightful scent, which makes it the most important fuel for herders on the grassland. Ze Yitong hides from the wind and strikes a match. She carefully lights the cow dung and builds a frame with the dried branches to let them burn more easily. The branches are soaked with the vapor of the lake, so they are not very dry. Fortunately, Ze Yitong is able to ignite them.
The fire gradually gets bigger. With the warmth brought by the fire, Anar is able to stretch out her hands closer to the fire although her purple lips are still trembling. She feels more comfortable now, so she takes off her leather jacket and wrings out the ice water in her hair.
Seeing the fire works, Ze Yitong goes to find more dried branches and carefully keeps them burning. They don’t use many branches, but the fire lasts for more than an hour. Ze Yitong’s pants are completely dry while Anar’s clothes are still a bit wet because she was in the lake for too long.
Ze Yitong wants to find more firewood, but Anar stops her. Anar’s face has already turned back to its normal color.
“It’s not necessary. The sun is about to go down. We have to go back quickly, or your mom and nana will be worried. I’m not cold anymore.”
Anar is telling the truth. Although her clothes have not yet dried out, her whole body is warmed up by the fire. The cold brought by the lake has been driven away. Besides, they will get back on horses. The wind will help dry her clothes out along the way.
Ze Yitong feels relieved when she sees that Anar has the strength to speak. Anar seems to have recovered a lot.
After all, Ze Yitong is a twelve-year-old girl and is curious about everything. Since she no longer needs to worry about Anar, she asks what is inside the black backpack that Anar risked her life to take from the lake.
Anar smiles bitterly, “I just thought that it might be something I lost before I lost my memory and there may be clues about my identity. In fact, I don’t know what is inside either.”
Hearing Anar’s words, Ze Yitong hurries her to open the backpack. Anar nods and nervously unzips the backpack. A bunch of colorful cash that is completely soaked by the water shows up. It seems that it worth at least tens of thousands of Huaxia yuan.
Anar is disappointed, and Ze Yitong is even more disappointed. A slight squeeze can make the soaked cash stick inseparably to each other. It’s impossible to dry it out and use again.
Anar notices Ze Yitong’s disappointment although she doesn’t say it out loud. Anar points on Ze Yitong’s forehead, “Little moneygrubber, you look sadder than me. Are you short of money?”
Ze Yitong nods, “Mother said tens of thousands of yuan will be enough for the surgery to cure nana’s eyes. It would be so nice if the money were not soaked.”
Anar hugs Ze Yitong, “You are a good girl. Let’s keep searching in the bag. Maybe there are other valuable things.”
Anar simply turns over the backpack and shakes everything out.
There are a casquette, a pair of leather boots that fit Anar’s feet, a few packets of compressed biscuits and the soaked cash. These are all of the things in the backpack.
No ID, no driver’s license, nothing can confirm Anar’s identity. Anar picks up the pair of boots. It is wet but not damaged by the water, which means it is of high quality. The boots and the cash mean she is rich, right? It’s a pity that Anar didn’t know Ze Yitong’s family before she lost her memory. Otherwise, she can use her money to help treat nana’s eyes.
Anar feels a little disappointed, but it never occurs to her that she might not have a chance to know herdsmen like Ze Yitong’s families if she hadn’t lost her memory. Besides, why would she give her money to Ze Yitong’s nana, a complete stranger, to have the surgery?
The casquette can be useful. Anar picks it up. Thinking that these are the things she has used before, she can’t leave them behind.
Ze Yitong doesn’t want to waste the things and holds the unsoaked compressed biscuits with her arms.
It is getting late. They are about to go home when the sounds of horseshoes come from afar.
Who has all these horses? Anar looks into the distance and sees a lot of black horses rushing over from the direction of the snow mountain. All of the horses are strong. As they run, they bring a strong wind that blows down the forage grasses around.
In the setting sun, a pure white horse runs at the front. The white lead horse runs so fast and its hooves jump high in the air. It seems as if the horse were about to fly over the tips of the grasses.
Other brown horses, black horses, the vague snow mountains far away, the glittering lake nearby, the green grasses and the orange sunset all become the background of the white horse.
Except for Anar and Ze Yitong, the two domestic horses they ride are also attracted by the lead horse.
The white horse is too outstanding to make them look away.
The amazed Ze Yitong doesn’t come back to herself until the hundreds of horses run back to the snow mountains after quickly drinking water by the lake.
“Anar, what we just saw is…….the horse of heaven!”
In herdsmen’s legends, human beings do not deserve a pure white horse that lives in snow mountains and runs as fast as lightning.
Anar and Ze Yitong’s accidental encounter with the horse of heaven has been talked a lot in the past few days in their small yurt, especially by Ze Yitong’s nana. She has told many legends she heard when she was a child in Tibetan. Ze Yitong becomes nana’s interpreter. Anar can roughly understand most of the meanings of nana’s stories with the help of Ze Yitong’s interpretation and her own guess.
Dun Zhu also blames Anar for jumping into the lake to get the backpack.
Anar knows that Dun Zhu blames her because Dun Zhu cares about her, so Anar smiles embarrassedly instead of responding.
After hearing that Anar doesn’t find clues about her identity, nana comforts Anar and tells her to feel free to live at their home. They don’t mind having another person sharing their food. Anar almost bursts into tears when she hears that.
Dun Zhu has chosen the leather goods, cows and sheep to be sold at the Horse Race. Anar is amazed by Ze Yitong’s horsemanship and gives up her extravagant hopes of winning the race. She is so ignorant to even consider it back then.
However, there is no harm in learning more skills. Anar makes a lot of effort to learn to ride under the supervision of her strict teacher Ze Yitong. Anar has been learning for less than a month, but she can already do some simple tricks on horseback. Although nana can’t see Anar clearly, she praises Anar’s talent.
“You must be a girl of grassland in your last life!” When nana laughs, all her wrinkles unfold.
The Horse Race will be held in Chongqincardo on the north of Naqu. The town is hundreds of miles away from the pastoral area where Ze Yitong’s yurt is located. Herdsmen are used to carrying all their family properties with them, so Dun Zhu asks everyone to get prepared for moving although the race is still in two weeks.
Because they don’t have a big cart, they have to go to Naqu with other herdsmen living nearby.
Dun Zhu said that she was going to borrow a cart, but a few herders carry her back after a long while. Anar has been here for a long time and has met several herders around. So, when she is shocked when she sees them carrying Dun Zhu back.
It turns out that Dun Zhu fell down the horse and injured her feet. The herders think that she broke her feet and are going to send her to the hospital after asking for nana’s opinion.
Anar sees that Dun Zhu’s face turns pale because of the pain. Sweat is all over her forehead where she used to have a healthy glow. Anar quickly checks Dun Zhu’s leg. She vaguely remembers that people with broken bones shouldn’t be moved carelessly. Anar goes to touch Dun Zhu’s leg and finds her leg is fine. However, the severe pain means that Dun Zhu didn’t merely strain her muscles.
Is it a hairline fracture? To find out what really happened, they have to go to the hospital and get an X-ray. Nana is too old while Ze Yitong is still a child. Dun Zhu is in a semicoma. The half-stranger Anar is the only one left at their home to take control of the situation.
Anar takes some money from nana and sends Dun Zhu to the nearest hospital with the herders.
The nearest hospital is actually not near at all. Ze Yitong holds Anar’s hand. Anar’s calmness gives Ze Yitong more courage.
Mom will be okay, right?
Ze Yitong is not relieved until they get to the hospital, film an X-ray and Dun Zhu is diagnosed as a hairline fracture as Anar guessed.
Dun Zhu lies on the bed with her lower leg in plaster.
“We are no longer able to compete in this year’s Horse Race.”
Ze Yitong is unhappy. It is not because she is an unfilial daughter and hopes her mother to run the race with a broken leg. She is unhappy about losing the chance to win the money award as planned. It is not easy to have a race with a 100-thousand-yuan award. This year is special because they allow men and women to race together. Dun Zhu is one of the best horse riders within a hundred miles around. She is very likely to win the race.
Unfortunately, Dun Zhu is injured. So how much longer does nana have to wait until she gets the surgery?
Anar surely knows what Ze Yitong is thinking about, but her riding abilities are limited. Ze Yitong is too young to sign up for the race, and Anar is new with riding. Practice can’t suddenly turn Anar into an experienced horse rider. Although Ze Yitong’s horses are all strong, they are still ordinary ones.
There is only one way to win. Thinking of the idea, Anar’s eyes light up.