Chapter 106 - Dying

Xiaocao didn’t agree with her views. Didn’t people earn money just to spend them? If people weren’t willing to spend money, then there was no point in earning money. But she didn’t argue with her mother. She intended to proceed step-by-step to slowly and subtly influence her mother.

At this moment, they suddenly heard a series of rowdy noise coming from afar outside the door, and then a rushed knocking sound came from the door. The family, who were currently eating lunch, glanced at each other and wondered who knocked on the door so urgently.

“I’ll go open the door!” Xiaocao said as she put down her chopsticks. She ran to the door and saw an anxious Qian Wen who was about to knock on the door again. With red and swollen eyes, Little Shitou was still wiping his tears ceaselessly as he stood behind him.

Xiaocao was alarmed inwardly and hastily asked, “Brother Xiaowen, Shitou, what happened? It isn’t a break today.”

Seeing his older sister, Little Shitou, who had endured his feelings of fear and panic during this whole time, finally burst into tears. He choked with sobs and said, “Second… Second Sister, Eldest Brother… Eldest Brother, he’s… he’s dying!”

“What? What’s wrong with Eldest Brother? Don’t cry and speak slowly!” When Xiaocao heard his words, she anxiously grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously.

Seeing that Little Shitou was crying so hard that he could barely speak, Qian Wen helped him explain, “We didn’t have any classes in the morning, so Little Shitou wanted to go visit his older brother at the carpentry shop. Since I was free, I also wanted to go stroll on the streets and buy a new brush. Thus, we went out together. When we reached the woodworking shop, we found your eldest brother beaten and covered with wounds. He was unconscious and spitting out blood as he lay on the ground. The shop worker said that he was beaten up like this because he had stolen money from the shop. I and several classmates carried your older brother to Tongren Medicine Hall. After the doctor’s examination, he said that your older brother had hurt his internal organs, and there was no cure! If Doctor Sun hadn’t recognized Little Shitou, they might not have even treated him and directly carried him out. Doctor Sun told us to be mentally prepared. If the internal bleeding continues, he’s afraid that even if Hua Tuo [1] was alive, he wouldn’t be able to save him!”

“Hang’er, my son ah——” Madam Liu, who had followed Xiaocao over, turned ghastly pale when she overheard the bad news. She cried out, and then fainted.

Yu Hai, who was beside her, promptly supported her and lightly pinched her philtrum. Despite the extreme grief within his heart, he was still the head of the family. If he also panicked, then this family would be in chaos.

Xiaocao tightly bit on her own lips, swiftly ran back into the house, and picked up the jar that the multicolored stone usually bathed in. The water inside was a high concentration of mystic-stone water, which was enough to save someone’s life!

“Xiaolian, go to our parents’ room and get the jar with the money inside. Little Shitou, you stay at home with Mother. I’ll go to town with Father!” At this time, Xiaocao was the only clear-headed person here, other than Yu Hai. They shouldn’t delay the matter any longer. They needed to quickly get to town and see if they could save her oldest brother.

Madam Liu had slowly woken up. When she heard Xiaocao’s arrangement, she suppressed the sorrow with her heart and shouted, “No, I don’t want to stay here! I want to go see my Hang’er. I know my son the best. He would never steal other people’s things. My son is innocent!”

Xiaocao knew that her mother would never feel at ease if they didn’t let her go. She thought about it and said, “Father, go and harness Little Gray to the cart. I’ll take the horse carriage with Qian Wen and send the money to the medical hall first so that they can give Eldest Brother medicine. You take Mother and Xiaolian and follow after us…”

Qian Wen had rented this horse carriage in town. The horse wasn’t really good, but it was young. As it galloped, the carriage jolted up and down, which made people feel as if their hearts were about to jump out.

Xiaocao sat in the dashing carriage with a blank expression. She tightly clutched the carriage with one hand to stabilize herself, while she tightly held the jar of mystic-stone water with her other hand. The little golden kitten sat solemnly beside her as it tapped its slender tail with a steady beat.  

Qian Wen, who sat next to her, was curious about why she was still holding a jar at this time. But he didn’t ask and just gently consoled her,

“Xiaocao, don’t worry! Doctor Sun is a skilled doctor. When your father was injured, he also said that your father couldn’t be cured at the beginning. Isn’t he fine now? Your eldest brother will surely make it too!”

Xiaocao’s mind was filled with words that Little Divine Stone had once said: ‘As long as he’s still breathing, he can still be saved!’ At this time, she inwardly called out to all the gods and deities, and prayed piously that her eldest brother could hold out until she reached the medical hall.

After being repeatedly urged by Xiaocao, the coachman pushed the carriage to its full speed and arrived at town gates in less than an hour. However, this one hour was no different than an endless torment to Xiaocao’s family.

Fortunately, there weren’t many people on the streets at this time. The carriage directly took her to the entrance of Tongren Medicine Hall. After riding on the bumpy carriage for an hour, Xiaocao’s legs had gone weak and she nearly fell to the ground when she got off the carriage. Luckily, Qian Wen, who was getting off the carriage after her, pulled her up from behind.

She tightened her hold on the jar and swiftly rushed into Tongren Medicine Hall. Just as the staff inside the medical hall wanted to stop her, he saw Qian Wen, who was dressed in the uniform of Rongxuan Academy. So he immediately changed his words and said, “The patient is in the rear hall. Doctor Sun and Doctor Zhang are currently in consultation.”

Xiaocao didn’t halt her steps at all and quickly entered the rear hall. She saw her eldest brother lying in the bed with a deathly pale face. His clothes were stained with blood, while his face and body were covered in bruises and wounds. She immediately choked up and burst into tears.

She knew that it wasn’t the time to feel sad, so she wiped her tears with her sleeve and asked to Doctor Sun, who was doing acupuncture on her older brother, “Doctor Sun, my eldest brother… how is he?”

Doctor Sun remembered this strong and sensible little girl. He looked at her with pity and replied, “His fractured ribs had punctured the spleen and caused internal bleeding. I can only temporarily reduce the speed of his bleeding with this silver needle, but it will just treat the symptoms and not cure the root cause. If it continues like this, I’m afraid…”

Xiaocao hastily interjected, “That… if we can cease the bleeding, does that mean that my older brother’s life will be out of danger?”

Doctor Sun stroked his beard, and then nodded slowly, “If we can effectively stop the bleeding right now and he could survive while I connect his ribs and then nourish him with medicinal soups that promotes blood circulation and dissipate blood stasis, I am ninety percent confident that he will wake up. But…”

He shook his head with a sigh because he knew that if he pulled out the silver needle, this young, vivid life would swiftly die in less than fifteen minutes.

Xiaocao hastily pretended to be sad and threw herself next to the bed. She used her body to block the line of sight of the two doctors and laid her small hand—or more precisely, the multicolored stone on her wrist—on her oldest brother’s chest. She earnestly pleaded in her heart, [Little Glutinous Dumpling, please take care of my eldest brother’s injury. I’m begging you. Please save him!]

The little golden kitten jumped on Yu Hang’s bed and emitted a dazzling, golden light that others couldn’t see. As if there was someone guiding it, the light slowly penetrated into Yu Hang’s body. However, he feigned dissatisfaction and complained, [It’s just my luck to have a master like you. My power, which I worked so hard to recover, is going to be depleted again! If I can’t turn into my spiritual form this time, you must bring me fresh spring water every day as a reward…]

In less than half a quarter of an hour, the gold light that Little Divine Stone emitted gradually dimmed… until it completely disappeared. On the other hand, Yu Hang’s, who was breathing feebly and hanging on his last breath, breathing gradually improved and stabilized.

[You must remember! You have to soak me in spring water. Spring water…] Little Divine Stone’s voice became weaker and weaker, but it didn’t forget to remind Xiaocao of its own welfare before disappearing.

Seeing Xiaocao lying on the edge of the bed with her shoulders trembling, Qian Wen thought that she was suppressing her inner grief and crying silently. So, he squatted down next to her and comforted her with a soft voice, “Xiaocao, heaven will protect and reward the good, so your older brother will definitely survive this! Don’t cry anymore. Quickly go gather medicinal herbs and decoct the medicine!”

Xiaocao knew that Yu Hang’s life was out of danger for now, so she rubbed her red eyes hard, sniffed, and went to the front hall with her head lowered. When decocting the medicine, she specially used the mystic-stone water and carefully boiled the medicine according to the doctor’s instructions.

Yu Hai and Madam Liu came in and saw the lonely and sad back of Xiaocao, who had reddened eyes and her head hung low as she brewed the medication. Seeing this scene, their worries and fears surged in their hearts again. With a low cry, Madam Liu broke away from Yu Hai’s support and rushed towards her son, who was covered in wounds and so thin that he only had bones on his body. She cried softly,

“Hang’er, my Hang’er! That goddamn bastard, how can he be so cruel and beat you into this state? It’s all Mother’s fault. I shouldn’t have agreed to send you to be an apprentice in town. Mother regrets not listening to your younger sister. We should have taken you back earlier… It’s all Mother’s fault! Hang’er, wake up! Don’t leave your mother!”

Yu Hai looked at the countless new and old wounds on his son’s bony body. He had heard from the doctor that his ribs were broken, and his life was in danger due to internal injuries. The tall and mighty man clenched his fist and brutally pounded on his own chest—what kind of man was he? He had sent his son into the tiger’s den with his own hands and helplessly watched as he was beaten and tortured.

Xiaolian and Little Shitou cried so hard that they were gasping for breath. For a moment, there was a tragic scene inside the inner room. Qian Wen cried with them quietly and from time to time, he would glance at the only calm person in the room, Xiaocao. It was often said that ‘people would act very abnormally when they were in extreme grief’. So, he was afraid that Xiaocao would do something unusual.  

At this moment, Xiaocao looked up with cold and clear eyes. It was just a short moment of eye contact, but Qian Wen felt as if a basin of cold water in the depths of the cold winter had just been poured on him. He felt a chill piercing through his bones.  

While he was briefly stunned, Xiaocao’s calm yet slight cruel voice slowly spread in the room, “Father, Mother, stop being sad! I will definitely make that Shopkeeper Zhang be disgraced and lose all his reputation! I’ll make him pay with his blood!”

People couldn’t help but be convinced by this small and determined figure. No one took her vows as words of nonsense. Qian Wen only felt as if that thin and small figure had some kind of power that radiated a dazzling glow that people couldn’t take their eyes off of. A young man’s heart could help but throb for her…

When the medicine was ready, Doctor Sun came in again to examine on Yu Hang’s pulse and brought them a surprising news, “The patient’s internal bleeding has stopped and his pulse is also stable. His life is no longer in danger.”

The melancholic feelings that filled the room earlier had been instantly swept away. Everyone’s nervous hearts finally felt relieved. Madam Liu shed tears again, but it was tears of happiness this time. She personally fed her son the medicine, and despite the family’s opposition, she insisted on staying by his side.


[1] Hua Tuo (华佗) - a famous doctor who lived during the end of the Han Dynasty

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Myst's Thoughts

So glad they have the little divine stone...

Translator: Myst