Chapter 111 - Going Home

The family went to the carpentry shop to retrieve all of Yu Hang’s clothing and other items, especially the one hundred and seventy copper coins——the money was all a symbol of the family’s love and concern for Yu Hang, so they absolutely couldn’t let Shopkeeper Zhang get his paws on it!

Although the now awake Yu Hang resolutely refused to go, the family still dragged him to Tongren Medicine Hall to have Doctor Sun check his condition. On the way to the doctor’s, Yu Xiaocao also made the little divine stone use its spiritual power to heal her older brother, who was lying down on the donkey cart. 

When Doctor Sun palpated Yu Hang’s pulse again, he was astonished at the boy’s recovery ability. Did everyone from the Yu Family have bodies that were different from the rest of humanity? He had diagnosed three of the members, and all of them had originally had death sentences. However, all three managed to survive beyond the odds. For example, Yu Xiaocao had been diagnosed with a weak constitution since birth and had been bedridden but was now skipping and running around like a completely different person. Yu Hai, on the other hand, had his leg completely savaged by a vicious bear, but he had managed to recover completely, except for a little limp. Then there was Yu Hang, who had gotten his internal organs damaged. If it was another person, he or she would have spat up blood and died within hours. However, he only took half a day to come out of his coma and could even talk normally!

All of these miraculous situations were only seen in the Yu Family. Was this a coincidence or did Yu Family have a secret, holy method to heal their bodies?

Luckily, Doctor Sun was an ethical man and squelched down his hesitation and curiosity. He didn’t try to investigate further into the Yu Family and instead buried these thoughts deep inside his heart. The Yu Family had already experienced too much suffering so they really didn’t need another problem to arise. 

With Doctor Sun’s permission and Yu Hang’s persistence, the family rejected Third Young Master Zhou’s well-intentioned offer to have Yu Hang recuperate in one of his other residences and instead brought him home in the donkey cart. 

They cushioned the donkey cart with a thick layer of bedding, and Yu Hai, who was driving the cart, tried to have the cart move slower and more smoothly. However, the mountainous roads here were still a bit bumpy, so Yu Hang had to suffer a bit while traveling. Luckily, Xiaocao was there to feed Yu Hang with some highly concentrated mystic-stone water the whole way back and also had the little divine stone protecting his injuries. Thus, Yu Hang managed to survive the journey home. 

Little Shitou had asked for a day off because he was still worried about his older brother. He grumbled when he saw his brother suffering, “The only thing not good about our donkey cart is that the wheels are made out of wood and have no shock absorption. If we could get a set of rubber wheels that would be much better.”

“Rubber wheels? Are you talking about the wheels with the black rubber on the outside and you can blow air into them?” Yu Xiaocao would have never thought that this world would already have rubber tires available for carts.

Little Shitou nodded furiously and continued, “In town, the horse carriage that the Zhou Family’s patriarch and matriarch use has rubber wheels. When it’s pulled, the carriage doesn’t bump or jump at all. I heard that rubber wheels were something that our current emperor, Jianwen Emperor, had discovered when he was young. 

When Jianwen Emperor was still the imperial grandson, he had built a shipyard, organized a fleet of ships, and sailed the distant seas to the southern regions. He had discovered rubber trees there and used them to manufacture rubber wheels. After experimenting for more than half a year, he was finally able to make a rubber wheel that had the right amount of flexibility to be shock absorbent. It was said that he created these rubber wheels to make it easier for him to go out and travel. Rubber possibly had other uses but no one was currently using it for anything else of importance.  

Yu Xiaocao raised an eyebrow at this information. This fellow transmigrator was probably an engineer in his past life as he had not only built ships but also invented rubber wheels. If Jianwen Emperor hadn’t transmigrated into the imperial family, then he likely would have become a person primed to become the Chancellor of the Ministry of Works.

The sky had turned completely dark by the time they got back to Dongshan Village as they had to take multiple breaks on the road. In the distance, they could see a slim and stooped over figure at the village entrance pacing anxiously to and fro. Only when they got closer were they finally able to recognize the person as Xiaocao’s grandfather, Old Yu.

“How’s Xiaosha’s condition and injuries? Why didn’t you guys get back until now?” Old Yu wasn’t faking his concern over his grandson. When he heard the news, his first reaction was to ask for some money from his wife. As Yu Hai’s father, he knew what kind of circumstances his son’s family was under. His grandson’s injuries were not light, so they likely needed a lot of money to heal him.

But Madam Zhang was a pixiu [1]. Any money that came into her purse was hers alone. Even if the Heavenly Emperor himself came over, he wouldn’t be able to pry even half a copper coin from her paws. Old Yu naturally was unable to get any money, so he stayed at home, too ashamed to go into town, and waited in agony. 

When he saw Yu Hang’s extreme pallor and closed eyes, Old Yu staggered a bit as he thought his eldest grandson had encountered a disaster. 

Although Dashan had changed his surname to Yu after Madam Zhang had married again, Heizi still didn’t have the Yu Family’s blood flowing through him. In actuality, Yu Hang was the true eldest grandson of the Yu Family. After Yu Hang was born, despite Madam Zhang watching them like a hawk, Old Yu was always able to come up with a method to add some extra food for his eldest grandson.

Other than going out to sea or mending fishing nets, Old Yu mostly played with his eldest grandson. As for the rest of his grandchildren, he didn’t place as much importance on them as he did on Yu Hang. When he saw his grandson with tightly closed eyes and no movement, tears immediately came to Old Yu’s eyes. 

“Father, Xiaosha’s okay now. Don’t feel sad, okay!” Yu Hai gently tucked the blankets around his son as he comforted his father.

Yu Xiaocao didn’t have a lot of ill will towards this grandfather of hers, so she supported his arm and quietly said, “Grandfather, my older brother has truly encountered a calamitous event this time. There’s not a single part of his body that’s not injured. Three of his ribs were broken and his internal organs were severely damaged. Even Doctor Sun at Tongren Medicine Hall couldn’t do much for him. Fortunately, my older brother was lucky and was able to keep his life with great difficulty. Grandfather, at that time we weren’t in horrible circumstances, so how could we send my brother to that carpentry shop to become an apprentice without even asking about the situation there?”

When Old Yu heard that, he blamed himself continuously, “I’m such a useless grandfather. At that time, I thought that having Xiaosha learn a trade wasn’t a bad thing and was convinced by Madam Zhang and Madam Li’s persuasions, so I agreed. Who knew that the Zhang Ji Carpentry Shop was a den full of tigers and wolves, ah! My poor eldest grandson almost…”

Yu Hai knew that his daughter was deliberately blackening the reputation of the old hag, Madam Zhang. However, when he saw how repentant and guilty his father looked, his heart immediately softened, “Gossip travels quickly in the village, let’s go home and then talk!”

Old Yu’s hand trembled as he fished out a string of copper coins and shoved them into his son’s hands. His voice was choked with emotion as he said, “I won’t go with you guys back to the old residence to avoid that old woman from coming over and making a disturbance again. Father is useless and doesn’t have much. Take this money and use it to buy some chicken eggs to nourish Xiaosha’s body.”

Yu Hai was astonished when he found out his father had also saved up a secret purse. However, he knew that his father’s money didn’t come to him easily, so how could he take it? The father and son pushed the money back and forth for a bit, but, in the end, Yu Hai was no match for the old man’s persistence and finally took the money that was a symbol of a grandfather’s good intentions. 

A burst of sorrow bloomed within Yu Hai’s heart as he watched his father, who had become older with every passing day, walk away. Yu Xiaocao was afraid that her father would become softhearted again and hurriedly pulled on his hand and said, “Father, when our situation at home is better, we should bring Grandfather over and treat him well to show our filial piety! Let’s remember Grandfather’s good intentions from today! Let’s go home now, Older Brother’s body is weak and shouldn’t be subject to the chilly air.”

When the old residence got fixed, they only fixed the major parts of the central building and the two side rooms next to it. Ordinarily, Yu Hai and his wife lived in the central building and the children lived in the rooms on the side. In order to make it easier to take care of their seriously injured son, Yu Hai lifted his son onto their own kang bed to sleep on. 

When Yu Hang was placed on the kang bed, he opened up his faintly bruised eyes and, in the weak light, could see that he was in a room that was much more spacious and bright than their old West room at the new residence. He revealed a smile that came from his heart and it brightened up his wasted and pallid face——he was finally home! In the future, he would never have to live feeling scared and on the edge again, afraid that at any time someone would hit him. He looked at the concerned expressions on his parents’ and siblings’ faces and slipped quickly into sleep again. In the midst of his heart, four words appeared before him——returning home feels good!

“Let’s allow Older Brother to sleep for a bit. I’m going to simmer some congee. Older Brother has become so thin that he doesn’t even look human anymore, we need to let him carefully nourish his body for a bit!” Yu Xiaolain wiped away the tears at the corners of her eyes. Her heart was filled with worry, and she wholeheartedly wished she could magically restore her brother’s body back to a healthy weight.

Yu Xiaocao urged her mother, whose face was even more pale than her older brother’s face, to lay down and rest a bit. She went out of the room with Xiaolian to make dinner together. Yu Hai was in the courtyard cleaning and preparing the pig head and offal they had bought earlier. Tonight, they still had to braise these cuts of meat for the next day.   

At the evening meal, the pig head and intestines were already stewing on the stove as the whole family surrounded the kang bed. Madam Liu carefully and gently fed her eldest son some congee. When she saw her son eating the food eagerly, tears began to brim again in her eyes.

“Mother, I’m okay now. Please don’t worry anymore!” Yu Hang sensibly lifted up his weak arms and helped Madam Liu to wipe the tears from the corners of her eyes. 

Yu Xiaocao also comforted their mother, “Mother, they always say that ‘after escaping a calamity, fortune will abound’. Older Brother will definitely have a bright and good future now! Stop crying. If you continue to cry, then our whole kang bed will soon be underwater!”

Madam Liu didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry as she gently slapped her daughter’s arm and said, “You always say the darndest things! Cao’er is right though. Good days are just ahead of us! In the future, we should never divide our family apart again!”

“Mother! Judging from what you just said, in the future, Xiaolian and I will have to find husbands who will live us, ah!” Yu Xiaocao wanted to lighten up the atmosphere for her family, so she tried hard to amuse everyone.

Xiaolian, who had already turned nine, blushed fiercely after hearing her sister’s words. She spat at her and then quickly cleaned up the bowls and chopsticks, and fled into the kitchen to hide.

Madam Liu pinched her daughter, who had slowly been filling out, on the cheek and rebuked her, “You’re a girl, so you should be more gentle and refined. Why are you saying things like having a husband live with us? If word of this came out, then will you two have any reputations left here? In the future, will there be a mother-in-law who would want you two?”

No matter what the time period, everyone discriminated against the men who lived with their wives’ families. Who would be happy to have a perfectly good son marry a woman and live with her family as if he was a layabout?

Xiaocao finally remembered that she was living in a time period where girls couldn’t just say whatever they wanted, especially when it came in regards to marriage. The people here were much more conservative than those living in modern times. 

Yu Hai helped his son wipe his face and wash his hands and feet. He gently smiled and placated Madam Liu, “Cao’er is still young and spent seven to eight years of her life lying on the bed indoors. What does she know right now? In the future, you just need to teach her a little more. Don’t yell at the child anymore!”

Xiaocao quickly placed an innocent look at her face, as if she didn’t know what she had said wrong. She also pouted slightly as if she was feeling wronged.

The rest of the night passed quickly. The next morning, Xiaolian brought Little Shitou along on the donkey cart to sell braised food at the docks. After eating breakfast and chatting a bit with her older brother, she spoke to her parents, “I heard Doctor Sun say that eating snakehead fish can nourish the body, enrich the blood, dispel blood stasis, and improve the healing of the body. I also heard Brother Han say that there is apparently some snakehead fish living in the river just south of the mountain. I want to go over there and see if it’s true!”

“I’ll go with you!” To get to the southern part of the mountain required traversing through some mountain thickets and climbing a mountain. In the middle, there was even a mass grave to go around. Yu Hai naturally didn’t feel that it was safe for his beloved young daughter to go by herself. He put down the fish bait and net from his hands and decided not to catch fish in the pond behind their house anymore.  


[1] Pixiu (貔貅) - a mythical creature, which is depicted as a winged animal with the head of a dragon and body of a lion, that brings luck (usually wealth) and wards off evil; it is believed that the pixiu doesn't have an anus which signifies that wealth/luck will flow in and not leave

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Myst's Thoughts

Sanguine’s Thoughts: The whole family is back again! Old Yu is a bit of a pushover...especially in this time period.

Translator: Sanguine