Xiaocao could tell that Madam Liu was worried, so she smiled and said, “Mother, don’t worry. The seaweed here can be dried and stored for about a year afterwards. We don’t know how long we’ll have fresh red algae around, so storing extra isn’t a bad idea.”
When Madam Liu heard this, she immediately relaxed. She worked along with her two daughters, carefully washing the seaweed before it was placed on some grass mats to dry in the sun. It would take quite a long time to process a few hundred catties of seaweed. Fortunately, before long, Lady Fang came by with her two handmaidens. When she saw her daughter dripping sweat from work, she couldn’t stay seated and also began to help them.
This wasn’t the first time Lady Fang had helped out. She couldn’t watch her daughter work hard on her own, and Xiaocao wasn’t the type of person to sit around twiddling her thumbs. Thus, Lady Fang also bustled around every time her daughter was doing something. As for her two handmaidens, they couldn’t just stand on the side while their mistress worked, right? So, the Yu Family had an additional three working hands for free.
Freshly washed seaweed had a slightly fishy odor. Lady Fang was bent over, taking the just washed seaweed and placing them on grass mats. Suddenly, a puff of fishy odor wafted over and she couldn’t help but retch.
“Madam, is something wrong?” Linglong, who was right next to her, hurriedly supported her mistress to sit down when she saw her heaving. She then ladled up a glass of warm water from the ceramic jar and helped her mistress drink it down.
Lady Fang felt her stomach settle down after the slightly sweet taste of the warm water hit her mouth. She smiled reassuringly at Xiaocao, who had come over out of concern, and said, “I’m fine. Don’t get worried like Linglong. It might be that I’m not used to the smell of seaweed yet! Cao’er, Godmother will be fine after resting a bit!”
Madam Liu smiled, “When I first married and came to Dongshan Village, I was also not used to the smell of seafood. Every time I had a whiff of fishy odor I wanted to vomit. Her father even thought I was pregnant!”
Yu Xiaocao sniffed lightly at the red algae. The fishy odor was quite faint and was similar to the smell of the seafood porridge that she normally made for her godmother. In these past few months, her godmother had tried every type of seafood available without a problem. Furthermore, she had even been able to help with processing caught fish without vomiting. Why did she have a problem now?
Suddenly, she heard her mother say the word ‘pregnant’. Her eyes immediately lit up. Her godmother and godfather had been eating her medicinal cuisine with added mystic-stone water Both of their bodies were completely healthy now. Her godmother was in her early thirties while her godfather was around forty. They had a good relationship, so her godmother becoming pregnant wasn’t something out of the ordinary.
Xiaocao placed the seaweed in her hands down and carefully washed all traces of fishy odor from them. She then arrived next to Lady Fang and pulled at the woman’s hand to take her pulse.
Lady Fang watched as her adopted daughter solemnly took her pulse. The tiny and delicate little face had such a serious look that she couldn’t help but tease, “Oh! Our family’s little miracle doctor is showing off her skills now. What did you diagnose? Tell Godmother quickly!”
At this time, Fang Zizhen had just come in from the rear courtyard with a basket of freshly washed seaweed in his hands. When he saw his adopted daughter feeling his wife’s pulse, he grinned, “Wife, believe in her! Our daughter has quite the medical talent. The last time I saw Tongren Medicine Hall’s Doctor Sun, he even complimented our daughter for being quick at learning. If she truly wanted to learn medicine, I suspect that she would even have no problems entering the palace to become an imperial female doctor!”
Female doctors belonged to the Imperial Hospital, and they were in charge of treating the palace’s empress and consorts. They mostly handled the diagnosis and treatment of some more private ailments.
“Okay, then what does our little ‘female doctor’ think Godmother has right now?” Lady Fang felt like she had become healthier and healthier ever since she started living in Dongshan Village. The change was especially obvious after she started eating her daughter’s specially prepared medicinal cuisine. Now, she had so much energy that she was sure she could kill an ox by herself. However, she could tell that her daughter felt worried about her after she vomited a couple of times.
Feelings between people were mutual. Xiaocao clearly cared about her, so Lady Fang treated her as if she was her own biological daughter. Anything that was good had to go to her daughter.
Although Yu Xiaocao only had a dabbling of medical knowledge, she was quite talented at diagnosing through feeling a person’s pulse. The worried look on her face quickly cleared. It was still a bit early but she was certain that she felt a slippery pulse. Furthermore, she could tell that her godmother’s health was quite good. However, a pregnant woman should always take more care and needed to do less hard labor.
Fang Zizhen relaxed when he saw his daughter’s expression. However, he still had to ask, “Daughter, is your godmother okay?”
“No problems, she’s doing quite well! If I’m not wrong, I’m pretty sure I’ll have a little brother or sister eight months from now!” Yu Xiaocao was quite confident in her diagnosing ability, so she flashed a mischievous grin at her godfather.
Fang Zizhen smiled gently as he nodded, “As long as she’s okay——what did you say? What do you mean a little brother or sister? Am I thinking in the right direction…”
It took a moment for the information to sink in. Suddenly, Fang Zizhen’s eyes opened wide as he desperately tried to restrain his reaction. He strode forward and grabbed his goddaughter’s arm as he repeatedly babbled.
Lady Fang, who was still sitting, was so stunned that she resembled a statue. She stared at her daughter as if she was trying to figure out whether the little girl was teasing her or not.
Yu Xiaocao had never seen her godfather in such a state before. Although he was clearly quite agitated, the hand that he used to grip her hand had modulated its force. It didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. Xiaocao felt very grateful within her heart. She originally wanted to tease her godfather a little more but those thoughts completely vanished. She solemnly nodded her head, “Godfather, you didn’t hear wrong! I just felt a slippery pulse, so I’m pretty sure Godmother is with child!”
“With child? Hahaha! I’m going to be a father?! Cuiyun, we’re going to have our own child!!” Fang Zizhen gleefully danced around as if he was a joyful kid again. Despite the members of the Yu Family around them, he gently drew his wife into his arms.
Lady Fang had never been hugged by her husband in front of so many people before. She flushed and lightly pushed at him while scolding, “That’s not necessarily true! Are you crazy? We’ll talk about this again after I find Doctor Sun in town tomorrow to confirm.”
Lady Fang was also feeling very emotional right now. She was married at the age of fourteen to General Fang, who was more than a decade older than her. For twenty years, there was no stirring in her belly. Although the imperial physician had found out that it wasn’t her fault that they were childless, she still had a bit of regret within her heart. Despite her husband finding a satisfactory goddaughter for them, that hole in her heart was still not filled.
Her husband knew that she had felt somewhat lost, so he, disregarding a man’s dignity, searched for doctors and medications diligently. As soon as he heard of a talented doctor somewhere who was good at treating infertility, he would devoutly ask that doctor to treat him. However, despite all their efforts, the heavens had never taken pity on them. Twenty years had passed without any sign of pregnancy. Time flowed by, and she no longer had any hope anymore. Now, suddenly, her adopted daughter had told her that she might be with child! Lady Fang thought back to her recent retching and a tiny beacon of hope lit up in her heart.
The Yu Family had previously joked that Xiaocao had been given pointers by a god. Now, she truly wished that that joke was true. Perhaps Xiaocao was truly her lucky star and could give her a different future…
Fang Zizhen acted as if he was handling a piece of delicate porcelain and was incomparably careful when he hugged his wife. The smile on his face almost split his face in two as he chuckled, “Wife, even without confirmation I have a feeling that you’re pregnant. I noticed that your tastes have changed this past month. In the past, you didn’t like to eat sour foods, so all of the dishes at home had less vinegar added to them. Recently, you’ve been wanting to eat sour foods as if they were the only thing good on earth. In fact, you even have to add a couple drops of vinegar to seafood soup. As for our daughter's sweet and sour fish, sweet and sour pork chops, you could probably down at least half of a large platter on your own. Also, you’ve been sleeping in a lot while in the past you’ve always woken up early...you must be pregnant. Our baby must be a lazy bum who loves to eat sour foods!”
When Madam Liu heard this, she hurriedly congratulated them, “From what General Fang is saying, it’s probably eighty to ninety percent certain that you’re pregnant! When I was pregnant with Little Shitou, I also loved to eat sour foods. In fact, I loved to eat unripe apricots straight off the tree, which are usually so sour that most people can’t take a single bite. Sour foods for boys, spicy foods for girls, you must have a fat little fellow in you!”
Madam Liu had been pregnant three times and given birth to four children, so she was considered experienced. When Lady Fang heard her words, her somewhat nervous heart settled down. She gently used a hand to rub at her belly and a loving smile appeared on her face, “It doesn’t matter whether this child is a boy or girl, he or she is still the best present that the heavens have given me!”
Yu Xiaocao nestled next to her godmother and let out a silvery laugh, “Godmother, tomorrow I’ll have Godfather bring you into town. We can have Doctor Sun tell us if there’s anything pregnant women need to avoid and also buy some tonics as well. We absolutely cannot neglect my little brother!”
Fang Zizhen grinned foolishly and repeatedly agreed, “Yes, yes! We should buy a lot of tonics! It’s hard for you to be pregnant so we must take good care of you!”
Yu Xiaocao’s whole family was sincerely happy for Fang Zizhen and his wife. The two had been married for twenty-some years and Fang Zizhen was already in his forties. Now that he could finally have a descendant of his own blood, was there anything else that could make him even more happy?
With the good news revealed, everyone worked lightly and quickly. Before long, the few hundred catties worth of seaweed had all been completely washed and set out to dry by the group. Lady Fang, who also wanted to help, had been ordered to sit on the side by them. After drinking some water that was enhanced with mystic-stone water, she didn’t feel unwell again. In fact, that evening, she managed to eat an extra half bowl of food!
The next morning, Fang Zizhen carefully brought his wife into town. As usual, Yu Hai and his daughters took the donkey cart to the docks.
The previous night, Xiaolian had proudly showed the rest of the family the amount of money they earned that day. Since the docks were doing well, the prices had also gradually gone up. An ordinary bowl of coarse grain noodles used to be one copper coin a bowl, but was now two copper coins a bowl. Wheat flour noodles had gone up to three copper coins a bowl, and they had set the price for cold noodles at four copper coins a bowl. Starch jelly was set at five copper coins a bowl. Thus, in one day, they made around two taels, which was two thousand copper coins! From that, one could see just how many bowls of starch jelly and cold noodles they sold in a day!
For the Yu Family, two taels really wasn’t a lot of money anymore. However, for Xiaolian, it was still considered quite a lot. In the past, when she sold braised food, even though the price had gone up to two copper coins a portion, she could only make a couple hundred copper coins in a day. After splitting a tael with her younger sister, she still had more money in her hands than before.
The most important part was that all of this money was considered to be hers and hers alone! In the past, before they split from the main branch, she thought having a couple copper coins on hand was a grand sum. Now, she had over a hundred taels worth of private savings, but she was still considered the poorest of her family. Little Shitou, who was studying in town, had multiple people giving him some pocket money here and there. Thus, even his private savings was more than her own! However, judging by the speed they earned money the previous day, her private savings were soon about to double! Yu Xiaolian immediately felt enthusiastic and optimistic about the future!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sanguine’s Thoughts: Oh ho ho, the Fang Family is going to have a little baby! Fang Zizhen is such a sweet man, total husband goals!