Chapter 214 - Shark Hunting

The morning light cuts through the dark blue sky and the ocean breeze bringing along a slight cool breeze. Yu Hai’s family started their busy day.

“Brother Dahai, are you ready to go?” Uncle Shuanzhu, who was of the same village, was carrying sharpened iron pitchforks. He excitedly pushed open the Yu Family’s door and urged.

Xiaocao, who was washing up, looked at the ‘weapon’ in Uncle Shuanzhu’s hand and asked astonishingly, “Uncle Shuanzhu, are you going to the mountains to hunt? Then you will be disappointed, my mother won’t let my father go hunt in the mountains.”

Madam Liu was afraid of a rope after being bitten by a snake. After Yu Hai was bitten by a bear last time, she had been badly frightened. No matter what, she wouldn’t let Yu Hai go hunt in the mountains again. Yu Hai was someone who dearly loved his wife, so in order to reassure her, he never went up the mountain again after that incident.

With the pitchforks in his hands, Liu Shuanzhu happily waved and said, “These aren’t for hunting! These are for shark hunting! The dried goods store in the prefectural city is buying shark fins at a high price. Your father is the most famous shark catcher in the nearby villages. In the past, before your grandfather bought the new boat, your father and I were the best shark hunting duo.”

“Capturing sharks? It seems pretty dangerous; can my father handle it?” Yu Xiaocao rinsed out the rest of the lake salt in her mouth and asked anxiously with wide eyes.

Yu Hai got a specially made net from the backyard and said to his younger daughter, “I made plans to go out to sea today with your Uncle Shuanzhu a couple of days ago. You stay at home and don’t run around! After I catch the shark, I will make a new diving suit for you!”

Yu Xiaocao blinked and cutely said: "Father, Xiaolian is busy right now. She doesn’t have time to go to the sea, so I can just use her diving suit. Father, I’ve never seen shark hunting before. Take me with you. I'll stay on the boat and I won’t cause any trouble for you! "

The sea was different from land; there could be danger at any moment. Moreover, Sharks were fierce marine animals. They weren’t herbivores. If something happened to his younger daughter, wouldn’t her mother and godparents tear him apart?

Yu Hai firmly rejected Xiaocao, “No! if you want to go to the sea, then I will take you on another day. Shark hunting isn’t for playing around, so it’s better for you to stay at home!”

Upon realizing that acting cute wasn’t working, Yu Xiaocao went to the kitchen and ate her breakfast. All of a sudden, her eyes shifted, and she bit her lip, thinking, ‘Even if you don’t take me, it doesn’t mean that I can’t go. I still have the little divine stone. Don’t I just have to dive into the water and follow from there?’

With that idea in mind, the previously listless Xiaocao quickly finished the meal and sent her father and Uncle Shuanzhu to the Liu Family’s new fishing boat. 

Yu Hai looked at his youngest daughter, who was waving happily at them, and felt uneasy. He reminded her again, “Cao’er, if you want to swim, you can swim a couple of laps in the shallow waters nearby. Don’t swim out too far. Your body isn’t strong to begin with, so make sure you can swim back!”

“I know, Father! Quit being so long-winded, even Uncle Shuanzhu is becoming impatient from waiting!” Yu Xiaocao promised. Once Yu Hai and Liu Shuanzhu left, she ran back home and changed into a diving suit. Choosing a place where no one was, she jumped into the sea with a splash.

Today, the sky was clear. The strong sun shined on the yellow sand, and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen or a breeze to be felt. In the distance, the sea and the sky merged into one. On the horizon, the color of blue slowly spread to the beach. The seawater was clear and azure like the sky, and shined beautifully like a bolt of brocade.

Yu Xiaocao swam in the sea for a bit, and with the help of the Divine Stone’s spiritual power, she floated in the ocean. Cupping her hands around her mouth, she shouted toward the deeper parts of the sea, “Xiaobu—Xiaobu——”

The little divine stone lazily reminded her, [Save some energy! This Divine Stone has already given the baby dolphin a command, as soon as you appear in the ocean, he will come to find you!]

As if answering the Divine Stone’s words, the cute and clever dolphin appeared in front of Xiaocao. These days, Xiaocao had been busy with the business at the pier. When she got home, it was already dark outside, so how could she have time to play with the little dolphin in the sea?

The little dolphin happily swam around Xiaocao and occasionally rubbed its smooth head on her arm. As if it was blaming her for neglecting it, it cried, “Ah... Ah——”

Xiaocao gently rubbed the little dolphin’s head and said, “I know! Aren’t I here now? In the summer, I will come to play with you more often! Right now, I will give you a mission, take me to find a fishing boat. Can you do that?”

The little dolphin seemed to understand her words and nodded its head. Then it placed Xiaocao on its back and swiftly swam toward a direction.

Xiaocao, who was on the back of the dolphin, felt as if she was on a jet ski, breaking through the waves and the wind. Thankfully, there weren’t any fishing boats nearby, or they would have thought she was a sea monster!

During this era, most fishing boats were driven by manpower or wind. Although it was difficult to find a fishing boat in the vast sea, it was fun to swim along with the wind. Fortunately, the little divine stone occasionally gave her directions, and Xiaocao soon caught up to her father's boat.

Xiaocao was afraid her father would see her, so she urged the little dolphin to dive into the sea and slowly approach the boat. Sailing with the wind, the fishing boat advanced further into the sea. With the boundary that the little divine stone created with its power, Xiaocao swam under the boat, and she would occasionally dive deeper into the sea to tease the curious fish that gathered.

About two hours later, when Xiaocao felt like she was becoming a marine creature, the fishing finally stopped.

At this time, the tools used for catching sharks were very simple. All one needed were a fishing net and a steel pitchfork. Yu Hai first took the bait he had brought—a piece of fish meat covered in chicken blood—and placed it around the boat. Then he used a piece of wood to gently knock on the deck of the boat, using the sound to attract the sharks.

Yu Xiaocao got off the back of the dolphin and quietly swam over to the piece of fish. She even used her hands and gently poked it. The little dolphin beside her curiously looked at the delicious piece of meat, opened his mouth, and prepared to swallow it.

Xiaocao hurriedly stopped him. That was a bait for sharks, so there were hooks in it. If the little dolphin ate it, it would most definitely lose its life!

Not being able to eat the delicious food in front of it made the little dolphin upset. The little dolphin swam out to a spot not far away and shouted at the boat a few times before jumping out of the water to vent its dissatisfaction.

Liu Shuanzhu looked at the dolphin not far away and laughed, “Ha! Instead of attracting sharks over, we attracted a dolphin. Brother Dahai, if we aren’t lucky today and don’t attract any sharks, catching that little dolphin wouldn’t be bad either!”

Yu Hai looked strangely at the dolphin that was swimming around them. This dolphin looked like it was still a baby, yet it seemed to have gotten separated from its school. It also didn’t seem to fear humans. 

It took patience to wait for sharks to take the bait. The two people on the boat took out their breakfast and leisurely chatted while they ate. However, it was hard for Xiaocao who was in the water. She was like a fish, swimming to the bottom of the sea looking for treasures. Sadly, she didn't bring any tools, or she would’ve gained a lot of profit. It looked like there were a lot of resources deep in the sea.

“When will the sharks come ah!” Yu Xiaocao felt like she was going to fall asleep. She had asked the little divine stone to make a bubble with its spiritual power and was currently comfortably lying in it.

[Do you need me to give a helping hand and attract the sharks here for your father?] The little divine stone asked arrogantly. 

“Yeah, Yeah! Hurry, if my father catches a shark earlier, then he might be able to get home in time for lunch!” Yu Xiaocao was in a better mood as soon as she heard that the Divine Stone could attract sharks over.

The little divine stone quietly released its spiritual power. The smell it gave off imitated the taste of the sharks' favorite food and it could be sent out very far...

Not long later, Xiaocao saw that sharks were swimming over in the distance. She hurriedly called out to the little dolphin to evacuate the area. If they didn’t move now, then they would be waiting to become shark food.

‘Wait! What’s going on? Why am I surrounded by sharks?’ This unreliable little divine stone, it had actually attracted a school of sharks here? Was she going to become shark food?

[What are you worrying about? With me, this Divine Stone here, why would you be afraid of becoming shark food? Coward!] The bubble that the little Divine Stone created could isolate smells, so the sharks didn’t even know Xiaocao was there! The little divine stone also did an act of kindness and made a bubble for the little dolphin. The little dolphin was Xiaocao’s playmate and companion, so it was automatically included in the protective scope.

Just as Xiaocao was about to breathe a sigh of relief, she heard Uncle Shuanzhu shouting on the fishing boat, “Brother Dahai, what should we do? We are surrounded by sharks!”  

Experienced shark hunters all knew that they didn’t have to be afraid of a single shark, but an entire school of them would be very scary! If sharks got angry, they could easily flip an entire fishing boat.

Xiaocao frowned as she watched the sharks slowly moving closer to the fishing boat. The first shark that appeared had arrived beside the bait and was opening its mouth to bite the bait…

‘No, Father is in danger! I have to find a way to lure the other sharks away!’

She climbed onto the back of the little dolphin and gently pacify the frightened dolphin. The little dolphin, whom Xiaocao had named Xiaobu, only had one thing in it mind upon seeing so many sharks, ‘Escape!!’ 

At this time, Xiaocao pointed it in a direction and the little dolphin rushed off in that direction without thinking. Gradually, the little dolphin realized that the sharks didn’t notice them despite being so close. The little dolphin seemed to have calmed down and slowed down its speed. 

At this moment, the sharks had surrounded Yu Hai’s fishing boat, and the shark that had bit the bait was struggling desperately. Yu Hai, who was holding the fishing rod with the bait on it, almost got dragged into the sea several times.

Liu Shuanzhu was holding the steel pitchfork and was aiming it at the shark, but he hesitated to throw it. He knew that if he managed to injure the shark, the scent of blood would cause the other sharks to attack. He was uncertain whether the boat would be able to remain floating at that time. If the two of them fell into the waters, would the fierce sharks be willing to let them go?

From afar, Yu Xiaocao turned her head and saw that the fishing boat was in a crisis. She hurriedly asked the little divine stone to release the spiritual power that attracted the sharks earlier, while she rode on the little dolphin at the quickest speed to further the distance. 

The fishing boat was shaken violently by the shark that was desperately trying to get off the hook. If the two weren’t expert sailors, then the boat would have already been flipped. What were they going to do? Were they going to be finished here today? Yu Hai and Liu Shuanzhu were falling into despair…...

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Elaine