Chapter 244 - Another Catfight?

Madam Liu set dinner on the kang table [1], poked her little head, and said with a smile, “What do you have that’s worth scheming for? Could it be you got a cold from the cold winds on the field? Tomorrow, when you go into town, remember to go get some medicine from Tongren Medicine Hall.”

Madam Liu was always worried about her youngest daughter’s health. When she was born, the doctors all said that she wouldn’t be able to survive. Although there weren’t any problems in the past two years, how could one accurately predict an illness that was present since she was a fetus?

Several times, when her youngest daughter was close to dying from her illness, Madam Liu would always blame herself. She thought that her body was a letdown for causing Xiaocao to take medicine every day as a meal when she was young, letting her suffer for so many years. So Madam Liu preferred to indulge this daughter of hers. It turned out that their indulgence didn’t make their youngest daughter spoiled but even brought more and more benefits to their family.

Madam Liu was convinced that her youngest daughter must be a treasure bestowed onto them by the heavens!

Yu Xiaocao turned over and sat up from the Kang table, and then she cleverly went to helped her mother set the dishes and chopsticks. Ever since her godmother moved back to town because her due date was nearing, Xiaocao had stayed by her godmother’s side. Although she had gone back to Dongshan Village from time to time over the month, the time she stayed at home was very short.

Every time she left, she would feel bad when she saw her parent's reluctant eyes. After transmigrating into this strange world, it was her parents that gave her the most selfless love and tolerance. This moved her and gave her a sense of belonging in the family. 

Her acceptance of Fang Zizhen as her godfather, on the one hand, was because Fang Zizhen treated her well, on the other hand, it wasn't without uses. After all, this world was a vicious class society. If she wanted to openly do something and had no strong backing, she would more than likely become the target of some powerful people and eventually become their slave.

Fang Zizhen, who was a third-ranked general, had appeared at just the right time. After recognizing him as her godfather, Fang Zizhen wanted to give her the best of the world and treated her well from the bottom of his heart. Her godmother also treated her as if she were her blood-related daughter. Humans are emotional creatures. Yu Xiaocao naturally returned their treatment with sincerity. With the effects of the mystic-stone water, she healed her godfather's difficult problem and successfully got herself a new little brother.

Her godparent both said that she was a fairy bestowed by the heavens to help them, but it was more accurate to say it was love traded for sincerity. She treated them sincerely because of their love for her. The couple had entered her heart and became recognized as her ‘family’.

Now that they had their own child, maybe she could quietly retire. After Godmother finished her month of confinement after childbirth, she could go back to Dongshan Village and accompany her parents, never leaving again...

The next day, Yu Xiaocao rode her little red pony. On both sides of the pony's back, she had tied several big watermelons with straw ropes. She was also carrying several muskmelons that had matured early in her hands. This year, Xiaocao had gotten several melon seeds and planted them in the melon field, which had gradually begun to mature.

Upon remembering the several fruit trees in the corner of the backyard, Yu Xiaocao's mood suddenly became better—she wouldn’t have a lack of fruit to eat in the future. There originally weren’t many fruits in this era, and even fewer are suitable to plant in the north. Fruits were a luxury that only the rich could eat. Although with her family's current financial conditions, they could also afford fruit, Xiaocao felt that it was a waste of money to buy those fruits, which weren’t very tasty and was extremely expensive. 

Since they had their own land, as long as they could find the seeds or seedlings of the fruits, and with the little divine stone present, there wasn't anything they couldn't grow. She had found that the taste of fruits and vegetables watered by the mystic-stone water had improved by more than a bit. So why not just do it?

Dongshan Village's villagers, who went to town in the early mornings for the early market, would see a little girl in elegant riding clothes, riding a little red pony that was trotting on the flat official road. Tied onto the pony's back, there would be heavy watermelons—this was Yu Xiaocao who had decided to go to town early in the morning.

Upon meeting the familiar villagers, Xiaocao would show a sweet smile and greet them. The villagers of Dongshan Village, thinking about yesterday’s scene of welcoming the royal prince and the fact that her family was acquainted with a princess consort, naturally didn’t dare to slight her. So they all answered with a sincere or fawning smile.

Madam Zhang, who was going to town to see her son, walked by. The corners of her mouth turned down as she glanced at the person and the horse. She looked steadily ahead and continued walking forward.

After the lawsuit, Yu Bo's reputation in town had gone down the drain. In this lifetime, he would never be able to enter Rongxuan Academy. With his moral conduct, even his original academy kicked him out, let alone Rongxuan Academy, where people were accepted based on their talent and moral integrity.

He was instilled with the idea that in the future he would obtain fame and become a high-ranking official since childhood. Naturally, he wouldn't give up the idea of studying, but in Tanggu Town, there wasn't any academy that didn't know his reputation. Who would accept him? Presently, Yu Bo could only follow his father-in-law, who was a county official and review the knowledge he had learned before.

Madam Zhang didn't learn from her previous actions. She believed that her son was delayed from his prospects by Yu Hai's family. If it wasn't for that girl, Xiaocao, then they would have just lost some money. They could earn the money back, but once a scholar's reputation was destroyed, he would lose everything. No, she couldn't allow her ten years of hard work to be thrown to the winds!

With the current reputation and status of Yu Hai's family in Dongshan Village, they weren’t people who she could bully and control anymore. Besides, they still had something on her, Madam Zhang couldn't be rash. This time, she was going into town for her son's future!

Since the schools in town couldn't accommodate her son, then they would go to the prefectural city. The prefectural city was nearly a two-days traveling distance from Tanggu Town. It was impossible for her son's reputation to have reached every academy in the prefectural city, right? For the sake of her son's education, Madam Zhang didn't care about money. As long as her son could pass the examination and become an official, even if she had to live in harsh conditions, it would still be worth it.

Yu Xiaocao was very clear on the ancient people's respect for filial piety. Although her family and her oldest paternal aunt's family all know about Madam Zhang's vicious side, when all was said and done, the villagers of Dongshan Village didn't know. What appearances had to be kept were still kept.

"Grandmother, are you going to town to see my younger uncle? The road is quite long, why didn't you tell us so that my father could take you there with the carriage!" Yu Xiaocao came down from the horse's back and appeared like a very polite girl.

Madam Zhang was eager to tear the smile off her face and replied ambiguously, "Your family has climbed up a high branch. Why would you still care about this old lady's life or death? Let you guys take me in the carriage? I don't have that good fortune."

Several villagers, who were going to town with Madam Zhang, had an expression of disapproval on their faces. In their minds, they thought, ‘Madam Zhang really doesn’t know how fortunate she is. She has such a good son, even if he’s not by blood, she should still try to win him over. What is she doing?’

Yu Xiaocao clearly saw the expressions on the villagers' faces out of the corner of her eye and smiled even more brightly. "Grandmother, what are you saying? Those who know will say that you understand our family is busy and doesn't have any time. Those who don't know will think that you have a problem with us! How about this, you can ride my pony and I can walk over, what do you say?”

"Yu Xiaocao, you clearly know I don't know how to ride a horse but you still want me to get on the horse. Are you thinking this old lady has lived too long and want me to fall to my death?" Madam Zhang craftily smiled and snorted.

Yu Xiaocao's face fell and with a face full of grievances, she said, "Grandma, how can you say that? I suggested it with good intentions..."

Madam Mao, who came with Madam Zhang, couldn't bear to see the old lady using her age as an advantage anymore. She came up and shielded Xiaocao behind her and said, "I've heard that Xiaocao wasn't treated well by you when the family had yet to separate. Today, I've finally seen it! Xiaocao is just afraid that you are tired and offered to let you ride the horse. It's enough that you don't appreciate it, yet you also distort her good intentions. How can you be a grandmother? Fortunately, Brother Yu Hai's family separated early. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what Xiaocao would've become with your treatment. It's said that Xiaocao was weak and sickly since birth, could it be caused by you, this harsh grandmother?"

Madam Mao's mouth was said to be invincible in the entire village! However, Xiaocao knew that she was the model of a sharp tongue with a soft heart, so the relationship between the two families was pretty good.

Madam Zhang's entire face turned red with Madam Mao's words, but she couldn't come up with any words to refute her claims. After all, the severe winter before last year, Yu Xiaocao was ill and she, the grandmother, was reluctant to give money for her to go see the doctor. When Xiaocao's father went to his eldest uncle's family to borrow money, everyone in the village knew about it. No matter how she argued, no one would believe her!

Madam Zhang wasn’t a merciful person. She pointed at Madam Mao’s nose and angrily said, “I’m talking to my granddaughter. What does it have to do with you, Madam Mao? You really are meddlesome, sticking your nose into other people’s business! Oh… I know. Your Qian Family used Dahai’s glory to get the help of Zhenxiu Restuarant and gained many benefits. You’ve gotten their help, so you have to speak up for them. That’s why you’ve come up to take the scolding, right?

In terms of quarreling, Madam Mao had never been afraid of anyone. She had been unhappy with Madam Zhang, who kept asking for trouble all the time, for a long time. So today, she definitely wouldn’t spare her, "Oh! How come I can hear the jealousy in this? Brother Dahai is kind hearted so he has never refused to help anyone in the village when they go to him. Speaking of him, how can anyone in the village not praise him? Some people are so blessed that they don't know it. During his most difficult times, they separated from him and even hid the money that he used his life to get. Tsk~ To be brothers, yet using his older brother's money, that he used his life to get, to get relations. He deserved to be cheated! The heavens do have eyes, they are looking at us! People can't do the wrong thing, sooner or later they will be punished!" 

Everyone in the village knew that Yu Hai was bitten by a bear while saving General Zhao. General Zhao gave the money that he got for the bear to Madam Zhang and asked her to use it to treat Yu Hai’s injuries. The result? If Old Yu wasn’t around, Yu Hai would've been left on the bed for the injuries to run its course.

This Madam Zhang really is cruel. When Yu Hai's family was injured, sick, and weak, she wanted to divide the family. After receiving the three hundred taels, which should’ve been used to save someone's life, she practically let them leave without anything.

She even said Yu Hai had personally asked to separate their families. Yu Hai was just too benevolent to expose her lies. Who didn’t know the truth? In that situation, even if it was for his wife and children, he wouldn't have separated their families voluntarily.


[1] kang table (炕桌) - a small, short-legged table for use on a kang bed

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Myst's Thoughts

Don't think that Madam Zhang will ever learn  

Translator: Elaine