Chapter 264 - To Pay a Debt of Gratitude

Zhu Junyang acknowledged that he had never been a kind-hearted person, but when he saw that Yu Hai was about to get killed by a bear, there seemed to be a voice in his heart shouting, ‘Save him. You must save him!!’

When he wanted to give up after injuring his arms when trying to pull the bowstring, the scene of Yu Xiaocao crying in sorrow suddenly appeared in his mind. He didn’t want the smile that made him feel warm to disappear. He didn’t want her clear, bright eyes to be covered with tears and tainted with sorrow. As he endured the pain from his arms, an inexplicable force rose and supported him to draw the bow, which he had never pulled back before.  

Seeing that the black bear was dead, Yu Hai jumped down the tree in cold sweat. Behind him, more than half of the trunk of the tree had been gnawed, and as if it was overwhelmed, it snapped.

Yu Hai wiped the cold sweat on his forehead with his sleeve. It was so dangerous earlier. For a moment, he almost gave up on living and waited for death. He must ill-fated with creatures like bears. Otherwise, the injured bear would have looked for the person who injured it instead of chasing after him, as if they were mortal enemies. It was the same as last time when he nearly got killed by a bear! Yu Hai reminded himself to stay far away from bears in the future. The good days had just begun, and he hadn’t enjoyed it enough yet!!

When the tree collapsed, the little golden kitten jumped down and landed on the grass next to Yu Hai’s feet. It licked its paws with its pink tongue. Just now, it had been on the tree branch above Yu Hai’s head. On the one hand, it wanted to attract the bear’s attention, and on the other hand, it wanted to stay close to protect its master’s father.

That’s right. The little divine stone was the main culprit who caused the black bear to chase after Yu Hai. Didn’t Yu Xiaocao always use it as a bait? The petty Divine Stone decided to take a small revenge by letting her father get a taste of being a bait.

The little divine stone emitted a scent that was fatally attractive to the black bear and slowly lured it into Royal Prince Yang’s hunting range. Moreover, it had been hanging on Yu Hai. In the eyes of the black bear, Yu Hai was like a piece of delicious red braised pork. It wished it could swallow him in one bite.

In order to ensure the safety of its master’s father, the little divine stone had been paying attention to the black bear’s every move. Once the tree collapsed, it would immediately rush forward without hesitation. What a joke! Getting revenge was one thing, but if its master’s father really got hurt, the one fifth of its power, which it worked hard to recover, would probably return to its original state as a punishment.

Yu Hai walked around the corpse of the bear and arrived in front of Royal Prince Yang and his servant. Seeing that Head Steward Liu was applying medication for the royal prince, he asked anxiously, “Did the royal prince get injured? Is it serious?”

Head Steward Liu forced out a smile and said, “It’s nothing. He used too much strength when drawing the bow. He should be fine after resting for a few days…”

In actuality, he was also uncertain in his heart. The injury of one’s muscles, bones, and meridians wasn’t a small matter. If it was a light injury, he would recover in a few days as he said. In serious cases, it may be impossible for him to use bows and arrows for the rest of his life… He couldn’t understand what the royal prince was thinking. To injure himself in order to save a low status commoner, was it worth it?  

After all, the royal prince had gotten injured when saving him, so Yu Hai felt very guilty. He rubbed his hands and said, “My family’s Cao’er knows a little about medicine. When we get back, I’ll have her make some ointment and apply it for you. You will recover faster. My leg was bitten by a bear before. All the doctors at Tongren Medicine Hall said that my leg needed to be amputated because the muscles and veins had ruptured. Later, my family’s Cao’er cured my leg!”

Originally, Head Steward Liu didn’t take his words to heart. How good could the medical skills of a ten year old girl be? Could the herbal medicine be as good as the imperial palace’s famous bone healing balm? But, when he heard Yu Hai say that his previously ruptured veins in his leg had recovered, and his walking wasn’t affected whatsoever, he immediately focused all his attention on him.

Head Steward Liu helped his master pick up his precious bow, and then he solemnly said to Yu Hai, “I shall thank you first. We will have to trouble Second Miss Yu in the future!”

Yu Hai knew that Head Steward Liu was someone who was favored by the royal prince and had accompanied him since he was young. Seeing his solemn thanks, Yu Hai shook his hands in a slightly awkward manner and said, “No trouble, no trouble! The royal prince was injured because of this lowly commoner. This is something that I should do…”

Zhu Junyang kicked the prey with his feet. The black bear was at least three to four hundred catties, so transporting it back was a big problem. Should he just chop off the paws and bring them back?

In the end, Yu Hai cut some branches and made a simple stretcher. With Head Steward Liu, he carried the bear back to the place where Xiaocao was guarding the game.

The sun gradually set beyond the West Mountain, and the forest got darker. The wind blew on the bushes and made a rustling sound, and the homing birds occasionally crowed. The bored Yu Xiaocao was worried about whether they could leave the forest before it got dark when the silhouette of her father dragging a bear appeared within her line of sight.  

When Yu Xiaocao saw the huge size of the black bear, she ruthlessly scolded the little divine stone in her heart. The bear looked so fierce. If something happened to her father or the young royal prince, she would definitely throw the little divine stone into a manure pit!

[With this Divine Stone here, who could hurt them?] The tiny kitten jumped onto her shoulder and looked as if it was ready to fight her. She actually dared to threaten this Divine Stone and wanted to throw this Divine Stone into the dirty and smelly cesspool. ‘Just because this tiger isn’t showing my power, she’s treating me like a sick kitty?’

The game was tied up on two stretchers, which were pulled by Yu Hai and Head Steward Liu. Fortunately, the two of them, one was used to manual labor, while the other knew martial arts. Thus, they were able to easily handle all the game.  

When they walked out of the forest, the sky had already completely darkened. Madam Liu and her two children were anxiously waiting at the foot of the West Mountain. Ever since Yu Hai got injured, Madam Liu had regarded the West Mountain as a synonym for danger. She strictly forbade her husband and the children from hunting in the mountains. She even stipulated that they could only pick mushrooms and dig for wild herbs around the foot of the mountain. Her husband went out with the royal prince at noon, but they still hadn’t returned yet. Thus, it was inevitable that Madam Liu would have all sorts of ideas in her mind.  

“Mother, is that Father and the others?” Yu Hang had sharp eyes and saw a group of people coming out of the forest.

Madam Liu looked carefully. As she breathed a sigh of relief, she also asked in confusion, “It’s them! But, why is there another child?”

Xiaolian exclaimed in surprise, “Mother, I didn’t see Younger Sister when I came back in the evening. It wouldn’t be her, right?”

Madam Liu creased her brows and thought about it, and then said with slight anger, “It’s definitely that lass. I haven’t seen her since noon! That lass is getting too bold. She didn’t tell anyone and secretly followed them up the mountain!”

With the help of the moonlight, Yu Xiaocao saw Madam Liu and the two kids. She ran over happily and said, “Mother, we got a good harvest from hunting today! The young royal prince also caught a bear! It weighs more than four hundred catties!”

Madam Liu gently twisted her younger daughter’s ear and angrily said, “Who allowed you to follow them? It’s so dangerous on the mountains. If something happened to you, wouldn’t that be asking for Mother’s life?”

Feeling slightly guilty, Yu Xiaocao covered her ear and exclaimed, “Mother, I’m wrong. In the future, I won’t go up the mountain without telling you! Please don’t be angry. If you fall sick because of anger, Father and I will both be heartbroken!”

Zhu Junyang, whose arms were hanging on his sides, tried his best to endure the pain. When he saw the lass’s grinning face and flattering expression, he couldn’t help but raise the corners of his mouth. ‘This lass has such rich expressions!’

After dragging the game to the Yu Residence, Head Steward Liu, who was worried about his master’s injury, found an opportunity to call Yu Xiaocao and whispered, “Second Miss Yu, I heard that you cured tendons and veins on your father’s leg. Is it true?”

When facing this loyal, ruthless, and shrewish Head Steward Liu, Yu Xiaocao couldn’t help but be more vigilant. She shook her head decisively and said, “For my father’s leg, Doctor Sun of Tongren Medicine Hall had prescribed effective medication and my father originally had a rather healthy body. Finally, the herbal paste that I made also worked. All three aspects are indispensable. Why? Who got hurt?”

Yu Hai just happened to walk by and heard them, so he quickly said, “Cao’er, the royal prince got injured because he was saving me. If your herbal paste works, you must properly treat the royal prince’s injury. If it wasn’t for him, your father might have died or been seriously injured!”

Yu Xiaocao reproached the little divine stone in her heart again, and said, “Father, don’t worry! My herbal paste doesn’t have any side effects. It can clear the acupuncture points, improve blood circulation, and relieve pain. I’ll go make some right now. But, we still need to see if the royal prince wants to use it!”

He was a dignified royal prince and a relative of the emperor. He was usually treated by the imperial physicians, so would he want to use home remedies from the countryside?

From the small medicine box at home, Yu Xiaocao got some herbal medicine for promoting blood circulation and dissolving bruises. She crushed them into bits and boiled them into paste with highly concentrated mystic-stone water. The herbal paste had a murky black appearance and didn’t look very good, but it exuded a faint herbal fragrance that made people feel refreshed.

When Yu Xiaocao brought the self-made herbal paste to the royal prince, she hadn’t expected that he would choose to trust her without hesitation.

“Aren’t you afraid that I would put something in this herbal paste? Or that the herbal paste was randomly made?” Yu Xiaocao asked as she applied the herbal paste for the young royal prince.

Zhu Junyang said firmly, “You won’t!”

“Why are you so certain?” Zhu Junyang’s arms were smeared completely black by Yu Xiaocao, like a burnt wooden stake.

Zhu Junyang felt a cool sensation emanating from the herbal paste, and the pain in his arms was immediately relieved. He didn’t know whether it was an illusion, but he seemed to be able to feel his muscles, tendons, and veins swiftly recovering.

“Intuition! This prince’s intuition tells me that you won’t harm me. My intuition tells me that your herbal paste will definitely be effective to my injury!”

‘Intuition again? Could it be that the young royal prince has a very accurate sixth sense? He doesn’t have superpowers, does he?’ Yu Xiaocao’s imagination went wild.

Both of Zhu Junyang’s arms were covered with thick herbal paste. When it was time to eat, he could only wait for others to serve him. As for this important task, it somehow landed on Yu Xiaocao.

Yu Xiaocao felt very helpless in her heart ah! ‘Oh, Young Royal Prince ah! Don’t you have a head steward court eunuch, who serves you, with you? Why are you making things difficult for a nobody like me?’

“Eggplant!” Zhu Junyang sat in an unrestrained manner, looked at the sauteed eggplants with minced meat and unashamedly directed Xiaocao on what he wanted to eat.

Yu Xiaocao, who had accepted her fate, picked up a piece of eggplant and stuffed it into the young royal prince’s mouth, thinking, ‘I’ll just take it as helping my father pay a debt of gratitude!”

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Myst's Thoughts

Well, Xiaocao just ended up causing trouble for herself...

Translator: Myst