Yu Bo gently knocked on the door, but there was no response for a long time. Madam Zhao looked at him and said, “The courtyard is so big, would they be able to hear you if you knock so lightly?”
Yu Bo laughed and shouted, “Is there anyone at home?”
A crisp voice sounded, “Someone is knocking on the door. I’ll go open it!”
There was a rush of footsteps in the courtyard, and the door quickly opened with a creak. A small head peeked out from behind the door.
Liu Fangping looked curiously at the strangers in front of him with his large, round eyes. He politely asked, “Hello, who are you looking for?”
Doudou pointed at Liu Fangping and asked his mother, “Mother, Older Brother Shitou?”
Madam Zhao looked at the unfamiliar little boy, shook her head, and said, “Doudou, he isn’t Older Brother Shitou.”
“Are you guys looking for Brother Shitou? Quickly come in!” Liu Fangping had never seen the three people in front of him, but since they knew Brother Shitou, they shouldn’t be strangers.
With a warm and gentle smile, Yu Bo asked the young boy, “What’s your name? How old are you? Do you live here?”
“My name is Liu Fangping and I’m almost seven years old. I live in the house next door.” Sister Xiaocao said that they had to treat guests in a warm and polite manner, which was something that Liu Fangping felt that he had accomplished.
‘Live in the house next door, and surnamed Liu?’ When his mother delivered food to him in the prefectural city, she had once mentioned that his oldest sister had fled back home and got taken in by his second brother. Second Brother treated Oldest Sister very well, and he even gave them a separate house to live in. Looking at the little guy’s clothes and complexion, he should be living quite well. Seriously, what was wrong with Second Brother? He would rather help raise another family’s children than help the family.
“Eldest Uncle, Sister Xiaocao, we have guests!” Liu Fangping skipped ahead, leading the way.
As soon as Madam Zhao entered the door, she saw the fresh, green vegetables in the yard. There were no insects on them, and not even one locust could be found. It should be noted that villages around town had also tried planting autumn crops, but the locusts immediately devoured them as soon as tender buds sprouted. Thus, they wasted a lot of seeds in vain. How did Second Brother-in-law’s family prevent their crops from being eaten by locusts?
“Eh? Grandfather, Younger Uncle came to see you!!” Yu Xiaocao poked her head out of the kitchen and shouted towards the rear yard.
Old Yu and Yu Hai, who were picking vegetables in the rear yard, strode out of the rear yard with hands covered in mud. When Old Yu saw his son, whom he had placed great hope in, his heart was full of complex emotions. His mouth slightly moved, and he finally said, “Xiaobo, when did you come back?”
Yu Bo also silently looked at his father, whose face glowed with health and body appeared stronger than before. He inwardly sighed, ‘I almost couldn’t see Father anymore! Fortunately, there was Second Brother’s family, or else… Mother has indeed crossed the line this time!’
Yu Bo went forward and knelt in front of Old Yu. He kowtowed to him two times and choked with sobs, saying, “Father, this unfilial son has come to see you!”
Old Yu’s hands were stained with mud. He wanted to help his son up, but he was also afraid of dirtying his clothes. He quickly told Liu Fangping, who was standing on the side, “Fangping, quickly help your younger uncle up. Xiaobo, quickly get up. Quickly get up!”
Yu Bo slowly stood up and said to his son, who stood next to him, “Doudou, quickly greet Grandfather!”
“Grandfather——” Little Doudou looked at Old Yu with slight shyness, and then lowered his head to look at his feet with his lips pursed.
Yu Xiaocao came out of the kitchen with a basket of pancake made of a mixture of corn flour and wheat flour. She smiled at Yu Bo’s family and said, “Younger Uncle, Younger Aunt, you guys haven’t eaten breakfast yet, right? Let’s eat together! Grandfather, Father, go wash your hands. The family can work together to pick vegetables after breakfast. There’s still enough time!”
At this time, a strong fragrance wafted out of the kitchen. Breathing in the smell, Little Doudou swallowed his saliva, pulled on the corner of his mother’s clothes, and whispered, “Mother, it smells so good ah!”
Madam Zhao touched her son’s thin face and said to Yu Xiaocao with a smile, “Cao’er, what delicious food are you making again? Such a mouthwatering smell!”
Yu Xiaocao smiled and said, “Breakfast is relatively simple. I only cooked two plates of green vegetables… Oh, that’s right. I also sautéed a pot of grasshopper sauce! It’s made of the locusts that we caught. I don’t know if Younger Aunt will like it.”
When Madam Zhao heard that it was made of locusts, she immediately felt her stomach turning. Yu Bo saw that his wife’s face was being unsightly, so he quickly said, “Father, have Second Sister-in-law make a set of clothes for you with this piece of fabric. Son had been away for half a year, and thus was unable to serve and accompany you at home. I feel very ashamed ah! Mother is waiting for us to eat at home, so we won’t stay for breakfast…”
Holding the cloth, Old Yu was extremely moved in his heart. In the past, his youngest son had never bought anything for the family. He actually brought a gift when visiting him this time. His son had finally grown up!
How could Yu Hai just let his younger brother go? All visitors were guests. How could he let them go without eating? He pulled on his younger brother’s arm and said, “Eat breakfast before leaving. You can rest assured that no matter how difficult this year is, your older brother can still treat you to a meal.”
Yu Caifeng and her husband also came out of the backyard. Upon seeing Yu Bo’s family, they were initially stunned, and then greeted them with a smile, “Xiaobo, you came. Quickly sit down. It’s been such a long time since we, the three siblings, have eaten at the same table!”
When Yu Caifeng got married, Yu Bo was already seven years old. He remembered that when his mother arranged this marriage for his oldest sister, the whole family was opposed to it. However, his mother was greedy for the betrothal gifts and just married his oldest sister to the widower. Yu Bo looked behind his oldest sister and saw a dark-skinned man with an untrimmed beard. Standing next to his good-looking Oldest Sister, he looked apparently seven or eight years older. Ay! It was no wonder that his second brother’s family was indifferent to his mother. It was understandable.
While he was distracted by his thoughts, Yu Bo had already been pulled to sit at the table by his second brother. Little Shitou pulled Doudou’s small hand, pointed at the golden corn flour pancake, and introduced, “Doudou, this is made from corn that was grinded into flour. It’s imported from a foreign land! It’s very tasty! Look, it’s scorched until it’s a golden-brown color in the back, so it’s very crispy and fragrant when eaten. It’s especially delicious if you have good teeth!”
Doudou looked at it, showed his pearly whites, and said, “Doudou’s teeth are very good. There’s no bugs!”
Little Shitou chuckled and said, “Good, you can eat more later! This is grasshopper sauce, and it tastes better than shrimp paste!”
Little Doudou obediently let Brother Shitou take him to wash his hands. After drying his hands, he sat obediently on the small bench and waited to eat. Seeing that her husband and son had sat down, Madam Zhao didn’t think that it was good for her to stand there, so she also sat down beside Madam Liu.
Yu Xiaocao brought out the mushy corn porridge, which emitted a faint fragrance. Madam Zhao looked at the big pot of golden-colored corn porridge in surprise, and was attracted by its unique smell. She helped Xiaocao divide the porridge into everyone’s bowls and gave everyone a big piece of pancake.
Madam Liu was afraid that her younger sister-in-law would feel restrained, so she smiled and said, “There’s still a lot of pancakes and porridge in the cauldrons, so don’t be polite and just eat to your heart’s content.”
Madam Zhao saw that there were a couple plates of green vegetables sautéed with oyster sauce, and a large plate and a small pot of sauce with alluring fragrance. There were also an unlimited quantity of pancakes and porridge. It appeared even more lavish than normal, so how was this still a meal eaten during a disaster year?
“Started eating already? This prince is a little late today! I had no choice since I encountered a big fellow on my way out. It took some effort to finally kill it!” Zhu Junyang strode in with Head Steward Liu, who was walking behind him with a gray animal on his back.
When Head Steward Liu threw the game on the ground, the Yu Family finally saw that it was a wolf. Yu Hai was shocked and said, “It seems like the beasts in the deep mountains have run out of food. Even a lone wolf has come down the mountains to look for food. It seems that we need to set more traps nearby to be safe.”
The two wolf cubs, Little Black and Little White, curiously ran to the dead wolf and sniffed it with their noses. After that, they suddenly bared their teeth furiously at the dead wolf, making a fierce expression.
“Oh! These two little fellows are quite good! If you train them, they will definitely be excellent hunting dogs!” Zhu Junyang had long noticed that they were wolves, but seeing that the little guys were even more obedient than puppies in front Yu Xiaocao, he didn’t say anything about it.
Yu Hai was slightly worried as he asked, “Royal Prince, are you certain that this is a lone wolf? Wolf packs are the most vengeful. If any of them escaped, I’m afraid that there won’t be any peace for the families that live nearby!”
Zhu Junyang sat down at the table that was specially prepared for him. He looked at him reassuringly and said, “What is there to be afraid of? With this prince here, even the largest wolf packs wouldn’t be able to return alive!”
“Wait until your arms have completely recovered and you can draw a bow before boasting!” Yu Xiaocao filled a bowl of corn porridge and placed it in front of him. She tore the corn pancake, dipped it into the thick grasshopper sauce, and stuffed it into the young royal prince’s hands.
Zhu Junyang took a bite of the delicious corn pancakes. After chewing and swallowing it, he said, “Aren’t you looking down on this prince? Does this prince need to use my hands to deal with the wolves nearby? I can just kick them down one by one! Do you see that tree over there? Believe it or not, this prince can break it with one kick!”
Yu Xiaocao looked at the tree he pointed to. It was a tree that was even thicker than the opening of a bowl. She curled up her lips and said, “Young Royal Prince, it’s better that you stop? Don’t break your legs before your arms have even recovered! Alright, stop talking about this and eat!”
Zhu Junyang didn’t bother to argue with the lass and ate the corn pancake with relish. At this time, Yu Bo finally found a chance to speak, “This student, Yu Bo, greets Royal Prince Yang.”
“Yu Bo? Are you that uncle of Yu Xiaocao who wanted to use connections to go through the backdoor and serve in the Prince Jing’s Estate?” Zhu Junyang clearly held contempt for those who were unskilled and still shamelessly try to gain favor with the rich and influential. Thus, he straightforwardly pointed it out in front of everyone.
Yu Bo’s expression changed, and he solemnly asked, “This student had just returned from the prefectural city yesterday. May I ask why Your Highness said that?”
Zhu Junyang looked him up and down. Although he was a little far from him, he could still sense that the other party had impure intentions. With a smirk, he withdrew his gaze and replied, “Why did this prince say that? Wouldn't you know if you go back and ask your mother? Let this prince tell you. Our Prince Jing’s Estate will only accept those with true talent and knowledge!”
For the sake of Yu Xiaocao’s family’s face, he didn’t say his own subtext—don’t just stuff this trash and good-for-nothing into the Prince Jing’s Estate!
The rest of the meal was tasteless for Yu Bo. There were several times that he looked at Royal Prince Yang and wanted to say something but ended up saying nothing. Royal Prince Yang, on the other hand, didn’t even spare him a glance and focused all his attention on eating.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
hahaha if Zhu Junyang wasn't giving Xiaocao's family face, he would have roasted him even more😆😆😆