Yu Xiaocao quickly pulled away the guards and rushed into the encirclement. Before Zhu Junyang could intercept, she hugged the wolf and rubbed its thick fur. “Big Gray, why did you come down the mountain? Was there not enough food in the mountains? It’s ok, I have a big brood of rabbits at home, I can share them with you!”
Big Gray’s fur was almost the same color as the moon. Yu Xiaocao gently caressed its soft fur, the protruding bones on his back was a little harsh on her hands. It seemed that the food chain at the secret base had also been destroyed. She wondered how Big Gray survived these two months.
When Yu Hai saw his daughter run toward the wolf, his heart almost jumped out of his mouth. He hurried forward a few steps and stopped upon seeing the scene before him. Under the moonlight, a little girl was nestled beside the silver-gray wolf and stroking the back of the wolf. The wolf was as tame as a domesticated dog. At their feet, two little cubs rolled around acting cute. The scene was as beautiful as a dream.
When Yu Xiaocao turned her head, she saw her worried father. She smiled reassuringly as him and said, “Father, this wolf is very intelligent. He remembered that I helped him before and never attacked me. When I went up the mountain, he entrusted me with Little Black and Little White!”
Zhu Junyang looked at the gray wolf with interest and asked, “Are Little Black and Little White his children? How come they don’t look like him? Could there be a mistake?”
"Beasts have a really good sense of smell. If it's not their children, why would they put in so much effort? Little Black and Little White's mother died shortly after giving birth to them. It was the Big Gray who fed them with the blood of his prey to keep them alive. The last time I went up the mountain, he gave me the two little guys to bring back!" Yu Xiaocao said amusingly.
Yu Hai was still worried. He had many children at home. What would he do if the wolf became berserk one day and bites his children? Thus, he was deeply opposed, in his heart, to taking the wolf home. After thinking about it, he asked, "Cao'er, have you decided to take in this gray wolf?"
Yu Xiaocao gently stroked the gray wolf's fur and nodded, "The wolf pack came down the mountain tonight, which means that there is less and less food available on the mountain. Father, I want to keep Big Gray until things are better on the mountain. After that, I will let him go back up the mountain."
Feeling somewhat distressed, Yu Hai frowned slightly and said, “We have so many people coming and going at our house. If one day the gray wolf suddenly goes mad and bites people, it would be hard to explain.”
"That won't happen, Big Gray understands human speech and won't hurt anyone. Unless someone wants to hurt him or us. He already saved you just by depending on your scent, Father. This alone proves that Big Gray isn't a common wolf!" Yu Xiaocao tried to persuade her father. If she disregarded Big Gray, then he might die of starvation.
Yu Hai still felt doubtful as he said, "But...in a famine year, people can't get enough to eat yet you want to take a wolf home to raise. I'm afraid the villagers will talk..."
"Alright! What is there to contend for? When that time comes, just say that it’s a pet trained by this prince and I like buying meat to raise him. Let's see who can say anything then! Let's go! It's almost dawn. Clean up the wolf corpses and be careful of attracting other predators again!" Seeing that the two were arguing back and forth with no end in sight, Zhu Junyang made the decision.
With Big Gray’s problem solved, Yu Xiaocao was in a good mood. When she went back home, she saw the injuries on her father's body. Her heart ached as she grumbled, “Father, how come you didn't say that you were hurt? You've bled so much. Quick, lie down. I'll sprinkle some anti-inflammatory and styptic powder on it."
At this time, Madam Liu, who stayed in the room with the children, came in and lit the oil lamp. She saw the bloody scars on her husband’s body caused by the wolf’s claws, and said with tears, "How could you be so careless? The wound is so deep, should we ask Doctor Sun from town to come and take a look?”
Yu Hai was fully confident in his daughter's medical skills. He smiled and comforted his wife, "It's nothing. It's a much lighter injury than the bite from the blind bear from last time!! Our daughter can pull me back from the gates of the underworld, what's this injury? Don't cry, if the children see you, they will laugh at you."
Yu Xiaocao boiled a pot of water full of medicinal herbs. She added a lot of mystic stone water and brought it out in a basin. Seeing her mother wiping away her tears, she felt that she should find something for her to do so she wouldn't be entertaining different thoughts. "Mother, dip the gauze in the medicine and help father clean his wounds. The wolves' claws are dirty. Only when you wash the wounds thoroughly will they not get infected. After the wounds are cleaned, sprinkle the powder on it. I'll go make the ointment."
Taking the basin of water, Madam Liu nodded her head and said, "Mhm, hurry and go make it so you don't delay your father using it!"
Madam Liu used the warm medicinal water to gently clean her husband's wounds. The children all gathered around him and asked, "Father, does it hurt?"
"Uncle, you are really something, being able to go head to head with wolves!"
"Mother, why don’t I help clean father’s wounds?"
“Uncle, is the wolf pack wiped out?”
“Uncle, is wolf meat delicious?”
“Father, I’ll go out to see if I can help with anything…”
Yu Xiaocao came over with a mortar to make medicine and shouted softly at the group of chattering kids, "All of you shut up! Father must feel so uncomfortable after losing so much blood. Just let him quietly lie down for a while."
Seeing that her mother wouldn’t let her help, Yu Xiaolian said, "I'll go kill a hen and make a stew for Father. Once the wound is taken care of, he can drink some chicken soup to nourish his body."
"Take some Angelica Sinensis and wolfberry from my medicine box and cook them together. It's good for replenishing blood!" Yu Xiaocao added some mystic-stone water with the medicinal herbs and pounded hard. Hearing Xiaolian's comment, she hastily reminded her.
Yu Hang and Liu Junping were both considered half laborers in the family. They saw that the bodies of the wolves were being dealt with outside, so they rushed out to help. After the wolves were skinned, they picked out the relatively complete ones. When Yu Hai's wounds were healed, he could tan the skins. Then, they could lay the wolf skins on the bed in the winter, which would be so warm and comfortable. Wolf meat would be stored in the icehouse and could be eaten for a long time!
There were two imperial bodyguards outside that were accidentally scratched by a wolf’s claw. Liu Yaner brought over a pot of medicine for them to clean their wounds.
The two seven-years-old kids, Little Shitou and Liu Fangping, couldn't help much, so they stayed in the room and quietly watched Madam Liu help Yu Hai clean his wounds. From time to time, they also asked, "Does it hurt?"
He didn't know if he was numbed by the pain or some other reason, but when the medicine touched the wound, Yu Hai didn't feel any pain at all. Instead, after a while, there was a light sense of coolness that spread from the wound. Vertigo caused by blood loss also disappeared in an instant.
Madam Liu cleaned very meticulously, and her movements were very light, for fear of her hurting her husband. By the time the wound was cleaned, Yu Hai felt that he had almost fallen asleep. When applying the powder, there was a slight tingling sensation. However, when the black ointment was applied, the tingling disappeared again. Instead, there was a cool and comfortable feeling around the wound.
The rest of the ointment was given to the two wounded bodyguards to be applied. The two imperial bodyguards weren't seriously injured and just had some minor external injuries.
There were bodies of more than thirty wolves that had to be taken care of. The dozen or so imperial bodyguards worked until dawn, but still hadn’t finished tidying the bodies. The Zhou Family next door carefully opened their door at daybreak. Seeing that there wasn’t any danger, the Zhou Family’s head of the household got his tools and went over to inquire about the situation with his son. Last night, the Zhou Family had stayed all night after hearing the movements from the nearby Yu Residence.
As soon as they entered the gates, they saw that the yard was full of the dead bodies of wolves. Zhou Danian was stunned and couldn’t believe his eyes. They went into the room and asked about Yu Hai’s injuries. After that, the father and son also joined in the task of cleaning up the bodies of the wolves. When Madam Fang heard that Yu Hai had gotten injured, she came over to visit him with a chicken and a basket full of eggs.
Currently, there were still many locusts. The Zhou Family's chickens were also raised within the vicinity of their home, and they basically didn’t need to buy food or anything. The Zhou Family probably wouldn’t be able to raise so many chickens in the winter, and thus most of them would be killed.
After daybreak, the news that the old Yu Residence was attacked by wolves spread all over Dongshan Village. The village head came to visit them with several families, who had a good relationship with the Yu Family. When they saw the skinned wolf corpses in the courtyard, they were all stupefied.
Wolf meat was slightly thicker than dog meat, so it tasted quite good when cooked well. When Yu Hai, who just got treated with medication and bandaged, saw the bodies of more than thirty wolves, he felt a headache coming. If they ate too much wolf meat, they would also be tired of it, okay? There were so many wolves that they wouldn’t be able to finish consuming them until next spring!
After inquiring the royal prince, he was told that the Yu Family could do whatever they wanted with the wolf corpses. Yu Hai discussed with his family and decided to donate twenty of the wolves to be distributed to each household in the village. Although these wolves were a little thin, about thirty catties of meat could be cut off of each wolf. In this way, each family could receive nearly twenty catties of wolf meat!
After being hit with both the locust plague and the drought, the villagers of Dongshan Village no longer had enough money to buy food, much less meat. Therefore, when the village chief rang the village’s bronze bell and gathered all the families on the field in front of his house, all of their eyes reddened upon seeing the skinned wolves. When they found out that the Yu Family had selflessly donated these wolf meat, the villagers’ gratitude and respect for Yu Hai became even deeper.
In the morning, the Qian Family came back from their maternal family’s home and saw the damaged wooden door and the disorder in their backyard. Madam Mao felt upset over the dozen or so ducks that had been eaten and killed. Fortunately, most of the ducks escaped into the pond in the afternoon and survived. When she saw the bodies of the four wolves in the traps around her yard, the pain in her heart slightly eased. They wouldn't be able to finish all of these wolf meats, so some of it could be sold to the restaurants in town, which could also make up for some of their losses.
Knowing that nearly thirty wolves had been wiped out by the Yu Family, Qian Fugui and Madam Mao were both glad and afraid. If they hadn't made the decision to go over to Madam Mao’s maternal family every night, they would've to bear the attack of more than thirty wolves. They didn't have a dozen or so bodyguards to help them. After the wooden door was broken, the consequences could be imagined.
After expressing concern and sympathy to the Yu Family, Qian Fugui dealt with the bodies of the four wolves. He took two relatively intact skins and the meat from two wolves back to his father-in-law's house. After hearing about the incident from last night, Madam Mao’s parents and older brother insisted that they stayed for a few more nights. Madam Mao and her husband would return to tend to the ducks in the morning, and then they would rush back to her parent’s house in the evening. Although it was troublesome to run back and forth, it was nothing compared to the possibility of being attacked by predators.Previous Chapter Next Chapter