Chapter 34 - Study Medicine

Tongren Medicine Hall was the largest and most popular pharmacy in town. Allegedly, the pharmacy’s Doctor Sun was born in a family of imperial physicians from the previous dynasty and had high medical skills. Even noblemen from the capital came to see him for medical examination.

As soon as Yu Xiaocao went in, she saw a sage-like old doctor with white hair and beard. At this time, he was carefully taking a patient’s pulse.

[Spiritual energy! There’s so much spiritual energy!] Little Divine Stone hurriedly rushed towards the rows of medicine cabinets and clung onto the cabinet with the strongest energy.

“Little girl, where are you feeling unwell?” After the old physician prescribed a prescription for the patient and instructed his young student to gather the medication, he finally had time to greet Yu Xiaocao.

Little Shitou was somewhat nervous as he replied, “Old grandpa, my second sister injured her head three months ago and nearly died. When she woke up, she couldn’t remember a lot of things. Old grandpa, can you please take a look at my second sister?”

Seeing that the young boy was good-looking and polite, Old Doctor Sun replied with a pleasant smile, “Sit down and let me, this old man, check your pulse.”

Yu Xiaocao’s previous health condition was indeed worrying. She had gotten seriously ill shortly after her birth. At that time, her young life was saved with the help of Doctor Sun, but he had also asserted that Xiaocao might not be able to live past the age of ten without careful nursing.

However, with the daily nourishment of the mystic-stone water, the lingering illnesses within Xiaocao’s body had already been cleared. Thus, apart from a lack of exercise, there was nothing wrong with her body and she was a lot healthier than before.

Old Doctor Sun was a former imperial physician after all, so after he took her pulse and examined the wound on her head, he said, “You were born with a weak constitution, but an expert had nurtured your health with effective medicine. Your body is very healthy, but you need to be more physically active. Don’t stay indoors all day.”

“As for your memory loss, this old man had seen a similar case in the past. You probably have a blood clot in your brain due to the fall and the blood clot might be pressing down on a nerve. However, based on your pulse, it doesn’t seem like you have any major problems. The blood clot should disperse over time and you will gradually recover your memories.”

Zhao Han became nervous when he heard that there was a blood clot, “Old doctor, is there any medicine to accelerate the dispersion of the blood clot?”

Old Doctor Sun looked at the siblings’ shabby clothes and shook his head with a smile, “All medicines are partially poisonous. It better not to take medication when you don’t need it!”

Moreover, that medicine was quite expensive. If it was only taken for a short period of time, then it wouldn’t be effective. However, it wasn’t affordable for people like this little girl’s family when taken for an extended period of time. Anyways, there wasn’t any major problems. This little girl was still so young, so what’s wrong with not remembering the past?

Yu Xiaocao could also somewhat guess the old physician’s thoughts, so she gratefully said, “Old grandpa, thank you so much! With your words, my family and I can be at ease now. How much should we pay for the check-up?”

“I didn’t prescribe any medication, so you don’t need to pay for the medical fee. Little girl, can you tell me who’s the expert who nurtured your health?” Old Doctor Sun had an inevitable sense of appreciation for such a highly skilled medical expert.

Hearing that his second sister was fine, Little Shitou’s heart finally relaxed and he became lively again, “Old grandpa, my second sister’s health have always been looked after by Doctor You of Dongshan Village. He has excellent medical skills. My second sister had such a big and bloody wound on her head, but it was cured in a few days after using Grandpa You’s medicine!”

“Dongshan Village? You Yong?” Doctor Sun couldn’t help shaking his head and laughing. You Yong was a folk practitioner who had studied medicine under him for a while. Thus, he knew better than anyone else about the level of You Yong’s medical skills. He absolutely wouldn’t believe that You Yong could cure fetal diseases with his feeble medical skills.

However, he knew propriety. If they didn’t want to tell him, what’s the point in forcing them?

Little Divine Stone finished absorbing the strongest source of energy and burped in satisfaction. Yet, it was insatiable and wanted to absorb more energy. No matter how tiny a mosquito was, it still had meat. At least, energy absorption was a much easier method to improve its powers than bathing.

Yu Xiaocao’s mouth twitched as she watched it going from the ‘ginseng’ cabinet to the ‘lingzhi’ cabinet. Oh my god! The old physician was such a benevolent and skillful doctor. If he lost some precious medicinal herbs because of her, then she would seriously be a vicious and ungrateful person.

Yu Xiaocao sternly stopped the little divine stone’s action, thanked the old doctor several times, and then she hurried out of the pharmacy with her younger brother.

[Is your butt on fire? Can’t you wait until I’m done absorbing the spiritual energy before leaving?] The little divine stone was annoyed right now. If it could take a physical form, it would definitely scratch her with its claws. Its precious spiritual energy. The restoration of its powers…

Yu Xiaocao had a calm appearance as she communicated with the unreasonable little fellow in her mind, [How are you still in the right when you’re destroying other people’s medicinal herbs?]

[How am I tarnishing other people’s medicinal herbs? Ignorant and stupid human! Did you think the herbs will become useless after I absorb its energy? Absurd! The spiritual energy that I, this Divine Stone, consume can’t be used by weak human beings like you. It’s a waste to keep it anyways!] The little celestial stone shifted into its poisonous tongue mode.

[If you don’t shut up, I’m not going to bring you to the pharmacy again!] As its master, she definitely had her own ways to control it. So easy!

The little celestial stone was briefly stunned, but it was able to adapt to different circumstances and began acting cute, [Master, you’re such a great master! An almighty master! You’re even more remarkable than the Goddess of Spirits and more powerful than the Jade Emperor…]

[Stop, stop! Stop with your nonsense! Can’t you speak like a normal person? How can you be someone’s pet when you don’t even know how to flatter people?] Yu Xiaocao acted in an extremely arrogant manner.

‘Pet? You’re a pet, your whole family are pets!’ Little Divine Stone pouted and muttered, [Pat a horse’s butt [1]? The horse’s butt is so dirty and smelly. Why would I pat it…]

Yu Xiaocao quietly bickered with the little divine stone along the way and quickly arrived at the place where they agreed to meet Old Zhang.  

Old Zhang had already delivered the firewood that was on his ox cart and was waiting for them there. Yu Xiaocao greeted him sweetly and handed him a bag of pastries, “Grandpa Zhang, we were lucky to have encountered you. Otherwise, I don’t know if I can make it to town with these legs of mine. This is a little present from us. Please accept it.”

Although the small bag of snacks wasn’t very expensive, Old Zhang knew he wouldn’t be able to afford it even after selling a cart of firewood. It wasn’t easy for the child to make some money, so he firmly refused her offer,

“Why would an old man like me eat pastries? You siblings should enjoy it yourselves. Cao’er, do you still need to take medication now? After drinking the bitter medicine, you can eat a piece and change the taste in your mouth!”

The ox cart rocked as it started to move. Yu Xiaocao didn’t take the pastries that Old Zhang handed back and pointed at the other bag within her younger brother’s hand, “Grandpa Zhang, I have stopped taking medication a long time ago. Look, we have some more! You can take it back for your grandson to eat!”

After declining for a while, Old Zhang helplessly accepted the bag of pastries. ‘Old Liu had a great granddaughter! She was clever and generous. May the heavens be fair and let this child live a long life.’

“Cao’er, Grandpa Zhang delivers firewood to town every two days. If you want to go to town, then wait at the intersection. I usually set off after eating breakfast.”

She got a free ride in exchange for a bag of crude pastries. What a great bargain!

After bidding farewell to Old Zhang, they continued to walk for quite a distance. The sky was already dark when the three of them arrived at the entrance of the village.

There wasn’t much entertainment for people during ancient times. They usually began work at sunrise and rested at sunset. Thus, there weren’t many villagers in sight at this time.

“The person in front looks like Doctor You.” Zhao Han had a keen eyesight and recognized the dark figure in the distance.

They quickly walked forward and Yu Xiaocao warmly greeted her savior, “Grandpa You, where are you coming from?”

“Oh, Xiaocao! Did you guys just return from the town?” Doctor You looked kindly at the sister and brother pair, and then happily replied, “I just came down from the mountain.”

Zhao Han replied, “Doctor You, why are you so late today? Didn’t I warn you already? There’s a lot of wild beasts in the mountain, so it’s dangerous at night.” 

“Today, I was delayed while trying to find an herb. It won’t happen again.” Doctor You was rather polite when he spoke to Zhao Han.

“Grandpa You, you can just tell us what kind of herbs you need! We often go set traps in the mountain with Brother Han. We can pick them up for you if we see them!” Little Shitou cleverly suggested.

Doctor You stroked his beard and laughed, “Can you recognize the herbs, little man? Don’t come back with weeds.”

“I don’t recognize them, but Grandpa You can teach us! Second Sister says that I’m very smart. I can already recognize over two hundred words!” Little Shitou lifted his chest in a confident manner.

Yu Xiaocao thought of the mystic-stone water when she heard Shitou’s suggestion. She might be able to openly help the people she cared about through this method. After a moment of deliberation, she said, “Grandpa You, can I study medicine with you?”  

Doctor You had watched as Xiaocao grew up and was even more attentive to this little girl than his own grandchildren. Within his heart, Yu Xiaocao was just like his own granddaughter, so he swiftly agreed without any hesitation, “Alright! As long as you don’t think it’s boring, you can start by learning to identify the herbs!”

Although he boasted about being a disciple of Tongren Medicine Hall’s Doctor Sun, he had only learned the basic skills. Medical knowledge that was passed down from the ancestors would only be taught to sons and not daughters, let alone an outsider.

Thus, Doctor You had only learned the most basic and common medical knowledge. There wasn’t anything worth hiding from others. If someone wanted to learn from him, he wouldn’t be stingy with his teachings.

Yu Xiaocao and her younger brother were concerned about the foolish roe deer. After they bid farewell to Doctor You, they went to Zhao Han’s house first. Auntie Zhao, who was elegant and graceful, had already stir-fried the hazelnuts. She filled the front cloth of siblings’ jacket with hazelnuts and said, “Eat some first. If you bring too much back, who knows who it will actually benefit! Auntie has a lot more, so come back tomorrow if you want to eat more!”

Yu Xiaocao loudly agreed. In her heart, Auntie Zhao’s family was a lot more important than some so-called relatives. It naturally wasn’t necessary to be overly courteous to her own people.

Yu Xiaocao held the hazelnuts with one hand, while she placed a hazelnut in her mouth. She cracked open the shell and happily ate the delicious hazelnut. From time to time, she would stuff the hazelnut into her younger brother’s mouth after she cracked open the shell.

As for that foolish little roe deer, they didn’t need to be concerned about it at all. They just needed to sprinkle a little mystic-stone water on their pants and the little guy would follow them closely. It was even more obedient than Little Shitou.

“Cao’er! Shitou! Why were you guys out playing until this late and just coming back? You kids haven’t eaten dinner yet, right?” In a distance, a tall figure appeared on the path leading to their home. Their father had actually arrived home earlier than them. He was quite a fast walker!


[1] 拍马屁 - bootlicking, flattering someone; lit. pat a horse’s butt

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Translator: Myst