Chapter 372 - Medicine

In regard to what Third Aunt had imagined, Yu Xiaocao didn't offer many explanations. She took out the syrup, poured it onto a small soup spoon, and added some hot water to it. As if she was a big gray wolf luring Little Red Riding Hood, she said, "Ni'er, Older Sister brought some sugared water. It tastes delicious. Would you like a taste?" 

Ni'er could understand words now. Upon hearing it was sweet sugared water, she was like a little mouse checking the situation outside of its tunnel, revealing one eye from her mother's embrace. She looked curiously at the spoon in Yu Xiaocao's hand. She saw that it was black inside, similar to the bitter medicine her parents had fed her a few days ago, she hurriedly buried her head in her mother's arms. She wailed and began to cry. 

Yu Xiaocao still has a trick with comforting children. She took out the small cake that Madam Liu made in the morning. It was covered in jam and had a honeyed strawberry. She used a soft and sweet voice, "Ni'er, Older Sister has a small strawberry cake here! It's fluffy, soft and sweet, and very delicious! Only obedient children will be rewarded a piece!” 

Ever since Yu Jiang started helping to collect marine goods, the family's living standard had risen sharply. The children would occasionally eat candy and cakes. However, their family still had frugal habits. Candy and cakes couldn't be enjoyed by the children by their will, and thus being able to eat them once or twice a month was already great happiness. 

Ni'er stopped crying when she heard that there was a delicious cake, and she even forgot to cry. She secretly looked at the cake in Yu Xiaocao's hand from her mother's arms. The red strawberry and the cake that was emitting a rich fragrance caught Ni'er's attention. She couldn't care about being shy, her little head finally popped out from Yu Jiang's wife's embrace. 

"After you drink the medicine, I will give Ni'er a piece of cake. Your older brother and sisters won't be having any!" Yu Xiaocao continued to lure the shy 'little white bunny' by saying, "Older Sister promises you that the medicine isn't bitter at all. Ni'er is the bravest, do you want to give it a try?" 

Ni'er looked at the medicine in Yu Xiaocao's right hand and the cake in her left. Her gaze moved back and forth many times before she made up her mind and gave a little nod.

Yu Xiaocao quickly put the medicine into Ni'er's open mouth. At first, Ni'er's face wrinkled as if expecting a bitter taste. After the medicine entered her mouth, her expression suddenly smoothed out. The little girl's eyes were round as she stared at the spoon in Yu Xiacao's hand, which still contained some black liquid medicine. She smacked her lips twice as if recollecting the taste of it. 

"Ni'er is the greatest! Come on, drink the rest and you can eat the cake!" Yu Xiaocao scooped some warm water from the bowl into the spoon. This time, Ni'er didn't resist at all and drank all the medicine smoothly. 

Yu Xiaocao gave Ni'er a compliment again and fed her the strawberry cake spoon by spoon. The little one's shyness was all gone by this point. She ate the cake happily and danced with joy toward his family. 

With the experience this time, Ni'er wasn't so resistant to drinking medicine anymore. However, the clever little one would lick the medicine before drinking it every time to try it out. Only when she found that it was sweet, she would drink it without resistance. Sometimes, she felt she hadn’t had enough and she would cry to have another sip! 

When a matron, who had a good relationship with Xiaocao's Third Aunt, saw that Ni'er had quickly recovered from her illness after she drunk all the medicine made by Yu Xiaocao, she hurriedly passed the news to her brother in the next village. The only child in her brother's family had also gotten sick, coughing really badly. The symptoms were similar to those of Ni'er but not as serious. 

The matron’s brother was almost thirty before he got a precious child, so his heart ached dearly when the child got sick. Hearing that the Yu Family had a certain cure, he came to ask for medicine with money. 

Yu Xiaocao asked about the symptoms of the illness. With the confirmation, she was certain that her cold cough syrup was just right for the illness. She filled a bottle, enough for a week. However, this bottle of medicine wasn't cheap, five hundred copper coins for one bottle. After all, all the medicinal herbs cost money and a lot of honey was added. The cost alone was at least three hundred copper coins. 

The man gritted his teeth and bought a bottle to take back. His family's baby son only ate it for one day before his cold lightened. After three days, he was basically well. Then, after stabilizing for two days, the illness was all gone. As a result, by word of mouth, the people of the nearby villages all came to Dongshan Village to ask for medicine. 

In addition to children's cough syrup, Yu Xiaocao also made pills to combat the cold, cough relief, anti-inflammatory, and fever reduction, which were all packed in different porcelain jars. These pills were all improved from the basic common medicinal concoctions and with less honey inside, the price was much lower. 

In addition to the children's cough syrup being sold, these kinds of pills were also sold. Due to the effectiveness of the Yu Family's pills, the public became gradually aware and more and more people came to seek medical treatment. Medicine practice wasn't Yu Xiaocao's wish, the reason she learned medicine was to cover up the results of the mystic-stone water. As a result, most of the people who came to seek medical treatment were rejected by her.

To the public, her excuse was "Royal Prince Yang is kind and rewarded our family with several prescriptions for treating colds and coughs. I am still young and my medical skills are as good. I dare not give treatment easily. The Tongren Medicine Hall in town has doctors with excellent medical skills and high medical ethics. You can go there for medical treatment; I only sell pills and medicine here..." 

When the people who came to seek treatment saw that the rumored legendary doctor was actually a little girl in her teens, they had some doubts in their hearts. They dared not insist on her treating them after hearing her explanation. However, upon hearing that the prescriptions for the pills and medicinal liquids came from Royal Prince Yang, the villagers became convinced and the sales steadily rose. 

When winter came, no one could guarantee that they and their families wouldn't suffer from having a cold. The pills were sealed with wax on the outside, as long as they were properly sealed, there was no problem for them to sit for half a year. Thus, almost all the people who had the financial means would buy some pills as precautions! 

Doctor Sun, who had returned from the capital, heard about the Yu Family's pills and rushed to Dongshan Village. He braved the snow and wind to sit down and have a long discussion with Yu Xiaocao and her father. It seemed like he was having a discussion with the pair of father and daughter, but in actuality, it was with Yu Xiaocao who was in charge. 

The two sides came to an agreement: Tongren Medicine Hall would provide the medicinal herbs and the Yu Family would be in charge of the production. The profits would be split in half. In fact, Doctor Sun wanted to buy the prescriptions at a high price, but Yu Xiaocao didn't agree. 

Once the prescription was taken out, Doctor Sun would have noticed something was fishy. The medicinal herbs, formula, and manufacturing weren’t the most important things. The most important thing was the mystic-stone water in Yu Xiaocao's hands. Without this, even if Tongren Medicine Hall got the prescription, it would be of no use. 

However, in this way, Yu Xiaocao, who had only rested for a few days, was busy again. Every day, she would crush herbs, mix them, roll them, and seal them... Although there were Yingtao and Yangliu to help her, Yu Xiaocao was still busy to the point as if she had two heads. The profit from the pills and the medicinal liquid was considerable. Her family had earned nearly one hundred taels in half a month from selling the pills and medicinal liquid alone. After cooperating with Tongren Medicine Hall, she basically had a business without making an investment. Why not share some of the profit and hire some people to help?

As a result, a production line had been set up for the production of pills. There were specifically assigned people in charge of the steps of grinding, rubbing, sealing and etc. The mixing was the only thing handled by Yu Xiaocao. The east and west wing of the west courtyard were vacated as the operation room of medicinal pills and liquid. She hired ten young matrons and maidens from the village. Although the weather was freezing cold outside, it was very busy inside the room. 

The volume of sale for the medicinal pills and liquid was surprisingly good. Not only the Tongren Medicine Hall in town, as long as there was a branch of Tongren Medicine Hall in the area, they would sell the Yu Family’s medicinal pills and medicinal syrups. Especially in the capital, if the children of the officials and nobility got sick, they didn’t like to drink bitter medicine. With the medicinal syrup, it was no longer a problem to coax the children into taking their medicines. The medicinal liquids of the capital were sold out as soon as they arrived. In order to buy the sweet medicinal syrups, there was a long line in front of each Tongren Medicine Hall. 

Because of the effectiveness of the pills and medicinal liquids became gradually known by the public, the sales became even better, and shortage became a common thing. Tongren Medicine Hall repeatedly urged the Yu Family to expand their production. The whole courtyard next door was used by the Yu Family as a workshop for making pills and medicinal liquid. They employed twenty more people, and had two work shifts, day and night. Yet they still couldn't meet the demands of Tongren Medicine Hall. 

When Doctor Sun once again asked the Yu Family to increase production, Yu Xiaocao protested, "Doctor Sun, the most critical step in the preparation of medicinal liquids and pills is all done by me alone. Even if I had three heads and six arms, I still wouldn’t be able to handle everything myself! Look at me, I'm so tired that I've begun to lose weight! If I keep pushing myself, my body will break down, and then I won't be able to make medicinal liquid and pills." 

Doctor Sun saw that Yu Xiaocao's chin had become pointier. Although he wanted to talk about the prescription again, he also thought that if one didn't reach the end of one's resources, who would be willing to sell their golden goose? For the sake of long-term interests, Doctor Sun stopped rushing her. Instead, he told Yu Xiaocao to take a rest. 

Yu Xiaocao was really tired recently. It wasn’t hard to make pills and potions. She wrote down the proportion of the various medicinal herbs and gave it to the Yingtao, who had been helping. Yingtao was very flattered. Her young miss trusted her so much that she gave her the secret recipe for the medicine without any reservations… 

The young girl was moved to tears and choked trying to show her loyalty. She repeatedly promised to keep and protect the prescription properly. The best way was to keep the prescription in her mind. It took her several days to be able to remember the prescription. The paper that Yu Xiaocao gave her was burned to ashes in the stove. Yingtao's heart was filled with fire, 'Only the young miss and her would be the only two people in the world to know the prescription for the medicines!' 

Yingtao could stand out from so many maidservants in the General’s Estate because she had her own outstanding points. Soon, she picked up Xiaocao's job and became even more efficient than Yu Xiaocao! After two days of observation. Yu Xiaocao was completely relieved. She left all the burdens behind and was only responsible for providing the mystic-stone water. Hence, the most leisurely person in the family was her.

After a while, in the villages near Dongshan Village, there was almost no one who didn't know that there was a teen girl in the Yu Family who could make very effective medicinal liquid and pills.  Many people who came to ask for medicine would call her ‘Little Doctor Yu’. In actuality, she was a pharmacist at best, and a cheating pharmacist at that.

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Translator: Elaine