Chapter 393 - Yu Hang's Thoughts

When he heard that his goddaughter had seen it with her own eyes, as well as Yu Hang’s description of the Wokou pirates, Fang Zizhen was completely convinced. Xiaocao had a little dolphin friend in the sea. Every year, at the end of spring and beginning of summer, she would play with it in the sea and collect many treasures. 

Fang Zizhen had been able to eat a lot of valuable seafood. The filial Xiaocao would also tell him to bring some back to the capital for her godmother. Every time he went back to the capital, his wife would always complain about him not bringing their daughter back. She grumbled for a long time as if he was a fake godfather who didn’t dote on their goddaughter. 

He also wanted to bring Xiaocao back, but his daughter was seriously too capable. Not only did her family open a pharmaceutical workshop, raise hundreds of pigs, cultivate on hundreds of mu of farmland, but they also opened a shop in the prefectural city. The business was doing so well that even he was envious of them. For a period of time, Xiaocao had been very busy and barely even returned to Dongshan Village. If it wasn’t for Royal Prince Yang who sent several helpers over, he was worried that his daughter wouldn’t be able to bear the exhaustion! Where would she find the time to go to the capital with him ah? 

Fang Zizhen lightly sighed and asked Yu Hang a few questions. Knowing that the villagers of Dongshan Village should probably have arrived at the cave by now, he felt slightly less worried. He had once followed his goddaughter to her secret base because he was worried. 

The entrance was narrow and covered with vines, so even young hunters wouldn’t be able to find it without someone leading them. The cave inside was very big, and there were many different sized caves connected within. It was definitely capable of accommodating three to five hundred people! The valley had a pleasant climate and was filled with flowers. There were many tasty fruits and a small stream flowing through the valley. It was a very suitable place for refugees to live! 

“Did you say that the Wokou pirates’ fleet is extremely large, and that many seem to be coming towards the harbor?” Fang Zizhen asked for the details, and Yu Hang nodded repeatedly in response. 

Fang Zizhen swiftly took his two right-hand men, Li Li and Wu Yun, to the tallest lighthouse on the port. He used the monocular that Xiaocao gave him and looked towards the sea. Sure enough, in the place where the sea met the sky, there was an unfamiliar fleet approaching at full sail. 

“Li Li, quickly go to town and notify County Magistrate Zhao. Tell him to send some backup. Wu Yun, go to the garrison and notify Commander Sun! Yu Hang, the Wokou will land soon, so it’s not safe for you to be here. Isn’t your younger brother studying in town? The news might cause chaos in town, so go there and accompany Little Shitou. It’s not safe for Little Shitou since he’s so young!” 

Fang Zizhen knew that Yu Hang was deeply worried in his heart, but if he went back to Dongshan Village now, he would likely encounter those murderous Wokou pirates. Although this lad had learned some martial arts with him for a few days, he was still pretty young after all. He might be able to win in a one-to-one fight with a Wokou, but the other party obviously had the advantage of outnumbering them. So failure was inevitable… If Yu Hang got injured or killed, his daughter would definitely hate him to death. 

Yu Hang had originally planned on returning to Dongshan Village and staying with his parents and sisters after informing General Fang. However, when he heard General Fang’s words, he began to worry about his younger brother in town. As General Fang had just analyzed, if the villagers of Dongshan Village had been brought into the cave in time, then it wouldn’t be that easy for the Wokou pirates to succeed. Moreover, the imperial bodyguards of the Prince Jing’s Household could put up a fight at the critical moment. His youngest brother was only nine, so he could easily become their target… 

Yu Hang gritted his teeth and made a decision—he would first go to town with Li Li. Li Li was somewhat worried as he glanced at Little Gray, who was beside Yu Hang. He took the general’s order to rush to town, but would bringing Yu Hang along delay the process? 

Yu Hang fed Little Gray some mystic-stone water from the water bag. After drinking mystic-stone water for several years, Yu Hang felt that the water in his family’s well was different from the water in the stream outside. Especially when he was tired, if he drank a cup of the water, his exhaustion would instantly disappear. 

Other people didn’t know the reason, but he knew very clearly. He had once seen his youngest sister stretching her hands into the well, as if she was doing a sacred ritual. After his youngest sister left, he fetched a bucket of water and compared it with the water in the vat in the morning. The well water in the bucket was even more sweet, and his whole body felt very comfortable after drinking it! 

He recalled how the whole family’s health started to improve after his youngest sister recovered from nearly dying. Even his weak and sickly mother was becoming healthier day by day without the help of medicine. In the past two years, even during the snowstorm, no one in the family had gotten sick. If he had guessed correctly, then this must be closely related to his youngest sister.   

Also, they were all growing early-maturing vegetables, but other families couldn’t grow them as well and as fast as his family. This was probably because his family used the water in the well in their backyard. 

In addition, the first year that they grew watermelons, the water that they used to irrigate the crops was either touched by Xiaocao, or she told them to use the water from their family’s well. It wasn’t until they hired someone to dig out a well near the melon fields that they stopped doing the troublesome task of transporting water from home to the fields. There was no comparison in the past, so they didn’t know. However, someone in the neighboring village also planted watermelons this year. No matter if it was the size or sweetness, their watermelons could not compete with his family’s. Moreover, his family’s watermelon ripened almost a month earlier than the other family. His family thought that it was because they were different varieties of watermelons, but in his opinion, it was definitely due to the well water! 

Even the grass around the well grew stronger than other places. The little roe deer especially liked eating the weeds beside the well. It would also lick clean the water spilled when they fetched water from the well. It would have a pleasurable expression on its face like it had just eaten some delicious delicacies! The animals raised at home were becoming more and more aware, and this must be closely related to the well water at home!   

Could it be that his youngest sister was really helped by the gods? They had gifted her with some divine water that could not only improve the health of the family, but also enhance the growth of crops? It was no wonder that Youngest Sister wasn’t afraid of others learning the formulas at her pharmaceutical workshop. Without their family’s well water, no one would be able to make the same pills and liquid medicine with the curative effects.

Various thoughts surged through Yu Hang’s mind. He was full of confidence and expectation for his youngest sister. He always felt that, with his youngest sister around, his family and the fellow villagers of Dongshan Village would definitely be fine! After he fed Little Gray, Yu Hang gently combed Little Gray’s smooth hair. He could feel that it was no longer tired, and it was full of energy.

He mounted the donkey, and when he raised his head, he saw Li Li’s worried gaze. He was confused for a moment, but he immediately understood what the other party was concerned about. He glared back disgruntledly, and then gently tightened his legs. Little Gray understood him, and without the need to rush it, it galloped on the smooth, flat official road towards the direction of town. 

By the time Li Li reacted, they had already run far away. He couldn’t help but wonder, ‘With this speed, it looks faster than the fine-breed horse that I’m riding. It’s indeed a good donkey, and even the general has praised it several times. It seems like that kid Yu Hang is displeased because I underestimated them!’

He prompted the steed he rode on and chased after Yu Hang. He originally thought that the little donkey may have speed but not endurance, but he hadn’t expected that he couldn’t catch up to them the whole way to town. He was worried that they would hold him back earlier, but it turned out that he was the one who lagged behind! 

Jinwei Prefectural City’s garrison wasn’t too far from the harbor. Less than an hour after Wu Yun’s departure, Commander Sun had mobilized the soldiers of the garrison to be stationed near the port in an orderly manner. Fang Zizhen was very worried about his daughter’s safety, but he had to commit to his duty as a soldier. The emperor had sent him to the harbor, so he must ensure the safety around this area. 

Fang Zizhen personally went to the port and got in contact with Brother Six’s management office. He learned that there weren’t too many ships entering the port today, but there were still three fleets, which were about twenty ships. Each ship was full of popular goods from the south. If the Wokou pirates took them, then they would lose up to ten thousand taels! No, he absolutely couldn’t benefit those b*stards!!

Fang Zizhen told Brother Six to mobilize everyone that he could use to work overtime to transport the goods, striving to transport all the goods to the harbor’s warehouse before the Wokou landed! He, on the other hand, met up with Commander Sun. Jinwei Prefectural City was close to the sea, so the garrison had dozens of warships and a group of trained navy soldiers. Commander Sun mobilized the soldiers and led the fleet of warships, ready for battle. He was waiting for the Wokou pirates to get closer to the nearby waters in order to ambush them. 

All of the Great Ming Empire’s warships were modified by the current emperor when he was younger. Each ship was equipped with a stone catapult and a rocket. The stone catapult didn’t throw ordinary stones, but instead it was something similar to a large firecracker. When ignited, it would launch towards the opposing ship with the force of the catapult. With its explosive force, it could severely damage the other party’s horses, people, and even ships. Inflammables were tied onto the rockets. Presently, the ships were all built with wood, so once launched, the other party’s ship would burn in flames. Without their ships, the enemies were just like cats without claws. They wouldn’t be able to do anything! 

Jinwei Prefectural City was located relatively close to the Wokou’s country. During the previous dynasty, they were occasionally attacked by the Wokou pirates and suffered heavy losses. Hence, the first batch of improved warships were tested and put into use in Jinwei City. Commander Sun had seen the power of the ‘weapons’ on the ships with his own eyes, so he felt increasingly confident within his heart and he acted in an even more steady manner. 

After Fang Zizhen passed the message to Commander Sun, he led a group of about forty to fifty people, which included the guards of the General’s Estate and bailiffs stationed at the port. They lay in ambush nearby, waiting for the Wokou pirates to walk right into the trap! 

Behind them, all of the workers employed by the port management office worked hard to transport all the goods. With the big boss, Brother Six, personally directing the workers, the goods transportation work was carried out in an orderly manner.   

Many of the dockworkers were curious about the reason why General Fang and his soldiers were lying in ambush at the docks, but no one dared to ask. Their boss was watching them right now, so who dared to slack off? Did they still want their jobs? 

The management office had expanded to have fifty regular employees, and their temporary staff far exceeded one hundred. The regular employees got two days off each month, and received a monthly wage ranging between eight hundred copper coins to one tael. Temporary workers were paid for each job, but they might not be able to get work every day. There were many people vying for a position in the management office. If they didn’t work hard, there would be many people waiting to replace them!

The temporary employees worked hard to perform well in front of the supervisors and strived for a chance to turn into a regular employee next time there was a chance! As a result, even though there was a group of soldiers ready for combat at the port, the dockworkers continued to work as if they didn’t see them.

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Myst