Unbeknownst to Madam Liu, her two sons, who she was worried about, had daringly sneaked out of town and were rushing to Dongshan Village.
“Eldest Brother, if those Wokou pirates didn’t find anyone in the village, would they go directly to town on the official road? Perhaps this path isn’t safe anymore!” Little Shitou’s face was full of worries for his family. It was safer to stay in town, but their family had all gone into the West Mountains and their safety was uncertain. So how could he be at ease?
Yu Hang patted his younger brother, who was sitting in front of him, pacifyingly and speculated, “Killing isn’t the ultimate goal of those Wokou pirates. Plundering goods is their most important mission. The villagers left in a hurry, so they could only take a few things. There are enough food and goods left behind for them to search through for a while! At this time, they should have settled down in Dongshan Village, so it’s the safest to stay in town. Shitou, in fact, I can come back by myself. You’re young and have a short stature, so you wouldn’t be able to help much even if you return!”
Little Shitou shook his head and disagreed, “Although there’s not much I can help with, my heart is with everyone. It’s really painful for the family to be separated in different places and be worried about each other’s safety!”
Yu Hang remained silent for a moment. His younger brother was only nine and he was a young county-level official. His teachers praised him a lot and the family were full of expectations for him. Yu Hang didn’t know if bringing his younger brother back was the right decision. If something happened to his younger brother, how was he supposed to face his parents and younger sisters?
“But, in order to get to the West Mountain, we must pass by our house. In the village, besides the village head’s house, our house is the biggest. So, we don’t know if there will be any Wokou at our house!” Yu Hang’s concern wasn’t without reason.
Little Shitou thought about it and said, “I know a path that can bypass our house, but it’s somewhat difficult to walk. At that time, I’m not sure if we can bring Little Gray along…but Little Gray is very smart. If it hides in the forest, it probably won’t get caught by those wicked pirates, right?”
Little Gray was a very intelligent little donkey. It had been with the Yu Family for nearly three years and had done a lot of work for the Yu Family. It had a special place in the hearts of every member of the Yu Family. Would it be dangerous for it if they left it in the forest at night? Would it get eaten by those Wokou pirates?
However, there was no use in worrying about this right now. During such a crucial time, they didn’t even know if humans would be safe, let alone a domesticated donkey.
They soon reached the small path that Little Shitou mentioned. In order to enter the mountain, they needed to climb over a mountain peak. Although it wasn’t very high, it was somewhat steep. Humans could manage to climb up, but it was impossible for Little Gray. Disregarding whether Little Gray could actually understand him, Little Shitou thoroughly cautioned the little donkey. After that, he patted its bottom and told it to quickly find a place to hide. Little Gray appeared somewhat reluctant as it looked at Little Shitou with its big, dewy eyes. It licked his hand and walked into the nearby forest while turning back at every step.
Under the dim moonlight, the brothers climbed up the mountain. Fortunately, the brothers were used to climbing up mountains since childhood. This slight slope wasn’t too much of a problem for them. Four hours later, the two brothers had arrived at the foggy forest.
“Awoo—Awoo—Awoo—” A series of familiar wolf howling turned Little Shitou’s stern expression into a smile, “Eldest Brother, Big Gray and the others came to welcome us!”
As soon as he finished speaking, a black figure dashed out from the white fog and excitedly jumped towards Little Shitou.
“Little Black, slow down! I can’t carry you now!” When Little Shitou saw the black figure running towards himself at full speed, he feared that it would unwittingly jump on to himself. With his small body, would it even be possible for him to bear the weight of Little Black, who weighed over one hundred catties?
Even without his reminder, Little Black had a sense of propriety. His lightning-like figure abruptly came to a stop three meters away from Little Shitou. The force of inertia caused his forelegs to slide two meters forward. When he finally stopped, his head just happened to touch Little Shitou’s shoulder.
Little Black hadn’t seen Little Shitou for nearly half a month and was particularly excited to see him. He rubbed his head on Little Shitou’s body and used his rough tongue to lick Little Shitou’s hands and face. Big Gray and Little White, who were behind him, strode forward in the same solemn manner and came to their side.
Little Shitou rubbed Little Black’s neck, patted Little White’s head, and then climbed onto Big Gray’s back. Big Gray shook his body in annoyance, but Little Shitou held on tightly and didn’t fall down.
“Big Gray, you can’t always act so differently in front of different people. No matter what my second sister does to you, you’re as obedient as a cat. However, you won’t allow me to do anything. I haven’t seen you for three months, so just let me ride on you…” With a rascally expression, Little Shitou clung onto Big Gray’s body with both his legs and arms.
Yu Hang, on the other hand, went up to Little White and asked with a slightly uneasy voice, “Little White, have my parents and sisters arrived? Are they safe?”
As Little Shitou struggled to avoid being thrown off by Big Gray, he giggled and said, “Since Little Black and Little White are here, our family is definitely also here. Second Sister and I are the only ones who are familiar with this part of the forest, so there won’t be any problems at all with Second Sister leading the way!”
Little White looked at Little Shitou, and then nodded his head at Yu Hang. He turned his body and looked back at Yu Hang, motioning him to follow him. As for Little Shitou, he was finally thrown off by Big Gray. He patted the dust on his long gown, made a funny face at Big Gray, and also followed his older brother into the forest.
Little White guided the brothers through the maze-like cave and avoided the big cave that the villagers were staying in. They soon reached the entrance of the cave that the Yu Family stayed in. There were two imperial bodyguards guarding the entrance to prevent the villagers from disturbing them again.
It turned out that in the evening, Madam Zhang had come to cause trouble with Yu Dashan. They had thrown away the food that they brought along when they were being chased by the Wokou pirates. Seeing that the two little wolves had caught game, the mother and son wanted to pretend to be pitiful and get some food. Madam Zhang thought that since she had once been married to Old Yu, the old man wouldn’t just watch as they starve to death. This ‘extraordinary person’ finally remembered that she and Old Yu were married. When Old Yu was seriously ill and on the verge of death, she didn’t even think about their familial affections at all!
The Yu Family also didn’t bring a lot of food. No one knew when those pirates were going to leave, so it was impossible for them to share their food with the pair of ungrateful mother and son. When Madam Li fled in the forest, she got separated from the group and her safety was still uncertain. However, Yu Dashan didn’t seem very sad about it. As expected, it was true that ‘a married couple were birds in the same forest who would fly separately in the face of danger’!
Madam Zhang and her son were thick-skinned and wanted to continue to cause trouble. Princess Consort Jing's head started to hurt due to the ruckus they were causing, so she just gave them two pancakes and had the bodyguards throw them out. She also sent two imperial bodyguards to guard the entrance. Except for the members of the Yu Family and Liu Family, no one was allowed to casually enter! With Princess Consort Jing here, the pair of ‘extraordinary’ mother and son didn’t dare to continue to cause trouble and timidly went back to the bigger cave.
The two imperial bodyguards recognized the Yu brothers. Although they thought it was strange for the brothers to come back at this time, they just let them go in. It was already late at night, so everyone was already in deep slumber. As soon as the brothers entered the cave, Commander Zheng, who slept on the floor outside, opened his eyes vigilantly. With the dim light of the torch, he took a clearer look at their faces. Then he pointed to the small cave where the Yu Family stayed to the brothers and made a gesture, telling them to be quiet.
When the brothers saw that the bodyguards and servants lying on the ground, they carefully walked around them and arrived at the small cave that their family lived in. Under the dim light of the torch, the brothers saw their sleeping family. With tears brimming in their eyes, their anxious hearts finally relaxed.
After a day of thrilling escape, the Yu Family members didn’t sleep very well. Yu Hai had opened his eyes when the Yu brothers entered the cave. Seeing the tired and untidy appearance of the brothers, he immediately sat up. He didn’t speak for a long time, thinking that he was dreaming.
“Father! Don’t worry, we’re fine…” With tears brimming in his eyes, Little Shitou walked to the stone bed and pulled on his father’s hands.
Yu Hai finally believed that this wasn’t a dream. He examined both children and asked in a slightly angry tone, “You kids, why aren’t you obediently staying in town and coming here at this time? If you guys encounter a wild beast in the middle of the night, what will you do ah!”
Yu Hai’s voice woke everyone up. When they saw Yu Hang and Little Shitou, they were both surprised and happy. Madam Liu hugged the brothers tightly, and then scolded them, feeling fearful. Yu Xiaocao silently watched the scene and felt that they could overcome anything with the whole family together!
“Eldest Brother, Shitou, have you guys eaten dinner yet? There’s still some cured meat rice, but it’s a little cold!” Yu Xiaocao saw that their lips were peeling from dryness and guessed that they hadn’t eaten and drank anything since the afternoon.
Little Shitou was slightly embarrassed as he struggled out of his mother’s embrace. He smiled at Xiaocao and said, “It’s still Second Sister who dotes on me the most! Eldest Brother and I were worried about you guys, so we left in a hurry. We didn’t even drink a sip of water the whole way. I’m dying of hunger ah!!” Before he had finished speaking, his little tummy growled several times, amusing everyone.
While the Yu brothers wolfed down the cold rice, the capital had already received the urgent message sent from Tanggu Town. Could the emperor just sit back when he saw that the Wokou pirates had invaded? That night, he immediately summoned the ministers to his imperial study to discuss the situation.
The Tanggu area was under the ruling of Royal Prince Yang, so he naturally wasn’t left out. Zhu Junyang immediately became anxious when he heard that a lot of Wokou pirates had gone to Tanggu Town. They also appeared to be well-trained and very fierce, and didn’t seem like ordinary pirates. His lady mother and future wife were both in Dongshan Village ah!
“Your Imperial Majesty, are there Wokou pirates at Dongshan Village?” Zhu Junyang interrupted the officials’ discussion and anxiously asked.
When the emperor nodded solemnly, Zhu Junyang immediately turned around and left the imperial study! The message was sent from Tanggu Town and reported to the emperor. Then the emperor summoned them over. Didn’t they waste a lot of time already? He didn’t know how his lady mother and Xiaocao were doing. Could those imperial bodyguards protect them? Zhu Junyang could only blame himself for not leaving more bodyguards at the mountain manor. How long could those twenty or so imperial bodyguards hold up?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
🎉One Year Anniversary Special! 3 chapters and 2 new tiers!🎉