Chapter 46 - Making Up an Excuse

“Thank you then!” Yu Xiaocao flipped the banknote back and forth and examined it for a long time. After her curiosity had been fulfilled, she carefully folded the banknote and put it into the pocket of her jacket. After that, she patted her pocket contentedly.

A fifty taels banknote! In addition to her earnings from selling game last time, she had at least seventy or eighty taels now. It seemed like she had accumulated some savings now!

Third Young Master Zhou looked at Xiaocao, who appeared like a money-grubber. Her big eyes were like a pair of crescent moons and her rosy lips were curled up slightly. Even her shabby and worn-out attire couldn’t conceal her cuteness.

Yu Hai was quite surprised to see his daughter unreservedly putting the banknote into her pocket. When did his daughter become so assertive? She had calmly stuffed a fifty taels banknote into her own pocket. She didn’t know how many things fifty taels could buy, does she? Even a five-room house in Dongshan Village wouldn’t need so much money to be built.

Third Young Master Zhou had noticed Yu Hai looking at Xiaocao with a hesitant expression when she directly took the money without prior discussion with him. However, Yu Hai didn’t say anything in the end. He also didn’t confiscate the banknote, which was enough money for an ordinary family to live off for several years.

Zhou Zixu smiled faintly and said to Yu Hai, “Uncle Yu is really a good father, who dotes on your daughter.”

Yu Hai looked affectionately at his youngest daughter, who was currently eating snacks. He thought of his poverty-stricken situation of not having any money when his daughter fainted, as well as his other thin and weak children at home. He shook his head gently and replied with a voice full of solemnity and self-remorse, “No, I’m not a good father…”

“Father, if you stop listening to my grandmother all the time and think of our immediate family more, then you will definitely be a good father!” Yu Xiaocao lectured her father as she drank the steaming hot brown sugar ginger soup.

“My mother… who is also your real grandmother had passed away when your father, I, was still very young. Thus, I’m grateful to your grandmother for raising me up. After your youngest aunt gets married and your younger uncle passes the county level examination, there will be fewer burdens at home, so our immediate family can break off from the family and live separately from them. At that time, I’ll earn more money by hunting and fishing more frequently. I’ll buy more new clothes and hair accessories for our Xiaocao…” Yu Hai felt slightly distressed in his heart as he touched his daughter’s somewhat withered and yellow hair.

Yu Xiaocao inwardly pouted her lips. Her father was the breadwinner of the family. If her younger uncle passed the county level examination, then he would want to take provincial level examination and the imperial examination… Her grandmother was a leech, so she was never going to let them go until she had sucked all their blood. Their hope of breaking off from the family was very slim!

Another manservant of Third Young Master Zhou knocked on the door and came in with a bulky bundle. With an embarrassed expression on his face, Zhou Zixu’s personal manservant, Simo, took the bundle from him and said, “This servant really hasn’t worn this cotton-padded clothes before. If Miss Yu doesn’t mind, then…”

“I don’t mind! I don’t mind!” He was the personal manservant of the young master of the Zhou Family, which was the wealthiest family in Tanggu Town. Thus, he dressed more decently than most of the ordinary people in town. The quilted attire he wore was made of fine cotton cloth, which cost thirty-four copper coins for one-third of a meter!

She took the bundle and saw that it was indeed a brand-new set of dark blue quilted jacket and trousers. They were made with fine cotton fabric and filled with thick cotton, so the set of clothing felt extremely soft. Even if she didn’t touch the garment, it was easy to tell that they were made with fresh cotton. This set of cotton-padded clothes would cost at least a few hundred copper coins.

It wasn’t easy to work as a servant, so Yu Xiaocao naturally didn’t want to take advantage of him. She stretched her hand out towards her father and said, “We’ll buy this set of clothing from this young brother. Father, give me money to pay him!”

Third Young Master Zhou was quite amused when he saw the young girl, who had a fifty taels banknote in her pocket, outright asked her father to pay. Moreover, the obedient father swiftly complied to his daughter’s orders and paid with his money…

Simo hastily declined the string of copper coins that Yu Hai handed to him and said, “This cotton-padded attire is too small for me to wear, so it’s useless for me to keep it. It’s also a pity to just throw it away. It’s fortunate that Miss Yu wants to take it, so how can I accept money for it?”

In fact, the madam had rewarded the fabric for the quilted garments to him because she saw that he had served the young master wholeheartedly. Simo’s mother felt that her son had gained honor for her, so she gladly stayed up for two nights to make the clothes for him. However, he didn’t get the chance to wear it since the weather had gotten warmer. He took it out to wear as soon as winter came around, but it had already become too small for him. 

His young master’s status in the Zhou Family had risen due to Zhenxiu Restaurant’s success. Eldest Master had praised his young master more than once in front of the other young masters. Even a personal manservant like him had also received more respect.  

Simo, who had become conscious of his position, prevented his mother from altering the clothes. It would be so embarrassing if the personal manservant of the only heir of the second branch came out dressed in a mended attire. Wouldn’t he turn into a laughingstock? Thus, a good and brand new set of quilted clothes became useless.

Who was Miss Yu? In merely half a year, Zhenxiu Restaurant had become the best restaurant in Tanggu Town. Miss Yu could probably take at least half of the credit for the success of Zhenxiu Restaurant. Thus, even his own young master treated her with respect and gratitude. She readily accepted the cotton-padded clothes, so how would he dare to take her money?

Yu Xiaocao noticed that the young brother was about to be upset if she continued to give him the money. Hence, she stopped insisting and expressed her gratitude to the manservant again. After that, she stuffed the quilted clothing into her father’s hands and bid farewell to Third Young Master Zhou.

Zhou Zixu lamented, “Head Chef Wang came up with a new dish. I wanted to ask you to taste the dish and give us some advice. But it seems like we have to do it on another day. By the way, where do you live, Xiaocao? Leave me your address, so I can find you more easily in the future.”

“I live in Dongshan Village, which is southeast of town. It’s a small fishing village a little over twenty-five kilometers [1] away.” Yu Xiaocao’s plan to quietly make a fortune was inseparable from her ‘God of Fortune [2]’, so she naturally wouldn’t reject his request.

When they came out of the private room, they ran into Head Chef Wang, who had hurriedly rushed over. He had a slightly disappointed expression on his face when he saw Yu Xiaocao leaving. He found out that Xiaocao was going to visit her older brother, who worked as an apprentice. Head Chef Wang, who had also begun as an apprentice, naturally knew that pain of being an apprentice. Thus, he ordered the server to wrap a bag of freshly-made steamed buns from the kitchen and told Xiaocao bring it to her older brother.  

Yu Xiaocao was so grateful that she repeatedly thanked him. Head Chef Wang chuckled merrily, “No need to thank me! I’m just borrowing my boss’s flower and offering it to you, this little Bodhisattva [3]! Miss Yu, if there’s a chance in the future, let’s exchange our knowledge regarding cooking.”

“My meager culinary skills are incomparable to Head Chef Wang’s skills. However, if I have any new ideas in cooking, I’ll definitely ask for Uncle Wang’s advice.

Yu Xiaocao finally got away from Head Chef Wang’s enthusiasm, but before she had the time to breathe a sigh of relief, she was stumped by her father’s question.

“The oyster sauce is Zhenxiu Restaurant’s specialty. Cao’er, were you the one who taught them? How did you know how to make oyster sauce? Why did the arrogant Head Chef Wang of Zhenxiu Restaurant act so respectful and friendly to you?” Yu Hai voiced the questions he had in his heart.

Yu Xiaocao couldn’t immediately answer his questions. She couldn’t just tell him: ‘Father, your daughter is already dead. I’m a soul from another world, who has maintained my knowledge from my previous life.’ If she really told him that, then she would definitely be viewed as a demon and burned to death.

After a brief deliberation, she gathered her courage and replied, “Father, do you believe in the resurrection of the dead?”

Yu Hai’s expression immediately changed. His eyebrows were so tightly creased that he could probably catch mosquitoes. He replied, “How can a dead person be revived? Unless the King of Hell didn’t accept him because he hasn’t completed his predestined lifespan!”

“If I told you that I had been to the Palace of Hell and met the King of Hell, would you believe me?” Yu Xiaocao carefully observed every one of Yu Hai’s expressions. If he showed great resistance and aversion, she would use the excuse that it was a joke and stop trying to continue with this lie.

Her only consolation for coming to this world was that she was able to enjoy parental love and care once again. She didn’t want to lose her father’s doting love and her mother’s tender care again…

Yu Hai halted in his steps and bent down to look at her. With eyes filled of agony and guilt, he asked in a warm tone,

“Cao’er, was it that time you injured your head? Your eldest granduncle said that you had already stopped breathing at that time. It was fortunate that Doctor You arrived in time and saved you… Father is really useless. I can’t even protect my own children. I don’t deserve to be your father…”

“Father! Although you’re a little blindly devoted to your parents and have a slightly soft personality, you’re still the best father to Cao’er. Father, you don’t need to blame yourself. Though I had wandered at the gates of hell, it was actually a blessing in disguise because I had obtained some methods to earn money!”

Since her new father didn’t reject the idea of demons and gods, Yu Xiaocao spoke even more recklessly as she continued with her story. After all, she was nearly thirty years old in her past life. Although she tried her best to act like a child, she would inadvertently reveal something suspicious. Furthermore, she definitely couldn’t hide her big money-making plan from her close relatives. Didn’t people of ancient times regard supernatural beings with respect and fear? Hopefully, she could fool them with her made-up story.

At the thought that his daughter, who he had carefully protected for eight years, almost dying in vain, Yu Hai felt a moment of fear within his heart. He hugged his daughter’s thin body tightly and choked up with sobs, “No amount of money is as important as my daughter being alive and healthy. Don’t be afraid, Cao’er. Can you tell me what exactly happened?”

“Actually, I’m not really sure either. After I injured my head and fell into a coma, I dazedly saw two men, who were dressed in white and black respectively. They took me to a place to meet a very dignified official. Later, it seemed like they mentioned something about an unfinished lifespan and that they had taken the wrong person. They even said they would compensate me. When I woke up, I felt like certain things would suddenly emerge within my mind. My knowledge of the oyster sauce also appeared after I woke up. However, I had never tried it because our family doesn’t have the means to do so.”

Yu Xiaocao tried to speak vaguely since the original host was still only nine years old after the new year. When taken to an unfamiliar environment, she would definitely be scared and wouldn’t remember certain things very clearly.

“Cao’er, don’t be afraid! Allegedly, Hundred Year Old Zhang of Shangtun Village had also loitered around in the underworld. When the King of Hell noticed that he misjudged, he compensated him with a long life. Thus, Hundred Year Old Zhang lived until he was 108 years old before he died of old age. Our Cao’er will certainly live a long life in the future!”

Yu Hai didn’t dare imagine his delicate and frail daughter wandering around in the underworld, which was such an eerie and frightening place. His daughter was originally timid, so how scared would she had been at that time?

Yu Xiaocao was extremely surprised that there was actually a similar real-life case for the story that she randomly fabricated. This was even better since it increased the credibility of her story.

The father and daughter pair walked side by side on the empty street. Yu Hai tightly clasped onto his daughter’s small hand with his big hand for fear that his daughter would be taken away if he loosened his hold. 


[1] 里 (li) - 1 li = 1/2 km = 0.31 miles

[2] She actually called him 'Zhou Caishen' (周财神) - Zhou is from his surname, while caishen means the God of Fortune

[3] Bodhisattva (菩萨) - someone who is on the path towards Buddhahood but has not yet attained it; deity in Buddhism; a term applied to a kindhearted person

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Translator: Myst