Chapter 7 - Rescuing a Little Beauty

A vast region of reefs appeared in front of the children. When Xiaolian and Shitou cheerfully ran over, a trail of waves followed them. Yu Hang was slightly more calm. However, when he saw the large amount of seafood on the reefs, he couldn’t resist bending down to gather the food more quickly.

Yu Xiaocao quietly stood on top of the reef, while letting the cool sea breeze blow on her face. A vision of blue greeted her eyes as both the sky and sea were saturated with a pure azure color. It was such a transparent color. Even blue jade, of the best quality, couldn’t compare to the clarity and brilliance of the sea and sky.

This was the sea! The sea without the slightest trace of pollution! Yu Xiaocao fell into a trance that she couldn’t break away from, while being mesmerized by the scenery in front of her.

“Cao’er, come here! Put on these sharkskin boots. Your feet are different from your siblings. They’re already used to running around the shoals on the beach. If you run around the reef like them, then the bottoms of your feet will be ripped to shreds.” She didn’t expect the stalwart Yu Hai to be so attentive. He had actually thought of the fact that his younger daughter’s tender feet had no defense against the rough surface. 

Yu Xiaocao, who was dazzled by the beautiful scene in front of her, woke up from her trance and put on the boots happily. Though the boots were slightly big, they could still be worn. She learned from the others and bent down to thoroughly search around the reefs.

Sure enough, this was an area that hadn’t been discovered by others! Soon, Yu Xiaocao found a type of black shellfish. She carefully picked it up and presented it to Yu Hai, as if it was treasure. She said excitedly, “Father, I found a shellfish. Do you think it’s edible?”

Yu Hai took a look and replied with a smile, “This is a mussel. The meat is delicious and also very nourishing. It’s also known as ‘eggs of the sea’. Pick up as much as you can. If we can get a lot of them, then we can dry them and sell them at a good price in town during the winter!”

‘Eggs of the sea’? Doesn’t that mean it’s very nutritious? Our family does need to eat more nutritious meals! Alright, she should pick up a lot. We’re not going to sell them. We’ll just eat them ourselves! She could just imagine the delicious spicy stir-fried clams that she ate in her previous life! Xiaocao almost drooled as she thought about it.

I’m going to pick it up. I’m going to pick them up. I’m going to pick all of them up!

“Huh? Eldest Brother, why are you knocking on that? Is that also edible?” Xiaocao had suddenly arrived beside Yu Hang. When she went over for a closer look, she saw him striking something that was as hard as gray limestone with a shovel. Thus, she got curious and asked.

It was his youngest sister’s first time coming to gather food at the sea, so Yu Hang was very patient as he explained to her, “This is called barnacle. Come look. Doesn’t its shape look like the tooth of a horse? The barnacle doesn’t look like anything special, but it’s very tasty when the meat is stewed with just clear water.”

Yu Xiaocao took the shovel that her eldest brother handed her and knocked hard on it. As expected, she found soft meat within the crushed shell. She happily picked it up and placed it into a small bamboo basket.

“Ah! Isn’t this an oyster? It’s very tasty when roasted!” Shortly afterwards, Xiaocao was surprised to find another type of seafood. She shouted in astonishment as she pried it out from the crack in the reef.

Little Shitou laughed at his sister’s ignorance, “Second Sister, that’s a hailizi! The town folks call them muli. After drying them, we can sell them to a pharmacy.”

Muli was just another name for oysters, alright? It was just different names for the same thing. Yu Xiaocao glared at him resentfully, then continued her treasure hunting journey on the reefs.

Snails? It’s a little small, but we can still eat it! I’m taking it!

Starfish? It looks quite pretty! Is it edible? Whatever, I’ll just pick it up first!

Sea urchin? It looks like a hedgehog. Is it also edible? Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up!

Wow! Look at what she found?! There was a little octopus between the cracks of the rock. Hahaha! You can’t escape!

…… 

Yu Xiaocao was very busy on the reef and had unknowingly filled up the bamboo bucket. However, she continued to pry and pick up seafood excitedly.

Yu Xiaocao was very enthusiastic about her first harvesting trip at the sea. Moreover, she was thrilled by her rewarding results. Without her knowledge, she had gradually moved farther and farther away from her father and siblings. She followed the reef and arrived at the edge of the cliff.

Huh? What’s that in the water, a person? Yu Xiaocao was startled. Was it a corpse of someone who had drowned? So unlucky!

“Father! Father! Quick, come here!” Even the tone of Yu Xiaocao’s voice has changed and carried an unconscious sense of tension and fear.

Yu Hai quickly followed her voice and went over, “What’s wrong? What happened? Are you alright, Xiaocao?”

“Father, look over there. Is that a dead body?” Yu Xiaocao loudly shouted as she pointed towards the object floating nearby.

Yu Hai looked towards the direction that his daughter was pointing at. She’s right! Did a fisherman from a nearby fishing village suffer a shipwreck? It began to be windy around noon and the waves were even stronger in the sea. So, it was quite possible that someone had encountered a shipwreck!

After promptly making a decision, he took off his upper garment and plunged into the sea. It seemed like the wind was even stronger now. A thundering roar sounded as the waves pounded against the cliff and reefs.

Yu Xiaocao nervously shouted at her father, “Father, be careful! There’s a lot of rocks on the bottom, so be careful and don’t hurt yourself!”

When Yu Hai emerged above the water, he was already several meters away from Xiaocao. He heard his daughter’s concerned words and waved at her. After that, he continued to swim towards the person who was floating in the sea.

Yu Hang and his siblings didn’t care about collecting seafood anymore. They all gathered together and watched as their father swam closer to the unconscious person.

Yu Hai swam against the waves and dragged the person, who had drowned, back to the reef. However, he was already exhausted by the time he returned. Yu Hang and Xiaolian helped their father pull that person onto the reef.

The young man, who was dressed in a completely black outfit, appeared to be around fifteen or sixteen years old. At this time, his face was pale and his eyes were tightly shut. His long eyelashes were like small fans that were stuck to the bottom of his eyes, while there wasn’t even a trace of blood on his plump lips.

“It seems like… he’s still breathing!” Yu Xiaocao placed her finger under the young man’s tall nose and exclaimed in pleasant surprise.

Yu Hai, who was still exhausted, carried the young man on his shoulder with his head facing downwards. When he pushed the young man’s stomach with the edge of his shoulder, a gush of seawater came out of the young man’s mouth. Yu Hai jolted him a few more times, until the young man stopped throwing up seawater, before putting him down again.

“Father, can he still be saved?” Yu Xiaocao worriedly asked when she saw that the handsome young man was still unconscious.

Yu Hai examined the young man’s limbs and affirmed, “He didn’t drown for a very long time. If no accidents occur, he can still be saved. Did anyone bring water? Feed him some.”

“Father, didn’t he drown? Why are you feeding him water when his stomach was already full of water?!” Yu Xiaocao untied the leather bag, which was filled with mystic-stone water, from her waist and asked in confusion.

“I know, I know!” Little Shitou clapped his hands as he spoke, “The seawater is salty. If you drink too much salt, you’ll definitely be thirsty. Of course, you’ll drink water when you’re thirsty.”

Yu Xiaocao was amused by her younger brother’s childish remark. She pinched his cheeks and laughed, “Well, it seems like you know a lot!”

Yu Hai, who sat on the reef wearily, looked at his children and chuckled, “Feeding water to a person who had drowned is to prevent him from dehydrating. Little Shitou is also correct. It’s harmful for the body to consume too much seawater.”

Yu Xiaocao asked Yu Hang to support the young man into a partially reclining position. She carefully parted the young man’s purplish lips and fed the mystic-stone water into his mouth. 

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Myst