Chapter 88 - Father and Daughter

Xiaocao hastily acted like a child shamelessly. She went up to him and shook his arm, while saying, “Father, I’m not tired! Moreover, I just need to prepare the bait and put it into the pond. You can do the rest. You’re one of the best fishermen in the village, so you’re definitely better at catching a few fish than me! Let’s go, let’s go! We can catch some more fish and raise them in the empty water vat in the backyard. Tomorrow afternoon, we can make more pickled fish and sell them!”

Yu Hai couldn’t reject her pleading. Without Madam Liu’s knowledge, he stealthily took Xiaocao to the pond via a shortcut in the backyard. Their backyard wasn’t as good as their foreyard. It was surrounded by a fence that was made with bamboo and branches. On the fence, a back door was specially opened for easy access.

Xiaocao specially got some bean flour and mixed it with vegetable oil. Then, she cut it into small dices to serve as bait. Little Shitou was still young and naïve, but her father was an experienced fisherman. She couldn’t let him know that she was luring fish with the mystic-stone water.

From her room, she got the earthenware jar, which the small multi-colored stone laid in. The little golden kitten was lying beside the jar and stretching its back. When the little divine stone saw her, it grumpily said, [What are you doing now? I can’t believe you using such good mystic-stone water to catch fish. You’re just recklessly wasting such a heavenly gift! You’re going to be struck by thunder!]

Xiaocao made sure no one was around and said, “Little Glutinous Dumpling, what’s there to be afraid of? Don’t I still have you? Aren’t you the celestial stone that Goddess Nuwa meticulously smelted? Doesn’t the God of Thunder and Goddess of Lighting have to give you some face? Let’s go, don’t you like to swim? I’ll let you swim to your heart’s desire when we get to the pond!”

[No, don’t! Don’t directly put me into the water! That might attract unknown species! Don’t you just need some small fish? It’s enough to just use the water in the jar!] These past few days, Little Divine Stone had gone to the depths of the mountains and chosen a deep pond with pure spiritual energy to cultivate. However, it hadn’t expected that it would attract wild animals in the mountains. A python had dived into the deep pond and almost swallowed its body.

Little Divine Stone was afraid that Xiaocao would directly throw it into the pond. If it got swallowed by a duck or fish, wouldn’t it have to take a one-day tour in the animal’s intestines? That’s so dirty and stinky! No way, it doesn’t want to!

Xiaocao fastened it onto her wrist again and asked softly, “Is this how my father’s leg will be like from now on?”

The little golden kitten flew to the top of her head and laid on top like it was a hen resting in its nest, and then proudly replied, [You’re looking down on this divine stone’s abilities. Your father’s leg will get even better. However, the damage to the veins and bones were too severe. So, a full recovery is impossible. In the future, he might walk with a limp, but it won’t be too obvious!]

When Xiaocao arrived at the backyard with the ‘fish bait’ in the mystic-stone water jar, Yu Hai was already waiting there. Considering the inconvenience of his legs, the father-daughter pair chose a relatively lower slope and went down to the pond.

While Xiaocao placed the ‘bait’ into the pond, Yu Hai was slightly concerned and asked, “Cao’er, what if the jar floats away like this? Let’s tie a rope on the mouth of the jar!”

“I’ll go get a rope!” Xiaocao thought that he had a point, so she stood up and wanted to run back to the house.

However, her father stopped her by saying, “You don’t need to go back… Wait a moment!”

Yu Hai pulled several withered and yellow weeds from the pond and rubbed them together with his dexterous hands. A long grass rope was swiftly formed within his hands. Xiaocao inwardly marveled, ‘Don’t underestimate the wisdom and ability of ancient people.’  

With the rope and her father’s help, Xiaocao placed the jar farther away. She held the net in her hand, ready to catch fish.

In the afternoon, Xiaocao and younger brother had caught hundreds of fish in less than two hours. Yu Hai had initially thought that she had a new and good method of fishing. But, when he was a child, he had also placed bait in a jar for fishing. Even after fishing for the whole morning, it wasn’t always possible to catch more than a dozen fish. Was this how his daughter caught fish at noon?

In the midst of his doubts, the fish nearby sensed the spiritual energy and swam towards the ceramic jar one after another, as if they were on a pilgrimage. It was impossible to drive them away. Seeing that there were more and more fish gathering, Yu Hai was stunned inwardly, ‘This was too incredible!’

While he was hesitating, Xiaocao had already picked up the net and carefully scooped up the fish. Oddly enough, when the usually nimble fish actually didn’t escape when the net approached them. Each time his daughter lowered her net, she was able to scoop up several fish.

Yu Hai stared absentmindedly at his daughter’s pretty little face. He recalled how she seemed like a completely different person ever since she hit her head last summer. There were always endless ways to make money in her mind.

After they split from the main family, she first planted vegetables in their yard. Originally, he pitied his daughter and couldn’t bear to reject her. Thus, with the mindset that they would only waste a few bags of seeds and not wanting to disappoint her, he did his best to support her. As a result, the vegetable gardens in front of the house were covered in green in just a few days. The greens with a short-term growing period such as spinach were almost as long as his finger. Tender green buds had also already sprouted for vegetables with a long-term growing period, which was extremely gratifying.

After that, she made braised food, specializing in braising things that others didn’t eat or didn’t want: chicken innards, pig intestines, pig head meat… Today, she had even brought back pig blood to make something called ‘blood sausage’. He thought of the braised pig brain from the other day, which was something really disgusting to look at, but she had actually turned it into a supreme delicacy.  

Now, she used small fish with a lot of tiny bones that nobody else ate to make the incredibly crispy and tender pickled fish. Her method of fishing was the most astonishing part. What was in the jar to make all the fish do the opposite of their usual habits and actively gather over? Even a novice fisherman would know that this kind of phenomenon shouldn’t exist.

What had his daughter encountered when she was injured and unconscious? Could it be that what she said about meeting the God of Fortune at the Palace of Hell was true? Did she really get ‘golden hands’ after receiving luck from the God of Fortune?

However, Yu Hai didn’t suspect that his daughter’s soul had changed. Wasn’t it even more unbelievable to reincarnate in another person’s body than to visit the Palace of Hell and drink Granny Meng’s soup by mistake?

No! He couldn’t let anyone else know about his daughter’s abilities. If someone with devious intentions found out, they would definitely catch her and burn her alive, as if she was a monster! His precious daughter, who had been plagued by misfortunes since birth, had been on the verge of death numerous times. As her father, he hadn’t fulfilled his duty and failed to protect his family in the past. Hence, from now on, he had to serve as his daughter’s protective umbrella and get rid of all possible dangers for her.

“Cao’er, in the future, just let Father do the fishing after you prepare the bait! When you go sell braised food in the morning, I will go catch the fish and your mother can clean them. So, you can make the pickled fish when you get home in the afternoon. Doesn’t that save a lot of time?” Yu Hai suddenly said.

Xiaocao briefly stopped the actions of her hands, which were scooping fish. She could feel Yu Hai’s gaze lingering on herself for a long time. Hence, it was inevitable that she felt somewhat nervous at that time. She knew it would be hard to fool her father, so she had already thought of an explanation within her mind. But, she was worried about whether he would believe her. She hadn’t expected that even after Yu Hai witnessed this strange scene, he didn’t ask any questions and took up the task of fishing in the future.

He had such an unimaginable trust and love for his daughter!

Xiaocao felt so moved that she almost wanted to cry. She smiled slightly, nodded her head heavily, and said, “Okay! Everyone says that Father is an excellent fisherman, so you’re definitely better at fishing than me! Well, I’ll leave the hard work to Father then!”

“We’re a family so there’s no need to mention that. In terms of hard work, you’re the one who have been working the hardest these past few days! I don’t even know what this family would be like without you…” Yu Hai ruefully sighed.

Indeed, Xiaocao’s major change was what kept the family intact. He had a young son and a sickly daughter. His wife was capable, but disease-ridden. Furthermore, he was considered a half-cripple. If it hadn’t been for the great change in Xiaocao, Xiaolian wouldn’t be able to carry such a mountainous burden alone.  

Fortunately, the heavens didn’t abandon them. They gave his wife and daughter a healthy body, while also letting his leg gradually recover. They also bestowed his daughter with the ability to survive…

A joyful smile appeared on the corner of Yu Hai’s mouth. He waved the net in his hands and scooped up the fish in a swift, accurate, and steady manner. His speed was a lot faster than the inexperienced Xiaocao. The net in his hands was relatively sturdier, so they were able to catch a big fish that weighed five catties.

By sunset, the father-daughter pair had returned with fruitful results. Xiaocao tottered with a bucket full of small fish as she walked under the golden sunset. The reflection of the sunset caused her little face to appear flushed, while her eyes were tinted with a gold color.

Yu Hai carried two buckets full of fish and limped behind her. From time to time, he would ask, “Are you tired? If you can’t carry it, give it to Father. My left hand is still empty!”

“I can carry it!” Xiaocao carried the bucket with a broad smile. Although her shoes got wet due to the swaying of the bucket and the heavy bucket in her hands hurt her arms, she was still very happy. Today, the distance between her and her father seemed to have drawn closer. Their originally weak affection seemed to have gradually gotten stronger because of her father’s safeguard.

Madam Liu, who had already finished braising the pig head and large intestines, finally noticed that the room was empty when she went to call Xiaocao for dinner. The kang bed was cold and the quilt was neatly folded. Just as she was wondering where her daughter went, she heard the laughter of her husband and daughter from the backyard.

Madam Liu went around the house and saw the father-daughter pair coming in with buckets in their hands and a broad smile on their faces. She couldn’t contain the hint of smile in her eyes, yet she said, “Cao’er, didn’t I tell you to rest? Why did you go fishing again? Husband, you too! Don’t you know how to care for the child? Don’t tire out our daughter!”

“Mother! I’m not tired! Besides, I didn’t do much and just sat on shore and played. Father was the one who caught all these fish! Look! We also caught a big fish. We have an extra dish for dinner!” Xiaocao grinned proudly.

Madam Liu smiled helplessly and walked over to her. She took the bucket in Xiaocao’s hands and poured the contents into the cracked vat in the backyard. After that, she lighted tapped her forehead and said, “You! You’re risking your life for money! Are you hungry? Let’s not wait for Xiaolian and Shitou and eat first…”

“Let’s wait until they come back and eat together! They will be back soon. It’s more lively when the whole family eats together! I’ll go make a fish head stew and braised fish fillet. Let’s eat a good meal tonight!” Within her heart, Xiaocao had gradually regarded this place as her home. She believed that with her own efforts, this family would surely get better and better.

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Myst's Thoughts

Braised Fish Fillet

A new tier have been added for FOG. 🍬

Translator: Myst