Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Zhang Cai said, “It is definitely not ginseng, I have seen it once when I was young at a medicinal hall before I came to Guo village, and I have never seen it ever since.”
Everyone grew increasingly curious, what could it be? Every meal was eaten from the same pot, and all they had was the common dishes farmers ate; there was nothing special about the food at all.
Everyone was dumbfounded.
However, the night was getting late, and Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei were tired from the travelling, so then everyone went back to their respective rooms.
Zhang Xiaohua crept back into the room he shared with the grandmother. The grandmother was already asleep, and despite the occasional cough, she did not notice Zhang Xiaohua when he entered. Zhang Xiaohua snuggled into his sheets and was getting ready to sleep, but on hearing the persistent coughs, his heart began to ache. The sounds of her coughs made him recall the many times his grandmother had treated him well in the past. Although he had always taken her for granted, but at this moment, he realized that every simple act or gesture of hers in their previous interactions was filled with tenderness and love.
As he recalled more of his memories, Zhang Xiaohua began to cry, and the tears covered his face and dripped onto his pillow. Slowly, he began to fall asleep and entered the bright, flickering dreamland.
The Zhang Xiaohua in his dreamland was like another lifeform. In this bright flickering world, his breath, his body, and his entire being would seem to match the rhythm of the flickers, as if he was merging with the dream world.
On the morning of the second day, Zhang Xiaohua immediately woke up when the first sunlight enters the grandmother’s room, and again, a flicker of light would appear in the pupils of his eyes.
The first thing Zhang Xiaohua heard when he opened his eyes were the sounds of his grandmother. However, they were not the sounds of her coughs. Zhang Xiaohua immediately got up and realized that she was not in the room. As he got off the bed and exited the room, he found her sitting on a chair in the courtyard. The morning breeze was still very chilly, and it blew the white hair on the grandmother’s head which dazed Zhang Xiaohua’s eyes momentarily.
He quickly ran out and said, “Grandmother, come back into the room quickly. The morning wind is very cold, your body is originally not healthy so you should stay indoors in the morning.”
The grandmother stroke Zhang Xiaohua’s head and said tenderly, “Xiaohua, your grandmother is very old so she is unable to sleep, which is why I came out to enjoy the wind. I will go back in now, okay?”
Zhang Xiaohua did not reply, and he silently supported her back into the warmth of the room.
As he left the room and walked into the courtyard, Zhang Xiaohua saw the rising sun and was reminded of something unusual a few days ago. Thus, he repeated his motions and pretended to take a bite off the sun, and indeed, he had not mistaken the feeling of something hot flow down his throat into his body. Zhang Xiaohua was surprised, he rolled his eyes and wondered if this was related to the ‘sky dog eating the sun’? If so, then had he turned into a sky dog? After thinking for a while, he shook his head and left the idea at the back of his head. Instead, he decided to commit to this action every morning to see what would happen eventually.
After his breakfast, Zhang Xiaohua went back up to the hills to draw the spring water.
Just as he was about to leave, Liu Qing who was in the midst of keeping the bowls said aloud, “I figured out what grandmother ate.”
Everyone was surprised; Zhang Cai asked curiousl, “What do you mean about what she ate?”
Liu Qing smiled and answered, “Yesterday, hadn’t the doctor say that grandmother had eaten ginseng or something similar?”
Zhang Cai understood, and Zhang Xiaolong asked urgently, “What is it? What on earth did grandmother eat?” Zhang Xiaohua also stopped in his tracks to listen to the conversation.
Liu Qing mysteriously answered, “It is not what she ate, but rather what she had drunk.”
“Drink?” When Zhang Xiaolong heard the word, his eyes turned towards Zhang Xiaohua as though he realized something.
Zhang Xiaohu had yet to finish his breakfast at that moment. He stared at his watery porridge and asked, “This? This is as good as ginseng? I don’t think so.”
Liu Qing saw that she had made everyone anxious so she explained, “Look everyone, didn’t we brainstorm for a long time last night and yet could not find out anything special? However, the doctor said that the thing was eaten recently, and this spring water was only drunk occasionally in the past. Our habits changed after I came, we have since drunken large quantities of the water. This is especially the case for grandmother who seems to enjoy drinking the tea a lot. We have also started cooking our rice with the spring water recently as well. If we were to follow the timeline, then this spring water is the only thing that fits the criteria.”
Guo Sufei patted her head and said, “Oh yes, all we thought of last night was the food, we never thought about the water we drank. Liu Qing might have struck the nail on its forehead.”
Zhang Cai countered, “I would believe if you say that our mother was nourished by ginseng. But spring water? No matter how delicious, it is only water, how can it be a substitute for medicine?”
Liu Qing did not know how to answer and so she replied, “Uncle, I am not sure. Shall we take a kettle of water and show it to the town doctor?”
Guo Sufei replied, “En, that is a good idea. Why don’t we let Xiaohu take a kettle of water and run to the doctor?”
Zhang Xiaohu said excitedly, “Alright, I will finish my meal and prepare immediately. My injuries are almost fully recovered so running some distance will not be a problem.”
Zhang Xiaohua also said, “Then I shall draw some water immediately. I want to follow second brother to town too later.”
After he finished his sentence, he prepared to run up the hill.
At this moment, Zhang Cai shouted aloud, “No, don’t go!”
Everyone was surprised. Guo Sufei asked, “The head of our household, what do you mean? Why won’t you let Xiaohu and him go?”
Zhang Cai saw the confused expression of everyone’s faces, and smiled bitterly, “Have you forgotten about what happened to Mr. Wu?”
Right at that moment, Liu Qing and Zhang Xiaohua understood Zhang Cai’s intentions, while the rest of the household was still befuddled. Zhang Xiaohu asked, “Father, of course we are aware of Mr. Wu’s matter, his family was killed by the mountain bandits because of a treasure that he had dug up.”
Zhang Cai asked, “Then is the water in our well a treasure as well?”
Zhang Xiaohu answered, “We don’t know, which is why we are need to check with the doctor.”
Zhang Cai continued to ask, “And what if it is?”
Zhang Xiaohu turned dumb, not knowing how to reply.
Liu Qing saw that everyone was still confused, so she explained, “What uncle meant is if this well water turned out to be a treasure and the doctor in Lu town learns about it, then he will covet it just like how the mountain bandits found out about Mr. Wu’s treasure. Since this well is in the hills and not within our courtyard, we cannot put our claim on it. Then, other people would come to draw water from this well, and once all the water is drawn, what can grandmother drink? In the worst case scenario, if someone has enough power to claim the well and prevent others from using it, then how do we draw any more spring water?”
Everyone then understood the problem.
Zhang Xiaolong asked, “If we do not show it to the doctor, how do we know if the spring water is beneficial to grandmother?”
Liu Qing smiled and answered, “We should not show the water to the doctor for now. Whether or not we check with the doctor if this spring water has beneficial properties, we will still use it to make tea and cook rice. Thus, is there still a need to go to the doctor?”
Then, she continued in a serious tone, “If this spring water is indeed special, and the doctor learns about it, then we, grandmother included, will not be able to drink the water.”
Guo Sufei hurriedly said, “Liu Qing is right, we cannot bring this to the doctor in town. In this world, human’s hearts are unpredictable. Whatever we do, we should protect our self-interest first and foremost.”
Everyone nodded in agreement.
Zhang Xiaohua shook his head while he went to draw more water, repeating the earlier words in his heart, “In this world, human’s hearts are unpredictable. Whatever we do, we should protect our self-interest first and foremost. Sigh, it is so difficult to live as a human.”
Since that day, Zhang Xiaohua would go up to the hills to draw another bucket of water. All the water in the household, whether it was for eating, drinking, or washing, was replaced with water from the well.
Everyone hoped with all their hearts that a miracle would occur to the grandmother.
However, the grandmother’s body continued to stay weak, and her coughing did not ease up.
On the other hand, Zhang Cai, Zhang Xiaolong and Zhang Xiaohu’s injuries all healed at an incredible pace. Especially in the case of Zhang Xiaolong, on his first trip to reapply the medicine, Old Chen could not believe his eyes and touched him again and again. However, the fact that Zhang Xiaolong has recovered halfway was right before his eyes. He completely ignored Guo Sufei’s profuse thanks, and hurried them out of his house to check the medicine he applied on Zhang Xiaolong. With such effective medicine, why would he still need to stay as an animal doctor? He could already move to Lu town and open a pharmacy shop. Wouldn’t he strike rich just from selling this medicine?”
Everyone in the household could see the speed of recovery in Xiaolong’s injuries, and they all felt extremely happy, thinking that the well water was indeed special. When the grandmother learned about Zhang Xiaolong’s fast recovery pace, a smile blossomed on her face. Even her coughs grew less frequent after then, and the whole household celebrated in joy.
As for Liu Qing, she was confused by her own feelings. When she first saw Zhang Xiaolong returned without the clutches, she felt happy with the whole family, but disappointed later on. Even though she had tried to avoid the thought in her head, she knew that she liked this family, and she liked Zhang Xiaolong as a man. Thus, she was unwilling to leave here and return home. Was my own home lacking? She asked herself, and the answer was no. She liked her family, but she felt a different type of emotion when staying in the Zhang household.
Perhaps, it was because of Zhang Xiaolong.
However, Zhang Xiaolong has recovered, so what other reason did she have to stay?