Chapter – 117

Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~

Inner courtyard



However, after Zhang Xiaohua finished reading all those books, he realized that the content in the books were too rudimentary and his thirst for more knowledge remained unsatisfied, it was wishful thinking if he could use the knowledge he learnt from these books to solve the problems of the herbs which were not growing.

Thus, Zhang Xiaohua helplessly threw the books at the head of his bed where he would flip through them when he was bored.

Without any newer books to read, Zhang Xiaohua went back to his previous habit of working and practicing martial arts, reading still remained his habit but Zhang Xiaohua would never spend money on new books, as the saying goes, one does not have to read the book if he cannot borrow it, but Zhang Xiaohua was slightly disappointed in his heart.

When He Tianshu who had gotten used to seeing Zhang Xiaohua walked around with his nose in a book returning to his old habit, he asked the latter in curiosity if he had given up on his experiments because it was too difficult. When he heard Zhang Xiaohua’s reasons, He Tianshu did not believe him initially but when he thought back to the “Words explanation” which the boy memorized, the wrinkle between his brow smoothened and he snapped his right fingers while saying, “Isn’t the solution simple?”

He then muttered into little second Nie’s ear, and the latter looked at Zhang Xiaohua with wide eyes as he listened to He Tianshu’s instructions causing Zhang Xiaohua to feel a shiver up his bones, what was going on? After they finished, little second Nie left as instructed while He Tianshu smiled gleefully at Zhang Xiaohua and said, “Alright, just wait a moment and you will see what I am capable of.”

Zhang Xiaohua rolled his eyes and pursed his lips as he muttered under his breath, “What are you capable of? Why must you be so serious, I will just wait and see.”

Little second Nie was gone for half a day after he left and only came back in the middle of the night with empty hands. When He Tianshu saw that he returned empty handed, he asked in surprised, “Did you fail?”

Little second Nie replied, “Elder He said that the books in the library are only for disciples to read, others are not allowed to view them.”

He Tianshu wrinkled his brows and asked, “You did not look for hallmaster Bai?”

Little second Nie smiled bitterly and said, “I did, but hallmaster Bai hardly bothered and said that you were calling for all kind of doctors after being afflicted by an illness, and a boy without any foundations could not solve any problem just from reading some books so you should look for another idea. He also told me to inform you that he was discussing the matter with the other elders so you should not cause any trouble for him.”

He Tianshu’s face turned into an ugly shade of green and red, he looked at Zhang Xiaohua’s expression and felt embarrassed, however, his pupils rolled as though he thought of an idea and his face softened. He said, “Zhang Xiaohua, return to you room first. I will bring the books over to you in a while.”

Zhang Xiaohua looked curiously at the other party before nodding his head in agreement and returning back to his room.

Since someone was helping him find more books to read, Zhang Xiaohua would naturally follow his instructions respectfully.

Indeed, not long after, He Tianshu smiled happily as he hugged a dump of books and poured them onto Zhang Xiaohua’s bed. He patted his hands and said, “Alright, Zhang Xiaohua, I have finally gotten you the books so have fun reading them.”

Zhang Xiaohua looked in puzzlement at the dump of books on his bed and asked in a curious tone, “Why are there so many, where did squad leader He get them from?”

He Tianshu purposely said in a mysterious tone, “This master He has many secret methods, how can I be stumped by this little problem? Hehe, look carefully, Zhang Xiaohua, there is no need to bother about our hallmaster’s words, my instructions to you are still the same. If you can solve, then great, if not, treat this as broadening your knowledge. Furthermore…”

He Tianshu hesitated for a while before continuing, “Jianghu is filled with danger and evilness, how will a little child like you protect yourself? It is best if you can pick up something from these books and lead a good life in the future.”

Zhang Xiaohua understood He Tianshu’s kind intentions and he could not help but feel extremely grateful to the latter. As the saying goes, people are not trees, how can they not have feelings? Even though he had no blood ties or relations with He Tianshu, the latter had treated him so kindly during the period they knew each other; even when leaving out that he taught Zhang Xiaohua martial arts, He Tianshu even bothered to think and plan for Zhang Xiaohua’s future. It could be seen that this dangerous and evil Jianghu still had a shred of warmth in the well of coldness and traps.

Zhang Xiaohua smiled and said, “I understand, squad leader He, I will not let you down and at least learn many things, okay?”

He Tianshu nodded and said, “As long as you understand, go ahead and read, I will be off now.”

After finishing his sentence, he smiled and turned to exit the room while Zhang Xiaohua saw him off. By the time he left the room and was about to head back, He Tianshu turned around and said, “Oh right, Zhang Xiaohua, I almost forgot but how is your fist martial arts? We have not practiced together in a long time.”

Zhang Xiaohua smiled gleefully and said, “Pretty good, squad leader He. I managed to put together the fist martial arts you taught me and the fist martial arts my brother shared, and can now practice properly.”

He Tianshu smiled back, “Not bad, Zhang Xiaohua, you will turn out alright since you are so creative. Practice well and show it to me when the opportunity arises.”

Zhang Xiaohua smiled and said, “Sure, no problem, squad leader He, whenever you like.”

He Tianshu said, “You won’t forget this time?”

Zhang Xiaohua replied, “Definitely not, you can rest well.”

He Tianshu said, “Alright, then I will look at it when I have the time. Go ahead and read your books, I’ll be off now.”

After finishing his sentence, he stepped out as Zhang Xiaohua watched him leave and just as he was about to return, He Tianshu turned around again and said, “Oh, I almost forgot, Zhang Xiaohua.”

Zhang Xiaohua was surprised, he turned back and asked, “What is the matter, squad leader He?”

He Tianshu said, “The books there are all borrowed from the villa master, she said that she was happy that you wanted to read them, and if you are done with them, she has many more that you can take freely. Just look for Qiu Tong when you want to do so.”

Upon hearing this, Zhang Xiaohua grew elated and he said, “Really, that’s great. Thank you, squad leader He.”

He Tianshu smiled and said, “You don’t have to thank me, alright, quickly go read your books.”

After finishing, he lifted his foot and prepared to walked away. Zhang Xiaohua watched him leave quietly this time.

Just as He Tianshu was about to take his first step, he turned around again and said, “Oh, I almost forgot, Zhang Xiaohua…”

When he saw Zhang Xiaohua still standing at the door smiling widely at himself, he became surprised and asked, “Zhang Xiaohua, why have you not gone back in?”

Zhang Xiaohua smiled and replied, “I was waiting for squad leader He to tell me the thing he ‘almost forgot’.”

He Tianshu smiled and said, “It’s like this, like this…”

He Tianshu put on an odd expression so Zhang Xiaohua wrinkled his brows and asked, “What is it?”

He Tianshu pursed his lips and said, “I really forgot this time, forget it. I will tell you tomorrow when I remember it.”

After finishing his sentence, he turned around and returned into his room.

Zhang Xiaohua was even more determined to stay at the door and watch silently as He Tianshu returned to his own room, he saw the latter slapped his forehead as he walked until he reached his own room before Zhang Xiaohua felt assured and closed his door.

When He Tianshu entered his room, he was still thinking, what did he want to say?

Up until the night grew late, He Tianshu was fumbling around and trying to recall what he was planning to say to the boy until a silver of white like the underbelly of a fish appeared in the sky when he suddenly sat up and laughed heartily, “I finally remembered, I was going to tell Zhang Xiaohua not to read too late into the night and to take care of his health.”

With a new program in his schedule, Zhang Xiaohua naturally stopped feeling bored, his days were passed reading books and practicing martial arts, then practicing martial arts and reading more books. However, with the more herb-related books he read, the more Zhang Xiaohua realized the complexity of profoundness of the subject, he felt admiration towards the authors of the book and more gratitude towards Li Jinfeng who taught him to read, as well as the Huanxi mountain villa master who gave him the chance to read so many books. Finally, he was thankful to his parents for letting him step out into the world, hahaha, perhaps he can ask the villa master one day when he met her if she could give his parents a job as well.

As the saying goes, the more one knows, the more he realizes that there were things he did not understand, Zhang Xiaohua had entered such a state at that moment.

From the additional books that He Tianshu brought over, Zhang Xiaohua realized that they were too many things he was unaware of, and in the pursuit of more knowledge, he even forgot the original reason why he started to read those books, and forgot that he had to find out the reasons why the herbs did not sprout. He actually agreed with pharmacy hall hallmaster, one cannot solve the current problem just by reading a few more books. If it could be done, the pharmacy hall hallmaster would have already solved the problem long ago.

The only thing was, Zhang Xiaohua had deeply immersed himself in this wondrous world of herbology.

During that afternoon, Zhang Xiaohua returned to his room after his routine martial art practice and was about to pick another book when he suddenly remembered, he had already read all the books the previous night. Zhang Xiaohua flipped through the books he had on hand in boredom; he had a bad habit when reading and it was that he disliked reading a book a second time. Even though He Tianshu brought many books for him to read, Zhang Xiaohua would read in the day and at night, thus his speed of going through the books was very fast. Suddenly, Zhang Xiaohua remembered that He Tianshu had also previously mentioned that he could look for Qiu Tong if he finished those books, and when he thought about how long it has been since he met his elder sister Qiu Tong, he decided to use this opportunity to see her again.

After making up his mind, Zhang Xiaohua hugged the collection of books and went to look for He Tianshu.

He Tianshu’s door was shut tight and Zhang Xiaohua called out from outside for quite a while without hearing any response, thus he assumed that the former was not in. This made Zhang Xiaohua anxious, he had never entered the inner courtyard before, so he did not know where elder sister Qiu Tong would be, not to mention the villa master.

Just as he was about to return to his own room, Zhang Xiaohua remembered that he had went in previously to find elder Yu, and the latter would surely know where he should go. Thus, he hugged his books and went through the inner circular door into the inner courtyard.

After passing by several courtyards, he finally reached the one where elder Yu was staying, but by some unfortunate coincidence, the latter was also not in his room. Zhang Xiaohua was exasperated by then, what day was it that day? He did not look at the announcement book, could there be something important going on?

Since he had already entered the inner courtyard, he might as well go in further to look around, and he could always ask the first person he met for directions. He was not afraid of being misunderstood as a stranger since he was also an employee of the Huanxi mountain villa, but he had forgotten that the azure robed little hats men would seldom enter the inner courtyard which was primarily reserved for the fairer sex.

Just as Zhang Xiaohua was walking around, he heard a high pitched scream, “Where did this child come from? How did he manage to come here?”

Zhang Xiaohua was surprised and he stopped in his tracks, could the unknown person be referring to him?

When he turned around to look, there was indeed a lady carrying some laundry that had been washed and was preparing to sun them.

Zhang Xiaohua quickly bowed and said, “I am from the outside herb fields, a subordinate of squad leader He, I came in to look for elder sister Qiu Tong.”

When the lady heard his reply, her expression turned into one of suspicion, she put down the clothes and walked over to ask, “Squad leader He’s subordinate, why have I not heard of it before? How could you enter the pharmacy hall at such a young age?”

Zhang Xiaohua naturally realized that the other party had mistook him for a Piaomiao sect member, and thought it was too bothersome to explain so he said, “I came over not long ago, and am not from the pharmacy hall, which is why elder sister cannot recognize me. You only need to find elder sister Qiu Tong to understand the situation.”

The lady felt that his explanation was reasonable so she replied, “Since you are new, you probably do not know the villa rules. This inner courtyard cannot be entered without prior permission; I guess that squad leader He must have made a mistake by looking at your age. You must not do this in the future, or if the villa master learns about it, you will be beaten with a rod.”

Zhang Xiaohua was surprised, he swallowed his tongue and said, “So serious, I did not know about this.”

However, he was also thinking secretly, “This squad leader He as well, why did he not inform me properly and even asked me to find the villa master myself? The feeling of the rod striking my butt must not be nice at all, why did Tian Zhongxi not say anything before as well? This is so strange.”

Actually, everything was purely a misunderstanding. Tian Zhongxi knew that Zhang Xiaohua was brought in by Qiu Tong and assumed that she had already told the boy of the villa rules, but Qiu Tong had only seen Zhang Xiaohua as a little brother so she did not see any taboo in anything he did. When Zhang Xiaohua first entered, she did want to discipline Zhang Xiaohua but the villa master’s words “fight for himself” stopped her and she left the entire matter at the back of her mind. The more miraculous part was after Zhang Xiaohua came back from the escort station, everyone treated him as an “experienced” employee and no longer thought of him as a newcomer.

Fortunately, his age was small so the lady was not too bothered, so she left after instructing the boy to “stay in the same spot while she go look for Qiu Tong.”

Hence, Zhang Xiaohua stood at where he was and studied the small courtyard with a curious mind, the courtyard was slightly smaller than the one he lived in but it was extremely tidy. There were even some plants decorating the walls which made Zhang Xiaohua thought back to his sister-in-law, didn’t the latter also loved to plant such plants around the household?

When he thought back to the lady who was about to sun the clothes, he bent his head and pondered before walking up to the front and putting his books down onto the stone table. Then, he took the clothes that were already washed and hung them to dry one by one.

These were chores that Zhang Xiaohua was used to while living at home, he would often help his mother and was thus familiar with the steps, so he finished the task very soon. Just as the clothes were drying, Zhang Xiaohua could not help but thought about the past.

He carried the books back to wait at the entrance feeling strange in his heart, even though he would miss home, it was not as frequent as when he just entered the inner courtyard for a while, so why was he being this way?

Just as he was reflecting, Zhang Xiaohua felt someone coming from afar and even though he could not hear their footsteps, he was still able to sense their presence. Indeed, the lady led Qiu Tong over soon after, and when Qiu Tong saw Zhang Xiaohua from afar, she said happily, “It is indeed you, Zhang Xiaohua, Qiu Ju said that a child was looking for me but she could not provide a name so I immediately guessed that it would be you.”

Upon seeing Qiu Ju whose face had turned red, Zhang Xiaohua felt awkward as he had forgotten to even introduce himself before coming over, so he said, “Elder sister Qiu Ju ran away too soon and I also forgot to tell her my name.”

Qiu Tong smiled and said, “Xiaohua is a sensible boy who knows how to cover for other people, but this Qiu Ju’s carelessness is not a secret among us. Alright, follow me in, why did you suddenly come to visit me today?”

After finishing her words, she brought Zhang Xiaohua further inside.

When Qiu Ju saw the two left, her face gradually regained its original colour and she scolded herself silently for being so careless again. Just as she was about to continue with her task, she noticed the clothes that were already hung and the face flushed to an even greater shade of red. This little boy was so hardworking that he helped her with a chore, but how could a lady’s intimate clothing be touched by a man? Even if he was only a ten plus year old boy!

Qiu Ju stood there in the courtyard wondering if she should wash her clothes again

What a messed up situation……

How would Zhang Xiaohua know that his good deed had turned into a bad one, he happily told Qiu Tong of his motive.

When Qiu Tong heard that Zhang Xiaohua was reading books regarding herbs, she was happy and stroke Zhang Xiaohua’s head like he was her little brother. She smiled and said, “Xiaohua, you are quite awesome. You could only recognize a few words when you first entered, but can already read books now. It would be great if you can help the villa master solve the problem about the herbs.”

Zhang Xiaohua replied seriously, “Elder sister Qiu Tong, the reason why I can read is thanks to the gentleman Li whom you met the previous time. Oh right, he also said that he wanted to see you the last time he and my second brother came here to visit me.”

Qiu Tong was surprised but she soon understood the situation, she smiled and asked, “Did gentleman Li told you to say this?”

Zhang Xiaohua quickly explained, “I wanted to tell this to you but gentleman Li disallowed me, so I mentioned about him casually. If you want to know, you can just ask him yourself the next time he comes.”

Qiu Tong laughed as she said, “In the future then, let’s try to help the villa master solve her problem first.”

Zhang Xiaohua hurriedly added, “Gentleman Li also gave me some related books in the beginning.”

However, when he noticed that Qiu Tong was uninterested in discussing the topic further, he said, “But I feel that just by reading such books, I will only learn the theory which is insufficient to be of use. Even though theory comes from experience, it is on a higher level than actual practice, and when the experts share their theories with us through books, we still have to learn to apply such theories back onto the fields for it to be part of our own knowledge, and only then can there be practical use to theory.”

Upon listening to his words, Qiu Tong stopped in her footsteps and asked, “Who told you all these?”

Upon seeing that the other party had stopped, Zhang Xiaohua also halted his tracks and said, “These are what I learn from reading those books, could I have misunderstood something?”

Qiu Tong smiled as she replied, “You are absolutely right, but these words seemed to be spoken often by the villa master as well so I thought that you heard them from somewhere. Alright, let’s hurry, the villa master and others seemed to be busy in the main hall so I will bring you to get more books.”

7 thoughts on “Chapter – 117

  1. Okay so I came upon a sullen epiphany, in order for Zhang Xiaohua to fix the crop problem, he may very well need to use the spring well water from his Guo Village, it’s already been mentioned that it has extraordinary nourishing properties, and from my knowledge from other Xianxia, Wuxia knowledge, the crops need to be nourished with Qi, and we all know that Qi has incredible nourishing powers (for example, Xiaohua’s grandmother, even though she died it still helped her prolong her life)


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