Yan Mu was startled and moved her head to avoid the stone.
The stone fell inside the courtyard and rolled a few times before it stopped.
“How am I a demon girl?” Yan Mu was baffled, “If you have anything to say, speak, don’t get physical.”
“Were you the one who placed caterpillars in my Dabao1precious baby/treasure; eldest baby; normally a nickname’s quilt?” A red-eyed woman rushed up and grabbed Yan Mu, wanting to rip her apart.
Yan Mu couldn’t dodge and her arm was grabbed by her. The woman seemed to truly hate her, as she gripped her arm with a frightening amount of strength.
Almost instantly, Yan Mu frowned in pain. She was about to resist when her back suddenly touched a firm chest.
Then, the hand grabbing her arm was firmly grasped.
It was Yu Yuan. Behind him stood Father Yan, whose face was livid, and Chu Cong, with gloomy eyes.
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“Zsw’al dsv yzzsole vs vswnb Gb Yw,” Zw Zwyd nszezu pyke, yp bl zssjle ekalnvzu yv vbl osxyd.
“Kkdm! Zsw byhl ds aktbv vs prlyj!” vbl osxyd ydtakzu nwaple.
Gp pssd yp bla osaep qlzz, pbl qlzv y valxldeswp qsanl sd bla byde. Tla csdlp nalyjle yp vbl vlldytla piwllgle, yde vbl osxyd takxynle, bla qynl qwzz sq rykd.&dcpr;
Tso nyd vbkp zkvvzl c*pvyae byhl pwnb y pvasdt takr obld bl’p ps schkswpzu pjkddu? Mbl osxyd’p lulp okeldle kd bsaasa.
Zw Zwyd rwzzle bla byde sqq sq Zyd Yw. Mbl osxyd nshlale bla byde yde typrle. Ebld pbl zssjle esod, pbl qswde y akdt sq cawkplp sd bla oakpv.&dcpr;
“Zsw c*pvyae! Kkdm!” Wlya yde rykd shlaoblzxle bla yde vbl osxyd pnalyxle bupvlaknyzzu.&dcpr;&dcpr;
Zyd Yw nshlale bla lyap yde qlzv zkjl lhld bla caykd oyp cwggkdt.
G bkdv sq ekptwpv qzypble vbaswtb Ubw Usdt’p lulp. Tl pxkzle pollvzu yv vbl osxyd, yde obkzl pbl oyp pvwddle, bl pyke, “Gwdvkl2大娘 (eàdkádt) – y alprlnvqwz qsax sq yeealpp qsa yd lzelazu osxyd; okql sq qyvbla’p lzela casvbla; ywdv;, usw’al hlau dskpu.”
Auntie? The woman had just gotten over the pretty boy’s critical beauty hit when that word hit her heart.
She was so angry that her eyes rolled back and she immediately fainted. The scene was silent once again.
“What’s going on here?” Father Yan asked. He usually treated people politely, but now, he looked angry, and even his manner of speaking was rigid.
“Old Yan,” the village chief stood out and said, “Do you know what happened last night?”
“I don’t,” Father Yan stiffly replied.
No matter what had happened, there was no reason to insult Yan Mu. Father Yan was very angry now.
He pursed his lips and coldly looked at the village chief.
The village chief pretended to be calm and said, “Yesterday, a large amount of caterpillars suddenly appeared in the bed of a male student who placed a caterpillar into Yan Mu’s desk.”
“He had blisters all over his body, and even that area was also……” the village chief shivered, as if he could feel it happening to him, and said, “His aunt suspects that Yan Mu did it.”
“Why did he put a caterpillar into Yan Mu’s desk?” Father Yan didn’t respond to the village chief’s words and asked a question of his own.
“……Perhaps he heard the rumors in the village about Hunter Zhang, so he took his anger out3迁怒 (qiānnù) – vent one’s anger on somebody who’s not to blame/someone who doesn’t deserve it on Yan Mu too,” the village chief said, wiping the sweat off his forehead. Father Yan’s figure was tall and sturdy, while the village chief was thin and small, so he was like a little chick in front of Father Yan. This made him feel inexplicably oppressed.
“He bullied my child first. I hadn’t even gone to his house to demand an explanation, but you came here first with a group of people to block my door,” Father Yan said, looking serious. “Besides, Yan Mu and Yu Yuan are good children, they wouldn’t do these things. Those rumors were also groundless accusations. Village chief, instead of thinking of how to stop the rumors, you actually joined the riot.”
“You’re really a great village chief!” he sneered.
Being mocked by Father Yan like this, the village chief lost his temper.
“I think you’re clearly harboring that b*stard! And as for Yan Mu, flies always find the cracked egg4苍蝇不叮无缝的蛋 (cāngying bù dīng wú fèng de dàn) – a well-known phrase; Only those with weaknesses are susceptible to evil influences./Nothing happens for no reason./There is no smoke without fire., she must’ve done something that aroused suspicion!” The village chief was so angry that he started to speak without carefully considering his words.
“I think you’re the rotten egg,” Father Yan immediately closed the courtyard door.
With a “bang”, the thick wooden door almost knocked the village chief’s nose off.
“Outrageous! Outrageous!” Humiliated, the village chief was so angry that he suddenly started to pace in place.
“Old Yan, let me tell you!” the village chief put his hands on his hips and started to shout abuse like a shrill housewife5泼妇骂街 (pōfùmàjiē) – an idiom; Refers to aggressive and verbal abuse of others outside the courtyard, “If you still want to live in Qingshui Village, then bring that little b*stard out for us to deal with, then have your daughter apologize to that child, and this matter can be dropped.”
The village chief’s tone was suddenly severe and he ruthlessly added, “If you don’t agree, then don’t blame me for disregarding neighborly consideration.”
Father Yan sat on the well in silence. Yan Mu was afraid that his anger would harm his health, so she quickly brought him a cup of water.
Father Yan lifted his head and drank it in one go.
He wiped his mouth then looked at Yu Yuan and asked, “Good child, uncle asks you, did you release the caterpillars?”
When Yu Yuan heard the first half of the sentence, he first thought that Father Yan was asking about Hunter Zhang. But after hearing his words, he was slightly relieved.
“It was Chu Cong who released the caterpillars,” Yu Yuan said, after glancing at Chu Cong.
Being mentioned, Chu Cong’s body suddenly stiffened and he smiled awkwardly.
“What about you?” Father Yan looked to Yu Yuan and asked.
“……I put croton in their water vat6There are many other designs, but here’s one of them: and food,” Yu Yuan didn’t expect the topic to come back to him. He paused, but in the end, he still chose to honestly confess.
Father Yan suddenly laughed.
“Stinky brat, I knew you joined in,” Father Yan laughed as he slapped his thigh.
“……Dad, have you become silly from anger?” Yan Mu was stunned.
“Silly daughter, dad is happy,” Father Yan sighed. “If Yu Yuan, this child, saw you being bullied but remained indifferent, then I’d be bitterly disappointed.”
“When I die, I’ll feel relieved that you still have Yu Yuan with you,” Father Yan choked with sobs as he wiped the corners of his eyes.
This was one of the reasons why he’d taken Yu Yuan in before..
Yan Mu lost her mother at a young age, had poor health, and was an only child. If she married someone later on and was bullied by her husband, she could only be forced to suffer in silence7吃哑巴亏 (chī//yǎbakuī) – unable to speak off one’s bitter suffering; cannot voice one’s grievances.
But with Yu Yuan, her godbrother, here, there would at least be someone to keep up appearances.
Yu Yuan lowered his eyes, seemingly lost in thought.
Chu Cong couldn’t bear to see this inexplicably sad atmosphere and was about to speak up, but was interrupted by the sound of the door being knocked down.
Turns out that when the village chief saw Father Yan disregard him, he became furious from humiliation8恼羞成怒 (nǎoxiū-chéngnù) – to be shamed into anger (idiom). He went so beserk that he wanted the villagers to just knock down the door.
Mobsters! These are really mobsters!!!
This time, Chu Cong was also angry.
It really was barren mountains and wild rivers9穷山恶水 (qióngshān-èshuǐ) -an idiom; fig. inhospitable natural environment that produced unruly people.
Chu Cong was extremely angry.
A loud eagle’s cry came from the sky.
His expression froze and he suddenly looked up in excitement. Sure enough, there was a male eagle hovering in the bright blue sky.
When the eagle saw Chu Cong, it dove straight down. Chu Cong casually took a piece of cloth and wrapped it around his arm, and the eagle landed on his arm just like that.
“Uncle, my servants have come looking for me,” Chu Cong smiled and said.
Father Yan had never seen such a scene before, so he immediately looked at Chu Cong like a circus attraction.
“This is my trained eagle, it’s an expert in catching rabbits,” Chu Cong laughed and said.
Yan Mu and Father Yan both nodded their heads, as if seeing a rare sight, but Yu Yuan’s eyes were gloomy instead, as he stared at the eagle, quietly thinking.
There was a commotion outside the door, followed by the clamor of the crowd fleeing in all directions. Then, the sound of swords being unsheathed.
The footsteps stopped, then a woman’s scream rang out——“They’re k-killing people!”
Father Yan looked nervous and shielded Yu Yuan and Yan Mu behind him. However, Chu Cong passed by them and opened the courtyard door with a relaxed expression.
There were about ten people gathered outside, and they all had swords in their hands. Although they were dressed in commoner clothes, based on their tight muscles and sturdy figures, you could tell that they weren’t ordinary men.
Seeing this stance, Yu Yuan instantly felt like his guess was probably right. The pool of blood on the ground was glaringly red, but he didn’t feel afraid.
Something inside him seemed to awaken. It was a seed, beginning to stir10蠢蠢欲动 (chǔnchǔn-yùdòng) – an idiom; ready to start wriggling/ready to make trouble/to get restless/to become threatening, and about to break out of the ground.
The leader of the rugged men knelt down on one knee towards Chu Cong, his eyes filled with hot tears, and he said, “Second……Young Master, this subordinate has finally found you.”
Chu Cong smiled broadly and caressed the eagle on his hand, seemingly casual, he said, “You’re late.”
“It’s this subordinate’s fault. This subordinate will beg for forgiveness from Madam when we return,” the rugged man said with fear and trepidation.
Chu Cong let out a ‘humph!’ and didn’t continue the conversation. Seeing that Chu Cong didn’t affirm or deny, the man could only kneel on the ground and hold his breath.
“Forget it,” Chu Cong handed the eagle to one of the big men, then turned to Father Yan and asked, “Uncle, what are you going to do next? Do you still want to live in the village?”
“Alas,” Father Yan sighed, “Since the villagers despise us so much, we definitely can’t live here anymore. It’s just too sudden to decide where to go from here, I don’t know yet.”
Yu Yuan didn’t speak and he looked at Chu Cong gloomily.
On the other hand, Yan Mu was looking at Chu Cong with anticipation.
Out of an author’s intuition, she felt like this was probably some important turning point in the plot. And everything that had happened before this were scenes the world had created all to lead up to this moment.
Sure enough, Chu Cong looked at Father Yan and sincerely said, “In that case, Uncle and Yan Mu can follow me back home, I’ll find jobs for you to do.”
As soon as his words fell, Yu Yuan’s body instantly relaxed. He knew that he had made the right bet.
“What about Yu Yuan?” Yan Mu was worried that Chu Cong wouldn’t bring Yu Yuan along, so she hurriedly stepped forward and asked.
“Since Ah Mu asked……then I’ll bring Yu Yuan along as well,” Chu Cong’s expression had a little disdain.
“……Who gave you the right to call her Ah Mu?” Yu Yuan coldly said.
“How dare you! How can you speak to the Second Young Master like that?” A big fellow jumped out and angrily rebuked.
But as soon as he spoke, he received two pairs of gloomy eyes looking at him simultaneously. The big man then realized that he had misspoke.
The Second Young Master’s gaze is already scary enough, why does even that scrawny kid have such scary eyes? The big man muttered in his heart.
“Then you guys pack up your things, we’ll rest and reorganize for two days, then we’ll leave,” Chu Cong said and walked outside the courtyard.
Seeing Chu Cong’s retreating figure, Yu Yuan’s fingernails dug deep into his palm. He was silent for a moment, then followed.
He saw Chu Cong walk out of the courtyard, and with an expression of disgust, he let a big man pick up the woman who had bullied Yan Mu just now.
“Let me think, which hand did you touch Ah Mu with?” Chu Cong placed a finger on his chin as he recalled.
The woman’s mouth was stuffed with a ball of paper and she whimpered, unable to speak.
“I remember!” Chu Cong exclaimed, “It’s the left hand.”
After speaking, he revealed an innocent smile and said, “Cut her left hand off then.”
The woman’s pupils dilated, and she frantically shook her head.
The big man was about to drag her away, but he was stopped by Chu Cong.
“Wait a minute,” Chu Cong said.
When the woman saw Chu Cong stop the big man, her eyes flashed with hope. She jerked her head up and looked at him hopefully.
“She was too noisy just now, so cut off her tongue too,” Chu Cong said, all smiles.
He looked as harmless as ever. The woman’s eyes rolled back and she fainted in shock again.
After watching the woman being dragged away, Chu Cong had just turned around when he saw Yu Yuan looking at him quietly.
Chu Cong suddenly felt a little uncomfortable.
“If you’re going to lecture me and call me cruel, then I won’t listen,” Chu Cong said unhappily.
“No,” Yu Yuan suddenly laughed. “I think it’s great.”
Although everything went according to his expectations, Yu Yuan was also very angry and upset when he saw Yan Mu being bullied. Back then, he thought about how nice it would be if he could be the person with power and wealth.
If so, he wouldn’t have to entrust his hope to Chu Cong, and Yan Mu would no longer be bullied. Instantly, desire for power and wealth overwhelmed his heart.
Tenderness without strength couldn’t protect anything, and would only cause harm to others and themselves. He also wanted to stand at the top, openly holding Yan Mu’s hand and overlooking all living things11芸芸众生 (yúnyún-zhòngshēng) – every living being (Buddhism); the mass of common people; all mortal beings.
The teenager’s dark eyes seemed to burn with raging flames. His lips grew redder and redder, as red as the pool of blood on the ground.
He looked at Chu Cong and seriously said, “I hope you can give me a job to do.”
The moment Yu Yuan spoke, he seemed to hear the sound of the seed in his heart breaking through the earth.
Edited by: Gaze
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I’m so glad our children are finally leaving this horrible little town behind! And Yu Yuan has seen the utility of ambition. Excited to watch him take over the whole world now. For Love.
As always, thank you for your excellent translation! I’m also really grateful for your translator’s notes. They add so much depth.
Yusss the beginning of a new adventure weeeeee 🥳
Thank you very much for reading!!! Glad that you like the notes!!! \(0^◇^0)/