Gu Feng grabbed the front paw of the tiger corpse and pulled it up. However, he was unable to lift it. He looked at Gu Ye incredulously. “Little Ye’er, you have strong arm strength. This old tiger is at least 200 pounds, yet you were able to carry it back from the wild boar valley.”
“Ninth uncle, grandfather said that we are growing so he would often hunt for food in order to improve our diet. My sister and I have gotten stronger as a result.” Gu Ming explained for his sister.
Gu Ye also hurriedly added, “My brothers can lift the stone table in our courtyard up single-handedly. Grandfather said that he’s made for practicing martial arts.”
Hunter Zhang patted Gu Ming’s shoulders and praised, “Good boy! Practice with your fifth uncle Gu and you’ll make something out of yourself in the future for sure. Old nine, let’s help the kids carry the tiger corpse back.”
Gu Feng tied the tiger’s front and back paws together. The two carried the tiger in succession with the sticks inserted in the body. They headed towards the house halfway up the mountain.
There was a sudden voice behind the crowd. “The prey in the mountain belongs to whoever hunted them. But what about the ones that people found? Shouldn’t everyone in the village get a share?”
Hunter Zhang looked over to see Wu Danggui talking. This person didn’t have a good reputation in the village. Not only did he collect expensive fees, he also had a wife who enjoyed taking advantage of others. Everyone didn’t like him.
This person was even a bit unwilling to come when he heard that the tiger was coming and all the young men were to gather together. Up until the village head said that whoever didn’t participate would be kicked out of the village. Only then did Wu Danggui slowly followed over. He wasn’t earnest in killing the tiger but collecting benefits was another story!
“Physician Wu, in your case, the mushrooms, firewood, and goods that we picked up would have to be shared with you as well huh?” Gu Ye emphasized the word ‘picked up.’
Wu Danggui wouldn’t have said anything if the tiger was picked up by another family. A few days ago, he went to the sage apothecary and asked him to take him in as an apprentice in exchange for the wild ginseng he picked up, yet the latter gave him a disdainful look and rejected him. Wu Danggui made a fuss right then and then hated the sage apothecary as a result. Gu Ye was his disciple, so naturally he became jealous of her as well.
Gu Xiao, who was valued by the village head and the clan elder, wasn’t here. Therefore, Wu Danggui thought he could manipulate Gu Ye easily, thus his suggestion. He thought that by saying this, the villagers would agree with him as they could get lucky with the harvest as well. Then, he could distribute some tiger bones and other items to the villagers. They were all valuable and expensive items! However, after saying this, everyone started throwing him criticizing gazes.
Li Hao even went to say in disdain, “So, you and your wife could do nothing and just reap on other people’s harvest huh? Keep dreaming!”
“There are lots of things in the mountain, so it belongs to whoever picked them up. Physician Wu, you can go ahead and pick a tiger up if you have the ability. We won’t be jealous or anything!” Hunter Zhang looked coldly at him before walking off with the tiger on his back.
A young villager chuckled at Wu Danggui. “Physician Wu, you dug up a century-old ginseng a while ago. You must’ve sold it for lots of silver, no? Shouldn’t you give us some silvers to spend?”
“Why should I share the ginseng I went through great efforts to dig up with you?” Wu Danggui’s neck flushed from anger. He would’ve fallen out with them if it weren’t for the fact he couldn’t beat them.
The villages besides him laughed out loud. “Why should Gu Ye share the tiger she carried all the way back home with you then?”
Wu Danggui had nowhere to vent his anger, so he returned home furious. He arrived at home, but didn’t see his wife. The food wasn’t cooked either. Under a whim of anger, he found his wife and gave her a beating.
Hunter Zhang and Gu Feng carried the tiger to their house and then skinned it. They decided on waiting for the skin to dry before tawing it. He actually learned how to taw from Gu Xiao.
The sage apothecary stood to the side and stroked his beard while looking at the tiger corpse. He raised his brows upon hearing that Gu Ye got the body from the mountains. He knew that his disciple had killed it. It was no strange deal. His precious disciple was capable, he knew!
By the time they were done, it was almost dinner. The majority of the villagers only had two meals a day during winter. Dinner was usually around 4pm.
Watching Uncle Zhang and her ninth uncle bustling around the entire day, Gu Ye thought it was only reasonable for them to leave with some presents. They had tiger skins, bones, and whatnot. However, she didn’t have the heart to give them away. She wasn’t sure whether the tiger meat was edible though. Therefore, she looked at the sage apothecary with a conflicted look. “Master, is the meat edible?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” The sage apothecary recalled the tiger meat he had once from many years ago. He smacked his lips and replied, “The tiger meat is top-quality meat. If you encounter someone that knows how to cook tiger meat, the quality of the meat will always be delicious no matter how they cook it.”
Gu Ye cut ten pounds of tiger meat for Hunter Zhang and her ninth uncle, so that they could try it out when they go home. Hunter Zhang and Gu Feng couldn’t withstand her enthusiasm, so they accepted the gift. Gu Ye left a generous impression in their hearts.
Gu Ye then cut the tiger meat into five ten-pounds worth of meat. During the night, she went and distributed them to the village head, clan elder, and three elders. Gu Ye didn’t even bother batting an eyelash at her original house. To her, only her brother and grandfather were her family!
After skinning the tiger and getting rid of its internal organs, it weighed at least 160 pounds in meat! Besides the 70 pounds of meat she gave away, there was still at least 90 pounds worth of meat left. There was on refrigerator during this era, so how could she preserve the meat? Although her storage space could keep things fresh, she couldn’t really explain the disappearance of the meat in front of her master and her brother’s eyes.
As if responding to her conflict, snow started falling in the night. The second day, there was snow covering the height of one’s lower legs. It kept snowing and the wind blew, the cold pressing. The tiger meat hung under the roof became very hard. They didn’t need to worry about it turning bad.
The sage apothecary and the Gu siblings sat on the warm bed and surrounded the furnace, eating the tasty tiger meat. Gu Ming couldn’t help but feel worried for his grandfather in the north. “I wonder if grandfather has arrived. Will he be stuck on the way there because of snow?”
Gu Ye picked up a thin slice of tiger meat and dipped it briefly in the pot before shoving it in her mouth. She closed her eyes in satisfaction like a languid kitten. She carefully thought about it before saying, “He said that he would arrive at Junlang Pass at the very most, in five days. He’s anxious to bring the medicine to his old boss, so he must’ve quickened his pace on the way there. He must be there now. Brother, don’t worry. I had him wear a rabbit-skinned vest and knee pads. He won’t be cold.”
“I should’ve gone with him. At least, he would have someone taking care of him.” Gu Ming sighed, acting mature. The fresh tiger meat in his mouth was tasteless.
Gu Ye retorted, “Take you along? He’d have to take care of you while hurrying there. You’d be a burden to him! Instead of worrying about him, why don’t you sweep the snow in the courtyard away after eating?”
It wasn’t that Gu Ye wasn’t worried about her grandfather. Instead, she was confident in him. He had told her that he had defended the north for a decade, so the snow was nothing to him. However, she didn’t know when the snow would stop and if it would affect his return date.
While the three were surrounding the furnace and eating, Ling Juechen, who was in Yan Country’s capital, held a written note. His features softened and his sparkling eyes filled with gentleness.
The shadow guards in charge of protecting him today had just come back from Cangmang Mountain. Seeing the different Hall Master, he felt incredibly scared. He didn’t expect his master to have such a gentle side. It was unclear what the sage apothecary had written to influence the Hall Master’s mood that much.
Yin Ba became even more shocked when he recalled the sage apothecary being with the little village girl from Qinshan Village. Master isn’t...a pedophile is he? No. There were so many exquisite, healthy, and lively girls in the capital but he didn’t do anything. Why would he take a fancy to the skinny and ordinary villager girl from Cangmang Mountain?
“Heh…” What surprised Yin Ba even more was that his master...actually...laughed! His master, known as the millennium-old glacier, actually melted and bloomed.
Ling Juechen flipped the note numerous times as he read the words over and over as if they were alive. He recalled the lively figure in his memory. Muttering, “That girl really hasn’t changed her habit of being picky about food.”
In the previous life, during the most difficult time period, the girl was addicted to ramen. She ate bowls after bowls of ramen as she scrunched her face together. No matter how many years passed, that particular memory was still fresh in his mind. From then on, he always collected all sorts of bread, cake, and chocolate for her. He knew that she couldn’t withstand sweets.
He recalled the information he received on her when she just transmigrated. She had coarse grains and maize pancakes, and drank porridge. She only had vegetables along with a bowl of water every meal… He had no idea how the girl survived it. In her storage space, she had medicinal ingredients, laboratory equipment, and some junk she collected earlier on. She hadn’t brought food. Without him by her side, she didn’t take care of herself!
“Ba!” Distress flickered through Ling Juechen’s eyes and he summoned his shadow guard.
“Huh?” Yin Ba was...fantasizing about his master when he was suddenly called. He stumbled out from the dark, his face panicking. “Uh...Hall Master, what is your order?”
Ling Juechen shot him an icy gaze, almost freezing Yin Ba into a popsicle stick. His master was still his usual self. He must’ve mistaken his master’s gentle side.
Ling Juechen was speechless towards his unrestrained subordinate. He ordered quietly and then added, “Make sure this is done perfectly. Otherwise...I don’t mind changing the Four Major Shadow Guards...:”
Yin Ba promised his master with his integrity that it’d be done perfectly. What a joke. He went through great costs to become one of the Hall Master’s Four Major Shadow Guards. He wouldn’t allow such a small matter to cause his many years of hard work to go waste.