Everyone in the room was stunned. They thought the wounds on the baby's body were scratched by stones in the forest, but they were actually sword wounds?
Madam Ma covered her mouth with her hand and couldn't help crying. How cruel to hurt a baby with a sword! The child was still so young. How painful could it be?
Yuan Genzhu was also very uncomfortable. He said, “Thank you, doctor, we will think about it.”
After sending off the doctor and Aunt Wang, Madam Ma sat on the side of the bed and stared at the sleeping baby. Her eyes were full of pity and tenderness. She stretched out her hand to follow the outline of the baby, and whispered, “Genzhu, look how fair he is? With big eyes, a pretty nose, and a small mouth, he must be a beautiful man when he grows up!”
Yuan Genzhu thought to himself—the child hadn't even opened his eyes, how did she know his eyes were big? But he dared not say anything. Just as he was about to respond, Madam Ma exclaimed, “The child is awake!”
Yuan Genzhu looked over instinctively and happened to meet a pair of dark black eyes. The gaze was not as lively as other babies, even a little dull, but for some reason, they are inexplicably calming. It was like eating a piece of watermelon cooled in well water on a hot day, and all the heat and irritability were wiped out.
The baby didn’t cry or make a fuss. Although Madam Ma found it a little strange, she still said excitedly, “Look at how well-behaved the baby is. Genzhu, hurry up and find some goat milk. The baby must be hungry.”
However, goat milk had a stench and Madam Ma took a long time to get rid of it, before feeding it to him one spoonful at a time.
On that day, Yuan Genzhu and his wife did not wash up and go to bed until the baby fell asleep again.
But Madam Ma tossed and turned and could hardly fall asleep all night. Yuan Genzhu asked her about it and she cried, “It’s all my fault for not giving you a child, causing you to be laughed at.”
Yuan Genzhu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Why do you take those ugly words to your heart? They are all irrelevant outsiders.”
Madam Ma, “Is your eldest brother an outsider too?”
Yuan Genzhu was silent.
His elder brother was very concerned that he had no children in his family and wanted him to adopt one of his. He said he was afraid that Genzhu would not be taken care of in the future, but everyone knew that his eldest brother had his eye on Genzhu’s property.
Madam Ma knew that Yuan Genzhu felt uncomfortable, so she stopped mentioning it, but said, “Now that you picked up the baby and brought him back, it shows that he is destined to be with us. Although the doctor said that the baby may be a child of a good family, it’s only a possibility. Even so, how easy is it to find his biological parents? I’m thinking, why don’t he follow us? Be our son.”
Yuan Genzhu thought about it and said, “I’ll apply for the household registration tomorrow. Let’s keep the baby at home first. Let’s also find out if anyone has lost a child. If his parents are eager to find him, we can’t be keeping him.”
Madam Ma also understood that she was being selfish and had to agree.
A few days later, the whole village knew that Yuan Genzhu had adopted a dim-witted son. He didn’t display any expressions all day long and he couldn't even cry. Everyone laughed that he was too anxious for a son and would even resort to raising a fool.
Yuan Genzhu’s elder brother also heard the news and the family came to make trouble.
The eldest persuaded him, his sister-in-law rolled around, and his nephews cried endlessly.
Madam Ma was scolded so badly that she could only weep silently. Yuan Genzhu almost fainted from anger but the other party was his brother. No matter how bad the relationship between the two brothers, he could only endure it.
At this moment, there was a loud noise from the backroom that sounded like something falling to the ground.
Madam Ma's face suddenly changed. She thought of the baby in the backroom and rushed inside.
As soon as the curtain was lifted, the small wooden bed Yuan Genzhu personally made for his son had been pushed to the ground, the baby with it, while Older Yuan’s five-year-old son clapped his hands happily. No one knew when he entered the room.
Madam Ma only felt a fire burning in her heart. She picked up her son and slapped the naughty child in the face!
A clear slap mark was left on Yuan Xiaosan's face and he stood there for a while before starting to cry.
The crying drew his mother. The latter did not ask any questions as she grabbed Madam Ma and wanted to fight her. Yuan Genzhu, who came in immediately, couldn't restrain his anger when he saw that. He picked up a chair and shouted, “All of you get out of my house immediately! I, Yuan Genzhu, will have nothing to do with you from now on!”
He was so enraged that he grabbed the eldest brother who had just entered the house, smashed a chair on the other party's leg, gritted his teeth, and said, “Take your family and get lost!”
In the end, Yuan Dalang's family ran away while cursing bitterly.
When the room was quiet, they asked the doctor to visit again. After knowing that Madam Ma and the child were all right, Yuan Genzhu relaxed a little. He hesitated and asked, “My son hasn't cried in the past few days. What is the reason?”
Doctor, “He’s still young, so I can’t see anything for the time being. Maybe we should wait until he’s one or two.”
Yuan Genzhu looked worried. He wasn’t afraid that his son would be really stupid. Even if he was, he would take good care of him. After all, the child was a gift from heaven.
But he worried that if he and Madam Ma were gone one day, leaving a dim-witted son to live alone, how would he live his life then?
Yuan Genzhu stared at his son's clear black eyes, his heart already a puddle of tenderness. Forget it, that was all for the future, so why should he worry about nothing?
That night, Yuan Genzhu made the most important decision in his life. He wanted to take his family away from the village!
Madam Ma was puzzled. “Why do you want to leave suddenly?”
Yuan Genzhu, “You know the attitude of the people in the village. I’m afraid their gossips will cause our son grief. Besides, my eldest brother, bah! Yuan Dalang will definitely come and disturb him in the future. I used to give way to him, but my son is so small, I must protect him, and never let him be exposed to any danger.”
Madam Ma blamed herself again for not having a child so Yuan Genzhu had to appease her.
When her emotions eased and agreed to leave the village, Yuan Genzhu was finally in the mood to repair the small wooden bed. After being pushed by Yuan Xiaosan during the day, the small wooden bed had a leg broken.
He picked up the broken leg of the bed and planned to throw it in the yard, but saw some small yellow and orange particles flickering at the broken edge. Driven by curiosity, Yuan Genzhu cut this piece of wood and found a lot of golden beads hidden inside!
Yuan Genzhu was completely dumbfounded. This small wooden bed was made using an old table and old chair. When they divided the property back then, he didn't get any good things other than some tattered furniture, which was said to have been used by the older generation of the family. Who knew there would be pieces of gold hidden in it?
Yuan Genzhu laughed and awakened Madam Ma, who was also astounded. The latter immediately picked up his son and kissed him. “Baby, you’re our lucky star indeed!”
Not long after, Yuan Genzhu and his family moved out of Clearbrook Village. There was no news of his whereabouts and they did not return for several years.
Five years later.
In a mansion of Prosperous City, although it was winter, the flowers in the garden still bloomed vibrantly. Two maids supported a pregnant woman who was slowly sitting down in the courtyard.
The woman stroked her slightly protruding abdomen and said, “This one is really good. It doesn't make a fuss at all.”
A maid said, “It must be a girl.”
Another maid said smoothly, “Yes, let’s have a girl this time so we can have both. That’s a blessing.”
Both knew that the woman had had three sons and always wanted a daughter, so they were trying their best to please her.
The woman was amused, but it didn't take long for her eyes to show a trace of worry again, and she ordered, “Tell someone to bring the eldest young master here.”
The two maids saw that the woman was sad again and they hurriedly comforted, “The master has spent a lot of money to invite famous doctors. Sooner or later the eldest young master can be cured, so the madam should not worry about it.
The woman just sighed and said nothing.
After a while, an old woman walked over with a four or five-year-old boy. The boy was dressed snugly and wrapped in a white fox cloak. He had fair skin and red lips, and his facial features were so exquisite that he looked like a fairy boy, but at a closer look, the boy's eyes were somewhat distracted, and his expression not as lively as other children, as though his mind was confused.
The old nanny bowed her head and said, “Madam, here comes the eldest young master.”
The woman nodded and took the boy's hand. “Tianci, what would you like to eat for lunch?”
(TN: Tianci 天赐 = Godsend)
The boy didn't respond but looked at her blankly.
The woman asked more questions but the boy never answered. The woman felt very upset and said, “My darling Tianci, you are the child that heaven has sent to us. Mother will do her best to cure you. You must get better.”
The woman was Madam Ma from Clearbrook Village. They came to Prosperous City with their family back then. Yuan Genzhu quickly made his first pot of gold with the gold pieces and his shrewd business acumen. Since then, everything had been smooth-sailing. Shops opened one after another, and in just two or three years, they became a well-known wealthy family in Prosperous City.
Over the years, they also did many good deeds. At one time, more than ten counties in the prefecture and province where Prosperous City was located were affected by drought. Yuan Genzhu donated more than half of his wealth to assist officials in disaster relief. When the situation improved, the prefect commended him, and the emperor bestowed a plaque of great benefactor to display his righteous deeds. From then on, no one dared to harbor any thoughts about the Yuan family.
While Yuan Genzhu was gaining a foothold in the city, Madam Ma, who had been infertile for many years, became pregnant with children one after another. First, they had two in three years, and after only two years had passed, Madam Ma had another one in her stomach.
In short, everything went well for them, the only flaw being that there was indeed something wrong with the baby they picked up.
They named him Tianci, to thank heaven for the gift sent. When Tianci grew older, the two found that although the child looked no different from ordinary people, he never reacted to the outside world, never cried, never laughed, and never said a word.
However, Yuan Genzhu and his wife did not decrease their love for Tianci, not only because Tianci was their first child, but also because they both believed that Tianci was the blessing of the Yuan family. With Tianci around, their days became better. Coupled with the anomaly, it only made them more affectionate that even biological parent and child could not surpass it.
During that time, Yuan Genzhu didn’t stop inquiring about Tianci’s biological parents, but unfortunately found no clues, so they kept Tianci by their side.
In the past five years, Yuan Genzhu hired famous doctors for him. Even imperial physicians who had retired and returned to their hometowns were invited to their homes with a lot of money for treatment, but Tianci’s condition never improved.
At this time, a little maid came hurriedly and said to Madam Ma, “Madam, there is a Daoist priest from Chen Kingdom outside the door, saying that he can heal the young master.”
“Huh, another trickster. How many has there been? Each pretended to be the reincarnation of immortals or Buddha, but they just made young master’s life difficult. Although there are immortals in this world, how can mortals like us easily see them?”
A maid said angrily, causing Madam Ma to frown slightly.
In recent years, the news that the Yuan family had been looking for someone to treat the eldest young master had spread widely. Even notices were posted in the city. Thus, many ‘legendary masters’ came to the door but most of them just wanted to cheat them of money.
Madam Ma sighed. “Forget it. Give him some money and ask him to leave.”
The little maid agreed but soon came back with a large bag of silver.
The maid beside Madam Ma cried out, “What are you doing with so much money? Do you want to give it to that cheater?”
The maid shook her head quickly. “No, the money was given to me by the Daoist outside the door. He said he’s willing to pay a lot of money to see the young master and try to heal him.”
As soon as she said that, the people in the garden were shocked. Could it be that he could really cure him?
Madam Ma clutched her chest and gasped. “Quickly, please ask him in.”
After waiting for a few minutes, the little maid led a young Daoist into the garden.
At first sight, Madam Ma and the maidservants were speechless—the Daoist was so beautiful that even the flowers in the garden were much inferior.
In the cold wind, he only wore a thin green robe, but he had a leisurely and elegant posture when he walked, like an egret dipping in the water. Especially that pair of eyes, the pupils were slightly larger than ordinary people and as clear as two glass beads. Even the blue-feathered bird on his shoulder was a little bit more spirited and agile than ordinary birds.
The Daoist didn’t look like a crook. Maybe he really had some means?
Suddenly, Tianci, whom Madam Ma held in her arms, turned his head and stared fixedly at the Daoist.
Author’s Notes: Divine Bragging
Jing-jing: Ji-ji, the comment section said we seemed to be disconnected.
Ji-ji: Ji-ji won’t be disconnected so easily. Ji-ji is the protagonist’s… golden finger, golden thigh, and golden accessories.
Jing-jing: … Trying hard to hold back the mocking.jpg