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Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Wow, what a big dog!” The man moved backward a few steps in fear when he saw San Xian standing next to Wang Yao. San Xian was like a lion. It looked wild and scary.
Wang Yao noticed the thing in the man’s hand. It was a block of honeycomb that seemed to be soaked in water for a long time. The man’s arm was red and swollen. It seemed that he was stung by the bees.
“Honeycomb?” Now, Wang Yao was pretty sure that this man had been to the back of Nanshan Hill.
“Yes. I got it from the creek on Nanshan Hill,” the man said.
“What do you need this for? Wanna get honey out of it?” Wang Yao asked.
“No. I heard that honeycomb water can cure rhinitis,” the man said. “I suffer from rhinitis every spring. So, I took it when I saw it on Nanshan Hill. Fortunately I got this, otherwise I’ll suffer from rhinitis again.”
“You are right. Honeycomb can treat rhinitis,” Wang Yao said.
Honeycomb could kill toxic insects, dispel wind, and relieve pain. It could also be put into spoiled water with pollen to treat rhinitis.
“The only thing is that honeycomb this time of the year is not very effective in treating rhinitis,” Wang Yao said.
“As long as it has some effect,” the man said.
“OK, see you later then,” Wang Yao said.
“See you,” the man said. He suddenly thought of something and stopped. “Wait a minute, Yao!”
“Yes?” Wang Yao asked.
“Be careful when you are on Nanshan Hill. There is a big snake on the hill,” the man said.
“A big snake?” Wang Yao asked.
“Yes, a black snake. It was at least nine feet long and this big!” The middle-aged man put his hands together to make a circle.
“Xiaohei!” Wang Yao immediately got what the man was talking about. It must be Xiaohei. He hadn’t seen Xiaohei for a while. It seemed the snake had grown bigger. “I think snakes should be hibernating. You probably got it wrong.”
“No way! I wouldn’t hide near the creek if I was not trying to escape from the snake,” the man said.
He had been looking for firewood on Nanshan Hill two days ago. However, he only found a little bit. He spotted Xiaohei while he was wandering on the hill. Most people got scared when they saw a snake, especially a big snake like Xiaohei. He turned around and started to run. He ended up somewhere near the creek. Then, he saw several old jujube trees. Nowadays, a lot of people were into wooden sculptures. Jujube wood was considered valuable wood among the locals. So, the man picked a branch from one of the jujube trees. He carried the wood and continued to walk until he saw a honeycomb on the rock. He grabbed the honeycomb without thinking. Fortunately, the bees were still hibernating.
He sort of got good out of misfortune. He bumped into a big snake on the hill, escaped into the creek, and found some valuable wood and a honeycomb.
Of course he didn’t disclose every detail to Wang Yao. The villagers had changed their point of view toward Wang Yao over the past few years after several significant events. They knew they should never mess with this young man.
“I see. I will be careful,” Wang Yao said.
He was now clear about what had happened. It was just an incident. Wang Yao had peace of mind. But, it occurred to him that there would be more and more people coming to Nanshan Hill in warm spring. Some of them would approach his herbal field.
Snake? Wang Yao suddenly had an idea. “San Xian, where is Xiaohei?” asked Wang Yao.
Woof! Woof! San Xian took the lead. They went to the back of Nanshan Hill at the south and stopped outside a cave. The cave was quite deep. It was completely dark inside.
Woof! Woof! San Xian barked. Soon, Wang Yao heard a hissing sound. A snake as thick as a human’s arm came out of the cave. It flashed forth its tongue and looked at Wang Yao and San Xian.
“Hey, you’ve grown so big.” Wang Yao patted the snake’s head with a smile. The snake didn’t move. It was as if it knew Wang Yao.
“I’m not sure if you can understand me,” Wang Yao said. “Can you wander around at the north side of the hill a bit more?”
Wang Yao pointed at the other side of the hill. “Let’s go, follow me.”
The black snake followed him and San Xiao to the other side of the hill. The closer they approached the herbal field, the warmer it became.
“Can you come to these places often?” Wang Yao asked with a smile as he walked through the narrow paths on Nanshan Hill. The rocks on the hill were quite steep, and they were located everywhere. Therefore, it was almost impossible to grow anything in those areas. However, a lot of people liked to graze cattle and sheep there.
Last year, Wang Yao blocked all the paths leading to the herbal field by moving rocks and planting trees. He planned to plant more trees in spring.
He was not sure if the black snake could understand what he was saying. He just kept talking while walking.
“Alright, that’s pretty much about it. Let’s go to the herbal field,” Wang Yao said.
A man, a dog, and a snake entered the herbal field. Wang Yao didn’t know where the eagle was. It started to get dark.
“You can live here if you like,” Wang Yao said.
The snake didn’t indicate whether it wanted to stay. It just flashed forth his tongue.
Wang Yao checked the time. “I have to go now.” He then left Nanshan Hill.
“Dad, you are back,” Wang Yao saw his father was planting a rubber tree as he walked through the door.
“Yao, where is that rabbit from?” Wang Fenghua asked once he saw the little rabbit in Wang Yao’s arm.
“I don’t know where San Xiao got it. I want to leave it at home because I don’t want it to eat my herbs on the hill,” Wang Yao said.
“OK,” Wang Fenghua said.
Wang Yao and his father chatted for a short while before Zhang Xiuying brought all the dishes to the table.
“Your sister’s engagement party is going to be on Jan. 26,” Zhang Xiuying said.
“I see.” Wang Yao made a note of the day.
“I need to go to Beijing again a few days later,” Wang Yao said. He had promised Song Ruiping and Wu Tongxing he would visit again.
“OK. Don’t worry about your business on Nanshan Hill,” Wang Fenghua said.
“Thanks, Dad,” Wang Yao said.
In Dali, the second and third sons of Han’s family were having a discussion
“Brother, I won’t get it wrong. I have asked someone to obtain information from the King Pharmacist’s student,” said Han Zhigao, the third son.
“I think we need to talk to our big brother,” Han Zhiyu said.
“What if our brother doesn’t allow us to do it?” Han Zhigao asked.
“Then, we have to steal a little bit of the decoction to bring to the King Pharmacist,” Han Zhiyu said.
The decoction was still there. It could save their youngest brother’s life. It wouldn’t hurt to take a small proportion of the decoction. They could exchange the decoction for treatment from the King Pharmacist.
They went to speak to their eldest brother. The outcome was no surprise to them. Their brother didn’t allow them to take the decoction to the King Pharmacist.
“What should we do then?” Han Zhigao asked.
“Since our big brother doesn’t agree with our plan, we are not gonna waste our time to convince him. Let’s do it ourselves,” Han Zhiyu said.
“OK, I agree with you. Let us save our youngest brother,” Han Zhigao said.
The two brothers decided to go ahead with their planned business.
It started to get dark in the village. Wang Yao came down from Nanshan Hill.
While he was having dinner, his phone rang. It was Wu Tongxing calling him.
“Hello, Mr. Wu,” Wang Yao said.
Wu Tongxing just called to ask when Wang Yao would visit Beijing.
“I’ll go to Beijing in three days,” Wang Yao said.
“Great,” Wu Tongxing happily said.
Meanwhile, in Wang Zecheng’s house, his son was playing with his father. The house was full of the child’s giggles.
Wang Yilong was also very happy. His grandson had returned three days ago. He wanted to play with his grandfather all the time. Although Wang Yilong was still tired, he was in a good mood.
“Well, Haoyuan, your grandpa has been playing with you for the whole day. Can you let him rest for a while?” Wang Zecheng asked.
“No! I want to play with grandpa,” Haoyuan said. He was an innocent and intelligent kid. He knew who liked him.
“I’m fine. I’m not that tired. I can play with him for a little while,” Wang Yilong said.
“OK,” Wang Zecheng said.
It started to get late. The child fell to sleep immediately since he was exhausted from playing for the whole day.
“I think Dad almost finished taking all the decoctions,” Wang Zecheng’s wife said.
“Yes, actually he has taken all the decoctions. Let’s see how he goes. I’ll go to Yao’s clinic again tomorrow,” Wang Zecheng said.
“The only thing is the decoctions cost too much,” his wife said.
“Let me ask him again tomorrow and see if he can reduce the price,” Wang Zecheng said.
Meanwhile, Wang Yao prepared quite a few herbs on Nanshan Hill. Astragalus, pilose asiabell root, garden balsam stem, ganoderma, white peony root, pear grass, Cizhan, Changyang, Guiyuan…
All those herbs were for Wu Tongxing’s father. He could actually use the same formula on Wang Yilong to treat his cancer.
He also needed to prepare for another decoction. It contained pilose asiabell root, schisandra, poria, white peony root, and Yushuai. This formula was for Chen Ying’s brother.
Wang Yao thought, I hope I don’t need to visit Beijing again after this trip.
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