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Along with the doctor was his apprentice, who was carrying his medicine bag behind him. The four of them finally arrived at Willow Village after two hours on the road.
Right when they arrived at the door, the three young ones shouted joyfully and ran out to greet them. But once they saw the strangers with them, the three immediately put on their best behavior, but they continue to stare at Cheng Xiao Xiao eagerly.
Soon as Mrs. Cheng had taken the doctor into the backside of the house, Cheng Xiao Xiao took out the cakes and snacks from the town to give to her sibling. Then, ignoring how tired she was from the trip, he started to prepare lunch.
After lunChapter was ready, they invited the doctor and the apprentice to join them. Cheng Xiao Xiao noticed that mom wasn’t looking too happy. She figured dad’s injuries might be a bit difficult to heal.
The doctor took a bit of the white radish and looked very surprised, “Mrs. Cheng, what is this? How is it so crispy and sweet?”
“Doctor, this is something that Xiao Xiao found in the mountain. She brought back some sprouts and we started growing them. I am not sure what they are either.” Mrs. Cheng had to tell him a white lie, while still being the polite host.
Once the doctor heard this, he was even more curious than before. He turned and asked Cheng Xiao Xiao, “Maiden Cheng, how did you find this?”
Cheng Xiao Xiao was just about to reaChapter out for some food but put down her bowl and chopsticks and casually replied, “Grandpa Doctor1, I found these white radish in some muddy area inside a deep valley. From what I have read in the past, they are also referred to as the ‘fake ginseng’. They belong to the herb family with very meaty root. They can come in round, cylindrical, or conical shape, sort of look like ginseng.”2
White radish in the soil
Photo credit: baike.com
Photo credit: uooyoo.com
Photo credit: bannedbook.org
“You have the actual plant?” The doctor only got more curious. He didn’t even care that they were in the middle of dining, he just wanted to see the actual plant.
Zheng Bin heard his voice and replied loudly, “I know! I will go get!” He swiftly jumped off from his stool and dashed into the kitchen.
He returned shortly after that with a white radish in his arm and handed it over to the doctor, “Grandpa doctor, this is the white radish that our big sister found. It’s delicious, you can eat it raw, or you can even stir fried it to eat with rice!”
“Oh, you can eat it raw too!” The doctor examine the white, meaty plant with squinted eyes.
Next to him, the apprentice’s eyes widened and exclaimed in amazement, “It looks so muChapter like a ginseng! No wonder it’s called the ‘fake ginseng’!”
The doctor wiped the radish with his sleeve and took a big bite. He chewed it loudly. His satisfying look made the apprentice drooled and wish he, too, could try one of the radishes.
“Not bad, no bad. It’s no ginseng, that’s for sure. But I could still tell there’s a hint of herb tastes in it. These are no simple items.” Smiled the doctor happily.
Cheng Xiao Xiao was a little surprised so she added, “Grandpa doctor, fake ginseng’s root can be eaten like vegetables. It’s seed, fresh root, dried root, and leaves can all be used as herbs. They help with digestion and clearing phlegm. It’s fresh roots are good for thirst and helps with digestion. Dried roots are good for constipation and can be used as diuretic. Their leaves can be used to cure and prevent dysentery. They do have some herbal qualities.”
“Wow, maiden Cheng, you know all these?” The doctor was astonished. His penetrating eyes stared straight at Cheng Xiao Xiao, wanting to see through her.
Cheng Xiao Xiao was unaffected, she met his gaze, and lightly explained, “Junior2 had read quite a few articles and medical journals, and that’s where I’ve read about these fake ginsengs.”
“Not bad, not bad. You are quite impressive, girl!”
The doctor nodded, praised her some more then carried on with the meal.
During the meal, they didn’t exchange any more conversations. After lunch, the doctor bided his farewell. Cheng Xiao Xiao gave him two more white radishes and brought smile to his face all over again.
1. A respectable way of address an elder. The doctor, naturally, not related to them by blood.
2. Referring to yourself as “junior” (younger generation) is a humble way of addressing oneself to someone of an older generation. _____
After seeing them off, she noticed her mom’s look dimmed again. That made her worry about her dad inside the house too.
After sending the three young ones to play outside, she followed her mom into her dad’s residence. She noticed he wasn’t sleep and greeted him.
Cheng Bi Yuan nodded slightly. His look indifferently, he was unaffected.
“Dad, what did the doctor said about your injury?” Cheng Xiao Xiao was familiar with herbs but she didn’t know how to diagnose a patient.
“Hard to say, let’s have some herbs first and see where it goes.” Cheng Bi Yuan gave her a look, then changed the subject and asked, “What happened when you two went into town, tell me.”
They had company earlier so Cheng Bi Yuan has not yet found out what had happened, but he figured they’d have to make several trips to sell chickens and rabbits before they could afford a doctor making a house call. He was surprised they came back with one.
Mrs. Cheng didn’t hide anything and told him about the encounter with Ning’s steward. Cheng Bi Yuan was quiet after hearing the incident. After a while, he asked his daughter, “Xiao Xiao, the vegetables and animals that were raised and grown in the dimension, how are they different than the ones on the outside when you eat them?”
How are they different?
Cheng Xiao Xiao had never really thought about that. Before she could answer, Mrs. Cheng replied, “I felt that the vegetables and meats from the dimension are more tender, and after you ate them, you feel refreshed and all the weariness are gone!”
“…….” Cheng Xiao Xiao was surprised, but what Mrs. Cheng said was true.
Cheng Bi Yuan looked at her, and said with a deep voice, “The food from the dimension is good for health. It’s like they are spiritual!”
“Spiritual?” Cheng Xiao Xiao was not sure what to make of that.
Mrs. Cheng’s look paled a little. She looked at her husband and knew that what he said was true. She looked down and did not speak again.
“Mom, dad, can you tell me what do you mean by ‘spiritual’?” Cheng Xiao Xiao broke the silence inside the house. She was full of curiosity. She wanted to know if what her dad said about “spiritual” was the same as what she had read about in novels.
“Xiao Xiao, this is not something that you need to concern yourself with. Nothing good will come out of it. Why don’t you go look for Zheng Yuan and the lot. Tell them to come back for their reading lesson!” Cheng Bi Yuan tried to get rid of his curious daughter.
Obviously, he wasn’t ready to tell her the truth. But seeing the concerned look on her parents, she knew she couldn’t press the issue, so she turned and left.
The Cheng House had regained it’s peacefulness. At the same time, guests are feasting at the Ning House. A few elders at a table were in good spirits, glowing, and boisterous, drawing attention from guests at a nearby table.
The elders were chatting and eating at the same time. Whenever he got excited he would raise his glass and took a few large gulps. An elder with white beard downed his glass of wine and shoved a piece of meat into his mouth. After some chewing, he had an odd look, then he picked up another slice of meat .
His odd behavior drew attention from a few other. An elder in a blue outfit asked, “Old man Lam, what’s the matter with you? You acted like you haven’t eaten in months!”
Old man Lam gave him a stare, then he chewed up all the meat and bones in his mouth and swallowed them all before asked the host next to him, “Hey, Old Ning, did you guys raise these fouls yourself or did you buy them from the market?”
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