Translated by lickNick of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
This time, Gu Wen Zhu had been giving Xia Yi attitude for days now. He did not say a word to him as if he could not see him. When he called him to eat, he only gruffly said, “Meal.”
When he was at home, he was just like a silent tower made of steel.
Xia Yi was living his life timidly. He did not even dare to eat in his usual voracious manner. He would peek at Gu Wen Zhu every once in a while and would volunteer to tidy things up. He was afraid of accidentally agitating him, causing him to think he was a burden: Not only are you harboring evil intentions, you are also eating too much. You are going to use up all my money! Go away!
Hence, Xia Yi was only half full every meal. At night, when he could not put up with the hunger anymore, he would discreetly go into the kitchen to find food.
“179, scan, is Gu Wen Zhu asleep?”
System: “He is asleep.”
He tiptoed his way to the kitchen and began to search for food. He brushed past a pot, causing a clink sound, then he stopped his movement, petrified.
“179, has he woken up?”
System: “Yes, but he only raised his head and glanced at the kitchen, then he went back to sleep again.”
“I am being treated with soft domestic violence. It’s so tragic.”
System: “Stop mumbling, eat first.”
He had to look for food every night. Fortunately, there was always some food for him to find. At least, he could ingest something to deal with his empty stomach.
For all this time, Xia Yi had been monitoring his 25 points lands of potatoes every day. In addition to this, Gu Wen Zhu had been giving him silent treatment. The air at home became so tense as if it was going to ice up. Thus, except sleeping and eating, he would stay in the farmland as much as possible.
Gradually, the whole village knew about the nephew of Gu Wen Zhu’s stepmother who had fled to this place. That poor thing had been starving too much in the past, now that he finally had 25 points land of potatoes, he had to stay at the side watching the soil every day. He was paying so much attention that his eyes almost beamed out green light and he nearly slept in the farmland. The villagers felt bad for him.
Because of this, Xia Yi had quickly gotten along with all the villagers who had been greatly sympathizing with him.
“Yi, are you going to see the potatoes?”
“Yes, lady, have you eaten breakfast yet?”
“Yi, I’ve had a look at your potatoes, they haven’t sprouted yet.”
“Thank you, Uncle Wang.”
“Mrs. Wang, the baby can talk now!”
Xia Yi crouched in the ridge of the field with a worried look. It had been many days now, the land still looked the same. There was not even one sprout. They wouldn’t be all dead in the soil, right?
At night, he rolled over and over in bed. Then he sat up suddenly, put his outer shirt and shoes on and went out.
System: “Host, where are you going?”
Xia Yi: “I need to see my potatoes, or else I can’t sleep.”
System: “Haven’t you seen them this morning?”
Xia Yi: “No wonder I miss them so much, I haven’t seen them for the entire afternoon.”
Xia Yi stepped into that familiar ridge, so familiar that he could walk through it with eyes closed. He then walked towards his land. Under the soft moonlight, from afar, he immediately spotted a hunched figure in his land.
Xia Yi’s heart skipped a beat, he said, alarmed, “179, quick, scan, who is in my land? What’s he doing?” His eyes started to search around him to see if there were any sticks or stones. “Fuck it, if he harms my potatoes, I’m going to kill him.”
System: “Host, don’t panic. That’s Gu Wen Zhu. He is loosening the soil for you.”
Xia Yi, blanked, stopped his steps instantly and looked closely. He could see Gu Wen Zhu’s figure hunkered down in a gully in the field, moving one bit by one bit, loosening the soil for every potato pit bit by bit.
A warm feeling instantaneously filled Xia Yi’s heart. The feelings of annoyance and being wronged that had been building up for these few days due to being left out by Gu Wen Zhu were somehow all gone.
“179, I think Gu Wen Zhu is really a good guy. I don’t want us to keep not talking anymore.”
Gu Wen Zhu went back home after handling the potatoes. Once he entered the yard, he gazed at Xia Yi’s bedroom. The room was pitch dark. Through the window, Xia Yi was obviously asleep. Gu Wen Zhu was going to wash himself at the corner of the yard, but as soon as he turned, he saw the clothes dripping with water hanging on the clothesline, which he had taken off and hadn’t washed yet.
There was another underwear on the clothesline, wet and slightly swaying in the wind.
Gu Wen Zhu stood there, stupefied. After some time, he resignedly let out a sigh, shook his head and walked towards the well.
Since the day Gu Wen Zhu had loosened the soil, in less than two days, the potatoes had germinated. The newly grew sprouts stretched themselves freely under the sunlight, delicate and fresh. Xia Yi stood in the ridge, looking at the dainty green sprouts, his heart had been filled with unspeakable joy.
The villagers passing by with hoes on their shoulders also noticed the bits of greeneries.
“Yi, your potatoes finally sprouted.”
“Yes, Mr. Wang, you are early.”
“Oh my, this wasn’t easy, Yi. They finally sprouted after the long wait.”
“Thank you. No hurry. They’ll sprout anyways. Have you had breakfast yet? Lady Li.”
Xia Yi unhurriedly greeted the villagers politely. With a dim smile on his face, Xia Yi acted appropriately.
“179,179, they sprouted, finally. Hahahahaha, sprouted, sprouted. Hahaha. Hahaha, sprouted, hahahahahaha. 179, I wanna roll on the ground. 179, I wanna run around among these ridges.”
Day by day, the weather became increasingly warm, and the sprouts grew more and greener in the squares of lands. Xia Yi needed to inspect the potatoes a few times a day. He caught bugs, watered the fields, then crouched in the ridge and chattered with 179, talking about how well the sprouts were growing. His spirit was very uplifting.
Knowing that he would be able to harvest after two months, Xia Yi was vastly looking forward to that day. Once he completed his first mission, he would be one step closer to leaving this cursed world.
During the afternoon, Xia Yi and Gu Wen Zhu were sitting under the tree in the yard, eating. Ever since the weather became hot again, they had moved the dining table from the kitchen to the yard. It was spacious and cool out here.
A black cloud slowly approached and stopped on top of the yard. The sky darkened bit by bit. Followed by a few thunder and lightning, it started raining cats and dogs.
Gu Wen Zhu moved the dining table to the corridor in a hurry. The world became growingly gloomy. Drops of hail as big as rice started falling between the rain, jumping in the yard with sounds of pitter-patters.
Xia Yi knew this was far from good. When the potatoes came to his mind, he instinctively put down the bowl and the chopsticks, stood on the side of the corridor and looked at the sky, worried. “179, I am beginning to worry about my potato sprouts, can you scan them?”
“Host, the potato sprouts are safe now. The hail is not a threat yet.”
The hail droplets grew larger gradually, becoming as large as a pigeon egg, falling with overwhelmingly heavy rain. A thick layer of hail had quickly accumulated on the ground. He could hear cracking noises from the tiles above, lots of branches and leaves fell all over in the yard.
“179, scan the sprouts again.” Xia Yi rubbed his hand, circling under the roof, anxious.
“Host, the sprouts might be in danger. Although potatoes are resilient to hail, the hail is a little too severe.”
“Nope, I had to see my little sprouts.” Xia Yi halted his feet which were pacing, ”I need some basjoo leaves from the forest to cover them up.”
“Host, your safety is far more important than the mission.” 179 was much calmer than Xia Yi in key moments.
“I don’t care anymore. If I screw this mission up, how am I supposed to go back home?” Xia Yi speedily fetched himself a large wooden bowl, he looked up to the gloomy sky, made up his mind and dashed out with the bowl above his head.
“Where are you going?” Gu Wen Zhu’s voice was shouting from behind him.
Still on his way, Xia Yi answered: “I need to see my potato sprouts.”
Gu Wen Zhu angrily growled: “How are you still talking about the potato sprouts? You don’t want to live anymore?”
Xia Yi could not manage to respond, he only rushed towards the direction of the potato lands with the bowl above his head. The hail, hitting his wooden bowl, had made terrifying banging sounds.
“My precious little sprouts, please stay strong, papa is coming, papa is fetching you some basjoo leaves to cover you up. Ah!” Followed by a short gasp, Xia Yi stumbled and fell. The wooden bowl had slipped from his hand and had rolled over to the side.
At once, hail hit his body like bullets. He immediately held his head with his arms, eyes searching around for the wooden bowl. His back and shoulders were unbearably painful from the hail striking, but it was no time for him to think about this, he only wanted to get to the lands as fast as possible. Just when he attempted to stand up, his ankle felt a sharp piercing pain, then he fell again.
His ankle had been twisted.
Xia Yi sat in the hail helplessly. With half-squinted eyes, he groped the wooden bowl and used it to cover his head, trying to get up.
At this moment, a figure stopped in front of Xia Yi. Xia Yi’s sight had been blocked. He was covered up by a thick straw rain cape. The hail which was falling onto him could no longer hurt him.
Gu Wen Zhu came.
Gu Wen Zhu held him in his arms and rushed back into the house. He bent his back a bit while he was running in order to shelter Xia Yi with his upper body.
He kicked open the front door which was half-closed, moving Xia Yi into the house swiftly. After placing him on the bamboo bed, Gu Wen Zhu scooched down and asked: “Are you okay?”
Xia Yi, lying on the bamboo bed, felt pain all over his body. Even so, nothing could hurt him more than the fact that his land was going to be ruined. He turned his head not to face Gu Wen Zhu, sobbing: “My sprouts.”
Gu Wen Zhu stopped, then asked, puzzled: “It’s just potatoes, how could they be so valuable? Just let them be. If they were destroyed, I’ll make it up to you.”
With heavy nasal sounds, Xia Yi muttered: “You don’t understand, I only want my sprouts, they are important to me.”
After saying so, he turned sideways. He did not want to talk, only felt sad.
Thinking about him being transmigrated to this alien world with no reasons, oppressing his fear of being a ger, working hard to get back home, and when he was finally seeing hope, it only took a wave of hail to destroy his hope that had been built all these days.
The sadness grew inside Xia Yi as he was thinking. He could no longer hold off the tears in his eyes. Secretly wiping them off, he did not want Gu Wen Zhu to see him cry.
A short period of time later, Xia Yi heard some rustling sounds from behind. He turned to look. Gu Wen Zhu was wearing a bamboo hat, pulling out some bamboo mat from the storage. He rolled them up then carried them under his arm, intending to go out.
“Where are you going? It’s raining hail heavily.” Xia Yi, half up with his upper body supported by his arms, looked at Gu Wen Zhu with teary eyes.
“I am going to save your sprouts.” Gu Wen Zhu glanced at him, turned and ran into the hail.
“No! Don’t go!” Xia Yi, cried out nervously, trying to stop him. However, Gu Wen Zhu had already arrived at the front door. He opened the door and ran out.