Lin Miao was always a big-hearted child. In her opinion, she counts as a person who’s seen the world so she’s unafraid of anything. After all, there were many children in the village, and she’s the only one who was in the elementary school in town. Many adults in the village said she was great, even better than the boys. Over time, she began to think the same.

Just outside of the village, she asked the master, “If I work in the day, can I come back during the night? Papa and my little brother all went to town, and Mommy is alone at home. I’m worried about her inconvenience of being home alone since no one will be there to apply her plaster.” Her mom frequently had shoulder pain so she needed Lin Miao’s help to apply plaster.

The Master lowered his head, and looked at her innocent look, “It’s too far, you can’t walk back.”

Lin Miao thought that he definitely didn’t know she could walk alone with only a torch. He must have thought she was one of the kids in the village who were afraid of the dark. So she responded, “It’s going to be fine, I promise I won’t waste a single minute. I usually go to school in the town.”

The Master couldn’t help but caress her head. “Where we’re going will be further than the town, much further.”

Lin Miao stopped talking. No wonder those older sisters and brothers in the village who went outside to work only returned during the New Years.

The village head beside them looked at Lin Miao, furrowing his brows. After all, he witnessed how she grew up. Everyday, after school, she greeted him, and was familiar with everyone in the village. He finally asked, worried, “Older brother, this kid…”

“Don’t worry, she won’t bear hardships. It would be definitely better than living here. I have been to so many places to find a child with the same birthdate as the Young Master, I won’t make her life difficult.” The Master said, “Speaking of, this was also fate. The elderly woman insisted on a child from the countryside, saying this was her whim, but after searching in so many places, she’s the only one.”

“Didn’t you say it’s used to prevent misfortunes?” The village head asked.

“Like anyone can predict those mysteries. We’re going back first. They know we’ve found the person and are heading out to receive us. They couldn’t be more urgent, I heard that the Young Master had a fever and fell unconscious again.” The yellow-robed Master said.

The village head was a bit surprised. “Why didn’t they go see a doctor?”

“What do you mean? They went to multiple family doctors.” The Master sighed, “These things, even if I told you, you wouldn't understand. I’m leaving first.”

There wasn’t a road connecting to the village. So, at the exit of the village, they had to walk through mountain paths. The Master knelt down very naturally. “I’ll piggyback you down the mountain.”

Lin Miao shook her head. “I’m very familiar with this path.”

She ran out of the village as she said that, her big old backpack on her back, bouncing as she ran down the mountain.

Despite it being a descending path, it wasn’t even a single bit easy to walk through. The Master walked carefully and then saw the little girl in front of him descending like a butterfly. Who knows how she did that. Every step was firm and fast as well.

When they got out of the mountains, there were roads and there were people waiting for them here.

The Master put Lin Miao in the back seat and fastened her seatbelt.

This was Lin Miao’s first time inside a car. She was nervous and excited, looking around her surroundings.

“Are we taking the car to work?” Lin Miao asked.

The Master also sat inside and let the driver drive.

“Yes.” The Master said, and then saw Lin Miao’s soaked pant hems and somewhat muddy PLA shoes. (T/N : PLA stands for people’s liberation army)

Lin Miao’s face was red, she was a bit embarrassed, being looked at like this. She will wash them clean when they arrive at a place with water, she thought.

The Master thought of the bundle of firewood she carried back and her basket of mushrooms at the village. At that time, he saw her little body slumped low. He also grew up here, but his childhood wasn’t this hard on him.

And because of this reason, he had a good impression of her.

Diligent, sensible and generous children, will, of course, give him a good impression. Then, he remembered her mother telling her something about finding her a job. So, he said to her, “Your job is to listen. Whatever they ask you to do, you do, okay?”

Lin Miao didn’t understand, what were they going to ask her to do…Do what, specifically? Cut millet crops? Harvest corn? Or dig up potatoes? She can do all of those!

Looking at Lin Miao’s clear pupils, the Master remembered the Young Master’s bad temper and sighed in his mind. “If someone yells at you, don’t take it seriously.”

Lin Miao nodded obediently. “I will do very well. I’ll try to not get yelled at.”

The car was driving on the road. The road here was still unpaved and muddy so it was really bumpy.

Lin Miao quickly looked outside, curiously, and with a fresh view. It was her first time in a car, and she felt that the trees and the roadside flowers speeding past her looked different than how they normally looked to her.

The Master peered at her appearance of not having seen the world before. Concerned that she might receive grievances, he exhorted, “Don't act all surprised. When you’re in the car, look to the front. When you’re at the workplace, don’t randomly touch or look at things, okay?”

Lin Miao sat back properly, and nodded very compellingly.

But she couldn’t help her eyes from wandering to the side.

The master became a bit softhearted, it really was children’s nature. “This time can be exempted, you can look.”

Lin Miao said sweetly “Master, you are so nice!”

And then started to look at the scenery outside of the car window again.

She looked and looked until she fell asleep leaning on the window.

After all, one had to wake up early to pick mushrooms, or else, it would be picked away by others. So when the sky was only dimly lit, she went off with her buddies without eating breakfast.

Plus, she also ran down the mountain.

She was now sleepy and hungry.

When she woke up, she noticed that there weren’t continuous green mountains outside anymore.

Lin Miao looked outside, shocked, and noticed that there were many houses around.

The Master said to her, “If you had slept for a bit more, we would’ve been there by the time you woke up. When we’re there, answer whatever they ask. Just answer honestly. This kid’s sure good at sleeping, sleeping for five hours straight.”

Lin Miao blinked. Why did they all say that to her, what were they going to ask?

Not long after, the car stopped.

Lin Miao looked at the… “castle” in front of her eyes. She was completely stunned. She had only seen this type of house in fairy tale books her dad mailed back before.

The Master pulled Lin Miao to him, and said to the middle-aged man receiving her, “It’s this kid.”

The middle-aged man frowned, “Why is she so dirty?”

“When I got there, she was picking mushrooms and carrying firewood from the mountains, she came back too hastily.” The Master said, “I already delivered the person, we’ll do the ritual after a few days when the Young Master wakes up.”

The middle-aged man had to say, “Sorry for troubling you, Master.”

And then said to Lin Miao, “Follow me.”

Lin Miao followed inside obediently. She was a bit embarrassed because they didn’t find a place to clean her along the way here. She was a bit afraid that they wouldn’t want to hire her anymore.

Soon after, she saw a yard full of fiery red flowers.

She only saw small unknown flowers in the mountains, never such big, red flowers. It was as if the flowers were from a painting.

The middle-aged man said, “I am the housekeeper here. In a bit, answer accordingly to whatever the elderly woman asks you.”

Before entering the grand living room, she already heard an impatient male voice coming from inside the house, “Mom, those are all superstitions. Now, the entire city knows that I’m searching for a kid born on February the twenty-ninth to shield misfortunes for Jing Xuan, where do you expect me to put my face?”

The elderly woman’s voice followed, “Just try it first, I heard it’s very effective.”

Then the housekeeper knocked on the door, leading Lin Miao by her wrist, “Old Madam, the master has delivered the person.”

Immediately after, Lin Miao saw the furnishing in the living room. She could not tell what they all were, but just thought they were all white, clean, and showing no sign of having any dust. It looked super comfortable, like palaces in storybooks.

The two people sitting were… greater than anyone she has seen before!

She couldn’t think of any other words.

She heard the elder say, “Is this the girl? The same birthdate as Little Yu? Why does she look so much shorter than our Little Yu, look at those skinny limbs…”

Lin Miao heard this and only thought that she was unsatisfied with her being skinny and short. She was panicking a bit in her heart. She saw the village head give the money to Mommy already, if they didn’t want her, wouldn’t the money be returned?

Then she heard, “Have you ever gotten sick before? What do you do at home?”

Lin Miao quickly responded, “I’ve never been sick. At home, I can cut millet crops, carry firewood, pick mushrooms, chop trees, dig potatoes, harvest corn, I know how to do everything.”

After hearing all this, the middle-aged man to the side couldn’t help but frown a bit. Looking at this little girl’s appearance, he asked, unhappy, “Have you gone to school?”

Lin Miao quickly said her strengths, hoping it would raise their opinion on her. Whenever people talked about her in the village, they would always bring this up. Even though she didn’t enjoy it, everyone else in the village thinks it’s pretty honorable to go to school in the town.

“I have been properly educated, I go to school in town.” Lin Miao said, a bit proud, “At the best central elementary school in the town.”

The elderly woman heard this and laughed, unable to hold it back, “That’s good! Is studying fun?”

“No. I have to walk for over three hours every day. I don’t want to go to school anymore. I will work in the future.” Lin Miao said with honesty. She didn’t like the town. Another reason being, she had to leave and go to school with a torch before dawn. If she walked too slow and arrived late, she would get punished by being made to stand.

At the bottom of the mountain, there was a river. When it was rainy, she would get her entire pants wet while crossing the river. She would get laughed at at school for “peeing her pants”, so, she really doesn’t want to go to school.

The elderly woman was amused by her. She closely inspected her again. Such a small size and she had to walk three hours to go to school. Her ace was of a healthy millet colour, probably a tan. She was short, with ear-length shiny black hair. Her health was pretty good.

“Give her a bath and a change of clothes.” The old woman said.

But there wasn't any clothing for little girls in the house. The old woman thought of her main purpose and said, “Get some of the young master’s old clothing for her to wear.”


You must be logged in to give rating and add a comment.

No comments so far!

Post a comment to start discussion.