I didn't leave, and I didn't know why I didn't leave.
Maybe it was because of the tears Madam Yang had left when I asked about the Second Master.
Later, everyone in the courtyard left. Not only the servants, but also the family members returned to their hometowns to seek refuge from their other relatives, while Madam Yang took a few young ladies and left. Before leaving, she told me to take care of the courtyard and that the Second Master might come back after a few days.
However, the Eldest Master didn't leave.
He said that the Yang family, left behind by the Eldest Master, couldn't collapse like this. He told Madam Yang to go back to her family first, and that he would pick her up when the time came.
Personally, I thought these words were purely meant to comfort Madam Yang.
There were only three servants left in the courtyard: me, Feng Po, and Yuan Sheng, the servant of the Eldest Master. Even the Eldest Master's wife had left.
One day, when Yuan Sheng was working, he asked me why I stayed. I didn't answer, but asked him why instead. He said that the Eldest Master had been kind to him and he could not forget his kindness. Then he asked me if it was because the Second Master had been kind to me, so I stayed.
I just smiled at that.
Not to mention kindness, it was already good enough that the Second Master had no grudges against me.
But I didn't say that, and it would take too much effort to explain. So I just said yes, that the Second Master had been very kind to me and I could not forget his kindness.
Yuan Sheng pulled me aside and said in a low voice, "You are a loyal servant too, and the Second Master depends on you to take care of him."
I was stunned and felt that these words were not said casually. I asked him, "What's the matter?"
Yuan Sheng's face was not good. He said to me, "Isn't the business’ caravan in trouble? I heard that not only did it delay the imperial merchandise, but it also encountered enemies. The old master didn't have a chance to be tried, and he was brought away. Sigh..."
Don't just sigh, I asked him again, "Then what about our Second Master?"
Yuan Sheng said, "The Second Master escaped with his life, but..."
I really wanted to give him a slap.
"What happened in the end?"
Yuan Sheng said, "I heard that his body was severely injured."
That whole day, I was in a daze.
Yuan Sheng said that the Second Master's leg was seriously injured and he couldn't move. Now he was a little better and was heading back to Hangzhou. I calculated that it must have been very serious. Was it broken? Paralyzed?
At that time, I didn't think much. I just thought that if his leg was injured and he was lying in bed to recover, with the Second Master's temper, I didn't know how many kicks I would have to endure.
So I still eagerly hoped that the Second Master would recover soon.
It later proved that I was too naive.
The day the Second Master came back, I opened the door.
To be honest, I didn't recognize him at all.
There was an old man driving a bullock cart outside the door, looking like he was in his fifties, wearing tattered clothes. I thought he was here to beg for food, so I said, "Uncle, go somewhere else. We can't even open the pot here."
The old man waved his hand and pointed to the back, speaking in a thick accent from outside the province, "Deliver this and give me two silver coins."
I looked back and saw that the bullock cart was covered with straw, and it seemed that there was a shadow of clothes vaguely. I walked over and said, "What is this? Who asked you to come?" I thought he was a peddler, just about to send him away, but then I saw the person lying on the cart.
I looked at him for a long time before I stammered, "S-S-Second Master?"
I didn't know if the Second Master was awake, but his eyes were open and he looked particularly miserable. His hair was disheveled and his face was so thin that it was almost unrecognizable. He was covered with a thick layer of straw.
I hesitated to go and help him, but the old man shouted at me, "Little girl, take it slow! Don't kill him."
I was no longer in the mood, how could I kill him when he was just lying there.
When I uncovered the straw that was covering the Second Master, I understood what the old man meant.
I calmed down and then went to the courtyard to call for Yuan Sheng to help.
The Second Master was carried back to the room from the cart, and his expression didn't change at all. Anyone who didn't know would have thought he was a dummy.
Yuan Sheng did most of the work, and I was just helping. After we got the Second Master settled in the room, Yuan Sheng went to get the silver for the Eldest Master.
When the Eldest Master returned that night, he saw the Second Master in the room, and tears immediately flowed out. He knelt by the Second Master's bed and shouted, "My brother, my brother..."
I really wanted to remind him to call a doctor first, but seeing the Eldest Master crying so sadly, I didn't dare to speak up.
The Second Master was much calmer than the Eldest Master. He looked up at the ceiling with his eyes open, not even showing any expression, let alone crying.
I waited at the door and looked at the Second Master through the crack.
Was this still our Second Master?
I finally understood the heavy expression on Yuan Sheng's face at that time. I had thought that the Second Master could recover, but now that I saw his body, I realized how naive I was.
The Second Master was disabled, and severely so.
Let me put it this way, the Second Master was only half there now.
Both his legs were gone, and his left was slightly stronger than his right, leaving only half a thigh. The Second Master whom I had to look up to before was now probably only up to my chest.
Later, the Eldest Master finally remembered to call a doctor for the Second Master. The Yang family was now poor, so they couldn't afford a good doctor. A wandering doctor came and tapped, then lifted the Second Master's blanket and looked around.
Because of the wound, the Second Master was not wearing any clothes below the waist. After looking for a while, the doctor told the Eldest Master that his life was saved, so take good care of him.
After the doctor left, the Eldest Master talked to the Second Master, but the Second Master completely ignored him.
A few days later, before the Second Master started speaking, he had to go to another province to do business. Before he left, he told me to take good care of him. He would be back in two months.
The Eldest Master took Yuan Sheng with him, so the courtyard was left with only the Second Master and me.
Ah, and Feng Po.
You see, she never spoke either, I almost forgot about her.
I accepted the Eldest Master's orders - actually, even if he didn't give this order, I still had to take care of the Second Master, anyway I was originally his maidservant.
The few days before were taken care of by Yuan Sheng. When I entered the room for the first time, I smelled a musty smell. I opened the window and explained to the Second Master lying on the bed, "Let the wind come in."
Of course, the Second Master wouldn't listen to me.
Then I fed the Second Master, he was like a dummy, opening and closing his mouth, not knowing what he was looking at.
Until night, I brought the medicine into the room and said to the Second Master, "Second Master, this maidservant is changing the medicine for you." Then he finally responded.
The Second Master's dragon eyes finally moved and looked at me.
I walked over and was about to lift the Second Master's blanket, but before I could move, the Second Master said in a low voice, "Get out."
In fact, I had already expected this sentence.
As a loyal servant in the mouth of Yuan Sheng, of course I couldn't get out. I lowered my head and told the Second Master again, "Second Master, the wound needs to be changed, it may be a bit painful, bear with it." Then I lifted the blanket and smelled the smell of rotten meat.
This Yuan Sheng really didn't know how to take care of people.
I held the medicine and tried my best to sprinkle it lightly on the Second Master's wound. In the moment when the medicine foam fell, I saw the Second Master's leg trembling. Then I was thrown aside by a great force.
I fell, and the medicine spilled.
The Second Master's arm was still quite long.
I looked up and saw the Second Master's messy hair and a pair of eyes like a wild beast, staring at me motionlessly.
"I told you to get out."
I left–of course not.
I was very familiar with the Second Master's explosive temper. After all, I had been his punching bag for a few years in his courtyard. I really wanted to tell him that I wouldn't even feel it if he pulled at it like this, it was much worse when he kicked me back then.
Then I suddenly remembered, was it because he couldn't kick me anymore that I wasn't scared of him now?
I was lost in thought as I prepared the medicine, and came back to the Second Master's bedside once again.
Having learnt from experience, I stood at the foot of the bed to apply the medicine. Even if the Second Master reached out with an arm, as long as he was lying down, he wouldn't be able to reach me here.
I was really smart.
I was pleased with myself, while the Second Master was trembling with rage. He placed both hands on his sides, as if he wanted to sit up and settle scores with me.
But I wasn't scared at all. He was too weak now, and the wounds on his broken legs were still unhealed, red and black. If he sat up and pressed down on them, it would be as good as killing him.
So I applied the medicine peacefully.
That said, I was a bit embarrassed when applying the medicine.
After all, the Second Master wasn't wearing anything. Even though I had been called a monkey by everyone in the courtyard, I was still an unmarried yellow-flower monkey. Looking at the Second Master's naked body, I was still a bit nervous thinking about it now.
As for the Second Master's place…
I can only say it was majestic.
But more majestic than that was his legs now. I applied the medicine attentively, and every time I touched a spot, the Second Master would twitch. Later, when more medicine had been applied, the Second Master's entire butt started shaking, and he was making incoherent cries.
I mustered up the courage to look up, and the Second Master's face was deathly pale, his expression ferocious, his veins exposed, and his face was dripping with sweat.
I guessed that he was in so much pain that he didn't even have the energy to scold me.
After changing the medicine, I went to the kitchen to make the meal, then brought it into the room.
The Second Master was still lying on the bed like a dead fish, eyes open.
I scooped some porridge and brought it to the Second Master's mouth.
The Second Master fanned it away with a slap.
Fortunately, I was able to protect the bowl, and although it was scalded, at least the porridge didn't spill.
“Second Master, have some.”
Second Master: “Get out.”
I didn't know what to do.
If it were before, when the Second Master said 'get out', I would have to get away as far as I could. But now...now if I left, what would happen to the Second Master? But I didn't have a better way. I could use force to apply the medicine, could I use force to make him eat too?
Wait a minute...use force?
Yes, use force.
I put the porridge aside and stared at it, waiting for it to cool. This way, it wouldn't be too hot when I forced it down his throat.
After a while, I tested it and thought it was about right. I brought the bowl over.
The Second Master probably had never experienced being stared down by a monkey before, and his eyes were filled with hostility. I said a sentence–Second Master, I apologize.
And then I really did something worth apologizing for.
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
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