PCJ – Chapter 18

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Chapter 18 A Dud

After finishing with transcribing of Bone-setting Analgesic Water Sutra, it was followed by Iron Cattle Water, Snow Frost Water, Hemostatic Water, Abdominal Pain Eliminating Water, Reverse Return Water, Ferocity Restraining Water, Analgesic Water, Bone Transforming Water…..

How could one night last so long? Not knowing what was actually the matter, Zhang Jiaohua still remembered that he was in a dream. He was hoping in his heart that he would hurry up and awaken so he could avoid another beating. His hand had already become swollen from the beatings. However, it seemed as if the dream was never ending. In one night, he had transcribed several incantations but didn’t manage to wake up unexpectedly.

“Wakey, Wakey, Darling Son, it is dawn, you need to go cattle-herding.” Zhang Youping carrying his son in his embrace walked outside, he could feel the early-morning freshness. Early-morning, even though this season didn’t have any dew, but still the air carried a bit of moisture. Yesterday’s blistering heat had already been thoroughly dispelled.

Zhang Jiaohua hazily opened his sleepy eyes, “Father ah, Old Daoist Priest hit me many times last night.”

“Haha, you got beaten again? I’ll take a look, whether or not something broke.” Zhang Youping pulled down his son’s underpants and gently hit his buttocks twice, “Fortunately, no damage done.”

“My butt was not hit, Old Daoist Priest used a specialised punishment plank to hit the palm of my hand. With force.” Zhang Jiaohua stretched out his palm; his palm was tender red and had actually not been hit.

“Tell your Father, what did Old Daoist Priest teach you?” Zhang Youping said smiling.

“First half, transcribing sutra, the latter half refining water. Last night, I had transcribed many incantations, there was Bone-setting Analgesic Water, Iron Cattle Water,……” Zhang Jiaohua went into the kitchen to bring a bowl and scooped up a half bowl of water from the water jar, and while walking in a manner decently imitating the big dipper steps, he kept reciting the incantation, while brandishing the bowl that he kept holding while doing the rounds. After the incantation was chanted, Zhang Jiaohua stopped and brought the bowl in front of his father, “Father, this is the Iron Cattle Water, Master said that after drinking this one can defend oneself and resist strikes.”

Zhang Youping was already feeling it very strange, thinking it to be very funny, he took the bowl from his son’s hands, and drunk it in one gulp, “Then Father shall give it a try. Whether or not it increases strength.”

After drinking the water from the bowl, Zhang Youping didn’t detect any change within his body. He helped wife in exposing the corn sticks to the sun and completely spreading out the soybeans. Only then he started preparing to go to work at Zhang Qianlong’s house. In the morning he could only work for one-two hours, followed by breakfast. If he went too late, Zhang Youping was afraid that other people would gossip. Even though he was only a casual worker, not receiving even a fen of money. However, he couldn’t come up short in terms of doing work. At least Zhang Youping was not able to do such kind of thing in work.

Over the last two days the foundation was being built, Zhang Youping and helping in Zhang Qianlong house by lifting, they were very big stones, which had to be brought on shoulder from the mountain.

Meizi Mountain had a mountain-place with rocks, the stones were brought back to the village from that rocky mountain, building a foundation required all big sized stones. In absence of any good transportation equipment, they had to be carried piece by piece on the shoulders.

The stones from the rocky mountain would be extracted through the use of explosives which would set upon the mountain.

Before setting off the explosive, some people would be striking a gong, and shouting loudly: Setting off explosive! Setting off explosive!

Upon hearing the shout, the villagers would try to find a place to hide, they would run up to a place where the stone fragments wouldn’t be able to reach.

Zhang Youping after hearing the shout had arrived behind a big megalith to hide. After hearing the rumbling noise of explosive being set off, he walked out from behind the megalith.

“Youping, just now were there several noises?” Fellow villager Zhang Shicai asked loudly.

“I heard the sound of five explosives. I couldn’t listen too clearly.” Zhang Youping was not sure, because several explosives had been set off together.

“I had placed seven explosives, only heard five sounds, I am afraid there are duds. You hide first, I will go and take a look.” Zhang Shicai shook his head. The duds were the most troublesome, and it was easy to have an accident.

Zhang Qianlong had come rushing from the house, and seeing Zhang Youping not going to lift the stones, a somewhat disgruntled expression appeared on his face as he said, “What’s the matter? Hasn’t there already been a boom?” This was somewhat reproaching Zhang Youping similar to one who was slacking off on work.

Zhang Youping was also somewhat angry. Zhang Qianlong, during the time when other people asked for help, would think up all kinds of methods to loaf off. Now, he has invited helpers to his own house, was not willing to buy wrapped cigarettes, buy a little tobacco, and a little cigarette paper. Amongst the villagers, who still rolled cigarettes by hand?

“There’s a dud. Shicai has gone to take a look. On the possibility of an accident he has made everyone hide first.” Zhang Youping said unhappily.

“Well, I just casually asked. In fact, a dud is not much of an issue.” Even though Zhang Qianlong was saying this, he himself was afraid to move forward. Zhang Youping naturally also wouldn’t be so foolish to brave dangers at this time to carry aloft stones for Zhang Qianlong’s house.

Just at this time, a rumbling sound echoed, Zhang Youping turned his head to look, only to see stones flying through the air. Stones the size of fists were coming whistling towards him.

“Oh shit!” Zhang Youping subconsciously evaded to the side. A stone smashed viciously onto Zhang Youping’s shoulder. Sending out a crunching noise. Within a moment, Zhang Youping’s shoulder had been dyed in blood. Zhang Youping’s body became askew as he fell down onto the ground.

After Zhang Qianlong heard the noise, he hurriedly retreated several steps. His luck was good and he wasn’t smashed by any stones, only the stone which had Zhang Youping rebounded and hit him at the tip of his toe.

“Aiyo.” Zhang Qianlong looked at his toe, it was all right, nothing more than a flesh wound.

He turned his head to see Zhang Youping, whose entire shoulder had been soaked in blood.

However, to the side villager Zhang Enzhong was shouting loudly, “Not good, Zhang Shicai has met with an accident!”

Zhang Qianlong heart thumped, had an accident!

When, Zhang Shicai had gone to take a look at the explosive, don’t know why this explosive had postponed for so long. The moment when Zhang Shicai had extended his head to take a look it detonated. Zhang Shicai’s head was covered in blood from the explosion. Zhang Enzhong ran down the mountain carrying Zhang Shicai on his back.

“Hurry Hurry, go call for a tractor. Must hurry up and bring him to a hospital, otherwise, if it gets late he may end up dead.” Zhang Enzhong shouted loudly.

Everyone’s attention had been drawn towards Zhang Enzhong. Even Zhang Qianlong unexpectedly didn’t go to take a second glance at Zhang Youping.

The evening helpers still weren’t up for going to the mountain, when they saw Zhang Enzhong bringing on his back a blood covered person. Nobody could attend to anything else, as they promptly discarded the dishes in their hands, and ran up to help.

Zhang Qianlong ran up to the front to call for a tractor.

When Liu Qiaoye heard that there had been an accident at the rocky mountain, she was drying out the corns at home. It resulted from the fact that soon after hearing the sound of explosives being set off, there was another sudden loud sound of an explosion coming from the distant rocky mountain, she thought that something wasn’t right. The explosions being set off didn’t make so much sound. At that time, she was also praying in her heart: Must not have had an accident.

She didn’t think that soon thereafter, shouts from some people over at the rocky mountain could be heard: There has been an accident!

Liu Qiaoye couldn’t attend to anything else, she ran barefoot outside, while constantly praying in her heart that her husband must not have had any accident.

“Have you seen my family’s Youping? Have you seen my family’s Youping?”Liu Qiaoye quickly ran over towards the rocky mountain. She would immediately ask whoever she came across.

“Didn’t see.”

“Just saw Enzhong come out carrying Shicai on his back.”

“Possibly still hasn’t come out of the mountain.”

…….

Hearing this news made Liu Qiaoye heart run cold.


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