A moist heat washed onto his face, accompanied with an indescribable smell. Yun Lang, despite his unconscious state, couldn’t help but furrow his brows.
Just as he wanted to scold whichever blind servant had disturbed his pleasant dream, caution smothered that urge. He recalled getting hurt and using his last strength to jump into a family home. It couldn’t be that the pursuers had caught up? He used all his strength to punch blindly at the source of the heat without thinking.
Ow! Hearing a horrible shriek, Yun Lang slowly opened his eyes. A mangy yellow-furred dog was lying on the ground not too far away, having just been killed. He caught his breath and scolded himself: hares could pull dead lions by the beard.
He scanned his environment and heard the patter of footsteps on snowy ground. It was too bad that the palm strike just now had used up all his energy; his back was so painful he couldn’t even turn his head.
Yun Lang was so full of grief and anger that he nearly spat fire. He coughed out a mouthful of blood, dying the white snow a frightening color.
He could hardly bite out a sentence, “It’s god’s will that I am dying today. Tell me your name!”
“Ah——” A shrill voice sounded from behind him. Translated by The Novelst
Yun Lang opened his eyes, waiting for the person to end his life. But the blue-gray figure ran past him and pounced on the figure of the dog, crying, “Ah Huang! Ah Huang! Ah Huang!”
Seeing the mangy dog being carried in the arms of a little girl in a cotton-padded jacket, Yun Lang let out a sigh of relief. Since this wasn’t a person sent to kill him, Yun Lang relaxed. His brain began to buzz anew and he lost consciousness.
Hua Buqi carried the dog in her arms. Seeing that Ah Huang had already closed her eyes, her heart ached painfully and she cried so hard she ran out of breath.
Hua Buqi had been an abandoned baby who was picked up by a beggar named Hua Jiu in Yaoling Town.
It was said that Hua Jiu had nine generations before him that were all beggars. Hua Jiu had been disabled since he was young, and even as he aged he was unable to have a son or daughter to carry on the family line. Once he found Hua Buqi, his face was wreathed in smiles. He sighed that finally, he had offspring for the Hua family.
He did not continue the Hua family tradition of naming his daughter Hua Shi*, but after deep consideration, he named the abandoned baby Hua Buqi*, telling Buqi that begging expertise must be passed down from generation to generation.
(TL note: *Hua Jiu: Jiu means nine, signifying that he’s the ninth generation. Shi means ten. *Buqi: means to never abandon.)
It was also miraculous. Buqi could sing the lotus rhyme when she was only one, and knew to smile and stretch out her hands to beg for money by the time she was two. She could call out uncle and auntie names clearly, her black, watery eyes looking extremely pitiful.
Hua Jiu praised Buqi highly as being a natural-born beggar. She quickly mastered the beggins skills that had been handed down from the older generations. She was smart and clever, learning very fast and smiling and laughing freely. Her tongue was sweet like it was made of honey. Hua Jiu could rest assured; since then he lived lazy days, basking in the sun and catching fleas.
When Buqi was five, Hua Jiu had frozen to death in a rare, sudden heavy snow. She had used a broken bamboo mat to cover up Hua Jiu’s face, holding the alms bowl they used to beg for food in her arms. Shivering, she had climbed into Liu Er’niang’s house through the dog hole.
The yellow-furred dog had just turned into a mother, giving birth to a few puppies that had been taken away by Er’niang. Perhaps the dog had seen Hua Buqi’s black, round eyes, so similar to that of its own puppies, and so had adopted Hua Buqi on maternal instinct.
When Liu Er’niang had discovered Hua Buqi in the doghouse, it was already after the heavy snow had melted. She put a bowl of dog food in front of the doghouse. Noticing that the yellow dog didn’t scurry out quickly like it used to, Liu Er’niang found it strange. She bent down to take a closer look and was surprised.
The dog was lying quietly inside the doghouse, warm belly upturned. Hua Buqi was holding onto a teat, drinking milk.
Liu Er’niang stumbled back a few steps, grabbing her dress to run to the front courtyard to call her husband to come take a look at this rare sight. When the two rushed back to the backyard, they were able to witness a warm scene.
The sunlight reflected gently onto the snow, dying it a faint yellow. Dog and girl peacefully split the food inside the dog bowl.
The yellow dog took a few bites and stepped back, gazing gently at Hua Buqi. Hua Buqi didn’t finish her food, taking the bowl to put it in front of the yellow dog. She patted the dog softly, her cheeks that were a frozen red revealing a sweet smile.
Liu Er’niang wiped her tears at this scene. How could a person fall short of a dog? She pulled her husband and walked away, silently allowing Buqi to stay inside Ah Huang’s doghouse.
Ah Huang used both teat and dog food to feed Hua Buqi, its warm body and housing allowing Buqi to survive through the harsh winter.
Buqi also understood the fickleness of human nature. She had never walked through the entrance but had only climbed through the dog hole. The food she got from begging, she never forgot to split with Ah Huang.
Every day, she filled up the water in the water tank of Liu Er’niang’s home. She was only a little beggar that was six years old.
Once the news spread, everyone in Yaoling Town knew of this wonder. The people praised the yellow dog of Liu Er’niang’s house as kind, and praised Buqi for already knowing to be grateful despite her young age.
When spring came, Hua Buqi’s life was like a withered branch sprouting new seeds, a new vitality erupting from within.
An old madam of the Lin family of Yaoling Manor heard the rare news of a person drinking a dog’s milk to live, so she ordered her people to bring her Hua Buqi.
Once Hua Buqi had washed her face, the old madam saw her finely chiselled features and quick black eyes. She answered every question with sweet words that made the old madam very comfortable. Madam Lin nodded her satisfaction and decided to take Hua Buqi in. She asked someone to lead Hua Buqi into the backyard and made her a servant girl to water the garden.
Proofread by: Hannah
This is a novel requested by my editor-chan, we’re going to test a few chapters and see whether we’ll take it into our project list ^^ So currently there won’t be a stable schedule for this. Do leave your comments to let us know that you’re interested in this novel!