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Hell King Sect Series/Yan Wang Sect Series
Singing Spring Melody 咏春曲 Chapter One
By: Jue Ming 决明
Beneath the scorching sun a silhouette shuttled across the dry and cracked river bed. She could almost hear the bead of sweat drip from her slightly tanned face and onto the ground with a sizzle. Evaporating.
The dried up rivers, yellow withered crops, mist-like sand carried by the wind. The great drought that plagues the village every five years made the already poor living conditions even worse. But the village folks could only suffer in silence.
Disease started to spread relentlessly with the arrival of the cruel summer days, painful groans can be heard throughout the village. This strange infectious disease is certainly terrifying, but the most terrible thing is the helpless nature of this whole incident. There was not a single doctor in the village, once a person contracted the disease they were as good as dead. So the villagers either died, or moved away. Those that couldn’t move away were left behind, waiting for death.
Within just two weeks, half of the original hundreds of villagers were gone. The whole place was like a ghost town with all the empty streets.
Finally digging up a few edible wild herbs from the dry riverbed, the young girl carefully placed it in her arms, with a content look on her face she started to walk quickly towards her home.
It seems that today Papa and her little sisters can eat a meal of wild herb congee.
Just as the idea ran through her mind, the sound of a faint whimpering came from behind. She slowed her steps and looked around.
“Lit … little … Bao Chun ….”
Upon hearing the barely discernible weeping Bao Chun was sure that someone was calling to her!
“Who is it?!” She looked around, then finally spotted the curled up body of her neighbour Li Fu behind some bamboo baskets.
“Uncle Li!” Bao Chun exclaimed as she ran over to help Li Fu up.
“Little … little Bao Chun, don … don’t get … too close to me … this … this disease … it … it can spread ….”
Li Fu looked like a human skeleton, rotten sores covered his body. Bones peeked out from the infected flesh. This is the final stage of the strange disease.
“Bao Chun’s not afraid.” She let Li Fu lean against a wooden plank, and realized that in his arms he held his three-year-old granddaughter Xiao Cui.
The little girl’s face was black, it was obvious that she had been dead for several days, the stench of death reeks from her body. But it seems that Li Fu hasn’t yet realized this, his limp right hand still kept on patting the little girl on her back, comforting her.
“Little … little Bao Chun …. Can you … can you please give some food to my … to my little girl. She … she hasn’t eaten anything in days ….” Li Fu pleaded painfully with his eyes closed.
“But, Xiao Cui … she … she ….” Bao Chun held her tongue and swallowed her words, unable to tell him the heartbreaking truth that his dear granddaughter was long gone.
“Please … please … I beg of you ….” Li Fu thought Bao Chun’s hesitation was because she knew how precious food was at a time like this, and thus unwilling to give it away.
“Uncle Li, don’t say that ….”
Bao Chun held on to the wild herbs and a small bag of unrefined brown rice, this was the only food for her family of four, the only food that she managed to find ….
But before her mind could think about objecting, unaware of her actions, her arms handed over all the food.
“Uncle Li, wait right here, I’m going to make a pot of congee for you … and Xiao Cui … to eat together.” She can’t bear to acknowledge the fact that she just handed over the thing that her family’s life depended on, she handed over all of it.
“It’s so kind of you …. Nowadays … everyone … everyone can only fend for themselves … no one is willing to give other people any food. Thank you … Xiao Cui, big sister Bao Chun is going to make you something delicious now ….” Li Fu muttered to himself half unconsciously.
The soft-hearted Bao Chun’s eyes already swelled with tears, but she still doesn’t have the courage or the heart to tell him that the baby girl in his arms was already dead.
She fumbled to wipe away the tears, quickly got a fire going, and with the water she found collecting in some empty clay jars, a pot of congee was quickly cooked.
“Come, Uncle Li. Be careful, it’s hot.” Bao Chun carefully handed over the bowl of watery congee, “Here, let me take little Xiao Cui.” She held out her hand to take the already cold corpse, so Li Fu can eat.
“No, it’s … it’s alright …. Let me feed … feed Xiao Cui first. Come … come on Xiao Cui … come on ….” Li Fu’s hand shook as he put the bowl to Xiao Cui’s lips, feeding one bite after another to her. But the congee ran down her chin one bite after another.
Bao Chun bit her lips to hold back the tears. She was only a girl of eighteen, but she’d seen all of life’s joys and sorrows. She wanted to do something for them, but she was powerless ….
“We have to thank … thank big sister Bao Chun ….” Li Fu tended to the cold body in his arms, the smile on his face weighs heavy on Bao Chun’s heart. She felt the weight becoming heavier and heavier, almost suffocating her.
“I … I’m going home to cook …. Goodbye Uncle Li ….”
No longer able to bear seeing this heartbreaking scene in front of her, Bao Chun turned to escape. Running for her home as if her life was in danger. But the faint whispers still rang in her ears.
“Xiao Cui … do you want to drink another bowl ….”
Bao Chun pounded her ears, she couldn’t help but let the tears fall onto the dry, cracked sandy ground, leaving marks behind. Those marks were like accusations made towards the heavens for bringing this cruel, heartless drought upon their land.
✧ ✧ ✧
After giving away their only food to Li Fu, Bao Chun stood in the kitchen, dazed and feeling lost. She stirred at the pot of rain water, their only water supply, gathered from the only rain shower several months ago.
No rice, no vegetables, what will she give her family to eat?
Bao Chun couldn’t help but sigh when she thought about this.
She always feels slightly regretful every time after she couldn’t help herself and do a good deed.
Take the incident this morning with Li Fu! She KNEW that they needed the food to conserve energy, more-so than Li Fu,who was on the verge of death. She KNEW that Xiao Cui was just a cold, dead corpse, she should have just toughened up and refused Li Fu’s request. This way they would have had brown rice and wild herbs in this pot. This way her family can temporarily be warm and full ….
If only she could turn back time, she would … she would ….
She would do it all over again.
This is why Bao Chun is sighing, the kindness that other people see in her was her biggest problem.
She doesn’t want to be an overly nice person, she wants to be selfish for the sake of her family members, to save the last of the food supply for herself. Because no one will know if her family might be the next ones lying there on the ground, begging people for food. But when she sees other people suffering, she can’t help herself but to offer up everything she’s got.
Oh no! If Qiu Yue finds out she did this again, then she’ll get another scolding.
While Bao Chun was mid-thought, brisk footsteps came from behind.
“Big sister Bao Chun, I’m back.” A petite figure ran in from outside, the excitement in her voice lit up the dim kitchen with hope.
“Qiu Yue.” Bao Chun hid her looks of self-pity to welcome her excited little sister, and with a guilty conscience, continued to stir the pot of water.
“Big sister Bao Chun, I found a dead bird, we can eat meat today.” The ten-year-old’s pretty little face was a little dirty, her hair tied into a simple braid, her clever and delicate upward tilted eyes were wise beyond her years.
She held up the bony sparrow in her hands, this was the only thing she found after an entire morning of searching.
“Let me see.” Bao Chun took the sparrow and quickly checked it all over. Although food was very precious to them, to the point that sometimes they even dined on chicken and duck that died from sickness, but with this strange disease spreading around the village, it’s best that they are careful with animals of unknown origin.
After she finished checking the bird, Bao Chun nodded her head with satisfaction. It was fortunate that Qiu Yue found the sparrow, otherwise they were going to go hungry again today.
“Big sister Bao Chun, what about you, what did you find?” Qiu Yue looked over at the empty pot of water.
“Uh … umm … it’s d-dry and h-hot and all the gra-gra-grass were de-dead and withered … I … I couldn’t find a-any food ….” Bao Chun tried to cover up with a lie, but she always stuttered when she tries to lie. This gave her away immediately.
“Did you give away the food again?” Qiu Yue squinted her eyes and stared down at the guilty looking Bao Chun.
As a terrible liar, Bao Chun could only try to change the topic, “Huh, wow, look at how fat this bird is!”
“That bird’s leg is thinner than my pinky! Don’t try to dodge my question, just answer yes or no!” Unfortunately Qiu Yue wasn’t getting distracted, she looked like a miniature adult with her hands on her hips. She was only ten years old, yet in the Liu household she was a force to be reckoned with. She’s a strong, independent little girl, not needing protection or care taking from anyone. She was the head of the household.
“Yes ….” Bao Chun confessed, and immediately tried to explain and defend her actions. “But Uncle Li was so terribly ill, and so ….” Bao Chun was like a little kid caught while doing something bad, she twisted her fingers around anxiously.
“You! Have you thought about how many days our family has gone without eating? Liu Bao Chun, there is a time and a place to be an overly nice person! I’m not against you helping others, but before you help anyone we have to make sure that our bellies are full!” When Qiu Yue gets angry she will yell out Bao Chun’s full name, and all Bao Chun could do was to duck her head between her shoulders and look like some poor misunderstood little housewife.
“We can’t be so selfish ….”
“SELFISH!? IF A HOUSE IS ON FIRE IT’S EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF! AND YOU! YOU ARE GOING TO BE BURNED ALIVE! And we are going to die with you because we are unlucky!” Qiu Yue pointed a finger at Bao Chun’s nose and felt the anger raging within her. She was so smart, how can she have such an idiotic older sister? “Oh the heavens! Oh Mama, look at this ‘wonderful’ daughter of yours! If you are listening then strike her with lightning and help her to see clearly!” She pointed her right hand at the sky, and dramatically screamed to their mother who died many years ago.
“Qiu Yue, if Mama was still here she would agree with me ….” Bao Chun quietly reminded Qiu Yue that she inherited her kindness from their mother, which is to say that their mother was also an overly nice person.
“Right, how could I have forgotten.” Qiu Yue shook her head. Fortunately, she wasn’t being serious when she was shouting back there, otherwise their mother up in the heavens might have actually sent lightening down to strike this not so kind daughter of hers. She hurried and quickly closed her palms and made a worshiping gesture.
Bao Chun saw Qiu Yue and couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
“Laughing! You have the nerve to laugh!?” Qiu Yue turned and punched Bao Chun on the head, Bao Chun froze mid-smile and her expression went back to that of the misunderstood little housewife. She continued to stand there repenting and listening to her little sister lecturing on.
In the Liu household, the younger they are, the stronger they are, and the more powerful they had. Little sister lecturing big sister, even younger daughter lecturing father was not uncommon.
“Tell me, what did you give away?” Qiu Yue pressed angrily.
Bao Chun was struggling with whether or not she should tell the truth, but faced with Qiu Yue’s interrogations she obediently chose to tell the truth.
“Uh … a … a … small bag of brown rice and some wild herbs.”
“BROWN RICE!?” Qiu Yue’s voice rose an octave higher. She couldn’t remember when was the last time she saw a grain of rice. She wanted to cry! She wanted to die, but before she does, she’s going to kill Liu Bao Chun first.
Bao Chun was startled by Qiu Yue’s voice, she ducked her head even further into her thin shoulders. If she knew Qiu Yue would get this angry she would have left out precious items like brown rice ….
“You mean those little crystal-like grains of rice, RICE that can be cooked into FOOD!?” Qiu Yue gritted her teeth and tried to not let the anger twist up her expression.
Bao Chun nodded, a thin layer of sweat quickly formed on her forehead.
“You mean those tiny grains of rice more precious than pearls, RICE that can be made into CONGEE!?” Qiu Yue’s voice no longer had the tone of a child, it sounded like a butcher knife being sharpened on a stone.
Bao Chun felt like she just became a livestock, waiting to be slaughtered. The sweat gathered into beads and started to drip down her face.
“Rice! The rice that I haven’t seen, haven’t eaten, haven’t even touched in god knows how long!” Qiu Yue shouted, but she couldn’t help but let two streams of tears pour down her face.
“Don’t cry Qiu Yue ….” Bao Chun was just about to go over and comfort her little sister while she cries over lost rice, when Qiu Yue looked up, screamed and ran in front of Bao Chun.
“Give me back my rice! Give me back my rice! I want to eat rice! I want to eat rice!” She jumped on to Bao Chun like a hungry little wild animal. As the saying goes. “Humans die in pursuit of wealth, birds die in pursuit of food”, but as it turns out, humans will go crazy over food as well.
“I’m sorry … Qiu Yue … don’t be mad ….” Bao Chun quickly apologized and tried to calm her down, reaching out her arms to hold Qiu Yue’s tiny little body in a tight embrace.
Although Qiu Yue looked scary, but she didn’t actually hurt her big sister. She humphed, then wiped her face and jumped down from on top of Bao Chun.
“I … I promise there won’t be a next time ….” Bao Chun raised her right hand to swear a promise.
But she uttered these exact same words last time, when she gave their cotton blankets to Aunty Chen, and once before that, when she gave away their pots to Uncle Qiu, and countless number of times before that!
“As the saying goes, no good deed goes unrewarded.” Although she has never asked for anything in return, this has always been the reason she used as an excuse to explain her actions.
“Yeah, sure, if we haven’t all starved to death already.” Qiu Yue glared at Bao Chun, their family’s on the verge of being starved to death, and Bao Chun with her soft-hearted ways, just so happens to feel extra generous today.
“Everyone in our family living healthily, happily together is the best reward.” Bao Chun cherished her blessings, especially after seeing the state Li Fu was in today, she was especially grateful to the heavens for being so kind to her family.
Qiu Yue wrinkled her nose, her face looking unconvinced.
“Fine! Fine! Be an overly nice person! Fortunately, there is this sparrow. Just be glad we have something to eat.” She calmed down and shot Bao Chun a look that says “I can’t stand you”. Although Bao Chun’s kindness often irritates her to no end, but she also knows that this is just how Bao Chun is, so she’s not going to be too hard on her older sister.
Bao Chun cheered on the inside and started to happily prepare the “feast” that’s barely even bigger than her palm.
Qiu Yue rested her head on the table and reminded her older sister yet again, “You have to learn how to be selfish, otherwise who knows if one day you might end up selling yourself to save other people’s lives.”
She was not opposed to Bao Chun’s kind heart, but the kindness she shows has to be within her own limits, not stupid kindness like giving precious life saving food to other people and starving to death herself! If she keeps acting this way Bao Chun is going to suffer big losses some day.
“Yes yes yes.” Bao Chun cooked as she vaguely answered Qiu Yue. Although Qiu Yue was only ten, she has the final say on every major decision. Even her sister and father are a little afraid of her.
“I really don’t understand what’s inside your head!” Qiu Yue complained.
How am I supposed to know? Bao Chun thought. If there was tofu inside her head, then she can take it out and her family can have a second dish for dinner. Bao Chun’s mind started to wander.
“The bone can be used to make soup, something nutritious for Papa and Ruo Xia’s body.” Bao Chun threw a few sections of thin bones into a big pot of water. “Qiu Yue, go and call Papa and Ruo Xia for dinner.”
Dinner? What dinner? Qiu Yue laughed to herself and asked Bao Chun, her young face had on a smile much older than her years.
Bao Chun tenderly stroked Qiu Yue’s hair, only through this little gesture can she feel that Qiu Yue is indeed just a ten-year-old little girl who needed the love of her big sister, a little girl who deserves to live a happier more carefree life.
“Don’t give me that again.” Qiu Yue muttered. She knew all too well what Bao Chun’s watery eyes meant, if she doesn’t escape now then that sentimental sister of her’s might want to hug her again and cry a big vat full of tears.
She doesn’t want there to be a drought outside her house and a flood inside.
Qiu Yue quickly ran out from the kitchen and yelled “Papa! Second sister! Dinner time!”
Although the plate that she brought to the table only had a few hair-thin slivers of bird meat, a big pot of “soup” that was basically just water and broken pieces of bones. Bao Chun’s family was full of joy.
Be content and thou shall know happiness forever, this was proven true by Bao Chun’s family.
The Liu household didn’t have many people, their mother passed away a long time ago and left behind four daughters. Liu Dai Gui relied on the money he earned by farming and raised his daughters alone.
The eldest daughter Liu Bao Chun was just like her mother, kindhearted and gentle. Her looks were average, but she always had a loveable and calming smile on her face. Her only flaw was that she was too soft-hearted, often times she couldn’t wait to take all her things and give them to the needy or people who didn’t need them. This part of her personality was a pain in the neck for the entire family.
The second daughter was Liu Ruo Xia, who was born sick and feeble, her body was weak like a thin wisp of willow branch in the wind. She was the prettiest of all the girls, but also the most proud and headstrong.
The third daughter was Liu Qiu Yue, only ten years old and already the most powerful figure in the house. She was a precocious and wise child, with a knack for doing business. So obviously she managed the family’s finance, this way it won’t be squandered away by the other three.
The youngest daughter was Liu Dong Xue, Qiu Yue’s twin sister. Dong Xue starved to death during the winter when she was eight years old. Her life, like her name implied, was short lived.
“We haven’t had meat in a long time.” Liu Dai Gui picked up a sliver of meat and put it in his mouth, his satisfied expression made the whole family laugh.
“Ruo Xia, Papa, drink some more soup.” Bao Chun smiled and said. It’s a hard life when you aren’t sure when your next meal will be, simple pleasures like a stomach full of soup is happiness. Not to mention how miraculous it was that no one in their family contracted the strange disease, not even Ruo Xia, who was already weak and sickly.
“Life really is getting harder and harder everyday, today we’ve got soup but what bout tomorrow? How will we live?” Liu Dai Gui looked at his three daughters with heartfelt sorrow. Bao Chun was already of age and should have been a mother by now, yet she is still unwed. Ruo Xia is sick and feverish every other day. And Qiu Yue … she’s … still so young …. He grew more depressed as he thought about his girls.
“We can’t stay in this village anymore, Papa’s thinking of taking you girls and move to Suzhou, what do you think?” Liu Dai Gui continued to drink his soup as he shared the plan he has pondered over for days. He had always engaged the whole family in these sorts of discussions and were always willing to listen to his daughters’ opinions. Although he’s only a countryside farmer, but he was a good, open-minded father.
“But Ruo Xia’s poor health, will she be able to withstand the long journey? Suzhou is several miles away from here by foot.” Bao Chun asked, concerned about her sister.
“But if we stay in the village we’ll contract the strange disease before Ruo Xia dies! Papa, I’m with you on this.” Qiu Yue, whose opinion mattered the most around the household, slammed her fist on the table and chimed in.
As for Ruo Xia, who everyone else seems to care for the most, simply sat there looking nonchalant and drinking her soup.
“Papa heard that life over there in Suzhou is much easier than here in the village. It’s better than here, even at its worst. Also, I heard that on our way to Suzhou we will past by the Yuan Mountain, and there lives a Godly Doctor who can cure any and all diseases. Papa wants to go and see if we can get lucky and convince him to cure Ruo Xia of her feebleness. This way we can all go and live happily ever after in Suzhou.” Liu Dai Gui’s face lit up while visions of a better future danced in his head. His personality is a combination of an extreme pessimist and an extreme optimist.
Ruo Xia’s eyes lit up when she heard the words “Godly Doctor”, “Can he really cure my illness? I’m up for it Papa, let’s move to Suzhou.” Counting in Ruo Xia’s vote there are now three people in favour of moving.
Bao Chun looked around the room, “If everyone else agrees that I’m all for it too.”
“I plan to leave in three days, would that be too soon?” Liu Dai Gui asked Qiu Yue.
She shook her head and said, “We don’t really have any belongings we need to pack up so I say we leave right away, as soon as possible.”
“Okay, the next few days we can start preparing for the trip, your mother still has some jewelry left, we can manage to scrape something together. Hopefully that will last us until we arrive in Suzhou.” Liu Dai Gui even thought of the traveling expenses.
Ruo Xia interrupted and said, “Papa, that Godly Doctor you mentioned, is he real?”
Liu Dai Gui stopped for a moment, scratched his head and thought, “I think he is? Last time I heard, Aunty Wang’s distant relative’s cousin’s best friend was saved by the Godly Doctor!”
“Oh yes, I remember hearing about that from Aunty Wang. That person she knew, he was literally at death’s doorsteps and the Godly Doctor used only one acupuncture needle and that man lived!” Bao Chun chimed in with the little piece of “miracle” that she heard about.
“So Ruo Xia can definitely be cured of her illness.” Liu Dai Gui and Bao Chun both said at the same time, with silly grins on their faces and a look of admiration in their eyes.
Ruo Xia being satisfied with this answer, nodded her head and continued to drink her soup.
“So, do we go and find the Godly Doctor first or settle down in our new place first?” Bao Chun asked.
“New place first.”
Qiu Yue and Ruo Xia spoke at the same time, but gave very different answers.
Qiu Yue glared at Ruo Xia, “And how exactly do you plan to see the doctor without any money? Usually, if it has anything to do with the word ‘godly’, that meant the price was as high as the heavens above! Of course we should wait until we’ve settled down at the new place.”
“Humph! Sure, wait until you’ve settled down and started a successful career, just in time to build me a gorgeous tombstone. Don’t forget to engrave on there ’Liu Ruo Xia, the poor unlucky soul who couldn’t wait long enough to gather the money for her treatment and died.” She said cold and sarcastically.
Bao Chun and Liu Dai Gui exchanged glances, then after a few seconds, Liu Dai Gui started and said, “Qiu Yue and Ruo Xia both have very valid points. We shouldn’t let Ruo Xia’s illness drag on, but we also have to consider our financial situation. Bao Chun and I have discussed it and we thought that it’s for the best if we split up. Qiu Yue and I will go to Suzhou and earn money, while Bao Chun will take Ruo Xia to the Godly Doctor. After three months, regardless of what happens, we meet at the Mountain God Temple five miles outside of Suzhou and discuss our next steps. Now, how does this sound?”
Liu Dai Gui looked to Qiu Yue and Ruo Xia for answers.
Qiu Yue considered the possibilities. If Bao Chun went with Papa to Suzhou then they would probably give away all their money to the beggars along the road, and they can kiss their savings goodbye …. Out of the four people in the Liu household Bao Chun and Papa were the most alike, both were very soft-hearted. It wouldn’t be a good idea to send the two of them off to Suzhou together, but if Bao Chun were to take Ruo Xia ….
“You sure you are alright with this?” Qiu Yue raised one eyebrow and asked Bao Chun. It’s hard to tell who was the older sister in this situation.
“Yes, of course!” Bao Chun quickly raised her hand and promised. Aside from some unnecessary kindness she is very good at taking care of all the details of daily living.
Qiu Yue studied Bao Chun for a while and finally made her decision.
“That’s it then, we’ll listen to Papa! He and I will go and work hard to earn money while you two work hard to seek treatment. After three months we’ll meet up at the Mountain God Temple.” Qiu Yue announced with no intentions of turning back.
Chapter one is up and finished! I’m so glad I found out a way to do footnotes, this way I don’t need to start this whole other thing in another post! If you’ve read any of my footnotes you’ll realize that I have a thing for footnotes, and the need to explain things, as well as a penchant for rambling on.
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! <3
1 The name Bao Chun 宝春 bǎo chūn consists of the characters for treasure “宝” and spring “春”. The spring mentioned in the title of the novel refers to the same character found in her name. ↩
2 His Chinese name is Li Fu 李福, “李” being his family name and “福” being his given name. It’s ironic that while “福” means prosperity and good fortune, he himself wasn’t so lucky.↩
3 You might see in Chinese novels a bunch of uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers, grandpas and grandmas and wonder “WOW! Are Chinese people all related!?” Simple answer is no. Think of them as honourifics, terms of endearment, as well as a way to show closeness. Depending on the situation you can call a person big sister/brother, little sister/brother, aunty/uncle, grandpa/grandma. Usually some part of their name follows these honourifics. These are used to address relatives as well as non-relatives, so it can get a little confusing at times.↩
4 Xiao Cui, read like Hsiao Tsui. 小翠’s name consists of the character for little “小”, which are generally placed before one’s family name or given name turning it into a term of endearment. Elders in the family may address kids in this way. “翠” can be interpreted in many ways, but the most common meanings are “green” and “jadeite”. ↩
5 The name Qiu Yue 秋月 qiū yuè consists of the characters for autumn “秋” and moon “月”, her name literally translates to “autumn moon”. ↩
6 The family’s last name is Liu 柳, which is not an uncommon last name. If translated, it means “willow”, the author in this novel plays a lot with plants and names. But this might not be intentional.↩
7 Original words here being 人不为己，天诛地灭 rén bù wéi jǐ, tiān zhū dì miè, which is a common saying, pointing out the selfish nature of human beings. Literally translates to “if a person doesn’t do things in favour of himself then the heavens and the earth will work together to eliminate him.” Pretty harsh ….↩
8 Original words here being 人为财死，鸟为食亡 rén wèi cái sǐ, niǎo wèi shí wáng, which is another common saying, pointing out how both humans and birds have a tendency to strive for what they desire, regardless of the dangers. The literal translation was given in the text. ↩
9 Original words here being 好心有好报, which literally translates to “a good heart will have its rewards”, meaning if you do good deeds you will be rewarded.↩
10 The name Ruo Xia 若夏 ruò xià is perhaps the most poetic of the four sisters. It consists of the characters for like/similar “若” and summer “夏”. Her name literally translates to “like summer”. Coincidentally “若” has the same sound as “弱” which means weak. Given her sickly nature, it is unsure if this is intentional.↩
11 Original words here being 知足常乐, the meaning is as I translated. This was just for anyone who wanted to learn Chinese.↩
12 The name Liu Dai Gui 柳带贵 liǔ dài guì without looking at his family name, consists of the characters for carrying/bringing “带” and “贵” which can mean expensive, nobility and high-valued. It’s ironic that he doesn’t actually have anything of material value, but he has his three precious girls and that’s more valuable than anything else >~< awwwww~↩
13 The name Dong Xue 冬雪 dōng xuě consists of the characters for winter “冬” and snow “雪”. Her name literally translates to winter snow. Considering how geographically speaking, they live in Southern China, winters are either short-lived or nonexistent. If only she lived in Canada, she would have lived a very very long life!↩
14 Godly Doctor sounds kinda funny, the original words were 神医. The character “神” is added in front of certain professions to mean that they are so good/efficient at doing their job it’s as if they are gods. Bear with me through the awkwardness.↩
Wow love the useful and informative footnotes! Thanks for the awesome translation 🙂