Hunting in the Mountains
The next morning, Li Yu woke up to find that Li Mei had already woken up and prepared food.
The three of them ate. Li Yu took some silver and asked Li Mei to bring Li Qing to school. Li Mei took the silver and smiled. “Yuer, Aunt and Ah Qing will be back later. Wait for our news at home.”
Li Yu nodded and sent the two of them off. She returned to the house and filled a bamboo tube with water. She took two cloth straps and tied her pants. After packing up, she took the bamboo tube, rope, and machete. She carried the bow and arrow and closed the door as she walked towards the West Mountain.
When she reached Butcher Hes house, she realized that there were no more rice paddies under the hill. The slope was filled with sorghum, beans, and hoots. Beyond Butcher Hes house was a large forest.
Further up was a long, thin mountain road that wound up. From a distance, it looked like a giant snake.
The bushes on both sides of the mountain path were filled with wild flowers. Li Yu pulled some herbs for snake bites by the side of the road and placed them in her backpack before continuing up.
Halfway there was a gully about ten feet wide. Standing at the edge of the gully, she could see that the bottom of the gully was dark. The gully was paved with two thick logs.
Li Yu walked across the wooden bridge and climbed up the mountain. She saw a few pheasants flying out of the grass. Li Yu shot an arrow with her bow and hit a pheasants neck. The pheasant fell into the grass. She used her machete to push aside the wild grass on both sides and found a nest of eggs not far away from the pheasant she shot.
Li Yu touched the eggs and pheasant and muttered, “Jade Gourd”. The egg and pheasant had indeed disappeared.
Li Yu climbed up the east mountain excitedly. Along the way, she caught three more hares and four pheasants. She slowly climbed to the top of a small mountain and found a trap mark left behind by hunters on a small path.
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Li Yu looked around the trap carefully and found the feces left behind by the wild boar. Li Yu avoided the trap and walked towards a col at the bottom of the slope. After looking around, she did not find any traces of the wild boar. Instead, she found a clear ditch.
Li Yu walked to the edge of the ditch and saw fish swimming around. She used a machete to cut a vine to form a large net. She tied it to a wooden stick and placed it horizontally in the ditch. She used the wooden stick to stir the water in the ditch to drive the fish into the net.
Li Yu only lifted the net after seeing the fish enter it. She saw seven or eight fish weighing about 500 grams in the net. Li Yu slapped the fish to death with a wooden stick and placed it in her space. She continued to walk down the ditch.
She walked to a yellow-horned tree that was so thick that it would take several people to wrap their arms around it. Under the shade of the tree, she saw a pool. Li Yu walked towards the yellow-horned tree and saw a patch of oil tea trees. The trees were filled with heavy oil tea fruits.
Li Yu recalled how when her parents were still alive, she would laugh happily every time she returned to the countryside to get oil.
Suddenly, there was a rustling sound from behind. Li Yu heard the breathing of a wild beast. Li Yu held the machete and turned around abruptly. He saw a wild boar that weighed at least 100 to 200 kilograms ten meters behind him. Its fangs were raised and it was staring at her intently.
When the wild boar realized that Li Yu had moved, it lowered its head and roared as it rushed towards Li Yu. Li Yu retreated at lightning speed and raised her machete to slash at the wild boar. When she slashed at the wild boars neck, the gash was so deep that bones could be seen. Blood spurted out and the wild boar howled. It turned its head and rushed towards Li Yu before falling to the ground.
Li Yu walked to where the boar had fallen and grabbed the leg to see if he could lift it.
Li Yu grabbed the boars leg and lifted it off the ground. Seeing that she could move the boar, Li Yu muttered the “Jade Gourd” in relief and put the boar into her space.
Li Yu walked to the side of the pool with the machete and washed the blood off her hands. She took out a bamboo tube and drank two mouthfuls of water. After determining the direction, she climbed up the nearby mountain.
Li Yu cut a path and climbed up a mountain beam. When she saw a large orange-red gem-like berry growing on the mountain beam, Li Yu picked a few in surprise and put them in his mouth. When she bit them open, she felt a sweet and sour taste.s
Li Yu noted down the location and quickly walked down the mountain. After crossing the wooden bridge, she took the wild boar out of the space and carried it on her shoulder as she walked down the mountain.
When she reached Butcher Hes door, she saw that his courtyard door was wide open. Li Yu placed the bloody wild boar on the weeds by the roadside and shouted at the door, “Uncle He, are you home”
“Hey! Who is it” A female voice replied. Li Yu saw an apple-faced girl with rosy skin and a slightly chubby figure walk out. She looked at Li Yu with a smile. “Youre Sister Li from next door, right I heard from my father. Sister Li, why are you looking for my father”
Seeing her sweet smile, Li Yu also smiled and pointed at the wild boar on the weeds by the roadside. “I hunted a wild boar and came back. I want to ask Uncle to help me fix it.”
“Wow! What a big wild boar. Sister Li, youre amazing.” Miss He turned her head and shouted into the house, “Father, come out quickly. Sister Li wants you to help her prepare the wild boar.”
Butcher He walked out of the house and scolded, “Xiaoyu, cant you come in and talk Arent you afraid that Sister Li will laugh at you”
“Father, I was wrong! It wont happen again.” Miss He went over and pulled Butcher Hes hand.
Li Yu looked at the father and daughter and smiled. “Uncle He, Sister Xiaoyu is adorable. I like her.”
“What a crazy girl.” Butcher He walked out of the door with a smile and looked at the wild boar on the grass. “Yo! Such a big wild boar.” Butcher He stepped forward and pulled the wild boar on the ground. He asked in disbelief, “Xiaoyu, did you really hunt this”
Li Yu nodded and carried the wild boar into the house. “Uncle He, let me help you carry it in first.”
Seeing that Li Yu had moved the wild boar alone, Butcher He and his daughter believed that Li Yu had brought the wild boar back.
“Come, Ill carry it with you.” Butcher He quickly helped carry it to the side and walked towards the slaughterhouse in the courtyard.
He Xiaoyu began to boil water. Butcher He blew into the pigs stomach with a bamboo pipe. The pigs stomach bulged. After the water boiled, Butcher He began to scald the fur and scrape away the dirty things on the pigs skin. Li Yu helped to flip the pig.
Butcher He looked at the wild boar and asked Li Yu, “Xiaoyu, how do you plan to sell this wild boar”
Li Yu grabbed the pork leg. “I havent thought about it! Uncle He, do you know where I can sell wild animals in town”
Butcher He thought for a moment. “Huang Yuans grandson is one month old. He has to hold a banquet for three days. Why dont I take you to sell it to him”
“Sure! Thank you so much, Uncle He.”
“Child, a close neighbor is better than a distant relative. Our families are neighbors now!”
He Xiaoyu looked at Li Yu and smiled sweetly. “Thats right! Sister Li, were neighbors now! Let my father help you sell the wild boar to Minister Huang.”
Li Yu smiled and nodded. “Thank you, Sister Xiaoyu!”
Butcher He cleaned up the wild boar and left the pig guts behind. He drove the ox cart towards Clearwater Town with Li Yu.
When they arrived at Clearwater Town, they walked through the town entrance for a quarter of an hour and entered an alley. They saw a large house with green bricks and green tiles. It was very lively.
Butcher He drove the ox cart to the back door and spoke to the servant guarding the door. The servant nodded and went in to report. Soon, a man in his forties walked out.
Butcher He smiled and went up to bow. “Steward Huang, my nieces family hunted a wild boar and brought it to you.”
“Let me see.” Steward Huang walked to the ox cart and looked at the wild boar meat. “Hmm! Its quite fresh. Im going to prepare a wine for Young Master. Ill give you twenty copper coins a catty to carry to the kitchen!”
Butcher He bowed. “Alright, thank you, Steward Huang.”
Li Yu and Butcher He hurriedly helped carry the wild boar meat into the kitchen. After weighing it, there was still more than 50 kilograms left.
Manager Huang smiled and said to Butcher He, “The banquet will last for three days. If you hunt other wild animals in the next two days, you can send them over.”
Butcher He pointed at Li Yu and smiled at Steward Huang. “Steward Huang, if theres any prey, my niece will send it over.”
Manager Huang nodded and paid the servant to send them out.
After getting into the car and returning home, Li Yu took out 200 copper coins and handed them to Butcher He. She smiled and bowed. “Uncle He, these copper coins are for your hard work.”
Butcher He politely refused, “I dont need you to pay for such a small matter.”
“Uncle He, I still need your help in the future! If you dont want it, I wont dare to come to you for help in the future.”
“Alright, Uncle will accept it.” Butcher He saw that Li Yu insisted on giving it to him, so he could only accept the copper coins.
He Xiaoyu took out the cleaned internal organs and placed them in a basket. She handed them to Li Yu and said, “Sister Li, hurry up and go home to boil the oil. You can bring the pig intestines home to cook.”
Li Yu split the pork tripe and pig liver in half and handed them to He Xiaoyu. “Xiaoyu, stay and eat these.”
He Xiaoyu frowned and quickly waved her hand. “Sister Li, I dont want it. Im tired of eating it at my house.”
Seeing that she really didnt like it, Li Yu smiled and retracted it. “Thank you, Xiaoyu. Youve even helped me clean it.”
When Li Yu reached home, she saw that there was no sign of Li Qing and Li Mei returning.
Li Yu took a wild rabbit and a pheasant from the space and brought them to Butcher Hes house to call He Xiaoyu out. “Xiaoyu, take these are for you.”
He Xiaoyu accepted it readily and smiled. “Thank you, Sister Xiaoyu. I wont stand on ceremony.”
Li Yu waved her hand and smiled. “Help yourself. Im going back.”