Chapter 32: Stewed Meat
* warning for: animal death
When Ji Huan woke up the next day, his pillow was wet.
Wet with tears.
Grandpa had come into his bedroom at an unknown time. His rough palm seemed to have wanted to touch his face but had accidentally touched his wet pillow.
“Xiao Hua, are you awake? Grandpa was going to call for you to get up, but why is it so wet here?” Grandpa asked, puzzled.
“Oh? Hei Dan wet it.” Not even batting an eye, Ji Huan shifted the blame onto the only person in the room who couldn’t talk, Hei Dan.
Hearing his uncle call his name, Hei Dan peeked out of the blanket. He seemed like he didn’t want to wake up, but he still tried to peel his eyes open with his small claws.
“Aiyo! That’s a very big wet spot. Hei Dan will have to keep wearing diapers.” Grandpa said this, but his expression was all smiles. Picking up Ji Huan’s pillow, he walked out with the pillow.
Quickly putting on his school uniform, Ji Huan held Hei Dan while looking outside: Grandpa was sitting in the yard and washing his pillow cover. The pillow itself had been clipped and hung on the clothesline in the yard by Grandpa.
The things that were in Grandpa’s wash basin now were: the pillow cover, Ji Huan’s underwear and socks, Hei Dan’s green dudou…
Everything was messily thrown together. Ji Huan had already told him several times, but Grandpa always forgot it the next time. Now that Grandpa couldn’t see well, it was even more difficult to separate.
It was obviously just an old man washing clothes in the simple yet clean little yard, but somehow, the person who was helping wash Ji Huan’s pillow case, washed his socks and washed his underwear had turned into a terrible horned monster in Ji Huan’s eyes.
He was so tall and looked so ferocious, but at that time, he was carefully washing his pillow case, ah! And a little green dudou.
He was washing them very seriously.
But there will be some holes in them —— Ji Huan thought.
Since childhood until now, Ji Huan knew that the way Grandpa washed clothes was too rough. Every time he let him wash his good clothes, there was definitely a few holes in them when he was finished.
Every pair of Ji Huan’s jeans had holes in them. It wasn’t fashion, it was completely Grandpa’s great strength and love to work.
Fortunately, Grandpa also knew this, so he never helped wash Ji Huan’s uniform.
“Grandpa, you washed the socks and underwear together!” Speaking like he usually did, Ji Huan continued: “I’m going to cook.”
Plucking a handful of vegetables from his family’s vegetable garden, he remembered the horned monster vomiting in his dream yesterday, and Ji Huan suddenly stopped, holding the bowl of vegetables.
“… They are cruel, never live together, and are a rare kind of devil that purely eats meat…”
Ah Jin’s words brushed through his mind once again.
Ji Huan then ran over to the fridge, carrying the bowl of vegetables, and froze after opening the refrigerator: there was no meat, only a couple of fish that Grandpa caught.
“Grandpa doesn’t like to eat meat, he just likes eating vegetables.” Since his childhood, Grandpa had often said that, and Ji Huan had taken it for the truth.
“Xiao Hua and Xiao Hei love eating fish so much. Shouldn’t Grandpa just fish for you two every day?” Because of those words, Grandpa would go out fishing every day and had been fishing for ten years. Even after his eyes couldn’t see clearly, he hadn’t stopped.
… They love eating meat and hate fishy smells…
More of what Ah Jin had said appeared in Ji Huan’s mind.
He bit his lip. Ji Huan put the bowl to the side of the sink and ran to the pigsty.
Da Bai and the others had already given birth, having given birth to a total of seven piglets. Because of Ji Huan’s good care, all of them had survived and were already starting to fatten up. Ji Huan didn’t plan to eat them. How could he bear to do that to the big pigs he raised himself? He had discussed it with Grandpa and planned to sell them during the New Year, but…
Biting his lip, Ji Huan jumped into the pigsty and grabbed the fattest piglet inside. Then, he took it to the kitchen.
Ji Huan loved to clean. The piglets were still small and it was summer, so Ji Huan often took them to the kitchen to bathe. After a while, the piglets had become accustomed to Ji Huan carrying them around. This one especially loved bathing. Seeing Ji Huan carrying it to the kitchen, it happily curled its little tail.
He put the piglet into the sink. Then, Ji Huan covered its eyes.
His hand went up, the knife came down ——
Fixed, white-ring eyes watched his uncle attentively. Hei Dan leaned his head and breathed through his nose.
Ji Huan breathed through his nose as well.
Then, he started to work.
He removed his palm that was covering the piglet’s eyes and exposed a pair of wide, little eyes. He breathed in through his nose again.
Then. Then, he calmed down completely.
He gathered the pig blood, disposed of the internal organs, and cut the piglet’s body into pieces.
That morning, Ji Huan stewed a large pot of pork. The delicious smell drifted far away, and Grandpa was seduced from outside by the smell.
“Xiao Hua, this is… pork? Where did you buy it this early in the morning?” Grandpa knew well that there wasn’t any meat in the house. They rarely ate meat at home. Only occasionally did they make meat, and it was almost always eaten by Ji Huan. Of course, when Xiao Hei was still there, Xiao Hei also loved to eat meat.
“The pig was raised by our family. I just killed a small one.” Ji Huan said calmly. He hadn’t not thought about buying meat from outside to make at night, but after remembering that dream from last night and thinking of that vomiting monster wasting away, he couldn’t bear it for another second.
Ji Huan stirred the meat in the pan: “Grandpa, smell this. Is it appetizing?”
As he said this, he picked up a piece of pork and brought it near Grandpa’s nose.
Juice from the meat accidentally dripped onto Hei Dan’s face, who was looking at his uncle and grandfather very seriously. Stretching out his small claws to wipe away the gravy, Hei Dan lapped up a mouthful, then spit it out.
Hei Dan really didn’t like to eat meat.
“Hey! Xiao Huar, why are you doing this? You’ve forgotten, your Grandpa doesn’t like eating meat…” Grandpa’s reaction was a little hurried. He moved back a few steps and it seemed like he was really afraid and was avoiding it. Ji Huan would have certainly believed it before, but now…
Ji Huan noticed the indistinct drool in the corner of Grandpa’s mouth.
So, he resolutely stuffed the pork into Grandpa’s mouth.
“I saw on the health channel that experts say that elderly who don’t like to eat meat have to eat it, even if they don’t like to eat meat. Later, I’ll buy meat for the house regularly.” Now, he had more of the manner of the family head and Ji Huan decided a new purchase item without raising any objections.
That morning, both grandfather and the grandchildren ate stewed meat.
Hei Dandan was famously not used to the taste of stewed meat, so he drank powdered milk and ate eggs. Finally, a bowl of mushed vegetables arrived —— green!
Seeing Grandpa who was saying he didn’t want to eat it but with his chopsticks flying in a very eager manner, the corner of Ji Huan’s stiff mouth lifted.
However, Grandpa continued to weaken. People seemed to have a point in their time and before this point in time, they were strong and vigorous. Even if they accidentally sprouted a wrinkle, they wouldn’t feel like they were getting old at all. However, on the other side of this point of time, that wasn’t the case at all.
They would suddenly be old, deteriorating and deeply lethargic all over.
Even though Ji Huan made meat for every meal and pressed him to eat it, he was still like a balloon leaking air, deflating day by day. In his dreams, the scales on that horned monster… more than half of them had turned ash-gray.
So, the day when he met Ah Jin in the place he worked again, Ji Huan suddenly asked him something:
“Callas… Can they eat pork and beef?”
His question was so rare that it made stumped Ah Jin for words. Then, Ji Huan saw Ah Jin smile: “How is that possible? Callas are mid-rank devils. How could such inferior creatures like pigs and cattle work for them? Such inferior flesh would only excite their taste buds and just make them more bloodthirsty and vicious…”
Ji Huan was stunned.
So, the next day, he stopped his extravagant behavior of making stewed meat every morning for the first time. He cooked a bowl of red bean congee, using only red beans and white rice. Then, he added from his own wrist a little bit of blood, and that was it.
hello! this chapter is a little bit late, but more family bonding (?) small warning for animal death because i know that can bother some people. also, i wanted to apologize that i haven’t been responding to comments lately, i’ve been really busy. 😭 i do read all of them and appreciate them!
i was watching nezha and legend of luo xiao hei while finishing up this chapter today, and xiao hei was so good!! i definitely recommend it to everyone. it was so cute and heart-warming. i don’t think there’s an eng sub out yet, but it was fairly understandable (even to me with awful listening comprehension) just based off of context, so you guys should check it out!
anyways, i hope you enjoyed the chapter! ∠( ᐛ 」∠)＿ see you next time!
“Third chapter finished
Xiao Hua, is a determined enough person.”
(JSYK, the past three chapters were released at the same time, so normal commentary + fanart will continue next chapter!)