Third Uncle Gu was Third Grandpa’s oldest son, the third in the clan, and was the only one in the clan who studied in the town. Unfortunately, his was the most talented. After dozens of years of studying, he never passed the examination to become an official. Discouraged, he returned to the village to become a teacher. Even though he was a teacher, he merely had just a handful of students. Every household in the village was barely able to feed themselves, nobody had the extra money for pay for their kids to go to school.
Gu Ye shook her head right away and said, “I have only been studying for a few days and can only recognize a few words. I don’t come close to Third Uncle Gu. I must go back home; otherwise Master will scold me for being lazy and meandering outside again.”
Gu Ye must pass through Dr. Wu’s house on her way home from Hunter Zhang’s. She could see Mrs. Wu from a distance talking about something passionately.
Mrs. Gu was stunned, “Are you serious? I have only heard of sewing clothes, or shoes. My entire life I have never heard of sewing muscles and skins together. What was Hunter Zhang thinking just letting that old scam artist have his way? Did he want his son to keep his foot?”
“That’s what I said! After my husband had taken a look, he told me that the foot of the Zhang’s son was red and swollen. You know, if an injury like that wasn’t taken care of properly, it would rot. From the way it looks it’d be difficult for that child to keep his food! Well, they got what they’ve asked for. It was their own dowing to pass up on the village doctor that they are familiar with to go to that old scam artist!” said Mrs. Wu with a mean look as she spit in the direction of the Zhang’s.
“Gossiping behind someone else’s back. Aren’t you afraid your tongue will rot?” Gu Ye, appearing suddenly behind the two women, scared them half to death.
“Who you saying will have rotten tongues?” Mrs. Wu acted like a cat with its tail stepped on and, jumping up and down, responded in a high pitch voice.
“The one who was gossiping behind someone’s back and spreading untrue rumors, that’s the one who’s tongue would rot!” Gu Ye still saved some medicinal power that could make one’s tongue rot. Unfortunately, since she had already moved out; otherwise, Mrs. Gu would never have the change to badmouth someone behind their backs.”
As soon as she heard “rotten tongue”, Mrs. Gu immediately felt a burning sensation inside her mouth. Back then, Gu Yu also casually mentioned “rotten tongue” and she suffered for over 2 weeks. She didn’t know how, but she was certain that Gu Yu had something to do with her misfortunes. Thinking about that, she got a little worried and took a few steps backward stealthily. She was going to run away before Gu Yu noticed her.
Alas, it was already too late. When she and Mrs. Ng had been badmouthing about Gu Ye’s master, Gu Ye had already released the medicinal powder. The powder has no fragrance or color and could be inhaled into one’s body while they breath. That night, both Mrs. Gu and Mrs. Wu’s tongue started to rot and it was painful to even drink water the next day.
(T/N: The author used the term “rot” so I did as well. Although, I don’t think she meant it to be literally. It sounded like just a very bad case of canker sores.)
Wu Donggai gave his wife some herbal tea to calm her body, but there was no improvement after five days. The words spread quickly in the village that Mrs. Wu and Mrs. Gu were badmouthing others behind their back and this was bad karma getting back at them. The rumor about the sage apothecary as “old scam artist” stopped all of a suddenly. A lot of other gossipy women all started watching what they were saying. Qingshan Village had never been this peaceful ever.
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