Chapter 37 – Shen Hongling’s Past

What’s going on?

Just now, Ningning didn’t speak, but why did it seem like she heard Ningning talking just now?

Did Ningning really say that Yuyu is a genius?

Shen Hongling sighed. Although she didn’t receive an education and only attended literacy classes, Shen Hongling knew what a genius and a fool were.

Although she was unwilling to admit it, and didn’t want others to say it, she had to acknowledge that Yuyu was indeed different from other ordinary children.

Yuyu really couldn’t speak, and his behavior was often peculiar.

Even when talking to him, Yuyu mostly couldn’t pay attention; sometimes, when agitated, he would even scream.

Everyone said Yuyu was a fool, mute, and even Shen Hongling believed it.

She took Yuyu to the county hospital.

The doctors there confirmed that Yuyu did have an illness and was not normal. However, with their capabilities, they couldn’t determine much. They suggested she take the child to a big city hospital and consult with specialists.

Shen Hongling wanted to take Yuyu there to prove he wasn’t a fool, but she couldn’t.

Apart from having to take care of a blind mother-in-law at home, their family was also very poor. There was simply no money to support her taking Yuyu to a big city for medical treatment.

She knew that going to a big city required many days on the train, and going to a large hospital would cost a lot of money.

But she really didn’t have the money.

Shen Hongling wasn’t originally from Qinghe Production Brigade.

When she was nine years old, a famine struck her hometown, and her parents fled with her and her siblings.

However, famine was widespread, and one of her sisters and a brother starved to death along the way.

By the time they reached Qinghe Production Brigade, Shen Hongling fell ill, and her brother was close to starving to death.

Originally four children, only she and her brother remained.

At that time, Shen Hongling was already quite sensible. She looked at her weeping parents, her brother lying on the ground almost lifeless, and herself constantly coughing.

In the end, Shen Hongling and her parents decided to sell her.

Yes, sell her as a child bride to someone else.

But in that era, many people could barely afford to feed their own children, let alone take in a child bride.

Nevertheless, in the end, she was sold to Xu Weiping of the Xu family, exchanged for half a bag of sweet potatoes.

Xu Weiping, at that time, was just a 10-year-old boy.

She was bought by Xu Weiping’s mother, the blind mother-in-law who had lost her eyesight. At that time, Xu Weiping’s mother was only in her thirties and still very young.

However, her eyes had already gone blind by then.

No one knew the exact cause of her mother-in-law’s blindness.

Some said it was because her husband left her for another woman, leaving her heartbroken and blinded by tears.

Others said it was because she went into the mountains, accidentally encountered a snake, and got sprayed in the eyes with snake venom, causing her eyes to become poisoned and go blind.

Shen Hongling didn’t know the specifics and didn’t dare to ask.

All she knew was that her mother-in-law’s eyes were indeed blind, though not completely. She could still see some light, but it caused inconvenience in her daily activities, making it impossible to work in the fields.

When she was bought into this family, the family only consisted of her future husband and her blind mother-in-law, relying on each other.

Later, Shen Hongling settled down in this family.

Whether it was her mother-in-law or her future husband, they treated her quite well.

Subsequently, at the age of 18, she married Xu Weiping, her husband. The following year, she gave birth to a son named Xu Yu.

Why was he named Xu Yu? Because the night before discovering her pregnancy, Shen Hongling dreamt of a red jade pendant-like object entering her stomach.

The next day, Shen Hongling was found to be pregnant.

When the child was born, she remembered the dream and decided to name the child Xu Yu.

Her mother-in-law also said, “Yu (Jade), this is a good thing. In ancient times, it was considered a treasure.”

Although it was not valuable in the present, in ancient times, jade was not something an ordinary person could easily obtain or afford.

In this long sentence, Shen Hongling heard the word “treasure.”

Yes, her child was her treasure.

Yuyu was a well-born child, even more adorable than ordinary children.

Shen Hongling thought happiness would continue like this, but an accident occurred.

That year, a flood happened, and Xu Weiping, along with many people from the production brigade, was conscripted to build a dam.

However, inexplicably, when they went to build the dam, it suddenly collapsed, sweeping away all the people working on it.

Some, with good swimming skills, managed to swim to safety. Others, lucky enough to grab onto large trees or stand on big rocks, survived. However, those with poor swimming abilities or unlucky ones perished in this unexpected incident.

At that time, 36 people went, and 12 died, including Xu Weiping.

That year, they had been married for less than two years.

That year, their child had just been born not long ago, and their Yuyu was only 4 months old.

The mother-in-law lost her only son, she lost her husband, and their son lost his father.

Only the two of them, this widowed mother-in-law and daughter-in-law pair, remained to face the hardships of life together with a child who was just 4 months old.

Life became even more difficult from that moment.

There was only Shen Hongling as the sole labor force in the family. She had to work, earning work points to support the entire family. On top of that, she had to take care of her mother-in-law and Yuyu.

The burden of life fell entirely on this young woman’s shoulders.

Shen Hongling worked tirelessly, but she could only earn a maximum of 8 work points in a day. Throughout the year, without rest, the earned work points were barely enough to support a family of three.

There were no savings at home, and Shen Hongling was always most afraid of falling ill, as there was no money for medical treatment.

Because once someone fell ill, the family simply couldn’t afford the medical expenses.

But who doesn’t have times when they fall ill?

Especially when the mother-in-law grew older, Yuyu was still young, and Shen Hongling worked tirelessly every day without rest, there were times when she collapsed or fell ill.

Fortunately, there were kind-hearted people in the village who helped them through many difficulties.

Xu Jinning’s mother was one of them. Zhang Ailian helped her family the most, and now they still owed Ailian money and tickets.

Shen Hongling remembered all of these things.

Originally, Shen Hongling thought that life, no matter how difficult, had reached its limit.

But unexpectedly, it seemed that fate thought her suffering was not enough.

Yuyu developed problems.

She and her mother-in-law noticed that Yuyu didn’t speak, and he had no reaction to many things in the outside world. Sometimes, he would scream for no apparent reason.

At first, they thought Yuyu might be developing slowly, but gradually, they realized it was more than that.

Until one day, a woman from the village visited their home, saw Yuyu’s condition, and blurted out, “Yuyu’s condition seems a bit similar to that of the fool from the neighboring production brigade.”

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