(Go and die earlier)
"Emily!" Panic overwhelmed Jacob. In his desperation, he shook Emily and said, "Emily, can you hear me?"
Jacob put her down gently and hung his head helplessly looking at Emily's blood-drained face and her pale lips in despair. Her eyes had frozen over like the surface of a winter puddle, robbing them of their usual warmth.
With his trembling hand, Jacob felt the breath under Emily's nose. It was extremely faint, like a tiny flicker against the wind. He put her on his back again, and ran quickly in the direction of the village.
On the way, withered thorn bushes and sharp stones cut his feet, but Jacob kept running in spite of the pain, as if his life was on the line.
Soon, the villagers momentarily caught sight of a figure flash by in the pouring rain. They wondered who would be stupid enough to run in the heavy rain on such a cold winter day. Was there something wrong with his brain?
The same road that once felt short now seemed extremely long, as if he would never run to the end of it. Jacob was so worried that he wished he had a pair of wings on his back to fly him home.
Not knowing how long he had been running, Jacob finally reached home. He kicked open the door to Mr. Barefoot's room and strode in with Emily on his back. His breath came in short gasps and he managed to squeeze out a few words from his mouth. "Old man! Old man, are you in? Come and save my wife!"
"What are you doing? You almost kicked my door down!" Mr. Barefoot walked in from outside, seemingly distressed by Jacob's impatience.
Jacob yanked Mr. Barefoot over, allowing him no room for resistance. "Save her quickly!" said Jacob.
"What's the matter? You are so troublesome," said Mr. Barefoot. Mr. Barefoot was excessively casual, but when he saw Emily's lifeless body, he immediately realized the severity of the situation. With a curious stare, he asked Jacob, "What's wrong with her?
Don't you know she shouldn't be out in the rain in her condition? She could die!"
Jacob's face changed when he heard the last sentence. He knelt down in front of Mr. Barefoot without hesitation and begged him, "Old man, please save her! I will do whatever you want! As long as you save her!"
Mr. Barefoot looked at Jacob coldly for a few seconds, and noticed a flash of panic in his eyes. "If you're not careful, this girl is going to die in your hands!"
"Please, save her!" Jacob didn't have time to explain everything and he wasn't even thinking clearly enough to form proper thoughts in his head. He humbled himself hoping that Mr. Barefoot would help him.
Mr. Barefoot sighed helplessly and said, "I must have been heavily indebted to you in my past life. If It weren't for me, the both of you would have been dead!"
He shook his head at Jacob and began to check Emily's pulse. As he was diagnosing, he gave instructions to Jacob, "Get her out of those wet clothes first, then bring a dry quilt. After that, boil some water."
Mr. Barefoot personally picked out some rare medicinal materials and asked Jacob to boil them in hot water to feed Emily. The rest of the herbs were to be boiled in the pot to give Emily a medicinal bath.
Meanwhile, Emily was still unconscious, oblivious to what was happening. She could only feel the pain surge up every now and then. Sometimes she felt cold, but most of the times she felt hot. The extreme pain made her curl up into fetal position and tremble violently.
She stayed in a comatose state for three days on end. With the help of Mr. Barefoot's guidance, Jacob took care of her for three days but Emily was still unconscious.
Jacob stayed at her bedside day and night, barely getting any rest or sleep. From time to time, he would listen over her mouth and nose for breathing sounds and try to feel her breath on his cheeks.
He finally felt the same panic Emily once had.
Each passing moment living in fear of losing her felt like torture for Jacob. Was there ever going to be an end to his suffering?
All he wanted was for her to live a healthy and happy life. Was that too much to ask for?
Before long, news of his beautiful wife's illness had spread throughout the village. Some rejoiced her misfortune; some grieved, while some cursed secretly.
"I knew she would not make it out here. She couldn't even give her husband a son. She could just die before she could even get pregnant! Look at us. Although we work all day everyday, we are still healthy."
"You are right. But that woman is lucky. She's married to a man who loves and cares about her."
"I don't think 'luck' is the right words to use here. Even if she married a good husband. There's no point if she isn't alive to enjoy it, right?"
Such remarks were the talk of villagers after tea and dinner.
The news of Emily's illness also reached Cherry's ears. Suffice it to say, she was shocked. How could Emily be so fortunate? Not only did she survive being bitten by a snake, she even survived being pushed off a cliff.!
Cherry's resentment grew dark as ink, at the thought of when Jacob almost pushed her off the cliff. In her heart, the love she once had for Jacob was now gradually replaced by venomous hatred.
"God-dammed foxtrel. Go to hell!"
Cherry made a little voodoo doll with Emily's name embroidered on the back and cursed her with pins every day. She was driven mad with jealousy and her mind grew unstable each day.
Meanwhile, the head of the village was very glad to hear the news. After all, Jacob and Emily were the reason he had lost face in front of villagers. Now karma had finally served him justice.
'Yes, that's it!' Mrs. Yang was the one who had put the snake near fireplace to wake it up from its hibernation before she gave it to Cherry, who then hid the snake amongst the cow feed and straws.
When she heard that Cherry had pushed Emily off a cliff, her heart jumped with joy. Although, she was disappointed to hear that Emily survived the fall, she assumed that it was only a matter of time before Emily succumbed to her illness.
Nothing would bring her more satisfaction than Emily's death. So her son would stop fawning over a woman of easy virtue.
However, Mr. Barefoot could throw a spanner in the works of her hopes. If he could bring Jacob back from the brink of imminent death, perhaps he could do the same for Emily as well.
Mrs. Yang's eyes were still filled with displeasure and disdain.
Out of sheer desperation, she even considered doing something more extreme and this time she would kill Emily and make sure she stay dead.
"Mom, I want to go and check up on Miss Beauty. I've heard that she's fallen ill." Donny still cared about Emily even after everything that had happened. When he found out that Emily was seriously ill, he could hardly keep himself from running to her.
However, how could Mrs. Yang let him go to her? "No, Donny. I can't let you go anywhere near her. Who knows what kind of life-threatening diseases she's contracted. What if you get infected?"
Donny shook his head and insisted, "No, I am not afraid of that."
Mrs. Yang stroked herself on the chest and cried, "Ah, my son! Even if you are not afraid of that, I will still worry about you. And if anything happens to you, how will I go on without you?"
No matter how hard Donny begged her, Mrs. Yang did not allow him to visit Emily. She locked Donny in the room, so that he couldn't sneak out to see Emily.
Mrs. Yang had her own reasons for acting the way she did. First of all, she had a hand in attempting to murder Emily. For all she knew, she was partially responsible for Emily's current predicament.
Secondly, she wanted her son to forget about Emily, because she felt that her son deserved to be with someone better. Apart from a beautiful face, what else did Emily have to offer?
Emily was so frail that it was a miracle she hadn't been blown off her feet by a strong wind yet. As what the villagers had said, Emily was incapable of getting pregnant let alone give birth to a son to carry on their family name.
Moreover, she was worried that Bear would physically assault her dear son if he went over to see Emily. 'It's too dangerous for you to go there!'
Mrs. Yang refused outright and stood her ground.
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