So good news and bad news. Good news: I found a job. Which is directly related to my bad news and why it took me so long to get this chapter out: translations may take me longer. I will try and
Also, I seem to have caught two typos in this chapter (which I have "corrected" in the translations) so if something really doesn't make sense and I just misinterpreted the raws, please let me know.
1. Xiǎo - Little, young; can be added in front of someone’s name (usually younger). Can also be used as a nickname to show closeness between family members, lovers, and friends.
2. Niáng - Mother
3. Māmā - Mom, mommy; also a way of addressing elderly female servants
4. Lǎo Fūrén - Elderly Madam
5. Fūrén - Madam; Title used for a married woman.
Return of the Noble Abandoned Consort
10. First Time Practicing Medicine
The mutton had been stewed to perfection, its slices were thin and tender. The noodles were smooth and could easily be slurped into one’s mouth. Together with the hot pepper-seasoned soup, the dish was so delicious that one could not help but practically swallow their tongue trying to speedily eat it.
Since they’ve settle down in Xīniú Village, the two little buns had never eaten such delicious dishes before. They were both so happy that they ate until they were sweating all over.
Qiáo Wàng Shū was afraid of spiciness, the smell of the pepper was strong enough to irritate one’s nose. She took a bite and huffed out twice from the spicy taste. With bulging cheeks and a rosy-red complexion, Qiáo Wēi thought she could die with how cute her daughter looked. This meal was eaten very happily.
Along with the other dishes, the amount of mutton noodle soup she ordered was more than enough. Seeing that the brother and sister pair was unable to finish it, Qiáo Wēi took it upon herself to finish the rest.
Shuān Zi Diē ate a bowl of dumplings, a bowl of mutton noodle soup, a chive box, and half a scallion pancake. In the end, his stomach could no longer fit anything else. Usually, when he gave someone a ride, they did not care about meals. He had already prepared flat bread for himself to eat but who knew that Xiǎo  Qiáo would also order him such a large meal? A mother and her two children eating a meal, he was also eating, this was really extraordinary.
He was not an educated person so he did not know how to put it in good words. However, he felt that Xiǎo Qiáo’s mannerism was different than that of a typical village women’s. Her imposing atmosphere, her orderliness, her straightforwardness; Qiáo Wēi knew when to speak up, but also knew not to make a fuss over every minor detail. She conducted herself as well any self-respecting man; she was nothing like the questionable person rumors had made her out to be.
“Shuān Zi Diē, have you eaten your full?” Qiáo Wēi asked politely.
“Full!” Shuān Zi Diē answered, patted his rounded belly. “Practically can’t walk around anymore.”
Qiáo Wēi gave a slight smile. “If it is not enough, let me order something else.”
“There is really no need to,” Shuān Zi Diē said in a hurry, his hands waving frantically. “I’ll burst if I eat anymore.”
Seeing that Shuān Zi Diē was truly full, Qiáo Wēi only smiled, not saying anything else. Instead, she turned towards her children, asking, “What about you guys? Have anything you still want to eat?”
They shook their heads; they could barely stand up as it was.
“It seems like you both really like to eat this,” Qiáo Wēi said, looking at the table’s mutton noodle soup. “Niáng  will buy some lamb meat and noodles back and stew some for you two to eat.”
After paying the bill, Qiáo Wēi returned back to the marketplace and bought some sturdy bedding and several cuts of fresh meat. Actually, she also wanted to buy a writing set of brush, paper, and ink-stone but changed her mind after hearing the price. The price of paper from this dynasty was more expensive than gold. It was really not something commoners could afford.
By the afternoon, the group was ready to return from their rewarding journey.
Right before leaving the marketplace, Qiáo Wēi bought a few candied hawthorns for her son and daughter to share among their friends back in the village. Of course, she also got them their own share.
The two little buns were extremely happy; in the past, it was always them who ate other people’s food but now it was finally their turn to share. No more need for embarrassment, now.
The horse carriage steadily made its way back to the small village. It was just past noon so the sky was bright with the mid-day sunlight which dispelled the winter cold. The two little buns sitting on either side of Qiáo Wēi snuggled up into her embrace. Full of food, along with the swaying motion of the carriage, the two of them gradually started feeling sleepy. Qiáo Wēi opened up a quilt and covered her two children up with it. Their eyes has long since fluttered shut, completely asleep.
Qiáo Wēi herself was also feeling somewhat sleepy. She closed her eyes lightly, planning on resting for only a moment so she did not expect the horse carriage to come to a sudden stop. She woke up instantly as she jerked forward, still holding her children in her arms. “Shuān Zi Diē,” she called out. “What happened?”
“It seems like something happened up front,” he answered.
Shuān Zi Diē, who was sitting on top of the horse, hastily looked around, wanting to avoid the commotion. However, a family’s horse carriage was stopped in the middle of the path which was not wide enough for him to also pass through. He saw that the carriage was surrounded by a bunch of crying servants.
Shuān Zi Diē jumped off his horse and made his way over to inquire about the situation. Despite their own feelings of anxiousness, the servants carefully explained the situation to Shuān Zi Diē. “There’s an elderly lady inside the carriage,” he relayed back to Qiáo Wēi, “who fainted suddenly. They plan on sending someone to town to invite a physician but the elderly lady’s situation does not look very good.”
People from ancient times rarely cursed themselves. If they all say that the situation was not very optimistic, then it must be dire indeed.
“I will go see,” Qiáo Wēi said, wrapping the quilt around her two children.
She made her way towards the carriage and gave a quick glance around. There were two cart drivers, no less than six pairs of fine horses that stood tall and steady. If she were to compare them to Shuān Zi Diē’s horse, it would be like comparing the clouds to dirt. Looking at the all the attendants, there were four servant girls, four menservants, two female middle-aged servants, and two male middle-aged servants. It was rather extraordinary how disciplined everyone was.
The one in charge must be the old servant clad in a green outfit. She was kneeling just outside the carriage, crying while everyone else was standing nearby, also in tears.
Qiáo Wēi composed herself, concentrating all her attention towards the older servant as she looked at her. “This...” Aunt? Madam? How were female servants even addressed in ancient times? Ah, that’s right! It was māmā . However, Qiáo Wēi was unable to call that out so she just ended up asking, “Is your family’s lǎo fūrén  sick? What is the situation?”
The servant continued to cry. “I also do not know what happened. Lǎo fūrén was talking to me when her complexion suddenly became off. And then she just fell down...”
Qiáo Wēi’s expression remained steady as she said, “My father is a doctor, if you do not mind, let me check out the situation.”
When the servant heard the words, her eyes immediately lit up. “Fūrén , please! This way.”
Normally, the servant would never allow a random village woman anywhere near the elderly madam. However, the situation right now was an emergency; she could only count on a dead horse as if it was a living one.
As soon as Qiáo Wēi stepped into the carriage, she found herself surrounded by a precious yet simple atmosphere. This was indeed a horse carriage of the highest luxury. However, Qiáo Wēi did not pay any mind to these simple worldly possessions and instead, looked over towards the elderly madam. The elderly madam squinted at her but the light in her eyes were sluggish and her complexion pale. Her expression looked as if she was in a lot of pain.
After checking over the elderly madam’s body and her surroundings, she asked, “Was lǎo fūrén eating when she was talking to you?”
The servant nodded, startled. “Yes, yes, yes.”
Qiáo Wēi touched around the elderly madam’s neck. “There is something stuck in her trachea. I will need to cut it open.”
The servant looked at Qiáo Wēi’s hand, turning pale with fright. “You want to cut my family’s lǎo fūrén’s throat? Are you crazy?”
“She is already showing obvious signs of breathing difficulties,” Qiáo Wēi replied in a steady voice. “Cold sweat, urinary incontinence, loss of orientation, if this continues, she will suffocate to death. Whether or not you would like to save her, the final decision is up to you.”
Even the servant could see for herself that the elderly madam did not have much time left; she knew that young lady was not just trying to scare her. But the young lady’s method was simply too dangerous. Even imperial physicians did not dare use a knife on the old madam’s body, could an unsophisticated doctor from the village do it?
“You... You... You are certain it will be successful?”
“It’s hard to say,” Qiáo Wēi replied. “All surgery comes with risks. Not to mention, this is not an operating room so the chances of an infection is high. But those are all problems to think about afterwards. If we are not doing the surgery then she will not have the chance for an infection. Just directly wait for death then.”
That last sentence immediately extinguished any hesitation the servant had. The old lady was met with unexpected misfortune and the servants around her would also have to bear the blame. Instead of waiting to die, it was better to gamble!