The Supporting Female Character Refuses to be Cannon Fodder Chapter 44

Looking at the small purse, Jiang Chan sighed. When Jiang Miao needed five taels of silver to attend the imperial examinations, Wang Shi couldn’t even gather five taels, and she was planning on controlling Jiang Chan’s marriage.

Now, just to donate some money for oil lamps, Jiang Chan needed five taels of silver. She couldn’t help but lament how times had changed. She would donate all her possessions rather than let Wang Shi benefit even the slightest bit.

On the second day of the lunar new year, the weather was sunny. Originally, the second day of the lunar new year was spent with the maternal family, but unfortunately, Lin Shi’s parents passed away several years ago, and they weren’t close to the elders of the family. Lin Si and Jiang Sen hadn’t gone back for several years either.

Every second day of the new year, Lin Shi used to visit the charity hospital to donate some oil money. This year, she had a wish to fulfill there—to give thanks for having such a wonderful daughter like Jiang Chan by her side.

Yesterday, they talked about going to the temple today, and Wu Shi along with Zhou Yue and Zhou Xing were very excited. They had been here for so long and seldom went out, mostly staying in the kitchen.

Taking advantage of the temple visit to get some fresh air was indeed a good idea. Wu Shi and Zhou Yue had been busy in the kitchen last night, preparing many snacks for offerings to the Buddha statues.

When they set off, it was a grand procession. Everyone in the household went, including Uncle Zhong and Zhou Shan, and even little Zhou Wen, holding Wu Shi’s hand, looked around curiously.

The temple they visited was called Jingye Temple, famous and the largest in the vicinity. The constant stream of pilgrims indicated its prosperity, justifying its reputation as also serving as a charity hospital.

Along the way, Jiang Chan saw many pious men and women, all appearing devout and joyful, especially due to the new year. Little Zhou Wen, holding Wu Shi’s hand, skipped along happily.

Kneeling down to pray with Lin Shi and looking at the benevolent Buddha statue above, Jiang Chan felt untroubled. Although she had no religious faith, meeting Qingyuan had made her reconsider; perhaps there was some merit to religion, as doing good deeds was never wrong.

After visiting several halls, Lin Shi patted Jiang Chan’s hand, “I have Wang Ma with me, go take a look around, but don’t go far.”

Jiang Chan walked slowly with Zhou Xing, not minding the direction. She always preferred tranquility over bustling crowds, and so she took Zhou Xing towards quieter places.

As they passed a small courtyard, Jiang Chan suddenly stopped. She looked up at the plaque.

“Ji Bing Fang?”

So this was where the charity hospital was. Jiang Chan didn’t hesitate and walked in. The courtyard was small, smaller than a modern orphanage by her standards.

The courtyard was clean, with couplets on the windows that added a festive touch. In the center, four or five children aged three or four were playing, watched over by two elderly women busy with needlework.

Jiang Chan quickly surveyed the scene; everyone wore blue coarse cloth robes, though the styles varied slightly, probably for ease of management. The children were playing hopscotch, laughing joyously.

Jiang Chan sat quietly beside the two old ladies, and Zhou Xing did the same, listening to their conversation.

The old ladies didn’t shy away from talking in front of her. The charity hospital didn’t forbid visitors, and sometimes kind-hearted ladies would donate some silver, which helped improve their lives a bit.

From their conversation, Jiang Chan learned that there were twenty children here, from four to thirteen years old, fifteen girls and five boys. It seemed that boys were always more valued, and the ones abandoned or given up were always girls.

The oldest was also a girl, known for her excellent needlework, which she did day and night. When free, she would teach the slightly older girls needlework, generously sharing her skills like a big sister caring for everyone.

To talk about the management of the Jibing Fang, there are also drawbacks. The government has regulations. As long as a family has a clean background, if they want to have children, they can directly come to the Jibing Fang to select people, and it doesn’t matter how many children they want.

There’s absolutely no need to ask the children’s opinion. If it weren’t for the birthmark on this girl Xiao Lan’s forehead, she would have been chosen by someone long ago,” sighed the kindly old lady.

A face with a birthmark meant a life of difficulty. People loved beautiful women, and scars or birthmarks were nearly universally unaccepted.

Just then, a slim girl not very tall came out of a small side room. Although she had a birthmark on her face, she held her head high, exuding a strong presence.

With just one glance, Jiang Chan liked this girl, perhaps because they shared a similar temperament, not allowing their backgrounds or appearances to make them feel inferior, and always striving to do their best.

Xiao Lan held a handkerchief; she had been sitting inside for a long time and came out to sunbathe and do some embroidery. Seeing Jiang Chan, she greeted her but said nothing more.

Jiang Chan glanced at her clothes and could see that there were several small flowers embroidered on them, making the coarse cloth garment look a bit more elegant.

Nowadays, although this charity hospital is supported by the government, there are still times when they cannot take care of everything. The elderly, weak, and women and children here are barely getting by.

Seeing this scene, Jiang Chan felt uneasy. She was living well now, with daily income, but in places she didn’t know about, many were struggling to eat and stay warm.

Jiang Chan asked herself, having come to this era, did she just want to fulfill the original owner’s wishes, or could she do something for these people?

When poor, one should focus on self-improvement; when prosperous, one should assist others. Even though she may not have the ability to assist the world, contributing her love should be achievable, right?

Jiang Chan’s heart was in turmoil, wanting to do something but not knowing where to start. It seemed that the only thing she could do was leave some money. Coincidentally, the two old ladies were not around at the moment, and Xiao Lan was a quiet person, always bowing her head and doing her embroidery work.

With pursed lips, Jiang Chan left with Zhou Xing, but she left a silver ingot on the stool where she had sat.

Xiao Lan, who had been immersed in her embroidery work, absentmindedly moved her neck and realized that the courtyard was now empty. However, when she noticed the silver ingots on the small stool nearby, a slight smile crept onto her lips. She hadn’t expected that the stern young lady would be so generous. Now, she wouldn’t have to worry about food and grain for the next two or three months.

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