Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 503
The group followed the winding trail behind the Imperial Plantation and hiked towards the little hill that wasn’t too far from them. Steward Wang, who was in charge of overseeing the Imperial Plantation, had gotten word of their arrival and hurried over with the staff to welcome them. These young masters and misses were all from noble families and one of them was actually their immediate superior, so they couldn’t slight them one bit.
However, He Wanning felt like they were all in the way and directly ordered them away. Since they were here for an outing, it needed to be more rustic for them to have fun. The invitation from Steward Wang was completely ignored by everyone.
At the peach orchard, a beautiful sight greeted their eyes. Rosy and bright peaches hung from the branches and the weight of them made the branches bend down. Raising one’s head would allow a fuzzy peach to hit one’s forehead. The sweet scent of the peaches permeated the mountainside.
“Those of you who want to hunt go ahead. We can split duties. In any case, I want to pick peaches!” He Wanning impatiently picked a massive scarlet blood peach that had caught her eye. She wiped the fuzz on the peach with a handkerchief and began to stuff the fruit into her mouth. Her maidservant hurriedly stopped her and took out a water pouch that she carried to help her wash the peach clean before handing it back to her.
He Wanning bit down and bright red juice dribbled down from the corner of her mouth. She wiped the juice off with the back of her hand in an uninhibited manner and swallowed down the flesh and juice in her mouth. She remarked in a pleased manner, “So delicious! Apparently peaches that are just picked are even more fresh. This type of peach has a sour and sweet taste to it and it really stimulates one’s appetite!”
Royal Princess Minglan personally preferred the juicy and rich honey peach. She carefully looked around and selected a honey peach tree from the orchard. She stood on the top of her tiptoes to pick a peach that had caught her eye. Her maidservant swiftly took it from her hand to help her wash it before handing it back to her.
Royal Princess Minglan held the washed peach in one hand while she picked another ripe peach with her other hand. The honey peaches that she picked were all placed in a basket held by a maidservant behind her. After picking five peaches, she finally stopped. She delivered the washed peach to her mouth and gently took a small bite. Then, she sucked at the bite and sweet and mellow juice immediately flowed into her mouth. It tasted as sweet as honey. After she finished sucking out the juice, she discovered that what was left in her hands was only the skin of the peach and the seed. The flesh of fully ripened honey peaches had already turned to juice. No wonder they were called honey peaches!
Li Mengru’s two younger brothers were just at the age where they liked to play. When they saw that their older sisters had started to pick peaches without saying a word, they didn’t want to be outdone. They ran towards the peach trees they liked and began to pick fruit. For the fruit that were on the higher branches, they sat on the shoulders of others to help them reach.
Lu Hao couldn’t control the strength in his hands. After attempting to pick a few honey peaches, he found out that he always ended up damaging the fruit so he switched his targets to the giant white peaches. Giant white peaches had firmer flesh and were not as delicate as honey peaches, so they were more suited to him. He placed the fruit basket that the staff of the orchards used at his feet and, before long, most of the basket was filled with peaches. The speed at which he picked peaches was even faster than the most experienced orchard hands.
Ning Donghuan had always had a more deranged temperament. When he saw everyone else spending time in the fruit orchard, he also changed his mind and began to pick peaches. After picking one, he rubbed it casually on his clothes a few times and then took a giant bite. Before long, three to four large peaches had already gone down his gullet. The coarse young man exclaimed, “I’m rich, I’m rich! These peaches are all for free so I need to eat as many as I can! I need to let all of my friends know that the peaches that they can’t even buy can be eaten by me. I can eat as much as I want. Won’t they be so jealous of me?!”
Ning Donglan, on the other hand, was an elegant and cultured fellow. He was dressed entirely in white and had both of his hands behind his back. One of his hands held a fan that had an ornament attached to it that lightly swayed with his steps. His demeanor made him look like a peach immortal. However, this ‘immortal’ wasn’t the type that disdained the mundane food of mortals. Whenever he saw a peach that caught his eye, he would also stretch out a hand and pick it off the tree. After washing the fuzz off of the fruit, he would happily taste the peach.
“All of you men are here picking peaches, are any of you going to go hunting? You guys wouldn’t happen to be waiting for us young noble maidens to go instead ah?” After eating two peaches, He Wanning’s stomach was no longer empty. Although her desire to pick peaches didn’t go down, her desire to eat peaches had changed.
Ning Donghuan ran to a nearby pear tree and picked off a pear that was purple-green in color. He bit down and almost choked on the acidity of the fruit. He spat out the unripe flesh from his mouth and threw the pear onto the ground. After hearing He Wanning’s question, he blew a loud whistle to summon a giant hunting dog. He patted the dog’s head and proudly remarked, “With my Tyrant here, why do we need people to hunt? Tyrant, go show them your skills and hunt some wild peasants and hares for us!”
Yu Xiaocao glanced at Tyrant and discovered that it was a Tibetan mastiff. Tibetan mastiffs were well-known for being fierce hunters. No wonder Ning Donghuan loved this dog so much!
When he saw that Tyrant hadn’t entered the thickets yet, Ning Donghuan boasted proudly, “My Tyrant was brought over from U-Tsang (historic name for Tibet) and it’s very fierce! No dog in the capital is its match. It is truly the King of Dogs! Miss Yu, on another day, bring your Little Black and Little White along to scuttle with Tyrant alright?”
Yu Xiaocao let out a ‘pft’ of laughter. Tyrant was the best eh? In Little Black and Little White’s eyes, that dog wasn’t even worth a second glance! Although Little Black and Little White were usually good natured, they could actually make a fierce tiger back down when they needed to!
Ning Donghuan hurriedly added when she saw her expression, “Don’t dismiss me so early. Tyrant is a mastiff and the Tibetan people use them to fend off fierce creatures. They will even fight off wild wolves.”
Awooooo——Just as he finished speaking, he heard the frantic cry from his dog. Ning Donghuan’s expression immediately changed and he exclaimed, “That sounds like Tyrant. Didn’t you say that there aren’t any fierce beasts in the hills here? What happened? That’s not okay, I need to go take a look!”
Ning Donglan pulled his younger brother back and frowned, “If it is truly a vicious creature, it’s not like you can do anything with your poor martial arts skills. Royal Prince Yang, if there are truly fierce beasts here, we can’t just let this go. After all, Miss Yu spends a lot of time here at the Imperial Plantation working…”
Zhu Junyang had also thought of this point. However, when Ning Donglan pointed it out, he felt quite unhappy inside. He was the only one who needed to be concerned about his lass’s affairs. As an ‘outsider’, why was this guy butting in? Did this fellow have other motives towards the little lass?
“For the past year, I’ve pretty much come to the Imperial Plantation almost every day from the capital and I never heard of any fierce beasts staying in the area. That being said, other than some shrubbery in the area, there’s no thick forest here for vicious animals to hide in. There shouldn’t be any real danger. Perhaps Tyrant accidentally fell into a trap that was dug by one of the nearby villagers? How about we go over and take a look?”
During their journey here, Little Black and Little White had run far in front of the horses. Yu Xiaocao had personally seen them run into the thicker areas of the back mountain. If there truly were any vicious creatures around, Little Black and Little White would have already warned her. Although she wasn’t worried, that didn’t mean Zhu Junyang wasn’t. He couldn’t let even one small detail escape his eye when it came to his little lass’s safety. In a few days, he needed to have some people clean up the surrounding areas around the fruit orchard. Then, he was going to bring some people up from the farmstead and have them begin to patrol the nearby areas to make sure everything was safe. Only then would he be okay with having his lass spending a lot of time at the Imperial Plantation.
“Lu Hao and I will go take a look. After all, the two of us are well trained. The rest of you should stay here. Head Steward Liu and Bodyguard Dong will stay here to protect all of you!” Zhu Junyang pulled the eager and excited Xiaocao and He Wanning back, who had a face full of curiosity. He didn’t need to worry about the other young maidens. These two, however, were always ready to get into trouble.
Yu Xiaocao’s displeasure at being held back shown on her face. What was wrong with her tagging along? With these two hulking men along, would they really not be able to protect her, a tiny little girl?
Just as the two youths were about to head forward, they could hear some rustling in the nearby bushes. From the looks of it, it looked like a large creature was headed their way. Ning Donglan headed a few steps closer to Xiaocao and stood in front of her as he quietly reminded them, “Be careful! All of the young ladies should retreat back into the fruit orchard, the servants should keep an eye out…”
Just as he finished speaking, a giant black head revealed itself from the bushes. The creature’s bright blue eyes looked at the group of humans in puzzlement. When Zhu Junyang clearly identified the animal, he immediately relaxed.
“Tyrant! What’s wrong, Tyrant?!!” Ning Donghuan clearly saw what was being dragged along by that giant black head. Why did it look so familiar? This…could it be his Tyrant ah? Tyrant, who had no rivals in the whole capital, was currently acting like a dead animal in Little Black’s jaws and whimpering and whining pitifully.
“Little Black, who told you that you could just bully other people’s dogs eh?” Yu Xiaocao was very familiar with Little Black’s personality. It loved to play around and could romp happily with the stray dogs in the village. If it was Little white, on the other hand, she could believe that it was that guy who started the fight. However, Little Black would never bully another dog without being provoked first.
Little Black tossed Tyrant onto the ground. When Ning Donghuan saw his beloved pet like this, lying on the ground not moving, he cried out and ran forward, “Tyrant, I rely on you to give me face ah, you can’t be dead! What will I do if you’re dead?” The distress on his face made it seem like his wife had died.
Ning Donglan couldn’t stand his younger brother acting like this and poked his brother in the back with his foot to remind him to stop making a spectacle out of himself.
“This is not okay! Miss Yu, your Little Black killed my Tibetan mastiff that cost ten thousand taels to buy. You need to compensate me…just give me Little Black ah, Little Black is mine now! Otherwise, I’m going to cause a racket at your residence every day!!” Ning Donghuan revealed his hooligan side and stared at Little Black with a covetous expression.
“Psh! You sure are hoping to get the better side of the deal here! Let me tell you, my Little Black is worth more than ten of your Tyrant!” Yu Xiaocao rolled her eyes and gave a pointed look at Ning Donglan. Her intent was obvious, ‘Quickly take your younger brother away. The fact that he’s trying to blackmail someone in front of all of these people is really too shameless of him!’
Zhu Junyang felt the fires of rage rise up in his heart when he saw his little lass looking at Second Young Master Ning. He pulled the shameless Ning Donghuan, who was hugging the ‘dead corpse’ of his dog, up by his collar and pointed at Tyrant, whose eyes were still blinking and looking around. He growled, “If this dog of yours was killed by Little Black, then this prince would compensate you for your ten thousand taels! However, open your eyes wider, idiot! It was only scared silly by Little Black and doesn’t dare to stand up around the other dog!”