Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 504
As if it was trying to verify their thoughts, Little Black shot a look full of disdain at Tyrant and then turned around to walk into the shrubbery. Tyrant could smell the scent of Little Black of leaving and slunk back up. It stuck its tail behind its legs, hid behind its master, and refused to go out again.
“Ah…” Ning Donghuan, who was still trying to be shameless, stared at his dog with a flabbergasted expression. Under the mocking look of Yu Xiaocao, he sheepishly said, “I didn’t expect my Tyrant to be so smart. It knows how to play dead to avoid danger…”
Yu Xiaocao burst into laughter and looked at Tyrant, who was quite subdued but looked to be in fine shape, “Little Black wouldn’t bully your dog for no reason. Tyrant must have tried to steal his prey! Little Black is quite bold and powerful when he is hunting. Whoever wants to steal his game without his permission will get punished! Alright ah! After that false alarm, let’s go back to picking fruit. In the afternoon, we need to send out a shipment. In order to allow everyone to fully enjoy themselves, I even had the workers stop working. Go pick some more and don’t waste the time.”
“You’re truly taking us for a bunch of fruit pickers ah! Can you afford to hire us nobles as regular workers?” He Wanning scratched at her neck and she felt like her whole body was one big itch. She wished she could take off her clothes to scratch everywhere. However, after being instructed in the etiquette and mannerisms of a noble maiden for over a decade, she couldn’t do something so impolite and could only resist the urge.
“Stop scratching, stop scratching! Qiulu, quickly take out a clean handkerchief and wet it with some water to let your young miss wipe herself down!” Yu Xiaocao noticed that He Wanning’s neck had turned red from her scratching and hurriedly went over to stop her, “The fuzz on peaches are notorious for causing people to feel itchy. You have to be careful and avoid getting it on your skin!”
“How come you didn’t mention this earlier?” Ning Donghuan acted as if he was a giant monkey who had been infected with lice as he scratched his whole body uninhibitedly. The more he scratched, the more it itched, and the more it itched, the more he had to scratch. His neck and arms were all red and excoriated from his efforts as if he didn’t care that he might break his skin from scratching so hard.
Li Mengru’s younger brother Li Haoming had also gotten some peach fuzz on his skin. He cried as he scratched his body. Luckily, the only parts that had gotten fuzz on were his arms. Li Mengqi held a wet handkerchief and helped him wipe it off.
Yu Xiaocao pointed at a small brook that wasn’t very far from them and spoke at Ning Donghuan, “You all can go over there to wash off. When Little Black and Little White get back, we can go to the grass pavilion by the sea of flowers to take our noon meal.”
He Wanning still wanted to continue to pick peaches and looked at all of the peaches in the trees. She wished she could pick them all down and carry them away. Even if she couldn’t take them with her, she found picking fruit from the tree to be a very fun activity, “Those of you who want to wash up can do so, I’m going to continue to pick some more fruit.”
Other than Ning Donghuan, the rest of the group stayed at the fruit orchard and continued to pick peaches. When they first entered the orchard, they ate peaches as they picked. Their bellies now were full and they couldn’t eat any more fruit. The sweet aroma of ripe fruit was very calming. All in all, the sweet young maidens along with the young masters and all of their servants were able to pick all of the fruits that were needed to be sold in the afternoon before noon arrived.
A pile of game had already formed outside the orchard. There were wild hares, wild pheasants, badgers…everything that needed to be there was there. There was even a wild goat that weighed over a hundred catties! All of the game had been killed with a powerful bite to their necks. The wounds were quite small and even less blood flowed out. The only exception was the wild goat, which had its back legs dripping with blood and was quite mangled.
When Little Black came back again with wild Reeve’s pheasant, Xiaocao patted its head and praised it unstintingly, “Little Black is so hardworking. We have enough game here! Go bring Little White back. In a moment, we’ll barbecue some meat for you guys to eat!”
Little Black licked its master’s hand and joyfully wagged its large fluffy tail. It shot another threatening look at Tyrant before it swiftly disappeared into the bushes.
“So fast!” Ning Donghuan salivated as he stared in the direction that Little Black disappeared in. He fawningly walked up to Xiaocao and said, “Such top quality hunting dogs, and you have two of them. What a waste, right? How about you set a price and transfer Little Black to me? Don’t worry, no matter how high the price, I’m willing to buy…”
“Does it look like I lack money ah?” Yu Xiaocao was too lazy to pay him any attention and casually rebuked.
Ah…although Ning Donghuan was a profligate young master, he knew all of the news and rumors swirling about the capital. Fresh fruits and vegetables grown out of season, Blossoming Beauty’s flower teas and cosmeceuticals, the specialty resort spa, and this fruit orchard gleaming with gold…The Yu Family’s lass had only been in the capital for less than a year but she likely made more money than one could spend in a lifetime, no, multiple lifetimes. She truly wasn’t someone who lacked money!
“Then tell me ah! What will allow you to give Little Black to me?” Ning Donghuan dispiritedly asked with his head lowered down as if he was trying to look pathetic.
“Little Black and Little White aren’t considered mine. I don’t have the power to decide where they go.” In Yu Xiaocao’s heart, these two were already past the stage of mere pets. They shouldn’t be confined in a tiny little space in a residence as the deep forest was their true home. However, these two didn’t seem interested in spending all their time in the great outdoors as they were very close to her. Perhaps it was due to the fact she had the multi-colored stone on her?
Unfortunately, Ning Donghuan didn’t understand the complexities behind her words. Instead, his face lit up and he remarked with great emotion, “If they’re not considered yours, then who are they owned by? Royal Prince Yang ah?”
As long as they weren’t owned by Yu Xiaocao, Ning Donghuan felt like he would have no qualms bothering anyone else. His old father had said that Miss Yu was absolutely someone he could not afford to offend. Otherwise, he would have long resorted to some duplicitous methods to get his hands on one of her dogs. As long as she wasn’t their owner, then it was all very easy to resolve. Even if the owner was the hard to connect with Royal Prince Yang, he was confident in his own skills and wiliness that he would be able to get the prince to sell one of the dogs to him! The worst case scenario would be Royal Prince Yang beating him into a pulp. A few flesh wounds were nothing!
“No, they’re not owned by any person! They are only owned by themselves.” Yu Xiaocao thought that interacting with this idiot was truly too onerous. This guy truly had zero brains in that empty head of his.
However, Ning Donghuan became even more ecstatic, “They’re not owned by anyone? Doesn’t that mean they are masterless then? Then doesn’t that mean that as long as I find a way to bring them back that they would be considered mine ah?” Whoever caught masterless animals would be considered their new masters. Wasn’t that what she was hinting at?
Yu Xiaocao could sense his growing interest and had an inkling of what he was going to try to do. She gazed at him mysteriously and had a faint smile on her face as she said, “You could think of it that way. However, don’t blame me for not warning you in the future. Little Black and Little White aren’t that easy to get along with…”
However, Ning Donghuan didn’t take her warning to heart. His mind was obsessed with the idea of getting these two ‘hunting dogs’ into his kennel. Naturally, this was the direct cause of his future sad predicament.
The maidservants and manservants moved all of the game to the grass pavilion. Little Black and Little White also came along, coming and going like a black and white whirlwind. They frolicked through the flower fields swiftly and scared the female workers who were working in the fields into shrieks.
Several barbecue racks had been set up on the flat ground next to the pavilion. The charcoal inside had also been lit up. The cleaned game was in the process of being strung up on steel skewers and Royal Princess Minglan, Yuan Xueyan, and another few young maidens stood curiously at the side of the rack. They watched in fascination as the workers from the plantation swiftly made barbecue skewers from the freshly slain game.
The workers rubbed oil, flipped the meat, and added seasonings…it wasn’t a simple process ah! He Wanning was extremely eager to try and dismissed one of the servants who was cooking and began to start working herself. Younger Sister Xiaocao had told her earlier that barbecuing your own food was the most fun.
When she picked up a skewer of potatoes that was still half raw and waved it in front of Xiaocao as if it was a precious treasure, Xiaocao was currently cooking the wild goat that was missing a leg. Why was it missing a leg ah? That leg had been savaged by Tyrant earlier and she had cut it off so she could roast it for Little Black and Little White. She had no interest in eating meat that already had saliva on it!
“Xiaocao, look at the potatoes I roasted. Don’t they look great? They look so delicious!” He Wanning somewhat proudly raised the skewer of potatoes and used her other hand to wipe her forehead of sweat. The only thing she accomplished in doing was leaving three black lines on her face.
Yu Xiaocao took a look at the pathetic looking skewer of potatoes and wondered if she should stop the other girl from eating some. After thinking a bit, she decided it was better not to pour cold water on He Wanning’s enthusiasm. After all, eating some potatoes that were half burnt and half raw wouldn’t kill a person and would only cause some diarrhea at worst.
“Do you want to try some? This is the first skewer that I’ve ever roasted myself! If it was anyone else, I couldn’t bear to let them try any!” He Wanning thrust the ash-covered skewer towards Xiaocao’s mouth and resisted the urge to take it away.
Yu Xiaocao had a wide-eyed expression on her face as she politely refused, “Thank you! This is the first time you’ve roasted your own potatoes, so it’s better if you eat it instead ah…”
“What’s that expression on your face ah? It’s potatoes I roasted, not poison….if you don’t want to eat it, it’s your loss!” He Wanning stuffed the skewer of roasted potatoes in her mouth in a fit of pique. The expression on her face immediately changed.
“Peh, peh, peh….so salty, so disgusting ah!!” He Wanning spat out the food that was in her mouth and beckoned to the maidservant beside her to give her some water so she could rinse her mouth.
Zhu Junyang came over with a skewer of chicken thigh meat that had been roasted until it was crisp and golden. He squatted down next to Xiaocao and stuffed the chicken thigh meat skewer into Xiaocao’s hands. He took over the whole roasted wild goat that she was in charge of and easily flipped it, “Go have some fun ah. I’ll take over this.”
Yu Xiaocao took off a piece of meat from the skewer and delivered it into Zhu Junyang’s mouth while she also took a bite. She ate with relish, “So good! I never would have thought that Royal Prince Yang was also skilled at roasting meat ah!”
“Any soldier who ahs marched with the army knows how to roast meat. Whenever we have free time, we’ll go out and hunt some game down to barbecue. Although I can’t guarantee the taste of the food, I can at least attest that it’s cooked through.” As he talked, he even shot a sardonic glance at He Wanning as if he was hinting at something.
Yu Xiaocao restrained the laughter bubbling up inside of her and split the chicken meat between the two of them. Then, she stood up and pulled He Wanning, who looked quite at a loss and said, “Let’s go, I’ll teach you how to roast meat skewers!”
Yu Xiaocao used the already skewered raw goat meat to show her how to control the heat, how to flip the meat, how to brush on oil and seasonings…to her, barbecuing some meat was super easy and came to her like it was nothing. He Wanning, on the other hand, was astonished at her skill. Although it looked deceptively simple, when she tried, she ended up frantically trying to do all of the right steps. The meat that Xiaocao roasted came out flaky and crispy on the outside and delicious on the inside. The meat that she cooked, on the other hand, always turned out black and sad on the outside and the inside was always half raw.
After going through many attempts, He Wanning had to stop in regret. It looked like she had no culinary talent! Now that she accepted the truth, she ate the cooked food to salvage her hurt pride and ended up monopolizing all of the roasted meat that Xiaocao had cooked. She had no other choice. The food that Xiaocao barbecued was seriously too delicious. No matter if it was wild goat meat, pheasant meat, or rabbit meat, they were all cooked and seasoned perfectly. Even the barbecued skewers of vegetables were as delicious as the meat skewers and caused people to continuously eat without stopping.