Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 525

“Don’t speak nonsense! Which eye of yours saw Ning Donglan’s favorable impression toward me? He’s gentle toward everyone, alright? You’re the emperor, don’t be like a gossiping woman, it’s really painful to look at!” Yu Xiaocao didn’t want to continue on this subject. If Zhu Junyang heard this and became overwhelmingly jealous, it wouldn’t be fun! 

Since rebirth, it was the first time he heard such impolite words directed towards him. Zhu Junfan poked her and huffed, “You dare say I’m a gossiping woman and that it hurts to look at? Lass, do you know how to write the word ‘death’?” 

“I don’t know. I’m illiterate in this life as I didn’t go to school!” Yu Xiaocao saw that the other party didn’t have any signs of anger, so she stuck out her tongue and made a face at him.

“Do you want me to teach you?” Zhu Junfan revealed a sinister expression. 

Yu Xiaocao blinked her large eyes innocently and smiled flatteringly at him, “Your Imperial Majesty, you deal with a myriad of important matters every day, so I won’t bother you. Besides, this word is too unlucky. It’s better to learn more auspicious words like ‘Imperial Gift’, ‘Reward’, and ‘Promotion’ ah!”

“Dream on!” Zhu Junfan gave her a sidelong glare and continued on the previous topic, “You’ve seen so many transmigration romance stories, so aren’t you curious about the Mulan Autumn Hunting Grounds of this world?”

“So you made this hunting ground to satisfy your curiosity?” Yu Xiaocao refused to admit that she was also interested in the Autumn Hunts from the Qing Dynasty.

Zhu Junfan showed a pleased expression and said, “In the past, I was concerned about the hardship of the people and the empty treasury. Aren’t the lives of the people better and the country is becoming more prosperous with peaceful people because I discovered your talents? What’s wrong with having an Autumn Hunt that the subject and the emperor can enjoy together to celebrate? Oh, by the way, having such an event can also frighten and pacify the foreign tribes outside the borders. So what’s wrong with having this happen?”

All of sudden, Xiaocao pointed toward the people on horseback coming towards them from afar and asked uncertainly, “Your Imperial Majesty, there’s people racing horses on your imperial hunting ground and no one is taking charge of it? Isn’t the management too bad?” 

Zhu Junfan’s eyes were quite keen. He saw the white-haired elderly man in the center clearly and with a wry smile said, “No matter how brave the management is, they wouldn’t dare try to manage him. Even if it was me, I wouldn’t dare to stop him from using the imperial hunting grounds as a horse racetrack!”

Yu Xiaocao also saw who was taking the lead and asked in surprise, “Eh? The emperor emeritus? When did he come? How come we didn’t see him on the road?”

“He thought the carriages were going too slow, so he took a few bodyguards and came ahead on horseback…” As he said this, the emperor emeritus and his group approached them swiftly. Xhu Junfan hurriedly expressed his concerns, “Grandfather, you should slow down. Age isn’t merciful, so you should take it easy!”

“Haha… I’ve practiced for several decades with the army here in the northeast. I’m quite fond of this piece of grassland, so I still think of it! Unfortunately, in later times, the air in this place is no longer as fresh and the sky is also not as clear!” The over sixty year old emperor emeritus agilely jumped off of his horse’s back and onto the ground. The skill he showed was very robust as if he had gone back to his twenties and thirties when he was still fighting on horseback.

This was also thanks to Xiaocao’s medicinal food, which helped nurture his body. Three or four years ago, he would need help getting on and off the horse! At that time, he often exclaimed, “A hero’s old age is the setting sun!” Unexpectedly, the medicinal food he impatiently ate was actually quite effective.

In the past, it was the old head steward begging him and watching him eat it. Now, he would ask for a bowl on his own. On one hand, it was because he learned about the effects of medicinal food, but on the other hand, it was because the taste of the food wasn’t too shabby. 

Su Ran’s eyes flashed. From the emperor emeritus’s tone, he could tell that the emperor emeritus came from the same place as the emperor and Yu Xiaocao. Earlier when the emperor used the phrase ‘past life’, Xiaocao, that lass, secretly looked at him. Could it be…that they all reincarnated with the memories of their previous lives? The emperor emeritus should have been a senior general who had been in the army for decades. The emperor’s past life…he should have been a shipbuilder? This explained why, when he was young, he was able to supervise the design and building of a fleet of ocean-worthy ships. In Miss Yu’s past life, she was good at farming, cooking, and preserving good health? By pure accident, Chief Steward Su had actually felt his way to the doorway of truth!

The old head steward wasn’t surprised by the ‘crazy words’ of the emperor emeritus anymore and his bodyguards also knew what could and what couldn’t be said. The old head steward glanced at Su Ran, and the two of them exchanged a look that had a tacit understanding. 

“Greetings towards Your Imperial Majesty” Yu Xiaocao took advantage of the gap between the two people talking to give a salute to the old yet strong emperor emeritus. 

The emperor emeritus saw her and his eyes narrowed into a smile, “Lass Xiaocao is here too! Looks like the meal for tonight will be quite good!”

Yu Xiaocao’s eyelids twitched a bit and she had the feeling that she was being used as a cook. ‘The emperor is out on a tour accompanied by his imperial chefs. Could you guys quit thinking of me?’

As if he could see into the little lass’s mind, the emperor emeritus’s expression wasn’t happy as he said, “Now that I’m back to my old place, I want to eat some authentic northeastern food but no one is serving any. It’s really annoying! I’ve eaten all at all the restaurants and eateries nearby, and I still can’t find that feeling from the past! Xiaocao, when I was Dongshan Village and ate the pork stewed with vermicelli you made, that was the taste that I was looking for!” 

Since it already came to this, could Yu Xiaocao still refuse? Let alone the fact that it was the emperor emeritus making this request, even if it was an ordinary old man missing the taste of home, she still couldn’t refuse! Yu Xiao maintained the smile on her face and said, “Your Imperial Majesty, this subject doesn’t know many dishes from the northeast. I hope you won’t be disappointed.” 

“Not disappointed, not disappointed!” The emperor emeritus guffawed and said, “As long as it’s made by you, the taste definitely can’t be bad. Let the people in charge of the temporary imperial residence buy the ingredients you need. Oh right! I have some wild pheasants here that I hunted. Ask whether the temporary imperial residence bought any mushrooms yet. Do you know how to make ‘stewed mushrooms with chicken’ ah?”

Stewed mushrooms with chicken wasn’t a difficult dish, so who didn’t know how to make it? She was just afraid that the taste of the one she made would be different from the one that was in his memory. Yu Xiaocao showed an expression of reluctance. The most difficult food to make was recreating a taste from memory because it was the hardest to replicate.

How could the emperor emeritus not see her reluctance? He laughed more heartily, “Don’t worry! I’m not a picky person. Make it however you want! It’s fine if it’s not good!” 

Yu Xiaocao resignedly went back to the temporary imperial residence. In the small kitchen, in the emperor emeritus’s courtyard, she started to get busy. That evening there was stewed mushrooms with chicken, sweet and sour crispy pork, three treasures from the earth
, crispy fried pork, northeastern hotpotch   , plus pork stewed with vermicelli at the table. All of these dishes were authentic northeastern dishes. Taking into account the spicy tastes of the emperor, she also made several Sichuan dishes as well. This made all four generations of the imperial family, from the grandparent to the great-grandchildren, enjoy their meal with relish!

That’s right, in addition to the emperor emeritus and emperor, Prince Jing and the eldest imperial prince were also at the table. Prince Jing said this was the first time he ate northeastern food. He was the son of the emperor emeritus, so their tastes were similar. The sweet and sour crispy pork and crispy fried pork were quite to his liking. The father and son pair basically ended up eating these two dishes in their entirety.

The arrival of the eldest imperial prince allowed Xiaocao to add two dishes that children liked——sweet and sour pork chops and roasted chicken wings. Zhu Hanwen ate the pork chops and chicken wings one by one. His small mouth grew a ‘mustache’ as he ate. Paired with fresh juice, he ate until his stomach was round. A little eunuch was told to take him on a long walk to aid with digestion before allowing him to return to his palace to rest. 

Zhu Junyang took pity on her for cooking so many dishes and accompanied her to explore the grassland under the moonlight. Galloping on the grasslands was what Xiaocao had in mind that afternoon. Sadly, it was ruined by the emperor and emperor emeritus. Tonight was the fifteenth and the moon was bright. The grassland seemed to be covered with a snow-white frost, which added a sense of mystery to the vast meadow.  

The two horses, Little Red and Fierce Wind, were itching to have a go! Little Red, in particular, could rarely run to her heart’s content. Usually, she was either in the city itself or in the suburbs of the capital and had to be content with holding back her speed. Upon seeing the boundless green grassland, she had long been unable to hold back. As soon as her master gave the order, she immediately spread her hooves and rushed out like lightning. Luckily Xiaocao and her horse seemed to be linked through their hearts. If it were anyone else, they would’ve been thrown off. 

Fierce Wind didn’t decline this challenge. He didn’t wait for his master’s orders and instead shot off after Little Red like it was a conditioned reflex. One black figure and one red figure turned into shadows under the moonlight, galloping together. It appeared incredibly harmonious, natural, and beautiful.

The two people seemed to have let go of the reins, allowing the two horses to gallop freely. They were on the imperial hunting grounds anyway, so they would never get lost no matter how far they ran. Besides, the two horses were intelligent and could remember the path. Fierce Wind was exceptionally intelligent. He once brought his master, who was unconscious and wounded, back to camp from the battlefield and had been turned into a legend!

After the two riders had enjoyed their ride, they slowed down and trotted along the road. Zhu Junyang took a look at Little Red, who was no worse than the Ferghana Horse under him and had a flash of inspiration. He suddenly asked, “Xiaocao, are you sure your horse is just a common breed?”

Yu Xiaocao scratched her head, not knowing how to answer. This was because Little Red’s change had a lot to do with her feeding it mystic stone water, but an inferior foal suddenly growing up to become a quality horse, wasn’t there something wrong with that? 

“What’s there that you can’t tell me? The secret you have…do you think I’m so stupid that I can’t tell?” Xiaocao’s mistrust towards him made Zhu Junyang feel pain in his heart. He thought that with their relationship, the defenses in her heart would have been long gone and they could open their hearts to each other. 

Yu Xiaocao heard this and her eyes widened. Under the moonlight, a glimmer of surprise climbed up on her face that was as fine as jade. She pondered a moment and conservatively said, “In fact, I don’t know if Little Red intelligence came from what her breeding or if it was more related to how I raised her. I don’t know much about horses. However, when my godfather gave me her, he once said he would let me ride it first. When I got older, he planned on getting me a better horse. ” 

“General Fang has a way of looking at horses. From what he was saying, it sounds like that Little Red should originally have been an inferior horse…” Before Zhu Junyang could finish his thought, Little Red, who had been labeled a bad quality horse, became unhappy and let out an angry hiss. In retaliation, she turned her head to bite Fierce Wind, ‘I can’t afford to offend your master, so I’ll use you to vent my anger instead!’ 

Yu Xiaocao quickly pacified Little Red and put a piece of sugar made with mystic-stone water into her mouth. Little Red chewed on the rock sugar contently. To the coveting Fierce Wind, she shot a proud look——’I won’t let you eat any! Just watch as I annoy you to death!’ 

[1] three treasures from the earth – stir fried potatoes, eggplant and sweet peppers

[2] northeastern hotpotch – potato, bean, Chinese cabbage, eggplant, wood ear and random vegetables stewed with pork belly

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