Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 528
Zhu Hanwen stretched out a hand towards Little Black. The head steward of the hunting grounds couldn’t stay calm anymore. If the eldest imperial prince got bitten by a wolf while in the hunting grounds, he wouldn’t be able to take this responsibility ah!
“Imperial Majesty, even wolves that have been raised since they were young still have a bit of wildness in them. This official worries…” The head steward remarked somewhat anxiously.
When the empress heard this, she revealed a surprised expression and frowned, “Wolves? Wasn’t it said that Miss Yu had raised wolf-dogs ah? How did they become wolves? Emperor, quickly call our imperial son back, it’s too dangerous!”
“You’re all thinking too much. Just watch, isn’t our imperial son getting along quite splendidly with Little Black ah?” Zhu Junfan knew Xiaocao’s abilities. As long as these two wolves didn’t sense any danger, they wouldn’t go against their master’s wishes and attack humans on their own.
The empress looked over and saw that giant black wolf with its head cocked looking cutely at her son. Its eyes shined with a gentle and joyful light. Suddenly, her heart squeezed and she tightened her grip on the reins——that giant wolf was lowering its head and its immense mouth was getting closer to her son’s tiny hands——if it bit down now, half of her son might be savaged. How could the empress not be worried?
In a place where they couldn’t see, there was a person who couldn’t restrain his excitement. He silently repeatedly to himself, ‘Bite down, bite down on him! Bite ah! Aren’t you a wolf ah? Isn’t it normal for wolves to eat humans?’ If the eldest imperial prince had a mishap here, then he wouldn’t have to implement any of his plans.
Unfortunately, the heavens didn’t hear his plea. Little Black gently sniffed at Zhu Hanwen’s small hand and felt like he was quite similar to his master’s younger brother when he was young. The prince gave off a very familiar feeling. It immediately classified the eldest imperial prince as ‘someone on our side’ and intimately used its rough tongue to lick the prince’s palm.
Zhu Hanwen only felt that his hand was ticklish and couldn’t help but giggle a few times. The apprehension within his heart completely disappeared. He followed his desires and ran over to hug Little Black’s neck. Little Black’s long fur didn’t have the tell-tale musky scent of most animals and, instead, gave off a smell that made him feel comfortable.
The eldest imperial prince stroked Little Black’s fine and soft fur as if there was nothing else he would rather do. He fished out a piece of dried drained yogurt, kurt, from his pouch and offered it to the wolf. Little Black lowered its head to sniff at it and obligingly ate it. Although it wasn’t as tasty as the snacks its master gave it, it gave off a dense smell of milk and wasn’t considered unpalatable——these were the picky thoughts that Little Black had going through its mind.
“Does Little White want to eat some?” The eldest imperial prince took out another piece of kurt and looked somewhat fawningly over at the arrogant Little White. However, the wolf rebuffed him with a look of disdain in its bright blue eyes. Zhu Hanwen felt his fragile heart shatter into pieces and went back to interacting with the foolish Little Black. Before long, his hurt feelings were easily soothed by the other wolf.
The eldest imperial prince decided to stop trying to get closer to Little White and focused all of his attention at Little Black. They quickly became close pals and the prince intimately patted the wolf’s neck, “Little Black, do your best! Bring back more game and make those people who look down upon me eat dirt!!”
“Awooooooo——” Little Black responded to him conscientiously. ‘Catching game is not a problem for this wolf! Friend, just wait and see!’
Little White slanted a look full of disdain at the two of them. They were a pair of idiots!
“Let’s go! The hunt has begun! Let’s go into the forest!!” The eldest imperial prince proclaimed in his high-pitched voice. He rode his little pony forward and brandished the bow in his hands as he earnestly began his first hunt.
Yu Xiaocao accepted her fate and followed him from behind. Along with them were also two bodyguards who were highly skilled at martial arts as well as the two maidservants that Zhu Junyang sent to her who also had fighting skills——Chunhua and Qiushi.
In order to guarantee the safety of the eldest imperial prince, Yu Xiaocao deliberately chose the section of forest that was the safest out of the thirty-six allotted areas. From what the head steward of the hunting grounds said, this area only had small animals around and he had patted his chest and proclaimed that he guaranteed that there were no fierce beasts around.
Although the eldest imperial prince had only the very basics of equestrian archery, his aim was actually quite good. Before long, he had shot down a brightly colored wild pheasant in the wing with the ‘toy bow’ in his hands. The bird dropped to the ground and struggled heavily.
The personal eunuch of the eldest imperial prince trotted over and picked up the injured wild pheasant. Praise was free to give, so he said, “Imperial Highness, you’re so skilled ah! In the future, once your strength increases, you will probably be even stronger than Royal Prince Yang when you reach his age…”
“Little Zhuozi, don’t speak nonsense! My imperial father has said that Royal Prince Yang is a rare talent and it would be hard to find a second person who is as talented at martial arts as he is. If he had been born in a martial arts community, he absolutely would become the head of one strong group…” Zhu Hanwen quite admired this older uncle of his. He was like a little loyal fan and couldn’t allow other people to say one bad word about him.
Little Zhuozi was around eleven to twelve years old. Because he was detail-oriented and handled tasks given to him well, Su Ran had assigned him to take care of the eldest imperial prince. Although this guy was a bit of a lackey, he did have the ability to understand what his master wanted. He hurriedly stated, “Royal Prince Yang is gifted at martial arts and equestrian archery right now. However, when he was at your age, Imperial Highness, he wasn’t necessarily as good as you are now.”
The eldest imperial prince felt quite pleased at this praise and glanced over at Yu Xiaocao who was behind him. He rebuked Little Zhuozi, “You’re quite brave to put down Royal Prince Yang in front of Official Yu. Be careful not to make an enemy!”
Yu Xiaocao wanted to express her innocence. If the two of them wanted to joke and bicker, why did they have to pull her into the mix? Did she cause trouble for them in any way?
“Shhhhh——” Zhu Hanwen had spotted something and made a shushing gesture at Little Zhuozi, who was still joking around. Yu Xiaocao focused over where the prince was looking and saw a herd of sika deer in a thicket a distance away from them. The deer were currently leisurely eating grass and didn’t realize that danger was approaching them.
The eldest imperial prince lowered his head to look at the small bow in his hands and had to reluctantly admit that, with his current arm strength and bow, unless he shot the deer directly in the eyes, it would be hard to bring one down. His eyes flickered and quietly spoke at Little Black, who was rummaging in the grass, “Little Black, it’s time for you to show your abilities! Go, catch some sika deer and bring it back. Tonight we will have roast venison to eat!”
Little Black heard its name being called and turned its head back to look at its new friend in a confused manner, as if it didn’t understand what was being said. Zhu Hanwen was a bit upset that the wolf wasn’t listening to him and his mouth pouted down.
Little Zhuozi immediately comforted his master, “Imperial Highness, some pets will only listen to the commands of their masters. How about you ask Official Yu?”
Yu Xiaocao also wanted to eat roasted venison. When she saw the pleading look in the eldest imperial prince’s eyes, she hurriedly ordered the two wolves, “Little Black, Little White! Go, catch some game for us!”
The two giant wolves immediately changed their lazy demeanors. Their ears perked up and their eyes stared brightly at the herd in front of them as they looked for a good opportunity. They stealthily crept closer to the herd of sika deer. The deer seemed to sense danger approaching them and stopped their eating movements, raising their heads up to look around them in alarm.
Little Black and Little White continued to slowly stalk forward. The deer could sensitively tell that things weren’t going well and observed their surroundings minutely. The head of the herd, a buck, screamed out a few noises in alarm and the entire herd leapt away in all directions. When the two wolves saw this, they no longer tried to be sneaky and instead rushed out at top speed towards the fleeing herd.
The herd of deer scattered. Although sika deer were very good at running away quickly in forest terrain, for Little Black and Little White, who had been drinking mystic-stone water since they were young, speed was not an issue to them. The eldest imperial prince only seemed to see two flashes of black and white bolting around and couldn’t see the details of their movements before they finished. Little Black and Little White both very quickly had a dead large buck in their mouths and they marched back to where the humans were standing. Under the astonished looks of everyone around them, Little Black’s eyes shone with pride and arrogance.
The eldest imperial prince’s two imperial bodyguards both sighed over the speed of the two wolves. They remarked admiration and felt that Little Black and Little White were almost uncanningly human smart. Just from the look in Little Black’s eyes and his demeanor, one could easily mistake him for a child who was bragging about his skills.
Furthermore, they could see that the dead deer in their mouths had only their throats ripped open and not a single injury elsewhere. In fact, the deer that Little White caught was still twitching slightly.
“They’re too awesome ah! Official Yu, should we switch an area to hunt in? With Little Black and Little White around, we don’t need to worry about not reaching the first three places!” Zhu Hanwen stroked Little Black’s fur in admiration and took out another piece of kurt to give to the wolf. Little Black gulped it down without a hint of pickiness.
Yu Xiaocao wasn’t very interested in getting a high rank. She felt that her first obligation was to make sure the eldest imperial prince was well protected through all of this and not have a single hair be injured. She immediately tried to dissuade him, “Imperial Highness, this official believes that the people who deserve to be ranked are those who hunt relying on their own abilities. If we rely on Little Black and Little White abilities to get ranked, it’s a bit unfair. What do you think?”
Zhu Hanwen, after all, was the heir that the emperor was cultivating so he was naturally smart and knew how to look at different sides of an issue. He replied quickly, “What Official Yu says makes sense. Once I get a bit older, I’ll rely on my own abilities to compete with the others. Then now…shall we continue?”
“Of course, what’s the point of coming to this hunting facility if we don’t experience hunting a bit?” Yu Xiaocao had a bow in her hands that Zhu Junyang had especially commissioned for her. It wasn’t much larger than the one the eldest imperial prince was using but was much more carefully made. However, with Yu Xiaocao’s poor archery skills, she wouldn’t be able to show off the bow’s true abilities.
Zhu Hanwen’s interest in hunting had gone up again, “That’s right! The ancient people had once said, ‘The pleasure in fishing isn’t in how many fish you catch but in enjoying the process’. It doesn’t matter how much game we catch, the important thing is that we go through the process. This place isn’t dangerous. You guys can also go around and experience the joy of hunting too. How about that?”
Although the two imperial bodyguards were envious of their fellow colleagues, who were participating in the hunt, they knew that their first responsibility was protecting the safety of the eldest imperial prince. Thus, they hadn’t moved from where they were standing. It was only after the eldest imperial prince became a bit impatient and unhappy did they reluctantly leave.
Fortunately, the animals in this hunting area were all small creatures that didn’t attack humans. Otherwise, even if you beat them death, they wouldn’t have been willing to leave the eldest imperial prince from their sights. The two bodyguards discussed amongst themselves for a bit and decided to hunt in the nearby area at a set distance from the prince. If there was danger, they would be able to come back quickly to help.
Yu Xiaocao also allowed Chunhua and Qiushi to roam around nearby to also have them experience the joy of hunting. Little Black and Little White didn’t restrain themselves anymore and darted into the forest thicket, disappearing very quickly.