Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 533
Yu Xiaocao’s willow-like eyebrows came together in a frown as she tried to think of a way to convince Zhu Junyang to use the mystic-stone water within her pouch to clean her wound. Zhu Junyang suppressed the smile on his lips and earnestly said, ‘What’s wrong? Don’t you think this prince makes sense ah? How about this? I could help you lick your wounds and use my saliva to help you disinfect it…”
Wutong, who was waiting at the side if her master needed anything, felt her face turn bright red! She hesitated a bit. If Royal Prince Yang really planned on using his saliva to wash her young miss’s face, how should she stop him?
“Go away! Aren’t you dirty ah? Isn’t it disgusting to use your saliva to lick my wounds?” Yu Xiaocao almost wanted to laugh at the absurdness of it all. This fellow just knew how to take advantage of her. Why did she used to think that he was a cold and aloof person? Clearly, he was just a shameless rascal!
Zhu Junyang couldn’t restrain his laughter any longer and took the water pouch from her hands, “Alright, I’ll stop teasing you! This prince will help you clean your wound. Wutong, where’s your young miss’s cosmetic box? Go take out a few cotton swabs and bring them here.”
Although Yu Xiaocao hadn’t reached the age when she would start using cosmetics, she had already prepared a beautiful red sandalwood box that was delicately carved to carry them. Inside the box there were some daily necessities, skincare items, and some small pieces of jewelry. Cotton swabs were something she came up with but she didn’t normally use them very frequently. Using them to clean and treat a wound was quite appropriate though.
Zhu Junyang dabbed the cotton swab into some mystic-stone water and carefully helped her to clean the gash on her face. After he cleaned up all of the congealed blood in the area, he discovered that the wound was quite deep. He couldn’t help but tenderly help her blow a few times on it, “It’s so deep, I don’t know if it’ll leave a scar or not!”
“Are you trying to tell me that you’ll no longer like me if I have a scar on my face?” Yu Xiaocao, on the other hand, didn’t really care too much about the wound on her face. Mystic-stone water was quite effective at preventing and removing scars. Even her mother, who previously had old scars on her hands from cutting grass, almost had no scars left after using it. How could a mild scratch on her face even compare?
Zhu Junyang helped her spread on some Healing Jade Ointment. His movements were incredibly gentle as if he was doing something that was very holy. The expression on his face was solemn and when he heard her remark, he rebuked it instantly, “Nonsense! Is this prince someone who has such a fickle heart ah?”
“It’s hard to say ah! Men are visual creatures. As soon as they see a beautiful woman, their eyes are stuck on them and don’t move! If I was like Official Yu’s youngest daughter and had a face full of pimples, so swollen that I resembled a pig’s head, and also had pustules that oozed pus and blood, would you still like me?” Yu Xiaocao rolled her eyes at him while she obediently kept her face still to allow him to spread the ointment more easily.
Zhu Junyang gave her a good-natured glare and stated, “When did you ever see me staring at another woman as if I didn’t want to look away? If this prince really was a womanizer, wouldn’t my inner courtyard be filled with beauties by now? How could I possibly set my eyes on you, an immature little lass?”
“Just what are you trying to imply here?” Yu Xiaocao instantly erupted in fury, “Are you claiming that I’m not beautiful? I have such tender skin, large doe-like eyes, long and lush eyelashes, and a delicate egg-shaped face. Do you still think I’m not pretty at all? Just what part of my looks don’t meet up to your standards?”
Zhu Junyang deliberately held her face in his hand and stared at it for a long time. His sword-like brows knitted together into a frown and he solemnly declared, “Mm…after looking at your face closely…looks like your features have really opened and look quite fine together. All in all——you still resemble a silly little girl!”
“You’re the silly little girl ah! Say it again, I dare you to say it again!!” Yu Xiaocao seethed at his comments and resembled a puffed up little frog. Her feet, which were shod in embroidered shoes, stamped down furiously at Zhu Junyang’s boot-covered feet. That wasn’t enough to vent her anger, so she even started jumping up and down on his feet.
Zhu Junyang handed the bottle of Healing Jade Ointment to Wutong and drew the little lass, who was still hopping up and down, into his arms. He let out a laugh that sounded as melodious as a string instrument and said, “My little silly girl, quickly grow up. Once you become a young and virtuous lady, then I will marry you. That’ll stop you from having flights of fancy in that weird little head of yours. I just found out today that apparently you’re quite afraid of this prince having a fickle heart ah!”
“Just who wants to marry you, hmph——“ Yu Xiaocao arrogantly moved her head to the side even though her face was bright red. In her previous life, she had been solely preoccupied with earning money to support her family and never had the time to indulge in the pleasure of romance before she perished early. However, she never would have expected that after transmigrating over, the God of Transmigration would give her a chance to be with such a handsome and loyal dog of a man. As someone who had no romantic experience whatsoever, it was a bit embarrassing that she had no defenses against such an alluring man at all.
Zhu Junyang decided to give her a break and quietly changed the subject, “Where did you guys meet up with the tiger? Be as detailed as you can.”
Yu Xiaocao described everything as they happened today to him. She also added her opinion of the situation at the end, “Everyone had confirmed that the hunting area that we were at didn’t have any ferocious beasts. In fact, even the slightly more dangerous wild boars and pigs weren’t allowed in that area. How could a tiger suddenly appear then? There must be a conspiracy afoot, one that is targeting the eldest imperial prince!”
Zhu Junyang gently knocked on her head and smiled, “Oh! Looks like you finally grew some brains! Your analysis makes a lot of sense. This situation is not very simple so we cannot assume that there was no outsider involvement. However, there’s no need for you to worry about this. I’m sure the emperor has his own suspicions. Go eat something now. In a moment, when the other people out hunting come back, wouldn’t you want to see the results from today?”
Yu Xiaocao remarked in an uninterested tone, “You didn’t even participate in the competition today, so whoever is first today has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t matter if I even go out or not.”
“Xiaocao, who would have thought that you were hoping that this prince would get first place ah? Alright, tomorrow I’ll ask the emperor for a day off so I can help you get a tiger pelt! I guarantee that the pelt I get will be that much better than the one the emperor took away!” Zhu Junyang, who always kept a close eye on the lass, naturally spotted the disappointment that had flashed through her eyes when the tiger pelt had been taken away from her.
Yu Xiaocao’s spirits immediately came up and a brilliant smile blossomed onto her face, “Okay ah, okay! With your archery skills, killing a tiger must be a piece of cake for you. However…do you think there is another tiger to be had on these hunting grounds?”
Zhu Junyang tapped on her nose and lightly chuckled, “Don’t worry, even if these grounds don’t have any, this prince will head into the deep mountains to find one for you! When have I ever not done what I promised before? Let’s go, we should see what their spoils are like today!”
In the evening, before the sun had set behind the western mountain range, the people who had gone out to hunt had all successively returned. There was quite a lot of game to be had on these hunting grounds and everyone more or less had some sort of harvest. Even He Wanning, who was a noble young maiden and had been taught some rudimentary equestrian archery, came back with game on hand.
He Wanning walked over with a string of colorful wild pheasants and plump wild hares. From the self-satisfied expression on her face, one could easily tell that she was very pleased with her results today. Royal Princess Minglan also had a decent amount of game on hand and she had even managed to bring down a fat and plump roe deer! There were also some young maidens from military families who participated in the hunt. They were dressed valiantly and had long strings of game hanging off of their horses. These maidens all had proud expressions on their faces.
As for the men who were skilled in martial arts and equestrian archery, they naturally had very good hauls from the hunt today. However, the person who did unexpectedly well was the rascally good-for-nothing Third Young Master from Duke Rongguo’s Estate. The amount of game he brought back was easily more than the other people’s and he even had a large wild boar in his haul. No one needed to even count to know that he was the one who was going to take first place today.
“Congratulations Brother Ning!” The second place winner, Lu Hao, elegantly cupped his hands at the other man while he congratulated the first place winner.
Ning Donghuan squeezed out a smile, “Brother Lu, how could you, as a close friend, not know how much game is from my own efforts? More than half of the game here wasn’t killed by me!”
Lu Hao noticed that most of the game had been killed with a snap to the neck. Then he looked at the two heroic looking mastiffs behind Ning Donghuan and said, “The game that your hunting dogs catch are also counted under you. You do deserve first place for this, Brother Ning.”
Ning Donghuan waved his hand frantically, “How would my hunting dogs have the ability to kill a wild boar so easily? Look more carefully at the wounds on the game. Don’t you have a feeling of déjà vu seeing this?”
Lu Hao had also gone out on the outings that Yu Xiaocao had organized before. Thus, he was a bit familiar with the hunting tactics that her two large wolves had. When he noticed that the vast majority of game here had all had their throats ripped out and their necks snapped in two, without any other wounds on their bodies, he had a better understanding of what had happened.
He remarked in puzzlement, “Aren’t Little Black and Little White quite protective of their spoils ah? Why did they allow you to take their game?” He also remembered that Ning Donghuan had once coveted the two wolves’ spoils when they were in the back hills of the Imperial Plantation. However, the young master had been punished summarily by these two wolves and had ended up with his clothes ripped to ribbons and his naked butt revealed to everyone there. When did this Ning fellow become some close to these two creatures?
“Sigh…don’t even mention it or ask!!” Ning Donghuan had a resigned expression on his face.
Apparently, Ning Donghuan had brought his two mastiffs along with two servants along to the hunting grounds. He chose a relatively safe area to hunt. As he shot prey himself, he was also training his two beloved dogs how to hunt properly. As they wandered around, the two mastiffs suddenly put their tails between their legs and looked terrified.
Ning Donghuan had thought that he had come across a dangerous animal. With his own skills, he’d be able to bring down a medium sized animal without any problems. However, if a tiger appeared or some other incredibly vicious beast, he could only run away for his life. He at least had this much self-awareness. Immediately, his heart started pounding faster as he looked around to see what was going on.
At this time, he heard the familiar howl of Little Black in the near vicinity. Ning Donghuan had salivated over these two wolves for a long time so he naturally recognized the howl. From the sounds of it, Little Black had likely encountered a large opponent and Ning Donghuan wondered if he should head forth to help in order to curry favor with Little Black and Little White. In the future, when the two of them had puppies, he might even be able to shamelessly cajole one out of them.
Thus, he gathered his courage and walked towards them. He was just in time to see Little Black easily subdue a large wild boar. Wild boars had thick hides but Little Black bit through the animal’s neck in a single bite. It was very clear that the wolf had razor sharp teeth from that demonstration. Ning Donghuan thought his eyeballs were about to fall out of his head and desperately wished he could immediately bring Little Black back home. Unfortunately, even a wild boar couldn’t put up much of a fight with Little Black, so how could he possibly subdue the wolf?
When he got closer, Little Black sensed him. Since Ning Donghuan already had a criminal record in the eyes of Little Black, the wolf stood menacingly in front of the dead boar and showed him his long, white teeth in a warning snarl.
“Don’t misunderstand!” Ning Donghuan knew Miss Yu had raised Little Black and Little White to be incredibly intelligent and that they could mostly understand what a human said. He revealed a flattering smile and said, “I’m not here to try to steal game from you…this wild boar looks quite heavy, so won’t it be quite strenuous for you to bring it back? I have a lot of people here, how about we can help you move it back?”
Little Black understood the word ‘help’ but still gave Ning Donghuan a look that was full of distrust. Ning Donghuan immediately raised his hand to swear an oath to the heavens stating that he absolutely wasn’t going to try to steal their game. He had a very sincere expression on his face and was doing all he could to convince the wolf of his good intentions.