Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 554
Yu Xiaolian still felt uneasy. With her lips pursed, she didn’t speak for a long time. Seeing that other people were setting off, she reluctantly asked, “Can you not go? Isn’t your vegetables and fruit shop doing pretty good? We don’t lack money, so why do you have to join in the fun?”
“I have already signed up to participate, and Royal Prince Yang is looking over this event. If I go back on my words and give up halfway, what would others think? Alright, I promise you that I will prioritize my safety, okay?” Zhuang Xiaomo coaxed her for a long time before Xiaolian finally agreed to let him go.
“You…must be careful and don’t try to act brave. I’ll wait for you to come back safe and sound!!” Yu Xiaolian’s eyes were full of worry and reluctance.
Xiaolian’s concern made Zhuang Xiaomo feel a sweet feeling as if he had eaten honey. He looked deeply at her, pushed his own pearl hunting boat, and sailed towards the deep sea with the equipment that he had prepared.
The pearl hunting boat was a special wooden boat that was powered by sails. The bow and stern of the boat were round, and the hull was relatively wide, like a huge oval wooden basin. Zhuang Xiaomo checked his equipment again: thick ropes, ceramic jar, straw mat, wooden bucket, bamboo basket, pearl picking knife, and so on.
Yu Xiaolian watched as Zhuang Xiaomo’s pearl hunting boat sailed further and further away. In the end, there was only a small figure at the horizon. The worry in her heart slightly deepened. Yu Xiaocao noticed that Xiaolian seemed absent-minded when they got home. She almost cut her fingers several times when cutting vegetables. Xiaocao thought about it, and then said, “If you’re worried, let’s have Eldest Brother row a boat to catch up to him. With my swimming skills, if he encountered any danger, I can help out a bit!’
“I want to go too. Can you take me along too? I’ve never been out to the sea before!” He Wanning overheard the conversation between the sisters and jumped out to express her desire.
“Older Sister Yu, I want to go too!”
“Me, me, me…”
Before Yu Xiaocao could reply, a group of troublesome fellows jumped into the kitchen. Yu Xiaocao felt a slight headache. If she had known that this would happen, she would have sent these people back several days before the pearl hunting competition was announced!
Just when she didn’t know how to reject them, Dong Dali, Royal Prince Yang’s trusted bodyguard, came over, “Miss Yu, my master is going out to the sea. He told this subordinate to ask if you’re interested in coming along.”
“Interested! Of course, she’s interested!!” Before Xiaocao could speak, more than a dozen mouths had answered for her. As a result, there were an extra dozen excitedly chirping and curious figures on Royal Prince Yang’s big ship.
Royal Prince Yang’s ship wasn’t the only one going out to patrol the sea. After all, Princess Consort Duan’s birthday celebration was a happy event. If something happened to these pearl divers, then it would ruin the happy occasion! Thus, Royal Prince Yang sent out a fleet of a dozen or so ships to patrol the deep sea. If they encountered someone asking for help, they would be able to assist them in a timely manner.
Zhu Junyang had originally planned to take his little lass on a romantic trip to the sea, but he hadn’t expected that there would be an addition of more than a dozen giant lightbulbs on the ship, ruining his plan. Looking at the group of noisy brats, he really wanted to lift each of them by their legs and throw them into the sea!
Yu Xiaocao quietly stood at the front of the ship with a telescope in her hands, looking for Zhuang Xiaomo’s boat. This kind of telescope was brought back from the west by Zhu Junyang when he was on a voyage to the western hemisphere. It was called a ‘thousand miles eye’.
“How is it? Did you find him yet?” Yu Xiaolian, who was beside her, asked anxiously.
“Wait a moment, there are so many pearl hunting boats out today, so how can I find him so quickly…wait, I think I found that fellow Zhuang Xiaomo. Why don’t you take a look and see if it’s him?” Yu Xiaocao handed the telescope to Xiaolian and pointed towards a direction.
Xiaolian looked around carefully and finally saw Zhuang Xiaomo’s figure. However, at this time, Zhuang Xiaomo’s pearl hunting boat didn’t seem to be in a good situation. They had encountered a relatively large whirlpool, and if they weren’t careful, there was the danger of them dying along with the wrecked boat.
But, of course, this little problem wasn’t difficult for him. Zhuang Xiaomo directed the people on the boat to throw the straw mats into the whirlpool. When the whirlpool was blocked by the straw mats and slowed down, Zhuang Xiaomo slowly steered the pearl hunting boat through.
“Ruizhi, let’s sail that way, but don’t get too close. It’s fine as long as you can observe the situation with the telescope!” Yu Xiaocao felt that Xiaolian would only be at ease if Zhuang Xiaomo was within their line of sight.
Seeing that the lass was focused on another person, Zhu Junyang was unhappy, “Humph! It turns out that you had an ulterior motive when you agreed so readily ah! It seems like you completely disregarded this prince’s sincere heart.”
This guy was jealous again. Yu Xiaocao quickly pacified him, “Aren’t I doing this for my older sister? If I let her brood on it at home, then I don’t know what would happen! You ah, why are you getting jealous over everyone?”
For the sake of his future sister-in-law’s matter, he tolerated it! Zhu Junyang knew that she had extraordinary diving skills. He pointed to the cabin and asked, “You’re not going to experience such an interesting activity like pearl hunting?”
Yu Xiaocao touched her own ears and had to admit that Zhu Junyang knew her quite well. She had secretly brought her diving suit with her, but she hadn’t expected him to find out.
“Actually, I just want to try my luck. After all, we’re strangers to pearl hunting and have no experience at all.” Yu Xiaocao smiled awkwardly.
Zhu Junyang tapped her little head and said with a smile, “Go, this prince will swim around with you. Where’s your little dolphin friend? Is it still around?”
“Yes, Xiaobu gave birth to a baby dolphin that looks exactly like her. It’s so cute! I’ll go down to change first. I’ll call it over later and show you!” Yu Xiaocao excused herself with the excited bunch on the ship, and then went down to the cabin to change into her diving suit.
Zhu Junyang also changed into his own tailor-made diving suit. Xiaocao was stunned to see his bulging muscles under the tight-fitting suit, his strong and slender thighs, and his thin waist that didn’t have any extra fat. This guy had a really good figure!
Zhu Junyang couldn’t help but feel proud when he saw the little lass’s admiring eyes. Looking at the lass’s tight-fitting diving suit, he couldn’t help frowning slightly. The little lass had begun to develop in the past two years. Although she was far from having a voluminous figure, the curves of her figure had become apparent after all. In addition, with her slender waist, the diving suit perfectly outlined her fine figure. No way, this was a benefit only for him! He couldn’t let others see it! Zhu Junyang covered the young girl’s body with his outer jacket and told her to take it off when she got into the water.
Yu Xiaocao looked at the expensive fabric of the clothing and curled up her lips. Since the owner of the clothes didn’t mind, she had nothing to worry about. However, the clothes would definitely be ruined after being soaked in the sea. This guy seriously didn’t know how to be frugal!
From the side of the ship, Yu Xiaocao jumped into the sea with a perfect diving posture. The noble young masters and maidens all watched in admiration. After Zhu Junyang entered the water, he swam to Xiaocao’s side, and the two, like a pair of attached fish, swam far away in the sea. Of course, Xiaocao, intentionally or unintentionally, swam towards the direction of Zhuang Xiaomo’s pearl hunting boat.
The pearl hunting competition was quite long, lasting twenty days. For the pearl hunters, the first few days were used to explore the area that the pearl oysters lived in, which they called pearl bed. However, this step could be omitted for Zhuang Xiaomo, a native who was familiar with the nearby seas.
When he arrived at the sea area that he had already looked into, the two groups, which they had divided into, on the boat began to work. He was a good swimmer and diver, so he was responsible for diving into the sea to gather pearl oysters. Older Brother Jiang and others were responsible for sailing the boat and reinforcement.
Zhuang Xiaomo, who had put on a sharkskin diving suit, tied a long rope around his waist. He held a sharply polished pearl picking knife in one hand and a bamboo basket in the other. He took a deep breath, and then dived to the bottom of the sea while holding his breath. In the sea, he must open his eyes to find pearl oysters.
The area that he chose was quite good. He had found the pearl oysters shortly after diving into the sea. He swam to a palm-sized pearl oyster and put it into the basket. In this way, he picked up several oysters of similar size, but he wasn’t satisfied with any of them.
Suddenly, he discovered a pearl oyster among the reefs, which was about the size of a plate. Based on his experience, there was a high chance that there would be pearls in this pearl oyster. With a push of his legs, he swam towards the reefs. A long and slender shadow came in front of him rapidly, so he instinctively waved his pearl picking knife. The dark shadow, which was cut into two pieces, turned out to be a kelp. It was a false alarm.
He approached the pearl oyster. When he used his hand to pick up the pearl oyster, he found that the oyster was attached to the reef with extremely strong byssus threads. He pulled it several times, but still wasn’t able to get it off. He used the pearl picking knife to cut off the byssus, and then placed the oyster into his basket. The air in his lungs was almost exhausted, so Zhuang Xiaomo pulled on the rope around his waist. Older Brother Jiang and the other men were keeping an eye on the rope, so when they received the signal to pull him up, they quickly pulled the rope and lifted him out of the water. Zhuang Xiaomo took in deep breaths of fresh air and smiled at Older Brother Jiang, who took over the basket of pearl oysters. He poured the pearl oysters into a jar filled with sea water to temporarily raise them.
“How are you feeling? Do you need to rest for a while?” Jiang Sanshan asked with concern. Zhuang Xiaomo shook his head. He took a deep breath and jumped into the sea again, disappearing in an instant.
Things were going relatively smoothly. The life of a real pearl diver might not always be so smooth. Sometimes the reinforcement on the boat might not receive the pearl diver’s signal to pull him up, but see blood gradually appearing on the surface of the sea instead. This meant that the pearl diver had probably encountered danger. It was likely that he had been attacked by a shark.
At this time, when they pulled the pearl diver up in a hurry, his limbs would probably be broken and there would be numerous wounds on his body. He would probably be badly mutilated. Even if he narrowly escaped death, he would become a disabled man. Sometimes, it was just the broken limbs of the pearl diver that was pulled up, which was a terrible sight to see.