Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 574
The little black colt, who had just received the name of ‘Black Whirlwind’, soon became a frequent visitor at the stud farm’s courtyard. Xiaocao’s and Zhu Junyang’s people all knew that he was the son of Little Red and were very lenient towards him. The servants working there had already known that he was the most promising foal they had at the farm, but now they were even more caring around him.
The little fellow went in and out of the courtyard all of the time and he often headed into the inner courtyard’s makeshift pharmacy. In fact, he was almost there every day because he was gluttonous and knew that the back courtyard had delicious food. The food there was even more delicious than the extra snacks he was given at the stables.
Today, Yu Xiaocao was carrying a basket full of ‘bait’ that emitted the alluring fragrance of spiritual energy. As soon as she exited the inner courtyard, she encountered ‘Black Whirlwind’. The little colt’s dark eyes immediately lit up and he scrambled over, stretching out his mouth towards the contents of the basket——tasty snacks, he wanted some!
Yu Xiaocao pushed at the little fellow’s head but wasn’t able to push him away. This little guy was extremely shameless and knew everyone favored and pitied him. He knew how to sell his cuteness and used his large, limpid eyes to look anxiously at her, showing that he was feeling a bit aggrieved. His pitiful act instantly conquered Xiaocao.
She took out a piece of ‘bait’ that was about the size of a child’s fist and had Yingchun feed it to the little fellow. Yu Xiaocao lifted the basket and continued to walk in the direction of the stud farm. For the past few days, other than clinging onto her, Zhu Junyang spent the rest of his time at the stud farm, which clearly showed how much importance he placed on this farm.
Zhu Junyang was currently discussing matters with the veterinarian and helping the man inspect a horse. When he saw her come over, he fixed his clothing and took the basket from her hands while he quietly asked, “Do you have confidence in this ‘bait’?”
“Naturally! The Yu’s products are all top quality. In addition, I added some smoketree that the horses like and a few herbs to it that will increase the flavor of the smoketree to its peak. The horses in this paddock should all be able to smell this bait!” Yu Xiaocao knew that he was deliberately asked this question in front of the vet and the other grooms in the farm. She pretended to not notice that she had inadvertently leaked the ingredients of this bait.
When the vet and the grooms in the area saw that their master and future mistress weren’t trying to hide the contents of the bait from them, they felt incredibly gratified within their hearts. In their hearts, Royal Prince Yang had risen a few more levels.
Zhu Junyang transferred the basket in his hands to Commander Liu. He somewhat anxiously and emotionally shouted at one of his aides, “Zhang Qun, go experiment to see just how far this bait can attract horses. If there’s no problems with it, tomorrow we’ll start to capture some wild horses! That herd of wild horses has some great quality stallions in there. If we’re able to catch around seven to eight of them, then our stud farm won’t have to worry about having enough prime studs in the future!”
Yu Xiaocao stood at the side and faintly smiled as she watched them busting around. Then, she glanced at the stables behind them and noticed that there were three young horses that looked a bit listless. After looking at the clearly worried vet, she could easily tell that there was something wrong with these three horses. No wonder Zhu Junyang always ran here these past few days. He now regarded the stud farm with more importance than her. Yu Xiaocao didn’t want to admit that she felt a bit jealous about this.
She stepped closer to the stables and seemed to just idly stroll by the mangers. With her right arm, which had the multi-colored stone strung on it, she just seemed to barely pass by the fodder within those mangers. However, if someone was paying attention to the hay and oats inside them, they would have noticed that they now looked a bit more tender and appetizing!
“Your Highness, the stables are dirty, please stay away…” Commander Liu didn’t get to finish his sentence when Yu Xiaocao entered the stables. He watched as she used one hand to gently stroke one of the sick horses and had an expression full of pity on her face.
Zhu Junyang stepped forward and picked up a dipper full of water and held it in front of Yu Xiaocao. He gave her a meaningful glance and Yu Xiaocao seemed to understand his hint. She brushed her hand across the ladle and smiled brilliantly at him.
In other people’s eyes, the actions between the two seemed quite flirtatious in nature. The vet, who was a skinny old man, even deliberately turned his face away in an awkward manner. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw that the royal prince was offering the dipper full of water towards one of the sick horses and he reminded the prince, “Your Highness, this horse hasn’t eaten or drunken any water for the past three days…”
Before he could finish his sentence, his eyes widened in shock when he saw the sick horse, that almost couldn’t stand steady on its feet, energetically shove its mouth into the ladle. It guzzled the water down in one gulp. Ahem ahem! Wasn’t this slapping his own face ah? However, the awkward expression on the vet’s face also held a gratified smile. The fact that the horse was willing to drink water meant that its illness was taking a better turn.
Last year, when the stud farm was just being established, they invited Doctor Wang, who was a very famous veterinarian, to work there by offering him a lot of money. It could be said that he had been with the farm from its start and known what sort of difficulties it had gone through to get to its current expanse. Step by step, they had built up the farm with his help. Doctor Wang was able to recite the character quirks of every single horse living at the farm. In fact, every foal that he had helped to birth was like his own child and he cared for them very deeply.
Consequently, whenever any horse got ill, he was the most anxious out of all of them and did his very best to help them get better. If he came across any he couldn’t heal, he hurt the most out of everybody! This energetic little old man had no sons or daughters of his own and considered the stud farm to be his own home and the horses here to be his own children.
Thus, when these two horses revealed the signs of sickness, he spent a lot of time observing them, diagnosing them, treating them…if it was under ordinary circumstances, these horses should have at least stabilized and gotten slightly better. However, in front of Royal Prince Yang, he had failed! Not only did the original two horses not get better but there were also other horses now showing the signs of sickness.
Was it a contagious illness? Could it be…they had come across the hard to treat horse plague? How could it be ah? All of their symptoms were not related to the horse plague, but why weren’t they getting better?
“Eh? Red Clouds is finally willing to drink water!!” Doctor Wang hurriedly squeezed through and pushed Xiaocao, who was crouching next to Zhu Junyang, aside. If it weren’t for Zhu Junyang being swift of hand, the little lass likely would have fallen face first into a pile of nearby hay.
Zhu Junyang’s phoenix eyes flashed with a cold light and it caused all of the other people around them to shiver in fear. However, Doctor Wang, who only had his head filled with thoughts about the sick horses, was completely oblivious to the prince’s change in demeanor. Yu Xiaocao muffled her laughter——Apparently, there were even times when Royal Prince Yang’s aura had no effect?
Zhu Junyang smiled helplessly at her and knocked a finger on her head. He ignored her angry response and asked Doctor Wang, “Vet, can this horse still be saved?”
“It can! It absolutely can get better!!” Doctor Wang seemed extremely excited. Red Clouds’ condition now looked much better compared to how it seemed earlier that morning. Furthermore, the horse seemed interested in eating now too, “Quickly! Quickly bring some nutritious hay and fodder over!”
The special fodder had been brought over from the far away capital and it was usually used to add some nutrition to the foals who had just been born. Sometimes, in order to help the sick horses get better faster, they would also be given a portion.
“Let me feed the horse?” Yu Xiaocao took the fodder from the staff in passing. Her pale hand, which seemed as bright as jade, seemed to inadvertently flip the special food around a few times.
Doctor Wang frowned a bit and snatched the food over, not even caring that he was being rude to a royal princess. He grumbled quietly, “This special fodder is for the horses to eat, not to play with!”
Commander Liu saw this crabby old man was being a bit unreasonable and hurriedly helped him to smooth the situation, “Your Highness, Doctor Wang has a straightforward personality and doesn’t always think before he speaks. Please don’t take it to heart!”
“Not a big deal, he’s only worried over the horses after all! The stud farm lacks people like him, who care about the horses wholeheartedly!” Yu Xiaocao rubbed at her nose a bit self-consciously. In any case, when she had turned the fodder over twice it had given enough time for the little divine stone to infuse some spiritual energy into it. The horse should get better faster after eating it, right?
“Commander Liu, do we have a deep well here at the stud farm? Do the horses drink well water or water from the creek?” Yu Xiaocao noticed that this red horse, which sort of resembled Little Red, had already started eating and pretended to just casually ask this question.
Commander Liu pointedly looked at the grooms who were standing by the side. One of the fellows immediately replied, “The well at the farm has just been drilled, but the water from it is not of very good quality. The stream that runs through the pasture has water that comes from the snowmelt in the mountains, so it’s considered quite clean and pure. Therefore, the vast majority of the time, we usually let the horses drink water from the creek.”
Yu Xiaocao frowned ever so slightly and glanced at Zhu Junyang. Without her saying anything, Zhu Junyang knew what she was thinking and immediately spoke to Commander Liu, “Is that well opening still available ah? Take this prince to look! Although the water from the creek is good, we don’t know exactly where it travels through before it gets here. If our stud farm here ends up throwing a wrench in certain people’s plans, they may decide to sabotage our water source. Wouldn’t that be of great danger to our farm?”
Commander Liu silently felt alarmed. The stud farm had just been started and certain tribes at the border were all watching them, waiting for a good show. However, if the farm began to prosper and threatened their advantages, it would be hard to say that they wouldn’t try to sabotage this venture. Apparently, he had been too complacent.
The well was located pretty closely to the stables and it was obvious that it hadn’t been used recently. Weeds grew all around it and there was dust and dried up leaves at the mouth. Zhu Junyang suddenly held onto Xiaocao’s hand and began to walk forward with her. When the other people saw this, they deliberately dawdled behind to give their master an opportunity.
Xiaocao crouched down near the well opening while the people behind them still dallied and looked around. Doctor Wang had been deliberately delayed by Commander Liu, who was asking him question after question. Xiaocao lowered her upper body down to look at the bottom of the well. A gust of humid air hit her face, and she saw that the water inside was quite murky and the quality was only okay. She glanced in the direction of Zhu Junyang and met his inquiring eyes.
“Uhhh…the water quality looks quite decent, so it could be used!” Yu Xiaocao hesitated for a moment while she linked up with the little divine stone. She stretched her hands towards the bottom of the well and a spark of golden light whizzed down. The water within the well immediately became clear and transparent and even the moss and weeds around the well seemed to be a lot more verdant.
Unless Zhu Junyang was completely blind, it’d be impossible for him not to notice such an obvious change. His eyes flickered slightly but the expression on his handsome face didn’t change one iota. It was as if the water within the well had always been this clear and clean. He only thought that the little lass’s attempt at hiding her actions, which only made it more obvious that she was doing something, was a bit funny. The little lass evaded his gaze. If there was suitable sandy ground in front of her, she would have likely buried her head in there like an ostrich to avoid his laughing eyes.
One of the grooms retrieved a water bucket and used it to bring up the water from the well by hand. The expression on his face immediately brightened. The water felt cool and refreshing and seemed even more pure than the best spring water from the top of a snow-capped mountain. The taste of the water was also incredibly good.
“Who would have thought that letting this well sit for a while would let it produce such better water!” The stablehand drank another mouthful and almost wanted to continue to drink without stopping.