Fields Of Gold / Fields of Gold Chapter 593
Chunhua, the only one who wasn’t called on, looked at them with a helpless gaze. Then she hurriedly followed her master and protected her closely.
In the following days, both Yu Xiaocao and Zhu Junyang were very satisfied with their harvest. Yu Xiaocao’s medicine box was almost stuffed full. In addition to the old ginsengs and reishi mushrooms, there were also quite a lot of valuable medicinal herbs such as Gastrodia elata, acanthopanax root, Chinese gentian root, five-flavor berry, pine leaf, and so on. She collected everything that she wanted in her medicine box.
Now, the full medicine box was being carried by Chunhua. The box was quite heavy, and thus no longer something that her thin, weak shoulders could bear!
As for Zhu Junyang, he was hung up on getting furs. Speaking of furs, she had to mention the mink fur. The three treasures of the Northeast were ginseng, mink fur, and Carex meyeriana sedge. As one of the three treasures of the Northeast, mink fur was known as ‘the king of furs’. Mink fur belonged in the category of fine furs. It had excellent quality pelts and was soft and sturdy. The dense fur also had a lustrous color. Fur garments made of it were graceful and luxurious, and thus it was loved by the noblewomen in the capital.
However, no matter if it was the sable, ferret, or marten, the colors of their furs were too decorous. It was only suitable for the older noblewomen. If a young girl like Xiaocao wore it, she would appear old-fashioned. But that was okay! Zhu Junyang had found a kind of ferret in the forest with pure, snow-white fur. If his lass wore it, she would definitely look very cute!
As a result, the nightmare of the ferrets in the forest had begun. In particular, the larger male ferrets with fuller furs were almost completely wiped out. Had Xiaocao not stopped him, the ferrets in the forest would have been hunted to extinction by Zhu Junyang! Looking at the pile of snow-white fur, Yu Xiaocao felt an apologetic sense of guilt.
Zhu Junyang couldn’t understand her feelings. In his opinion, the value of game was either to be used as food or their fur. There was no need for compassion. In addition to minks, he also hunted a lot of silver foxes, black foxes, and red foxes.
Zhu Junyang still wasn’t satisfied because the purpose of this trip was to hunt tigers and black bears. But, after wandering in the mountain for several days, they didn’t even encounter a single beast. This was a very lucky thing for other hunters, but in Zhu Junyang’s eyes, it had become bad luck!
He swept his slightly resentful eyes towards the black and white figures, who were guarding Xiaocao step by step. Perhaps it was to prevent unnecessary trouble and affect her mood of collecting medicinal herbs, but after they entered the mountains, Xiaocao had the two display their imposing force, which scared away many beasts.
Sometimes, they had clearly entered the territory of some fierce beast, but the two giant wolves, Little Black and Little White, had been raised with mystic-stone water and emitted a powerful force. Even a fierce tiger wasn’t a match for them and would avoid confronting them. Who would dare come out to touch their ‘tiger whiskers’?
When they decided to leave the mountains, Zhu Junyang suggested to the lass to have the two wolves restrain themselves a bit. In this way, he might be able to get a tiger pelt mattress or bear fur blanket for her. Xiaocao patted the heads of the two little fellows and let them go hunting freely in the mountains. She also reminded them to be careful. If they encountered a beast that they couldn’t beat, they should run away and avoid getting hurt.
Zhu Junyang rolled his eyes in his heart. When the two wolves were together, he reckoned that it was impossible to find anyone who could harm them in the human realm. They would have to search for one among the demonic beasts in the celestial realm.
The two black and white figures charged into the mountains like dragons entering the sea. Little Black was focused on medicinal herbs. During the past few days, its master had collected a lot of good herbs and it could also recognize the smell of several herbs. Every time it saw one, it would dig it out with its paws and bring it back to its master to get credit for its accomplishment.
Little White, on the other hand, was inspired by Zhu Junyang and ran deeper into the mountains to find animals with lustrous, dense fur. After a few trials, it had developed a skill——to bite the prey’s neck without damaging its fur. At this time, the furs it hunted back were mostly intact.
Under this out of control situation, Xiaocao’s luggage had seriously exceeded the standard weight on the way back. In addition to the few boxes of medicinal herbs she collected herself, there were piles of precious tanned furs. They really couldn’t carry them all back, so with no other choice, they bought two carriages from the nearby town to transport the furs back. Xiaocao jokingly thought, ‘I can open a fur shop when I get back to the capital!’
When they came out of the mountains, they didn’t return on the same route. Instead, they opened up a new path. They had taken a longer detour, so they returned a few days later than expected.
As dusk approached on this day, one could look through the dense branches and leaves and vaguely catch a glimpse of the red clouds in the sky. The forest, which wasn’t very bright originally, had gradually dimmed. Zhu Junyang found a dry cave in the mountains not too far away. They worked together to clean the rocks and dead branches inside, and then smoked the cave with herbs to prevent the appearance of poisonous snakes and insects.
With Chunhua, Yu Xiaocao picked up some dead branches nearby to be used as firewood and made a fire in the cave. After getting a jug of water from the nearby mountain stream, they boiled it on the fire and made a cup of herbal tea for everyone. With a light fragrance of medicinal herbs, one would have a warm feeling when drinking the tea. It helped drive all the fatigue on one’s body.
Although they were in the deep mountains these past few days, they had the master chef, Xiaocao, with them. Therefore, they didn’t have to suffer in terms of food. If others saw them right now, they would have thought that they had come to play instead of hunting in the mountains.
“I’ll go around and see if I can hunt a hazel grouse!” Zhu Junyang knew that the lass loved to drink fresh and richly flavored hazel grouse soup. In the past, Little White was responsible for hunting the hazel grouse, but this fellow wasn’t ‘doing its job’ these past few days. They hadn’t eaten hazel grouse meat for two to three days.
Yu Xiaocao agreed with his suggestion. The meat of a hazel grouse was white, tender, and nutritious. No matter if it was roasted or used to make soup, it was a rare delicacy. In her past life, hazel grouse had become an endangered species and was listed as a protected animal. Thus, she had no chance to try the delicious taste of the hazel grouse. In this life, she had satisfied her desire for good food.
“Lass, Little Black and Little White aren’t here, so don’t casually wander around. If you want to go out, you must have Chunhua accompany you. Chief Steward Su, I must trouble you to take care of her!” After they entered the deep mountains, Zhu Junyang had turned into a loyal knight, never leaving Xiaocao’s side. If he needed to leave, he would warn her repeatedly, lest the bold little lass unknowingly get herself into a dangerous situation again.
“Just go! I’m seriously tired of hearing you say that! Am I someone who would leave the lass in a dangerous situation?” A hint of impatience appeared on Su Ran’s handsome and refined face.
‘You, Royal Prince Yang, aren’t the only one worried about the lass’s safety. The cold-faced demon king, who has always been cold and resolute, has turned into a super nanny in front of the person he liked. He would only feel assured if he can have her tightly secured on himself. I’m seriously defeated by him. He’s too cheesy!!’
Zhu Junyang ignored his ridicule and anxiously whispered to the young girl, who he was constantly worried about, “When I’m not around, you must not provoke Chief Steward Su. He’s not as harmless as he appears, okay?”
With a confused face, Yu Xiaocao protested, “When did I ever provoke Sir Su? Don’t wrongly accuse me!”
“Just…don’t tease him about his appearance. That’s taboo for Chief Steward Su. The grass on the grave of the last person who joked about his appearance is already very tall now. So be careful. When I’m away, you must remember to not mention the topic of his good looks!” Zhu Junyang was so frightened by the lass’s unintentional actions that he broke out in cold sweat every time. Even if he was present, he still may not be able to handle Chief Steward Su’s anger. Fortunately, Chief Steward Su never lowered himself to the lass’s level!
“Why? What’s wrong with praising someone’s good looks? I also often compliment you for looking very devilish, enchanting, and bewitching… Did you ever have the urge to hit me?” Yu Xiaocao had a very innocent expression on her face.
Zhu Junyang grinded his teeth inwardly, and the expression on his handsome face was somewhat stiff as he replied in a stiff tone, “Yes! Had it been someone else, this prince would have smacked him to death! Also, how is that praising me? Can’t you compliment me with some positive words?”
“In my heart, those are all positive words ah! They are such apt descriptions ah. Your face is enough to bring disaster to the country and the people…” Yu Xiaocao’s big, round eyes were opened wide, and her long eyelashes flickered. Her expression appeared very innocent.
Su Ran, who had profound martial arts skills, naturally also heard their conversation. At the beginning, he felt relieved with Zhu Junyang’s warning. However, unlike what Royal Prince Yang had said, he wouldn’t actually do anything to the young girl.
But, a grown man…cough cough. Well, although he wasn’t a complete man now, he had always regarded himself as a man in his heart. Coupled with his unpleasant experiences before and after he entered the palace, his handsome appearance had become a burden to him. Therefore, he could never feel happy to be praised as good-looking by a young girl, even if she was very sincere.
However, he seriously didn’t understand what this lass was thinking. Compared with the words she used to describe him such as ‘like an immortal’, ‘elegant and outstanding’, and ‘gentle like a jade’, it seemed like Royal Prince Yang had it worse than him. Here, what exactly were these descriptions: devilish, enchanting, bewitching. Now, she also added a ‘bring disaster to the country and the people’! His heart finally felt better now!
Zhu Junyang lowered his head to look down at the pair of clear, innocent eyes in front of him. A sense of helplessness flashed over his heart. He glared at Chief Steward Su, who was sniggering at the side, and then said to the lass in a lowered voice, “Stop! Why does this prince feel that your words are descriptions for a ‘gorgeous enchantress’? Devilish… Do you think that I’m a fox demon from the mountains?”
“In my heart, you’re exactly a man of unrivalled beauty. The term ‘devilish’ isn’t what you think it means. It’s used to describe the beauty of men! Anyway, I’m just praising you for being good-looking, beautiful, and breathtaking!” Yu Xiaocao realized that there was a generational gap between ancient people and modern people, so she hastily explained.