Chapter 404 - It'd be a Shame to not Touch
Zhu Junyang jumped off the tree and the effort caused the wounds on his legs to split open . He grimaced from the sudden pain . Yu Xiaocao scrambled down from the tree and didn’t forget to remark caustically, “Serves you right! Trying to show off when you’re injured, must hurt a lot!”
Zhuang Xiaomo had a slight smile on his face as he looked at Yu Xiaocao, “Xiaocao, how come you’re over here? You didn’t flee with the rest of the villagers into the mountain?”
“We were destroying the Wokou pirates’ ships!” Yu Xiaocao briefly summarized what they did and reached out to support Zhu Junyang . She was currently regretting that she didn’t bring any of her wound balm along .
Zhuang Xiaomo noticed that Royal Prince Yang was deathly pale and hurried over to support him as well, “Your Highness got injured? Is it serious? I know a type of medicinal plant that can stop bleeding and I just saw it earlier . Older Brother Jiang, could you go pick some for us please?”
The man who had been called Older Brother Jiang made a noise in assent and headed back in large strides . The other villagers smiled kindly at them and continued to follow the blood trail of their injured prey .
Zhuang Xiaomo asked again in concern, “It was only the two of you? That’s way too dangerous! Xiaocao, are you alright ah?”
“You also know how well I swim . I won’t speak of other things but as long as I want to run away, there’s no one else who will be able to catch me in the water! This guy’s swimming skills are too lousy and had been caught by the pirates . He got injured when fighting with them . ” Yu Xiaocao gave Zhu Junyang a faint look of dislike .
Zhu Junyang felt helpless as he couldn’t refute her statements . He was a high and noble royal prince and had defeated plenty of enemies before . Now he was like a downtrodden phoenix who was no stronger than a chicken . Getting injured wasn’t a big deal but he had lost a lot of prestige in front of his little lass and even received her disdain . He could tell that his desire to become a manly husband in front of her was going to be a hard journey!
“Then . . . did you guys succeed?” Zhuang Xiaomo vehemently hoped that Xiaocao and the others were able to damage the damned pirates’ ships beyond repair . His heart was filled with hatred towards the pirates . Last night, he and a few other villagers had snuck into the village and saw the grisly scene of the dead villagers . Almost all of the men, women, elderly, and children of the village, other than a few young women, had been brutally killed and their bodies unceremoniously hung up . As for the women who had been taken by the Wokou pirates, they were currently living a life worse than hell…
“With me, the graceful white shark, at the scene, we definitely wouldn’t let any ship go . We sunk all of the ships outside our village . We didn’t leave a single ship afloat for those disgusting dogs! I also killed quite a few of those bastards in the water! I only regret that I couldn’t kill a few more!” Yu Xiaocao once again recalled the images of those slaughtered villagers as she righteously remarked .
Zhuang Xiaomo’s voice filled with emotion and he sniffed a few times before he said, “I’m so useless . I tried my best to convince the village chief for a long time but I didn’t get his trust . The village chief said that our two villages are pretty close to the port’s authorities so the Wokou pirates wouldn’t dare to attack us . He refused to believe my words! Since it was futile, I could only convince a few families who were close to mine one by one! By the time we had hastily packed some things, it was already past the time for me to meet up with you guys . Furthermore, the pirates had silently snuck into the village so the only thing we could do was flee into the mountain and find a cave to hide in . Perhaps those Wokou pirates were only preoccupied with killing the people in the village and didn’t find out that they were missing around thirty more people . That’s probably how we avoided being chased by them . . . oh right, are you guys okay? Xiaolian . . . she’s not injured right?”
Yu Xiaocao lightly shook her head and sighed, “Everyone has their own fate, so don’t blame yourself Xiaomo . Don’t worry, all of us are doing well . As for whether Xiaolian is doing well or not, you can come with us and see for yourself, right? We stole a bunch of grain yesterday night, so how about you come with us? That place is spacious and also safe…”
Zhuang Xiaomo thought for a bit and then nodded his head, “We’re currently hiding too close to the village, so we’ve all been living in fear for the past two days that the pirates will come after us . Once Older Brother Jiang comes back, I’ll ask him and the others if they want to come with us!”
Older Brother Jiang came back very quickly and he had a few herbs in his hands that had thorns on it . Yu Xiaocao swiftly cut off the thorns and used her hands to mash the plant into a paste while also secretly adding some mystic-stone water . She then put the mixture on Zhu Junyang’s wounds . His originally painful wounds immediately felt a cooling sensation covering them . Zhu Junyang was very surprised at the efficacy of this medicinal plant that was commonly found in the mountains . How could it be so effective at treating external wounds that it was even better than the Snow Jade Wound Balm from the Imperial Palace?
He couldn’t help but eye the little lass who was helping him bind his wounds . This absolutely had to do with something from her . Zhu Junyang felt a bit helpless . This lass didn’t know how to disguise her actions one bit . If someone else found out, what good could happen of this? It looked like he needed to help her create a smokescreen in the future . Otherwise, the little lass might fall into the trap of some unscrupulous person!
By the time all of his wounds had been poulticed with the medicinal herb, the other men who had been chasing after the dumb roe deer returned with their prey on hand . When these people heard that there was a safe and spacious hiding place and that they could get some grain, they immediately were tempted .
Yu Xiaocao went to the cave that these people were hiding in . It was a small and cramped dark little cave that was harboring around thirty-some villagers . There wasn’t even enough space for these people to lie down, so they could only sit to sleep at night . These people had pretty much finished all of the grain they had brought with them . Most of them were listlessly leaning against the stone walls . When they saw that their menfolk had caught a roe deer, all of their eyes started glowing with the light of hunger .
Only after they ate could they have the strength to travel . The roe deer only weighed around a few dozen catties, so everyone only got around one catty’s worth of meat in the end . With some food to whet their hunger, these people all quickly packed up their belongings and followed behind Yu Xiaocao and the prince to slowly head towards the hidden valley .
At this time, Zhu Junyang was feeling a lot better and his body regained some energy . On the whole journey back, he didn’t end up slowing them down at all . Yu Xiaocao supported him the whole way in order to reduce the amount of effort he had to use .
By the time it was noon, the group of people finally arrived at the outskirts of the dense and foggy forest . A few bodyguards from the mountain villa were all waiting for them anxiously .
Last night, when Princess Consort Jing found out that her youngest son was going to bring some people to attack the Wokou’s ships, she felt anxious and jittery the whole night and couldn’t sleep . When she saw Yu Hai come back with Commander Zheng, who was quite skilled, on his back, she didn’t see her youngest son with them . She became even more worried . If it wasn’t for some maids pulling her back forcefully, she likely would have left to go find her son herself!
Zhu Junyang was brought in by a few of the bodyguards . Princess Consort Jing noticed that her son was deathly pale and rushed up anxiously to ask about his wounds . Zhu Junyang briefly went over what happened and said that his wounds were all superficial and had been treated already, so he wasn’t in a bad condition . Only after he walked a few steps to let his mother observe him did Princess Consort Jing finally relax .
Yu Xiaocao, on the other hand, was currently busy helping the other villagers settle in . Fortunately, the caves in this area were all linked so these people didn’t have to squeeze in with the hundred or so villagers from Dongshan Village . After she helped them settle in, Zhuang Xiaomo impatiently followed Xiaocao from behind to arrive at the Yu Family’s cave .
When the youth saw Yu Xiaolian bustling about making food, he finally relaxed and was convinced that she was safe . Madam Liu spotted him and hurriedly pulled on his hand to ask how he was doing . She had been concerned about him for these past two days and she fretted about whether he had encountered something bad .
At this time, Zhu Junyang had just exited his lady mother’s cave and had seen the whole interaction between Madam Liu and Zhuang Xiaomo . Jealousy surged in his heart . He walked up to Yu Xiaocao and pouted towards Madam Liu and Zhuang Xiaomo as he remarked in a voice full of jealousy, “Your mother is so biased . I got injured but I didn’t hear a single word of concern from her…”
Yu Xiaocao raised her eyes to look at him and suppressed the laughter bubbling up, “Young Royal Prince, how old are you this year?”
Zhu Junyang couldn’t make heads or tails of her unexpected question . He lowered his head to look at her and he had a perplexed look in his seductive eyes . However, he still obediently replied, “I’m nineteen ah . . . I’ll say, you really don’t care about me ah . You don’t even know how old I am!”
“I can’t believe you remember you're nineteen ah! I had thought that you were nine years old from the way you’re acting! Isn’t it a bit too childish of you to get jealous over something like this?” Yu Xiaocao had a slight smile on her face and the dimples on her rosy cheeks were barely visible .
Zhu Junyang felt his face flush from her teasing and he pinched her cheeks as he helplessly said, “You ah! You wouldn’t feel comfortable if you don’t tease me at least once a day, right?”
Yu Xiaocao snickered and then changed the subject, “I have some wound balm made by my pharmaceutical workshop . I’ll give you a bottle and you can have Older Sister Meixiang rub them on your wounds . ”
“Meixiang is currently helping my lady mother rest and is too busy…” Zhu Junyang looked hopefully at Yu Xiaocao, as if he was a little kid trying to beg for a piece of candy .
“Isn’t there also Older Sister Lanxiang ah?” Yu Xiaocao didn’t fall for his excuse .
Zhu Junyang immediately replied, “None of them have the time…” As he talked, he slanted a look at the servants who were cheerfully waiting around . All of the servants, whether they were male or female, immediately began to pretend to be busy and bustled around the two of them doing random tasks .
Yu Xiaocao speechlessly glared at him and then brought him into her family’s cave . She had him take off his clothes until he was only wearing his underwear and instructed him to lie down on one of the stone beds .
Yu Xiaocao didn’t even have a hint of a blush on her face . She first used the mystic-stone water to help him wash his wounds clean and then carefully spread some of her special wound balm on all the injuries . As she spread the ointment on him, she also didn’t forget to sneakily make a few passes on Zhu Junyang’s well-muscled abdomen . She thought in admiration, ‘The young royal prince looks thin but he has a great body . He’s the type that looks skinny when clothed but has a finely sculpted body when unclothed . ’
“Ahem ahem! Are you done touching me? Are you pleased with what you see ah?” Zhu Junyang had a slight flush on his cheeks . His little lass was definitely different from other girls . When confronted with a half-naked adult man, she not only didn’t have any sign of bashfulness or embarrassment, but she also had a hint of admiration in her eyes . Her unruly little hands had been feeling his abdomen to and fro . He was pretty sure he didn’t injure that area…
Yu Xiaocao calmly helped him put on his top clothing as if she was in no way related to that earlier little lecher who had been feeling the young royal prince up . She even nodded her head righteously, “Mhm mhm! You have a great body!”
Zhu Junyang didn’t know what to do with her . Was his little lass still too young to understand some things ah? She didn’t seem the least bit concerned in the differences between men and women . Sigh . . . she was still too young .
“Lass, in the future, if there are any men who are half-naked in front of you, you must immediately hide . If you’re able, you should hit them stoutly too…” Zhu Junyang couldn’t help but give her a few reminders . He was afraid that one day his little lass might be spirited away by a big, perverted wolf .
Yu Xiaocao rolled her eyes at him and revealed an expression on her face that basically said: ‘do you think I’m an idiot?’ . She then said, “Then . . . aren’t you half-naked in front of me now? You don’t even have your pants on . Shouldn’t I be beating you up right now ah?”