Published at 8th of November 2020 01:59:52 PM
Naturally, all of this occurred around a hundred years later . Since meeting the young dragon maiden caused Xiaocao to tarry, she was currently being scolded roundly by her family and Royal Prince Yang for staying out for so long .
“You said that you were having so much fun with the little dolphin that you forgot the time? You’re not a child anymore but you don’t know to come home when it gets dark . Do you know just how worried we all were when we didn’t see you come back this late? Do you know that if you didn’t come back now, this prince would have sent out ships to patrol and search for you tonight?!!”
It wasn’t surprising that Zhu Junyang was angry . This was the final day of the pearl diving competition . Since he needed to judge the results, by the time he got back to Dongshan Village, it was already completely dark . When he found out that Xiaocao hadn’t gone back then, how could he not be worried?
In addition, Zhuang Xiaomo, who had won first place in the competition, told him that when he had gone back to shore, Xiaocao had still been in the ocean playing around with her dolphin friend . At that time, it was already sunset . The sea at night looked tranquil but there were a lot of hidden waves and currents .
When the whole family heard this, they almost became crazy from anxiety . Although Xiaocao’s swimming abilities were quite good, it wasn’t as if she was idly frolicking in the pool at ‘Blossoming Beauty’ or the pond behind their home . Instead, she was playing in the dangerous ocean . No matter how smart the little dolphin was, if they encountered any sharks or other fierce beasts, it would be hard pressed to save itself let alone protect Xiaocao .
As the moon rose higher and higher and the stars illuminated the dark blue sky, there was still no word of Yu Xiaocao . Madam Liu and Xiaolian both started to weep from worry and Yu Hai and Yu Hang had already changed into swimsuits . They were planning on going to the areas that Xiaocao usually liked to play in to find her . Zhu Junyang had Bodyguard Dong bring over his horse in preparation to go docks to get the fleet put under his command . Even if he had to search the entire night, he needed to find either the live person or a dead body…
The whole family was about to go crazy when Xiaocao, holding her little golden kitten, suddenly appeared before them . When they asked, they found out that she had been having too much fun playing around and forgot the time!
“Yu Xiaocao, from what this prince knows about you, you’re not that type of person . Are you not telling the whole truth about what happened to delay you until now?” Zhu Junyang deeply inhaled a breath in an effort to calm himself down and not let his temper spill over .
Yu Xiaocao also knew that no one would believe this weak excuse of hers . However, if she told the truth and said that she had been distracted by the Dragon King’s youngest daughter and had been telling her about the mundane world, who would believe that? In any case, if someone told her that story earlier in the day, she would have slapped them silly for telling such a foolish story——just how stupid did they think the other person was?
”Zhu Junyang saw that she refused to tell the truth and was even curling her lip . He couldn’t help but grab onto her shoulder and shake her a few times, “Just what is it? Just what are you hiding that you can’t tell us? The people here are the ones closest to you . Why can’t you believe in us?”
Her refusal to tell the truth made Zhu Junyang unable to stop himself from thinking more . A young maiden, coming back very late, who refused to tell the truth of what happened . . . was it possible that Xiaocao encountered a bad person and was . . . harmed, so that she…
When he got to that thought, Zhu Junyang felt his whole body shudder . He had been protecting his little treasure and keeping her safe as she slowly grew up, making sure to never go too far . However . . . however…an aura of fury exploded from his body and everyone in the room couldn’t help but take a few steps back .
“Zhu Junyang! Zhu Ruizhi!!! Wake up, wake up!!” Yu Xiaocao instantly could tell that something was wrong and she pulled on Zhu Junyang’s hand while patting his face gently with her other hand . She had personally watched as the Wu Family’s ‘demolition’ had happened and she didn’t want her family’s residence, which had only been recently built in the past few years, to also be destroyed by his ‘presence’ .
The soft and icy cold hand on his face returned a bit of reason back to him . He forcefully clenched his hands into two fists and didn’t even feel his nails digging into his flesh . He felt like he needed to be considerate of the little girl’s frail and tender feelings and lowered his voice to say, “No worries, no matter what happened, this prince will make sure to stay by your side . Don’t be afraid, I’m here! I will absolutely make sure to rip the person who hurt you into ten thousand pieces!”
“What are you talking about?” Yu Xiaocao, who had been tightly embraced by him, didn’t know whether she should cry or laugh as she used a hand to pat his back, hinting that he should let her go . This fellow’s imagination was a bit too strong, right? He actually thought that she had been . . . however, didn’t the ancient people take chastity and celibacy quite seriously ah? Even though Zhu Junyang thought something of that magnitude had happened to her, he still tried to comfort her through his anger . This truly showed just what a treasure he was .
“Zhu Junyang, I am seriously telling you that I am perfectly fine! When I left Older Brother Xiaomo’s boat, I truly spent the rest of the time in the ocean and didn’t come ashore!” Yu Xiaocao looked directly into his eyes and stated the facts solemnly .
Zhu Junyang gripped Xiaocao’s wrist to feel her pulse . Her calm and steady heartbeat told him that she wasn’t lying . The pressure that had been choking his heart seemed to disappear and it felt like a ten thousand catty stone had fallen down . However, if that was the case, then what was she doing this whole time in the ocean? Why didn't she come back before it got so dark?
Yu Hai noticed that his youngest daughter had been looking into Royal Prince Yang’s eyes for a bit of time and hurriedly cleared his throat, “Royal Prince Yang, Cao’er is still half a child, so it’s quite normal for her to want to play as much as she can . In a bit, her mother and I will definitely scold her properly . ”
“This prince wasn’t angry, I was just worried about her, that’s all!” Zhu Junyang let go of the little lass’s right hand but still kept her left hand in his as he said, “Xiaocao, this prince doesn’t want to worry about you and also have to hear lies too . ”
Yu Xiaocao rolled her eyes and sent her maidservants as well as Zhu Junyang’s bodyguards out . Only after they left did she remark playfully, “Alright ah, since all of you want to know why I came back late, I’ll tell the truth then!”
Everyone perked up and began to listen with an attentive ear . Xiaocao vaguely outlined what had happened, “The little dolphin brought me to a secret place in the sea . There, I encountered the youngest daughter of the Dragon King . She wanted me to spend some time with her to chat, which was why I came back so late! It’s that simple, ok? Do you all believe me?”
If it were anyone else telling this story, Zhu Junyang would have long scolded the person for giving a bad excuse that no one would believe . However, the pulse underneath his hand didn’t change its steady beat one bit . Thus, he had to believe this somewhat ridiculous and absurd explanation . He looked at everyone in the Yu Family . Although they all looked quite shocked, not a single one rebutted Xiaocao’s story . What did that mean? It meant that they had already taken her excuse as fact, even though it was an outrageous story!
He had long suspected that Xiaocao had a giant secret . Perhaps . . . she was truly like what the rumors claimed, that she was the reincarnated form of a little immortal girl or dragon girl? If that was true, then it wasn’t so weird that she could encounter a creature like the young dragon maiden in the sea then!
Once again, Zhu Junyang pulled Xiaocao into his chest and tightly held onto her as if he was afraid that as soon as he let go, she would fly away into the sky, never to be seen again . He muttered endlessly, “This prince knows you have a lot of secrets but I will respect you and not force you to tell me . However, listen up, this prince will do everything within my power to keep you by my side . No matter how great the enemy is or whether I have to make the Heavens themselves my enemy, I will do so . Remember, I won’t ever let you go!”
It wasn’t that Yu Xiaocao wasn’t touched by this vow of his, but this fellow’s imagination was truly a bit too active . Just what was going on in that head of his, ah? Yu Xiaocao could sense the disapproving looks her parents were sending them and hurriedly pushed Zhu Junyang away . In a voice commonly used to soothe children, she placated him, “Alright ah, alright ah! My career and businesses are going quite well and my life is very enjoyable the way it is right now . How could I possibly bear to let everything go and leave? Don’t worry, other than the God of Death, no one else can possibly take me away!”
The God of Death? If the god wanted to take his little lass away, he needed to get past him first . Although it was unlikely that he was the opponent of the Death God, he would still choose to fight to death for her! Zhu Junyang held onto the little lass’s delicate and soft hand and he felt energy rush into his heart .
Yu Xiaocao didn’t know that her casual mention of the God of Death had once again provoked the overactive imagination of a certain someone . She suddenly remembered that she had missed the end of the large competition and asked enthusiastically, “Who’s going to tell me what happened at the end of the pearl diving competition today?”
Xiaolian revealed a somewhat shy and bashful smile as she said, “Older Brother Xiaomo had a pearl that was larger than a pigeon’s egg . Whether it was the size or shape of the pearl, it was still the best out of all of the ones presented there . Other than the pearl that gave him first place, he also came across a purple pearl and it was bought by Royal Prince Yang for twenty thousand taels . Younger Sister, when you go back to the capital, help me keep an eye out for any suitable residences or shops up for sale there!”
“Eh? Our family is planning on opening a business in the capital? Right ah! I should have thought of this earlier! In the future, once younger brother places first in the imperial exams and becomes an official at court, our family needs to have more properties and areas in the capital ah!” Yu Xiaocao deliberately misinterpreted her sister’s request and repeatedly nodded her head .
Xiaolian became even more embarrassed and hurriedly shook her head, “No, that’s not it! It’s . . . Older Brother Xiaomo who wants to use his prize money to buy a shop and residence there…”
“Xiaolian, how can you butt into Older Brother Xiaomo’s affairs? Just what type of relationship do the two of you have?” Xiaocao had a wicked look on her face and even deliberately raised an eyebrow to tease her older sister .
Xiaolian glared at her helplessly and stamped her feet, “So annoying! I’m not going to pay attention to you anymore!!” After she finished, she fled back to her room with her head lowered and refused to come out .
Madam Liu used a finger to tap her youngest daughter’s head and laughingly said, “You ah! You know that Xiaolian gets embarrassed easily yet you still try to tease her! However, that child Xiaomo truly is quite good and even said that the properties he’s going to buy in the capital will be under Xiaolian’s name . ”
Zhuang Xiaomo was truly showing his intentions now . His actions were similar to a boyfriend in the modern times buying a house and writing his girlfriend’s name on the housing deed . This at least showed just how highly he valued Xiaolian in his heart .
“No worries, we won’t be taking advantage of him . When Xiaolian gets married, we will just add more to her dowry then!” Yu Xiaocao thought for a bit . When the time came, she was planning on giving her shares of the braised food shop in the capital that she had jointly opened with the emperor emeritus to Xiaolian as a part of her dowry . At that time, if the married couple wanted to live in the capital, they would have an extra source of income .
“Oh right, I also experienced what it was like to dive for pearls today and got quite a haul!” Yu Xiaocao took out her embroidered pouch and poured out the contents . Although the pearls she got were not as large as the giant one Zhuang Xiaomo had encountered, they were all still quite big and were considered superior grade pearls . The pink ones were especially good and were rarely seen usually .