Published at 7th of December 2020 02:14:08 PM
Since he had agreed to that maidservant Wutong’s request, then he needed to complete his task . Thus, he found an excuse to butt in on someone else’s ‘wicked conduct’!
Zhu Junyang’s lips were only around two centimeters away from Xiaocao’s and that unexpected voice had cut off his desire . His handsome face momentarily darkened and regrets surfaced up within his heart——why did they have to bring such an irksome fellow along on this trip ah? Chief Steward Su was truly too indiscreet, right? Zhu Junyang was absolutely sure that this fellow was interrupting them on purpose!
Yu Xiaocao muffled her laughter and looked like a little squirrel eating a pinecone . When she saw the alluringly bewitching face in front of her face, she knew that he was quite upset with nowhere to vent his temper . She felt her heart soften, so she gently hugged him again before rising up on her tiptoes and giving a quick kiss on his attractive lips .
The tight look on Zhu Junyang’s face seemed to relax a bit and he bent down his body to swiftly return a kiss . His voice sounded deep and slightly gloomy as he hoarsely said, “You must be tired after traveling hard these past few days right? Go rest early . Tomorrow, if you’re still tired, we can rest another day before heading up . ”
“No need! My body is perfectly fine!” Yu Xiaocao had gulped down a cup of mystic-stone water earlier and the vast majority of her exhaustion had disappeared, “The kitchen has hot water, so you should have Xiaohou bring some over to soak your feet . It really helps in relaxing you . Also, I’ll brew some tea for you and, in a moment, I’ll have Chunhua bring it over . Don’t drink too much tea at night . Otherwise, you’ll have trouble sleeping…”
The little lass chattered on and on, just like a young married wife incessantly reminding her husband just before he left . Zhu Junyang thought that this was quite a novel experience for him and didn’t want to let her go . Finally, Xiaocao managed to pull herself out of this beautiful man’s trap and pushed this fellow back to his own room .
As for Su Ran, who had been in his room this entire time, he had seen the sticky-sweet actions between the two of them . However, he didn’t try to interrupt them at all . The little lass and Royal Prince Yang were a young couple in love . There was no need for him to act as an annoying bystander . If he turned a blind eye to all of this, it would pass quite soon!
The next morning, Yu Xiaocao woke up very early to make breakfast . Like before, she made enough breakfast to feed her entire group as well as the Jin Family . There was a pot of thick congee, soft and tasty steamed white buns, and Xiaocao’s preserved vegetables made from her own secret recipe . Although it was a bit simple, everyone ate the food with relish .
Old Man Jin had already concluded that this group of rich people was different from the last lot . Although the two men in the group were more cold, they didn’t stand on ceremonies and demand ridiculous things . Nor did any of them look down on them for being common peasants . The delicate young maiden who loved to smile was especially cordial to everyone . She didn’t seem to have any of the innate arrogance of a young miss from a noble family . These people were generous to others and never made them feel like they were conferring a great favor when they gave a gift to others . It felt like they were being honored and respected instead .
He had seen the noble guests packing their luggage . Just as they were about to leave to head to the mountain, he warned them out of the goodness of his heart, “There are many fierce beasts deep in the mountain, so you all must be very careful . I would advise you to avoid going too far into the forests and instead spend more time on the outskirts to get some hunting done instead!”
Zhu Junyang nodded his head at the old man . Although his face was expressionless, he appreciated the other man’s good intentions . Yu Xiaocao smiled brightly and thanked him, “Thank you, Grandfather Jin, for your reminder . We appreciate your good thoughts, so don’t worry about us ah! I left some fodder for those horses we’re leaving here, so I’ll have to trouble Grandfather Jin and Xiaohu to help us out and make sure they get fed every day . ”
“Not a problem at all! Please be at ease ah! We promise that we will take good care of your horses!” Old Man Jin solemnly nodded his head and almost saluted them .
Xiaocao saw that the two handsome men were done packing their bags and were ready to go, so she picked up her own bag and turned to wave goodbye to their hosts . She grinned, “Make sure to dry out the newly harvested corn when there’s a nice day . After the kernels are dry, you can stone-grind them into cornmeal, which can be added into flatbread or used to make steamed buns . It tastes best if you mix it with some white flour as the texture and mouthfeel is great . I left two bags of white flour in the kitchen . Just take it as our thanks for keeping an eye on our luggage and feeding the horses . ”
Before Old Man Jin and his grandson could reply, she scampered away to chase after the two tall men, one who was dressed entirely in white while the other was dressed entirely in black . Chunhua and Qiushi both carried a bundle on their backs and followed her closely from behind .
“Grandfather, we’ve encountered some generous people! My mother, after taking the medication they gave us last evening, didn’t cough for the entire night and also didn’t have any issues breathing either . She slept very well . ” Jin Xiaohu had already retracted his thorny exterior a while ago . He stared at the group of six as they left and his gaze held a bit of gratitude in it .
At this time, a few of the other villagers came over to ask about the new guests . The two of them vaguely replied with minimal details about the noble guests . How could they tell them exactly what had happened? If they told the other people that these people were kind hearted, not arrogant, and generous, wouldn’t those villagers who liked to take advantage of others come out of the woodwork and cause issues? Later on, the topic of the conversation went to their family’s harvest of corn . When the other villagers saw how much corn they had in their courtyard, they all became quite envious and expressed the desire to buy seeds from them .
Old Man Jin remembered what his eldest son had told him and hastily explained to the other villagers that it was best for them to buy corn seeds in town next year . The seeds from their harvest may not necessarily maintain the high yield . Some of the villagers didn’t believe him, so Old Man Jin could only sell them some seeds . As for the other people, they decided to wait like their family and go into town next year and buy corn seeds from the grain shops . Later on, those villagers found out that planting the corn seeds they bought from the Jin Family on the same type of land with the same type of management resulted in vastly different yields from those who bought seeds from the grain shops . Only then did the villagers believe his words and regret their previous decisions .
As for Xiaocao’s group, not long after they left the village, they had entered the start of the mountainous forest . It truly was an old forest and couldn’t be compared to the West Mountain back in Xiaocao’s hometown . Although they were only on the outskirts, they would see beautifully plumaged golden pheasants fly by from time to time or a few wild hares suddenly appearing in the underbrush . They could hear the sounds of living creatures on both sides of the trail they were on .
Xiaocao took out her scented bags filled with herbs that repelled insects and snakes and gave them to Hou Xiaoliang and everyone else . The little divine stone had helped her increase the potency of these herbs . It told her that all of the bugs and snakes in the area could feel it and were keeping a wide berth from them . That way she wouldn’t be frightened by them! Although during the harder times she had previously caught a king ratsnake and made it into a soup, as a girl, she still wasn’t very fond of these soft and long animals .
The mountainous forest became more and more dense and the shrubs and underbrush became more and more lush . Fortunately, they had the two experts, Zhu Junyang and Chief Steward Su, in the front opening the way . Xiaocao was behind them, carrying a tiny bag on her shoulders . From time to time, she would pick off a leaf and use it as a tiny flute and whistle a little ditty . She seemed quite free and unrestrained .
In the past, when she was still living in Dongshan Village, she often entered the mountain and ran a few times in the deep forest . Consequently, she was quite at ease in this area . Everyone else also had no problems with this terrain, so their speed didn’t decrease at all . Yu Xiaocao’s primary goal was to find some rare medicinal ingredients . Hunting was only a side perk .
Therefore, as soon as she entered the mountainous forest, she had the little divine stone transform into its kitten form and let it roam independently . Since some extremely rare medicinal herbs that were on the older side had their own spiritual energy, the little divine stone would be the best to find them as it was very sensitive towards spiritual energy . It could be said that it was a rare ingredient detector!
In the front was Zhu Junyang, who was opening the way . He constantly thought of the little lass and worried as if she was a porcelain doll, trying to keep her from getting any bumps or bruises . From time to time he would look back to see how she was doing . When he saw that a tiny kitten had appeared on her shoulders, his phoenix eyes flashed a bit but his expression stayed the same .
Su Ran, on the other hand, laughed when he saw the little cat, “Why did you bring this little guy along? Does it have a special task at hand?”
“Sir Su, don’t look down on Little Glutinous Dumpling . I've trained it to especially be able to find rare medicinal ingredients . It has a very sensitive nose and can accurately distinguish the smell of rare herbs from a bunch of other smells! I heard that Jinalin produces ginseng, reishi mushroom, and other precious ingredients . Perhaps Little Glutinous Dumpling will be able to find a lot today!” Yu Xiaocao quickly outlined the little divine stone’s abilities such that, in the future, Su Ran wouldn’t feel too suspicious .
Just as she finished speaking, it seemed like she had sealed the deal . The little golden kitten suddenly jumped off her shoulders and swiftly ran towards a cliff on the right side . In a blink of an eye, it came back with a frog that was even larger than itself in its mouth .
Yu Xiaocao stared at it for a moment and called out in surprise, “Wow! An Asiatic grass frog! Not only does it have tender meat but it also can be used to make hasma, which is a very valuable tonic . It is very nourishing, helps support the lungs, and improves one mind!”
She took out a sack from Chunhua’s luggage and put the Asiatic grass frog that Little Glutinous Dumpling caught inside . She then spoke further to the two men in front, “If you two see any more forest frogs like this, remember to catch them for me ah! Tonight, I’ll roast some forest frogs for us to eat!”
The two of them were incredibly handsome in their own ways and accepted their mission to continue opening up the road while they looked for more frogs for her . In fact, the two of them actually ended up catching quite a lot! That night, when they camped down, Yu Xiaocao began to prepare all of these Asiatic grass frogs and made a secret special sauce to roast them until they were delicious . The two men, who had worked hard the whole day, were able to eat their fill . She herself spent some extra time to extract hasma from all of the frogs . Hasma that had been infused with spiritual energy from the little divine stone was even more effective than the normal kind . When they returned, she was planning on sending some to Princess Consort Jing and Imperial Prince Jing so they could take it to nourish their bodies . She was sure that the effects would be very good!
Zhu Junyang watched as the little lass, who had walked a whole day in the mountain, worked tirelessly to extract the hasma . A whole sack of forest frogs only produced around two small jars of hasma and one of those jars was going to be sent to his lady mother . He felt his heart soften immediately . The little lass never forgot to send anything that was good for the body to his mother .
If it wasn’t for the little lass tirelessly helping to nourish his mother’s body, he was pretty sure that she’d be bedridden at this time . Memories came back from long ago . Back then, the imperial physicians, who had been sent to diagnose and treat his lady mother, had once tactfully told his lord father that his mother’s life was likely destined to be short because of her weak constitution .
Now, their residence’s Imperial Physician Zheng was almost like a decoration . This was because the little lass had prescribed special medical cuisines to everyone in the household according to their body constitutions . Furthermore, she would even send some tasty foods and drinks over from time to time . His lady mother, who had previously been wan and weak, had been treated so well that her complexion was rosy and her body healthy . Not even a sneeze came out of her anymore .
All of this was due to the little lass in front of him! Zhu Junyang revealed a gentle and soft expression on his handsome face and involuntarily attributed her actions to ‘loving the house and its crow’ . He thought that because she liked him, that was the reason why she treated his family members so well . It must be that reason!