Published at 17th of December 2020 01:38:36 PM
The experienced hunters in this area were all good at skinning and processing fur pelts, especially Old Man Jin . He was famous not only in the village but also in town for crafting the best fur pelts . Zhu Junyang and the other hunters had gotten so many furs . If they didn’t handle them now, they would start to stink on the way home .
Thus, they spent a few more days at the nameless village . On the return journey back to the farm, they had an additional two large carts filled full of furs . The merchants they had encountered on the road all asked them where they had gotten these furs when they saw the piles of top-notch pelts .
When they got back to the stud farm, Steward Yan came over to greet his master and excitedly reported, “Master, the guards have seen a white stallion leading a herd of horses in the vicinity of the farm when they are patrolling . This servant followed your orders and made sure no one went to disturb them . From time to time, we also put out some top-notch fodder in the areas they tend to appear . Those wild horses seem to be more trusting of our farm and don’t always flee when we let the other horses out . There was one night when that white stallion appeared in the farm and was slyly eating Black Whirlwind’s special food ah!”
Ever since Xiaocao arrived at the stud farm, she had personally compounded Little Red’s child’s, Black Whirlwind, feed . Not only was the nutrition well balanced, but she also added a high concentration of mystic-stone water to it . That way, the feed would alter its body . There were quite a number of horses at the farm but there were very few horses who had the bloodlines of superior quality horses .
The foreign tribes only sold their mediocre and inferior horses to the Great Ming Dynasty . Thus, the probability of encountering a divine steed was about the same as a meat pie falling out of the sky! Therefore, they could only use the horses they had to breed better steeds . Out of all of the foals in the farm, Black Whirlwind was the best out of all of them and also the one with the most promise . Xiaocao planned on altering it and five other foals using the mystic-stone water . That way, they would become the hope of the stud farm .
The little fellow Black Whirlwind had absolute freedom on the farm . The small courtyard residence that Xiaocao and the others lived in almost always had its gates wide open for it . In addition, Yingchun especially liked the little horse and would always give it some rock candy that contained mystic-stone water in it . Thus, the little fellow frequently didn’t rest in its own stable and instead shamelessly lodged at the small courtyard .
Since it had its own stable, there was no one there to fight for food . Thus, the grooms taking care of it would often add some superior fodder in its manger as a midnight snack . However, who would have expected that, for a few nights in a row, when the little fellow strolled back, it found out that its food manger was completely empty . It was quite displeased by this . Was someone secretly eating its food? Or were the humans shorting it on its midnight snack?
In the middle of the night, Black Whirlwind ran over to where the grooms lodged and made a fuss . Only after it was given a midnight snack did it calm down . After the grooms had been disturbed for a few nights in the row, they started to wonder . At first, they thought that the little fellow was having a growth spurt and needed more food . However, even after they added more fodder to his manger, it still continued to pester them . Thus, they felt that there was something fishy about this and began to stake out the little fellow’s stable at night . That’s when they discovered the wild white stallion coming over to steal the little foal’s food . They reported these matters to Steward Yan .
After hearing Steward Yan’s report . Zhu Junyang surreptitiously glanced at Xiaocao, who was organizing the fur pelts at the side, and then commanded the steward, “No need to do anything with that horse for now! How’s the progress on the new horse stables going?”
“The construction on the new stables is already done . After letting it air out for a few days, it’ll be ready to house horses! Master, the people that you’ve instructed me to find to help out with raising the horses are already here . They are currently being trained by Old Zhang!”
Old Zhang was the groom who was the most experienced at raising horses . In the past, he had been caught by some foreign tribes and forced to raise their horses for over twenty years . Recently, the Great Ming Dynasty’s troops had won a series of victories and reclaimed a lot of their lost land . Thus, he was finally able to go home . When he found out that a noble from the capital was planning on establishing a horse breeding farm, he recommended himself to work there . Now, he was one of the small leaders here and had helped Steward Yan quite a bit .
“Make sure the new stables get cleaned . Tomorrow night, you can fill all of the feed troughs with some good quality fodder and there’s no need to send anyone to keep a watch over it…” Zhu Junyang had heard the promise that the little lass had given to the white stallion, so he instructed his subordinates to go through with her plan .
Steward Yan paused for a moment in surprise but very quickly understood what his master was trying to do, “Is the plan . . . for the new stables to serve the wild horses?”
Zhu Junyang nodded slightly and waved a hand in dismissal at Steward Yan . The little lass and her maidservants had already finished organizing the fur pelts . Right now, the young maiden had a bit of exhaustion visible on the face . Her usually bright and lively eyes seemed a bit unfocused, as if she was unconsciously relaxing .
Although this was supposed to be a leisurely hunting trip, they had still been camping out in the vast wilderness and had spent over twenty-some days out in the open . Even a strong and sturdy man wouldn’t be able endure for so long, let alone a weak and delicate little maiden . These past few days had surprised him . She was the only one in their group who had no martial arts training . However, no matter where they were, whether traveling on the road or going into the mountains, she never complained about being exhausted . In terms of strength and energy, she had more than the average weak and delicate little maiden .
“Tired?” Zhu Junyang walked to Xiaocao and bent over to stroke the little lass’s thinned out face . He gently said, “If you’re tired, go rest now . No need to make yourself endure any longer . ”
“I’m waiting for the washing water to get heated up…” Yu Xiaocao yawned elegantly and two sleepy tears were squeezed out of the corner of her large eyes . After being on the road for a few days, it had been difficult for her to get a restful night’s sleep . Fortunately, her maidservants were all quite perceptive and quickly heated up her bathing water on the stove before helping their mistress to wash herself in the warm water .
Xiaocao slept until the moon had risen high above the sky and the only reason why she woke up was that her empty stomach was complaining constantly . She ate some food that had been reheated on the stove and then dragged herself up to go to the private stall of Black Whirlwind .
The round bright moon was hung high in the sky, covering the entire stud farm with its silvery glow . With Xiaocao’s current eyesight, it wasn’t an issue for her to see clearly as she walked on the small paths towards the stable . Behind her, she could hear light tapping sounds and she didn’t even need to look back to know that the fellow, Black Whirlwind, was following her . Whenever Xiaocao was around, that little fellow liked to stick around her . Even when it was resting, it would choose a place that was closest to Xiaocao——which was right outside her personal room . Thus, as soon as Xiaocao left her room, this little fellow quickly sensed it and trailed behind her .
Eh? Its master was heading towards the building where it lived . Did the master know that it was getting close to when it usually ate its midnight snack and wanted to add some more food? Black Whirlwind blinked its large, gentle eyes as joy surged in its heart . The food that the master made, as well as the tasty blocks of sugar, were all more delicious than the food the grooms sent over . Yay! It was going to have a good snack! Black Whirlwind became immensely excited and even its steps were much lighter compared to before .
Wait! Why was there the smell of a strange horse in the air? Its stall was its own and it already knew the other horses that were stabled nearby . This strange horse had a strong aura about it; just where did it come from?
Black Whirlwind raised its head and looked curiously over in the direction of the stables . It discovered that there was a snow white, large horse that was currently inserting its head into its own stall and stealing food from its feed trough!
The little horse immediately became furious . It had wondered why it hadn’t been able to eat any midnight snacks recently . Originally, it thought that the humans in the farm had carelessly forgotten to add its snack to its stall . It had never suspected that its food was being ruthlessly stolen by another horse!! Black Whirlwind felt its mind go blank and it charged forward as it wanted to warn the other horse and teach it a lesson .
However, when it reached the strange thief, it discovered that its ‘tiny build’ was like a tiny ant in front of the other horse . Wah wah wah…when could it grow up and beat this evil thief underneath its hooves?
The white horse heard Black Whirlwind charging over and turned its head to glance at the little colt . An angry little foal? It barely reached the height of its legs but it was quite brave . The young horse stood in front of it angrily as if it wished it could go up and bite . This little fellow quite had guts . Once it reached adulthood, it might be able to put up a fight with it . As for now . . . a tiny body and spindly legs, it had better obediently stand aside!
The white stallion had no intention of harming the little fellow . It gently used its head to nudge the foal away and continued to eat the delicious feed that was in the stall . It had been a long time since it last encountered that human little girl . However, it had not been able to forget the special sugar cubes that had the ability to change its constitution that the little girl had fed it . After resisting for a long time, it brought its herd to slowly get closer to the stud farm to investigate just what the humans there were up to .
When it found out that neither the patrolling guards nor the staff of the farm tried to capture or shoo them away, the head stallion brought its herd closer and closer to the farm . It hoped to encounter that little girl again . However, it was destined to be disappointed as Xiaocao had already left the farm to go into the mountains to search for rare medicinal herbs .
However, it wasn’t entirely without benefit . The humans at the farm seemed to know that they were there and stocked a bunch of feed near them . Within the feed provided was some food that had the same tantalizing smell as the special candy the girl gave it . The food was slightly inferior in taste to what the girl had, but it was still better than nothing .
The white stallion still longed for the taste of that rock sugar candy that emitted a faint spiritual energy . It dawdled around the vicinity of the farm for a few days and discovered that on a particular young foal in the farm, there was the faint smell of the sugar candy . Later, on a particular night where the wind was blowing hard, it followed the smell to the horse stables and discovered that the feed inside was the food that it couldn’t seem to forget . It couldn't resist the urge to eat everything in there .
Following that, it came over every day to visit as if it was entranced and became a frequent visitor at the stud farm . Today was no exception . However, it didn’t think it would be discovered by the owner of this stall——a black colored little colt had appeared . However, what did that matter? The white stallion continued to eat the food inside with large bites and glanced at the little colt with a look of disdain in its eyes .
Black Whirlwind let out a furious whinny at the sight of this . Although it was still very young, it had a quite imposing manner . That damned little thief was stealing food right in front of it without a hint of shame . The other horse was truly looking down on it . Black Whirlwind opened its mouth and rushed towards the white stallion that was more than twice as tall as it . It bit down hard on the strong and sturdy stallion’s leg and ground its teeth . It needed to bite this damned thief to death!
The white horse, who was currently happily eating the food, only felt a light tickle on its leg followed by a bit of pain . It couldn’t help but kick out that leg . Little Black Whirlwind ended up tumbling to the ground by the other horse’s light kick . Although it wasn’t injured at all, it was covered completely in dirt and had a huge blow to its ego .