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Fields of Gold

Fields of Gold

Fields of Gold
Chapter 506 - Longing for More

Chapter 506 - Longing for More
Yu Xiaocao had just finished speaking when, with a tearing sound, one of Ning Donghuan’s pant legs was ripped off, revealing the pale skin of his thigh and hair on his leg. All the noble maidens screamed in surprise and quickly turned around. Their faces were flushed red from embarrassment. As for the tattered pant leg, it was currently in the mouth of the innocent-looking Little Black.
“Take your hands off…no, take your mouth off!! Miss Yu, if you don’t control your dog, I’m going to be butt naked! As a man, I’m not afraid of being seen, but I’m afraid of dirtying the eyes of all you noble maidens. Miss Yu, please have mercy and tell Little Black to let go of me!” Ning Donghuan didn’t know where he should cover. He felt extremely relieved that he had worn underpants. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to maintain his integrity ah!
“I can tell Little Black to let go of you, but you must tell me honestly. What did you do to provoke Little Black? It’s not easily angered.” Yu Xiaocao was very curious. This fellow had disappeared for the entire afternoon. Could it be that he had gone to annoy Little Black?
A gust of mountain breeze blew. The chilliness caused Ning Donghuan to hug his shoulders. He replied with a pitiful expression, “Didn’t you say that, as long as I can tame Little Black and Little White, they will belong to me? It didn’t seem like I should provoke Little White, so with my little skills in training dogs, I decided to go for Little Black. I didn’t expect that it shouldn’t be trifled with either. It won’t hurt people, but it specially targeted my clothes. If you guys found me a little later, I would probably have to run away naked!”
Yu Xiaocao didn’t pity him at all. This fool was quite bold to actually want to tame Little Black. She curled up her lips and sneered, “Third Young Master Ning, be glad that you came along with us and Little Black had met you several times. If you were a stranger, it wouldn’t be your clothes that got torn but your body instead!”
Ning Donghuan imagined that scary scene and shuddered. So fortunate! Fortunately, Little Black recognized him. Otherwise, his body would become completely tattered. He would become the first person in the capital to be bitten to death by a hound…
“Young Master, Third Young Master…” Another dreadful scream sounded. They turned around and saw Ning Donghuan’s personal manservant crying as he ran out from the thickets like there were savage beasts chasing after him.
Little Black had a lively temperament and liked to play pranks. As if it was a cat looking at a mouse, its blue eyes shined with excitement. Before it had spit out the pant leg in its mouth, it had dashed towards the frightened manservant. The manservant’s legs immediately went soft and he fell to the ground. With a ghastly pale face, his whole body trembled, and his cries came to an abrupt stop.
“Young…Young Master! Help, the young master was eaten by a vicious dog! Help…” Seeing the familiar piece of cloth in Little Black’s mouth, the manservant gathered all his remaining strength and let out a cry that shook the entire forest. He scared the birds that were returning to their nests and caused them to hastily flee towards the sky.
“What are you screaming about! You’re the one who got eaten by a dog!! I, your young master, am fine!!” After putting on the outer robe that he pulled off from his attendant, Ning Donghuan walked over and kicked the manservant, who was desperately crying for help with his eyes closed. This guy was really useless. At the critical moment, he had fainted from fright and was of no help at all. It seemed like he should change his manservant to one who knew martial arts!
“Young Master! You’re alright ah. That’s great!! Waahhh… If something happened to you, this servant can only make up for this fault with my life!!” When Guizhu heard the familiar voice, he wiped his snot and tears, hugged his master’s leg, and cried incessantly.
“Ning Donghuan shook his leg hard and said impatiently, “Alright, alright! Isn’t this lord fine? Quickly get up and stop being so embarrassing!! In the future, work on becoming braver so that you won’t faint from fright so easily. Otherwise, what do I need you for?!”
Guizhu got up from the ground and sobbed, “This servant was chased by a dog when I was a child, so I’m afraid of dogs. In the future, I will try to interact with the hounds at home as much as possible to overcome the weakness in my heart. I won’t embarrass my master again! Young Master, that dog is too fierce, so we won’t be able to control it. Let’s give up?”
Ning Donghuan was so angry that he rolled his eyes at him. He gnashed his teeth and said, “Even if you don’t speak, no one will think that you’re a mute!” What else could they do other than give up? If you had the ability of taming this beast, then this lord would serve you like you were my master! However, he didn’t dare to say this in front of Little Black for fear that he would really become butt naked.
Ning Donghuan, who had come back after changing his clothes at the plantation, felt that planting corn and potatoes was quite a novel experience. He clamored about wanting to experience the feeling of ‘hoeing grain at noon’ , and then went to work in the fields with a hoe. He Wanning also held a small basket of corn kernels and followed behind to sow the seeds. The soil stained her embroidered shoes and the hem of her dress was covered with dirt, but she was still in high spirits.
Yu Xiaocao hastily instructed Third Young Master Ning to ensure that there was a distance between each plant, and then she told He Wanning how many kernels she should sow each time. She had to run around in the field, which made her very mentally tired. It seemed like it was better to have less of these kinds of activities. It was too troublesome!
When the setting sun dyed the back mountain red, the group of noble young masters and maidens reluctantly left the Imperial Plantation. He Wanning’s body was so dirty that she looked like a clay figurine, but she was very excited, as if she wanted to continue. She said, “Younger Sister Xiaocao, do you think that the peach pits we buried will sprout and bloom next year, and produce peaches?”
“Next year? There shouldn’t be any problem with germination, but we will need to wait three years for flowering and fruiting. Just wait slowly!” The pit of the peaches that everyone ate in the orchard were buried in a reserved space by category. Almost everyone personally planted three to five peaches, saying that they wanted to eat the peaches that they grew themselves next year.
In actuality, with how they directly planted the core, there was a very low chance of germination. However, there was nothing to worry about since they had the mystic-stone water as a cheat. There was no 100% guarantee that they would all sprout, but at least 90% of them would successfully sprout.
“What? We still have to wait for three years ah!! I wanted to invite my friends to appreciate the peach blossom that I grew next spring.” He Wanning looked at her broken fingernail with grievance and felt that it wasn’t worth the loss.
Yu Xiaocao smiled and comforted her, “It’s alright. I already told them to pay attention to the saplings. In the autumn, we will try to plant another hundred or so peach trees. We will also expand the planting scale of the other fruit trees. At the beginning of next spring, let’s come enjoy the flowers. At that time, you guys can proudly introduce the saplings that you personally planted to your friends.”
“We still have to wait until next spring to come back?” He Wanning pondered, and then said with a smile, “Didn’t you say that the grapes will be ripe in two months? I have never picked grapes myself…”
The eyes of the other noble maidens suddenly brightened up. The lives of the noble young misses in the capital were very boring. They either read, practiced calligraphy, drew, or played the qin at home. If not, then they would organize flower appreciation parties or tea parties. It was really interesting to have such a fulfilling and novel outing. If they had another chance to come back, they would naturally be very happy.
“Older Sister Yu, can we also come to pick grapes next time?” Li Haoming blinked his big, dark eyes and asked with expectation. This time, he was able to come uninvited and have a good time thanks to Older Sister Mengru. He hoped that he could receive Older Sister Yu’s invitation and rightfully come over.
There were more peaches and grapes in the back mountains. The reason for planting peaches was that peach blossoms could be used to make flower tea and peaches that weren’t sold could be used to make preserved peaches and canned peaches. They planted more grapes so that they could save a portion to make wine. Wine mixed with mystic-stone water had low alcohol concentration and a sweet taste. It was good for one’s health to drink it often.
Every time the emperor emeritus came, he would ask to bring some back to sate his yearning for alcohol. After all, he was quite old now. Although he was still in good health, the imperial physicians and emperor strictly restricted his drinking. However, with his temperament, he liked to drink from a big bowl and eat large pieces of meat. To not let him drink was the same as strangling him. He wouldn’t be able to last for even a moment.
Fortunately, the imperial physicians said that he could drink the wine that he brought back because it was good for his health. It was a pity that there wasn’t a lot. The Yu Family had only brewed a total of ten jars. He didn’t bear to drink the wine that he brought back for fear that he would finish them too quickly, which would lead him to suffer in the following days.
Therefore, when he found out that Xiaocao was going to grow fruits in the back mountains of the Imperial Plantation, he urged Xiaocao to grow more grapevines. He even helped to get some grape plants. Now, there were about twenty to thirty grapevines in the back mountains. They all had green grapes that were about the size of a fingernail. Yu Xiaocao prepared to keep the grapes on twenty of the grapevines to sell at the fruit shops, and the rest would be used to make wine.
This time, when the noble maidens walked around the fruit orchard to help digestion, they had arrived at the vineyard nearby and saw the countless fruits on the vines. Unfortunately, it wasn’t picking season. When they heard Yu Xiaocao say that it would take one or two months to mature, they had to leave with regrets.
Now that He Wanning and Li Haoming had initiated this topic, the others also expressed their wish to come. Yu Xiaocao also seldom had the chance to come out to play with so many friends. Today, she had made friends with the bold and straightforward Lu Hao, the refined and gentle Ning Donglan, and the foolish Ning Donghuan. There were also Li Mengru, who had a bright personality, and the innocent and cute brothers, Li Haoming and Li Haoning. It was alright to arrange more of these gatherings.
Without hesitation, Yu Xiaocao agreed to send invitations to everyone when the grapes were ripe. She also said that she would teach them how to make wine and grape juice, which increased the noble maidens’ anticipation.
Under the afterglow of the setting sun, the noble maidens and gentlemen appeared very tired, but they were still in high spirits. They chatted about the interesting matters during this outing in groups of two or three, and cheerful laughter could be heard from time to time. The carefree laughter made the glow of the sunset even more gorgeous. The birds returning from afar also stopped flying. Everything seemed to be fixed on the word ‘happiness’.
However, the maidens, who had experienced the joy of labor, all felt some aching in their waists and backs. Normally, even when these young misses just wanted to drink water, the servants would have to put the cup into their hands. How would they be able to endure working in the fields?
As a result, these noble maidens gathered at the beauty and health club, ‘Blossoming Beauty’, the next day. After being exhausted, it was perfect to soak in a medicinal hot spring bath and have a spa. They all had a gold card at the club and didn’t hesitate when spending money.
[1] "Pitying the Farmers" by Li Shen - https://100tangpoems.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/li-shen-pity-the-farmers/