Yu Xiaocao rubbed at her forehead, which was faintly sore, and rolled her eyes at him. She continued to converse with the little divine stone, [This divine stone also cannot guarantee whether he’ll change or not. The only thing I am certain about is that he is solely preoccupied with you. Couldn’t you tell that he’s been helping you hide everything that you’ve been secretly doing at the stud farm ah? He even said that he got the special herbs for the horse bait from the western hemisphere. Just watch. This time, when we get back, he will definitely say something to take suspicions off of you about the wild horses being willing to come to the ranch. In fact, he might even take on that responsibility himself.]
Yu Xiaocao touched her nose and smiled in embarrassment, “I’m the one who’s thinking too much. I can’t, for the sake of some unknown future, relinquish the happiness I have in front of me now. Wouldn’t that be too stupid of me?”
[However, if you’re truly worried that his heart will change in the future, this divine stone has a ‘constant til death’ talisman. At the time, I had stolen it from the God of Talismans in the heavens. That fellow even chased me to Goddess Nuwa’s palace and wanted to complain to her about me ah! Fortunately, Goddess Nuwa was in closed-door cultivation then and I was the highest ranked entity in the palace. The God of Talismans could only helplessly leave, ahahahahahaha…] The little divine stone let out a joyfully satisfied laugh.
“No wonder the Goddess of Spirits ended up sealing your powers and banished you to the mundane world! You’re so naughty. Did Goddess Nuwa know about any of this?” Yu Xiaocao lowered her head to look at a piece of yellowing paper with weird symbols written on it that had suddenly appeared in her hands. She inspected it excitedly, mostly because she had never seen a talisman before and was incredibly curious about them. She had no intention of using it on Zhu Junyang though.
The little divine stone immediately stopped laughing and became unhappy, [Can’t you just converse with me normally? Mocking someone is uncouth; it’s better to use your mouth to accumulate virtue ah! Forget it, this divine stone is generous and magnanimous, and I won’t lower myself to your level. You can keep this talisman. If there’s ever a day that he changes his mind, you can slap this talisman on his back. That way, you will never have to worry about him betraying you!]
If that day really did come, perhaps it meant that their fate together had come to an end, right? If he was only loyal towards her because of the effects of the talisman and not of his own will, was it even worth it to keep such a person by her side ah?
Zhu Junyang had also noticed that a piece of yellowing paper had suddenly appeared in her hands. The paper even had some odd-looking designs on it painted on with red ink. His intuition told him that this wasn’t something that was going to be good for people. Furthermore, the little lass was looking at it intently with a quite serious expression on her face.
“What is that? Did that rock give it to you? Will it be dangerous to you? How about...you give to this prince for safekeeping. I have a healthy body and I’m not afraid of anything!” Zhu Junyang was the most worried about her safety and always considered her perspective.
Yu Xiaocao picked up the paper talisman and waved it a couple of times in his direction. She lightly laughed and asked him in a probing manner, “If I told you that this paper talisman will make you loyal to me for the rest of your life, such that you will never change your mind, do you think I should paste it on you or not?”
“This prince has no intention of ever changing my mind. There’s no difference whether or not you put it on me. If you really are feeling insecure, then put it on ah! However…” Zhu Junyang revealed a slightly worried expression.
Yu Xiaocao felt her heart fall and she inhaled sharply before she asked, “But what? Do you regret what you’ve said in the past?”
“Of course not! Lass, you just like to overthink things too much!” Zhu Junyang rubbed her head gently and laughed, “This prince is only worried about whether such a thing is reliable or not, okay? What if it turns me into an idiot or an unthinking puppet? At that time, you can only cry until you have no tears left in you!”
“It’s definitely reliable. It’s an item from the world of immortals, so its effects are guaranteed!” Yu Xiaocao was linked to the little divine stone, so they were in the same boat together. The little divine stone absolutely wouldn't lie to her.
“An item from the world of immortals?” Zhu Junyang promptly viewed this piece of paper in a whole other light, “From what you're saying, then that piece of stone you hang around with is also from the world of immortals and you just happened to come across it?”
“Mhm! Its cultivation and powers were sealed by a god and it was sent down to our mundane world of mortals to temper itself and accumulate virtue. Only then will it be able to break out from its shackles and return to its true form!” Didn’t all of the cultivation novels say something like this ah? Yu Xiaocao gave the prince a half-false and half-truthful explanation.
The little divine stone, on the other hand, fell into thoughtful contemplation. Was that truly the intention of the Goddess of Spirits? The Goddess of Spirits had always been close to Goddess Nuwa like a pair of true sisters. All those years ago, it had caused quite a bit of trouble for Goddess Nuwa and offended many people. The other immortals often came charging over to tattle-tale on it and ended up impacting Goddess Nuwa’s cultivation progress. After it had been kicked out of the world of immortals, it had been stuck in a bottleneck for a long time.
The Goddess of Spirits must have seen everything clearly, which was probably why she sent it, who was stubborn and mule-headed, down to the mundane world to temper its heart and spirit. Was it possible that only after it learned these hard lessons, its cultivation would increase by bounds and it could return back as a high-leveled god? Aiya, even a mere mortal was able to see through to the truth yet it had held a grudge against the Goddess of Spirits for all these years. No wonder its recent cultivation progress had been so slow and tortuous ah!
Once it understood its situation better with Xiaocao’s ‘advice’ and realized the Goddess of Spirits' true intentions, it began to reflect on itself. Suddenly, it felt that, out of the three shackles suppressing it, one of them had been broken. The energy that the Goddess of Spirits had imbued into that shackle began to harmonize with its own and began to stimulate its stagnant cultivation. In a split second, it felt its energy increase by leaps and bounds. It didn’t even have the time to say a parting word to Xiaocao when it jumped back into its separate space to begin earnestly cultivating again. It could tell that, once it finished this episode of closed-door cultivation, it would be able to return to almost half of its previous strength!
“Since you are confident that this talisman has no issues with it, then go ahead. Where do you want to stick it? On my forehead?” Zhu Junyang stuck his head forward and even conscientiously bent down to make it easier for her.
Yu Xiaocao used her other hand to push away his face. The dimples on her face deepened and her pair of large, almond-shaped eyes shone brightly, glittering with emotion. She pretended to be angry as she replied, “Do you believe everything I say ah? This is only a peace and safety talisman but it truly was given to me by the little divine stone. Its effects are definitely much better than the ones you can beg from temples. You often are out and about. Tomorrow, I’ll make you a small pouch to hold it. You should bring it around and you definitely shouldn't take it out lightly!”
Zhu Junyang stared at the talisman for a long time and tried to see from Xiaocao’s expression if there was anything else he was missing. However, Xiaocao hid her thoughts very well, so he temporarily believed her. He shook his head in refusal, “Are you still not familiar with my talents? Does this prince really need a peace and safety talisman? You should wear it instead ah. Last time, at the hunting grounds, weren’t you almost eaten by a tiger for a snack?”
“Although it was a frightening experience, didn’t that tiger, in the end, become our prey ah?” Xiaocao lowered her head and quietly mumbled a bit. It had been almost a year since that happened yet Zhu Junyang still harped about it.
“Keep that talisman safe. When you get back, have Wutong make a small pouch for you. I’m afraid your embroidery skills are such that you wouldn’t be willing to wear anything you made yourself.” As he talked, he especially glanced at the ugly embroidered pouch that was hanging on his waist.
Yu Xiaocao’s face immediately turned bright red. That was the pouch that she had made after her godmother had threatened her. It was supposed to be a way for her to learn some feminine skills. However, not only did the pouch turn out slightly deformed but even the embroidered pattern on the outside was also quite sloppy. It was hard to make out what it was supposed to look like. At that time, she had even happily showed off her first finished sewing product to the prince, but he had actually snatched it away from her. He began using it despite other people laughing at him.
Even He Wanning had teased her for this. She said that, when she compared her skills to that pouch, even her sewing skill level seemed to go up a few. Yu Xiaocao had tried many times to get the pouch back from Zhu Junyang to no avail. Now that she thought about it, perhaps she needed to learn how to sew better from Pipa when she got back. That way she could at least sew a decent-looking pouch.
Out of all of her maids, Pipa had to be the one who was the most skilled at the womanly arts. She also had a quiet personality and a lot of patience. Many of the sewn items that she used had all been made by that maid.
Zhu Junyang saw that the little lass seemed a bit upset and hurriedly changed the subject, “You said this thing was given to you by that piece of rock. It's only a tiny and round colored stone, where does it keep something the size of the talisman? If I didn’t personally see that it could change forms with my own eyes, then this prince would have thought that you were cracking a joke!”
“Uh...perhaps beings from the world of immortals all have their own special dimension to carry things ah? Like the Bracelet of the Heavens or dimension pouches from those mythological stories...right?” He was successful in switching Yu Xiaocao’s thoughts to a different subject. She silently asked the little divine stone repeatedly, ‘Isn’t that right?’
The little divine stone, who was currently cultivating, naturally had no response for her. She raised her head and shrugged her shoulders at Zhu Junyang, “Little Glutinous Dumpling must have gained something and is currently cultivating. When I asked it, it had no response for me! Forget it, once it’s done cultivating, I’ll ask it then!”
“No wonder that little golden kitten seems to come and go like a ghost ah! Apparently, it’s been hiding on your body cultivating! How much time does it usually spend in cultivation?” Zhu Junyang only asked out of pure curiosity.
Yu Xiaocao also wasn’t sure so she could only say, “Who knows, ah? With its restless personality, as soon as it's done, it’ll come out on its own. It’s getting late, so we should head back!”
As she finished speaking, Xiaocao carefully placed the talisman into her own embroidered pouch and then waved a hand at the white stallion not far away from them who still, from time to time, would look over at them. Then, she refused Zhu Junyang’s offer to ride pillion and instead jumped onto Little Black’s back and let out a loud whistle. They headed back towards the stud farm at an astonishing speed.
The grasslands in the evening had a picturesque and stunning view. The setting sun was slowly withdrawing all of its golden needles into itself and it seemed to regard the world of humans with a shy and bashful glowing red face. Thus, the creek running through the prairie shimmered with a multitude of colors, making people feel as though there was a crystal palace hiding beneath its waters with a precious treasure underneath.
A fairy-like young maiden rode a wolf as she sang a beautiful and sweet song. The delicate and lively young lady seemed to be cloaked by a bewitching and gentle rosy glow from the setting sun. It truly looked like she was an immortal girl who had jumped out of a picture.
This type of surreal and fantastical image conjured up a bunch of worried thoughts in Zhu Junyang. As someone who had a divine object by her side, would she have the chance to ascend to the world of the gods one day, leaving him alone in this mundane mortal world? Or perhaps, she, who had been touched by divine energy, would continue to be as youthful and beautiful as an immortal while he aged into a stooped over and white-haired old man? At that time, would he still be able to keep her, an immortally beautiful fairy, by his side?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sanguine’s thoughts: His worries are valid based on the information he knows thus far.