The weather at the end of spring had cool mornings and evenings. However, around noon, it was quite hot. The meat from the wild pig could not be left out for too long or else people would get sick from eating it. After getting Zhu Junyang’s permission, Yu Hai gave one adult pig and one half-grown pig to the villagers. He even helped them to cut it into smaller chunks to divide amongst everyone there.
The villagers only brought food along with them that was easily stored. Other than a few people who brought some dried meat along, the rest of them only carried some coarse grain to whet their hunger. Now with two catties of wild boar meat per family, most of them were very grateful towards Yu Hai and Royal Prince Yang.
For the past two years, the villagers at Dongshan Village had pretty good lives and weren’t as poor as they were before. In previous years, they were only able to eat some meat during the New Years. Now they were usually able to buy around a half catty of meat every couple of months so that their children could eat some. Two catties of wild pig meat were worth around a hundred copper coins on the market!
However, there were also people who had greedy hearts, such as Madam Zhang and her son, Yu Dashan. In their eyes, Yu Hai only strolled around the forest for a bit to get a lot of boar meat. That meant the Yu Family had been eating a lot of meat in these past two days! In contrast, they had only been eating wild vegetables, fruits and whatever they could scrounge. It was a worse living situation than the disaster year so they felt very resentful about this. A flame of hatred ignited in their hearts towards Yu Hai and his family!
At noon, Yu Xiaocao made a giant pot of twice-cooked pork and also braised the pig’s head and intestines. Although she didn’t have all of the spices needed, with the mystic-stone water on hand, the taste was still acceptable. She soaked the remaining boar’s meat in mystic-stone water. The caves were relatively cool so it wouldn’t be a problem to store the raw meat for one to two days.
However, when she was making lunch, Yu Xiaocao discovered that there was barely any white rice or white flour left. Everyone else could endure eating more coarse fare as they had lived through hard times before. However, the princess consort had grown up with a silver spoon in her mouth and had been pampered all of her life. Her complexion had become more sallow in these past two days. Her body was already weak to begin with and she wasn’t able to sleep very well on the hard rock bed in the caves. If she couldn’t eat well either, it was possible she wouldn’t be able to endure much longer.
Yu Xiaocao brought this problem up to Zhu Junyang and analyzed the pros and cons. Yu Hai and Commander Zheng were also present. The group was silent for a bit before Zhu Junyang finally frowned and said, “No need to worry. Tonight, I’ll go into the village and snatch some grain to bring back! The estate’s private army should be here by tomorrow or, at the latest, the day after tomorrow. Just endure another two days and then we’ll figure things out!”
Yu Hai thought for a bit and nodded his head, “This morning there were red clouds all throughout the sky which means it will probably rain in the early evening. We can use the cover of the rain and strike when they are least expecting it! Our cellar at home has plenty of grain but I just don’t know if the pirates moved it all out!”
Zhu Junyang lightly shook his head, “They probably haven’t taken all of the grain! The leader of the Wokou pirates and a few of his close subordinates are all living in your residence. They need to eat and drink too, so they absolutely wouldn’t take everything to the ships. This evening, we will also investigate their ships. The best case scenario would be to damage them. Once my family’s soldiers arrive, they won’t be able to escape even if they wanted to!”
Yu Xiaocao blinked her eyes and looked at him glowingly, “You want to damage their ships ah? I can help with this! I’m great at swimming so those little bastards definitely won’t be able to spot me!”
“Not okay! This is work reserved for men, not something that a little lass like you can do!” Zhu Junyang gave her a look from his seductive eyes and immediately killed her hope in the cradle.
Yu Xiaocao glowered at him with wide eyes and remarked with disdain, “Someone who has lost against me has no right to decide what I can do!” Usually when she dove in the ocean, Zhu Junyang would also sometimes come along to swim a few laps. His swimming ability was cultivated hastily before he left for his journey to the western hemisphere, so he naturally wasn’t as good as Yu Xiaocao, who had been born and bred by the ocean. Even if Xiaocao didn’t have her cheat item, he still wouldn’t be able to win against her.
“Cao’er, the royal prince’s swimming abilities may not be that good but I, your father, swim very well, right? Just stay back here like a good girl and chat with Her Royal Highness to pass the time. This isn’t a game!” Yu Hai was on the same side as Zhu Junyang as he also didn’t want his daughter to go into a dangerous situation.
Yu Xiaocao pouted her lips and continued to fight, “Father, you also don’t believe in me? Don’t you already know my abilities by now? I can hold my breath longer in the water than you can ah! Let me go ah, I promise that I’ll listen to everyone’s orders and I won’t do anything out of the ordinary. You never know, I may be of big help, right? Father~~~”
She knew that whenever she acted cute in front of her father, his heart would melt. So she deliberately elongated the syllables on that last ‘father’ she said in an adorable manner. It wasn’t only Yu Hai who was affected, even Zhu Junyang felt his defenses collapsing at her act. The two men looked at each other and Zhu Junyang compromised, “You can come along too, but you must stay very close by my side. You’re not allowed to act on your own and rush into danger. You’re also not allowed to…”
“Alright, I know, I know!” Yu Xiaocao was very pleased with this development and casually waved a hand at him while making a funny face.
Zhu Junyang was speechless, “...”
This little lass only knew how to act cute and adorable around her father. When it came to himself, there wasn’t the slightest bit of warmth or charm from her. Did she think he was a pushover? In the future, he needed to show her his strength in order to avoid being underestimated and disrespected!
Young Royal Prince, you were truly making too much of this! Everyone knew that chasing a wife required patience. You have only just started yet you want to show your dominance now? Patience…
In the early evening, a large rainstorm started as expected. The sky darkened into inky blackness and sheets of rain poured from the sky. The ‘whooshing’ sound of rain in the mountain forest permeated the air as if a waterfall had appeared nearby. Zhu Junyang put on his rain jacket that was woven in the afternoon and looked at the pouring rain outside of the cave. He then said to Yu Xiaocao, “The rain is coming down so hard, so you should stay here instead. Otherwise, you might get sick from the cold and wet!”
Yu Xiaocao was wearing a woven rush raincoat that was in a smaller size and even wore a large woven hat that was slightly too big for her. When she heard him saying this, she rolled her eyes and rebutted, “Why did you change your mind now? If I want to go to the ships and you don’t allow me to go, aren’t you afraid that I’ll sneak along anyway?”
When he thought of how the little lass acted in the past, it was quite likely she would do that! Zhu Junyang felt his head start to throb with a headache. He couldn't help but remind her a few times, “Okay, but remember, you must be at my side the entire…”
“You’re so annoying! You’re like an old man, always repeating the same things and nagging nonstop! Let’s go, it’ll take us some time to get out of the mountains, we can’t delay this mission!” Yu Xiaocao rudely interjected after becoming impatient.
Zhu Junyang could only helplessly close his mouth. The little lass couldn’t be scolded or hit. He really could do nothing against her!
Yu Xiaocao’s sharkskin swimsuit was in her room and she didn’t take it with her when they fled up the mountain. Zhu Junyang made the decision to first go to the Yu Family to steal grain while also grabbing the little lass’s swimsuit at the same time.
The storm came quickly yet settled down fast too. By the time they got to the foot of the mountain, the downpour of rain had already decreased into a misty small rain. Darkness had fallen and all of Dongshan Village was enveloped in the embrace of night. Zhu Junyang, Yu Hai and his daughter, as well as a dozen bodyguards from the mountain villa surreptitiously snuck closer to the Yu Family’s old residence.
Perhaps it was because of the earlier storm but all of the pirates living in the Yu Residence had already gone to bed! The head of the Wokou pirates was living in the east courtyard of the residence, so that area was more heavily guarded. The west courtyard was more lackadaisical. There were only two pirates on night guard and both of them were yawning continuously. They stood listlessly under the eaves of the roof. From the main room and the side rooms, the sounds of roaring snores permeated the air.
These snores were a bit like a lullaby and made the people on guard feel even more sleepy. One of the pirates let out a giant yawn and rubbed at the water that came out of his eyes when he yawned. He addressed the other guard, “I’m going to lean against this wall for now and sleep for a bit. Keep an eye out. In a bit, I’ll switch with you!”
After he spoke, he sat down on a small stool under the roof and leaned against the wall with his eyes closed. The other pirate struggled to stand up crookedly. The gentle sounds of rain lulled him until his eyelids felt heavier and heavier. Just as they were about to close, he opened them suddenly and stared listlessly into the air. Following that, his eyes slowly started to close again...after a few repeat cycles, his eyes finally closed completely…
In that split second, Zhu Junyang and Commander Zheng, who had been lying in the shadows in ambush, appeared in a flash. Each of them muffled one of the guards and then cruelly twisted their heads with a snap! Zhu Junyang quickly observed the area outside the room and then gave a look towards the commander of the bodyguards. The two of them dragged the two dead pirates to a more hidden area——his little lass was a bit cowardly so he didn’t want her to be scared at the sight of dead people!
The Yu Family’s storeroom in the west courtyard had already been cleaned out by the pirates and the sounds of thundering snores could be heard from that room. Yu Hai made a hand signal towards them. The back courtyard had a more hidden cellar and there was quite a bit of grain, dried meat, and preserved ducks and chickens there. He didn’t know if that had been discovered yet by the intruders.
Yu Xiaocao followed Zhu Junyang from behind and sneaked around like a thief on her tiptoes as she headed towards the back courtyard of her home. After the storm passed, it washed away all of the mud and dirt on top of the wooden door to the cellar. The wooden door was now apparent. Yu Hai used his strength to open up the door and came down the wooden ladder that was inside. The underground cellar still had grain stored. He pulled up a dozen bags of white rice and white flour and also grabbed a few air-dried ducks and chickens. He also filled a basket with chicken eggs to bring up.
When they exited the underground cellar, the rain had already stopped. Each of the dozen bodyguards had a bag of grain on their back and their hands weren’t free either. They were all holding dried ducks, chickens, or baskets of eggs. They silently headed towards the west mountains with the stolen food. As for the pirates in the west courtyard, all of them were still sleeping like a bunch of dead pigs.
Zhu Junyang, Yu Hai, Yu Xiaocao, and Commander Zheng were the only four left in the residence. The moon gate between the east and west courtyard had been tightly closed. Commander Zheng jumped over the wall and then opened the gate. All four of them then entered the east courtyard.
The moon peeked through a crack in the clouds to reveal half of itself and curiously regarded these four people who were still up in the middle of the night. Yu Xiaocao used the light from the moon to look at the vegetables planted in the courtyard. All of the vegetables had been squashed into a giant mess into the ground. She felt a fire of rage light up in her heart. She wished she could incinerate all of these damned Wokou pirates right now to quench her rage!
“Don’t feel bad, once my subordinates come over with my men, I will definitely slaughter all of these pirates as revenge for you!” Zhu Junyang casually held onto Xiaocao’s small hand and squeezed it gently. Her small hand felt very supple and soft as if she didn’t have any bones in it. The skin on her hand felt smooth and fine as if he was touching the best quality mutton-fat jade and it felt very comfortable in his hands. He didn’t want to let go, what to do?
“Ahem, ahem!!” Yu Hai noticed that his daughter was being taken advantage of at this point. He didn’t care that it was a royal prince doing it, he still felt upset and frowned deeply. He glared at the man who was holding his daughter’s hand and it was as if there were flames coming out of his eyes. He wished he had a knife in his hands right now so he could cut off this Deng Tuzi’s  hands immediately.
Royal Prince Yang couldn’t continue to be brazen in front of his future father-in-law. Although he didn’t want to let go, he still released his hold at the same time Xiaocao shook him off. Otherwise, it’d be very unlikely that the little lass would be able to push him away with just her little strength.
Xiaocao and Xiaolian’s room was on the east side of the main room. They could hear the sounds of around seven to eight pirates snoring from that room.
 Deng Tuzi - a well-known pervertPrevious Chapter Next Chapter
Sanguine’s Thoughts: Too bad they can’t just poison all of these pirates.