Fields of Gold - Chapter 733
The one hundred and twenty-one year old Imperial Prince Xu had hair that turned completely white but he still looked to be around his sixties to seventies. His stature was still as tall and lofty as before, but it was no longer as ramrod straight as it was in his youth. In those days, no one could fight against him, but now he could only quietly lay on his bed with his phoenix eyes half closed as he breathed weakly. The imperial physicians were helpless at this point, so his children and grandchildren were all squeezed into this room with heavy expressions and mournful looks.
Sitting next to him in the armchair was the a hundred and fourteen year old Yu Xiaocao. Although her hair had turned completely white, her skin was still fair and exquisite with fine wrinkles deposited throughout. The signs of age added a bit of maturity and loveliness to her.
Imperial Prince Xu and his wife had lived long lives and both of them had entered their hundreds with hale and healthy bodies. In the west side of the capital, people could often see a tall and lofty figure with a slender and short figure strolling idly on the streets. Their hands were always linked together as they slowly walked around. They looked like a picture that would never fade.
In the capital, Imperial Prince Xu and Princess Consort Xu had become legendary figures. The commoners told stories about them, while the literati wrote them down. It was widely known throughout the public that they had a constant and ceaseless romance. The stories about their great and grand feats were also well known and added to their mystical lives.
Imperial Prince Xu only had Princess Consort Xu as his woman in his lifetime. Some claimed that he was afraid of his wife and didn’t even dare to glance at other women; others claimed that Princess Consort Xu had bespelled him, which was why he had no interest. There were even some who said that Imperial Prince Xu truly loved his wife down to his bones, which was the true reason why he had never had any interest in other women…
Regardless, no matter what people said or claimed, none of it influenced the married couple. At the age of sixty, Imperial Prince Xu had finally freed himself of all of his duties and had gone off with his wife to travel the country to sightsee. The two of them had set foot into every crook and cranny in the Great Ming Empire and left footprints everywhere.
Imperial Prince Xu had even fulfilled a promise he made in his youth. At the age of sixty-five, he had taken his wife to sail the oceans to head to the west so that they could travel and expand their horizons. Princess Consort Xu had even become sworn sisters with one of the queens in a small country. Imperial Prince Xu had even fought against some man-eating people in one of the areas there and beat them until they kneeled and begged for forgiveness. He was truly an old but extremely vigorous man.
Imperial Prince Xu had celebrated his one hundred and twentieth birthday in a grand celebration, which had coincided with Princess Consort Xu’s one hundred and tenth birthday. Despite the many years that had passed, their feelings and emotions for each other had not been diluted. Instead, their relationship was like a pot of good wine, becoming more and more fragrant as the years passed by.
Everyone believed that they would both be like Peng Zu and become living auspicious icons. However, Imperial Prince Xu fell down one day soon after he reached one hundred and twenty-one years old. He didn’t have any illnesses or injuries. His body was finally reaching its end. At first, he began to sleep longer. Sometimes, he’d be chatting with you for one minute and the next minute he’d be fast asleep. Now, he spent over seventeen to eighteen hours a day asleep in his bed. The times when he was awake and alert became shorter and shorter.
Although Yu Xiaocao had long prepared herself or this, she still couldn’t help but feel distressed that this imposing man, who had held up the sky for her and was a great hero, was past his prime and about to go. At the same, she also felt somewhat terrified. She was someone who had experienced a previous life before and didn’t know whether she’d have the luck to encounter him in the next one…she hoped that when she was in front of Grandmother Meng, she would be able to keep her memories from this life while drinking the soup of oblivion. That way, in her next life, she’d be able to find his shadow in the crowds of others.
“He’s awake! Great Paternal Grandmother, Great Paternal Grandfather is awake!” The person who spoke up was the thirty year old grandson of Zhu Yunxuan.
Yu Xiaocao blinked away the mist in her eyes and smiled gently as she sidled closer to husband. She grasped his hand and quietly asked, “Husband, are you hungry ah? Do you want me to make a bowl of noodles for you?”
Zhu Junyang pulled on her hand tightly and lightly shook his head. His muddy phoenix eyes became as bright as when she first met him. He slowly replied, “Help me sit up…”
With the help of her great-grandsons, Yu Xiaocao helped him sit up and put two pillows behind him as support so he could lean against them. She had already asked the little divine stone and knew that her man’s time was to come in the next few days. The fact that he was suddenly so clear-headed meant that it was probably his last wind.
She sat at the bedside and gently leaned her head against his shoulder as she lightly laughed, “Old man, your shoulder is too bony and it hurts for me to lean against it. When you get better, you need to eat more, otherwise, it’s not comfortable for me to do this.”
“Alright, alright, alright! I’ll make sure to eat more and become nice and fat to become the perfect pillow for you!” Zhu Junyang’s deep voice was still as melodious as before and she still hadn’t heard enough of it in this lifetime.
“Great Maternal Grandmother, there’s a young maiden outside who says she’s an old friend. She wants to greet you.” This was Zhu Yunxin’s youngest granddaughter. She didn’t look like her paternal family and, instead, her face was about seventy to eighty percent similar to Xiaocao’s. This was why she was her grandmother’s favorite.
When the young maiden who claimed to be an old friend was invited in, Yu Xiaocao stared at her for a long time. It was only after the young girl revealed a faded embroidered orchid pouch that she finally found the figure of this young girl in her memories. She was the little dragon girl that she had once encountered in the ocean. She would have never expected that she’d be able to cross between dimensions and come here to find her.
The little dragon girl stared at Xiaocao’s face for a long time before she finally sighed, “Mortals’ lives are so short. Fortunately, I was hardworking and you are long-lived. Otherwise, the two of us would never get the chance to see each other again in this lifetime. I have finally fulfilled a dream of mine by being able to see you. Unfortunately, you are no longer that cute and adorable young maiden who spent time talking and playing with me.”
“Thank you for taking the time to find me at a time that is most important for me. Little dragon girl, I hope you will continue to work hard on cultivation and become an immortal soon.” Yu Xiaocao sincerely blessed the other girl.
The little dragon girl nodded and said, “I will. Then…we’ll meet again in the future!” After she finished, a light breeze blew by and she disappeared from Imperial Prince Xu’s courtyard.
All of the descendents of Imperial Prince Xu weren’t very surprised by the sight that had just occurred before them. In their hearts, their mother (grandmother, great-grandmother) wasn’t someone from the ordinary world. Otherwise, how else would she have so many legendary adventures?
When Yu Xiaocao was talking to the little dragon girl, Zhu Junyang never took her gaze away from her. After she left, he spoke to the already ninety years old Zhu Yunxuan, “I want to spend some time alone with your lady mother.”
“Lord Father…” Zhu Yunxuan looked at his lord father, who he had always chased after and worshiped. His voice was choked with emotion.
Zhu Junyang looked at his three children and slowly said, “You are all good people and didn’t disappoint either of us. I am very relieved about you all…”
The elderly eighty-five year old Zhu Yunxin immediately began crying like a child when she heard this, “Lord Father, you need to live well. If you go, I’ll become a fatherless child. If your son-in-law decides to bully me, there will be no one to support me anymore. Wah wah wah wah!”
When her sons and grandsons heard this, they all were dumbfounded. It was clearly she who was bullying their father (grandfather), alright? Didn’t she have a conscience anymore?
“Silly child, there is no feast under the heavens that doesn’t end! You all go out, I want to speak to your lady mother alone. I want to use the last bit of remaining time I have with her!” Zhu Junyang looked at Xiaocao with a gaze that still showed how much he loved and adored her.
Zhu Yunxuan stopped his younger sister from saying more and took everyone out of the room, leaving only the old couple by themselves.
“Do you regret marrying me ah? I’m older than you by seven years. If you had married someone who was about the same age as you, he would be able to spend a few more years with you. I really hate myself for coming out earlier than you.” Zhu Junyang also knew that his life had come to an end and was only filled with worry and love for Xiaocao.
“You ah, stop going on flights of fancy. Marrying you was the best decision of my life. If I could repeat this again, I would still choose to marry you. If you weren’t there, where would I go to find someone who loved me to the heavens like you did?” Yu Xiaocao picked up an ivory comb and began to slowly help him comb his hair.
Zhu Junyang chuckled, “When I’m gone, you need to live well and be happy. Please don’t be sad. You know that I can’t stand it when you’re sad or upset. Otherwise, I won’t be able to be at peace in the underworld.”
“Alright, I won’t be sad! You can scout out what it’s like down there first, and I’ll follow you later.” Yu Xiaocao talked as if death was only another ordinary topic. There wasn’t a hint of sadness in her voice, as if she was just saying, ‘the weather is nice today’.
“When I’m gone, you’re not allowed to hook up with another old man. Those old men aren’t as good-looking as me and they’re also stubborn to boot! There’s likely no one like me who can handle your temper.” Zhu Junyang’s jealousy was still sky high.
“Mhm, I will only be yours. Just like you will only be mine.” Yu Xiaocao promised.
Zhu Junyang was satisfied by this but was still a bit worried, “If you feel worried, you can call over Little Guozi’s youngest granddaughter over to spend time with you. If any of our children or their spouses are not filial to you, burn some incense to tell me. I’ll make sure to give them bad dreams at night…”
The two of them chatted idly for a bit. Zhu Junyang suddenly fell silent and just as Yu Xiaocao thought he had fallen asleep again, he opened his mouth to say, “Cao’er, can you tell me what it’s like in your world ah?”
Yu Xiaocao knew that he had already guessed that she wasn’t from this world. What made her feel gratitude was that he had never asked her out of his own curiosity. Furthermore, he even always helped her to disguise herself, as he was afraid other people might find out.
Yu Xiaocao simply outlined a few bits and pieces about her previous life. Zhu Junyang silently listened and sighed at the end, “There are cars that don’t require horses to pull them, planes that can fly in the area, and boats that can go underwater…too good! Do you think that if you didn’t come here that there’d be someone in your world who was supposed to be me?”
“Perhaps ah! However, in that world, I was already thirty years old and hadn’t met you then. Just what were you trying to do by arriving so late?” Yu Xiaocao lightly laughed and pinched her husband’s cheek.
“Therefore, in this lifetime, I made sure to show up early by your side, so I could guard you as you grew up and for the rest.” Zhu Junyang had a premonition that his end was coming and suddenly tightened his grip around her hand as his voice became weaker, “Do you think we will be able to find each other in our next lives and be together as well?”
Yu Xiaocao suddenly picked up his hand and bit down hard, leaving teeth marks with blood. She smiled with tears in her eyes, “We will! Just look, I already gave you a marking. So in all the lives to come, you better not try to escape.”
Zhu Junyang lowered his head to look at the mark and slowly laughed…
Yu Xiaocao felt that the hand in hers abruptly became heavy. Tears rolled down her face. She helped her husband change into his favorite martial attire and took out the pillows supporting his back, allowing him to lie down completely. Finally, she crawled onto the bed and lay down next to him and felt her life slowly slip away…
The sound of weeping swept through Imperial Prince Xu’s Estate. That day, they had lost both parents at the same time…
In the year 2018, in a hospital ward in Xu City in the Su Prefecture, a voice cried out in surprise, “Awake! Older Sister, you’ve finally woken up!”
“Older Brother, Older Brother! Older Sister woke up! Look, her hands are moving and her eyelids are trembling…”
“Quick, quickly call the doctor!!”
Yu Xiaocao slowly opened her eyes and noticed that there were white walls all around her and a bright incandescent light in the ceiling. Next to her were all sorts of medical equipment…was this…a hospital? A modern hospital? Did she come back and not die?
“Older Sister, Older Sister! Can you see me ah? I’m Xiaochan ah, your younger sister, Xiaochan…Older Brother, do you think Older Sister might have amnesia from hitting her head?” Lin Xiaochan suddenly had a thought hit her and asked the question that came up.
Lin Xiaochan? Her previous life’s younger sister? Following the sound of the voice, she looked at a somewhat strange but also familiar face. As expected, she had come back to the modern world. In this world, she was only an owner of a small braised-food shop who struggled to survive on a daily basis.
Earlier she had just been chatting with her prince about whether or not he was here in her world and now she suddenly came back. Did this world have the man who had loved her for a lifetime or not? The answer wasn’t clear. Even if he was here, in the millions of people in the world, she might not be able to ever encounter him.
“Older Sister, you’ve been in a coma for more than a hundred days. I was really afraid you’d become a vegetable and never wake up again. Older Sister, you need to take care of yourself and enjoy your younger siblings’ efforts. You can’t have anything happen to you again!” Lin Xiaochan’s eyes had turned wet as she choked out her words.
“Little Jun’s wedding ceremony, was it ruined because of me?” Yu Xiaocao…no, now she was Lin Xiaowan. She came back to the present and asked in a faint voice.
Lin Xiaochan laughed despite her tears and said, “Older Sister, you haven’t forgotten everything ah! That’s wonderful! I was still thinking that if you had amnesia, just what should I do to jolt your memory back. Older Sister, don’t worry, Little Jun had already sent most of the guests off…Older Sister, you really scared me to death this time!”
“In the future…that won’t happen again.” Lin Xiaowan felt extremely distracted. The hundred years she had in that other life seemed to have passed like a dream. However, who could explain why she returned back to this world?
The little divine stone, who had already gone back to its world, had an inscrutable smile on its face, ‘Goodbye, my master. I hope you like the present I sent you.’
“Older Sister, you don’t seem completely like yourself.” Lin Xiaochan helped her drink some water from a cup. She hesitated for a moment before continuing, “It seems like every movement you make is filled with elegance and grace, I don’t know how to describe it…”
“Perhaps I was in a coma for too long, so I’m still a bit mixed up!” Lin Xiaowan quietly said.
“Your tone and intonation are also different. It’s kind of like you’re speaking each word very clearly. Older Sister, do you think another soul from a different world has transmigrated into your body like those storybooks?” Lin Xiaochan liked to read transmigration novels and joked.
Lin Xiaowan rolled her eyes and rebuked, “Did you read too many novels ah? Do you want to hear the story of when you wet the bed again…”
“No, no! You’re my older sister, my true older sister, okay?” Lin Xiaochan raised two hands up in surrender.
“Older Sister, do you feel uncomfortable anywhere?” Lin Qijun came in with a few white coat doctors. When he saw his sisters talking to each other, he hurriedly asked to inquire after her condition.
“No, just a…” She suddenly stopped. Lin Qijun and Lin Xiaochan became nervous all of a sudden, “Just a bit hungry. I want to eat roast duck, red braised pork, and braised pig trotters!”
In her previous life, because she and her husband were getting old in age, their stomachs had also become weaker. Thus, there were many oily foods that they were not allowed to eat anymore. The couple, who were unhappy if they had to eat a meal without meat, were so starved of these goodies that they even thought of running to the kitchen to eat some secretly.
The doctor next to Li Qijun laughed, “Having an appetite is a good thing. That means the body is recovering. However, with your current condition, you need to eat some bland foods first.”
“What? I still need to eat bland foods?” She had a bit of arrogance and temper after being spoiled for a hundred years. This time, her voice had a hint of all of that.
Within the group of doctors, there was a particularly tall and imposing looking man. Above his surgical mask was a pair of handsome eyes and they looked at Lin Xiaowan with a complicated expression in them. There was a bit of disbelief in them as well as some hope…
“This doctor is an expert who was invited over from the capital’s best hospital. He’s studied abroad and is an expert in neurology in the country. Have him take a look at you ah.” He wasn’t sure why this particular expert was interested in such an ordinary case of someone going into a coma because of a head injury. However, since the man had opined his desire to see the case, what was wrong with allowing him to do so?
Lin Qijun immediately stepped to the side. After going through a series of inspections, the result was that the last bit of blood in Lin Xiaowan’s head had already been absorbed, leading to decreased intracranial pressure. Perhaps that was what allowed her to wake up now.
During his inspection, that expert from the capital paid attention to the patient’s every word and movement. However, he did it in a relatively secretive manner, so no one else noticed it.
“She needs to stay in the hospital for a few more days for observation before she can be discharged!” The expert from the capital told this to the patient’s family members.
Lin Xiaowan quietly muttered, “I think I could leave the hospital now.”
“Older Sister, we should listen to the doctor. After all, he’s an expert in this field. The remaining blood in your head isn’t completely gone, so there’s nothing wrong with staying a few more days. I know you’re worried about the money issue. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for everything here!” Lin Xiaochan had married well and her husband treated her well. Thus, the money for the hospital stay wasn’t considered too much for her. That being said, didn’t she also have the rural county’s insurance to help too?
The tall expert looked at Lin Xiaowan with a bit of tenderness. Was it her ah? For the sake of her younger siblings, she had worked hard for more than a decade. At the age of thirty, she still hadn’t married. When attending her younger brother’s wedding, she accidentally fell down the stairs. All of these seemed to match up…was it her?
He had taken the Xu City’s People Hospital’s invitation to come over to consult on a few hard cases. If it weren’t for the fact that he came across Lin Xiaowan’s circumstances by pure coincidence, he would have long gone back to the capital. Unfortunately, Xiaocao didn’t give him a lot of details when she talked about her previous life. If he knew that he’d be able to arrive into her world, he would have asked more details.
He observed her for a bit longer and felt like her movements and speech were quite similar. However, if he tried to be presumptuous and his hunch was wrong, she might think of him as a pervert and end up beating him. Naturally, there were very few people who could beat him at boxing in this world.
Lin Xiaowan spent another two days at the hospital eating bland food before she finally complained and threatened to leave against medical advice. Furthermore, she also threatened her siblings that if they didn’t help her process the discharge now, she’d escape on her own! This type of willful manner was something she never dared to show in the past.
Helpless from her demands, Lin Qijun could only start the discharge process for her. Lin Xiaowan changed out of the hospital gown and began to happily stroll around the hospital wards.
Suddenly, she saw a familiar face pass by——a handsome visage, long and narrow phoenix eyes, a high nose bridge, thin lips…
“Zhu Junyang!!” She couldn’t help but blurt out the name and it echoed through the hospital corridor. Her voice was very excited and loud. Even the other people in the hallway looked over at her.
However, the person who looked about eighty percent similar to her Imperial Prince Xu didn’t look over. Lin Xiaowan ran over and continued to yell, “Zhu Junyang, is that you ah?”
The person finally stopped walking and a burst of happiness exploded in Lin Xiaowan’s heart. However, when that person looked at her he only glanced at her coldly as he asked, “Are you calling me ah? I’m sorry, you’ve mistaken me for someone else. My name isn’t Zhu Junyang!”
It wasn’t him, it wasn’t him! Her prince would never look at her so coldly. Her prince would never speak to her in such a way. That man only looked like him. Lin Xiaowan felt a pang go through her heart and it hurt so much that she almost couldn’t breathe. Was her Imperial Prince Xu truly just a dream?
“Are you an idiot? Do you only recognize that face ah?” His deep melodious voice held a bit of familiar love and tenderness.
Lin Xiaowan suddenly turned around and looked at that tall and lofty figure that had eyes full of love. It was an incredibly familiar sight to her.
“Zhu Junyang?” Lin Xiaowan’s voice was full of hesitation. Wasn’t the man in front of her that authority in neurology ah? Her awesome prince had actually gone into medicine?
She looked at him again. He had a manly figure, a sculpted face, and his dark eyes glittered with friendliness. The smile at the corner of his mouth still held some stunning beauty. Even when he was just standing casually, he still had an imposing and noble aura around him. Her prince was still such a stunning and handsome man!
“Silly goose, what are you spacing out for? Why aren’t you running to this prince’s arms?” Zhu Junyang opened his arms and had an alluring smile on his face that people couldn’t look away from.
Lin Xiaowan wiped the tears from her eyes and twisted her head away in a coquettish manner. She snorted a few times, “Not going, I refuse to go! You told me that if you had your previous life’s memories, you’d be able to recognize me at a glance. Is it because I became ugly that you don’t want to be with me anymore…”
Before she could finish, Zhu Junyang took three large steps forward and arrived next to her. He pulled her into a tight embrace with his muscular arms. Lin Xiaowan was just a hair width’s shy of 1.6 meters tall. Compared to his 1.86 meters, she was only a little sprout. Lin Xiaowan had to step on her tiptoes in order to hug his neck.
“Let my older sister go! You stinky pervert!” Lin Xiaochan ran over in fury and was using her bag as a weapon, but she was stopped in time by Lin Qijun.
“Can either of you tell us just what is going on here ah?” Lin Qijun wasn’t blind. He had noticed that his older sister, who had always been on the bashful side, was actually clinging onto the other man’s neck. If they weren’t in the hallway of the hospital, he would have reckoned that the two of them would have started kissing each other.
Lin Xiaowan hugged her man’s neck tightly and hung from it. She turned around and grinned sheepishly at her younger siblings as she said in a low voice, “If I said…the two of us fell in love at first sight, admired each other wholeheartedly at our second meeting, and have decided to marry on our third, would believe it?”
Psh! Who would believe you? Li Qijun and Lin Xiaochan rolled their eyes at the same time.
‘Who cares whether you guys believe us or not? We will never be apart, together forever’…Lin Xiaowan (Yu Xiaocao) and Xiao Mubai (Zhu Junyang) grinned at each other…
 Peng Zu – Legendary figure of Taoism who lived for 800 years