From the first year of Chengyuan to the fifth year of Chengyuan, time passed quickly.
Dai Yue, from an unknown maid, gradually became renowned throughout the world. Huang Rang was not known for cultivating excellent crops, but the seeds given to her were perfect. Every crop that reached the market caused a frenzy among people.
Dai Yue was amazed. In these years, Huang Rang had not put any effort into breeding. Why was it so easy for her to produce such perfect crops?
Little did she know that Huang Rang had already experimented countless times outside her dreams long ago. It seemed effortless now, but it was all because of her painstaking efforts in the past.
During these five years, Dai Yue not only created astonishing works like Liang Mi, but she also “cultivated” a famous tea called One Petal Heart.
One Petal Heart had a low tea yield, but its taste was so delightful that it made people forget their worries. Soon, this tea became a sought-after item among the royal court and nobility.
She even cultivated a medicinal herb called Bitter Lotus, which could effectively prevent wounds from getting infected and suppurating. Bitter Lotus had a high yield and was therefore affordable. After being ground into powder, it became a common first-aid medicine in ordinary households.
There was also a type of bean that not only doubled its yield but also had tender flowers, leaves, stems, and roots, all of which were suitable for cooking.
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Huang Rang changed into formal attire and took Dai Yue to the main hall.
As they entered the hall, they saw Huang Shu and Di Yiqiu already seated as host and guest. Huang Rang had no choice but to step forward and say, “Greetings, Lord Chief.”
After several years of wholeheartedly cultivating martial arts, her physique was no longer as weak as before but rather swift and vigorous.
Di Yiqiu smiled and said, “Miss Ten, no need for formalities.”
Huang Rang stood up and sat next to Huang Shu. Then she listened as Di Yiqiu said, “To be frank, I have come here today for another matter, hoping that the family master can grant my request.”
Grant… Huang Rang’s heart skipped a beat, suddenly remembering—it was in the fifth year of Chengyuan when Di Yiqiu proposed to her!
Ah, could it be that he has come today to propose to me?! Huang Rang was immediately conflicted. In the past, she didn’t like the type of person Di Yiqiu represented. Back then, she admired strength and longed for the fullest wings and the most sturdy arms.
But now, Huang Rang knew that there were no truly sturdy and powerful arms in this world.
So should she reject him again this time?
Huang Rang hesitated, tangled in various thoughts. She was in a state of confusion.
At that moment, Huang Shu spoke, “Oh? Your Highness, please go on.”
Di Yiqiu calmly said, “I would like to ask for the hand of Miss Dai Yue…” His gaze swept over her, and Huang Rang quickly averted her eyes. Di Yiqiu continued, “as my wife. I hope the family master can grant this.”
Dai… Wait a minute!
All of Huang Rang’s confusion froze at that moment. To propose to Dai Yue?!
This doesn’t make sense!
In the world outside the dream, Huang Rang and Di Yiqiu didn’t have much interaction. They only met once every year before the spring planting, and every time Huang Shu was present.
—To maintain her reputation, Huang Rang would never meet with men privately.
And at that time, Di Yiqiu, whom she didn’t know well, also chose to propose to her. Why this time?
At this point, Huang Rang suddenly understood—there was no love at first sight. This dog was interested in her breeding ability! This time, the “Divine Fairy of Cultivation” was Dai Yue, so he naturally changed his candidate for marriage!
Combining Di Yiqiu’s behavior a hundred years later, Huang Rang quickly reached a conclusion—he simply wanted to take advantage of her back then!
You dog! Although I’m not a human, you’re a real dog!
No, if his proposal back then was just to take advantage, then why did he show such consideration and take care of her after she became undead? Why did he go to White Bone Cliff to seek treatment for her? Why did he go to such lengths to befriend He Shouwu?
Huang Rang couldn’t understand. In the world outside the dream, after she got married, she lost contact with the whole world. She never even returned to Xiancha Town, let alone met Di Yiqiu.
Where did this affection from Di Yiqiu come from?
Regardless of where his affection came from, she was the one who misunderstood now. Huang Rang felt extremely embarrassed. Dai Yue lowered her head, her face flushed.
Huang Shu was slightly stunned and said, “Your Highness, you’re just joking. Dai Yue is just a simple maid; how can she be worthy of your distinguished self? Moreover, she has been serving our Huang family since childhood, and without her, our Ah Rang wouldn’t be accustomed. Isn’t that right, Ah Rang?”
He raised his voice and asked. How could Huang Rang not understand his meaning? With Dai Yue’s current status and reputation, this dog couldn’t take her away without shedding blood.
Indeed. With Dai Yue’s current fame, you, this dog, won’t be able to take her away without paying a price. Huang Rang understood Huang Shu’s intentions and could only say, “Father is right.”
But Di Yiqiu seized the opportunity and said, “Miss Ten? Ah, it seems that if I want to marry Miss Dai Yue, I can only marry you as well, Miss Ten. If I were to marry Miss Ten, I would have the family master’s most precious treasure in my hands. I’m afraid I’ll have to offer the entire Xiancha Town as a dowry.”
He muttered to himself, and Huang Rang was already furious—Have you ever heard such nonsense?!
Huang Shu’s eyes brightened! If Di Yiqiu could bestow the entire Xiancha Town upon him, then what’s just one Dai Yue, and even Huang Rang, added to the mix?!
So Huang Shu immediately said, “Your Highness, your thoughtfulness is apparent. Ah Rang, what do you think?”
Huang Rang smiled and stepped forward, walking gracefully to stand in front of Di Yiqiu. If she was lost and embarrassed before, now she was utterly furious. Her vermilion lips lightly opened as she said, “Your Highness, you’re truly thoughtful.” The term “Your Highness” made Di Yiqiu’s mouth twitch.
And Huang Rang continued, “Unfortunately, although Ah Rang is a rural earth spirit, she has always admired those who strive for self-reliance and independence. A man who relies on the residual glory of his ancestors to barely get by without any accomplishments, like Your Highness, is not to Ah Rang’s liking.”
After speaking, she curtsied, “Please forgive me, Your Highness.”
You dog, I wanted to be gentle with you this time, but you—don’t—deserve it!!!!!!!
“Your Highness” stood there, his face distorted by the mockery, neither a face nor a nose. For a moment, he was so shocked that he even forgot to put down the tea cup in his hand.
Li Lu exclaimed in anger, “How dare you, Huang Shu! Is this how you educate your daughter? She is being extremely disrespectful!”
Huang Shu was also angry and scolded, “Rubbish! How dare you speak ill of His Highness! Apologize to His Highness immediately!”
But Huang Rang was already extremely angry and had no intention of listening to him. She walked away directly. Dai Yue looked at Di Yiqiu, then at Huang Rang, feeling helpless, and could only follow her.
Huang Shu could only apologize carefully and say, “This girl has been spoiled by me. Your Highness, please don’t listen to her nonsense. I will definitely punish her later and make sure she doesn’t dare to talk nonsense again.”
Di Yiqiu’s face darkened. After a long while, he said, “It seems Miss Ten is truly not interested in me. Let’s drop the matter. But I have serious doubts about the family’s education. It would be better if we didn’t have any further contact in the future.”
After speaking, he looked dissatisfied, turned around, and prepared to leave. Huang Shu hurriedly stopped him and said, “Your Highness, please calm down. Ah Rang doesn’t know her place. But let me tell you, Dai Yue is indeed very interested in Your Highness. Why not take her as a concubine first, and as for Ah Rang, I will personally punish and discipline her. Rest assured, she won’t dare to act recklessly again!”
Di Yiqiu snorted coldly and didn’t respond. Seeing this, Li Lu by his side said, “Alright then. Our Highness also has an interest in Miss Dai Yue.”
Huang Shu hurriedly said, “Your Highness, about the matter with Xiancha Town…”
Di Yiqiu solemnly said, “Although your daughter lacks discipline, I always keep my word.”
Huang Shu’s face immediately beamed with joy. “I congratulate Your Highness on obtaining a beautiful concubine.”
Only then did Di Yiqiu nod slightly and say, “Three months later, I will come to take her as my bride.”
With such a great advantage gained, Huang Shu warmly escorted Di Yiqiu and his party out of the house.
Once they were outside the Huang residence, Di Yiqiu got into a carriage, while Li Lu and Bao Wu followed on horseback. As the carriage began to move, Li Lu said, “Although the Chief succeeded in obtaining Miss Dai Yue, Miss Ten was quite angered. It seems she has developed a grudge.”
“That’s true.” Bao Wu raised an eyebrow and imitated Huang Rang’s tone, saying, “Your Highness…”
As he spoke, he burst into laughter. Li Lu quickly reprimanded him, “Shut up! Aren’t you tired of living?!”
Bao Wu immediately fell silent. At that moment, Di Yiqiu’s voice came from inside the carriage: “You two seem to enjoy chatting so much; come inside and chat to your heart’s content.”
… Li Lu and Bao Wu entered the carriage, and Di Yiqiu instructed the coachman to slow down. The two of them couldn’t stop chattering and kept on talking nonsense all the way. By the time they returned to the Celestial Court, their throats were nearly bleeding.
In the small courtyard, Huang Rang was not just slightly angered; rather, she wanted to skin Di Yiqiu alive. Fortunately, she knew it was just a dream and couldn’t be bothered with him.
—It’s more important to focus on cultivating martial arts; after all, Xie Hongchen will come to Xiancha Town to capture demons in a few months.
Whether her aptitude can catch Xie Hongchen’s attention depends on the next few months.
Hongchen… After all, they’ve been married for a hundred years. In this dream, she will give half to him and half to Xie Lingbi.
Huang Rang continued her seclusion, while Dai Yue patiently awaited her marriage.
Everything was going smoothly, but one day, an official from the emperor’s palace, Fu Gonggong, suddenly came to invite Dai Yue to cultivate a pair of Double Snake Fruits for the emperor. Dai Yue had never heard of this plant before, but she agreed without hesitation.
She knew that Di Yiqiu was the Emperor’s son. Perhaps this summons to cultivate the so-called double Snake Fruits was just an excuse. It was more likely that the Emperor wanted to meet his future daughter-in-law.
Since she had agreed and also promised Di Yiqiu, Huang Shu didn’t stop her and even arranged for someone to escort her all the way to the capital.
Before leaving, Dai Yue had thought for a long time but still hadn’t bid farewell to Huang Rang.
She didn’t know why, but every time she saw Huang Rang, she felt as if her halo had been stripped away, standing before this person as if she had nothing.
In the afternoon, Huang Rang noticed that Lan Yin had replaced the maid serving her. Naturally, she asked, “Where is Dai Yue?”
Lan Yin then recounted everything that had happened today. After hearing it, Huang Rang only nodded slightly and said, “She can’t wait for a moment longer.”
This event didn’t occur in the world outside of the dream. It seemed that because she rejected Di Yiqiu’s proposal in the world outside the dream, Fu Gonggong never summoned her. Now that Di Yiqiu wanted to marry Dai Yue and offer Xiancha Town as a dowry, it didn’t seem strange for Fu Gonggong to summon her to the capital.
As for the Double Snake fruit, who knows what it is?
Huang Rang didn’t care.
She had spent many days with Di Yiqiu in the world outside the dream, and it was under those circumstances. If it was about closeness, they were indeed close. But when it came to love, their relationship was shallow and couldn’t be considered as such.
So she wasn’t bothered.
—You dog and Dai Yue, is half-fox-blooded and quite attractive. I wish you a blissful life!
Upon arriving in the capital, Dai Yue was directly taken into the palace but didn’t meet the emperor.
Fu Gonggong brought her to a small courtyard and pointed to a pot containing a Double Snake Fruit tree, saying, “Miss Dai Yue, His Majesty has heard of your talent in breeding. Now, this Double Snake fruit tree will be entrusted to your care.”
Fu Gonggong smiled and looked very amiable, saying, “This tree blooms once every thirty years and bears fruit after another thirty years. The seedlings are extremely difficult to keep alive. His Majesty hopes that you can shorten the fruiting period. Of course, if you can propagate it by division, that would be even better.”
Dai Yue looked at the Double Snake fruit tree in the pot and was dumbfounded.
Of course, Di Yiqiu knew that Dai Yue was taken into the palace, but he didn’t pay much attention to her just because she was cultivating a single tree.
Little did he know that a few days later, a major incident occurred in the palace—the Double Snake Fruit tree withered and died.
It should be noted that the first lesson a breeder learns when breeding is to protect the seedlings. Rare plants like the Double Snake Fruit should be handled with the utmost care. Considering Dai Yue’s current reputation, it was truly shocking that she made such a big mistake.
When Di Yiqiu heard the news, he immediately rushed into the palace.
Dai Yue held the withered Double Snake Fruit tree, trembling all over and unable to speak for a long time. Di Yiqiu had to ask, “What happened?”
“I… I…” Dai Yue sobbed and choked on her words.
Fu Gonggong beside her said, “Chief, His Majesty went to great lengths to find this Double Snake Fruit plant! Now… now what should we do?”
Di Yiqiu took the withered Double Snake Fruit tree from her and saw that the roots were completely dead.
He looked at Dai Yue, and his gaze naturally became strange.
But Dai Yue grabbed hold of his clothes and sobbed, “Miss Ten… I need to see Miss Ten; she must have a solution!”
“Miss Ten… Huang Rang?” What is the mystery behind all this? Di Yiqiu frowned.
—Regardless of the mystery, he was in big trouble now. That woman seemed to hold grudges. Did he really misjudge the situation? This is a disaster.
The chief’s heart sank.