The atmosphere at He Xijin’s table was lively, but the real excitement was happening elsewhere.
Xie Hongchen, a person known as the shining star of the Immortal Sect, had always been exceptional. His innate talent was uncommon from a young age, and he diligently pursued cultivation. On top of his handsome appearance, gentle temperament, and high moral standards, he had almost no flaws.
Such a person has always been the object of admiration for young women and the dream son-in-law of every prominent family’s father-in-law. Furthermore, he had smoothly succeeded as the head of the Yuhu Immortal Sect, which meant he had become the leader of the entire sect.
Marrying their daughters to him would be an illustrious achievement for any family. Therefore, although the atmosphere seemed harmonious at the banquet, the heads of influential families with daughters were secretly scheming.
Unfortunately, over the years, Xie Hongchen had shown no interest in women, and there had never been any scandalous rumors about him. This both delighted and disappointed everyone.
At this moment, many people approached Xie Lingbi, trying to inquire about Xie Hongchen’s marriage prospects. Of course, Xie Lingbi responded with a smile, saying that it was up to Xie Hongchen himself to decide.
He Xijin and the others didn’t care about this matter. What they were truly concerned about was whether the court could develop drought-resistant crops in time and not delay the spring planting next year.
As He Xijin and others discussed this, they overheard people at the banquet talking quietly about Xie Hongchen’s life. This person was truly a chosen one, as if he were born with nobility.
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The ceremony for Xie Hongchen’s succession as sect leader was held outside the Yeyun Hall and was both solemn and grand. Nearly all the famous figures in the Immortal Sect were present, with the exception of Shi Wenyu, who couldn’t attend. All the elders of the Yuhu Immortal Sect also emerged from seclusion and came to the ceremony.
The elders led by Elder Qiu Cailing, who had been in hiding for many years, were the true pillars that had allowed the Yuhu Immortal Sect to maintain its position as the top sect in the Immortal Sect. Originally, they had stopped caring about sect matters, but their unanimous attendance clearly showed their satisfaction with the choice of the new sect leader.
Everyone had prepared gifts, including various exquisite scrolls, profound treasures, and high-level cultivation techniques. This had many people’s eyes shining with excitement.
Huang Rang rested her chin in her hand as she watched the man standing on the high platform, receiving blessings from the elders and the admiration of the crowd. Her heart was tranquil.
He had always been the moon in the sky, stirring her desires.
The observation ceremony was scheduled to last for several days, and it was evident that the Yuhu Immortal Sect attached great importance to this grand event. They had prepared many bags filled with spiritual herbs, alchemical ingredients, cultivation techniques, and scrolls, which were set off with fireworks during each break for the guests to collect.
Of course, the prominent figures didn’t pay much attention to this, but the younger generation eagerly fought to grab them. This made the whole scene lively and convinced Huang Rang to stay and watch.
She always managed to find the best spot and be the first to snatch those bags.
Xie Hongchen, from his elevated position, looked down at the crowd, bathed in the gentle golden sunlight, like the evening lights. She held onto Huang Jun, guarding the best spot, and managed to collect the most bags.
Her techniques were too skilled, and she had quite a harvest.
Well, could she not be skilled? She had been collecting these bags in the Yuhu Immortal Sect for a hundred years and had already mastered the tricks of the trade.
She grabbed too many lucky bags and didn’t have a storage artifact, so she handed them over to Qu Manying.
Qu Manying smiled indulgently but didn’t stop her. She never stopped her children from doing what they liked.
Among the scattered lucky bags that fell like fireworks, Huang Jun finally couldn’t help but reveal a smile.
“Ah Rang, there are too many,” she cautioned her sister.
“What’s too much?” Huang Rang muttered. “I’ve been distributing these lucky bags for them for a hundred years. They owe me!”
After snatching the lucky bags, Huang Rang didn’t stop either.
Beside the water pool, there was a divine turtle. Whenever the Yuhu Immortal Sect held a grand event, it would spit out golden sand. This was real gold sand that would float in the spring water before quickly sinking, resembling floating gold dust.
Huang Rang pulled Huang Jun to retrieve some of that gold sand. Huang Jun frowned and said, “Isn’t this a bit embarrassing?”
“How could it be?” Huang Rang raised an eyebrow and said, “On such a good day, this gold sand must be touched by good luck. I’m going to take it all back and make sachets. Wearing them every day will surely attract the spiritual energy of Sect master Xie and bring good luck every day!”
With that explanation, it didn’t seem so vulgar!
Several young people around them rushed to collect the gold sand.
The chief frowned as he listened and glanced at her again, then sighed.
“Not only a salted fish, but also a strong-willed one.”
They waited until three days later, when the ceremony concluded.
The Yuhu Immortal Sect began to send off their guests, and Xie Hongchen personally accompanied He Xijin, Wu Zichou, Zhang Shuju, and others down the mountain. Huang Rang was naturally among them.
After exchanging pleasantries, Qu Manying asked, “Ah rang, are you going back to the Ruyi Sword Sect with us or to the Celestial Court?”
Huang Rang immediately replied, “I’m going back to the Celestial Court. I have lessons tomorrow.”
The chief rolled his eyes—when did she ever attend school? She probably didn’t even know which way the doors of the new school opened.
However, Qu Manying didn’t press further and only said to Di Yiqiu, “Our niece is quite mischievous; it might trouble the chief to give her a lift.”
Di Yiqiu hurriedly said, “Madam, please don’t be so polite. It’s within my duties.”
Qu Manying nodded, then held Huang Rang’s hand and gave some earnest instructions. Afterward, she took Huang Jun, crushed a teleportation charm, and left the Yuhu Immortal Sect.
Huang Rang turned to bid farewell to Xie Hongchen and then followed Di Yiqiu out of the mountain gate.
Xie Hongchen stood below the mountain gate, gently watching her departing figure without saying much.
Huang Rang followed Di Yiqiu onto a horse-drawn carriage. Obviously, for such a minor matter, it wasn’t worth the chief using a teleportation charm.
As the carriage started moving, Huang Rang began to sort through her spoils. She had grabbed too many lucky bags—some she had handed over to Qu Manying, while others she had started opening along the way.
As a result, the entire carriage was filled with scattered small items.
She had even scooped up a bag of golden sand. Huang Rang looked quite satisfied—Yuhu Immortal Sect wasn’t stingy, and she could fetch a good price for these items.
“Let me borrow a storage artifact,” Huang Rang said, reaching out to Di Yiqiu without any hesitation.
Di Yiqiu furrowed his brows but still removed a sachet from his waist and handed it to her. “Don’t you think you should invest your efforts in more important places? You might gain more there,” he said, kindly offering advice.
The chief was offering a well-meaning suggestion.
“More important places? What places?” Huang Rang packed away all the small items she had opened and held a handful of golden sand, saying contentedly, “I’ll melt this golden sand later and make a gold hairpin. It’ll be perfect for wearing.”
Di Yiqiu sighed. “Xie Hongchen is shining brightly. Don’t you like him? If you capture him, why bother with these trivial items?”
“Him?” Huang Rang giggled. “He’s too troublesome. This young lady can’t be bothered to put in more effort.”
“Can’t be bothered?” The chief sneered. “You seem quite proactive when it comes to cooking and making soup.”
“Regarding that…” Huang Rang smiled slyly, getting up slowly and inching closer to him. In that moment, her gaze was as alluring as water, her skin as fair as snow, and she seemed to exude a captivating charm.
Di Yiqiu felt a sudden surge of electricity through his body, and every hair on his body stood on end. He leaned backward, gradually pressing against the carriage wall.
“What are you doing?” He turned his face to the side and used his hand to block Huang Rang.
The strange and seductive aura emanating from Huang Rang finally dissipated, and she returned to her cheerful self, saying, “I’m different when it comes to you.”
Although she said these words, there was still a lingering resentment in her heart—you bastard, if it weren’t for your young age, I would have dealt with you on the spot.
She leaned back into her seat and began counting the golden sand. There was quite a lot of it, so she started planning, “I should be able to make a very nice hairpin with this. Ah, it’s a shame I lost the diagrams for the hairpin I used to make.”
She muttered to herself, and suddenly, Di Yiqiu said, “I’ll draw one for you.”
Huang Rang was pleasantly surprised. “You can make hairpins at your age?”
“I am no longer that young,” the chief emphasized, radiating authority.
“Yes, yes, you’re not that young,” Huang Rang echoed, and she took out a red fruit, forcefully putting it in his mouth.
After tasting it for a while, the chief’s expression changed dramatically. “You even took out the red fruit…”
This old “salted fish”… really knows how to be thrifty… It’s like we have something in common!
The chief was speechless.
They arrived in the capital city.
No one had caused trouble in the ancient mansion recently.
Thanks to the chief, even the most unruly ruffians refused to take up such a job.
All the high-quality crops had been distributed before the spring planting.
But a new problem had arisen.
The steward couldn’t find any available land, and many of the previous tenants had terminated their leases, so there was no land available for testing the crops.
Only a small portion of the seeds from Third Dream had been distributed.
The steward needed to find larger fields for secondary cultivation in order to have a sufficient quantity of seeds to distribute.
However, with no available land for testing, what could the steward do, even if he had the mother seeds in hand?
Yet, it seemed that this time, the breeding families were determined.
No matter how much they increased the rent, no one was willing to lease their land.
Upon his return to the Celestial Court, Di Yiqiu heard about this issue.
“Help me choose a test field,” he said to Huang Rang.
Huang Rang pointed to her own nose. “Me?”
“Of course, it’s you,” Di Yiqiu frowned and whispered. “Aren’t you assisting, Mister?”
“Oh… oh,” Huang Rang snapped out of her thoughts and quickly followed him out.
They were about to leave, and Huang Rang assumed they would get back on the carriage, but Di Yiqiu said, “We’re riding horses.”
“Riding horses…” Huang Rang looked at the two horses at the door. They were tall, white, and magnificent. Seeing them filled Huang Rang’s heart with joy as she remembered the days when she used to ride horses freely in the fields back at the Huang family estate. The wind would flutter her clothes and long hair, making it the most beautiful time of her life.
After reminiscing for a moment, she turned to Di Yiqiu and said with a serious tone, “I don’t know how to ride.”
“…,” the chief could only share a horse with her.
Fortunately, the horse was indeed excellent, and they had a good time riding together. The horse galloped toward the outskirts of the city.
Huang Rang pretended to be unstable and leaned backward. The chief couldn’t help but turn around and put his hands around her waist to steady her.
Huang Rang couldn’t be happier!
He was indeed small, with a youthful figure, and quite slender. Nevertheless, he was enough to bring joy.
The person behind her held her waist in silence, his warm body pressing against her back.
The chief was secretly amazed—women’s bodies were unexpectedly delicate. It was quite different from a man’s.
It was making him… not dislike it at all.
They rode the spirited horse all the way to the outer city, passing through a boundary marker.
This place clearly had an owner.
Moreover, the farmland was well organized, and the soil was fertile. There were both paddy fields and dry fields, all of high quality.
Huang Rang furrowed her brows. “Are there fields available for rent here?”
Di Yiqiu halted the reins, dismounted the horse, and then extended his hand to help Huang Rang down. After she had safely dismounted, he said, “Please check if the soil here can be used for a test field for Mister.”
Huang Rang gazed into the distance, almost unable to believe her eyes.
“With soil so fertile and extensive as this, are you sure it can be leased to outsiders?” She questioned with doubt.
However, Di Yiqiu was very certain and replied, “Yes.”
Huang Rang bent down, picked up a handful of soil, and rubbed it in her hand. She said, “If it’s here, then you’ll be able to obtain drought-resistant, high-quality seeds by April.”
She spoke with confidence, and for that moment, she seemed more like an expert and not a “salted fish.”
Di Yiqiu said, “If it can be done like this, it’s a big deal.”
But Huang Rang had another question: “Now, all the breeding families are in cahoots and won’t lease land to Third Dream. To whom does this fertile land belong?”
“Me,” Di Yiqiu replied.
Huang Rang was taken aback. “You… you actually have a fiefdom?”
Di Yiqiu frowned and reminded her, “Though I’ve changed my name and identity, I’m still of royal descent, His Majesty’s legitimate son.”
Huang Rang was overjoyed and wanted to roll on the ground with excitement. After the initial surprise, she suddenly asked, “Can we skip paying land rent for this piece of land?”
“…,” the chief remained silent for a while and finally said in resignation, “Yes.”
“I really want to marry you right now and get married on the spot!!!!”
Huang Rang hugged him tightly and was about to lift him and spin around.
“Let go! You… not only are you a’salted fish,’ but you also have a pair of salted fish pig hands…” The chief struggled desperately, narrowly escaping her grasp.