Huang Rang gently stroked the hem of a dress, which was adorned with feathers, making it exceptionally soft and delicate.
The chief turned to leave, leaving Huang Rang puzzled for a moment before she realized he was really leaving!
“Where are you going?” Huang Rang asked, bewildered.
The chief was even more bewildered and asked, “Is there something else?”
Huang Rang simply couldn’t believe her ears. Was everything that just happened her imagination?
She touched the dress in front of her again and looked at the box filled with land deeds, then asked after a while, “Are you really planning to go back?”
“Why not?” The chief raised an eyebrow.
—If it weren’t for your young age, I would break your back…hmmmph!
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Twydt Sydt pwrralpple bla ydtla yde pwttlpvle, “Xvblaokpl… ol nyd ts swv qsa y xlyz, byhl psxl okdl, yde vbld R nyd pbso vblpl ealpplp vs vbl nbklq sdl cu sdl. Tso ycswv vbyv?”
Fbl prsjl obkzl tlvvkdt nzspla vs Pk Zkikw yde tldvzu czlo kd bkp lya.
Mbl nbklq vbswtbv qsa y xsxldv yde pyke, “Mseyu kp hlau cwpu okvb sqqknkyz cwpkdlpp; rlabyrp ydsvbla eyu.”
Twydt Sydt lmyxkdle bkx nyalqwzzu, oydvkdt vs jdso kq bl xlydv obyv bl pyke zkvlayzzu.
Jwv vbl nbklq bye yzalyeu bwaaklezu zlqv.
—Tsdlpv vs y qywzv!
Tl oyp pvkzz vss uswdt, yqvla yzz, fwpv byhkdt vwadle pkmvlld vbkp ulya.
Gp Twydt Sydt rwv yoyu vblpl blyhkzu lxcaskelale ealpplp, pbl nsxqsavle blaplzq.
…Don’t get angry. Don’t get angry.
But, come to think of it, it seemed like the person outside of the dream was the same.
Could it be that there was something really wrong with him?
Out in the countryside, at a villa
Xin Yin prepared a meal, stir-fried some small dishes, and also brought a jug of wine.
She deliberately prepared a lot of food because Bao Wu would be hungry after finishing his work.
Sure enough, Mr. Bao, as usual, fetched water, chopped wood, and tended to the fields. Then he walked over and sat at the table.
There was an extra bowl of noodles on the table, and he glanced at it, asking, “Is it someone’s birthday?”
Xin Yin smiled and shook her head, saying, “It’s Ah rang’s birthday.”
Bao Wu acknowledged with an “Oh” and asked, “Since you’ve prepared birthday noodles, why don’t you take them to her?”
Xin Yin served him a portion of the noodles and said after a while, “If it were more than twenty years ago, I might have been able to take them to her. But now, it’s too late.”
She sighed softly, and Bao Wu didn’t press for more information.
He simply enjoyed the birthday noodles and finished them in a few bites.
Xin Yin watched him eat, a smile playing on her lips. She hadn’t hired anyone to help her, and out of all the people, only Bao Wu would visit her regularly.
In addition to tending to her ten acres of land, she would occasionally write letters to Qu Manying. Qu Manying’s replies were prompt, and she often mentioned that Huang Jun’s swordsmanship was progressing quickly. Xin Yin would read these letters carefully, but she never wrote to Huang Jun, just as she didn’t disturb Huang Rang.
Bao Wu didn’t understand these matters of the heart. After he finished his meal, he said, “If you don’t want to trouble Miss Ah rang, don’t burden yourself.”
“I know,” Xin Yin replied with a smile as she got up to serve Bao Wu more food. She said, “I will live well.”
Meanwhile, Huang Rang was meticulously taking inventory of Di Yiqiu’s land and property.
Ah, it was all hers now.
As a capable earth spirit, she quickly planned the land’s use.
But there weren’t enough tenants.
Hmm… Huang Rang had a sudden insight—those students from the breeding institute, weren’t they studying agriculture? So she went to see Zong Zige and offered her land to teach these students about farming!
Zong Zige was overjoyed and readily agreed without thinking twice.
These students initially had their doubts about learning about breeding with Huang Rang, who seemed like a slacker?
But when they saw their future “learning fields,” all their doubts disappeared!
And just like that, Huang Rang gained a wave of free labor. Zong Zige got a free mentor, and the students got high-quality, extensive learning fields!
Huang Rang quickly formulated her breeding plan, but the students weren’t happy when they saw the species she wanted to cultivate.
One earth spirit named Sha Ruo’en said,A local demon named Sharon said, “Plant foxtail millet? What kind of seeds can you grow from that?”
Sha Ruo’en originally came from a well-known earth spirit family but lost his parents, leading to a decline in his family’s status. In order to take over his family’s estate, his relatives had cast him out. He had nowhere to go, so the Breeding Institute waived his tuition fees, allowing him to stay in the Celestial Court.
Even though he was a discarded earth spirit, he was considered valuable within the Breeding Institute. Another earth spirit, Zong Qiguang, had an unknown origin and was abandoned at birth. The court had found and placed him in the Breeding Institute, where Zong Zige himself gave him a name, calling him Zong Qiguang.
These two individuals were students that Zong Zige was particularly emphasizing in their training.
Given Huang Rang’s history of slacking off, these two students naturally didn’t respect her.
“Foxtail millet is the staple food of the people, and there are already countless varieties of it. The art of breeding has long been mastered by prominent breeding families. There’s simply no need to breed it again,” Sha Ruo’en said. “Even if we were to breed the best variety, it would be like a star’s brilliance, hidden beneath the sun and moon. It’s better to introduce an unusual species that can capture people’s attention!”
Sha Ruo’en had spent many years in breeding and had his own insights.
The other students remained silent. On one hand, they didn’t want to offend Huang Rang and risk losing such a good learning field. On the other hand, they also didn’t support Huang Rang because she had a history of being a slacker and had no credibility.
Everyone was waiting to see how Huang Rang would refute Sha Ruo’en.
Who doesn’t love a good show?
If these two were to engage in a debate, everyone would have a front-row seat to the excitement.
And Huang Rang, after looking at Sha Ruo’en, suddenly said, “I used to think the same way when I was a child.”
Sha Ruo’en sneered, “You in your childhood? Weren’t you an uncultivated species in the Breeding Institute when you were a child?”
Laughter erupted from the people around, and Huang Rang gestured for him to come closer. Sha Ruo’en, of course, had no fear. He walked up to Huang Rang. She signaled for him to open his palm and then placed a seed in his hand.
Sha Ruo’en lowered his head and saw that it was a foxtail millet seed. After giving him the seed, Huang Rang cleared her throat loudly, drowning out other sounds.
Everyone thought she was about to deliver a speech and looked at her expectantly.
Huang Rang sternly glanced at everyone, waved her hand, and won over the crowd with just one sentence.
She said, “No obedience; no learning fields!”
Everyone began to breed foxtail millet according to Huang Rang’s instructions. Sha Ruo’en still had his reservations, but the Breeding Institute’s learning fields were just too small…
Huang Rang watched this group of students diligently sow seeds and felt a sense of satisfaction. Land and territory were indeed essential, and sometimes there was no need for reasoning…
Even more heartening news came shortly afterward. In that year, the chief had purchased only two-thirds of the quality breeds from the breeding families that he had done in previous years. He reserved one-third and made a separate purchase from Huang Rang.
The condition was that these quality breeds were not limited by the acreage.
The breeding families still wanted to resist this decision. However, when this batch of quality breeds matured, they were sealed with the Third Dream’s seal. When all the students saw their names on the Third Dream’s seal, everyone was moved to tears and filled with excitement.
The people’s trust in the Third Dream allowed these quality breeds to be sold without any hindrance.
The Breeding Institute, which had been established for decades, had never before sold such a large quantity of quality breeds.
In the classroom, Sha Ruo’en held a flowerpot and had been lost in thought for a long time.
Zong Qiguang walked over and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Sha Ruo’en turned around and handed him the flowerpot.
Zong Qiguang looked at the crops in the pot, which were foxtail millet. It was time for the harvest, and the plant had full, plump grains, more so than any foxtail millet available in the market.
After scrutinizing it for a while, Zong Qiguang smiled and said, “Could this be a gift for our teacher?”
Sha Ruo’en muttered, “I want to go find her.”
Zong Qiguang asked, “Why not go?”
Sha Ruo’en blushed and said, “I was disrespectful to her last time.”
Zong Qiguang laughed and said, “Let’s go together. I’ve been wanting to pay her a visit for a while.”
The two of them invited each other and arrived at Huang Rang’s classroom.
As soon as Huang Rang saw them, she said, “You’ve come at just the right time. Come help me!”
The two of them approached and found a pile of pots and jars in Huang Rang’s classroom.
This wasn’t surprising; for a breeder, not having these would be strange.
Huang Rang said, “The learning fields at the Breeding Institute are now available. Come on, let’s plant something new.”
Sha Ruo’en noticed that the mother plant in one of the pots indeed looked peculiar.
He asked, “What is this?”
Huang Rang beamed, “I want to call it the longevity tree!”
“The Longevity Tree?” Zong Qiguang and Sha Ruo’en were puzzled.
Huang Rang explained, “It’s this tree. It can grow into a person’s name. See, as long as you write the characters in this circle when you plant it, it will grow to look like that.”
She pointed to the tree pattern at the bottom of the pot.
Sha Ruo’en asked, “What’s the purpose of this?”
Huang Rang replied mysteriously, “There’s no purpose at all. Weren’t you interested in breeding a new species?”
Sha Ruo’en scratched his head and said, “But… didn’t you ask us to cultivate staple crops?”
Huang Rang waved her hand. “Staple crops are just the basics. You can’t learn to fly before you even learn to walk. Come on, today, I’ll show you how to soar with your big sister Rang!”
She happily wrote Sha Ruo’en’s name on one of the tree seeds. Zong Qiguang, finding it interesting, took a tree seed and wrote his own name on it.
When three trees grew side by side, turning into plush “Huang Rang,” “Zong Qiguang,” and “Sha Ruo’en,” the people of the Celestial Court thought they were witnessing a miracle! Everyone rushed over to take a look.
Huang Rang and her two companions were beaming with pride. The head of the breeding institute, Elder Zong Zige, examined the trees and asked, “What’s the purpose of these trees?”
“They don’t have any real purpose,” Huang Rang said, shaking her head. “They just… grow into the names you want.”
“Huang… Rang!!” The head of the breeding institute raised a broom, but Huang Rang was quick-witted. She sensed trouble and turned to run. The head of the breeding institute was furious, chasing her around the whole place, scolding, “You, who refuse to do any proper work! There are so many important matters outside waiting for you to handle. What are you doing here, messing around with these useless things?”
Huang Rang was toying with him, laughing heartily. “Elder Zong, life is but a fleeting dream, and one should engage in some useless things from time to time…”
As a result, the head of the breeding institute reported her to the chief.
The head of the breeding institute wasn’t foolish. He didn’t report that Huang Rang was shirking her duties; instead, he reported that she had planted three trees with Sha Ruo’en and Zong Qiguang.
That same evening, the chief personally dragged Huang Rang by the ear and moved her tree back to the Black Tortoise Bureau.
The tree was not small, and she was working diligently, digging and digging on her own while the chief sat by, hands folded, refusing to lend a hand.
After much effort, Huang Rang managed to drag the tree back to the Black Tortoise Bureau and plant it in a corner.
But the chief still didn’t let it rest and forced Huang Rang to plant another tree with his name next to it.
By the time “Di Yiqiu” had grown, it was leaning against “Huang Rang.”
Everyone who passed by here couldn’t help but smile knowingly.
Only Huang Rang would occasionally drift into thought.
In the 115th year of the outer dream, a tree was planted here as well. It was a longevity tree that blossomed upon seeing snow.
The path of time gradually altered, making it difficult to distinguish between reality and dreams. The people of the Celestial Court had grown accustomed to these two trees leaning on each other. Huang Rang decided to name this tree “Longevity Together.”
When Longevity Together went on sale, it immediately sparked a trend. Almost all couples would plant two of them to symbolize their love. As “Di Yiqiu” grew taller and gradually surpassed Huang Rang, the 4th year of the inside the dream arrived.
The chief’s 18th birthday was approaching. Huang Rang rubbed her magical claws, and tears welled up in her eyes…