“What’s wrong with you?” Lu Xiao Shu gulped up the tea in the cup before placing it on the small table. She raised her sleeve and wiped her mouth before rolling her eyes at Lin Fang.
“Nothing!” Lin Fang was shocked at the accusation, and his face showed uneasiness, “I, I was just asking…”
“See! Why are you getting all nervous if you’re just asking?” Seeing him stupefied while holding the dessert box in disappointment, she felt bad about it and quickly took one rosy pumpkin seed, ”These things are done great, I liked all of them!”
Lin Fang’s expression livened up and he smiled, “I’m glad that you like it! I’ll prepare each and every one of this next time!”
Lu Xiao Shu didn’t continue the topic as she rested against the window, throwing out the shell of the melon seed and glancing around, “How long will it take to arrive?”
Lin Fang put the dessert box down and chuckled as he moved closer “Soon. We’re almost there!”
He secretly glanced at her. Seeing that cute tiny mouth munching on those melon seeds, those lips that were red, and white teeth, they were all so attractive. Her oval face, chubby rosy cheeks, and smooth skin made him want to reach out and pinch them. For a moment, he was gawking with infatuation as he swallowed a gulp.
Lu Xiao Shu did not realize Lin Fang was watching her as if he was enjoying the beautiful scenery. In the blink of an eye, she saw a green forest obstructing her view. She turned and gave Lin Fang a little nudge as she grinned happily, “Is it over there? Are we here already?
Lin Fang was not prepared when she turned her head towards him. He was extremely frightened to think that he was caught spying at her. He couldn’t help but lean back, falling embarrassingly in the carriage with an “ouch!”
“What’s with you?” Lu Xiao Shu threw the leftover melon seeds out, cleaned her hand, and went to help him up. “Are you alright?” She secretly looked down at him, thinking: What a coward! It was just a little shock!
Her soft hand was on his wrist, and her pair of big eyes were looking at him. Lin Fang was lost in those eyes that were filled with concern as he looked at them. He felt his heartbeat speed up and his body turning limp. He moved his lip, wanting to say something but the words could not leave his lips. After trying hard to move his lips to make a simple smile at her, his facial muscles seemed to have stiffen up instead. He could not move at all! He could only look like a silly wood carving; even his eyes could not move!
“What’s gotten into you?” Lu Xiao Shu was confused. She shook him, “Hey, Lin Fang!”
“Ah!” Lin Fang returned to reality and he quickly got up. He stammered, “I’m, I’m fine! We’re here!”
Lu Xiao Shu bit her lip and tilted her head. She glared at him, feeling very irritated as she wondered: What on earth is wrong with him? He’s being so strange today!
“I’m sorry. Did I scare you?” Lin Fang smiled. He caressed the arm that she had held a moment ago, suddenly feeling like this particular arm felt different compared to the other parts of his body.
The carriage rolled into the village and stopped at an empty space. Before they got down, they heard Cricket greeting “Master!” all the way from inside as he rushed out to greet them.
Lin Fang got off from the carriage and turned around to help Lu Xiao Shu, yet she already jumped off from it, landing silently behind him. Lin Fang smiled and dropped the hand that was about to help her down. His Xiao Shu was not a girl that needed anyone to give her a hand to get off a carriage.
“Hmm? Cricket, why are you here too?” Lu Xiao Shu asked.
Cricket looked at her indignantly, almost wanting to bicker with her as usual, but he saw his master glaring at him with a dark expression. He shrunk back in fear as the words got stuck in his throat, unable to leave his lips.
He forced a smile, and said politely, “In reply to Lady Lu, I’ve been here since early this morning to prepare the horses and lunch for my young master and Lady Lu…”
Lu Xiao Shu was momentarily stunned as she rolled her eyes at him before turning back to look at Lin Fang. She thought to herself: What’s wrong with these two guys? Why do both of them seem so weird?
However, it did not bother her since she came for the horses!
“Hoho! I see how it is! Where’s the horse? Where is it?” Lu Xiao Shu asked excitedly. In her previous life, she was exceptionally good at horseback riding, her skills were astounding. Besides, she really loved horseback riding as a sport. However, it was difficult to find a horse during this period. When she saw the horses in the Lin Family’s Manor, she was still little. Who would let her ride them? A few times, she tried to make a fuss for not getting to ride them, yet Lu Qi had always refused to let her without hesitation.
That was why Lin Fang could get her to come just by bringing it up!
Cricket replied, “They’re all in the stables at the backyard!”
“Quickly! Bring me to see them!” Lu Xiao Shu’s eyes lit up brightly.
Cricket looked at his young master and pitied him. He only had eyes for Lady Lu, while Lady Lu only had eyes for the horses.
My young master probably was cursed! How could he fall so badly for this wild girl out of a sudden? It wasn’t like it’s his first day knowing her.
Unless… the wild girl has suddenly become pretty? But I don’t think so!
“Xiao Shu! The horses are still eating, and the stablemen are still helping them to clean up. That place is quite dirty, so I think we should have lunch first! The horse should be done and cleaned after we finished our lunch. We’ll have the stablemen bring them to us later.” Lin Fang let out a cough before suggesting.
Truth be told, her eyes were gleaming once they arrived at the village with the talk of horses. He felt humiliated even without Cricket calling him out.
Damn Cricket, it’s all his fault! Why must he bring up the horses the moment they arrived?
Lin Fang glared sharply at Cricket, making him feel completely weirded out.
In the meantime, Lu Xiao Shu got more excited as her eyes lit up brightly. She clapped her hands and said, ”That’s great! What’s the rush with lunch? We should visit the horses first! At the same time, let’s feed them with some hay, help comb their hair, and rub their body. It’s better to have some bonding with them!”
Lu Xiao Shu understood the nature of horses. If the rider was a stranger, it would be difficult to ride the horse. One must communicate and get to know the horse first. Only then, it will be easier to ride them.
“Anyway, do you have pine nuts or osmanthus sweets? Grab me some, the horses love them very much!” Lu Xiao Shu said as she looked at Lin Fang eagerly.
In the beginning, Lin Fang was in a trance when he saw her smiling so brightly at himself. His heart skipped a beat, and he turned to glare at Cricket, “Where’s the pine nut and osmanthus sweets? Be quick and bring them here!”
“Ah? Right, I’ll go get them now!” Cricket felt frustrated that he had to be glared at and ordered around.
“Hey, Cricket! Send it straight to the stables!” Lu Xiao Shu told him. Then, she pulled Lin Fang’s arm with a smile, “Come on, let’s go to the stables!”
Lin Fang glanced at the little hand on his wrist as his face turned a shade of red. Half of his body felt a tingling sensation. However, he could not help but nod his head, “Alright, let’s go!”
Lu Xiao Shu was completely unaware of his weirdness as she smiled and went over there with him.
He blew his cover when he reached the stables!
If the Young Master wanted to have a ride, who would dare to stop him? Since afternoon yesterday and early in the morning today, the horses had already been cleaned up, their hair smooth and bright. They did not look like they needed to be cleaned at all! Meanwhile, the feeding boxes were also filled with the most nutritious fodder for them to eat.
Lu Xiao Shu was frozen in her tracks when she saw it. She looked at Lin Fang with eyes filled with obvious questions as though asking: Weren’t the stablemen grooming the horses? Where are those stablemen?
“Young Master! Lady Lu! Here are the pine nuts and osmanthus sweets!” Cricket was very efficient with the task. They had only arrived not too long ago, yet here he was panting heavily after sprinting.
Lin Fang was awkwardly thinking of a way to answer to Lu Xiao Shu’s questioning gaze. He felt utmost relief when he saw Cricket and he decided to blame him, “What’s wrong with you? Didn’t I have you supervise those stablemen to groom the horses? How come we don’t see anyone here? Where are they slacking off at?”
“Ah?” Cricket cringed, “But…”
“What but? Don’t just stand there, quickly get me those stablemen! The discipline here must’ve gotten more laxed!” Lin Fang cut him off and snapped at him.
“Yes, sir! Here’s the pine nut and osmanthus sweets—” Cricket was yelling internally about how unlucky he was today as he held the sweets helplessly in his hands.
“Put that down!”
“Give it to me!” Lu Xiao Shu grinned and took the candy box from Cricket. She looked at the handsome, well-rested horses and smiled, “I think that the horses are in fine condition. There’s no need for more grooming.”
“No!” Lin Fang would not allow himself to be humiliated. “It’s better if we have them do a check first. Besides, those stablemen are too lazy! This will teach them a lesson!”
Lu Xiao Shu didn’t say anything after that as she could not stop herself from choosing two pine nut sweets to feed her favorite horse with the red mane that caught her eye.
The two horses were not tall at all. Since the Young Master was still young, who would dare to prepare the tall horses for him? However, it was obvious from the fur color, body size, and mental state of these horses that they were still the best out of the best.
Lu Xiao Shu was green with envy as it was so difficult to get a horse, especially a breed this good. Only families like the Lin Family could afford to buy and maintain them!
Xiao Shu spread her palm out with the pine nut sweets towards the red horse. She had a smile on her face as she tried to show her friendliness to get closer to the horse.
The horse shook its tail, snorted, blinked, and looked at her while slightly tilting its head up with an ego.
Lu Xiao Shu tentatively placed her hand below its mouth, calling it gently, “Good horsey.” as she gazed at it with a gentle look.
That red horse glanced at her, smelled her hand, and finally rolled its long tongue on her hand, taking the pine nut sweets into its mouth and eating it up delightfully.