Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 109
Chapter 109: Losing Face
Translator: Kats Editor: Perriemix
Helian Jing noticed Xia Chunyu watching the lady with Assistant Minister Mu with great interest. He teased, “Brother Chunyu, do you like her? Do you want me to ask which family she’s from?”
Xia Chunyu threw him a cold glare. “Your brother asked me to pick a wife for you. I am checking out which family is suitable.”
That sobered up Helian Jing quickly. “He’s not even married himself! Why would he care about me?”
Assistant Minister Mu spotted Xia Chunyu and Helian Jing so he came up to them to say hi.
“Official Xia, Young Royal Highness,” he greeted.
Xia Chunyu returned his greeting politely.
“Little Jing, congratulations,” Mu Qinchu said, using Helian Jing’s nickname casually.
Helian Jing rolled his eyes at him. This little rat. Even your dad called me ‘Young Royal Highness’.
Assistant Minister quickly rebuked, “Don’t you have any manners? Have you forgotten how to properly address our royalties?”
“I apologize, Young Royal Highness,” Mu Qinchu said, properly embarrassed and chastised.
Trying to shift the attention from his cousin, Wei Liujiang greeted, “I wish Young Royal Highness and Officer Xia good health.”
“This is my nephew. He was the scholar who won first place in the provincial imperial examination and he’s now come to Jin Ling to take the examination,” Assistant Minister Mu introduced proudly.
“Minister, let’s have tea inside,” Xia Chunyu said, ignoring Wei Liujiang completely.
Mu Qinchu and Wei Liujiang were upset. It seemed that Xia Chunyu still remembered the mishap that happened between them and his friend. Even Helian Jing didn’t pay them any attention.
Ye Jinrong was dressed especially elegant today. She wore white silk lingerie, a pale pink and grey coat with a matching pale pink watery patterned dress. The delicate scattered flower patterns were made of gold silk that cost about 100 silver per unit. She was also wearing a gold necklace adorned with jade and pearls. The beads and gold hairpins she was wearing were also the most popular ones at the time.
She figured that this was the only chance she would get to dress this extravagantly so she made certain that she would dress well.
Madam Mu Qie walked ahead of her looking faint. She didn’t want to take her nephew’s wife here. This kind of occasion was a good chance to get their own daughter into the limelight and show her off to other nobles. However, Liujiang begged her to take Jinrong here so she had to acquiesce.
The housekeeper led them to drink some tea in the flower hall.
The flower hall was filled with the rich women of the capital city. It was said that all the most powerful women, except those from the palace, were here.
Qie knew some of them so she went over there to say hi. Ye Jinrong followed her and dutifully say her greetings from behind Mu Qie. Her gestures and mannerisms showed her good upbringing so some young women went ahead to chat with her.
Qie saw that she was doing well on her own so she left Jinrong behind to chat with some familiar madams.
“I’m the first daughter of the Yang governor. My mother’s house is also in Yang Zhou. Maybe I have some connections with your family,” one scholar madam said with a smile.
Ye Jinrong smiled back. “What’s the surname of your mother?”
“The Zhu family that had been famous for a century?” Ye Jinrong tried to look surprised.
The madam smiled. “That is right.”
Ye Jinrong said happily, “We do have a real connection. I remember Zhu’s first madam eating with my family before.”
“Is that right? First Madam is my mother…”
The two quickly got familiar with each other as they exchanged stories and gossips.
The servant girls came in and out with tea and fruits. The housekeeper reported progress and such to Princess Yu De from time to time to keep her apprised of how the guests were doing.
“Old Ancestress is ready. Are we going to a theater?”
Yu De smiled. “Yes. You can take the madams to the theater and I will welcome Old Ancestress by myself.”
Everyone moved to the back garden.
There were an inner garden and an outer garden in the royal mansions. The outer garden was for a variety show and the inner garden was holding a troupe.
“Second Lady?” a servant woman called in a stunned voice.
Ye Jinrong was chatting with Zhu so she wasn’t paying much attention to her surroundings.
No one knew who the servant was calling for so they ignored her.
Suddenly, she chased up and blocked Ye Jinrong. She exclaimed excitedly, “Second Lady, it is really you! I thought I was seeing things. Second Lady, ever since the First Lady married to the Wei family in Ji Nan, you also disappeared. We thought you’ve been harmed. Second Lady, where have you been for half a year?”
Horror settled into Ye Jinrong as she recognized her as a servant in the Ye household. How did she get here?
“You… who are you? I don’t know you,” Ye Jinrong stuttered in panic. She never thought that this would happen!
“Second Lady, why do you say that? Of course, you know me. I am Lee! I took care of you when you were young. I can still remember the red mole on your nape.”
Xia You turned around upon hearing the commotion. “What’s going on?”
Yu De immediately went ahead to check what was making such a ruckus.
Lee didn’t wait for Ye Jinrong to respond and hurriedly said instead, “Madam, I saw my second lady who had gone missing for half a year and I got too excited. I meant no offense. Please forgive me, my lady.”
“Nonsense! Who is your second lady?” Ye Jinrong nearly yelled, frantic to get away.
Zhu narrowed her eyes. It was clear that the servant really knew Ye Jinrong because she was right about the mole on her nape. However, why was she denying their association? And the business about the first lady marrying to the Wei’s…
“I heard that Ye’s first lady was married to the Wei family. What is going on? How many ladies in your family have been married to the Wei family?” Zhu asked.
Lee answered, “The Ye family only had one lady married. Second Lady and Third Lady were yet to be married.”
Ye Jinrong could feel sweat beading on her forehead. Backed into a corner, she could only scold meanly, “I don’t even know you. What nonsense are you talking about? Why is there such a graceless servant in the royal mansion?”
Yu De only caught the tail end of the conversation, but that was enough. Who was so arrogant that they dare to reprove a servant in the royal mansion?
She said coldly, “The servant in my royal mansion have been ill-behaved and have offended you, madam. I, as the master of this house, apologize to you.”
It was clear to everyone who heard this that the ‘apology’ was conceded with anger.
People that have been talking to Jinrong just now all moved back, keeping a distance from her.
Ye Jinrong felt like she was going to throw up. She said in a rush, “Elder Princess, it was not that serious. My temper got the best of me and I made a mistake. Please forgive me, Elder Princess.”
Elder Princess Yu De glanced at Lee, finding her unfamiliar. She couldn’t remember ever seeing her around the mansion. She might’ve been just someone who was temporarily hired by Manager Liu for the birthday celebration. Regardless, temporary or not, she still belonged to her.
She wanted to teach this arrogant lady a lesson, but she didn’t want to make the Old Ancestress angry over such a trivial thing. Yu De said graciously, “Good show will begin soon, so let’s not waste time. Mum Gui, take this servant and get to the bottom of this. If she really made a mistake… well, our royal mansion has its rules.”
Everyone followed Yu De and the Old Ancestress to watch the show. Ye Jinrong was left alone with no one wanting to talk to her. She barely managed to hold in her sobs. Why am I so unlucky?
Qie, who has been absent for the altercation, saw Jinrong by herself and asked, “What’s wrong? Why don’t you watch a show with them in the courtyard?”
Ye Jinrong’s eyes were red and she looked like she was barely holding it together. However, there were people around her auntie so she stayed quiet.
Those people saw Ye Jinrong’s state and quickly excused themselves.
When there was no one else around, Ye Jinrong relayed what had happened.
“Damn it!” Mu Qie exclaimed angrily. “I told you not to come yet you still insisted. You should’ve just kept silent and walked away! I think you’re forgetting the gravity of what you did. You should’ve just stayed home. Now what? Someone recognized you and revealed your identity. If this gets out, you’re going to ruin Liujiang’s future. Even the Mu family would lose face…”
“Auntie…” Ye Jinrong sobbed.
“Where is the servant?” Qie asked. She has to settle this. If the servant changed her statement and confessed that she recognized the wrong person, it would be just fine.
“She was taken by the people next to the Elder Princess. They said that they’ll interrogate her,” Ye Jinrong answered weakly.
Mu Qie wanted to rage. If they interrogate the servant, they wouldn’t have the chance to bribe her to change her statement!
She turned to their own maid and told her to pass a message to Assistant Minister Mu.
Assistant Minister Mu and some government officials were chatting casually when he got the bad news. His son and his nephew were out with a bunch of young nobles watching a sideshow so he had the servant look for them.
No, no! Assistant Minister Mu felt his body get cold. This could not happen.
Xia Chunyu saw a servant of the Mu family approach Assistant Minister Mu and knew that it was done. He got up and went outside where Song Qi was waiting for him.
“Heir-Son Lord, it was wonderful. That Lee really had some balls and called out the Second Lady in front of so many people,” Song Qi reported.
“It didn’t get too out of hand, right?” Xia Chunyu wanted to rattle Ye Jinrong and Wei Liujiang but he didn’t want to ruin the Old Ancestress’ mood.
“No, no. Second Lady Ye was worried and panicked so she scolded Lee. The Elder Princess heard that and she satirized the Second Lady. Lee was now taken by Mum Gui.”
Xia Chunyu assured, “Don’t worry, just follow the plan.”
He knew Elder Princess’ temper. She would never let things go as easy as that without a reason. He was certain that she was planning something to get even with Ye Jinrong and the Mu family.