Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 12
Chapter 12: Chunyu Dumb Donkey
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
“Third-in-charge, the agenda for the afternoon’s training has been completed, shall I add more?” Peng Wu, who was in charge of training, asked upon seeing the arrival of third-in-charge.
Xia Chunyu replied absent-mindedly, “No, it’s okay, let’s end training early today.”
For the whole morning, he had been with first-in-charge, discussing the attack on Xin Yi. Second-in-charge’s suggestion was to attack aggressively, dispatching 2000 brothers from the stockade to take down Xin Yi.
This plan was favorable to him because by dispatching 2000 men and horses, the stockade would be left with only around 1000 men. The lack of manpower, plus with Song Qi around to operate from within to destroy the Broken Dragon Stone’s mechanism, He Lianxuan would be able to attack up the mountains. Besides, the 2000 men and horses dispatched, upon losing their headquarters, would be trapped between Xin Yi and Helian Xuan, and would be easily defeated.
The first-in-charge was more meticulous, however. He was opposed to the idea of almost coming out with full strength. He said that the plan to use force would result in too much loss so instead, they should use their wits. The huge difference in their opinions meant that there was yet a concrete plan to be laid out. Xia Chunyu purposely pretended to space out during the meeting, and when asked for suggestions, brought up several plans full of loopholes.
First-in-charge waved his hand disappointedly at him, merely saying, “Forget it, I know you are still worried about sister-in-law’s illness. Let’s just discuss this on another day.”
He has to buy some time so that He Lianxuan would be able to make thorough preparations.
Peng Wu went ahead to dismiss the brothers who were dying of exhaustion before coming back to say, “Third-in-charge, about lunch…”
Xia Chunyu frowned, muttering, “Go to the kitchen and get some food.”
“Third-in-charge, third-in-charge!” Song Qi called, running towards them.
Xia Chunyu watched him expectantly, wondering if something had happened to that blasted woman.
Song Qi panted, “Third-in-charge, sister-in-law told me to call you back to eat. She made a lot of good food.”
Xia Chunyu was shocked. “She’s fine already?”
“A bit better but not completely healed. She went back to the room to lie down after cooking.”
“Are you really that stupid? Why did you let her cook if she hasn’t fully recovered yet?” Xia Chunyu scolded.
Song Qi replied innocently, “Sister-in-law insisted that she want to make lunch.”
“And you’re telling me that you couldn’t have persuaded her otherwise? Didn’t I get Auntie Jiang over to help? Where is she?” Xia Chunyu growled, his temper rising.
Song Qi watched as third-in-charge’s foot shift a little, as though he was about to kick someone, and took three steps back hurriedly, saying weakly, “Auntie Jiang helped.”
He purposely didn’t say that Auntie Jiang only helped to smell the aroma and judge the appearance of the food, otherwise, he was certain that third-in-charge would’ve erupted.
“Scram,” Xia Chunyu barked at him.
Peng Wu walked over to Song Qi, patting him on the shoulder sympathetically. “Let’s just go back to eat.”
Song Qi rolled his eyes, complaining softly, “He’s like a barrel of gunpowder, exploding with the slightest touch.”
Peng Wu laughed. “Don’t take it to heart, third-in-charge is just anxious.”
“Then why doesn’t he scold you too? Why is it always me?” Song Qi was indignant.
Peng Wu replied grudgingly, “Didn’t I get an earful yesterday too?”
Xia Chunyu returned to the courtyard and ran into Auntie Jiang who was smiling warmly at him. “Third-in-charge, the dishes are served.”
Xia Chunyu walked straight into the room without acknowledging her.
Ye Jiayao was lying on the bed to rest, exhausted from cooking lunch. She didn’t realize that cooking while she was still slightly sick would be this tiring. Suddenly, she heard Auntie Jiang’s voice from outside, followed by someone entering the room.
She opened her eyes and saw third-in-charge by the door. “Feifei, you’re back!”
Xia Chunyu forgot all the things he was about to scold her with, overcome with disgust at the nickname she has given him.
“I warned you not to call me that,” Xia Chunyu growled, keeping his voice low, mindful that there were people outside that could be listening. Factoring in his raging temper, that was really not an easy feat.
Ye Jiayao beamed at him. “You don’t like it? I’ll change it to another one then. Husband? My lord? Hubby? Or BB?”
Xia Chunyu shuddered at her sheer stupidity, replying unkindly, “Chunyu.”
“What? Dumb donkey? Why are you being insulting? I just thought a nickname would sound more intimate. You may not see me as your wife but I have already treated you as my husband. I’m yours for the rest of my life, and yet…” Ye Jiayao trailed off pitifully, covering her face to appear as though she was crying.
That name had followed him for 21 years and he never thought that it could be associated with a dumb donkey. Xia Dumb Donkey, what more a blind (Xia), dumb, donkey.
Xia Chunyu could not remain calm anymore as he bellowed, “That’s my name! Chunyu!” He carefully enunciated the two words to get it through her thick skull.
Ye Jiayao was stumped for a while before going down in a fit of laughter. His name literally means dumb donkey! Oh God, I can’t breathe! She was doubled over, laughing uncontrollably, pounding on the pillows hysterically.
“What are you laughing at? I forbid you to laugh!” Xia Chunyu yelled over her shrieks, embarrassed.
Ye Jiayao was laughing so hard she could hardly catch her breath, tears streaming down her face. She gasped, “Not…not laughing any…more.”
Xia Chunyu wanted to lunge at her and wring her scrawny neck.
“Third-in-charge, time to eat!” Auntie Jiang called from outside.
Xia Chunyu left, still a mixture of annoyed and embarrassed. He was just about out of the door when he heard the wild laughter startup behind him. He fought the urge to hurl a teapot at her head and gloomily continued to the kitchen.
“Third-in-charge, hurry up, it would not taste nice if it is cold,” Auntie Jiang said.
Xia Chunyu suppressed the thought of going back to deal with that darned woman and focused on his meal.
No matter how annoying she was, he could not deny her skills. The lunch she has prepared was nothing short of sumptuous. The pork meatballs, garlic-fried mutton, lotus cake with chopped onion and bamboo shoots stewed in oil… their aromas mixed together immediately increased his appetite.
Xia Chunyu said, “Song Qi, get my Huadiao wine and let Uncle Jiang try it.”
Song Qi stared back at him blankly.
“Are you deaf? Go get it!” Xia Chunyu barked at him.
Song Qi looked apprehensive as he weakly replied, “Third-in-charge, there’s no Huadiao anymore.”
“Wasn’t there a jar left yesterday? Did you secretly drink it all?”
“Sister-in-law asked me to make red orpiment wine this morning and we scattered it all around,” Song Qi answered carefully. Surely, third-in-charge would not be unreasonable and still blame him for this.
It was only then that Xia Chunyu realized how much he has been drinking. Ever since he came up the mountains, he rarely even indulged in alcohol. He blamed Yaoyao’s cooking because once he saw the meal she has prepared, he would get the urge to drink. Fine food was the culprit.
“Third-in-charge, I still have a jar of Zhuyeqing if you’d like.” Uncle Jiang suggested.
“Forget it, I am not drinking. I still have something in the afternoon and drinking too much might hold things up.” Xia Chunyu waved his hand, picking up the chopsticks and poking it into the pork meatballs. “Let’s eat.”
The meatballs were bursting with so much flavor, it tasted like heaven on his tongue. It holds firm and yet, it was tender enough that it practically dissolved in his mouth. It was the perfect texture and consistency. There was even the fragrance of spring onions and garlic but he was barely able to feel the garlic bits. The lotus cake was flawlessly crisp on the outside and soft, sweet, and sticky on the inside. The bamboo shoots stewed in oil was bright red, fresh and has just the right amount of bite to it. Even the garlic-fried mutton had no stench, only delicious fragrance to go with its tenderness.
She has managed to make home-cooked food that could compete with the standards of restaurant dishes. She really knew how to keep the original taste of the ingredients and at the same time, mix and match additional flavors to make an even more delicious taste. Her skills, from chopping to control of the fire, was something that required a long period of practice to master. He wondered if she cooked often at home. It was unheard of that a lady from a wealthy family step anywhere near a stove let alone manage to cook frequently.
“Delicious, isn’t it? My sister-in-law’s skills are awesome! She’s even better compared to the head chef in Ji Nan city’s Wang Xian Lou!” Song Qi ate merrily.
Xia Chunyu slapped the back of his head. “When have you been to Wang Xian Lou? Even I haven’t been there!”
Song Qi rubbed his head, muttering, “I heard it from someone else. Even if I go to Wang Xian Lou to be a guard, I would get rejected!”
Xia Chunyu glared at him, sneering, “Glad you know that.”
Peng Wu and Uncle Jiang burst out laughing.
Halfway through his meal, Xia Chunyu asked, “Did your sister-in-law ate already?”
It was Auntie Jiang who answered, “Third madam has yet to eat. She did not have an appetite and just cooked some congee that she said she would eat later.”
Xia Chunyu thought about it for a while, and said, “Then leave some dishes for her.”
Upon hearing that, Song Qi withdrew his outstretched chopsticks that were ready to pick up some more food.
Auntie Jiang replied, “Third madam said not to leave food for her. She said that she will make vegetable with lean meat porridge.”
Everyone picked their chopsticks back up and proceeded to continue engulfing everything on the plates. It looked like they all inhaled the food with how fast it disappeared.
Auntie Jang cleared all the utensils after lunch while everyone else scattered to their own thing. Xia Chunyu walked around the courtyard, going back to the room with a peace of mind upon seeing all the planted Sargasso.
He found Ye Jiayao in the bed, already heavily asleep. Xia Chunyu opened the window quietly, looked at her intently for a while before reaching out to feel her forehead. He was relieved that she was not feverish anymore.
He proceeded to his study in the second room of the west wing and took out a map to review. Xin Yi was 80 li away from Hei Feng Gang. It was the territory of Feng Chaolin from Xin Yi’s most influential clan. Due to Feng Chaolin’s loyalty and generosity to the needy, many heroes from Lv Lin seek asylum there, making the place highly mighty. It is also one of the few rich lands in Shan Dong because of its prosperous trade.
Hei Feng Gang have been eyeing Xin Yi for a long time yet have failed all their attempted attacks. Lately, He Lianxuan and Feng Chaolin were in talks of cooperation, and as the information leaked, first-in-charge became very worried. If Feng Chaolin sought help from the imperial court, it would be a great threat to Hei Feng Gang. Therefore, he wanted to attack Xin Yi as soon as possible before any solid deals of coordination came to place.
What kind of plan would satisfy first-in-charge, yet would still be able to let Xia Chunyu work with He Lianxuan? This was a thorny problem.
Ye Jiayao awoke, rubbing her tired eyes, stretching. Lethargically, she walked out of the room, starving and ready to eat. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Chunyu sitting at the table, a hand propping his chin up, brows tightly-knitted as he scribbled on a piece of paper. She wanted to go in to greet him but upon further consideration, she just decided not to disturb him.
She made herself a bowl of vegetable lean meat porridge and dug in with gusto. She returned to the room, ready to nap again, when she saw him still in the same position as she left him earlier, deep in thoughts.
Ye Jiayao turned back to the kitchen and proceeded to make him a pot of tea. The tea is top-grade Long Jing and she heard that it was raided by a group of dealers from the south. Mixing it with hot water, the tender, green tea leaves slowly opened up, like shoots blossoming from a branch, its deep fragrance seeping out.
Ye Jiayao walked into his study softly, putting the tea by his right hand, saying gently, “Have a cup of tea to clear your mind up.”