Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 120
Chapter 120: Palace Invitation
Translator: Kats Editor: Perriemix
Zhong Xiang and the others waited outside the room and listened. They didn’t know how Li Yao would deal with Liu Qisheng.
Ye Jiayao continued, “We found a 20 silver-note in your bag. Let me guess where it came from.”
Liu Qisheng blinked.
“The sale of ice cream mooncakes is quite good so it’s not surprising that other restaurants would want to ruin it because they can’t replicate it. They would figure that everyone in Heavenly Residence would know how to make it. What they also know is the staff of the restaurant. They know who needs money the most and can be bought easily. Am I right?
Ye Jiayao spoke casually but she was observing every micro change in Liu Qisheng’s expression.
“Since you are so good at guessing, why don’t you just become an advisor to the governor?” Liu Qisheng said calmly.
Ye Jiayao pretended to laugh. “Was that a compliment? Or were you just mocking me? Hmmm… I think that was a compliment.”
Liu Qisheng rolled his eyes to express his disdain.
“I don’t really care who gave you the silvers nor your purpose. You did things that would harm the restaurant and that automatically kicks you out of Heavenly Residence. You know that, and yet you still went through with it. That makes me think that you’re prepared to leave. Someone must’ve promised to take you in if you get caught,” Ye Jiayao said softly. She cajoled in a different voice, “Just do it, Liu Qisheng. If anything happens, you can come to us. We won’t treat you as bad as Heavenly Residence…”
Liu Qisheng’s mouth twitched.
Ye Jiayao laughed. “Betrayal is the worst thing to do in any industry. I will suggest to Shopkeeper Li to make an official notice to tell people about what you did. Do you think anyone will still take you then? Do you think that the person who got you into this mess will still keep his promise?”
“Do you think that the 20 silvers in your hands can guarantee your family’s life in the future? What will you do when you’ve used them all up? What if you can’t find a job?”
Liu Qisheng’s bravado began to crumble. His family was his weakness and Li Yao’s words struck a fear in his heart.
He didn’t think that the consequences would be so serious. Before, he held the idea that he could move to somewhere else and start over. He thought that he had a safety net to fall back on.
Zhong Xiang wanted to go in and beg forgiveness for Liu Qisheng. If Li Yao does what he said, Liu Qisheng was as good as done and that would include his family, too.
Wang Mingde pulled him back and shook his head at him.
“Brother Yao always knew how to deal with things. Just wait for what Brother Yao would say,” he whispered.
“I am very kind, Liu Qisheng, and I think that despite your hatred of me, you know that. I will give you a chance. If you tell me who put you up to this, I will persuade Shopkeeper Li to just let you resign and we’ll pretend that this has never happened. If you refuse to admit your mistake…” Ye Jiayao said.
Liu Qisheng said with difficulty, “I will tell Brother Xiang.”
Ye Jiayao sneered, “I am the manager in the kitchen now and you will report to me. If you want to see Brother Xiang after, that’s okay. However, you have to tell me everything first or I’m not sure if your best friend would ever want to see you again.”
This assh*ole has the nerve to bargain with me? Hey, buddy, you’re the one at fault here. You should be groveling at my feet, not making stupid demands.
“I don’t have time to let you think this over. Shopkeeper Li will come soon and everyone will start to work,” Ye Jiayao said impatiently. “My offer expires at the count of five.”
“Okay, okay!” Liu Qisheng rushed.
“Who is it?” Ye Jiayao demanded.
“The first time I did it was because of my jealousy. The second time… it was Master Chef Niu. When I went to the drugstore yesterday to get some medicine, their people found me and it was just like what you said. I told them the way to extract agar and cream and they gave me a 20 silver-note. If I could create problems for Heavenly Residence, they will give me 30 more. That is it,” Liu Qisheng confessed.
“What do you think now?” Ye Jiayao asked.
Liu Qisheng lowered his head and said weakly, “I was wrong. I thought it was the best course since everyone here hates me anyway because I offended you. Even Brother Xiang was alienated from me! I didn’t think that I have a future here and I really need the money.”
Ye Jiayao was torn between sympathy and hatred.
“It was your self-abasement. They don’t hate you. They are avoiding you because you walk around looking as if someone owes you five hundred silvers. Liu Qisheng, if you want others to like you, you should show them that you are worthy of their kindness and affection. How could they befriend you when you act so arrogantly? Also, friends are made by heart, not by mouth.”
Liu Qisheng blinked a few times and his tears fell down.
Ye Jiayao got up and opened the door and saw the staff waiting for her. She asked Zhong Xiang to go in.
“All of you, go to work with me,” Ye Jiayao ordered, taking everyone else away.
When Shopkeeper Li arrived, Ye Jiayao relayed to him what happened and convinced him to allow Liu Qisheng to just resign.
When Liu Qisheng left, only Zhong Xiang sent him away.
“I saved 20 silvers for you and the other 20 silvers are from Brother Yao. Don’t go to Master Chef Niu, he’s not a good man. We have seen that before. Just find another place to work!” Zhong Xiang pleaded. “And… you shouldn’t hate Brother Yao. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have left you just like that.”
Liu Qisheng said with shame, “No, it’s my fault. I can’t accept the money. You live a hard life, too. I just want you to help me apologize to Brother Yao.”
Zhong Xiang forced the money on his hand. “Brother Yao said that the money is not for you. It is for your father and mother. He said that even if you didn’t treat him as a brother, he still thought of everyone in the kitchen as his brother. Just take the money and work hard. Maybe we’ll have a chance to work together in future.”
“Brother Xiang, I don’t know how I will face everyone again,” Liu Qisheng sobbed.
Zhong Xiang patted his back comfortingly. “You know your mistake now, just don’t do it again. I’ll visit your parents when I am free.”
Liu Qisheng left. The traitor inside the team was finally eliminated, but Ye Jiayao felt a bit bad. If she had known Liu Qisheng’s family status earlier, she could’ve pulled him up and he wouldn’t have ended up like this…
Before dinner, Jiang Li came to Heavenly Residence as promised. Ye Jiayao gave him a box of mooncakes and told him to take it to Xia Chunyu in the Jing An Marquis’ mansion.
“Remember to tell Heir-Son Lord that something came up that’s why I missed the date with him.”
Jiang Li nodded.
Ye Jiayao thought that Chunyu would come after he received the mooncakes but she didn’t see him even after work.
Little Jing didn’t come either, and she went back to the small courtyard sullenly.
Xia Chunyu struggled whether he should go to Yaoyao or not. She sent Jiang Li to give him mooncakes and explain about last night so that meant she was apologizing, right?
However, he was wondering why she didn’t tell him that he was with Little Jing. Jiang Li told him that Yaoyao got home last night at 7 PM. Where did Little Jing and Yaoyao go for such a long time? Xia Chuyu thought about it and got angry all over again.
No! I’m going to leave her for a day. I can’t let her know the effect she has on me otherwise, she just might take it for granted.
The day after tomorrow was the third day the of the month and he had to escort the Empress Dowager and Liu Li to an event in Puji Temple that would take seven days. He would just look for Yaoyao tomorrow and say goodbye to her.
Early on the next day, someone invited Ye Jiayao to the palace.
Ye Jiayao was immediately terrified. Liu Li and the Empress Dowager were in the palace, both of which wanted to punish her severely.
“Eunuch, which master in the palace summoned me?” Ye Jiayao asked nervously.
The eunuch smiled and said, “Chef Li, you will know when you go.”
What’s with all this cloak and dagger bullsh*t?
Ye Jiayao sneered, “Please wait for me, Eunuch. I need to arrange something here then I will follow you to the palace.”
The eunuch said gently, “Just don’t let masters wait for too long.”
Ye Jiayao nodded and went back to the kitchen and called for Deng Haichuan.
“Go to the Jing An Marquis’ mansion and look for the Heir-Son Lord. If the Heir-Son Lord is not there, look for someone called Song Qi. Tell him that I was invited to the palace. I don’t know who invited me or if it’s good or bad.”
Chunyu had told her that she should look for him if something happens, so it’s what she was doing.
Deng Haichuan nodded and said seriously, “I’ll go and find him right away.”
Ye Jiayao took off her apron and went to the accounting office to take a few hundred silvers to put in her pocket. She didn’t know how or why she would need it, but it always pays to be prepared.
Along the way, Ye Jiayao asked the eunuch, “How do I call you?”
“My family name is Shi.”
“Oh, so Eunuch Shi,” Ye Jiayao greeted with a gesture and gave him a silver note. “Eunuch Shi, it is my first time to enter the palace and I don’t know the rules there. I need you to guide me.”
Eunuch Shi looked at that silver note and his brows rose in surprise. 100 silver-note? How could this little chef afford to be generous?
Eunuch Shi took it expressionlessly and said, “Just follow me. If there’s anything to be careful with, I’ll tell you.”
“Okay. Thank you so much, Eunuch Shi.”
“You don’t have to be afraid, you know. Concubine Mei asked for you because she wanted some ice cream mooncake,” Eunuch Shi said, his tongue loosening up because of the bribe.
Concubine Mei? A few days ago, a eunuch came to fetch mooncakes and said that it was for Concubine Mei. Did she want to reward her? I should’ve brought a few mooncakes with me!