Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 124
Chapter 124: Mobile Imperial Chef
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
Ye Jiayao responded solemnly, “Everything under the sun belongs to Your Majesty, even I. There’s nothing to bear.”
The Crown Prince silently laughed at how Li Yao was charming the Emperor. For a couple of weeks now, His Majesty had been stressed over the events in West Mongolia that he’d been so grumpy.
The Emperor smiled. “Li Yao, your words are pleasing to my ears. Why don’t I hire you to work in the imperial kitchen?”
Ye Jiayao’s heart skipped a beat. Oh, no . She has gone too far in sucking up. Although working in the imperial kitchen was every chef’s final goal, it was not hers. She only wanted to make money and live a carefree life. The palace rules were strict, just like an invisible Band-tightening spell* around her. Moreover, she was a woman dressed as a man. If she ends up working in the imperial kitchen, she’d be directly deceiving the Emperor. She would lose her head.
“Many thanks to Your Majesty’s favor, but… your humble commoner is used to being carefree and undisciplined. There are times that I will offend people because I am not good with words. There are so many Masters in the palace and not everyone is amiable like Your Majesty and Her Highness. Your humble commoner is afraid that if I enter the palace, I would just spend my time worrying about my head instead of cooking,” Ye Jiayao declined tactfully.
The Empress was initially a little unhappy. Rejecting His Majesty’s favor was a huge offense that not even she could do. However, she didn’t speak up since the Emperor didn’t look offended or irate. In fact, His Majesty was even smiling.
It was obviously a rejection, but Li Yao put it in such a polite way that His Majesty could not bear to be angry. “If you don’t enter the imperial kitchen, I wouldn’t be able to try your cooking again if I want to.”
Ye Jiayao answered hurriedly, “If Your Majesty wants to eat my foods, I would rush into the palace to prepare it for you.”
The Emperor really wanted him to work in the palace but he also did not wish to force him. However, it would be too much of a hassle to summon him every time.
The Empress smiled and suggested, “Your Majesty, why don’t you give him the title ‘Mobile Imperial Chef’. That would mean that he’s not officially working in the imperial kitchen, but could still enter the palace conveniently to prepare royal meals. It’s the best of both worlds.”
“Mobile Imperial Chef?” the Emperor muttered to himself. This was a novel concept for him, but the more thought he put into it, the more it appealed to him. “Very well. Li Yao, I appoint you as the Mobile Imperial Chef. You can enter the palace anytime to prepare my meals.”
Ye Jiayao knew that the imperial chefs do not have official ranks. They are but servants that prepare meals for the Emperor and the Masters in the palace. A Mobile Imperial Chef would be even lower than them. However, that was still a million times better than the other chefs outside. It would give her a very significant advantage over them.
She kowtowed immediately, thanking the Emperor and gracefully accepting the title.
Liu Li’s stood up agitatedly from her seat.
“What? Li Yao is in the palace? His Majesty summoned him to prepare his royal meal?”
“That’s right! They’re at the Zi Chen Palace Hall with the Empress and the Crown Prince,” Little Ya replied.
Liu Li was in disbelief. Li Yao did her wrong but instead of punishing him, His Majesty even gave him the honor to prepare his meal? What does that mean?
“Let’s go and take a look.”
Little Ya pleaded, “Princess, don’t forget what the Empress Dowager said. We will be going to Pu Ji temple tomorrow and that’s a good opportunity to ease the tension between you and Lord Xia. Don’t cause any more troubles, please. Li Yao is not worth it.”
Liu Li’s eyes were cold when she turned to her maid. “I am not stupid. There are some mistakes that only need to be made once. I would definitely not allow myself to fall at the same place twice.”
Liu Li stalked out of her room and headed to the palace hall. Little Ya was muddled. Was the princess going to settle scores with Li Yao or not?
Ye Jiayao and Helian Jing left Zi Chen Palace with joyful hearts.
Ye Jiayao played with the imperial chef token in her hand. “I can’t believe I’m an imperial chef now. I never thought I’d be one.”
“Your culinary skills are superb, Yaoyao. It is inevitable that you would gain recognition from the palace. The usual imperial chefs are hand-picked by the imperial kitchen manager, but you are the only one that His Majesty titled as a Mobile Imperial Chef. That is way more impressive than the other imperial chefs.” Helian Jing was ecstatic for his friend. It turned out that Consort Mei’s manipulation actually worked for Yaoyao’s favor.
Ye Jiayao shook her head. “Imperial chefs are only impressive outside the palace. In the palace itself, they are only servants.”
Helian Jing slapped a hand over Yaoyao’s mouth immediately and lowered his voice, saying, “Don’t say things like that. You’d get in trouble if anybody hears you.”
Ye Jiayao brushed his hand away. “No one else is here. I’m not a fool, Little Jing.”
Helian Jing flushed red, a combination of his embarrassment by his impulsive move and how Yaoyao’s lips felt against his palm.
“This token is not the best thing I got today, though. It’s actually having the ice cream mooncake made as a tribute. No one would dare target my secret recipe from now on.” Ye Jiayao fumed at the thought of that shameless Consort Mei.
“Consort Mei really had her eyes set on the secret recipe, huh? Little Chuan said that the shopkeeper of Ju Bao Zhai is Government Minister Mei’s relative,” Helian Jing said with a frown.
“Isn’t Ju Bao Zhai a place that sells antiques? What has that got to do with them?” Ye Jiayao was bewildered.
“Ju Bao Zhai and Ju Xiang Yuan pastry shop share the same shopkeeper. Shopkeeper Mei used to make pastries in the imperial kitchen but he broke his leg a few years ago so he had to leave. He opened Ju Bao Zhai and Ju Xiang Yuan shortly after that,” Helian Jing relayed.
Ye Jiayao was finally enlightened. She really needed strong backers and supporters in order to survive in Jin Ling what with all the horrible people around.
“Right, how did you know I got summoned to the palace anyway?” Ye Jiayao asked, puzzled. She told Deng Haichuan to inform Chunyu, not Little Jing.
“Deng Haichuan came to look for me. He could not find Brother Chunyu since he went to Pu Ji Temple to settle some matters. My brother is at the army camp, so I can only go the palace alone. I sought some assistance from the Crown Prince and luckily, he gave it.
“Consort Mei is too cocky, though. The Crown Prince got Little Chuan to go over to get you but she lied and said that she has released you a long time ago. If I didn’t get Ping An to keep watch outside, I would have been fooled by her. I was so angry that I kept cursing outside and that’s how His Majesty found me.”
Ye Jiayao lowered her head, feeling sorry. “I have troubled you again.”
Helian Jing raised a brow unhappily. “What are you talking about? Your problems are mine.”
“You really are a loyal friend, Little Jing.”
“Hey, the two of you, stop right there,” someone yelled from behind them.
Ye Jiayao and Helian Jing turned around, confused.
Liu Li sashayed over to them, her chin raised as she looked at Ye Jiayao arrogantly. Ye Jiayao immediately cupped her hands and bowed. “Greetings, Your Highness.”
“Li Yao, His Majesty has punished you to bring whatever delicious food you have to me. I heard you made ice cream mooncakes but nothing was sent to me,” Liu Li demanded.
Ye Jiayao looked at Helian Jing questioningly. He gave two dry coughs and whispered to her, “The Emperor did say that, but no one really cared.”
Ugh! You should’ve told me even then!
Ye Jiayao laughed embarrassedly, saying in a perfunctory tone, “I thought Your Highness is still mad at me! I didn’t dare to send them to you in case I provoke you even more.”
Liu Li snorted, “Don’t you have a lot of courage?”
“I don’t, Princess. I have already reflected deeply and I know my mistakes. Princess Liu Li, please be generous and forgive me.” Ye Jiayao was actually sincerely apologizing this time. She didn’t wish to be entangled in this fight anymore. She didn’t want everyone to worry about her all the time and even risk their lives to stand up for her.
“Liu Li, this matter is over…” Helian Jing began defensively.
Liu Li raised her hand to stop him. “That’s in the past. I don’t have the time to mull over my anger.”
Did she just say what I think she said? Ye Jiayao didn’t know what to feel. Was it really over?
“Why do you look like that? Are you disappointed that I am no longer angry?” Liu Li asked impatiently.
“No, no. We are more than happy, Princess. I will send you the mooncakes as soon as I get back. Tell me what flavors you like and I will make them especially for you,” Ye Jiayao quickly assured.
“That’s more like it.”
Little Ya chimed in, “Princess likes to eat sweet and sour flavors.”
“Alright. Little Ya, let’s go.”
With that, Liu Li left, leaving Ye Jiayao staring after her, dazed. As much as she wanted this to be over, that whole thing was just… too easy. Liu Li was such a proud person. For her to forgive her just like that… what is she planning?
Helian Jing smiled happily. “This is great, Yaoyao! Liu Li has forgiven you so you don’t have to worry about her again!”
Ye Jiayao nodded, forcing a smile. If that was really the case, why was she even more worried?
“Let’s go visit Zhao Qixuan at the Yong An Marquis Residence,” Helian Jing suggested.
“I still have to return to Heavenly Residence. I have been out for more than half the day, everyone is bound to be worried,” Ye Jiayao told him. Although she was dying to know whether there was any development between Zhao Qixuan and Susu, she has to return and inform everyone that she’s safe.
“No need. I have already sent Ping An to inform the people in Heavenly Residence.”
Ye Jiayao had no other excuse so she simply followed Helian Jing to the Yong An Marquis Residence.
It has been two days since Zhao Qixuan stepped out of the door. He has shut himself in and refused any visitors. However, he made an exception for Helian Jing and Li Yao.
Ye Jiayao got a shock upon seeing the state that Zhao Qixuan was in.
“Zhao Qixuan, what happened to you?” Helian Jing demanded, flabbergasted.
Zhao Qixuan laughed bitterly, the wound at the corner of his lips stinging with the effort. “Susu gave me a huge beating.”
“How can he do this to you? That’s too cruel!” Ye Jiayao exclaimed.
Helian Jing consoled him, “Don’t be upset. Hitting is loving. The way he beat you up so terribly showed how much he loves you.”
“You f*cking try getting walloped, then,” Zhao Qixuan snapped back.
Helian Jing stole a glance at Yaoyao, his face blushing all of a sudden. He muttered shyly, “If it is someone that I like, I wouldn’t mind!”