Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 14
Chapter 14: Developing A Game
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
Dinner was plain porridge with meat patty.
The porridge was boiled until it was thick and mushy and the meat patty was made with fresh pork and leeks. With the addition of pickled vegetables from Auntie Jiang, the three-inch patty, which was pan-fried till golden brown on both sides, emitted a lovely fragrance that burst through with each bite.
At first, Xia Chunyu despised the simple dinner. However, the patty was decadently delicious and the plain porridge had a tinge of sweetness amidst the fragrance. Looking at it, he could tell that it was boiled for a long time in a steady fire.
“Have as much as you want, there is still more in the pot!” Ye Jiayao said like a proper mistress, laughing heartily while she urged everyone to eat more.
Song Qi whispered beside him, “At first, sister-in-law told me to get some vegetables from the kitchen but Old Head Yu is too stingy. He said that the chicken that we took was meant for everyone and refused to give me any more. Sister-in-law could only use the leftover streaky pork from the pork meatballs to make patties.”
Xia Chunyu nodded understandingly. “Don’t worry about it, the few thousand brothers in the stockade still has to eat. It’s not easy for Old Head Yu too.”
Peng Wu said, “The meat we got from robbing Feng village is almost finished. Looks like we have to take a trip down soon.”
Ye Jiayao served another plate of the patty. “After you’re done, give these to Auntie and Uncle Jiang for them to try,” she told Song Qi.
Song Qi agreed happily, “Sure!”
Ye Jiayao sought Xia Chunyu’s opinion, asking, “Shall we take a few to big brother and second brother for them to try?”
Xia Chunyu replied indifferently, “Peng Wu, deliver it later.”
After dinner, Song Qi and Peng Wu delivered the patties. Ye Jiayao cleaned up the kitchen while Xia Chunyu went back to the room to prepare a change of clothes for a swim at the lake.
Once he stepped into the room, he got his nth surprise for the day. The windows were all clean and gleaming. The original vases that were on the cabinet, now held a few stalks of red azalea, were moved strategically to the table. The crimson satin sheets were changed to a plain, grey one, and the mosquito net was also now white. The semi-circle table that was against the wall had a pot of lovely orchid on it. The addition of plants as decoration made the entire room appear to be more exuberant and it was a pleasant change.
Being born to the Hou family, Xia Chunyu never had a shortage of people serving him. The house was always neat and tidy and did not lack any valuable plants. Ever since he came up the mountains, not knowing how to do all those things, he had tasked Song Qi and Peng Wu to do all the cleaning. However, those two boors just go through the motions carelessly and he had no choice but to put up with it despite being unsatisfied.
The interior of the house was suddenly changed to one that he had always desired. This made the anger in Xia Chunyu die down a little. Although she had many shortcomings and was extremely opinionated, there were still some redeeming qualities in her. For example, she could cook up a sumptuous meal. Also, unlike normal ladies from wealthy families that were spoiled and pampered, she could handle household chores professionally. Could it be that what she said was the truth? Did really being given the cold shoulder and having things made difficult for her forced her to do everything by herself?
On the couch, a clean set of clothes that he could change into were laid out, all his other clothes nowhere to be seen.
Xia Chunyu opened the cupboard but it was not in there. He opened the trunk at the foot of the bed and saw his clothes stacked neatly inside.
A sense of warmth filled his heart, an emotion that Xia Chunyu himself did not recognize.
Ye Jiayao hid behind the entrance of the kitchen, looking around. She knew that she had angered him today. During mealtime, his face was dark and he did not even take a look at her. She could not be so stupid to allow his temporary patience to breed her recklessness. As Grandpa Mao said, when the enemy advance, she should retreat, and advance when the enemy retreated. This battle tactic was also applicable to help couples get along well. Granted, they were a fake couple, but still, a couple.
Hopefully, he would calm down after seeing her efforts.
Seeing the door open, Ye Jiayao hurriedly pretended to be busy with chores.
When Xia Chunyu walked pass the kitchen with his clothes, he saw her busy silhouette and couldn’t help but stop by, hesitating before he said, “I’m going for a swim.”
Ye Jiayao turned to him and smiled sweetly, “Remember to warm up before you enter the water, otherwise you would get cramps easily.”
How did she even know about this?
“You know how to swim?” Xia Chunyu asked.
I was once in the school’s swimming team, what do you think? I might even be faster than you. However, she could not say the truth. In the past, wealthy ladies who knew how to swim would be inconceivable.
“I don’t know how to swim but my younger brother does. Every time, before he enters the water, I would hear the guard remind him this.” Ye Jiayao smiled.
Oh. Xia Chunyu shrugged his doubts off and went out.
Ye Jiayao called behind him, “Chunyu… come back early.”
This time, she did not roll her tongue and she called him so naturally, like a virtuous wife eagerly reminding his husband. For a very short moment, Xia Chunyu felt that having her around did not seem to be such a bad thing.
When Song Qi returned, he presented a basketful of duck eggs to Ye Jiayao. “Sister-in-law, this is from Auntie Jiang. Fresh duck eggs.”
Ye Jiayao took it gratefully. “Auntie Jiang is too kind.”
Songqi replied, “She is, but sister-in-law, third-in-charge doesn’t like to eat duck eggs. He thinks that it is too fishy.”
Ugh! Actually, she doesn’t really like to eat it too. Duck eggs were the good stuff, being rich in protein, fats, calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, and many more nutrients. It also has many health benefits that’s why in the modern times, duck eggs were difficult to find. Despite all that, she still did not care much for it.
“How about making it into a salted egg?” Ye Jiayao inquired.
Song Qi shook his head. “Third-in-charge doesn’t really like to eat that too.”
“What about a preserved egg?”
“What is preserved egg?” Song Qi was at a loss.
Now that Ye Jiayao thought about it, preserved egg was invented in the Ming Dynasty. Even though this era was not one that she has an understanding of, from the dressing and other aspects, it should be similar to the Song Dynasty. There would presumably be no preserved eggs yet.
Alright then, she would be making preserved eggs. If he does not like it, she could just give it to someone else. There would be people who would like it, surely.
“Song Qi, can you get some plant ash and lime?”
Song Qi replied, “Sure, that’s easy.”
“Alright, get some plant ash and lime tomorrow.”
Song Qi agreed gleefully, curious about what kind of delicious food sister-in-law would cook for them next.
After a while, Peng Wu returned, saying that both first-in-charge and second-in-charge praised the patty. They said to share some with them should sister-in-law make more in the future.
Ye Jiayao smiled, elated that they liked her food. “No problem. Tell first-in-charge and second-in-charge that I can make it for them anytime they want.”
Being in a wolf’s den, not only must she manage her relationship well with Chunyu, she also has to butter up first-in-charge and second-in-charge. In case she had a falling out with Chunyu, at least there would be people to speak up for her.
It was just some food, no skin off her back.
Once Song Qi and Peng Wu found out that third-in-charge went for a swim, they hurriedly took their clothes and rushed to the lake, leaving only Ye Jiayao in the house. Although both the front and back of the house had been scattered with red orpiment wine, and planted with Sarmentosum, Ye Jiayao was still afraid. She immediately hid back into the room with the windows tightly shut.
In the ancient times, there were no television, no computers, and you could not invite your friends to shop or drink coffee. Life was so monotonous that it could drive anyone mad. Ye Jiayao was so bored, she went to Chunyu’s study to look for a few pieces of white paper. Using a small knife, she cut the papers into 108 pieces in the size of poker cards. She was going to make her own poker cards and she would teach Chunyu, Song Qi, and Peng Wu so that when they had nothing to do, the four of them could gather to play Fight the Landlord or Doubles.
At this era, there were definitely no fun games like this. This way, she would become the inventor. Would it become popular all over the country? Thinking about the whole nation playing Fight the Landlord and Doubles made her giddy.
By the time Xia Chunyu returned, Ye Jiayao was sitting cross-legged on the couch, leaning on the short table, drawing poker cards.
Seeing the couch full of pieces of unknown drawings, Xia Chunyu frowned. “What are you doing?”
“Making something fun,” Ye Jiayao answered without looking at him, concentrating on drawing the pretty lady on the Q with a sharp charcoal.
“You sure do know a lot of nonsense,” Xia Chunyu scoffed.
“You say that now but when the time comes, don’t come to me when you get addicted.” Ye Jiayao smiled proudly.
Xia Chunyu snorted. “I think you are too bored.”
Ye Jiayao was not even angry as she asked, “Chunyu, what else do you do to pass your time other than reading?”
Xia Chunyu thought about it for a while. Before he came up the mountains, he used to watch shows, drink wine and tea, gamble horses, soccer, and hunting. However, after he came up to the mountains, he could only read, and sometimes drink with first-in-charge and second-in-charge. As for gambling with dice and all that, he and first-in-charge never participated. Thinking about it now, he realized that his life had become very boring.
“None,” Xia Chunyu replied nonchalantly.
Ye Jiayao shook her head and sighed. “That is so pitiful.”
How could this be considered pitiful?
“No worries. There will be something fun soon. Take a seat for a while, wait for me to finish this, and I will teach you how to play,” Ye Jiayao said comfortingly.
Xia Chunyu had no idea how to respond. Was she treating him like he only wanted to have a good time?
“Stop making these things, ugh… wait, where did you get these papers from?” Xia Chunyu suddenly realized a serious problem. He picked up one of the pieces she had cut out, inspecting it. Wasn’t this the Shan Xi vine paper that he treasured?
“Who allowed you to touch my things? Do you know how difficult it is to get these papers?” Xia Chunyu bellowed angrily.
There were many kinds of vine paper but the one from Shan Xi was the most resilient and white, it was of top grade and the production was limited. It was difficult to buy even in the bustling Jin Ling, let alone Shan Dong. He only had 10 pieces and he used it sparingly, but here she was, cutting them up and drawing silly nonsense onto it.
Ugh! It’s just a few pieces of paper. She could not understand what the fuss was all about. Ye Jiayao was about to roll her eyes when the term Shan Xi vine paper registered in her mind. For a moment, she felt terrible as her host knew that the paper was indeed very valuable.
Ye Jiayao smiled sheepishly. “My apologies, after searching for some time, these vine papers seemed to be the most suitable. If you’d like, I will try to get some back for you. Don’t be angry.”
“That’s easier said than done. Do you even know where to get them?” Xia Chunyu was boiling mad.
“Ayy! Why is your hair still wet? Why did you not dry it? You will get hair fall easily, don’t you know? You’d get bald at a young age and your suave image would be affected.” Ye Jiayao got off the couch and took a clean cotton handkerchief, sitting him down on a chair while she started to gently dry his hair.
This was called a distraction tactic.
Indeed, that interruption caused Xia Chunyu’s anger to be displaced, merely telling her sternly, “Next time, don’t touch the things in the study.”
“Mm, mm, I know, I won’t touch them next time.” Ye Jiayao nodded repeatedly, giving in.
This was her starting to adapt to circumstances.