Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 145
Chapter 145: The Period Of Three Months
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
His Majesty frowned, his fingers gently tapping on the armrest of the royal throne. With a name and a surname, it could not possibly be fake. Besides, despite Chunyu’s bravery, the Emperor didn’t think he would have the gall to lie to him.
That only leaves the question of what would become of Liu Li. This was the Empress Dowager’s imperial decree and if it’s forced upon, it couldn’t be justified with reasons or feelings.
Xia Zhuofeng was also thinking through his son’s story. If he’s telling the truth, then this Ye Jinxuan was indeed an admirable woman. Their meeting or union wasn’t arranged, and yet, his son’s feelings were clearly strong.
After a long time, His Majesty raised his eyes and asked, “If you are unable to find this Miss Ye, what would you do?”
Xia Chunyu says with resolution, “If I can’t find her, your humble subject would never marry anyone again.”
“That will not do,” His Majesty said, “Having no male offspring is the biggest unfilial act. Besides, you are the Jing An Marquis’ heir. I will set a deadline for you. If you are unable to find her in three months, you will marry Liu Li.”
The Emperor was certain that Chunyu would never be able to find this woman in the period he set. This way, he would still be able to marry off Chunyu and Liu Li without seeming heartless.
“Your Majesty, how are three months enough?” Xia Chunyu pleaded anxiously.
“Chunyu, I have already been exceptionally gracious on the account of your loyalty and faithfulness. Don’t push my generosity,” the Emperor said, his voice becoming serious.
Xia Zhuofeng understood His Majesty’s intentions. There was no way that Chunyu would be able to find this woman in just three months. That space was just given to him by the Emperor to clear his mind and prepare himself.
When the news reached Liu Li’s palace, Liu Li was dejected. Why did a Ye Jinxuan suddenly came out? Although His Majesty said that there was no hope of finding this person, there’s still a what if…
Liu Li called for a servant and ordered, “Go investigate the Yang Zhou’s government prefecture Ye Binghuai’s daughter, Ye Jinxuan. Report to me as soon as possible.”
When the servant left, Little Ya advised, “Princess, didn’t the Heir-Son Lord previously mentioned that Li Yao saved his life in Black Wind Ridge? Why don’t you summon Li Yao over to ask him?”
Liu Li jumped up. That’s right! Li Yao will definitely be able to clear this Ye Jinxuan matter.
Ye Jiayao was busy in Heavenly Residence at that time.
The peak season for the sales of mooncakes was over so they had to think of other ways to keep the restaurant relevant. She already had tasked Jiang Li to make few new molds to change up the looks of the mooncakes. Although the sales weren’t that bad, it’s still not enough to guarantee profits and secure her brothers’ wages and bonuses.
She has to think of something.
The most popular upcoming event would definitely be the imperial civil service examination in the ninth month where all the scholars all over Huai Song would converge in Jin Ling. When the time comes, every restaurant would launch a few dishes with auspicious names to entice the scholars to eat for a good omen.
Instead of coming out with a few dishes, Ye Jiayao would simply upscale an existing one and launch the Dragon Gate Feast.
The dishes were actually just the same as the Carp Leaps Over The Dragon Gate only with a few twists to it.
Of course, marketing and advertising are important. After all, these scholars came from outside the city and were not very familiar with the market price in Jin Ling. Ye Jiayao personally wrote a slogan and got Manager Zhao to hire a few people with good handwriting to copy a few hundred sets. During their lunch break, everyone would give them out in various inns.
The slogan went like this:
For the numerous scholars, the empire lights up the Heavenly Hall in brilliance.
The carps swim a thousand lis to leap over the Dragon Gate, hearing the news of the top scorers and those who pass.
The blessings of the gods and Buddhas are still needed on top of talent, cleanse in propitious in Heavenly Residence.
In this autumn period, at Jin Ling’s Heavenly Residence, the Mobile Imperial Chef, Head Chef Li has put in all his efforts to create this Dragon Gate Feast for all scholars. The Top Scorer Banquet wishes all scholars to flow with inspiration and win the top positions in the imperial examinations with the help of the gods.
After the advertisements were given out, a few waves of people came that same night and ordered Dragon Gate Feast, Top Scorer Banquet.
The delicious food, exquisite dishes, and auspicious names made the scholars come in high spirits and leave in contentment. The news quickly spread.
After knocking off, Xia Chunyu and Helian Xuan went to a teahouse.
Helian Xuan laughingly pulled out an advertisement he saw earlier and showed it to Xia Chunyu. “Sister-In-Law is full of ideas! Who else would have thought of this? Although the poem is not very well done, it’s still very effective.
Xia Chunyu looked at the advertisement and laughed with his friend. “She really knows a thing or two about business.”
“You have married a treasure,” Helian Xuan teased.
Xia Chunyu wanted to cry. Don’t you know that your little brother has already come between us?
“What do you intend to do with the three months His Majesty gave you? When do you want her to show herself?” Helian Xuan asked him.
“Let’s take it one step at a time!” Xia Chunyu thought that he’d be able to let Yaoyao go, but now that His Majesty has mentioned Liu Li, he quickly realized that he couldn’t accept any woman other than her.
“I heard from Little Jing that there has been a little misunderstanding between you and your wife.”
“There is a little trouble, but it will be settled in a few days.” Xia Chunyu has to sort out his emotions first.
“I told Little Jing not to meddle. If he does anything, just ignore the kid.”
Xia Chunyu sneered. A kid? A kid who stole his woman. “I know.”
“If you need any help, just let me know. Now that I don’t have to go to West Mongolia, I am a little idle!” Helian Xuan swallowed a mouthful of tea resentfully. It was initially agreed upon that he would lead an army to West Mongolia but the Emperor changed his mind and sent Admiral Huo instead.
“Everything’s fine for the time being. Just come out to help me say a few words at the last moment,” Xia Chunyu said. He has played up some of Yaoyao’s deeds and admirable qualities today so His Majesty wouldn’t be able to fault her for dressing up as a man and deceiving him.
After the tea session, Xia Chunyu returned to his residence to find that there was someone waiting for him.
“My Lord, I have already investigated Fang Wanting’s background thoroughly. She is the second daughter of the sister of Madam Ye and is already engaged to someone. The other party is called Du Heng, the third young master of the Hai Ning government prefecture. I heard that he has come for the imperial civil examinations this year.”
“Go find out where this Du Heng has settled himself,” Xia Chunyu ordered, pleased at how everything was lining up.
“Yes, My Lord.” The person cupped his hands and left.
Song Qi started, “Heir-Son Lord, what are you planning to do?”
Xia Chunyu laughed coldly, “Just settle in and watch the show. This is getting more and more interesting.”
Ning has gotten her niece to act as a substitute but has never taken any other measures to ensure that they’d never be caught. That’s a deadly mistake, Ning.
“In the next few days, spread the word that I am looking for Ye Jinxuan, the First Lady Ye. I want to make this matter know to everyone. Also, let Yaoyao’s maternal family know that it is about time they show up,” Xia Chunyu said.
Song Qi was an efficient servant. Within three days, the news of the Jing An Marquis’ Heir-son Lord looking for his stockade wife, First Lady Ye, who has been through thick and thin with him, has become the hot topic among the people in Jin Ling.
It was not simply a story of a sentimental man looking for his wife. It has also made Ye Jinxuan a courageous, witty, faithful, and righteous woman of wonder. People would definitely link this back to the rumor of the fake First Lady Ye and questioning gazes would once again fall upon Assistant Minister Mu’s residence. Ye Jinrong would boil on the hot seat again.
“Mother, what should we do?” Ye Jinrong asked desperately.
They have just managed to tamp down the rumors! Now that the clamor has awoken old stories again, it was even worse than before.
Ning, who had been preparing to return to Yang Zhou, was also troubled.
“No wonder the Jing An Marquis’ Heir-Son Lord came to visit last time and specifically asked about the First Lady Ye.” Wei Liujiang gritted his teeth, cursing Xia Chunyu. He really hated that guy for sinking his reputation. Now, no one was willing to accept him even though he wanted to become an apprentice.
“But didn’t he say that Jinxuan is already dead?” Ye Jinrong asked.
“Who knows if he is speaking the truth?” Wei Liujiang snapped resentfully.
Ning muttered, “If she is really dead, it is easy to settle. If she’s still alive…”
“Now that the Jing An Marquis’ Heir-Son Lord has caused a huge commotion over the search for Jinxuan, we cannot just play dumb!” Jingrong nearly yelled, anxiety overpowering her.
“What else can we do? We had so many ways then, but you guys just had to choose this path. We’re here now so we’d just have to make sure that this doesn’t blow back on us more than it already has,” Ning said in a huff.
Wei Liujiang pouted. “We just wanted the bandits to settle the matter! How were we supposed to know that they wouldn’t kill her?”
“They must have lusted over her beauty and couldn’t bear to do it,” Jinrong said, indignant and a tad bit jealous.
Ning stared at the two of them, sighing depressingly. If she knew this would happen, she would have done it herself.
“I have no idea what to do. We have to get your father involved in this. We don’t have anything to be afraid other than Jinxuan’s maternal family coming over to ask for her. If that happens, even your dad would not be able to do anything,” Ning said worriedly.
“Mother, if they really come, we would tell the truth. We’ll just say that we spent so much effort hiding the fact that Jinxuan’s been captured by the bandits because we wanted to protect the family’s reputation. They shouldn’t scare us. What I’m worried about is that Jinxuan’s still alive and watching this whole show from the sidelines,” Jinrong said.
Wei Liujiang nodded, expressing his agreement with Jinrong.
“You must’ve known that cutting the weeds without plucking out the roots would just cause endless trouble,” Ning reprimanded.
Both of them lowered their head, afraid to talk back. It was really a negligence on their part. They thought that the plan was meticulous and flawless, not really accounting that something could go wrong along the way.
“Are we still going to hold the housewarming party the day after tomorrow?” Wei Liujiang asked weakly.
His new residence has been renovated and the geomancy said that the place was a priced land with the star of Wen Chang hanging high over it. The imperial civil service examination was taking place next month, and he wished to move in soon to seek good fortune.
“Yes, of course! It is better to be bustling with noise and excitement rather than just playing dead. We don’t even know, maybe the Jing An Marquis’ Heir-Son Lord was just bluffing. I will liaise with your father-in-law for this matter. You just wash your hands off this and prepare for the examination. Your future prospect is more important,” Ning said.