Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 18
Chapter 18: Being Doubted
Translator: Kats Editor: Perriemix
Song Qi bombarded Peng Wu with questions as they ate. Ye Jiayao simply listened quietly, finally getting the general idea of what was happening.
The undercover agent that was sent by Black Wind Ridge overheard a secret discussion between a government officer and Feng Chaolin. Both the government and Xin Yi were preparing to attack Black Wind Ridge. The undercover agent also found out that the enemies have already sent someone inside the Black Wind Ridge who would help them wipe the gang out at the right time.
Unfortunately, someone had discovered the undercover agent before he could get more information. He ran away as fast he could from Xin Yi, but he got seriously wounded and had to hide at a base under Black Wind Ridge. Second-in-charge and Chunyu were sent to retrieve him, where they crossed paths with the agents from Xin Yi. Second-in-charge was shot by a shadowless arrow and Chunyu had to use flying knives to beat their opponents. He then took the wounded second brother and made their bloody trek back up the mountains.
“Someone from the government is working here? No way!” Song Qi was surprised.
Peng Wu glanced at third-in-charge, who was eating quietly, and said, “First-in-charge said that the people who came to the mountain late were all suspects.”
Ye Jiayao anxiously looked at Chunyu, knowing that he only came to the mountain half a year ago. Was Chunyu the spy sent by the government?
“But there are so many people who came up the mountain late! There are countless brothers that came to the mountain village just half of this year. How will we find out?
“How would I know?” Peng Wu mumbled, his mouth stuffed with rice.
Xia Chunyu put his chopsticks down and walked back to the room. Ye Jiayao immediately followed him, astonished.
She found him on the study, sat in front of the study table, and concentrated on reading.
Ye Jiayao walked in and said softly, “Chunyu, do you want some tea?”
Xia Chunyu shifted his eyes to her and looked at her quietly for a moment. Ye Jiayao resisted the urge to fidget. She admits, she had a guilty conscience so she was being extra nice.
“First brother is doubting me,” he finally said.
“No, no way! Without you, the second-in-charge would’ve died! If you are the spy sent by the government, why would you save him?”
Despite what she just said, Ye Jiayao secretly hoped that he really was the spy. He was a man of striking appearance, and his military skills were unparalleled. It would be a waste if he really was just stuck on being a bandit.
“Perhaps, first-in-charge would think that I did that just to gain his trust.” Xia Chunyu’s lips were raised in a snarl and his eyes were cold.
“Did first-in-charge say anything?” Ye Jiayao worried. It doesn’t matter if he was the spy or not, if he loses the trust of first-in-charge, his position in Black Wind Ridge would be compromised. She belonged to him, so if he was in trouble, then she was too. They were in the same boat.
Xia Chunyu was silent but it was obvious that he was troubled. “Don’t think too much. After what happened, it was reasonable for first-in-charge to doubt people. Innocent people will just have to prove their innocence and have the facts speak for themselves.”
“The first-in-charge knew why I came up the mountain. He can doubt all my combat abilities but not my loyalty. I’ve hated the government for all of my life. My family, along with a hundred other people, were all killed by the government with unwarranted charge. I was lucky to escape, but I was still chased on the way from Jiang Nan to Qi Lu. In order to stay alive, and avenge the deaths of my family, I had to come up the mountain and become a bandit. I could accept whatever first-in-charge accuses, except for this.” Xia Chunyu’s eyes were full of hatred and pain as he relayed his story.
She didn’t know that he came from such a miserable background. It seemed that every bandit had sad stories to make people sob.
Ye Jiayao didn’t know what to say, so she just quietly got him a cup of tea.
“Whatever, I just hope second brother is fine. There will always be a time when we can get to the bottom of things.” Xia Chunyu sighed.
Ye Jiayao nodded, taking notice of the bags under his eyes. He ran around and fought furiously for the past days, he must be exhausted. “Get some early rest tonight,” she told him gently before leaving him alone.
Xia Chunyu watched her pensively as she left the room. He appreciated that way that she had been extra attentive and thoughtful this evening. He was about to go back to his reading when his eye caught on the brush pot on the table, as well as the shifted book on the shelves. The warmth he previously felt was replaced by a cold grip of apprehension on his heart.
The places for everything in this room were not random. He could notice even the slightest bit of change and shift in his things.
Xia Chunyu opened the switch for the brush pot and separated the bottom. He saw the small piece of paper still nestled at the bottom and put the brush pot back together with relief. Perhaps, he was just thinking too much of it. The study was spotless so she probably just moved it when she cleaned the room.
I am being too paranoid!
Now, he was starting to suspect even the littlest of things! He just had to be extra cautious. He couldn’t contact He Lianxuan or his other connections in the government. He must find a way to win the first-in-charge’s trust. Second-in-charge had grave wounds and would be out of action for quite a long while, so it was the chance for him to gain more power amongst the brothers.
Later that night, Ye Jiayao tossed around in bed, unable to sleep.
“Chunyu, are you asleep?”
Ye Jiayao mouth twitched in humor. Of course, everyone could hold a conversation in their sleep.
“Chunyu, should I help cook for second-in-charge tomorrow?” Ye Jiayao asked.
Xia Chunyu crawled up to find the flint and lit up the oil lamp. “Why?”
“Didn’t he get wounded? We must pay attention to his diet,” she replied weakly.
“As if you have such a kind heart?” Xia Chunyu sneered, doubting her intentions.
“What is wrong with you? I am doing this for you!” Ye Jiayao complained.
“Yes, for you! You know why? Because we are tied to each other now. If I look good, you look good. Whether first-in-charge doubts you or not, we should use whatever opportunity there is to put our goodwill out there,” Ye Jiayao explained.
“Whatever,” Xia Chunyu said, agreeing to the merits of her logic, but not wanting to show it. He turned around and turned the light off.
Ye Jiayao rolled her eyes in the darkness and started thinking of what to cook for the second-in-charge. She wanted to please second brother so that she could get more information about her kidnapping.
Ever since she came up the mountain, this was the first time she and Chunyu were getting up together.
“Chunyu, why do you get up so early every day?” Ye Jiayao asked in between yawns, eyes squinting up at him, half-open. From someone who could literally stay in bed all day, she truly couldn’t understand how other people could get up at the crack of dawn.
“I’m taking a walk around the mountain.” Xia Chunyu, already completely dressed for the day, took the bow and arrows before walking out.
Is he going to hunt?
She tidied up the room and made the bed before walking out to the kitchen.
Ye Jiayao had already soaked the rice last night, so she only had to add water and baking soda before she stewed it on a steady fire. The porridge would be particularly thick this way, easy to digest and deliciously fragrant. It was the best food for a patient. Unfortunately, there were no dates, otherwise, it would have helped in improving qi and enriching the blood.
Song Qi then entered the kitchen, and Ye Jiayao immediately gave him the task of cooking the noodles she had prepared last night. She had to find cooking materials herself today.
“Big sister, you should ask Peng Wu to accompany you. Old Yu is very stingy,” Song Qi protested.
Song Qi, every time he went on a food run, took ingredients by force, so Old Head Yu couldn’t do anything about it. However, big sister was shy and kind-hearted, she couldn’t really do those type of things.
Peng Wu heard what Song Qi said and volunteered, “Big sister, I will go with you.”
Old Yu was annoyed at Song Qi the most, as every time he came, he would take the best food. He had no idea that someone could be more annoying than Song Qi.
Ye Jiayao walked around the kitchen, not paying attention to Old Yu at all. She pointed at the pig liver, and Peng Wu just took it into their basket.
“That was for the second-in-charge,” Old Yu said hurriedly.
Ye Jiayao smiled. “I am cooking for second brother.”
Old Yu said unhappily, “I have always cooked for the second-in-charge. Since when did it become your job?”
“Since now. He’s sick, and it is very important that second-in-charge eats better. How could you cook good food for him in that big pot?” Ye Jiayao disagreed.
“Third madam, don’t flatter yourself just because you can cook a few dishes. Old Yu was a famous cook before, how can you compare against him?” an Aunt sneered.
It was the Aunt who intentionally extinguished the stove fire with water before.
“Third madam’s dishes can be compared with those from the restaurants,” Auntie Jang piped in, coming to Ye Jiayao’s defense.
“Aunt Jiang, I know that your family is trying to get closer to the third-in-charge and that their fart doesn’t stink for you. Comparable to restaurant dishes? Have you ever been to a restaurant before? Oh, I didn’t know that you have such a rich life!” the Aunt taunted.
“Aunt Wu, watch your language. I won’t hesitate to fight you,” Aunt Jiang said, arms raised in akimbo, face red with fury.
“By all means, come on. If you really have the balls, come at me. I’m not afraid of you,” Aunt Wu replied cockily.
The two Aunties stepped close to each other, hostility evident in their stances.
Ye Jiayao didn’t mean to start a disagreement, and she certainly didn’t want Aunt Jiang to fight for her. “Stop! Stop quarreling! We are all trying to make second-in-charge better. We are all brothers and sisters. What’s the point of fighting?”
Aunt Jiang and Aunt Wu threw one last glare at each other before separating unwillingly.
Old Yu reasoned, “Third madam, it’s not that I am stingy. The food in the mountain village has a quota, and thousands of brothers need to eat. If you get more, others get less. Before, you have taken as much as you want and I didn’t say a word. However, now, the first-in-charge has requested to give up the Broken Dragon Stone, and without his order, no one can go down the mountain.”
“If we don’t go down the mountain, we don’t get supplies. Everyone must save up to last through the following days. From now on, you can only take what fits your quota and nothing more. Now, regarding the meals for the second-in-charge, without the first-in-charge’s request, I’m not passing the task to someone else. Third madam, if you have received the first-in-charge’s permission, then you can come back.”
Ye Jiayao almost felt chastised after what Old Yu had said. She could not argue with someone who was so reasonable. She looked at Peng Wu, who nodded and said, “It is better to ask permission from the first-in-charge.”
Damn! She just wanted to please second-in-charge. She had no idea it would be this difficult.
Ye Jiayao heeded what Old Head Yu had said, and therefore, only took a few potatoes, some fresh lotus root, two tomatoes, two bunches of cowpeas, and a 500g marbled meat.
Ye Jiayao looked at the food in the basket gloomily. Was that enough for them to eat? She was feeding three big bellies at home!
“Now that they have given up the Broken Dragon Stone, no one knows when we can get it back. We might experience some tough days, but it is not a big deal. Song Qi and I can go hunting in the mountains, there are so many birds and animals there that could fill us up,” Peng Wu consoled her.
Ye Jiayao sighed weakly.
It looks like that’s the only way now.