Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 50
Chapter 50: Stalk
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
After the feast ended, Zhao Qixuan played host once again and invited everyone to have a night tour along the Qin Huai River. Helian Jing waved his hand and declined, “I have already toured it this afternoon, I can’t take another round. You guys go ahead, I will be going home.”
Zhao Qixuan saw that Helian Jing clearly had other matters in mind so he decided not to force him. “Alright, you go ahead. Don’t worry about the issue that you asked help for. As long as he is in Jiang Xi, my brother-in-law would find him for you.”
“Actually,” Helian Jing started. “Now that I had given it more thought, I think it would be better if I just stop looking.”
Because I already found him! “I just realized that maybe he was intentionally misleading me. It’s possible that he didn’t even go to Jiang Xi. I’m thankful that you’re willing to help, but let’s just forget it for now.”
“Little Jing, we make a sad pair, huh? However, you are far more reasonable and clear-headed than me. Me? I am a simple fool. Even though I know that little Su is lying to me, I still keep searching for him, refusing to give up. Oh, why can’t I just get over it?” Zhao Qixuan said, dejected.
Helian Jing stared blankly at him. They weren’t a sad pair. They weren’t a pair, period. He didn’t have the same problem as him.
“Nevertheless, even if I crack my head open bashing against a wall, I would gladly do it. Little Jing, if there’s a will, there’s a way. I believe that as long as I persevere, there would be a day where the sky would clear and the moon would surface. I will not give up, and neither should you.”
After that, Zhao Qixuan patted his shoulder, as if he was the one who needed comforting and left. Helian Jing saw him glance up at the moon with a mournful expression.
Ye Jiayao was feeling great even after downing six shots of Zhuang Yuan Hong. However, after she returned to the kitchen, the effects of the alcohol started kicking in. She used to be a good drinker. Her minimum was a catty of spirit, she could handle seven to eight bottles of beer with no sweat. Although she does not drink rice wine often, she could also manage half a catty of it easily. Her problem tonight was she drank six consecutive shots on an empty stomach.
Shopkeeper Li was extremely satisfied with his new hire but he observed that Li Yao was turning a bit pale. He turned to Li Erniang and said, “Second sister, go back to the inn with Li Yao. You don’t have to come back early in the morning tomorrow, but be sure to be on time for the lunch hour.”
Li Erniang replied, “I’ll take him with me, but I won’t be coming over with him tomorrow. The inn is short of manpower and I need to be there.”
Shopkeeper Li felt bad. “It has been hard for you these few days, I know. Heavenly Residence will compensate for the losses in your inn.”
“There are no losses, and even if there is, I cannot ask you for compensation. It is only right for siblings to help each other out.” Li Erniang smiled.
“Get old Guan to send you two back.” Shopkeeper Li tasked little Lu to get old Guan to prepare the horse carriage.
Already tired and dizzy, Ye Jiayao did not refuse. She handed Shopkeeper Li a 100-taels banknote, and said, “Shopkeeper, I would have to trouble you to break the note and split this with the rest.”
Shopkeeper Li replied, “This is your reward from the Heir-son Lord, you can keep it for yourself.”
“I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone, everyone has a contribution,” Ye Jiayao said with a kind smile.
Shopkeeper Li hesitated for a while before finally saying, “Alright. I will split this up for you but I will only split 30% of it with everyone.”
Although her generosity was genuine, splitting up a hundred taels would still hurt Ye Jiayao. She was currently impoverished and although she does not have to rely on others for survival, she was still strapped for cash. Shopkeeper Li’s offer worked well for Ye Jiayao so she simply said, “Shopkeeper Li, I’ll trust you with the arrangements.”
Shopkeeper Li’s care and concern for Li Yao made other workers envious. For them, it was already quite obvious that the position of the master chef was sure to be given to Li Yao. Most of the workers have no opposing opinions on that matter and was actually wishing for Li Yao to succeed as he was amiable and generous. Li Yao acknowledged everyone’s help and even split his reward with them. Even without factoring his cooking skills in, on attitude alone, he has already surpassed Head Chef Niu by a mile.
However, Zhong Xiang firmly thought that Li Yao only made it through because of his connection. Splitting his reward and being kind to the other workers was his way to win their heart. Without Li Yao, he would’ve been the one in the limelight. Li Yao was the sand in Zhong Xiang’s eye, the thorn in his flesh that he must remove.
Ye Jiayao was a little surprised that she did not see Helian Jing as she walked out of Heavenly Residence. From what she knew of little Jingjing, his impatience would’ve forced him to wait for her outside to interrogate her.
Ah, forget it! I think I just thought too highly of myself.
Little Jingjing probably has returned to the prince’s mansion and does not need her help anymore.
Ye Jiayao opted to walk and let Li Erniang board the carriage. Now that she was dressed up as a man, she could not just ride with Li Erniang. Although the second lady was a middle-aged woman, she was still quite attractive, Ye Jiayao did not want to tarnish her reputation.
Li Erniang said, “Li Yao, you can take a seat with old Guan.”
“No, thank you. I want to take a walk and enjoy the breeze to get rid of the smell of alcohol. It is not a long walk, anyway,” Ye Jiayao refused politely.
The horse carriage moved slowly, the click-clacking sound that it made on the limestone pavement resonated on the empty streets.
From afar, the sweet sound of traditional Chinese musical instruments drifted over. The Qin Huai river was dotted with lights that looked like twinkling stars. Many grand pleasure boats floated along silently among the dazzling lights in the river. The vivid descriptions of history books that she read were brought to life right before her eyes.
Ye Jiayao vowed that when she gets rich, she would book a pleasure boat, invite the prettiest girl in Jin Ling, and tour the river with her. She thought about her dreams and aspirations when she suddenly remembered something. Little Jingjing already knew that she was at Heavenly Residence. There was a great possibility that he would either mention it to the dumb donkey or bring him at the restaurant.
All the hiding and pretending she was doing was all because she wanted to avoid that dumb donkey. It was not like she could just leave. She had already signed a contract and she was too honorable to break it.
Ugh! Whatever! She was going to achieve her goals and follow her dreams no matter what happens with the dumb donkey. After all, what does she have to be afraid of? The battle at the Black Wind Ridge wasn’t even over yet, and Chunyu had already denied any connection with her. It was entirely possible that he might even pretend not to know her when they cross paths.
Ye Jiayao was too caught up in her thought that she did not realize that someone was following her from a distance.
Helian Jing played smart and decided not to approach her so hastily. He wanted to understand the situation first lest she runs from him again.
After stalking her all the way to Laifu Motel, Helian Jing waited for a long while. When big Yaoyao did not come out, he guessed that this must be the place he was staying at.
The waiter came out to close the shop and Helian Jing hurriedly waved him over.
The waiter came out to him and asked suspiciously, “What can I do for you?”
Helian Jing pulled him aside and softly asked, “Is there a man living in the inn called Li Yao?”
The waiter replied, “Yes, what is the matter?”
“He is a distant relative of mine. Both of his parents passed away and he has come to Jin Ling to seek a livelihood. I wanted him to stay over at my house and arrange a good job for him, but he is too proud and is too afraid to give me any trouble. He even refused the money I gave him! Ay! I really don’t know what to do to help him.”
Upon hearing that Helian Jing was a distant relative of little brother Li, the waiter lowered his guard down. “Little brother Li is quite a nice person. On his first night here, he did our shopkeeper a huge favor so Shopkeeper Li likes him. Our lady boss is making noodles for Li Yao now!”
Helian Jing’s heart ached. Big Yaoyao had been busy preparing delicious foods the whole night while he himself was only eating noodles now. He must’ve been famished. Helian Jing immediately pulled out a few silver fragments from his pocket and stuffed them into the waiter’s hands. “I am very worried about him living alone outside. Could you please take care of him? Don’t let him know that I talked to you, though. He’d just feel indebted to me and refuse more help.”
The waiter wasn’t comfortable in taking the silver so he returned them, and said, “I will do that even if you don’t pay me. He is our guest.”
“Keep it, keep it. Just please keep me informed no matter what happens in the future, whatever issues that he has, big or small. I will send someone to hear from you every day. If he leaves, please inform me first-hand. I am working in the Helian prince’s mansion, you can find me there, just say you need to find little Jing. I will reward you accordingly for your help.”
The waiter worked on keeping his surprise from showing. Little brother Li has a relative that works in the Helian mansion? “Sure, I’ll do it.”
“You must never let him know, okay?” Helian Jing warned him.
The waiter smiled. “I won’t, don’t worry.”
“I also heard that he is working at Heavenly Residence.”
“Oh, yes! Little brother Li has extraordinary culinary skills and he already signed a contract as a first-class kitchen helper on his first day.”
“Do you know how long is the contract?”
“I heard little brother Li tell our shopkeeper that it was for three years.” The waiter continued, “He also booked an earth code room for three months in our motel. Shopkeeper Li even gave him a 30% discount.
Helian Jing felt even more saddened to learn that big Yaoyao was staying in the lowest grade room. He knew that he has to think of a way for big Yaoyao to live more comfortably.
After the walk, Ye Jiayao felt a little better. Li Erniang’s noodle also helped a great deal with her headache. She found that the second lady’s skills were indeed good as she made a normal tomato and egg noodles taste very delicious.
“Big sister has such good skills! Why didn’t she opened a restaurant? It is more profitable than an inn,” Ye Jiayao asked in between bites.
Shopkeeper Li replied, “It is not that easy running a restaurant. It’s very tiring. Second lady is not in good health and she cannot overexert herself.”
Oh! That explains why Li Erniang looked so slim!
“Big brother, how about your children? Why have I not seen them?”
Shopkeeper Li let out a long depressed sigh. They’re gone. They fell gravely ill at the age of ten and just… left.:
Ye Jiayao almost choked on her noodles. She felt like slapping herself for her big mouth. “I am so sorry, I…”
Shopkeeper Li waved her apology. “It’s okay, don’t worry. Just don’t let your sister-in-law hear it. Once she gets reminded of it, she’d feel terrible and fall sick again.”
Ye Jiayao nodded her head in understanding.
The waiter stepped back inside the inn. Shopkeeper Li frowned and scolded, “I just asked you to close shop, what took you so long?”
“T-there was a customer who wanted to stay. He asked for the price but then left because he thinks it is too expensive,” the waiter stammered
“Expensive? I have the most reasonable price in the whole of Jin Ling! Well, let him ask around and see if anyone can give him any cheaper rates!” Shopkeeper Li ranted. “Ay! It’s really hard to run a business these days!”