Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 57
Chapter 57: Dumb Donkey Wants To See Her
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
Since big Yaoyao was busy, Helian Jing did not want to disturb him further. He simply ordered a cup of tea and a plate of snacks as he patiently waited in the Lotus Suite, occasionally jotting down some ideas for the birthday feast he was throwing.
As soon as Shopkeeper Li arrived at the restaurant, someone informed him of the current situation. He was shocked and embarrassed, finding Li Yao’s behaviour outrageous. He rushed over to the Lotus Suite and immediately apologized to the young prince.
“I will get Li Yao to come over at once,” Shopkeeper Li promised.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, don’t bother. I will wait until he is done,” Helian Jing said indifferently.
Shopkeeper Li was surprised to find the Young Prince Jing so accommodating to a mere cook. There were rumours that Young Prince Jing was a bit spoiled and not at all an easy-going person. Shopkeeper Li was wondering what was going on.
Helian Jing waited until lunchtime but big Yaoyao still hasn’t come out. He ordered a few dishes and continued waiting again.
Xia Chunyu, on his way to the palace with two Imperial bodyguards, passed by Heavenly Residence.
“Sir, I am afraid it would be way past lunchtime by the time we reach the palace,” a bodyguard informed him.
Xia Chunyu considered it for a while before dismounting the horse. “Then, we shall have our meal here.”
Little Jing has been singing praises about his friend Jin Yao’s cooking skills, so Chunyu thought that it was time for him to put it to the test.
The waiter named Ah Xing welcomed him gracefully. “Sir, would you like to take our Orchid Suite? It oversees the river so you can enjoy that wonderful view as you eat.”
Ah Xing has been a waiter for years now and he has skillfully mastered discerning the customers, identifying their status by their clothing and presence.
A waiter must practice till he has a pair of discerning eyes, telling the status of every customer from their clothing and presence. He recommended the best suite because one look at Xia Chunyu’s official Imperial bodyguard uniform and his imposing manner, he knew that he was not just an ordinary rich person.
Xia Chunyu couldn’t care less about any lavishness. “Lead the way.”
Helian Jing walked to the mouth of the staircase, on his way back to his suite from visiting the latrine, when he ran into Xia Chunyu.
“Brother Chunyu? What a coincidence! Are you here for lunch?” Helian Jing was shocked to see brother Chunyu in the restaurant, big Yaoyao’s warning flashing in his head.
Xia Chunyu frowned. What else will I do in a restaurant? Practice sword fighting?
“Yes, what about you? Who are you here with?”
“I… I am about to leave!” Helian Jing squeaked in panic.
Ah Xing was baffled and asked, “Young Royal Highness, the dishes that you’ve ordered are not served yet.”
Helian Jing wanted to strangle the meddlesome waiter. He said fiercely, “I just don’t feel like eating. Am I not entitled to leave whenever I want to?”
Xia Chunyu raised his brows, finding little Jing’s reaction very unusual for him. He looked flustered and Xia Chunyu found it odd that he’d leave without eating what he ordered. Wasn’t he always boasting of Jin Yao’s cooking skills?
“Brother Chunyu, why don’t we go to another restaurant. Come on, I’ll treat you to Fu Ji.” Helian Jing smiled and tried to pull Xia Chunyu away.
Xia Chunyu refused to budge. “I went here because I wanted to support your friend. Besides, we’re already here, there’s no sense in leaving. Waiter, where’s Young Prince Jing’s suite?”
He was pretty certain that little Jing was hiding something, and as his brother’s friend, Xia Chunyu was obliged to check it out.
“It’s the Lotus Suite,” Ah Xiang replied.
Xia Chunyu immediately veered straight to the Lotus Suite, Helian Jing on his heels.
Xia Chunyu opened the door to the suite but there was no one else inside. He was a bit bewildered because he was sure that little Jing was hiding someone in here.
Xia Chunyu took a seat and asked, “Waiter, what are your specialty dishes?”
Helian Jing sighed in defeat. Now that brother Chunyu has made himself comfortable, he couldn’t really just send him away. He would just have to reason to big Yaoyao that Chunyu came here on his own accord. Hopefully, big Yaoyao would believe him. “Well, brother Chunyu, the pork stomach chicken here is good. It is big Yaoyao’s specialty dish, I tried it yesterday and it is absolutely delicious.”
Xia Chunyu perked up. This dish sounds familiar! Isn’t it the one that Yaoyao used to entice Song Qi and the gang to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with her? Song Qi never got to taste it and until now, kept bringing it up. Wasn’t it a big coincidence that this Jin Yao fellow also knew how to make it?
“Okay, I’ll have one of that. What else do you recommend?”
“Waiter, add a Carp Leaps Over the Dragon Door, a crab powder pork meatballs, and simmer-fried spare ribs,” Helian Jing ordered smoothly. He knew that these were brother Chunyu’s favourites so he knew that this was a must.
“That’s enough. This is just lunch, no need to be so grand.” Xia Chunyu still has work in the afternoon!
When the order form was sent to the kitchen, Ye Jiayao looked at the numerous orders from Lotus Suite. She asked, “Does Young Prince Jing have guests?”
“Oh, yes. He ran into someone he knew so they sat in the same suite,” Ah Xing replied.
“Okay, then you bring these dishes over first,” Ye Jiayao told him.
Xia Chunyu noticed the little notebook on the table and he asked Helian Jing, “Are you doing homework?”
Little Jing was notorious for being mischievous. Back in his days at Imperial College, no teacher was willing to school him because they could not stand him. Since he was not learning anything at college, the Helian family hired a tutor to teach him in the palace. Little Jing ended up setting his tutor’s moustache on fire. It was an accident, of course, but it was enough to build his reputation. No one dared to teach him so Helian Xuan was forced to be his brother’s tutor.
“No, no. My brother assigned the preparation of my grandmother’s birthday feast to me. Those are some ideas for the program.” Helian Jing smiled embarrassedly.
“That is good! If there is anywhere you need my help in, just tell me.” Xia Chunyu smiled encouragingly. He was glad that Helian Xuan heeded his advice.
The waiter came in and served their dishes; one grilled shiitake, one seasonal vegetable, and one sweet and sour carp.
“Brother Chunyu, try it! Big Yaoyao made them, they are delicious! Especially this shiitake mushroom, you can’t find it anywhere else,” Helian Jing said.
Ah Xing smiled. “This is a new dish that the restaurant just launched.”
Xia Chunyu froze. Indeed, it couldn’t be found anywhere else, except… I’ve seen this at Black Wind Ridge.
Although it wasn’t served in an iron pan then, the fragrance of the still sizzling meat, made his heart race. Xia Chunyu tried the shiitake mushroom, the meat patty on top was crispy, and the shiitake mushroom at the bottom was succulent and tender. The familiar taste of the dish was scrambling his memory.
He tried the sweet and sour carp next and found that the balance of the sweetness and tanginess was just right.
He felt as though his heart was about to jump out of his mouth.
Multiple thoughts flashed through his mind. Perhaps this Jin Yao and Yaoyao have the same master… perhaps, Yaoyao did not die and she taught Jin Yao this dish… perhaps Jin Yao is Yaoyao…
“Well, how is it? Delicious, right? I told you!” Helian Jing urged excitedly.
Xia Chunyu told himself to calm down. The higher the hopes, the greater the disappointment. If he made a rash mistake, it would be very embarrassing. Anyways, there was still the crab powder pork meatballs and the simmer-fried spare ribs to judge. Yaoyao has also made these dishes before and he wanted to taste them first before he let himself expect more.
“It is passable,” Xia Chunyu said in an off-handed manner.
Helian Jing pouted. Everyone has always said that he has a picky mouth, well, in his opinion, Chunyu was pickier than the two of them. How could big Yaoyao’s divinely delicious meal just be passable?
“How old is this Jin Yao of yours?” Xia Chunyu asked casually.
Helian Jing thought about it for a while. Big Yaoyao looked a lot younger than him, he just liked to be the boss and lecture him.
“16 or 17, I think? I never asked, actually.”
Xia Chunyu’s heart stuttered. They were not far apart in age.
“He intends to stay in Heavenly Residence? After he gave you so much help, you are not going to find him a better job?”
Helian Jing wrinkled his nose in distaste. “I want to, but Big Yaoyao wants to make it on his own. He wants to succeed on his own. He doesn’t want to be looked down by others that’s why he purposely hid from me.”
Xia Chunyu nodded in understanding. Yaoyao was like that too, a little unreasonable and very hardworking. She never asked for anything from him. The only thing she begged him for was keeping Da Bao and Er Bao and… not to abandon her.
“He has principles and a backbone, I’ll give him that,” Xia Chunyu replied.
“Yeah, he’s impressive. I don’t even come close compared to him,” Helian Jing admitted discontentedly.
Xia Chunyu sneered jokingly, “At least you have self-awareness.”
Helian Jing ignored the jibe and said, “Brother Chunyu, my brother said that if I’m successful in organizing grandmother’s birthday feast, he will arrange an assignment for me.:
Xia Chunyu patted him on the shoulder, cheering him up. “Don’t worry. You can do this.”
Helian Jing smiled gratefull. “Go on, eat, eat.”
Dish after dish was served.
Xia Chunyu could count two dishes tasting similar to Yaoyao’s as a coincidence, but all of them? He was afraid to hope, but he could not help it.
“Little Jing, this friend of yours has quite the skill. Invite him out here, I want to meet him. You’ve also got me curious as to how this man could get your admiration,” Xia Chunyu jested, forcing himself to adopt a relaxed posture.
Helian Jing was very hesitant. Big Yaoyao told him not to bring brother Chunyu to the restaurant, and yet here he was. Big Yaoyao would be angry for sure.
“He’s… um, he’s very busy!” Helian Jing stammered.
Ah Xing, hoping to please both noblemen, said, “Brother Yao should be free right now. There are not many customers this afternoon.”
Xia Chunyu immediately ordered, “Invite him over.”
“Yes, sir, I will go at once.” Ah, Xing ran to the kitchen excitedly. The new customer seemed to be satisfied with brother Yao’s dishes, and might even give them some tips.
Helian Jing opened his mouth to stop him but Ah Xing was already gone.
In the kitchen, after Ah Xiang relayed the message to Ye Jiayao, she carefully asked, “Do you know who is with the prince?”
Ah, Xing answered, “I heard Young Prince Jing call him Brother Chunyu.”
All the blood drained from Ye Jiayao’s face. She got so lightheaded she thought she was going to pass out.
F*ck! That dumb donkey wants to see her! What could she do? She doesn’t want to see him!
Deng Haichuan walked over to her and said, “Brother Yao, Cloud Suite on the second floor just ordered another grilled shiitake.”
Ye Jiayao stared at Deng Haichuan, an idea forming in her head. She pulled him aside hurriedly and carefully whispered her plan to him.
Deng Haichuan’s eyes widened. “Brother Yao, this is not a good idea!”
“Well, good or not, it doesn’t matter. I am busy. I have no time to chat with those big masters. It’s alright, Young Prince Jing will not scold you. If anything happens, I promise, I will take the blame. Remember what I said, okay? Go, quick! If there are rewards, it will all go to you!” Ye Jiayao pushed him out.
Deng Haichuan could only brace himself as he went up with Ah Xing to the Lotus Suite.
“Will this work? What if the customers get angry? That new sir looks imposing, even Young Prince Jing was respectful to him,” Ah Xing worried.
Deng Haichuan was covered in cold sweat. “I don’t know, but whatever happens, brother Yao said he’ll take the blame.”