Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 95
Chapter 95: So That’s Why
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
The next day, Ye Jiayao went to Heavenly Residence with prominent dark circles under her eyes. Luckily, everyone was equally lethargic.
Ye Jiayao clapped her hands to get their attention. “Everyone, keep your spirits up. As long as the restaurant is open, we’ll do our job and serve well. Let’s welcome our customers in our best condition, our best service, and our best dishes. Besides, things might not be as bad as we thought. It might just get better so don’t act as if the restaurant’s already gone. If we are absent-minded, we’d offend all our customers.”
Deng Haichuan seconded, “Brother Yao is right. The restaurant has yet to close down, so we must be confident. Even if today is the last day, we have to end it off beautifully.”
“Everyone, get back to work!” Zhong Xiang chirped in and he took the lead by cleaning up.
Not long later, Shopkeeper Li came in with his head hung low, gathering everyone for a meeting.
“You guys stay here first, I’ll take a look,” Ye Jiayao said.
Shopkeeper Li looked as though he was gathering everyone to talk about a funeral. The three days grace period was not over yet, it was too early to give up.
“Shopkeeper…” Ye Jiayao and Manager Qian entered.
Shopkeeper Li looked up, he looked wan and sallow and his eyes were bloodshot. “Where’s the rest?”
“Shopkeeper Li, do you intend to give up?” Ye Jiayao asked.
Shopkeeper Li sighed heavily. “I even kneeled in front of Boss Sun yesterday and it still didn’t work. This restaurant could not be saved. Seven years… I have poured everything into this restaurant to get it to where it was now and it’s just going to end like this.”
Manager Qian said, “Shopkeeper, while you were gone yesterday, Li Yao invited Young Royal Highness Jing over and he agreed to help.”
Shopkeeper Li’s shocked eyes swung to his blessed chef. “Li Yao, is this true?”
Ye Jiayao nodded. “Young Royal Highness agreed to help and had started investigating the situation. If we find out the reason behind this, I believe we can find the appropriate steps to solve the problem.”
Shopkeeper Li couldn’t control the tears of relief that started pouring out of his eyes. He choked out, “Li Yao, thank you. If not for you, my years of hard work would go down the drain. Everyone who has followed me all these years would end up with nothing. I’d let everyone down…”
Ye Jiayao smiled bitterly. She couldn’t accept his gratitude because she might just very well be the cause of this whole mess.
“Brother Yao, the Young Royal Highness Jing has sent someone over,” Deng Haichuan reported.
Ye Jiayao’s spirits jolted up.
Shopkeeper Li said anxiously, “Li Yao, quick, get going.”
“What about the lunch?”
“Why are you still thinking of lunch?The most important matter is at stake! Go take a look at what is the situation. If you need me to show up or spend money, just tell me,” Shopkeeper Li said impatiently.
Ye Jiayao headed out and found Little Jing’s attendant, Ping An.
“Where is the Young Royal Highness?”
Ping An replied, “He is in the teahouse up ahead. Young Royal Highness said that it is inconvenient to speak here so he invited you over there to talk.”
Ye Jiayao’s heart skipped a beat. If Little Jing was being that careful, it could only mean that this predicament has something to do with her.
She followed Ping An to the teahouse and she found Xia Chunfeng there as well. Seeing him made Ye Jiayao feel awkward. If not for him being so touchy yesterday, Dumb Donkey wouldn’t have flipped out. Ah! Forget it! He’d already said his piece, it’s time for her to move on.
“Yaoyao, take a seat,” Helian Jing started.
“What did you find?” Ye Jiayao asked.
Helian Jing and Xia Chunfeng glanced at each other. Helian Jing answered, “We got it out from Boss Sun that someone from the palace sent a word out to get him to take the building back. His son is working in the palace and seemed to have been threatened.”
Palace… Ye Jiayao immediately thought of Liu Li.
“We probed around and guessed that it might be Liu Li trying to find trouble with you,” Xia Chunyu added.
Ye Jiayao laughed coldly. “She is one stubborn mule! For a stately princess to use such underhanded means to deal with a commoner… ha! How honorable!”
“Stately princess?” Xia Chunfeng smirked. “Confucius once said that only women and vile characters are difficult to raise. Liu Li is the perfect combination of the two. She never does ‘just’ or ‘honorable’ things. She can be as despicable and treacherous as she wants. Many have already suffered under her.”
Helian Jing continued, “And precisely why this matter is troublesome. Liu Li will not stop until she achieved her goal. Even with Empress Dowager controlling her, she would think of other ways and means to achieve her motive.”
“All her life, it has always been people giving in to her. She has never been rejected or beaten. You’re the first, and she won’t stop until she has taken revenge on you,” Xia Chunyu told her seriously.
Ye Jiayao shuddered. “Okay, you can stop scaring me now.”
The two of them looked at her somberly.
“Alright!” Ye Jiayao exclaimed in despair. “I take it that I have provoked a demoness, according to what you two just said. Her goal is not just to close down Heavenly Residence, right? I don’t own the restaurant.”
Xia Chunfeng held his fan, tapping it against his palm. “Perhaps Heavenly Residence would only be the first restaurant that would close down because of you. Perhaps she would spread the word that whichever restaurant hires you would end up just like Heavenly Residence.”
“She wants to cut my livelihood?” Ye Jiayao laughed. “The world is so big! I can still survive even if I leave Jin Ling. She doesn’t have power everywhere.”
“That’s right! Yaoyao could even come to the Helian Mansion to work, I’ll hire him as my personal chef,” Helian Jing added, his worry decreasing.
“Just wait.” Xia Chunfeng looked deep in thought. “This is probably not her ultimate goal.”
Helian Jing turned to Yaoyao and said, “I came up with an idea last night. Yaoyao, why don’t I just buy the building? No matter how overbearing Liu Li is, she would not dare to touch the Helian Mansion.”
“That’s a great idea!” Xia Chunfeng agreed exuberantly.
Ye Jiayao hesitated before asking, “How much does a building cost?”
“Money is not a problem. The building is like a hot potato in the hands of Boss Sun, and if someone wants to take over, I bet he would be more than willing. I will use this chance to slash the price down,” Helian Jing said with a smile.
Ye Jiayao figured that a building would cost at least tens of thousands taels. No matter how wealthy the Helian Mansion was, it was still a significant amount of money. The idea of Little Jing spending so much money just to help her was too much for her to bear.
“Little Jing, you don’t need to do that. Just help me arrange a meeting with Liu Li. Whoever started the trouble should end it, so we have to talk this out face to face. No matter what I do, she’ll still be after me so it’s better that we just settle it at one go,” Ye Jiayao said. This started with her and it’s her responsibility to fix it.
“Yaoyao, it is impossible to reason with her. I think my idea is better. Besides, if I buy this building, it would mean that I bought Heavenly Residence. Yaoyao, you can be the shopkeeper! With my influence and your culinary skills, Heavenly Residence would be the top restaurant in Jin Ling!” Helian Jing relayed excitedly. This was shaping to be more and more of a good plan as he thought it through.
Xia Chunfeng’s spirits were up as well. “Great! I want to have a share, too! I still have some savings with me, and I can get some from my brother. Little Jing, let’s just settle it this way.”
“If it is not enough, let’s add Zhao Qixuan in. That fellow has tons of money and he is the wealthiest nobleman in Jin Ling. He has lots of friends so the next time he treats them, he can just come to Heavenly Residence!” Helian Jing reasoned, smiling widely. “With the power of Helian Mansion, Jing An Marquis Mansion, and the Yong An Marquis Mansion behind you, Liu Li could not touch you anymore!”
“This is a wonderful business plan! I know that Zhao Qixuan would definitely agree to this,” Xia Chunfeng said, rubbing his palms together.
These fellows were talking about buying a restaurant like it was just a dumpling! Shopkeeper Li has struggled for a lifetime to open a restaurant and managing it painstakingly for so many years. He would not just let them buy it.
“Calm down, you two. If you want to open a restaurant, go somewhere else. Heavenly Residence is Shopkeeper Li’s life, he would never sell it,” Ye Jiayao said.
Xia Chunfeng and Helian Jing looked at each other. They did not think of that.
“But if we don’t buy it, then there would never be an end to Liu Li! What should we do?” Helian Jing vented angrily.
“Just help me arrange a meeting with Liu Li. I will talk to her.”
“No, no! Liu Li would definitely make things difficult for you. I am not going to let you get bullied,” Helian Jing disagreed firmly.
After some thought, Xia Chunfeng said, “You can talk to her, but we have to be with you. If worse comes to worst, then we will all fall out. When she marries into our house, I will never call her my sister-in-law. Ay, whichever house gets her would be unlucky.”
Ye Jiayao heard a strange buzzing in her ears. Sister-in-law? Who was Liu Li marrying? Chunyu?
Helian Jing turned to Xia Chunfeng. “Is the marriage already settled?”
Xia Chunfeng shook his head. “Almost. But it’s not like Empress Dowager would change her mind about the match.”
“That’s true. I heard from my mother that Empress Dowager has taken her fancy on Brother Chunyu.”
“That’s why the misfortune is befalling on my family.”
Ye Jiayao asked meekly, “What does your brother think about the arrangement?”
“I’m not sure,” Xia Chunfeng replied with a shrug. “I have never really asked him.”
“Well… there are benefits and loss in that marriage. Whoever marries Liu Li would be able to inherit the seventh prince’s inheritance and that is not small,” Helian Jing told her earnestly.
Ye Jiayao was having mixed emotions.
No wonder Chunyu never liked her. Why would he even bother when there was such an important princess waiting for him? Marrying Liu Li would guarantee him a bright future.
She felt herself shrink as she made the comparison between her and Liu Li. She was a mere ant compared to her.
“Yaoyao, what are you thinking?” Helian Jing noticed that she seemed out of sorts.
“Oh, nothing.” Ye Jiayao forced out a smile.
“Ay. If my brother were to handle this, this matter wouldn’t be so difficult to settle. Liu Li would certainly listen to him. But I don’t know what’s wrong with my brother recently, I heard that he has been quite temperamental.” Xia Chunfeng sighed.
“Perhaps it is because of the West Mongolia matter. My brother has prepared to volunteer himself to go to war! My brother and your brother are inseparable, so they might join hands once again,” Helian Jing mused.
Ye Jiayao had no idea what they were talking about and she couldn’t even pretend to care. Her mind was full of images of Chunyu and Liu Li together.
That was why he was so ruthless with his words last night. He was about to marry Liu Li and he was eager to cut off all his ties with his first ‘wife’.