Adorable Food Goddess - Chapter 99
Chapter 99: Have We Passed The Ordeal
Translator: YTJS_ Editor: Perriemix
Helian Jing wiped the sweat from his forehead as the group exited the palace. His relief was obvious in his voice as he said, “Man, I was so terrified I broke out in cold sweat! I thought we would definitely get hit.”
Xia Chunfeng also voiced out his lingering fears, “My legs and stomach are still trembling…”
Helian Xuan and Xia Chunyu both rolled their eyes at their younger brothers.
“Thank heavens that the Emperor is wise enough to give us jobs in the pretense of punishing us! This is a blessing in disguise, right?” Helian Jing said, sounding pleased with himself.
Yu De rebuked, “Stop being so smug. I was scared to death in there! When we reach home, face the wall to reflect on your mistakes. You are also grounded for a month.”
Xia You also turned to Chunfeng and said, “You, too. If this happens again, I will break your legs.”
“His Majesty is assigning me to work in the army tomorrow! How can I do that if I’m grounded?” Helian Jing countered, smiling triumphantly.
His mother simply gave him a cold stare.
Xia You noticed that Chun-er and Helian Xuan were standing close together as if they have something else to discuss. She called out, “Chun-er, go home early, alright? I have something to ask you.”
Xia Chunyu nodded and watched them leave.
“What is going on with you and Li Yao?” Helian Xuan asked.
Xia Chunyu sighed. He never intended to keep his best friend in the dark, but he didn’t want to mention it earlier to him either since he has yet to confirm his feelings. Now that Helian Xuan was entangled with his lies, he has to come clean. Maybe he could even be of some help to them.
“She is the woman I married in the stockade.”
“I’m sorry, woman? You’re saying she’s a woman?”
“Her real name is Ye Jinxuan. She is the oldest daughter of Ye Binghuai, the Yang Zhou’s government sub-prefect, and his first wife…” Xia Chunyu proceeded to tell Helian Xuan how Ye Jiayao got captured to the mountains and became his woman. He told him how they got separated because of a misunderstanding and how she eventually escaped death and traveled to Jin Ling.
Helian Xuan was speechless for a few seconds, deeply moved. “That’s incredible. It’s such a bizarre turn of events, even more brilliant than the stories in books.”
Helian Xuan laughed inwardly as he recalled how he used to think that Li Yao and Helian Jing were homosexuals. “What do you intend to do now?”
Xia Chunyu smiled. “Marry her.”
“Marry her? How?” Helian Xuan was astonished. “She can’t even return home. And even if she is reinstated as the eldest daughter of the Ye family, her status is still far beneath yours. Besides, you can’t decide on your marriage. Even if Liu Li decides to cancel, she’d just be replaced by other princesses.”
This is precisely the problem that Xia Chunyu was stuck with.
“She can become your concubine. That would be easier to settle,” Helian Xuan suggested.
“That will not do. Do you really think that she’d dress up as a man and work as a chef if she’s willing to become a concubine? She has a very strong character. Besides, I don’t wish for that either,” Xia Chunyu told him with a bitter laugh.
Helian Xuan looked at him in surprise. “I didn’t know you were such a romantic!”
Xia Chunyu laughed and punched his shoulder playfully. “Wait until you meet the right person, and then you’ll understand how I feel.”
“Well, it’s a pity that my Miss Right may still be in someone’s womb.” Helian Xuan laughed mockingly at himself.
“Quick, take a look at which family has a cute little baby and carry her home to raise her,” Xia Chunyu cajoled.
Helian Xuan replied with a punch. “How about you quickly give birth to one for me to carry home.”
“That won’t do,” Xia Chunyu said, playing along. “I don’t want my daughter to marry an old man.”
Helian Xuan raised his fist as though he was going to beat him up, and Xia Chunyu nimbly dodged it, laughing heartily.
A few palace maids passed by and Xia Chunyu immediately made his expression somber.
“Hey, keep this matter a secret for the meantime, okay?” Xia Chunyu reminded Helian Xuan.
Helian Xuan raised a brow. “Get my sister-in-law to bring me some delicious food so my mouth would be occupied.”
In the palace, Liu Li lays on the Empress Dowager’s lap, sobbing. “Empress Dowager, I know I was wrong, but they were too ruthless! How can you expect me to face everyone again…”
Earlier on, someone had told her what happened in the palace hall. The Empress Dowager wanted to take her side, but the Emperor kept supporting them. Instead of punishing the rascals, he even arranged jobs for them. Liu Li was a little panic-stricken. What does this imply? Was the Emperor dissatisfied with her? Does the Empress Dowager no longer have the ability to shield her?
The Empress Dowager tenderly brushed her hair. “Liu Li, the Emperor is right. You are all grown up, it is time to be sensible. If you continue like this, how are you going to become someone’s wife? How are you going to become a mother? I am already old, who knows how long do I have left? But with you like this… how can I pass on peacefully…”
Liu Li looked up at the Empress Dowager tearfully. “Empress Dowager, Liu Li knows her mistakes. I will not make you worry again. Please, don’t say such things to scare me. I am scared…”
“I am not trying to scare you, Liu Li. To be born, to grow old, to get sick, and to die are all part and parcel of life. Everyone has to go through them. I thought you’d be alright with the Xia family since they have a hundred-year Marquis name, and they’ve never faltered despite the changes of the imperial politics. Xia Chunyu seemed earnest and reliable so I thought you’d be okay in his hands.
“But what he’s shown today… no, this won’t do. He has yet to marry you and he’s already treating you like this! He even dared to challenge me! This marriage agreement should cease immediately.” The Empress Dowager sighed. Xia You and Xia Chunyu’s performance today disappointed her deeply.
“But Liu Li only likes him. I won’t marry any other man!” Liu Li blurted out in a moment of desperation.
She has liked Chunyu for a long time. When the Empress Dowager, the Emperor, and her aunt were choosing her marriage partner, she had been so afraid that they wouldn’t pick Chunyu.
It was because she likes him that she was unable to take it when he scolded her so harshly. She felt so wronged and abandoned. However, even though she hated him for embarrassing her like that, she has never thought of giving up on their impending marriage.
The Empress Dowager sighed again, wary with all this back and forth. Ah, forget it. The younger generations will do alright on their own.
Liu Li softly bit her cherry lips, a ruthlessness flashing through those teary eyes. This incident has given her a huge punishment and has taught her a valuable lesson. Next time, she would not be so brash. She would not be so guileless to be plotted against by someone so easily. She would not waste time punishing whoever offends her, she’d simply make them vanish off the face of the earth.
Ye Jiayao was agitated, worried about Chunyu and the rest of the guys. She has no idea how the Empress Dowager would deal with them.
Seeing how Liu Li had ended up so arrogant and willful, she has no doubt that the Empress Dowager would be just as unreasonable.
Finally, she could not bear to stay any longer in the house. She ran out and sat on the steps by the door, waiting for some news. She believed that if Chunyu was alright, he would send someone to tell her that.
Jiang Yue also came out to keep her company.
“Sister Yaoyao, Heir-Son Lord would be fine.”
Ye Jiayao said discontentedly, “How do you know?”
You have no idea how much trouble we are in.
Jiang Yue pouted. “My father said so. He says this is just like children fighting and falling out with each other. How serious can that be?”
Ye Jiayao could not help but laugh. If it only were that simple. This was the royal family they’re talking about. All it takes is one wrong word for them to lose their heads.
However, she believed that Chunyu and the others were very unlikely to be beheaded just because of this matter. After all, the Helian Mansion and the Jing An Marquis’ residence were not the kinds of forces to be reckoned with.
No, she knew that they’d be alright. What she was really feeling bad about was her hand in all this mess. They were in this predicament because of her.
Ugh! This is so f*cking depressing! Modern age or the ancient times, they’re all the same! All you need is wealth and prestige to get everyone to fall in line behind you.
“Third Madam, do you think this can be used?” Jiang Li walked over to them and handed her a ‘whisk’ made of bamboo.
Ye Jiayao looked it over. The whisk was made with dexterity, with a single thin bamboo split into eight thin strips. A fine bamboo strip was used to fasten the eight strips into a bulge at the base. This looked incredible!
“Yue-er, get me an egg and a bowl.”
Jiang Li replied, “I’ll go.”
Jiang Li returned with an egg and a bowl after a few minutes. Ye Jiayao cracked the egg and separated the yolk. Using the bamboo whisk, she beat the egg white in a clockwise direction. In no time at all, the egg white transformed into a stiff bubble.
“What is this?” Jiang Yue found it very novel. Why would an egg white become like this after stirring?
“This is good stuff,” Ye Jiayao answered, extremely pleased with the whisk. “There are many uses for this, I’ll teach you them in future.”
“Ah Li, is there anything you can’t make?” Ye Jiayao asked, feeling immense admiration for Jiang Li’s talent and imagination. She’d only tell him a rough idea and he’d build it to perfection.
Jiang Li scratched his head, abashed. “I can’t make delicious food.”
Ye Jiayao snorted. It looked like the honest and unsophisticated Jiang Li has such a cute side to him, too. The worry in her heart lightened significantly.
It was almost nighttime.
Ye Jiayao leaned on her hand, glancing at the door of the courtyard from time to time. Jiang Yue was leaning on the pillar, almost falling asleep. Jiang Li sat in the courtyard, doing some carpentry work. He wanted to make a dressing case for Third Madam.
In the courtyard, where the rhythmic sound of chiseling echoes, the sound of horse’s hooves sounded like an ominous boom .
Ye Jiayao suddenly got up and ran to open the door.
Song Qi was about to raise his hand to knock on the door when it opened, his fingers almost knocking onto Ye Jiayao’s face.
“Madam…” Song Qi’s hand froze on the spot.
“Song Qi, how is it?” Ye Jiayao asked hurriedly, swiping his hand away.
“Oh, the Heir-Son Lord sent me to tell you that everything’s fine. There’s nothing to worry about.”
“Really? What about the Young Royal Highness Jing? What about Chunfeng? Everyone’s alright?”
“Everyone’s alright. The Young Royal Highness and Third Young Master were even given jobs by the Emperor.”
“Not a single punishment?” Ye Jiayao couldn’t believe her ears. Was the Empress Dowager really that reasonable? Or was it just because Chunyu does not want her to worry so he’s just making Song Qi deliver the good news and not the bad?
“The Emperor got the Heir-Son Lord to go home and write an essay of repentance. Other than that, there is nothing else.” Song Qi continued, “This is absolutely no punishment. The Heir-Son Lord can even take this chance to stay at home and rest for two days. That’s more than he could ask for.”
Jiang Yue, who crept up behind them, exclaimed, “That’s great! I told you, Third Madam, the Heir-Son Lord will be alright.”
Ye Jiayao almost keeled over from the overwhelming relief she felt. “Where is the Heir-Son Lord now?”
“He is back in the residence. He was called over by Madam so he couldn’t come in person like he wanted,” Song Qi answered.
It looks like he’s going to get a lecture from his mother. Well, a lecture by his mother is more favorable than any punishment by the Empress Dowager!
Ye Jiayao just has no idea whether this ordeal really has passed or not.