Imperial Chef Rookie – Chapter 08 – Eat at the Princess’ Expense, Start a New Life

Imperial Chef Rookie – Chapter 08 – Eat at the Princess’ Expense, Start a New Life

[Translator’s Note: This translator’s noticed that the writer seemed to have shot off most of their work without an editor. There were a lot of repeated expressions, floating sentences, and unattached lines here and there. Loads of ‘I’ expressions which the translator felt was rather jarring and ‘blocky’ instead of smooth flowing.

It kicked translator’s pet peeve in the teeth, so….

This translator has decided to take creative licence and present a smooth end product that may not reflect the writing style of the author, but will (hopefully) convey the author’s, impression, plot, character development, themes and other important good writing related stuff.]

UNEDITED, BLOCKY VERSION:

The swaying sedan chair brought me to the entrance of a specially prepared residence within the palace.

I was carried on a swaying sedan chair to the entrance of a specially prepared residence.

The eunuch travelling with me told me that I have to be at Yi Hua Palace by weishi (1-3pm) to meet the princess.

When he finished giving orders for the rest of the matter, and was about to leave, I quickly caught up to him and called out to him in the most humble way.

“This most honourable Gong Gong, may this one please request directions for the Yi Hua Palace? This one had just entered the palace and am not at all familiar with anyone or anything. Could this one trouble Gong Gong to give a little guidance towards the meeting place?”

The eunuch looked at my empty hands an expressionless look. Having nothing to recommend me beyond a humble mouth, he lifted an arm to point at a rough direction and impatiently said.

“Nuo, see that direction? You go look for it yourself. Didn’t I tell you? My instructions were to send you here and it is done. I have other things to do. There are many other duties waiting for me in the palace, I cannot dawdle here too long, ya!”

This kind of snotty behaviour on a servant, he probably thinks I’m just a regular flunky.

There’s no point for me to try and insist, after all I have no bribe for him, nor do I know the palace rules and regulations. If he wanted to skimp on his job, there’s nothing much I could do.

He left quickly after that, leaving me alone in the middle of the yard. I felt like I’m standing in the middle of a thick mist, trying to work out a way to touch the head of a 10 foot monk. Unable to decipher the instructions given to me.

The imperial palace was so vast, do you really think I could find my way just from a finger point? Even if I do eventually find that place, there’s no guarantee I can make it by weishi (1-3pm), ah!

Sighing, I dusted off my clothes and set out in the direction pointed out. More or less groping my way through.

My first impression of the Imperial Palace. It’s just too big, ah!

Imposing and Majestic, Glorious and Dazzling, Magnificent and Gorgeous, the buildings Tall, the walls Massive. In short, everything was done in a Grand Style.

I felt very tiny standing here all alone, ah. It’s like being in the middle of the ocean on a small boat where a random wave from nowhere would topple me overboard.

As I walked, I sighed, eventually losing my way and somehow ended up in front of a strange courtyard. I raised my eyes and saw three very impressive words over a pair of gigantic entrance doors: Purple Mist Palace.

The inside was magnificently decorated, a faint of scent of lavender lingered in the air. Nearly all of the decorative bits were in varying shade of purple, giving a bewitching kind of impression on a random visitor. Just one glance and you could tell that the owner really, really liked the colour purple.

“Goodness knows what kind of concubine owns this palace. Better leave now before anyone sees me.”

Ducking low, I hurriedly rushed out. Not sure whether it’s just plain bad luck, or perhaps I have not checked my horoscopes today.

As soon as I stepped passed the entrance, I bumped into a busty palace maid.

I staggered back a few steps from the impact. The unfortunate palace maid staggered back and landed flat on her back.

I hurriedly looked up to check on the palace maid’s condition, but was distracted by a super glamorous woman who was standing a little to the side.

About 20 years of age, she was dressed in a pale lilac long dress that swept all the way to the floor with a gauzy purple wrap around her. Her dark hair was piled up in a cloud bun, decorated with a simple silver moon hair pin. A pair of eyes like liquid stars, slim waist with a graceful and willowy figure appearing almost unreal.

She and the princess could both be termed as great beauties, but both occupied a different category of beauty.

The princess’ looks could be described as pure as jade and clean as ice. An untouchable beauty above mere mortals.This woman has a more organic kind of charm that bewitches the senses and lure in mortals like a spirit of seduction.

I gaped stupidly at this creature, completely forgetting about the palace maid that was still prone on the floor.

The palace maid had been on her right, was unlucky enough to bumped into me.

She angrily jumped up, rolled her shoulders and shouted:

“You dumb servant, from which court did you come from? Did you forgot to bring your eyes when you come out? Luckily the one you bumped into is me, if you had bumped into my mistress, could you afford to pay?”

Not knowing how to answer, I lowered my head and knelt down.

“Niang Niang, please spare this one! This one does not realise that this court belongs to Niang Niang. The princess has bade this humble one to meet at Yi Hua Palace. This foolish one has lost his way and accidentally wondered in here and encountered Niang Niang. May Niang Niang have mercy. This lowly one has no bad intentions~”

“Oh, so you’re one of Princess Yi Hua’s people?” Her eyebrows raised as she gave me a complicated look.

The Princess Yi Hua she mentioned was actually Mu Zhen.

Yi Hua was her official title, born of the Empress, she was the Emperor’s most beloved princess.

That the emperor had taken the effort to build a palace and named it after her title showed just how beloved she was.

I calmly replied, “This small one indeed belongs to Yi Hua Palace.”

Since the princess was the one who wanted me in the palace, surely she will grant me some protection. If I say that I’m part of the princess’ staff, surely they would not dare bully me too much. Even an Imperial Concubine would have to give face to the Emperor’s most beloved princess.

“Since you’re from Yi Hua Palace, it is proper for us to give face to the princess. Not to mention, you stumbling into my Purple Mist Palace was but an accident, is it not? Hua Rong, get two person to escort him to Yi Hua Palace. Next time don’t get too lost and wonder into my Purple Mist Palace, oh~”

Her beautiful face became even more enchanting with the addition of an alluring smile.

That palace maid called Hua Rong accepted these orders.

Without a second look at me, she got some people to escort her in.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness nothing bad happened.

When the palace maids finally got me to the Yi Hua Palace it was already youshi (5-7 pm). The princess should be very angry by now.

If die, then die, ba. I trailed in, not daring to think further about it. The only thing I could do now was hold my head high and step into the palace.

Only to see the a person seated in the middle of the main hall, a figure clothed in a moon white brocade dress with pink patterns. Silver embroidery edged the sleeves. Large jasmines patterned the perfectly arranged skirt. Very pretty.

There’s no doubt about it, this was the princess.

“And here I thought you won’t be coming. You’re supposed to wait for me at weishi (1-3 pm), but instead you’ve made me wait until youshi (5-7 pm). Very good, Song Xiran, it looks like your face is even bigger than mine.”

As expected, she’s very angry, resentfully I said:

“This one has been wrongfully accused. Princess please don’t be angry and listen to this one’s explanation, ah! This one had left very early, but got lost on the way, even stumbled into Concubine Li Fei’s Purple Mist Palace, luckily Concubine Li Fei was merciful, and spared this one’s life, even lent me guides to show the way so I may meet princess, ah.”

“Lost, how come? Didn’t that eunuch bring you here?” She eyed me with suspicion, disbelief and trust warring for space on her face.

“Princess, that eunuch saw that I had no reward for him, abandoned me and left. Left this one to foolishly grope my way. This Imperial Palace is large and I do not know my way. Otherwise, I probably won’t even be able to meet with princess. On top of that, princess had to wait for so long. Princess, this one is in the wrong~”

I allowed my snot and tears to flow freely as I threw that that profiteering eunuch under the carriage.

My pitiful state must have touched her heart to give me the benefit of doubt, and she was no longer angry.

“I will be sure to punish that eunuch, don’t worry. Oh yes, you say that it’s Su Yue Ran’s people who sent you here?”

“Su Yue Ran?”

I had no idea who she was talking about, so could only stare back in puzzlement.

She gave me a wary look and prompted:

“That’s Li Fei.”

“Oooh~ that one, in answer to princess. It’s Concubine Li Fei’s people who led me here.”

“I don’t like her, in the future keep a distance from her and her people, understand?”

Since her face showed a displeased look when talking about Concubine Li Fei, what could I do but nodded in agreement.

Though I did not understand the princess’ enmity against Concubine Li Fei, as princess’ staff, I should naturally obey her words.

“Oh yes, we should talk about why I have you brought in. I want you to make medicinal food for me.”

“Medicinal food? Is the princess suffering from some illness?And how did you know that I know medicinal cooking?”

When I heard her demand for medicinal cooking, I suddenly felt anxious, even though she did not look sick at all.

“My body is naturally sensitive to the cold. Especially during the night when I could not sleep well due to the bone penetrating cold. I think it worsened since that time I was bitten by a snake, I’ve already asked the palace physician to have a look, but they could do nothing. I just happened to remember you rescuing me that one time, and sent people to investigate…By the way, do you really think there’s anything about you I do not know? Otherwise I would not have searched for you.”

The princess gave a look that seemed pregnant with all kinds of meanings.

You’re sure my kidnapping into the Imperial Palace was due to some kind of deep plot, and not just a random whim?”

I stared at the princess’ flawless smile and felt anxious. Looks like the princess may be telling the truth about having investigate my background, otherwise she would not have dragged me into the Imperial Palace.

Seeing my hesitation, she continued:

“Your salary will be 20 times more than what you’re currently paid. You may have full access to the Imperial Kitchens and the people within. I’ve already arranged your living quarters, you only have to serve me medical food. You may also come and go from the palace as you wish. Well, any question?”

The princess is simply tossing out grossly excessive benefits one after another, what should I do!?

This was like getting the bear paws along with the fish[4], did such really good things still exist in this world??

Wakaka, my dream life, it’s finally here~

Under such gloriously huge enticement, I threw away all sense of dignity and agreed without further consideration.

From now on, I will follow the princess and eat at her expense. Living the useless leech’s life of a half gigolo.

=======

EDITED VERSION:

The swaying sedan chair brought me to the entrance of a specially prepared residence within the palace.

The eunuch travelling with me said that I have to at Yi Hua Palace at weishi(1-3pm) to meet the princes.

He gave me a few other minor instructions and turned to leave. I quickly caught up to him and spoke in my best humble voice. “This most honourable Gong Gong, may this one please request directions for the Yi Hua Palace? This one had just entered the palace and am not at all familiar with anyone or anything. Could this one trouble Gong Gong to give a little guidance towards the meeting place?”

The eunuch looked at my empty hands and pursed his lips. Then he carelessly lifted an arm and pointed somewhere. “Nuo [1], see that direction? You go look for it yourself. Didn’t I tell you? My instructions are to send you here and it is done. There are many duties in the palace and this one does not have the time to play tour guide.”

The arrogance of a fancy servant. He probably thought I’m just a regular flunky.

There’s no point for me to try and insist, after all I have no bribe for him, nor do I know the palace rules and regulations. If he wanted to skimp on his job, there’s nothing much I could do.

He left quickly after that, leaving me alone in the middle of the yard. I felt like I’m standing in the middle of a thick mist, trying to work out a way to touch the head of a 10 foot monk [2]. Unable to decipher the instructions given to me.

The imperial palace was so vast, do you really think I could find my way just from a finger point? Even if I do eventually find that place, there’s no guarantee I can make it by weishi (1-3pm), ah!

Sighing, I dusted off my clothes and set out in the direction pointed out. More or less groping my way through.

My first impression of the Imperial Palace. It’s just too big, ah!

Imposing and Majestic, Glorious and Dazzling, Magnificent and Gorgeous, the buildings Tall, the walls Massive. In short, everything was done in a Grand Style.

I felt very tiny standing here all alone, ah. It’s like being in the middle of the ocean on a small boat, where a random wave from nowhere could topple me overboard.

As I walked, I sighed, eventually losing my way. Somehow, I ended up in front of a strange courtyard. I raised my eyes, trailing up a pair of gigantic doors and and saw three very impressive words above the entrance: Purple Mist Palace.

I was lured past those doors[3] by a faint scent of lavender in the air.

Inside was magnificently decorated. Nearly all of the decorative bits were in varying shade of purple, giving a bewitching kind of impression that seduced the random visitor. Just one glance and you could tell that the owner really, really liked the colour purple.

“Goodness knows what kind of concubine owns this palace. Better leave now before anyone sees me.”

Ducking low, I hurriedly rushed out. Not sure whether it’s just plain bad luck, perhaps I should have checked my horoscopes today for death flags.

Anyway, as soon as I rushed passed the entrance, I ran into a busty palace maid.

I staggered back a few steps from the impact. The unfortunate palace maid staggered back and landed onto the floor.

In a panic, I rushed forward to check on the maid’s condition, but my eye flicked to the side and was distracted by a super glamorous woman who was just standing there being beautiful.

About 20 years of age, dressed in a pale lilac dress that swept all the way to the floor. A gauzy purple wrap showed off her willowy figure, making her looked like something created rather than born of this earth. Dark hair was piled up in a cloud bun, a simple silver moon hair pin complemented a pair of eyes like liquid stars.

She and the princess could both be termed as great beauties, but where one was pure and unearthly, whose looks could be described as pure as jade and clean as ice; the other was bewitching and seductive, her attraction organic and invited the eyes to linger.

I gaped stupidly at this bewitching creature, completely forgetting about the palace maid still prone on the floor.

Right, the unlucky maid that bumped into me jumped up, rolled her shoulders aggressively and shouted, “You dumb servant! From which court did you come from? Did you forgot to bring your eyes when you come out? Count yourself fortunate for having knock me down instead of my mistress, otherwise even your life would not be enough repayment!”

Not knowing how to answer, I threw myself to the ground and wailed, “Niang Niang, spare this one! The princess has bade this humble one to meet at Yi Hua Palace. This foolish one has lost his way and accidentally wondered in here. May Niang Niang have mercy! This lowly one has zero bad intentions~”

“Oh, are you one of Princess Yi Hua’s?” Her eyebrows raised as she gave me a complicated look.

The Princess Yi Hua mentioned was actually Mu Zhen.

Yi Hua was her official title, born of the Empress, the Emperor’s most beloved princess. That the emperor had taken the effort to build a palace and named it after her title showed just how beloved she was.

I replied as calmly as I could, “This small one indeed belongs to Yi Hua Palace.”

Since the princess was the one who wanted me in the palace, surely she will grant me some protection. If I say that I’m part of the princess’ staff, surely they would not dare bully me too much. Even an Imperial Concubine would have to give face to the Emperor’s most beloved princess.

“Since you’re from Yi Hua Palace, it is proper for us to give the princess some face. Not to mention, you stumbling into my Purple Mist Palace was but an accident, is it not? Hua Rong, get two person to escort him to Yi Hua Palace. Next time don’t get too lost and wonder into my Purple Mist Palace again, oh~”

The alluring smiled made her beautiful face even more enchanting.

That palace maid called Hua Rong accepted these orders. Without a second look at me, the beautiful lady was escort in by others in her entourage.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Thank goodness nothing bad happened.

When the palace maids finally got me to the Yi Hua Palace it was already youshi (5-7 pm). The princess should be very angry by now.

If die, then die, ba. I trailed in, not daring to think further about it. The only thing I could do now was hold my head high and step into the palace.

Within the wide main hall, a single person sat, clothed in a floor sweeping moon white brocade dress shot with pink threads. Her sleeves were edged with silver patterns. Large jasmines bloomed at the bottom of her perfectly arranged skirt. A picture of pure beauty.

This could only be the princess.

“And here I thought you won’t be coming. You’re supposed to wait for me at weishi (1-3 pm), but instead you’ve made me wait until youshi (5-7 pm). Very good, Song Xiran, it looks like your face is even bigger than mine.”

As expected, she’s very angry.

I resentfully wailed my answer, “This one has been wrongfully accused! Princess please listen to this one’s explanation, ah! This one had left very early, but got lost on the way, even stumbled into Concubine Li Fei’s[4] Purple Mist Palace, luckily Concubine Li Fei was merciful, and spared this one’s life, even lent me guides to show the way so I may meet princess, ah.”

“Lost, how come? Didn’t that eunuch bring you here?” She eyed me with suspicion and disbelief.

“Princess, that eunuch saw that I had no reward for him, abandoned me and left. Left this one to foolishly grope my way. This Imperial Palace is huge and I do not know my way. Otherwise, I probably won’t even be able to meet with princess. On top of that, princess had to wait for so long. Princess, this one is in the wrong~”

I allowed my snot and tears to flow freely as I threw that that profiteering eunuch under the carriage.

My pitiful state must have touched her heart to give me the benefit of doubt, and she was no longer seemed angry.

“Don’t worry, I will be sure to punish that eunuch. Oh yes, you say that it’s Su Yue Ran’s people who sent you here?”

“Su Yue Ran?”

I had no idea who she was talking about, so could only stare back in puzzlement.

The princess gave me a look contempt and said, “Li Fei.”

“Oooh~, in answer to princess. It’s Concubine Li Fei’s people who led me here.”

“I don’t like her, in the future keep a distance from her and her people, understand?”

Since her face showed a such displeased look when talking about Concubine Li Fei, what else could I do but nod in agreement.

Though I did not understand the princess’ enmity against Concubine Li Fei, as princess’ staff, I should naturally obey her words.

“Oh yes, we should talk about why I have you brought in. I want you to make medicinal food for me.”

“Medicinal food? Is the princess suffering from some illness? And how did princess know about my medicinal cooking?”

When I heard her demand for medicinal cooking, I suddenly felt anxious, though she looked healthy enough to me.

“My body is naturally sensitive to the cold. Especially during the night when I could not sleep well due to the bone penetrating cold. I think it worsened since that time I was bitten by a snake, I’ve already asked the palace physician to have a look, but they could do nothing. I just happened to remember you rescuing me that one time, and sent people to investigate…By the way, do you really think there’s anything about you I do not know? Why I would have people searched for you otherwise.”

The princess gave a look that seemed pregnant with all kinds of meanings.

You’re sure my kidnapping into the Imperial Palace was due to some kind of deep plot, and not just a random whim?”

I stared at the princess’ flawless smile and felt anxious. The princess may be telling the truth about having investigate my background, otherwise she would not have dragged me into the Imperial Palace.

Seeing my hesitation, she continued:

“Your salary will be 20 times more than what you’re currently paid. You may have full access to the Imperial Kitchens and the people within. I’ve already arranged your living quarters, you only have to serve me medical food. You may also come and go from the palace as you wish. Any question?”

The princess is simply tossing out grossly excessive benefits one after another, what should I do!?

This was like getting the bear paws along with the fish[4], do such really good things still exist in this world??

Wakaka, my dream life, it’s finally here~

Under such gloriously huge enticement, I threw away all sense of dignity and agreed without further consideration.

From now on, I will follow the princess and eat at her expense. Living a new life as a half gigolo and waste of space~

[1] Nuo – Yes

[2] Try to touch the head of a 10 foot monk – to do an impossible thing

  • Translator’s addition.
[4] Concubine Li Fei’s name was first mentioned here. She was never introduced in the previous dialogue. Perhaps main character has telepathy or writer forgot to check.

[5] Bear paw and fish – bear paws are considered delicacy, and fish are valuable especially fresh sea fish. One from the mountains the other from the sea. So, really, really lucky.

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