Imperial Chef Rookie – Chapter 03

Imperial Chef Rookie – Chapter 03

Chapter 3

 

Translated by Prosperous.com

 

Rehosted by Gumihou at kitchennovel.com

 

The journey to the capital is filled with wonderful scenery, mountains and rivers, birds and flowers, and the weather is clear and find. Everything proceeds fairly smoothly.

 

On the way, Wei Qi and I chatted and joked with each other. Although we were tried, at least we were not bored.

 

Before we reached the capital, we decided to stop and take a short rest. First, we tidy ourselves, then we enter the city.

 

I reached a small stream of water, and was about to wash my face. Then I discovered that there was someone lying on the ground over there, and he was not moving.

 

I slowly and carefully approached this man, and look at him suspiciously.

 

This man’s lips are pale and white, and he was perspiring heavily. He looked as he was in a lot of pain, and was semi-conscious.

 

“This gentleman, what happened to you?”

 

He looked at me, opened his mouth, and said, “Snake….”

 

Then he fainted.

 

Only then did I discovered that his leg was bleed. It looks as if he was bitten by a snake. But this is the wilderness, and there is no one nearby. If I do not help him, he would definitely die.

 

I did not care so much, and immediately took off his shoes and socks, revealing his feet.

 

As expected, there is bit mark there. The wound was turning purple, but it did not spread. This gentleman was so scared that he fainted from fright instead of from the wound.

 

I took out my belt and used it to tie his leg hard. Then I took some water from the stream and washed his wounds. Finally, I sucked out the blood and spat them out. After sucking the blood, I use my hands to massage more blood out of the wound.

 

After I had done this, he is seemed to relax a bit and his breathing is more regular. I think that he had temporary escaped death, but he still needs to be attended by a doctor.

 

While I was taking a rest, I examined him in more detail.

 

This man is about 16-17 years old, and dress in a fine robe made from quality silk. He is about middle in size, with clean hands, and handsome features.

 

His lips may be pale, but it does not change the fact that his face is good looking. His skin is smooth and white, with a pale pink on his cheeks. Perhaps he is feeling very hot.

 

This … this… this… is not a man!

 

From my years of experience pretending to be a male, “he” is a woman!

 

I touched her breast. En~ not bad! These are not big, but soft and nice to feel.

 

Suddenly I discovered that her head seemed to frown. I suddenly discovered that this is awkward. But we are both women, and she should not mind it if I grabbed her breast, right?

 

But I am dressed as a man. What if she suddenly wakes up and said that I molested her and want revenge. What should I do in this situation?

 

I was scared and immediately withdrew my hands.

 

Pui Pui Pui, just now I was too absorbed in rescuing her. That’s why I overlooked the fact that she is a woman.

 

I slapped myself on the head. Only now did I realise it! Ain’t I stupid?

 

Because I had been raised as a man since young, I am more masculine than many other women who masqueraded as men.

 

My facial features are clear and average looking. I may be a bit skinny, but my strength is quite good, and my personality is more like a man than woman. For these reasons, no one discovered the secret that I am a woman.

 

I looked at this woman and was filled with curiosity. This wilderness is quite barren. Why did a woman like her dressed up as a man and come to this place?

 

But saving a life is more important. I carried her and rushed towards the carriage.

 

Wei Qi noticed that I was carrying someone and immediately rushed over. He looked at us suspiciously.

 

“Xiran, where did you go? I searched for you for half the day! And why are you carrying a man? It had been but a few minutes. I did not know that you are interested in men….”

 

While saying this, he glared at me. Then finally, he burst out in laughter.

 

I rolled my eyes at him, and did not explain any further, “It is more important to save someone. Let’s go up the carriage first. I will explain once we are in the carriage.”

 

I carried her up the carriage, and hurried Wei Qi to continue the journey.

 

On the way to the capital, Wei Qi understood what had happened. The only thing he does not know is that this man is a woman.

 

We decided that after reaching the capital, we will first put her in an inn, then find a doctor for her.

 

After the time it took burn half a joss stick (30 minutes), we finally reached the capital.

 

This city is grand and imposing, and our hometown could not be compared to the splendour of this place.

 

I lifted the curtains and looked around, and was rewarded with the sight of a bursting and vibrant city.

 

At this time, I finally understand what this phrase means.

 

Chinese poem:

 

百千家似围棋局,

十二街如种菜畦

 

Hundreds of thousands of families seem to be playing chess,

All 12 streets were filled with vegetable dishes [1]

 

 

 

This place is much bigger than I imagined. The splendour of the city appears in its full glory before us.

 

 

 

I could the hear the shouts of the hawkers as they advertised their wares, and the bargaining voices of the customers. There are all kinds of things for sale here. Wei Qi and I were astounded by the bewildering assortment of things for sale here. We were very excited and wanted to go out to take a look at the busy street.

 

But my heart was worried about the woman in the carriage who was unconscious, and I resisted my urges to do so.

 

We finally reached the place where Wei Qi will be staying in.

 

I carried her to the room, and find her a doctor. After we purchased the medicine and fed her the medicine, she was drowsy and felt to a deep slumber. Then we heaved a sigh of relief.

 

At this time, it is almost dusk. All this while, we had been standing vigilance by her side. Now that her situation had stabilised, we decided to go out and allow her to rest in the room

 

We have been busy from just now and had not eaten anything until now. We were dizzy with hunger, and decided to eat something first. After we eat, we will packet something for her.

 

We exited the inn and come to a grand and busy street.

 

The thick scent of a tantalising aroma whiffed out from a corner. Perhaps we were very hungry and were seeing illusion, but I swore that there is a visible hand that is formed from the aromatic smell that beckons us over.

 

We follow the scent towards a small shop that does not stand out.

 

This shop is named [Ju Xiang Ge], and does not seem to stand out if you look at the exterior façade. But the inside of the restaurant is very lively. As soon as you entered the restaurant, the smell of various food whiffed out, making us powerless to resist the allure of the food.

 

“Oh~ there are so many people here. This place looks not bad. I will not stand on ceremony then.” I looked at the dishes that the other guests had ordered and salivated.

 

Wei Qi was so hungry that he could have seen stars and planets circling his head, and had no energy to chat. He found himself a table and immediately sat down.

 

The waiter saw that there are customers and immediately picked up a teapot as he rushed over. Then he poured us some tea, and pass us a menu.

 

“Guests, what do you want to eat?”

 

“What are your specialities?” Wei Qi and I asked at the same time.

 

“Guest, we serve Lu, Sichuan, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, and Hui cuisines here. Whatever you want to eat, we can cook it for you. The menu has [Fortune and Prosperity], [Good Tidings every year], [Four seasons fragrance], [Dragon and Phoenix rolls], West Lake Beef Steak, Red-billed Green Dove, Jade Emerald bamboo shoots, Dragon Head Lobster, West Lake Silver Fish Steak, Lohan superior vegetables, Green Dragon in Water… … etc.”

 

The waiter was very smug as he listed out the various dishes.

 

Wei Qi and I were filled with anticipation after hearing the names of the dishes.

 

We ordered a few dishes and a flask of wine.

 

The food quickly arrives.

 

“Oh, it smells good~”

 

I looked at the dish Fortune and Prosperity. It is a chicken dish, and the lotus leaf that wrapped it is slightly opened. I could smell the fragrance of wine – it goes straight into my heart.

 

Wei Qi scooped out two bowls of soup. The soup is thick and yet not greasy. The wine is mixed with various aromas and is fragrant.

 

I picked up a slice of meat from the soup and tried it. It is soft and tender, and overflowing with fragrance. It is rich in taste, not greasy but delicious. No wonder even Buddha will jump over the wall just to eat this soup.

 

I finally know why there is an endless stream of diners -the taste of the foods here are absolutely amazing.

 

The Mapo tofu is made with fresh bean curd without the smell of beans. The taste is smooth, and a combination of delicious and spicy. It leaves a long aftertaste.

 

Dining here reminds of the poem by Li Bai:

 

兰陵美酒郁金香,

玉碗盛来琥珀光。

但使主人能醉客,

不知何处是他乡

 

The wine of Lan Ling is radiant with tulip flavour.

It is bred with a crystal bowl and glitters with amber-like brilliance.

The owner zealously urged the guests to enjoy the wine and the guests enjoyed themselves so much that they were drunk.

They forgot that they were in a foreign land [4].

 

“This restaurant is really not bad. I wonder who made these delicious foods? How nice would it be I could meet him!”

 

While eating, I chatted with Wei Qi, and Wei Qi nodded his head in agreement.

 

The waiter smiled with pride as he explained, “These are all cooked by our chef Lin Ziye, he is one of the most famous chefs in the capital. Our shop may not be very big or grand, but in the capital, our shop is unique. Many dishes could be eaten here!”

 

“Oh, then can we meet him?’

 

“This…  guest, you did not know about this. He may be the chef here, but few people had met him. He does not accept disciples and always cook by himself. The dishes he cooked are sent out of the kitchen. I will be honest with you, even the waiters had never seen his face. “

 

Hearing this, I was filled with admiration and respect for the great chef. How nice would it be I could learn to cook from him!

 

Because we were worried about the lady, we did not stay for long. After we had our fill, we asked the waiter to packet some food for takeaway. We wanted to bring her some food to eat.

 

But when we returned to the inn, the lady had disappeared. Accordingly to the waiter, she left as soon as she regained consciousness.

 

There was only a note on the desk, “Thank you for saving my life. If we were to meet in future, I will repay you.”

 

I looked this note and do not know if I should laugh or cry.

 

Wei Qi ignored me and returned to his own room. He left me there at the window, lost in my own thoughts.

 

Sigh, why did she left in such a hurry? She had not even eaten the rice yet, and I have not even asked your name yet. Where is your house? And when is the future when you repay me?

 

Hey, you should explain things clearly before leaving~

 

 

 

 

 

*****************************************

 

Thank you for reading this chapter from prosperous food translations.

 

Notes:

[Title of this chapter: This man is also a woman?]

 

[1] Famous poem by Bai Juyi “Enlightenment hopes to see the city”. This is an adapt description of Chang An.

 

The streets in Chang’an City are arranged in north-south and east-west directions. They are perpendicular to each other, straight and straightforward, and open and wide. There are 11 main streets in the north and south and 14 in the main street. From these streets, the outer Guo city is cut into 109 rectangular squares and two east and west cities.

 

This is what the poet means by first part of the poem “people in the streets playing chess” (Weiqi or Go). The design of the street is like a large Weiqi broad.

 

There are drainage ditches on both sides of the city streets, and trees and other shrubs were planted everywhere.

 

This is what the poet meant by the second verse, “Every 12 streets are filled with vegetable dishes.”

 

 

 

[2] This poem comes from Li Bai, one of greatest poet in Chinese history.

 

The last line indicated the meaning of the poem:

 

The guests enjoyed themselves so much that they feel at ease at home.

 

 

 

Food mentioned in this chapter.

 

 

Mapo Tofu

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Translated by Prosperousfood.com

Rehosted by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

 

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