The Feast – 105 – Incredibly Touched

The Feast – 105 – Incredibly Touched

Chapter 105: Incredibly Touched

 

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

When has the honourable lord heir ever bequeathed so many words to lowly a servant like her? Ms. Xue’s heart thumped loudly in her chest. If only she could throw herself to the ground and knock her head against the floor in gratitude. However, Duan Tingxuan’s final words intrigued her to death: Something good is waiting for her? What is this good thing? Isn’t returning to the kitchens already an incredibly great thing?

Filled with apprehension, Ms. Xue entered Spring Breeze Court. She encountered Hong Lian who was feeding birds at the corridor. Hong Lian smiled at her, “Yo~, Ms. Xue is finally here? Our Missy talks about you often, wondering when you’ll finally lose your cool and come over. Now that you’re finally here, let me give you some good news. Old madam’s birthday is around the corner and you should be back at the kitchen these two days. Come over and see us whenever you like.”

Ms. Xue smiled eagerly, “For your information, miss, Madam Yun has already ordered me to transfer back to my original position in the kitchen. I know that first madam must have a hand in it somehow and came over to give my thanks.”

“Really? Madam Yun sure knows how to see where the wind blows.” Hong Lian laughed mockingly at Xu Ran Yun’s swift actions, before personally pulling back the curtains and calling. “Missy, Ms. Xue is here.”

“Yes, yes, I heard you two chatterboxes all the way from here.” Su Nuan Nuan came out with Zhao Cai tucked in her arms. She eyed Ms. Xue up and down several times before laughing, “Your complexion is not bad, I thought that you might have turned wan and sallow from boiling clothes all day at the laundry house.”

Ms. Xue bobbed in greeting, and smiled back ingratiatingly, “If this one had been cast out to such a place in the past, this one might have lost all hope and be choked to death by despair. However, when this one thought about how first madam had suffered with such equanimity at Mei Yue Lou, this slave is but a sapling when it came to true suffering. So, what is there to complain about? Although washing clothes is tiring, there’s nothing especially terrible about it. It’s true that the manager didn’t like me, but the rest of the staff treated me fairly.”

If your peace of mind is due to this mistress of yours, consider your loyalty rewarded.” Su Nuan Nuan declared, heading towards the stone bench situated under the grapevine pergola. She sat down and patted the bench, hinting for Ms. Xue to sit next to her, “You must know how many prominent people could not achieve the state of ‘Spoiled Yet Humble’? For you to achieve this balance, do you realise how amazing you are?”

“Everything this one knows is gained from first madam.” Ms. Xue perched gingerly at the edge of the stone bench. This flattering line came from the bottom of her heart.

Su Nuan Nuan smiled, and said nothing more. She allowed Zhao Cai to escape from her arms to amuse himself before diving intoa  more serious topic, “Old madam’s birthday would be here soon. I shall be spending the next two or three days in the kitchen and teach you several different kinds of recipes. The coming birthday banquet will be your first big challenge since going back to the kitchen. You must ensure that everything is as it should be, understand?”

Ms. Xue nodded repeatedly. It’s old madam’s 68th birthday, ah. Though it was not exactly the major milestone of 70 years old, it was still very close to it. After all, how many old ladies could actually live to see their 70th birthday? Moreover, old madam is the empress’ blood mother. On that day, the ones who would come and give their greetings would be, at the very least, high ranking ministers, and at least one of the princes. If the banquet is not properly organized, the ones who would lose face would be themselves.

“Very well, you go back to the kitchens now and prepare yourself. I shall see you in about an hour. Here’s the menu, it’s all new dishes so make sure to study it properly. Some of the ingredients would have to be fetched by your master and had to be cooked on the actual day or it won’t be fresh. Since this is a large banquet, you may need to hire some temporary workers. Luckily, you’ve been with the kitchen for so many years now and this should be familiar work for you. You might have to work non-stop for several days, so be prepared. When this is over, the lord will reward you for your efforts.”

“Yes, this one thanks first madam.”

Choking with emotions, Ms. Xue stood up, and then knelt down to kowtow three times before Su Nuan Nuan. Su Nuan Nuan was too shocked to do or say anything until after it was all over and said, “What is that for?”

“Nothing, this one is just… too… that is to say… after… after all… a thankless deed is, thankless. Madam, please leave everything to this slave!” Ms. Xue stammered, all her cleverness and wit having abandoned her. No one could blame her as she too emotionally overwhelmed. Tears poured down her eyes. New recipes? She just knew that these had to be never seen before cuisines. All these recipes are first madam’s treasures, ah, recipes that she could have kept for herself as insurance for a good life. She had thought getting her supervisory job in the kitchen back was something amazing. To be given new, never seen before recipes on top of that, how could a simple ‘thank you’ convey the full measure of her gratitude?

“What now?”

By the time Ms. Xue left, Su Nuan Nuan was left with a head full of question marks, causing this confident woman to doubt herself. She was still pondering over this when Hong Lian came over and with a knowing smile, “What’s there to puzzle over, Missy? You’ve just given her several incredibly valuable recipes such as the Steamed Lion Head, naturally she should at least knock her head on the floor in thanks.”

“What was that? You’re saying that she’s thanking me for mere recipes? Is getting recipes like these that difficult?” Su Nuan Nuan came to a sudden realization. As expected, Hong Lian nodded, “Of course, for Missy to just hand over the recipes like that, it’s like getting a pie falling from the skies. Moreover, it’s a meat filled pie stuffed with boiled eggs, so how could she not be grateful?”

“Surely everyone’s over thinking it?” Su Nuan Nuan really didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “The reason why I handed the recipes to her is because I want to rest too, ah. Otherwise, I’d be stuck in the kitchen all day and night. There are days that I just can’t bring myself to move, ah. Just think, if my aunt comes for her monthly visit[1], how wonderful it is to just send word to the kitchens that I wanted a Steamed Lion Head and just laze in bed waiting for it to come? I’m really look forward to days like that, ah.”

Hong Lian laughed, “Even if that’s Missy’s true intention, Ms. Xue will still be grateful for your favour. By the way, Missy mentioned that you’ll be visiting the kitchen these next two days, what about the Snow Cream you’re planning to make? If you plan to make Cream and Snow Cream as well as the banquet preparations, you’ll be incredibly busy, ah.”

“What of it? The old madam treats me well, also… your master is not too bad either. At the very least, I should return the favour of those who are good to me.”

Hong Lian said nothing. She realised that Missy’s ‘Those who are good to me’ had to be taken at face value, there was no point in assigning any deep meaning to it.

 

Please read this at kitchennovel dot come, or the translator will be sad.

 

“I can’t, I can’t, I just can’t anymore. Tingxuan, I… I have just recovered from a heart attack, I’ve even fainted. You… you cannot treat me like this. I will not let you go even if I die… disgraceful beast. I am the crown prince! You… huff, huff, cough… you… cough, huff… some… someone come…”

Within the East Palace, a dozen over eunuchs formed a circle their backs facing out. All of them were staring at their boots, not a single one dared to look over as their master huffed, and puffed, and called for them: Just what kind of joke is this? This was the emperor’s orders, ah. If any of them dared to come over to help, well, chances were they’d just end up as the little marquis’ punching bag. Your highness, please endure it, who ask you to be a fatty? Just seeing your fat tremble makes us shake in our boots, ah.

This is for your own good, we can do nothing to help you.

 

[Gumihou: Do your best to lose weight, your highness!]

 

 

[1] auntie’s monthly visit – menstruation period, lol

 

 

 

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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