The Feast – 184 – Beauty From a Painting

The Feast – 184 – Beauty From a Painting

Chapter 184: Beauty From a Painting

 

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

“Hehe, very good. I shall stay out of it. Let’s see how you plan to deal with this, hey? Tomorrow, I shall be cooking up the puffer fish. Guess who won’t be having any? Humph!” Though she understood her husband’s good intention, Su Nuan Nuan was incredibly pissed off by the ‘Womenfolk should just stay out of this’ remark. She stood up with a huff. “I, am going to bed, you two can stay here and discuss your important matter together.”

“That… that… let me think about it first.” as his wife stomped off, Duan Tingxuan quickly stood up, gave Su Dong Lou a quick salute, “I shall take my leave first.”

“Hey, Tingxuan, just what are you…”

Su Dong Lou wasn’t sure what was going on, but then Duan Tingxuan quickly explain in a low voice, “Shh, your sister-in-law doesn’t know her way in the secret passage, if she ended up getting lost, the one who suffers would be me in the end.” with that, he ignored Su Dong Lou’s shocked expression and hurried off to Su Nuan Nuan’s side.

 

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To be honest, Su Nuan Nuan found it very hard to imagine what kind of person this Lu Feng Yu was from Su Dong Lou’s conflicting description. No matter how she strained her imagination, it was impossible to visualize a man who: Loves gourmet food over life and unwilling to kill, but also treacherous, evil and cunning. Aren’t these two completely different people? Don’t tell her this Lu Feng Yu was someone with a double personality issue?

Until she could see this Lu Feng Yu in person, curiosity squirmed in her belly like worms. She really couldn’t wait to see just what kind of person had received such a contradictory evaluation from Su Dong Lou.

It turned out that Su Nuan Nuan’s luck was good.

The very next day, she followed Chang San and his wife around the large residence to familiarize herself with the place in preparation to work here. Thanks to her ability, Chang San had especially ‘pulled some strings’ in order to get her a job in the small kitchen by the master’s residence. Her ‘job’ was to be responsible for Su Dong Lou’s personal food and drink.

After dishing out a Puffer Fish Soup[1] and a bowl of Braised Pork Trotters with Soybeans[2], Su Nuan Nuan was quickly promoted as the manager of this side kitchen. Now that she has proven her skills, it’s time to establish dominance. She managed to get rid of the uppity upper house maids without much problem, and had just finished making vermicelli noodles for Puffer Fish Noodles[3] to share with the other kitchen hands when someone hissed, “It’s that Teacher Lu again. Heavens, ah, who knows which of us is going to get it now.”

“Which one is Teacher Lu?”

How could Su Nuan Nuan miss out on this opportunity for gossip? While it’s great to be the heir’s wife with all the conveniences attached, she still had to suppress a lot of her own personality in order to conform with the ‘Noble Wife’ air. How could she behave as free and quirky as a cook? For example sneaking around and peeping at other people was not something that an heir’s wife should be caught doing.

Therefore, she had no problem adapting from the lofty position of the heir’s wife to a little cook. In fact, she found it quite fun.

Her eyes soon settled on a man in his thirties strolling down a neat path in the middle of the courtyard. His clothes were a graceful elegant green that brought to mind flowing spring water. The cloth of the chang pao rippled gently from a slim form that was as straight and supple as bamboo.

Aside from his tall and elegant form, there was nothing especially delicate or exquisite about his features. Though he was certainly handsome in the conventional way and easy on the eyes. His most striking features had to be his eyes, bright and clear as a pond, but deeper than one could fathom. His eyes reminded her of both Duan Tingxuan and Su Dong Lou’s. Perhaps black bellied fellows all have these kind of bright, but unfathomable eyes.

What gave the strongest impression was not his looks, but his demeanour. For some reason, he had a bearing that was akin to a leisurely immortal. Carefree, unfettered, and perhaps, a little dangerous.

The path he was on passed under several apricot and peach trees. A gentle breeze blew and hundreds of petals swirled in the air, lifting his hair and shifting his clothes gently. It was like looking at a painting that had come alive. Conversely, instead of becoming more human the closer he get, the figure before them appeared even more like part of an incredible art.

When it came to facial features, his looks were not as radiant as either Duan Tingxuan or Su Dong Lou. As to the way he carry himself, he did not have Duan Tingxuan’s noble elegance or Su Dong Lou’s imposing dignity. The impression Su Nuan Nuan had from this brief glimpse was a kind of a ‘Surprise Appearance of a Celestial’. Thought this foodie found the aforementioned two men in her life shockingly good looking, there was no heavenly feeling about them. Even her first meeting with Concubine Jiang and Xue Zhi Lan paled to this. Though their beauty had shocked her, she understood that those two were human, but this? This person really gave off the feeling of a celestial. A heavenly being that had been cast down among mortals.

“You know, I hate this kind of people most. He’s clearly someone who loves gourmet food more than life, but he still radiates the heavenly air of a celestial, who’s he trying to fool?”

At this cold remark near her ear, Su Nuan Nuan turned, and saw Su Dong Lou leaning lazily against the door. His eyes fixed upon Lu Feng Yu as the man made his way up the steps. A sneer clear in his tone.

“Do accept my apologies. I’m afraid I’ve developed this temperament since childhood, it’s not something I can just change on a whim.” Lu Feng Yu smiled faintly, his voice warm and smooth.

“That’s the most annoying part. If you had faked that attitude of yours, it won’t be half as hateful.” Su Dong Lou harrumphed coldly, still blocking the entrance, he sneered. “Well? Why are you here again?”

“Really, ‘Comparisons between people ends in death, comparisons between things ends up in the trash’[4], and here I thought that our master was an outstanding elite among thousands. However, when compared with this newcomer, I find that our master is more like a thuggish hooligan.” Su Nuan Nuan shook her head as she daringly dissed her own ‘master’. Everyone around her was about to nod in agreement when they caught themselves in time. Someone hurried over to her side to whisper, “Ms. Wang, while we might talk about this among ourselves, these are not words that should ever reach the master’s ear, ah. Otherwise, no matter how delicious your food is, he might still punish you. Master really hates this Teacher Lu.”

“What are you talking about? He’s clearly just being envious,” Su Nuan Nuan laughed loudly, causing the nearby cooks to hiss and wave at her to be silent. “My dear Ms. Wang, please, please watch your mouth, or you’ll end up in hot soup.”

She had barely finished speaking when Su Dong Lou’s cold gaze floated over. The kitchen hand freaked out a little, lowered her head, and dragged Su Nuan Nuan into the kitchen. She made up her mind to not leave the kitchen until dark, no matter what.

This Lu Feng Yu was a bad person? A black bellied villain? That’s incredibly hard to believe, ah. Sure, Gu Long the novelist did write about a certain Lu Xiang Chuan[5], but Su Nuan Nuan was sure that Lu Xiang Chuan was never as elegant or otherworldly as Lu Feng Yu.

In what why is this guy evil? Was he just a misunderstood anti-social guy? Was the air of other worldly elegance a cover for a black and evil heart, the reason why he’d side with King Xiangyang in order to topple a dragon throne?

While absent mindedly separating the noodles into piles, Su Nuan Nuan could not help but think about this Lu Feng Yu person. Suddenly, she heard an odd commotion from outside. She straightened up, and was about to nosily peek out of the window when someone burst into the little kitchen. After casting their gaze about for a bit, the person made a bee line for the pot of noodles. Who else could it be but Lu Feng Yu?

“M… Teacher Lu…”

Within the kitchen, aside from Su Nuan Nuan, everyone else had shuttled off as though running from the demon plague. They all huddled in corners furthest away from the newcomer, leaving Su Nuan Nuan to face this main villain all on her own. Never mind, she, Su Nuan Nuan, a veteran of many battles, could handle this. Thus, stiffening her scalp, she ventured forth to say,” Teacher Lu… you want a bowl of noodles?” according to foodie logic, the only reason why someone would come into a kitchen should be for a piping hot bowl of noodles, right? Su Nuan Nuan did not understand this Lu Feng Yu, but she still understood the mind of a fellow foodie.

Lu Feng Yu suddenly turned, probably surprised that someone actually dared to speak to him. As his gaze fell upon Su Nuan Nuan, a sudden brilliant smile flashed across hi face as he pointed at the pot of noodles. “I happened to sense the aroma of puffer fish at the dining room just now. There should be some puffer fish kneaded into these noodles, right? Give me a bowl.”

“You’re… not afraid of death?” Su Nuan Nuan asked the question absently as she stared at him, she really had no idea how to think of this man, whose eyes sparkled at the mention of puffer fish, as a treacherous bastard of a villain.

“Ha ha ha!” Lu Feng Yu’s bright laughter bounced across the kitchen, but then it was abruptly cut off. The bright and fresh face suddenly changed when he rolled his eyes over to sneer at Su Nuan Nuan, “You must not have heard the saying that ‘A good man’s life is short, a villain lives for a thousand years’. King Yama is not interested in a villain of my calibre.” With that, he personally took out a bowl and ladled out a portion of noodles for himself. “I have already helped myself, there’s no need for you bother me.”

“Oh…”

Su Nuan Nuan said, and slowly lowered a bowl she had just picked up. She then settled down in an area not far away to observe this elegant man, elegantly eating a bowl of absolutely not elegant noodles with elegant movements. However, why did she feel increasingly angry just looking at this man?

“Delicious, this is incredibly delicious.” Lu Feng Yu licked his lips as he lowered his bowl. He looked at Su Nuan Nuan significantly, “Heheh, with this kind of culinary skills, no wonder you are able to occupy this sweet position in just half a day. Compare to you, these rubbish should be buried alive for their incompetence.”

Is… is this a threat to kill? Just after I’ve given you a bowl of noodles?

Su Nuan Nuan looked at Lu Feng Yu in shock, no matter what she really couldn’t believe here ears: She had heard all about how ruthless this guy was, but isn’t this a bit overboard? Normally, when people are dissatisfied with their food, they’d scold the head chef. But this guy? The moment he’s satisfied, he talks about killing kitchen hands. Moreover, the way he said it sounded perfectly natural, as though it made perfect sense to threaten people’s death whenever he liked.

Su Nuan Nuan felt as though she had some idea what was going on in Lu Feng Yu’s head: Su Dong Lou was right, this guy was bad to the bone, possibly a psychopath even. No matter how fresh and refined he looked, there’s no hiding the blackness in his heart. No, the black hearted ones are Duan Tingxuan and Su Dong Lou. This guy’s heart, liver, spleen kidney, blood, muscle and bone are all blackened. It other words, it could be said that being bad was probably instinct by now.

But, what kind of person was Su Nuan Nuan? Is she someone who would ready suffer a loss? The more Lu Feng Yu tried to threaten her, the more her fighting spirit flared up. Therefore, when the person started to leave after basically insulting her, how could she just let him get away just like that? Pretending to move forward to collect the bowl and chopsticks, she casually said,

“Yesterday I watched a puffer fish being gutted, the blood that flowed out of it was all red. I thought that it was just too unfortunate.”

Sure enough, Lu Feng Yu paused. He turned a curious smile at her, “What an odd observation, puffer fish are still fish after all. As long as they are creatures of the earth, whether on land or sea, unless they are demons or monsters, surely their blood would be red. Why would it be unfortunate?”

“Teacher, you might not know, but there exist a sea creature with eight legs. We call them one of the kings of the sea, their flesh is incredibly delicious. The sac inside their head contained an especially aromatic liquid. Curiously enough, this sea creature’s blood is black, in fact, their blood could only be found inside this sac. If one does not take the sac out before cooking, the contents of the pot would be dyed black. If one eats the head just like that, they would end up with a blackened mouth. However, I still think that creatures with black blood are more delicious.”

 

Author White Pear Flower: This novel’s ultimate foodie has appeared. Even Su Nuan Nuan, Duan Tingxuan and the Crown Prince combo could not beat this huge foodie together. As to why he’s the number 1 foodie among all foodies, read on and find out ~

Wakakakaka!

A refreshing and refined gentleman with a celestial air turns out to be the greediest foodie of them all. I actually love this kind of moe gap, hehehe. Ahem, surely this doesn’t count as a spoiler, right?

 

 

[Gumihou: Kyaaa, my other favourite character is here~ fufufu, hehehe, ahahahahaha!]

 

 

  • Puffer Fish Soup – Incredibly, I found a youtube on Puffer Fish Soup, Geumsu Bokkuk, but it’s a live stream of someone eating it, lol!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDGPyWYEZqI

Aaaand, here’s a news piece on someone nearly dying from eating Puffer Fish Soup

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/1924563/chinese-man-nearly-dies-after-eating-soup-made-deadly-pufferfish

By the way, I’ve had Puffer Fish Soup before, hehe. I worked part time washing dishes at a Fugu Restaurant in Japan. Very classy and high class. As someone in charge of washing dishes, if you’re hungry enough and quick enough, you can just pop random food into your mouth. You bet I had a taste of fugu. Lol!

I have to say it was… underwhelming. Maybe it’s more exciting to eat it raw, the mild poison is said to cause an interesting numbing sensation in the mouth, but I definitely don’t feel that it’s in anyway different from any high end white fish soup…

 

[2] Braised Pork Trotters with Soybeans

https://thewoksoflife.com/braised-pork-trotters/

https://www.xiachufang.com/recipe/100538147/

 

[3] Puffer Fish Noodles – Probably Puffer Fish Soup with vermicelli

 

[4] Comparisons between people ends in death, comparisons between things ends up in the trash – ah, if you compare yourself with others, you will always find yourself at a disadvantage. In other words, don’t compete with the Joneses

 

[5] Lu Xiang Chuan – villain of the wuxia drama Meteor, Butterfly, Sword, adapted from Gu Long’s novel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_and_Sword

 

[6] A good man’s life is short, a villain lives for a thousand years – when someone is too good for the world, heaven would take them back quickly

 

 

 

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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