Chapter 188: To Leave Disappointed
Translated by Gumihou
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Note from Gumihou: (/ ‘з’)/
Right I’ve just made the executive decision to change Mister Lu to Teacher Lu. It makes sense for a proud scholar to want to be addressed by a title and being educated back in the ancient days was A Big Deal, and this chapter just reflected that.
As to why there’s a waffling between Mister and Teacher, well, both are ambiguously enough, 先生Xian Sheng, which could mean Mister, Teacher or Doctor…
However, for our purpose here, for the prideful and celestial being like Lu Feng Yu, being addressed as Teacher Lu would separate him from the common masses. Hence, from now on, we shall address our ultimate foodie as Teacher Lu.
ƪƪ’▿’) Claps (‘▿’ʃʃ
When was the last time someone insulted Lu Feng Yu to his face like this?
To hear someone call him a person with the ‘Heart of a wolf and lungs of a dog’, though he might be a villainous character, no one could actually stand to hear insults to themselves. As he stood at the entrance, his face flushed red with shame. If this was his own estate, he would have ordered someone to drag that impertinent cook out and teach her a lesson. However, this was someone else’s estate, no matter how angry he was, how much angrier he became, he could not exceed his place and order punishment upon someone else’s servant.
After nearly gasping with anger, he turned to glare at Su Dong Lou and snapped, “So this is your cook? Rather arrogant, isn’t she? Aren’t you going to do something as the master?”
Su Dong Lou smirked, “I really don’t dare. To be honest, this is not something I’d speak to with just anyone, but since it’s you, I shall be frank. Though it had just been three days, I must confess that my appetite is hooked by this Ms. Wang’s cooking. Her snacks and dishes are out of this world. I’m sure you of all people can understand my dilemma. Moreover, the person she scolded is you, not me. How can I scold her when I’m so pleased?”
“I think, rather than hooking your appetite, your brain is broken from her food. How dare you say these things out loud?” Lu Feng Yu was so angry that even his gums itched. This Su Dong Lou was really getting more and more outrageous, rather than sheathing a dagger in a smile, isn’t this just flashing his daggers about? Aside from talking him down a few times in front of His Lordship, he had never really done anything against this man. This was why Jianghu  thugs were so difficult to deal with. Even those bloody black-hearted officials were easier to negotiate with since they care about maintaining a refined face. But this guy? How does one manipulate someone who threw their own face away so easily?
Though he was angry, there was nothing he could do. Lu Feng Yu could only shuffle resentfully into the receiving room after Su Dong Lou. No matter what, he’s still a prince’s personal Head Historian, surely there’s no need to quarrel with a low level cook? So what if there aren’t any dog meat to eat? If he could at least take away two platefuls of the same snacks as before, he would not consider today a loss. The best possible scenario would be to gather more than just two types of snacks, but it would probably not be wise to enter the kitchen today. That crazy cook might just be daring enough to attack him with a knife. He might as well just go home to his grandmother’s house and hide his embarrassment if he ended up getting chased out of a kitchen with a knife.
However, as he sat at the table with Su Dong Lou chatting about nothing in particular, not a single crumb of snack was served up. He was still anxiously waiting when two maids finally brought in more tea, and arranged a few plates of snacks on the table before hurrying off. Lu Feng Yu cast them a suspicious look. A quick sweep of the table told him that it was the standard White Sugar Pastries and small inch long Crab Dumplings. Fire mounted all the way to his head and he sneered at Su Dong Lou, “Surely Master Dong Lou has treated me too poorly? Even if you don’t wish to entertain me with the previous snacks, there’s no need for you to make fun of me with these vulgar things? At the very least, you should respect my position as the prince’s Head Historian?”
Su Dong Lou was also feeling a little uncertain about this. No matter what, he still needed to show that he was supporting King Xiangyang, and therefore should not have a complete falling out with Lu Feng Yu. He bade one of the maids over to bring some of the good snacks over. The maid left, but soon came back with empty hands. She said helplessly, “In reply to master, Ms. Wang said that her snacks are not… not meant for evil people to eat…” she flashed a glance at Lu Feng Yu and saw him white with anger. Frightened, the maid was about to think up a way to escape when Su Dong Lou said in dissatisfaction, “Enough about her. Even if she refuses to give, surely you can just take them? Aren’t you stronger than she?”
The maid narrowed her eyes: Wei, master, please don’t say such a face shaming thing, ah. What do you mean I’m stronger than her? Are you calling me a beefy woman? Moreover, I dare not be as fierce as that Ms. Wang, ah. Finally, she said gloomily, “This maid had thought to take a few, but the kitchen is Ms. Wang’s realm. No matter how strong this maid is, ‘A pair of fists is no match against four hands’. There’s no way I can fight off all the kitchen maids, ah.”
“What’s this nonsense? Are you saying that Mingyu House’s maids don’t know martial arts?” Lu Feng Yu was so angry that he was nearly spewing smoke from his nose. The maid sighed, “Teacher is right, only… if you must know, the maids of Mingyu House knows martial arts, but the kitchen maids also know martial arts, ah. Even if this one is as strong as Yang’s Ninth Young Miss, I am no match for several Yang Paifeng, right?”
“Cough, cough, cough…”
Su Dong Lou nearly choked to death as the tea went down the wrong pipe. It was a long time before he could gather himself to glare at the maid and said severely, “For someone who cowers in action, you sure have a quick tongue. Be gone with you.”
The maid was just waiting for this order and happily saluted before nearly running out of the room. Lu Feng Yu stared down at the crude looking snacks with ashen face. All of a sudden, his wrath receded and a wispy smile flashed across his face. “There’s no need for me to put up an act before the House Master. You must know about this little hobby of mine. This Ms. Wang of yours clearly has impressive culinary skills. In just three days she had not only taken over the kitchen and your other maids, but even dared to be impertinent to you. Well, I shall not mince words. For the sake of reducing your burden in the future, how about you sell this Ms. Wang to me?”
“Don’t even think about it.” Su Dong Lou shook his head, laughing. “To be honest, I have always been curious about this part of Teacher Lu. You’re clearly a man of great refinement and manners, but why do you obsess over food so much? After hiring this bold cook, I finally understood. Gourmet food is actually the most wonderful thing in life. Teacher need not try and persuade me anymore, I shall not hand over Ms. Wang to you. I still haven’t had enough of her food, yet.”
Lu Feng Yu already expected this answer, a sorrowful little smile played about his lips and he said mildly, “Indeed, I did not have much hope in persuading you. It’s no wonder the House Master is reluctant to part with her. Regardless, I still have to make my report to His Lordship. If he hears about this impressive person… let’s just say it’s better for House Master to show some backbone when the time comes.”
Su Dong Lou had not expected this move from his enemy. He frowned, “That Ms. Wang is matchlessly fierce. Even her husband treats her like a hungry tigress. If she does not wish to, she’ll refuse you even if you force her with a knife.”
Lu Feng Yu hehe-d, “How funny, no matter how fierce she is. Isn’t she just a poor commoner? If His Lordship calls her into service, won’t she jump with joy? And what’s this about refusing even if one forces her with a knife? Does she think she’s some heir’s wife or the daughter of a great house?”
Su Dong Lou’s heart gave an audible thump. As expected, Lu Feng Yu was suspicious. For him to talk about this, he must be testing Su Dong Lou’s reaction. Luckily he had already prepared his answers. Thus, without missing a beat, he sneered, “Well, well, if His Lordship turns out to be a man who values food over life, I shall have to capitulate.”
The next words from Lu Feng Yu did not leave his mouth: That’s right, how could there be a second person who valued gourmet food just like him? Though King Xiangyang trusted him and was suspicious of Su Dong Lou, there was no way he was going to risk his relationship with Su Dong Lou and Jianghu connection over a mere cook. A man who could command the warriors of the six great provinces of the south would definitely come in handy in the future. He would definitely need such power if he were to do great things later.
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For the sake of this mouth of his, Lu Feng Yu had killed off all the wolfdogs awarded to him by His Lordship, happily carried them off to Mingyu estate with expectations of making up with the man he had always despised. In the end? Not a single morsel of food passed his lips, on top of that he was scolded by that bold cook. Though it was not to his face, it was a near thing. The woman did not even bother to pretend to use indirect methods when scolding him.
Lu Feng Yu’s depression was obvious. In the end, however, he was not someone who would thicken his face and confront people directly. Wu! Well, it’s not like he was shy or precious about his face. Even if he were to throw caution in the wind and charge the kitchen… well, did you not hear what that maid had said? The kitchen was protected by a group of Yang Peifangs. He’s a scholar who lacked even the strength to truss a chicken, could he actually snatch anything from people like that? If he charged in thoughtlessly, what if that Ms. Wang took opportunity of the chaos to slash him with her kitchen knife? A wise man submits to circumstances. He must not let the desire for delicious food turn him into a muddle head. Safety first!
Having nothing to eat all day, Lu Feng Yu made his way back to the prince’s estate with a heavy heart. As soon as he made it across the threshold, the servant brought news that His Lordship wanted to see him, so he quickly made his way to the study. Upon opening the door, he spotted King Xiangyang seated by a table full of snacks and was just lifting a cup of tea to his lips. At the sight of him, His Lordship waved a hand over the snacks, “I know that you like these kinds of things. The kitchens have been trying out some new recipes such as these glutinous rice cakes wrapped in sugar strings. Apparently it’s all the rage at the Capital now. They called it Candied Floss something, I think? I don’t really care for these, but I must say that they are rather refreshing and sweet. Which is why I invited you over.”
Though Lu Feng Yu was a prince’s Head Historian, he was in reality a mere Third Level Official. His position was more or less at the same level as King Xiangyang’s servants. There was really no need for the King to be so courteous to him. However, anyone could tell from His Lordships warm remarks how highly he valued and respected this servant. It was not wrong to say that because of him, King Xiangyang never fully trusted Su Dong Lou. This person really did have the power to influence King Xiangyang’s thoughts.
In fact, even his title as the Head Historian was somewhat underhandedly conferred to him. In his youth, Lu Feng Yu had tried to make a name for himself as a scholar. As a bright-eyed youth, he had tried again and again to break into the science field, but failed time and again. Things became worse when he got involved with a case at the Capital and lost his qualifications to become a proper scholar. Frustrated and discouraged, he went back to Jiang Nan and unexpectedly established a connection with King Xiangyang.
It was a connection made upon deep, personal hatred against a mutual enemy. It took very little encouragement to get this villain to curse the current imperial family in front of King Xiangyang. He was eventually encouraged to plot against the current ruler. Additionally, King Xiangyang had taken the effort to test this scholar’s loyalty by having him ‘captured’ by some random people and locked underground to be ‘tested for loyalty’.
To his great joy, Lu Feng Yu remained firm in his hatred against the current regime and refused to ‘renounce his ways for the better good’. King Xiangyang really considered this scholar as a heaven sent helper with a spine of iron and a mind like a steel trap. From there on, he approached Lu Feng Yu in order to get closer to the man and pulled him within his circle.
Clearly this Lu Feng Yu was an incredibly capable man. Not even a year had passed, the atmosphere of the whole prince’s estate and feudal lands were completely overhauled. It just so happened that the current Head of Historian died from illness, whereby King Xiangyang immediately wrote a letter to the emperor to recommend Lu Feng Yu for the position.
Though it was not completely above board, Lu Feng Yu was someone who had successfully passed the imperial provincial examination. When the younger brother who had never really asked him for anything sent a letter to sincerely petition for this scholar for the position, the emperor could only turn a blind eye to protocol and agreed.
After all, this younger brother of his was someone who had never returned to the Capital after a dozen years. At that time, the emperor still felt quite benevolent towards this younger brother of his and never expected this good brother of his to make use of this petition as part of his long term plan for treason.
[Gumihou: Gyaahhh! King Xiangyang, why?! Being emperor is no fun, you know?]
 Jianghu – Basically section of society that operates independently outside of mainstream society. The place where wuxia novels came out of  A pair of fists is no match against four hands – one person is no match for many  Yang Ninth Young Miss – Also known as Yang Ying or Yang Yanying. The youngest daughter of a Song dynasty family of warriors. The subject of the popular fiction Yang Saga. She believes that women could do all the things that women could do  Yang Peifang – Boyish and lively, originally started out as a maid. Eventually became a female general.  Lacking even the strength to truss a chicken – weak, unaccustomed to physical work
Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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