Chapter 208: Identity Exposed
Translated by Gumihou
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Lu Feng Yu ignored him, still struggling to reach for another piece of pastry. Pissed off now, Su Dong Lou slapped him on the shoulder twice more. This time, however, his hand came down much more heavily. Lu Feng Yu, already a weak scholar, and could not withstand even a casual hit collapsed. With a little, “Aiya!” his body sprawled all over Su Dong Lou’s lap.
This Lu Feng Yu was quick to react, however. He scrambled up to glare at Su Dong Lou, “What was that for? Can I not eat whatever I want in my own house? You nearly break me apart with just two slaps. As expected of a brute, so what if you have a good face? You’re still a brute inside.” With that, he huffed his way back to his seat, picked up his teacup and called out, “Someone come and send the guest away.”
Su Dong Lou continued to just let him complain, by the time he had recovered, his heart was beating all over the place. A large part of it was due to Lu Feng Yu’s sudden, unexpected attitude, he had no idea what the enemy was thinking or trying to find out. But no matter how he thought about it, today’s action appeared to be deliberate.
He tried to study the tea drinker before him, but the only thing he could discern was anger and annoyance. The elegant profile was bent over a teacup, from his position, Su Dong Lou could see the long eyelashes lowered protectively over those sharp eyes. His heart shuddered again and finally, he just stood up, and left for the main entrance.
The moment he was out of sight, Lu Feng Yu’s expression reverts to its original calm. He set the teacup down and propped his chin on his hand, a contemplative look on his face. After some time, he stood up and made his way into his bedroom. He pulled out a small drawer. Within it was a piece of paper with a drawing on it.
It was a drawing of a bright red Fire Pepper.
Gumihou’s reaction: Σ(･口･) !!
This was something that he had received along with the intelligence report over a month ago. The informer had stumbled upon this by chance. It seems that Duan Tingye had sent someone over to Jiang Nan to secretly look for this item. At that time he had not considered this matter important, since it had nothing to do with His Lordship. However, due to the possibility that this item being a food ingredient, he had kept it in this drawer all this while and had told the informer not to pursue the matter. Who would have thought that this little clue would turn out to be an incredible find?
That couple, could they really be Duan Tingxuan and his incredibly talented culinary expert wife?
Lu Feng Yu looked shaken, there was only one thought shining in his head, but… can it really be? Would a noble and dignified heir and heir’s wife really put themselves in danger like this? Even if they have the guts for it, would they really be able to act as a convincing pair of poor and lowly servant couple? No, this was beyond acting, he was utterly convinced that they were nothing more than a pair of common husband and wife. The husband was a cautious and quick-witted, a money loving and wife fearing man. The woman was temperamental and stubborn, an easily angered shrewish Lioness from Hedong who roars at the slightest provocation . These were all concluded by him after witnessing their interactions first hand. Even beaten to death, he would not have connected these pair of common servants to the nobilities from the Capital.
There was still the sudden appearance of Long Pingzhang at Jiang Nan, who had almost discovered the married couple hidden at Immortal’s Range. Less than half a year after his death, Duan Tingxuan and Su Nuan Nuan suddenly decided to journey together to Niu Tou Mountain, but until now nobody could discover their whereabouts. Then, within a week, a couple appeared in Jiang Nan plying their trade as a cook and an odd-job man. Though her cooking may not be outstanding in the strictest sense of the word, but her innovative way with recipes was rare indeed. Though it was nothing like the ground-breaking Lion’s Head, Cream or Birthday Cake, the snacks, dimsum as well as the vegetable and meat dishes were all refreshingly delicious and enough to satisfy him, Lu Feng Yu, a man who had always been interested in new and innovative dishes.
Lu Feng Yu had no idea how long he sat alone in his room, when he suddenly stood up. He lit a candle that had been prepared on a candlestick, and touched the corner of the paper to the little flame. All the while, his hand shook, his expression reflected his wavering heart, but in the end the paper fluttered to the ground in ashes.
“It’s fine. Even without physical evidence, His Lordship will believe me. Humph! As long as they are in Jiang Nan, they won’t leave until they’re spooked or found something concrete against His Lordship. Before that happens, I shall continue to enjoy this heaven-sent luck and good food first. That’s right, let’s eat first, everything else can wait.”
[Gumihou: Lu Feng Yu… you will die at this rate, or worse…]
Now that he had made his decision, Lu Feng Yu paused to think about it again. He was fairly certain that everything was under his control, even that slippery Su Dong Lou, he could make use of that thuggish buffoon to check up on this theory and ascertain his loyalty. To be able to enjoy delicious food and test Su Dong Lou’s true loyalty, and finally present these traitors to His Lordship to gain merit… yes, this plan could work. He would be striking three birds with one stone at this rate.
When his thoughts reached this point, he could hardly restrain his glee. Also, that chilli thing that Su Nuan Nuan of An Ping House had been trying to find must be something unspeakably delicious. When he met the two at the courtyard, that Liang Shou character’s words sounded suspiciously as though he was trying to hide something. What did he mean by strong flavour? If gourmet food is graded only by strong flavours, would they still be gourmet food? Even pig’s food could be ‘strongly flavoured’.
In fact, when Lu Feng Yu spotted the chilli peppers, he did not think of the piece of paper hidden in his room. It was when he was speaking with King Xiangyang that the thought suddenly occurred to him. Therefore, when his mind turned towards those two strings of bright red things, he felt water pooled in his mouth. He immediately stood up and made for the kitchen.
However, after making his round within the kitchen, he did not see any of the strung up chilli. About to retreat, he caught hold of one of the female servants and questioned her about them. The servant informed him that she had seen Su Nuan Nuan brought a few out to make a sauce, but that was all. Lu Feng Yu had the woman lead him to where the couple was staying. Once there, he called for the Housekeeper to open the door and entered the room.
The moment he entered the house, his eyes darted about. It took him about the third passing of his eyes before he spotted the red chilli peppers hidden behind a decorative cloth. He sneered, hah! Obviously these people have hidden the good things for themselves to eat, and you’re only planning on making some miserable sauce for this master? Heihei! You’ve clearly miscalculated, when it comes to delicious things, I, this master, have many ways of finding out. No one can cheat me out of delicious food!
After some thought, he had the Housekeeper plucked three or four pieces of the chilli down. After all, he still wished to eat more of Su Nuan Nuan’s gourmet food. Lu Feng Yu was afraid that Ms. Wang would become overly hostile if he took the whole thing away.[Author White Pear Flower: =.= you think everyone is an ultimate foodie like you?]
Another sweep of his eyes told him that the room was incredibly simple with not much personal effects around. Well, if those couple really were spies, they would not dare to leave any evidence behind. Deciding not to waste his time searching, he quickly left the room, cradling the little bundle of chillies close to his chest as he sped back to his own house.
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The afternoon passed quickly and soon, it was dinner time.
Tonight’s dinner looked especially sumptuous and enticing. Su Nuan Nuan had busied herself a whole afternoon. After making the Hot Spicy Beef Sauce, she mixed Mala Oil and Sesame Paste together to make a dipping sauce for the hotpot that she had been planning. There were all kinds of fresh vegetables, seafood and meat on the table.
When Lu Feng Yu sat down at the dinner table, for some reason the corner of his mouth kept twitching. Curious, she thought: Wait, surely this guy hasn’t been struck by some nerve damage or muscle spasm, ba? Wu! His lips looked redder than usual, ah. Could it be rouge? No way, this guy didn’t look like he makes a habit of dressing up as a female, ah.
Nowadays, whenever Lu Feng Yu had his meals, he usually wanted to have Su Nuan Nuan nearby to name the dishes and inform him of the various cooking methods she had used to make dinner time more interesting. However, for some reason, he did seem very enthusiastic of the very first hotpot that Su Nuan Nuan served him, which only added to her curiosity.
“Master, this is the Hot & Spicy Beef Sauce, I made it just this afternoon…”
Su Nuan Nuan introduced the bright red Beef Sauce served on a pretty green plate to Lu Feng Yu. She was very proud of this creation. The little marquis who had just been cursed by the chilli peppers that he had unwisely eaten earlier was coaxed (bullied) to taste a little bit, before the whole spoon was shoved into his mouth and was licked clean. Clearly, chilli peppers would soon feature heavily within the diets of the marquis estate soon. Whatever curses he had heaped onto this spice had all been thrown up into the stratosphere, never to be seen again.
Who would have thought that the moment Lu Feng Yu heard this, he actually jumped up in fright. Pointing at the little saucer of Spicy Beef Sauce with a trembling finger he said, “What did you say? Hot & Spicy Sauce? You made this with that… that chilli thing? Take it away, take it away! I’m never eating anything like that. And what do you mean by saying that a person’s life is wasted if they never tasted this abomination? If this master has to eat this every day to stay alive, I’d rather die and be reincarnated as a beast in the next life.”
“Master is talking about the chilli?” Su Nuan Nuan’s face twitched. She had a queer look on her face as realisation dawned. There was only one explanation for this odd behaviour. Could it be possible that another idiot had actually stuffed an entire chilli into their mouth? The thought of this graceful and confident Senior Lu rolling about in bed suffering from a self-induced chilli calamity was too wonderful to imagine. What if she laughed out loud at it?
Sure enough, at the mention of the dreaded word, Lu Feng Yu flared up. He nearly hopped in place as he yelped, “That’s it, that’s the thing. That chilli thing. Just what the devil is that thing? This master’s mouth nearly rotted away by its spiciness, even mustard did not taste half as frightening.”
“Master, I believe that mustard is not frightening because you know it is spicy, and would only use a fraction of it to enhance your food. If you ate it whole as you did with the chilli, can you imagine what would happen?” Su Nuan Nuan said earnestly. She could not let her beloved chilli pepper be slandered like this.
Lu Feng Yu, “… …”
“I don’t care. I don’t want to eat it now.” Looks like the ultimate foodie was also the tsundere  type. In fact, his mouth had actually recovered, and after all, while he had stuffed the chilli into his mouth whole, he had spat it out after two chews. After that, like the most unfortunate Duan Tingxuan, he too accidentally drank hot water, but unlike the little marquis who had witnesses to his pain and no ready access to cold water. Lu Feng Yu had managed to douse the fire in his mouth with cold water. In fact, the burning sensation had already left him, and his precious mouth had fully recovered.
However, although there was no physical injury, his brain already sustained a great scar from this calamity. Lu Feng Yu’s mouth had never suffered so, and had practically developed a paranoia against chilli in just one afternoon. Therefore, no matter how Su Nuan Nuan praised and talked up the Hot & Spicy Beef Sauce as well as the other spicy dipping, he refused to risk his precious mouth.
While the two were in a standoff, someone came in to report that Su Dong Lou had arrived. Feeling disgruntled and angry, Lu Feng Yu looked up sharply at the news and snapped, “What did he come here for? Tell him to scram!”
“Tsk, tsk, how pitiless, ah. Didn’t you invite me to dinner just this afternoon? There was even some talk about how we shall not part until we’re drunk?” Su Dong Lou came sweeping into the dining room, as if to mock Lu Feng Yu’s instructions.
He looked over the table full of food and saluted his host with both hands. “Looks like I have come at a perfect time. So, we’ll be having hotpot today? Good, very good, ah. Ever since Ms. Wang left my service, I haven’t had hotpot until now. I must say I really missed this flavour.”
 The Lioness from Hedong Roars – shrewish wife or henpecked husband  Tsundere – Unfriendly and sharp on the outside, but tender and mushy on the inside
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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