Chapter 235: Assist Reason, Not Relatives
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Onionpi
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Su Nuan Nuan laughed, “Though this restaurant’s performance left something to be desired, but Tingxuan, you must admit. Second brother really does have a talent for business. You can tell just from how An Le Lou and An Le Lodge are set up. Everything else aside, of all the people he could have sent to a far away place like Lin Qing to manage both inn and restaurant, he’d chosen a very capable young man as the manager. This alone show a flexible mind and the ability to see far into the future.”
Duan Tingxuan had nothing to say to that. After a while, he muttered angrily to himself, “That stinky little brat, just when did he managed to get all those capable people? I’ve never even heard of that Li Qiushan person, how could someone so capable escaped my attention?”
Su Nuan Nuan shook her head, “Ever since second brother put his full attention into making money, I feel like he’d had a breakthrough and achieved enlightenment. You can’t treat him the way you did in the past and believe you can just see through his every action with one sweep of your eyes. This is his true ability…”
Before she could finish, the little marquis snapped resentfully, “What ability? Aren’t the people under him merely ‘Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals ’?”
“Aiya! That’s where you are wrong. Why must you dismiss the people who work for him as Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals? It is said that everything in the world is inferior to literature, but is this true? You know it is not, and I know that you know it is not so. Without farmers to grow food or craftsmen to build houses, and no businessmen to make money, would you scholars have the luxury of standing at the apex of society and have all the free time in the world to make poetry or argue politics?”
“Nuan Nuan…” The little marquis looked plaintively at his beloved, “I know all that, but… but I still think that you ought to stand on my side. I, your husband, would also like to hear you praise me, you know?
“Ahem!” Su Nuan Nuan cleared her throat and said embarrassedly. “That… I can’t help you with that. I am the type to ‘Assist Reason, Not Relatives ’”
“Surely you can occasionally break this rule and assist your relative over reason?” Duan Tingxuan tugged pitifully at his wife’s sleeve. “Such as now. You can denounce that Tingye for being aggressive, unrestraint and reckless. It’s not like he’s here to hear it, and it wouldn’t influence your image as the fair and just first madam among the people at the mansion.”
Faced with a shameless husband who tried to justify his petty behaviour like this, Su Nuan Nuan became dazed for a moment. Finally, she rolled her eyes and said, “You are too good at making yourself sound reasonable, I have nothing to say to that.”
“Nothing to say is the best…” The little marquis was so excited that he nearly lost all reason, but then his wife thumped him soundly on the back. “Go and get some ink and paper for me. I want to prepare the competition menu and write the necessary ingredients down for Li Qiushan to prepare.”
“Yes, yes, yes, this husband shall go at once.” The little marquis happily rummaged through the table for the necessary stationary.
The entire performance from the beginning until now was actually witnessed by Long Pingzhang and Chu Xiu, who had wondered over from the next room out of boredom. At the shocked look on their faces, Duan Tingxuan’s lips twisted into a sneer. “Are you surprised? Heheh! Just wait until you are married, you’ll probably be worse off than me.”
At this, Chu Xiu’s face turned red and she quickly said, “Lord heir, please don’t say things like that. How… how could I…” but then she thought better of finishing that sentence, because, no matter what she said, it would not reflect well on Su Nuan Nuan. In the end, she only lowered her head and pressed her lips tightly together.
Duan Tingxuan laughed, “How could you what? Turned into a Hedong Lioness? Heheh! Miss Chu Xiu, trust me, you have everything it takes to turn into a Hedong Lioness. The more you interact with Nuan Nuan… well, as they say, ‘Those Who Touched Cinnabar will be Stained Red, Those Who Touched Ink Will be Stained Black’ in fact, bad behaviour is easier to pick up compared to rice…”
He hadn’t finished speaking when his shoulders shivered from the cold running down his back. The little marquis quickly transformed into a serious young man and solemnly said, “I have misspoke again. Anyone who follows Nuan Nuan only touches cinnabar, when would you ever have the opportunity to touch ink?” Then, he turned and beamed fawningly at his wife, “What do you think? Nuan Nuan, aren’t I a man of great understanding and wisdom? As a court official, I am unexpectedly open minded enough to encourage women to pursue their own destiny…”
“Enough with your nonsense. You’ll make His Excellency Long and Chu Xiu believe that I am really a violent shrew.” Su Nuan Nuan harrumphed. At this, Duan Tingxuan privately rolled his eyes and though: Aren’t you already a violent shrew? But… aih! Who ask me to be fascinated by this side of you? No medicine can treat me now, ah…
Even as he ridiculed himself, he could not hide his curiosity and was soon sidling over to Su Nuan Nuan’s side and peering at her writing. However, when he saw the first item on the list, he immediately frowned and wondered out loud, “A hundred year old Shaoxing wine jar? Nuan Nuan, what is this for? Can wine jars be used in cooking? Why have I never heard of it?”
“There are plenty of things you’ve never heard of.” Su Nuan Nuan ignored him as she continued to write down her ingredients list, “Two catties of fine water shark fin, two catties of fish lips, two catties of fresh abalone, one fat chicken, one fat duck, three catties of top-grade pork belly, one catty of pork stomach, three catties of lamb, 20 pigeon eggs…”
The list went on and on, only stopping when there were over 20 items on it. Su Nuan Nuan cast her eyes over the list one more time before nodding to herself, “Alright, the main dish’s ingredients are done.”
“What? Don’t tell me all this is for one dish only, ah?” The little marquis was in shock. Both Long Pingzhang and Chu Xiu had been puzzling over the diverse ingredients were also stunned when they head that it was all for one single dish.
Su Nuan Nuan laughed at their shocked faces, “Well, I can’t realistically bring out 10 different new dishes at once, right? Otherwise, I’d have set the standard too high and everyone would be expecting ten new dishes from me every single time. What would I do then? Therefore, we should limit the number of new dishes to only two or three every now and then. For the competition with Fu Sheng Xiang, we shall be using this as the main dish. I will come up with two other new dishes to match this main dish. For the rest, we can use our standard restaurant dishes to make up the numbers.”
“What do you mean make up the numbers, ah? They are our signature dishes, though they could not serve as the star dish, they could still win in a three against one battle, ah.” Even at this crucial point, the little marquis did not show hesitation to defend their own family’s face. Clearly he was speaking for the sake of relatives, and not reason. However, he quickly lost interest in the argument in favour of asking after this new dish, “What a complicated recipe, what is it called? Why haven’t you made this back at the mansion?”
“Have you ever gone hungry at your house? You want to tire me out, is it?” Su Nuan Nuan rolled her eyes at him. “Humph, so I am no better than a cook in your eyes, is that it?”
“No, no, of course not. I will cut out the eyes of those who dared to treat first madam as a mere cook.” Duan Tingxuan laughed fawningly at his wife
Long Pingzhang had been growing ever more worried as he watched his friend’s antics. He shook his head sadly and said, “Just look at him, does he still look like a man of the house? No, I should ask if he still had the ability to be the man of the house?” Then, he turned, grasped Chu Xiu’s hands and earnestly asked, “Xiu’er, once we are married, you won’t treat me like this, right?”
“If I say I will treat you this way, will you still be willing to marry me?” Chu Xiu looked up at her fiancé with shimmering eyes. This young lady was just too intelligent and could theorize and speculate with the best of scholars. Though she felt that Su Nuan Nuan’s violent shrew attitude was not quite suitable for herself, she nevertheless was sharp enough to consciously use a softer, gentler attitude to coax her future husband.
Sure enough, as if to prove her point that this method really worked, His Excellency Long folded like wet paper as he sighed, “Whatever, whatever, it’s easy to board a pirate ship, but difficult to get off said ship. Since I was rescued by you, I am determined to board your pirate ship.”
Meanwhile, Su Nuan Nuan was in the middle of pondering over the next new dish. Should she introduce the Sichuan Poached Fish in Spicy Chilli Oil  or the Fish Fragrance Pork Strips? Both were Sichuan dishes. Without the existence of chilli peppers, no matter how good one’s cooking skills were, one wouldn’t dare try to make it. After all, without the existence of chilli oil or chilli spice, this dish would not be complete.
[Gumihou: Can I just say? This DTX is too shameless, ah]
 Shrimp Soldiers and Crab Generals – Small fries, unimportant people  Assist Reason, Not Relatives – Logic over Love, lol!  Sichuan Poached Fish in Chilli Oil
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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.
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