Chapter 38: Good Luck Comes
After devouring the large bread soaked in straw mushroom soup, Helian Jing was in a better mood as they continue on with their journey.
Halfway through their trip, it rained again, the raindrops as big as beans, pelting down and hurting their face.
“Let’s take shelter under the tree there!”?Helian Jing suggested, squinting his almond-shaped eyes as he pointed towards a tree ahead.
“Are you crazy? Take a shelter under a tree in the rain? Do you want to get shot by lightning?”
Right after she had just berated him, the sky resonated with a muffled thunder growl.
They looked at each other, creeped out.
Helian Jing clenched his teeth and took his shirt off.
“What are you doing?” Ye Jiayao demanded.
Helian Jing held his shirt up above their heads to shelter them both, laughing. “This way we won’t get wet.”
Ye Jiayao could not help but feel touched as she watched him bare the top of his body to the cold just to protect her. More than half of his shirt was covering her head, and his upper body was already trickling with rainwater, yet he was still smiling so radiantly. This fellow might know next to nothing and could be quite unreasonable, but he was adorably innocent. Plus, he doesn’t get angry every time she bossed him around. That was the true mark of a gentleman right there.
“Let’s go!” Ye Jiayao inched closer to him and they both ran in the rain with their heads touching.
Fortunately for the two, the summer rain came and left quickly, leaving a double rainbow in the beautiful azure sky.
Helian Jing shouted excitedly, “Quick, look! There’s a double rainbow! I heard that if you see a double rainbow, good luck comes.”
Right now, he was desperately wishing for his luck to change. He’s been dealt with ill-fated days and it would be nice if that could change.
Ye Jiayao was in slight awe. It was her first time witnessing the double rainbow phenomenon and it was stunning.
“Say, if I make a wish, will it come true?”
Helian Jing laughed. “Who cares whether it will come true or not? Just make the wish.”
After he said that, he put his palms together, closed his eyes, and began to make a wish.??Oh beautiful rainbow fairy, please bless and protect Brother Jin and me so that we can return to Jin Ling smoothly.
Ye Jiayao followed suit.?Rainbow fairy, although I am a lowly and ordinary person, I have a big wish. I want to open Jin Ling’s most famous and popular restaurant and count money everyday till my hands cramp. Of course, it is not entirely just to make money. I also want to promote Chinese cuisine…
Helian Jing opened his eyes after making his wish and saw that Brother Jin was still praying, his eyes closed. From the tiny drops of water clinging onto his curved lashes,?the perfect curves from his forehead to his chin, Helian Jing found every part of him attractive.
He’d always found that brother Chunyu was an extremely enchanting man, but there was something about brother Jin that held his attention. Chunyu’s appeal and handsomeness were more heroic and masculine, while brother Jin was…??how can I describe it??Brother Jin’s look is?gentle and mesmerizing.
When Ye Jiayao opened her eyes, she saw little Jingjing staring foolishly at her. “What’s wrong? Is there something on my face?” Ye Jiayao touched her cheek, perplexed.
Helian Jing’s face flushed red. He stretched his hand out and pretended to wipe something off her forehead to conceal his embarrassment. “You have some dirt on your face. It’s gone now.”
Ye Jiayao smiled. “Ay, little Jingjing, what did you wish for?”
“You can’t say your wish out loud, otherwise, it would not come true.” Helian Jing replied, shrugging his shoulders.
He did not want to cause further complications.
“Tsk, I don’t believe it!” Ye Jiayao pouted.
“Then, what wish did you make?” Helian Jing asked curiously.
Ye Jiayao narrowed her eyes and smiled. ” I wish I could become a rich person in the future and then eat all the delicacies in the world.”
“Such a simple wish?”?Helian Jing smiled teasingly.
Then, he shall help her fulfill her wish.
“For rich people like you, it’s a small wish, but to poor people like us, having sufficient meals is difficult.” Ye Jiayao said wisely. He wasn’t a fish, he doesn’t know what constituted the enjoyment of fishes.
Helian Jing was thoroughly convinced. Hasn’t he been constantly hungry these few days with her? He thought of how?she has always been getting by like this in the past, skipping meals and sleeping in the open, and he felt a huge wave of sympathy for her.
“Brother Jin, I’m sure your wish will come true,” Helian Jing told her solemnly. When he gets back to Jin Ling, he would make it sure that she would get to try all the delicacies in Jin Ling and live a carefree life.
Ye Jiayao looked at him from the corner of her eyes, pondering over what he meant. Does he want to repay her? When the time came, how much money would he give her? Tens of taels? Or hundreds of taels? Opening a restaurant must cost a lot of money! It would be impossible without a few thousand taels.?Forget it, forget it!??I wasn’t seeking any repayment. I brought him along with me purely to do a good deed of sending a lost child home.??She has to fight for her own happy future.
“Ay, believe me, I have that ability,” Helian Jing assured her eagerly, thinking that she did not believe he would help her fulfill her wish.
Ye Jiayao shook her head, ending the topic.?“We’ll talk about it?if?we make it to Jin Ling.”
Their priority, for now, was finding a place to build a fire to dry their clothes. They would fall sick if they stay any longer in their dripping wet clothes.
Up ahead, bell sounds could be heard. As they looked up, they saw someone leading a donkey, and another person sitting on top of the donkey, approaching towards them.
“Hurry, hurry, we have to find a chef before the dinner,” the person on the donkey rushed urgently.
The servant leading the donkey replied, “It is still quite a distance from the Zhao mansion. No matter how fast we go, we would not make it back in time before the dinner.”
“I know, but we have to try! How could we have known that Old Ming would fall ill suddenly? The wedding in young master’s house requires the best chef, otherwise, we’re going to get in trouble,” the person on the donkey said with melancholy.
Upon hearing the word ‘chef’, Ye Jiayao’s eyes brightened. She rushed to meet them and welcomed them with a smile. “Pardon me for interrupting, did you say you’re looking for a chef?”
The person on the donkey sized the drenched Ye Jiayao up, smoothed his beard, and replied, “That is right.”
“I just heard you say that a chef is needed for the wedding in your young master’s house. I have worked in Wang Xian Restaurant in the Ji Nan province before, perhaps I could help you,” Ye Jiayao offered.
Ye Jiayao fabricated up a random story. She has never been to Wang Xian Restaurant before, but she has heard Song Qi mention it more than once. Whenever Song Qi mentioned Wang Xian Restaurant, the corner of his mouth looked like he was about to drool. It was clear that the place was very famous.
The servant leading the donkey was delighted. “Housekeeper Li, this is such a coincidence! We were looking for a chef and ran into one on the way.”
“Are you really a chef at Wang Xian Restaurant?” Housekeeper Li questioned suspiciously, finding that the chap looked too young.
Wang Xian Restaurant had a grand reputation. The people who patronized the place were all people with money and power in the Ji Nan province. Their young master went there once and could not forget the delicacies served there.
Ye Jiayao was afraid that she would go too far with her lies, so she replied humbly, “No, not as the chef. I’m just a helper, but I know how to make several dishes.”
Helian Jing looked at Ye Jiayao, bewildered.?When has she worked at Wang Xian Restaurant?
Housekeeper Li rejoiced. “Anyone from Wang Xian Restaurant, even if it is just a helper, is highly skilled. Where are you going?”
Ye Jiayao smiled lightly, pointing at Helian Jing. “Something happened back at home, my father got my brother to escort me back home.”
“You don’t sound like a local,” Housekeeper Li probed further just to be cautious.
“You have a good ear, housekeeper. I am from Jin Ling, and though I’ve been in Shan Dong for few years to learn culinarily, I still could not change my accent,” Ye Jiayao replied self-deprecatingly.
Housekeeper Li was still indecisive. Ye Jiayao hoped to rush things along and said, “You just seem quite rushed, so I came forward to inquire. If you do not need help, then I would have to hasten on my journey with my brother.”
Housekeeper Li hurriedly replied, “The chef that we originally got happened to fall ill. We wanted to make a trip to the Zhao mansion and get the chef there. However, we do not have enough time, so if you could help, that would be the best. If the feast could start smoothly, our young master would be sure to thank you heavily.”
Ye Jiayao waved her hand dismissively. “It does not matter whether he thank me or not. My father always told me to help if I can as each good deed will accumulate good merits.
Ye Jiayao did not haggle over price which endeared her further in the eyes of Housekeeper Li. He got down from the donkey, cupped his hands together, and said, “Then I shall trouble you. How should I address you?”
“My surname is Li, I am called Li Yao. This is my brother, Li Jing.” Ye Jiayao purposely used a surname identical to the housekeeper so that he’d feel more trusting towards them.
The corner of Helian Jing’s mouth twitched.?Change your name if you want, but why change mine as well?
Once Housekeeper Li heard that they share the same surname, he felt more at ease with Ye Jiayao. He even offered her to sit on the donkey, but Ye Jiayao refused. Housekeeper Li was of a certain age, and even in the modern times, she has always given her seat up to the elderly. How could she snatch a seat from a man that was the same age as her grandfather? Respecting the old and cherishing the young was a traditional virtue regardless of the time.
The four people then made their way to the Li mansion.
Ye Jiayao and Helian Jing followed behind. Ye Jiayao smiled broadly and told Helian Jing softly, “You are right. Seeing a double rainbow really brings good luck.”
“Did you really work at Wang Xian Restaurant?” Helian Jing asked worriedly.
Ye Jiayao motioned for him to keep silent, glancing at Housekeeper Li. “Don’t you dare let it slip and remember to call me older brother,” she warned him, lowering her voice.
Helian Jing silently cursed.?Older brother my ass! Why are you taking advantage of me all the time? No matter how you look at it, I look like the older one!
“Can you really cook delicious meals for a wedding dinner?” Helian Jing didn’t feel that this was good luck at all. A wedding dinner was a very important feast, and if it was ruined, they were sure to be beaten to death.
Ye Jiayao raised a brow at him. “Don’t worry, little brother, I will show you some skills today.”
Her father was an accomplished chef from a five-star hotel and was often invited to manage wedding feasts. When she was young, her mother would be the helper, and she would tag along to eat. She had seen the event so many times, she was familiar with all the trimmings and extravaganza that came with it. It was really nothing but?making a few big dishes, and coming up with auspicious names for it to match the festive occasion. She might not be adept at it but it was definitely not a problem to her.
Helian Jing saw how confident she was and decided to just trust her. After all, she made the simplest ingredients for beggars bird and the straw mushroom soup taste very exquisite. If that was anything to go on, it looked like she really was equipped for this.
It looks like I’m eating a good meal tonight!