Chapter 74: Reinforcement
It rained the night before so the morning of the next day dawned clear and fresh with a cool breeze.
Ye Jiayao was wearing the new clothes Xia Chunyu had bought for her, a beautiful cerulean blue made of top grade Hang Zhou silk. It was a perfect fit and also looked better than the silk clothes she bought yesterday. Her only worry was that it would be too ostentatious to wear in the kitchen.
Unexpectedly, she found Song Qi waiting for her outside the inn.
“Song Qi, what are you doing…”
Song Qi smiled in delight. Habitually, he greeted her, “Sister-in-law!”
Ye Jiayao coughed dryly. “Uh, Song Qi there’s no need to call me that. Besides, didn’t your Heir-son Lord made it clear to you never to address me like that again?”
Song Qi laughed. “Heir-Son Lord didn’t mean what he said. He actually likes you a lot!”
She looked at him doubtfully.??Really?
“Still, it is better to not call me that. I am Li Yao now,” Ye Jiayao told him.
“Yes, Master Li,” Song Qi said in a weird tone.
Ye Jiayao glared at him. “Is anything the matter?”
Song Qi gestured toward the inn. “I have been staying in the room next to yours since last night. The Heir-son Lord wants me to keep an eye on you.”
Ye Jiayao remembered Princess Liu Li and decided not to protest.
“I am going to Heavenly Residence.”
Song Qi said, “The horse carriage has been prepared for you.”
The first thing Ye Jiayao did when she arrived at Heavenly Residence was extract cream. They have extracted quite a significant amount of cream these past few days, but it was still far from enough.
Deng Haichuan rushed in and reported, “There’s trouble! I heard from Ah Xing that someone reserved the whole of the third floor.”
Zhong Xiang remained calm as he asked, “What’s so strange about that? The whole Heavenly Residence has been reserved before. It might be just some family holding a feast.”
“No, no! Ah Xing says that the person who reserved the place did not place an order for any dishes and just said that his master would be the one to decide what to eat once he’s here. The only thing he ordered was two sets of each chilled drink, which means there are not many people coming,” Deng Haichuan explained.
Zhong Xiang frowned. “That is a little odd.”
Cui Dongpeng laughed it off. “I don’t think there is anything strange. Maybe this customer was just afraid that he would not get to try our chilled drinks since it was so in demand these past few days.”
Ye Jiayao listened silently, feeling uneasy. Why does she have a feeling that this involved her?
Not long later, Shopkeeper Li entered the kitchen, looking for Ye Jiayao. “There might be an important customer coming to the restaurant today, so when the time comes, you have to prepare the meal personally.”
“Do you know who the important person is?” Ye Jiayao asked worriedly.
Shopkeeper Li shook his head. “I have no idea.”
Just before noon, a grand horse carriage arrived?at Heavenly Residence.
“Brother Crown Prince, quick!” Liu Li, dressed as a boy once again, hurried.
“Aren’t I coming?” The crown prince fanned himself leisurely as he got off the horse carriage.
“You are too slow!” Liu Li pouted, unsatisfied.
“Are you eager to try the chilled drinks or to settle scores with that chap who offended you?”
The crown prince smiled indulgently, shaking his head. “I really don’t know what to do with you. Yesterday, you sneaked out of the palace, today, you pester me to bring you out. If the empress dowager finds out, I’m dead meat.”
Liu Li fluttered her lashes and smiled coquettishly. “Brother Crown Prince, you know you love me. Anyway, I’ll harass you every day if you don’t stand up for me today.”
The crown prince could only gape at Princess Liu Li’s antics. He looked at the signboard of Heavenly Residence and muttered dubiously, “Are the chilled drinks here really that good?”
Song Qi, who was posted outside Heavenly Residence, went on high alert as he spotted the crown prince and the princess’ arrival at Heavenly Residence.??This was something out of the ordinary.??He would have to report this to the Heir-son Lord.
Manager Qian waited by the door to greet the arriving guests and almost took a step back as he saw the rude young man from yesterday. Didn’t he threaten to close down the restaurant? And he brought an even more imposing young master with him along with four knife-carrying guards. Was he making good on his threat today?
That rude young master was wearing a smile but his eyes were showing his evil intentions. He wasn’t here just to eat and try the chilled drinks.
Liu Li smiled at the shocked manager, a hint of her sinister purpose peeking through.
Manager Qian did his best to hide his fear as he smilingly escorted both young masters upstairs. Little Lu followed them up to pour tea.
“What is your specialty dish here?” Liu Li asked arrogantly as she took the menu.
Manager Qian answered with a smile, “Our signature dishes are abalone with oyster sauce, three fresh sharkfins, money squid soup, and mandarin duck snowflake roll. However, the new dishes we’ve launched are also very popular. They are Carp Leaps Over the Dragon Door, hot plate shiitake, Drunken Prawn, and lotus yellow Catfish.”
Liu Li said indifferently, “Serve one of each dishes that you just mentioned and also the chilled drinks.”
Manager Qian nodded and bowed politely. “Please wait for a moment, sirs, I will send in your orders now.”
“Hold on. I want your head chef Li Yao to make these dishes personally,” Liu Li ordered.
After walking out of the suite, Manager Qian exhaled loudly and wiped the sweat from?his forehead. He called Little Lu over and said, “Go send in the orders and tell Li Yao that the young master that he lectured yesterday is back. He didn’t seem friendly so tell him to be careful.”
After hearing the message that Little Lu passed on, a sudden chill ran down Ye Jiayao’s spine.?F*ck! That bitch certainly didn’t want to waste time, did she?
Ye Jiayao tried to maintain her composure as she said, “Alright, serve cautiously.”
While Zhong Xiang was making the chilled drinks and the others were preparing the ingredients, Ye Jiayao ran out to look for Song Qi. She looked around for a moment but she didn’t find him. Wasn’t he supposed to follow her closely? Did he take a break???Of all the times he could take a break, he took one now??
Ah, forget it!??She would just have to play it by ear and settle her own problem. Dumb Donkey couldn’t possibly protect her forever.
Xia Chunyu immediately rushed outside when a guard told him that Song Qi was waiting for him outside the palace.
“What is the problem?” Xia Chunyu asked anxiously.
Song Qi replied, “I saw the crown prince and Princess Liu Li arrive at Heavenly Residence. I am not sure if this is considered out of the ordinary, but…”
Xia Chunyu was alarmed. Liu Li actually dragged the crown prince down to Heavenly Residence to aid in her revenge??That vindictive quick witch.
Xia Chunyu was silent for a while before he came up with a plan. He instructed,?“Go to the army department and invite Duke Helian and Young Royal Highness Jing to Heavenly Residence. Just say that Li Yao is facing some trouble and they have to be there to save him. Tell them it’s best if they bring more people along.”
With the crown prince around, he could not settle the matter alone. It was best to get help from Helian Xuan.
“Yes, Heir-son Lord.” Song Qi set off to the Helian Mansion.
Xia Chunyu returned to the palace and made some arrangements.
Helian Jing was listening to the officials discuss the West Mongolia problems dispiritedly. Something about West Mongolia having an internal conflict with two uncles fighting against each other. The king nephew tried to stop the fight but ended up attacked by both uncles, and now the king was asking Song for reinforcement. Some of the officials said that they should send reinforcements, while others say that they?should not interfere with family matters.
It was all so incredibly boring that he started to fall asleep. Helian Xuan shot him a?glare and he quickly sat upright. However, a minute hasn’t even passed before his eyes started to close again.
Suddenly, he noticed Song Qi hiding outside the door, waving at him. Helian Jing pointed at his own nose and Song Qi nodded.
Helian Jing took a look at the arguing officials and quietly left.
“Young Royal Highness, I am here under the orders of Heir-Son Lord Chunyu to invite you to rush over to Heavenly Residence. Li Yao is in big trouble, and it is best if you could bring Duke Helian along,” Song Qi explained.
Helian Jing’s heart dropped and he exclaimed angrily, “Who is the fellow that dares to find trouble with Li Yao? I will go over there right now and finish him off.”
“It’s the crown prince and Princess Liu Li,”?Song Qi replied weakly.
Helian Jing’s flame immediately extinguished to a little spark. He stuttered, “Cr..crown… crown prince and Princess Liu Li? What… what is going on? How did Li Yao provoke them?”
Song Qi shook his head. “That’s a long story. The urgent matter right now is to save Li Yao. Young Royal Highness Jing, you better hurry, otherwise, Li Yao would be dead meat. Our Heir-Son Lord is preparing to rush over, too.”
Helian Jing was unsure how to approach the situation. This involved the crown prince and Princes Liu Li! However, he still has to try for Big Yaoyao’s safety. “Go back there and keep watch, I’ll be over soon.”
Helian Jing returned to the discussion room where the officials were still arguing. Fed up, Helian Jing walked up and said loudly, “What are you still arguing about? The West Mongolian king is weak in nature that’s why the old king prepared for the arranged marriage before he passed so that we would be able to give support. The two kings are vicious and have long been coveting our land. If we allow them to usurp the throne, when the conflict in West Mongolia settles down, it would be disadvantageous for us. Now, is this still considered other’s family matters? Dispatching troops is not only to help the king but also to keep the peace of Song. We have to send reinforcement.”
Helian Xuan looked at Little Jing in shock. After so many days of listening to the?political discussion, he has not once voiced his opinions. Helian Xuan didn’t think that his little brother actually listened to the report, let alone have a valuable input.
“Well said, Young Royal Highness Jing. All you muddle-headed people cannot even analyze the situation as thoroughly as Young Royal Highness Jing,” an official who was pro-war agreed.
The pro-peace faction was unconvinced. They were about to start arguing again when Helian Xuan said,?“I will present all your opinions to the court. The decision still lies in His Majesty. Today’s discussion will end here, everyone is dismissed!”
The officials glared at each other, dispersing with an angry fling of sleeves.
“You have finally made progress. That speech was quite impressive.”?Helian Xuan gave Little Jing an approving look.
Helian Jing was still worrying about Li Yao and could care less about how impressed his brother was. He said anxiously, “Big brother, Brother Chunyu just sent someone over to say that Li Yao is in big trouble. We have to rush to Heavenly Residence.”
Helian Jing raised his brow in question. “What has Li Yao’s trouble got to do with me?”
“Brother, you can’t say that! He is my benefactor! Even Brother Chunyu is lending a helping hand. You can’t just sit and do nothing. The people finding trouble with Li Yao is the crown prince and Princess Liu Li. If Brother Chunyu can’t handle them and ends up offending the crown prince, wouldn’t it be his trouble too?” Helian Jing reasoned desperately.
Helian Xuan was silent for a moment. He really couldn’t be bothered about that Li Yao, but if Xia Chunyu was involved, he could not just sit and watch.