Chapter 78: Don’t Forgive Him So Easily
After all her work was done, Ye Jiayao walked out of Heavenly Residence with a small box clutched tightly in her arms. She got the box from Shopkeeper Li who gave it to her to keep the crown prince’s calligraphy in.
When she reached the intersection, she stopped in her tracks, unsure whether to head to Laifu Motel or Ruyi Motel. Xia Chunyu told her that Liu Li was not going to bother her anytime soon, so returning to Laifu should not be a problem, right?
Song Qi appeared out of nowhere. “Sister-in-law.”
Ye Jiayao winced and rubbed her ears. That address was making her feel awkward since she no longer has anything to do with Xia Chunyu.
“Song Qi, can you please stop calling me that? The next time you call me that, I’m going to ignore you.” Ye Jiayao’s annoyance was clear in her tone.
“What should I call you, then?” Song Qi genuinely didn’t know what to call her anymore.?Miss Ye? Young Master Li?
“Just call me Brother Yao like what everyone else does.”
Song Qi, unsure, called weakly, “Alright… Brother Yao.”
Ye Jiayao smiled. That was much better.
“Brother Yao, for your safety, the Heir-Son Lord?has ordered for you to continue staying in Ruyi. You can move back to Laifu Motel when the news in the palace is confirmed,” Song Qi told her.
Ye Jiayao followed Song Qi to Ruyi Motel without protest. For this instance, she would do as she was told. Many people have been bothered just to ensure her safety, she didn’t wish to bring any more inconvenience to people.
Randomly, a thought popped into Ye Jiayao’s mind. She asked Song Qi, “Are you still playing Double?”
Laughingly, Song Qi replied, “Of course! Most of the people in the mansion now know how to play. Ha! I even got a lecture when the housekeeper told the madam of what we were keeping busy with. But, guess what did Heir-Son Lord told the madam when she complained to him?”
“Hmmm, did he tell her to leave you be because he finds it quite fun?” Ye Jiayao said sarcastically.??Yeah, right.??Chunyu was a buzzkill of the highest order.
“Brother Yao, how did you know?” Song Qi was surprised.
Ye Jiayao blinked at him momentarily.??What?
“Madam was quite shocked with how Heir-Son Lord answered her. She lamented that his stay up the mountains for half a year has corrupted him,” Song Qi relayed.
“What happened after that?” Ye Jiayao asked.
“After that… well, I heard that Madam plays with the mistresses secretly. Sometimes, she would even drag Heir-Son Lord, and if he refuses to go, he would get a scolding from her.”
Ye Jiayao could not hold her laughter in. Chunyu’s mother sounded amusing.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
Suddenly, Song Qi sobered up. “Brother Yao, um, there is something that I have to tell you.”
Ye Jiayao smiled encouragingly. “Shoot.”
“Do you remember the vat of preserved eggs you made just before… everything got chaotic?Ever since we left the mountains, thinking that you’re already dead, Heir-Son Lord had been lost. For the longest time, he wasn’t able to eat very well. The chef in the mansion tried different techniques and cuisines, but the most we could get Heir-Son Lord to eat was a few bites. Everyone thought that he was ill. Madam was so anxious that she got the Imperial physician to look over him over and over again…”
Song Qi paused, observing Ye Jiayao’s expression.
Ye Jiayao was confused. She recalled the night when he was frantically searching for her – the guilt in his eyes. It was too bad that it was not his guilt that she wanted.
Song Qi continued, “I understand why Heir-Son Lord denied his marriage to you back then. He is the Heir-Son Lord of the Jing An Marquis, he has rules and expectations to follow. Honestly, if he would’ve brought you back to the mansion, introducing you as his wife, I’m not sure if Marquis and Madam would’ve dealt with you pleasantly and -”
“Stop,” Ye Jiayao cut him off. She knew that he was in a difficult position, but that wasn’t the reason he did what he did. She knew that it was simply because he didn’t love her. If he loved her, he would’ve never given her up.
“No,” Song Qi said resolutely. “I have to say this because no one else will. The Heir-Son Lord would rather take an acid bath than to admit to this. He made a mistake. He was confused and he chose the wrong thing, but believe me, Miss Ye, he regrets it deeply. When I bought him the preserved egg you made, that was the first time since we left Black Wind Ridge that he was able to finish a meal. He sat there, tearing up as he quietly ate a whole bowl of rice?with just the preserved egg.
“When I told him that you were alive, he looked so stunned, so shaken up that I thought he was going to pass out. He immediately went to look for you that night, and imagine my surprise when he came back limping. The days following that, he’d been impossible to deal with, getting angry about anyone and anything, and blowing his top for no reason. I figured you haven’t forgiven him yet. Am I right?”
Ye Jiayao was about to defend herself when Song Qi added, “And you shouldn’t. Not so easily, anyway. You have to let him reflect on what he did wrong so he doesn’t do it again.”
Ye Jiayao stared at Song Qi in shock. Did she hear him right? Song Qi painted Xia Chunyu as a wretched, heartbroken lover just to tell her to??not??forgive him?
She cleared her throat awkwardly and said, “Song Qi, it’s all in the past. Let’s not… let’s not talk about it, okay?”
“Alright, I will not mention it again.” Song Qi smiled. He has already achieved what he wanted. Miss Ye already knows the Heir-Son Lord’s feelings, maybe she’d treat him a little better now. “But you have to teach me how to make?preserved eggs! The Heir-Son Lord has already finished that vat of preserved eggs so he’s asked me to make some more, but I don’t know how!”
Ye Jiayao broke into a peal of laughter. “Alright, I will teach you another day.”
She saw how Song Qi got bossed around and scolded by Chunyu in the mountains. Now, he’s getting him to make preserved eggs???Ay, Dumb Donkey, do you think your attendant is Doraemon?
Their conversation made the journey feel short, and before they knew it, they’ve already arrived at Ruyi Motel.
Ye Jiayao handed the box containing the crown prince’s calligraphy to Song Qi for safekeeping. She obsessively reminded him to safeguard it well before she retired to her room to rest.
She intended to sleep, however, every time she would close her eyes, Song Qi’s words would start ringing in her ears. Does Dumb Donkey really care about her that much? She has turned him away so many times now, berated and scold him, and even injured his precious jewels… but he was still protecting her. Was all that out of guilt?
That frustrating man!??Ye Jiayao tossed and turn, trying to think of something else, anything that’s not related to him.
What should she think about???Oh!??Chunyu said that Little Jingjing has been performing well lately. That made her proud and happy. Little Jingjing wasn’t really that bad. She knew that as long as he was given a chance, he could master things quickly.
And that Zhao Qixuan!?What a remarkable, amusing person.??She wondered if he was the top or the bottom. He seemed to be a bottom, but he could as easily be a gentle top, too.
Aiya!?Ye Jiayao sat up suddenly and slapped her forehead. She forgot to ask Zhao Qixuan to help her get some coconuts!
Ye Jiayao lied back down helplessly. Her mind was a mess!
The next day, Ye Jiayao went to work and found Manager Du waiting for her in the restaurant.
“Big brother, why are you here?” Ye Jiayao asked, surprised.
Manager Du answered, “When you had someone tell us that you were in trouble and wouldn’t be coming back to the inn temporarily, we got worried. I thought perhaps you’d come by last night, but when you didn’t, your sister-in-law sent me here. Little Brother Li, are you alright?”
Ye Jiayao’s heart warmed. They were strangers who she met by chance and yet, here they were, personally visiting to check on her.
“Big brother, it is nothing. I’m fine. I will be going back after a few days, you don’t have to worry, really.”
Manager Du nodded. “That’s good. If you need my help in any way, just tell me, alright?”
Although Little Brother Li swore that he was fine, Manager Du was unconvinced. How can something that forced him to hide just be??nothing???He was unbelieving, but since Li Yao didn’t want to discuss it, he didn’t probe further. Manager Du just wanted him to know that he was there for him.
“Of course. Big brother, I’m sorry but I have to hurry back, the shop is about to get busy.”
At noon, when Ye Jiayao was the busiest, Helian Jing arrived at the restaurant and pulled her out of the kitchen. “Big Yaoyao, I have good news for you!”
Ye Jiayao’s mind was on the vegetables in the wok. She wasn’t sure that the other kitchen hands could control the fire and she was afraid they might end up burning the vegetables.?Imagine serving burnt vegetables.??Ye Jiayao held in a shudder.
“What’s the good news? Hurry up, Little Jing, I’m busy.”
“My brother has agreed to let you do my grandmother’s birthday feast.”
Ye Jiayao’s eyes brightened joyfully. “Really?”
When she lost the chance, she was very dejected, but she didn’t want to put Little Jingjing in a difficult situation so she kept quiet. She never imagined that she’d get the opportunity back again.
Helian Jing smiled, the cute dimples on his cheek appearing. “Really! Zheng Fugui from Fu Ji has contracted gout so he could not do the feast. He proposed to let his son do it, but I argued that if it was going to be his son cooking, we might as well just let you do it, and my brother actually agreed! It might’ve also been because he was impressed with the food you made yesterday!”
Well, he would’ve been impressed sooner if he had actually eaten the dishes I prepared when he first came here to accost me.
Things like culinary competitions were like gymnastics. If everyone finishes their routine similarly, the judges’ rating of the performance would be affected by the contestant’s reputation as well the country he/she was representing. Judging food was an even more difficult task because people have different tastes – that’s when fame comes in handy.
She has obtained a little fame from the chilled drinks she released, but it was not big enough. The crown prince’s calligraphy was her trump card and should not be used so easily, so that was out, too.
What she really needed to raise her name in the food and beverage industry of Jin Ling was a platform where she could display her skills.??This??was the platform.??This??was her chance.
“Big Yaoyao, are you going to do it?” Helian Jing asked.
Ye Jiayao smiled confidently. “Yes. If you really trust me this much, I will do it.”