Chapter 89: Two Terrible Friends
Helian Jing did not intend to hide from him.
“Do you remember a few months ago when my brother went to Shandong to defeat the bandits?”
Xia Chunfeng drank a big mouthful of his iced double milk, loving how outrageously delicious it was. He nodded and said, “Yeah, I knew about it. My brother was undercover there for half a year!”
“Right. I slipped to Shandong after him. Unfortunately, when I arrived, the war had already ended. My brother was nowhere to be seen and my purse was stolen. I was almost lost in a foreign territory. Thanks to Yaoyao, I managed to get back home in one piece. If it wasn’t for him, I might be begging for food right now!” Helian Jing confessed.
Xia Chunfeng choked on his drink. He about coughed out a lung just to clear his throat, his eyes full of questions and surprise as he stared at Helian Jing.
Ye Jiayao stifled a laugh and said, “Don’t worry, drink the milk first. There’s more to that story.”
Helian Jing immediately thought of the incident where he fell into the septic tank. “Yaoyao! Brothers are loyal to each other!”
Ye Jiayao once again did her best to stuff down her laughter. She said seriously, “What do you think I’m going to say?”
Helian Jing huffed. “As long as you don’t reveal anything.”
Xia Chunfeng, still red-faced from his coughing fit, said to the chef, “Quick, tell me what had he done.”
“No. Don’t tell him,” Helian Jing protested anxiously.
Xia Chunfeng teased, “What’s the matter? I know about all the embarrassing things you have done since we were young anyway!”
That greatly interested Ye Jiayao. “Let’s do an exchange. You’ll tell me one and I’ll tell you one, too.”
“Okay, but it must be at the same level,” Xia Chunfeng bargained laughingly.
Helian Jing could only look at them in shock. They were actually enjoying themselves as they make a deal about regaling each other about his embarrassing moments!
Ye Jiayao told Xia Chunfeng to go first.
Xia Chunfeng began, “When Little Jing was only?ten years old, the left prime minister’s eldest son got married. Several of us children wanted to attend the shivaree, so we hid under the bed…”
“Xia Chunfeng, I swear to God, if you keep talking…” Helian Jing warned.
“Aye, isn’t Li Yao your buddy? It’s okay to tell him, many people know about this anyway,” Xia Chunfeng teased.
Ye Jiayao nodded solemnly. “Yes, it’s fine. I promise not to make fun of you.”
Helian Jing said moodily, “I’m going to unfriend both of you.”
He was now regretting his decision to introduce Yaoyao to his best friend. Yes, he was expecting them to bond, but he never thought that it would be at his expense!
Ye Jiayao and Xia Chunfeng couldn’t hold their laughter in as they looked at each other.
“Alright, alright! Calm down, we were just joking,” Ye Jiayao said, taking pity on him.
Xia Chunfeng added, “Well, I wasn’t, but I’ll spare you this time.”
Helian Jing frowned. “Who’s sparing whom? You think you don’t have any awkward incidents? There are still those that your brother doesn’t know, do you want me to tell him?”
Xia Chunfeng swiftly changed the topic. He was smart enough to know when to retreat.
“Li Yao, this iced double milk taste like bananas.”
Ye Jiayao responded with a smile, “That’s because it is made out of milk and bananas. How do you find the taste? Is it nice?”
Xia Chunfeng nodded. “I thought Little Jing was just exaggerating, but this is really nice.”
Ye Jiayao snapped his finger and called Little Lu over. “Tell Brother Xiang to give us two more servings of the iced pink lady and iced peach milk.”
“What do you want to eat tonight? I’ll cook for you.” Ye Jiayao passed the menu from Little Lu to Xia Chunfeng.
Helian Jing said, “This guy can’t ever settle on an order. Yaoyao, just casually arrange it, whatever you make is delicious anyway.”
Xia Chunfeng shrugged and acquiesced. “I’m not picky, unlike my brother. I can’t believe he managed to stay with the bandits for such a long time.”
True. That guy is really a picky eater. If I hadn’t had went up the mountain, he would’ve had died at the mere shame of eating pig food.
“Alright, I’ll arrange it myself. You guys go ahead and drink some iced drinks and tea, and I’ll head off to prepare the meal.”
Helian Jing caught Big Yaoyao’s hand to stop her. However, the feeling of his warm, soft hand stirred up weird feelings in Helian Jing and he forgot what he wanted to say.
“What’s wrong?” Ye Jiayao asked.
Helian Jing let go of her hand and stammered, “N-no, no, nothing, I just… I just wanted to say don’t cook too much.”
Ye Jiayao nodded with a smile and left.
Helian Jing relished the strange warmth he had just experienced.
Xia Chunfeng stared at him curiously.” Little Jing, why is your face red? You were drinking a cold drink, not alcohol.”
Helian Jing flushed even more and obtusely touched his cheeks. “Really?”
Xia Chunfeng simply raised a brow.
Helian Jing lied guiltily, “Maybe it’s just too stuffy in here.”
Xia Chunfeng pointed at the window. “Why don’t you jump into the river to cool down if you think it’s too stuffy when the window is?open?.”
Helian Jing simply stayed silent.
“Aye, Little Jing, is Li Yao just a chef? Does he have any background?” Xia Chunfeng asked.
“A background? All I know is that he is a cosmopolitan that was born in a family of chefs and he thrives in cooking. I don’t care if he’s a civilian or has a richer background, I like him and I want to be friends with him,” Helian Jing declared.
“I haven’t found a merit in him yet. I just feel like he’s good looking and generous, unlike us who are flatterers and obsequious,” Xia Chunfeng said, giving his fair evaluation.
Helian Jing said objectively, “If you get to know him, you’ll know what kind of person he is. Even both our brothers approve of him, which just goes to show how upstanding he is.”
Xia Chunfeng was astonished. “Really??My?second brother? There aren’t even many that please him in Jin Ling, much less gain his approval.”
“Yes, your second brother.” Helian Jing paused. “There’s one thing that I didn’t have the chance to tell you. A few days ago, Princess Liu Li and Li Yao had an argument and the princess lost. She went here with the prince to take revenge on him. Both our brothers rushed here to interfere but in the end…” Helian Jing halted to take a sip of tea.
“Spit it out! What happened?” Xia Chunfeng urged. He couldn’t believe he had missed such an exciting occurrence.
“In the end, it was a false alarm. Yaoyao had conquered the prince with a few dishes. Not only did the prince took his side against Liu Li, he even left him with a piece of calligraphy,” Helian Jing finished.
Xia Lianfeng gasped.??A calligraphy???And Li Yao actually won against Prince Liu Li? Given how vile that princess was, Li Yao was abnormally courageous for standing up against her.
“If that really is true, then I… I have to say I admire him,” Xia Chunfeng said.
As Ye Jiayao was cooking in the kitchen, Ah Xing came in and told her, “Brother Yao, Heir-Son Lord Yong An is here. He knew that Young Royal Highness Jing is here so he made up a table and is ordering now!”
Ye Jiayao was actually glad that Zhao Qixuan came over. That would save her the trouble of finding him later to ask about the coconuts.
In the Lotus Suite, a full table was sat.
Zhao Qixuan said giddily, “Mu Qinchu is treating us today because he wants to introduce his cousin to everyone.”
It was usually difficult for Mu Qinchu to get Helian Jing and Xia Chunfeng to come to his get-togethers, and today was a happy coincidence. He smiled obsequiously and said, “This is my cousin Wei Liujiang. He just arrived in Jin Ling recently to partake in the Imperial examination. Please, look after him in future.”
Xia Chunfeng frowned, looking over at Wei Liujiang calculatingly. Wasn’t this the Wei Liujiang that his second brother and Song Qi mentioned? From Chunyu’s tone then, he didn’t seem to like him! How did this guy offend Chunyu when he had just arrived?
Whatever the case was, if Chunyu disliked this guy, he’d support his brother. Xia Chunfeng said lazily, “We are not the examiner nor the proctor, how could we look after him? We couldn’t?leak the questions even if we wanted to!”
Mu Qinjiang and Wei Jiangliu’s heart sank as they heard the obvious distaste in Xia Chunfeng’s voice. Could he have known about them?displeasing Xia Chunyu?
Mu Qinchu tried to laugh it off. “Brother Chunfeng, you’re funny! I just meant to get to know each other.”
“I’m not a casual person. What would happen if I befriend everyone who comes up and say hello to me? And also, who are you calling Brother Chunfeng?” Xia Chunfeng said without glancing at them.
Zhao Qixuan glanced at Xia Chunfeng. He was a bit??too??cocky today. Granted, Chunfeng was normally quite cocky, but he was downright embarrassing Mu Qinchu and his cousin today.
To cut into the tension, Zhao Qixuan said, “Chunfeng, it’s been a few months since we’ve last met! Where have you been?”
Helian Jing also found that Xia Chunfeng was acting weird. He was speaking spitefully as if these two had done him a grave offense. He answered for Xia Chunfeng, “He went to the frontier pass to visit the Old Lord as the Old Lord hasn’t returned to Jin Ling for a few years.”
Zhao Qixuan was surprised. “Really? It’s actually quite peaceful at the frontier these few years, the Old Lord didn’t have to guard there.”
Xia Chunfeng said proudly, “Why did you think the frontier is so peaceful? If it wasn’t for my father guarding there, do you reckon the people up north would be so law-abiding?”
“Yes, you’re right. If it wasn’t for the Old Lord, how can we drink and chat freely, huh? We would have to mount on horses to fight against our enemies,” Zhao Qixuan echoed. Nowadays, Old Lord Jing An was the most reputable and most powerful general in Huai Song. He could never be praised enough.
Mu Qinchu knew that the Young Royal Highness Jing and Li Yao were good friends. Since he couldn’t please Xia Chunfeng, he moved on to Young Royal Highness Jing instead.
“I actually came today for another matter. I came to give Head Chef Li Yao something.”
Helian Jing asked curiously, “What are you giving him?”
Mu Qinchu smiled and answered, “Yesterday, Li Yao asked me to get some ice quota for him. I came to give him a couple of ice tickets today.”
“Really? Maybe it’s to make those iced drinks,” Helian Jing said with a slight twinge in his heart. Why would Yaoyao entrust Mu Qinchu with such matter and not him?
Zhao Qixuan laughed. “You better help him on that. If not, all of us wouldn’t have icy drinks to drink.”
“Yes, yes, that’s why I got it done immediately,” Mu Qinchu agreed with a polite laugh.
Xia Chunfeng was surprised. Li Yao doesn’t seem like a simple person. He was like a fish swimming in the water of the nobility circle. He had thought that only Little Jing was giving him the special treatment, but it seemed that special treatment extended from other nobles as well.