Chapter 91: Not Renting
After he reached home, Xia Chunfeng went straight to his second brother’s room.
Xia Chunyu was lying on the bed, his mind occupied. Today, His Majesty has gathered the various ministers from the Ministry of War to the royal study to discuss some issues. His Majesty had the intention to send troops to West Mongolia to help settle the armed rebellion. He already expected that the army would be led by Helian Xuan. What he didn’t expect was Helian Xuan asking him to join him in West Mongolia.
If it were in the past, he would not even hesitate, but now, there were things he could not leave in Jin Ling.
“Second brother.” Xia Chunfeng barged in energetically.
Xia Chunyu fidgeted with his jade thumb ring and glanced at his younger brother. “Where did you go? You were not even home for dinner.”
Xia Chunfeng smiled, “Little Jing treated me to dinner today. Second Brother, guess who I saw today?”
Little Jing no doubt brought Chunfeng to Heavenly Residence and introduced him to Yaoyao.
Xia Chunyu played along and asked, “Who?”
“You know him, too! He is the head chef of Heavenly Residence, Li Yao. I heard from Little Jing that you seemed to admire him.”
Xia Chunyu snorted, “So what?”
“Nothing. I just also think that he is quite an interesting fellow,” Xia Chunfeng replied. He picked up the orchid pea in the plate, threw it high up and caught it with his mouth.
Xia Chunyu raised a brow, amusedly, smiling lightly. “How is he interesting?”
“I can’t really explain. I just feel that he is quite interesting. Not to mention that his temperament matches mine. Little Jing holds him with high regards and since he is Little Jing’s friend, then he is my friend too,” Xia Chunfeng stated.
Yaoyao is indeed lovable!???What more if they find out that she’s really a woman?
“Aye, Second Brother, the dishes Li Yao made are really delicious. Why don’t we invite him to our house to cook during the Mid-Autumn festival?” Xia Chunfeng suggested.
“NO.” Xia Chunyu rejected the idea without a?second thought.
“Why?” Xia Chunfeng asked curiously.
“It is not like we have no chefs at home. The Mid-Autumn feast is a family gathering, we can just eat casually here. There is no need to go through all that trouble,” Xia Chunyu answered.
He could not keep Yaoyao from working in Heavenly Residence, neither could he oppose to Yaoyao accepting the Helian family’s birthday feast. This was one thing that he had control over. He would never allow Yaoyao to cook in the Jing An Marquis Mansion, to be at their beck and call like a common servant.
Xia Chunfeng did not push the matter again. He continued, “I saw that Wei Liujiang you talked about last night. I was told that he was Mu Qinchu’s cousin.”
Xia Chunyu froze. “They went to Heavenly Residence?”
“Yeah, Zhao Qixuan was there too and everyone sat together for a meal. Don’t worry, I even ridiculed the two of them. Do you want to deal with him? I don’t exactly find him?pleasing to the eye either.”
Xia Chunyu forced an off-handed answer, “They only went to have a meal?”
“No, Mu Qinchu proclaimed that he went there just to look for Li Yao.”
Xia Chunyu stood up. “What business does he have with Li Yao?”
“To deliver the ice ticket. He said Li Yao requested for them. That made Little Jing unhappy, but Li Yao clarified that he was only making use of Mu Qinchu.”
Xia Chunyu heaved a sigh of relief. Mu Qinchu was careful after all. Chunyu guessed that Mu Qinchu knew that if he creates trouble for Yaoyao, he’d go over and break his bones.
“Alright, alright. The Imperial military examination is around the corner, you should concentrate on that. Don’t embarrass the Jing An Marquis residence, or father will come back to put you in order,” Xia Chunyu threatened.
Xia Chunfeng pouted. “You are even naggier than Mother! You two only know how to criticize me all day long.”
“It is all for your own good. You better train well as I will check with you after three days. If you could not withstand more than 20 moves under me, don’t think about going to that examination.” Xia Chunyu waved his hand to chase him out.
Xia Chunfeng wrinkled his nose angrily. His brother was belittling him.??20 moves? Ha! 200 wouldn’t even be a problem.?I went through Father’s vigorous training at the borders.
Xia Chunyu’s thoughts drifted away once again. He wanted to go to Yaoyao but he couldn’t keep going over to her too frequently. That lass was already particularly smug as it was!
That night, in Yu Shu Palace.
“Princess, as per my investigation, that Li Yao came to Jin Ling just recently and accepted the offer to work in Heavenly Residence. He was originally a first-class kitchen hand, but he got promoted to head chef in a few days’ time. Now, he has accepted the offer to do the Old Helian Princess’s birthday feast. I heard that Li Yao saved the Young Royal Highness Jing and has a deep friendship with him,” a guard reported.
Liu Li’s eyebrows furrowed tightly. It was no wonder that Xia Chunyu and Helian Xuan rushed over that day. It wouldn’t really be that big of a deal if others wanted to protect Li Yao, but with Xia Chunyu and Helian Xuan participating, it would be a sticky situation.
No matter. If she could not do it openly, then she would attack secretly. Whatever happens, she has to get her revenge.
“What is the situation in Heavenly Residence?”
“The owner of Heavenly Residence is called Li Xudong. He used to run a small restaurant, but seven years ago, he started Heavenly Residence which became quite famous in the Jin Ling food and beverage industry. The land where Heavenly Residence is located was only rented out to him.”
Liu Li ordered, “Go check who owns the property and Li Xudong’s family situation.”
“Yes! Your subordinate would go immediately.” The guard bowed and withdrew.
Liu Li’s almond eyes showed a cold, hateful look.??I’m going to have fun with you, Li Yao.
Early next morning, Ye Jiayao brought Jiang Li to Laifu Motel. Since she has decided to stay with Auntie Jiang, there would be no need to keep the room. The autumn Imperial examinations were around the corner and many scholars would flood into Jin Ling to take it. The inns in Jin Ling would be bustling with business and many of them would be full. If she empties the room, Manager Du could rent it out to someone else and earn more money.
“Little Li, you’re here!” Manager Du stopped what he was doing and immediately went over to Li Yao.
“Big Brother, how have you been?” Ye Jiayao asked with a smile.
“Very well, actually. Couldn’t be better! Look at all these people in the inn.” Manager Du laughed heartily.
“There are insufficient rooms in the inn, right?”
Manager Du immediately understood Little Brother Li’s concern. “We are not lacking that one room. Oh, have you settled your troubles? Isn’t it time for you to move back?”
Ye Jiayao replied, “I actually came here to tell you that I already found a place to stay in. They are an old acquaintance of mine when I was in Shan Dong. His whole family came to Jin Ling and they have a spare room in their house so they wanted me to move in there.”
Jiang Li cupped his fist and greeted Manager Du.
Manager Du laughed embarrassedly before pulling Li Yao over to the side. “Little Brother Li, you don’t have to this. I really do not lack that rental fee.”
Ye Jiayao replied, “Big Brother, it’s okay.?Uncle and Auntie Jiang are extremely nice to me, just like my family. They also wished for me to move in with them so that we can take care of each other.”
“Really?” Manager Du was skeptical.
“Of course! Why would I lie to you? You can go over there when you have the time if you want to check.”
Manager Du, finally convinced that Li Yao was not lying, heaved a sigh of relief. He patted Li Yao on the shoulder and said, “Then I’m happy for you. If you have any difficulties, just tell me. Even though I am not very capable, I still have a few rooms here. You can come to stay whenever you want.”
Ye Jiayao felt extremely touched. Although her time traveling experience was miserable and melodramatic, she was met with only good people throughout her journey. She found strangers, who she met only by chance, that treated her like family.
Ye Jiayao nodded solemnly “I will, I promise.”
After packing up her stuff in the room into a small bundle, she got Jiang Li to bring it back while she went straight to Heavenly Residence to work.
She has to start making pastries today. Ye Jiayao was excited as she was weakest in pastries. She really hoped she could learn from Zhong Xiang.
In this era, there were no pressure cookers so they could only boil the soaked peas slowly. When the peas were soft and have reached a paste state, a fine gauze was used to remove their skins. They added some melted agar, icing sugar, and powdered osmanthus flower and stir-fried the mixture in a pot. They then spread it out evenly and waited for it to solidify. The color would be a translucent light yellow, like split yellow pea jelly.
Throughout the process, Ye Jiayao used a pen and paper to take note of the quantity of each ingredient, the duration of steaming, and the amount of heat used.
“After adding agar, the split yellow pea would be even more translucent in color and lustrous.” Zhong Xiang was very satisfied with this excellent-looking batch of split yellow pea cake.
“So this can be used in this way…” Cui Dongpeng clicked his tongue in wonder, the agar he used all his strength to extract was actually a good stuff.
Ye Jiayao picked up a piece to try. After a few seconds, she commented, “The amount of agar is enough, the tenacity of the cake is just right, the powdered pea is also very fine, but it is still too sweet.”
“Really? Let me try.” Zhong Xiang also tried a piece.
“Yeah, you’re right. It is a little too sweet,” Zhong Xiang agreed.
“A little too sweet would not do. Next time, we have to reduce the amount of sugar by a tenth.” Ye Jiayao wanted it to be just right. She realized that it was impossible to cater to everyone’s taste so she wanted this to be perfectly balanced. That way, those who liked it sweet wouldn’t find this too bland, while those who liked it bland wouldn’t find it too sweet.
Zhong Xiang replied, “Alright, we will try again tomorrow with the sugar reduced by a tenth.”
“We have to make walnut biscuits tomorrow, too. Remember not to add too much sugar,” Ye Jiayao instructed.
If she ensured that all the pastries taste just right, she would definitely succeed.
“Brother Yao…” Deng Haichuan returned with a huge food box in his hand.
“Haichuan, what good stuff did you bring back?” Cui Dongpeng asked as he moved to snatch the food box over.
“Ay… be careful! Don’t knock into it, this contains top-grade porcelain.” Deng Haichuan immediately held onto the box tighter.
“Brother Yao, these are the three types of plates for the dishes supplied by the Helian Mansion. They asked you to choose whichever is more suitable.”
Deng Haichuan opened the food box.
There was a set of tableware with longevity diagrams glazed onto the porcelain, a set of tableware glazed with auspicious jubilation diagrams, and a set of tableware glazed with riches and honor diagrams.
The three sets of tableware were brightly colored and well-glazed, showing off the Helian Mansion’s wealth.
After deliberating for a long time and seeking everyone’s opinion, they came to a consensus that the longevity diagrams were the most suitable.
“Then this set it shall be. Let the housekeeper of the mansion prepare the full set.”
Deng Haichuan replied, “Alright, I will make another trip later.”
“Oh no, oh no.” Litte Lu ran in, flustered.
“What happened? Did someone make a scene again? It isn’t even time to eat yet!” Deng Haichuan asked.
Little Lu explained, “The landlord of this building came. When I went in to offer him some tea, I heard him say that he wants to reclaim this building. He is not renting it out anymore.”