Chapter 30: Dreams and Fancies
Translated by Gumihou
Read this at kitchennovel dot com please ^_^
This chapter is dedicated to those who thinks Duan Tingxuan paid too cheaply for the four dishes from the previous chapters.
Crystal Aris: Lol, like Su Nuan Nuan would probably have to be dragged screaming and kicking.
Queue: This is why I love the Feast, all those incredible imagery!
Zea: Lol, it seems really easy until one really tries it. Kind of like skiing.
Meep: If you’re interested, I use a dictionary app called ‘yomiwa’ for Japanese translation
Moto: Haha, he probably won’t feel it.
Daniel: I have no idea either, we only communicate via email and…I really want them to email me and scold me for ‘stealing’ their translation. Partly why I’m putting up a new page. More on that soon, I hope…
Grandmother and grandson were silent for a long moment, Qiu Ling, who stood next to them could not stand the silence any more cheerfully said. “Isn’t it perfectly natural for first madam to be angry with the master? After all, the master had banished her to Mei Yue Lou to fend for herself, anyone in that position would be angry. But, speaking of which, didn’t master used to hate first madam to the bones before? Otherwise master would not have cast her out like that, but then why did master’s feelings changed? Why did master suddenly decided to visit Mei Yue Lou?”
“When I first went to Mei Yue Lou, I was just curious to see if the three of them have starved to death…” as soon as he started, the whole story came pouring out. Beginning with those large leek dumplings all the way to the You Ping and soy bean milk, also those minced pork and other delicious thing, when he finally reached the Snow Soft Red Bean Paste, he heard a loud [gulu] sound. The little marquis who had been caught up in his own story suddenly paused. He looked carefully at his grandmother and saw a pair of shiny black eyes staring back, they were like those of a starving wolf that had not eaten for days. The sound he heard was the old lady swallowing.
Duan Tingxuan couldn’t help but feel a faint tingling on his scalp, the old madam’s eyes were just too scary. It was like, like she was about to leap at him and bite out a chunk of his flesh. He gave a frightened shout. At that sound the old madam lunged forward and slapped him, her voice fairly exploding in anger, “You disrespectful scoundrel, how dare you not bring these nice things to show your filial respect the moment you see them. To think, you’ve eaten them all!”
“No, no, grandmother, this grandson thinks of you all the time.” Duan Tingxuan leapt away quickly.
However, the old madam did not believe him. She gritted her teeth and said. “Lies, then why did I not see a single Soft Snow Red Bean snack? Aren’t they all eaten by you? How dare you call yourself filial, even Si Ping knows to bring those things nice things home to his old mother, what about you?”
As old madam Fang said this, still in a temper, she reached out for her dragon headed cane. The grandmother-grandson duo who had been sitting together in harmony had broken apart over a few Snow Soft Red Bean snacks. The maids watched helplessly as the old madam flew at the little marquis as though she wanted to kill him.
On the other hand, the little marquis was still standing his ground trying to win her over via proper explanations: “Grandmother, this grandson of yours is really thinking of you, ah. Those Snow Soft Red Bean snacks were all cold by the time it was brought out. You’d have suffer from a stomach ache if you eat them. Also, there were actually very few of them, not enough to be split. In order not to cause disputes, your grandson has tearfully eaten them…”
“You rascal, how dare you try and turn back to white? You think this old lady is easy to make fun of?”
Old Madam Fang’s extreme anger could be heard all the way outside the house. The temper that burst out startled and delighted the servants. What startled them was why this old lady would suddenly lose her temper over a few snacks? Isn’t old madam the pillar of all that was rule abiding and dignified? The delight was the energy she displayed, clearly this old lady was still vigorous enough live for another twenty to thirty years, this big mountain behind them will remain firmly in power for quite some time yet.
… please read this at kitchennovel.com …
“I don’t care, this Snow Soft whatever Bean snacks, I want at least two or three hundred pieces, otherwise I can’t go on living.”
At Mei Yue Lou’s balcony, Su Nuan Nuan who was in the middle of inspecting her newly arrived ingredients suddenly straightened up. She coldly said. “And here I was, wondering why you’re so kind as to bring me two baskets of eggs, so this is your real motive. Well? You want to use my goods to make nice with your other wives? I’m going to say this once, dream on!”
“Do you really think I still have time for them, ah?” the little marquis was almost in tears: “Didn’t you hear? Yesterday the old madam, chased after me with her cane to beat me up. Just because she heard that I’ve eaten the Snow Soft Red Bean snacks without bringing her any, she had never treated me like this even when I was a child. I’ve never suffered such terrible misery, are you satisfied now? Isn’t it just a few red bean snacks?”
Despite her hatred towards this rascal, hearing this sad tale was enough to make her speechless: Heavens, this An Ping mansion was certainly full of crouching tigers and hidden dragons. It was one thing to find out that this Duan Tingxuan had a hidden foodie side to him, but to think that venerable old madam was also an unexpected foodie who knows martial arts. To reveal such unexpectedly powerful martial skills for the sake of a few Snow Soft Red Bean snacks. That’s…a comrade, ah.
“No matter what, please make those Snow Soft Red Bean snacks. Even my father, a cold and aloof person, called me to his study earlier on some pretence to inquire about this Snow Soft Red Bean thing.” Remembering his father’s hypocritical face, which clearly showed a desire to eat the snacks but still pretending to be cool, Duan Tingxuan felt like pulling at his own cheeks, and tearing his mouth apart: Who told you to forget yourself and told the the old madam about the Snow Soft Red Bean snacks? At this point, even his dignified old man has fallen prey.
This time Su Nuan Nuan did not give Duan Tingxuan too much grief and happily made a few hundred more Snow Soft Red Bean snacks. After all, the one who was tired out was not her. Have you ever seen a little marquis beat eggs until he couldn’t lift his arm any more? This is called just retribution, ah.
Hong Lian watched as Duan Tingxuan order a few of the young boys carry away the Soft Snow Red Bean snacks, and hesitantly asked, “Missy, why is your temper so good today? That’s a few hundred Snow Soft Red Bean snacks, ah. And the ones master has begged you to make, and you’ve given them up so cheerfully. This is quite unusual.”
“What are you trying to say?” Su Nuan Nuan gave her a side ways glance. She heard Hong Lian laughed behind her hand, saying. “Did Missy have a change of heart?”
“I knew you’re day dreaming again.” Su Nuan Nuan sneered, she waved a dismissive hand and said seriously. “I will say this once more. I have no feelings towards that rascal. As for why I agree to this, well, first, is to compensate for his quality ingredients, second, don’t you think it’s funny to see how pathetic your lord and master look when he could hardly lift his arms? As for the third reason, he-he, let’s see, if I can use food to entrap the old madam and get her to beat up this rascal a three times a day, how wonderful that would be. Just thinking about it makes me happy.”
Hong Lian’s sweat popped out all over her forehead, her mistress really was a poisonous wife. Beaten three times a day? Do you think the little marquis is a dog? She quickly tried to reason with her, “Missy, that’s impossible. Don’t take the master’s exaggerated words at face value. The old madam is clearly just scaring him a bit. How could she really beat up the little marquis? Furthermore three times a day? The little marquis is the old madam’s favourite grandson.”
“I know, I was just fantasising a little, cheering myself a bit.” Su Nuan Nuan gave the wet blanket of a maid a fierce glare. “Hong Lian, you must remember this. A person must have dreams. A person without dreams is no different from a dried fish.”
“Having the old madam beat up the master three times a day is…Missy’s dream?” Hong Lian asked cautiously.
“Hn, my number one dream.” Su Nuan Nuan smiled and waved her hands. “Enough, let’s not talk about him, come, help me move these ingredients into the kitchen. Hm, it looks like our kitchen is a little small. Let’s see if we can get Duan Tingxuan to bring some people here to renovate. After all there are nobody staying in these rooms. We could just knock down the walls and turned them into two big spaces. We need a bigger kitchen for one, the other room can be our pantry.”
The things brought by Duan Tingxuan were many. Su Nuan Nuan and Hong Lian had only carried in two large sacks of rice and were panting and sweating. Stretching out an arm, she said uncertainly, “Hong Lian, do you think that your master is toying with me? He told me to do the horse stance everyday and have taught me some breathing exercises. It’s been three days, so how come I don’t see any improvements? I’m still pretty weak, ah.”
“It’s only been three days, what kind of improvement are you expecting? Being able to lift a thousand catty?” Hong Lian had no other words as she said this towards the mistress who did not seemed to have any self awareness.
“That’s Chu Ba Wang’s speciality, naturally I’m not that unrealistic. However, one hundred jin should be no problem, right?” Su Nuan Nuan flexed her arm again, he muttered through gritted teeth, “I do believe that Duan Tingxuan may have been playing around with me.”
“Missy, you have no evidence for this, furthermore considering your age, and the fact that you’re a woman…”
Hong Lian wanted to defend Duan Tingxuan with a few words, but before she was able to say anything else, her mistress broke her off with a stern “Stop!” Her mistress looked at her with a pained expression, saying. “Hong Lian, ah, Hong Lian, how could you change allegiance so quickly? Just because your master sent us this bit of ingredients, and you’re sold to his side? Just look at yourself, you’ve almost become his dog. Have you forgotten his hateful decision of throwing us into this Mei Yue Lou in order to live or die by ourselves?”
“Missy, this servant is just considering different things…” Hong Lian weakly defended herself, it’s clear that Su Nuan Nuan would not believe her.
Both mistress and servant were about to speak when warm tender voice, carrying a hint of smile, wafted from the door. “Elder sister, what is it that made you so happy?”
Who was this? What is she saying? Which eye saw that I was happy? Su Nuan Nuan put her hands on her hips and turned to look. Suspicious of every female within the palace, she had unconsciously taken on an aggressive stance, looking very much like an angry teapot.
However, in the next moment her entire body went slack with amazement, she blinked stupidly for quite a while, muttering to herself: “A goddess, did I just see a goddess? Is that Luo Shen or Chang E? That’s not right, Luo Shen lives in the water and Chang E lives in the Moon Palace, also it is day time now, and we’re at the mansion courtyard.”
“Why have Madam Lan come?”
Hong Lian’s voice allowed Su Nuan Nuan to come back to herself. A vague memory floated up in her mind, reminding her that this stunning beauty was Duan Tingxuan’s other wife: The niece of Government Officer Zheng, Xue Zi Lan.
Pearl amongst pigs, it’s a pearl among pigs, ah.
Seeing Xue Zi Lan slowly glide into the court, Su Nuan Nuan could not help but cast her eyes heavens wards and heave a deep sigh. I’m asking you, why is such a wondrous, stunning beauty, lovely enough to topple cities like yourself would blindly marry such as rascal like Duan Tingxuan? So what if it’s as a second wife? Isn’t that just slightly better than a concubine? If you’re that willing to be a concubine why not enter the imperial palace instead? Just based on your looks, you could easily rise above the three thousand other beauties in the palace, why must you come here and be a second wife?
You’re still a daughter of a government officer, isn’t this like poking flowers into dung? Good cabbage eaten by pigs? Was your head kicked in by an ass, or was your father’s head kicked by that ass? Luckily your family did not involve themselves in the trading business, otherwise wouldn’t this kind of decision making skills make a huge loss?
“It’s been so many days since I’ve seen elder sister, you’re still as elegant as ever, this makes younger sister happy.” While Su Nuan Nuan was busy devaluing the other person’s family, Xue Zhi Lan had delicately greeted her, and was now tenderly sobbing out her concerns.
No matter where or when, this was still a world that values people for their looks. For example, if Xu Ran Yun was in front of Su Nuan Nuan pretending to be all innocent, she would have kicked her as far as she could. Because although this Xu Ran Yun was pretty, her beauty was at the same level as Su Nuan Nuan, nothing at all like Xue Zi Lan’s other worldly level of enchantment.
[Gumihou: I love Su Nuan Nuan’s sharp tongue and ‘aiya!’ moments, lol!]
 Chu Ba Wang – A prominent warlord who lived in the late Qin dynasty
 Luo Shen – Goddess of the river Luo, described as a ‘being of an utmost beauty and tenderness’
- Chang E – From the Legend of Change E, usually associated with the moon