Chapter 60: Came True with a Word
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
“That’s, well, if my lord doesn’t like it, there’s no need to eat it. Gui Zhi, tell the kitchen to prepare two bowls of sweet soups.” Liu Min was quick to cater to her husband’s whims. Gui Zhi gave a quick bob of acknowledgement and set off towards the kitchen.
The family at the table were chatting idly as they waited for the sweet soups to arrive when they heard one of the maids outside called out, “Master, madam, first madam’s Hong Lian is here. The first madam has sent over some beef ball and Chinese cabbage soups for master and madam.’
“Oh? Tell her to come in.”
Duan Ni called out a little excitedly, his mood, which had been dragged down by the cloying smell of thick chicken soup and greasy meat, was immediately buoyed up at the thought of the light and gentle flavour of Chinese cabbage soup, perhaps punctuated by a bite of a juicy beef ball…
Liu Min’s brows creased lightly, Duan Tingye and Ms. Shi exchanged a look. A feeling of unease rose in their hearts.
Hong Lian soon appeared with a food box. She came over to properly greet Duan Ni and Liu Min before setting the box on the table. She lifted the bowl of soup with a smile and said, “The master came over to our Missy’s place early since he had nothing much to do at work today. The master was feeling the heat a bit and thought it would be a good idea to have Chinese cabbage soup to combat the heat fatigue. Both he and Missy made this beef ball and Chinese cabbage soup together. The master felt that the result was quite tasty and refreshing and bade this made to bring some for my lord master and madam to taste.”
Duan Ni nodded as he stroked his beard, “Have they sent any to some to old madam?”
Hong Lian smiled, “Of course, the old madam loves our Missy’s cooking. Therefore, no matter what she makes, she will send a portion to old madam.”
Liu Min gave a chuckle, and turned to Duan Ni to say, “It’s true, I do believe the first madam has learnt a lot during her stay at Mei Yue Lou. She came out less domineering and bossy, and is now very filial. I’d say she’s even more filial than the heir now. I do wonder though, just how did she manage to convince the heir to work in the kitchen? I’m sure he’s being forced in some ways.”
Hong Lian bristled at her words, her master’s warning was on point. Madam Min really did use this information to make trouble. As expected, Duan Ni frowned and asked, “Why have the heir decide to personally enter the kitchen with his wife?”
Hong Lian quickly smiled and delivered the the line Duan Tingxuan had given her, “This maid is not sure. The master has never entered the kitchen before. He really insisted on going today, said something about how running a country is like the process of cooking. When he heard Missy said she was about to make something new, the master insisted in joining in, until Missy had no choice but to let the master do as he liked.”
With this, Duan Ni’s suspicion evaporated. He gave a little snicker and said, “Oh? He said that, did he? Well, this is very good. Could it be that he has realized something?”
Hong Lian smiled back, and said, “How could this one ask the master, ah? But, this one had has overheard the master say to Missy, that the fire had given him a new level of understanding. As for what kind of understanding, this one knows nothing about it.”
Duan Ni nodded, “To be able to understand this much. Well, it’s not easy. Go back and tell your master to come to my study after lunch. Ye’er, you come too. Let’s go find out what new understanding your brother has come to. It’s beyond running a country is like the process of cooking, you can apply this even to your business deals. You could probably learn a lot from your older brother.”
“Yes.” Duan Tingye said respectfully, fire burned hotly in his eyes. Ms. Shi kept her eyes down, snorting quietly into her lap. The only happy person at the table was Duan Ni, who did not notice of the little dramas happening around him.
Hong Lian made her excuses and left. Liu Min personally ladled a small bowl of soup for Duan Ni. Duan Ni excitedly took a sip, and his eyes brightened. He chased out a meatball and popped it into his mouth. The unexpected burst of flavour made him closed his eyes, missing Liu Min’s ugly expression. Ms. Shi snorted, catching his attention, but when he looked over there was nothing but a beautiful smile on her face as she said winsomely, “My lord marquis must have not eaten anything good these past few days. To see you actually shut your eyes from sheer happiness at just a bowl of cabbage soup. This daughter-in-law really can’t understand, is it truly that delicious?”
Duan Ni did not notice his daughter-in-law’s dissatisfaction as he laughed out loud, “It is very good, why don’t you all try some. I never know that cabbage soup could be so sweet. That alone is surprising enough, but just how did they make this meatball? Not only is it so delightfully chewy, it’s actually really juicy too. The meat juice inside is just incredible. Ah, my skills in words is not adequate to even describe it properly. Quick, come and have a taste, I guarantee you won’t regret it.”
Liu Min and Ms. Shi really didn’t want to praise anything made by that woman, but now that the Lord Duan Ni had said this, what could they do? Moreover, the Chinese cabbage and meatball soup was really incredibly delicious. The three of them sipped and pondered over the soup, full of curiosity over how it was made. Just what kind of tricks have Su Nuan Nuan employed to tease out such flavours?
… please read this at kitchennovel.com …
At the same time, at Chun Feng Yuan, the little marquis was seated at the table with a huge bowl of Chinese cabbage and meatball soup in front of him. He rubbed his hands eagerly and looked up impatiently as Su Nuan Nuan walked in. “Surely we can eat now? It’ll get cold soon.”
Su Nuan Nuan smiled, “So what if it cooled down? Summer is the time for cooled down soups, especially when it’s this hot. En, let me think, we’ve sent one to everyone, right? We haven’t missed out anyone?”
Duan Tingxuan gritted his teeth, and said, “Yes, yes, it’s all sent out. You’ve even remembered Concubine Lin. At this point who else you still want to send to? I’ve never known you to be so thorough before. There’s only the two of us left, we’ve spent all day making a whole pot of soup, I’m almost tired to death and still haven’t tasted the soup yet. My lovely Nuan Nuan, please don’t tease me anymore, otherwise please don’t blame me if I drool into the soup.”
“Alright, alright, go on, eat up.” For a dignified little marquis to use such a lame threat was… well, she has no words. When she finally sat down at the dining table, Duan Tingxuan was already ladling out the soup and placed the first bowl in front of her. He smiled, and said, “For the lovely lady who had been slaving in front of the hot stove all day. Here, let your husband serve you as thanks for all your hard work.”
“This one give thanks to my lord. My lord have also expanded quite a lot energy mincing up the beef. Here’s a bowl of soup from this one, as thanks for your hard work.” Su Nuan Nuan also smiled as she served up a bowl of soup for Duan Tingxuan. Normally she would never accept this kind of thing from this guy, however, while they were making soup just now, she had loosened her blouse collar, only to feel some odd eyes on her. She had immediately regretted the move.
Hong Lian, Xiang Yun, Cong’er and Hua’er all looked on at this scene with pleasure. They felt that both master and Missy were definitely a pair of mutually respectful and loving husband and wife pair. Naturally, all four felt very happy with this development. Duan Tingxuan took a sip of the soup and began raising his praises to the high heavens. Phrases like ‘Though Life Could be Bitter, A Thousand Obstacles Cleared with Soup’ started to appear. Hong Lian happily said, “Master, please save your praises and drink the soup first. What if some unexpected problem pops up, how could master properly deal with it on an empty stomach?”
“What are you talking about? How could such thing happen?” Duan Tingxuan rebuked Hong Lian. “Stop talking nonsense, I, your lord, is not so unlucky.”
He had just finished speaking when the rapid thread of running footsteps was heard. Duan Tingxuan and Su Nuan Nuan had just set down their chopsticks and were in the middle of standing up when Si Ping suddenly lurched into sight. He was panting from exertion as he gasped, “Master, Eunuch Chang have just arrived with summons from the empress to enter the palace.”
Duan Tingxuan stood perfectly straight, ignoring the unfinished bowl of soup. Sudden summons from the empress like this was uncommon, and his heart pounded uneasily.
“This slave has no idea. Eunuch Chang is now catching his breath at the courtyard, he came over on a fast horse, nearly collapsing when he got off the horse. This all points to something incredibly urgent.”
“Very well, I understand.” Duan Tingxuan immediately got busy. He hadn’t changed his clothes when he got back, and left with Si Ping with whatever he was wearing. Su Nuan Nuan looked at his disappearing back, and sat there for a long moment before addressing Hong Lian and the rest, “Your master is gone, there are no outsiders here now. Come, let’s eat everything here, otherwise it would be wasted.”
“Missy, just what’s going on at the palace? For the master to leave so suddenly…” Hong Lian and Xiang Yun understood Su Nuan Nuan’s character best. They pulled Cong’er and Hua’er to sit at the table and leaned over with anxious faces.
“How would I know? From Si Ping’s report, it can’t be anything good.” Su Nuan Nuan sighed as she muttered. Perhaps it was the knowledge that her fate was intertwined with Duan Tingxuan, the food did not taste as good to her. After a sip, she put down her spoon and said quietly, “Speaking of which, your master is really not simple.”
“That’s right, therefore Missy must treat master a little better. It’s true that master was quite ruthless in the past, but Missy must also understand that you were in the wrong that time.” Hong Lian immediately pounced on this one positive remark from her mistress’ lips and began to eagerly talk him up.
After getting to know him for so long, Su Nuan Nuan also realized that Duan Tingxuan’s personality was not a completely evil man slut. On the contrary, aside from his tendency to gather beautiful women and scheming nature, he was actually quite an excellent man, for ancient China. The heir of an aristocratic family, a man of letters and great martial skills. One only need to look at Xu Ran Yun and Xue Zi Lan to know how great this man was for them to attach themselves to him as second wives.
It fact, it was exactly this ‘Outstanding Romantic’ identity that made him irresistible to women in this ancient world. It was also the very thing that made it unbearable for Su Nuan Nuan to be his wife. She was a spirit from the modern world, it was not at all possible for her to share her husband with a whole bunch of women. Ever.
After some serious consideration, Su Nuan Nuan decided to treat Duan Tingxuan as a friend. However, it was clear that the other party did not see her as a friend, she was seen as a wife. Duan Tingxuan’s officially wedded first wife in fact. Moreover, from his attitude, it was clear that he had no intention of treating her as a mere friend. This was the main reason why Su Nuan Nuan dare not treat him too well, fearing that this rascal would take a mile for every inch she gave.
If your plan is to get along well first, then exercise your husbandly authority over your wife and take her to bed for some sexy times, this little wife can’t bear it, ah.
[Gumihou: That’s right, Su Nuan Nuan, don’t give in. Stay strong!]