Chapter 85: Alternate Interpretation to a Cold Dish
Translated by Gumihou
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… please read this at kitchennovel.com …
Duan Tingxuan spread out his hands helplessly, “I don’t know either. However, I did get the feeling that she had not interest in those kind of activities. Or rather, it made her anxious, perhaps the time she spent at the brothel created a deep trauma against such kinds of activities. To the point that she had developed a fear against it.”
“That’s entirely possible. I heard that childhood trauma could haunt a person for life. Concubine Jing must have feared such acts ever since she knew about it…”
Su Nuan Nuan trailed off as she frowned, wait a second, there’s something wrong with this picture. Why was she agreeing with this slag male? And why were they sitting so close together?
“What are you doing?” Su Nuan Nuan snapped. Duan Tingxuan, who was about to scoot even closer, shifted direction.
“Aih! I’ve really gotten old. I’m no longer as suave as before. How shameful it is to be discovered even before I reached my goal, ah.” Duan Tingxuan sighed dramatically. Now that he had been discovered, he could only sit properly and not sneak into his wife’s personal space.
“Enough with your dramatics. What you’re saying is that I have to take over the household responsibilities in order to return Ms. Xue to the kitchens? That if I don’t take over the household responsibilities, Ms. Xue can’t return to the kitchens?”
“That is so.” Duan Tingxuan nodded gravely. “Also, I do believe that old madam would be very happy if you to take over as the head of housekeeping. The old lady is someone who values rules a lot, and it is only right that the official wife of the heir should be responsible for the household.”
“There you go again, what’s it to you whether rules are being kept or not? I don’t see the old madam bothering you about it.” Su Nuan Nuan’s lips curled. “I don’t wish to manage this household, but I still want Ms. Xue back into the kitchen. What do you say to that?”
“A cold dish.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means there are no other ways.”
“Really no other way?”
“Really no other way.”
“What if I want you to think of a way?”
“Unfortunately, I’m still a man not a god.”
“If you can’t think of a way you’re a pig not a man.”
“Then I shall be a pig. A pig’s life is good. I can eat and sleep my fill and not worry about life, ah.”
“Wrong, a pig can only eat pig slop. The food I make are meant for people.”
“En! What’s a cold dish anyway? As long as you serve me delicious cold meats and vegetables, this lord will think up one or two perfect solutions for you.”
After a series of verbal cross swords, the little marquis once again raised the white flag in the face of delicious food. He sighed inwardly, Su Nuan Nuan was getting harder and harder to fool. As long as she has her culinary skills, it was like she had my balls in her hand. Who would have thought that in my prime I would be stepped on by my wife. If this information were to leak out, who would believe, ah?
“That’s more like it, as expected, my lord is most considerate of me.” Since the little marquis had finally given in, Su Nuan Nuan could afford to be benevolent. She granted the man a charming smile, “Well, what shall it be? Something you haven’t had before. Something you’ll definitely like.”
“It’s a deal. Also, if you give us a kiss, I can live with one dish less.” Duan Tingxuan thickened his face and pursed his lips, trying to pull his wife closer.
“No need. In fact, if you scram now, I’ll serve you an extra dish everyday.” Su Nuan Nuan pushed the slag man off, and stepped aside for good measure.
“That’s fine, the current number of dishes is good.” Duan Tingxuan laughed heartily. At his wife’s glare, he coughed and said, “Actually, since I’ve said so much, you should have picked up something by now. Though Lan’er is not suitable for housekeeping duties, Jing’er, for all her pride and arrogance is actually quite capable. More importantly, she and Ran Yun are both quite ambitious and desired power. However, while Jing’er wants power for protection, Ran Yun wants power for its own sake and prone to use said it as a tool for inner court struggle.”
“So you’re saying that I should entice Concubine Jing over to my side?” Su Nuan Nuan suddenly saw the light.
Black lines suddenly appeared on Duan Tingxuan’s forehead, “What are you talking about? What entice her over? You’re the official wife, isn’t right that she should assist you as the concubine?”
Su Nuan Nuan stayed silent, how could she have forgotten that Duan Tingxuan was a man of ancient China? A man deep-rooted in social class system? On the other hand, she could well believe that Duan Tingxuan was using this opportunity to make use of the very expensive beauty he had redeemed, but only bedded a few times as some sort of revenge against Concubine Jing.
Whatever, who cares what the real reason was. This slag male’s suggestion was still the most reliable. In the end, she still had to be reasonable, right? This mansion was bloody huge. If she didn’t want to take over the household responsibilities, refused to find someone to take over, but still expect the old madam to help her slap Xu Ran Yun’s face… this kind of arrogant behaviour was not something a foodie should have, ah.
With Su Nuan Nuan deep in contemplation, Duan Tingxuan took the opportunity to quickly vacuum up all the leftover snacks on the plates and swallowed everything down with two gulps of milk. Next, he quietly swept all the leftover crumbs together and sneakily inhaled it with the help of more milk. Before Su Nuan Nuan could discover what he had done, he stood up and declared, “I have some business outside. I shall leave first. You go ahead and think about things properly before deciding what to do.”
Speech done, he disappeared like smoke. Su Nuan Nuan narrowed her eyes at Duan Tingxuan’s disappearing back. Humph, even if he really did have something to do outside, surely there was no need to run away like an escaped wolf, right? When she turned to reach for a snack, she encountered nothing but empty plates. She clearly remembered there was still 3 or 4 pieces of Sichuan Pepper Salt Pastries left, why was it all empty now?
A short moment later, a powerful scream rattled the windows, “Duan Tingxuan you food thief! Rat! Stinky fox! Disgraceful thing! Are you trying to piss me off?”
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“Madam, the lord and old madam both appeared unexpectedly firm. Big madam also lost her temper, but still Ms. Xue was not sent back to the kitchens. Looks like she has met her limitations.” Feng Xian smirked as she fawn over Xu Ran Yun.
Finally, a smile appeared on her mistress’ face after a long restless night, Xu Ran Yun waved a round fan and laughed, “Old madam and the lord both liked first madam, however there are limits to their affections. How could they have forgotten the disaster she had wrought few years ago when she had been in charge of the household? And that horrible attitude of hers, who could trust a tigress like that? To be honest, it’s not like I or the branch lady were terribly good at housekeeping. I’m sure there were plenty of things we overlooked. However, no matter what we still did a better job than her, heheh!”
Feng Xian laughed too, “Madam is too modest. However, now that things are like this, surely first madam should understand that she cannot depend a bit of cooking skills to stir up trouble. It looks like her influence will diminish from now on.”
Xu Ran Yun sneered, “I like to see her go on making trouble like this. That kind of violent behaviour might attract the lord now, but we’ll see how long he enjoys being treated like this before kicking her back to Mei Yue Lou. With the main building all burnt up, they can still huddle together in a shack somewhere against wind and rain. She’s a strong one after all. I’m sure she can survive off what wild vegetable and rats they kept there.”
The more she spoke, the better her mood became, until Xu Ran Yun finally laughed out loud. Suddenly, the sound of footsteps was heard from outside and a low ranking maid appeared. In a small voice, the maid reported, “Madam, this maid just came from the outside. This maid had just seen first madam making her way towards Madam Lan’s place.”
 Sichuan Pepper Salt – A special blend of salt consisting of sichuan pepper or huajiao and salt
Recipe in this chapter: Sichuan Pepper Salt Pastry. Go and check it out~