Chapter 93: Have Support Now
Translated by Gumihou
Please read this at kitchennovel dot com
Naturally, the emperor was mostly joking when he made that remark. The day was getting rather late, his majesty got up to make his way to his study to read the day’s report. As for the empress and Imperial Concubines Duan and Jing, after some discussion, they bade someone to invite Concubine Yu over to play mahjong. At this, Duan Tingxuan also took the opportunity to make their excuses. Thus, under the reluctant eyes of the imperial family, Su Nuan Nuan escaped amid lamentations of ‘Madam, you must visit us often’, ‘Tingxuan must care for his wife well’, ‘If anyone bullies you, come find me~’…
The princes escorted them all the way to the palace entrance. On the way, second prince smirked, “Isn’t this great? Sister-in-law, now that you have imperial father and mother’s care, you may hold your head up high and strut about the mansion like it’s your own now.”
“Humph! Our Nuan Nuan is nothing like that.” Duan Tingxuan glared at him disdainfully. Then, his shoulders collapsed, “She already struts about the mansion like she owns it. Surely there’s no need for the emperor or empress to show her any favour?”
If this crap male were to live in the modern world, he’d probably be a wonderful at comedic performances, ah. Just look at how he switches behaviour at a drop of a coin, I wonder where he learned it from? Su Nuan Nuan secretly rolled her eye, completely forgetting that she herself was the source of this weird behaviour.
Once everyone at the palace gate, everyone went on their separate ways. Su Nuan Nuan quickly entered the carriage and pulled the curtains closed, hoping for a little relief from the sun’s rays. She looked away, only to catch Duan Tingxuan’s eyes, who smiled at her, “Well? Is it too hot? There’s an herbal tea vendor just up front, shall I get you a bowl?”
“Very well,” Su Nuan Nuan’s eyes brightened at the mention of herbal drinks. As expected, a little while after leaving the great gate, the carriage rolled onto a busy street. Duan Tingxuan appeared quite familiar with this place as he rode his horse past a few vendors and stopped at a specific one. He later returned with a large bowl for Su Nuan Nuan, ignoring a fuming Si Ping who had been cheated out of an opportunity to curry favour with their first madam. He smiled, “Have a taste. I find it a little odd, but it’s very good against excessive heat.”
Su Nuan Nuan took a sip, and nearly spat it out. This little marquis sure knows how to understate. This thing is ‘a little odd’? This thing is just too weird, ba? Just what’s in it, ah? She had never tasted anything like this in her life. Could it possibly contain things that no longer exist in the modern world?
“I don’t want it, it’s too horrible.” Su Nuan Nuan handed the bowl back to Duan Tingxuan. “Let’s just forget it and go home. I really want to take a cold bath now, and then lie down with a fan.”
“Very well, let’s go home now. I trust old madam and elder madam are missing us too.” Duan Tingxuan called out an order to the coachman, and in an instant the carriage lurched forward in a rush. Su Nuan Nuan yelled, “Slow down, slow down! Don’t run over people.”
“Be at ease, we’re not the type to endanger the common folk this way.” Duan Tingxuan grinned at her from his position next to the carriage. Secretly, he thought: Just when did Nuan Nuan started caring about innocent bystanders? If the soul within his wife really had been changed, should he burn incense and give offerings in thanks to Buddha for this transmigrated soul?[God of Transmigration: This is all my doing, ah, nothing to do with Buddha. Young man, you’re giving thanks to the wrong deity.]
Since the An Ping family was an illustrious clan and close friend of the imperial family, their mansion was quite near to the palace. After a short carriage ride, they were approaching the corner of the An Ping mansion. After Su Nuan Nuan got down from the carriage, she caught sight of a carriage making its way out. When the coachman spot them, he quickly leapt down to kneel as he grinned up at them, “Greetings to the lord heir and first madam, have you both just came back from outside?”
Su Nuan Nuan did not recognise this person, but Duan Tingxuan was all too familiar with him. He waved his folded fan lightly and smiled, “At ease, how many times have I told you there’s no need for all this ceremony. Let me ask you, have you sent milk in? Is it fresh?”
“Master please be at ease, it’s all freshly squeezed. Recently, there has been an interest in fresh milk amongst all the masters, therefore this lowly one sends in at least 10 catty everyday.” The man rose from his kneeling position, his face beaming with the pleasure of doing business.
Duan Tingxuan nodded, and fished out a gold teal from his money pouch and tossed it over. “Very good, we shall need more milk in the future. If your few cows aren’t enough, use this to buy at least two more.”
A single gold leaf was equalled to about two or three months worth of milk. The milk man happily accepted his reward, bowed his thanks once more before leaving. Su Nuan Nuan turned to Si Ping, “Go to the kitchen and ask them to send five catty of milk over to Spring Breeze Court.”
“Are you planning to make that cream thing?”
Duan Tingxuan’s eyes brightened. cream was something that Su Nuan Nuan had mentioned quite a number of times. His ears were almost worn off from all the cream related talk, unfortunately he’d never seen this miraculous food yet. From his wife’s vivid and colourful description of its many uses and how one could not get hold of it without proper strength; the little marquis nearly flooded Spring Breeze Court with his saliva.
“That’s right, let’s make it since you’re free today. By the way, your work is kind of idle, isn’t it? This should be a typical working day for you, right? Since we have been summoned by the emperor, you can slack off the rest of the day after kissing up to your superior. Tsk, tsk, such a wonderful arrangement, it would be too bad if I were to spread it around.”
“Heheh, so you only have eyes for bad behaviours. Are you telling me you never noticed my hard work, the nights where I don’t return until much later? When Sir Long came that time, I spent all night running about.” Duan Tingxuan waved his fan and sighed sorrowfully.
Su Nuan Nuan knew about all this, but she had never bothered asking after the matter. However, since Duan Tingxuan took the initiative to bring up the subject, she took the chance to say, “Just what’s going on? Are you really that busy? You look so free that I thought you must have taken care of it.”
Duan Tingxuan said lightly, “Nothing much, he had something to do at Hang Zhou at the moment, so I’m not in contact with him.”
“Hang Zhou?” Su Nuan Nuan shivered. Curses, isn’t that King Xiang Yang’s territory? Looks like there’s really something mysterious going on. When it came to things related to King Xiang Yang, better not to get involved.
Back in her room, after a shower and changing into her house clothes, Su Nuan Nuan wanted nothing more than to flop face down onto her bed, tired out. Before she could do so, however, she caught sight of Duan Tingxuan, who had also showered and was now wearing light green house clothes. With his dark hair spread damply down his back, a feeling of sensual charm and casual elegance added to his normally outstanding appearance.
Su Nuan Nuan’s heart sped up, she quickly turned away away, not daring to look too long. Luckily, Duan Tingxuan hadn’t noticed anything. He made his way to the window, looked over the garden, and smiled, “The kitchens have just sent over the milk, how are you going to handle it?”
“It came?” Su Nuan Nuan floated over expectantly. “Very well, come with me, my lord. I’ll have to depend on you from now on.”
The little marquis seemed to know his place at the Spring Breeze Court. Aside from being the master of this place, he was also a coolie. For the sake of delicious food, he was fine with this lowly position. He trailed after Su Nuan Nuan to the side kitchen, as several female servants carried a large pail of milk between them. Su Nuan Nuan bade Hong Lian to reward them with a string of coins.
Then, she got out a large pot and started crack some eggs into it. Next, she added sugar and a little milk. She set the pot over a weak fire and stirred, when the milk mixture started to warm up, she passed it over to Duan Tingxuan. It’s time for her coolie to work.
[Gumihou: … I have no idea what she’s making. Butter? Buttercream? Whipped cream? Frosting? She said she’s making 奶油 which actually refers to all three. The highest hit for 奶油 is cream, but, but, making cream from milk don’t need eggs or sugar… what it requires is time, a clean container and a strainer. Author, what are you trying to make!!!
Butter is 白脫, a loan word from English, pronounced as bai tuo.
As far as I know, eggs, milk and sugar makes pudding. Whipped egg whites, milk and sugar will turn into frosting…]