Chapter 189: Wilful

Translated by Gumihou

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From then on, Lu Feng Yu began to devote himself almost fanatically towards King Xiangyang. In return, King Xiangyang depended on him for all kinds of matters. In private, he would speak without restraint, saying things like once they achieved their main target, Lu Feng Yu would be installed as Head of University Cabinet, would confer a noble title to him and hand over the lion’s share of the large cake when the time comes. In short, King Xiangyang’s trust for Lu Feng Yu outstripped everyone else, including Liu Qiang[1].

Only, despite all the trust and privilege entrusted by the King, Lu Feng Yu felt that life currently felt incredibly dull and tasteless as he stared down at the miserable looking snacks. With a frown, he said, “Gourmet food should attract the eyes, entice the nose and taste delicious before it could be considered complete. Even before tasting these, I can see that they are plain and carelessly made. They’ve failed their first role in enticing the appetite. Looks like Your Lordship’s cooks are only so-so.”

King Xiangyang laughed out loud, “I swear that mouth of yours gets fussier each time I see you, ah. Enough, let’s not talk about this anymore. Eat, don’t eat, that’s up to you. I’ve heard that you’ve been over to Mingyu’s residence quite a few times. You even had those Western Region wolfhounds butchered, and brought its meat over place. Well? Have you found out anything I should know?”

“No.” just a mention of that place caused Lu Feng Yu to fume. Eventually, he revealed the whole unhappy tale to His Lordship.

King Xiangyang’s eyes grew larger and larger as the story went on. Finally, he slapped the table and snapped, “Aren’t you just making unnecessary trouble for yourself? And for what? A few mouthfuls of snacks? You even… even had the wolfhounds granted by this king butchered. If outsiders found out, what will they say? Aren’t you being too wilful and reckless?”

“I’ve always been this wilful, surely My Lord knows this too?” Lu Feng Yu rolled his eyes, he couldn’t stand being told off like this by anyone, let alone by the King.

However, it looked like the king did not plan to let go of the matter and continued to rebuke him, “Though this king understands that Teacher’s nature is naturally free and unrestrained, you must understand that you are no longer a lone wolf looking out for himself. You are no longer a wanderer roaming about the edges of society but a member of this king’s court. The Head Historian in fact. Therefore, you must think thrice in whatever you do.”

Lu Feng Yu remained silent. It was a long time before he finally said stuffily, “I understand. I’ve gone overboard this time. My Lord may be at ease, I shall not repeat this disastrous behaviour.”

“That’s good enough for me.” King Xiangyang nodded approvingly. He settled back and took a sip of his tea before saying, “I’m glad that you still understand what is important, otherwise it would be difficult for us to work together.”

“Yes, next time I shall think over matters thoroughly before acting. Even hunters know not to release the eagle before they see the hare. I am too stupid to have butchered the dogs before seeing the goods. It was too unforgivably stupid of me.” Lu Feng Yu continued to criticise himself as he clenched his hands into fists.

King Xiangyang, “… …” we seemed to have very different definition of what is important?

“My Lord, do you still have any of those Western Region wolfhounds?” Lu Feng Yu finally raised his head to look at King Xiangyang. “If you do, please grant this lowly official a few more.”

“What for?” a very bad premonition crept up King Xiangyang’s spine.

Sure enough, the next words out of Lu Feng Yu was, “That woman claims that she couldn’t stand seeing dead dogs, right? Well, I want her to see them. In fact, I want to torment her by making her look as the dogs are butchered, their throats slit, their skins peeled, their limbs hacked off…”

“Enough!” the hairs on King Xiangyang’s skin had all risen at this weirdly vicious statement. “Have you already forgotten everything this King said? If you dare to even look sideways at my wolfhounds I’ll skin you alive.” he was incredibly furious, this guy was even more wilful than a little kid. How was he going to change this wild attitude of this trusted aide?

“My lord, you always told me I should live my life confidently. Are you saying that my wellbeing is worth less than those wolfhounds of yours?” Lu Feng Yu looked up at King Xiangyang with sad eyes, only to see the man wave a dismissive hand at him. “Enough with this. I won’t be taken in. While your worth is definitely more than those hounds, this king can’t just let you skin my good dogs alive for no good reason. If you must skin dogs just to irk that cook, go find some random local dogs for your project. Since that cook can’t bear having cats or dogs hurt, you can just find some dogs and have them killed in front of her. I’m sure you’ll achieve the same result.”

“That’s a very good idea, My Lord is wise.” Lu Feng Yu happily stood up. “This lowly official shall arrange it immediately.”

[Gumihou: I… I think this Lu Feng Yu is not completely sane…]

King Xiangyang watched foolishly as his most trusted aide and strategist happily skipped away. It wasn’t until Lu Feng Yu had reached the door before he remembered the reason he called this aide over. It was definitely not to discuss strategies on how to ‘subdue’ a cook.

“You come back, get back here right now. I haven’t finished speaking with you.” King Xiangyang hollered. For the first time, he doubted his own ability to judge people: Would he really be able to take the throne with an ultimate foodie as an advisor? Others might love food over life, this guy might actually throw away his life for good food, ah.

“Oh, oh, oh!” Lu Feng Yu finally came back to himself and smacked his forehead. How embarrassing, ah. To think that he had actually become so overjoyed that he’d literally forgotten himself. He settled back himself into the chair and said, “My lord, what may this lowly official do for you?”

“If I am not mistaken, the Marquis of An Ping heir’s wife is someone who is especially good with cooking, is that right?” King Xiangyang drummed the table with his fingers. His voice solemn as he stared straight at Lu Feng Yu. The meaning in his eyes very clear. “You understand what I am getting at.”

Of course Lu Feng Yu understood. His heart, which had always been like a polished marble, suffered a twinge of pain. He really couldn’t bear thinking that, that Ms. Wang might really be An Ping heir’s wife. However, their plan relied too much on secrecy. No matter how much he wished to, he could no longer deceive himself anymore. Thus, he forced himself to carefully consider all the facts. Finally, he said, “My Lord’s suspicion is also something this lowly official had considered. This is the reason why I went over to Mingyu’s residence. While it’s true I was there to feast on fine food, it is also to feel out this matter. Only… there are two discrepancies that made this lowly official feel that it might not be so.”

“Oh? Speak.” King Xiangyang looked very interested in his theory. Even though Liu Qiang had caused such a big ruckus at the Capital, he ended up returning with nothing to show for it. From thereon, King Xiangyang had developed a paranoia against Duan Tingxuan and that fierce wife of his. In fact, the wife was rumoured to be so fierce that even the Slaughter Dog Gang could not deal with her. Therefore, the moment he heard that a female cook that could pry praises from Lu Feng Yu’s lips had appeared at Mingyu residence, he was immediately suspicious.

“First: though this lowly official had advice against fully trusting Su Dong Lou, there had been no visible connection between him and the people at the Capital. Furthermore, this lowly official found that though Su Dong Lou is not as unscrupulous or vicious as that Duan Tingxuan, his thirst for power and ambition is real. This would also explain why he had been desperate to approach My Lord.

Therefore, unless he’s actually part of the imperial household, that particular couple would not dare to enter Mingyu Residence, even if they had somehow managed to sneak into Jiang Nan. It would be like milling gunpowder in a burning house. Once Su Dong Lou becomes suspicious, they would be dead instantly. After all, Mingyu House is the leader of the six southern provinces. Even the An Ping heir would not be so bold.”

King Xiangyang nodded slowly. He said solemnly, “You’re right. This king will take your advice into consideration. I had never fully trusted Su Dong Lou, but this king must admit, he had executed all the missions given to him flawlessly. Though he might not fully belong to this king, we should not allow him to turn his loyalty towards the imperial court. This was the mistake we made with the Duke of Ping.”

 

[Gumihou: … Teacher Lu… you idiot!!]

 

[1] Liu Qiang – he’s the guy given the impossible task of kidnapping Su Nuan Nuan back at Chapter 116.

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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2 thoughts on “The Feast – 189 – Wilful”

  1. I felt like he was talking in circles there. Was he trying to say that he didn’t think it was Su Nuan Nuan because he still trusted Su Dong Lou? That’s kind of how it read to me but I dunno…

    Thanks for the chapter.

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