Chapter 194 (Part 2): Sudden Change

 

Translated by Gumihou

Please read this at kitchennovel dot com

 

Chang San’s wife called back, “Thinking about food the moment you step inside, you think I’m an immortal? You wait, I still have to roast this meat. This is the most time-consuming dish. Luckily cousin-in-law’s stewed fish is nearly done, maybe you can have some of that first?”

Su Nuan Nuan knew that Chang San disliked eating fish and quickly said, “That’s fine. Sister-in-law, you don’t have to roast the meat. I’ll do a country style stir fry and make some fried rice from our leftover rice. Since everyone is hungry we can get these on the table quickly, ba.”

“Alright, cousin-in-law’s stir fry has to be delicious too. I must try it.” Chang San’s wife who loved her husband and could not bear to see him suffer, happily agreed to the proposal. Meanwhile, Duan Tingxuan asked after Su Dong Lou, “Is the master back yet?”

Chang San answered, “Before coming back, I took the opportunity to ask the doorman. But it looks like he’s not back yet. Something must have delayed him. Since he’s in charge of the security detail for the Jin Ling tour, King Xiangyang must have held the master back to give him some other instructions.”

While the men were discussing matters, Su Nuan Nuan had already julienned the pork belly, carrots and leftover wood ear from yesterday and made a quick stir fry with some tender garlic sprouts. As for the fried rice, that was quickly fried up with leftover rice from lunch and some eggs. By the time the Fried Rice was done, the Stewed Grass Carp with Tofu was done too. Chang San came over to help move the dishes onto the dining table and all four of them sat down to eat. As Chang San ate, he kept exclaiming over the food and toasting Duan Tingxuan with his cup of wine grinning, “Ever since cousin and his wife arrived, it is our good luck having such delicious meals every night. Normally I save this wine for special meals, but with special meals happening every day, it’s nearly gone by now.”

Chang San’s wife scolded him humorously, “You’re just being greedy, what does your drinking have to do with cousin’s cooking?”

Chang San earnestly replied, “Of course it’s because cousin’s wife’s cooking is too delicious, ah. Wouldn’t eating these delicious dishes without proper wine a shameful waste of good food? I’m sorry to say your normal cooking really doesn’t inspire me to drink wine…”

[Gumihou: Lol, Chang San, you want to die?]

Duan Tingxuan quickly cut in with a laugh, “Cousin is clearly drunk. Sister had better ignore his nonsense.” He tapped his bowl with his chopsticks and smiled neutrally at Chang San, “Cousin must think thrice before speaking, ah. You must remember that we won’t be staying with you forever.”

Luckily, this was enough to make Chang San come back to himself. He laughed heartily, “That is… my dear wife, your culinary skill is not bad, but it can’t be compared to cousin-in-law’s hand. In fact, I don’t think anyone could match up to her. So… don’t worry about it! Hoho… hohoho… …”

His wife punched him twice in the arm and everyone laughed. Dinner proceeded cheerfully. After dinner, Su Nuan Nuan and Duan Tingxuan went back to their room. They had hardly sat down when the bell at the corner of the bed began to chime.

Duan Tingxuan smiled, “Looks like Dong Lou is back. Something must have happened, or he wouldn’t be in such a hurry. This is good for us too, let’s bring the rock for him to inspect.” He fished out the white rock from its hidden place and went down the secret passage with Su Nuan Nuan.

When they reached the secret room, the normally calm and snack nibbling Su Dong Lou was pacing up and down the room like an ant on a hot tray. At the sight of them, he hurried over and said, “We’re in trouble. King Xiangyang personally spoke to me about sending sister-in-law to one of the courtyards in the prince’s residence as a cook. What should we do? What should we do, ah?”

“Speak slowly, what’s going on? The King himself said this? Then, that Lu Feng Yu actually managed to persuade him? How could he? Isn’t he suspicious of us?”

Duan Tingxuan was in shock. Su Dong Lou impatiently said, “I was curious too, but then after thinking about it, I can only surmise two reasons for it: First, Lu Feng Yu is the cautious sort and he must have devised this as a way to test you. King Xiangyang is also incredibly suspicious, if his trusted aide said that it was to conduct further investigation, he would support it without question.

Second, they have absolutely no suspicion of your identity and this is all a coincidence. That Lu Feng Yu loves food more than life, and just wants sister-in-law there to satisfy his food cravings. It’s too careless of me, I’ve completely forgotten that just because King Xiangyang likes to save face, there is still that shameless foodie behind him. That one could throw his life away for culinary delicacy. If he was the one who lobbied for it, it’s possible that not even the King could resist. Only… what should we do now?”

“I believe it’s more likely they’re trying to sound us out, ba.” Duan Tingxuan sighed, frowning in vexation. “Now that King Xiangyang had personally opened his mouth, we… we have no alternative now. The only thing I can do is enter the lair with Nuan Nuan.”

“No, we can’t allow sister-in-law to risk her life like that. Moreover, what if we lose the both of you?” Su Dong Lou said resolutely. “I have already expressed my reluctance to King Xiangyang and have thus far managed to refuse him. This is nothing, all I have to do is maintain my disagreement. Surely he can’t always indulge Lu Feng Yu’s wilfulness?”

“No, it doesn’t make sense to be stubborn over a mere cook, no matter how good she is. After all, you’re not an extreme foodie like that Lu Feng Yu. If Nuan Nuan and I suddenly disappeared, the last two years’ worth of work would be in vain. The years you’ve spent enduring their abuse would be pointless.”

Duan Tingxuan said bitterly. When he turned towards Su Nuan Nuan, her delighted grin made the smile on his face even more bitter, “You, ah. The only thing on your mind is excitement. You have absolutely no concept of danger. That’s the prince’s residence, you know?”

Su Dong Lou was also sincerely worried as he said, “That’s right, ah, sister-in-law…”

He had barely managed to get these words out when Su Nuan Nuan cut in, “There’s no point being anxious over this. Now, we have only two choices before us. To advance or retreat. If we retreat, all the hard work and effort that had been put into this mission will be wasted. This ending is just too miserable and I’m sure you two can’t bear it, therefore, we cannot retreat.

Since we cannot retreat, we can only plan the safest way to advance. Don’t forget, this is not even the most dangerous point. One must achieve greatness with one’s own abilities. Dong Lou, I expect that as the leader of the Mingyu House and the leading force of the six southern areas, the martial arts of yourself and your people cannot be low; Duan Tingxuan, you’ve also mentioned this before, within the prince’s mansion, aside from his own personal guards, King Xiangyang cannot freely order the soldiers and feudal lords about.

If that is the case, if we are to pit our strength against theirs, at the very least we will be evenly matched, right? If we are really exposed in the end, surely we still have the ability to escape with all our limbs intact? Once that happens, the real purpose of the Mingyu House would be exposed too, so they can openly move against the King. Isn’t that better than us running off with our tails between our legs now? If we run off right now, Dong Lou would most likely be exposed anyway. With this reasoning, we should definitely advance. Don’t you think so?”

 

[Gumihou: I like how Su Nuan Nuan organized her arguments for pros and cons and demolished arguments via logic. It certainly beats the arguments of random heroine novels whose arguments centred around ‘For Justice!’, ‘For Love!’ or ‘For Vengeance!’ and cue a stubborn mouth under dewy, but determined eyes.]

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Translated by Gumihou from kitchennovel dot com.

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