“So-called New Years Eve dinners are the sumptuous meals in a year” - Ming Feizhen.
So far, I had eight pears, four apples and five plates of refreshments for my entrée. Crunching peanuts in my mouth, I conveyed, “Thanks to Masters grace, we are able to enjoy the serenade of the black and silver choir. Once I have quenched my thirst, satiated my appetite and had my sleep, I shall offer my rested mind to design an immaculate strategy.”
“My chopsticks have yet to touch any of the refreshments served up thank you very much!” fumed Emperor Yuansheng, not appreciating my sincere speech.
“This one has a plan that promises to please you, Master,” I promised, gently pushing over the plate with five peanuts left. “Please make do, Master.”
“Do I look like a bird to you!” Emperor Yuansheng clutched the five peanuts to throw at me but stopped himself upon seeing me grin.
Tch, stingy Emperor.
“You wish! Would you die if you didnt have another five peanuts You think I cant see through your provocation ploy” castigated Emperor Yuansheng, smashing the five peanuts in his mouth while inwardly complaining, “Thank heavens I didnt betroth Hongzhuang to him, or hed eat me into bankruptcy.”
To ensure nobody discovered our secret identities or our secrets, I asked for everyone to be chased out prior to handing the place over to me. The problem was “everyone” entailed… the people in the kitchen. Nonetheless, as there were plenty of ingredients left over, the maidens travelling with us declared theyd cook our New Years Eve dinner to reward us for a job well done on this long journey. I swear everyone considers Su Xiao a girl. Evidence They dragged him off to the kitchen.
“Ye Luo is Ye Clans young mistress, but shes been a martial arts fanatic since childhood; shes never been the demure maiden. If you want her to cook, you might as well kill her. Miss Lyu has someone waiting on her for everything. Theyre like my daughters, except one resembles Honger more, while the other resembles Jinger more. Its, therefore, perfectly understandable if they cant cook,” elucidated Emperor Yuansheng, smiling to himself.
Quick lesson: you can gamble your taste buds on Princess Hongzhuangs eating, but you do not eat Jingans cookng!
Jingan tried to poison my meals on numerous occasions. When the first attempt didnt work, she tried aphrodisiacs, poisons that make you lose your mind, poisons that make you stupid, mute and so forth. None of them ever worked on me. One time, I was feeling fine and close to finishing, so I taunted, “Your Highness, todays dishes are not bad. So far, you have unintentionally dropped crane head red, red head crane and crane red head into my food. What did you accidentally drop in today”
“Fuma, please dont tease me. I know Im not a good cook. I made sure to not make any mistakes today,” Jingan enthused, wrinkling her nose to act cute.
I thought, “Finally an end to the antics” and finished up. A fleeting moment later, Jingan giggled and added, “But I think one of the eunuchs misbehaved and spat in your food, though Im not sure if my eyes saw correctly.”
Get it now! If she cant poison you to death, shell irk you death!
Watching Ye Luo and Miss Lyu, I was thankful Su Xiao joined them; at least his porridge tasted decent. A meal consisting of Princess Hongzhuang and Princess Jingans dishes…
“Big Brother Ming, Big Brother Ming,” Su Xiao hollered as he came jogging back.
“What is it Arent you supposed to be cooking”
“Yeah! The thing is… I have some questions, yet Im too shy to ask them, so… I want to ask you instead.”
Finally realised youre not good enough to get married, lass
“What is it”
Su Xiao held up two jars: “Which is salt”
My mouth just hung open as the rest of body froze stiff.
We have a serious issue here. You need to stay away from the kitchen!
I grabbed pen and paper to create labels for the jars and then explained to Su Xiao what firewood, rice, grease, salt, soy sauce, vinegar and tea are. While he giddily ran back to the kitchen, I started to worry for dear life. I mean, was I even going to be eating New Years Eve dinner or…
“Leave those trivial issues to them. I brought a chef along as youd expect, and hes helping out. Youll have your share,” assured Emperor Yuansheng.
“Hahaha, brilliant. Splendid.”
“Im sure you didnt just search for lodging today. What arrangements do you have next”
“Hehe, I have a plan ready to go.”
Emperor Yuansheng whacked the table: “Hahaha, you sly, conniving schemer.”
“You flatter me, Master. Could I bother you to write three characters for me” I presented paper and a brush I prepared onto the table, requesting, “Could you please writeDragon Phoenix Inn.”
“Dragon Phoenix Inn Thats simple enough.”
I gave Emperor Yuanshengs completed work a thumbs up: “Beautiful.”
“Thats to be expected.”
After a few nonsensical exchanges about calligraphy, Emperor Yuansheng inquired, “Judging from the size of these characters and the name, are you planning to…”
I nodded: “We will hang this outside as our plaque.”
“Isnt this Bright Jade Restaurant Besides, were only lodging; theres no need to buy it out.”
“It will serve us well in the long run. We are currently in need of a base without outsiders. This is a decent choice for that purpose. The problem is that Bright Jade Restaurant is too famous around here and is not involved with the martial world. We need to change the business model. Logically, we need a new name.”
“Whats this new business model”
“The existing problem for travellers in this town is not having anywhere to lodge. If we open our doors to them, we will have an influx of people from the martial world visiting. Subsequently, we will have them as news sources.”
“Not too shabby. About this lodging model of yours, are you thinking…”
“I get it, but I cant approve.”
“Why is that”
Emperor Yuansheng slammed the table: “I cant approve opening a brothel!”
“I was referring to an inn!”
You didnt understand squat! Why was a brothel even your first thought when I brought up the idea I thought we cleared the air about that! Have I been wronging Long Zaitian Youre the root of them believing I own brothels, arent you! Keep messing with me, and Ill go play some x-rated games with Jingan in Hangzhou!-