My Fantastic Chef Wife - Chapter 309 - Why Are You Here?
309. Why Are You Here?Translator: ChowvanLee
State Preceptor finished practising fighting technique and took another shower. When he came out, he saw two plates of food on the table.
One was desserts, the other abalones.
The desserts were the osmanthus-flavoured rice cakes he liked as always, while the abalones were cooked in a different method. This dish looked great, making one’s mouth watering.
He happened to be hungry, so he ate a piece of rice cake first, and then put a piece of abalone into his mouth.
The moment the abalone was in his mouth, his eyes suddenly widened.
Outside, Zhang Deshui and a servant came running to him, but were stopped by the chief steward. He asked, “Why are you here?”
Zhang Deshui, out of breath, was so anxious, “Sir, there was a plate of abalone on the stove table, did you take it?”
“Right, I took it. What’s wrong?” The chief steward asked.
“Has State Preceptor eaten it?”
“State Preceptor is bathing. I’m not sure whether he has eaten it or not. Hurry up and make it clear. Is there any problem with that plate of abalone?” The chief steward asked.
Zhang Deshui panted heavily, “That abalone is… it’s a new dish that I just developed. I didn’t try it, and I got that recipe of making the abalone from Madam Xiao. Who knows what she’s trying to do? What if there’s something wrong with that recipe?”
The chief steward heard this and patted his own head. “You! Are you trying to kill me? Why didn’t you say it earlier?”
“I meant to tell you, but you had already taken the abalone away.”
The chief steward was afraid that it was too late. He galloped towards State Preceptor’s room, managing to take the abalone away before State Preceptor ate it.
But when the chief steward pushed the door open, he saw State Preceptor was eating something. The plate of abalone in front of him was empty and there was only one piece of osmanthus-flavoured rice cake left.
“Lord… Lord State Preceptor.” The chief steward called nervously.
“What’s wrong? You look in a hurry. Is anything going wrong in this house?”
The chief steward hurriedly asked, “No, Lord State Preceptor, it’s the abalone dish. You ate it? How does it taste? Are you feeling uncomfortable now?”
“It’s very good!” State Preceptor said excitedly, “I was just about to tell you. I figured that such a delicious abalone dish must be newly developed by Zhang Deshui. It is really fresh and tender.”
“Tell Zhang Deshui to keep cooking the abalone in this way.”
The chief steward felt relieved.
State Preceptor was a thoughtful man, so he immediately noticed that the chief steward was hiding something from him. He added, “You have something to get off your chest? Tell me!”
The manager didn’t dare to hide it any more. He said, “Well, Zhang Deshui ran over just now and told me that this abalone was newly-developed indeed. But he made it according to the recipe from Madam Xiao. Before he could try, I brought it here. He is worried that this abalone doesn’t taste good and make State Preceptor unhappy, so he is kneeling outside.”
“Oh?” State Preceptor was surprised, “Madam Xiao gave him the recipe?”
“Yes. He told me that Madam Xiao gave him a few recipes but he had just tried the abalone one.”
State Preceptor couldn’t help but smile, “I didn’t expect that Madam Xiao knows how to cook.”
“If you think the abalone tastes good, then Madam Xiao is doing good at cooking.”
State Preceptor added, “I do like the taste of this abalone. Since there are recipes for other dishes, then let Zhang Deshui make a few more dishes. If they taste good, you bring them over. I will have a try. I happened to have enough of the dishes he has made before.”
Outside, Zhang Deshui was still waiting anxiously. When he saw the chief steward come out, he asked immediately, “How is it? Did Lord State Preceptor eat that abalone?”
The chief steward deliberately kept him in suspense and said seriously, “What do you think?”
Zhang Deshui felt like the world was going to end. “Oh, no! Lord State Preceptor must have eaten it, or else you would bring the food out. My half-lifetime career as a chef will be cut off because of that woman…”
The chief steward said disdainfully, “Look at you being so useless. A dish scares you like this. To tell you the truth, State Preceptor has already eaten the dish and thinks it very good…”
“Really?” Before the chief steward could finish, Zhang Deshui grinned excitedly.
It seemed that both his life and his position as the chef had been saved.
The chief steward said, “I haven’t finished yet. Lord State Preceptor also said that since Madam Xiao gave you these recipes, you shall make more dishes according to them. He happened to have enough of your old dishes, and it’s good to change the recipes.”
At this point, Zhang Deshui didn’t know whether he should be happy or in self-pity.
But since he escaped this time, he had to go back to the kitchen and carefully studied the recipes Ye Xiaoxian gave him, managing to make all the dishes.
Xiao Baoshan made it through without being stopped all the way.
No matter which city they arrived at, guards always let them pass.
As such, he and Little Black reached the capital very smoothly.
When they reached the gate of the capital, Xiao Baoshan and Little Black lowered the speed of their horses and slowly went into the capital.
If he didn’t guess wrong, someone was waiting for him at the entrance of the city gate.
As expected, as soon as they arrived at the capital, they saw Wan Shijie who was here to pick them up.
“General Xiao, I have been looking forward to meeting you for a long time. When I was in Tianshan tribe, I didn’t know that you were General Xiao Baoshan, the Ares of a great reputation. I was so blind not to recognize you.”
Xiao Baoshan said coldly, “You are that salesman?”
“It’s my honor to be remembered by General Xiao.” Wan Shijie said with a smile on his face.
Xiao Baoshan didn’t want to waste time with him. He asked, “You caught my wife?”
“General Xiao, you can’t speak in this way. How can you say that I caught your wife? I’m just a commandant. How could I trap Madam Xiao here? Madam Xiao is at the State Preceptor’s house, and Lord State Preceptor treats her with delicious food and drinks. If you don’t believe me, come with me and you’ll know.”
Little Black hinted with his eyes to stop Xiao Baoshan, but Xiao Baoshan pretended not to see it and said, “Okay, I’ll go with you!”
Wan Shijie looked happy, “General Xiao, this way please!”
Xiao Baoshan went far away with Wan Shijie, while a servant rushed to the Sixth King’s residence.
Li Chengyi and Li Chengru were still in the capital. The two of them had requested to go back to Baoning City twice, but they were both rejected by Li Chengkun. Li Chengkun said that they had been away from the capital for a long time and would forget what the capital was like if they didn’t stay in the capital a little longer.
Besides, soon after, the imperial clan would hold a ceremony worshipping the ancestors. They, as brothers of the emperor, should show up at the ceremony in order to let the ministers know that the brothers of the imperial clan were getting along well with each other.
Li Chengyi and Li Chengru did not approve of holding the ceremony, as there was war in the north and the army needed the supply of fund and food from the national treasury. The ceremony would use up a lot of money and laborers.
However, Li Chengkun would not listen to them. The ceremony involved the royal family’s reputation. They had to hold one, a grand one.
A manservant arrived at the Sixth King’s residence and hurriedly reported to Li Chengyi, “Your Highness, Xiao Baoshan is in the capital now.”
“Oh? Where is he?”
“He was picked up by Wan Shijie, and now he is on the way to the residence of the State Preceptor.”
“As expected…” Li Chengyi knew it would end up like this, but he couldn’t stop it.
‘Should I openly grab Xiao Baoshan from State Preceptor?’
‘Or should I ask Xiao Baoshan to not go to State Preceptor’s residence?’
‘Even if State Preceptor is willing to let him go, Xiao Baoshan won’t leave his beloved Little Ye behind.’
Not long afterwards, Li Chengru came to him.
The moment Li Chengru arrived, he said angrily, “I heard that Xiao Baoshan is in the capital city now and everyone knows about this. Little Ye is in State Preceptor’s residence. They said she was invited, but everyone knows Little Ye was kidnapped.”
Li Chengyi said, “State Preceptor wants to control the North with Xiao Baoshan. When Yan Ziyan wins, maybe…”
Li Chengru said, “I don’t know if Xiao Baoshan would yield to him. If Yan Ziyan wins, he will be the hero of Great Qi Dynasty. At that time, it will be ridiculous to let Xiao Baoshan fight against him!”
“Who else will fight for Great Qi Dynasty then?” Li Chengyi frowned.
Li Chengyi then said to the servant, “Go to guard the State Preceptor’s residence. As soon as Xiao Baoshan comes out, you bring him to my residence. After all, everybody in the capital knows that Xiao Baoshan is close to me.”
Xiao Baoshan entered State Preceptor’s residence and State Preceptor was holding a banquet in the garden.
Xiao Baoshan saw State Preceptor sitting in the pavilion, brightened. The stone table in front of him was filled with prime liquor, desserts, and the latest dishes developed by Zhang Deshui.
“Yo, General Xiao is here. Please forgive me for not welcoming you at the gate.” State Preceptor stood up and laughed, then gestured the cold-faced Xiao Baoshan to the pavilion.
Xiao Baoshan sat down and said, “State Preceptor don’t need to be so polite. I’m no longer a general, and even if I am a general now, your position is higher than mine. How could I be qualified to ‘forgive’ you?”
State Preceptor poured a glass of liquor for Xiao Baoshan and said, “That’s because you don’t want to participate in political affairs. If you had done it, with your outstanding military service, your current position should definitely have been above me.”
Xiao Baoshan picked up the liquor and smelled it, but he didn’t drink it. Then he asked, “I heard that my wife is invited as a guest in your residence. Where is she now?”
“You wife? She is fine. I wouldn’t neglect General Xiao’s wife, would I? But I’m puzzled. When I first met your wife, she looked very shabby. Madam Xiao is a young girl and knows how to cook. How can you bear to let her suffer in the countryside and not to mention how isolated and poor Baoning City is? You couldn’t be more considerate with a beauty like her.”
“Where is she? I want to see her.” Xiao Baoshan repeated.
“Be patient. I’ve already sent someone to invite her here. But, I wonder that it is rare for Madam Xiao to come to my residence. So it’s best if she stays here for a few more days and we can nurse her. Look at her thin figure, she doesn’t look like a hostess of a family in the capital at all. On the contrary, she looks like a village woman. Well, you should reflect on yourself. You refused the high position and great wealth and made your wife and mother suffer in the countryside. Why would you do that?”
As State Preceptor was talking, Xiao Baoshan’s eyes suddenly fixed on a certain place, and then couldn’t move away from it any more.
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