Chapter 240: Owner Bu's Kitchen
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
In the main halls, everyone held their breath and peered toward Ji Chengxue, who sat on the throne. They all wanted to know how he would respond to Lian Fu's proposal. If he really allowed Lian Fu to go capture Ji Chengyu, this could constitute on some level as fratricide.
Ji Chengxue fell into deep contemplation. He wavered, unable to make a final decision. They were brothers, after all. Making such a choice was tortuous for him.
But if they left Ji Chengyu out there, he would become an evil foe sooner or later. Once he acquired enough strength and accumulated enough power, he would surely make a comeback. He definitely wouldn't allow Ji Chengxue to sit comfortably on the throne and continue his reign.
After a long time, Ji Chengxue finally muttered these words. Then, he closed his eyes and said no more. Everyone else in the halls kept their silence.
The meeting at the main halls had officially ended. As the top ministers of the empire emptied out of the court, Ji Chengxue suddenly stopped Xiao Meng, leaving the general rather confused.
Ji Chengxue's body stirred. He stood up and paced around the halls. A dark trace of gloominess flickered in his eyes.
The spring rain washed the earth again, leaving the sky rather dull due to the lack of sunshine.
Outside the walls of the Imperial City, Ji Chengxue and Xiao Meng, both dressed in casual clothing, sending Lian Fu on his way. Watching as Lian Fu's figure faded away, they emitted a long sigh.
Within the imperial household, fratricidal killings were not unusual. Only this was a case where the atrocity would not cease even after Ji Chengxue had assumed the throne.
Ji Chengxue turned around with hands behind his back and walked on the long streets of the Imperial City. The streets were bustling with people, all busy as bees. Now that the Spring Festival was officially over, the residents of the Imperial City resumed their daily lives, working from sunrise to sunset.
Although Ji Chengxue was the emperor, not everybody could recognize him. In fact, he was much like an average pedestrian roaming through the streets, passing by civilians who were swamped with work.
The Carefree Mansion was located in a remote corner of the Imperial City.
Ji Chengxue arrived before the building but stood there motionlessly for a while. Behind him, Xiao Meng traced Ji Chengxue's glance and also peered at the Carefree Mansion. He sighed quietly in his heart.
"General Xiao, let's go take a look inside." After proposing this, Ji Chengxue walked toward the mansion with his hands behind his back.
A piece of royal token was displayed, shooing away the guards who were ready to intercept their entrance. The two of them then stepped into the mansion smoothly.
The mansion was delicately decorated, further embellished by the jingling giggles of young women that drifted out of the courtyard. Amidst this circle of beautiful women was a burly figure enjoying his time.
"My king, there's someone here." Suddenly, a slim beauty glanced at the faraway Ji Chengxue and Xiao Meng in confusion and informed a Ji Chengan still immersed in frolics.
Ji Chengan, taken back, twisted his head around to inspect, only to see Ji Chengxue standing as straight as a longsword. He narrowed his eyes and smiled knowingly.
"Just ignore them, let's continue." Ji Chengan merely smiled lightly. He turned around and pulled a beauty with curvy figures into his arms as he burst out into a cheerful laughter. That cackle continued to reverberate within the entire Carefree Mansion.
You wanted my life to be all about leisure and fun, right? Then I'll do just that.
Xiao Meng sighed softly. Ji Chengxue's eyes darkened, but his face remained deadpan.
"Let's go." Ji Chengxue shot a cold glance at Ji Chengan, who continued to dance among his swarm of ladies, and turned around to leave.
Actually, becoming a carefree king wasn't half bad for a former crown prince all high and mighty... At least, he didn't need to face the cruel bloodshed amongst brothers.
The next day, serpent-woman Yu Fu woke up extra early. Her father and Ah Ni had both left the Imperial City for the Serpent-Men Tribes already. She was now alone in the Imperial City, yet instead of fear, she was filled with excitement.
This was because she was about to learn cooking from Owner Bu.
Yu Fu carefully dolled herself up before the mirror, hoping to display her most beautiful self. She was already an outstanding beauty back in the Serpent-Men Tribes. Putting in a bit more effort made her so attractive she could take someone's breath away.
She didn't put on too much make-up since she knew Owner Bu would disapprove it, arguing that it would ruin one's sensitivity to the natural scent of food.
She came out of the inn, unfurled her oil-paper umbrella, and wriggled her green scaled tail all the way to the small alleyway.
The Imperial City was much more prosperous and lively than the Serpent-Men Tribes. However, the human residents here rushed through the streets in a hurry, none offering friendly greetings like warmhearted neighbors as was the case back in the Serpent-Men Tribes. This, in particular, made her feel a little alienated.
Holding on to her oil-paper umbrella, she strolled through the crowded streets of the Imperial City all alone.
Spring showers sent droplets of rain down to the earth and occasionally down one's neck. It brought a refreshing coolness that made one invigorated.
Making her way down the alleyway, Yu Fu finally reached the entrance to the store. The big black dog before the door was stuffing his face with the Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs in a porcelain bowl. Yu Fu smiled to herself and entered the store with her swaying tail.
Ouyang Xiaoyi, who was taking down the orders of a customer, caught sight of her and immediately twisted her head away with a snort.
Bu Fang walked out of the kitchen. He dried his hands and nodded at Yu Fu.
"You'll have to wait for a bit. Once the store is closed for business today, I can teach you cooking. In the meantime, please help Xiaoyi with the customers' orders." Bu Fang informed her.
Yu Fu nodded obediently, wagged her tail, and appeared by Ouyang Xiaoyi's side.
Ouyang Xiaoyi turned her head away in discontent. This was obvious jealousy. She was still fuming about the smelly boss choosing Yu Fu over her.
Yu Fu didn't mind this at all. She had been to the store many times and was familiar with Ouyang Xiaoyi's temper. Knowing this girl's nature, a smile would reappear on her face in no time.
Bu Fang glanced at them, curling the corners of his mouth, and retreated to the kitchen.
"Owner Bu, Red Braised Meat, Sweet 'n' Sour Ribs and Fish Head Tofu Soup, an order of each." Yu Fu's soft, comforting voice hit Bu Fang's ears.
Bu Fang was suddenly at loss and couldn't easy adjust to this change. He was used to Ouyang Xiaoyi's reckless shouting all day long. Now this was a change of water.
It was no big matter. After a momentarily relapse, Bu Fang began focusing on his cooking again.
Rich aroma wafted out. It added to the atmosphere of the store.
As the sun set, the busy store was finally closed for business. Bu Fang pulled over a chair, sat by the entrance, and enjoyed a short break. He watched the sunset and sighed comfortably.
Inside the store, Yu Fu and Xiaoyi sat side by side with their heads pressed together, giggling occasionally. Ouyang Xiaoyi's big eyes had narrowed into slits as she laughed merrily.
After resting for a while, Ouyang Xiaoyi waved goodbye to Bu Fang and Yu Fu. She left the store and skipped back to the Ouyang's Quarter.
Only Bu Fang and Yu Fu, who had became anxious and reserved again, were left in the store.
"Don't be nervous, take it easy. Your mood can have tremendous effects on your cooking." Bu Fang glanced at the agitated Yu Fu and uttered calmly.
Yu Fu's body instantly stiffened. She bowed to Bu Fang and answered him solemnly.
Bu Fang curled his lips, this girl...
"I will teach you what you practiced yesterday, Egg-Fried Rice. Only my Egg-Fried Rice is very different from what you've taught yourself yesterday. Hopefully you'll get the hang of this quickly." Bu Fang stood up, stretched his body, and announced.
Yu Fu's body froze again. She bowed to Bu Fang once more and answered him with a "yes" in a serious voice.
"Chill out, I won't bite you." Bu Fang was a little speechless as he responded calmly. Then, he closed the shutters of the store.
Bu Fang walked to the entrance of the kitchen, stopped, and crooked his finger at Yu Fu, who stood from afar. He instructed: "Follow me to the kitchen.
"This is the first time I've ever let anyone into my kitchen."