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Chapter 17- Accepting Apprentices
The Zongzheng Department asked Su Yu to go back by name. There was only one possibility, that was, they found out that Su Yu had no marriage engagement and had not submitted his name card, so they directly pulled out the cane to make an example out of him.
An Hongyi blinked.
“At this time the name cards are already submitted, daylily is cold.” How could Su Yu have come around to going to the Concubine Selection? Hadn’t he been unwilling to go before?
Su Yu sighed sadly, knowing it was wishfully thinking, he didn’t want to go back. The possibility of running off with the money was quickly calculated in his mind.
In the Da’an Dynasty, all four oceans were peaceful, the population was well managed, and even the beggars on the street were recorded. Unless the fugitives occupied a mountain, they had to go through the government to buy land, houses, and for weddings and funerals.
As a cook, Su Yu’s probability of occupying a mountain was… negative…
After shaking his head and throwing away those unreasonable thoughts, Su Yu went to the counter and took some silver.
He also told King Zhao that if he was caught, he had to remember to come to save him, then hurried home.
An Hongyi listened to Su Yu’s worried tone and was stunned for a long time.
“What’s the matter with him?”
Mister Yuan walked out leisurely.
“He was afraid that the Zongzheng Department would hold him accountable for not submitting the name card.”
When His Royal Highness King Zhao heard this, he immediately burst into laughter, laughing until tears were about to flow out.
“This Su Yu is so amusing, hahaha…”
Mister Yuan forgot to tell Su Yu that as long he wasn’t a famous beauty known all over the country, no one would care about the fact that a man refused to participate in the selection.
The doors of the Su family residence were wide open, and everyone gathered in the lobby.
The two officials of the Zongzheng Department stood in the middle, their complexion not particularly good.
Su Xiaozhang accompanied them carefully in the front hall, the women sat behind the screen waiting for the announcement.
“He’s not the master of the house, for what reason should we wait for him to come back?” Su Ying stood beside her aunt and mumbled in a low voice.
She was born of a concubine, the Concubine Selection was her only chance to rise to power, how could she not be impatient.
“Yu’er should know about the important matters of the Su family.” Zhao Shi said coldly.
When she heard the two words “Important Matters” Su Yung’s chin immediately raised a few points.
That’s right, as long as she could enter the palace in this Concubine Selection, she would be the most important person in the family. Su Yu, that half-legitimate first wife's son, would have to look up to her in the future, naturally, he should be aware.
“Why did you come back so late, you let these two Daren wait!” When Su Yu entered the front hall, his uncle was full of complaints, as he spoke he looked at the faces of the two officials.
Ignoring his uncle, Su Yu took out two pieces of silver and went forward with a smile.
”The shop is far away, the two Daren have been waiting for a long time.”
The two officials put away the silver very naturally, their faces still indifferent.
“Now that you returned, let’s announce it.”
Su Yu felt uneasy in his heart and thought that he was doomed so he wanted to bribe them in advance. He didn’t expect to succeed by a lucky stroke.
The officials of the Zongzheng Department came to publicize the directory, which was to have bonus silver.
Seeing that the two were unmoved, Su Yu was even more at loss. Gritting his teeth, he took out two silver beads from his purse, which he had just extorted from King Zhao with the new dishes that day.
“Thank you for your trouble two Sirs, please take the seat of honor.”
The two officials looked at each other, then they shared a smile and said.
“Young Master Su is young and promising, the future is limitless, ah”
When his uncle saw this, his face became as black as a pot.
Because the directory was approved by the emperor when the Zongzheng Departement came to announce the decree everyone should kneel down and listen.
Su Yu asked the two Daren to stand in the seat of honor and then knelt down consciously, the people in the hall also knelt down one after another.
“...the directory checked by the emperor, Su Yu, and Su Ying from the Su family of the second-class general’s residence are standing for the selection, they should go to the Zongzheng Department’s front courtyard to register on the third day of the seventh lunar month…”
Participate? Su Yu was dumbfounded, in the normal course of events, he either missed the selection or had to suffer a beating. How can he perfectly legitimately participate in the selection?
The two officials of the Zongzheng Department said nothing. They smiled and congratulated Su Yu, and then went to the next residence, leaving Su Yu, who was puzzled, and his uncle, who had an unsightly expression.
“Sister-in-law, what’s going on?” Su Xiaozhang angrily tore open the screen and Su Zhi gave a cry of surprise.
Su Yu returned to his senses and immediately ran over quickly blocking in front of his first mother and concubine-born little sister.
“Uncle, what are you doing?”
Zhao Shi got up in a leisurely manner and adjusted her dress.
“It’s no more than going through the motions, there’s no need for brother-in-law to be anxious.”
Although in the Da’an Dynasty you could choose a male imperial concubine, the conditions for choosing one were very harsh. All those who can be selected are Dragons and Phoenixes among the people.
Most of the children of merit nobles go there just to go through the motions, if they are lucky enough to catch the Emperor’s eyes, it would be helpful for their future.
This was also why Su Xiaozhang tried his best to prevent Su Yu from going, Su Xiaozhang was the only one in the Su family who had been in contact with the nobles outside.
Su Yu had been raised in the inner residence for many years and didn’t know anyone, if Su Yu got any connections because of the selection, all his efforts over the last few months had been in vain.
“I said it well at the beginning, I gave you that shop and you gave up the title, now you are trying to have both!” Aunt Li pinched her waist and pointed at Zhao Shi’s nose.
“I’m telling you, there’s no way. If you want to participate in the Concubine Selection, hand over Xianmantang!”
Xianmantang’s business was prosperous, now it was a household name in the capital. The whole branch family has been coveting it for a long time.
Today, when they saw Su Yu’s generosity, giving a few pieces of silver without even blinking, they suddenly couldn’t hold back anymore.
Su Yu looked at his eldest aunt as if he was watching an extraterrestrial being, this face was really thick-skinned.
“It was clearly written in black and white, that shop was Yu’er private property.” Zhao Shi pulled Su Yu back lest Li Shi’s saliva spay on his face.
“Besides, whether to go the Concubine Selection or not the Zongzheng Departement has the final say. When will it be your, Li Yunxiu, turn to dictate.”
His uncle was red with anger, he couldn’t give any reason to refute. After all, attending didn’t equate to gaining nobility.
It’s a pity that the title was still up in the air after he had been running back and forth for the last few months. Those people of the Zongzheng Departement were waiting for him to give gifts, but there was nothing at home that can be taken out.
Now that Su Yu’s restaurant makes so much money and he’s after going to the palace, if he meets some eminences and makes some arrangements, the title was in Su Yu’s pocket!
Only then did the uncle and his wife realize that they had been fooled by this mother and son pair, who seemed weak and easily bullied.
Seeing that they were about to quarrel again, Su Yu rubbed his forehead and said with a headache:
“It’s just me, even if I go, there’s no use. It’s a good thing that Ying’er can go to the selection, I’ll cook tonight and our family will have a good meal.”
After all, they were all one family, and were going to cross paths regularly, they still needed face to get by. It’s not a good thing to be so tense every day.
As soon as Su Yu said this, the atmosphere softened, but his uncle’s face was still ugly.
Zhao Shi's lips curled, who cares to eat with the people in the branch family? But she was in a really good mood, so she won’t care about them.
The happiest ones were Su Ying and her mother, at dinner in the evening, Su Yung consciously sat at the table with Zhao Shi and Li Shi, looking like an eldest daughter.
“Zhi’er, come and sit too.” Zhao Shi waved to Su Zhi, who was still standing and asked her to come and sit down.
Su Yu was the cook, in fact, he just went to Xianmantang to finish the dishes, then took the unsold food, and asked the waiter to bring them over.
Xianmantang dishes weren’t cheap, no one from the Su family has tried them yet. Seeing the delicacies from the mountains and seas on the table, cousin Su Ming’s eyes straightened.
Su Xiaozhang was even more upset when he looked at the table, I didn’t expect this boy to be so capable. He looked at Su Yu, who was confident in his actions.
He was very different from the child who could only be bullied by Su Ming.
“Uncle, let me propose a toast to you. Thank you for being willing to give me the family shop.” Su Yu poured a cup of rice wine for his uncle and served it himself first.
Su Xiaozhang took the wine but didn’t drink it. He kicked his son under the table.
“Who said it was for you? This shop belongs to the Su family, if you want to inherit the title, you must return the shop.” Su Ming’s mouth was full of grease, he was kicked by his father and said immediately.
“I don’t want this title.” Su Yu’s face was cold, and he looked straight at his uncle.
“I can’t return back this shop, I sold it long ago. Now Xianmantang belongs to His Royal Highness King Zhao, I’m just a helper.”
“What did you say?” Su Xiaozhang was surprised.
“You, you sold your ancestral property!”
“Uncle must be joking, I’m not the head of the family, naturally, it cannot be considered ancestral property.” Su Yu poured himself another cup and frowned slightly.
“If you need my help with the title, Uncle, just say it. But just a word of advice, don’t have any ideas about that shop.”
To be honest, Su Yu was really not good at these house fights. He could only beat them in a courteous manner according to the method of modern people.
He had put too much effort into Xianmantang, it was his capital to settle down in the world. He didn’t want others to meddle at all.
These blunt words, to Su Xiaozhang, sounded like an obvious threat, and he was so angry that his eyes turned red.
“Okay, okay, your wings are hard now, you have the ability!”
After the meal, the conflicting views of the Su family still couldn’t be solved. Su Yu knew that if the matter of the title could not be decided one day, his uncle and his family would not stop. But now he was too busy to pay attention to these things.
The Zongzheng Department asked him to enter the palace on the third day of the next lunar month, the drafts in the past dynasties were not done in a day or two, and he didn’t know how many days he’ll be away, someone still needed to look after Xianmantang.
As time was running out, Su Yu decided to teach the two small chefs seven courses each within one month. In this way, two main courses would be available every day, which should last a long time.
“From today on, I will teach you how to cook.” In the afternoon, Su Yu called the two chefs and said seriously.
“These are my Su family’s heirloom dishes, I hope you can learn them by heart.”
The two chefs looked at each other, their eyes full of surprise, then they knelt down together.
The culinary arts have always adhered to the ancient rituals until modern times, when Su Yu was apprenticing to his teacher, he also kowtowed and offered tea, so he did not refuse the salute of the two chefs, and asked the waiter to bring tea.
“Today I officially accept you as my disciples, I will rely on you in Xianmantang in the future.”
The two small chefs, Zhang Cheng and Wang Feng, were both peasants with clean family backgrounds and were clever and quick-witted.
After completing the teacher worship ritual and receiving a salute, Su Yu gave each of them a strange-looking knife.
Looking at the excitement of the two people, Su Yu felt a little guilty. He asked a blacksmith to make them according to the scale removing knife of the 21st century. They looked like that, but it wasn’t really worth a lot of money.
However, facing the adoring eyes of the two teenagers, Su Yu felt like a teacher for the first time. In modern times, I didn’t have time to take in disciples, but in ancient times, I took two disciples instead, it’s really good fortune.
The author has something to say:
Younger Brother: Elder brother, the readers said that the male concubine system you developed is unreasonable （⊙＿⊙）
Cat Gong: The male concubine is unreasonable, what can I say
Younger Brother: … Then are you still choosing a male concubine（⊙＿⊙）
Cat Gong: (Gently combing his younger brother’s fur) Any comments?
Younger Brother: ... N-no, no comment...QAQ
daylily-> In China, the daylily is associated with forgetfulness and loss of memory, or in some situations, they symbolize "forgetting worries." They are often gifted when someone is having a little bit of a rough patch so that they can overcome and move on.
Daren-> Title of respect toward superiors
delicacies from mountains and seas-> exotic delicacies
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