Chapter 37 - Establishing the Rules
People outside the imperial family were not allowed to step on the second floor and above of the Anguo Tower. Now the State Teacher was allowing him to go upstairs, which was extremely rare.
He won’t get another opportunity like this if he doesn’t take this chance, so when the palace maid at the foot of the stone steps indicated that he could follow, Su Yu went upstairs without hesitation.
The second floor was about the same size as the first floor, but the roof was not as high.
It was no different from the height of normal rooms, so it didn’t seem so empty. On the eight walls were big transparent windows, so it was very well-lit.
There was no incense burner sacrificial altar or yellow paper sutras like imagined, it looked like a normal imperial dwelling. There were several luxurious tables, chairs, and soft couches.
Several huge pillars supported the dwelling in eight directions, with strange patterns carved on them, which seemed to be some kind of totem.
There was a low table in the center, which was made of superior red sandalwood. Around it was several soft and wide cattail hassocks, because of the hot summer, the hassocks were also covered with a white jade mat.
The State Teacher sat down on a hassock, and his posture was not as upright as when he was in the audience hall, but beauty was a beauty after all. Even if he sat on the ground casually, he was still so cold and noble that people didn’t dare to look directly at him.
Su Yu placed the butterfly shrimps on the red sandalwood low table. He was glad he had found such a white jade plate, otherwise, he would feel ashamed to put it on the table.
“Sit.” The State Teacher glanced at the hassock on the opposite side and motioned for Su Yu to sit down, then he took out a tea set.
The tea set was carved from top-grade mutton fat jade, sparkling and translucent, pure and limpid, it was very refined, but compared to the hand holding it, it was rather inferior.
The State Teacher’s skin color was very white, probably because he had not seen sunshine all year round. His fingertips looked almost transparent, which were more beautiful than jade.
Such an elegant State Teacher must be a master of tea ceremony. Su Yu expectantly looked at the State Teacher, imagining that he would bring out the best tribute tea leaves and Tianshan ice spring water to brew a pot of high-end, elegant, and immortal-like tea.
“Do you know how to brew ginger tea, ba?” The State Teacher pushed a small jar in front of Su Yu.
“Ah?” Su Yu subconsciously caught the jar.
Opening the jar, a faint sweet smell of ginger wafted out.
The State Teacher didn’t pay any more attention to him, he twisted a piece of butterfly shrimp and took a graceful bite. Seeing that Su Yu was still stunned, he raised his chin slightly, indicating that the charcoal stove for making tea was by his hand.
Su Yu looked left and right, only to find that there was no one else on the second floor, and so he resignedly dragged over the charcoal stove to make ginger tea.
Sure enough, the beauty’s tea brewing was pure fantasy, it was impossible for a noble State Teacher to serve him with tea.
It’s just… drinking sweet ginger tea with this top-grade jade cup, there was a kind of sense of dissonance like drinking Cola from a crystal goblet.
“River seafood is cold in nature, so naturally you gave to drink ginger tea.” The State Teacher supported his head with one hand, seemly knowing what Su Yu was thinking.
He looked at him indifferently and slowly and leisurely chewed the butterfly shrimp.
“It’s as you say.” Su Yu was startled.
Could it be that the State Teacher could read his mind? He dared not to think about it anymore and honestly brewed the pot of ginger tea.
“Add some honey to remove the bitterness.” The State Teacher ate the second butterfly shrimp and handed Su Yu a small jar of honey.
“State Teachers also understand the way of fine food?” Su Yu took a spoonful of honey and stirred it into the tea, he then poured it into a jade cup and handed it over respectfully.
The State Teacher, who had eaten three shrimps, took the jade cup with one hand and took a light sip. The temperature and the sweetness were just right.
He raised his hand and drained the cup in one gulp, then he handed the cup back with his and slightly closed his eyes.
“You may follow the Emperor and call me Imperial Uncle.”
Su Yu tactfully refilled the cup.
“Yes, Imperial Uncle.”
“What I comprehend is not the way of fine food.” The State Teacher’s voice seemed to be more cold and cheerless than before, and his expression became a little more serious.
He paused for a moment and then gave a light laugh, like a mockery and a sigh.
“But there are some commonalities with what you have learned.”
Eh? Su Yu blinked.
He was just casually speaking to get closer, he didn’t expect that the State Teacher would say such things.
The State Teacher must have studied something mysterious and profound, related to the fortune and fate of the nation, why would it have something in common with his cooking?
“The shrimp is somewhat good, though the heat control is a little bit off.” The State Teacher ate the last butterfly shrimp and concluded.
“It’s as you say.” Su Yu smiled awkwardly.
I had to put it back in the pot and fry it again, so of course, it would be a bit overcooked.
“I will certainly remember to fry it a bit less tomorrow.”
The implication of this was to come back tomorrow.
The State Teacher looked at him with a smile yet not a smile.
“The Da’an royal family can’t climb the Anguo Tower for nothing. If you want to come here every day, then you must have something to do.”
Su Yu felt a little embarrassed when he was immediately seen through. Facing this unfathomable State Teacher, he decided to be honest.
“Imperial Uncle is like a bright mirror. Xiaozi came here to trouble you, on one hand, it’s indeed for the sake of the rules, besides that, it is also a little out of selfish motives…”
“You are actually sincere.” The State Teacher slightly curled his lips, and his clear and cold beautiful eyes quietly looked at Su Yu, but he didn’t ask him what were his selfish motives.
Su Yu had a guilty conscience, so he took a sip of his cup of tea.
The taste was warm and sweet, without the bitterness of ginger. It’s just that drinking ginger tea in the height of summer was not good for a young man with a lot of firepower. So not long after he began sweating, making him seem more nervous.
Just when Su Yu couldn’t hold back and was about to admit his mistake and ask to be excused, the State Teacher pushed the white jade tray by his hand and said.
“You can change it for a porcelain plate tomorrow, it’s rather heavy.”
This is… consenting? Su Yu stared blankly for a long time.
Only then did he react, agreeing cheerfully, and then excused himself. As he walked away, he thought about what kind of snacks to bring tomorrow.
Just as Su Yu left, a big black and yellow cat jumped in from the window, looking sympathetically at Su Yu’s departing back, and shook his furry head.
“Tsk tsk tsk…”
The State Teacher glanced at the big cat and ignored it. He went straight to the soft couch and lay down, yawning gracefully.
“Sleep again, sleep again!” The big cat jumped onto the soft couch and hooked the State Teacher’s sleeve with his claws.
“Thirteenth Brother let me come to ask you, what exactly did you mean by the oracle last time?”
The State Teacher stretched out his long slender finger and flicked it against the noisy cat’s head.
“The secrets of heaven must not be revealed.”
“Ow, Twenty-one, I’ll say it again, I’m your Elder Brother. Try flicking my head again!” King Ling’s fur suddenly exploded, and he jumped onto the chest of the State Teacher baring his teeth and claws.
His cold and beautiful eyes narrowed slightly, and the noisy big cat immediately shut up and took a step back.
A white light flashed and a big snow-white cat suddenly struck out with his paws like lightning and knocked His Highness King Ling to the ground with a slap. Suddenly, a shrill cat meow rang out in the hall.
“Ow, Thirteenth Brother, save me---”
His Highness King Su, who had just arrived at the foot of the Anguo Tower, stopped in his track and looked up at the second floor.
He hesitated for a moment then turned around and left, deciding to come again tomorrow.
“Did he take the food box?” In Beiji Palace, His Majesty looked at Wang Gonggong with a gloomy expression.
“Your Majesty, the Empress Dowager asked Niangniang to pay respects to the State Teacher. You are not unaware of the State Teacher’s temper, Niangniang is also in a difficult position.” Wang Gonggong tried very hard to persuade him with a bitter face.
“Hmph!” An Hongche snorted coldly.
He had no objection to going to Anguo Tower, but today the stupid slave’s attitude made him very angry, and he even dared to swat his… Hmph, hmph, today Zhen must set the rules for that stupid thing.
“Your Majesty, do you still wish to go to Yexiao Palace to eat tonight?” Wang Gonggong tentatively asked.
“Not going.” His Majesty the Emperor narrowed his eyes dangerously.
“It’s because Zhen spoils him too much that he became arrogant with his favor.”
The eyes of the palace maid holding the ebony tray suddenly lit up, Xian Fei angered the Emperor, she had to quickly tell the good news to Guifei Niangniang.
Wang Gonggong sighed, then he took over the ebony tray and presented it to An Hongche.
“Your Majesty, turn over the nameplate, ba.”
His Majesty the Emperor raised his hand and flipped over one without looking, then he took out a memorial and began reading it.
“Your Majesty, are you not going?” Wang Gonggong looked at the shiny wooden nameplate in his hand.
“Already said not going.” The Emperor frowned at the long-winded Wang Gonggong.
“Zhen can’t spoil him so much, let him come to serve in bed by himself and to bring the dinner too.”
“...” Wang Gonggong rubbed his aching chest, and silently put the nameplate back, then he turned to the little eunuch.
“Go to Yexiao Palace to pass on the message.”
The news in the palace traveled fast.
Xian Fei angered the Emperor…
The Emperor decreed that he won’t go to Yexiao Palace…
The Emperor summoned Xian Fei to Beiji Palace to serve in bed…
The concubines who were straining their ears to listen to the news almost tore the handkerchief in their hands.
Su Yu, who came to Beiji Palace to serve in bed, was still immersed in the excitement of the State Teacher agreeing to his daily greetings.
“The State Teacher permitted Chen to call him ‘Imperial Uncle’.”
His Majesty the Emperor snorted coldly.
“The State Teacher seems to know everything, he also said that the way of studying the Dao is similar to my cooking. Your Majesty, you say… Mmm… ” Su Yu kept on chattering but didn’t notice the increasingly gloomy expression on the Emperor’s face.
As he was talking happily, he was suddenly grabbed by the collar and pulled over.
“Stupid slave, shut up for Zhen!” The anger in His Majesty’s eyes was about to materialize.
Just now, both of them were on the dragon’s bed, the Emperor grabbed his collar too roughly so that he pulled Su Yu down in one go, ripping open several seams and revealing an unblemished white chest.
Su Yu was frightened and looked at the suddenly furious Emperor in bewilderment.
“Zhen will properly set the rules for you today.” An Hongche leaned over and pressed Su Yu over his legs.
“You cannot be allowed to continue being so lawless.”
“Lawless?” Su Yu’s eyes widened. What did he do?
“Hmph, think about it. What have you done to Zhen’s cat?” Seeing Su Yu’s panicked expression, His Majesty was very pleased with himself.
This stupid slave finally knew to be afraid, although referring to himself as his own cat sounded a bit silly…
“Sauce?” Su Yu was stunned. What does this have to do with Sauce?
“You are not allowed to use that stupid name” His Majesty’s originally happy face suddenly turned gloomy.
He raised his hand and slapped Su Yu’s buttocks.
Tianshan -> Mt. Tianshan, also known as the Snow Mountain, in Xinjiang Autonomous Region
Xiaozi -> I, me used in speaking one's elders
dragon’s bed -> emperor’s bed
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