Chapter 40 - Lack of money
The fish fillets fried with Sichuan pepper and sesame seeds exuded an enticing scent near the sensitive nose.
“Snap!” His Majesty the Emperor suddenly opened his eyes. He grabbed Su Yu’s wrist with one hand and said coldly: “What are you doing?”
“Ah, that…” Su Yu laughed dryly.
How terrible, he had a moment of playfulness and teased His Majesty the Emperor like a cat.
An Hongche gave a cold snort and got up, then sat down. He narrowed his eyes slightly, slowly moving from the slightly panicked face to the hand holding the chopsticks, and then to the crisp fish fillet at the tip of the chopsticks.
He paused for a moment, then turned to face Su Yu nose to nose.
“You are getting bolder and bolder these days!”
The two of them were too close, and the warm breath puffed over his face, Su Yu looked at the magnified handsome face in front of him and the strong sense of oppression made him shrink back.
The hand holding the chopsticks moved a bit, and the fragrant fish slice was placed between them.
“Your Majesty, the fish fillets are going to be cold.” Su Yu smiled ingratiatingly.
“Hmph!” His Majesty snorted coldly, opened his mouth, and rolled the fillet into his mouth. But he still didn’t let go of Su Yu’s hand, and just stared at him fixedly.
Su Yu got goosebumps from being stared at. He felt what the Emperor was chewing was not fried fish, but him. So he couldn’t help swallowing.
Just now, when he saw this fellow sleeping relaxed and soft look, he suddenly felt that he was very cute, so he had a moment of weakness…
How could he forget that this man was the most honorable person under the heavens, he was not someone that he could tease at will.
His Majesty chewed the fish in his mouth viciously, and then moved the tip of his nose against Su Yu’s and said: “From now on, you are not allowed to sway things in front of Zhen.”
“Wuu…” Su Yu was about to agree when suddenly the Emperor bit the tip of his nose, and he couldn’t help crying out in shock.
An Hongche sneered, then he let go of his hand and turned his head to look at the dinner on the small table, and he frowned at the plate of fried shrimp with soy sauce.
“What kind of damnable thing did you make?”
“Shrimp with Meiji soy sauce.” Su Yu rubbed his bitten nose and reached out and handed over a pair of chopsticks.
“Chen made it with great effort, Your Majesty, please have a taste.”
The so-called Meiji sauce was the modern-age soy sauce synthesized with industrial raw materials. This was very simple to use for making seafood cooking, just buy some soy sauce of this brand, it was simple and delicious.
However, in this ancient times, Su Yu had to prepare his own blend of sauce. A sauce made from natural condiments was several times more delicious than the industrially synthesized ones.
His Majesty grunted coldly. Instead of picking up the chopsticks handed over from Su Yu, he lay back on the cushion.
“It looks unpalatable.”
This soy sauce was prepared by this stupid slave long ago, even his foolish younger brother had a few bottles of it, wasn’t he aware?
Today, the imperial kitchen specially said that there were fresh crabs, he threw away what was made by the imperial kitchen and waited for Su Yu to cook delicious crabs to acknowledge his mistakes.
However, this stupid slave didn’t make any for him, he just brought this thing to fool him.
Su Yu blinked. No matter what he cooked these days, the Emperor would eat it without looking up, what happened today? He picked up a piece of shrimp and put it close to the Emperor’s lips.
“It's not very good-looking, but it’s absolutely delicious.”
Raisinh his eyes to look at the fawning Su Yu, His Majesty’s mood improved. This stupid slave finally had some self-consciousness as a slave. Hmm, this sauce tastes so delicious.
Seeing that the Emperor was willing to eat, Su Yu continued the struggle and moved another piece to his lips.
“Sauce likes this dish the most, and can eat a large plate every time.”
“Cough cough…” The Emperor suddenly choked.
Dispirited, he finished his dinner on the soft couch. The Emperor leaned lazily on a big pillow, then looked at the memorials by his hand, he randomly picked one and began reading.
After a few glances, he became impatient and touched Su Yu, who was sitting on the soft couch, with his foot.
“What are you reading?”
Because Su Yu was bored, he took out the <Fish Killing Heart Law> from the bottom of the food box to study. When the Emperor asked, he honestly handed over the book.
An Hongche threw the book aside without looking at it and put a stack of memorials into Su Yu’s hand.
Su Yu’s mouth twitched, he really knows how to enjoy himself. He was too lazy to read the memorial, so he turned the memorial into an audiobook.
Most of the memorials that His Majesty left to read for the evening were irrelevant or he didn’t want to read them but had to see them before going to court, so he listened absentmindedly. He just quietly looked at Su Yu’s serious side profile and listened to every word in a good mood.
It was hard to read the traditional Chinese characters, Su Yu could only read them to himself first to get a rough idea of what it was about, and then slowly read it out.
After reading a couple of them, he noticed that they were all about trivial things. When he reached the third memorial, he suddenly saw the words “Foreign Star”, he read it carefully and immediately felt like he had fallen into an ice cave, “...The foreign star has been placed in the Dali Temple and shall be subjected to severe punishment, and is soon to be…”
Subjected to severe punishment, severe punishment…
Su Yu stared at these two words, and the hand holding the memorial began to tremble slightly.
It would be better if they just killed him, how could they torture him to extract a confection? He forced himself to calm down, then cleared his throat and read slowly, he must not let the cat out of the bag and let the Emperor see that something was wrong with him.
An Hongche looked at the pale Su Yu and frowned slightly. He immediately understood something, he reached out and pulled the person into his arms.
“Do you know about this foreign star?”
Su Yu’s heart skipped a beat, and he didn’t dare to look back at the Emperor’s face.
“I heard the State Teacher and His Highness King Su mention it today, but I don’t know. What is this foreign star?”
“Six months ago, the State Teacher divined that a foreign star would appear on the star chart, and he said it was related to the upcoming disaster in Da’an.” An Hongchen hugged the person in his arms, as if he could not feel the stiffness of the body in his arms. He continued in a relaxed tone.
“The imperial family has been looking for this foreign star, but I don’t know what it is. It may be a person, or maybe it’s an object.”
“Why did you throw him to Dali Temple?” Su Yu’s eyes widened, they just arrested him without knowing what it was and extorted confessions with cruel torture!
An Hongche glanced at him and said slowly: “That old man just wants to use this to uproot his opposition, do you think Zhen is that stupid?”
Concubines are not allowed to participate in court politics, he shouldn’t have said this to Su Yu, but who let him be the master of this spoiled slave?
It turned out that it was the court's internal strife… Su Yu breathed a sigh of relief when he heard these words.
Only then did he find himself surrounded by the Emperor’s arms, and a warm chest was pressed tightly against his back, he couldn’t help stiffening up again.
An Hongche looked at the face of the person in his arms gradually recovering its color, and said to himself, this stupid slave was really delicate, just a bit and he can’t refrain from being frightened.
He rubbed against his fair neck and said.
“Cook crabs for Zhen tomorrow.”
The crabs cost one tael of silver a piece, ah! Chen isn’t wealthy, ah!
Su Yu’s face was bitter, he very much wanted to tell the Emperor that as an Emperor, even if he could not take up the obligation of supporting his family, he should at least pay the meal fee to the dedicated cook!
The roaring question came to his mouth, but he choked it back again, he still didn’t have the courage to say it.
The Emperor willing to eat the food made by his concubines is the imperial favor, how could there be any sense that he asks the Emperor money for the meal?
“Your Majesty, can Chen go out of the palace?” Su Yu tried to test the waters.
He had already asked Yang Gonggong, as a male concubine, he could, in fact, leave the palace occasionally. After all, many male concubines were the pillars of the family, and there were many things to deal with outside, but they could only leave with the Emperor’s consent.
“Go out of the palace?” An Hongche frowned. “Going outside the palace for what?”
“Chen has a restaurant in East Street, if Chen doesn’t take a look after so many days of neglect, Chen is afraid something will go wrong.” Su Yu said weakly.
He was thinking about taking the dividends, he would also talk to Mister Yuan on the way how to use the money to open two more branch stores.
Nowadays in the palace, he had to spend money like water, so he had to earn more money.
“As a concubine, you just have to serve Zhen well, why bother with all those idle worries!” Thinking about the two little cooks in Xianmantang, the old fogey at the counter, and his younger brother who often goes there to eat, An Hongche felt a burst of displeasure in his heart.
“Chen is a man, how can Chen spend all day in the palace doing nothing, besides, Chen has his own mother and concubine sister to support.” Su Yu tried to argue a little.
“Shut up!” His Majesty the Emperor couldn’t bear it any longer. He overpowered the chattering Su Yu down on the couch.
“You only need be concerned about Zhen alone, you are forbidden to think of anybody else!”
The Emperor did not agree, so there was no chance of going out of the palace. The next morning, Su Yu listlessly went to pay respects to the Emperess Dowager
“Aijia heard that His Majesty eats your cooking three times a day.” There were no other concubines today, not even Lu Guifei came to join in the fun.
The Empress Dowager still looked as carefree as ever.
“Chen is grateful for His Majesty's favor.” Su Yu was not sure what the Empress Dowager meant, was she chiding him for seducing the Emperor, or was she just recounting a fact?
“You go to Anguo Tower every day, what can you perceive? ” The Empress Dowager took a sip of tea and asked slowly.
What can you perceive? Su Yu frowned slightly, he accompanied the State Teacher to have a cup of afternoon tea every day, what stuff could he tell?
“Xiaozi is slow-witted, Xiaozi doesn’t know what is Empress Dowager referring to?”
“You can advise His Majesty to also drink some of the kind of ginger tea that the State Teacher drinks, it’s not good to always eat those cold and chilly things.” The Empress Dowager sighed and raised her chin towards Lin Gugu at the side.
Lin Gugu understood and took a jar of ginger powdered sugar and handed it over to Su Yu.
“This ginger powdered sugar was prepared by Ci’an Palace, I’m afraid it’s not as good as the State Teacher’s.”
The Empress Dowager designated him to pay respects, was it just for him to go ask for ginger powdered sugar, ba?
The problem was that even if he went, The Emperor hates sweets so much that it would be a wonder if he could drink it.
Su Yu raised his head to look at the Empress Dowager, since she cared so much about her son’s meals, then he should be able to ask for some food for her child, right?
“Chen has something to report to Empress Dowager.” After hesitating for a moment, Su Yu thought about his empty purse and the Emperor who was about to run out of food, he gritted his teeth and said shamelessly.
“The price of river seafood within the palace is high, and Chen’s monthly silver has been used up. Chen is afraid he can’t afford the food for His Majesty’s meal today…”
“What?” The Empress Dowager looked at him in surprise, then turned to Lin Gugu.
“Is Niangniang saying that these days you bought all the ingredients with your own money?” Lin Gugu immediately understood and inquired on behalf of the Empress Dowager.
“Yes… Just one crab costs one silver tael, Chen can’t really afford to buy it. Yesterday, His Majesty wanted to eat it but he couldn’t.” Su Yu said in embarrassment.
He was also a little sorry to see that the Emperor couldn’t eat delicious food. The crabs were so fat that it would be delicious if they were baked with salt or just steamed.
The Empress Dowager’s gaze toward Su Yu gradually became more and more profound. After a long time, she suddenly laughed. “What a sincere child!”
Su Yu blinked, not knowing what was going on.
“Leave this matter to Aijia, Aijia will certainly not let the Emperor starve.” The Empress Dowager glanced at Su Yu’s foolish look and couldn’t help laughing.
Out of the Ci’an Palace, Su Yu couldn’t help sighing. In order to make the Emperor eat his fill, he began to beg for food. However, that fellow still wouldn’t let him out of the palace, it’s really…
Just as he was thinking about it, he suddenly saw a man glaring at him impatiently on the palace road not far away.
“Stupid slave, what time is it now, you are still walking so slowly!”
“Your Majesty?” Su Yu saw who it was and quickly walked over.
An Hongche was wearing a pear flower blossom white narrow-sleeved robe, a sliver inlaid jade belt was coiled around his waist, and he held a jade folding fan in his hand.
Standing in the sunlight, his bearing was outstanding and his beauty was beyond measure.
However, at this hour, shouldn’t the Emperor have just left the morning court? Where was the court robe? Su Yu wondered for a moment, then he reached.
“Your Majesty, why are you dressed like this?”
“Why, does it not look good?” His Majesty raised his eyebrows, and a storm was brewing in his eyes. If this stupid slave dares to say no…
“Good-looking.” Su Yu hurriedly nodded. “It’s so good-looking that Chen almost couldn’t come back to his senses.”
“Hmph!” The Emperor’s ears quietly turned red.
“In broad, broad daylight, saying these words, have you no shame.”
Su Yu stole a glance at the Emperor’s ears and blinked.
“Your Majesty, how come you came here?”
“Hmph, today Zhen’s going to observe the mood of the people.” An Hongche snorted coldly and looked at Su Yu’s appearance in disgust.
“Go and change your clothes, how can you leave the palace when you are dressed so ostentatiously? ”
The author has something to say:
After Little Fish left the Anguo Tower yesterday
Thirteenth Uncle: Give me a piece! (Raises a paw to grab)
State Teacher: Why didn’t you grab it just now? (One paw is scratched back)
Thirteenth Uncle: My nephew's wife was here! (Continue to extend the paw)
State Teacher: (Raises his paw and slaps him to the sky)
Thirteenth Uncle: (Flying in the air~) Twenty-one, do you know when you should respect your elder brother?
State Teacher: (Licking his paws) When he was not hungry
Meiji soy sauce -> What makes Meijiya soy sauce so unique is that their soybeans and wheat are used for making the products, although widely grown all over Japan, Meijiya's "Kuradashi" soy sauce is produced by tea soybean and wheat grown on their own farm. The characteristic is a mild taste, natural thickness, and richness.
Dali Temple -> imperial prison
Xiaozi -> old I, me, used in speaking to one's elders
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