“Mother, what’s wrong with cousin Yang? He is now a high-ranking official. If I were his wife, I wouldn’t need to look at anyone’s face. What’s wrong with that?” Su Zipei retorted straightforwardly.
She felt piercing pain in her palm. Su Zipei raised her head and looked at her mother’s eyes which were full of disappointment. she couldn’t understand her mother at all. It was her mother that taught her how to be a follower of the rich and powerful, but why did her mother refuse to recognize her decision.
“Mother, I don’t buy it! You were not born in an official family. Can you find a better husband for me than Yang Wei? If you can, please show him to me, otherwise I will marry cousin Yang today!”
Zhu Yan was so angry that she even thought of killing someone. She looked around and found no one was here to eavesdrop, then she made a decision instantly.
Seeing her mother shut the doors and windows in the daytime, Su Zipei looked puzzled, “Mother, what are you doing?”
At this time, Zhu Yan touched the secret drawer under the dressing table, and took out the jade. Su Zipei was surprised and she said, “Mother, what is this? Why didn’t you show me before?”
“It’s about your future.”
Zhu Yan felt her whole body relax after she said that, and she realized that it felt so easy when one shared a secret with someone else. She kept this secret alone for more than a decade, and she was about to have a breakdown.
After an hour—
Su Zipei covered her mouth in surprise. She never thought that the reason why her mother was so mysterious all these years was all for her sake. What’s more, she never knew that Su Erya was not born by her mother, or that her background was so extraordinary!
“Mother! What should I do now? I can’t marry Yang Wei, otherwise how can I marry the Royal Highness or General in the future?”
Su Zipei was in a panic. If she had the chance to marry high, she would marry that useless Yang Wei only if her head was broken!
“Just be reassured. I will come up with a solution. Now you and I are on one team, so things will be much easier. You should never tell anyone about the jade. If someone knows our plan, we will be in danger!”
Su Zipei nodded with firm eyes, “Don’t worry, mother, when I become a princess, I will let you enjoy all of the glory and wealth in the world!”
“Good! Good!” Zhu Yan’s eyes were moist, “Zipei is my good daughter!”
Zhu Yan hurried to the Main Courtyard to find Su Huanli. She didn’t expect that on the halfway she was told that Yang Wei changed his mind and cancelled his marriage propose. She was pleasantly surprised, and immediately returned to tell her daughter about that.
On the other side, the old butler who came to Jinyuan Court was frightened to death by Su Erya’s appearance.
“It seems that Second Miss has been practicing with Qi Xianqing. What other kind of practice method could make Second Miss become so beautiful? No wonder Yang Wei couldn’t control himself and changed his mind immediately.”
“Mr. Li, did cousin Yang really say that?” Su Erya was sad, and she muttered, “But Shifu said that I couldn’t get married.”
Although Su Erya’s voice was low just like a mosquito’s sound, it was still heard by Li Yin, who practiced years of martial arts.
“Qi Xianqing let Second Miss maintain her virginity, as it seems to be a decent practice method. If he is a member of the Hehuan School, he would be very happy to let Second Miss get along with some men.”
Li Yin calmed himself down. Then Nanny Li came in with an empty basket, and said loudly with pleasant surprise on her face, “Miss, I went to the town to sell the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame according to you, and sure enough, they were sold out in several minutes! The profit is three taels and we won’t starve!”
“Really? That’s great!” Su Erya pretended to be shocked, however, in her heart, she said that Nanny Li was coming at the right time.
“What kind of Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame? Why will you starve?” Li Yin was confused, then he grew angry, “Second Miss, did the First Madam take all 500 taels away?”
“Butler, it’s not what you think.” Before Su Erya spoke, Nanny Li explained, “Second Miss is too kind...”
After hearing about the truth from Nanny Li, the old butler didn’t know whether he should cry or laugh. How could a person give so much to others regardless of his/her own food and clothing? Second Miss was too impulsive.
However, if it was not because of this, the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame would not have been made. Nowadays, the Lord was not mentally strong, and maybe the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame were what he needed at present.
Thinking of this, Li Yin asked, “Second Miss, is there any Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame left? I want to bring some to the Lord.”
Su Erya laughed and said at once, “All of the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame have been sold by Nanny Li, but there are still much food to cook with. I’ll make some now. Just wait a moment.”
“Hehehe, I’ll help you.” Li Yin laughed very kindly, “I’ve never seen Second Miss cook.”
Su Erya’s eyes glittered slightly, but she said in a slight proudly tone, “Then you just watch me!”
Li Yin laughed happily, but in his heart, he said to himself, “This girl shows confidence in cooking that is not seen at ordinary times. It’s not like she does that on purpose...”
He, Li Yin, who had been to all corners of the country, could feel something sharply and quickly. The coincidences over the past few months made him sense something unusual, but he could not see who was behind the scenes.
“Qi Xianqing, the old guy is too mysterious and his means are certainly superb. Of course, I couldn’t perceive it.”
Li Yin sighed softly. At that time, when he took action in the West Courtyard, he saw the gap between Qi Xianqing and himself. If he really fought with him, he was sure that he couldn’t beat him.
In the kitchen, the unique fragrance of the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame drifted out again. Li Yin greedily swallowed his saliva as he watched. He had been to so many places and ate a lot of delicacies, but none of them could match the cooking of Second Miss.
Thinking about this, Li Yin felt fortunate to be in the Su House, at least his appetite could be satisfied.
“Second Miss, your cooking skills are good enough to serve as a cook in a big restaurant. You’re amazing!” After tasting the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame, Li Yin exclaimed.
Su Erya smiled shyly, “You are joking, Mr Li. I’m still far from it. And Shifu...Surely Mr. Qi won’t let me be a cook...”
“Haha, it’s just a joke,” Li Yin wiped the oil on his mouth and said with a smile, “Second Miss, thanks a lot, and I’ll bring the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame to the Lord.”
“Ok, goodbye, Mr. Li. And I am going to read.”
Li Yin smiled and started to leave, but he was thinking that the name of “Su Erya” was not appropriate for Second Miss. Should he recommend that the Lord give Second Miss a new name, otherwise he would be embarrassed to speak out before the outsiders.
Inside the study.
“This is the latest Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame that Erya just made?” Su Huanli was surprised. He picked up a Fried Glutinous Rice Ball with Sesame, looking at it carefully and admired, “It’s so round, just like a pearl. How did she make it? Erya is really good at cooking.”
Li Yin then told him about Su Erya’s good deed that she helped a brother and sister with 500 taels. Su Huanli’s face immediately turned dark, “This girl is too simple. How did Mr. Qi teach her. Maybe the brother and sister are cheaters.”
“Lord, every coin has two sides, if there is no such thing, how could she come up with making the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame?”
With Li Yin’s observation, Su Huanli’s face was not so dismal. He laughed loudly, “It’s true. Everything has its cause and effect. So, even if Li Shanbao evacuates all cooks, I won’t worry about that. Erya is really the treasure of our Su Family. How can Yang Wei match her!”
Li Yin echoed and finally calmed himself down, glad that even if Yang Wei offered more profits, the Lord would not say yes.
After a few days of publicity, a kind of snack called “Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame” gradually became popular in Dasu Town. Every day when Nanny Li went to the market in Dasu Town, she would be surrounded by a large group of people. Without crying out at all, the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame would be sold out.
A carriage suddenly passed through the market. Li Shanbao, who was sitting in it, looked sad, but was still attracted by the bustle over there. He could not help asking, “Adviser, that side of the market is so noisy. What happened?”
The adviser who was also on the carriage immediately went down to ask, and came back in a short time. He said in detail, “It is an old woman who is selling a kind of snack called ‘Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame’. She has been selling it for couple of days. I heard that no one paid attention to her when she came to the market in the beginning, but when she lifted the cloth covering on the basket, a lot of people were immediately attracted to her.”
Li Shanbao was hungry after hearing that, and he could not help but ask, “Is there any Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame left? Go and buy some for me.”
“It is already sold out.” Adviser smiled bitterly, “I also wanted to buy some. I didn’t expect that the Fried Glutinous Rice Balls with Sesame was so expensive. Each one was about 0.3 tael. Even so, there were so many people bought it. Some paid an even higher price for it from others.”
Li Shanbao marveled so much and said, “It sounds similar to the Zongzi in Shicheng Restaurant last time. You go and find out where does the old woman comes from.”
“Yes!” The adviser immediately left for that.
The same thing occurred not only with the county-level government, but also with the Zhu Family and the Yang Family... After they found out the origins of the old woman, they were all dumbfounded that it was a snack made at random by a Miss of the Su Family!
“No. Last time, the Zongzi in Shicheng Restaurant also came from the Su Family.” Li Shanbao immediately sensed something was wrong and he called his nephew Li Wei.
A few minutes later, Li Wei stepped into the house with a round stomach and a sweaty head, “Uncle, What’s the reason that you called me here?”
“Wei, let me ask you. Who made the recipe of Zongzi from the Su’s Family?”
Li Wei laughed bitterly, “How could I know that? The butler of the Su Family was so smart. He never mentioned anything about it. But it must be an experienced cook who could come up with such recipe. Otherwise, it’s impossible to think of using such ingredients as indocalamus that had never been used in cooking.”
“Wrong! You are so wrong!” Li Shanbao said coldly, “If my guess is right, the person who made the recipe is no one else but Su Huanli’s daughter, Su Zipei!”
After Su Erya was expelled from the Su Family, the news of her return did not spread, so that until now everyone thought that Su Huanli had only one daughter, Su Zipei.
“What?” Li Wei was greatly frightened, “That is too bad. I heard that the Yang Family had gone to the Su Family for a marriage proposal. Did they already know this?”
“We must stop the Yang Family!”
Hearing the news about the Yang Family, Li Shanbao held the armrest tightly and said, “How dare that little bastard of the Yang Family. I kindly recommended him to the County Town. He even gave me an ultimatum as soon as he came back. He forced me to hand over the Baiwei Restaurant! He thought that he had the backing of the son of the County Magistrate Yan, so I couldn’t do anything about him!”
Li Wei did not have the courage of Li Shanbao. He looked worried, “Uncle, I heard that the little son of County Magistrate Yan was easy to anger. We should not provoke him for the time being.”
“Of course, we can’t confront each other frontally. I have lived for so many years, and I know how to deal with this kind of guy.”
Li Shanbao said impatiently, “However, it is very easy to find trouble with the Yang Family. Wei, you immediately spread the news of the Su Family, especially to the Zhu Family. Give lots of money to the cooks of the Baiwei Restaurant and let them return to their hometowns for a period of time. When the new restaurant in the neighboring county opens, let them come back. So they want the Baiwei Restaurant? I’ll give it to them!”