Chapter 147: Poached Fish Slices (1)
If his father wasn’t stationed at Mingzhou, and if the heir didn’t have to be around for the family, He Changqi would have actually preferred to join the army himself. However, since he was the eldest son, he had to let go of his dream and stay at home to take up the responsibility of his absent father.
He Changqi’s position was merely a slack fourth ranked official. He wasn’t good at business, either, so although he was House Jing’an’s heir, he didn’t have much funds at hand.
As the heir to a count’s estate, the only reason he had started worrying about money was because of his mother’s condition.
Chu Lian didn’t know any of this, as she wasn’t managing any part of the estate; it was all happening in the background. The original story hadn’t made any mention of these details either.
After getting a full carriage of chillis, Chu Lian was dying of happiness.
Her mind was already full of chilli oil, spicy spring chicken, boiled mutton, sour and spicy soup, fried spicy shredded beef, mapo tofu, and all the other spicy dishes she could think of.
When she got back to Songtao Court, she immediately rushed into the small kitchen without bothering with an afternoon nap.
At the entrance of the kitchen, Senior Servant Zhong and Wenlan were staring wide-eyed and tongue-tied at the servants carrying in sacks of something into the kitchen.
That carriage of chillis managed to fill up half of their small storehouse.
Senior Servant Zhong went up to Chu Lian and asked while gaping in shock, “Third Young Madam, what is all this? Why is there so much of it?”
Chu Lian smiled so widely that her eyes had narrowed into slits. She purposely skirted around the topic and said, “Momo, don’t worry, it’s something good. Eldest Brother-in-Law gave them to me.”
“From Heir Jing’an?”
Senior Servant Zhong followed behind Chu Lian and watched as she opened up a sack and got Jingyan to bring some big wooden basins over. Chu Lian then held up the sack that went up to her knee and poured out the dried chillis, making a satisfying sound as they fell en masse into the basin.
Senior Servant Gui rushed over after getting the news. Upon seeing this basin of fiery red… somethings, she exclaimed in surprise, “What are these? They actually look kind of pretty…”
Chu Lian reached out and ran her hand over the stack of chillis. Looking at all the fresh, bright red chillis, a mischievous thought sprang up in her mind.
She turned to look at her gathered servants with upturned eyes and said, “This is a food from the outside. They’re edible even without cooking. Would you like to try some?”
The first ones to nod were the younger maidservants: Xiyan, Fuyan and the others. Their eyes were full of expectation. Third Young Madam was just too good at cooking; whatever she made was always delicious! They even thought they looked a little chubbier in the mirror, and that was only with two days’ worth of observations.
Before each meal, they would tell themselves to eat a little less this time, but they just couldn’t control themselves once they saw the food. It was extremely frustrating.
When Chu Lian saw that they were willing to try out the chillis, and she couldn’t hold back the smile on her lips. She stepped aside and let them reach into the basin.
The younger maidservants took one dried chilli each. After glancing at it once or twice, without asking about its flavour, they shoved it straight into their mouths.
In less than two seconds, their throats were on fire! They quickly spat out the chillis and rushed into the kitchen to find some water to drink.
Senior Servants Gui and Zhong had watched the whole affair from the side. They were shocked silly when the maidservants took off. What… what just happened?!
Senior Servant Gui wanted to follow after the maidservants to see if they were okay, but Chu Lian held her back while trying to suppress her smile. “Momo, it’s okay, they’ll be fine. All they did was eat a chilli. Their tongues must be burning from the spiciness! They’ll be just fine after drinking a few cups of cold water.”
After finishing her explanation, Chu Lian couldn’t help but burst out into laughter. Senior Servant Gui relaxed after hearing this. However, she shot a weird look at her young madam, who had been so mischievous as to prank the younger girls.
Senior Servant Zhong turned around and quickly instructed some other maidservants to fetch cold water for the girls in the kitchen to drink.
When the younger maidservants returned, their eyes were red and full of tears. They shot pathetic looks at Chu Lian like they had been bullied.