Chapter 197: Get It For Me (3)
The imperial gardens were huge, and it was in the middle of autumn now. Large fields of chrysanthemum flowers were in bloom, coming in all different varieties and colours. From time to time, a few maidservants would pass through, painting quite the lively, bustling scene.
The Empress Dowager’s Ninghe Palace was quite far from Tingyu Pavilion. Eunuch Sun had mentioned this to her as he lead the way.
However, as they walked down a secluded path through the gardens, Chu Lian didn’t feel like it was a long way off at all. There was much to see, and she freely admired the beautiful view of blooming, multicoloured chrysanthemums around her.
Eunuch Sun pointed out a pavilion not too far from them. “Honoured Lady may rest in that pavilion for a moment.”
Chu Lian nodded and let Eunuch Sun lead them there. This pavilion was also surrounded by chrysanthemum flowers, and the scenery was beautiful. It was indeed a good place to take a short break.
Eunuch Sun stood off to one side and smiled. “Would Honoured Lady like some tea and refreshments? This servant will fetch some, so Honoured Lady may stay in this pavilion and rest for a moment.”
Chu Lian saw that Eunuch Sun was a nice person, so she smiled and shook her head. “There’s no need, gonggong. I’m only sitting here for a short while. Grandmother’s still waiting for me, so it won’t be good to tarry too long.”
Since Chu Lian had already made her refusal clear, Eunuch Sun didn’t leave to fetch any refreshments.
Chu Lian was actually being careful. The palace wasn’t at all like the Jing’an Estate. Anyone she bumped into here could be someone with great authority and power. It was better to keep a low profile. She had almost fallen into someone’s trap just now, so she wasn’t about to risk something else happening.
At least her own maidservants were much more considerate. After that trip to Tingyu Pavilion, she was both physically and mentally tired. While looking over the beautiful flowers, she was indeed a little peckish.
Eunuch Sun had his head lowered as he waited at the side. From the corner of his line of sight, he kept an eye on Honoured Lady Jinyi. Her unperturbed expression hadn’t budged one bit while facing those great personages in Tingyu Pavilion, but now she had a wide grin on her face as she happily took out a small purse from within her wide sleeves and deftly opened it with her slender fingers.
The contents of the purse were a little odd. Honoured Lady Jinyi quickly took out a golden-brown pastry embossed with a fancy pattern of the likes he had never seen before. This pastry was small enough to hold between her two fingers, and she kept a delicate grip on it as her cherry-red lips enclosed around one of the edges.
He watched as she took her first bite, and her reaction was near instantaneous: her wide, watery, almond-shaped eyes closed in enjoyment, forming two mini-crescents as she savoured her snack. In the next second, the round, fancy pastry had already disappeared into her stomach.
Eunuch Sun unconsciously gulped a mouthful of saliva. In his heart, he was trying to match that pastry with the confections he had seen in the palace. However, even after going down the long list of confections that the palace served, he still couldn’t recall if he had seen anything like what Honoured Lady Jinyi had just taken out to eat.
The pastry in her hands looked really, really tasty. There was some sort of stuffing inside the crisp pastry skin, too; it looked like… egg yolk? Could egg yolks be used to make confections? Then was it sweet or salty?
Eunuch Sun knew he couldn’t continue this line of thought. Otherwise, he would surely be unable to resist the urge, and would snatch that little purse of snacks right out of Honoured Lady Jinyi’s hands.
Eunuch Sun’s head lowered even further. He didn’t want to continue watching Chu Lian’s blissful expression as she ate those snacks. Sob sob sob. No wonder the Honoured Lady hadn’t wanted him to fetch refreshments and tea. She had brought her own!
Blinded by the delicious food, Eunuch Sun forgot that it wasn’t normal for noble ladies to bring their own snacks when entering the palace. This wasn’t a trip to the wilderness, after all! It was clear that Honoured Lady Jinyi was a strange exception to the rule.
Chu Lian took out a thin strip of air-dried beef jerky and stuffed it into her mouth. This was a new flavour of beef jerky she had made. It was spicy and helped increase her appetite. She wondered if that fellow He Changdi could eat spicy food.
Not too far away, the Chengping Emperor stood at the corner of a corridor. Next to him was his personal senior eunuch, Eunuch Wei.
From this angle, the Chengping Emperor could see Chu Lian enjoying some sort of snack sitting in the pavilion a distance away. Sunlight happened to be streaming down upon her, lighting up her tiny face and completely exposing her extremely blissful expression to the Emperor’s gaze.
The Emperor couldn’t help but wonder, ‘What is that girl eating? Is it really that tasty?’
Thus, in the next moment, Eunuch Wei heard the Emperor order, “Go and retrieve that girl’s purse for me.”
Eunuch Wei’s eye twitched. For a second, he thought he was hallucinating, and it was purely his imagination that the great and wise Emperor had said such an odd thing. Had the Emperor, their high and mighty ruler, really just ordered him to snatch some snacks from an Honoured Lady…?