When the mushroom noodles were done, Chu Lian polished off her meal and went off to sleep.
After an hour, Senior Servant Zhong and the other two maidservants were invited to have dinner.
Ever since the main kitchen had been destroyed by the fire, all the servants in each courtyard took their meals in the courtyard’s kitchen, like their masters. However, they always ate after their masters were done. As for the cooking, a cook had been dispatched to each courtyard.
However, the cook at Songtao Court had nothing to do, because Third Young Madam felt that the meals she made weren’t good enough.
At first, when Chu Lian had brought her personal maidservants over, wanting to make her own meals, the cook hadn’t been too willing. However, after eating the meals that Third Young Madam had made once, her attitude had done a big 180. She was almost like a dog, waiting close to the door everyday for Third Young Madam to come over again.
All the servants in Songtao Court were blessed with the fortune to eat the dishes made by Chu Lian’s instructions, every single day. Chu Lian wanted to make sure they had enough to eat as well, so she would always order more to be made.
Senior Servant Zhong and Senior Servant Gui, as well as the other maidservants, all sat at one table. She had been a second-class maidservant serving Countess Jing’an when she was younger. After giving birth to a child, she had become He Changdi’s nursemaid.
She had two sons of her own, and her eldest daughter-in-law had been pregnant with twins two years ago. She had been worried about her, so she had gone back to her village to take care of her daughter-in-law. It was only a few days ago that she had received He Sanlang’s request and rushed back to the Jing’an Estate to take up a post again.
Countess Jing’an had been born into a life of luxury, and Senior Servant Zhong had been serving her since before she had come to the Jing’an Estate. So, Senior Servant Zhong had eaten practically every delicacy there was. When she glanced at the flushed, excited faces of the maidservants around her, she felt disdainful of them.
It was just a meal to keep your stomach full. Was it worth getting so excited over? It wasn’t as if they weren’t being fed regularly, or that they were some poor commoners who would count themselves lucky to taste some meat once every few months.
The contempt in her heart towards Third Young Madam’s servants increased, and she thought that Third Young Master had been smart to send her here to watch over Third Young Madam. She and the people around her were acting below their station. They had to be watched so that they wouldn’t disgrace the name of House Jing’an.
Senior Servant Gui coolly observed the expression on Senior Servant Zhong’s face. She could see that this Senior Servant Zhong looked down on their Sixth Miss. The corners of her lips raised, mocking her as she gestured to the lower classed maidservants. “Bring in the meal.”
Jingyan gulped a little and couldn’t help but exclaim, “Momo, we’re having mushroom noodles tonight! It’s my first time eating something like that; I’m drooling just smelling the flavour!”
Senior Servant Gui shot a look at Jingyan.
Senior Servant Zhong, who was sitting opposite her, also shot Senior Servant Gui a look of contempt.
In a moment, the maidservants had brought in the white porcelain dishes containing the noodles. They placed them on the table first, and then placed down a few side dishes following that.
Refreshingly crisp pickles, wood ear fungus wrapped in beancurd skin, and soybeans that had been pickled just right.
The white porcelain bowls surrounded the plates of side dishes. Inside them, the noodles swam in a fragrant, thick, milky white soup. Shiitake mushrooms, slices of king oyster mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms were arranged neatly on top of the noodles.
Everything was garnished with chopped spring onions. The vibrant green dots shone against the milky white soup like glimmering emeralds. Steam rose from the white porcelain dishes, hooking the appetites of everyone present.
Senior Servant Zhong stared at the mushroom noodles before her with widened eyes. When she recalled the tasteless mushrooms she had eaten before and compared them to the masterfully arranged, delicious-looking mushroom noodles before her, she couldn’t hold back a gulp. Without giving her time to voice her questions, everyone at the table picked up their chopsticks and began to eat.
The feast was right before them; who would bother with conversation? Only the whooshing sound of noodles disappearing resounded in the hall.
All the young maidservants shed their usual grace and poise to scarf down their meal.
They couldn’t help eating quickly!
They had seen that there wasn’t much left in the pot. For the sake of having a second bowl, they had to eat as quickly as they could!
Senior Servant Zhong swallowed her words and shot a look at Wenlan and Wenqing. Then, she picked up her chopsticks, grabbed some noodles, and placed them inside her mouth.
One moment she was chewing on them, and in the next, the speed of her chopsticks sharply accelerated
It wasn’t until the last mouthful of thick soup had disappeared down her throat that she huffed out a long breath. She felt refreshed all over, and that delicious flavour still remained on her tongue. Unfortunately, that serving of noodles had been a little on the small side. She wasn’t full yet. Thus, she turned to the maidservant behind her and said, “Bring me another bowl!”
The maidservant looked troubled as she replied, “Momo, there… there’s no more noodles…”
Senior Servant Zhong resisted the urge to spit up blood. She had just seen a full pot of noodles, yet it was all gone just like that?
What kind of appetites did these people have!?
Senior Servant Zhong turned her head to the large pot nearby.
As expected, there were only a few pitiful spoonfuls of soup left in the once-full pot of mushroom noodles. A maidservant dressed in emerald was even pouring the last bit of soup into her bowl…
Senior Servant Gui was already an experienced veteran in the battle for food, so she was much calmer than Senior Servant Zhong. She set down her chopsticks and smiled elegantly at Senior Servant Zhong.
“Senior Servant Zhong, please take your time to eat. I’ll go and take my rest now.”
Senior Servant Zhong looked down at her completely empty bowl before looking up at Senior Servant Gui’s disappearing silhouette. Inwardly, she raged, ‘I wanted to enjoy my meal slowly, but you lunatics ate up everything before I could react. What am I supposed to eat!?’
She coughed once before bringing Wenlan and Wenqing away.
On the way back to their rooms, Wenqing couldn’t resist saying, “Momo, the meals here are so delicious, but I couldn’t eat my fill!”
Senior Servant Zhong rolled her eyes. She hadn’t been able to eat her fill either! Thus, the originally calm and stately Senior Servant Zhong decided to eat more quickly at the next meal, so she might be able to get a second serving!