> > The Feast – Chapter 10
Chapter 10: You Win!
Here you go!
The 2nd chapter on the same day.
2 more chapters will be released tomorrow.
“Duan Tingxuan, do you even want your face?"
Su Nuan Nuan stared at the rascal who still had crumbs of red bean paste sticking to the corners of his lips, and felt anger surging up. She rushed to the kitchen with an angry face. "Helping yourself to food, such actions might as well be called stealing, are you even a prince any more? Your mother, how dare you come here and steal food from a woman you've abandoned, do you even want your face any more?"
Practically exploding with anger, curse words fell from Su Nuan Nuan's mouth. The previous Su Nuan Nuan would never have resorted to such crude tactics, this behaviour actually horrified Si Ping, Hong Lian, and Xiang Yun to the point where they were scared to move. Si Ping, who was hidden to one side, was shivering and muttering to himself. "I already said that big madam is no demon, she's a monster."
Compared to the sadly lacking Si Ping, Duan Tingxuan was a like general who had seen the tides of war turned, fully personifying the idiom 'A man who has no shame has nothing to lose'. He faced Su Nuan Nuan accusations with folded arms and a sinister laugh, "Who said I stole anything? This is the palace, this Mei Ye Court is your lord's Mei Yue Lou, how could I steal food from my own house? Su Meng Nuan, have you forgotten? I have not issued any divorce papers yet, you're still my official wife, where is this abandoned wife you're talking about?"
This rascal had definitely come prepared.
Su Nuan Nuan quickly calmed down. There's no benefit to using hard tactics when facing down a shameless person. There's no point going down this path, this kind of feudal society will never back a woman up. The more she wanted to leave, the more this man would never let her go.
After considering it for a bit, she decided to abandon pointless argument and use action to convey her contempt for Duan Tingxuan. Quickly, she moved towards the dishes that Duan Tingxuan had grabbed and begun to very enthusiastically rain her spit at it.
"Su Nuan Nuan, you have guts." Duan Tingxuan roared, his anger towering over everything, but only for a moment. He felt deflated as he stared at the spit covered food.
"Your mother, just because I want some of your dishes, must you be so poisonous? At the very least, you're still getting an allowance from me, aren't these dishes cooked using ingredients from my kitchen, you… you, how could you be so petty? What happened to your face?"
The trembling Si Ping, Hong Lian, and Xiang Yun stood stock still for a moment. The three of them quietly exchanged dumbfounded looks with each other, before carefully backing out from the kitchen which had somehow turned into a battleground for these leading male and female actors. They had no choice, on such a small stage, bystanders could easily be turned into cannon fodder if they are not careful.
"As long as I can protect my food, why should I bother with face? Can I even eat it?"
Su Nuan Nuan kept her face expressionless, her heart laughing with glee: Well? Ready to give up, d.a.m.ned rascal? You've never faced such a brazen woman before, have you? Think the idiom 'A man who has no shame has nothing to lose' can only be applied to you? Pei! Open your eyes, there are many more experts outside of your little kingdom.
"Very good, you win this time." Duan Tingxuan never expected Su Nuan Nuan to be this unreasonable. Although he had faced her anger before, he had thought of it as just a temporary storm that would blow over in a few days after a ma.s.sive explosion. He especially came today, thinking that even if the other party was still unhappy, they would not dare to be too full of themselves, and would perhaps be open to a reconciliation.
At this point, the prince had forgotten about his own 'A body taken over by a different soul' theory and was just busy being angry. He was angry that this d.a.m.ned wife of his has the cheek to disobey him, her great and dignified husband. Is she trying to rebel?
Nevertheless, no matter how angry he got, the prince's eyes kept going back to the pile of green plants in Su Nuan Nuan's arms. His anger was slowly being replaced by curiosity: I seemed to have seen these before. Aren't these saplings? Can they be eaten? Perhaps starvation had made this woman crazy enough to try and eat saplings, tree barks and gra.s.s. Oh, wait, the kitchen actually has more good things…
Thinking about the good things in the kitchen, the anger in the princes' heart began to grow again. Duan Tingxuan gave Su Nuan Nuan a long and gloomy look, before finally nodding his head, saying. "Very good." Having said this mysterious phrase, he left.
Si Ping, Hong Lian, and Xiang Yun had never seen this proud and arrogant prince retreat like this, with his wings of pride thoroughly clipped off. All three gave a deep sigh of relief. Only Su Nuan Nuan had seen the gleam of danger in the prince's eyes. The cheer of victory sank as she contemplated the meaning of that look.
"Madam, isn't it a little wasteful to treat food like this?"
Once the last of Duan Tingxuan's shadow left their courtyard, Hong Lian and Xiang Yun sidled up to the spit covered dishes, their hearts aching from the pain from seeing such delicious food wasted. These were supposed to be their lunch. In reality, master and servants all have rather economical habits, having to see all these food potentially rot away after defending them so fiercely from food s.n.a.t.c.hers made it even more unbearable. Especially the jar of pickled minced meat. Madam actually spat into the jar, which was rather extreme of her. This jar was supposed to last them for a month as a breakfast side dish.
"It's better to suffer a short-term pain and avoid long-term suffering." Su Nuan Nuan looked at the food gloomily, gritting her teeth. "If we did not do this today, that rascal will develop a habit and keep turning up like an unwanted fly. Think you can just swat him away? It's only with such decisive moves that we can make him understand that that fighting us would not benefit him. That we are willing to burn bridges to make him give up. This is all so that we could return to those tranquil days, ignored by his greatness."
Hong Lian and Xiang Yun could not understand Su Nuan Nuan's bone-deep hatred for her own husband, but they realised that they could not change her mind. They carried the spit covered food to the yard to feed the chickens, quietly thinking that their master was not one to cringe from a challenge just because obstacles were thrown his way. Madam, if you think thank these tactics could get rid of the master, isn't this just too naive of you?
Actually, Su Nuan Nuan also realised that Duan Tingxuan would not be so easy to get rid of, which was why she spent the day cracking her brains trying to think up ways to deal with him. However, lunchtime pa.s.sed, followed by dinner, and no great idea present themselves for inspection. She could only blame what happened today on Hong Lian's inauspicious mouth, and proceeded to conduct a 'May only speak auspicious words' training for her maids, and throw this matter to the back of her mind. They have to prepare for a future invasion, and to deal with the challenges the best they can under the circ.u.mstances.
"Master, big madam is getting more and more out of hand…this…this one doesn't know what she's thinking."
As they strolled on the small path through the garden, Si Ping sneaked a look at his master's expression. He had deliberately used the 'Denounce the Mistress' tactic to gauge the lord's real opinions, and waited expectantly for the usual bitter words to fall from that n.o.ble mouth, hoping to use a common enemy to build a rapport with his master and perhaps get over the weird incident that had happened just now.
Duan Tingxuan said nothing, still keeping his head lowered as he walked, looking like a defeated rooster: Shameful, this was just too shameful, what that woman did was nothing, but the way the master reacted, failing to achieve his goal, did not encounter the large dumplings, failing to bring the pickled minced pork home. To this prince, this was the most critical defeat he had ever suffered in his whole life.
"Master, actually you…did not really suffer a complete defeat." Si Ping swallowed, and continued. "That, did you not managed to eat quite a few of her snacks? You…still have red bean crumbs on your lips."
He had hardly finished speaking, when Duan Tingxuan perked up quickly, clapping his hands once. "You're right, your master did not lose his rice while trying to steal chickens, I've actually managed to eat some of those snacks, also, I did not bring any rice over…"
So saying, he suddenly turned back and glared at Si Ping with hateful realisation. "Your mother, you useless thing, how dare you bring this up? You're already cowering at a mere Mei Yue Lou, what happens if we go to an actual battlefield? Can I still count on your loyalty and protection? Or should I count my lucky stars so long as you don't sell me to the highest bidder?"
Si Ping hastily pasted on his most ingratiating smile. "Master, you're the one who most understands this servant. At Mei Yue Lou, wasn't… wasn't this one just trying to tease big madam into a better mood? This one was just thinking, once big madam laugh, she'll be distracted, giving master an opening to say something. Who would have thought that big madam would be so angry, this one's great performance failed just like that. If this was truly a battlefield, this one would have deserved to die in front of the great master."
"Scram, scram, scram! You think your master will believe this nonsense?" Duan Tingxuan let out a kick, which Si Ping avoided, face still full of smiles, confident that this counted as getting away with bad behaviour.
At the entrance of the garden, his master stood there, hesitating about where to go. Afraid that this was about to bring up bad memories, he quietly said. "Where does master wish to go? The study or Madam Yun's place? Or perhaps a visit to Madam Ran's place since it has been several since master's last visit, Madam Ran never said anything, but she always asks about master whenever she saw this one…"
"Yes, yes, I know, just how much money did you receive from them?" Duan Tingxuan rolled his eyes. "I'm not going anywhere, I'll return to the study."
"Master, you have not had dinner yet, you had a few snacks earlier, how could that be enough? Why not visit Madam Ran and try some of her duck soup…" Si Ping did his best, money can't just be taken without putting an effort, it does not matter on whose behalf he's persuading for, the most important thing was that he's doing his best in his persuasion work.
"Tell the kitchens to send food." Duan Tingxuan mood was still a little edgy, without letting Si Ping say anything else, he took the path that leads to his study.
Si Ping had no choice, he could only rush to the kitchen with his order. At this point, Duan Tingxuan had reached his study. He sat on his chair with a huff, and then started to sulk. Finally, he found the whole situation a little strange. He really did not want to credit Su Nuan Nuan with his mood swings, so he simply took out one of his books and began to slowly calm down.
When, Shuang Xi who looked after the study, heard the noises coming from the room he became so nervous that he did not dare to breathe too loudly. Seeing Si Ping, he instantly grabbed the fellow servant and began to interrogate him on the day's happenings.
Si Ping waved his hands in despair and whispered, "Listen to me, absolutely do not go in there, the master had suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of big madam. At this point, whoever goes in gets it, I too am going to stay at your place and hide for a while."
Shuang Xi's eyes almost popped out, he stared off in a daze. "Wh-what did you say? B-big madam…she…she who was thrown into Mei Yue Lou, actually made master suffer a defeat? You…you sure you don't have a fever?"
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