The Feast

Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Cross Swords

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In the afternoon in summer, the sun was scorching hot. Thankfully right now is evening time, and it is not so hot. Occasionally, a cool gust of wind will blow past, providing a much sought after relief from the heat.

The prince and his servant walked out of the garden, and could see the door of the courtyard. When they crept nearer, they were surprised to see that everything in the courtyard was clean and tidy. There are plants and flowers in the garden, it is not as broken down or shabby as they had thought.

The prince stepped into the courtyard and a table outside. On top of the table is a large bowl that was turned upside down. The bowl should be covering some food. The gentle wind pa.s.sed by and carried with it a mouth-watering scent.

Duan Tingxuan immediately head towards the table and lift up the bowl. Under the bowl, there was a plate filled with some food. He looked at these foods, and asked his servant, Si Ping, in puzzlement, "This shape. It looks like dumplings. But why is it so big?"

Si Ping smiled and replied, "When your servant returns home, occasionally my mother will cook this dish. This is not the dumplings that you have eaten frequently. This is a vegetable dumpling. See here? This is pan fried and not steamed. As you can see, one side of the dumpling is slightly overburnt."

Duan Tingxuan looked at this hot and steaming vegetable dumpling. It does look very appetising. He did not say another word, and immediately picked up a piece and bite it. In the next moment, the soup and juices of the stuffing inside the dumpling spurted out.

It is so tasty and delicious that he could not help exclaiming, "Oh, this is good!"

"I thought that they could not live in this place. But never did I expect that they were having a good life here, and have such delicious food to eat." In just 2 to 3 mouthfuls, Duan Tingxuan finished the large dumplings, and picked up one more.

Then he smiled and asked Si Ping, "Go to the kitchen and search around, there should be other dishes. Oh, yes, where are the people living here? Where did they go?"

Si Ping immediately grimaced, and whispered, "Lord, you know the Madam's temper. If you let her know that you have eaten her food, she will be furious. May I suggest that if you love this dish, let's grab this plate and we leave this place. Do not let Madam see us."

"So what if she saw me taking the food? What can she do?"

Duan Tingxuan continued to help himself to the dumplings, and eat until his hands were covered with the gravy. He licked his fingers and said, "She live in my house, eat the food from my house, wear the clothes that I paid for, and is my wife. Letting me eat the food that she cooked is making things difficult for her? Stop talking rubbish! Just do as I have told you. If any problems arise, I will back you up."

In such a short span of time, he had already finished 5 large dumplings. There are less than ½ of the dumplings in the bowl.

With this order from his lord, Si Ping had no choice but to make his way to the kitchen. He had just taken two steps when he heard the sound of footsteps. He was so scared that he hid himself behind Duan Tingxuan, and whispered, "Lord, someone is coming."

Duan Tingxuan was annoyed, and immediately kicked Si Ping, "So what if there is someone coming? This is not a tiger. Look at you, you are so timid! You really embarra.s.sed me!"

"No wonder Missy was so sure about it. This cherry dessert is really beautiful. Just now I drank a sip. This taste is even better the sour plum soup you made."

Following the sound of the voices, the figure of Hong Lian and Xiang Yun appeared from within the kitchen. In each of their hand is a white colour bowl, and they were happily chatting and smiling.

As if they had a sixth sense, they suddenly turned their head towards Duan Tingxuan and screamed. The bowl in their hands also dropped.

"Be careful!"

Duan Tingxuan shouted, and his movement were very fast. All the two girls saw was a shadow, then the prince bowed down and caught the two bowls of cherry desserts. Not even a drop of these desserts were spilled.

"Oh, so that dumpling must be pair with this bowl of dessert. This is not bad! You two have some good things up your sleeves."

Duan Tingxuan was carrying a bowl in each hand. He looked into the red colour dessert and ignored the stunned Hong Lian and Xiang Yun, and drank from the bowl. Then he smiled, "Oh, this is better than the sour plum soup. The only problem is that this dish is quite hot. If it is cooled down or served chill, this dish will be much tastier."

"Lord, your servants greet you."

Only when Duan Tingxuan had taken the bowls back to the table, sat down and eaten another dumpling, the two poor maids then regain their wits.

They saw Duan Tingxuan waved his hands, "You may rise. There is no need to stand on ceremony with me. Quickly go to the kitchen and take the good food out. Let me guess, these dumpling should have some porridge to accompany it? The porridge should be simple, and should be just sugared congee."

What… .what happen? Are we dreaming?

This is what Xiang Yun and Hong Lian thought. But they do not have the guts to ask, and could only watch the shameless man pick up another dumpling and eat their dinner.

At this moment, suddenly a lion's roar reverberate, "Put down the dumplings!" Su Nuan Nuan appeared from the kitchen and seemed to fly down in a jiff. Then she kicked out at Duan Tingxuan's face.

Duan Tingxuan is a man of about 7 feet tall. This is about 1.83 meters in today's term. If both of them are standing up, Su Nuan Nuan could not have aimed a kick at Duan Tingxuan's face - she could not reach that height. But at this moment, Duan Tingxuan was sitting down, and this allow Su Nuan Nuan to attack him at a vulnerable spot.

Duan Tingxuan is skilled in martial arts, and he immediately leapt up. Because he was shocked and escaped in a hurry, he dropped the dumpling onto the floor.

"Stop it. Why did you attack me?" Duan Tingxun was very angry as he picked up the dumpling that was dropped onto the floor. He immediately shouted, "You…. you want to revolt?"

"Xiang Yun, use this dumpling to feed the chickens." Su Nuan Nuan grabbed that dumpling from Duan Tingxuan's hand and pa.s.s it to Xiang Yun. Then she looked at Duan Tingxuan, "Who are you?"

"Missy… Missy…, this is … Master .. .arh." Xiang Yun immediately stammered. Her face was pale and white as ghost. She thought that her missy had a relapse of 'after death memory loss', and even forgot who her hubby was.

"Master? My husband?" Su Nuan Nuan frown, and saw that Duan Tingxuan was furious. She slowly sat down and smiled, "Oh, it is you. Why didn't you inform me before you come?"

"Why should I inform you? So that you can think of a idea to run away or hide?" Duan Tingxuan sneered. In his eyes, her wild antics are 'normal'. But the kick was too much? When this woman learn martial arts?

"Master, you must be kidding, to hide and not greet you is a low level tactic that I have not used in a long time." Su Nuan Nuan smiled, and immediately pa.s.sed the plate to Hong Lian. "Oh, it looks as if Master wants to talk to me. Take this plate of dumplings back to the kitchen, and do not let master laugh at us."

Duan Tingxuan's eyes were glued to the plate as Hong Lian took it away. He want to say that they could chat and eat at the same time, but Su Nuan Nuan smiled, and remarked, "Next time, if you want to come, you must first inform me. This commoner's food is not suitable for a man of your status."

"Are you angry because I ate the large dumplings?" Duan Tingxuan could not help slamming on the table in anger. This woman…. How could she live here for just half the year and changed so much. She is not longer as rash as before, and her words are so sharp, he could not refute her. He was really annoyed.

"Master, it is great that you know it."

Regarding this thieving rascal that stole her fine dumplings, Su Nuan Nuan did not give two hoots about embarra.s.sing him. Since she can't hit him, she can use her words to dig at him.

Seeing that Duan Tingxuan's face turned black, she secretly felt very happy. 'How dare you steal my food, you shameless man! Even if you are the lord of this mansion, I will not let you eat!"

"Today, you have a very sharp tongue, but you did not recognise me just now. What happened?

Duan Tingxuan forced himself to calm down, and immediately tried to change the topic. He opened his paper fan and fanned himself as look more like a gentleman as he recovered somewhat and questioned.

"After my near death experience, my memories become hazy. Also, I do not want to forget master, but who knows that just now, I really could not recall who you are?" Su Nuan Nuan immediately come up with a lie.

The powerful kick constantly replayed itself in Duan Tingxuan's mind. He looked at Su Nuan Nuan. This woman had changed a lot, but he could not tell what had changed. She is still as difficult as ever, and hard to argue with.

But why did he feel that when she sits there, she seemed to possess a commanding aura? In the past, Su Meng Nuan was very pretty, but she did not possess this commanding aura.

"It is not early, and time for dinner? Just now, I did not have my fill. En, you really knows how to eat. In this evening, moving the table outside and eating outdoors is really a luxury." Prince Duan tried to shift the topic back to the food that he could not have enough of. At the same time, he was examining Su Nuan Nuan's expressions.

But Su Nuan Nuan is not affected by this. Oh, so you want to use logic and reason to argue with me and eat the food I cooked? Hehe, in your dreams, prince!

"Oh, we are not having dinner anymore. Thank you for your concern, Master. This is a bit too early for dinner. When the sky is dark, it is not too late to eat." Why should I let you eat? All these food are grabbed by me. You tried to starve me.

"Just now, the temperature is just nice. If it is left alone for a long period of time, the taste will degenerate?" Duan Tingxuan could also tell that it not going to be easy to get the dumplings that he craved for. He is a scholar and a gentleman and is not afraid to use reason and logic to argue with Su Nuan Nuan. As long as she is reasonable, the dumplings will be his!

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