Chapter 11: Who Are You?
The head of the brocade department had always been a palace woman, but Qin Jiu was not, so the emperor gave Qin Jiu a place to live in Lijing. Before heading over, Qin Jiu took Loquat and Lychee back to the pavilion to take Durian, Cherry, and Yellow Hair along the way.
Before the carriage arrived at the pavilion, Qin Jiu saw Durian sitting in front of the pavilion with his head down, Yellow Hair laying its body on his head. As soon as they saw Qin Jiu’s carriage drawing closer, they fled to Qin Jiu like abandoned kids who had found their parents.
“Qin Jiu, you’re finally back! The bellboy said we didn’t have enough money to stay so he kicked us out. We haven’t had breakfast yet. Qin Jiu, why didn’t you pay the room charge when you left?” Durian’s face was like an elongated bitter melon.
Qin Jiu frowned and turned her eye with an unknown mood, then suddenly smiled, “It was just an excuse that we didn’t pay enough money for the room. These people are so bold to treat us like that. I have heard that the food at the pavilion is the most famous in Lijing. They are even better than the imperial kitchen’s. Today we will let them treat us to lunch.”
Durian understood that Qin Jiu wanted to have lunch without pay, so he drawled, “Ennn… That’s not too good!” As he spoke, his stomach made a noise, causing Yellow Hair to give him a strange laugh of sarcasm.
Qin Jiu glanced at Durian with a slight smile on her face, asking, “Durian, how did you manage to be a beggar before you died of hunger?”
Durian seriously answered, “Since I was a beggar, I ate other people’s leftovers.”
Looking back at Durian, Qin Jiu’s beautiful eyes bloomed with a gorgeous smile, beautiful as the first bloom of spring flowers, making people absent-minded. However, before Durian could be dumbfounded, Qin Jiu spoke: “Since you like to eat leftovers so much, I will let people in the pavilion prepare it for you!”
“Eating leftovers, leftovers!” Yellow Hair cried triumphantly. Durian’s heart overflooded with tears!
“Let’s go!” Qin Jiu waved her sleeves and took the first step with Yellow Hair into the Pavilion.
“Oh, girl, your lamp!” The coachman of the carriage came up with the rose lamp.
Loquat rented the carriage which Qin Jiu took early this morning, the rose lamp was still hanging in the carriage, but it was the mark of the Heaven Sect and the driver didn’t dare to keep it.
Loquat reached out and took it. Durian saw the rose lamp, he suddenly realized they hung the rose lamp this morning when they left and the pavilion people saw it and knew they were from the Heaven Sect, so they found an excuse to drive him and Cherry out.
However, he felt happy that the pavilion people didn’t like Qin Jiu even though he was the one being driven out.
He suddenly felt hungry, but he was worried about not being able to enter the pavilion and sure enough, they were stopped at the door by the pavilion steward.
“Apologies, the restaurant is full. Can you go somewhere else?” The steward politely said and bowed to them.
Qin Jiu smiled and asked, “Is the second floor full?”
“I am really sorry; the second floor was booked by someone,” the steward apologetically answered.
“Well… In that case, we will take the room where your master has his meal.” Qin Jiu blinked.
“There’s no such thing.” the steward calmly rejected.
“No such thing?” Qin Jiu flicked her hand; a bamboo stick came out of her sleeve and went directly to the steward’s forehead. The steward couldn’t dodge and the bamboo stick stuck in his bun. It was a stick from the burned lantern, which was thrust diagonally into his bun like a bamboo hair pin.
The steward went straight in with a pale face. After a while, a waiter came out and led them to the third floor. A young man came to meet them on the corridor of the third floor.
He was about twenty-three or four years old, perhaps a little younger, and his figure was outlined like bamboo in a very plain blue gown. There was a smile on his lips– a smile that came from the heart– and it was very pleasant, just like… his longing was suddenly relieved.
He had a pair of dark eyes, and when he smiled, there were little bits of lights that seemed to dazzle people. He wasn’t very handsome, but he looked very sunny, with a vigorous vitality. His eyes passed eagerly over them bit by bit.
Finally, the stars in his eyes dimmed, like sunshine that was covered by clouds. Just like the bamboo bathed in the sun suddenly wet by the rain like sad tears.
A smile still hung on his face, but his eyes had been infected with a deep sadness.
“Surely this is the owner of the pavilion?” Qin Jiu inquired.
The man frowned faintly and said, “I am the owner of the pavilion and my name is Mu Yufei.”
“Mr. Mu, this morning your waiter drove us out of the pavilion, how do you explain this?” Qin Jiu asked with a smile.
Mu Yufei kept a gentle smile and said politely, “I’m very sorry that the waiters were so rude to you this morning. Please forgive us. I would like to treat everyone to lunch to apologize. Please come in.” Mu Yufei spoke and opened the door to the room.
“In that case, we will accept your apology.” Qin Jiu took the lead into the room. The room was very chic, antique, and exquisite. There were paintings and calligraphy on the wall; Durian didn’t recognize them but they were definitely famous treasures.
“Everybody take a seat, the food will be ready soon.” Mu Yufei said with a smile. Durian did not expect that they could really eat for free, and hosted by the owner. It seemed that he was wrong: the pavilion people didn’t hate the Heaven Sect, the waiters who drove him and Cherry out this morning must be out of their minds.
While he was thinking that, the meal was ready. A large dish of lamb stewed with herbs in a steaming hot pot was served, looking delicious. There was another plate of pan fried chicken with pancakes baked around the iron wok. There was also a plate of shrimp in tomato sauce; a plate of egg tofu, a casserole of eel and vermicelli, a pot of beef stewed soup, a large plate of almond honey and peach shortcakes, a plate of steamed crab and pork balls, and a plate of golden dumplings.
The pavilion’s food was indeed the best in Lijing; you would feel hungry just looking at the food, not to mention the tasty smell.
“The food is ready. All of you sit down. You don’t have to serve me today.” Qin Jiu said.
Cherry and the Lychee looked at each other. Durian looked at the food while salivating and turned to Loquat; he was holding his sword motionlessly. After all, they were servants.
Qin Jiu chuckled and said, “Mr. Mu, please open another room and prepare another table of food. I will leave this one for them. If I am here, they will be uncomfortable.”
Durian felt it was a little too much to ask for another table, but Mu Yufei agreed unexpectedly. Durian was so happy that right after Qin Jiu left, he quickly picked up his chopsticks and started to eat. He didn’t expect for Yellow Hair to shout, “Eat leftovers!” and rush over to Durian, pecking the chopsticks out of his hand.
In another room, Mu Yufei was holding the bamboo stick that Qin Jiu shot into the steward’s bun, asking word by word, “Who are you?”