Palace Full Of Delicacies - BestLightNovel.com
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To all those who come here just for PFoD, sORRYYYYYY, I've neglected PFoD for too long. Way too long. QuQ But now I am back!! With an update!! Now sit back and enjoy. o/
If you are seeing this text, you are NOT reading it on the original site. Head on down to lovelysweetdream 959085286 dot wordpress dot com to read the original!
Cats could not eat overly salty foods, otherwise it would strain the kidneys; this was common knowledge for both cat owners and cats themselves. Su Yu thought the kitten would spit out that mouthful of clam flesh, but it licked its chops and pushed at the dish of seasoning, meowing at Su Yu. That clearly meant, "The flavour's not bad, give me one more".
Unable to understand this kitten's unique tastes, he tossed the remaining two clams to it and went on to prepare his seafood noodles. Resting the dough, kneading the dough, sprinkling flour, cutting the noodles; Su Yu could only prepare a few flour-based dishes, but making a bowl of handmade noodles was not a problem for him. With stock made from the small fish and prawns, and a few stir-fried squid tentacles, it became a savoury, delicious dish.
Su Yu crouched on the floor with a bowl of noodles. As he watched the kitten opposite him, who was eating the seafood noodles with relish, the corners of his mouth twitched involuntarily. This kitten had such strange tastes; it did not like fresh food but enjoyed eating the same food he ate…
The weather was somewhat cold. In this dark, chilly night, crouched by the stove with its faint light, a man and a cat feasted upon steaming hot seafood noodles, its hot, savoury soup warming all the way to the deepest corners of their bodies. For the first time after coming here and tiring himself out with working for a living for so long, Su Yu felt a tiny bit of happiness. He lowered his head to look at the little furball that was eating enthusiastically. How nice it was to have a companion by his side.
"So you were here, Second Young Master!" A young servant girl appeared without warning at the kitchen door; upon seeing the young master crouched by the stove and eating noodles without any care for appearances, her eyes widened at once.
"What's the matter, Chuncao?" Su Yu stood up at once when he saw this servant girl. This was the only servant girl who attended to his mother, Lady Zhao. If she was being sent to him at this time of day, there was definitely something important going on.
"Madam wants you to go over." Chuncao tugged at her high pigtails. "Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with Madam."
In this family, "Madam" referred to Su Yu's mother, Lady Zhao. Since his father originally had a n.o.bility rank, the official wife would receive a ranking as well. Meanwhile, his aunt couldn't be called Madam; only Missus.
After hearing those words, Su Yu hurriedly finished off the remaining noodles and followed Chuncao to the rear courtyard.
The golden kitten lifted his gaze to look at Su Yu, who left quickly. His gaze was full of discontent, for this foolish, insolent slave had left without even asking for permission. After glaring for a brief moment, he lowered his head in annoyance to continue eating. Hm, this person was a little foolish, but his cooking was indeed delicious, so he would be spared for the time being.
Upon finis.h.i.+ng his seafood noodles, he wanted to lick his paws; however, after looking at his dust-covered paws, he put them down again after raising them only halfway, scratching the floor. Life outside of the palace was dreadful; he couldn't even lick his paws.
Just as he was getting annoyed about it, a leopard cat appeared on the top of the wall and meowed at him.
Su Yu followed the servant girl through the residence, which was dark since the family didn't light any lamps at night to save money. Seeing how the lights in his mother's room were still on, both of them hastened their steps.
"Mother, what is it you have called me over to discuss at this time of day?" Su Yu walked up to the bed. He saw a woman of about forty years old leaning against the low table on her bed, sewing something.
Originally, Lady Zhao had a rather nicely filled figure. However, this illness had arrived suddenly and left slowly over the course of a few months, making her look haggard and sickly; even her cheeks had become a bit sunken. Seeing Su Yu come in, she smiled and waved him over, finis.h.i.+ng the last few st.i.tches and breaking off the end of the thread.
"Come and try it on."
Su Yu picked it up to take a closer look. It was a men's cotton-padded robe, made of quality hemp fabric. The cotton padding was not very thick, making it just right for the current season.
"For me?" There was a hint of pleasant surprise in his eyes, for this was completely handmade, its every st.i.tch filled with the warmth of one's fingertips. Such a gift was extremely difficult to get in the society that existed a thousand years after.
"I already started making this since autumn, since I was planning to let you wear this in the new year. But who would have expected your father to leave so suddenly, and it was delayed for so long." Lady Zhao held Su Yu's hands, tenderly stroking the calluses that had acc.u.mulated over his days of hard labour. "The weather's become warm, so I removed a layer of cotton batting. Now come, try it on."
Su Yu had lived two lives, and this was the first time someone had made clothes for him. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't touched by it. In his previous life, his parents were divorced; his mother remarried because she didn't like his father, and by extension she didn't like him. It was already good enough if they could meet once a year, and she didn't have the heart to mind if he was well-dressed or not.
The clothes fit him well, the st.i.tches were refined and well-made, and the material was of high quality. Paired with Su Yu's fair, handsome face, it transformed the Su family's fish-selling lad into the Su family's esteemed young master.
The night was dark and windy. Between the houses, mysterious shadows pa.s.sed through speedily, coming to a stop on the roof of a house in the western half of the city. The little golden kitten crouched on the roof ridge, watching silently as wild cats gathered from all directions.
"Boss, what're we doin'?" a striped cat asked the big black cat who was hurrying ahead of him.
"Shut up!" The black cat swatted it with a paw, then leaped up to the roof, coming before the little kitten on the roof ridge. He sniffed the tip of the latter's tail to show his subservience.
The golden kitten flicked his tail, "Have you been well recently, Blackie?"
"All thanks to your great blessings." The big black cat lowered his head. His underlings did not understand why, but they followed their leader, lowering their heads as well.
"He almost got bitten to death by w.a.n.gcai from the east side the day before yesterday…" the leopard cat, who also had a bunch of underlings, said mockingly.
"You keep your nose out of it!" The big black cat was immediately unhappy, baring his fangs and hissing threateningly. The leopard cat, not wanting to appear weak, made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, preparing to fight.
"Enough!" The kitten flicked his tail, very much concerned. Mingling with these unintelligent wild cats couldn't show his capabilities and prowess at all, but he didn't have much choice. As a cat, all he could mobilise was this army of misfits.
After getting the leopard cat to confirm that this was Fourth Uncle Yu's yard, His Royal Majesty the Cat, who was in a bad mood, decided to punish this impudent mortal who dared to kick him.
Su Yu rushed to buy fish in the morning because he did not have enough seawater in his house to store the salt.w.a.ter fish, and most of them could die off if stored for even a night. As an experienced fishmonger, Fourth Uncle Yu did not get up as early as Su Yu to buy fish, instead buying the day's catches at dusk. He had several large water jars at home that were used to store these fish.
The water jars, made of coa.r.s.e clay, were thick and solid. They were about three chi tall, which wasn't much height for a cat, but the seawater inside was quite deep for them. The crowd of wild cats circled the water jars, not knowing how to get through them. Some impatient ones had already jumped up to the edges, batting at the fish that stuck their heads out of the water.
The big black cat gave a low cry, and all the cats fell silent, turning towards the golden kitten who claimed to be bringing them to a feast. The little kitten was crouched on a stool, his amber eyes watching calmly as they clamoured. After they were done, he rose leisurely, going up to one of the water jars. Standing his tail up straight, he shook it lightly and rhythmically.
At the tip of his golden-yellow tail was a tuft of white fur. As it shook, it seemed to glow with a faint halo of light. Then, he flung his tail like a steel whip towards the side of the water jar, cracking a fist-sized hole in the jar that was at least two fingers thick. At once, the fishy-smelling seawater gushed out like a torrent.
There was no need to describe a cat's reaction towards a fishy odour; surely Fourth Uncle Yu's expression the next day would be quite an amusing sight.
After coming out of his mother's living quarters, Su Yu couldn't help but sigh. His family's situation was too complex: he was a concubine's son, so it would be difficult for him to successfully inherit the n.o.bility rank. His uncle wasn't in any better position than him either, but his aunt's family was distantly related to the brother of the Empress, and they had more connections than poor old him. Fortunately, his mother, Lady Zhao, wasn't a pushover; due to her illness, she just didn't have the energy to duke it out with them these days. Once her condition improved, there'd be more fighting in this household once more.
To be honest, as a person from a modern era, he wasn't concerned about things like n.o.bility ranks. He could have a comfortable life as long as he had money; even if he became a n.o.ble, he'd have a hard life without any income. Su Yu didn't want to be part of any household feuds; he just wanted to sell seafood steadily. His current goal was to save up enough money to rent a store and open up a little restaurant.
After returning to his own quarters, he searched all over the place for the kitten, but to no avail. Only then did he remember that he left the kitten in the kitchen, and hurried back to look. The dish with the seafood noodles was still on the floor, and the clam sh.e.l.ls had been tossed to one side. Even after turning the kitchen upside down, Su Yu still couldn't find that little furball, which made him feel a little lost.
That kitten was the most intelligent cat he had ever met. Su Yu had felt that he might be able to be friends with this kitten and live life with him, but who would've expected that he'd just leave without even saying goodbye…
Lying on the cold bed, Su Yu suddenly felt a little sorrow. He never felt any sense of belonging, living in this alternate world. Because he felt he might suddenly transmigrate back to his own world someday, he dared not make too much contact with the people around him for fear of leaving behind some kind of bond. And while that kitten had made him want to live life properly for the first time, it had disappeared without a peep.
The alley was dark, the street lights dimmed. Su Yu had just finished feeding the stray cats when he heard sounds of squabbling. It was probably a few gangsters getting in a fight. Not wanting to get involved, Su Yu planned to leave quickly, when suddenly a beer bottle came his way. His head ached.
"My mother's going to be a general's madam, this donkey should be sold in exchange for a horse-drawn carriage…"
"Give it back, give it back…"
He didn't know who was fighting. The world spun, he hit the hard stairs with a thud, and when Su Yu opened his eyes, he found himself in an ancient-style room. Other than his name and face, nothing else was the same.
Feeling short of breath, Su Yu struggled, opening his eyes with difficulty. He saw the dark bedroom and the old wooden canopy of the bed. There was an uncomfortable feeling of congestion in his chest. Lowering his gaze, he saw a yellow furball curled up on his chest, comfortably warm and asleep. In the faint light of the early morning, the yellowish fur had an attractive tinge of gold.
"You naughty little thing." Su Yu reached out and poked the warm furball. No wonder he'd thought he was getting sleep paralysis; this little guy had been sleeping on his chest.
The kitten seemed rather alert, waking up immediately upon being touched. He glared at Su Yu, disgruntled, getting up to step on his chest. After finding a comfortable spot, he lay down again, staring pointedly at Su Yu, as if warning him that he wasn't allowed to move; disturbing the kitty lord would bring ugly consequences.
Su Yu couldn't help but smile and place both hands behind his head, watching the kitten. "You came back, so that means you're agreeing to stay with me? Then I'll give you a name."
The kitten threw him a disdainful glance. Were it not for the fact that I had no other choice, I would not have wished to live with you, foolish slave.
"I guess I'll call you 'Saucey'," Su Yu laughed. He definitely had to commemorate the fact that this cat really liked eating sauce.
"Hmph, if you wish to know my name, say it directly." The kitten stood up, glancing at him sideways, then sat back down and pressed a paw to Su Yu's chin, as if giving him mercy. "Remember, my name is An Hongche!"
However, this majestic, overbearing declaration was but a string of pleasant, melodious meows in Su Yu's ears. Thus he patted the kitten's head, saying, "Since you like it that much, then it's settled! Saucey!"
Oh, Su Yu, one does not simply give their future husband such a cutesy nickname (too bad he doesn't know yet). Anyway, as usual, a breakdown of the new names that have appeared:
Chuncao = 春草, meaning 'spring gra.s.s'
Saucey = original: 酱汁儿 (an affectionate way of saying 'sauce'). The 儿 makes the nickname sound more affectionate, so I wanted to keep that feeling.
An Hongche = 安弘澈. (弘=vast, wide; 澈=clear, usually referring to a clarity like pure water) This is the current Emperor's real name.
: I'll explain both Madam and Missus together. 'Madam' was originally 夫人, while 'Missus' was originally 太太. Both can be used to refer to someone's wife, but 'Madam' is more formal and denotes more respect for the addressee. Su Yu's mother can be addressed by the more formal 'Madam' since her husband had a n.o.bility rank, but the aunt's husband i.e. Su Yu's uncle doesn't have a n.o.bility rank. By extension, his wife doesn't have a high enough social standing to be called 'Madam'. So 'Missus' it is for the aunt. This is what I've come up with based on what I've been seeing in the original text so far.
: Side note: this leopard cat was described as one chi long, which is about 33.3cm. In other words, larger than our palm-sized golden kitty.
: Original term: 炕桌. I couldn't find any good translations of this out there, so I'll try explaining what it is: it's a type of low table that's placed on a heated brick bed 土炕 which is still used in northern China today, or just any regular bed (more common in the past). There are far more uses for a 炕桌 in modern context, but that's not our main focus here.
: w.a.n.gcai 旺财 is a generic name for dogs in China. Has a similar feeling to other generic names such as Pochi or Rover. The name w.a.n.gcai expresses a sort of hope for financial luck, gaining great wealth, etc. That aside, if you see any characters referred to as w.a.n.gcai, most likely it's a dog.
: Original term was 粗陶, which our good friend Baidu says is clay with higher sand and iron content. Now, I don't know much about clay or pottery, so I a.s.sumed a higher sand and iron content would make the clay more coa.r.s.e in appearance or feel, or something…Does this make sense?
If you are seeing this text, you are NOT reading it on the original site. Head on down to lovelysweetdream 959085286 dot wordpress dot com to read the original!