Chapter 10(2) can be found in Fantasy Books before VesperLxD.
If you have not seen my announcement in Chapter 10(1), I’ve posted part 2 because I might not have enough time to finish a chapter part next week.
“Is that so? Hēhē, many thanks to cousin Fangzi for the advice!” Sang Wan’s eyes glistered and her lips hooked a smile; however, her hand that was clutching the handkerchief was rather tight.
In her past life, Gu Fangzi also showed her kindness by giving her an advice. And sure enough, she heeded her advice and made winter melon soup. However, that soup was tampered with; and once Wang Shi ate it, she developed red rashes all over her face and was mocked by that Zhuang lady. And because of this, Wang Shi no longer wanted to see her again as she was so furious at her that her teeth itched!
“Cousin-in-law, you’re welcome!” Gu Fangzi giggled and mischievously winked at her before leaving together with Shi Lian and Shi Rui.
Sang Wan secretly sighed. Winter melon soup…winter melon soup!
Now that Gu Fangzi had announced in front of so many people that Wang Shi’s favorite dish was winter melon soup, if she were to not make it, it would seem as if she does not put Wang Shi of high importance; and deliberately rejecting Gu Fangzi’s good heart! This winter melon soup… even if she were unwilling to prepare it, she would still have to prepare it.
Though it was said that the new daughter-in-law would be preparing the dishes, in actual fact, the kitchen staff would be coming out with a lists of dishes and the new daughter-in-law would just have to pick the dishes enough for a table. Other than the one or two dishes prepared by the new daughter-in-law, the rest of the dishes would be prepared by the kitchen staff. To have the daughter-in-law prepare an entire table of dishes, where would she have the energy to do so?
For this dinner in her past life, she made winter melon soup and steamed mandarin fish. Since there was no way of escaping from preparing the winter melon soup, Sang Wan decided to simply go on with those two dishes.
After ticking the dishes from the list given to her and discussing with Lady Jian from the kitchen, Lady Jian clapped and smile, “What a coincidence! Just today, two big and fresh mandarin fish arrived; I was about to suggest Ma’am to prepare the steamed mandarin fish! And also the winter melon soup, that is a dish that the Mistress of this family likes; preparing it would be great!”
Sang Wan smiled and nodded, “Then I’ll go ahead with these two and leave the rest of the dishes to you!”
“No problem Ma’am! That is within my duty!” Lady Jian smiled back.
With that, Sang Wan’s mind was set to preparing the two dishes. Immediately after putting on her apron, she rolled up her sleeves; and together with Liu Ya, she began working on the dishes.
The both were used to doing the housework back in the Sang family and thus, the kitchen was no stranger to them. Methodically, one scaled the mandarin fish; and the other scooped the seeds out from the melon before rinsing it.
Not long after, the fish was rinsed and Sang Wan seasoned it with salt before laying it firmly onto a large oval tray. She then went on to scatter the thinly sliced onions and gingers; and with all that done, she carefully settled the tray into the steam basket and covered the basket with a lid. Liu Ya then brought a small stool in and sat down to keep an eye on the fire. Under Sang Wan’s instructions, the dish was not to leave Liu Ya’s line of sight; from the moment it entered the steam basket to onto the dinner table.
Moving on to the next dish. The winter melon was already prepared. The same was done for the spare ribs, chicken meat, red dates, dried mushrooms, wolfberries, bamboo shoots, ham, and more, were diced into smaller pieces; each of the ingredients were personally prepared by Sang Wan.
Once the steam basket containing the winter melon soup was stacked atop another steam basket, Sang Wan loosened up and sighed.
“Ma’am, the kitchen is a very warm and smoky place. Why don’t you take a rest outside? The kitchen staff will help look after the fire!” Lady Jian smiled.
It had only been a short period of less than two days since she was married into this family and already, so many provocative incidents had happened. With the past life’s lessons in mind, other than Liu Ya, Sang Wan trusts no one. And thus, she smiled and shook her head. “It’s alright. I’ll look after the fire myself. Do carry on with your work.”
Lady Jian insisted no further and smiled as she praised Sang Wan for her diligence and dutifulness before carrying on with her work.
The firewood beneath the stove burned moderately and steadily. Sang Wan felt a soothing sensation as she gazed silently at the fire as it danced. Surely, nothing will go wrong this time around with her sitting and watching till the end!
Moments after the thought surfaced in her head, Zhide calling her from the outside could be heard. “Ma’am! Ma’am!” Sang Wan’s heart sank and she felt anything but reassuring.
“What’s wrong?” Though Sang Wan heard Zhide’s calls for her, she remained in the kitchen and did not leave the dish out of her sight; unless the kitchen was on fire, she affirmed that she’ll never take a single step out of the kitchen!
Seeing that Sang Wan did not come out to receive her, she entered and greeted Sang Wan before proceeding with the news. “Ma’am, Young Master has returned and said he needs the keys urgently!”
The keys; yes Sang Wan remembered. Early in the morning, Shi Fengju left in a hurry and dropped a pair of keys connected by a string. From what Zhide said, the Young Master held on to these keys dearly; as such, no one dared to fiddle with it. Sang Wan, without a choice, had to then hold on to them until Shi Fengju returns during the night. But who would have thought that he would need them urgently at this time?
“If that is the case, why don’t you return them for me?” Sang Wan smiled and scooped the keys out to hand them to Zhide.
“Ma’am,” Zhide rejected the keys and took a step back before giving a smile, “This, it would be better if Ma’am returns these to the Young Master personally! These keys are the Young Master’s most treasured item. All of us Nubi do not dare to touch it!” Of course, such an important item was not something Zhide dared to touch as it might arouse suspicions.
Sang Wan almost choked to a point where she might have fainted! How could her luck be so good? Does this mean that there is no way of escaping from heaven’s will? She trod cautiously and persevered forward, and was just one step away; were they all for naught?
“Ma’am, it’d be best to head there quickly; Young Master is still waiting for it! Ó, Nubi will look after the fire here!” sensing Sang Wan’s hesitation, Zhide spoke sensibly.
Since their exchange had reached to such a point, there was no reason left that could justify her hesitation. Shi Fengju is her husband; a husband is like a god, and his words are the heavenly edict. One does not comply only when one does not wish to live to see another day.
And that god directly concerns her life and death; a being that she can never provoke.