Chapter 1050 Beginning! A Minor Matter in the Kitchen
“I’d like to stay idle, but I have only done half of my work since I got up early today,” the young man complained impatiently.
“Hey, how could you say that?” The old maid in charge was displeased and stood with her arms akimbo, scolding the youth, “The previous delivery man never talked rudely like you.”
“Okay, okay, okay, I can’t talk nicely. I’m busy and not as good as my uncle. Okay?” The paper in the young man’s hands jumped twice in the air, and he looked increasingly impatient.
“Come on, check the ingredients and see if they are qualified!” The old maid in charge roared her orders with a grim face.
A few old maids and servant girls came and poured out all the vegetables and meat from the baskets, ready to check them.
“Alas, don’t you know how to do a good job?” The young man was upset. He pointed to the food and shouted, “You dump them all over the ground. No matter how perfect they were, you must have messed them up. Don’t blame me for offering you defective goods!”
“Were these items good?” The old maid in charge was unhappy. She reached out to pick up a stalk of celery and said with her hands pointing at it, “It is not fresh. See the leaves. They are shriveled up. The celery must have been stored for two or three days!”
The young woman snatched the celery away from the old maid in charge and clamored, “Excuse me? What’s wrong with your eyes? Can’t you see it is choice celery? You poured it out and smashed its branches. How could you say that? Are you trying to blackmail me?”
“Seriously?” The old maid in charge was well pissed off about it. She picked up another cabbage, showed it to the young man, and said, “Its outside leaves are rotten, but they haven’t been removed. Do you think it’s still fresh?”
“How can it not be fresh? Obviously, it was picked up not long ago from the ground. I sent it here as fast as possible, so I had no time to remove its outer layer. See? It looks fresh and juicy with dew. It can’t be fresher!”
There was indeed water dripping on it, but it was not dew, but water he just poured on it.
He argued so unreasonably to defend himself, which irritated everybody present. Did he think that everyone was blind?
“These vegetables were collected a few days ago. Most of them are rotten inside.”
“The meat is going stale too. It’s smelly. How long has it stayed in storerooms?”
“This fish is alive, but why is it so small? It looks half-dead. I touched it, but it only moved a little without much vitality.”
“Is this chicken sick? Why is it so listless? It can’t even stand still.”
“This duck is not good either. It’s still pooping!”
The people in the kitchen chattered.
The young man got increasingly annoyed and was genuinely angered at their accusations. Suddenly, he threw the paper onto the ground, reaching out to point at those servant girls and old maids circling him, “Okay, fine! Do you want to rock the boat? Great! Go and report it to the chief supervisor of your mansion. He has agreed with my uncle’s matter and approved of me replacing my uncle. Everything went on well before. Now, you’re bullying me only because I’m a newcomer!”
“Don’t you know how to do business? Look at these things. None of them is fresh! The supervisor of our inner court told you to pick some fresh ones for us. We won’t accept anything stale.” The old maid in charge said with hands on her hips and elbows turned outwards while pointing at the food the young man took here today.
“Does the inner-court supervisor want to pick a quarrel with me? She dares to provoke me because she thinks the chief supervisor doesn’t care about the petty matters of the inner court! How could I send over stale things? We’ve been delivering the food for so long. How could you think a long-established group would do such a thing to tarnish its reputation? Go, let’s go. Let the chief supervisor judge who is right and who is wrong!”
The young man was so furious that his face turned livid.
But it was still dark. The chief supervisor must have been sleeping. Weren’t they asking for an insult if they went to see him?
For a moment, all the people in the kitchen quieted down, staring speechlessly at each other. No one dared to go to the chief supervisor for real.
Seeing them cease fire, the young man, still unwilling to make peace, barked again in a louder voice, “Go, go! Why not? Don’t you have the confidence to go there? Now you know that you’re in the wrong! Every one of you pointed an accusing finger at me as if you weren’t in the right!”
He picked up the paper flung to the ground and raised it before the old maid in charge, shaking it with arrogance and threatening, “Sign it or go to find the chief supervisor. It’s up to you!”
“Where did this troublemaker come from? Show him the door!” Suddenly, a woman’s calm voice came from behind the crowd.
“Miss Qing Yue is here.”
“It’s Miss Qing Yue!” The group of people hurriedly stepped back as Qing Yue walked over steadily.
The young man didn’t know Qing Yue, so he looked her up and down. In his eyes, this lady was good-looking and dressed well, which showed she should be a prestigious servant in this mansion.
Anyway, she was a servant. The most powerful assistant in the mansion should be the chief supervisor. What could a little servant girl do?
“Who? Who’s making trouble? I’m here to deliver the cooking materials. How could you take me as a troublemaker… I…” The young man said disdainfully, not afraid to blow up the matter.
In other words, he was here to make a big deal out of this, and it would be better if this wrangle were out of control.
“Haul him out, and throw out the vegetables and meat!” Qing Yue surveyed him and ordered lightly.
Qing Yue was Princess Chen’s principal maid. Nanny Yu had specially told her that she would be in charge of the kitchen affairs. No matter what she did, Princess Chen would back her up, so there was no need to be overcautious.
Hearing Qing Yue’s words, two burly old maids came to his two sides and dragged him out. Since they had been working in the kitchen, they had great strength. Pulled by them, the young man couldn’t steady himself and could only step back while shouting at the top of his voice. “You’ve gone too far. The chief supervisor asked me to send food to your mansion, but you want to shut me out…”
It was quiet around early in the morning. His shouts could be heard at a great distance.
“Gag him!” Qing Yue said.
Some of them couldn’t endure the young man long ago. With Qing Yue’s order, someone instantly took out a wet rag and stuffed it into his mouth. The greasy and wet feeling nearly made this delivery man vomit on the spot.
A few other rough old maids and servant girls carried the ingredients and baskets he sent here and tossed all of them outside.
“If you still want to do the delivery job, pick some fresh ones quickly and send them over; otherwise, we no longer need you to send vegetables,” Qing Yue stood at the back door and said coldly.
The young man pulled the rag out of his mouth, glared at Qing Yue with bloodshot eyes, and bellowed, “If you’re so capable, go and tell the chief supervisor about it. He has the final say in matters about food delivery. If you’re useless, don’t invite humiliation. Don’t you know what an inferior servant you are? How dare you use such a filthy trick to deal with the chief supervisor? Don’t even think about it.”
“Close the door!” Qing Yue ignored him and said to the old maid guarding the back door after entering the room.
The old maid swiftly responded and shut the door, leaving this young man clamoring and jumping with rage outside.
When she returned to the kitchen, all the servant girls and old maids were watching her and waiting for her to make a decision.
“I’ve sent some people to buy fresh ingredients, and they’ll be here soon. You can continue to make breakfast later. I’ll report the whole thing to Her Highness. It doesn’t matter, even if you serve breakfast at a later time. Everything will be okay as long as the food is fresh. None of us can bear the severe consequences if Her Highness falls ill after having any stale food sent to the kitchen,” Qing Yue said.
She knew well what they were worried about.
Fresh ingredients were on the way here. Learning this, the servants in the kitchen breathed a sigh of relief. The old maid in charge waved her hand and said, “Do what you should do. Don’t block the way here. It’s worrying.”
The others dispersed, but the old maid in charge didn’t. Looking at Qing Yue, she said haltingly, “Miss Qing Yue, what if the chief supervisor asks about this? What should we do?”
“It doesn’t matter. Her Highness will deal with it!” Qing Yue said with complete composure.
The fresh ingredients were delivered quickly because Shao Wanru had prepared for this. As a result, the breakfast was still served on time. As soon as they had breakfast, the chief supervisor was invited into Shao Wanru’s courtyard.
After entering the door, he bowed respectfully to Shao Wanru.
“Please sit down!” Shao Wanru stood up, bowed back politely, and said softly.
As the former empress’s general steward, he deserved Shao Wanru’s respect.
The chief supervisor lost no time in returning a bow. Then he took his seat and asked, “Your Highness, what can I do for you?”
He only met Princess Chen once, on the next day after her wedding. After that, they made no contact. When Prince Chen was around, the chief supervisor would ask him to decide on various affairs. Now that Prince Chen was away, he dealt with everything by himself and did not bother Princess Chen with any of these things.
“You were a trusted servant of the former empress. For His Highness and me, you’re like an elder. You’ve been taking care of him and his outer court for many years. So, I should thank you deeply on behalf of His Highness.” Shao Wanru bowed again.
The chief supervisor was greatly moved but felt flustered. In a hurry, he leaned to one side and said, “Your Highness, all of this is my duty. How could I be worthy of your bows with much gratitude?”
“You shouldn’t be so modest. You’ve been protecting His Highness for so many years. When he is out on a diplomatic mission, we have to count on you to protect the entire mansion,” Shao Wanru said with a wry smile. She sat down on a chair on one side and invited the chief supervisor to sit down.
After serving tea, Yujie and Qu Le retreated aside.
The chief supervisor’s expression changed. “Your Highness, did anything happen?”
Usually, he would pay attention to almost everything inside and outside the mansion. Before Prince Chen left, he repeatedly enjoined that he should take care of the whole mansion. Of course, Princess Chen’s security was of the utmost importance. The chief supervisor had served Prince Chen since he was little, so he was pretty familiar with his characters. Besides, Xiao Xuanzi also offered him some advice about it. How could he not understand how important Princess Chen was to his master?
“Sir, to tell you the truth, some people are aimed at our mansion,” Shao Wanru told him in a soft voice.
“What did you find? I have been keeping a close eye on the outside but haven’t noticed anything unusual.” The chief supervisor frowned. He had thought there would be no chance of an error. Did he neglect anything?
“It happened in our mansion, not outside. Some people intended to cast in a bone between us and launch an attack against the Prince Chen’s Mansion.” Shao Wanru looked at the chief supervisor and put it bluntly.
The chief supervisor’s respectful attitude and kind tone relieved much of her worry. At least he wouldn’t impose his ideas on others with his seniority. In this way, everything would be much easier to deal with…