Chapter 19

Translator’s notes:

Fiiiine, since it’s Christmas I translated another chapter for you. But I also have ulterior motives. See below.

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The sticks inside the shallow pit were piled up into a pyramid. Xiao An Zi was responsible for stoking the fire with one of the thicker branches. The grill was fixed above the fire with wooden strips. As of now, its color had become mottled due to the fire. Luckily Luo Huai Yuan had seriously calculated the distance between the setup and the flames. Otherwise it would have long since been ignited by the fire.

Shen Qi had never seen seasoning being applied by a brush, and was impatiently fidgeting. “How do we brush it, how do we brush it? Hurry and teach me!”

Luo Huai Yuan gave him a glance, “That will be used to barbecue the chicken wings later. We won’t need it for the moment.”

After speaking, he wiped his hands with a wet towel from the table and placed a handful of lamb skewers onto the grill.

He had especially asked for not only lean meat, but rather a mixture of fatty and lean meat. It was better if there was more fat. Lamb skewers didn’t taste good if they only contained lean meat. Thanks to the period of time in the modern world when he went to eat barbecue skewers every so often, Luo Huai Yuan had some knowledge in this area.

He fanned out the skewered lamb meat onto the grill, and let them sit for a while until the oil crackled before turning them over. He waited until the meat turned slightly white, losing the appearance of rawness, before adding some chili flakes onto them evenly with his hands.

There seemed to be around twenty skewers. Luo Huai Yuan grabbed a handful of spices with each hand and sprinkled them over the skewers. After applying the spices evenly, he flipped the skewers over and did the same to the other side. He continued to turn them from time to time. His movements were flowing like water, making Yan Yan and Shen Qi watch in awe. Xiao An Zi, whose face was turning dark from stoking the fire, was the same way.

Xiao An Zi was still young and he was a little slow. He only knew that the fourth prince had become much livelier after leaving the palace. He didn’t expect he had such skills as well.

Soon, a wave of fragrant aroma assaulted their noses. Luo Hua Yuan looked intoxicated as he sniffed. Because the spices weren’t sufficient, he had instructed for some alcohol to be added to the marinade. At this time, the aroma contained a faint hint of alcohol, which made it even more fragrant. Of course it would be even better if they had some cumin powder. That thing was the best at removing rawness and adding flavor. The little consort would definitely have been dead set on him after tasting that.

If others knew what he was thinking, they would definitely say: hey kid, you’re overthinking things!

The lamb skewers were roasted until they sizzled. The grease dripped onto the fire, making it burn fiercer. Luo Huai Yuan lamented at his foolishness. Wouldn’t it have been better to use charcoal? But it was too much trouble to switch over now.

He glanced at the little consort who couldn’t take her eyes off the lamb skewers and sighed happily. Little Ah Yan, you can eat soon. He couldn’t bear to let her wait impatiently.

Luo Huai Yuan’s thoughts and gaze were all focused on Yan Yan. Unfortunately, Yan Yan wasn’t focused on him. The reason she couldn’t take her eyes off was only because it was truly too novel.

After the skewers were done, Luo Huai Yuan tried a piece first and felt the taste was pretty good, before giving one to Yan Yan.

“Little sis Ah Yan, try it and see if it’s good?”

Shen Qi said urgently on the side: “Let me eat, let me eat.”

Luo Huai Yuan gave him an impatient glance and stuffed a handful at him before turning back to Yan Yan.

“Little sis Ah Yan, how about you try some?”

Yan Yan took one from him. She felt it seemed a little too hot and didn’t take a bite. Luo Huai Yuan took it back and carefully blew on it a few times before handing it over again. He looked at her with a fervent gaze, waiting for her to eat.

Shen Qi burned himself and grimaced in pain, but still continued stuffing his mouth. He looked over to the side and had the feeling that this new friend of his looked strangely vulgar.

Yan Yan was a little embarrassed from being stared at by this little fatty, and felt that he was a little too attentive. But since he had busied himself for so long, and had worked up a sweat, she could only take a bite of the meat.

En, it was a little hot, but it was just right. The meat was extremely fresh and the flavor was very special. It was a little spicy but very delicious.

“Big bro Luo, it’s pretty tasty. You should also eat some.” Actually Yan Yan was just embarrassed from being stared at by him.

“En, I’ll eat too.”

Little Ah Yan’s lips were red and luscious, her skin was also fair, and she looked very cute when she was eating! How could little Ah Yan be so cute as a child? Why did he never realize this before….

While thinking all sorts of nonsense, Luo Huai Yuan also stuffed a skewer into his mouth. Seeing Xiao An Zi looking anxiously on the side, he randomly stuffed a few at him as well.

“Little sis Ah Yan, have some more….”

On the other side, Shen Qi had wolfed the skewers in his hands down and said: “Luo Huai Yuan, the things you’ve roasted are pretty tasty. What are they called?”

“Lamb skewers.”

This was a delicacy available at all the street stalls in modern times. People of all ages liked them. The neighborhood Luo Huai Yuan used to live in had a store that specially sold grilled lamb skewers. The flavor was extremely authentic, and was on a completely different level than those low quality XJ lamb skewers.1

At that time, when he had some extra cash on hand, he would have the shopkeeper grill up twenty skewers, two lamb kidneys and serve it with a bottle of beer. Sitting there eating and drinking, he was as happy as an immortal.

Those distant memories suddenly flashed before his eyes, making Luo Huai Yuan a little absentminded.

“Made with lamb meat?”

Luo Huai Yuan snapped out of it. Of course they were. Why else would they be called lamb skewers!

Shen Qi couldn’t quite stand Luo Huai Yuan’s disdainful gaze. He rubbed his nose and turned around to grill some for himself. He planned on roasting a bunch at once like Luo Huai Yuan just did, but he didn’t let him. He was afraid he couldn’t grasp the timing and would overcook the meat. He let him practice on a few skewers first.

“Little sis Ah Yan, was it good?”

Yan Yan nodded. Because the meat was a little hot and also spicy, she couldn’t help but stick out her little pink tongue and lick her lips, panting a few times.

This was a small movement to begin with, but Luo Huai Yuan’s eyes magnified them and his gaze became fixed. Of course, he didn’t have any vulgar thoughts. He merely felt the little consort looked cute even when licking her lips.

Xian An Zi couldn’t watch any longer and secretly pulled his sleeves. “Master….”

Luo Huai Yuan shook him off, gave him the rest of the skewers and continued speaking to Yan Yan: “Then I’ll teach you to grill?”

Seeing Shen Qi having a blast, Yan Yan nodded straightforwardly.

Yan Yan went and sat in front of the fire. Luo Huai Yuan immediately occupied the seat next to her. While he earnestly taught on one side, he didn’t refrain from casting sneaky glances.

Although Yan Yan didn’t have the looks she had in her prime yet, she was still a little beauty. Her small face was fair, her chin was sharp. Her brows weren’t gentle like those of other girls. Instead, they were sharp and dense at her young age. They gave the beautiful little face an eye-catching hint of charm.

In Luo Huai Yuan’s vulgar mind, he actually wanted little Ah Yan to sit in his arms while he taught her by holding her little hand. Unfortunately, he was afraid he would scare the little consort off, and only dared to teach while sitting next to her.

He was much more anxious watching her cook compared to Yan Yan herself. He was truly afraid the fire would burn the little consort’s snow-white tender little hand.

But it seemed he was worried for nothing. Yan Yan controlled things very well, at least better than Shen Qi.

Shen Qi was impatient and couldn’t grasp the timing. He either burnt the skewer or overcooked it. He soon threw them aside impatiently and asked to eat the ones Yan Yan made.

Luo Huai Yuan smoothly crowded him away, saying: “Little sis Ah Yan finally finished grilling and you’re trying to snatch it? Let me grill some for you.”

As he spoke, he also grabbed one of Yan Yan’s skewers and stuffed it into his own mouth.

His teeth were clearly gritted from the heat, but he was unwilling to set it down.

Looking at Luo Huai Yuan who was busying himself in front of the fire, Yan Yan sighed emotionally. Although big bro Luo was a little weird, he was a pretty good person. She had tried some of the meat once it was done, and it wasn’t as good as the ones made by big bro Luo. The meat was tough and also very salty.

Seeing Luo Huai Yuan grilling meat while still stuffing her skewers into his mouth every now and then, Yan Yan was stunned. She poured a cup of tea and carried it over considerately.

“Big bro Luo, drink some tea.”

Luo Huai Yuan’s eyes immediately crinkled in happiness. He never noticed the flavor in his mouth.

……..

After this round of barbecue, their stomachs were all round and full.

Not only was Yan Yan and Shen Qi full, Luo Huai Yuan was full as well despite being busy grilling. Even Xiao An Zi was rubbing his stomach on the side.

Shen Qi always did as he pleased, and lay on the rug after eating his fill.

“Luo Huai Yuan, you really know how to play. This cookout was both tasty and fun. Remember to take me to play in the future.”

“That’s for sure.” Luo Huai Yuan said with his mouth while sneakily giving Yan Yan a glance.

“Alright. We are now officially friends!”

Luo Huai Yuan nodded superficially, and said to Yan Yan: “Little sis Ah Yan. Big bro Luo will grill some for you whenever you want to eat. How about tomorrow? We’ll make better preparations and I’ll grill some other good things.”

Yan Yan hadn’t spoken yet when Shen Qi blurted out, his eyes shining, “It’s possible to grill other things?”

“What do you think? Things were too rushed today, so we could only grill skewers and wings. It’s possible to grill many other things.”

Because chicken wings were rarely kept, they only managed to get a few. The few of them had too much lamb and not enough chicken wings, and almost started fighting over them. However, Shen Qi ate the least. He wasn’t able to overcome two people at once. Luo Huai Yuan saw that Yan Yan liked eating the crispy chicken wings, and for the sake of currying favor with his little consort, shamelessly gave all the wings he snatched to Yan Yan. Reputable people had to cherish the young.

“This sort of cooking method is quite novel. Big bro Luo, where did you learn about this sort of thing?”

Luo Huai Yuan chuckled and said: “I came up with it myself.”

Shen Qi said: “Then it’s a promise. I’ll bring Ah Yan over tomorrow.”

“You are extremely welcome.” I was waiting for those words!

……

Xiao An Zi clearly felt his master was in an especially good mood today. He was able to tell just based on the ghostly wails and wolfish howls coming from the bathroom.

At first Xiao An Zi had thought something had happened. He thought there was an assassin and heroically went in to save his master. Unexpectedly, he saw the fourth prince lying in the bath tub, a towel over his head, playing with the water with a pleased (actually a little frightening) expression.

“Xiao An Zi, what are you in a panic for?” Luo Huai Yuan asked doubtfully.

“I, I…..”

Luo Huai Yuan figured out what happened and looked disdainfully at Xiao An Zi. “I just hummed a little tune out of boredom. What did you think was happening?”

Xiao An Zi let out an “ohhh” and looked aggrieved at his master. Wasn’t it because your “little tune” sounded so horrifying that I thought something had happened?

“Enough, enough. How about you go outside. I don’t need your help.”

Xiao An Zi left. Since when did the fourth prince hum little tunes?

Luo Huai Yuan lay in the tub and thanked his lucky stars: Luckily Xiao An Zi had always been dumb. Otherwise, he might have let something slip in front of him. However, being dumb had its good points. In his past life Xiao An Zi had served by Luo Huai Yuan’s side as well. He naturally knew how to wave him off.

He then recalled how he saw the little consort today and started bubbling with indescribable excitement again.

Therefore, as Xiao An Zi walked out of the bathroom, the ghostly wails and wolfish howls sounded up again from behind him—-

“To love even in death, it’s not satisfying unless I’m completely saturated2….conquered by you just like that, drinking your hidden poison…..3

What sort of little tune was the master humming!? Luckily there was no one around apart from the two of them. Otherwise people might think there were ghosts!

After finishing up his wails and howls in the bath and coming out of the bathroom, Luo Huai Yuan remembered his face. He found a mirror after searching for a while and couldn’t even believe his own eyes.

“Xiao An Zi, come quickly. Do you have any solutions?” Luo Huai Yuan pointed at his chubby face, putting emphasis on his black eye.

Xiao An Zi looked troubled at his master’s face and shook his head.

“Is there no way to make it less….” Luo Huai Yuan gritted his teeth and said in disgust. “Colorful?”

Xiao An Zi racked his brains, “This servant heard other low-ranked eunuchs saying that the concubines would often roll a chicken egg over their faces, saying it whitens the skin.”

Luo Huai Yuan also vaguely remembered hearing in modern times about using a cooked chicken egg on the face to improve one’s appearance. Perhaps it really was effective?

“Go find some eggs and boil them in water. Remember, they have to be hot.”

……..

Therefore, Xiao An Zi spent the entire night peeling eggs for his master and rolling them over his face. As for Luo Huai Yuan, he gritted his teeth at the heat but still told Xiao An Zi to keep going.

The next day, Shen Qi and Yan Yan saw Luo Huai Yuan’s face had become even more swollen. There was some whiteness on his skin before, but now it had turned red.

The two of them were stunned while Luo Huai Yuan was depressed. He definitely wouldn’t tell them that he had rolled too many hot eggs on his face the night before. His face didn’t get any better the next day, and instead swelled up and hurt a lot.

He waved it away with a random excuse while baring his teeth at Xiao An Zi.

It’s all this brat’s rubbish idea. I’ll punish you by making you eat all those eggs!

Xiao An Zi looked as though his father died, and even wanted to die himself. There were over twenty eggs! How could he eat them all!?

Translator’s notes:

In exchange for this extra extra chapter, I’m going to promote something pretty cool I stumbled upon recently. It’s an app called Yotta Savings that encourages people in the US to build up their savings using the thrill of a lottery. It basically enters you into a sweepstakes drawing every week for every $25 you save. You just have to keep the money in the account to get tickets every week, but you can withdraw the money whenever you want (though it does take a week before funds are available to withdraw to prevent fraud). Even if you don’t win anything, they also give more monthly interest than a normal savings account. If you’re interested, you can use the referral code PCP when you sign up. We’ll both get 100 bonus tickets. You can check out their website here.

  1. I think XJ stands for Xinjiang lamb skewers.
  2. Song by Shin Band
  3. Song by Na Ying

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