The seat couldn’t be counted as the best, but the food was really good. Fives spices pig foot, shark fin soup, roast goose stewed in soy sauce…a superb collection of dishes filled the table, causing Tang Wan to nearly drool all over the place as she looked on.
What made her depressed was the fact that in front of Sun Ting Cai, she was still the gifted female scholar with class, who was famous in the capital, and must maintain her gentle and graceful appearance. As a result, she could only taste the good food on the table a little bit and then stop. It was such a rare banquet, yet she ate her food extremely painfully and could only stare at the pig feet on the table that was marinated to the point where the color of the sauce was bright and clear with gritted teeth.
“Sister in law, are you unwell? I feel like your expression doesn’t look right.” Sun Ting Cai noticed Tang Wan’s strange gaze and asked puzzledly.
Tang Wan secretly rubbed her shriveling stomach. Her expression immediately regain her gentleness and she squeezed out a smile with difficulty. “Young master Sun, I only feel a little unwell. It’s okay.”
When Zhao Shi Cheng saw that the pig feet on the table was about to bore a hole by her gaze, how could he not understand her intentions. Considering the fact that she was working hard, for the sake of her husband, she had no choice but to maintain her dignified and elegant image, she couldn’t even eat to her heart’s content, this made him, who usually doted on his wife, couldn’t help but feel guilty.
Sun Ting Cai naturally didn’t know what the couple were thinking about. He grasped his chopsticks and was just about to pick a piece of pig feet. Upon seeing this, Tang Wan was almost about to cry. While on the other hand, Zhao Shi Cheng cried out instinctively, causing Sun Ting Cai’s chopsticks to hang in the air stiffly.
“Bro, what are you squawking about?” Sun Ting Cai asked with a baffled expression.
Zhao Shi Cheng quickly responded by pointing out the window and leisurely said, “Brother Sun, don’t you think the person downstairs seems a little familiar?”
“Familiar? Who?” Sun Ting Cai put down his chopsticks, stood up and walked to the window.
“That person! The one wearing deep blue clothes and carried a sword in his hands.” Zhao Shi Cheng pointed out a random person.
“Oh…” To his surprise, Sun Ting Cai really did recognize him. “That person is Bai Li and claims to be the immortal poet of the Song Dynasty, the reincarnation of Li Bai and said that his beauty was superior to Pan An [note] Pan An, also known as Pan Yue, is a famous litterateur in Western Jin dynasty. He is the most famous handsome guy in China. You want to know more about him and other pretty men in Chinese history, read this: https://www.theworldofchinese.com/2015/04/pretty-men-in-history/ [/note] and his literary talent surpassed Lu You. That’s why he would carry a sword and blatantly seek attention on the streets. What about him? Do you also know him?”
As it turned out, the capital actually had this kind of strange person? Zhao Shi Cheng laughed drily, “No, I think I got the wrong person.”
Sun Ting Cai shrugged his shoulders and returned back to the table again. When he picked up his chopsticks and wanted to pick up that piece of pig feet just now, he suddenly discovered that the pig feet was gone. He looked towards Zhao Shi Cheng, extremely confused. That guy was just talking to him just now. It shouldn’t be possible for him to eat it, could it be…
He looked towards Tang Wan again and merely saw that she was still sitting there dignifiedly. When she made eye contact with him, she even politely nodded her slightly. It was even more impossible for it to be her. Maybe he formed a misconception just now and that piece of pig feet ought to be already eaten by him. It’s just that he forgot.
After he consoled himself like this, he extended his chopsticks towards the roast duck that was stewed in soy sauce indifferently. That extremely tasty goose leg’s aroma filled the air. Its skin was crispy and its flesh was soft. It was definitely extremely tasty.
Yet before the chopsticks even touch the roast goose, Tang Wan suddenly coughed and then looked over at Zhao Shi Cheng pitifully.
Sun Ting Cai stopped moving his chopsticks and looked at her with concern.
Zhao Shi Cheng couldn’t help but smile wryly and soon after that, his eyes open widely and he told Sun Ting Cai, “Ah! That Bai Li just now actually flew up!”
Sun Ting Cai hastily looked out the window. “Where? Where?”
“It’s right at the edge of the wall…aiya, it’s a pity that you were late a step. He already climbed over the wall.” Zhao Shi Cheng said with a regretful look.
“To think that he actually knew martial arts, I still thought that he was only an attractive person who had no skills. When he performed a sword dance in our scholar’s poetry gathering last time, he even accidentally stabbed himself and stayed at home for half a month. Now it looks as if his hard work has paid off.”
Sun Ting Cai couldn’t stop sighing with deep motion. He turned back around and wanted to pick up a roast goose leg again, but when his chopsticks was lifted once more, he suddenly realized the goose leg that he just took a fancy to vanished into thin air.
He kept his eyes unwaveringly on the place that originally had the goose leg, but was now empty. He was in an emotional turmoil. What exactly was going on with him? He actually kept on hallucinating again and again.
However, right at this moment, Tang Wan, who was a sitting in a blind spot, suddenly turned pale and grabbed her throat like she nearly about to choke to death.
Zhao Shi Cheng knew that this glutton snatched someone else’s food and ate it too quickly so she finally received her punishment. He hastened to give a cup of tea. She drank a big mouthful and only then did she manage to swallow the meat that was stuck in her throat down with great difficulty and escape death.
Sun Ting Cai turned around and only then did he realize the activity that occurred here. He asked with bafflement, “Did something happen just now?”
At this time, Tang Wan assumed an elegant posture again and sipped the tea lightly. It’s only after a while that she just lifted her head reservedly and said with a gentle smile, “No, it’s just that husband was considerate and helped me put a cup of tea. This tea is not bad. Does Young master Sun want to drink it?”
Zhao Shi Cheng casted a gaze full of admiration towards her. To be able to recover from a state of being nearly choked to death to a elegant, noble lady in a blink of an eye, how profound must the skill be to able to do this!
When Sun Ting Cai caught sight of the husband and wife making goo-goo eyes at each other, he tease them saying, “Oh, how wonderful, your relationship with each other is so good. Are you going to make this bachelor die from your sappiness. To be honest, when you guys got married, I was still very worried…no, no, no, let’s not mention the things of the past, but now that I see this, there’s no need to worry. Your affections simply make the other affectionate couples envious!”
Tang Wan lowered her head slightly. She used the corner of her eye to glance at Zhao Shi Cheng. This coy look was 100 percent acted out, but the words she said were completely sincere. “Young master Sun, I know I married a good husband. My husband is the most remarkable talent I ever met. It is my fortune that I can receive my husband’s magnanimous and love.”
Zhao Shi Cheng embraced her softly, moved. He felt the sincerity in her words. That was definitely not an act.
On the other hand, Sun Ting Cai laughed heartily after hearing this. Because what they were discussing wasn’t some secret, as a result, they didn’t take the pains to lower each other’s volume.
Before Sun Ting Cai’s laughter stopped, the sound of a wine cup falling to the ground came from the table outside the screen. In addition, when they heard the sound of cracking, it was loud and clear and didn’t seem like it accidentally fell to the ground, rather it was more like someone intentionally smashed it on the ground.
As the owner of Yingfeng Pavilion, Zhao Shi Cheng opened one side of the screen and wanted to see what happened. Surprisingly, he found Lu You, whose face was livid, sitting in the neighboring table along with his mother and wife.
Zhao Shi Cheng understood what happened at once. Lu You probably heard their conversation and still had some remaining feelings for Tang Wan. Now that Tang Wan was tantamount to admitting that she fell in love with someone else. How could he, who still carried a shred of hope, stand this?
Sure enough, Lu You took a keen glimpse at Tang Wan, yet he didn’t notice any emotions concerning resent or regret in her eyes. His heart turned cold in a flash. He didn’t have time to think about the table of food he had yet to eat and quickly stood up, leaving with a flick of his sleeve.
Madam Wang, potbellied and on the point of giving birth, also hastily stood up. Because of her husband’s misfortune in his official career, she developed resentment in her heart from the start; now that she saw her husband actually abandoned her and left for his ex-lover, she released all her anger on Tang Wan even more furiously.
“It’s all your fault! You evil creature!” After Madam Wang finished yelling at Tang Wan as she pointed at her, weeping and wailing all the while she didn’t care about her response and left to chase after Lu You in haste.
However, Madam Tang didn’t immediately leave. She walked to the side of Tang Wan’s table with a serious expression and her eyes that were filled with rage and hatred sweeper across the three people once. Her voice seemed like it was squeezed out from the space between her teeth and said hatefully, “Why can you guys be so cheerful, but my son can’t serve as an official for three years? Are you guys happy now that he is going to leave the capital?!”
Zhao Shi Cheng naturally couldn’t let Tang Wan receive Madam Tang’s criticism that was without rhyme or reason. With a sudden large stride forward, he stepped in front of his wife, letting her hide behind the screen. And naturally Sun Ting Cai also couldn’t watch his best friend’s wife be insulted and blocked her from another angle.
After Zhao Shi Cheng determined that Madam Tang couldn’t see Tang Wan, then he sternly stated, “Lu You made a mistake in his actions and the emperor already gave him a light punishment. If you refuse to accept this, then go see the emperor. This place doesn’t welcome you. Please leave.”
“You dare to kick me out?” Madam Tang raised her voice.
Zhao Shi Cheng didn’t feel like quibbling with her and directly had the waiter pull her out.
How could a married woman like Madam Tang resist? She could only be chased out Yingfeng pavilion in the most disgraceful way. Her shrilling roar reverberated in the entire hall—-
“I won’t let you have a good time! I won’t let you have a good time—”
“Ridiculous,” Zhao Shi Cheng completely didn’t take her threat to heart. After he restored the screen to its original state, he and Sun Ting Cai sat in their original position.
Sun Ting Cai took a seat and was just about to start eating, yet he discovered that all the dishes on the table disappeared.
“This…when did we finish eating this?” Sun Ting Cai looked at Tang Wan, who was the only one who could have finish the table of food, but when he saw her sit elegantly, he thought that was impossible again. There was simply too many strange things that happened today, causing his brain to suddenly turn chaotic and was simply about to go crazy.
Tang Wan just smiled gently, as if this had nothing to do with her. She didn’t want to care about what Madam Tang, that crazy woman, was yelling about just now, but Madam Tang seems to have created a good opportunity for her to eat to her heart’s content.
This situation was so preposterous that it made Zhao Shi Cheng want to laugh, but also caused him to be so dumbfounded that he wanted to cry. Under this kind of state in which he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, he could only brazen up and help his gluttonous wife cover up what happened and said, “Ahem, I saw that the food got cold and had the waiter remove it. I’ll let them serve us warm food again later.
“Is that so…” Although Sun Ting Cai didn’t know that what kind of chance he had to do this matter just now, but this was the only possible explanation for it. He could only accept it grudgingly.
Soon afterwards, the dishes were served again as expected, but this time Zhao Shi Cheng grabbed Tang Wan’s right hand firmly under the table so that she would be unable to snatch the food and secretly eat it. And only then could Sun Ting Cai finally eat a few mouthful of decent food,
It’s just that Sun Ting Cai also discovered the strange event that was occurring under the table while enjoying his food at the same time. He couldn’t refrain from thinking in his mind that his friend truly loves his wife like she is his life. Even if they were sitting, he wouldn’t forget to hold his wife‘s hand. He truly the best model of growing together while holding holds.
The conflict between the magistrate’s wife and Madam Tang and Madam Wang that day quickly vanished from everyone’s memories. The Lu family also moved at who knows what time. The capital’s number one scholar just quietly left like this, only leaving behind regret and lament.
T/n: I feel like I’m making it a goal to be late every week, XD. I’m probably the most irresponsible translator ever. This chapter isn’t probably one of my favorite scenes in this novel. I find it funny when Tang Wan secretly eat the food while Zhao Shi Cheng distracts Sun Ting Cai. Poor Sun Ting Cai, he shouldn’t have judged Tang Wan by her gentle appearance. Now all his food is gone.
This chapter also reminds me of a YouTube video where the mom pretends to watch tv when her kid is looking at her and then secretly stuffs a bun in her mouth when her kid isn’t looking. Here’s the link of the video if you’re interested, https://youtu.be/T_zSMp86xkY