Yan Langqing has been a little upset recently, and the source is Lin Dan, who has long been forgotten by her, but suddenly she appears again. Yan Langqing also sent people to pack her four special dishes to the palace to taste. The taste was really wonderful.
She tried to imitate these dishes, only to find that even with the same ingredients and condiments; she could not make the flavor taste like Lin Dan’s. Lin Dan must have her own unique skills, which others can't see through or understand. Even if one gets the list of how to do the dish, it will be useless without her guidance.
This superb foundation can only be achieved by those old cooks who have worked for decades or even a lifetime. How old is Lin Dan? She is two years younger than her. She is only 22 this year, but she has already surpassed others too much. Yan Langqing has to admit that she is uneasy inside, but as a chef, her self-esteem will not allow her to give up to an ordinary cook.
The challenge, she surely accepts it, just has to wait for the vacation for the workers in the palace. However, before the vacation comes, her troubles come. Several bodyguards carrying broadswords rush into the kitchen and one of them angrily asks, "Who made this tofu with eight precious ingredients today, stand up quickly!"
"It's me." Yan Langqing takes no time to move forward. In the palace, she has the emperor to protect her. Naturally, she is not afraid of anything.
"Besides you, who else has touched that dish?" The bodyguard asks again.
Several maids and eunuchs come forward, all of whom are Yan Langqing's confidants, including the young man who often gets out of the palace to find delicious food for her.
"Tie them up and send them to the Punishment Department!" Several bodyguards arrest them without talking and drag them to trial.
Hearing that they are going to be sent to the black jails like hell, Yan Langqing panics. She struggles and asks, "What have we done, soldiers?"
"Don't you know if you have committed any crime?" Those bodyguards gag them and drag them away rudely.
The case can be serious or not, because the emperor hosted a banquet in the palace for several lords from Mongolia and discussed with them the purchase of war horses. One of the lords had already told the servant of the imperial kitchen, saying that he could not eat peanuts, otherwise he would get sick. The servant promised well, but he turned around and delivered a tofu with eight delicacies mixed with peanut butter. The lord became ill when he ate it and developed red rashes all over his body, which made him very uncomfortable. As a result, the banquet was ruined and the purchase of war horses was over. Everything had to wait until the lord getting well.
In order to retrieve the lord’s trust, the emperor ordered the bodyguards to investigate the matter thoroughly. And they found Yan Langqing. Yan Langqing really didn't know the lord's taboo, and no one told her, but after all, she was the cook and also made the dish herself. Even if the emperor wanted to protect her, she could only be taken away for questioning so as not to treat the guest of honor badly.
It is found out that there is no other country's spy or conspiracy. It is just a mistake, and the Punishment Department is going to release them. However, Lord Gong, who is in charge of the Department, suddenly arrives. Without further ado, he throws down two bamboo sticks and orders guards to beat Yan Langqing and her apprentice, who is the young eunuch, 50 beats for each.
Yan Langqing is after all a favorite cook of the emperor. The executioner dares not to beat him hard, holds high but beats with his arms lightly. However, her apprentice does not have such a good luck. After the interrogation, his clothes are tattered, his blood is dripping, and he looks very bad. Yan Langqing's legs and feet are soft and tears stream down uncontrollably after being dragged out of the jail. Others say that the palace is a place eating people; she never feels it under the protection of the emperor. But today, she finally understands that the dark cell is indeed a big mouth, just waiting to eat people alive.
When being pressed on the floor full of blood smell for questioning, she vaguely heard Lord Gong said, "My brother asks me to beat her hard...provoking his precious...No, not his concubine? She is a cook, and she has excellent skills..."
Yan Langqing is not a fool, and soon understands that she has been executed because she has provoked people who should not be provoked. But who is the guy? The first that comes to her mind are the cooks in the imperial kitchen, because only by dragging her down can the chef position in the imperial kitchen be vacated.
She now looks at everyone like a bad person, and after returning to the imperial kitchen, she simply dares not to stay long, just wants to go home quickly. But when the imperial edict is delivered, getting rid of her imperial chef's identity and sending her back, she freezes, full of resentment and humiliation.
What happened today, she really doesn't know, no one told her that the lord couldn't eat peanuts. She has been framed, but she has no evidence, so she does not even have time to change her bloodstained garment before she is taken to the carriage and sent out of the palace.
The young eunuch who often goes out of the palace to select delicious food for her is seriously injured and thrown to side quarters of the palace. Whether he can live or not is still not sure. Even if he survives, he will not be able to return to the imperial kitchen in the future. He can only go to the cold palace to serve those crazy concubines or go to the Washing Department to clean toilets. The bitter days are yet to come--
While her child has been beaten in the yamen, Mrs. Chou (the wife of Yan Shouye) is frightened and keeps asking what to do in the future. The shop was smashed, the plaque was destroyed, and the nobles ordered them not to open. Do they have to beg Lin Dan, the little bitch? Chou is not willing to beg, but if she does not ask Lin Dan to come back, her family will not be good. The lost hundred thousand taels of silver is already their biggest asset. It can be said that it hurts the root of their family and weakens the vitality. It will take more than ten or eight years to recover.
Yan Shouye gnashes his teeth and says, "Beg my ass? She has connections. We have too. Our family's backer is the emperor. When Langqing comes back, I'll let her go to the emperor and ask for a favor, we’ll be okay. Langqing will be an imperial concubine in the future. "
"Didn't you say earlier that she would be the wife of a marquis?" Chou is relieved slightly.
"Being an imperial concubine is much better than a wife of a marquis. Over the years I have been holding Langqing back from getting married. You think I am delaying her future. Now look at her. If I hadn't held her, she would not have had the present position. When Langqing comes back, this disaster in our family is over; I will also let her ask the emperor to punish all these people including the Weiyuan Marquis to avenge for me!" Yan Shouye becomes more and more excited as he speaks. He props up his upper body and shouts, "Servant, go to the door and see if my daughter comes back!"
Immediately, a servant girl runs out, and then comes back in a hurry. Her voice is hoarse, "It is bad! Your daughter, daughter is beaten, with blood all over her body, and she loses the position of the imperial chef! "
The imperial servant who sends Yan Langqing back is ordered by Lord Gong to say exactly what she had done wrong and been exiled from the palace. And the servant stands at the gate when he says, leaving no face to the Yans. All the passers-by who come and go are neighbors who live nearby and have been oppressed by Chou and Yan Shouye for a long time. They cannot help but gloat. They deserve it! They think their daughter is great because she is an imperial chef. Not treating others as a man. Never expect that they have this result.
Yan Langqing is ashamed to be seen and covers her head with a thin blanket. Only then does she let the servant carry herself out of the carriage and back home. When she sees her father lying on his sickbed, she is shocked.
Yan Shouye is completely out of his mind. Only then does he tell her about oppressing Lin Dan and her mother and the burning of her hometown restaurant. "How did I know she had made so many friends since she returned to the capital city only for two or three months and everyone was willing to stand up for her? If I knew it early, I...” He would not go to provoke her!
However, Yan Shouye is not willing to say this last sentence. He thinks for a moment and then muses, "The emperor is not able to be relied on. Langqing, send a letter to Tang Peng and let him help you. You may not know, last time Tang Peng hosted a dinner for several nobles from Mongolia in Lin Dan’s hometown restaurant, Lin Dan severely humiliated him. He hates Lin Dan. As soon as I said I wanted to burn the restaurant and asked him to help keep the officials in south district away, and he readily agreed. Moreover, he is only so kind to me for your sake. If you ask, he has no reason to refuse. We have to open a shop; otherwise what can we live on? But if we want to reopen the shop, we must have a backer. After all, Tang Peng is assistant minister of the Ministry of War and the son of the Yongding Marquis. For his sake, Lord Cheng will not break our plaque again."
He says a lot of miscellaneous things, but Yan Langqing only hears the word "Mongolia". She is shocked, and she immediately asks, "Did the nobles of Mongolia eat at Lin Dan’s shop? She has friendship with them? "
"How could she have friendship with them, it was Tang Jiu (Brother Tang) to take them to her shop. A few years ago, Tang Jiu fought together with them against the Huns. The two sides were friendly forces and had a good friendship." Yan Shouye once planned to buy an official position, so he knows a lot about the important affairs of state business.
"Was it Tang Jiu? It turned out to be him!" Yan Langqing freezes completely, and her tears fall when her eyes blink. She thought it was those in the imperial kitchen who conspired against her, but it turned out that it was Tang Jiu. It makes sense, if it is not him, who could dine the Mongolian nobles and extend his power into the palace?
There are also Lord Cheng and Lord Gong; they all stand for Lin Dan. She worked so hard to make a living in the palace and made so many contributions to the family, but all of them were destroyed overnight. Why?
Yan Langqing can’t bear her grief and she roars, "Father, didn't I tell you to live in peace and quiet and not to cause troubles? You turned a deaf ear to my words, didn't you? When you made a scene, I was expelled from the Mansion by the Marquis and hated by his son. Now you make another, I have been kicked out of the palace by the emperor, humiliated, are you satisfied? How many times do you want to drag me down? "
Looking at her daughter who is half lying on a chair weeping and wailing, Yan Shouye is ashamed and regretful, but he can do nothing but mumble, "Dad didn't expect Lin Dan to be a hedgehog which can’t be touched. Why don't you go and send a message to Tang Peng, he will definitely help you."