It was precisely because Yan Langqing developed the Wanfu Meat that she stood out at the longevity banquet and was called into the palace by the emperor to be an imperial chef. However, it turns out that this so-called famous dish was stolen by her. Although Lin Dan doesn’t have any evidence, she can completely restore the color, aroma and taste of Wanfu Meat with a few pieces of tofu, and the dish she cooks is even better than the one cooked by Yan Langqing, which is enough to prove the truth of her words.
What's more, her father's two apprentices both work as chefs in the Yans’ Restaurant with high salary each month. As long as they are tortured, it is not difficult to get the truth.
However, the emperor doesn’t care about this. He is the ruler of the world. He wants to protect one, and then the one will be untouchable, so he takes her away without punishing Yan Langqing's crime of deceiving the emperor. The competition also ends hastily. Fortunately, Lin Dan doesn’t care about these things. She wraps the golden knife and the recipe book in red silk and goes out of the Fragrance Garden without delay.
Tang Jiu whispers behind her, "No wonder you let me leave it alone. Have you thought about the countermeasures long ago?"
Without waiting for Lin Dan's reply, the Weiyuan Marquis strides over and laughs, "Shopkeeper Lin, I am 39 this year, I had a wife and she died of illness. I have no children and no concubines in my family. I have power and ability. If you want, how about marrying me?"
Lin Dan looks at him in consternation, being speechless for a moment.
Tang Jiu's brows are severely gathered together and he shouts, "Lord, don't make such jokes at random. Be careful that it will tarnish the reputation of Shopkeeper Lin!"
"Is this a joke? I am serious. If I can marry such a clever and virtuous woman like Shopkeeper Lin, I must have been generously blessed by my ancestors. Tang Jiu, you are in such a hurry, shouldn't you also have wild desires for Shopkeeper Lin?"
"What are you talking about?" Soup Jiu quickly turns to look at Lin Dan, but he just finds that Lin Dan has been pulled by Lord Cheng and Lord Gong aside to talk, and then she boards the carriage without nostalgia. To ordinary people, marrying into a high family seems to be a way of fortune that can’t be obtained, but to her it seems to be a trouble.
Except for studying cooking, she seems not to have much interest in everything in the world. This contradictory attitude without desire and demand, but extremely serious, deeply attracts the people around her. Tang Jiu looks quite straight at the departing carriage and he looks extremely frustrated. The Weiyuan Marquis turns his ring of jadeite; his eyes are full of determination.
At the same time, Yan Langqing is kneeling beside the emperor in terror. The emperor slowly opens a gray water zongzi and eats it with relish. His expression is quite enjoyable.
"I didn't expect that the zongzi soaked in gray water would be so delicious. When I get back, I'll let the kitchen staff ponder over it and make it like this." Yan Langqing is beside him, but he doesn't mention to let her restore the gray water zongzi. It can be seen that the competition just now and all kinds of disputes afterwards have greatly reduced his perception of Yan Langqing.
Yan Langqing is now with an absolutely pale face.
As the carriage passes the Qingyun Alley, the emperor says slowly, "Stop the carriage and send guards to seal the Yans’ Restaurant."
Yan Langqing suddenly looks up, with her eyes full of astonishment.
The emperor gives her a sidelong glance and smiles casually, "What, you are not going to think that I will just let go of you so easily after you have faked the imperial edict and dominated the market?" Suddenly, Yan Shouye shouts angrily behind the carriage, asking why the guards close his shop. The guards point to the carriage in front of him, saying it is the emperor's intention. His tongue seems to have been snatched away by a cat, and he loses his voice instantly.
By a snort, Yan Langqing is frightened and she trembles all over. She thinks she has completely lost the emperor’s favor, but she doesn't expect the emperor to hold her hand. And the emperor says in a slow tone, "You have stayed in the palace for seven or eight years, the delicacies of the mountains and seas can be cooked in accordance with your choice, and famous chefs from all over the world can be fetched if you need. If you want to learn any skills, I will let them teach everything to you. In theory, your attainments will certainly not be inferior to those of Lin Dan who comes from the folk. But you should know that you actually lost to her today. Even your special dishes were stolen or copied from others. You have no characteristics of your own. It can be seen that you lack talent in cooking. "
Yan Langqing is shamed after hearing the emperor’s saying, her pale face turns red gradually, full of embarrassment and shame.
The emperor changes his temper and adds, "Since you have no talent for cooking, you can be my woman in the palace. I will not mistreat you."
Yan Langqing suddenly looks up and looks at the emperor with consternation, thinking for a long time, finally nods. She has nothing now and has made enemies everywhere in the culinary world. Even the shop front has been sealed up by the emperor. Where can she live after leaving the palace? However, when she becomes a concubine, everything will be different. She served people before and people will serve her in the future. Why not?
The emperor touches her delicate face, very gently, but his words are full of coldness, "Now that you will be in the palace as my concubine, you must let your families stay humble. If they cause me trouble, I will not tolerate it."
Yan Langqing feels a quiver, hurriedly nervously nods. In a trance, she doesn't find that the emperor who has always been kind to her has completely changed his attitude. He thought Yan Langqing was a pure and kind girl, the last pure people in this dirty palace, but she proves to be no different from others. She will also calculate, plunder and bully the weak, and her family's vulgarity, ignorance and insolence are even more annoying to him.
The emperor never believes in the words "rise above the mud without being stained". People trapped in the mud will only become dirtier, because they need to survive, so they will do whatever it takes, just like himself. So for an instant, he completely abandons the little hope and affection for Yan Langqing, only treats her as an ordinary object of hooking up, and uses both the carrot and the stick, tames her with the method of taming animals, when he gets her, when the novelty is over, she and those concubines who have fallen out of favor won't have any difference.
However, Yan Langqing doesn’t understand the emperor's thoughts. She thinks that she is still the most special one in the emperor's heart, so she takes courage and says, "Your Majesty, can you allow me to stay at home longer? My father's injury has not healed. I will to go back to the palace when he is all right. "
The emperor takes a deep look at her, and after a long time he nods carelessly--
Meanwhile, Lin Dan has returned to the alley where her restaurant is at. As soon as she gets out of the carriage, she sees several young and middle-aged men greet her with great joy, "Shopkeeper Lin, you are finally back! When are you going to open the shop? "
"I won’t open a shop; I will leave the capital city in a few days." Lin Dan motions with her hand.
Those men show expressions like enduring bereavement and try to persuade her again, but a eunuch comes leading a group of guards coming up with a mighty force and shouts, "Are you Chef Lin, Lin Dan? You won the competition today. The emperor has given you a plaque. You can take it. "
Lin Dan begins to discover that the two guards standing behind her are carrying a square plaque wrapped in silk and satin. After lifting the silk and satin, it writes six big words in gold paint--descendants of the golden knife chef, and there is the emperor's private seal.
It's a pity that Lin Dan already doesn’t care those words, but she still accepts the plaque, with red envelopes to send off the eunuch and guards. She closes the door and quietly tidies up things. The men standing outside the door are completely dumbfounded and freeze for a long time before they begin to say, "Dear lord, Shopkeeper Lin is actually the successor of the golden knife chef. It's amazing! We eat imperial food every day! "
"Stop dreaming! Didn't you hear that? Shopkeeper Lin is not going to open a shop here! She is a descendant of the imperial chef with a golden knife. If she wants to open a shop, she will go to the west district. She is impatient to cook us a bowl of noodles sold at two coppers?" The other men are filled with remorse. If they had known that Shopkeeper Lin was a descendant of the imperial chef, they would have cherished her cooking very much. These men now understand that Shopkeeper Lin's skills and personality are all excellent. She once set up a shop in the south district, was it not a blessing for the people here? It was a pity that they didn't know how to cherish the blessing.
Lin Dan packs up her luggage and goes straight out of the capital city. Before she arrives at her house, she saw her mum standing at the intersection and looking out with her face full of worries. She never thought her daughter would win, only hoped that she would come back safely. Therefore, when Lin Dan pulls open the silk cloth and shows her the recipe book and the golden knife, she opens her eyes wide and covers her mouth, it takes her a long time to figure out it is real.
"This, what is this?" She asks incredulously.
Lin Dan hands the two things over and smiles softly, "Mum, I have won my father's things back, please keep them."
"Won, you won? Did you really win?" Her mother keeps touching the golden knife and the recipe book, gradually laughing and crying again later. Over the years, her daughter has been wandering from place to place, suffering from too much hardship and suffering. She feels distressed for her daughter!
Lin Dan hugs her mother with gentle touch and her voice was very calm. "Mum, things here are finished, let's go somewhere else. The outside world is vast and there are many delicious foods waiting for us. "
Her mother sobs and nods, eyes rippling with joy--
It is not easy to go travel these days. It is necessary to prepare a lot of things, plan the route, and get directions. One can’t start travelling when he just decides to. Lin Dan stays in the suburbs of the capital city for more than a month, everything is about ready and they are ready to go, but there is a bad news in the capital city-- the Yongding Mansion has been raided for the crime of colluding with foreign enemies, and Concubine Tang (the daughter of the Yongding Marquis) has been put into the cold palace without hope of coming out, there is a possibility of genocide.
Seeing that the situation has changed greatly, Lin Dan may be implicated if she doesn’t leave soon. However, Lin Dan stays and only sends her mother far away, then sends a servant to the city to find out the latest news. The development of the situation is very rapid, just within three days, the charges have been settled, women in the Yongding Mansion are exiled for 3,000 miles (it means a quite long distance), and men are beheaded.
A few days later, even a piece of worse news comes, 68 women of the Yongding Mansion who can’t tolerant the disgrace hang themselves on beams, including Concubine Tang in the cold palace. The emperor is very angry about this, and he asks to behead those including Tang Jiu before the autumn is over. It seems very urgent. On the day of beheading, Lin Dan, with a huge food box, hurries to the execution ground to see Tang Jiu off.