“This subject will devote his life to you.”

As it turned out, the Qin Emperor was not out of his mind yet.

When Wei Lian finished his request, he was hit in the forehead.

He immediately covered his forehead and gaped at Ji Yue in grievance. “Why did you hit me on the forehead again?”

This was the second time he was flicked on the forehead.

Such a childish punishment, even his Shifu had never treated him like this, which the Qin Emperor did twice.

Did the older man not cherish what reputation he had left?

Ji Yue coldly glanced at him. “Spouting nonsense to trick us, would you rather have your tongue removed or for us to hit you on the forehead?”

Wei Lian removed his hands and ‘hmphed’.

Li Fuquan watched the two banter flirtatiously and felt his tooth aching sour in his mouth.

His Majesty was so fully indulgent to Lian Gongzi that he was not even angry with the insolent request.

Wei Lian sighed softly, “Why do you always threaten to remove this subject’s tongue? How could this subject kiss your Majesty without his tongue?”

Li Fuquan nearly burst into a shocked coughing fit, but fortunately, he held it in.

Th-this-this...Lian Gongzi was indeed a strange man.

Ji Yue’s breathing became short as the picture of the youth leaning over for a kiss during their bath immediately flashed in his mind.

Those lips were very soft.

And tasted so sweet.

More pleasing to the eyes when the youth was boneless in his arms.


“You didn’t use your tongue on that day.” Ji Yue said frankly.

Wei Lian: “...”

Fine, Qin Emperor is still the strongest.

The sound of coughing came from beside them. Li Fuquan could no longer hold back and coughed twice. Seeing Ji Yue’s cold eyes glanced over, he instantly recomposed his face into a neutral expression that screamed he heard nothing.

Ji Yue took a glimpse and ordered, “Go and bring us our sword.”

Li Fuquan lowered his head and instructed an underling to present the Qin Emperor his personal sword.

Ji Yue took his sword in one hand and grabbed Wei Lian’s hand in another. “Come, we will take you to fetch a carp.”

The moment Wei Lian’s hand was held by the other, his eyes moved to their connected hands before quickly looking away as he was dragged to the ice by Ji Yue.

The ice over the lake was very thick, it didn’t shift or crack from the two men’s weight. Because the top of the surface was slippery and Wei Lian’s weak appearance looked as if he could drop against the slightest wind, Ji Yue held onto the other’s hand tightly.

With Wei Lian in his left hand and his sword in his right, Ji Yue whispered, “Behold.” At the same time, he slashed the sword which was infused with his internal energy into the ice layer, directly creating a long gap in the ice surface.

A huge hole in the ice suddenly appeared below the blade as the ice surface cracked and separated. Several pieces of ice floated on the ice water, revealing the lake underneath.

Ji Yue slashed again. This time he stirred a high water splash and frightened a large carp with scales like iridescent clouds into jumping out of the water which was swept to the shore by his sword. It splashed around madly.

The palace workers on standby rushed to catch the carp.

“Are you impressed by us?” Ji Yue’s tone was full of arrogance, along with ‘quickly praise me’ written across his face.

Wei Lian was slightly impressed inside. His Majesty’s profound internal energy was enough to rival his.

Wei Lian did give Ji Yue a lot of face. In amazement, he exclaimed, “Your Majesty is so strong...” But before he could finish, the crack spread and gave out under him.

The ice surface, which was already split up and in pieces, became more fragile. It could no longer bear their weight.

Ji Yue was quick to pull Wei Lian into his arms before the younger man fell into the water, not even caring for the water that splashed on him.

The faint fragrance of ambergris invaded Wei Lian’s nose as he was kept against Ji Yue’s warm and firm chest. He lowered his eyes, completely at a loss for a moment.

This was not the first time they hugged. But this time...something felt different.

His heart was beating rapidly.

Was it because the ice broke under his feet?

Before Wei Lian could come up with a reason as to why this time was different, Ji Yue had already picked up his feet against the ice and performed light movement skill to lead Wei Lian to the shore.

“Are you all right?” Ji Yue asked.

In Ji Yue’s perception, Wei Lian was exceptionally intelligent but completely frail and weak, lacking the strength to truss a chicken. He was afraid that the younger man would fall ill from the fright.

Wei Lian gazed up at him with some bewilderment before shaking his head lightly, judging by his look, Ji Yue could tell he was in a state of shock.

He immediately ordered, “Return to the palace.”

Then he remembered something and added, “Send the fish to the kitchen, we want to see it on the table tonight.”

* * *

Yangxin Palace Hall

Ji Yue carefully examined Wei Lian’s whole body, and even had the thoughts to summon the imperial physician. Wei Lian finally spoke up, “Your Majesty...this subject is fine.”

Ji Yue frowned. “We saw your soul frightened out of your body earlier.”

Wei Lian: “...”

You’re the one with your soul frightened out of your body, I was just distracted.

After making sure that Wei Lian was safe and sound, Ji Yue’s tone turned disdainful again, “You were very presumptuous to us, to be out of your wits at the smallest thing. Are you not ashamed of yourself?”

“...Your Majesty doesn’t need to trouble yourself for this subject.”

“No need to trouble? You would be a floating corpse in the cold water by now.” Ji Yue said impolitely.

Wei Lian made fists under his sleeve, feeling the urge to throw a punch.

He lowered his eyes to direct his attention at the Qin Emperor’s soaked sleeve before he loosened his hands. “Your Majesty should go change first before catching a cold.”

If it wasn’t for protecting him, the Qin Emperor wouldn’t be in such a sorry state.

Ji Yue sneered, “Do you think our body will easily catch a cold like your weak body?”

Wei Lian put emphasis on each word, “Go, change.”

Ji Yue stared at him.

Wei Lian stared back.

“...Fine, all right, we will go now.” Ji Yue was the first to break their eye contact. “We got water on our outfit from saving you, shouldn’t you repay us for this?”

Wei Lian smiled slightly. “This subject can never repay his saviour, so this subject can only devote his life to you.”

Ji Yue: “...”

The Qin Emperor’s face was blushing mistrustfully.

“That does not count.” Ji Yue huffed. “You are already ours.”

“Then what does your Majesty want?”

“We want you to personally cook for us.”

Wei Lian was baffled, showing a rare embarrassed face as he replied. “This subject does not know how to cook...”

Ji Yue's words were final. “We don’t care. Do not try to talk your way out of this. We want to eat your cooking tonight.”

He did not give Wei Lian a chance to refuse as after his order, he rushed out of the door to change after a bath.

Wei Lian remained standing where he was and frowned.

This was a hard task to complete. He really did not know how to cook.

Hasn’t the Qin Emperor ever heard the saying, ‘royalty stays clear of the kitchen’? Wei Lian had a vast range of knowledge, but he had never exposed himself to cooking.

But he must not disobey the Qin Emperor’s orders.

After pondering over this, Wei Lian left the Yangxin Palace Hall and went to the imperial kitchen.

He knew nothing about cooking and had to consult with the imperial chef.

* * *

The cooking room was filled with smoke throughout the day. The palace workers here were all covered in stench and grease. Everyone was busy preparing the daily three meals for the whole palace.

When outsiders talk about the imperial palace, they only touch upon the bright and shiny side, but always neglect the group of people who lived at the darker and greasy side.

Thus, when a white gentleman with a gorgeous face pushed in and entered the kitchen, the fire burner forgot to add more wood, the chef forgot his task on hand and burned the egg, and the person chopping the vegetables nearly cut his fingers.

Everyone was dumbfounded as if they had witnessed an otherworldly beauty that existed only in legend.

...They have never seen such a divine figure in their lives.

What words could be used to describe this gentleman?

Unrivalled features and devastatingly beautiful appearance, both praises could be used to apply this person’s beauty.

Like a treasure bestowed to the earth by the sun and the moon, illuminating the human realm like fireworks and gracing this dark kitchen with his bright presence.

The first person to react was the head chef, Wang Shou, who met Wei Lian earlier. He recognized the person but this was the first time he had a closer look at the youth’s face.

Such out of the world beauty, it was no wonder that his Majesty was very fond of him.

But what Wang Shou was more grateful for was the remark made by Wei Lian that saved his life.

“Gongzi.” Wang Shou greeted once he came back to his senses and hurriedly knelt down. The other palace workers also heard this address and with a new realisation, they quickly followed suit with their salute.

By the discretion of his Majesty, Lian Gongzi needed to be treated with the same courtesy as the lady of the palace, so no one dared to be disrespectful.

Wei Lian said in a gentle voice, “There’s no need to be this polite.”

Wang Shou stood up with fear and trepidation. “Why did Gongzi come to the kitchen? I beg of you to quickly leave here before you soil yourself, the stench of oil and smoke is very heavy here.”

Wei Lian said, “I am here to prepare a meal for his Majesty.”

Wang Shou understood right away. He worked in the imperial kitchen for twenty years. Something like a maiden of the harem cooked a meal to his Majesty with her own hands had happened in the previous dynasty.

“Then this servant will free up this kitchen for Gongzi.” Wang Shou replied.

Wei Lian added, “I’m also here to seek teaching.”

Wang Shou asked, “What does Gongzi mean?”

Wei Lian shared, “I don’t know how to cook.”

Wang Shou assumed that as a man, Wei Gongzi’s cooking wouldn’t be as good. This he could sympathise with.

“There is no need for Gongzi to worry, as long as the meal was prepared by you, his Majesty won’t refuse your kind effort.” Wang Shou comforted.

Wei Lian shook his head. “I really don’t know how to cook. This is his Majesty’s order, I’m left with no choice.”

Wang Shou was shocked and cautiously inquired, “How many times have you entered the kitchen before...?”

Wei Lian answered honestly, “Never.” Making this the first time.

Wang Shou felt like his vision was going dark. “Then do you…understand the difference between seasoning or grain柴米油鹽醬醋茶 The more accurate translation is ‘firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy, vinegar, and tea. Life's daily necessities. But I shortened it to seasoning or grain.
? Can you make tea?”

Wei Lian answered in earnest, “I understand the four arts, poetry, wine, and flowers.” Actually, he knew nothing of alcohol.

Wang Shou trembled. “Then do you know how to add firewood to the stove and light a fire for cooking? Or know when raw rice is done cooking?”

Wei Lian questioned in surprise, “What about when raw rice is done cooking?” Was that a secret manual on the way to strengthen moral ties between married couples...

Wang Shou got the whole picture now. This is a kitchen killer whom cooking can kill.

He managed to pull a smile. “Don’t worry, this servant will teach Gongzi.”

* * *

Wang Shou drove others out of the kitchen and taught Wei Lian the rest of the afternoon.

Perhaps each person had their own strengths and weaknesses. In any other aspect, Wei Lian could learn after just hearing the first time, as for cooking, he successfully showed his non-existent talent for it.

Wang Shou blankly studied at a plate of black unidentified objects in front of his face, he asked in a trembling voice, “Young Ma-Master, why don’t you have this servant make a dish and you can send it to his Majesty stating it’s your own creation...?”

Wang Shou’s heart cried out in pain, seeing such a priceless carp being ruined this badly. He could still pick another dead fish to replace it...it was just the replacement wouldn’t be as fresh but at least it wouldn’t be as horrible as this ‘blackened fish’.

“No. Deceiving the Emperor is a capital punishment and I can’t involve you.” Wei Lian vetoed.

Wang Shou was crying inside.

But presenting this dish before his Majesty was also a death sentence!

Gongzi really did not exaggerate, he really didn’t know how to cook.

What kind of hope did he have for a person who would chant, ‘Rice, you’re already a grown-up rice, you should learn how to be mature成熟 This is pun. Wei Lian is telling the big (grown-up) rice to finish cooking (mature) itself. yourself' to the pot of raw rice.

Editor's Corner

Sahl: I love how Wei Lian is already ordering Ji Yue around. Wang Shou, I— *pats chef’s head* Jiayou!


1 Comment

  1. Muggelschmuggel

    A kitchen killer – indeed lololol
    Well……. JY wanted to eat his cooking, so let him have some black cuisine.. and it’s truly black hahaha.

    Thx for the ch ٩( >ヮ<)۶

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