Palace Full of Delicacies

Chapter 88 - Natural Instincts

Chapter 88 - Natural Instincts

His Highness King Zhao held the Eldest Prince in his hands and searched for a long time, finally finding the black and yellow striped big cat by the pond in the Imperial Garden.

At that moment, King Li was squatting among a bunch of wild cats, engaged in a serious conversation.

“Ever since the Great Selection, the Emperor only favored Xian Fei. He used to visit Yexiao Palace every night, but later he simply had Xian Fei move to Beiji Palace, saving himself the trouble of summoning him.” The big sand-colored wild cat spoke as it ate the koi that King Li had just fished out of the pond.

“You seem to know quite a lot.” King Li remarked, scratching his ear with his hind paw. The wild cat’s words sounded like they came from a well-read feline.

“It’s all from listening to De Fei’s chatter.” Quickly interjected the calico female cat beside them.

She had already eaten her fill and wasn’t interested in the raw fish, instead, she looked at King Li with burning eyes. His sleek fur, agile figure, and perfectly symmetrical stripes on his face were truly handsome and extraordinary.

“At night in Beiji Palace, there are always strange sounds. It seems that the Emperor is always nibbling on Xian Fei, and Xian Fei would moan and groan.” Remarked the cat who often slept on the roof of Beiji Palace. The other cats chimed in with their agreements.

“Xian Fei’s cooking smells particularly fragrant, we’ve all caught a whiff of it.”

“Those two big tabby cats often sneak into the kitchen to steal food. They seem to be like you, so we don’t dare to go near them.”

The wild cats chattered away, each adding their own two cents.

King Li swung his tail and realized that the wild cats were talking about Seventeenth Uncle and Thirteenth Uncle and couldn’t help but roll his eyes.

“And then, will they be beaten up by the Emperor for stealing food?”

“Of course they will.” Said the calico female cat. “But they’re not afraid of the Emperor and will still go and steal food.”

His Highness King Zhao watched the scene before him, his mouth twitching, and hesitated about whether to approach.

“Meow--” The kitten in his hand spotted King Li and stretched its neck to let out a soft meow.

King Li, along with a few of the wild cats, turned to look. Some of the cats seemed nervous at the sight of a person, hunching their necks in preparation to flee.

“No need to be afraid, he’s my little brother.” King Li waved his paw and spoke to King Zhao.

“Hongyi, I was wondering why you haven’t said a word to me since yesterday. So you’re teething, there’s nothing to be shy about!”

“Fecond Brother…” King Zhao greeted, a hint of awkwardness crossing his face before he closed his mouth, choosing not to speak further.

“Is he the kitten who’s losing his teeth?” The sand-colored cat, having finished eating the koi, looked up at King Zhao and suddenly lay down on his back with all four paws in the air, laughing uproariously.

“He’s this big and only now losing his teeth? Hahaha…”

The other wild cats laughed along with him.

His Highness King Zhao handed the kitten in his hand to King Li, contemplating whether he should leave first. It was enough to embarrass himself in front of his own family, let alone in front of wild cats.

“I heard that you have a new big red mouse.” King Li didn’t mock him but instead asked about something else.

“His Majesty didn’t take it away, did he, ba? Show it to Second Brother!”

King Zhao’s lips twitched slightly, and he seemed to understand why King Li hadn’t been kept in the capital initially.

The striped big cat reached out its paws to take the kitten, licked it a few times, and then carried it on its back, continuing to chat with the wild cats about the latest news with great interest.

“Mi?” The Little Prince found himself perched on the back of the large cat and curiously took a few steps, pressing his paws against King Li’s head, ears perked as he looked downwards.

King Li sat still as a statue, allowing the kitten to climb around him.

“Come on, tell me about that Cat Curse incident. Was it the spotted black and yellow that got caught, or was the black and white cat?”

Su Yu didn’t know what he had said wrong again for the Lord Cat inexplicably became unhappy again. When Lord Cat was unhappy, he had to suffer along with it.

In the morning, he reminded Su Yu to take the Eldest Prince to show to the Empress Dowager, expecting that the Empress Dowager couldn’t resist keeping the little kitten, but who would have thought that she would be rejected by the foolish slave?

The Emperor caught Su Yu who was still in a daze and bit him fiercely.

“Hey, don’t bite there, hey!” Su Yu saw the Emperor biting his neck again and hurriedly dodged, but unexpectedly, in his attempt to escape, he exposed the tender flesh under his neck. His Majesty naturally didn’t hesitate to bite into it.

‘Crash!’ The memorial on the table was swept to the floor, turning it into a smooth cutting board. The Emperor pressed the fish onto the cutting board, peeled off its intricate clothes, revealing the tender fish flesh, and took out the ointment, evenly applying it over the fish.

Su Yu lay back on the hard table, his body flexing involuntarily as if he were a fish awaiting to be slaughtered on the cutting board, struggling futilely for a moment before being cruelly dismembered by the savage cat and eaten into his stomach.

The Emperor looked at the fish that had turned pink beneath him, and let out a soft snort. This foolish slave, without even doing much, had ended up in such a state. He was obviously trying to seduce Zhen.

Last night they were disturbed by his stupid son, now he must be thinking about Zhen too much. As a considerate master, he naturally wants to satisfy his stupid slave. So he unceremoniously rushed in.

Su Yu, who had only come to serve as a cushion, ended up being tossed around in the study room all morning, causing the Emperor to neglect the memorials and skip lunch. By the time the Emperor finally settled down, it was already time to eat.

Su Yu slumped on the table, lacking even the strength to get up.

“Your Majesty, it’s time for your meal.” Wang Gonggong dutifully reminded from outside the door, but he had no intention of entering.

The Emperor got up from Su Yu’s body and, in one smooth motion, lifted him up as well, nestling on the dragon chair before licking him for a while.

Su Yu yawned.

“Your Majesty, go have your meal, ba. I’ll go back and take a nap.”

The Emperor hooked his lips, is this being coquettish with Zhen, ba? Really, just say that you have no energy and want Zhen to feed you, this kind of ambiguity is quite a headache. With this thought in mind, An Hongche looked up and said to Wang Gonggong outside the door.

“Serve the meal in Beiji Palace.”

Lunch wasn’t prepared by Su Yu, but since the Emperor was in a good mood, he didn’t fuss over it. After finishing the meal, he held Su Yu and took a nap on the soft cushion in Beiji Palace. When he woke up, he resumed reviewing the memorials, while Su Yu slept until sunset.

Originally, Su Yu was supposed to go to Anguo Tower to discuss the menu for the sacrifice to the heavens with the State Teacher but now, the planning was delayed again. Su Yu climbed to his feet, rubbing his sore waist.

Tonight, the Imperial Uncles would come to visit the Eldest Prince, so he had to prepare some delicious dishes to entertain the elders.

October was the season when crabs were plumb and delicious. Among the ingredients delivered today, crabs accounted for the majority, so Su Yu decided to make them all into spicy crabs.

As the weather got colder, the whole family gathered together to enjoy the lively feast of spicy crab. After finishing, they could even use the broth for hotpot.

“What smells so good?” King Ling stepped into Beiji Palace and was stopped in his tracks by the rich aroma

“No potential.” King Su raised his hand and gave his younger brother a smack on the back of his head, then strode confidently forward, sat down at the table, and took a deep breath.

“It smells like crab.”

As they spoke, King Li walked in with the Eldest Prince in his arms, followed by the wilting King Zhao.

“Hongyi, what’s wrong? Did your Second Brother bully you?” King Ling rubbed the chubby little head.

King Li paid no attention to the accusation of bullying his younger brother and respectfully bowed to the two uncles.

“Greetings, Thirteenth Uncle, Seventeenth Uncle.”

“So, this is the Eldest Prince, ba?” King Su stared solemnly at the little head peeking out from King Li’s clothes, then slowly reached out, lifting the little kitten.

“Meowww--” The black and yellow kitten kicked its four paws and looked somewhat frightened at the stern figure before it.

King Su placed the kitten in his palm and silently locked eyes with it for a moment. Expressionless, he said: “Call me Grandpa.”

“Mi?” The kitten shrunk its neck, puzzled.

“Don’t scare him!” King Ling smacked his older brother and approached with a playful smile. He gently nudged the kitten’s ear with his nose.

“Da Mao, I’m your Seventeenth Grandpa. Don’t mind this Grandpa here, he’s a bad guy who’ll steal your fish paste to eat.”[TL_Note: Da Mao is the little prince’s name for now, it loosely translates to Little Furball]

“Mi--” The kitten felt ticklish from the teasing and squirmed its little body, then turned its head and licked King Ling’s nose.

“What ‘Da Mao’? Don’t call him that!” King Su raised his hand and swatted his little brother back, moving the kitten away to prevent further contact.

Observing the dispute between the two imperial uncles, King Li chose not to intervene. He sat at the table, calmly sipping his tea. When King Ling was scolded by his older brother and sat down indignantly, King Li then solemnly spoke up.

“Seventeenth Uncle, I heard that you were mistaken for a cat demon and captured. This nephew was very worried, did you sustain any injuries?”

Upon hearing this, King Ling’s expression darkened.

“The South Sea is not very peaceful right now, don’t keep coming to the Capital for no reason. Go back as soon as possible after the sacrifice to the heavens.”

“The sea monsters are all in the East Sea. There’s not much happening in the South Sea now.” King Li said without changing his expression.

“This nephew heard that you got something called chili pepper.”

“Why?” King Ling looked at him warily.

“The aroma must be from dishes made with that chili pepper.” King Li took a deep breath, and the scent of spicy crab became even more intense.

“Seventeenth Uncle, if you’ve got something good, why not share it with this nephew? Father spirit in the heavens would be sad to see you being so biased.”

King Ling felt a vein throbbing on his forehead as he listened.

<

“This has nothing to do with Fifth Brother.”

“Then tell me, what’s going on with this Cat Curse incident?” King Li asked earnestly.

King Ling silently stared at King Li, narrowing his eyes slightly. His Highness King Zhao, who was secretly nibbling on a crab stick, subtly shifted backward.

By the time Su Yu entered with a large bowl of spicy crabs, the whole dining hall was in chaos.

The Emperor, done with his political affairs, walked over and saw Su Yu standing stupidly outside the dining hall holding a large bowl. He raised his chin, and Wang Gonggong hurriedly stepped forward to take the heavy bowl.

“What are you doing standing here?” An Hongche walked to Su Yu’s side, seeing him still in a daze. He furrowed his brows slightly, then turned to look inside the hall, his face instantly darkened.

Two large back and yellow cats were having a good fight on the table. The striped cat bit onto the spotted cat’s tail, while the spotted cat vigorously kicked the striped cat’s chin with its hind legs; Meanwhile, the black and white cat played with the kitten on the carpet. The kitten seemed to adore the fluffy black and white tail, holding onto it tightly and refusing to let go. Only His Highness King Zhao maintained some dignity, sitting in his human form in the corner, quietly nibbling on a crab stick.

The author has something to say:

Small Theater:

Back when they were kids, they all lived in the Palace

King Li: I heard you wet the bed (⊙ω⊙)

Younger Brother: N-No, I didn’t!

King Li: Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

Younger Brother: Thank you, Second Brother QAQ

King Li: So, tell me, what shape did you pee?

Younger Brother: …

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