Palace Full of Delicacies

Chapter 89 - Manxiang Festival

Chapter 89 - Manxiang Festival

Wang Gonggong walked straight in, placing the basin filled with spicy crab in the center of the table.

The rich aroma immediately filled the entire dining hall. Both of the large cats lifted their heads simultaneously. The striped big cat had never seen spicy crab before and wanted to take a closer look.

Seeing this, King Ling swiftly kicked his leg out, knocking the cat off the table with one swift kick.

King Li was startled for a moment but quickly bit down the tail near his mouth.

“Meow!” Seventeenth Uncle, who was feeling quite pleased with himself, was suddenly grabbed by the tail. In a fluster, he hastily swiped his paws a few times but couldn’t grab anything, so he fell straight off the table.

The two black and yellow cats fell into a ball, rolling over to King Su’s side. The big black and white cat raised his paw to block the large rolling ball of fur, protecting the little furball that was still battling its tail behind it.

“Seventeenth Uncle, attacking without warning is unbecoming of a gentleman!” King Li climbed to his feet, spitting out a mouthful of fur.

“You dare to lay hands on your Uncle and still talk about being a gentleman!” King Ling rubbed his sore tail, baring his teeth and preparing to pounce again.

“Both of you, shut up!” King Su slapped the heads of the two large cats one by one.

“You’re embarrassing enough as it is!”

The two large cats finally turned their heads and saw the Emperor with a disdainful expression and Xian Fei with a stunned look.

“It seems that none of the Imperial Uncles and Elder Brother are interested in eating spicy crab.” The Emperor hugged Su Yu’s waist.

“Wang Fuhai, take the basin back to Beiji Palace.”

“Wait wait.” King Zhao, who was sitting in the corner, quickly stood up. “I, I…”

Upon hearing this, King Ling immediately turned around and leaped onto the table, baring his teeth at Wang Gonggong who was attempting to get close.

A flash of light enveloped King Li, transforming him into his human form, wearing a black and yellow long robe with wide sleeves.

He picked up the scattered Qinwang’s attire on the ground, swiftly retreating to the inner room, and emerged shortly after, impeccably dressed. He bowed to the Emperor without changing his expression.

“Paying respects to the Emperor, may the Emperor live for ten thousand years, ten thousand years, ten ten thousand years.”

Su Yu: “...”

After the commotion, the Qinwangs finally dressed properly and sat at the dining table. The Emperor’s face was as dark as the bottom of a pot, he really didn’t want to admit that these guys were his Uncles and Brothers.

“Mi--” The Eldest Prince squatted on King Su’s shoulder, looked around, and then softly called out to Su Yu.

“Da Mao, when you see Xian Fei, you won’t want Grandpa anymore.” King Ling scooted over to rub his nose with the kitten, but the kitten disdainfully pushed him away with its paw.

“What did Seventeenth Uncle call him?” Su Yu didn’t hear clearly and turned to ask the Emperor.

The Emperor glanced at King Ling.

“Ignore him.” He reached into the basin and picked up a crab claw to eat. The spicy crabs made Su Yu were always chopped up, with crab legs and claws scattered all over the plate.

Su Yu scooped out some crab row for the Emperor, then picked up the kitten that kept jumping towards him and placed it on the table. He tore off a piece of crab meat and fed it to the kitten.

The Emperor raised an eyebrow as he glanced at the vibrant crab roe in the bowl and then at the red mark on Su Yu’s neck, his eyes couldn’t help but darken.

Was this foolish slave hinting at something to him? Has he not been satisfied yet today? He swallowed the smooth and sweet crab roe in one gulp. An Hongche licked his lips, Zhen would have to find a way to get rid of his foolish son tonight.

The basin was full of spicy crab, bright red and shiny, with a thick soup base filled with various ingredients, sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. It looked incredibly appetizing.

King Ling, seeing the kitten being taken away, began to focus on eating crab without a word. King Su, who was never one for much conversation, hadn’t uttered a word since sitting down. He had been quietly dismantling the crab with a stoic expression.

“Is this dish made with chili peppers?” King Li curiously picked up a crab leg, attempting to initiate a discussion about the unique qualities of chili with everyone.

However, he noticed that no one responded to him. Clearing his throat, he placed the crab leg in his mouth. The rich and fragrant soup, combined with the unique taste of chili peppers, exploded into an indescribable deliciousness on his tongue, causing King Li’s eyes to widen in surprise.

Quickly sucking up the spicy oil from the crab leg, he bit open the hard shell, revealing the tender white crab meat inside.

The crab meat itself hadn’t absorbed much of the spicy oil, preserving its inherent sweetness. However, there was still a lingering spiciness from the shell. As he bit into the crab meat, it created the illusion that the crab meat also carried a hint of spiciness.

The basin of spicy crab was soon emptied, leaving the Emperor displeased as he hadn’t had his fill yet.

There were still many accompanying vegetables in the soup base, precious stir-fried and now simmered in the flavorful broth from the spicy crab. These vegetables tasted just as delicious as the crab meat.

Su Yu scooped some of the vegetables and crab soup onto white rice, mixed them thoroughly, and handed it to the Emperor.

An Hongche snorted, enjoying the foolish slave’s service with peace of mind. He took the jade bowl and quickly finished the rice in three to four bites, his complexion finally improving slightly.

“Meoww…” The Eldest Prince, seeing this, also reached for Su Yu’s hand, wanting to eat. Since Su Yu didn’t dare to give spicy food to the child, he coaxed him into eating some crab meat mixed with white rice.

Seeing this, the other Qinwangs followed suit, eating several bowls of rice with the soup base, and ended up devouring the entire basin of dishes.

Su Yu glanced at the Emperor, who seemed to have eaten his fill, and decided not to bring up the idea of adding soup to eat hot pot again.

King Li finished three bowls of rice in a row, then set down his chopsticks with a lingering sense of satisfaction.

“Jintang, how was this spicy crab made?”

“It’s sold in Xianmantang. If you want to eat it, go buy it yourself.” The Emperor spoke before Su Yu could respond, showing no intention of allowing Su Yu to have a conversation with King Li.

“Xianmantang…” King Li ponded for a moment, recalling that he had heard of Xianmantang from a tabby cat yesterday. It was said to be opened by King Zhao. So, he shifted his gaze to King Zhao, who was covering his mouth.

“Hongyi, come here, let’s discuss something.” With that, he dragged the reluctant King Zhao out of the dining hall.

“The two of you…” The Emperor turned to the two Imperial Uncles, ready to chase the cats away.

Ever since Su Yu discovered their true identities, the two Imperial Uncles didn’t care much anymore. Right after finishing their meal, they transformed back into large cats and began playing with the Eldest Prince again.

The Eldest Prince particularly enjoyed playing with King Su’s black and white tail very much and refused to let go of it.

“Your Majesty, could we borrow Da Mao to play for the night, um, I mean, take care of him for the night?” King Ling squatted behind the kitten, caught it off guard, grabbed it, and rolled with it on the carpet.

The Emperor, who was about to lose his temper, hesitated for a moment, then huffed.

“The Prince is still young…”

“I will ensure he won’t be mistreated.” The black and white cat said, giving his younger brother a swipe with his paw, and then snatching the kitten away, kicking its fur back into place.

“Mi--” The little furball seemed to enjoy the rolling game, emerging from under King Su’s belly and pouncing onto the reclining big black and yellow cat. It was clear that he wanted to play again.

Taking advantage of the moment, King Ling grabbed the kitten by the back of its neck and stood up, running away. King Su glanced at the Emperor and followed suit.

“Ah…” Before Su Yu could react, his son was already gone.

“Your Majesty, where did they take the child?”

“Don’t worry about them.” The Emperor’s expression remained stern, though his thin lips couldn’t help but curl slightly upwards. He picked Su Yu up.

“Let’s talk about the spoonful of crab roe you gave Zhen to eat.”

“Ah? Crab roe?” Su Yu blinked as he was inexplicably carried back to Beiji Palace by the Emperor, and then tossed onto the dragon bed.

As the Manxiang Festival approached, the Qinwangs all resided within the Palace, making it unusually lively for several days. The Empress Dowager was delighted to see King Li and chatted with him for a long time. King Li also patiently conversed with the Empress Dowager.

“You are still the most filial. Neither His Majesty nor Hongyi can bear listening to Aijia.” The Empress Dowager said as she sewed a cloth mouse.

“This son in the South Sea thought of his Muhou every day and has plenty to say to Muhou.” King Li sat beside the Empress Dowager, his gaze earnestly fixed on the cloth mouse in her hands.

“Could you sew one with fur?”

On the tenth day of the tenth month, the entire country celebrated with joy.

It was the season of autumn harvest, and this year’s harvest in Da’an was as bountiful as ever, with favorable weather throughout.

The people had filled their granaries with grain, and families gathered together joyfully to have a big meal to celebrate this year’s abundance, praying for prosperity in the coming year.

Meanwhile, the imperial family was preparing for the ceremony to worship the heavens.

On this day, there was no need for court attendance, allowing the Emperor to enjoy a rare opportunity to sleep in. However, Su Yu had to rise early to prepare the offerings for the evening ceremony.

His Majesty the Emperor reached out to pull the person beside him into his arms but found the space empty. He groggily opened his eyes to see Su Yu standing by the bed, getting dressed. Frowning slightly, he asked.

“Zhen won’t go to court today, what are you doing up?” No court session meant that the Emperor didn’t need to have his usual morning meal, so Su Yu didn’t need to wake up this early.

“I need to prepare the offerings.” Su Yu replied, bending down to caress the sleepy Cat Lord’s handsome face, unable to resist leaning in to give it a kiss.

“You go back to sleep, ba.”

The Emperor seized him by the nape of his neck, pulling him onto the bed and pinning him beneath him.

“Not allowed to go. Accompany Zhen to sleep.”

“Wu…” Su Yu stumbled as he was pulled onto the bed, then sighed as he pushed against the weight on his chest.

“Don’t make trouble, the State Teacher is still waiting for me at Anguo Tower.”

“Mew?” The small kitten nestled in the crevice of the pillow was startled awake, stumbling out unsteadily.

Su Yu coaxed the Cat Lord for a few moments, then struggled to get up, tucking the little ball of fur into the Emperor’s embrace.

“I’ll be back by noon. You two don’t fight.”He said hurriedly before rushing out the door.

His Majesty the Emperor held his son and rubbed his somewhat itchy nose, then held up the little furball to meet his gaze. After a moment of staring into each other’s eyes, he snorted and tucked the kitten into the covers before settling back to sleep.

Meanwhile, the fresh fish had arrived from the East Sea, needing to be killed quickly. There were smoked fish and fish balls in the freezer that needed thawing, and the dried Ying Yu’s fins needed to be soaked in advance to prepare fish fin soup for the evening.

With so much to do in the morning, Su Yu was kept busy, leaving him no time to attend to his son.

Unable to find his brothers or uncles around, the Emperor had to carry his eldest son to the study to approve the memorials.

The author has something to say:

Small Theater:

During the competition for the right to raise the royal child:

Consort A: I possess unparalleled medical skills to ensure your peaceful sleep.

Consort B: I have extraordinary wisdom to ensure you won’t be a birdbrain and can fly ahead.

Consort C: I have powerful maternal family support to guarantee your ascension to the throne.

Empress Dowager:... I have cloth mice

King Li & King Jing: Ma Ma~~~(⊙ω⊙)

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