Chapter 88 – A Thrill, Part 2 (28.1)
Lin Jia Bao was really exhausted. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he felt that his bones were about to fall apart, and his hands and legs were sore.
Lin Jia Bao and the empress just sat and rested quietly. Lin Jia Bao felt hungry and thirsty. He hadn’t had lunch today. It was already afternoon and they didn’t know how long they had to hide… they need to get some food first…
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“Your Majesty, you must be hungry, right? I’ll go to the Xi Li Palace Hall’s kitchen and see what there is to eat, okay?” Lin Jia Bao stood up and said to the empress.
The empress also felt hungry in her belly, “An Zhu, be careful, go fast and come back quickly…”
Before Lin Jia Bao left, he placed the big blade that he was holding beside the empress. “This blade, keep it for self defense, Your Majesty. I’ll be back soon.”
Lin Jia Bao gently opened the door and slipped out like a cat. He carefully closed the door and quickly ran to the kitchen of Xi Li Palace Hall.
The empress looked at the huge blade lost in thought…
Xi Li Palace Hall’s kitchen has been vacant for a long time, and there was dust on the stove. Lin Jia Bao searched for a long time but couldn’t find anything to eat. He eventually found a bag of white rice and a small bag of flour in the cellar of the kitchen storage, as well as some sugar, salt, and a small jar of vegetable oil. Lin Jia Bao thought for a while and prepared to use these to make two simple dishes.
Lin Jia Bao returned to the kitchen. First, he cleaned out the small stove. Then he washed the pot and tableware. Lin Jia Bao was very careful when doing these actions, trying not to make any noise.
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When he lit the fire, his heart rose to his throat, fearing that the movements in the kitchen would attract the intruders. His palms were sweaty with nerves. He quickly boiled the white rice into congee and added some sugar to it. After that, the flour was added with water and kneaded into a dough, pressed into a cake, fried in vegetable oil and sprinkled with salt. The smell of vegetable oil filled the kitchen instantly.
Lin Jia Bao’s stomach gurgled. He swallowed his saliva. He only taste tested the food a little. Then he found a large food box and packed everything.
Carrying a large food box and a pot of sweet congee, Lin Jia Bao managed to return to where the empress was staying by the time the sun dipped in the horizon.
The empress waited anxiously in the room, her heart was full of worry, as time went by… The empress recited “na mo e mi tuo fu” in her heart… and prayed to Buddha to protect this good and honest child…
[T/N: 南无哦弥陀佛 na mo e mi tuo fu – Buddhist salutation or expression of faith]
The empress knew that Lin-xiaoshi was also very afraid, but still left her the only weapon for self-defense. He went out to face the dangers alone, if he happened to meet a thief… the empress didn’t dare to think about it, she was very worried…
When she saw Lin An Zhu coming back, the empress breathed a sigh of relief.
“An Zhu, you’ve returned. You didn’t encounter any danger, did you?”
“I’m fine, Your Majesty. I didn’t meet anyone. It seems that Xi Li Palace Hall is still very safe.” Lin Jia Bao brought the congee to the table, and took out the bowls and chopsticks from the food box.
The empress was relieved.
“Your Majesty, I only found these in the kitchen, so I made congee and flat breads. It’s a bit crude, please forgive me.”
Lin Jia Bao filled a bowl with congee and placed it in front of the empress. Then he took out the fried flat breads from the bottom tier of the food box and placed it on a small plate, ready to serve the empress for dinner.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
The empress picked up the bowl of congee and ate a mouthful. After a thrilling day, there was nothing better than taking a sip of hot congee in a cold room in winter. The congee was cooked to a moderate degree of softness and hardness, and it was sweet and delicious. Eating it, the empress felt sweet and warm in her heart.
The empress looked at Lin An Zhu who was standing beside her.
“An Zhu, you should quickly sit down and eat too. It’s a special situation right now. Don’t worry about [the rules]. Eat quickly. It won’t taste good when it is cold.”
“Please eat first, Your Majesty. I will wait for you to finish eating before I eat…” Lin Jia Bao refused to sit down.
The empress pulled him down onto the chair and then handed him a flat bread. “Hurry up and eat, you have worked hard today…”
After the empress’s repeated persuasion, Lin Jia Bao finally ate with her. He gobbled the flat bread down in three bites.
“An Zhu, your cooking is delicious. This is the best congee I’ve ever had.”
The empress ate the flat bread and drank the congee, thinking that it’s been really hard for this child…
Lin Jia Bao was embarrassed to be praised.
“It’s not as good as Your Majesty says…”