Chapter 340 - A Party of Three
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
The entire group managed to arrive at a solitary inn close to Shanhuai county before nightfall. It did not look excessively opulent, but considering it was in the middle of a forest, it was more than a small luxury for wandering travellers.
Mo Ruo was the first to hop off the sedan. His head was much clearer now, calling out for one of the waiters as soon as he was in the inn. “Quick, quick, bring me several jugs of your finest ‘Shaoxing wine’!”
The waiter scurried over with a rag to wipe off the table, “Yessir! Just a moment Master, it’ll be here soon!”
The innkeeper fiddled with his abacus behind the counter, his greedy eyes moving as nimbly as his fingers once he spotted the well-dressed group outside. With the type of material that the sedan heading the group was made of, he would be damned if the people inside weren’t from wealthy families. The curtains alone were crafted from the finest brocades!
The innkeeper’s eyes gleamed as he viewed his newfound targets. He put away his worn out abacus and lifted his gown as he circled around the counter to waddle gleefully towards his customers. He enthusiastically greeted them, “Aiyah, are you masters looking to stay in our inn? We’re an old establishment, everyone who passed through this forest has stayed here before. There are merchants, scholars, wealthy young masters … We have the finest rooms, finest meals, and the finest wines! We’re definitely the best inn in the near vicinity. Masters have chosen the right place, quick, quick, please come inside quickly!” One could not help but be swayed by his convincing pitch!
Jing Rong leaned away from the innkeeper, paying him no attention. Instead, he busied himself by ordering his men to park the sedans and feed the horses as he waited for Ji Yunshu to disembark. The innkeeper lingered to the side, his hands rubbing in anticipation of an imminent windfall.
Ji Wanxin was the first to get out of their sedan, followed by Ji Yunshu and Wei Yi. Wei Yi was still hanging onto Ji Yunshu’s arm, acting as if he would never let go in this lifetime. Aunty Xie was the last one off the sedan right at the very back; perhaps it was because she had never been on such a long journey, but she felt queasy as soon as her feet met with the ground.
Ji Wanxin approached worriedly, “Aunty Xie, are you alright?”
“Let’s head in quickly, you should rest up as well.”
“Mm,” Aunty Xie replied lifelessly.
Jing Rong made no comment, giving Ji Yunshu and Wei Yi a quick look before leading the others into the inn. The innkeeper was still promoting his inn from top to bottom, extremely self-satisfied!
Aunty Xie headed to a room upstairs to rest while the others sat together on the first floor. Not many customers were to be seen throughout the practically empty inn. Mo Ruo sat alone at a table, enjoying his wine while Jing Rong, Ji Yunshu, Wei Yi and Ji Wanxin sat together at a different table. Not long after, an astonishing spread for an inn surrounded only by forests arrived. Fish, chicken, duck...you name it, they had it. The innkeeper introduced each dish with gusto as they arrived..
Wei Yi pointed to a chicken, asking, “What is this?”
The innkeeper replied, “It’s a chicken!”
“Why is it called a black-boned chicken?” Wei Yi prodded it with his chopsticks.
The innkeeper replied again, “Because this chicken’s body is black!”
“Then why is it black?”
“It was born black.”
“Why was it born this way?”
“...” The innkeeper was speechless. He wiped the sweat off his brow with his sleeve, hemming and hawing, unable to provide an answer. Was this fool here to joke around? He finally met his match today - it was the first time he was rendered speechless.
Wei Yi was still waiting eagerly for his reply.
Ji Yunshu could not contain her laughter. She decided to help that innkeeper out of this sticky situation, “Wei Yi, this chicken was tanned.”
Pfft - Jing Rong, who was seated opposite of her, burst out in laughter as well. Ji Wanxin reacted similarly, except being much more demure and ladylike. She covered her mouth daintily to hide her smile as she looked down and away, it was quite a pretty sight!
Wei Yi finally nodded as he accepted Ji Yunshu’s explanation, “Oh, I see, Shu’er’s still the smartest!” He did not forget to diss the innkeeper as well, “Look at you, you’re so dumb, how could you not know this. I know now, so this chicken was tanned. Now you need to remember this, don’t spout nonsense next time, otherwise you’ll get laughed at.”
The innkeeper did not dare to argue with the foolish Wei Yi. He quickly bowed and nodded continuously, “Yes, yes, yes. The young master is right.” Wei Yi chuckled, and began his feast.
Jing Rong also dismissed him, “You can leave now. Let the waiter send some dishes to the madam upstairs.”
“Yes, yes, yes.” He did not want to stay long either.
Without Wei Yi’s chatter, dinner was a much more silent affair. Jing Rong picked up a piece of meat and placed it into Ji Yunshu’s bowl, “Have more, the tanned meat is much chewier and tastier.” It was obvious he was teasing her!
Ji Yunshu just put that piece of chicken into her mouth.
Wei Yi did not want to lose out. He likewise picked up a piece of chicken and placed it into Ji Yunshu’s bowl. He had the sunniest smile on his face as he spoke. “Shu’er, have more of this. Mother told me that sunbathing is good for the body, so this chicken must be very nutritious too.” Ji Yunshu’s mouth twitched; she should not have lied, lest Wei Yi take her too seriously.
Jing Rong picked up another piece of chicken for Ji Yunshu, and Wei Yi quickly did the same. The two of them continued this like a well-oiled machine. It took no time at all for Ji Yunshu’s bowl to overflow. Ji Wanxin was naturally sidelined!
Mo Ruo glanced over from his own table, snorting as he chugged another gulp of wine. He picked up one chopstick before hitting the rim of the porcelain bowl before him, beginning to recite a poem in his drunken mood:
“Moon above moon, light in light, water and water, wind with wind.
A thousand-mile journey to reach this inch of forest I so seek,
Only to see a party of three from afar, with a beauty cast aside a stranger…”
Others may not know what he meant, but those who had some inside knowledge would know that Mo Ruo was implying that Wei Yi, Jing Rong and Ji Yunshu were that party of three, and the beauty Ji Wanxin was the inconsequential stranger.
This dinner was quickly wrapped up as night fell. With everyone tired from the day’s journey, they each returned to their rooms to catch some winks. As they were concerned about Wei Yi, Lang Po was inadvertently tasked with sharing rooms with him.
Wei Yi was probably used to this situation given his previous experience and was much less averse this time round. He even looked welcoming, dragging Lang Po into the room, starting to recount his days at Yuhua Pavillion. Lang Po crossed his arms in front of his chest, his sword still in his arms as he leaned against the locked doors, watching stonily as Wei Yi told his ‘stories’.
Wei Yi and his sharp questions. XD
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