Chapter 237.2: A Place You Can Never Go Back ToOriginal and most updated translations are on volare. If this is being found anywhere else, it has been stolen. Don't support theft. :)
The village chief had lived for a long time so he instantly realized that this matter wasn't simple. It was likely that this girl's grandpa was already...
When his thoughts got to this point, he gently patted Tang Doudou's shoulder and said comfortingly, "Good girl ah, just let it out. If you don't dislike this old man, then just call this old man grandpa from now on. It just happens that my grandsons and granddaughters won't be ever coming back either..."
"Village Head Grandpa..."
Tang Doudou wiped at her tears as she looked up at the village chief's worried face. The village chief laughed as he patted her shoulder. "What? Could it be that you disdain the thought of it?"
The village chief's appearance started merging with her recollection of her grandpa again. Tang Doudou's tears started whirling again as she called almost instinctively, "Grandpa!"
"Aye!" The village chief responded happily. Then he patted Tang Doudou's shoulder again with unrestrained joy. "Good granddaughter."
Upon seeing the village chief's happy expression, Tang Doudou seemed to see her grandpa's smile and tears flooded up again.
"Aiyah, this girl is seriously a crybaby." The village chief immediately became flustered.
"Grandpa." Tang Doudou didn't say anything else and just continued looking at the village chief as she called him.
The village chief felt heartache as he watched her. He could tell that she was sincerely sad and hurt, very, very sad and hurt. It was just like the way he would feel every night when he recalled his deceased children and grandchildren, like his heart was breaking with self-blame. He sighed, then replied, "Aye!"
Tang Doudou pressed her lips together, but the tears still fell. "Grandpa!"
"Grandpa!" Tang Doudou rushed into the village chief's arms and started bawling. The village chief was seriously too similar to her grandpa, even his indulgent tone was exactly the same, so it made her buried emotions burst out. She cried like the world was ending in the village chief's arms, as if she was releasing all the sorrow she felt since coming to this world.
The village chief didn't know what she had been through to make her cry so broken-heartedly. He could only allow her to cry. Her heart would feel better after she let it out.
In reality, Tang Doudou didn't cry too long. Once she cried enough and got tired, she stopped crying.
She slowly stopped sobbing and lifted her head to look at the village chief.
The village chief asked teasingly, "What? The crybaby has finished crying this fast?"
"Urgh..." Tang Doudou glared at him, embarrassed. "I'm not a crybaby."
It was the first time she had cried this hard since coming here. Usually, no matter what hurtful things she encountered, she would only shed tears and wouldn't bawl loudly like this.
"Alright alright. If my good granddaughter says she isn't, then she isn't." The village chief beamed and his eyes curved into lines. "Little girl, are you hungry from crying?"
After he finished speaking, he peeked towards the piping hot steamer basket and asked, "What dish is that exactly? It's the first time this old man has heard of shoving a chicken into a pig's stomach."
When this dish was brought up, Tang Doudou immediately perked up again and explained, "This dish's name is 'Rebirth of the Phoenix.' The chicken is used to represent the phoenix and the pig stomach, the womb. The story that was passed down was that a long time ago, a certain king had a consort who caught a stomach illness after giving birth to the crown prince and her health started rapidly degrading. A lot of imperial physicians tried but could not cure that consort's stomach illness. Later, an imperial physician came up with a dish that was made with various spices and herbs, and named it 'Rebirth of the Phoenix.' It's a wonderful dish that's both nourishing and delicious."
"Rebirth of the Phoenix?" The old village chief repeatedly murmured this name as he mulled over it. The more he considered it, the more interesting he found it.
"Girl ah, I won't hide it from you. This old man is also quite skilled in the culinary arts, but I've never heard of this 'Rebirth of the Phoenix' before..." The old village chief hesitated for a while. In reality, he had only been pretending to sleep earlier. He had actually been peeking at the way she cooked and found that it really wasn't a style that he was familiar with.
"Haha, perhaps it's just the local specialty of the place I came from!" said Tang Doudou with a laugh. They were two different worlds after all, two different worlds with two different cultures. It was normal if there were aspects that weren't shared.
"That's probably the case." The village chief stroked his long beard as he asked, "Then, girl, who taught you how to cook?"
When this was brought up, Tang Doudou's mood sank again. However, she had already cried her fill earlier, so right now she only became a little sadder. "It was my grandpa who taught me."
"En. Grandpa and I have been living together and taking care of each other since I was little. My grandpa was the one who taught me to cook, to read and write..." Tang Doudou gave a long sigh. She missed her grandpa, but she could only tell this Village Chief Grandpa about it.
A senior capable of training a disciple to have such high culinary skill at such a young age probably wouldn't be a nameless figure.
The village chief's curiosity was tickled. When people got older, their emotions became stronger. The moment that curiosity emerged, he couldn't suppress it at all. "Ahem. Girl ah, can you tell me what's your grandpa's name? Where does he live?"
Tang Doudou wasn't surprised. She had noticed earlier while she was cooking that this village chief had been watching her movements with a probing gaze the entire time. When the complete set of items in his kitchen was added on, who would be able to miss the fact that he was probably a skilled chief hiding out in this village?
And it was precisely because of this that he seemed very similar to her grandpa, so she couldn't help but want to get to know him.
Tang Doudou looked around. When she saw that no one else was around, she said, "My grandpa's name is Tang Yu, he lives in a small town in Lower Yangtze."
That earlier statement was still alright, but her later statement immediately puzzled the village chief. "Lower Yangtze? There exists a place named that?"
Tang Doudou covered her mouth as she laughed. She didn't tell him that this was the name of a place in another space-time. "It's a very small, remote place. It's normal that you haven't heard of it."
"This girl only knows to talk nonsense. Although this world is large, where hadn't I, Tian Weishi, visited in this lifetime? I've never heard of any Lower Yangtze." The village chief thought she was making things up and immediately got riled up.
If Tang Doudou had frequently listened to the stories passed down on the Jianghu, she definitely would have heard of the famous Tian Weishi. This person was crowned the Godly Chef. When he was young, he traversed all parts of the Jianghu and had legendary cooking skills. It was unknown who he had provoked later, but one day, after he left home, all the hundred or so people in his home were killed.
When he got back, he was so enraged that all his hair turned white. He searched for twenty entire years but never found who the culprit was. Then, he quietly disappeared from the Jianghu.
Some people guessed that he had encountered some misfortune and had already died with his hatred unresolved. Some people guessed that he was living in seclusion away from the world. In short, he hadn't been seen for many years on the Jianghu.
So it turned out that he had ended up becoming the idle village chief of this mountain village.
Tang Doudou stuck out her tongue. She thought that Tian Weishi was just boasting and didn't take it seriously. "Grandpa, you're the one who's making things up. Some people travel their entire lifetime and still can't visit more than just a few mountains, how is it possible to travel the entire world? Even if you travel all of the land, there are still islands and the land on the other side of the sea."
"The other side of the sea?" Tian Weishi muttered to himself for a little while. "Could it be that the Lower Yangtze you're talking about is on the other side of the sea?"
Tang Doudou saw that he looked like he was yearning for this Lower Yangtze a lot... or more precisely, he was yearning to see her grandpa. She shook her head helplessly.
"Girl, I'll be so bold as to ask one last question. Your grandpa, he..."
Tang Doudou understood what he meant. However, not even she can go back, so Tian Weishi's hope of finding her grandpa to exchange pointers on culinary technique will probably never happen in this lifetime. "My grandpa is still alive. It's just that the place where I live is a place where you can leave, but can't re-enter. Since I've left, I won't ever be able to go back."
"Then what did you leave for?" She couldn't tell if Tian Weishi really listened to what she said. In any case, the curiosity in his eyes hadn't lessened at all.
She hadn't wanted to come either. But...
"Grandpa kicked me out, saying that I ate too much at home. Haha..."
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Dray
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