“But...” Xiao Chen said, trailing off. Jing Yue, who had been tickled pink just a moment ago, suddenly went taut. ‘But? Why is there still a “but”?!’
Jing Yue swallowed and looked at Xiao Chen. “But? But what?” she asked warily.
“I’ll lend you the chef on one condition. You have to come to the Imperial Palace with me tomorrow,” Xiao Chen said lightly.
Jing Yue jumped all of a sudden. “What! Go to the Imperial Palace again?!” she shouted. The Imperial Palace was, without a single doubt, the place that Jing Yue hated the most.
Xiao Chen raised his brows disapprovingly.
“...What is it again this time?” Jing Yue’s shoulders sagged. Ugh, fine! I’ll go for the sake of my restaurant. It’s just the Imperial Palace, what’s the big deal?
“I want you to meet someone,” Xiao Chen said, narrowing his eyes slightly.
“Who?” Jing Yue asked. Xiao Chen put down the book in his hand and looked at Jing Yue. “You’ll know tomorrow. Now it’s time for bed.”
“Ugh! Why won’t you just tell me who it is? And I haven’t even agreed yet!” Jing Yue protested. The next thing she knew, Xiao Chen’s long arms reached out and pulled her into his arms. Xiao Chen’s flat voice sounded beside her ear. “Obey me if you still want to see your restaurant launch.”
“...” At this moment, Jing Yue’s frustrations and feelings of powerlessness nearly drove her to tears. You call this a discussion? Seriously?
This was clearly a threat!
Where was the justice in that!
Early next morning, Jing Yue was practically dragged out of bed by Yin Qiao to get dressed. However, when they were selecting her outfit for the day, Xiao Chen suddenly told her that casual attire would do for the meeting. ‘What? We’re allowed to dress casually for a meeting at the Imperial Palace? Huh. This is actually the first time I’ve heard such a thing.’
Everyone knew that there were many somebodies living in the Imperial Palace; I would be punished and put into penalty hall if I had any omissions in dressing. Jing Yue was afraid to think about it. Although Xiao Chen said she could dress casually, she put all her heart into dressing up.
The palace’s carriage drove into the Imperial Palace unimpededly. Jing Yue, who was sitting in the carriage, was very confused about this. She wanted to ask Xiao Chen about where would they go for many times, but Xiao Chen, who seemed don’t want to talk, closed his eyes all the way. Therefore, Jing Yue refrained from asking.
They drove for a long time. Jing Yue opened the curtains and wanted to see where they were. But she found that the more they went, the more remote the place was. And this was not the way to the Front Palace. Jing Yue felt even stranger at the moment. They stopped as the carriage drove for a little further.
“This...” Jing Yue was stunned when she looked at the dilapidated Palace in front of her eyes. She didn’t expect there was such a place in the Imperial Palace. ‘Was this the Cold Palace in legend?’
Looking at the Palace door from the outside was shabby, but the scenery inside the Palace made Jing Yue surprised and blink. There were drying a lot of herbs, sundries and cloths. The floor was tidy, even the weeds were cleaned at all.
Here was a faint smell of delicious food. Jing Yue looked up at Xiao Chen, finding that Xiao Chen, who had always been cold, had a smile on his face. His gentle smile stunned Jing Yue for a long time as shock filled her heart.
“Amah.” Xiao Chen walked inside with a smile. Jing Yue turned her head and saw a figure standing under the stone steps.