The Game of Life TGOL - C.92 - 91 Year Thirty (2) [3rd Update]

The Game of Life TGOL

C.92 - 91 Year Thirty (2) [3rd Update]
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Chapter 92: Chapter 91 Year Thirty (2) [3rd Update]

Translator: 549690339 |

The Li Family had many relatives.

Li Mingyi had one legitimate uncle, two illegitimate uncles, and more than a dozen cousins. Even he himself had two full sisters and several half-brothers and half-sisters. It was no longer appropriate to call them “illegitimate”; they should be referred to as the children of concubines.

Li Mingyi’s several uncles were disappointing, having no abilities of their own and relying entirely on his father for support. The few brothers and male cousins also had nothing notable about them. It was for this reason that although there were many young masters in the Li family, when people outside mentioned a young master of the Li family, they would only think of Li Mingyi alone.

Li Mingyi’s eldest sister had divorced her husband a few months ago and moved back in with her daughter. Li Mingyi didn’t think much of it. His brother-in-law was proficient in all sorts of vices—eating, drinking, prostituting, gambling, and opium smoking—and had married three or four concubines. Now that it was New China, even if his elder sister got divorced and remarried, it wouldn’t be difficult.

However, Li Mingyi’s mother, Liu Xiuzhen, was a lady from a traditional feudal family who believed that a daughter’s divorce was equivalent to repudiation—a terribly shameful thing. Even during the New Year’s celebration, she didn’t give her eldest daughter a break.

Now, all the women of the family were gathered around the matriarch, trying to lift her spirits for a better start to the New Year.

“Xiuzhen, where did my granddaughter-in-law go?” The old lady liked Jiang Huiqin and asked Liu Xiuzhen when she hadn’t seen her for a while.

“He, go find the young mistress, and while you’re at it, look for Mingyi as well. It’s almost time for the New Year’s meal, and I have no idea where those two have run off to,” Liu Xiuzhen instructed the maid.

The maid had just received her orders and was about to leave when she ran into Jiang Huiqin rushing in with a food container.

“Grandma, grandma, guess what I made for you!”

“I can already smell it, candied sweetpotatoes. Only you remember that I love candied sweet potatoes!” the old lady said with a smile.

“I did an especially good job today, I doubled the amount of sugar. You’re definitely going to like it. I brought it over as soon as it came out of the pot, it’s still hot. Try it quick!” Jiang Huiqin moved aside the tea cup next to the old lady, placed the candied sweet potatoes on it, and handed out a pair of chopsticks to everyone.

Jiang Huiqin knew perfectly well how many female relatives were supposed to be by the old lady’s side at this time—the exact number. There was a pair for everyone, not one pair too many or too few.

“Running off to the kitchen during the New Year’s feast, you’re not afraid to get your clothes dirty,” Liu Xiuzhen said in a low voice. “And where has Mingyi run off to? I didn’t see him in the front hall just now either.”

“Mingyi was just with me in the kitchen; he should still be right behind me,” Jiang Huiqin said. 𝑓𝓇𝘦𝘦𝔀𝓮𝒷𝘯𝓸𝓋𝓮𝘭.𝓬𝓸𝘮

Liu Xiuzhen grew even angrier: “He actually joined you in your foolishness; that’s really too much.”

“Enough, Xiuzhen, it’s the New Year’s, don’t scold Huiqin, my granddaughter- in-law. She just wanted to bring some joy to this old woman. Huiqin learned her culinary skills from her brother; today, you’re all in for a treat,” the old lady told the others with a smile.

“It was just a couple of words, how could it be considered scolding?” Liu Xiuzhen said. “Mother, it’s not quite time for the meal, is it okay to just eat this now?”

“Candied sweet potatoes should be eaten while they’re hot, or else they’ll cool down and the sugarwon’t pull into strings. It would be a waste of Huiqin’s efforts. I heard from Mingyi a while back that the Westerners have something called a ‘dessert before the meal.’ We might as well follow their example and try this ‘dessert before the meal’ first,” explained the old lady with a laugh, picking up a piece of sweet potato.

The sugar glaze on the surface of the sweet potatoes stretched into long, thin strands. However, Master Chen was right, Jiang Huiqin’s skill in frying sugar and pulling strings was not quite there yet—the strands were not fine enough and they broke all too quickly.

But overall, the taste was still acceptable, with the sweet potatoes having a golden hue, a crispy exterior, and a soft and mushy inside.

The old lady’s sense of taste had diminished greatly with age, and many richly flavored foods seemed bland to her. Jiang Huiqin had made this dish specifically for her, with double the sugar just to her liking.

“Not bad, my daughter-in-law’s cooking skillshave improved again,” the old lady praised with a smile.

Li Mingyi had actually been at the doorway for a while, and Jiang Feng didn’t know why he had this habit of standing at the door eavesdropping on the conversations inside. It might also have been because he was afraid of arriving too early and getting scolded by Liu Xiuzhen. Seeing that the time was ripe and the atmosphere was lively enough that Liu Xiuzhen probably wouldn’t scold him, he pretended to have just arrived and came in.

“Oh, Mingyi is here. Your mother was just asking where you had gone,” the old lady called Mingyi over, taking another bite of the caramelized sweet potato. After chewing slowly, she said, “Your wife’s cooking has improved again.”

“Absolutely, Grandma, I was just watching in the kitchen. Even Master Chen praised Huiqin for doing well.” Li Mingyi lied effortlessly, “I just saw that the kitchen is almost ready, I guess dinner will be served soon.”

“Come, Xiuzhen, you should also try your daughter-in-law’s cooking,” said the old lady as she served another piece.

Liu Xiuzhen didn’t actually like sweets; she was a Buddhist who preferred light flavors and rarely indulged in meat or fish. But since the old lady had spoken, she smiled and took a bite.

For Liu Xiuzhen, this special version of caramelized sweet potato with double sugar for the old lady was like a critical hit, but she still maintained her composure and finished her piece before praising, “Not bad.”

The old lady was even happier to hear Liu Xiuzhen praise the dish, and she invited everyone to eat, not leaving Li Mingyi out.

Everyone reached for the dish, unanimously praising its deliciousness, though how many actually found it tasty remained unknown.

Li Mingyi took Jiang Huiqin’s chopsticks and grabbed a large piece, but his poker face was not quite perfected, and he almost gave himself away. Thankfully, he cleverly pretended to choke in his haste and coughed a few times, smoothly avoiding suspicion.

The old lady was in a good mood, indulging in three large pieces of the caramelized sweet potato. After chatting with everyone for a while, a maid entered.

“Old Madame, Madames, Misses, and the eldest young master is also here, the master has invited a Western photographer to take a family photograph,” reported the maid.

“AWestern photographer, that’s quite novel. Let’s go,” said the old lady with a laugh, as everyone followed her.

“Huiqin, the caramelized sweet potato you made today really is too sweet,” Li Mingyi whispered to Jiang Huiqin, deliberately trailing behind the others, voicing his complaint softly.

“What do you know? Grandma can’t taste flavors well because of her age, this sweetness is just right for her,” Jiang Huiqin whispered back, “If you don’t like it, after the New Year dinner and staying up late are over and everyone goes back to their rooms, I’ll sneak into the kitchen and make another plate for you.”

“Let’s hurry. If you still taste the sweetness, drink a few more bowls of soup later. I just saw in the kitchen they have matsutake mushrooms from Yunnan that were delivered, and you love matsutake soup, don’t you?” Jiang Huiqin urged.

The couple, hand in hand, quickly caught up with the group.

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