Chapter 86 Ben Gong wants to climb the wall!
Xia Yuqing smiled sinisterly and ate her food calmly. Shifting her body here and there, soon she had shifted to He Wenzhong’s side. Grabbing a piece of the savoury roasted chicken leg, she waved it in front of He Wenzhong.
Smelling the delicious smell, he immediately lifted his head up, taking a break from the food he was gorging on. His eyes followed the chicken leg as it moved back and forth in front of him.
“General, this chicken leg is the Imperial kitchen’s master’s secret recipe that he cooked himself. Doesn’t it smell delicious?”
He Wenzhong’s eyes lit up and nodded his head vigorously.
Xia Yuqing became more and more delighted: “Do you want to eat it?”
He Wenzhong paused, then once again nodded his head fiercely.
“But General, in this world there is no such thing as a free meal. If the general wants to eat it, shouldn’t you give Ben Gong some profit?”
“Profit?” He Wenzhong was shocked as he stared at Xia Yuqing even stopping chewing for a moment.
“Of course, could it be that the general wants to renege on the debt?” Xia Yuqing lifted her eyebrows.
He Wenzhong was scared still. After a long time he pushed out the words: “What benefit does Niang Niang want?”
“It’s nothing much. Ben Gong is just curious since the general has left the capital for so long, where have you gone? Since Ben Gong was young, Ben Gong has been residing deep within the palace. After arriving at Ye Country, I rarely leave as well. Since the general is travelling around, you must have seen some amusing matters right? For example, when is Xue Country’s emperor planning on welcoming Xiao Yuan Er?”
“Plop….” The pork shoulder He Wenzhong was holding fell to the ground.
“Niang Niang, how did you know that I had gone to Xue country to see the emperor?”
“So it is true? Ben Gong just made a lucky guess, how lucky that I got it correct! Ben Gong really does have talent and is exceptionally intelligent.” Xia Yuqing cried out in surprise, her crafty appearance revealed. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was still in the midst of her plan, she probably would have put her hands on her hips to boast.
“……” Niang Niang, can’t you be reserved a bit. Can’t you see that General He is about to break down and cry because of you?
Looking at Xia Yuqing with teary eyes, he had a face that wanted to cry but couldn’t. Xia Yuqing, who felt a bit bad, embarrassingly coughed two times and held out the chicken leg she had in her hand, laughing mischievously: “Okay, that one is considered as me guessing it correctly. Now, you just need to tell me when Xue country wants to receive Yuan Er? If you tell me, then we’ll write off all the things you just ate and you could even finish all the dishes here with no exception.”
He Wenzhong wanted to cry even more: “Can’t…. speak.”
“Can’t speak?” Xia Yuqing raised her eyebrows up as she repeated his words.
“His majesty said that this matter can’t be spoken of.”
“Is that so?” Xia Yuqing lightly coughed. “Since the general can’t speak then Ben Gong won’t force you.”
He Wenzhong didn’t expect Xia Yuqing to say such nice words. So, just when he was about to let out a sigh of relief and raise his head up to give off his customary stupid laugh, he heard Xia Yuqing’s next words: “I guess we have no choice. Lu Rui, grab the abacus.”
“What do we need the abacus for?”
Xia Yuqing turned her head to look at He Wenzhong: “Well to calculate the debt of course.”
“Calculate the debt?” He Wenzhong’s eyes immediately became as big as a bell.
“Right. Just now the general ate Ben Gong’s Fu Qi Fei Pian, Yu Xiang Rou Si, kung pao chicken, xi hu cu yu, and dong po zhou zi. Oh right, that chicken leg also counts.”
“Why does the chicken leg count? I… I didn’t even eat it.” He Wenzhong weakly refuted.
“Even though you didn’t eat it, you smelt it.”
“……” He Wenzhong choked!
“The sum of the ingredients for these dishes are about fifty liang. But the prices within the palace are a hundred times more. We also have to add the wages for the chefs, the equipment for all the dishes, and the labour Lu Rui and them had to use to bring them over, not to mention the firewood to cook. Since we could be counted as friends, Ben Gong will give you a 20% discount and also get rid of the odd numbers and make it 8000 liang.”
“Eight…. Eight thousand liang?” He Wenzhong nearly passed out, unable to believe what he just heard. Pointing at Xia Yuqing and trembling: “This is… robbery!”
“That’s right, Ben Gong is robbing you. If you have the ability then spit out everything you just ate in addition to restoring it to its original state. Otherwise you have to pay for the meal you just ate, it’s a matter of course.”
“….. but, I don’t have money.” He Wenzhong had tears streaming down his cheeks. He had just returned from the outside, from the start he had no money at all. The current him was basically a penniless good for nothing!
“No money? That’s fine, stay here and do labour. Ah, let Ben Gong calculate.” Xia Yuqing pinched her eyebrows together, then subsequently turned around to ask Lu Rui a question: “Lu Rui, what’s your salary for one day within the palace?”
Lu Rui stared blankly, then recovered herself and smiled: “Reporting to Niang Niang, the salary of Ny Bi is withdrawn monthly. The senior Ya Tou’s who serve Niang Niang like Nu Bi and Cui Er Jiejie receives 5 liang a month. A rank lower, the Ya Tou’s would receive three liang for a month. While the small Ya Tou who just came in receives one liang a month.”
“Well if that’s the case, with General He’s respected status, then based on Lu Rui’s salary in addition to some extra bonuses. Hmmm, then he should receive ten liang a month. Ok if this is the case, 8000 liang divided by ten is 8–. A year has twelve months. 800 divided by 12 is 66 years and 8 months. Ben Gong will get rid of the odd end. So taking everything into account, it will be 66 years. Six six, what a good number. So in other words, General He will serve Ben Gong for sixty-six years to pay for this debt.”