The Princess's Inner Thoughts Were Overheard by Her Emperor Father - C.82


"I've heard that Lord Liu's son, the Vice Minister of Personnel, has developed a new method of raising ducks called 'stuffed ducks'."

"The ducks have more meat and grow faster."

"Is this true? First, the Emperor had his ministers tend to piglets, and now a scholar is raising ducks?"

"How could it not be true! The Emperor has heard of the stuffed duck technique and is hosting an all-duck banquet today at Qiu Mountain Temple with his ministers. In addition to officials, he's providing free meals to five hundred people, and the queue stretches all the way down the mountain!"


The citizens of the capital were astonished.

What were they waiting for? With free food, they had to rush!

Everyone with nothing to do and free time rushed towards Qiu Mountain Temple.

What? Only five hundred spots?

No matter, just watching the spectacle would suffice.

Even before noon when the banquet started, Qiu Mountain Temple was already packed.

In the end, the Emperor's sedan chair couldn't make it up the mountain, so he had to carry Princess Chu Chu and walk up with his ministers.

Along the way, a procession of ducks hung upside down on silver hooks, escorted by guards up the mountain.

The citizens queuing at the base and the officials and commoners waiting at the top all gaped in awe.

These ducks were plump and well-rounded.

"So fat!"

Connoisseurs could tell at a glance that these were no ordinary farm-raised ducks.

These ducks had big breasts and round butts, so sturdy!

"How many pounds does each duck weigh? Is this the new method the Liu Family developed?"

"You must be joking! They take regular ducklings and in just ten days of hand-feeding, they get this fat?"

The commoners were stunned, chattering loudly, trying to understand.

The officials on the mountain, especially the Minister of Revenue, had eyes shining with greed!

He turned to the Emperor, "Your Majesty, did Liu Runnian really say that from the time they hatched, it takes less than fifty days to raise ducks this plump?"

Ordinary commoners couldn't fatten their ducks this much even if they fed them for a hundred days.

"What talent, Your Majesty! If the Minister Chen of Ministry of Works doesn't want him, the Ministry of Revenue does!"

Minister Jiang of the Ministry of Revenue managed money.

These ducks had lots of meat, clearly fat and oily, and grew quickly - perfect to sell to the foolish Wu Yun Country.

Wasn't trade about to open between them?

These ducks could make money, lots of money!

"Your Majesty, where is Liu Runnian?" Minister Jiang was ready to stand up and snatch him away.

Minister Chen of the Ministry of Works grimaced, quickly standing as well, "Minister Jiang, what does this have to do with you?"

"Is this a matter for the Ministry of Revenue?"

"The duck-raising method involves techniques and tools - whose domain is that? The Ministry of Works!"

How dare he try to poach talent?

At the flat area behind Qiu Mountain Temple.

Minister Chen, flushed, turned away and used his sleeve to cover part of his face as he addressed the Emperor Xiao Yunzhou, who was playing with Princess Chu Chu.

"Your Majesty, Liu Runnian was personally assigned to the Ministry of Works by you."

"Where is he now? This minister wishes to ask him in detail about his stuffed duck and incubation methods."

Xiao Yunzhou made a sound as he played with Chu Chu, glancing at the elderly minister.


Minister Chen grimaced.

"Your Majesty, this minister was hasty during the morning court session."

"Mm," Xiao Yunzhou waved his hand magnanimously. "No matter, this Emperor won't hold it against you."

Minister Chen smiled and nodded, giving Minister Jiang a smug look.

But Xiao Yunzhou's next words made him change expression.

"You were hasty, but this Emperor is not." Xiao Yunzhou calmly put down his handkerchief.

"The banquet will start soon, and Liu Runnian is helping in the kitchen. We can discuss this later."

Minister Chen: "..."

What could he do?

He hadn't cherished Liu Runnian before, and now he could only regret it!

But soon, he had no time for regrets, as a rich aroma of oil and meat wafted from the kitchen of Qiu Mountain Temple, spreading through the mountain and making his stomach growl.

Not just him, but all the other officials on the mountain, seated commoners, and commoners lining the road trying to catch a glimpse, also smelled this enticing roasting scent.


Even Chu Chu perked up in Xiao Yunzhou's embrace, feeling hungry.

[So fragrant ~ this smell seems familiar? It couldn't be roasted duck, could it?]

Xiao Yunzhou smiled, glancing towards the kitchen stewards carrying out dishes and Liu Runnian helping to push the carts.

"Runnian, why don't you first tell us about the duck dishes for today's all-duck banquet?"

Liu Runnian wore a scholar's robe, with soot on his sleeves and duck feathers on his shoes, smoke-stained from the kitchen fires.

But his well-defined features befitted a handsome scholar.

Hearing the Emperor's words, Liu Runnian spoke clearly, "In response to Your Majesty, this student collaborated with villagers from nearby villages to raise these stuffed ducks, and we've prepared twelve courses in total."

"These include berry-cured duck breast..."

Chu Chu blinked, [Ah, no roasted duck... using stuffed ducks for regular duck dishes is such a waste.]

Liu Runnian grimaced slightly but quickly lowered his head, pretending not to hear.

"Salted duck wings..."

"And the wood-roasted duck that the Kitchen Steward you appointed researched."

Chu Chu's ears perked up. [Huh?]

"Mm?" Xiao Yunzhou pretended not to notice his daughter's eager expression, asking with amusement, "Wood-roasted duck? This Emperor has never heard of that dish before."

Liu the Elder, Concubine Liu, and Cheng Qian all lowered their heads simultaneously.


The Emperor was really hamming it up!

Xiao Yunzhou's acting skills had been well-honed by now.

To avoid arousing the suspicions of his fairy-like princess, he feigned pure interest as he looked at Liu Runnian.

Liu Runnian had been busy raising ducks with farmers these past few days, his face tanned.

His flush was unnoticeable, so he cleared his throat and replied, "This student has never tasted this dish either."

"But Your Majesty's Kitchen Steward, upon seeing these stuffed ducks raised by this student, said they were so plump that ordinary boiling or stewing would be a waste."

[Woo, exactly, exactly!]

[Stuffed ducks are rich in oils, and wood-roasting makes them succulent without being greasy ~]

Chu Chu was excited.

[The Emperor's Kitchen Steward is brilliant, with such insightful wisdom!]

Xiao Yunzhou suppressed a laugh and nodded to Liu Runnian, "Then have them served."

"Yes, Your Majesty!"

Liu Runnian had the guards assist, and soon, ducks with crisp golden-red skins glistening with oil were brought out from the kitchen of Qiu Mountain Temple on silver hooks, in a continuous stream.

The Kitchen Steward personally led the Imperial kitchen cooks to carve slices of duck meat.

[Ah, those slices are too big.]

Chu Chu squinted, [They can't fit into thin pancakes with such large pieces ~]

Xiao Yunzhou's expression changed as he quickly waved, "Cut smaller slices ——!"

"Large chunks of duck meat may be too tough for the elderly officials and commoners to chew!" The Emperor called out loudly.

The kitchen cooks paused.

The officials and commoners on the mountain and below were all stunned.

"Your humble servant thanks Your Majesty for your consideration!"

"This peasant is grateful for Your Majesty's care..."

"Your Majesty is so caring, even towards us with one foot in the grave..."

In that moment, the elderly people were touched.

Xiao Yunzhou was also moved by his own cleverness and smiled while waving his hand at the crowd, "As it should be, you are all my subjects."

The elderly were about to kneel and kowtow, but they were quickly stopped.

"The roast duck has arrived, elders please have a taste."

"Duck meat, if the elders' teeth cannot chew it, then give them some crispy duck skin."

[Woo, the roasted duck skin with a thin layer of fragrant oil, dipped in white sugar ~ melts in your mouth ~]

Chu Chu's mouth watered.

Sure enough, one of the elders received a plate of crispy on the outside and tender on the inside roasted duck skin from the Imperial kitchen, and was about to put it in his mouth when Xiao Yunzhou urgently stopped him again.

"The elders' mouths may lack flavor, add some seasoning."

"Salt, sugar, let the elders dip it and eat."

The leading elderly citizen was overwhelmed with gratitude, dipping half the crispy duck skin in salt and the other half in sugar before putting it in his mouth, and tears unexpectedly streamed down his face.

"It has melted, Your Majesty..."

"It has melted..."

"This is the first time this old man has tasted such delicious duck meat!"

"Sweet flavor even better! Dipping in white sugar is superb!"

Xiao Yunzhou heaved a great sigh of relief, "Good, then I shall also listen to the elders and have someone bring me white sugar and sweet bean paste!"

This 𝓬ontent is taken from f(r)eeweb(n)ovel.𝒄𝒐𝙢