Chapter 88: Generous Spendings
Xuanyuan Ying glanced sideways at Bai Yian, whispering, “Glib tongue!”
Gu Yunlan pinched him, what’s he saying. She immediately said with a smile, “Then I’ll have to bother you. I didn’t think that girl Xin’er would prepare so many things, for you to carry them on the road is still an inconvenience!”
Xuanyuan Ying unfazedly grabbed her hand with one hand and the heater with the other,
Seeing the two’s interactions, Bai Yiran’s eyes turned gloomy. She’s too curt towards himself, it would be wonderful if she were to treat him as she treats Xuanyuan. Thinking of this, he grinned, “If I’m such a good friend then there’s no need to be so polite! When you have time, you should come visit the Miao Territory too!”
Gu Yunlan nodded her head, “Then tonight, I’ll give some offerings for your safe travel!”
“Alright!” Bai Yiran nodded with a smile, yet his heart sunk lower. These two have no concious, luckily he still counts as a good friend! Since he wasn’t invited he’ll come again next year!
Clouds Arrive As Guests was very close by. The winter skies were already dark by six. Although the snow was still falling, it didn’t affect the group’s mood at all. They chatted the entire way to the restaurant building.
“Yunlan! You guys are here!” Zi Luolan wore all blue and thick padded coat. She was waiting for them in the halls, and as people walked in, she finally noticed Gu Yunlan and Xuanyuan Ying at the very back.
Gu Yunlan entered the hall. Xin’er hurriedly helped her take off her cloak, and handed it to waiters.
Noticing that everyone’s eyes were watching her, she found that she had neglected everyone else. She immediately cleared her throat and nodded at Yan Zhikuan, “Second Young Master Yan, Marshal Xuanyuan! Your presence brings light to this humble store!”
“Young Miss Zi is too polite!” Yan Zhikuan nodded his said, saying with a smile.
“It’s you? This restaurant is your’s?” Zhang Qiyang looked at Zi Luolan in astonishment.
“Zi Family’s eldest miss, Zi Luolan!” Gu Yunlan held a laugh in her eyes, clearly Zhang Qiyang had no idea about Luolan’s status! She looked at the two of them up and down with surprise, “You know each other?”
“Nope!” The two flipped their heads at the same time. Gu Yunlan watched the two with a smile, not saying that she saw the two of them together last night.
“Eldest Miss! The private room has been prepared!” The same lady who served them the other night walked in, saying to Zi Luolan respectfully.
“Lady Yun! Bring them over then!” Zi Luolan waved her hands, signaling for the group to follow her.
Only then did Gu Yunlan know, the woman is called Lady Yun, Clouds Arrive As Guests’ shopkeeper!
Gu Yunlan realized as they followed Lady Yun to the third floor that the restaurant had many levels. The private rooms on the third floor were much bigger than those on the second floor, and all had windows to the outdoors too.
A wave of warm air washed over them as they entered the room, yet there was no smell of a fireplace. Needless to say, Zi Luolan considered every detail very carefully.
The space in the private room was very large, only a big round table was set up. A disc was placed on the table; with a light push of the hand, it could actually turn. The seats had an ancient design.
“Sit wherever you wish!” Zi Luolan clapped her hands, hinting at everyone to sit anywhere the want, no need to stand on ceremony.
Gu Yunlan got pulled by Zi Luolan to sit next to each other, while Xuanyuan Meng sat on the other side of Zi Luolan. The three chatted amongst each other freely. Xin’er and A’Mu stood the side silently.
“Young Miss! The food has been prepared already, shall we start?” Lady Yun approached them, asking with a lowered voice.
“Okay! Bring in the dishes! On this cold day, we can go home and stay comfortably in bed after we eat!” Zi Luolan turned her head around, instructing, “Oh right! Bring these two girls down and take good care of them, we’re really wronging them on this cold day!”
Seeing Xin’er cast a hopeful look at her, Gu Yunlan nodded her head, hinting at the two to go along.
Once the two girls left, Gu Yunlan finally realized the person sitting to her right was actually Xuanyuan Ying. She lifted her brows, good lord!
Bai Yiran sat by Xuanyuan Ying, then Bai Nightspring, Yan Zhikuan, Zhang QIyang. Zhang Ziyan sat on the opposite side of them, her eyes fixed on her, seemingly about to spout fire. Zhang Yuze sat by Xuanyuan Meng.
With more people around, Xuanyuan Ying was a lot quieter; stone faced and silent, other than talking with Bai Yiran and answering questions, he was pretty much just listening to Gu Yunlan talk.
Followed by a knock on the door, Lady Yun and a group of girls walked in carrying plates. Zi Luolan instructed, “Lady Yun! The names of the dishes!”
Lady Yun smiled, picked up a random dish from a girl’s hands, stood at an empty spot, and gently put in on the table, “This is anchovy wings.”
The group looked over. The colors were fresh and bright, the scent exotic and warm, causing people to become a bit restless.
她转动圆盘，继续摆放着姑娘送到手边的菜肴，“爆炒田鸡、 芫爆仔鸽， 八宝野鸭、 佛手金卷 、金丝酥雀、 奶汁鱼片，干连福海参、五彩牛柳，生烤狍肉、砂锅煨鹿筋、 鸡丝银耳、 桂花鱼条 、八宝兔丁、 罗汉大虾、 串炸鲜贝、 葱爆牛柳、 蚝油仔鸡、 杏仁豆腐，山珍刺五加清炸鹌鹑、 红烧赤贝白扒鱼唇，最后的是片皮乳猪、 维族烤羊肉。”
She turned the disc, and continued to set up the dishes from girls’ hands, “Stir fry frogs, lilac boiled pigeon, eight treasures wild duck, buddha’s hand golden roll, gold threads crunchy lentil, milk fish slices, dred lianfu sea cucumber, five colored sirloin, roasted capreolus, simmering deer tendon pot, chicken strips and white fungus, osmanthus fish strips, eight treasures rabbit, prawn pot, miz fried shellfish, fried green onion and beef, chicken and oyster sauce, almond tofu, mountain treasures quail, …
By the time all the dishes have been served, Gu Yunlan noticed that amongst all the dishes, it was like a banquet straight from the Manchu Han imperial feast. The table was filled with dishes; things than swam in the water, flies in the sky, crawls on the ground, precious treasures, common foods, all sorts filled the eye!
“Luolan! Isn’t this a far too extravagant?” Gu Yunlan looked at Zi Luolan in disbelief. Isn’t doing this is a bit too much? The dishes on the menu were all that of emperors back, and she actually knows them all, ze ze!
“It’s such a rare opportunity for so many people to come together to eat. These are all specialties of my restaurant, really not worth that much!” Zi Luolan waved her hands carelessly, then continued to say to Lady Yun, “Bring over some bottles of the finest wine!”
A short while later, Lady Yun brought a few bottles of wine over and placed them on the round disc. She gently removed the cork, releasing a waft of the strong scent of fragrant wine.
“Good wine!” Yan Zhikuan reached out his hand to turn the disc, turning it closer it him. He took a light wiff, so fragrant! “Come! Everyone drink a cup!”
Lady Yun immediately lifted the wine bottle, and only retreated after pouring everyone a bowl.
“Come! We were brought together by fate for a reason, let’s drink a toast!” Zi Luolan lifted her bowl, announcing brightly.
“Come! Cheers!” “Cheers!”
The feast didn’t end too late into the night, only finishing at around nine, each person fully enjoyed themselves.Gu Yunlan returned and just as she finished taking a shower, she was pulled away by Xuanyuan Ying.
The veranda was still the same. Although there was no moonlight, the Yin energy was as dense as ever. Only with the light of a lamp did she finally realize not a shred of snow could be seen falling.
Opposite to the heavens was still that nameless tunnel under the veranda, and once again they head over. It was a rare moment of nervousness. Humans are just like that; when they don’t know what dangers lie again, even they considered things carefully, but once they know a bottomless abyss lies under their feet, it’s impossible to feel safe.
She felt some admiration for the Gu Family’s ancestors, wouldn’t they get buried by the hole with the tiniest mistake? This veranda was dug at least three meters down, just enough to avoid tragedy! Could they have given up when they couldn’t find any water? Thus making things so convenient for Xuanyuan Ying? That’s not right!
“What’s not right?” Xuanyuan Ying dealt with the blankets, and asked in astonishment as he heard her whisper. Women are a headache; just sitting here is perfectly fine, why do they need a blanket…
“I remember my father saying that when the Gu Family moved here, the veranda was already hear. Or rather, this ancestral hall have always been our Gu Family’s, I’ve heard that the this entire place was our Gu Family’s; back then we had a lot of money!” Gu Yunlan Gu Yunlan sat down on the blanket Xuanyuan Ying spread out.
“Your Gu Family is quite wealthy even now, why else would Yangjin ask about a treasure?” Xuanyuan Ying also laid down, he still didn’t quite understand her point.
“Our Gu Family doesn’t have money now. As for that treasure, even Father doesn’t know anything. Let’s not go off topic!” Gu Yunlan glanced at him sideways. He’s distracting her.
“Maybe that treasure was hidden by my great great great grandmother. If this area was our Gu Family’s land back then, since our family was prosperous, then this abyss…” Gu Yunlan and Xuanyuan Ying looked at each other.
Xuanyuan Ying could guess what she wanted to say, “You’re saying this abyss was dug up by your Gu Family?”
“Why else would it be here, how could this place be so coincidentally built on top of this abyss? My father read it from an old book he accidently came across while building the ancestral hall.” Gu Yunlan creased her brows.
“Then us cultivating here was also decided upon by fate?” Xuanyuan Ying looked at her laughingly, then reached out to tussle her hair, “Why think so much? We have no way of entering with our strength! Sleep now! Even if there isn’t any moonlight, the Yin energy here is plenty!”
When Gu Yunlan, whose thoughts were interrupted, heard him say to go sleep, she stood up trembling. She cautiously looked at that wall across from her, asking, “Is this place safe?”
“No need to worry, it’s recovered its original shape. This restriction will heal by itself! Nothing can come out.” Xuanyuan Ying sat down on the blanket with crossed legs, his two eyes closed, “The Yin energy is densest at eleven at midnight!”
With all the time she spent tarrying, quite a lot of time has been wasted. It’s better to take advantage of what time is left!
Gu Yunlan sat down hesitatingly, and copied Xuanyuan Ying’s closed eyes and sitting posture.
“In that period of time back then, you absorbed quite a lot of moon essence. I’ll now teach you how to transform it.” Xuanyuan Ying still had his eyes shut tightly, “Sink the energy to your dantain, then use your heart to feel out the energy bubblinging in your dantian. Use your consciousness to pass it through the dantian, then you can just let it revolve around by itself!”
Gu Yunlan followed his instructions: Sink the energy to the dantian. After a while, she finally felt it, a flow of energy flowed into her dantian from all four directions. Saying it sounds easy, but actually achieving it is hard. To consciously control it is very hard, she found that thing doesn’t like to listen to her at all.
After thinking about it deeply for a bit, she immediately tried to play around with the energy flow. She finally succeeded after a long while, left! That energy flow went left, right, that energy flow went left. Success!
Gu Yunlan was delighted, and immediately got the energy moving, passing through the dantian, then letting it revolve around by itself. After one round, she felt her body turning hot, she opened her eyes in surprise.
“Done?” Xuanyuan Ying saw her open her eyes, asked, “Then let’s go back!”
Gu Yunlan nodded her head, but stared blankly, go back? In the middle of the night? She looked at the sky in puzzlement, the sky has already lightened. This really like a day on the mountains is a thousand years on Earth!
Xuanyuan Ying stood up, “Your controlling process took far too long, tonight, we’ll learn how to properly absorb. How to use spirit power to put some techniques to use!”