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Published at 9th of January 2021 12:40:44 PM

Chapter 621
Chapter 621 - New Year Gift

After Xiaocao finished speaking, she lowered her head and looked at her ‘little steamed buns’ that had started budding not long ago . Xiaocao felt both joyous and helpless . She felt happy because she didn’t turn out to be flat-chested, but she felt somewhat helpless because they were still quite small . She hoped that they would grow into ‘big steamed buns’ soon .  

As soon as she raised her head, she noticed that Zhu Junyang’s gaze had followed her line of sight . Xiaocao hurriedly folded her arms across her chest and looked at him like she was staring at a wolf, “Where are you looking? Pervert! Lecher! Do you know that you’re acting indecently?” 

Zhu Junyang was actually very innocent . The little lass was wearing three layers of clothes and she was wrapped up like a bear . What was there for him to see? He felt somewhat unhappy after being scolded for no apparent reason 

He grabbed Xiaocao’s arm and gently pulled her into his embrace . Then, he placed his other hand behind the back of her head and leaned in for a peck on her small yet brilliant red lips . He even gently nibbled on her lips, leaving behind a light teeth mark on her alluring and soft lips . He let go of his dazed little lass while Wutong and Yingchun let out a soft exclamation of surprise . Zhu Junyang chuckled softly, “Do you understand now? This is how a real lecher acts!” 

A few cries of exclamation entered his ears . The beautiful, warm smile on Zhu Junyang’s face disappeared instantly and his gaze turned into sharp icy arrows as he stared at the servants that worked in the outer courtyard . The words he spat out chilled their hearts to the core, “If any of what you dare to gossip about what you had just seen, then I will make sure you will never have a tongue to chew food again in the future!” 

The servants fell silent and shook their heads repeatedly, indicating that they hadn’t seen anything . The servants shivered when they recalled the rumors they heard about the demon in the capital . It was like they were suddenly suffocating in a sea of blood when Royal Prince Yang’s gaze swept across them just before .  

In the past, it was already intimidating enough when they saw Royal Prince Yang’s indifferent expression on his face every time he came to visit . However, when his icy cold gaze pierced through them just now, it felt like their liver was almost about to split open! 

“Let it go . You’re the one who has committed a misdeed, and yet you’re scaring off my family’s servants . Stop bullying them intolerably!” Yu Xiaocao watched as the outer courtyard servants’ faces ashen as they trembled in fear . The servants who were more timid than the others couldn’t stand the pressure and soon fell onto the ground, unable to stand up . She was so angry that she reached out her small paw and pinched Zhu Junyang’s waist .  

Although Zhu Junyang’s cold and stern gaze did not affect Wutong and Yingchun, the two maids were still frightened by the murderous aura Zhu Junyang was exuding . When they saw that their young miss’s hands were pinching his waist, their pounding heart gradually calmed down .  

No matter how powerful Royal Prince Yang was, how could he escape from their young miss’s grasp? Their young miss was amazing! She actually dared to pinch the black-faced Royal Prince Yang . They worshiped their young miss’s courage!! From this moment forward, Yu Xiaocao received two diehard fans who would blindly worship her! 

Zhu Junyang took Xiaocao’s restless little paw from his waist and held her hand . He pinched Xiaocao’s cute nose and dotingly said, “You should head back . It’s cold outside!” 

Three days later, Zhu Junyang personally came to visit her again, but this time, he came with a lot of gifts . The gifts included the venison meat that was bestowed upon him by the emperor, fruits from the southern region, gold, pearls, silk, gauze, satin, and so on . There were even one-of-kind treasures from his Treasure Pavilion . These gifts would also be presentable as betrothal gifts .  

When Yu Hai and his wife saw all the precious and expensive gifts, they felt a little nervous . In contrast, Xiaocao accepted all his gifts calmly . Since they were going to get married soon, then there was no need to divide their properties too clearly . After all, once they got married in the future, then all his belongings would belong to her . There was nothing wrong with him delivering some of his belongings to her in advance .

In return, Xiaocao made a big meal for everyone, which included ‘Buddha Jumps Over the Wall’ . She even stewed the venison that Zhu Junyang brought over with red wine, giving it a distinctive flavor .  

However, it was impolite to only receive and not give in return . Since he had sent them so many precious gifts, then they must give back! Yu Hai and his wife were worried because even if they pooled together all of the wealth belonging to the Yu Family, they still probably wouldn’t have enough money to purchase a gift that would meet Royal Prince Yang’s standard . What should they do? 

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Xiaocao had already prepared a return gift in advance! She used the cocoa beans and coffee beans that were brought back by the fleet last time to make chocolates with various flavors . There were coffee-flavored toffee and some other unusual snacks . For example, she made tiramisu, matcha red beans cake, banana pudding cake (the banana was one of the southern types of fruits that was bestowed by the emperor to Zhu Junyang), shredded dried pork cake, fruit tart, and many others .  

Madam Liu looked at the return gifts that Xiaocao prepared and believed that her gifts were too meager compared to the expensive gifts given by Royal Prince Yang . She felt embarrassed giving him such small gifts in comparison .  

Xiaocao consoled her mother, “Prince Jing’s Estate doesn’t lack gold, silver, pearls, silk, gauze, satin, and other expensive items . The rarer an item is, the more valuable it is . For example, my sweets and desserts are one of a kind in the capital . You wouldn’t even find these sweets in The Yu’s Frozen Dessert and Pastries Store . I’m not trying to boast, but based on my skills, these sweets and snacks will definitely protect you from losing face . It’s natural to give back to those who have given to you; it’s also natural to reward servants who have done well! Mother don’t worry! Princess Consort Jing will definitely be satisfied with our return gifts!” 

It was easy to preserve chocolates and candies in the winter, so Xiaocao prepared many different kinds of sweets . Not only did she made a mellow and rich type of dark chocolate, but she had also made milk flavored chocolate, hazelnut flavored chocolate, silky and smooth flavored chocolate, wine-flavored chocolate . . . most of the candies were coffee-flavored and some of the chocolate was stuffed . She packed the sweets in an elegant and classy case and wrapped the case in high-grade wrapping paper .  

The pastries were made similar to the Jing Ba Jian  [1]  . There were several different varieties of pastries in each box and there were dozens of boxes prepared . She told her elder brother, who was the one sending the gift to Prince Jing’s Estate, to inform the steward that the pastry needed to be eaten within five days .  

Yu Hang was assigned the task to give a New Year gift in return to Prince Jing’s Estate because he was the eldest son of the Yu Family . He was so nervous that he was sweating buckets inwardly . Fortunately, the steward was informed in advance about his arrival by his master, so the steward treated him with enthusiasm and great courtesy . Zhu Junyang valued his future brother-in-law, so he personally headed to the outer courtyard to accompany Yu Hang to drink tea and chat .  

The New Year gift prepared by the Yu Family naturally received Princess Consort Jing’s approval and love . As the female head of Prince Jing’s Estate, there weren't many things that she hadn’t yet seen . Her husband doted on her a lot, so he would give all his treasures to her . Furthermore, she had a son who liked to go on adventures . Her son even managed to give her many gifts from the western hemisphere and overseas . As a result, it was hard to capture her interest with rare and expensive treasures because she had already seen most of them .  

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However, the candies and desserts that Xiaocao sent over were items that she had never heard of, seen, or even tasted before . Princess Consort Jing was entertaining a few noble-titled madams for the New Year when she received the New Year gift from Xiaocao . She immediately opened the gifts once she received them and couldn’t help but chuckle when she saw what was inside! It was impossible for her not to love Xiaocao; she even managed to deliver the snacks right on time .  

She immediately asked the servants to serve the snacks and candies that were given by Xiaocao . However, she put aside the well-preserved chocolate and coffee-flavored candies . Instead, she opened the boxes containing the pastries first .  

When the madams heard that the New Year gift from the Yu Family only contained sweets and snacks, they felt contempt for the Yu Family . It was no wonder that they were a family who came from the countryside . How could they send out such cheap gifts? They believed that Princess Consort Jing was too kind . If they were the ones who received such cheap gifts, then they would’ve already thrown the gift back at the person who gave them the gift . Were they looking down at people from Prince Jing’s Estate? How could they send out such poor gifts as a New Year gift? 

However, the madams knew that Royal Prince Yang was extremely protective of the little girl from the Yu Family . So, even though they felt contempt for the people of the Yu Family, they didn’t express their true feelings .  

“Xiaocao must’ve made a new type of dessert again! You probably didn’t know, but Xiaocao is a very considerate little girl . Whenever there is something delicious to eat, she would never forget to send some to me . Seeing how much care to put into wrapping the gifts this time, I bet the snacks will definitely taste delicious . You guys are in luck today because you’re in for a treat!” 

Princess Consort Jing personally opened the delicate lid of the case . A strong yet novel fragrance slowly filled the room . Even though she was a princess consort who had tasted all kinds of delicacies, she couldn’t help but become intoxicated by the sweet fragrance produced by the snacks inside the case . She could feel her saliva increasing .  

The madams looked at each other profoundly after noticing Princess Consort Jing’s attitude towards Yu Xiaocao . They didn’t dare to feel the least bit of contempt towards the dessert . It seemed like the people from Prince Jing’ Estate had already accepted the little girl from the Yu Family as their future daughter-in-law . The Yu Family had climbed onto a higher social status . In the future, not just anyone could step on them or look down on them! 

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At the same time, the madams couldn’t help but reveal a slightly surprised expression when they smelled the delicious fragrance that the content of the case was exuding . What kind of dessert could exude such a rich yet mellow fragrance at the same time? This fragrance was something they had never encountered before . With this fragrance alone, it was already enough to pique their interest and appetite! 

They all subconsciously started focusing on the content inside the delicate food case . The round food case was divided into six equal parts, and there were six different kinds of snacks inside the food case . None of the madams present, including Princess Consort Jing, had ever seen any of the snacks inside the food case . These snacks didn’t appear in any of the limited-edition snacks presented in The Yu's Pastry Shop .  

Princess Consort Jing couldn’t wait as she picked up a dainty and delicate spoon and reached out to scoop a spoonful of the tiramisu . Even though she was impatient to taste the snacks, her actions remained graceful and attractive as she put the spoonful of tiramisu into her mouth . The dessert melted the moment it entered her mouth . The tiramisu contained a slightly bitter but strong coffee aroma . It tasted sweet like a cake made from eggs and sugar and was mellow like sweet wine . The fragrant chocolate, the denseness of the cake, the rich aroma of the whipped cream, and the dryness of the cocoa powder——each layer of the tiramisu evoked a different taste . When each layer was all eaten together, the resulting taste reached the peak of what a dessert could taste! Princess Consort Jing was infatuated with this incredible taste .  

The other madams were very curious about the fragrant dessert when they noticed that Princess Consort Jing still had her eyes closed as she relished the taste . What did it taste like? They were curious, but they couldn’t speak their mind since Princess Consort Jing still hadn’t spoken yet . Although they didn’t reveal their curiosity on the surface, their hearts were itching to taste the dessert .  

Princess Consort Jing finally snapped out of her daze after tasting the rich flavors of the tiramisu . When she noticed that the madams were looking at her hungrily, she hurriedly said, “I have never tasted a dessert with such a complicated yet harmonious taste . Meixiang, go and serve the snacks along with some scented tea to the madams . It will be a delicious treat!” 

Soon, each of the madams was served a fragrant and alluring dessert on a delicate porcelain plate the size of a palm . The Ministry of Ceremonies’ wife, Lady Wang, followed Princess Consort Jing’s example . She picked up a small spoon and gently scooped a small portion of the simple and elegant matcha flavored red beans cake and put it into her mouth .

[1] Jing Ba Jian/Beijing 8 (京八件) - a series (of 8 different types of confectionery) of Chinese desserts made during the Qing Dynasty . Each of the eight desserts means different things . The eight meanings: happiness, success, long life, luck, wealth, education, excess, and fertility .  

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