AST 1320 - Intelligent Woman, Qing Shui’s Plan for Imperial Cuisine Hall
Soulsearch had only snapped back to reality after a good long while. He had also become more firm in his belief. By the time he came out, nearly an hour had already passed. He didn’t even know how he managed to muddle-headedly stay in the bathroom for so long.
When he came out and saw Qing Shui, he felt particularly grateful in his heart. His body was not only younger now, his strength had also increased along with his lifespan. Most importantly, Qing Shui had healed his body.
“Brother, I will save you the courteous words.” Soulsearch saw the surprise on Qing Shui’s face and his expression was very serious.
Although Qing Shui had expected Soulsearch to regain his youth, he looked too different now compared to when the skin of his face was peeling. The impact of seeing an old man turned into a mature middle-aged man was just extremely great.
This was the effect of the Life and Death Needles. Of course, this wasn’t possible without his Nine Yang Acupuncture, Force of Rebirth and Spring of Life too.
“Brother, that’s for the best. Although we are not brothers, our relationship is more than that of brothers.” Qing Shui said with a smile.
Soulsearch possessed very powerful innate talent and even a brilliant skill such as the Meridians Knocking Soul Pulling. Qing Shui could teach him some acupuncture techniques and some medicinal cuisine or medicinal porridge since Qing Shui might even need his help in the Phoenix Dancing Continent.
As the saying goes: ‘Just as a fence needs the support of three stakes, an able fellow needs the help of three other people.’
“We are family, forever. From now on, regardless of what happens or what changes, this will remain forever unchanged. Come home with me. I’m getting married and I need you, brother, as my Yue Lao ,” Soulsearch said happily while he tugged Qing Shui.
Qing Shui was very happy too, as he followed Soulsearch downstairs. Even people who were familiar with Soulsearch were staring at Qing Shui and Soulsearch in surprise. They could still recognize him but he looked so much younger now and this suddenly caused the atmosphere to turn very odd.
Soulsearch was a famous doctor among this generation. There were also medicinal cuisines that nourished skin and could stop aging. Even so, the effects shouldn’t be this extreme....
Soulsearch didn’t expect himself to become a walking signboard for his business. His story spread like wildfire. Qing Shui was initially worried that something would go wrong but his worries very quickly dissipated.
The difference of being a physician compared to others was that no one would usually want to offend them. No one would ever think of injuring a physician unless that physician had sworn to not see a patient or sworn to never treat a person in any way. After all, no one could ever guarantee that they wouldn’t get sick or be injured and no one could ever guarantee that their family would be safe from diseases or injuries. Therefore, physicians were revered no matter where they went.
When he thought about this, he laughed. A doctor didn’t fear being reputed as not being reputed was exactly what they feared. Qing Shui was initially still wondering how to help Imperial Cuisine Hall to gain more exposure but it seemed like there was no longer any need to. Someone would be helping him to promote its name and then there was also another person who would do the same.
Li Husheng. Whether he could or couldn’t obtain the antidote, he would still be grateful to Qing Shui. The Li Clan’s head was also a local tyrant in this region, albeit not as superior as the Yehuang Clan. But the Li Clan was still a very powerful existence. It was even better to have the Li Clan help in building his reputation.
For now, Qing Shui had a rough idea what his next step was. He’d improve his strength while building his connections. It would be best if he could really rope in a group of powerful aristocrat clans. This was the only way he could establish himself on the three continents and be able to summon wind and rain with a wave of his hand.
Once again, he traveled along the wide streets with Soulsearch on the beast carriage. Qing Shui knew that this time, their destination was most likely Soulsearch’s home!
The beast carriage had only stopped after nearly an hour. Qing Shui and Soulsearch got off and saw a small manor. Despite the size, it seemed to be quite lavish.
“Brother, this is my home. It’s a very important place to me.”
Soulsearch’s words were very clear. This was his home, just like the Qing Residence to Qing Shui. Letting someone else know the location of your home, was an indication of a very close relationship that was almost akin to that of a close relative.
Qing Shui naturally could catch that and felt very grateful in his heart too. Making friends was all about opening up to each other. Much like how Qing Shui had entrusted Yu Ruyan to Tantai Xuan’s care while both of them were looked after by Yehuang Guwu. Yu Sunu, Qing Sha and the rest were looked after by Headmaster Sui and company. The relationships between them were definitely incomparable to that of normal friends.
Qing Shui smiled and nodded. “Brother, you will find happiness.”
The moment both of them walked into the manor, a woman who was still attractive looking, despite her age, quickly came out. She had a tall and slender figure. Her silky hair was pinned into a bun and she had a slender neck. Her eyes were quite lovely on her graceful countenance.
This was a completely mature-looking woman. She only lacked a little in her temperament compared to Yehuang Guwu. Yet, she was still a woman that was hard to come by, slightly obsequious but not too much.
The woman was shocked when she saw both of them. She then stared at Soulsearch for a good long while before exclaiming in disbelief, “Brother Soulsearch, how come you are younger now?”
“Haha, Li Ji!” Soulsearch happily walked over to embrace the woman and spun her around a few times before he pulled her towards Qing Shui.
“Li Ji, let me introduce him to you. This is Qing Shui. He’s like a real brother to me.”
“Brother Qing!” Li Ji greeted Qing Shui with a smile.
“Sister-in-law, you look really great with brother right now,” Qing Shui said with a smile.
“Alright, come, come, let’s go in. Let us have a good drink today. Li Ji, brother is our Yue Lao today. From now on, you will be I, Soulsearch’s wife. We shall hold the wedding banquet another day.” Soulsearch pulled Li Ji by her hand and Qing Shui with his other hand and walked towards the living room.
Li Ji was taken aback as she stared at Soulsearch in disbelief. “Brother Soulsearch, are my ears playing tricks on me? You are taking me as your wife?”
“It was my fault that I let you down before. Brother has cured my ailment and made me understand how much of a fool I was in the past. I’m taking you as my wife no matter what.” Soulsearch grasped Li Ji’s hand tightly.
Li Ji looked at Soulsearch happily and then in surprise after she seemed to have processed his words earlier. “Are you cured for real?”
“Brother is an amazing physician who surpasses me by a hundredfold. He is the one who cured me and strengthened my vitality. I feel so much younger.”
The love of beauty was not limited only to women. Even men wished for themselves to appear slightly more youthful and stronger. No one would like to be a senile old man, even if only in appearance.
“Brother, go ahead and have a nice chat with Brother Soulsearch first while I go prepare some dishes. I hope you don’t mind sister-in-law’s horrible culinary skills.” Li Ji was ecstatic. She was in a great mood right now. This sudden surprise even made her slightly wonder if she was dreaming but she knew this was all real.
She adored Soulsearch. She loved this man but he just couldn’t get the point last time. Although she liked children and couldn’t have a child, the feelings between them were real. Her heart didn’t ache for the fact that Soulsearch didn’t marry her. In fact, whether he married her or not no longer mattered. She just couldn’t bear to see Soulsearch coping with the ordeal all by himself.
Today, a great surprise had arrived. Not only was his ailment cured, he had also recovered from his psychological issues. Even if they couldn’t have a child, she knew that she could still become a most intimate couple with Soulsearch, like true husband and wife.
“Sorry for troubling you, sister-in-law. Just a couple of simple dishes will do.”
Watching as the woman left, Qing Shui and Soulsearch entered the big hall and took a seat. Soulsearch’s mood had been at its peak today. The feeling of being up there was very wonderful because he felt very blessed.
“Brother, I would like to raise the bar for Imperial Cuisine Hall. What do you think?” Qing Shui said with a smile.
“Brother, I am thinking of giving the Imperial Cuisine Hall to you while I act as a supporting role.” Soulsearch revealed seriously with a very certain tone of voice.
“Brother, are you still interested in gaining more knowledge in the art of healing?” Qing Shui knew that he wasn’t going to settle down yet at one place. Besides, he didn’t want to take advantage of others. Although he could expand Imperial Cuisine Hall and gain more from it, he wasn’t used to doing something like this.
“Of course. I’ve been hoping for a breakthrough in the art of healing. Unfortunately, it’s a feat that is too difficult to achieve and the chances are too slim.”
“Let me assist you. I’ll still need you to handle most of the matters in Imperial Cuisin Hall. Even if it has been expanded, your art of healing will also need to be more powerful.” Qing Shui wasn’t going to be modest at a time like this, considering the relationship between them.
“I’m still going to tell you the same thing I did just now - I will save you the courteous words. Brother, you have to be in charge of the Imperial Cuisine Hall. I’ve given it careful consideration, otherwise I’d be taking advantage of you. How about if I can be so bold as to request 10% of the profit?” Soulsearch knew that Qing Shui would definitely refuse if he were to gift the Imperial Cuisine Hall. But he also knew that with Qing Shui’s help, even a 10% of future profit would be tenfold or even a hundredfold the entire current profit.
“Well if that’s the case, then I shall stop being courteous. You and sister-in-law are getting 10% each. There’ll be more people joining in the future, so we’ll save the remaining profit for them. How about that?” Qing Shui said with a smile.
Soulsearch’s eyes widened before he firmly refused. “Even that’s unacceptable. 10%. Li Ji and I, together are 10%.”
Qing Shui pondered for a moment then nodded. “Alright, let’s stick to that for now. We’ll expand it first, while you need to breakthrough in your current art of healing.”
At this time, Li Ji carried a tray of dishes in and was glad to see Qing Shui having a very pleasant chat with Soulsearch.
Li Ji had great culinary skills. Her food was as good as what was cooked by the head chefs in some restaurants. They were both appetizing and tasted great. There were nine dishes, four meat dishes and five vegetarian dishes. There was also a big bowl of soup...
“Brother Soulsearchl, let us drink a toast to our brother!” Li Ji was thinking about a lot of things when she was cooking just now. She was an extremely intelligent woman and had also faintly heard the conversation in the room. It wasn’t like she was eavesdropping. She knew that Qing Shui and Soulsearch wouldn’t hide anything from her anyway.
Soulsearch stood up with Li Ji with wine in their hands. Qing Shui hurriedly stood up. “Family doesn’t treat each other like strangers. I’ll make an exception this time, do not be this courteous in the future. Consider this as a toast for me playing the Yue Lao role for you both. I wish for brother and sister-in-law to have a happy life and blissful marriage. May you soon have a lovely child.”
Li Ji’s face was slightly red, seemingly excited, also a little shy but mostly happy. “Brother, when we have a child, I’ll have you be their godfather regardless if it’s a son or a daughter.”
Qing Shui glanced at Li Ji. She was one intelligent woman. He smiled and nodded. “I’d be happy to. Then both of you will have to work hard.”
Soulsearch laughed heartily while Li Ji stared at both of them bashfully.
Qing Shui stayed the night here but in a different pavilion. He immediately entered the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal right after dinner.
He prepared a few acupuncture techniques. Since Soulsearch, who possessed Meridians Knocking Soul Pulling could accurately determine ailments, Qing Shui was teaching him acupuncture techniques that could be used for healing and relief. But he couldn’t learn most of Qing Shui’s acupuncture techniques.
Wood Needle of the Five Elements was suitable for Soulsearch’s constitution to learn. When he mastered the technique, one acupuncture technique could take him far. However, it was too difficult to master it. Soulsearch had a decent foundation in acupuncture, he only lacked a powerful acupuncture technique. Most physicians’ acupuncture techniques were superficial. They had very minimal effect, let alone being labeled as miraculous.
Qing Shui didn’t really believe in acupuncture in his previous life.
 Yue Lao is the God of marriage and love in Chinese mythology, a matchmaker.
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