Chapter 26: The Culinary Tycoon

Cai Residence

Trigger Warning: Do not read this chapter on an empty stomach.

As the saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Since Boss Wang and Boss Liu are at odds with each other, and Boss Liu seems to have some tangled connections with the Cai family, both objectively and subjectively, Boss Liu can be considered in the same camp as Yu Qingze.

Yu Qingze came up with an idea to deal with Boss Wang, but it required the cooperation of Boss Liu. However, it wasn’t the right time yet, and they were still lacking a catalyst.

After all, Yu Qingze and Boss Liu were not exactly acquainted at the moment, and Boss Liu’s previous impression on him was… inexplicable?

He didn’t seem like an easy person to get along with, so Yu Qingze needed to figure out more about his character before making any plans.

The next day, Yu Qingze made a special trip to the calligraphy and painting shop to buy invitation cards. He had someone write the cards for him and prepared to visit the Cai residence the day after tomorrow. Normally, he should have written the cards himself, but his calligraphy was simply not presentable, and he didn’t want to embarrass himself.

When Mi Ge’er came to buy jelly, Yu Qingze asked him to take the invitation cards back with him.

In the afternoon, Mi Ge’er returned with a message from the old master, saying that the old master invited Chang Le’s family to visit as well.

Yu Qingze was somewhat surprised, but after consulting the opinions of the two brothers, he agreed.

The date written on the invitation cards was the day after tomorrow. That evening, Chang Hao excitedly shared the news with Grandpa Chang.

Grandpa Chang was taken aback. In his lifetime, he rarely even saw a county official, and now they were going to visit the governor’s residence?

Grandpa Chang hesitated and asked, “So, what should we bring as a gift?” Would it be considered too shabby to bring something ordinary to the prefect’s residence? But they couldn’t afford anything too valuable either.

Oh, it was troublesome.

Grandpa Chang paced back and forth in the main hall, completely at a loss for what to bring.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Grandpa, you don’t need to worry so much. I’ve already thought about it. The Cai family doesn’t lack anything, so we can just bring some things from the mountain and what we grow at home. The Cai family, after all, is interested in my cooking skills, so I’ll make a couple of dishes to teach Uncle Fu. Our situation is well known to the Cai family, so it’s just a way of expressing our gratitude.”

Upon hearing this, Grandpa Chang stopped in his tracks and said, “Alright then, thank you for taking care of it.”

Yu Qingze said, “No problem, Grandpa. Don’t worry, we’ll just treat it as a visit to the governor’s residence.”

“Ah, alright then. I’m getting old, but I still have the chance to visit the governor’s residence and broaden my horizons. Hahaha.” Grandpa Chang chuckled happily, but suddenly remembered something and walked towards his room. “Oh, I need to find some clothes, both for myself and Xiao Hao. We need to decide what to wear as guests in two days.”

Halfway there, Grandpa Chang stopped again and said, “By the way, Aze, Xiao Le’s father’s clothes are all worn out. Tomorrow, you need to buy him a new set of clothes. You’re different from us and need to pay attention to these things.”

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “What’s so different about me? I’m just a cook. But I should also buy a couple of outfits. It’s not good to keep wearing Uncle’s clothes.” He had been wearing Xiao Le’s father’s three sets of clothes ever since he woke up and hadn’t bought any for himself.

Grandpa Chang said, “That’s not what I meant. We can still keep Xiao Le’s father’s clothes. The Cai family values you, so we should also show our respect. We shouldn’t belittle their face.”

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Alright, I understand. We’ll go tomorrow.”

Grandpa Chang added, “Just buy one set for the day after tomorrow. Clothes are expensive in the shops. Bring back some cloth, and Xiao Le can make you a couple of spare outfits. Xiao Le’s sewing skills are still very good.”

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

Yu Qingze’s heart stirred, he wanted to wear the clothes made by Brother Le. However, he hesitated, thinking it would be too much trouble for Brother Le.

Chang Le waved his hand on the side, indicating that it was not a problem.

The next day, they didn’t open their stall and went to a ready-made clothing store in the morning.

Yu Qingze chose an outfit for himself and then selected one for the two brothers and Grandpa Chang. However, Chang Le stopped him, saying that they had clothes specifically for special occasions.

In the end, Yu Qingze still bought a set for Chang Hao. Yesterday, when they took out their clothes, it was clear that Chang Hao’s outfit had become noticeably short.

Finally, he bought some fabric and went home to make clothes for everyone.

After buying the clothes, Yu Qingze also bought some ingredients to prepare some pastries to bring along the next day.

The next morning, before dawn, Yu Qingze and Chang Le got up and started making the pastries.

Shu mai, pumpkin red bean cakes, and red date cakes.

Siu Mai
Pumpkin Red Bean Cake
(credit: red house spice)
Red Date Cake

Chang Hao was still in a deep sleep when he was awakened by the tantalizing aroma.

Half-squinting, he followed the scent to the kitchen and saw Yu Qingze frying something while another pot was steaming something, emitting steam.

His drowsiness instantly vanished as he eagerly gazed at the golden brown ‘pancakes’ in the pot.

“So fragrant!” Chang Hao sniffed and asked, “Big Brother Yu, what is this?”

“Pumpkin red bean cakes. We can have them for breakfast. You go wash up and do your morning exercises first,” Yu Qingze replied.

“Oh…” While smelling the delicious pumpkin red bean cakes, Chang Hao couldn’t eat them and had to go wash up and do his morning exercises. How could he continue like this, with all his cravings brought to the surface…

Chang Hao remained standing, unmoving.

It was too tempting, and his feet seemed to have a mind of their own, refusing to move.

Yu Qingze showed no mercy and said, “Go quickly, you can’t eat until you finish your tasks.”

Can’t eat until he finishes?! This was torture!

“Now, go!”

Chang Hao, the food lover, reluctantly left the kitchen, taking quick steps to the courtyard to do his exercises.

Big brother Yu was truly ruthless!

He showed no understanding of a food lover’s feelings at all!

Chang Hao maintained his horse stance while sniffing the air, desperately wanting to inhale all the aroma into his stomach. After enduring half an hour of horse stance, he quickly washed up and dashed into the kitchen.

He didn’t want to wait a single moment longer!

When Yu Qingze finished making the snacks and set aside some for their visit to the Cai family, they all enjoyed a delicious breakfast.

Chang Hao held a shu mai in his left hand and a pumpkin red bean cake in his right hand, his mouth full, with his eyes fixed on the red date cake!

Oh, his hands were too few, and his mouth was too small to keep up with the eating!

The other three watched him and laughed. What a little glutton!

After finishing breakfast, Yu Qingze and Chang Le took a bath and changed into their new clothes. Then, carrying some mountain products, yellow eels caught by Chang Le in the ditch, and three boxes of snacks, they set off.

The Cai residence was located in the south of the city, a large mansion.

When they arrived, Mi Ge’er was already waiting for them at the gate.

As they walked, Mi Ge’er introduced them to the Cai residence. Although the Cai residence was not particularly grand, each courtyard and every decoration inside were elegant, indicating a cultured family.

Old Master Cai, the patriarch, and his wife welcomed them in the main hall, accompanied by a slender and somewhat frail-looking young man in white clothes.

Upon seeing them, Old Master Cai greeted them warmly, “Ah, Boss Yu, you’ve finally arrived.”

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Greetings to Old Master Cai, Madam Cai, and Young Master Cai.”

Chang Le and the others also paid their respects.

Old Master Cai waved his hand and said, “No need to be so formal. Please make yourselves at home, just as if you were in your own house.”

Yu Qingze said, “Then, please don’t call me Boss Yu, just call me Xiaoyu.”

“Okay, okay, Xiaoyu it is,” Old Master Cai happily replied. He then turned to look at Chang Le’s family and said, “You must be Brother Chang. Welcome to our home.”

Grandpa Chang was initially a bit reserved and nervous, but seeing Old Master Cai’s friendly demeanor, he relaxed a bit and smiled, “We apologize for the intrusion.”

“No intrusion at all. We haven’t had such liveliness in a long time,” Old Master Cai reassured them.

On the other side, Madam Cai approached Chang Le and Chang Hao, smiling as he said, “These must be Chang Le and Chang Hao. Look at these two children, so adorable. Here, this is a little gift from the youngest member of the family to both of you.” With that, Madam Cai took out a silver hairpin and a silver bracelet from his pocket and handed them to the two brothers.

Both of them were a bit dumbfounded, unsure how to react.

Seeing their confusion, Grandpa Chang was also at a loss and hurriedly said, “Madam Cai, these are too precious. We can’t accept them, really.”

Madam Cai didn’t stop and replied, “Brother, why are you blocking me? They’re not for you. I can see that the two children like them, just some small toys to play with, no problem at all.”

Grandpa Chang couldn’t help but laugh and cry at the same time, while the two brothers looked at their grandpa, unsure of what to do. If grandpa said they should accept them, they would, and if grandpa said they shouldn’t, they wouldn’t.

Yu Qingze watched this scene with a smile and said, “Grandpa, just accept the gesture from Madam Cai.”

This Madam Cai must have heard about their situation from Mi Ge’er and had a good way of winning people over. Since he couldn’t give gifts to Yu Qingze directly, he targeted those around him, which indeed touched his soft spot.

Upon hearing Yu Qingze’s words, Grandpa Chang nodded, and Chang Le and Chang Hao accepted the gifts from Madam Cai.

Chang Le gestured with his hands, and Chang Hao, with his sweet mouth, thanked him, saying, “Thank you, Uncle. My brother also thanks you. He really likes this hairpin.”

Madam Cai smiled and said, “As long as he likes it, that’s good, that’s good. Oh, Xiao Hao, what a sweet child!”

Everyone burst into laughter.

After the laughter subsided, Madam Cai pulled the young man standing behind him and said, “Xiao Hao, Brother Le, Xiao Yu, this is my grandson, Cai Yunwei. Yunwei, these are your Big Brother Yu, Grandpa Chang, Brother Chang, and Little Brother Chang.”

Cai Yunwei took a step forward and politely clasped his hands, saying, “Greetings to Big Brother Yu, Grandpa Chang, Brother Chang, and Little Brother Chang.”

The group nodded and returned the gesture with a slight bow.

Yu Qingze looked at Cai Yunwei for a moment and asked, “Second Young Master, how’s your appetite lately? If there’s something you want to eat, let me know, and I’ll make it for you.”

Cai Yunwei smiled slightly and replied, “Everything cooked by Big Brother Yu is delicious.”

This wasn’t mere flattery, but a statement of fact. Growing up, he found that the dishes made by Yu Qingze and the ones he taught Uncle Fu to make were the ones he enjoyed the most.

Yu Qingze smiled and didn’t downplay it. Seeing that it was getting late, he told Madam Cai that he would go to the kitchen to check on things. He would take charge of cooking for everyone at noon and prepare a delicious meal.

Madam Cai then had Uncle Fu take him to the kitchen, and Chang Le followed to assist.

In the main hall, Old Master Cai and his wife accompanied Grandpa Chang, drinking tea and chatting. They enjoyed the snacks brought by Yu Qingze and praised them highly.

After sitting for a while, Chang Hao ate a piece of red date cake. He noticed that Cai Yunwei, sitting across from him, stopped eating after having a piece of pumpkin red bean cake. He approached him and asked, “Little brother, why aren’t you eating anymore? Is it not tasty?”

Cai Yunwei looked at the young boy in front of him, with bright and lively eyes, and felt a tinge of envy. He shook his head and said, “It’s very delicious, but I can’t eat anymore. I have a small appetite.”

“Oh…” Chang Hao also knew that he ate less, so he changed the subject. He took out a grasshopper and a dragonfly made of woven grass from his pocket and handed them to Cai Yunwei, saying, “These are for you to play with.”

He had made them from palm leaves while waiting for Yu Qingze and his brother to finish bathing and changing clothes, intending to give them to Cai Yunwei.

Cai Yunwei had rarely been outside and had seen dragonflies but not grasshoppers. He asked, “What are these?”

“This is a grasshopper, and this is a dragonfly. Haven’t you seen them before?” Chang Hao pointed and explained to him.

Cai Yunwei shook his head and said, “I haven’t seen this grasshopper before. Did you make it? It looks really nice.” This wasn’t a lie. Even though Cai Yunwei had never laid eyes on a grasshopper before, the dragonfly, with its vivid and lifelike appearance, bore a striking resemblance to one.

Chang Hao puffed out his chest and said, “Yeah, I made them.”

“How did you make them?”

“Do you want to learn? I can teach you.”

“Sure.” After all, he was bored at home every day.

“Do you have palm leaves here?”

“I’ll have someone look for them.”


Madam Cai watched the two young boys getting enthusiastic and sighed. He said, “It’s been a long time since Yunwei showed interest in something like this.”

Grandpa Chang consoled him, saying, “Once he’s in good health and full of energy, he won’t listen to you even at home. Boys at this age are mischievous.”

Upon hearing this, Madam Cai laughed heartily and said, “I’m looking forward to that day.”

In the kitchen, Uncle Fu had already communicated with Yu Qingze the afternoon before his visit, knowing that he would be coming.

Yu Qingze asked about the preferences of Old Master Cai, Madam Cai, and Cai Yunwei the other day, and he made a list of ingredients for Uncle Fu to buy. So, Uncle Fu had everything prepared.

Due to the numerous dishes they needed to prepare, not only Chang Le but also Uncle Fu and a few other kitchen staff assisted Yu Qingze.

However, their assistance was limited to washing and cutting vegetables. Besides Chang Le, who was already accustomed to working with him, the others couldn’t keep up with Yu Qingze’s pace.

However, they all watched Yu Qingze’s movements attentively, especially Uncle Fu. Even before the dishes were ready, just the aroma wafting from the kitchen was enough to make their mouths water.

When they saw the plates of finished dishes, they couldn’t help but salivate.

Fortunately, Yu Qingze deliberately made extra portions of each dish, leaving some for his assistants who had helped him.

The kitchen staff was moved to tears.

Boss Yu is such a good person.

They worked fervently for an hour and finally finished, just in time for lunch.

Uncle Fu and the servants brought the dishes to the table, filling it up completely.

There were steamed pork ribs with glutinous rice, cold wood ear fungus salad, spicy shredded chicken, braised eel, fish-flavored eggplant casserole, sweet and sour pork, stir-fried lotus root slices, stir-fried Buddha’s delight, seafood congee, and kelp and pork rib soup.

When Old Master Cai and Madam Cai, as well as Cai Yunwei, sat at the table, they saw a variety of dishes they had rarely seen before, and their eyes lit up.

It smelled so good!

And it looked delicious, making them even more hungry!

They took their seats, ready to dig in.

At that moment, a hearty voice came from outside the dining room.

“It smells amazing! What delicious food did Uncle Fu make?!”

Steamed pork ribs with glutinous rice
(credit: the woks of life)
Fish-flavored eggplant casserole
(credit: the woks of life)
Cold wood ear fungus salad
Spicy shredded chicken
(credit: 食得安心)
Braised Eel
(credit: sohu)
Sweet and sour pork
(credit: thefrice)
Stir-fried lotus root slices
(credit: sohu)
Vegetable Stir Fry – Buddha’s Delight
(credit: vegkitchen)
Seafood confee
(credit: cookpad)
Kelp and pork rib soup
(credit: meishichina)


Thingyan: I’m about to drop this novel. This food porn .. is inhumane (>﹏<)


  1. Afunso Olamide says:

    Please don’t I actually love the novel. I already MTLed it. But I didn’t really understand it. Please please please please please please please please please please please please please

    1. Thingyan says:

      Lol you really made me laughed out loud. I won’t drop this novel. It’s my favourite out of all the novels on our website right now. But I can’t believe you went and read MTL. I feel betrayed 😭😭😭😭 😝

  2. sissilia says:

    I feel hungry just by looking at the pics even though I wouldn’t eat them because I am picky about food I can’t eat most vegetables but it still looks appetizing 🤤
    Thank you for the update ❤️💯

    1. Thingyan says:

      Now I’m curious what kind of food you eat. I remember you said something about not eating spicy food too? 😅

  3. Stela says:

    Thanks for the update❤️❤️

  4. Ashen Fox 🦊 says:

    I understand, these food porns are to vicious!!

    1. Thingyan says:

      And especially when you just came out of illness and things don’t taste very well 😅

      1. Aprillen says:

        This chapter was so cruel, I feel like crying 😩 I want to eat all of those dishes…!

  5. Thanks for the chapter! I use this to find new things I might like to try.

    1. Thingyan says:

      Lol that’s a good idea. You have good Chinese restaurants in the your area that you can buy these or you cook? Share some pics so we can also salivate 🥰😅

  6. Aprillen says:

    This chapter was so cruel, I feel like crying 😩 I want to eat all of those dishes…!

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