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Chapter 1: Divorce Paper

Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations

In the month of March, in a small city in Ancient Southern China, it was drizzling. In a small riverside restaurant in Lin’an City, raindrops dripped from the eaves outside.

The spring rain had been falling for about half a month, and the willow tree in front of the restaurant had sprouted. At the Eight Immortal Table in the house, a young woman who was about 17 to 18 years old was clenching a piece of paper in her hands tightly.

There were two striking words on the paper, “Divorce Paper”.

Qiao Jinniang’s usually bright eyes had lost their sparkle and were currently filled with hatred. She couldn’t help gnashing her teeth. “How dare he, how dare he!”

The maid on her side said indignantly, “Miss, how could he do this to you?! If you hadn’t rescued him from the river back then, he would have lost his life. Although he lost his memory, you still took him in and even married him, but as soon as he recovered his memory, he wanted to divorce you. This kind of b*stard should be chopped up and eaten as human meat buns!”

“Oh, Nuomi, what are you talking about?! If others heard what you said, they might think our Myriad Taste sells human meat buns! But Miss’ husband is outrageous indeed. He even took Young Master away.”

Qiao Jinniang bit her lower lip silently. Three years ago, her parents were both severely sick and in critical condition. At that time, her uncles and aunts wanted to seize their family restaurant, Myriad Taste.

Her parents only had a daughter, and she just happened to rescue a stunningly handsome young man from the river. He was luxuriously dressed but had lost his memory. Seeing this, her parents deceived him that he was their son-in-law-to-be.

They made him marry Qiao Jinniang in order to make Qiao Jinniang’s uncles and aunts give up the plan to snatch their restaurant.

After Jinniang got married, her parents passed away not long after, and soon Qiao Jinniang found herself pregnant. After that, she gave birth to a son and lived a happy life with her husband.

However, several months ago, her husband suddenly recovered his memory. He immediately told Qiao Jinniang that he was born in an aristocratic family in the capital, and that if he wanted to marry Qiao Jinniang as his wife, he had to first make some preparations.

After that was said, her husband took their son back to Chang’an first. She waited for two long months, from the Lantern Festival to the Qingming Festival. However, after waiting for two months, what she finally got was not his proposal letter and a dowry but a divorce paper sent from Chang’an City.

The messenger didn’t even place the divorce paper in an envelope, which allowed a lot of people to spot it along the way. Undoubtedly, it would not be long before the news of her divorce spread throughout the entire Lin’an City.

And she, the young hostess of Myriad Taste, would definitely become the laughing stock of Lin’an City!

“Qiao Jinniang! Come out!”

“Now that your ex-husband has left with your child and given you your divorce paper, you, as a woman, are not qualified to inherit this restaurant of our Qiao Family. Come out, and hand over Myriad Taste to us!”

Hearing the noise outside, Qiao Jinniang went outside only to see it was filled with the clansmen of the Qiao Family and the thugs they hired, from the door of the restaurant all the way to the river.

The sound of drizzling rain couldn’t cover up their noisy protest.

“Why? My father was driven out of the Qiao Family, helpless and penniless when he was young. Fortunately, he followed his master to go to Chang’an City and worked as a cook for Duke Anyuan and his family. He married my mother and earned some money before he returned back to his hometown and opened this restaurant. Myriad Taste is the fruit of my parents’ lifelong painstaking labor, so what does it have to do with your Qiao Family?”

Qiao Jinniang walked out of the restaurant holding an umbrella.

Before her father died, he told her that even if she sold Myriad Taste, she could never give it to the Qiao Family.

Her father was forced to leave his hometown to make a living when he was only ten years old. Fortunately, he was taken in by Duke Anyuan before he finally enjoyed a good life.

“Heh! Anyway, your father’s surname is Qiao. Moreover, you’re childless now, aren’t you? Your husband has run away with your son. If you don’t want any trouble, quickly hand over the restaurant to us! ”

“Oh my god, we are all your uncles and aunts. You should show respect to your elders! No matter whether you agree or not, Myriad Taste will not belong to you, a childless divorcee!”

The dozens of people below were all shouting unabashedly.

Qiao Jinniang clenched her hands. He was really hateful! Even if he wanted to leave her, why did he have to make it known to everyone that he had divorced her?

She looked at the restaurant behind her. “You want this restaurant? Over my dead body!”

In the misty rain, Qiao Jinniang’s eyes were resolute.

One of her uncles said, “This is the property of the Qiao Family. As a woman, do you even deserve to inherit it?”

“Moreover, the Qiao Family never keeps a divorced woman.

“And considering that you are from the Qiao Family, the patriarch has already generously betrothed you to the son of the prefect as his eighteenth concubine!”

Maid Nuomi said angrily, “It is common knowledge that the son of the prefect is an obese and lascivious person.

“No one knows how many girls he has ruined!

“How can you force Miss to marry that kind of a man as a concubine?!”

The shabbily-clothed second aunt of the Qiao Family bared her yellow teeth.

“He’s the son of the prefect! And Qiao Jinniang is a divorced woman! It’s her blessing to marry the son of the prefect as a concubine.”

“Exactly, her husband has abandoned her, but she can still marry the son of a government official. How lucky she is!”

“Here comes the bridal sedan chair of the son of the prefect.”

Qiao Jinniang then saw a fat man with cloudy eyes coming over from the bridge.

This man was the son of the Prefect of Lin’an.

The Prefect of Lin’an was a good official, but his son was a dandy.

As lecherous as he was, he had raped a lot of women.

“Today, we must stuff Qiao Jinniang into the sedan chair! The son of the prefect has given a lot of dowries!”

The women of the Qiao Family rushed up, holding a rope in an attempt to tie up Qiao Jinniang.

In the rain, the servants, maidservants and chefs of the restaurant all came out to stop the people of the Qiao Family.

However, they were outnumbered.

For the first time, Qiao Jinniang felt so desperate that she took out a lighter in a flurry.

“Don’t come over. If anyone comes over, I will burn down the Myriad Taste today. Let’s die together!”

However, even God didn’t help her, as the drizzling rain got heavier and heavier.

A middle-aged man of the Qiao Family said triumphantly, “With such a heavy rain, I’m afraid the fire won’t be able to spread!”

The lighter in Qiao Jinniang’s hands fell to the ground, and just when she was being held down by the women of the Qiao Family, she heard the stomps of horse hooves near her.

Clatter! Clatter!

Qiao Jinniang listened, wondering if it was her husband coming back.

However, a carriage suddenly stopped, from which an old maid came out.

At the very first glance of Qiao Jinniang, the old maid immediately burst into tears and said, “Miss, Miss, I’m sorry. It’s my fault to let you suffer so much in Lin’an City!”

The old maid of Duke Anyuan’s mansion confirmed Qiao Jinniang’s identity at a single glance.

She looked exactly the same as Duchess Anyuan when she was young, although she was more beautiful than her mother.

“You lousy old women, what are you doing to our Miss?”

The old maid could tell that these shabby village women were harboring malicious intentions. “She is the eldest daughter of Duke Anyuan. Do you think she is someone you can insult at will?!”

Qiao Jinniang was confused to hear the old maid’s words.

The guards brought over by the old maid were all armed.

They quickly drove the disgusting people of the Qiao Family away.

Seeing this, Qiao Jinniang thought even if the old maid was a swindler, she would regard her as her benefactor.

Inviting the old maid and the guards into the restaurant, Qiao Jinniang poured tea for the old maid. “Thank you for helping me today, Madam. However, I’m not the daughter of Duke Anyuan. Is there some kind of misunderstanding?”

“My mother used to be a maid in Duke Anyuan’s mansion, and my father worked as a cook there, but they returned to Lin’an City to open this restaurant 18 years ago.”

The old maid wiped away the tears from her eyes with a brocade handkerchief. “Yes, Miss, back then when the Duchess went back to the Duke’s hometown with the Duke, they suddenly came across a group of bandits on the way.

“In such a situation, she had to hide and give birth to you on the road.

“It just so happened that a cook’s wife was giving birth to her child too. With that in mind, a bad person came up with a vicious idea and swapped the daughters of the Duchess and the cook.”

“That bad person had only confessed what she did back then before she died.

“Only then did the Duchess know that you are her biological daughter, so she ordered me to bring you back to the Duke Mansion! ”

Qiao Jinniang was stunned. She had never thought that a sequence of events that only novels had would happen to her!

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