The Doted Concubine
The palace is celebrating its annual dumpling festival. In line with tradition, this is done with a series of grand banquets.
Queen Pan Ping oversees the festival. Chefs in the palace take turns to whip up sumptuous feasts after feasts, for guests all over the country.
The dessert is the best part of the banquets, as Emperor Sing has a sweet tooth. Concubine Wu Ping looks after this. Who best to ensure the Emperor’s sweet cravings are met but his doted concubine?…
The missing 2.5
A key feature of dessert, is the 2.5 sweet dumplings given to each guests at every banquet as a showcase of the chef’s culinary skills. Don’t ask me why 2.5 though. It’s just a number.
To make these dumplings, the chefs need many bags of rice. Since Concubine Wu Ping is in charge of dessert, she should provide the rice.
At the 1st banquet however, for some reason, the rice was not provided. The chefs could not prepare the 2.5 dumplings and guests went home without them. Chefs were unhappy, but kept quiet. Who dare say anything about doted concubine?
For the 2nd banquet, the chefs worried the same thing will happen and raised the matter with Wu Ping’s lady-in-waiting, who made an appeal to Wu Ping herself for the rice. The chefs did not get a reply. Anxious, they went to Emperor.
Exile the Queen!
Not wanting to look bad, Wu Ping cried foul and claimed that it was miscommunications and it was Pan Ping who told her that the chefs would buy their own rice.
The chefs showed Emperor letter of Wu Ping’s supplier, long time ally Fu Ma Sang Su, trying to sell the chefs rice for a hefty price. Pan Ping tried to speak up for the chefs.
Wu Ping then claimed that this was all a conspiracy to tarnish her, and Pan Ping is mastermind, since she must be jealous Wu Ping is doted concubine.
Pan Ping tried to defend her innocence, and seeing Emperor is starting to look confused, Wu Ping quickly put a knife to her throat and said, “Boo-hoo-hoo… I’m being framed! They all gang up against me. They want me dead… I’ll die to prove my innocence!”
Emperor saw the tearful Wu Ping and scolded Pan Ping for a bad job running the festival, and for trying to bully Wu Ping. Wu Ping seeing this quickly said, “Nevermind, let’s move on.” But Emperor was still very angry at Pan Ping and exiled her.
After Pan Ping’s exile, Wu Ping took over as queen, but could not figure out between rice or flour, and the banquets never got anymore dumplings.
Emperor got another concubine Shu Dan Ping, who is more ambitious, and didn’t bother figuring out rice or flour. She started the Hong Lim Rebellion, overthrew everyone and declared herself Emperor. She lives happily ever after.
Afternote: In a democracy, Emperor is the people. Be a wise Emperor.