Xiao Ming only gave Qian Huang a questioning look since he couldn’t see the chat. “What’s the matter?”
Qian Huang smiled wryly but then shook his head. “It’s nothing. I was saying that everybody seems really excited about today’s live stream. It was a good idea to do the specials.”
Don’t kid him. Even though he and Li Shui were always making jokes about Xiao Ming having a secret — or not so secret — admirer running to their live streams all the time, he also wouldn’t push him in that direction. After all, this was still the internet. People could be whoever they wanted to be on there. How much of it was really honest?
So even if this guy said that he would do anything for Xiao Ming and would treat him well, it was hard to say what the reality really was like. Maybe he was actually ugly and poor and … Qian Huang’s brows twitched when he thought of that. Alright, there probably was no danger at all that Nin Sha might be poor considering that he was the person that threw the most gifts Xiao Ming’s way.
But that still didn’t mean that he couldn’t be ugly though! That definitely wasn’t something that he would burden his friend from childhood days with. While Xiao Ming might not care too much and would probably look at people’s inner values more, it would still be best if he got a good-looking partner when he finally found one.
Their Xiao Ming was too good to get anything less than the best! So if this Nin Sha actually wanted to make a move on Xiao Ming, he had better turn up at the ‘Golden Spoon’ casting and show his face first! If his face value was high enough and he made a decent impression, then he and Li Shui might reluctantly agree to let their good friend go out with him.
Xiao Ming had no idea what was currently going through Qian Huang’s head and just believed every word he said. Thus, hearing that the viewers were happy with the first special, a magnificent smile lit up his face. “I’m glad that everybody is satisfied. To be honest, I’m also happy that we gave this a try.” He turned to look at the camera when he said so, still smiling brightly. “Since this is the first time that we are doing a stream like this, I would like to ask everyone to leave your comments either here in the channel or over on Weibo. Just tell us what you liked or what you think we could’ve done better. We are going to review everything and then try to incorporate it in the next live streams so that they’ll be even more enjoyable for you.”
In the chat, there were several rows of laughter.
Cat Dancing on the Wire: [Xiao Ming is so cute, actually believing his bad assistant’s words. Let’s hope he doesn’t look at the channel later on and realizes what was actually going on (≧艸≦*)]
Little Butterfly: [For Nin Sha as well. He often gets ignored by Qian Huang. Do you think there’s a personal vendetta at play? (ಠ.ಠ)]
Cat Dancing on the Wire: [Possible. Although Qian Huang still reads his comments every now and then. (•᷉ुε ू•᷈,)]
Qian Huang very wisely kept quiet when he saw this exchange.
On the other hand, Si Jin narrowed his eyes. He usually didn’t pay attention to what others were saying but because he had just wanted to post something new to make his words heard, he had coincidentally seen this statement. It made him wonder. Could it be that this was the case? Was it Xiao Ming’s assistant that was trying to sabotage their relationship? In that case, he had to do something. “Have Si Er Shi analyze all previous interactions.”
Si Yi nodded and then sent a message to Si Er Shi, telling him what to do. Anyway, since Si Er Shi wouldn’t need to do anything for the upcoming plan, they might as well keep him busy with something like this.
Meanwhile, the three people from Bright Yellow Water were finishing the food. Xiao Ming looked at the plate in front of him, brushing the rim with his fingers. “Speaking of the special … I promised that I would announce the topic for the next one beforehand already.
“Now, I’ve said before that it is much more difficult to show you how to take taste and smell into consideration so I’ve decided for the second special live stream, that I want to talk about another aesthetic topic. This time, I’m going to talk about plating and how to decorate dishes to make them more pleasing to the eye.
“While you might think that the other topics would be more important I think that you shouldn’t underestimate the impact a good-looking dish can have. As I said back in the announcement of the specials, food isn’t ever just about the taste. But in any case, I feel that many people are actually able to cook tasty dishes but their presentation will be off a bit because they usually don’t spend much time on it. In fact …”
Xiao Ming turned to look at their own dishes and gave a wry smile before looking back at the camera. “I will admit that I often don’t take the aesthetics into consideration either on my streams. It takes more time and with these two hungry wolves in front of me, I would feel bad for letting them starve even further.”
The two people in question pretended they hadn’t heard anything. Li Shui just pulled the bowl with the cucumber salad closer that Xiao Ming had taken out of the fridge in the meantime, taking a second serving.
Qian Huang turned back to the laptop and stared at the channel, forcing a smile on his lips when he brought the topic back to their audience. “It seems like our viewers are very curious about this.”
Xiao Ming didn’t tease them any longer and instead gave their viewers a smile. “In that case, I hope you’ll be having fun next time as well. For now, we’ll have to say goodbye. We’ll see each other again in two days’ time. Goodbye!”
He waved lightly, the other two following suit while Qian Huang stopped the live stream. The three of them leaned back with a sigh.
Qian Huang reached over and patted Xiao Ming’s shoulder. “You worked hard.”
“It’s the same as usual. We just have a different topic. Anyway, it’s good that things are going well. I just hope people won’t find it boring after four weeks.”
Qian Huang shook his head while Li Shui came back over after turning off the camera. “I wouldn’t worry about that. Anyway, the subjects we came up with are pretty varied. And if they like something, they can also suggest doing something similar again. I’m sure that we’ll be able to fill all the live streams until then.”
Xiao Ming nodded. “I guess you’re right. Well, let’s just see how it goes. I guess a week from now, I will already feel a bit more comfortable with this.” He got up and started to busy around the kitchen again, making sure that everything was clean. Li Shui and Qian Huang hurriedly went to help him and finally managed to shoo him off to his own room so he could rest a bit.
Xiao Ming sighed and then lay down on the bed, looking up at the ceiling. To be honest, he did feel like he needed a bit of rest. The special live streams weren’t necessarily any more difficult than the usual ones but with the TV show at the back of his head, he was just worried that he would do something stupid.
Before this, he had just been a food anchor that would never be held to the standard of a professional chef. If things went wrong, he could probably still laugh it off even though he would be embarrassed to death. But after that … No, when he was supposed to sit next to Mister Yu on the judges’ panel of ‘Golden Spoon’, then that wasn’t an option any longer. Now, he was in the eye of the public. Every little misstep would be seen and dissected. He couldn’t be casual about this anymore. Well, not that he had ever been casual about cooking but his attitude had to be a different one.
He sighed, turned to the side, and then picked up the novel that was lying on his bedside table. Anyway, today’s live stream was already over and there were still two days until the next one. He wouldn’t get better by worrying about things. Instead, he should take some time to rest up and get back some energy. Then, his live stream would be the best possible version it could be.
While Xiao Ming enjoyed himself, Si Jin got back to work. After downloading the video of the live stream and filing it away in the same manner as usual, he closed the laptop and then got up, once again making his way down to the training room.
His men were already gathered there, the twenty tables with the two in front still arranged like the last time but this time, several more boxes had been prepared.
Si Jin went to his place, his hands clasped behind his back, and waited for Si Shi Wu to step out.
“While the topic for the next live stream will be the plating and decoration of dishes, a dish can only be presented beautifully if it is done in the first place. Right now, Master has not learned even the basics of preparing dishes. Thus, we will now continue with practicing your cutting techniques. After the onions from the last time, I’ve decided to have Master practice on a variety of ingredients. These include different types of fruits and vegetables, as well as tofu, fish, and meat.”
Si Jin nodded and looked at the table in front of him that held the same knives as the last time.
While Si Er brought a box over, Si Shi Qi stepped up and added to Si Shi Wu’s explanation. “This practice will also be used in our plan to make Young Master Xiao aware of Master’s feelings. The cut ingredients will be given to the same institutions as before, making it more likely for more news outlets to publish the story.”
Si Er who had just returned to his own place piped up at that. “Should they refuse or not be interested, then Si Qi and I will work together to put up a compelling article about Master’s great achievement.”
Si Jin nodded and then took out the mango that was inside the box. He held it in his hands for a moment, thinking back to how Xiao Ming had prepared the mango pudding the other day. Ah, he still remembered the way how he had peeled and sliced the mango, finally making a puree out of the small cubes.
The twenty ninjas looked at their Master’s expression that actually couldn’t be differentiated from his usual one but according to the direction of his gaze, he should be thinking of Young Master Xiao.
Si Shi Wu lightly cleared his throat and picked up a mango himself before motioning at the others to do the same. This time, all the ninjas actually had a box of ingredients in front of them. “This time, we do not have the same amount of ingredients since this is about learning to handle a variety of ingredients instead of mastering one. There are only five hundred items per ingredient.”
The other nineteen ninjas glanced at the boxes and realized that they were the same. Everybody had five hundred mangoes so in the end, they would still have ten thousand to distribute. For the marketing campaign, this was definitely the best way to go about things.
Si Jin nodded and then picked up a knife, glancing at Si Shi Wu to tell him if he had done right.
Si Shi Wu nodded and then picked up his knife as well, motioning for the others to follow suit. “Considering that there aren’t as many items available, the number of times the different cuts can be used will also be less. First, let’s start with one hundred sliced mangoes to warm up.”
Si Jin gave a hum and then didn’t lose any time. He swung the knife and started to peel the first mango. Just like with the onions before, things were a bit difficult at the start. He had never in his life needed to peel a mango before. Now that he did … It was a bit difficult to get used to. Compared to the onion that was rather hard and firm in his grasp but where the outside skin might fracture upon touching it, the mango was softer and would budge when he grabbed it. It didn’t get any easier after he had peeled it. In fact, with the mango juice covering his hands, it got quite slippery.
Si Jin furrowed his brows. He was not about to be defeated by a mango. He finished peeling the first one and then put it down, continuing to peel the next. Anyway, he should just first prepare all of them.
After he had peeled the first twenty mangoes, Si Shi Wu gave him a complicated look.
“Master, you are allowed to dry off your hands in-between.” He pointedly looked at the towel that hung at the side but didn’t dare to say anything else. That type of thing … He would’ve thought it was obvious. But apparently, for people who did not know how to cook, it actually wasn’t.
He glanced at the other ninjas only to notice that none of them had the same problem and their towels had actually been used quite a few times from the looks of it. Well, maybe their Master was just special. He turned back to his own cutting board, continuing to work on the mangoes he was supposed to cut.
Si Jin stared at the towel, wondering if this was really necessary. Then again, thinking back now, Xiao Ming seemed to have dried off his hands after cutting the mango as well. In that case …
He picked up the towel, wiped his hands, and put it back in place before continuing to peel the mangoes. After a few more attempts, things actually got easier. There was just one problem: The mangoes were quite a bit bigger than the onions. After peeling a few, there was not enough space on the table to hold all of them. And with the others cutting mangoes as well, he couldn’t expect them to stand next to him all the time waiting for him to finish.
He continued to furrow his brows, wiped off his hands once more, and then already started to dice the mangoes. Anyway, he didn’t necessarily have to prepare all of them first. Might as well dice a few of them and then continue to peel some more.
The ninjas continued to work in this manner, soon finishing with the mangoes.
Everybody dried off their hands and then went to put the boxes with the mangoes at the side, making sure that they were all properly labeled. Then, they brought in the next boxes, distributing them to all the tables and handing one of them to Si Jin.
Opening it, he was greeted by a row of large white radishes.