OCN C12 An Unfortunate Incident

While the house of the Bright Yellow Water members was suffused with excitement, the ninjas were still quietly training their cutting skills. Several more hours had passed by and the wall of the room had been filled with boxes that were stuffed with the dices, slices, strips, and rings of various ingredients until right under the ceiling. Now, only three more ingredients were leftover to be handled before the boxes could be shipped off to their recipients.

Just then, an alarm sounded from the last row of ninjas.

Everyone stopped in their task and turned to look, their gazes dark. They were trying to focus here, alright? Couldn’t he switch off his phone?

Si Shi Qi gave an embarrassed look in return and then took out his phone, checking who was disturbing them. As a result, his eyes widened and he almost flung his phone away.

Si Yi’s gaze darkened when he saw this and he furrowed his brows. “What is it? If it’s important, go and pick it up, if it isn’t, you better turn it off and focus on cutting.”

Si Shi Qi winced and then turned the phone around. “It’s my sister.”

This time, he wasn’t scolded. The other ninjas pretty much had the same reaction as him. Si Shi Liu and Si Shi Ba even recoiled and pulled their tables aside a little as if they were afraid of contracting a horrible disease if they were too close. Even Si Yi who was clearly the most stoic member of the group of twenty showed a slightly worried expression. The only one who was still conscientiously continuing to cut his tofu was Si Jin who didn’t bother about anything else.

Si Yi glanced at him before he turned back to Si Shi Qi. “Well, what do you want us to do? Just accept the call.”

Si Shi Qi turned the phone back around, staring at the screen nervously. Accept the call … it was so easy to say that. But he really didn’t want to have to talk to her. “But what if … What if she tries to find out something again? With my wife posting that on Weibo, she might be onto something.”

Si Yi furrowed his brows further at that. This was true. Tao Jin posting was indeed giving Si Shi Qi’s sister a hint as to what was going on. And with that woman, it was always difficult to make sure that she wouldn’t realize something more.

In fact, it wasn’t that the ninjas of the Si clan weren’t allowed to divulge their identity to their families. After all, their fathers had served Si Jin’s father and they as sons had inherited the position. This kind of thing was hard to hide from a spouse that you might spend more than half your life with. Thus, they would usually tell them after they had made sure that they were trustworthy. The same was true for the rest of their family.

It was just that Si Shi Qi’s sister was a special case. That woman was a news reporter who took her job a little too seriously. Who knew what she would do if she found out about her brother’s secret identity? After all, she had always felt that there was something going on that she had no knowledge of. If she managed to grab onto some information … the consequences might be dire.

Having family know about this was one thing but letting everything be found out by the public would be different. It might even mean the end of the whole Si clan. In this day and age, could a ninja clan like theirs really exist if they weren’t extremely careful?

There was a thin layer of sweat gathering on Si Shi Qi’s forehead the longer he stared at his phone. He was afraid to answer but he also couldn’t not answer. Otherwise, he would only make himself look more suspicious. With an expression of a martyr walking to his death, he finally answered his phone. “Hello?”

“Well, that took you long enough.”

Si Shi Qi winced and then put her on speaker, making sure that the others could give him a sign when there was something he had to take note of. “I’m sorry. I was working on a document and wanted to finish that sentence so I wouldn’t forget the thought.”

“Oh? Did that have anything to do with what Tao Jin posted on Weibo this morning? I didn’t know that either of you was into cooking.”

“Tao Jin’s post …” He shot the others look, asking for help. Since they had been busy with cutting the ingredients, he hadn’t actually seen the post yet.

Si Shi Er who was working at the table in front of Si Shi Qi hurriedly opened Weibo, clicked on the post in question, and then showed it to him.

Glancing over it, Si Shi Qi almost wanted to heave a sigh of relief but held back just in time. “If I remember correctly, Tao Jin said that we were only thinking about it, didn’t she? We haven’t really talked about it yet.”

In the front, Si Yi winced. They had all registered for ‘Golden Spoon’ and they were likely some of the first contestants. If the castings were broadcasted — which was more than likely — and people were assigned visible numbers, then Si Shi Qi’s sister would figure out immediately that he had long been registered.

The others caught onto this as well and Si Shi Liu hurriedly grabbed for his phone, typing a message, and holding it up in front of Si Shi Qi’s face.

Si Shi Qi paled and then cleared his throat. “Well, to be honest, the question is whether we’re going to go there together or not. As Tao Jin mentioned in the post, a friend of mine is pretty much into the live stream of that Bright Yellow Water channel. He has been learning how to cook recently and I’ve been accompanying him a few times. I promised to also participate in the casting to support him. I would like to take Tao Jin along but I just don’t know if she will be able to make it since her schedule is pretty busy recently. In any case, you also know how her job is. If she takes part, it definitely won’t just be a fun outing with her family but another occasion where she needs to navigate the media. I’m not sure she would really like it.”

Si Shi Qi’s sister gave a hum, and there was the sound of somebody drumming their fingers on the table, looking for something that would give away that Si Shi Qi was not saying the truth.

Si Shi Qi couldn’t help but sweat even more. His sister was really too much! He just wanted his master to be able to secure a date with his crush but now she was making things difficult for him again. It would be much better if she wasn’t getting involved in this.

Unfortunately, this was impossible. He knew that his sister would definitely never give up until she had found out. And she wasn’t allowed to find out under any circumstances. That just wouldn’t bode well.

Originally, their father had intended to tell her about the Si clan and their role in it. He had just wanted to wait until she reached the age where she wouldn’t go and blab about it immediately because she felt it was cool.

Unfortunately, before she managed to reach that age, his sister turned into the kind of person that wanted to make the world a better place. She was especially suspicious of the big corporations and knowing that several people in key positions or even at the highest position of more than a dozen large corporations were organized in one clan would definitely make her way too interested in pursuing the matter and trying to tell her findings to the public.

At that time, they would stand in the difficult position of having to choose either the Si clan or their own family. And most likely, they would have to choose against his sister, meaning that there was no way to let her stay alive.

As annoying as Si Shi Qi felt that his sister was with her behavior, and as much as he wished that he had a slightly tamer version of her as his sister, he still loved her as his family. He would not want her to suffer just because she was this type of person that couldn’t let go. Thus, if he could prevent her from finding out, that was definitely preferable.

Luckily enough, there were still ways to make sure that things wouldn’t be too obvious. They just had to plan accordingly and find very good explanations for everything that happened. In any case, how much longer could it take for their Master and Young Master Xiao to get together?

It had already been five years by now. In this time, they had done a lot to spread the word about Bright Yellow Water in their personal circle and make sure those three men earned enough for at least their upkeep so they weren’t discouraged and gave up.

By now, their channel was doing well even if the twenty of them didn’t deliberately go to help out and they only had to jump in if some blind person came to make trouble. Also, ‘Golden Spoon’ was going to start soon. The twenty ninjas had no doubt that their Master would be able to woo Young Master Xiao when they met in real life. It was just that up until now, there had never been a good opportunity to introduce him into his life. This cooking show was the perfect chance for that though.

And as soon as those two had become a couple, they could enjoy themselves while the rest of them would lie low again. Then the chances of being caught were lessened by a large margin.

Reasoning things out like this, Si Shi Qi became much more relaxed than before. He even managed to curve his lips into a smile before he spoke up again. “So, why did you call? Was there something specific that you wanted? It’s not like you to call in the middle of the day.”

He could almost hear how his sister pouted her lips on the other side. “Well, tell me when you’ve decided. Maybe I’d like to come along.”

Still influenced by what he just thought about, Si Shi Qi answered almost immediately. “Sure. If I tell Tao Jin that you’re coming as well, it might be easier for her to decide as well. Since I’m already registered, it could be that it will be difficult for us to be close together anyway. Maybe you can register together with her so she will have you close by. Maybe there are even a few of your friends that you could take along. I’m sure it would be more fun in a group anyway.”

His sister hesitated when she heard that. She had been sure that there was something up when she saw that Weibo post. But now, her brother was even inviting her along. Could it be that she had been thinking too much? Was this really just an innocuous situation that Tao Jin wanted to use to spend a bit more time with her husband? Considering that she was often away for work, it wouldn’t be impossible. These two probably didn’t see each other very much. Maybe she really felt that this would be a good opportunity to have some couple time. In that case, she probably wouldn’t need to go along. Anyway, she wasn’t interested in cooking in the slightest.

Just when she wanted to tell her brother as much, she reconsidered. Maybe this was actually what he wanted. Maybe he thought that if he played it cool, she would not be interested in coming along anymore and then he could be up to some secret shenanigans again. No. She definitely wouldn’t let him get away with this!

Leaning back in her chair, she smiled to herself. “Sure. That sounds like a lovely idea. You can tell Tao Jin that I’m up for it. I’ll call up a few friends. In a group of women, she might not be as obvious anyway. It’s much better than going with you.” And at the same time, she could use the opportunity to try and wriggle some information out of Tao Jin. There was no way that she wouldn’t know what was going on with her husband!

Si Shi Qi’s smile froze but he still forced himself to say thanks. “that’s great. Thank you so much, older sister. In that case, I’ll give her a call right away and explain. You see who can come and then send a list over later. You can give it to Tao Jin directly or message her assistant. She might not be able to take a look immediately but I’m sure she’d like to know beforehand what she’s getting into.”

“Don’t worry. I know your wife and her job. I will definitely be responsible in this.”

The two of them bid goodbye and Si Shi Qi hung up before looking at the others. The ninjas heaved a collective sigh of relief when he put away the phone. Then, they turned to look at Si Yi so they could discuss what to do in the future. Obviously, the situation of the ‘Golden Spoon’ casting had become much more difficult now.

Si Yi pondered for a moment and glanced at their Master that was still chopping the tofu and gave a hum. “It could be that we will need to speed up our plan. Have the meetups for cooking together start next week. That way, we can make it seem as if we were different groups when we go to the casting that have already cooked together for a bit.”

The others nodded, feeling that this was indeed the best idea that they could go with right now.

Si Yi turned to look at Si Shi Wu. “What about your review? How fast can you do it?”

Si Shi Wu pondered for a moment. “It depends a bit. If it is supposed to get published in a journal, it will not be possible to do so fast. If we choose an alternative way, we could do it though.”

Si Yi nodded. “Then let’s go with that. Right now, we’ll have to hurry a bit. Maybe we can make it known to an audience of higher quality later on as well.”

Si Shi Wu nodded. “But as for how to do the review if we don’t rely on any journals … I’m not quite sure.”

The ninjas lowered their heads, thinking for a moment. Finally, Si Wu raised his head. “Well, how about doing a stream as well? Didn’t your older brother have a son? He should be at the age where they are all over the internet and interested in streamers anyway. Maybe you could set something up with him.” He wasn’t quite sure how old Si Shi Wu’s nephew was but this was at least true for his university students and that nephew definitely shouldn’t be older than that. If anything, he should be a few years younger which usually only meant that they spent even more time on the internet if they could.

Si Shi Wu nodded. “That might be a good idea. I will give him a call then.” He immediately took out his phone and then went to step out of the room.

Meanwhile, Si Yi turned back to Si Shi Qi. “You should go and call your wife as well. Tell her what happened with your sister and make sure that she is sufficiently prepared. Our plan already stands. While we can change some simple matters, we can’t allow it to go awry further. Master’s future with Young Master Xiao depends on this.”

Si Shi Qi nodded and also stepped out of the room so he wouldn’t disturb the others.

Si Yi clapped his hands and then motioned for the others to get back to work. “Everyone, speed up. We will have to split the ingredients for Si Shi Wu and Si Shi Qi among ourselves. We can’t delay this action just because of this unfortunate incident. The ingredients still have to be delivered this evening.”

Thus, the ninjas once again went back to cutting the ingredients.

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