“Alright, what do you think is going on?” Li Shui looked from one person to the other, not quite sure what he was supposed to think of this.
Qian Huang lightly furrowed his brows. “Well, I would say that this Nin Sha is much more serious about this than we had thought. It’s a good thing for us, really.”
Xiao Ming nodded slowly. “Really. I still can’t believe that I managed to talk to Ai Gui Jin.”
The other two looked at him, realizing that he still seemed a bit out of it.
Li Shui raised his brows. “It’s good though, isn’t it?”
Xiao Ming nodded again, much more fervently this time. “Of course! This is the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me! I mean, it was already great to be able to see Mister Yu the other day but it wasn’t like this. We didn’t manage to actually talk with him one-on-one. I was only able to say hello and that was it. After that, the host and producer were talking with him all the time. I couldn’t get a single word in. This time, it was completely different. I mean I didn’t get the chance to ask Mister Ai anything about cooking but … still, this is great. Just imagine how you would feel if you met that actress Tao Jin on the street. — That’s how I feel right now.”
Li Shui’s brows rose even higher. Well, now, he started to understand.
Qian Huang looked at him, a little resigned. Comparing a national goddess like Tao Jin with a chef … Well, he couldn’t say he was surprised. And of course, Xiao Ming would only think about cooking when it came to talking with that chef. He was even less surprised about that. “Anyway, it’s a good thing for our channel. With this, people will likely not feel anymore like we were just chosen for ”Golden Spoon” because we’re popular online. They’ll finally know that there’s real talent at work here!”
Li Shui motioned over at the laptop. “Before saying so, shouldn’t we watch the stream first? Who knows what he really said.”
Qian Huang’s expression immediately turned blank. Right. Naturally, he wouldn’t say something bad to their face but who knows what he had actually said online? It was best to check that out first.
Xiao Ming was also on board immediately. “Yes, check it out!” He really wanted to know what Ai Gui Jin thought about his cooking. Maybe he had given some kind of tip what he could’ve done better? It wasn’t the same as being able to talk with him directly but it was almost as good. Even just one sentence from him might be able to help him become a better cook. Who wouldn’t want that?
Qian Huang smiled wryly when he saw his expression. He could imagine what he was thinking. Well, it was good that Xiao Ming was happy. He changed back to the other channel and then started the video of the review from the beginning.
The three men from Bright Yellow Water were not the only ones watching the recording of Si Shi Wu’s live stream. After carefully filing away the recording of Xiao Ming’s stream, Si Jin also started watching what his subordinate had done. He didn’t say anything and his expression didn’t change but behind him, Si Yi took out his phone and wrote a message.
Si Yi: [You’d better prepare a good excuse.]
Then, he put his phone away again and just continued to stand behind Si Jin, watching the live stream with him.
By the time they finished, Si Shi Wu had managed to bring his nephew back home and then hurried back after mentioning about maybe needing his help again in the future.
Just when he had driven off, his older brother opened the door, looking at his son with obvious excitement. “And? How did it go? What did you learn?”
His son looked at him, furrowing his brows. “What are you talking about? I went there to help my uncle. Shouldn’t he be the one you ask these questions?” He shook his head and then went inside, not bothering about his father any longer.
In any case, he didn’t regret doing this. He had actually gotten quite a bit of money for this and it hadn’t been that boring to watch his uncle. At the very least, he had found out that he wasn’t just able to cook but could actually talk as well. And that cooking live stream had looked quite interesting. He should probably have a closer look at that later on. Didn’t girls like men who could cook? He should definitely make use of the fact that he had found this. That anchor seemed like he could explain very well. With that thought, he went and locked himself in his room, taking out his phone again.
His father stood at the bottom of the stairs, looking up in a helpless manner. He had sent his son to become a ninja but when he came back, nothing had changed. So in the end, had he learned something, or hadn’t he? Was he a member of Si clan now, or not? He wanted answers, alright?!
He took out his phone and messaged his younger brother but there was no response. Angrily, he put it away and then went to do something else. In any case, he would definitely find out in the future!
At that moment, Si Shi Wu couldn’t care less about what was going on in his brother’s family. He had already seen Si Yi’s message when he was on the way from bringing back his nephew. Immediately, his hands had started to sweat and he almost lost his grip on the steering wheel.
He had already feared that something like this would happen. After all, as logical as their Master usually was, all common sense would be thrown overboard when it came to Young Master Xiao. After all, love made blind and even caused seasoned cooks to add too much salt to a dish. Even a man like his Master would not be immune to it. Unfortunately, the one who would have to deal with this was none other than him this time. Ah, to be a chef really wasn’t easy.
He rushed over to the door of the room where Si Jin and Si Yi were watching the live stream and then sorted out his thoughts. He had to be prepared well to make his Master’s anger subside.
Soon enough, the door was opened and Si Jin stepped out, staring at him.
Si Shi Wu tensed and then mechanically raised his hand, motioning toward the kitchen. “If you would follow me, please.” He turned around and led the way, speaking up while he was at it. “As Master has probably seen already, I finished the live stream in which I reviewed Young Master Xiao’s channel, ‘Bright Yellow Water’. It was difficult to find something to criticize but I should’ve been able to strike a balance so that nobody will assume that I have been bought. In the following days, a few professional chefs might pick up and have a look at the channel as well. Furthermore, the others can start with their parts of the plan.
“In the meantime, I would suggest we continue working on Master’s skills in the kitchen. For today, I’ve planned to talk about the processing of the prepared ingredients. This will be a necessary step to be able to create dishes and then move on to topics like the decorations that Young Master Xiao talked about today. Furthermore, I will require Master to start memorizing recipes from today onward. Only this way will you be able to create dishes according to the specifications that will be given to you in the show.”
Si Jin nodded curtly and gave a faint hum. He didn’t bother to say anything else. Even though he was not happy to see somebody criticizing Xiao Ming, he could understand that this was a necessary evil for their plan to work. As long as it would make Xiao Ming happy in the end, it was worth it. Although he felt the need to comfort him. Thinking of that, Si Jin took out his phone, opened the chat, and left a message for Xiao Ming.
Nin Sha: [I watched the live stream of that Ai Gui Jin. He might be a professional chef but he is unable to compare with you. So don’t take his words too hard.]
Unfortunately for him, Xiao Ming was still engrossed in watching Si Shi Wu’s live stream and didn’t even notice. The only one who checked the messages was Qian Huang. When he saw Nin Sha’s name pop up and that he had even downplayed his good friend’s ability, his lips twitched. This guy … He really wondered what was up with him. Was it really that he had somehow fallen in love with Xiao Ming while watching the live streams over the past five years? Well, he could probably understand it.
Glancing over at Xiao Ming who was watching the live stream with rapt attention, he sighed to himself and put the phone away. Well, that guy would probably turn up at the casting of ‘Golden Spoon’. They could take a look at him then and see what they thought. There was no reason to bother about it before that.
He leaned forward and started watching the live stream again as well. In any case, this was currently more important.
Si Jin stared at his phone, secretly unhappy when he didn’t get a response. Who knew if Xiao Ming was currently busy or if there was some other reason keeping him from answering? In any case, he could do nothing about it. But soon enough, that would change. When ‘Golden Spoon’ started, he would finally be able to officially meet him.
Thinking of that, he switched off the screen, mechanically put away his phone, and went into the kitchen. He might still look the same but his thoughts were all over the place. To think that we would finally be able to meet Xiao Ming … There were so many questions.
What should he say? What should he wear? How should he behave? Would Xiao Ming think he was handsome? Would he want to have a relationship with him? Ah, no, before that, they had to have a first date first. When should he invite him? But the first prize for winning the show was a date so maybe he didn’t need to ponder this. Or maybe he should have a private first date? Maybe this would indeed be more appropriate.
Si Yi glanced at his Master but didn’t say anything and just stood back while Si Shi Wu already went over to the counter and took out everything they would need. Then, he started to explain to their Master what needed to be known about the different ways to process food.
Si Jin pushed the myriad of thoughts out of the way and stared at the stove, watching Si Shi Wu demonstrate the different types of frying, cooking, and baking. He watched closely, taking note of how the differences in temperature, whether there was a lid or not, as well as the material of the cooking utensils, made a difference.
It seemed that when he cooked himself, he would have to take quite a few things into consideration. Also, not every ingredient could be cooked the same way. The times and temperature that were required were different from type to type. It seemed that over the next three weeks, he would have a lot to learn.
While the three ninjas were busy in the kitchen, the three men from Bright Yellow Water had finally finished watching the live stream and even looked at some of the parts of the review several times.
Xiao Ming still felt as if he was walking on clouds. He just couldn’t believe that Ai Gui Jin had actually watched him cook and even praised him several times for the decisions he had made. This was as if all of his wishes were being fulfilled.
Back then when he had needed to reject the opportunity to go to culinary school, he had thought that no matter what he did, he would never be able to do his best. He thought that he would lack opportunities and knowledge and would never be able to make up for it.
It had only been thanks to Qian Huang and Li Shui who ceaselessly persuaded him that he finally created Bright Yellow Water with them. He hadn’t expected much but what choice had he had? Since there hadn’t been another path for him, he had put all of his time and energy into this channel. Now, five years later, even without being able to go through culinary school, he had actually been praised by one of the greatest chefs of their time. To say that he wasn’t ecstatic would be a lie.
Qian Huang and Li Shui exchanged a glance and then looked at him, smiling. They might not have known who Ai Gui Jin was originally but after his explanation, they could imagine what he was currently feeling. This was what he had always wanted. While the two of them might be happy as long as money came in with the channel and they were able to live and maybe have a family in the future, they knew that Xiao Ming had had dreams. And now, it seemed that even though life hadn’t always treated him kindly, he would be able to fulfill them after all.
Qian Huang reached over and patted his shoulder. “Well, looks like somebody was underestimating himself. Even such a famous guy is able to see how much talent you have. I’m sure others will notice soon too. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t gone through school for this. You’re a good cook.”
Xiao Ming turned around and nodded. “I am. I really am.” He might not have dared to say so before but getting this kind of recognition he finally dared to give himself a bit of praise.
Yes, he was good. Maybe he wasn’t perfect, maybe there were a few things he had missed but he was good. And was still a chance to get better in the future. He would never be like Ai Gui Jin who could have his own restaurant and even get a star but he could cook and he could show people that he was able to do it. His love for cooking and food could be spread in another way. That was all that he wanted.