OCN C35 About to Shake the President’s Hand?

The next morning, Qian Huang woke up, turned onto his stomach, and pulled his pillow over his head. Then, he gave a groan. Usually, his first action of the day would be to take his smartphone and check for any news. Maybe he would even go and respond to a few comments. But even though Xiao Ming had already cheered them up a little yesterday, he still didn’t feel like taking the chance of seeing something bad. Who wanted to be scolded by the masses? Most likely, there would still be enough idiots who had only seen Misses Youya’s blog post and not been in the live stream to find out what the actual viewers had to say to that.

He continued to lie there for a moment but finally, couldn’t fall asleep again and also didn’t know what else to do, so he threw the pillow to the side with a sigh and then got up. He rubbed his forehead, raked a hand through his hair, and then grabbed his clothes before stumbling into the bathroom. He didn’t even bother to take his phone with him and just left it where it had been.

When he came out, he directly went for the kitchen, only to stop in the doorway. “Why are you already up? And why are you cooking again?”

Xiao Ming looked up from the pot he had been stirring in and gave Qian Huang a wide smile. “Morning!”

Qian Huang’s brows twitched but he still went and sat down at the counter. Propping his elbows up on it and holding his cheek with his hand, he stared at Xiao Ming. “I can’t believe you’re for real. Something like that happened just yesterday and you’re already back to this. Will you never worry about anything?”

Xiao Ming just continued to stir but there was a thoughtful expression on his face. “It’s not that I don’t worry. It’s just that … I’ll worry about different things than you. You know, I can see where you’re coming from. Me worrying about it won’t help, right?

“You know, when we got the invitation for ‘Golden Spoon’, I was worried. Because thinking about it, it was something completely new. Something I had never done before. I didn’t know if it was something that I would be good at or if I would fail completely. I know how to cook but I have never been a judge. And I’ve also never been that much in the eye of the public. That is … daunting. I admit to that.

“But now … I’m just cooking. It’s the same as usual. What somebody else says … I don’t think it should have that much of an impact on what I do. I should just go on as usual. Whatever she says she believes or others believe, it won’t change that I’m able to cook. It hurts a bit that strangers would just judge without knowing me but, at the end of the day, it’s not important, is it? They don’t know me, I don’t know them. That’s what I’ve come to realize through all this. So, let’s just focus on us.”

Qian Huang lowered his hand and nodded. “If you can see it like that, let’s do that. I swear I won’t bring it up again.”

Xiao Ming nodded and then pulled out a spoon, dipping it into the pot, and having a taste. Nothing changed in his expression when he took a second one and then held it in front of Qian Huang. “You give it a taste!”

Qian Huang naturally didn’t need to be told twice. He took the spoon and eagerly swallowed the bite he had been offered right down. His expression turned into a surprised one. “It’s sweet.” He hadn’t expected that for breakfast.

Xiao Ming smiled, his eyes curving up into little crescents. “Isn’t it? I thought you would like it!”

Qian Huang smiled and nodded. “Is it marmalade?” It definitely tasted like it.

Xiao Ming nodded and took the spoon back, throwing it into the sink. “It is. I want to use it as an ingredient for another dish though. But this should be enough for us to fill a few glasses with as well if you like it.”

Qian Huang’s smile immediately turned into a wolfish grin. “I definitely won’t complain about that.”

Xiao Ming chuckled and then went back to cooking. “Do you want me to make you something for breakfast right now or do you want to wait until Li Shui gets up?”

Qian Huang turned to glance at the clock on the wall and shook his head. “It’s actually not that early anymore. I’m sure he’ll be here in a few minutes. Let’s just wait until then. Or …” He rubbed his neck, looking a bit apologetic. “You actually cooked for us again right after the live stream again. Do you really feel up for it? Maybe it would be nice to take a day off and rest.”

Xiao Ming shook his head though. “If I could cook five times a day every day, it would be nice. And if it’s just for the two of you, I don’t even need to pay attention to what I say or how I do it. If something goes wrong, it’s also not a problem. I really like it this way.”

Qian Huang really didn’t know what else to say to that. He shook his head and then just watched Xiao Ming busy about.

Just as they had expected, Li Shui came into the kitchen a few minutes later. Contrary to usual, he seemed to be a little beside himself though.

Qian Huang raised his brows, surprised to see him like this. “Don’t tell me you couldn’t sleep?” This definitely was unusual for him. Sometimes, he actually felt that Li Shui was just like a pig. If you gave him food, he’d gobble it down immediately. If you provided him with a bed or some other comfy place, he’d fall asleep in a second. If Li Shui was able to only ever eat and sleep, he would count that as a happy life. To think that he would for once not have slept well was quite a stretch of imagination.

Li Shui didn’t answer immediately and only slowly walked over, sitting down at the counter with a complicated expression. He took the spoon that Xiao Ming handed him in a daze and just put it in his mouth without looking what it even was. Swallowing the marmalade and then holding the spoon in his hand, he furrowed his brows. “Say, do you think we’ll get to meet the president soon?”

Qian Huang and Xiao Ming exchanged a glance, not quite sure what to make of this. Where had that suddenly been coming from? A weird dream?

Xiao Ming raised his brows and then sat down, propping up his elbows and cupping his cheeks with his hands, his lips curving into a beautiful smile. “Why? Is my marmalade so good that even the president himself would want to have a glass?”

Li Shui clicked his tongue. “That’s not it. I mean, the marmalade is great, yeah. But there are so many prominent people these days that somehow take an interest in us, I feel like the president might want to shake our hands soon.”

Xiao Ming gave a hum and got up again, continuing to put the glasses he had filled away. “Well, if it’s the president who wants to talk, maybe it would be better to let Qian Huang interact with him. That is something you and I would get nervous about.”

Qian Huang couldn’t help but laugh. “You’re nervous before each live stream no matter who you think the viewers are.”

Xiao Ming chuckled as well. “Yes, but I’d be even more nervous if I knew it was the president. In any case, why are you suddenly saying something like this? In any case, wasn’t it just Mister Ai and that Misses Youya? Even though she’s a celebrity online, I don’t think you can really call her that well-known.”

Well, maybe it was mean to say this but when it was about whether somebody was famous or not, he always liked to imagine that he went to the market square to buy vegetables and asked auntie Zhang if she had heard of this or that person. If she knew them, then they were a major celebrity. If she had heard their name but couldn’t really place them, then they were quite popular but not that hot or only famous in a certain demographic. If she didn’t know the name at all, then they were definitely just a small light and maybe had a bit of fame online.

This Misses Youya … He was pretty sure she was in the latter category. Whether that was because she acted online or because she really wasn’t that famous … Ah, he wouldn’t judge. Auntie Zhang only knew him because they lived in the same city and she had already known his parents. She had only ‘heard’ of him when he was invited to be a judge for ‘Golden Spoon’. Most likely, he would also land in the third or maybe in the second category at most.

Li Shui clicked his tongue. “Who’s talking about her? I’m talking about that Shi Ru Qiu!”

Xiao Ming and Qian Huang once again exchanged a glance. They didn’t know why but since the moment Li Shui had walked into the kitchen, they always felt like they were out of the loop.

Qian Huang couldn’t help but lean closer. “Did you look if there was something else online? Don’t tell me something new happened?” Maybe he should have checked his phone this morning after all! Even if he didn’t have any desire to be cursed at, it might still be better to be prepared. Each hour that they didn’t react might make this into a bigger crisis.

Meanwhile, Xiao Ming’s expression was thoughtful. Shi Ru Qiu … He knew that name. He just wasn’t sure where exactly from. It sounded quite familiar though.

Li Shui was already nodding eagerly. “Of course! If you haven’t looked yet, you definitely missed out on a lot. First of all, one of Tao Jin’s fans got angry at what that Misses Youya said about her. So in return, he poured dirty water on her sometime yesterday evening while we were eating after the live stream. I’m afraid there’s not a single speck of white left on her reputation.”

Qian Huang slammed his hand on the table, his expression bright. “Really?! That’s great!” Something better couldn’t even have happened! Ah, he really wanted to go and take a look!

He was of half a mind to go over and actually lifted half his ass off the chair but then remembered that that had apparently just been the first thing to happen. Seeing that the first news had already been this good, he immediately sat down again and stared at Li Shui with glittering eyes. “If that’s just the first thing, then what happened after that? Is it good?” If somebody else had stood out to scold Misses Youya for her misbehavior, he would definitely write a thank you card! Heck, he could write a hundred if need be and he hated writing with his hands.

Li Shui nodded. “Yeah, that Shi Ru Qiu wrote a text as well. It’s …” He glanced at Xiao Ming and then scratched his cheek, not quite sure how to say it. “Well, it’s about us. And he’s pretty much praising us from the first to the last word. It’s not quite clear at first for outsiders, I guess. I wouldn’t have noticed the text if there hadn’t been so many people in the comments mentioning our channel. When I started reading, I couldn’t help but feel weird. What he wrote sounded really familiar. It’s as if he had lived with us.” He still seemed a little lost, not quite sure what to make of that.

Qian Huang didn’t understand either. “Anyway, who is that Shi Ru Qiu? Do we know him?”

Li Shui could only shrug his shoulders. “Isn’t he a famous author?”

Qian Huang stared at him, not quite sure what to make of that. “I’ve never seen you read a book in my life. Are you sure you know who he is? Maybe it’s some guy living down the street.” Actually, he would feel that that was much more likely.

Li Shui shook his head though. “No, that’s definitely not it. I saw his name on some of the books that Xiao Ming has in his room before. And also, I checked his account. He has hundreds of thousands of followers. His channel is … it’s massive. Even auntie Zhang would probably know who he is.”

Xiao Ming clasped a hand over his mouth so as to not to laugh. It seemed that Li Shui and he had exactly the same way to gauge just how famous somebody was. Although, he had to say that he was quite surprised that Shi Ru Qiu would somehow know of them. Just what was this about?

Qian Huang finally slapped the table again and got up. “Alright. I don’t understand anything anymore. I’ll go get my notebook and then we’ll just take a look. I went to see what exactly that guy has written.” He didn’t wait for their response and then just went to do as he had said. In any case, he really was curious now.

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