Thanks to the concerted effort of the Si clan’s ninjas and the statement that Qian Huang had given, things calmed down in regard to Bright Yellow Water and Xiao Ming’s participation as a judge in ‘Golden Spoon’. Even though there might still be some who doubted his abilities — especially when he was put next to a person like Mister Yu — but at the very least, most people weren’t outright saying it anymore and instead adopted a wait-and-see approach.
The fans had originally cried bloody tears in the comments but after being reminded by Qian Huang a few times that if Xiao Ming saw this, it would just make him sadder, they kept this matter in their hearts he didn’t speak of it again. In any case, even though they hadn’t gone through this kind of experience they could imagine how hard it had to be to lose your parents at such a young age. They were especially sympathetic after some of them had gone and searched up the articles that had been published back then. Now, they really just wanted to give him a hug and tell him to rely on them.
As a result, Bright Yellow Water ushered in a period of being even more successful than before. The fact that the whole scandal started from Misses Youya’s text and then the subsequent posts by Tao Jin’s ‘fan’ and the author Shi Ru Qiu had gotten more eyes on them, maximized that effect even more.
Qian Huang was in a good mood when he saw this even though he was still angry at the original accusations and the fact that Xiao Ming’s history had been exposed this easily. On the other hand, Li Shui had already seemed to have forgotten about everything and just indulged in delicious food again, continuing his pig lifestyle.
Xiao Ming also seemed to have cheered up but with time passing, it became evident that he was nervous. Now, with each passing day, the first episode of ‘Golden Spoon’ was getting closer.
Previously, even though he had already signed the contract, he could at least tell himself that there was still another month until then. That was four whole weeks for him to prepare himself mentally. He was sure that he could work on any problems that he might have and would then be able to tackle this.
But in fact, his biggest problem was that he really suffered from stage fright. And this didn’t get any better even though he tried to prepare. In fact, it even worsened: Looking at how other judges in cooking shows behaved, seeing the live audience in the studio, and reading up on the number of views and attention a show such as this would have, he became even more nervous. It wouldn’t be wrong to call him a nervous wreck.
Xiao Ming couldn’t help but start questioning why he had agreed to take part in the show originally. He should’ve known that he would never be able to go through with this matter calmly. Unfortunately, it was long too late for him to step back. Since the contract had been signed, he needed to show up and do his best. No matter whether he was prepared or not, he had to give it a try.
Two days before the show started, Xiao Ming and the other two made their way over to the city where the show would be filmed. As soon as Xiao Ming got into the old car that Li Shui’s parents had given to them when they updated their own, he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. Never mind that he had never liked driving since the accident, just thinking about what was about to happen, his hands would start to sweat and his heart raced. If he messed up, then people would really be right to call him out for having no skills. Then Qian Huang and Li Shui would also take the fall with him. In other words: He couldn’t mess up.
Qian Huang sat down next to him while Li Shui got into the driver’s seat and started the car. “It’s alright. You’ve got this. In any case, there are still two days.”
Xiao Ming nodded but he was still ill at ease. In any case, they also wouldn’t be idle in these two days. According to the contract, they had to do one special live stream at the venue before the start of the casting. Thus, they would be quite busy tomorrow. And then who knew how much would need to be prepared after they arrived? There were still a lot of things that could go wrong.
Qian Huang reached over and took his hand. “It’s really alright. Just don’t think about it. In any case, so far, we have always managed to salvage the situation even if it didn’t go well at first, right? So don’t think too much. There’s definitely a way to get through this. Also, save for that special live stream before the casting, there will only be seven episodes. You don’t have to worry about it. That isn’t that much time.”
Xiao Ming nodded and took a deep breath. Yes, he really needed to calm down. Otherwise, we would indeed make mistakes just because he was too nervous. It was better to focus and push all other thoughts away. Then, his chances of being able to do everything he had to without a hitch would be much higher. In any case, things had been going well these days. Most likely, even if he did something wrong, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Qian Huang felt relieved when he saw that Xiao Ming was at least calming down a little bit. He knew that expecting him to be completely calm was really hoping for too much. But as long as he managed to just be about as nervous as he was before their live streams, he was sure that things would go well.
While the three of them made their way over, the ninjas of the Si clan were also preparing even though they were still at home at this moment.
Si Shi Wu walked up and down in front of the tables that had once again been set up in the training room, lightly twitching his nose at the scent that came from the portable burners in front of the other twenty men.
Even though there were twenty people cooking, that scent that wafted into the air was pretty much exactly the same, save for maybe one or two of the dishes that were slightly different.
Si Shi Wu nodded to himself, feeling that the last four weeks hadn’t been in vain. Even though they weren’t all proficient to the point of a professional chef, he was pretty sure that they would be able to knock out quite a few of the other contestants in the casting.
Thankfully, they were used to picking up new skills. If it was anyone else, then learning how to cook to this degree would’ve been impossible in just four weeks. Ah, it was actually a bit of a pity that he hadn’t tried teaching his master how to cook five years ago when he found out about Young Master Xiao. If he did, just imagine how good his master could be by now! But then again, most likely, nobody would believe that he was just a hobby cook if he had done that. After all, he didn’t believe that his master wouldn’t be able to completely master the skill if he put his mind to it.
The other ninjas finally turned off the burner, taking the pots down, and looking up at Si Shi Wu. He nodded and then first went to his master’s side, picking up a spoon and giving the soup inside a taste. Narrowing his eyes, he finally nodded. “Very good. Master shouldn’t have any trouble entering the next round if he cooks this for the casting. The taste is well-rounded.” Glancing at the pot, he gave another nod. “The dish is visually appealing as well. Please decide on a plating arrangement while I go to see other’s dish in the meantime.” He put down the spoon, inclined his head, and then walked down the row of tables, giving feedback to the other ninjas as well.
While most of his time had been spent teaching his master, that didn’t mean that the others hadn’t learned anything. Since they were following along all the time, most of them had been able to reach pretty much the same proficiency as their master. There were only two that were slightly lacking.
Si Shi Wu stopped for the first time in front of the table of Si Qi and gave him a long look. Si Qi immediately lowered his head, feeling that he really wasn’t living up to expectations. He should spend some more time trying. He definitely couldn’t embarrass himself and the Si clan when in the casting.
Seeing his grave expression, Si Shi Wu didn’t want to embarrass him and just continued walking. In any case, Si Qi should have realized his mistake. The next time he had to stop was in front of Si Shi Qi. That guy’s face looked a bit bad.
Si Shi Wu raised his brows at him and then shook his head. “It’s passable but you’ll have to put in some more effort so that it is up to par. Don’t think about random things. Right now, the casting is the most important. You can be thrown out after the casting but we at least need to get twenty spots at first to reduce our master’s competition. Don’t disappoint me.”
Si Shi Qi nodded with a grave face. Although it was easier said than done to just not think about random things. It wasn’t Si Shi Wu’s sister who had been poured with dirty water and it also wasn’t Si Shi Wu who had had to have several calls with his father. He was pulled in all directions, not sure what to do. When he went to take part in the casting, things would probably get even worse because he was exposed as Tao Jin’s husband. He could already imagine how much trouble that would make.
Don’t mention disappointing his family, he would probably also disappoint the Si clan by then, and get another earful from his father. Just thinking about it, he wanted to lie down and die. This really was too unfair. Why did he have to have this kind of sister? But in any case, he was unable to change it.
Si Shi Wu didn’t have the slightest bit of pity for him. He continued to walk down the row of tables, tasting the last three soups, and then nodded his head before going back to his master who had already finished the plating arrangement.
He had chosen a plate with an irregular shape in a dark red and placed a white bowl in the middle, that held the soup. Even the ingredients in the soup had apparently been arranged deliberately. Looking at it, Si Shi Wu nodded his head. “Yes, this should work. Very well. I think there is no need to worry about the casting. A spot on the show should be guaranteed.”
Si Jin nodded and then turned to glance at Si Yi. From what he knew, Xiao Ming and the other two would leave for the venue in advance. Thus, they should already be on their way over. In other words: He also wanted to go there. Being able to be in the same city as Xiao Ming and maybe even having a fateful encounter on the street would be great.
Si Yi didn’t hesitate at all and inclined his head. Then, he motioned at the others and started to give instructions. “Go and deliver the soup. After that, organize into groups and follow us.”
The others acknowledged and then went to pick up the soup they had just cooked.
Meanwhile, Si Yi turned to Si Jin and motioned for him to follow him out. Grabbing the luggage, they went to the garage, got into the car, and then drove off. Soon enough, it would be their master’s big moment. Naturally, they couldn’t let anything unexpected happen before that. Arriving at the place they needed to be as soon as possible to pro-actively counter any unforeseen circumstances was the first matter that needed to be achieved.
Thus, the three men from Bright Yellow Water and the first two ninjas of the Si clan soon arrived in the city where ‘Golden Spoon’ was going to be held, the first encounter between the ninja and his secret crush in real life imminent.