OCN C66 A Philosophy in Life

Needless to say, after several setbacks, Fan Mei wasn’t happy. This dinner should be a chance for her to find out more about these two and the plot that was going on behind the scenes of ‘Golden Spoon’ but whether it was this Si Jin himself or her sister-in-law, everyone was trying to thwart her from finding the truth. How could she be reconciled?

She left the matter be for the time being and instead focused on eating a bit as well, seeing as this was what her brother was paying for. She might as well make sure that he paid a bit more as revenge for treating her like this! After a few dishes, she couldn’t help but make use of the opportunity again though. “Say, what kind of dish did you choose for the casting? I made lion head meatballs.”

This question … it was quite difficult for them to answer. After all, they had all made the same one, so it was awkward to say in front of her. They really should have thought this through and at least made two batches of different dishes.

Si Yi actually felt like this was his fault. As the one who was his master’s designated assistant, he should have taken note of this. But he had also been worried that if they did this, it would be more difficult to ensure that their master would definitely get a place out of all of them. After all, if — for example — the judges took the difficulty of the dishes into consideration, then it might very well be that another batch of them could have made a better impression than their master. That wouldn’t have been a good thing.

Seeing that neither her husband nor his guests were able to answer easily, Tao Jin once again jumped in. “Ah, I actually played a small trick on them. You remember how two years ago, I took part in that game show?

“In one of the episodes, they also made us cook. There was even a professional chef invited. He was from overseas and hardly spoke any Chinese. It was really difficult to coordinate with him to make sure we got the dish right. In the end, my team just barely won.

“Despite winning, I was frustrated afterward, feeling like I should have been able to do better. So I looked up the recipe. Suddenly, everything the chef tried to explain made total sense. I’ve actually made the dish several times since then. I always felt it was tasty and Ah Ming also seemed to like it.” She smiled at her husband before she turned back to look at the others. “Well, after Ah Ming told me about the show and asked whether we could take part together, I figured that if I’m going to be on camera again cooking, I might as well make the same dish again. In any case, I already have a bit more experience with it and also, my company can make something nice out of that for publicity.” She raised a hand to her lips and laughed, her eyes curving up.

Si Yi looked up, seeing an opportunity to divert the topic following Tao Jin’s words. “Oh? I’m afraid I’m not keeping up with entertainment news this much. What dish might that have been? If it was a foreign chef, was the recipe also a foreign one?”

“Ah, you are indeed a sharp one! That dish was quenelles. I believe it’s a French one?”

Si Yi inclined his head. “It certainly sounds like it. My French isn’t too good but it should be.”

At this time, Fan Mei couldn’t help but barge back into the conversation. “Oh, you actually speak a bit of French?”

Si Yi glanced at her, clear on what exactly she was trying to do there. Well, this wasn’t a problem. “Miss Fan is indeed right there. Well, you see, as an assistant, I will have to accompany Mister Si on some of his travels. In my opinion, it is always better to know at least some of a country’s official language if you go there. While I am certainly not proficient at most of them, I try to do my best.”

To be honest, this wasn’t a lie. He tried to at least have a rudimentary grasp on the languages if they ever left the country. For the most part, this wasn’t something that he would do alone though.

While he did learn the basics, there was usually somebody else among the ninjas who would know more about the given language and often even be fluent in it. Thus, they would just take along the person in question or at least have them listen in and give him some pointers.

That way, they would be able to communicate more freely and be able to understand in case somebody was trying to go behind their backs by using some kind of trick. It was quite astounding how much you were able to find out if people believed you didn’t know the language being spoken around you.

When it came to French, he indeed had a general understanding of the language and could at least say a few sentences, so he did recognize that this word sounded like it belonged to the language.

When it came to knowing more than that, then the one to ask would have to be Si Qi. Thinking of that, he picked up the cup of tea at the side and searched for something he could change the subject to. He really didn’t want to be reminded of that right now.

Unfortunately, Fan Mei didn’t want to do him the favor. “Oh? Do you have to leave the country often? To be honest, I’m not quite sure what exactly Mister Si is doing.”

Si Jin cracked open his eyes and gave her a glance before he went back to eating. Clearly, what he was currently doing was quite obvious. Otherwise, how was it important what he did?

Si Yi gave a polite smile. “Well, Mister Si is an investor in several companies. But I believe that Miss Fan was already aware of that. Depending on which one it is, there will be more or fewer tasks. In some, Mister Si really doesn’t have much of a say and not much of a task either. In others, it will be different and we will be invited to some official functions. In those cases, it might indeed be that we have to leave the country. That hasn’t really happened recently though.”

To be honest, this had a lot to do with Xiao Ming. Their master didn’t want to miss out on even a single stream so when it came to traveling, he did expect not to be out on the road when one of them was going live. Instead, he wanted his surroundings to be free of disturbances. Even in the house of the ninjas, that wasn’t always possible, not to mention outside. Thus, if it wasn’t absolutely necessary, their master wouldn’t go out.

Also, considering how the previous generation’s master had lost his life, the ninjas were actually a little worried about having Si Jin travel. Not that either of them would dare to say that out loud.

“Well, thankfully, if it is necessary, there will be translators for that kind of event. Which reminds me … Mister Fan, are you only organizing events nationally or also internationally? Because I guess that problem would apply to you then as well.”

Si Shi Qi shook his head. “Only in our country, I’m afraid. If there is an international company that wants us to plan an event for them, we will do so but only if it is held in China. This is where we know the market the best. And I do believe that it is only right to provide our customers with the best service possible.”

Si Yi nodded slowly as if this was an honest conversation that they were having and not something that they were just using to fill the silence so Si Shi Qi’s sister wouldn’t get the chance to ask more questions. “Well, I do have to say that we were very satisfied with your work the last time so I do believe that you are able to keep your word in that regard. The other customers would probably be just as satisfied as we were.

“In any case, working with foreigners can be quite difficult sometimes. Not just considering the language, but also because there can be quite a few cultural barriers. It is not always easy and requires more preparation. So I can understand why you wouldn’t want to give that a go. Sometimes, the effort that you need to put in just outweighs the possible benefit.”

“Precisely. Also, while we have a lot of experienced staff members, there is also only so much we can do. I don’t want to expand too much. I believe that if I did that, it would just lower the quality of our service. And that isn’t the kind of vision I had when I originally started my agency.”

Si Yi nodded his head once again, taking another sip of his tea. “Well, I do understand that as well. There are just some principles one should abide by. And while quantity can make up for quite a few things, quality should always be the most important. Doing good work is worth more than doing a lot of work.”

Si Shi Qi nodded, but inwardly, he couldn’t help but wonder if Si Yi meant something else with that. Recently, he clearly hadn’t done his work too well. Now, he had been given a chance to make up for his mistakes but he had actually invited his sister which Si Yi clearly wasn’t happy with, not to mention their master.

Now, maybe he was reminding him that while there were twenty of them to make sure that there would be enough hands and especially minds around to do everything that was necessary for the Si clan, they might as well have one person less, if that meant that the quality would be up to par again. That thought alone made him sweat. If he was thrown out of the Si clan, he would never forgive himself.

Next to him, Tao Jin glanced at her husband, wondering just what was going through his mind. In any case, this was also a topic that she could somewhat relate to. In the current situation where they were hoping that they could have a conversation that wouldn’t give too much away in front of Fan Mei, it was probably safe to say that throwing some words in should be the right way to go. Even playing dumb might have worked. Not that she would do that.

“What you just said really resonates with me. When I was younger and just starting my acting career, it was a bit difficult. But after the first hit, there were a lot of people that were inviting me to take part in their shows, their movies, and especially all those advertisements.

“At that time, I was still really young and it was quite overwhelming, to be honest. I was lucky that I had a good agent to make sure that I wouldn’t make a mistake. If I had been on my own, I probably would’ve figured that taking on more work might be the best way to go.

“But now, with more experience, I can also see that that isn’t the case. The work that you do will always reflect back on you. So being able to do some good works is more important than having a lot of lower quality ones.

“That is especially true when it comes to movies where the proof will still be there even decades later. They will even live on after we as actors are gone ourselves. I guess that now that everything is reported on the Internet, the same is true even in business. Things that people would have forgotten about some years ago, will now be online forever. Sometimes, that might be hard to bear if a project goes wrong.”

Si Yi nodded. “Madam Fan is exactly right. These are all things that you need to take into consideration nowadays even more so than in the past. In any case, it is also a philosophy in life and I think it is a good one. So whether it is work or the things we hold dear in our free time, we will likely apply it everywhere.

“For example, I have definitely given my best in the casting. So far, the list isn’t out but we certainly hope that we will make it into the first round. If I do, I will make sure that I continue with the same fervor as today. After having prepared for quite some time, it would be such a pity to lose early on. But if it shall be, then I will also not complain.”

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