Xiao Ming went through the other comments of both Si Jin’s dish and those of the other contestants, mentioning a few additional things about the casting here and there. Finally, he finished a little later than they usually would with their live streams.
Qian Huang stopped the stream and leaned back, stretching his arms and giving a deep sigh. “God, these weeks will be hard. I’m afraid this is actually harder than doing our normal streams.”
Xiao Ming also nodded and then slumped down on the counter, not wanting to move at all. “We should try and think of something a little easier if we can. This is taking us too much time.”
Li Shui also came over and sat down on the other side, putting his arms on the counter and looking from Xiao Ming to Qian Huang. “Maybe we could also take over some task? You pretty much talked all the time today.”
Qian Huang nodded. He had only read out their own viewers’ comments a couple of times so for the majority of the stream, it had really just been Xiao Ming talking. When it came to their normal streams, at the very least, he and Li Shui would be having a larger role at the end so that Xiao Ming could relax a little at that time and they would try to help out as much as they could while Xiao Ming cooked. With this kind of stream though, things had been different from the beginning to the very end. He needed to be focused a hundred percent.
Speaking of focus though … “That matter with Nin Sha really confused you, didn’t it?”
Xiao Ming looked over and faintly raised his brows. “Why would you say so?”
“Well … you suddenly made that pause right in the middle of the stream. I was really wondering what was up. I mean we were wondering about him before. So, how was it? Do you think he is good-looking?” They might have talked when Xiao Ming finally finished the discussion with Mister Yu but that had mostly been about whether that person was Nin Sha. Now, he really couldn’t help but wonder about the details of that encounter.
Xiao Ming thought back to the moment he had seen Si Jin for the first time and wasn’t sure what to say. “He is … a little awkward.”
The other two inched closer, clearly in the mood for some gossip. “How so?”
Xiao Ming straightened up again and cupped his cheek, wondering about how to explain it. “Well, generally, he’s a good-looking guy, the kind of person that you would like to just look at. But then, his expression is …” He stopped and shook his head. “I don’t know, I think it’s like in one of those TV dramas. Like those male leads who usually don’t smile? Or even if they get angry, they still have that same expression? He’s just like that. Total facial paralysis.”
The other two nodded, having a good guess of just who that person might be. Even though they had seen the ninjas of the Si clan when they came in, they hadn’t known which of them Nin Sha was. Li Shui had only figured it out when Si Jin later stepped onto the stage and had that exchange with Xiao Ming but he hadn’t told Qian Huang about that detail. So at this point, Qian Huang still only had a rough guess.
Qian Huang pursed his lips and then shook his head. “In that case, he’s nothing for you. I think you’d like somebody who’s a bit more open, right?”
Xiao Ming chuckled and then got up, taking out the groceries they had bought to finally make them something to eat. “Well … I have to say that when it comes to preferences, I guess it’s true. But if you get along, then is it really so important? But anyway, there’s no need to think about that.”
“Why? You think he wouldn’t be interested?” Qian Huang laughed at that. “Honestly, I might not be sure about that Ai Gui Jin but I’m definitely sure when it comes to Nin Sha. That guy’s into you! And not just as some kind of online celebrity into you. He is into you as a person.” If he had still held any doubt about it before today, then now, there wasn’t the least bit of that left. No, Nin Sha was definitely more than just a little interested.
Xiao Ming also felt that he couldn’t argue that point. Most likely, Nin Sha did like him. But even though that was the case … “It doesn’t matter. We currently doing the show. I can’t treat him any different. So I shouldn’t even think about this. Just imagine the kind of scandal there would be if something really happened between us and then someone found out. And don’t forget that that Misses Youya is also on the show. I definitely can’t allow myself to show any bias or any behavior that would indicate there might be some.” In fact, he was angry at himself for pausing on the stream before when he thought of Nin Sha and then even blushing later on when Qian Huang mentioned how Nin Sha had commented that the bowl with the heart-shaped rice cakes had been for him specifically. Who knew what people would make out of that?
Qian Huang sighed and then got up to get the three of them something to drink before he walked back to the counter. “I guess it’ll have to be Ai Gui Jin then. Well, I definitely wouldn’t mind if you got together with the owner of a restaurant. And it is even one with a star. He’s probably having a good life.”
Xiao Ming looked over his shoulder, raising his brows at him. “Are you still going on about that? We don’t even know whether he likes me or not. Maybe he was just genuinely interested in Mister Yu’s granddaughter. Or maybe he just wanted to help because he’s a nice person.”
Qian Huang gave a hum but it didn’t sound convinced. Clearly, he was still sure that there was something more to it. “I’d believe that if it was the only time. But he has been seeking you out quite a few times by now, hasn’t he? I think even if he wasn’t interested in the beginning, there might be some kind of spark there. We shouldn’t ignore the possibility. In any case, just keep your eyes and your ears open and if you get a chance to take this further, don’t hesitate. Honestly, Ah Shui and I would love it if you finally found somebody.”
Xiao Ming glanced at them and couldn’t help but smile. “Why? Do you want to get rid of me?”
Qian Huang walked over and looked at the ingredients in the wok, shaking his head. If anything, then I hope that you have great taste in your partner and find one more person that can cook for us. Just imagine having food cooked by a Michelin-starred chef every single day of our life. I certainly wouldn’t have anything against that.”
Li Shui also came rushing over, standing on Xiao Ming’s other side. “That’s true! When you see him the next time, you should ask him if he wants to go out with you.”
Xiao Ming looked from one person to the other, unable to believe what these guys were saying. “You two should just sit down again and wait to be fed. I’m certainly not going to ask him out. Anyway, not like that. If he was really showing interest, I might think about it.”
He continued frying the food but he was a little absent-minded while he did so. To be honest, thinking of Ai Gui Jin, he had to admit that he was a good-looking guy. He was also really kind and they had common interests. To be honest, if he was gay or at least interested in men somehow, he could imagine it.
Behind him, Qian Huang and Li Shui exchanged another glance. They made sure not to laugh and just lowered their heads, waiting for the food to be ready. When Xiao Ming finally carried over the bowls, they were already back to normal.
“About the rest of the week … Is there anything special you want to do?” Qian Huang looked from one person to the other but his focus was on Xiao Ming.
Xiao Ming shook his head though. “I didn’t really think about it. Anyway, we first have to make sure that we fulfill our obligations toward the show. And I’m really not sure if there will be much time left after that. Also, we need to make sure that we are available in case something comes up spontaneously.”
Qian Huang nodded. “True, but we should still do a little something when we’re here already. Not that we need to rush into anything.”
Xiao Ming nodded and then looked at Li Shui. “Do you have any ideas?”
“Well, I’d say let’s go out and eat something. While I love your food the most, with everything else going on, it would probably be nice if you didn’t have to cook all the time. That’d be one thing less you have to take care of.”
Xiao Ming chuckled and shook his head at him. “That’s really nice but you don’t need to worry. I’m not too tired. Anyway, it’s also fun. Still, I guess going out to eat once in a while wouldn’t be bad. We could also just have a look around the vicinity. Maybe there are some interesting things to see.”
“Let’s just make it a day out then. We can decide what to do when we spot something interesting out there.”
The three of them nodded and then lowered their heads to eat the food, already wondering if there was anything they should do the next day.
At the same time, things were quite lively over at the ninjas’ temporary headquarters. After the end of the live stream, Si Jin had made sure to save everything as usual and then gone off to cook some more while studying the cookbooks at the same time. After today’s live stream, he was even more fired up about wanting to become a better cook for Xiao Ming.
Si Shi Wu stood to the side, actually feeling the need to sigh. He was definitely happy that he was useful to his master but this was quite a lot. If there was nobody to stop him, Si Jin would be able to cook twenty hours a day. He would only stop for two hours of sleep and reserve a bit of time for other essentials that he couldn’t push off. Well, the majority of that time would definitely be spent watching young master Xiao’s live stream. It was admirable but also really exhausting.
Si Shi Wu had been able to take it for those four weeks of preparation because it had only been for a short amount of time and he had been able to not go to the restaurant as much. So that there hadn’t been many other things needing his attention.
But after those four weeks were over, he really didn’t have that luxury much longer. Not going to the restaurant might still be fine but he at least had to make sure that he took a look at the menu and keep an eye on everything else that was happening. Also, he really wanted a few more hours of sleep every now and then.
Well, no wonder he was only number fifteen in the Si clan. He really couldn’t compare to the people in front of him. Sometimes, he was even wondering if Si Yi was sleeping at all. That guy seemed to be awake at all hours of the day.
He glanced over to Si Yi who was right beside their master as usual. Currently, he was cooking as well to make sure that he would be able to not fall behind too much.
Clearly, these two would be able to make it quite far in ‘Golden Spoon’. As for the others … Si Shi Wu was still worried about that. He had already brought his concerns up to Si Yi but currently, there wasn’t much that they could do. And he was afraid that not everybody was taking this seriously now that they were already in the show.
Anyway, they had secured the spots that they wanted to secure for their master so if they dropped out now, that would also be good. In a sense, it might even be better. Or, at the very least, it might be good if they dropped out after the first episode. That way, they wouldn’t have embarrassed themselves but still would’ve helped their master quite a bit and not even drawn too much attention to themselves.
Back at the stove, Si Jin nodded and then plated the dish hurriedly before looking up at Si Shi Wu, wordlessly expecting him to come over and take a look to judge this one.
Si Shi Wu scrutinized the dish, first making sure that the aesthetics and the smell were right before he picked up a spoon and gave it a taste. Just as usual, he was pretty satisfied. He nodded and then gave a few ideas as to how their master could make the process smoother before he turned to Si Yi and did the same for him.
Si Jin immediately got back to cooking while Si Yi gave Si Shi Wu a look and then motioned to the door. “In the next few days, you’ll have another task. You should go and sleep a little. You look tired.”
Si Shi Wu gave an embarrassed smile but still nodded gratefully. Then, he left the room, really going to sleep. In any case, he was pretty sure that those two would be able to make things work on their own. And yes, there were still more tasks waiting for him. He had to make sure that he preserved some of the strength. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be of help when it became crucial.
Speaking of which, he still hadn’t decided what to do with his time yet …