Zhen Xiaoyan had always liked to eat, she was never picky with her food. If she was, she wouldn’t have been as fat as she was.
Her culinary skills grew also because of this. The simplest dishes sometimes showcased a cook’s true skills!
She rarely used special ingredients recently, but today was different. Her goal today was to create a new dish, the most delicious dish ever created.
The biggest evidence of her intentions was her constant muttering while she was cooking…
“This is too oily, Ye Lang wouldn't like it…”
“This is too strong, it won’t be good for him…”
“This doesn’t taste good enough, not good…”
“You still don’t know who we came with, do you?” teased the crowd confidently, beaming at the staff. They’d hear that as long as Ye Lang was there, asking Zhen Xiaoyan to cook would be the simplest request ever.
They knew of the relationship between Ye Lang and Zhen Xiaoyan too. They weren’t a couple though- at least both of them didn’t think so- and other people didn’t sense anything between them either.
If they were someone else, the rest would suspect something going on between the two. However, no one suspected Ye Lang and her- this was a weird phenomenon indeed.
Nonetheless, Zhen Xiaoyan was practically Ye Lang’s cook at this point, they knew how much she liked to cook for him too.
Now that Ye Lang was here, she could save some of her energy because she didn’t have to send food to him.
Everyone knew the relationship between Ye Lang and Zhen Xiaoyan. Although they were not a couple- at least the both of them didn’t think so. The other also didn’t think of that either.
“I don’t care who you are…” said the staff coldly. However…
The entire restaurant spontaneously exploded with excitement. This wasn’t because of Ye Lang’s arrival- not many people knew he was here. There was a red cloth hanging in the middle of the restaurant with the name of a dish written on it.
“Oh, Ma’am just did a dish for the customers! If you are lucky enough, and willing to spend, you can have it!” the staff changed scripts immediately. This red banner was there for special occasions when she decided to cook.
This was also to announce that this dish was available for bidding!
Zhen Xiaoyan never made more than two dishes for customers a day- that was why people were willing to fight for it.
“Shejin Tofu, starting at one silver coin!” announced the staff. He didn’t think it was too low because he knew this was only the beginning. The final price would be ten times -no- a hundred times more than this!
The starting bid was set according to the cost of the dish.
“One gold coin!”
Someone raised its price by a hundredfold without any hesitation. Ooh, this was only the beginning!
Ah, it was only one gold coin. This was nothing to the people in the restaurant. They were used to eating expensive food worth that much. They were going to bid more.
“One hundred gold coins!” came a soft voice.
“Hmmph, a hundred? I’ll do… Wait… You…” While a hundred gold coins was a lot, it was still far from their limit0 at least that was what the rest thought. They were still willing to raise their bids.
This dish was extremely overpriced by now. The cost was barely one silver coin…
Zhen Xiaoyan’s cooking was amazing, but was it necessary to pay so much for it? Then again, she was famous. Things worked differently when you were famous.
“What’s with all the stuttering? Why aren’t you bidding? I’ll bid if you’re not!” another person thought this bidder was acting a little strange but didn’t care.
“I’ll bid at… What’s wrong with you? Just bid if you want to-- what are you doing?” he was pulled aside by the previous bidder.
“Didn’t you see who that was?”
“I don’t care. I’ll still get the dish even if the king bids!” bragged the person. But when he saw…
“Ah shit, why is he here? Looks like I can’t eat her cooking today!”
“Hey, why is he here?”
“Aargh! Someone must’ve invited him here…”
Whisperings grew louder as more people found out. They started to speculate all sorts of reasons- at the same time, they gave up on the bid immediately. No one wanted to compete with HIM!
And this person was Ye Lang, the thirteenth prince!
“You’re already eating Zhen Xiaoyan’s cooking every day, why are you here to take our share too…” asked someone helplessly.
“I like to spend money!” Ye Lang smiled.
“I know… We all know…”
Everyone already knew what his answer was going to be. He was an extraordinary prodigal son. He took every single opportunity, including this, to spend money.
No one wanted to offend him just for one dish either.
Sigh. They decided to leave him alone.
“Thirteenth prince! I apologise for not recognising you before. Ma’am will serve you a whole table of food now that you’re here!” the waiter served him the Shejin Tofu. His annoyed expression changed into a polite one.
“I’ll go inform her that you’re here!” the waiter left.
“There’s no need for that, we’re leaving after this. Let her carry on with her work,” Ye Lang stopped him, “just serve us some of your famous dishes.”
I’m so stupid… The thirteenth prince gets to eat Zhen Xiaoyan’s food every day, of course he’d like something different. How stupid of me to ask her to cook for him!
The waiter wasn’t the only one. The rest also thought Ye Lang didn’t need Zhen Xiaoyan to cook for him as he got to eat her cooking every day.
However, there was one thing: If he didn’t want her cooking, then why did he take the dish away from them?!
“Little Lang, I didn’t know you were such a gentleman!” Ye Lang’s cousin smiled.
“Eat your food…” Ye Lang ignored her and started to eat. Watching him eat the Shejin Tofu only made everyone else suffer.
“I want a bite. It must be very good…” she picked up her pair of chopsticks for a piece.
“Awesome! It really is heavenly…” she didn’t seem to be praising the dish wholeheartedly though, which offended the rest of the people.
“Yeah!” Ye Lang nodded and carried on with his food.
“Slow down! Look at you! No one will take them away from you, alright?” She wiped away some sauce on his face with a handkerchief.
“I’ll bring you something better next time!”
Something better?! Was she insulting the food?! Who did she think she was?
To think of it, she must not be a commoner if she were this close to the thirteenth prince. Perhaps she truly had something better… Not everyone thought Zhen Xiaoyan’s foood was the best in the world.
There were a handful of people who indeed made better food- but they were far exceeded any common man, they were legends, almost gods.
Zhen Xiaoyan was more real to them!
Zhen Xiaoyan walked out of the kitchen as always, keeping her head low as she left. She didn’t greet anyone in case they wanted her to cook more.
She wasn’t afraid of anything, she liked to help. However, she was afraid of being late this time…
“Ma’am, leaving already?”
“Yes, I’m done for today. See you tomorrow!” came Zhen Xiaoyan’s reply.
“Ms Xiaoyan, could you make a dish for us?”
“I’m sorry, I’m not taking orders right now, I’m in a hurry. You can still order though, everything else here is as good,” said Zhen Xiaoyan humbly, lowering her head as she walked. She was used to this already.
“You won’t cook for us, but you’ll definitely cook for him, right?” asked someone with Ye Lang. He was showing off.
Unfortunately, Zhen Xiaoyan didn’t notice Ye Lang. She thought it was someone boring again who thought they could have special treatment. She didn’t even look in Ye Lang’s direction.
“Very sorry, I’m in a hurry!” Zhen Xiaoyan quickened her steps as she walked towards the main door.
“Miss Xiaoyan, you should take a look at him first!” laughed someone.
“Oh. I saw!” Zhen Xiaoyan glanced at that direction. But she didn’t seem to recognise Ye Lang as he had his head lowered, busy eating. Zhen Xiaoyan continued to walk away.
And then, just like that, unexpectedly- she went out through the door.
“Hey, why couldn’t you have mentioned the thirteenth prince directly!” After everyone snapped out of it, they realised what had just happened.
Yes, if they mentioned Ye Lang, Zhen Xiaoyan would’ve definitely stayed to cook for Ye Lang.
“What? Waiter, more, please! This dish is almost finished!” Ye Lang was completely unaware of everything else. He ordered more food and finished what was left on his plate.
Everyone fell silent. They knew how Ye Lang was.
Well, there’s always tomorrow.