Just when everyone gave up, things changed abruptly. Zhen Xiaoyan, who’d left a while ago, returned unexpectedly and walked towards where Ye Lang was.
She approached Ye Lang’s table, then stopped to watched him eat. It was obvious she’d already noticed Ye Lang’s existence, but it was unclear how she knew.
“Ye Lang, what are you eating?” Zhen Xiaoyan was still a little angry. She was mad that Ye Lang knew she was there all this while but didn’t say anything. If she hadn't noticed it herself, she wouldn’t have known he was just next to her.
When she saw Ye Lang eating, her anger temporarily subsided. Her attention shifted to what he was eating.
“I’m eating your tofu,” answered Ye Lang honestly.
At this moment, the whole restaurant went so quiet that even if a needle fell, you’d hear it.
[Note: To eat a girl’s tofu is a very crude, sexual term in mandarin]
This thirteenth prince truly had the guts to say anything. “My tofu? What are you talking about? If you continue talking nonsense I’ll smack you!” scowled Zhen Xiaoyan. She hadn’t realized how wrong Ye Lang’s reply sounded until she saw the weird reaction from everyone.
Ye Lang shook his head and said, “I’m not talking nonsense, these ARE your tofu. I’ve been eating your tofu every day, and I know how they taste like.”
“Shut up, stop talking!” Zhen Xiaoyan was embarrassed and angry.
“Haha… little brat. You’re silly, but it’s cute!!” His cousin howled with laughter when she witnessed this.
“I can’t shut up. How am I supposed to eat if my mouth is shut? Waiter, hurry up and serve the food!”
“...” Zhen Xiaoyan was stunned for a moment. She then pulled the only dish on the table towards her so Ye Lang couldn’t eat it.
“Fatty, give it back to me. I’m not done eating yet!” Ye Lang reached for the plate.
“No, these aren’t for you!!” Zhen Xiaoyan refused.
“Why not?” asked Ye Lang curiously.
“These aren’t delicious!” replied Zhen Xiaoyan.
“Your tofu is very delicious though…” said Ye Lang truthfully. Zhen Xiaoyan threw the plate of tofu at him.
“You dare say that again?!”
“Alright alright, I won’t say it again... Eat tofu…” An alchemy formation appeared on Ye Lang’s hands as he caught the plate of tofu without spilling any gravy.
“You’re not allowed to eat it!!!” Zhen Xiaoyan rushed over and snatched the tofu away from him.
“What are you doing? What’s wrong with you today, Fatty?” asked Ye Lang after he took a bite of nothing.
“I’ve told you this isn’t for you, yours is here,” Zhen Xiaoyan put the plate of tofu aside and then took a few fragrant, delicious plates of food from a space pouch. They looked a lot better than the plate of tofu.
“Eh, this…” The cousin was a little surprised, and then took a bite of it.
“This is awesome! It's out of this world!!” said the cousin immediately.
“Ye Lang, who’s she?” Zhen Xiaoyan had only just noticed her existence.
“My cousin,” replied Ye Lang without adding anything else.
“How do I call her?” asked Zhen Xiaoyan.
“Just call her cousin,” replied Ye Lang casually.
Zhen Xiaoyan blushed and said, “Hi cousin, thank you for your compliment, you’re welcomed to eat whatever you want.”
“Hehe, alright alright. You must be Zhen Xiaoyan, right? I’ve heard about you, you’re so pretty now. Little Lang has got quite the skills!” Of course, the first thing the cousin noticed was Zhen Xiaoyan’s appearance. She was familiar with what he did.
“Yeah, he’s really talented. He never fails to amaze people!” said Zhen Xiaoyan while nodding her head. She admired Ye Lang.
“You’re great too. Remember to take good care of my stupid little brother in the future,” The cousin smiled slightly.
“I can’t take care of him, I only know how to cook,” Zhen Xiaoyan shook her head. It was too troublesome for her to take care of Ye Lang.
“Being able to take care of him in one aspect is good enough, I can find someone else for the rest,” said the cousin.
“...” Zhen Xiaoyan fell silent for a while, and Ye Lang was completely minding his own business as if the conversation was not about him.
“Alright, let me ask you one thing. Didn’t you cook the plate of tofu too? What was that about?” asked the cousin.
“I did, but they were made of leftovers that I randomly put together. It wasn’t for Ye Lang,” Zhen Xiaoyan gave an answer that made everyone felt deeply ashamed.
It was evident that many dishes at the restaurant were dishes she considered to be randomly put together by her so that ingredients wouldn’t go to waste. Some of them were even dishes she considered failures that she definitely wouldn’t let Ye Lang eat.
She wanted only the best for Ye Lang!
And it was because of this she stopped Ye Lang immediately when she saw him eating the plate of tofu. She felt that Ye Lang shouldn’t eat such food.
Even a dish she randomly put together was so popular. You could tell that Zhen Xiaoyan’s skills had attained a whole new level.
“How could you be so blur? Couldn’t you differentiate between the different dishes? It’s so obvious! Would I usually let you eat something like this?” she scolded Ye Lang, so angry it was as if she was the one who ate the wrong plate of food.
She probably wouldn’t even have minded if she was in his shoes.
“I can!” replied Ye Lang.
“Then why’d you still eat?”
“Why not? It’s delicious. It’s still cooked by you, there’s no difference,” replied Ye Lang dumbly.
Zhen Xiaoyan paused for a long time after hearing what Ye Lang said. Yes, Ye Lang had already figured out that it was something Zhen Xiaoyan randomly put together, but he still ate it nevertheless, and he didn’t mind.
He wasn’t very particular about food anyway. As long as it was edible, he would eat it. Although Zhen Xiaoyan had made him pickier with food in recent years, all dishes she cooked were still delicious. He would never turn any of it down!
Then again, even if a dish was a complete failure and tasted awful, he’d still finish it after criticizing her skills.
Zhen Xiaoyan was touched. Just a little though.
And because she knew this was true, the next thing she did after sitting down was to finish eating the plate of tofu so that Ye Lang wouldn’t think about continuing to eat it.
Ye Lang looked at Zhen Xiaoyan and seemed to understand what was going on. But he soon continued eating and ignored Zhen Xiaoyan. She ignored him as well and began to eat, and they even started competing with each other.
“Hey hey, I’ve already taken a bite of that, why do you still want to eat that...” shouted Ye Lang.
“Hmph, why can’t I eat it? You’re always shameless, taking a bite of everything and you want to keep everything for yourself...” replied Zhen Xiaoyan. This wasn’t the first time that Ye Lang had done that, he was too shameless.
“Then I’ll use my secret weapon, I’m going to spit…” laughed Ye Lang. He recalled that one time someone spat all over the dishes on the table and no one then dared touch the dishes anymore.
Ye Lang was only kidding though. That would be disgusting.
“Don’t you dare!!” Zhen Xiaoyan yelled, “If you dare to do that, I’ll never cook for you ever again!!”
“You’ve already signed a contract with me, you have to cook for me for the rest of your life!” said Ye Lang with disdain.
“Hmph! I want to cancel the contract with you!!”
“Let’s talk about it in your next life…”
After they’ve finished eating, Ye Lang and the two girls left everyone else and went for a walk. As it was getting late, Ye Lang sent Zhen Xiaoyan home. He was also prepared to go home to treat the scar on his cousin’s forehead.
At the time where they separated and as Zhen Xiaoyan was about to walk into her house, she suddenly recalled something - “Ye Lang, are you ready for the upcoming tryouts?”
“Tryouts? What tryouts?” It looked like Ye Lang didn’t know anything about the tryouts.
Zhen Xiaoyan snapped, “I knew it, why can’t you be a little more concerned about school matters? I’ll tell you then, this tryout is the preparation for next year’s competition.”
“What competition?! I don’t know what to say to you. It’s the school ranking competition that only happens once every ten years,” said Zhen Xiaoyan.
She continued, “I don’t think you understand the importance of this competition…”
Ye Lang nodded. “This competition determines the ranking of colleges, I don’t need to explain more on that. The main thing that everyone is concerned about in this competition is how many young talented people would appear because they’ll be the future key figures of the mainland!”
“Among the top masters in the mainland now, 80% of them once showed off their talents during this competition! And it’s because of this, there are also individual rankings in addition to the college rankings. It is then subdivided into the comprehensive strengths, martial artists and magic categories. The people at the top of these lists will become the centre of everyone’s attention, and different kingdoms will be competing to get them!”
“Oh, I see. But what does that have to do with me?” asked Ye Lang.
Yeah, did this have anything to do with Ye Lang? Did he need to be everyone’s centre of attention? Would he be willing to be a key figure of the lands in the future?
I believe everyone knows the answer to these questions: No!