ICRAB – Chapter 96
Liu Weiwei was shocked when she saw a man pounced toward her. She looked at the face that was almost deformed by the glass, and she felt dumbfounded. Obviously, this stranger was not a customer of the shop.
Those who come here often knew that there was a transparent glass as a barrier between the dining hall and the kitchen.
"Please accept me as a disciple. My admiration for you is like a surging river, it is endless…"
Liu Weiwei saw nosebleeds flew from the man’s nostrils, and it was difficult for him to finish his words because the nosebleeds flowed into his mouth while speaking. If her nauseous pregnancy phase hadn’t passed yet, she really wanted to take him away. She looked at her third disciple task, and tried to suppress the smile of her mouth, "Who are you?"
The other party finally slid down from the glass and slammed directly on the ground, saying, "Hero, if you must ask my name, please call me Zhen Nuli. Since have a sincere heart and want to worship you as a teacher, I work hard. So call me Zhen Nuli!"
"Huh… Zhen… Nuli?" (TN: 真/Zhēn = really/genuine, 努力/Nǔ Lì = great effort/to try hard)
Before Liu Weiwei spoke, An Hao, who was next to her, rubbed the goose bumps on his hands with a numb expression on his face. "My master never said she is accepting more disciples, you call yourself Zhen Nuli, so I will call you that!"
Hua Hudie suddenly raised his nosebleed smeared face, and he didn't stuff it with a tissue, "My surname is Zhen, and my name is Nuli!"
Liu Weiwei: "…" This seemingly farce episode was quickly surrounded by customers in the shop.
"Hey, this Boss Zhen, isn’t he…?"
"Huh? He is…"
"Wow! No wonder I feel familiar with his colorful shirt."
"Isn't he? Boss Zhen, what are you doing here as a coffee seller!"
Liu Weiwei blinked, and there was indeed a new coffee shop next to Happy Restaurant, but she hadn't paid much attention. She glanced at the man’s colorful shirt with big flowers and butterflies, "Are you the sweet… coffee shop owner next door?"
"Sweet love!" Hua Hudie on the ground stood up. He reached out to wipe off his nosebleeds, and stroked up his hair. This revealed an appearance of a somewhat melancholic and beautiful man.
He had fair skin, slightly deep and slender eyes, a tall nose, and 5 o’clock shadow beard. It's just that the melancholic temperament that came with this look was in great contrast to his exaggerated fashion choices, exaggerated words, and deeds.
"Although I opened a cafe, I have passed the certification of junior chef in Chinese food!" After Hua Hudie stood up, he was half a head taller than An Hao, "I am 28 years old this year."
An Hao rolled his eyes immediately, "Quite old…" He murmured, causing Liu Weiwei's mouth to twitch.
Now that the interstellar medicine technology was developed, coupled with the great improvement of human genes and strong physique, most people could live up to two hundred years old. This was still a great young man.
Liu Weiwei pursed her lower lip, "Why do you suddenly want to worship me as a teacher? Have you heard of Happy Restaurant before? What is your first impression of our shop, and do you have a change of impression since then?" It sounded a lot like an interview question. But in fact, she just wanted to further confirm if this character met the mission requirements as the third disciple.
"I have always heard that the food in Happy Restaurant is delicious. People who come to me for coffee basically know Happy Restaurant. But because I need to run the coffee shop, I have never had time to come and taste it." Hua Hudie said with a very annoyed expression. "There is no delivery service in the shop, so I always feel envy to other people who can come to eat while I can't!"
An Hao: …
Liu Weiwei said, "Have you ever said bad things about our shop?"
Hua Hudie couldn't help covering his forehead and exuded his melancholic temperament to the extreme, "If selling lattes at a reduced price and giving away americano for free considered a malicious competition, then I should be regarded as doing something disrespectful to Master…" As he talked, he covered his face with both hands. It was obviously a mature, melancholy and stylish face, but he tried to make a cute bun expression.
"Later, I also provided the service of taking queue number for the guests… If they want to eat at Happy Restaurant, they can come to me to buy a cup of hand-made coffee and get a queue number… If you add this, it might be regarded as… doing something bad to Happy Restaurant? It's not good to use the queue number to up my coffee sales."
Liu Weiwei did not expect that there would be such a thing. She went online for only an hour every day so she didn't notice it at all.
While An Hao, who was stationed in the shop every day, was also confused. He had been in the back kitchen, so he didn't know that there was such an unthinkable thing as queue number seller.
"F*ck! No wonder I have someone ahead of me every day."
"Can you still do this? The coffee shop owner… F*ck, I will buy coffee for a week, can I give you money now? You have to help me get queue number this next week!"
Hua Hudie smiled bitterly, waved at everyone, turned his head and bowed solemnly to Liu Weiwei. "I want to worship Master. If Master is willing to accept me, I will never do it again."
The diners were disappointed.
Liu Weiwei glanced at her remaining online time, "Let me ask one last question, since you are learning to cook, why did you open a cafe instead of being a chef?"
Hua Hudie was taken aback, and squeezed out an expression of constipation. "Master, can I just tell you? It's a shame to say it out loud."
Liu Weiwei took a deep look at him and opened the small door leading to the back kitchen.
Hua Hudie suddenly jumped in, and he came really close to Liu Weiwei’s ear. With him, a burst of rosemary perfume instantly poured into the kitchen. He put his hands together and looked at Liu Weiwei imploringly. "I have no money, nor have I learned enough recipes to open a restaurant. I have been an interior designer for ten years and saved 10 million. But after only learning five recipes, I ran out of money! Master, can I give you the coffee shop as a tuition fee? I can help you with any interior design you need! Can I worship you? Please!"
"In order to fill up my savings, I had made up my mind not to patronize any restaurant! The reason for opening a cafe is that the strong flavor of coffee beans can overwhelm the aroma of the meals in all the surrounding restaurants, so I can hide in it to design and save money. I have been coveting for a long time to go to Happy Restaurant, but I can only ask my waiter to help people get the queue number. I never dare to approach myself, I am afraid that if I smell the fragrance, I can't help but want to learn a new menu!"
"But I just watched the PK video, my God, I really want to learn that Hot Pepper Soup! It makes me so excited that I have a complete villa design in my mind. Perfect color, perfect ingredients, and the consistency is like the basement of a villa with a golden ratio. A ray of light comes in through the iron windows…"
"I can sell myself! I will sell myself for ten years, no, a hundred years… I just want to learn this dish…" Hua Hudie's nosebleed and drool all burst out together.
This man with melancholy temperament turned out to be an interior designer.
"Um, you wouldn't be the idiot that my mother said could have obtained the best design award, but later resigned waywardly and went to learn how to cook, right?" An Hao stretched out his fingers in a dumbfounded manner. This person once became a negative example for his mother to educate him.
"If you're talking about the Lime Award, it may be me." Hua Hudie nodded modestly.
Liu Weiwei: "…" Was this a genius designer who had been lost in food?
"Master," Hua Hudie turned his head and looked around, "The light in the lobby of this restaurant is too bright, the floor tiles are too common, the height of the chandeliers is wrong, and the distance between the tables is problematic. The placement of the back kitchen is even more difficult to say. I can help Master to redesign, it is guaranteed that the turnover can be increased by more than 10%."
The corners of Liu Weiwei's mouth twitched. An Hao, who was next to her, squeezed to the side. "My mother said that this design genius was one in a century. The designs he made for the commercial street before were all hard to find, but then I heard that he was tortured by good food and gradually disappear."
Liu Weiwei glanced at the shop and said, "Okay, let's try it out for a week. If your performance is not good, your will be delisted, Ok Mr. Hua… mm… Mr. Zhen?"
"Master~ Just call me Nuli! I will behave well!"
"Then you start from today and help out in the shop if you have time." Liu Weiwei sighed and handed him to her first disciple An Hao to take care of. And then she went offline on time.
Comrade An Hao, looking at the ‘negative example’ in front of him, felt that the other party instantly became a lot more pleasing to the eye. Especially the part where the other party spent 10 million, even had the courage to resign and change career. An Hao felt he would also did the same thing.
"You are older than me, but I'm your senior brother." An Hao thought of telling his mother that he could command the Lime Award winner, he felt excited, "Don't say I don't take care of you. On the first day, you should try the dishes in the restaurant and feel the master’s greatness. You can’t pay your respects to the teacher if you still don’t know anything about what our restaurant sells."
Hua Hudie – Zhen Nuli responded happily, "Then I’ll call you little senior brother. I can also help you redesign your chef’s uniform. Change the round neck into a stand-up collar, and change the single-breasted buttons to double-breasted to make the handsomeness of the little senior brother becomes more prominent~"
An Hao: "…"
After Zhang Xiaomo went offline, she kept her head down and said nothing, but finally took out the temperature keeping box that Chen Like had brought before from her space. After sitting for a long time, she finally took out a plate. In the center of the plate, there were piles of chubby round buns made of flour. The white buns were also sprinkled with black sesame seeds. But with her harsh eyes, she immediately saw that the bun-shaped thing had a base that was too thick and looked tough.
According to Zhang Xiaomo’s usual personality, she might not even move the chopsticks, but today was different. The food that looked nothing might have a taste that surprised her. She learned this lesson the hard way.
Zhang Xiaomo bit a small corner at the top of the bun, and even though she had been mentally prepared, she was still shocked. The skin of the bun was unexpectedly thin, and it was even thinner than the top meat bun she had eaten before. After taking a small bite and chewing it gently, the salty and fragrant fresh meat slowly flowed into her mouth. Mixed with sesame fragrance, she couldn't help but being deeply impressed by the unremarkable looking buns that were very delicious.
It's like electricity flowed in from her lips that bite the skin of the buns, the current numbly passes through the tip of her tongue, through every sensitive part of the tongue, and finally slid into her throat. Some hot gravy, fell through her esophagus, ironed her screaming stomach, and calmed the restless blood in her vessels. Zhang Xiaomo was so stunned. She was so overwhelmed by the hot gavry that she couldn't even feel the slightest thought of resistance in a blink of an eye. She looked at the label on the outside of the box. Pan fried dumpling?
Zhang Xiaomo's eyes widened. The previous humiliation, unwillingness, shame, anger, and grievance all disappeared with this sip of gravy. Her heart beat extremely fast. She couldn't help but speeding up her eating…
The thin skin of the pan-fried dumplings was soaked in delicious gravy, and the wonderful taste far exceeded Zhang Xiaomo imagination. The dumpling skin, which she usually disliked the most, was now disappearing at a rapid rate. And when she got to the fresh meat filling inside, the pork, which she always felt tasted greasy and not noble, kept its most tender and original taste within the wrapper of the steamed dumpling, which unexpectedly made her unable to stop chewing. Every bite was full of meat and gravy.
In the end, Zhang Xiaomo’s once despised dumpling, which she thought had the biggest flaw because their base was too thick, end perfectly in her mouth! She bit off the crispy skin, mixed with the pork filling, they were both crispy and chewy. This food, looked like an inconspicuous dumpling, but was actually a trio in a symphony. It had a sonorous force, enough to command the whole situation to the climax.
Zhang Xiaomo finally released the fist on her left hand that she had been making the whole time. She did lose. It's not only that she lost in cooking, but she also in vision, boldness, and self-righteousness.
The owner of the shop was right…
The author has something to say:
The third disciple is the owner of the cafe that appeared in Chapter 93 (guests who couldn’t squeeze go to the next cafe to watch the live broadcast of the PK competition).
Well, I kinda hope Xiaomo will be the third disciple, but she was probably too far gone in her misconception about cooking and food in general, plus, no system’s prompt detecting her as the one.
MC needed disciple to complete the system’s task, so she wouldn’t just take anyone as she wishes. Also, following the PK, reading Xiaomo relied heavily on machines was really not favorable, she might even be more novice than An Hao in some way. Anyway, I hope she will appear again later, so that she can fully experience the joy of cooking as a chef and not only see it as prestige point just because only Interstellar’s richest can eat real food.