Chapter 56: Try It, You Might Find It to Be a Pleasant Surprise!
Atlas Studios Atlas Studios
Wen Xinya seemed to recall something and continued, “I used to go hungry when I was young. There was once when I picked up a packet of leftovers in a rubbish bin outside a restaurant. The restaurant owner came chasing after me and called me a rascal. Those leftovers were meant for pigs. Nevertheless, when I was about to gobble the food, a beggar came from nowhere and snatched it away from me. I was so devastated that I cried my heart out.”
Si Yiyan remained silent. He already knew about Wen Xinya’s past. But he had a different feeling when hearing from her own mouth.
It seemed like she suddenly realized she had brought up a serious topic. Wen Xinya digressed. “How about you? What was your childhood like?”
Si Yiyan thought for a few moments and then started recollecting his past. “I was a spoiled and timid kid. I would just cry whenever I suffered setbacks. Crying also allowed me to get what I wanted easily. Father was always angry with me, but Mother thought that was fine. At least I would not get into any trouble.”
Father was a pessimist. With a character like that, the large family business became a burden to him. Even his colleagues and the pioneers of the company disapproved of him. If his parents had not passed away, he would probably grow up living the life his mother had wished for him—a simple and ordinary life!
Like what his mother said, he was just an ordinary boy. That was the reason the elder pioneers of the company spared him. And his father’s allies had a chance to bring him back to the mainland.
Wen Xinya was surprised to hear that. Looking at the present day Si Yiyan, she was unable to associate him to this younger version he described. But subconsciously, she knew he did not lie to her.
What must a man go through in life in order to transform his weakened self and become the cold and ruthless person of today?
It reminded her of herself. She had experienced life and death, and also an opportunity at rebirth before she became a whole new Wen Xinya.
What about him? What exactly had he gone through?
Right at this moment, the lady boss brought them a plate of steamed mussels. Wen Xinya took one from the plate and gently pried it open. She said, “I’ve heard that this type of mussel can produce pearls in them. I wonder if that’s true.”
Si Yiyan laughed. “Chances are slim. Only old mussels produce pearls. There are many fishermen fishing around this area all year round. It’s unlikely there’s any old mussel remaining.”
The mussel opened. As expected, there was no pearl inside. She consecutively opened a few but there were still no pearls.
Although Wen Xinya was disappointed, it did not affect her appetite.
Si Yiyan removed the shells of the seafood for her and she ate heartily.
Shortly after, the oysters were served. Wen Xinya was not sure if she should be delighted. Si Yiyan opened one of the oyster shells calmly with a small knife.
Wen Xinya stared at Si Yiyan. “I’ve heard there’s a certain method to consume oysters. After opening the shell, suck it into your mouth in one action.”
Under Wen Xinya’s watchful eyes, Si Yiyan calmly took an oyster and sucked into his mouth in one action.
It was a public consensus that the action of eating oysters made one look unrefined. Many people even associated the consumption of oysters as a vulgar act. That was why not many people would eat oysters in public. Si Yiyan was able to do it elegantly. Wen Xinya almost felt that it was a pleasure to watch him eat. She had initially wanted to make him look bad, but she had learned an important lesson through this incident—though oyster-eating was considered an unrefined activity, it mattered more on the person who was eating.
“It tastes good. You should try it.” Si Yiyan opened another oyster and placed it on Wen Xinya’s plate.
“Hmm. I am not going to eat it. It’s too disgusting.” Wen Xinya placed the oyster back on Si Yiyan’s plate. She knew that she would not be able to eat it as elegantly as Si Yiyan, so she decided not to give him a chance to ridicule her.
Si Yiyan smiled and put it back on Wen Xinya’s plate. “Be good, try it. You might find it to be a pleasant surprise!”
Wen Xinya was intrigued and asked curiously, “What type of pleasant surprise?”
Si Yiyan continued coaxing her in a low voice. “Try it and you will find out!”
“Really?” Wen Xinya looked at him with doubt. She had a feeling that he was just out to trick her.
Si Yiyan burst out laughing. “Really! Nothing could be closer to the truth!”
Curiosity killed the cat. Right at this moment, Wen Xinya was that cat. She hardened her heart, took a deep breath, and then put the oyster to her lips and sucked it in one action.
Si Yiyan watched her eat and noticed the expression on her face as if she was being tortured. He then teased her. “It’s just an oyster. Do you need to put on an expression that looks like you are being tortured?”
Wen Xinya shut her eyes. To her surprise, by sucking the oyster in one action, the raw, fishy taste was neutralized by the sour taste in the lemon. It felt fresh and tender in her mouth. Indeed, it tasted good.
After a while, Wen Xinya felt something in her mouth. She took a piece of the serviette and spat it out gently. She looked and noticed it was a piece of half flattened, semi-round shaped and lusterless pearl.
Wen Xinya opened her eyes wide and took the pearl in her hand. She exclaimed in excitement. “Ah! There’s really a pearl in there!”
Si Yiyan looked at her. She had excitement and sparkles in her eyes. “You are very lucky,” he said.
Wen Xinya looked at the pearl in her hand as if she had uncovered a treasure. “Si Yiyan, how did you know that there was a pearl in this oyster?” she asked.
He never examined the oyster. How could he have known that there would be a pearl in it? He could not possibly be able to predict the future, could he?
Si Yiyan replied with a smile, “You may assume that I am a prophet!”
Wen Xinya stared at him. “I don’t believe that. Quick, tell me the truth.”
Si Yiyan held an oyster’s shell and showed it to Wen Xinya. “Look at this shell. Do you see a missing portion? From a glance, we could tell that this portion was missing for a long time ago. This shows that this oyster was injured.”
Wen Xinya asked with confusion, “What does the pearl have to do with the oyster’s injury?”
Si Yiyan explained, “An oyster that was never injured would never be able to produce a pearl. Pearls are the products from a healing process. The entire process starts when a grain of sand enters the oyster. It will secrete a mineral called nacre from within to coat the foreign substance—a grain of sand—with multiple layers. Over time, a beautiful pearl will be formed. A pearl is a by-product of suffering. After it has gone through a long period of this polishing process, a beautiful pearl will be formed.”
There was a hidden meaning behind Si Yiyan’s words. In his eyes, she was a pearl. One that had been through years of suffering and experiences in life that allowed her to grow, thus becoming a pearl in the process. Although there was still room for improvement, he knew that she would one day be able to glow in her own success.
Wen Xinya was observing the pearl carefully. She suddenly felt that the pearl was very precious. “Compared to the process of a butterfly’s molting, the process of a pearl’s formation that requires a long period of time is even more remarkable.” She turned to Si Yiyan abruptly and said, “Si Yiyan, do you believe that someday I will be glowing in success just like a pearl?”
“I have never doubted it,” he replied with a smile. He watched her in silence for a while before saying, “There’s a beautiful story in this town—anyone who eats an oyster with a pearl in it is a lucky person. They will be blessed with good fortune.”
Wen Xinya laughed. “What a story! But I like it. This pearl shall be my lucky charm from now on.”