The Baiwei Building was still as prosperous as it had been the day before. Su Zipei stayed in the restaurant all day and didn’t find an excuse to go back until night fell.
When she arrived at the Su House, the sky was already dark. Su Zipei looked at the Jinyuan Court from afar and found that there were not many guards.
She carefully hid herself and covered herself up with flowers and plants. After a few minutes, she ran quickly with her eyes flashing.
In the darkness, a young guard saw the scene and hesitated to ask, “Captain, I just saw the Third Miss...”
“Kid, only take charge of safety, and don’t involve yourself in other things. Are you clear?”
The young guard touched his head and didn’t fully understand, but he did not jump out to stop the Third Miss’s way.
“It was so easy to come out. It seems that Erya is not as valued by Dad as I imagined. Relaxing her nerves, Su Zipei crossed the cold and cheerless courtyard and arrived in the study. She carefully poked the window paper and looked inside, only to find an empty room.
Su Zipei felt happy and opened the door lightly.
There was a soft sound and the door opened.
Su Zipei came in and closed the door, with her heart thumping heavily. There was no time for her to look through the gorgeous study. She rummaged about on the bookshelf, only to find nothing.
“Nothing? That’s impossible!”
Su Zipei was so anxious that she was sweating, and her right hand accidentally touched the roll paper on the desk, which fell to the ground.
Su Zipei put it back.
Inadvertently, she caught sight of the handwriting in the paper, and immediately widened her eyes and unfolded the roll paper to take a closer look.
This was clearly what she was trying to find: the recipe for the Beggar’s Chicken!
“You can wear out iron shoes in fruitless searching, and yet by a lucky chance you may find what you were after without even looking for it.” Su Zipei grasped the paper tightly with her hands trembling slightly. She felt so happy that she almost jumped up.
With footsteps approaching from outside, Su Zipei gained more courage and carefully wiped out the traces of her search in the study before leaving the Jinyuan Court with the recipe.
She hadn’t seen that a pair of eyes, as dark as the night, were on the beam over her head watching her from beginning to end. The eyes saw what happened clearly, and even the recipe fell on the ground on purpose.
Early morning the next day, Su Erya got up on time and practiced for two hours. Afterwards, she had breakfast and stepped out of the Jinyuan Court. She happened to see Zipei pass by with dark circles around her eyes. Both of them were stunned and hadn’t expected to meet each other at this time.
“Are you going to the restaurant? It seems that you didn’t sleep well. Is the work in the restaurant too hard for you?”
Su Erya took the initiative to care for her younger sister. Her black eyes and long eyelashes were flawless, as pure and shiny as a jewel. It seemed that all her words were true and sincere.
Su Zipei’s expression changed instantly, like a cat with its tail stepped. She said with guilt, “Ah! The work isn’t hard at all. As the daughter of the Su Family, I am supposed to work for our family. How can I say the work is hard? Are you seeing Doctor Qi right now?”
Su Erya smiled lightly, “There were too many patients in Doctor Qi’s Baicao Tang this morning, so he asked Qinghao and me to go to class two hours later. I heard that mother found a new teacher for you, and that you have lived up to mother’s expectations.”
“Humph, how can my mother be called that by you, bastard?”
Su Zipei muttered in an almost unheard voice. She was reluctant to listen to Su Erya’s teaching like an adult and turned away.
Su Erya stood still and smiled more, with her expression unchanged.
Summer days in the Dasu Town grew quiet like a stream.
Su Erya didn’t care about what was going on outside her window. She read and cooked every day. It seemed that she never mentioned the “Baiwei Building” again.
Nanny Li sighed, feeling pitiful for her. She heard that the Third Miss had won the approval of the cooks with the stolen recipe. She also did a very good job in management after taking over the business of the Baiwei Building and won the Master’s praise frequently.
The Second Miss didn’t make any new dishes. For a long time...
Something happened during these days. Su Huanli came over to ask Su Erya to write the recipe of Zongzi. Apparently, he was preparing to expand profits.
“Daddy, I remembered the agreement that you made with the landlord that the Su Family would not reveal the recipe of Zongzi to anyone. Even I didn’t cook...”
“Nonsense!” With his smiling face suddenly stiffening up, Su Huanli rebuked Su Erya, “What do you know? Don’t involve yourself in adults’ business. Don’t waste time and write the recipe!”
Su Huanli’s attitude was worse, which was quite different from his intimacy with Su Erya when he asked her to make a new dish a few days ago.
Feeling aggrieved, Su Erya closed her lips lightly and wrote the recipe silently.
After she finished it, Su Huanli couldn’t wait to grab it. After a cursory look, he left happily.
Nanny Li could not bear to see this and said, “Miss, the Master ...”
Shaking her head slightly, Su Erya slowly sat back in the chair with her hands in the jaw and looked out of the window, with her eyes giving off a bright smile.
“Be aware of your insatiable desire, my silly Daddy…”
Su Huanli took the recipe and hurriedly entered the Baiwei Building from the back door. He saw Zipei, his daughter, was busy roasting the Beggar’s Chicken in front of the boiler.
Su Huanli was pleased, “Zipei has become sensible. It seems that even without the help of Erya, Zipei can make Beggar’s Chicken on her own.”
“Master, why are you here?” The shopkeeper asked.
“Let the cook you recently hired come to see me instantly.”
Su Huanli gave an order, and instantly the honest guy He Shi was called out, “Master, what’s wrong?”
Su Huanli winked, and the shopkeeper immediately came over and moved close to his ear, “The cook was hired by the Zhu Family, but he is not from their family.”
Wrinkling his brows, Su Huanli didn’t want the Zhu Family to intervene in the division of the profits at all, but he didn’t have the connections to find a cook like He Shi.
“I have a recipe here. Help me identify it.” Su Huanli took out the paper and handed it to He Shi.
He Shi grabbed with a puzzled look. When his eyes saw the charming but a bit scratchy words, they froze!
“Well? Use chequer-shaped indocalamus leaf…”
“This is really...wonderful!”
He Shi looked puzzled for a moment and was suddenly enlightened while Su Huanli and the shopkeeper felt strange. He Shi came to his sense and smiled in a shy way, “Sorry to look so ridiculous. When I see a good recipe, I can’t help being excited.”
“So, the recipe is true?” Su Huanli said excitedly. Seeing his second daughter’s unwillingness, he was worried he’d get a fake recipe.
“It’s true indeed. That someone could make dessert in such a clever way… Whoever came up with this recipe has reached a cooking level I can’t imagine.”
He Shi continued to praise without reservations, “Is this recipe the latest study of the Third Miss? Miss Su is really talented!”
Su Huanli was red-faced from the praise and excited about the coming profits.
At this time, the shopkeeper took the recipe from He Shi and read it. Frowning and thinking about it, he suddenly showed the expression of enlightenment, “Master, isn’t this the famous signature dish of Baiwei Building, Fragrant Rice?”
“Yes, it is!” Su Huanli raised his head slightly and said proudly, “Fragrant Rice was created by my daughter.”
“I see.” The shopkeeper also said happily, “So now, there will be another signature dish in our restaurant. Helpers are familiar with the production process of the Fragrant Rice. I’ll send someone to prepare the ingredients. As for the production, I’ll leave it to Cook He.”
He Shi solemnly nodded, “I will certainly live up to your expectations!”
Under such favorable conditions, the first pot of Zongzi was produced that night. The dish sign was hung in the most noticeable position on the counter menu, only secondary to that of the Beggar’s Chicken, to immediately attract the attention of guests
“Look! It’s Fragrant Rice. Baiwei Building has another bestseller.”
“Great! The taste is very unique. I still remember it. I thought the dish was gone since the owner of the Baiwei Building has changed!”
“Waiter, give me a dish of Fragrant Rice!”
Immediately there was a small climax in the restaurant.
After the spread of Beggar’s Chicken’s popularity, Zongzi kept the guests coming. Baiwei Building was unparalleled in Dasu Town for a while, and the fame even spread to other neighboring towns. Li Shanbao, who was planning to build a new restaurant, naturally heard about it.
“Asshole! The old guy Su Huanli ate his words. I bought the recipe for Zongzi, but he is selling it!”
Li Wei was so angry that his fat moved up and down. During this period, he was so busy that he had lost much weight. He thought he would soon be able to recreate the Baiwei Building. Now, the Su Family not only produced the dish of Beggar’s Chicken but also sold the Fragrant Rice.
Li Shanbao, with a calm face, held a teacup and took a sip, “It’s Okay for the little bastard of the Yang Family to behave improperly. Now it seems that even the old guy Su Huanli has no sense of propriety. It seems that I don’t have to save face for them. Wei, invite the owners of other restaurants to come over secretly...”
On the east street of the Dasu Town next day, Baiwei Building, had an endless stream of guests as usual. There was a long queue outside the restaurant and the waiters kept shuttling in the restaurant.
“Table C was empty. Guests, this way!”
“Come in, guests from room B in the second floor!”
Watching for a moment at the door and seeing everything was normal, the shopkeeper planned to turn back to the room for a rest.
Just at that moment —
The porcelain plate fell on the brick surface. Fang Yuan stared at a wealthy businessman with a look of anger in front of him; he was at a loss.
“It’s all taste of mud. This is not human food! Beggar’s Chicken is clearly for beggars to eat!”
“Beggar’s Chicken has an unearned reputation. It was a lie that guests fell for it! A dish of chicken sells 10 taels of silver. Why don’t you rob me instead?”
The sudden outburst of remarks made the shopkeeper stand still. It all happened too quickly for him to stop it.