Su Huanli was shocked and confused by the sudden trouble. He did not expect the source of this trouble to be other restaurants.
“I was so angry that I became confused. Wu, forget about it.” Su Huanli sighed and patted the shoulders of the shopkeeper.
Though Shopkeeper Wu was sad, he politely said, “You were too serious.”
“From my point of view...” He Shi interjected, “There is no need to worry. People such as Mr. Zhou do not lack money, so they will not be bribed by other restaurants. So long as Miss Su performs normally tomorrow, she will surely win. Maybe our restaurant will gain more status.”
Speaking of this, He Shi laughed, “I haven’t tasted the Beggar’s Chicken cooked by Miss Su. I really want to taste it.”
Su Huanli was speechless and did not know what to say. Su Zipei, who was eavesdropping outside the door immediately turned overjoyed and shouted, “Daddy, what are you talking about?”
He Shi looked back and quickly saluted, “Miss Su. I thought you had already heard the news.”
“Yes!” Su Zipei nodded and her eyesight fell on her father with confidence, “Daddy, rest assured. I can manage it.”
She walked to Su Huanli and whispered, “I found the recipe in my sister’s room and practiced it in the kitchen all these days. It will be good.”
When Su Huanli heard her words, he was overjoyed. This was great news.
“Zipei, I am looking forward to your excellent performance tomorrow!”
“Yes, Daddy!” Su Zipei said sweetly but sneered in her heart.
“When I completely replace Su Erya, mother will get rid of her. Even her ashes will not be kept!” She thought.
The butler saw the scene and couldn’t help but worry.
Su Huanli sat in the carriage back to the Su Family. When he passed by the guarded Jinyuan Court, he stopped and got out. The butler who followed him was confused.
After returning to the study in the Main Courtyard, the butler could not help but ask, “Master, do you really believe the Third Miss? If she screwed up tomorrow...”
“How could she?” Su Huanli waved his hand and laughed loudly, “Zipei helped in the restaurant recently. And she got a detailed recipe for cooking Beggar’s Chicken and has already tried it. There is nothing to worry about.”
Li Yin heard it before, but he pretended to be surprise and said, “How can the Third Miss get the detailed recipe? Maybe...”
“Never mind. So long as she can solve the problem of the restaurant tomorrow, it won’t matter!” Su Huanli interrupted Li Yin and frowned, “Butler Li, as you are getting older, your doubts are getting more. Why do you have so many questions?”
Li Yin smiled and continued, “I don’t feel right recently. But the Second Miss...”
“That’s what I am going to say!”
Su Huanli knocked on the table and screamed: “The girl is behaving worse. Today, she wanted to sneak out and play. Because of her reading and writing, she didn’t cook any food this month. Cooking the Beggar’s Chicken may be unfamiliar to her. There is no sign of developing a new dish. She grew up and learned to cheat her father.”
Li Yin smiled, “The Second Miss gave her advice on the development of the Baiwei Building before. The profits of the restaurant rose a lot.”
“How dare you mention that?” Su Huanli was angrier, “It was her bad idea that made the restaurant fall into present situation!”
Su Huanli didn’t mention the agreement about Zongzi at all.
Li Yin gradually stopped his smile and no longer refuted him. Instead, he echoed, “You are right.”
Su Huanli’s breath also calmed down and said, “The reason that I asked Zipei to replace her was to warn her not to get carried away by her little talent. Instead of correcting her mistakes, she was more insatiable. I asked her to increase the amount of Beggar’s Chicken she cooked. But she refused, which made me so angry.”
Speaking of this, Su Huanli became elated, “I thought that this matter was messed up. I didn’t expect Zipei was so smart that she secretly learned this craftsmanship. She is really a good daughter! Butler, dispatch more guards to protect her. She can’t be hurt now. The guards near the Jinyuan Court can be withdrawn. There is no need to worry about her safety.”
Li Yin left with a blank expression. He didn’t stop until he walked out of the Main Courtyard. His hands and feet were very cold.
After a long while, Li Yin murmured with a sigh and left.
“Su Huanli, did you save my life due to your kindness that year?”
Jinyuan Court —
When Nanny Li helplessly saw the guards withdrawing, she could not help but talk to the Second Miss who was concentrating on calligraphy, “Miss, all the guards left.”
“I know, Nanny Li.” Su Erya did not stop writing and her eyes were focused and clear, “I’m not delicate. Let them go.”
Nanny Li sighed, “Miss, you really do not understand or pretend to be confused? I am really anxious.”
“Do not mention it again, Nanny Li. I asked you to find that brother and sister. How is it going?” Su Erya stopped writing and raised her head.
“What you said is Fang Yuan and Fang Ling. Right?” Nanny Li’s spirits rose. “I heard that Fang Yuan is the waiter of the Baiwei Building. But his sister is too young to be a waitress. Now they live in the South Street Alley.”
“South Street Alley?” Su Erya frowned slightly, “It seems that that place is not peaceful.”
Nanny Li nodded and became worried, “You know, that place is dirty and chaotic. The local ruffians and hooligans live there. How did Fang Yuan find the house? It is dangerous for his sister to live alone there.”
Su Erya gently nodded and no longer spoke.
It was not the first time for Nanny Li to see Su Erya behaving in this way. Immediately she softly left and quietly closed the door.
Next morning, the Baiwei Building was surrounded by large numbers of people. In this small town, there were few big events. Miss Su would cook Beggar’s Chicken in front of the public, which was undoubtedly explosive news and would attract half the population in the town to watch.
The government even had to dispatch constables to maintain order.
“The officers work really hard!”
The shopkeeper bowed and secretly bribed them with silver. Seeing what happened, Su Huanli was very sad in the room. This was the Su Family’s money. Zhu and Yang Families did not spend half a penny.
Su Huanli visited the Zhu and Yang Families last night, who were shrewd. They said, “They are all directed at your Su Family’s daughter. What is the relationship with us?” They didn’t intend to provide any help at all.
At this time, Su Zipei, who was well-dressed, came out of the house and pretended to be calm, “Daddy, I am ready. I can start at any time.”
Su Zipei looked at the large number of people outside and was excited.
Today was the day when she became famous!
After today, even if Su Erya stood out and said that the recipe was hers, no one would believe her!
“Master, Mr. Zhou and the chief cooks of other restaurants came.”
After a servant informed Su Huanli, he was suddenly nervous. He gently patted Zipei who was still immersed in joy and encouraged, “Go ahead, good daughter. Don’t let me down.”
Su Zipei firmly stepped into the lobby.
At this moment, the lobby had already been emptied, with only the table, stove and grill left for Su Zipei to cook. There were eight seats across the cooking bench. The person who sat in the middle was Mr. Zhou, the gourmet. The other seven people were the chief cooks of other restaurants in the nearby town.
There weren’t any seats behind the eight seats. Large numbers of common people came to watch. Some rich and powerful people occupied the best seats in the second floor, which helped Su Huanli make a fortune.
“The daughter of Su Family is beautiful.”
Seeing that Su Zipei was a little nervous but still calm, Mr. Zhou nodded slightly. It was not easy for her to have such performance at her age.
Su Zipei had prepared a speech. But because she experienced such a scene for the first time, she did not remember any words. Reluctantly, she could only cook. But in the eyes of others, such behavior was haughty.
Mr. Zhou frowned slightly but immediately stretched his eyebrows. It was normal that she was a little haughty considering she was such a young genius.
It was quite silent in the site. No one made any noises disturbing her. They didn’t want the Su Family to use it as an excuse. Su Zipei expertly handled the Beggar’s Chicken whose viscera had been removed. Gradually she forgot the existence of others.
Mr. Zhou looked at her and nodded frequently. But since he only knew how to eat instead of cooking, he didn’t understand what Su Zipei was doing clearly and didn’t see the puzzled face of other chief cooks.
He Shi watched Miss Su’s performance in the back and felt strange, “Although her craftsmanship is skillful, it is not consummate. Such a defect... Maybe Miss Su has a unique method. It is still too early to make an evaluation. Let’s wait and see.”
Su Zipei did not know that her defects were exposed and continued to follow the steps on the recipe to cook until the formed mud took shape. Su Huanli finally breathed a sigh of relief.
“Butler, what I said is right. Right? Zipei is as wonderful as Erya.”
Li Yin said nothing but sighed. Master, you only watched the cooking of the Third Miss but didn’t see that the chief cooks were becoming more and more doubtful.
Su Zipei fixed the formed mud on the grill, and the helpers immediately came over to put the charcoal brazier.
“The final step is the easiest one.” Su Zipei thought, with her eyes turning bright. And she gently held and shook the rocker of the formed mud.
In the kitchen, helpers usually used an oven to roast. In this way, much time could be saved, but the Beggar’s Chicken lacked the fragrance of charcoal. The entire process was reduced to four hours.
If the method on Su Erya’s recipe was used, however, the whole process took nearly six hours. The roasting would take four hours. Su Zipei believed that this was the difference between precious Beggar’s Chicken and the ordinary one.
“Turn it every hour.”
Su Zipei curled her lips slightly while watching the hourglass to count time and turned the Beggar’s Chicken. In order to conceal the recipe, she didn’t use charcoal to make Beggar’s Chicken before, but this way of roasting was so simple that surely she could do it for the first time!