After four hours of roasting, everyone dozed off and even Su Huanli fell asleep with peace of mind. Only the seven chief cooks and He Shi who stood at the back of the kitchen still had a fixed gaze.
He Shi’s face was extremely terrible looking, as a sense of deception and embarrassment filled his heart. He even began to doubt whether his original decision to change jobs was right or not.
Fang Yuan knocked on gongs and drums, and everyone woke up immediately. Su Zipei struggled to lift the grill and removed the roasted Beggar’s Chicken from the grill on a plate.
“I’m done!” Showing a lovely smile, Su Zipei’s clear voice resounded through the site, “Have a taste, seniors.”
Mr. Zhou rubbed his eyes and saw that the color of the soil ball was darker than the usual dish the restaurant served. His eyes quickly brightened up, “Be Quick. Give it to everyone!”
“Go ahead right now!” The shopkeeper urged Fang Yuan while pointing to him. Among the waiters, he was the best at knocking mud shells.
Going forward with a cold look, Fang Yuan picked up the hammer on the table and glanced at Su Zipei, who was looking at him contemptuously and was full of confidence and then knocked it with the hammer in hand.
The mud shell split flat into two halves from the middle. The crowd, who watched the scene of bustle, burst out applause. The elder butler standing next to his master shrank his cloudy pupils slightly, with his eyes flashing.
“The fragrance is right. This is Beggar’s Chicken! It seems more fragrant!”
“It smells good. I want to eat!”
While people watching the scene of bustle swallowed saliva, dishes of chicken sliced were placed in front of the eight judges. Mr. Zhou took a big bite eagerly, and the other seven cut off small pieces and placed them in the mouth respectively.
Soon, Mr. Zhou’s face changed. Su Huanli thought that he was going to utter words of praise, but instantly he opened his mouth and spat out all the chicken he had eaten.
“Pah! What’s with this tough meat? This is not Beggar’s Chicken!” Mr. Zhou was so angry that he shouted, “Master Su, I need an explanation.”
The other seven chief cooks put down their chopsticks and commented one after another,
“Chicken is raw and not roasted well.”
“Chicken is half-cooked. The skill of roasting is too bad!”
“The skill in handling the chicken is very skilled but not consummate.”
“There are a lot of new ingredients in it, but the mixture is not perfect. The girl’s cooking skill is only at a rudimentary level, spoiling such a good recipe.”
Every time the seven chief cooks uttered a word, Su Zipei’s face turned paler until she finally lost her redness of the skin and sat still looking extremely embarrassed.
“No…It’s impossible. I did cook it according to the recipe. I did... personally steal the recipe from her room!”
Fang Yuan, standing next to her, trembled his ears and flashed his eyes.
Sure enough, the real cooking genius was not her. Then...
“Impossible! How couldn’t I surpass her?” Su Zipei suddenly stood up and screamed, sprinkling the ingredients on the table crazily. Her soft hair was in a mess instantly, and the smooth dress was full of folds. It was too ugly to be seen.
“I am the best! I am the best!”
The silence was frightening in the site. Su Zipei was the only one who was shouting, and Su Huanli was at a loss to do something. The elder butler quickly came closer, knocked the Third Miss senseless, and took her away.
Everyone fell silent—they didn’t know what to say.
At this time, a ruffian picked up the chicken falling on the ground and stuffed it into mouth. He hummed, “Well, it tastes good! But the chicken is not well cooked. My wife can make a better dish. Is she a genius? Ha ha ha…”
Everyone burst into laughter, and Su Huanli’s aging face was almost bleeding due to embarrassment. After today, the Su Family would be the biggest joke in the Dasu Town. The restaurant couldn’t recover from this setback. Even Zhu and Yang Families could extort a large sum of money from him with this as an excuse.
At the thought of the future, Su Huanli felt his eyes darken and he almost fainted.
“Master, what’s most urgent is to let the Second Miss come.”
Li Yin reminded Su Huanli, who was suddenly enlightened.
Yes, I have Erya!
“Butler, quickly pick up Erya. I am about to appease Mr. Zhou.”
After finishing what he said, he glanced at Su Zipei, who had fainted and gritted teeth with hatred, “Bitch! Take her back to her mother and don’t let me see her in the future!”
Li Yin took a careful look at his Master and left.
Su Huanli did not have time to think about the meaning of the look. He pulled himself together and walked into the lobby with an air of anger. Seeing him go out, the crowd who felt deeply cheated flocked to him. The man who looked honest yesterday stood up and sneered,
“Master Su, what do you have to say now?”
Mr. Zhou shook his head, “Master Su, I did’t expect you to be such a person. I will not come to your restaurant for a meal any more in the future. This will be a lifelong shame for me.”
“Business needs to be done based on integrity. Master Su, go back to school to read books for a few years!”
The rest restaurant owners uttered meaner and meaner words one by one.
Su Huanli stretched and pressed his hands with a complex look, “Ladies and gentlemen, I didn’t expect Zipei would deceive me. I’m so sorry to deceive you all. In fact, I have another daughter. Zipei has an elder sister. Previously, Zipei cooked with her sister’s recipe. I didn’t expect her to deceive her relatives for her reputation.”
At the crucial moment, Su Huanli did not hesitate to betray his daughter.
Instantly, the restaurant fell into silence. Unexpectedly, there was such a turning point in this situation.
“I remember it! A daughter of the Su Family stole the treasure of her family last year to recommend Master Yang, only to find that previous investment of the Su Family was in vain. Right?”
Some people in the crowd were suddenly enlightened. After the reminder, many people remembered what had happened.
“I remember it. But wasn’t she driven out from the Su Family? How...”
“Why do the daughters of the Su Family do things so secretly? It’s really...”
Some women could not help talking about it. Fang Yuan was uncomfortable hearing what they said. He didn’t believe Su Erya would do that.
Su Huanli shook his head helplessly and spoke aloud, “Quiet. Let me explain. First, these are family scandals which should not be publicized. However, now that Zipei has shown her bad character, I can’t help her hide it. In fact, Zipei was the thief last year. Later, she shifted blame onto her Second Sister and let me make a regretful decision.”
This explains the matter!
The crowd was in an uproar. The honest man was caught unawares by Su Huanli’s sudden self-disclosure and did not know what to say. Fang Yuan said nothing, with his mouth slightly curling.
“Master Su, I am not a meddler. But how can you cover up Su Zipei’s misconduct instead of telling the truth? What a terrible situation you put the other daughter in!”
Mr. Zhou censured Su Huanli loudly, making the latter ashamed, “Yes, you’re so right. I told the butler to let the other daughter come. You will see her at once. How about having a new evaluation?”
Mr. Zhou meditated for a moment. He nodded his head and said, “It’s all right, but the other seven are busy. I don’t know if they can wait a few more hours.”
The chief cooks who came to make trouble shook their heads and said, “It doesn’t matter. We also want to see the real cooking genius of the Su Family.”
“Speaking of this,” He Shi appeared suddenly, “Master, I don’t know the name of the Second Miss..”
“Yeah. The Third Miss is called Su Zipei. Presumably, the name of Second Miss is not bad. Right?”
Su Huanli was dumbfounded instantly. How would he pronounce the name Su Erya?
“Master Su, why don’t you speak?”
Su Huanli’s face was red, and when he was trying to pronounce “Su Erya”, he heard a clear and melodious voice coming from the kitchen like a singing oriole.
Walking into the lobby calmly, Su Erya said in a graceful manner, “I am Su Li. Su is the surname of the Su Family and Li comes from the phrase linli (meaning “free from inhibitions”). I come to pay respects to seniors in the chief industry.”
Fang Yuan gawked at the girl in a white dress. She was the same as before with a pure smile. The young man was as happy as a lark.
It turned out that you were Su Li.
Su Li wore a simple dress. It was not as luxurious as Su Zipei’s, but every inch of her face and figure was perfect. She was like a lotus flower just rising from under water, revealing an air of dignity naturally; she was like a pavilion in the moon, which was cold and untouchable.
“What virtue did Su Huanli accumulate in his last life? How can he have a daughter like a fairy?”
Everyone simultaneously developed this thought and forgot all the scandals of the Su Family before, leaving only Su Li’s figure in their eyes. Even middle-aged women were so jealous they never mentioned Su Zipei again.
Su Li’s eyes were wearing a smile and asked aloud, “I don’t know if the eight seniors want to accompany me in making the precious Beggar’s Chicken?”
Mr. Zhou immediately came to his sense and laughed to hide his embarrassment, “Sure, Miss Su, please. We’ll just sit back here.”
Then he returned to his seat, with a somewhat awkward movement.
“Daddy, the butler told me what happened. Leave it to me.” Su Li said gently and then turned around and ordered helpers to prepare ingredients again.
Seeing Su Li comfort him without blame, Su Huanli was moved to tears, saying, “Erya, I was wrong. If you can save the restaurant, it will be handed over to you, and I won’t have any comments.”
Su Li didn’t show any excitement but said urgently, “Daddy, what are you talking about? The restaurant belongs to the Su Family. It doesn’t matter who manages it. Only if you don’t blame me for changing my name.”
“Never.” Su Huanli wiped tears and said, “If you didn’t think of a good name for a short time, I was making a fool of myself again.”
“I believe you will be able to create a better name if given some time.” Su Li squinted and laughed. Su Huanli quickly waved his hand and refused, “It’s impossible. Your name has been pronounced, so it cannot be changed any more. Your name is Su Li from now on. It’s much better than Su Erya.”
“OK, Daddy.” Su Li nodded lovably. Su Huanli felt relieved and sat back in his original position.