Chapter 36 Avaricious
The Baiwei Building was still as prosperous as it had been yesterday. Su Zipei stayed in the restaurant for a day and didn’t find an excuse to go back until the 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. As long as she found the right timing, she could sneak in.
She carefully hid herself and covered herself up with flowers and plants. After less than half of five minutes, she ran quickly with her eyes flashing.
In the darkness, a young guard saw the scene and hesitated to ask, “Captain, won’t we stop? I saw the Third Miss…”
“Kid, only take charge of safety, and don’t involve in other things. Are you clear?”
The young guard touched his head and didn’t fully understand it but he did not jump out to stop the Third Miss’s way.
“It is so easy to come out. It seems that Erya is not valued by Dad as imagined. Slightly relaxing her nerves, Su Zipei crossed the cold and cheerless courtyard and arrived the study. She carefully poked the window paper and looked inside, only to find that nobody was there in the empty room.
Su Zipei felt happy and opened the door lightly.
There was a soft sound and the door was unlocked.
Su Zipei came in and tightly closed the door, with her heart thumping heavily. There was no time for her to look at the gorgeous study. She rummaged about on the bookshelf, only to find nothing.
“Nothing? It is impossible!”
Su Zipei was so anxious that she sweated, and her right hand accidentally touched the roll paper on the desk, which landed on the ground.
Su Zipei’s look changed slightly and immediately set off to 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 the lost thing 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.
Without footsteps heard 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 didn’t find it that a pair of eyes as dark as the night on the beam over her head were watching her from beginning to end. The eyes saw what happened clearly, and even the recipe fell on the ground on purpose.
On the early morning next day, Su Li got up on time and practiced for two hours. Afterwards she had the breakfast and stepped out from the gate of the Jinyuan Court. She happened to see Zipei pass by with dark circles of eyes. Both of them were stunned and didn’t expect to meet each other at this time.
“Are you going to the restaurant? It seemed that you didn’t sleep well. Is the work in the restaurant too hard for you?”
Su Li took the initiative to care for her younger sister. Her black eyes under long eyelashes were flawless, as pure and shiny as a jewel. It seemed that all her word was 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 at the moment?”
Su Li smiled lightly, “There are too many patients in the Doctor Qi’s Baicao Tang in the 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 you live up to mother’s expectations.”
“Humph, how can my mother be called by you bastard?”
Su Zipei muttered in an almost unheard voice. She was reluctant to listen to Su Li’s teaching like an adult and turned away.
Su Li stood still and smiled more, with her expression unchanged.
Summer days in the Dasu Town became quietlike a quiet stream.
Su Li 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.
Mammy 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 new dishes. If so for a long time…
There was an episode these days. Su Huanli came over to let Su Li 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 any longer. Even I didn’t cook…”
“Nonsense!” With his smiling face suddenly stiffening up, Su Huanli rebuked Su Li, “What do you know? Don’t involve in adults’ business. Don’t waste time and write the recipe!”
Su Huanli’s attitude was so worse, which was quite different from his intimacy with Su Li when he asked her to study a new dish a few days before.
Feeling aggrieved, Su Li 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.
Mammy Li could not see it and said, “Miss, the Master …”
Shaking her head slightly, Su Li slowly sat back in the chair with her hands in the jaw and looked out of the window, with her eyes seeming to have 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 also becomes 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 got the news and complimented him.
“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 was not from the family.”
Wrinkling his brows instantly, Su Huanli didn’t want the Zhu Family to intervene in the division of the profits at all, but he didn’t have any 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 took it over with a puzzled look, and when his eyes moved to the charming but a bit scratchy words, they could no longer move!
“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 incur ridicule. 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 to get a fake recipe.
“It’s true indeed. Someone can make dessert in such a clever way. Whoever who develops the recipe has reached a cooking level I can’t imagine.”
He Shi praised without reservation, “Is this recipe the latest study of the Third Miss? Miss Su is really talented!”
Su Huanli was red-faced with 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, “In this way, there is 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, and Baiwei Building has another bestseller.”
“Great! The taste is very unique. I still remembered it. I thought that there wasn’t the dish since the owner of the Baiwei Building had 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, there was Zongzi maintaining guests. Baiwei Building was incomparable in the 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 have 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 scene of Baiwei Building in the past. Unexpectedly, 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. 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 as usual, the shopkeeper planned to turn back to the room for a rest.
Just at the moment —
The porcelain plate fell on the brick surface. Fang Yuan stared at the 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 unearned reputation. It was totally a lie that guests scrambled for it! A dish of chicken sells 10 taels of silver. Why don’t you rob?”
The sudden outburst of remarks made the shopkeeper stand still. It had been too late for him to stop.