Deliciousness and Orders
Chapter 113 - Deliciousness and Purchase Orders
“I have to hand it to you, causing trouble like this in the blink of an eye. I wouldn’t have known that you were in trouble if Xia Xue had not called me .” Long Bing rolled her eyes at Xia Lei as they walked out of the police station, a faint smile in the corners of her lips.
She’d been smiling more times the past two days than ever before.
Xia Xue spoke before Xia Lei could, “Big Sister Long, it’s not my brother’s fault, it’s mine… I shouldn’t have chided that girl.”
Long Bing stroked the top of Xia Xue’s head, “You - are too kind and naive. There are some people and matters which you cannot avoid no matter what you do.”
Xia Xue stuck her tongue out. It seemed like she and Long Bing were close.
“Xue, get in the car. I want to chat with your Big Sister Long,” said Xia Lei. Some things could not be said in front of Xia Xue.
“Okay.” Xia Xue complied obediently and got in the unmarked military SUV which Long Bing drove.
Xia Lei spoke only after Xia Xue had entered the car, “This incident was caused by Xu Lang. He got someone to hit my sister so he can set it up to land me in jail.”
Long Bing paused, “How do you know it was Xu Lang?”
“I happened to hear it when Wang Wei was making a phone call,” said Xia Lei. How he actually found out was through his X-ray vision and lip-reading but he could not tell her that.
Long Bing’s brows wrinkled, “Even if Xu Lang was trying to get you in trouble, how could you hit a girl into unconsciousness in a place like the Forbidden Palace?”
Xia Lei smiled wryly, “They can hurt me but not my sister. I can’t even bear to scold her at all, let alone slap her.”
Long Bing sighed, “Xia Xue is indeed a good girl and I really like her but it’s not good to coddle her like this. Think about it - someone else just slapped her and you lost control and beat the person into unconsciousness. If someone hurts Xia Xue again, will you kill that person?”
Xia Lei was silent. Though he said nothing, he had to admit that what Long Bing said made sense. Xu Lang had identified and made use of his weakness against him, employing dirty tactics to get him in trouble. If someone else made use of Xia Xue again to corner him and harmed Xia Xue even more, won’t he lose all reasoning then?
“It’s just Xu Lang and you became so reckless. This won’t do; you have to learn to control your emotions,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei nodded and smiled, “Is this your second lesson?”
“How can this be counted as a lesson?” Long Bing said, “I’m just reminding you. Let’s go back. You’re in charge of cooking and Xue and myself will take care of the eating.”
“Mn, back home to cooking.” Xia Lei assented.
Xia Lei and Long Bing looked embarrassed after he said that line. It was normal for Long Bing to say to go home because it was her home after all but it was weird when Xia Lei said ‘back home’. If Long Bing’s home was his home, wouldn’t that mean that he was Long Bing’s man?
Then again, this embarrassment was nothing compared to the ‘lesson’ Long Bing had taught him last night.
Wang Wei walked out of the police station as Long Bing was driving out. He watched the unmarked military vehicle move off into the distance before he took his phone out and called Xu Lang’s number.
“Hey, has it been settled?” Xu Lang’s voice came from the phone, sounding rather delighted.
Wang Wei couldn’t help clenching his teeth at Xu Lang’s voice and he replied angrily, “Xu Lang! Are you trying to ruin me? I treated you well so how could you do this to me? Huh?!”
The line was silent for a few seconds before Xu Lang spoke again, “Wang Wei, did you take the wrong medication? When did I try to ruin you? What good would that do for me? Tell me clearly what the hell is going on.”
Wang Wei retorted, “You got me to arrest someone and use his sister to force him to plead guilty, then this woman came and took him away. Do you know what that woman’s identity is? The National Security Agency!”
“What? The National Security Agency? How is the possible? That punk is just some brick-mover on construction sites - how can he know anyone from the National Security Agency?” Xu Lang was astonished.
“I saw her identification documents. Her name’s Long Bing and she’s a director!”
“Long Bing? So it’s her…” Xu Lang recalled the time when Xu Zheng-Wen had warned him to never cross that woman. He’d never imagined that Long Bing would use her status in the National Security Agency to pressure someone over a matter like this.
“Xu Lang, our relations end here. Don’t contact me again!” Wang Wei hung up without waiting for Xu Lang to say anything else.
Offend a director of the National Security Agency over old relations and favours? Wang Wei was not such a fool!
Long Bing parked in a spot marked ‘No. 57’ in a special little neighbourhood. Xia Lei and Xua Xue alighted, their arms full of bags from the supermarket. They looked the picture of a family - newlyweds and a bright little sister in happy harmony.
However, an uninvited guest cut into the perfect family picture.
The three of them spotted an elderly man waiting for them before they got into the rose-filled front yard - Mu Jiang-Feng.
Mu Jian-Feng did not come empty-handed. He had a gift basket of what looked like chocolate and cakes.
The thin and old-fashioned elderly man with a trendy basket of deliciousness also made a picture but it was neither harmonious nor perfect.
However, a visit from China Industrial Group’s CEO was still an event to feel honoured about, even if he brought a bundle of lettuce or garlic. Long Bing welcomed him, saying politely, “Elder Mu, what wind has blown you our way?”
“The summer wind,” chuckled Mu Jian-Feng.
This ‘summer wind’ referred to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei did not neglect to pay his respects and greeted him with a smile, “Elder Mu, you could have just called me. It should be me coming to pay you a visit. How could I trouble you to come to myself?”
Mu Jian-Feng looked at Xia Lei and said with some reproach, “Do you know where my home is, boy? What is this ‘pay me a visit’? You won’t come to my home unless I come to you, isn’t that right?”
Xia Lei was speechless.
Xia Xue stood next to Xia Lei and did a half-bow, smiling. She spoke in a clear voice, “Hello, Grandpa Mu. My name is Xia Xue. I am Xia Lei’s sister.”
Xia Xue was the most well-behaved after all.
Mu Jian-Feng chuckled, “Oh, not bad, not bad. You’re more lovable than your brother.”
Long Bing opened the door, “Please come in, Elder Mu. Let’s chat inside. You’ve come at the right time - I’ll get Xia Lei to cook and you can have a meal here.”
Mu Jian-Feng did not hold himself back either, “I’m here to freeload after all. I’ll have to eat since Xia Lei is cooking. But are the dishes he makes palatable?”
“You’ll have to wait and see,” smiled Long Bing.
“Huh, you talk as though he’s a pro. Are you a chef on top of being a machinist, Xia Lei? I don’t quite believe it,” said Mu Jian-Feng.
Xia Lei laughed, “Order whatever you’d like, Elder Mu. I’ll make it for you as long as there’s the ingredients for it.”
“Australian steak, pizza, sashimi,” he laughed and continued, “I’m not testing you; I’m just ordering three dishes.”
Xia Lei looked at the old fart, a bit at a loss for words. The three dishes he’d ordered had their origins continents apart and he still had the audacity to say that he wasn’t testing him?
Xia Xue pouted, “Grandpa Mu, you’re obviously testing my brother. I know his culinary skills - he can’t make these three dishes. Why don’t you pick three others? My brother’s best at making Mapo tofu. You’ll surely like it.”
Mu Jian-Feng laughed, “Ho ho, okay, then I’ll…”
Xia Lei, however, stopped Mu Jian-Feng, “No need to order something else. I can do it, Elder Mu. I can’t be a wet blanket, can I?”
“You said it yourself,” said Mu Jian-Feng, “If you can’t make authentic sashimi, pizza and Australian steak then I’ll only pay half the price of this purchase order.”
“And if I can make them?” Xia Lei looked confident.
“I can’t give you more remuneration but I can give you more of the normal purchase orders. Do you dare take this bet?” Mu Jian-Feng was sure he would win.
Xia Lei smiled, “Yes. We’re agreed, then.”
Long Bing blinked at Xia Lei and said, “Xia Lei, Elder Mu is a known gourmet in Jing-Du and was even a judge on a food show. Think this through carefully.”
She was telling Xia Lei to do it and do it well since he could not hide it if he couldn’t do it. Xia Lei nodded tacitly and headed for the kitchen.
He was not serious in learning culinary skills and the most he’d wanted was to make his dishes taste better but this bit of learning had plunged him into it and, coupled with the power of his left eye, resulted in numerous cuisines which he could prepare - even he did not know how many!
Xia Xue went to the kitchen to help Xia Lei as she had nothing to do. Long Bing and Mu Jian-Feng sat in the living room to chat.
‘Girl, can you see through this boy?’ was Mu Jian-Feng’s first sentence to Long Bing.
Long Bing shook her head gently, “I can’t. But he’s not a bad person. This I can guarantee.”
“Do you know why I came here today?”
Long Bing looked at Mu Jian-Feng, “You must be here for Xia Lei, Elder Mu.”
“I came to make him keep his promise,” said Mu Jian-Feng, “He promised me that he would go to Europe to examine high-precision lathes and come back to China to modify the local lathes to the same high standards as the European and American lathes after his company was set up.”
“You want him to go overseas?” Long Bing was surprised.
Mu Jian-Feng nodded, “This is an important matter; the higher-ups also attach great importance to it.”
“He will definitely go. He keeps his promises,” said Long Bing.
“You too,” said Mu Jian-Feng suddenly.
Long Bing paused, “Me? What does this matter have to do with me?”
“It is precisely because this is so important that we need a person like you to escort him. He will be much safer with you by his side and our chance of completing the mission will also go up significantly,” said Mu Jian-Feng.
“Have you talked this over with Boss Shi?”
Mu Jian-Feng laughed, “Would I dare borrow his trusted lieutenant if I hadn’t? He’d surely worry at me with that temper of his.”
“Since that’s the case, I’ll accept this mission,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei walked out of the kitchen in under forty minutes, holding aloft a plate of steak and a pizza. Xia Xue followed with a plate of raw fish slices and seasoning. Xia Lei looked calm while Xia Xue was fairly excited. She’d found out that her brother had become a kitchen god.
“Oh, you really made them. Amazing, boy! But we still don’t know if it’s authentic.” Mu Jian-Feng got up from the sofa, eager to try the dishes.
Long Bing also moved closer to watch the fun.
Xia Lei and Xia Xue put the dishes on the table and set the table with chopsticks, knives and forks.
Mu Jian-Feng used the chopsticks first to pick up a piece of sashimi and dip it into the seasoning before putting it into his mouth and chewing it slowly. His brows wrinkled, just a tiny bit, and his expression turned grave.
“Grandpa Mu, how is the food my brother made?” asked Xia Xue anxiously.
Mu Jian-Feng did not speak. He shook his head, put the chopsticks down and picked up a knife and fork to cut himself a small piece of steak. He chewed, and soon his brows wrinkled again.
“Grandpa Mu, I’ve tried this steak. It’s delicious, isn’t it?” said Xia Xue worriedly.
Mu Jian-Feng stayed silent but his expression grew graver still and he looked rather displeased. He then cut a small piece of pizza and chewed.
Xia Xue did not ask questions this time and said, “Grandpa Mu must have a refined palate and you’ll say that the dishes lack authenticity.”
Mu Jian-Feng laughed at that, “You, little girl, are not a roundworm in my belly so how can you tell what I’m thinking?”
“I knew it,” said Xia Xue petulantly.
Mu Jian-Feng smiled, “The taste is authentic and I have no complaints! Odd - authentic Italian pizza, Australian steak and sashimi from a kitchen like this? Boy, why did you switch to machining?”
This line was a simple confirmation of Xia Lei’s culinary skills.
Xia Lei also smiled, “I did it, Elder Mu. You have to give my company more normal purchase orders now.”
“I keep my word and pay my debts,” said Mu Jian-Feng, “And there’s something else I want to talk to you about.”
“I know, it’s about going overseas, isn’t it? You have to give me two days to prepare before I leave,” said Xia Lei.
Mu Jian-Feng looked at Xia Lei in surprise, “How did you know?”
Xia Lei shrugged, “I guessed it when I saw you waiting outside the door.”
Mu Jian-Feng pointed his finger at Xia Lei and waved it a little but said nothing.
Long Bing interrupted them at that moment, saying, “Three dishes are not enough. I’ll order two more. I want English mashed potatoes and Persian roast lamb.”
Xia Lei was speechless.