Chapter 18 – Zhao Jing’s secret

Editor: Xinghe

Proofreader: UM3

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Yanyan, Gu Sanshun and Xie Qing quickly started preparing under the camera. Xie Qing wasn’t bluffing when he said he could cook braised lion’s head meatballs. He walked around the ingredients rack several times and picked out a good quality hind leg meat.

Yu Shu noticed that he hadn’t stopped moving around and seemed to be looking for something, so he just stepped forward, “What are you looking for Xie Qing? The three of us are all idle, we can help you look for it.”

“There are no dough fritters1youtiao/fried dough sticks. Very oily..” As soon as he finished talking, before Yu Shu and the others could say anything, the filming crew raised their hands in advance, signalling that they hadn’t prepared that.

Seeing the director’s embarrassed expression, Xie Qing just smiled before saying, “It’s fine. I can make it now.”

Making fried dough sticks required the dough to be proofed first. When it was fermented successfully, the dough could be cut and thrown directly into hot oil. Xie Qing was very fast in doing so. After deep-frying the dough fritters, he set them aside for them to cool down. Later on, they could be cut up and eaten with the lion’s head meatballs. It would be much tastier.

The three food anchors were very serious in doing their tasks while the three MCs seemed to have nothing to do at the moment. Xie Ling was used to putting on airs and pretended to help Yanyan. But Yanyan, looking at the other party’s unfamiliar techniques and messy work on the cutting board, resisted the urge to tell Xie Ling to just go and sit down. Instead, he said in a tactful manner, “Does Ling-ge usually cook for himself?”

Before Xie Ling could answer, Yu Shu laughed, “You don’t know, Yanyan? Xie Ling is from a wealthy family. The kind of wealthy family with top chefs. Not to mention cooking the food himself, as long as he wanted to, he could even make the people feed him food.”

Yanyan said a few words, thinking ‘no wonder.’

Then he looked at Xie Ling with hopeful eyes.

It was a pity that Xie Ling’s attention was all on Yu Shu at the moment. Although Yu Shu was a great director, probably because of his young age, he treated people very nicely. Most of the teasing he did just now was not malicious.

Although many people knew that Xie Ling came from a not-so-simple family. But this was the first time an insider had taken the initiative to mention that it was a ‘not-so-simple family’ in front of the camera. There was no doubt that as soon as this episode was broadcasted, Xie Ling’s family background would definitely be the topic of discussion for the netizens. There would be all kinds of enthusiasm at that time.

He just gave a smile and said softly, “Fortunately, I had moved out when I went to college. My dad told me I needed to be independent.”

Yanyan couldn’t help but sigh on the inside while taking in a breath.

With such an appearance, he seemed to haven’t really turned independent.

Seeing that Xie Ling still didn’t have the self-knowledge to put down the kitchen knife, Yanyan could only give up on it.

On the other side, which was completely opposite to the excitement on this side, were Xie Qing and Zhao Jing. If Xie Qing was willing to look up at the moment, he would have found Zhao Jing looking at him with eyes full of shock and disbelief. He pursed his lips as he leaned onto one side. In front of him, Xie Qing was skillfully chopping up the fried dough sticks with a kitchen knife and mixing them into the pork.

Zhao Jing didn’t like cooking, nor did he have any interest in cooking.

But that day, he fell in love with a special person.

Maybe because he loved the house and its crows2love everything that comes with a person or maybe because he loved everything that person loved, Zhao Jing gradually developed an interest in cooking.

At that moment, Xie Qing’s current appearance caused the memories that he had deliberately buried in his mind to surge.

“You…” Zhao Jing suddenly opened his mouth. He saw that Xie Qing’s hand that was holding onto the knife, paused for a moment after hearing his voice. Then when the other party raised his head, their eyes met.

Those long and narrow eyes were as deep as a dark night. But they seemed to be dotted with countless stars which reminded Zhao Jing of the person in his memory at once.

He opened his mouth as some words that were not suitable for the camera came out, but he still continued to ask, “The friend that taught you how to make lion’s head meatballs, what was their name?”

“Mu Xinghai.” Xie Qing repeated softly, “His name is Mu Xinghai.”

The subsequent filming went along as usual, but only Xie Qing and Yu Shu who were sitting beside Zhao Jing noticed that there was something wrong with him. The man’s fingers that were on his legs twitched slightly. He closed his eyes as if he was desperately and deliberately trying to suppress a certain emotion.

Yu Shu felt a little worried for him, so he asked in a low voice, “Jing-ge, are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

Even so, these two words seemed to be squeezed out from between his teeth, which made those hearing him frown. Yu Shu’s gaze turned to Xie Qing at the same time. If he remembered correctly, Zhao Jing seemed to have turned like this after talking to Xie Qing alone.

He silently asked him, “What’s going on?”

The smile on Xie Qing’s face didn’t change as he just shook his head.

Seeing this, Yu Shu couldn’t do anything.

After the three dishes for the MCs were prepared. The next step was for them to bring the dishes to the MCs to taste and score. It was the same as before, the first to be judged was the braised pork belly. Opening the lid, the braised pork was full of colour and fragrance. The rich and deep colour was really eye-catching. Xie Ling placed a piece into his mouth, smiled and nodded.

“It’s really delicious. I really like the taste. I think I can eat this with three bowls of rice alone.”

Yu Shu and Zhao Jing also tasted it and everyone nodded, expressing that the braised pork was good.

Next came the skewers that were requested by Yu Shu. Although Gu Sanshun made it deliciously, surpassing many barbecue stalls, unfortunately, it was still different from Yu Shu’s memory. Yu Shu just said with a smile, “But it really is delicious. The taste is different but it seems to have brought me to the past. I think whether someone can recreate the skewers like the ones from my memory is just by pure luck. Chef Gu, don’t take it to heart.”

Gu Sanshun didn’t really mind.

Now, everyone’s attention was on Xie Qing.

Xie Ling, as one of the main people who experienced Zhao Jing’s temper and reaction from the first three rounds, could almost completely reproduce what Zhao Jing would say next. It was nothing more than: ‘I don’t think this is good. / Sorry, this is not the taste that I want. / Forget it.’

Every sentence would be a blow to the chef.

But it didn’t matter. If it were someone else, Xie Ling might still have a bit of sympathy for the person. But if the other party was Xie Qing, he wouldn’t mind if Zhao Jing said a few more nasty things. It would be better if Xie Qing was completely embarrassed on stage.

But the result was destined to disappoint Xie Ling.

For the first half, Zhao Jing was silent the whole time. He lowered his head to the point where even the camera couldn’t capture his expression at the moment. It could only be seen that he carefully put a small lion’s head meatball into his bowl and poured a bit of broth onto the lion’s head which was very fragrant. The familiar fragrance and taste that melted into his mouth immediately dragged Zhao Jing back into his memories.

That day, he had gone to participate in the film festival as usual. But he had accidentally slipped in the hotel. Once he opened his eyes again, he appeared in a strange place. He also had a new identity, Gu Ying, a singer.

Entering a new environment for the first time, no matter how calm Zhao Jing was, there was still a bit of panic and disbelief in his heart. It was also at that time that he met a new neighbour who moved in next door to him. As a first-meeting gift, the other party handed him a lot of snacks.

His name was Mu Xinghai.

He was a gourmet anchor who usually liked to cook and film videos at home.

Later, they became lovers.

The night before Zhao Jing returned, he had told Mu Xinghai that he was going to bring him to the seaside for a trip the next day as Mu Xinghai really wanted to see the sunrise by the sea. But when Zhao Jing woke up, he could no longer hug Mu Xinghai.

That night, the last thing he ate was the braised lion’s head meatballs made by Mu Xinghai.

The braised lion’s head meatballs made by Xie Qing were so similar to the ones made by Mu Xinghai that Zhao Jing felt that it was almost exactly the same.

During the time he came back, Zhao Jing felt confused at first and also wanted to locate Mu Xinghai like a lunatic. But reality was cruel after all. He had no choice but to seek comfort from other places. He went all over the restaurants in Beijing, but still couldn’t find a lion’s head meatball that tasted the same.

He had almost given up.

He really didn’t know why fate played a cruel joke on him.

Letting him find a person to love, but then making them part.

They didn’t even get a chance to say ‘goodbye’.

Zhao Jing silently ate the remaining lion’s head in his bowl and a tear silently fell into the bowl. But when he looked up once more, people could only see his red eyes. Gently putting his chopsticks aside, he looked into Xie Qing’s eyes and suddenly bent his lips.

“Thank you.”

The filming soon ended, but the atmosphere in the studio was stifling. It was so quiet that even the filming crew were careful in their actions, fearing that there would be a big shocking commotion.

Zhao Jing sat for a while without moving and the others naturally waited obediently until Zhao Jing’s expression went back to normal. It seemed that the reddened eyes that he showed ten minutes ago were just an illusion for Yu Shu and the others. He stood up from his chair and said in a low voice, “Shall we talk?”

These words were addressed to Xie Qing.

Of course, Xie Qing didn’t refuse.

The two quickly left the filming area. Looking at their backs, Yanyan hissed, discussing the matter in a low voice with Yu Shu who was also standing on the side, “The back view of the two looks so exciting.”

Yu Shu rolled his eyes when he heard those words, but gave out a meaningful smile, “I don’t know what’s the secret between these two.”

Yu Shu cooperated with Zhao Jing for three full episodes. The impression that Zhao Jing gave him in these three episodes was that of indifference. He wasn’t cold and it wasn’t like he looked down on anyone. It’s just that it seemed like he had lost interest in the whole world, so he also lost the idea of communicating with other people. At this moment, Yu Shu thought of what might have happened to Zhao Jing during these few years.

From the looks of it now, it seemed that it was Zhao Jing’s lover who was the cause of the matter.

It’s just unknown what kind of role Xie Qing played in it.

Yu Shu and the other two were excited, but Xie Ling’s face was extremely dark. His long-awaited scene of Xie Qing angering Zhao Jing didn’t appear. On the contrary, Zhao Jing’s indifferent expression from the previous three episodes changed. For the first time in history, he had shown a shocked look that was beyond words——

Xie Ling thought about the matter. He could guess how much discussion there would be about Zhao Jing and Xie Qing after this episode was broadcasted.

This was not what he wanted.

Xie Ling took a deep breath, trying to suppress the malice that he felt towards Xie Qing in his heart.

But at this time, Yu Shu asked him unintentionally, “Xie Ling, do you not like Xie Qing? I didn’t see you interacting with him at all.”

Yanyan looked over when he heard such words, asking in a strange tone, “Is there anyone who would dislike Xie Qing? He’s so good-looking and he even gave me a fried dough stick to fill my stomach just now. It was really delicious.”

Gu Sanshun nodded in agreement, “I had eaten it too. His craftsmanship is really good. He’s also excellent as a person.”

After the two answered his question, Yu Shu looked at Xie Ling with a smile that wasn’t a smile3something akin to a sarcastic smile.

He couldn’t help but laugh in his heart.

With such a ‘calm’ appearance that he’s showing, Xie Ling really was far behind Xie Qing. 

  • 1
    youtiao/fried dough sticks. Very oily.
  • 2
    love everything that comes with a person
  • 3
    something akin to a sarcastic smile


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4 thoughts on “Chapter 18 – Zhao Jing’s secret”

  1. Ohhh, what is this?!
    So much suspense!
    I kinda hope that it’s not our Qingqing, I feel really sorry about Zhao Jing, I wish he has a happy ending…

    Thank you for the update

    • Oho? Ohohoho? Suspense? Does it tickle you? Are you curious? Is it gonna be Qingqing? Is our Qingqing actually Mu Xinghai?
      Yea poor Zhao Jing didn’t get to say goodbye :c

      Thanks for reading~


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