VH: Chapter 10

The driver saw that this woman knew Li Zhao and hesitantly slowed down the speed. Still, he didn’t stop and waited for Yan Ting’s gesture.

“Stop the car.” Yan Ting opened his mouth in an expressionless manner. He was reaching for the white gloves placed next to him and suddenly paused for a moment. He turned to look at Li Zhao sitting next to him and retracted his hand.

Li Zhao looked at the warmly smiling Yao Shasha and subconsciously shifted closer to Yan Ting. Then he realized that he might be a bit rude to her and quickly returned to his seat, speaking through the half-open window. “Sister Shasha, what happened?”

“My car has a problem and I don’t know how to fix it.” Yao Shasha gave Li Zhao a sorry smile. “I have a job this afternoon. Can I trouble you to give me a ride?”

Sending her was equal to not being able to eat hot pot with Yan Ting = coupon couldn’t be used = wasted money = letting Yan Ting wait for so long. Countless thoughts appeared in Li Zhao’s mind and then he looked at Yao Shasha with a sorry and helpless expression. “Sorry, Sister Shasha. I have a very important thing at noon and can’t send you. I have the phone number of the organizer’s staff here. Should I ask them to come and help you arrange a vehicle?”

Originally, he wanted to help Yao Shasha call an app-based driver. Then he thought about how the money would be taken from his account. He was so poor he had to forget there was this choice.

“How can I trouble you?” Yao Shasha’s expression was stiff for a moment before she suddenly leaned over, as if to get closer to Li Zhao in the car. Li Zhao moved back. “Sister Shasha, what else do you want?”

“It’s fine.” Yao Shasha looked hatefully at the 10 metres distance between her and Li Zhao and her face became expressionless. “Two days later, we are going to Xiangguo Broadcasting Station to record a program. I look forward to seeing you then.”

Li Zhao quickly waved. “Goodbye!” Then he couldn’t wait to close the door and his body leaned back in the chair like he had escaped a calamity.

Yan Ting asked, “Is she your friend from the set?”

“A friend doesn’t count. At most… a colleague.” It wasn’t good to speak ill of girls in front of the same sex. Li Zhao placed a peeled orange into his mouth, eating a few to get rid of the shock.

When he first entered the crew, Yao Shasha was quite satisfied with his face. One night, she knocked on his door in her pyjamas and with loose hair. He was so scared that he thought the hotel was haunted and refused to open the door.

Since then, Yao Shasha no longer looked at him. The rest of the crew laughed when seeing Li Zhao but Li Zhao thought it was good that she ignored him. After all, who wanted to be friends with an actor who knocked on the door in the middle of the night to scare people?

Yao Shasha looked at the car that couldn’t wait to leave and couldn’t help whispering, “I don’t understand the feelings of this poor ghost. He is a single dog who will live a lifetime without finding a woman!”

The assistant saw Yao Shasha’s face and whispered a few words in her ear. Yao Shasha’s expression slowly eased.

Li Zhao stood ten steps away from the hot pot store and said, “It is a bit wrong.”

He looked at the empty store and spoke to Yan Ting, “I heard that this store’s business is very good and there is a long line at every mealtime. Why is there no one here today?”

“Aren’t they doing business today? He turned his eyes to Yan Ting who specifically came to pick him up. He couldn’t let his friend waste a trip so he went to the door and spoke to a smiling waiter. “Hello, are you still open today?”

“Business is as usual today. Please go inside.” The waiter’s smile became warmer. “Please come with me.”

Li Zhao waved to Yan Ting and entered the store with him.

“Welcome.” The waiter cleaning the table got up and smiled gently at them. This made people feel warm and not embarrassed.

The entire lobby didn’t have any guests. The waiters smiled and greeted them, the service attitude comparable to the top hotel. How could the service attitude be so good? He secretly pulled at Yan Ting’s sleeve and whispered. “Did this store change owners? Why are there no guests?”

Then his coupons couldn’t be used?

He just finished speaking when a few guests opened the door and came in. They laughed naturally and one of them asked if a coupon could be used. The waiter answered that coupons could be used normally.

Li Zhao calmed down.

There were no other guests in the store and the waiter led them to a room. “The two of you are the first guests after the launch of the service attitude upgrade plan. Therefore, we have specifically arranged a luxury room for you. We will also give you a few of the freshest dishes. I wish you a happy meal.”

Was there such a good thing? Li Zhao’s luck hadn’t been good since childhood and he got the illusion that it was starting to change.

Thinking about it, he turned to look at Yan Ting. Since the last time he helped Yan Ting, his online drama suddenly became popular and he could even meet such a big bargain when eating out. Was this… the legendary extremely lucky person’s air?

“Ting Ting…” Li Zhao reached for Yan Ting’s shoulder. “Is your usual financial luck particularly good?”

“Ah?” Yan Ting didn’t push off the hand on his shoulder or care about Li Zhao’s strange name for him. He picked up the electronic ordering device and selected dishes on it. “Why are you asking?”

“I’ve been poor for 20 years. Then after I met you, I suddenly saw the light of money.” Li Zhao enthusiastically spoke. “Isn’t this the good future that you brought me?”

“Good luck? Yan Ting’s actions slightly slowed down and he looked at Li Zhao with slightly strange eyes. “Do you think I brought you good luck?”

“It must be.” Li Zhao patted Yan Ting’s arm and dragged his stool to Yan Ting’s side. He was in a very happy mood. “At the end of last year, Brother Xiaoyuan spent 50 yuan to find someone to help calculate my life. The fortune teller said that I had a bad fortune in my previous 20 years of living but as long as I don’t give up on my destiny, I can meet a noble person and never have to worry about eating and drinking again.  I think that person is you.”

“Noble…” Yan Ting stuffed some utensils into Li Zhao’s hands. “Don’t be superstitious.”

“It isn’t superstition. It is the mystery of metaphysics.” Li Zhao took back his hand from Yan Ting and looked at the list. “Why are you ordering so few things? There isn’t even duck blood or tripe. Is there something you can’t eat?”

“No.” Yan Ting held a white porcelain teacup and drank a mouthful of tea.

“Then leave the ordering to me.” Li Zhao expertly placed the dishes. He was worried that Yan Ting couldn’t eat spicy food and specifically ordered a mildly spicy pot. “I’m a hot pot expert.”

The waiters served the food at an alarmingly fast rate. Every dish was so fresh that Li Zhao suspected they picked the meat and vegetables on the spot to achieve this freshness.

“Sir, these are the food we have given you. In addition, there is a membership discount card.” The waiter handed the card to Li Zhao. “In the future, you will enjoy a 30% discount as long as you bring your friends here to eat.”

“Thank you.” Li Zhao took the membership discount card while raising his eyebrows at Yan Ting, his heart screaming loudly, ‘Yan Ting, you are truly my noble person!’

Li Zhao’s eyes were too straight and it could be seen what he was thinking with one glance. The hot pot soup was boiled and made loud noises. He grabbed lettuce leaves to put them in the pot.

“Wait, lettuce can’t be put in first.” Li Zhao held his hand. “Letting the food enter our stomach at the most appropriate time is our greatest respect for it.”

Looking down at his hand held by Li Zhao, Yan Ting put the piece of lettuce teetering on his chopsticks back on the plate. “Okay.”

“A few slices of beef can be put in first but they can’t be cooked for too long. It will affect the taste.” Li Zhao poured the ingredients into the pot and fished them up according to experience. He placed them into Yan Ting’s bowl with his chopsticks.

“Do you like garlic?” He glanced at Yan Ting’s oil dip, which contained nothing but oil.

“It’s okay.”

“Then try to add some garlic to the oil dish. No garlic in the oil will make hot pot lose its soul.” He put the bowl of garlic in front of Yan Ting. “Do you need me to add some?”

Yan Ting placed a bit into his bowl with a small spoon. He turned around to see Li Zhao still staring at the bowl of garlic oil and added another small spoon. Subconsciously, in front of Li Zhao’s sparkling eyes, he added garlic, green onion, chopped peanuts, oil and vinegar. The only thing he didn’t compromise on was coriander.

The tender beef was rolled 360 degrees in the oil dish and placed into his mouth, the fragrance filling all his taste buds.

“It’s delicious.” Li Zhao almost suspected that he had eaten fake beef previously. It was because today’s meat was too tasty. He sneakily looked at the price of the beef. It was so cheap that he suspected there was a mine in the owner’s house who was acting willfully.

“It’s hot, come and try it.” Li Zhao gave Yan Ting a piece of duck intestine. He saw Yan Ting biting a small section of the duck intestine and couldn’t help laughing. “Ting Ting, it seems you really don’t eat hot pot often. It is so fun to eat duck intestines like this.”

The duck intestine was moved through the oil dish for a few seconds and a variety of seasonings placed on top before placing it in his mouth. This type of crisp texture could perfectly please the tongue.

Yan Ting found that every dish could look strangely delicious when it came to Li Zhao. He learned from Li Zhao and put the whole duck intestine into his mouth. In fact, it wasn’t very delicious but facing Li Zhao’s eyes, he slowly swallowed the duck intestine. He wiped the corners of his mouth with a paper towel and slowly nodded. “Good.”

“Hehehe.” Li Zhao laughed and his serving actions became more flexible. He didn’t let the waiter intervene in the process and finally, the waiter simply left, leaving the space to them. After he finished eating, Li Zhao kindly cooked some vegetables and shared them with Yan Ting.

“Once you are full, you must eat a few vegetables before you can complete the ritual of eating hot pot.” Li Zhao spoke nonsense. “Can you guess why?”

Yan Ting cooperated with him. “Why?”

“It is because you are telling your brain that today’s meal is healthy since it has vegetables. Then the body won’t become fat.” Li Zhao rolled up his sleeves and showed his arms. “Look, this is the secret behind why I’m not fat.”

Yan Ting was silent for a few seconds. “Don’t be superstitious.”

“It is metaphysics.” Li Zhao still insisted.

As Li Zhao and Yan Ting were enjoying hot pot, Zhang Xiaoyuan sent a post on a Weibo account with only a few zombie fans.

Brother Xiaoyuan: My child is really naive. He met a female artist in the same crew whose car broke down. He didn’t send her back and only knew how to call for help. I asked him why and he said he was afraid people would misunderstand his female colleague. What does a fart kid who just turned 20 know? Who would misunderstand his relationship with his female colleague? Today, I am a broken-hearted agent over my low EQ artist.

The account was registered a few days ago so none of the fans knew that it was the Zhang Xiaoyuan they asked to leave the entertainment industry alone.


The author has something to say:

Zhao Zhao: Come on, let me teach you the correct ritual for eating hot pot.

The expressionless Yan Ting: ……

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