Happy Lunar New year!! Thank you for your well wishes for Christmas and new year’s and the lunar new year!! I’m not used to having wishes, but I hope you get to eat many delicious foods and snacks and home cooked foods and then be able to diet successfully after!!
Word count: 3650
Lin Ke Song’s sense of taste
But just as she was about to tiptoe, she exhaled.
And the serviette flew up.
Lin Ke Song was frantic to death, and was about to inhale the serviette back, but something warm pressed down on it.
When the skin touched, she could feel the other party’s gentle breath, it seemed to carry deep sentiment, it was an illusion of Lin Ke Song’s lips being carried away by the other party.
Her breath entered the other party’s lips, she had never felt so sensitive before, it was like even the wrinkles of the other party’s lips were pressed into her lips.
She opened her eyes wide, and what she saw was Jiang Qian Fan’s drooping lashes, so close, like it was going to touch her eyeballs.
It was obviously a short time, but Lin Ke Song had the illusion of feeling preciously cherished.
He left her lips, straightened up, using a voice that was slightly cool as always but like flowing water and asked: “where’s the serviette?”
That poor serviette had fallen to the floor long ago.
The surrounding people laughed.
Lin Ke Song only felt that this world was rotating, and she couldn’t figure out who was who.
Until someone’s palm held her from behind.
Lin Ke Song turned around to see that it was Song Yi Ran’s face.
His eyes held a certain strength, suddenly falling from a place ten thousands of metres up in the sky, about to crush her.
“Hahaha! Didn’t think that the thing I wanted to see the most has finally happened la!”
Montgomery was very happy.
Mrs Bell then looked at the phone and said: “there are less than 20 seconds left!”
“Hurry! Hurry pick it up!”
“There’s still a chance! Hurry!”
Many shouts from the surrounding people passed Lin Ke Song’s ear.
Her unrestrained mentality returned, and hurriedly picked the serviette off the ground and put it on her face.
The awkward incident had already happened, even if there’s any disagreement, it’d have to wait until after the game is finished.
Lin Ke Song grabbed Jiang Qian Fan’s tie, stood on tiptoes, before the both of them did any form of touching, she puffed out a breath of air, and stuck the serviette onto Jiang Qian Fan’s face.
She released him, and watched him leisurely pass the serviette to Mrs Smith on the other side.
No anger could be seen from his expression, not even a frown could be seen.
Lin Ke Song’s heart was like a rapidly spinning gyro, and was also like a rocket debris that was descending to the ground, everything out of her control.
The serviette was smoothly passed to the last person, Mrs Bell recited the timing.
Everyone suddenly started cheering!
Applause, and continuous laughter.
But Lin KE Song was still confused.
She kissed Jiang Qian Fan……
Not right! It should be Jiang Qian Fan kissed her!
Why didn’t he have any reaction?
Later Lin Ke Song realised another problem…… this seemed to be the first kiss of her life……
Even though she didn’t not have any first kiss complex, but the problem was that the person was Jiang Qian Fan ah!
She still had to interact day and night with him for 2 plus months more ah!
Lin Ke Song didn’t even dare to look at Jiang Qian Fan now. So awkward…… if it was misunderstood that she purposely blew the serviette away, even if she jumped into the Atlantic Ocean it wouldn’t be washed clean ah!
Her gaze accidentally met Iris’. Even if Iris was trying to restrain herself, talking and laughing with the surrounding people, her gaze obviously held resentment and ridicule towards Lin Ke Song.
Lin Ke Song inhaled.
“Ke Song, Lin Ke Song!”
Song Yi Ran’s voice sounded, Lin Ke Song lifted her head: “Ah? what’s happened?”
“Montgomery is proposing to Mrs Bell.”
Lin Ke Song lifted her head, and only then realised that Montgomery was already kneeling on one knee in front of Mrs Bell.
“We’re not young anymore, Monica. Maybe tomorrow, I’d lie in bed and not open my eyes anymore. I don’t have an ambitious heart towards work, and have no more heart to notice those pretty young ladies…… my grandson too has no more need for my shade. On this earth, there is nothing else that needs me to expend thought to engage, to expend energy to pursue. But only you…… Monica…… I wish to use the rest of my days to spend it with you…… as a husband, to hold your hand, and walk through streets, with people throwing envious glances at us. I will make the most delicious foods on earth for you, to let you be full of anticipation each day…… let our remaining days be delicious……”
The whole site was a plane of silence, everyone’s attention was on Monica.
Mrs Bell laughed. She, in fact, was not as pretty as the youth of the young ladies, but she had an elegant charisma shaped by time. She knew clearly what she needed, and knew even better what apart from reputation was more worth her cherishing.
“beloved Montgomery, I think I will still live for a very long time, so I don’t wish to used my time to long for another. If I agree to your proposal, I have only one condition, which is that you must live longer than me.”
Everyone turned towards Montgomery.
He inhaled deeply and replied very solemnly: “then from today onwards, I will strictly control my diet, and exercise no matter the weather! The first step would be to be at our wedding where everyone wouldn’t be able to see my belly! I will spend every day with you healthily!”
When Montgomery’s big tummy was brought up, everyone couldn’t help but laugh.
“I do.” Mrs Bell too endured her laughter to reach her hand out towards Montgomery.
They hugged each other tightly, the applause lasted for a long time.
Lin Ke Song looked at them, and was suddenly envious.
“are you envious?” Song Yi Ran asked softly.
“Yeah. I wish for someone, to never leave my side as we grow old.” Lin Ke Song exhaled.
“You too will have one.”
Song Yi Ran’s voice was drowned in the cheers of the people, Lin Ke Song only remembered that the laughter in his eyes, was deep and far away.
When everyone raised a glass towards Montgomery and Mrs Bell in celebration, Montgomery started smiling evilly.
“Just now, during the game, there were two who had let the serviette drop……”
Everyone’s eyes gazes moved towards Bruce and Lin Ke Song, they showed regret and sympathy, making Lin Ke Song get uneasy unknowingly.
“So these two people have to properly taste my devil’s juice!”
Right ah! there was still some punishment to come! Was too engrossed in the game before, Lin Ke Song had forgotten about this!
“wait, where has Bruce gone?” Mrs Bell was searching through the guests, and actually could not find a trace of Bruce.
At this time, Song Yi Ran suddenly shouted: “He’s running away! Underneath the desserts table!”
Everyone suddenly flocked over, to grab Bruce back.
“Song —— I’m your friend! How could you betray a friend!” Bruce’s voice sounded mournful and pitiful.
“Because I can’t bear for Ke Song to suffer the punishment alone ma!” Song Yi Ran grabbed his pocket, and fluttered his lashes to the other party.
Lin Ke Song lifted a corner of her mouth and looked at Song Yi Ran with disgust: obviously this rascal wanted the both of them to undergo the forfeit! Otherwise why didn’t he remind her to run away as quick as possible!
Montgomery happily brought out 2 glasses of black liquid with green floaty bits in them, and purposely said to Bruce: “my dearest grandson, you don’t have to worry about not holding it steadily and dropping it on the floor, because I’ve made a whole big bucket’s worth!”
Bruce looked at the cup of stuff and leaked an expression of terror.
“Ke Song, you come over too!” Montgomery waved at her, “don’t worry, this drink isn’t anything much, and it’s really good for your body oh!”
Lin Ke Song looked suspiciously at Bruce on the other side, and Bruce repeatedly gagged, like he was about to puke.
“Actually its really easy to drink this devil’s drink in one breath.”
Montgomery was saying, but the guests’ expressions were not unanimous with his words. To the point that when he swung the glass, everyone stepped half a step back in unison.
This made Lin Ke Song be on sudden vigilance. No matter how harmless Montgomery made it sound, she never stopped building herself up mentally. This power of this cup of juice is definitely far beyond the weird tasting soup she made during the auditions!
But Lin Ke Song was fully confident, that no matter how bad it was, it was only an eyes closed one breath thing!
In the past, she managed to stomach all those hard to drink Chinese medicines, could Montgomery’s drink even be worse than that? It must be because these foreigners have never consumed Chinese medicine, and have a low threshold!
“So I have decided to increase the difficulty.” Montgomery had a full face of happiness, like he totally did not care that Bruce was his son, “if the person who accepts this punishment is able to taste what all the ingredients are in this drink, then they don’t have to drink that big cup!”
That big cup, which big cup?
Everyone suspiciously followed Montgomery’s finger and looked in the direction he was pointing, and only saw that Mrs Bell was actually carrying a beer mug that had to be at least 1 litre out.
The inky black liquid had a kind of gloomy feeling under the sunlight.
Everyone gasped, and even Lin Ke Song felt on edge.
“Grandma Monica, you can’t let my grandpa do this! It’ll cost a person’s life!” Bruce didn’t give up his last struggle.
“Oh? Is that so? I think it’ll be pretty interesting ah! Bruce, I believe that you will be able to taste all the ingredients!”
The two of them were becoming more and more like a married couple.
Bruce and Lin Ke Song received the glass from Montgomery’s hands.
Lin Ke Song’s mood was much heavier than before. After all she was planning to gulp everything down in one breath, not caring about the taste. But now, for the sake of avoiding that great big cup…… she has to taste the flavours carefully.
No matter if she can handle the taste of the drink, at least her tummy would not be able to stomach such a big cup ah!
“Believe me…… this will definitely be the nastiest thing you’d ever come across in your life!” Bruce lowered his voice at Lin Ke Song.
Montgomery and Mrs Bell seemed to have been long prepared, they took out 2 blocks of blackboard, placing them back to back, then said to Bruce and Lin Ke Song: “you guys will take turns to write the ingredients on these blackboards ba!”
Lin Ke Song took a deep breath…… hoping that all the ingredients in this devil’s drink will be ingredients that she had seen before, and not become a joke who can’t differentiate a salmon from other fishes.
She turned around to look at Song Yi Ran, the other party was hold his pockets, fluttering his eyes at her.
This rascal, he should pray to Amitabha for not being in trouble, never expected him to help anyway.
She then looked towards Jiang Qian Fan, if it’s as she expects, his face will not show any expression.
Lin Ke Song took a deep breath, a sigh came from the guests, it was from Bruce who had already drunk the first mouth. Alright ba, she will start too!
Carrying the cup, the tip of her tongue had only touched a little of the drink, and she could already smell the thick and choking flavour.
Sour and bitter and astringent, Lin Ke Song couldn’t even figure out how to swallow that tiny bit! Tastes bud were poisoned, especially those astringent flavours, they made Lin Ke Song’s flush, even the meat on her face went into spasms, hurting all the way to her brain. She expended the energy of 9 cows and 2 tigers, to accumulate lots of saliva, to finally swallow the first mouthful!
After swallowing, everything was not yet over.
The bitter taste from the base of her tongue flooded the whole mouth, she suddenly had a feeling that she’d lost all sense of taste.
Really too terrifying!
Her stomach tumbled, whatever she ate before, she only wished that she could puke everything out in a breath.
When she lowered her head, Montgomery’s voice sounded: “Can’t vomit oh! If you puke it out, you will break the rules! And have to undertake punishment oh!”
What? Can’t even puke? What kind of evil rule is this?
Don’t talk about that litre of devil’s juice, she can’t even swallow the small glass in front of her!
“My darling Ke Song, Bruce has already written 7 to 8 ingredients oh, you have to keep up!” Mrs Bell reminded kindly.
Everyone looked at Lin Ke Song with pity, and she could clearly see Iris hugging her arm and chuckling tauntingly.
She was waiting to watch a show.
In everyone’s heart on site, even though Bruce wasn’t a professional chef, he was under the influence of such a great chef like Montgomery since young, his sensitivity to ingredients would be far greater than Lin Ke Song.
But people were curious too, because Jiang Qian Fan had the title of “absolute taste” in the fine dining industry, even Montgomery, was amazed at this student’s taste buds. Jiang Qian Fan had admitted in public that Lin KE Song was his student, then doesn’t it mean that Lin Ke Song had some peculiar trait too?
Lin Ke Song looked in Jiang Qian Fan’s direction again.
He held his cane with one hand, his face was of a calmly indifferent expression, like whether Lin Ke Song could figure out the ingredients had no relation to him.
But it just so happened that that Lin Ke Song could feel that he used all the light and dark distinction ability of his dull eyes to focus on her.
In her mind, she remembered all that Jiang Qian Fan had taught her about differentiating the different layers of flavours, and how to pinpoint the ingredients from the layers.
Alright ba, no matter if Jiang Qian Fan were to care about Lin Ke Song’s sense of taste, no matter what she will definitely not drink that large mess of a drink!
Lin KE Song lifted the pen, and wrote on the blackboard: Mustard, grapefruit, lemon peel, kiwi, raspberry, bitter gourd……
These were all flavours that could be very intuitively. Montgomery was too much, specially combining all these fruits and veggies that she really disliked!
And what else? This fishy taste, is like seafood……
She need to distinguish in more detail.
Lin Ke Song held her breath, and had a mouthful, she couldn’t swallow immediately, but swished it between her teeth, this feeling of self-torture is really too *.
Is it shrimp of some kind of fish?
Since things have come to this stage, all things are possible. Lin Ke Song will not naively think that Montgomery will only add fruits and veggies.
Lin Ke Song put aside all the sour and bitter tastes, and focused on that fishy taste.
In the end, she confirmed that it was kelp. No wonder this cup of juice was inky black!
But don’t know whether the kelp was considered a veggie of the ocean?
Apart from kelp, she could taste vegetable kind of raw taste. It was this kind of flavour that meshed together with the fishiness of the kelp that made people have ten thousand thoughts about puking.
What kind of veggie was it……
Lin Ke Song’s eyes lighted up, it seemed that Montgomery, is totally too talented, how could he think of blending green onions and leek in?
If it were in normal dumplings, you’d think these two things were absolutely delicious. But the problem was that this wasn’t dumplings, this was a drink ah!
Totally becomes a nightmare!
Lin Ke Song lifted the pen, and thought, then realised something tragic, which was that she didn’t know how to spell “leek”.
She looked at Montgomery, and pitifully made a request: “Mr Montgomery, can I invite my friend to teach me the spelling of the names of some of the ingredients?”
Montgomery looked at Mrs Bell, Mrs Bell nodded and said: “Darling, of course you can. After all they haven’t drunk that cup of juice.”
After hearing that, Lin Ke Song was like she had received amnesty, she looked towards Song Yi Ran: “Hey! How to spell leek?”
Please, don’t make it that even Song Yi Ran doesn’t know the spelling. But even if leek dumplings are a common sight in Chinese restaurants, Song Yi Ran only needed to speak Chinese ah, how would he know the English word for leek?
Song Yi Ran walked slowly to Lin Ke Song’s side, and gently leaned on her shoulder, softly spelling out every letter for her.
Lin Ke Song suddenly felt like a full face of tears.
When she wrote the word down, she could obviously see the change in Montgomery’s expression. She had a hunch, that she hadn’t written the wrong thing.
Then, she wrote garlic and green peppers.
Even though the green peppers’ flavour was overpowered by the combination of the flavours of leek and garlic, Lin Ke Song could still taste it.
But there was another flavour that left an aftertaste that made someone want to puke dinner’s leftovers, Lin Ke Song could not think of the name in at the moment, but when Mrs Bell kindly passed her and Bruce a cup of water, Lin Ke Song suddenly recalled.
When she had gone with her family to Sichuan for a holiday, she’d eaten these kind of veggies, or rather an herbal salad, but…… none of the family members could get used to the taste. But the name of this herb, Song Yi Ran couldn’t possibly know it right?
“What’s wrong?” Song Yi Ran lifted his eyebrows.
“Houttuynia? You wish yourself luck ba.” Song Yi Ran shrugged his shoulders.
Lin Ke Song could only turn around, and look at Jiang Qian Fan’s direction. He would surely know. And with his sense of hearing, he would have already heard her.
But he wouldn’t move at all…… totally not wishing to help her……
At this time, Mrs Smith who was holding onto Jiang Qian Fan suddenly said: “Ke Song, you can use the dictionary in your phone!”
Lin Ke Song was stunned. Even Song Yi Ran was looking at her with a “So you’re this dumb ah” expression.
She only used 3 seconds to find the spelling of Houttuynia, and wrote on the board: Houttuynia cordata.
at this time, Bruce had already drunk a whole cup.
Montgomery walked up to him and asked: “Dearest Bruce, are you sure the ingredients on the list is your answer?”
“I’m not sure…… but I can’t taste anything anymore……”
Bruce squeezed out those words from his throat, if he were to say another word, he’d most probably vomit.
“Alright ba.” Montgomery tuned to Lin Ke Song, “What about you?”
“I…… I haven’t finished drinking……”
“Oh, actually it’s aright if you don’t finish drinking. The main point is whether you think the ingredients you’ve written down, are they correct? And is there nothing to adjust or add in?”
Montgomery’s expression was very amiable, this made Lin Ke Song form an illusion of the other party trying to remind her.
She lowered her head, and tried another mouthful of that inky black substance, constantly searching whether there was any other flavour that she’d missed out.
When the spicy flavour moved along her nerves to her brain, she suddenly realised, this spiciness was not only of mustard.
She remembered the previous time Jiang Qian Fan added tarragon when he prepared the hollandaise sauce for grilled pork chops.
Turning around, she wrote down on the blackboard: Tarragon.
“I’m sure, it should be just these.”
“Alright, let us announce the results!” as Montgomery said, Mrs Bell turned the two black boards to face everyone.
Lin Ke Song then saw Bruce’s answer: Grapefruit, lemon, kiwi, raspberry, kelp, bitter gourd, green onion, parsley, mustard, green pepper. Although most of the ingredient were the same as hers, but Bruce mentioned parsley, and she had written leek. otherwise, she had written down tarragon and houttuynia……
Lin Ke Song started being uneasy. She wasn’t afraid that she had guessed it wrong, at the most it would just be said of her that her sense of smell isn’t as good as Bruce, and Jiang Qian Fan was an image of not being afraid of being moved by lightning even as he get embarrassed.
But she really didn’t want to drink that big cup of demon’s juice! Her intestines will be blended together! And her guts will be vomited out by her! For the rest of her life, when she sees any inky black stuff, including coke, she will have a trauma towards it!
“Ah ha, everyone wishes to know that answer ba? Who between them has the correct answer? Or are both their answers wrong?” Montgomery’s eyes were lightened with the shine of seeing someone in peril, he looked at Jiang Qian Fan, “everyone knows, the student I’m proudest of, Jiang Qian Fan has amazing taste buds that everyone in the industry praises. Let him differentiate, just what is in this drink.”
The guests were slightly stunned, looking towards Jiang Qian Fan.
Montgomery didn’t reveal the answers directly, it was obviously to make Jiang Qian Fan undergo the punishment.
* the asterisk was what was put in the original text. Maybe missed out, but most probably there to censor whatever word was gonna be used? I’m thinking it’s the word pervert (✿˘艸˘✿)