Word count: 3760
Let’s live together, Ke Song
“Is that so? I happen to also have something to say to you,” Iris raised her eyebrow and walked with Jiang Qian Fan to stand below a tree in the courtyard.
“What you did today was intentional, right? In order for me to acknowledge Lin Ke Song without knowing anything beforehand, you had Brody and Han Bin act as foil. Your aim wasn’t even to taste the food for your new restaurant or tests the level of your new chef,” said Iris with an extremely serious face.
From afar, Lin Ke Song who was standing at the door glanced at the two people beneath the tree. She was worried that Jiang Qian Fan would argue with Iris.
“Yes. Using this method, I wanted you to discard your prejudice and make an honest evaluation. You already tasted out that these three dishes weren’t made by me, yet your first response wasn’t to think of Lin Ke Song. Instead, you thought that I wanted to introduce a new chef. In your heart, you have never acknowledged Lin Ke Song’s talent, or even thought she possessed such capability.”
“What talent does she have? It was just merely three dishes and nothing more. All she did was imitate them, anyone can do that.” Iris raised her head in disdain.
“I didn’t demonstrate to her how to make those three dishes, she relied on her own sense of taste to think of a way. In the end Iris, are you doubting my foresight or is it because of something else that’s the reason for your dissatisfaction with Lin Ke Song?”
Compared to Iris’ brashness, Jiang Qian Fan appeared entirely calm.
“Indeed, I feel prejudiced against her. A girl who doesn’t even have any experience or even feel any passion for this industry is treated so well by you. Haven’t you ever thought about my feelings?”
“You’re already outstanding, Iris. I have nothing that I could teach you.”
Using the cane to support him, Jiang Qian Fan’s tone was unhurried and calm.
“Teach me? Is comparing notes in the culinary arts the only thing that exists between us?”
In self-mocking, she lifted her hand and poked Jiang Qian Fan’s chest, “In fact, in your heart you have already crossed the boundary from being just a teacher. I wait and see if you can change anything.”
Finished speaking, Iris turned around and left.
Jiang Qian Fan turned and walked to the door where Lin Ke Song was still standing.
She knew that the matter between Jiang Qian Fan and Iris was something that she would never be able to step into, but she understood a bit about the purpose behind everything that Jiang Qian Fan had prepared today
Following behind him and treading on his shadow, Lin Ke Song lowered her head and uttered softly.
“Your voice doesn’t sound confident at all so everything I’ve done has gone to waste.””
Jiang Qian Fan’s voice was cool, causing Lin Ke Song to feel a flash of helplessness.
“No! Right now I am very confident! Although my confidence is not full to brim, but I know that if I do everything I can, then it’s possible for me to win!”
Jiang Qian Fan stopped walking and turned around. His figure was like another world that had been slowly pulled apart by a heavy curtain; some kind of wave following her line of sight and rushing forth into Lin Ke Song’s brain.””
“Ke Song, I have never thought of wanting you to win, nor do I need you to win in order to protect my reputation. I have never deliberately demanded for you make any dishes according to my method because I have never wanted to change you into another me.”
Jiang Qian Fan’s voice was like the quiet flow of time in the middle of the night. He had never tied himself to success and fame. During that eight year period, he hadn’t wanted to prove himself, but rather only wanted to return to the field he was very fond of.
From the beginning to the end, he was always quite pure.
“I have only one request to ask of you. I hope that you can sincerely enjoy and feel happy with the things you are doing right now.”
Lin Ke Song suddenly didn’t know how to reply to Jiang Qian Fan and could only gaze up at him. He seemed so close, and yet she was so far away.
Jiang Qian Fan stretched out his arm and searched about in the air before lightly patting Lin Ke Song’s shoulder.
“How about this, Ke Song. If you can make something that I feel is delicious, then I will agree to one condition of yours. Regardless of how difficult it may be to accomplish, I will do my best to achieve it, no matter how much time or energy is needed.
“Making something that you will find delicious is probably going to be harder to do than making something that a Michelin chef thinks is delicious,” smiled Lin Ke Song.
His pursuit of taste is so pure, how can an inattentive person attain it?
“However, my promise is more reliable than that of the stars given out by a Michelin chef. Conversely…” Jiang Qian Fan lowered his body and leaned his face slowly near hers, his gentle and soft expression causing her heartbeat to still momentarily. “If I feel that you lose confidence in yourself again and want to escape, then I will kiss you again regardless of the people around us, the place we are at or how unwilling you are.”
“You can’t do that!” Lin Ke Song shouted. This was simply too despotic.
“Of course I can.” Jiang Qian Fan turned around and walked away.
Lin Ke Song hurriedly followed him, “If you want to encourage me, you don’t need to use such methods. Really. You can punish me to copy recipes or read the news for forty-eight hours, no, seventy-two hours uninterrupted. You really don’t need to do this.”
“Do you regard me kissing you as a punishment?” Jiang Qian Fan’s voice became somewhat colder.
Oh, god. My heart nearly split right open. If he does it again, then I might as well be going to heaven.
“No, no. Why would you think that?”
“I like you. When you don’t feel confident in yourself or are dejected, why can’t I kiss you?”
Obviously, it was a voice without the slightest amount of affection, yet Lin Ke Song felt moved when she heard it.
He said that he liked her again and again, Lin Ke Song suddenly didn’t know how to confront him.
Just as Lin Ke Song had her head lowered, something unexpectedly touched her cheek.
“Aiya!” Lin Ke Song lifted her eyes and faced Jiang Qian Fan who had leaned down slightly. He had kissed her again, even though it was only superficial contact.”
“You don’t believe that I like you, not because you don’t like me, but because you don’t believe that you have anything I could like.”
“Ah…” Had she been seen through by Jiang Qian Fan again?
Jiang Qian Fan moved closer again and Lin Ke Song covered her face than retreated back. “I’m very confident! Right now, I definitely believe that you like me! I don’t doubt it at all!”
“Really! Absolutely! Can’t you hear the confidence in me voice?” Lin Ke Song was certain that the her at this moment was not hesitant at all.
As he straightened his back, Lin Ke Song felt as if she could see the ghost of a smile on his lips.
Did he purposely tease her just then? How was that possible? This definitely couldn’t be Jiang Qian Fan!
Doctor Xie, where are you? Quickly come and see this patient here!
“Alright, tomorrow we will give seafood a try.” After speaking, Jiang Qian Fan walked into the house.
Closing the door slowly, Lin Ke Song breathed out a sigh. “Oh my god…oh my god…”
Clenching her first, Lin Ke Song walked down the hallway. She felt as if she was facing a challenge even more difficult than the college entrance examinations.
That was, Jiang Qian Fan’s ‘like’!
For the entire night, Lin Ke Song tossed and turned in her bed, unable to sleep. Whenever she closed her eyes, her mind conjured up the image of Jiang Qian Fan’s kiss.
The night was just like a blooming flower opening up her world.
Her phone vibrated, it was a message from Song Yi Ran: Let’s live together.
After catching sight of what was written, Lin Ke Song immediately got up and coughed violently. This idiot, it was eighty percent likely that he had messaged some pretty girl and ended up sending the text to the wrong target.
She replied without any explanation: Was your skull crushed by a door?
Song Yi Ran: Let’s live together, Ke Song.
Lin Ke Song: Get lost!
Song Yi Ran: I guarantee that I won’t mind you listening to music or watching movies in the evening, eating chips messily on the sofa and attracting cockroaches or having a shower after nine o’clock at night.
Lin Ke Song couldn’t help but laugh: Sure, then come and buy a villa here!
Song Yi Ran: Then it’s happily decided.
Seeing this text message, Lin Ke Song suddenly sat up. She thought, how could this be? Song Yi Ran always burned money, but where did he get so much? It could be seen at one glance that Jiang Qian’s Fan’s residence was at a high level since everyone who visited were all upper class figures in New York. However, with Song Yi Ran’s brainless character, it was very likely that he would really do it!
This guy wouldn’t really go ahead with it, right? She had only complained to him a few words, and he was going to come and help her out? If he really did have such thoughts, then why didn’t he buy her a first class plane ticket when she came to New York at that time?
No, no. She wasn’t even one of his women, so why would he buy her a villa?
Nonsense, what buying her a villa? It was most likely that he had gotten tired of his house on Manhattan island with the view of the sea and wanted to move somewhere else.
This studying abroad trash! Not properly attending university every day and only knowing how to squander money!
Furthermore, what he said was most likely nothing serious.
She was grateful to Song Yi Ran for successfully diverting her attention away from Jiang Qian Fan. Lin Ke Song hauled her blanket over her and quickly feel sleep.
At this moment, Song Yi Ran was sitting on a high stool at a bar and had laughed after seeing Lin Ke Song’s message.
“Hey! I heard that you’re moving tomorrow?” Sitting beside Song Yi Ran, Kevin held a beer and slapped his shoulder.
“Do you want me to find you a few beautiful sisters to celebrate with you?”
“Tomorrow, you and your beautiful sisters better not appear before me.”
“Why?” Kevin displayed an expression of extreme disappointment.
“Because I want to stay quietly, how is this reason?”
“This guy, you’re so boring!”
As Kevin carried his beer and left, Song Yi Ran deliberately nodded with a helpless smile.
The next morning, Lin Ke Song stood beside Jiang Qian Fan and read the recipe. His advice was always perfect, allowing Lin Ke Song to both fully reflect and understand where the main focus should be.
At the time when she was in the kitchen fumbling about trying to find sautéed scallops and tomato and olive perch, Doctor Xie unexpectedly arrived.
Jiang Qian Fan directly left the kitchen and went back to his room to talk with Doctor Xie. Involuntarily, Lin Ke Song began to ponder what exactly Jiang Qian Fan and Doctor Xie were discussing about.
Maybe, after explaining to Doctor Xie…he won’t say ‘I like you’ to her again and try to use kissing her as a solution to encouraging her?
Instead, he will change to using normal, step-by-step methods?
Lin Ke Song looked up and laughed, it was even harder to imagine that kind of Jiang Qian Fan.
In the case that everything returned to the origin…the point of Lin Ke Song’s knife halted at the edge of the scallop, and she couldn’t remember what to do next.
Don’t think about it anymore, everything will happen as a matter of course.
At this moment, the phone at the kitchen wall and a calm voice sounded out, “Doctor will stay for lunch today. The appetizers and entrees will be left to you.”
“What? Leaving it to me?” Lin Ke Song glanced back at the kitchen. Just then, her imagination had run wild and she hadn’t been able to think through the two dishes.
“You made such delicious dinner for three famous chefs, do you have no confidence when it’s for Doctor Xie?”
Even across the phone, Lin Ke Song felt an illusion as if Jiang Qian Fan’s breath was blowing into her ear. He seemed to be leaning towards her and was just about to touch her.
“I can! It’s just…what about the dessert?”
“We don’t need any dessert, however you can prepare a soup.”
Lin Ke Song didn’t have the time to ask ‘what soup’ before Jiang Qian Fan hung up the phone. Fortunately Lin Ke Song didn’t have a phobia with making choices, otherwise she would hesitate to death.
Although Doctor Xie lived in New York, he wasn’t a western person after all. As for the taste of Asians, he should prefer the taste of light soup compared to cream pumpkin soup or carrot puree. Also, the first dish is the sautéed scallops so if the soup was too heavy then it would weaken his perception of flavour to taste the scallops.
Lin Ke Song clicked her fingers, “Then peppermint and Chine cabbage soup!”
She would never forget this soup’s flavour! After drinking eight bowls, she had to look all over the world for toilets.
According to her own impression, Lin Ke Song prepared the ingredients and the resulting soup tasted almost the same as the one she had that day!
Following the soup was the scallops and perch.
After all the dishes were sent to the dining table, Lin Ke Song cleaned up the kitchen according to the requirements of Jiang Qian Fan then also went to the dining room.
However, she didn’t expect that Doctor Xie was the only one at the table. The dishes she had prepared for Jiang Qian Fan were placed opposite Doctor Xie.
Seeing her puzzled expression, Doctor Xie laughed then gestured for her to sit.
“Recently, there is a new restaurant that is about to open and Jiang Qian Fan will be very busy. He takes it very seriously and has the habit of attending to everything personally.”
“Oh, so it’s like this.”
She had thought that she would hear Jiang Qian fan’s evaluation of her dishes, but didn’t think that wouldn’t even eat a mouthful.
Doctor Xie supported his chin on his hand and stared at Lin Ke Song with interest, “You know that your current expression looks very lost?”
“That’s because I thought I could receive his advice.”
Lin Ke Song laughed. In front f Doctor Xie, any lies would be immediately seen through so she might as well just say the truth.
“Not just advice, but also recognition.” Doctor Xie added.
“What about doctor Xie? Do you think that what I made is delicious?”
“Not bad, taking action to ask me the question.” Doctor Xie nodded his head, “It’s very delicious, really makes people unable to believe that it was made by a beginner.”
Lin Ke Song laughed, then scooped up some soup and had just sent it into her mouth when Doctor Xie’s following words nearly caused her to spray it out.
“Has Jiang Qian Fan confessed to you yet?”
Lin Ke Song’s eye widened, Jiang Qian Fan even told these things to Doctor Xie?
“The first time he asked me what it felt like to have a crush, I knew for sure that someone had moved him, ” Doctor Xie stretched out his fingers to demonstrate a small distance, “Even if it’s only a little bit. Being affected is being affected.”
“Crush?” Lin Ke Song raised her head up in curiosity.
Could it be Jiang Qian Fan also had the experience of having a crush?
An extremely cold Adonis like him?
“He even asked me if I remembered the taste of candied haw.”
Lin Ke Song’s fingertips trembled. That quiet night which had ended and was nearly forgotten by her, and those impromptu words of hers that she had spoken to him, he still remembered?
Crushes are just like a candied haw. Hugging the person you like is like a sweet coating, but the moment you bite down on it, you will taste the sour and astringent flavours.
“He is not as indifferent to the world as you might think. He is very keen, not just in regards to his taste, but also to his feelings. Ke Song, how did Jiang Qian Fan confess to you?” Doctor Xie’s eyes were like the bottom of a deep sea, reflecting the innermost of her heart.
“He said he liked me.”
“Your expression is not so sure. Is it because you still like someone else, or because ‘I like you’ is not what you really wanted to hear?” Lin Ke Song swallowed.
Does she still have a crush on Song Yi Ran? When she saw his message, she would subconsciously smile. If she stood too close to him, her heartbeat would quicken.
But what about Jiang Qian Fan?
When he came close to her, it wasn’t just her heartbeat, but as if the whole world had rushed up to her.
“Don’t rush to answer me because understanding your own heart is the best way to respond to each other. When you’re ready, ask him the right question again. Only by asking the right question will you get the right answer.”
Doctor Xie laughed but didn’t answer. He elegantly wiped his mouth then stood up, “Thank you for the lunch.”
When Doctor Xie left and left Lin Ke Song sitting at the table by herself, everything seemed to quieten down.
It was as if that faded night was vivid again.
Her tongue still retained the sweet and sour taste of the candied haw, and she saw the side view of Jiang Qian Fan’s face under the streetlight.
It was then that Lin Ke Song’s phone rang and her subconscious mind saw the name of Song Yi Ran flickering. Her fingers trembled and her phone dropped onto the ground.
“My god…” Lin Ke Song quickly picked it up, “Hey, Song Yi Ran?”
“I’ve already moved into a villa in the same neighbourhood as you.”
“……” Lin Ke Song reacted two seconds later. “You really bought a villa?”
“My rent remains until next month. I specially came to keep you company, how about it? Enough?”
Lin Ke Song didn’t know what to say.
This guy was always like this. When she clamoured that she needed his help at that time, it was like he had amnesia. Yet, when she didn’t hold any hope for him, he somehow always managed to surprise her.
Then, a villa number was sent to her phone and it seemed that it was quite close to Jiang Qian fan’s villa.
“I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Aren’t you participating in that ‘master show’? Show me your abilities.”
“Did you buy any food? Show you my abilities?”
“Yeah, tomatoes and eggs.”
“Alright, you wait for me.”
Lin Ke Song didn’t believe that Song Yi Ran would really let her make tomatoes and scrambled eggs for him. It was eighty percent likely that when she arrived at his villa, there would be a pack of scoundrels holding beer and embracing women.
Lin Ke Song told Mayer that she would be visiting a friend who had recently moved over.
“Of course, it’s your freedom. However, don’t come back too late. Master wishes that you will focus your energy on researching cooking techniques, so don’t disappoint him.”
“Yes! I’ll be back very soon!”
“Little bun, who is the friend you mentioned that recently moved over?” Mayer asked casually.
“Ah, it’s an old friend who came here with me. It’s only that he came to study here.”
Lin Ke Song changed her shoes then walked out. Mayer stared at her retreating shadow then dialled a phone number.
Song Yi Ran didn’t rent an enormous villa, but as Lin Ke Song entered, she realised that the furniture here was basically the same as the ones at his Manhattan apartment.
Today, Song Yi Ran seemed to be dressed quite casually in a light brown sweater, dark blue jeans and a pair of slippers. He smiled faintly, and those two eyes easily threw her heartstrings into disorder.
“No way. You moved all your furniture here? And didn’t squander any money?”
“I won’t easily exchange things that I’m used to. If I change it, I won’t be able to sleep. Besides…” Song Yi Ran purposely stretched out his voice, “As long as I can always see you, then no matter what you do, I won’t be annoyed.”
He moved his face closer and Lin Ke Song pretended to avoid him in disgust, pushing his head away,” Whatever, didn’t you say you were hungry? Where’s the kitchen? I’ll make you the ‘Infernal soup’!”
Speaking of that, Song Yi Ran couldn’t help but laugh, “Do you believe or not? That no matter how distasteful the food you make is, I will completely finish it.”
“You wait and see. I won’t ever make such unpalatable food again.”
Lin Ke Song hadn’t entered the kitchen for more than three minutes when a shout was heard, “Song Yi Ran! Where’s the salt? Sugar? Seasoning?!”
Song Yi Ran leaned against the kitchen door and slowly spoke, “Oh, I forgot.”
“You might as well forget your brain as well!” Lin Ke Song said angrily.
Song Yi Ran smiled, “Did you know that the way you spoke just then was like that of a wife I’ve married for many years?”
Here we go again.
This brat had no heart, joking like that to her.
“I’ll make you tasteless tomatoes and scrambled eggs, you better eat it all!”