Word Count: 3735
The Ferris Wheel That Has Yet To Be Built
The tasting continued, and Food Association Chairman David appeared on the screen.
“Even though it’s delicious, the lack of saltiness still can’t be offset…… it’s really such a pity……”
David shook his head regretfully.
Even though the other judges acknowledged the standard of this seafood stewed rice, they simultaneously pointed out that the lack of balance in the taste was unable to bring about a sense of satisfaction.
Viktor only got 7 points for this dish, and fell from his original first place.
The audience couldn’t help heaving a sigh, feeling sorry for him.
Annalise walked to Viktor and comforted him: “It’s alright, Viktor, the competition is still ongoing, no one knows what the next round of competitions will be about. Anything is possible!”
Viktor’s smile lacked its previous brightness, the expression of holding his tears back was moving.
Annalise went to Goto Nozomi, and clapped saying: “Your strategy worked, Viktor’s ranking dropped to third place.”
“This kind of thing was bound to happen sooner or later.” Goto Nozomi replied calmly.
The audience didn’t seem to understand the meaning behind Goto Nozomi’s words, Annalise put on a mischievous smile: “Oh? What thing are you referring to?”
“the aspirations of youth. Thinking that the world revolves around them, that they can do whatever they wish to.” Goto Nozomi’s expression didn’t even change.
The audience members showed different expressions like they were unable to understand why Goto Nozomi would carry such obvious hostility towards such a cute youth.
But Lin Ke Song wondered whether Jiang Qian Fan had possessed Goto Nozomi? The words were so straightforward that it made people ashamed.
But Annalise ended up clapping, her finger poking Goto Nozomi’s shoulder saying: “this is the kind of competitive atmosphere that we want! Only when there’s competition will there be sparks of inspirations, to let competitors make food that is moving!”
The awkward atmosphere finally got warmer. Annalise demonstrated her ability to control the scene and change the atmosphere.
“This is the end of today’s competition. Some were proud, while others were frustrated. I hope to remind everyone, that all success and glory is temporary because you haven’t reached the end. On the contrary, those who stand higher are in more danger, because you will be the target of everyone in the next round of competitions.”
This round of competition came to an end with these words of Annalise’s.
But Lin Ke Song understood that Annalise was reminding her. The highest places cannot beat the cold, what she will face after this is still unknown.
After the competition, Lin Ke Song and the other competitors left together.
When she got to the competitors’ waiting room, Lin Ke Song realised that Iris was seated on the sofa like she was waiting for someone.
Viktor ran over, and hugged her tightly, like returning to his family’s side meant that he no longer needed to act strong. It seemed that Viktor not only knew Iris, but was very close to her. The reason for Iris’ appearance in the audience was because of Viktor.
Iris patted his back, and looked towards Lin Ke Song.
That barbed throat feeling once again made Lin Ke Song feel uncomfortable.
Iris was her senior, in this industry, using a Chinese saying, she was an “arrogant lady within the heavens”. Lin Ke Song actually had the intentions to avoid her, but she didn’t think that she would actually call out to her.
“you should know that you were able to win Viktor this time was only because you were lucky ba?”
With these words, the competitors who were still in the waiting room simultaneously looked up.
Lin Ke Song didn’t know what to say on the spot.
The competitors who had yet to leave looked over like they were waiting for a good show.
“Why won’t you say anything?” Iris’ gaze was locked tightly on Lin Ke Song, like they were watching a jumping clown.
Bruce walked over, blocking Lin Ke Song from the front, and said to Iris: “the wins and losses have been decided. Chef Quentin, to be tangled in this issue as a senior, shows an absolutely lack of magnanimity.”
Iris tilted her face, her gaze seemed like it wanted to go around Bruce to return to Lin Ke Song: “Bruce, I was asking Lin Ke Song, not you.”
Lin Ke Song took a breath, and took a step to the side, standing beside Bruce, looking straight at Iris, calmed down her heart, and replied succinctly: “Chef Quentin, if I got the ingredients Viktor got, I would probably also choose to make seafood stewed rice. Because there was no oil, it would be impossible to make fried rice. Viktor’s defeat was because there wasn’t any salty seasoning, right ba?”
Iris looked coldly at Lin Ke Song, waiting for her to get to the point.
Viktor too turned to look at Lin Ke Song. It was obvious, that he felt that his loss to Lin Ke Song was due to his bad fortune.
“Viktor, do you remember what the prawns that Goto Nozomi gave you were placed in?”
“A plastic bag.”
“And what was in the bag?” Lin Ke Song asked.
After 2 seconds of being stunned, it was like Viktor was hit with something, his mouth opened, and was speechless.
The other competitors too reacted.
“of course Viktor knew that there was seawater in the bag. But do you think it’s possible to have enough salt from that seawater to stew the rice?” Iris was still in hot pursuit.
“Why wouldn’t it be possible? A thousand grams of seawater contains about 35 grams of salt. He could have stewed the rice while cooking the salt. And when cooking the salt, don’t put the whole bag of seawater in but pour little amounts in to cook. Even though there may not be enough time, at least he would have a chance to win, it’s only that he didn’t even try.”
Lin Ke Song walked to Viktor, and looked into his eyes seriously, “I want to ask Viktor instead, after taking the flour from the ingredients, what would you make using the remaining jam and eggs? Is it really berry stewed eggs?”
Viktor could not bear Lin Ke Song’s gaze, and turned his head.
Those playful gazes that were on Lin Ke Song had added degrees of appreciation and admiration.
Iris laughed lightly, leaned towards Lin Ke Song’s ear, and said in a volume of voice that only they would hear: “you think that these little schemes means that you have learned all the abilities from Jiang Qian Fan? You will never become him.”
“I have never wanted to become him.” Lin Ke Song kept a calm indifference to the other party, and answered calmly, “I am Lin Ke Song.”
Iris was stunned, then she laughed lightly.
“This is the way Jiang Qian Fan taught you? To comfort yourself if you can’t win? When the final results are revealed, do you really think that your success or failure will have nothing to do with Jiang Qian Fan’s reputation? Or, does he wish for you to continue being so naïve?”
Iris lifted the end of her lips, and jerked her chin at Viktor, the 2 of them left the waiting room.
Lin Ke Song stood at her place, rubbing her nose funnily.
She understood Jiang Qian Fan, the words on his lips, and the words of his heart had always been the same. She definitely will not have her confidence shaken due to a couple of sentences from Iris.
Maybe she really wasn’t a genius, but at least she wasn’t mediocre.
“You alright ba, Ke Song?” Bruce went to her, saw that she was in her thoughts, and was a little worried.
“I’m fine, I’m good! Good luck for the next round of competitions oh, Bruce!”
“Of course la!” Bruce gave a refreshing carefree smile.
When Lin Ke Song was getting ready to leave the hotel, she got a call from Jiang Qian Fan.
“Is the competition over already? I’ll come pick you up.”
Once that cool voice had warmth in it, it had a heavily thick sexiness.
Lin Ke Song’s heart skipped a beat, and when she thought of her appointment with Song Yi Ran, she could only say: “Song Yi Ran asked me out for lunch today…… it seems like he has something to discuss with me. So, I think……”
“Friends are important too. Go ba. I wish to eat the hay smoked eggs you made for dinner.”
“You know what I made for this competition?”
Lin Ke Song’s eyes lit up, didn’t Jiang Qian Fan not come for the competition?
“Of course I know. See you tonight.”
He knew? How did he know? Did someone tell him, or was he actually in a corner watching her silently without her noticing?
Lin Ke Song originally thought that Jiang Qian Fan wouldn’t be happy, but he was a lot more generous than she thought!
Her ear was lifted by someone, Lin Ke Song turned around and bumped into Song Yi Ran.
“What’s wrong? After winning you’ve lost your sense of direction?” Song Yi Ran smirked, that smile still had the power to kill.
“I had a thrilling win alright! Who knows, maybe the next competition will be one from the heavens.”
Thinking about the words Iris had said, gave her heart more or less some discomfort. Her win was indeed due to luck. If Viktor didn’t take the flour but the liqueur, she pretty much wouldn’t have the chance of a surprise win.
“then do you know what it felt like for me to watch you compete?”
Song Yi Ran leaned towards her, she thought that she’d see a half-joking cunningness in his eyes, but she didn’t think that his eyes were as soft as the soft sand covering the bottom of a lake, her heart softened too.
“what did it feel like?”
“it was like I had invested all my money into stocks, and in one day gone through the bull market to the bear market, then turn back from the bear market to return to the bull market. Good thing I’m young and don’t have a weak heart.”
Song Yi Ran lifted his hand to clutch his chest, Lin Ke Song laughed along with him.
Song Yi Ran drove the car over and took off with Lin KE Song.
Across the street from the hotel, was a man with a cold and stern face holding a cane, his eyes were of indifference.
Mayer who was seated in the front passenger seat turned around and said: “Sir, Ms Lin has left.”
“Then let’s go back too ba.”
“…… Sir, I heard that the Song family wishes to sell the Audrey hotel.”
The Song Family should just be trying things out, without sufficient people and capital, they wouldn’t simply come to New York. That farce that happened on that birthday party, didn’t help put them in a good light or give them a good reputation in New York.
“And, Song Yi Ran rejected the marriage with the Chu family.” Mayer added.
Jiang Qian Fan clutched his fingers around the cane.
“does this imply that he already has enough capital to confront his brother?” Mayer tried asking, “if the Song family are planning to sell Audrey hotel, there is a high probability that there’s a problem with cash flow, and they wish to protect RuiHeng hotel back at home. Song Yi Fan will definitely invite new investors, and since it’ll be so, should we……”
“We will definitely invest in the shares. Song Yi Ran will definitely not let this opportunity go, and will use another name to buy the shares, so as to not be detected by the Song Family.”
“You wish to dilute his shares?”
“Is it because of Ke Song? Because she cares too much about Song Yi Ran?” Mayer asked uncertainly.
“You think that because Ke Song used to like Song Yi Ran, I want to deal with him?”
“Isn’t that so? In china, there’s a saying that goes, ‘when you kill 10 000 enemies, you lose 8 000 of your army’. When you dilute Song Yi Ran’s shares, what will you gain?”
Jiang Qian Fan turned his head slightly, sunlight along the car’s window landed on his shoulder, making it seem like there was a silent coldness in the calmness.
“I can resell the shares to Song Yi Ran at a higher price. He will definitely want it.” Jiang Qian Fan kept his cane, and leisurely put it back into the coat’s pocket, “this isn’t a war because of a woman. This is only necessary for Jiang Co. The Quentin family has been restless, they have been eyeing the place where I plan to build a Chinese food street. Furthermore, the Quentin family and mayor of New York have a relationship with money heavily involved, and they can also see the ambition that Song Family has to enter the American market, repeatedly asking Song Yi Fan at Song Yi Ran’s birthday party to stretch out an olive branch.”
“So sir…… you are worried that the Quentin and Song Family will join hands?”
“Yeah ah, if that situation really happens, I can only use reinforcements.”
“I understand, I will settle this discretely.”
The wind blew in through the car window, Lin Ke Song closed her eyes and felt a sense of freedom.
After leaving the tense competition grounds, she felt like she could lift off the ground.
“Hey! I’m hungry! What do we eat!” Lin Ke Song hit Song Yi Ran’s shoulder with her hand.
“Eat Mala soup ah.”
“Ha? What?” Lin Ke Song turned her face in suspicion.
When she saw the hint of laughter on Song Yi Ran’s lips clearly, she suddenly understood that this chap was teasing her again.
“eat fried chicken and fries.”
“have you had enough?” Lin Ke Song gave Song Yi Ran a push.
“I’m driving ah, violence to the driver is like suicide. Why, are you planning to perish together with me?”
Song Yi Ran turned and purposely got closer to her, Lin Ke Song looked forward with an unbothered look, but Song Yi Ran tried to push as far as he could, she could pretty much feel the other party’s breathing brushing past her.
“Be with me, or die with me?”
Song Yi Ran’s expression looked persistent and mad like it was going to shatter her world.
Lin Ke Song was suddenly fearful.
Until 2 seconds later, she suddenly remembered the lines of some serial drama.
And exhaled without a trace, Lin Ke Song stretched her hands out coldly, and pushed Song Yi Ran, “Drive your car ba!”
“Your ears were red.” Song Yi Ran grabbed the steering wheel with both hands, looked forward, and said calmly.
Lin Ke Song turned her face, until the car had driven further, and Song Yi Ran still didn’t say a thing about where they were going. Lin Ke Song simply shut her eyes, tilted her head and went to sleep. A
When she woke up later, she’d understand what Song Yi Ran was trying to do.
A short while later, Lin Ke Song rubbed her eyes and straightened up.
The harbour could be seen in this faraway place, the beach was at the edge, and the Ferris wheel could be seen.
Did Song Yi Ran go mad, and bring her for a ride on the Ferris wheel? But the madness this time was quite serious ah, this Ferris wheel wasn’t even built yet! Did he want to hang off it and swing?
The car had already stopped, and there was the fragrant smell of fried chicken and French fries.
“Awake? Eat ba.” Song Yi Ran pressed the paper package of fast food into Lin Ke Song’s arms.
“when did you buy this ah?”
Unbuckling the belt, Lin Ke Song sat up.
“When you were sleeping like a pig.” Song Yi Ran pinched her nose.
“Where is this ah?”
“Staten Island. This is New York’s least populous and remote administrative area. It was even the largest landfill before.”
Opening the door, Song Yi Ran walked out, carried the paper bag, and sat on the front of the car.
Lin Ke Song followed and sat next to him.
The warm wind carried the slight taste of the sea, the sky and earth seemed to widen too.
“I heard…… that this is probably going to become the world’s most legendary Ferris Wheel, right?”
“right ah. Staten Island isn’t like Manhattan or Brooklyn where they’re always within people’s vision, it was always silent, until this Ferris Wheel that can compete with the statue of liberty appeared, only then was it finally valued.”
Song Yi Ran turned his head slightly, Lin Ke Song looked at his profile, and could feel the anticipation he had towards his life and future.
His vision was very far, as far as the sky.
Song Yi Ran was like Staten Island in the Song family, always overlooked and ignored, but once he was given an opportunity, he will overlook everything else.
Even though she didn’t have much societal experience, she knew, that a man like Song Yi Ran, will succeed sooner or later.
“do you think that when Staten Island becomes a prosperous tourist attraction, you would still be by my side?” Song Yi Ran turned his face.
His eyes seemed frivolous like all the feelings were a moon in the water, but once you quietened your heart, you would be able to feel that trace of well-controlled persistence.
If it were before, Lin Ke Song would answer him affirmatively: I will.
But now, she had Jiang Qian Fan.
She was attached to that man’s warmth, his arms, and even his unchanging expression.
He let her be firm.
So, she will not reply Song Yi Ran.
“I will not marry Chu Ting. I have always wanted to prove my reason for being in the Song Family, and to prove this, I have sacrificed so much. But my wedding…… is out of the question.”
When she looked into Song Yi Ran’s eyes and saw her reflection, she suddenly had an unrealistic guess.
Like Song Yi Ran had always left his ordinariness for her. He could have a following with money and treated life as a game, but at the end of the ends, he had never forgotten to return to her side, accompany her to eat at the street food stalls, visit the markets, watch movies, do the most common things.
She suddenly realised, he had done all the things that boyfriends did for their girlfriends, apart from kissing.
“I actually really hope that you wouldn’t sacrifice your wedding. Remember when we were back home, Chu Ting called me, then I ranted at her about you not liking girls who wore high heels and miniskirts and all that?” Lin Ke Song asked smiling.
“Of course I remember.”
“every girl has the right to receive happiness, it’s so for me, and for Chu Ting too. When a girl becomes serious with you, you will break up with her. On the contrary, those who wish to only live an extravagant life with you, you receive them with open arms. You couldn’t afford Chu Ting’s sincere heart, so I helped you that day, and also helped myself. I didn’t wish for your happiness to be used to prove the meaning of your existence. Yi Ran, did you know that to know that the one you love loves you back is such a wonderful thing?” Lin Ke Song asked with a tilt of her head.
“Sounds like you’ve fallen for someone?” Song Yi Ran asked.
“Is it Jiang Qian Fan?” Song Yi Ran’s gaze departed from Lin Ke Song, focusing on the structure of the Ferris wheel.
There was never anything that they couldn’t talk about between Song Yi Ran and herself. She had never wished to keep any secret from him. It was like so before, it is so now, and it will be so in the future.
“You’ve only known him for 3 months.” Song Yi Ran was still staring far away, like he was in a fugue.
“To be accurate, it’s half a year. I’d already met him back home. But…… there’s no connection between loving someone and time. May it be half a year, or 10 years, it is a feeling. You too will have it.”
“I’ve always had it.” Song Yi Ran jumped from the front cover of the car, and returned to the front car door, “Let’s go ba, I’ll send you back.”
“going back just like that? Didn’t you have something to discuss with me? Or was it only Chu Ting’s issue?” Lin Ke Song tilted her head, wanting to see Song Yi Ran’s expression clearly.
But the other party seemed to retract on purpose, always letting her see the side profile.
“My friend and I invested in a small restaurant, after the competition is over, wanna come over to work in the back kitchen?”
“You mean as a chef?”
“Yeah ah, you can be the head chef ah.” Song Yi Ran’s voice was calm like it was about to melt in the wind.
“I worry that your restaurant will fall.” Lin Ke Song said so but had a hopeful heart.
“just you, will not make me bankrupt.” Song Yi Ran reached out a hand and rubbed Lin Ke Song’s hair, “the next time I’ll bring you to see my restaurant.”
“Great ah!” Lin Ke Song munched the fried chicken.
She was really hungry.
On the way back, Song Yi Ran focused on driving, and didn’t even say a sentence of a joke.
The sunlight was a little glaring, Lin Ke Song who had food and drink was starting to get drowsy again. She tilted her face, trying to avoid the afternoon sun.
Song Yi Ran retrieved an eye mask, and threw it to Lin Ke Song, “Sleep ba, pig!”
Lin Ke Song happily put on the eye mask, got to a comfortable position, “Since I’m a pig, of course after I eat I gotta sleep la!”
The car moved forward continuously, Lin Ke Song snored slightly.
Song Yi Ran’s speed slowed gradually, finally stopping at the roadside.
Both his hand clutched the steering wheel tightly, slightly lowering his head, hot tears drip dropped, and slid down, unable to dry, leaving dots of imprints.