Word count: 2021
Lin Xiao Xue watched as Song Yi Ran walked away. Although a puzzled expression was on her face, she felt as if had understood something in her heart.
Lin Ke Song, who had been lying in her quilt, slept until noon of the next day.
Days without having to wake up to an alarm were truly too beautiful. To her, everything seemed to be gentle and relaxed. Even though it was the final round tomorrow, she did not feel anything much.
Lin Ke Song pulled on a T-shirt then cooked herself a bowl of noodles. After she finished eating, she went to her uncle’s restaurant and found it completely filled with customers. She knew that the kitchen would be extremely busy, and rolled up her sleeves in preparation to help.
“Don’t! Don’t! The finals are tomorrow! You must take a good break and relax! It’s very chaotic here right now, what if you accidentally hurt yourself?”
“Just take it as me practicing my skills to get into the right state of mind!” Lin Ke Song smiled then glanced at the orders posted above her uncle’s head.
Onions and green peppers were the ones most commonly used in side dishes. The assistants who were cutting the vegetables were already sweating, so Lin Ke Song hurried over to assist them.
As her uncle continuously cooked for an hour, he would often use the towel around his neck to wipe of his sweat. Lin Ke Song would also rush over to help.
“This wok is too large! You won’t be able to handle it!”
“It’s okay! Tomato and scrambled eggs are my strength. Even without lifting the wok, I can create something that isn’t unpleasant to eat!”
Uncle Lin shook his head reluctantly. “How could your tomatoes and scrambled eggs taste bad? They’re obviously delicious! I’m just afraid that after the guests eat your tomatoes and scrambled eggs, they won’t want to eat mine anymore!”
Laughter rang out across the kitchen.
At this time, a waiter stopped by the window and called out, “Ke Song, there’s someone looking for you!”
“Looking for me? Now?” The only person Lin Ke Song could think of was Song Yi Ran coming to eat and drink.
Only after wiping her hands on her apron and entering out into the restaurant did she realise that the person who came to see her was Iris Quentin.
Rather than sitting down, she was standing by the door while holding onto an elbow. Iris swept a glance at the dishes on each table, her slightly raised brow hinting at her dissatisfaction with them.
However, this was just a normal restaurant. How could it be on par with one with a Michelin star?
As soon as Iris appeared, Lin Ke Song knew that the other woman was going to say something unpleasant to her.
“Chef Quentin? Are you here to…try the Chinese dishes?”
“If I wanted to eat Chinese food, I would choose Yuejiang Tower.” Iris raised her chin. “Come out, I’d like to speak a few words to you. It won’t take up much of your time.”
Although Lin Ke Song did not like her, she would at least appreciate what the other had to say. Her discontent was expressed clearly on her face. That was much better than a villain who spoke honeyed words.
The two of them walked towards a tree outside the restaurant.
Iris did not employ any roundabout tactics. She just directly states her thoughts. “You know that I have always liked Jiang Qian Fan. Furthermore, in my heart, I believe that I am much better than you in both cooking skills and understanding of his ideas.”
“That’s why he chose you as his business partner. He appreciates your ability.”
Iris chuckled. “Don’t act like you understand everything. I really hate you. I hate you to the point that I would even pit myself against Jiang Qian Fan just so that he will be unable to advance.”
Lin Ke Song became nervous. She knew that in regards to the China street cuisine project, the Quentin Group would be the largest obstacle.
“However, someone told me that if I want to win, the battlefield should be at a place where we are both experts and acknowledge each other in. The finals are tomorrow. The only competitors who will have a real impact on the championships are Viktor, Goto and you. But you also know that unless Viktor makes a mistake, your chances of winning are minuscule.”
“What are you trying to say?”
Iris leaned forward slightly. The intensity of her stare created a strong sense of oppression towards Lin Ke Song.
“If you win, then you can be together with Jiang Qian Fan until he tires of you. I won’t interfere with your lives. However, if you lose, please leave his life.”
Lin Ke Song frowned then wordlessly shook her head. “Chef Quentin, what is Jiang Qian Fan in your heart? A person or an object? Who he will be with and who he will fall in love with cannot be decided upon by a mere competition. Even if I lose, he will still love me. Even if I go to a place where he will be unable to find me, he will still search the whole world for me. Would betting on this kind of thing even have any meaning? To me, he is the most important person in my life, no matter what happens. I won’t use him as a betting chip between the two of us.”
“Ah, you’re really confident. Since it’s like this, then let’s take another approach. If you win, I’ll still completely leave your lives. If you lose, then I will take over the Chinese street cuisine project. Since you believe that the cooking competition will be unable to determine the victor between us, then I can only use my own way of making it difficult for you.”
Iris left as soon as she finished speaking.
Lin Ke Sing took in a breath. She knew that Iris would mention this.
Mayer had once said that the China street cuisine project was of great significance to Jiang Qian Fan. He had devoted too much effort and expenditure to it.
It was imperative that she won.
She couldn’t let Jiang Qian Fan comfort and solve everything for her.
Lin Ke Song turned around and went back into the kitchen, continuing to help the others.
“Ke Song, who was looking for you?” Her uncle asked.
“Oh, a friend of mine was going to come and see me at the final round. She suddenly had a matter come up and couldn’t attend anymore, so she was here to encourage me.”
Lin Ke Song continued cutting the onions and cooking.
Amidst the bustle of the kitchen. Lin Ke Son slowly foregut about everything for a while.
The burdens were redundant because the result would always end up appearing.
In the early morning of the next day, there was a light rain falling from the sky.
Jiang Qian Fan picked up Lin Ke Song and they headed towards Leidewensen Hotel.
“What do you think the theme of today will be?” Lin Ke Song asked.
“The representative dish of one’s master.”
Lin Ke Song had not expected him to answer because Jiang Qian Fan rarely made any unfounded predictions.
“Why is it the representative dish of the master?”
“That’s because this is the ‘Master’s Show’. You represent your respective mentors.”
In this case, it seemed that Jiang Qian Fan’s predictions were quite appropriate.
“You know my cooking style very well, so this kind of theme should not be hard for you.”
There was a sense of calm in Jiang Qian Fan’s voice.
“Your most famous dish is foie gras. However, I haven’t completely mastered this yet.”
“It is impossible to copy another’s dish perfectly, even if it’s by using the exact same process and method. However, your mentor is me. When the judges taste your dish, they will definitely be able to feel that.”
Lin Ke Song turned her head away and glanced out the window with a smile.
As she walked into the lounge arranged by the committee, Lin Ke Song saw her strongest opponent, Viktor. At this moment, the usual naïve expression which he wore was pulled off. Instead, his eyes were closed and he had his hands folded over his forehead. Viktor was deep in his own thoughts and trying to make himself more focused.
Lin Ke Song did not deliberately avoid Shan Sha, but sat down beside her.
In fact, she also wanted to know how well Shan Sha would perform during this final round.
“Ke Song……what do you think the theme will be for today?” Shan Sha whispered by Lin Ke Song’s ear.
“I’m not a member of the committee.” Lin Ke Song laughed and shrugged her shoulder, “And it is difficult for us to guess the thoughts of the judges. Maybe they’ll make us cook, then halfway during the process, have us exchange ingredients?”
“Ah……it can’t be……” Shan Sha said with an anxious expression. She pulled on Lin Ke Song’s sleeve and continued to ask, “Did Mr Jiang not give you any hints?”
“He only gave me one hint.”
“What is it?”
“Maintain your usual state of mind, and be yourself.”
“Ah……” Shan Sha looked suspiciously at Lin Ke Song. “Wasn’t it said that the relationship between Mr Jiang and Winston’s editor-in-chief was quite good? Didn’t he disclose any information to Mr Jiang?”
At this time, an announcement asking for the competitors to enter the stage was broadcasted. Lin Ke Song rose and headed towards the door.
“Ke Song….how about you just tell me? Besides, it’s not like I would pose any threat to you anyway……”
“I can randomly make up an answer for you, do you want that?” Lin Ke Song replied as she turned her head back.
Shan Sha grinned. As they were passing through the door, Lin Ke Song glimpsed Shan Sha staring at her from the reflection in the glass. The gaze with which the other girl was directing towards her was not as friendly as usual.
Lin Ke Song suddenly stopped and turned around to face Shan Sha.
Shan Sha was completely unable to predict that, and it was too late for her to hide the expression on her face.
“I suddenly thought of something.”
“Even though you pose no threat to me, I pose a threat to you. Right?”
Shan Sha stumbled for a second, then displayed an angry and hurt expression. “You…what exactly are you trying to say?”
A large smile appeared on Lin Ke Song’s face. “I’m just joking with you! Relax! Look how tense you are!”
Without waiting for Shan Sha’s reply, Lin Ke Song quickly stepped onto the stage.
As each competitor entered, thunderous applause could be heard.
For Lin Ke Song, the brightness of the light was no longer blinding.
Even amongst so many people, she could still find Jiang Qian fan easily.
If this competition was that wild roller coaster, Jiang Qian Fan would always be her object of reference even if the heavens and earth were reversed.
“Thank you very much for all attending this feast. The upcoming round today will be the most normal one we’ve had so far. Of course, this competition is merely the prelude to the delicious journey that will be ahead of use for the rest of our lives. Although the competition rules for today will be simple, it is also the most demanding. It will test the competitors’ skills, the amount of knowledge they’ve learnt from your mentor and whether they have the ability to perform independently. What the competitors will have to do today is reproduce the representative dish of their mentor!”
All of the competitors exhaled when they heard Annalise’s words.
If it was the representative dish of their mentor, then even if it wasn’t a thousand times, they would have at least practise for nine hundred.
“However, if it’s just one dish, then that would be too boring!”
All of a sudden, everyone was nervous again.