MCAB - Chapter 148
"You can interpret it like that as well?"
Lemon was surprised, and he couldn't help but give his teammate a thumbs up.
Jun Zishu felt that Jiu Xi's words would definitely be highlighted on the screen when this first episode aired.
Since Jun Zishu and Yu Fanshu won first place, they got the right to choose their rooms first.
Out of the three rooms with their doors opened, the first room had a waterfront theme, and the walls were painted blue with beautiful images decorating them.
The second room had a forest theme, and it looked lush and green.
The third room had a plain and elegant design with clear windows.
All three rooms had different styles, but all of them had one thing in common—all rooms had two beds each.
This was only a dating show, so there was no way the TV crew would have the guests sleep in the same bed.
Seeing that the rooms had two beds each, Yu Fanshu couldn't help but feel disappointed for some inexplicable reason.
"I like the first one better. What about you?" Jun Zishu asked.
"Me too," Yu Fanshu said.
"We'll take the second one, then," Millie said.
Thus, Lemon and Jiu Xi had no choice but to settle with the third room.
After everyone unpacked their luggage, the TV crew informed them that they could start preparing for their lunch.
"We have to cook for ourselves? But I can't even tell apart salt and sugar. Everyone around me used to call me the kitchen killer," Millie said, shrugging helplessly.
"Even I'm not willing to eat my own cooking," Tang Tongtong said, similarly shrugging as he looked to the other groups for help.
"My family refuses to let me near the kitchen," Jiu Xi said, expressing his inability to cook. Then, he looked toward Lemon.
Lemon took a more straightforward approach and turned to Jun Zishu and Yu Fanshu. Then, he asked, "For the sake of our kitchens' well-being, do you two know how to cook?"
"I do," Jun Zishu said, raising her hand. She might not know how to cook, but the original owner did. The original owner's cooking was quite well-received as well.
"How good is it?" Yu Fanshu asked.
"It should be okay."
"We'll leave it to you, then," Yu Fanshu said as she patted Jun Zishu on the shoulder, euphemistically indicating that she didn't know how to cook, either.
"Let's determine everyone's taste first, then."
"I can't handle spicy food," Millie said.
"I love super spicy food. I'm from Sichuan," Lemon said, raising his hand enthusiastically.
"I'm fine with anything. I'm not picky with food," Tang Tongtong said, to which Jiu Xi seconded.
"I typically eat light because of my health," Yu Fanshu said. Then, she looked at Jun Zishu and asked, "What about yourself?"
"I'm fine with anything; I don't have any particular preferences," Jun Zishu said.
The villa was located in a somewhat rural area. If they wanted to buy ingredients for cooking, they'd have to do so at the nearby wet market. The TV crew provided some basic funds and had the three couples go shopping by themselves.
The wet market was like a bazaar, and it was in quite a chaotic state when Jun Zishu and the others arrived.
"Have you ever been to a place like this, Miss Yu?" Jun Zishu asked.
Yu Fanshu shook her head as she followed Jun Zishu around, her eyes moving from side to side curiously as she walked through the market.
"Buy whatever you think is necessary, everyone. We'll meet up at the entrance in twenty minutes."
The sound of yelling and bargaining echoed throughout the market, creating a bustling scene.
"Follow me. We'll buy whatever we want to eat," Jun Zishu said as she extended a hand to Yu Fanshu.
Yu Fanshu nodded and placed her hand onto Jun Zishu's hand. Then, the two of them held hands as they walked through the market.
This time, Jun Zishu made full use of her system and developed a new purpose for her personal AI—selecting ingredients.
In other words, Jun Zishu had Little Fairy select the freshest fish and vegetables on her behalf.
[You're actually using me to pick vegetables, Host?]
Search h0sted n0vel for the original.
Don't tell me you don't even know how to pick vegetables?
[I do, I do.]
Little Fairy felt her dignity tarnished in this wet market.
"Have you learned how to cook before?" Yu Fanshu asked as she looked at the black bag the fishmonger handed to Jun Zishu.
"Mhm, I learned it from my mother."
"Is your mother a chef?"
"She works as a chef; she even has a chef's license. She used to be very busy and had little time to take care of me. So, I learned how to cook and take care of myself," Jun Zishu said, summarizing her life story in a few sentences. "Shopkeeper, how much for this tomato?"
Meanwhile, Yu Fanshu looked at Jun Zishu's profile, her heart yearning to understand Jun Zishu a little more.
The two conversed as they walked, joking with each other and laughing from time to time. None of the surrounding noises could affect their good mood.
Yu Fanshu felt that this should be what real life was about as she experienced this shopping trip. None of the flashy things she was used to existed at this moment. Like so, the two of them shopped around the market shoulder to shoulder. Although the experience was bland, trivial, and real, it was also warm.
Jun Zishu didn't know what the others would buy, so she bought only a fish, two tomatoes, a piece of lean pork, a handful of sweet potato noodles, and a piece of tofu.
"Is that all you are buying?" Yu Fanshu asked as she held up a tomato and scrutinized it.
"The others should've bought something as well, so this should be enough, I think?"
After twenty minutes had passed, everyone gathered at the entrance.
"Do you two have so little faith in my cooking skills?"
Jun Zishu's mouth twitched a little when she saw what the comedic duo bought.
"Cough, cough. Neither of us knows what ingredients to buy. Moreover, we don't agree on most things, and this is the only consensus we managed to reach," Lemon said as he held up the plastic bag in his hand, the several packets of instant noodles looking very conspicuous inside the translucent bag.
"What flavors did you buy?"
"There are old pickles and chicken mushrooms."
Jun Zishu couldn't help but marvel at the two boys' talent for shopping. After wandering the market for twenty minutes, all they managed to buy was a few packets of instant noodles.
Thankfully, Millie and Tang Tongtong didn't disappoint Jun Zishu completely. Unlike the comedic duo, the cute couple had bought fruits, cucumbers, eggs, tomatoes, and three small pumpkins. It was a refreshing selection of ingredients.
"Let's see what we have…"
After laying out all of the ingredients they bought across the kitchen counter, Jun Zishu caressed her chin as she fell into thought.
"Is this enough?"
"It should be."
"We can make fish, scrambled eggs with tomatoes, scrambled tomatoes, scrambled cucumbers, scrambled pumpkin, scrambled tofu, and scrambled meat. Then, we can have fruit after dinner. Everything's perfect," Millie said, clapping her hands as she finished her summary.
"We can do something more special," Jun Zishu said, an idea coming to her mind as she looked at the ingredients.
"What do you have in mind?" Yu Fanshu asked as she looked at Jun Zishu expectantly.
"It's a secret. You'll know when it's ready," Jun Zishu said with a grin. "I'll prep the ingredients first, then cook the rice when everything's almost ready."
"Do you need our help?"
"Help me wash the vegetables, Miss Yu. Millie and Tongtong, you two wash the fruits."
"Okay. I might not know how to cook, but I can still make fruit salad."
"What about us two?" Lemon asked as he pointed at himself and Jiu Xi.
"Go watch TV with your instant noodles," Chef Jun said.
After wearing her apron, Jun Zishu washed her hands and picked up the kitchen knife. Fortunately, this kitchen came well-stocked with culinary tools and cooking essentials such as salt, sugar, oil, and spices, so they didn't have to buy these things themselves.
After deboning the fish, Jun Zishu sliced up the meat and set it aside. Then, she chopped off the head and tail and left them aside as well.
She had chosen a type of fish with tender flesh and few bones, so the fish slices looked crystal clear under the sunlight.
Seeing this, the camera operator tweaked the camera and gave the fish slices a close-up.
Meanwhile, Yu Fanshu washed the cucumbers, tomatoes, and pumpkins and set them aside in a basket. Then, she leaned against the door as she watched Jun Zishu work.
Afterward, Jun Zishu washed the noodles and soaked them in a tub for some time. Then, she cracked a few eggs, used a small gadget to suck up the yolks, and placed the yolks in another bowl.
Yu Fanshu looked on with interest, curious to see what Jun Zishu would make.
After placing the fish slices into a container, Jun Zishu added some wine, salt, egg whites, and cornstarch. She couldn't find any plastic gloves around, so she had to mix the marinade with her bare hands and wash them once she was done.
"Please set a 20-minute timer for me, Miss Yu."
Yu Fanshu took out her phone and set a 20-minute timer as requested.
Setting the fish aside to marinade, Jun Zishu switched to washing the lean pork and mincing it on the chopping board. Then, she set the minced meat aside as well for later use.
Once that was done, Jun Zishu proceeded to slice the cucumbers, cut the pumpkins into strips, and cut the tofu into cubes.
The sight of the many prepared ingredients laid across the counter put all who saw it in a happy mood.
At this time, Yu Fanshu brought over the plate of fruits Millie had sliced up and picked up a slice of apple with a toothpick. Then, she fed it to Jun Zishu, who currently had both her hands occupied.
"I'll become Public Enemy No.1 if this segment gets aired," Jun Zishu joked. Countless people would probably envy her to death when they saw her getting fed fruit by Yu Fanshu.
Yu Fanshu smiled and continued feeding Jun Zishu.
When the twenty minutes were up, Jun Zishu sliced up some ginger, poured some oil into the wok, and turned on the stove. Then, she carefully put the ginger slices and fish bones into the wok once the oil was hot.
Once the fish bones were fried to a golden brown, Jun Zishu put in the chopped opinions and poured the water she previously boiled into the wok. Then, she covered the wok with a lid and turned on the heat.
Once Jun Zishu heard the water boiling, she turned down the flames and stared at the wok. In the meantime, Yu Fanshu stared at Jun Zishu.
Five minutes later, Jun Zishu still did not remove her gaze from the wok.
"How long do we have to wait for?"
"You need to be patient if you want good food. So long as you give your cooking enough time, the enjoyment it brings you will make you feel that your patience was worth it."
Whether one was cooking or doing other things, so long as one was patient enough to wait until one's efforts bore fruit, the enjoyment one would get from tasting the fruit of their labor would make their soul tremble in happiness.
After waiting a little longer, Jun Zishu started heating another wok filled with water. Then, she took out the uncut tomatoes from the fridge, cut a cross into their bottoms, and soaked them into the boiling water. A moment later, she took them out again, peeled them, and cut them into pieces.
Subsequently, Jun Zishu added some oil and tomato paste into the second wok and mixed them with her spatula. Then, once everything was properly mixed, she added some salt into the soup.
At this time, the fish soup was about done, so Jun Zishu filtered out the contents and got herself a big bowl of fish soup.
The soup was creamy white and had a rich aroma that made one drool.
When the fragrance spread to the living room, it immediately attracted several people to the kitchen.
"Something smells delicious."
Several heads appeared at the kitchen entrance, and the space next to Yu Fanshu was fully occupied in the blink of an eye.
The tomato soup in the wok started bubbling and gurgling at this time, filling the kitchen with a different kind of aroma.
Noticing this, Jun Zishu poured the fish soup into the second wok, the two different colored soups mixing. After stirring them together, the dual-colored soup quickly turned red.
Afterward, Jun Zishu raised the heat and started adding the fish slices into the soup. The fish slices tumbled in the wok a few times before they were cooked and curled up. Then, Jun Zishu poured the soup into a bowl and set it aside.
"This dish is tomato fish. Miss Yu eats only light food, and Millie can't handle spicy food, so you two can have this. It tastes sweet and sour."
"I want to eat it so much right now! Can we try a little bit first?"
"We'll eat it together afterward. I'll start cooking the rice now. Once the rice is cooked, the other dishes should be just about done as well," Jun Zishu said.
Noticing a thin layer of sweat on Jun Zishu's forehead, Yu Fanshu grabbed a tissue paper and wiped it for her.
Jun Zishu beamed a smile at Yu Fanshu, the air between them tasting deliciously sweet and sour. For a moment, Yu Fanshu felt as if something had struck her.
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Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)