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MCAB - Chapter 149

"You two are really into this."

When Tang Tongtong withdrew his gaze from the food and saw Yu Fanshu wiping Jun Zishu's sweat, he suddenly felt a burst of sweetness exploding in his mouth.

"I can't wait to eat," Lemon said as he rubbed his hands together, his eyes looking at Jun Zishu eagerly.

"I'll call you guys when it's ready. You don't have to wait here."

"But we think it's more fun to wait here," Millie said, to which the others nodded.

After washing the rice and setting it to cook in the rice cooker, Jun Zishu removed the sweet potato noodles from the water, dried them, and cut them into smaller strings. Then, she washed one of the woks, put it back on the stove, and turned on the heat.

When the oil was sufficiently hot, Jun Zishu put in some onion, ginger, and garlic to temper it. After doing so, she added some bean paste, stir fried it for a moment, added the minced meat, and stir fried it again.

When the smell of spicy meat permeated the kitchen, Lemon inhaled deeply.

"I'm really dying to it already."

"Me too."

"It's nice knowing how to cook."

"It's nice having someone who knows how to cook around."

Millie and Tang Tongtong exclaimed simultaneously, though their respective aims were obviously different.

After frying the meat to a suitable doneness, Jun Zishu added some water and let it boil.

"It's only half-past ten. Are you guys hungry already?" Jun Zishu couldn't help but ask when she turned around and saw a bunch of sparkling eyes looking in her direction.

"We weren't hungry before, but we are now."

When the sound of boiling water came from the wok, Jun Zishu poured in the sweet potato noodles, added some salt, cut in a few red chilies, and stir fried everything together. Then, she poured the noodles, soup, and everything into a bowl and sprinkled some green onion over it.

After completing her second dish, Jun Zishu covered the bowl with a plate to prevent it from cooling down too much before it was time for lunch.

Subsequently, Jun Zishu scrubbed her wok and fired it up again.

The third and fourth dishes were stir-fried cucumber slices and stir-fried pumpkin slices. Both looked refreshing and delicious to eat.

Jun Zishu planned to use the fish head she separated to make a stew with the tofu since fish soup and stewed tofu made for a good combination.

Jun Zishu didn't let the egg yolks go to waste, either. After cracking two more eggs into the bowl, she beat the eggs together and used the egg mixture to make a big omelet.

"Finally we can eat! I've long since grown hungry after staring here all day!"

The result of Jun Zishu's efforts was: sliced fish with tomatoes, ants climbing a tree[1], fried omelet, stir-fried cucumber slices, stir-fried pumpkin slices, and stewed tofu. It was simply heaven when these dishes were served with a bowl of rice.

"Isn't this way too delicious?! I've decided! I'm going to kowtow to your cooking! Millie exclaimed after taking a bite of fish and rice, her eyes practically sparkling as she looked at Jun Zishu.

"Eat as much as you like."

"Whoever marries you in the future will have a happy life," Lemon said with his mouth full as he gave Jun Zishu a thumbs up.

"My girlfriend is still next to me, so be careful of what you say," Jun Zishu said as she poked Yu Fanshu with her elbow.

Lemon didn't expect Jun Zishu to throw such a ball at him, so he couldn't help but be a little stunned.

"That's right. Are you implying that I won't marry her in the future? I know I'm very lucky, but you don't have to get jealous," Yu Fanshu immediately picked up the ball and looked at Jun Zishu with deep affection.

Jun Zishu didn't expect Yu Fanshu to follow up so well, so she couldn't help but smile.

"Aren't you two showing off a little too much? Can't you at least spare us during lunch?" Lemon wailed after snapping back to his senses.

"Who doesn't know how to act lovey-dovey? Tongtong!" Millie said.

"Here!"

Tang Tongtong was a little stunned when he suddenly heard his name getting called. Immediately, he pulled his soul back from the food and looked at his dating show's partner.

"Open up!" Millie commanded.

Tang Tongtong opened up his mouth and got stuffed with a mouthful of food by Millie immediately afterward.

Tang Tongtong blushed a little in this situation. His complexion was relatively fair, so the blush on his face looked very obvious under the illumination of the light.

"Hahaha! The pure-hearted youth is blushing!" Lemon laughed.

"Is it delicious?" Millie asked.

"It's delicious."

Tang Tongtong nodded after swallowing. Then, he resumed eating in embarrassment.

"See? We're lovey-dovey," Millie said with her chest puffed up.

Whether they behaved genuinely or acted, everyone enjoyed a happy meal together.

"We can do it, too. Come, darling, open up," Lemon said as he picked up a pumpkin slice with his chopsticks and moved it near Jiu Xi's face.

"If you want my bowl of rice on your face, just say so. No need to be so euphemistic."

Jiu Xi's eyebrows twitched, his face looking like he was about to recoil in disgust.

"Don't be like that~ Come on, open up~"

"Blergh. Lemon, are you asking for us to beat you up?" Millie asked.

"Come on, open up, darling."

The pumpkin was practically touching Jiu Xi's mouth at this point. Just when everyone thought that Jiu Xi was about to put down his chopsticks and hit Lemon, he raised his hand and grabbed Lemon's hand. Then, he snatched the pumpkin slice with his mouth and smiled at Lemon, asking, "Are you satisfied now, darling?"

Three seconds later, everyone burst into laughter.

"Hahaha! Amazing!"

"Ahhh! Screw you!" Lemon cursed.

"Don't change your chopsticks if you dare," Jiu Xi said, raising his eyebrows in delight.

"Fine! I won't change them! Do you think I'm scared of you?"

When Jun Zishu looked at the merry-making people around the table, she couldn't help but find them interesting.

Meanwhile, Yu Fanshu quietly watched everything play out, her heart secretly hoping for something. However, even until the end of the meal, Jun Zishu did not feed her any food.

Everyone else had done it, so why didn't Jun Zishu follow the train?

Although Yu Fanshu had sullenly finished her meal, she didn't show any of her emotions on her face.

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Jun Zishu felt that once this episode aired, she could get rid of a significant portion of her bad reputation. At this point, most of her bad reputation originated from her terrible acting skills and her attempts at imitating and currying favor with Yu Fanshu.

Jun Zishu wasn't in a hurry to solve her acting problem. As for the remaining two problems, they would be mostly taken care of once this program aired. Once everyone watched the program, they would know that she shared a good relationship with Yu Fanshu and that she had already altered her style and persona.

Moreover, she could probably gain a lot of fans for her culinary skills.

With three boys in the family, they had no trouble finishing all the dishes. After the meal, Jun Zishu even brought a bowl of soup to the TV crew. It wasn't a lot, though, since she had only cooked so much.

The camera was rolling throughout this time. While others might say that she was showing off, Jun Zishu wasn't really worried even if that happened. The action would enhance her image no matter what.

The dishes naturally needed to be done after the meal. There were six rice bowls, two soup bowls, and several plates, so it would be quite the chore to wash everything.

When Jun Zishu was about to tidy up the table and do the dishes, Yu Fanshu stopped her.

"You did all the cooking, so how can we let you do the dishes as well? I'll do it."

"Wow, since the goddess has said so, I request to help with the dishes as well!" Millie said as she raised her hand.

Seeing this, Tang Tongtong quietly stepped forward as well.

"I think we should help out as well," Lemon said.

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"Since you two are so eager, you two do the dishes, then," Yu Fanshu earnestly said after pondering for three seconds.

"Did you just set us up, Goddess?"

"No way." Yu Fanshu shrugged innocently.

"I think Miss Yu is right. She is my girlfriend right now, after all. We are a unit, so my effort is her effort. Now that we've already done our part, it's your turn now," Jun Zishu wittily said, quickly thinking of a good excuse for Yu Fanshu.

"I actually have nothing to say…"

"Me too…"

"You two ate the most just now, so you two do the dishes," Millie suddenly said as she turned to Lemon and Jiu Xi.

"Hey, hey, hey, your boyfriend ate a lot as well. Also, aren't you a girl? Your hands should be more nimble than ours," Lemon quickly retaliated.

"You can't say that. It is because she is a girl that she should protect her delicate hands even more. Men like you should be responsible for this kind of rough work instead," Tang Tongtong said in defense of his partner.

"Comrade Tang Tongtong, must you say such heartbreaking things just to avoid doing the dishes?"

"I'm just telling the truth."

"In that case, as a man, shouldn't you be doing this work with us?"

"But I already did my part just now," Tang Tongtong said, shrugging.

"When?"

"I helped wash and cut the fruits. You two even ate them just now."

"That settles it. Chop, chop, get to work, you two," Millie said.

In the end, Lemon and Jiu Xi had no choice but to resign themselves to fate and do the dishes, while everyone else enjoyed the air conditioning in the living room.

"Actually, I'm quite worried placing our hopes on them," Jun Zishu hesitantly said as she looked at the kitchen.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm worried that they'll accidentally break—"

Before Jun Zishu could finish her words, the sound of porcelain doing a free fall and shattering perfectly on the ground came from the kitchen.

"—the dishes."

"It seems you're quite the prophet."

Millie promptly got up from the sofa and walked to the kitchen to join in on the fun.

"How much detergent did you guys use?"

"No idea."

"I'm really worried whether you two can actually clean all these bowls and plates! Oh, and the woks as well! We will need to use them later! What if we get poisoned?!" Millie exclaimed in exasperation.

"How about you do it instead?"

Not wanting to miss out on the action and seeing nothing happening in the living room, the two cameramen in the living room quickly made their way to the kitchen. They left only a camera rolling in the living room.

Outside of the camera's view, Jun Zishu gave Yu Fanshu a helpless look. In response, Yu Fanshu moved closer to Jun Zishu and asked, "How many dishes do you think they'll break?"

"Definitely more than one."

"The crew should wash the dishes for us again, right?"

"That might not necessarily be the case. The crew might want them to learn how to do the dishes and have them show the fruits of their efforts afterward."

The TV crew's goal was probably to create the image of a harmonious family, so Jun Zishu had a feeling that the TV crew wouldn't let this point slip by.

"Your cooking was delicious."

"Haven't you guys praised it plenty of times already? Honestly, it's just alright. It's not at the level of a chef. I think I still have lots of room for improvement."

"Other than this variety show, do you have any other jobs scheduled?"

"None for now, but there should be some soon."

"Don't rush in accepting any. It's best to take your time making comparisons."

"I don't have that kind of luxury, Teacher. Directors who emphasize acting skills will never look for me. I can only do whatever the company wants me to do," Jun Zishu said helplessly. She honestly didn't have the luxury to be choosing what work she took on right now.

After hearing this, Yu Fanshu patted Jun Zishu on the head, a plan gradually forming in her mind.

TL Notes:

[1]ants climbing a tree: a classic Sichuan dish in Chinese cuisine. The dish consists of ground meat, such as pork, cooked in a sauce and poured over bean thread noodles. Other ingredients in the dish may include rice vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili paste.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ants_climbing_a_tree

Hellscythe's Notes:

MCAB's first patreon goal (150$) has been met! So, expect to see two chapters released on Sundays from now on!

If you would like to read ahead and help increase release rates for MCAB, please consider subscribing to my patreon!

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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)
Written by 小吾君 Xiao Wu Jun. Translated by Hellscythe.