Chapter 41 House-warming Party
Lin Luoran says that her friends are coming over. Lin Luoran has lived a hard life for a long time and she has lost contact with most of her classmates. If she invites them over, they may think that she is showing off. Therefore, only Baojia and Sister Wang are about to come here.
A man in a suit and gold-rimmed glasses walks in behind Baojia. Isn’t that Liu Zheng?
Mr. and Mrs. Lin have met Baojia before. They are aware that Baojia is nice to Lin Luoran so they both like her much. However, seeing a gentleman like Liu Zheng who is clearly not from the same class with them, Mr. and Mrs. Lin start to feel uneasy.
Thank god Fatty Cui doesn’t come today because he is occupied, or else the golden necklace of him will be so dazzling. Wang Miao’e is rich but she is chubby and her skin is dark, so the high-end clothes don’t look so fancy on her. At first sight, Mrs. Lin thinks that Wang Miao’e is the same kind of people with her.
Liu Zheng is carrying two big bags of gifts. He greets Mr. and Mrs. Lin gently, which makes Aunty Li whisper to Mrs. Lin, “Luoran is doing so good. Her friends are all respectable.”
Mrs. Lin is able to judge Aunty Lin’s feelings by her own. She knows that if the situation is reversed, she will feel a bit uncomfortable either. Mrs. Lin pats Aunty Li on the shoulder and says, “What are you talking about? No matter what status Luoran has, she will always call you her aunt, right?”
Aunty Li is reassured by Mrs. Lin’s words and continues to pick vegetables.
Liu Zheng is not a flippant person. However, looking at this magnificent house and drinking tea in the living room, he can’t help smiling, “You live in a 20 million house and earn a salary of a few thousand yuan. This can be an advertisement for Treasure House. Moneybag Lin, you can consider to work with me and make some news as a publicity of the company.”
Seeing Lin Luoran’s blush, Baojia pounds Liu Zheng, “Master Liu, your family also owns several luxury villas, and I never scoff you like this!”
Liu Zheng leaves the joke behind and starts to talk about business with Wang Miao’e. Fortune House used to dominate the jewelry business in the province. Since Liu Zheng’s company enters the industry, he has gradually become allies with retailers like Wang Miao’e and Fatty Cui. They have been doing business with each other for quite a while so there are lots of things to talk about.
Baojia drags Lin Luoran to offer their help in the kitchen since Liu Zheng and Wang Miao’e are talking about business. As a silent person, Mr. Lin is afraid that he may say something wrong to disgrace his daughter, so he goes to the backyard to fish with Luodong.
Needless to say, the vegetables all come from Lin Luoran’s space. She just picked them a few minutes ago so they are very fresh. Baojia has brought some beef and pork ribs, and Sister Wang comes with a box of wine, which is exactly her style.
Baojia is not a spoiled little girl. She knows how to wash the rice and pick vegetables and can even make some simple dishes.
When Lin Luoran and Baojia come in the kitchen, Mrs. Lin is reducing the broth in the stewed pork with brown sauce. The lean part is soft and the fat part oily but not greasy. This is Mrs. Lin’s special dish, which Lin Luoran only gets to eat on festivals because her family was short of money when she was a child.
Liu Zheng, Baojia and Sister Wang all grow up eating fine dishes in the city. Lin Luoran is afraid that they may not like the oily dishes her mom makes, so she tells her mom to take a rest and prepares to make some light dishes.
Baojia makes herself at home and “steals” a piece of meat which burns her tongue. She thumbs up to praise Mrs. Lin for her good cooking, which amuses Mrs. Lin who is disappointed for being taken away the chance to cook.
Lin Luoran takes out two cabbages from her space and cuts the most juicy parts into strips. She steams them and pours sour sauce on them. This dish is fresh and light, and it looks lovely with several coriander leaves on the top.
Baojia volunteers to chop the useless leaves of the cabbages and goes to feed the koi fish.
The fat koi fish all act crazy to fight for the cabbages. Baojia’s scream draws Aunty Li there to watch.
Lin Luoran is alone with her mom in the kitchen. Mrs. Lin looks to the living room and asks in a low voice about Lin Luoran’s relationship with Liu Zheng.
Lin Luoran is speechless. She explains repeatedly that she and Liu Zheng are only friends. Mrs. Lin is suspicious and just chops the pork ribs without a word.
Lin Luoran has no choice but to tell her mom that Liu Zheng is Baojia’s fiancé, then Mrs. Lin finally believes that there is nothing special between Lin Luoran and Liu Zheng. However, Lin Luoran hears her mom muttering “what a shame.” God knows what Mrs. Lin is shamed for.
Baojia and Aunty Li come back from feeding the fish. Lin Luodong jumps into the kitchen with a big chub in his arms. He is so excited that his face turns red, and he is looking at Lin Luoran with an eager expression.
Knowing that her dad is fishing in the backyard, Lin Luoran asks gently, “Did you catch the fish?”
Luodong answers, “Dad Lin!”
Lin Luoran is satisfied that Luodong now can open his mouth and talk. She doesn’t want to push him into saying full sentences, as long as she can understand his meaning. It appears that Mr. Lin has caught the fish. The water in the pond is quite clear. Nobody can imagine that such a big fish can live there.
Noticing that Luodong is having a hard time holding the slippery fish in his arms, Lin Luoran fetches a basin and puts the fish in it. She says to her mom, “Looks like there are lots of good stuff in the pond. We can drain off the water some day and catch the fish one by one!”
Baojia nods, “You must call me when you do that. Ha-ha.”
Lin Luoran talks back, “Remember you are the daughter of a distinguished family. How can you act more excited than anyone else when it comes to catching fish!”
Baojia pretends to come and tickle Lin Luoran, which makes Mrs. Lin, Aunty Li and even Lin Luodong laugh.
Looking at the big chub, Mrs. Lin is in a puzzle, “It’s a pity that this is a chub, which has a strong fishy smell, or else I can make a steamed fish.”
Lin Luoran presses on Mrs. Lin’s shoulder and says, “Just go to rest, mom. I can make a chub hotpot, and I assure you there won’t be a fishy smell!”
Hearing this, Aunty Li quickly kills the fish and cuts it into thick slices. Lin Luoran puts the fish slices into a sauce made of white wine, salt, pepper, vinegar, shallot and ginger to remove the fishy smell, and adds two spoons of beer in it.
Baojia is standing beside and waiting to learn. Lin Luodong is also watching without blinking. Lin Luoran thinks to herself that Luodong may be a boy who likes to cook.
Seeing Baojia wants to learn how to make the dish, Lin Luoran takes the fish out of the sauce and asks Baojia to lay them on the plate.
Aunty Li smiles and says, “How can she know what to do.” She breaks open an egg, scatters the egg white over the fish and seasons them.
Baojia finally gets the job of stirring and she starts doing it happily. Noticing that Luodong is interested, she passes the chopsticks over to him. The two of them are both in high spirits.
Lin Luoran prepares some pickled ginger, red pepper and pickled cabbage. She uses pork fat and rape oil to fry the fish, and adds all the ingredients and some spicy millet. Then she adds some broth.
Three minutes after the broth is boiled, Lin Luoran puts some coriander and shallot on the top. The dish smells nice.
On the dinner table.
Seeing that the dinner is ready, Wang Miao’e points at a plate of tomato salad and asks, “Is this tomato the same as those you sent me?”
Lin Luoran nods. Then Wang Miao’e starts to dig in the tomato salad.
Baojia is eating cabbage and staring at the chub hotpot. Aunty Li notices that everybody is eating vegetable dishes and wonders while eating stewed pork with brown sauce, “People in the city are so weird. They only eat vegetables and don’t eat meat.”
What? Why are Mr. and Mrs. Lin also eating vegetables only? Aunty Li tries a bite of the sautéed spinach, and the fresh and crisp taste makes her give up meat.
The vegetables of the Lin’s taste so good! This idea fills Aunty Li’s mind.
After dinner, Aunty Li wants to stay here for the night. Lin Luoran goes to walk Baojia and Liu Zheng to their car.
Wang Miao’e is a doer. She has already left with a bunch of vegetables after she is satiated.
Although winter in R City is not as cold as the northern cities, the wind is freezing. Liu Zheng opens the car door. It appears that he suddenly thinks of something and he leans on the car door and asks Lin Luoran, “I heard from Mrs. Cui that you are coming?”
Lin Luoran is vacant. A few seconds later, she realizes that Liu Zheng is talking about the trip to Burma and becomes a little embarrassed. She is an employee of Liu Zheng’s company, and it is quite inappropriate for her to ask for a leave for personal reasons.
Liu Zheng seems to see through Lin Luoran’s embarrassment and says with a smile, “I know you are interested in stone gambling, and Mrs. Cui tells me that you are talented. How about I promote you to a purchasing consultant? And your salary will consist of basic salary and bonus.” Actually, the words Wang Miao’e uses are that Lin Luoran is a goddess of fortune who can earn dollars, and it will be a pity if Liu Zheng doesn’t make the best use of her luck.
Lin Luoran has been feeling that the sales work is not flexible enough, which no longer suits her condition. However, she is reluctant to give up the free Reiki in the jewelry of Treasure House. Liu Zheng’s offer is perfect for both of them.
As the purchasing consultant, she only has to go to the site and pick some raw stones. These raw stones don’t have to be extremely good, and her job is to make sure that the company can make a profit. Therefore, Lin Luoran will have the perfect excuse to absorb Reiki everywhere. Lin Luoran will not say no to such a nice chance, and she hurries to nod and accepts the offer.
“Is Baojia going?”
Wearing heavy clothes, Baojia still feels cold that her teeth are chattering, “No. I have to go to the capital with my grandpa in a couple of days, and I’m not sure when I can get back!”
Baojia sniffs without any elegance and giggles, “You have to keep an eye on Liu Zheng for me in case he falls in love with other girls in Yunnan province. And I prefer a close guard.”
Baojia’s words make Liu Zheng start to push his glasses and Lin Luoran looks up to the sky. She glares at Baojia and heads back home.
Lin Luoran hasn’t figured out an explanation to her parents about how she is able to buy such a big house. On the way home, Baojia detects a subtle smile on Liu Zheng’s face and says,
“Just tell her that you like her. You can never have her by being reserved!”
Liu Zheng is shocked and nails the brakes in panic. He almost hits the fence on the roadside. After calming herself down, Baojia stops talking because she doesn’t realize that her words can do so much damage.
Liu Zheng casts a glance at Baojia. He wants to explain himself, but doesn’t know how to start.