Lu Jinling held a sharp knife, explaining as she moved quickly to cut up the salmon, "An eighteen pound salmon is already considered quite large for a domestically produced fish. The salmon I have with me today just arrived this morning. Take a look at the eye, it's still clear and transparent."
Since they did not work in this field, Ling Ran and the others could not say anything regarding her technique when she cut fish, but her posture still seemed pretty graceful and professional to them.
Everyone only shifted their gazes a little when red slices of salmon were placed on white porcelain plates.
"Give it a try?" Lu Jinling placed three slices of salmon on a plate and took the initiative to pass it to Ling Ran. With so little food on a large plate, it look like French or Japanese cuisine. It gave off a very luxurious vibe.
Ling Ran was a straightforward person who did not disguise his thoughts or needs with frivolous mannerisms. He picked up the pair of chopsticks, took a slice of the salmon, and stuffed it straight into his mouth without dipping it into any of the sauces.
The somewhat cold salmon first felt a little sweet, then surprisingly smooth in his throat.
Foreigners seemed to place a lot of importance on the smoothness of raw food which they liked very much, and this was the case especially for salmon and oysters. They placed so much importance on it that they behaved like the Chinese with their emphasis for food that 'melted on the tongue'.
"Is it nice?" Lu Jinling was all smiles. If her flashy eyeshadow was overlooked, she could be said to look like 'the girl next door'.
If Ling Ran said he was taste-testing, then he literally meant he was taste-testing. He had already closed his eyes in satisfaction. He said, "It's fresher than the one we buy ourselves, and a little sweet."
His mother, Tao Ping had always been a trendy, middle-class woman. She had even prepared sushi and sashimi herself before. Ling Ran was neither repulsed by it nor passionate about it. The level of his liking for salmon was around his level of his liking for braised mutton, slightly less than his liking for braised beef, and slightly more than his liking for braised fish. It was at a level where he was willing to eat it when he saw it, but would not miss it when he did not get to have it.
Meanwhile, Lu Jinling said with pride, "All the salmon in Yun Hua is monopolized by our family. If you go and buy it yourself, you will find that the imported fish in the market wouldn't be as fresh as ours, and the domestic ones would be the leftovers from after we selected ours."
As Lu Jinling spoke, she continued maneuvering the chef's knife, which was the length of half an arm. She then put three more slices of salmon on a plate and gave it to Tao Ping. "You try it, too."
"Thank you very much." Tao Ping glanced at Ling Ran with a smile and helped herself to a slice.
"Is the taste good?" Lu Jinling asked again.
"It's quite nice." Tao Ping nodded slightly.
"Then, why don't you make me your daughter-in-law?" Lu Jinling's expression was unperturbed while she held the chef's knife.
Tao Ping almost spat out the salmon in her mouth while Ling Ran lifted his gaze.
He had heard that people of the underground were daring in their expressions of hatred and love. But he did not expect an actual woman of the underground to be so 'frank'.
'This sort of person might not be able to pass the "Davos Assessment of Cognitive Biases Scale".' Ling Ran, who scored 0.55 points lower than the upper limit, did not regard Lu Jinling favorably.
"Just kidding." Before everyone recovered, Lu Jinling took back her words and said with a smile, "I'm not ready to get married yet."
Right then, Ling Jiezhou felt a lot of regret as he stared at the chef's knife in Lu Jinling's hand. 'Why did I let her into the kitchen?'
He gave his belly a few slaps and immediately changed the topic. He said to Yang Zhongshu, who sat on the wheelchair beside him. "Old Yang, is your hand alright now?"
Yang Zhongshu was a little embarrassed as he spoke, "Yes, yes, yes. My hand is alright now. I went to Yun Hua hospital for an examination. The doctor there said that it was thanks to Ling Ran's good suturing skills that my hand can recover so well."
Yang Zhongshu pulled Yang Hu over and said, "My son made a big scene that day, and we came here today with the intention to apologize.
Upon hearing that, Lu Jinling's eyelids twitched. She asked Ling Ran, "Did they offend you?"
"Not really." Ling Ran was a rather calm person, and he was not mentally ill either. Why would he cut other people up just because their attitudes were not nice? Besides that, as a surgeon, he had to consider basic anatomy before cutting people up. If a surgeon wanted to hurt someone, then the basic moral fortitude he should have was to make it painful for his targets without hurting them.
Lu Jinling picked up a piece of salmon skin with the tip of her knife, ate it, and said, "Tell me if somebody offends you. My brother and I have our own methods to deal with people who annoy us in Yun Hua. We are especially good at fighting against vile people."
"Okay." Ling Ran declined politely.
"We won't charge you. My elder brother said that you must be of a certain standard to be able to stitch up his tattoo, and that not many people in Yun Hua are as skilled as you are." Lu Jinling gave a thumbs-up. At the same time, she straightened her body, like a grid girl about to send off the race cars. Her small breasts protruded, causing others to feel their hearts to race when they saw them.
Ling Ran was suddenly a little dazzled, not because of her voluptuous body, but because of her thumb pointing upwards.
It was a very beautiful thumb, with a natural curve on the distal phalanx. The angle from the base to the tip was reminiscent of a softly pressed string on a Chinese zithergentle and beautiful, but bearing great and tenacious strength...
Her skin was smooth with a slight shade of pink. Ling Ran then looked at her right hand. At this moment, she held the sharp knife that was used to slice the salmon. It did not look bad either.
"Aren't both of you apologizing? We're waiting" Lu Jinling slammed the sharp knife on the chopping board with a loud thud, as if she was collecting debts from Yang Hu and Yang Zhongshu.
There was a bitter taste in Yang Hu's mouth. People these days were not used to apologizing. Even the thought of uttering a simple apology made him hesitate outside the door and sway the wheelchair. Naturally, he found it difficult and embarrassing to make a serious apology.
"Hu'zi, take out the silk banner we made." After being the owner of a small restaurant for so many years, Yang Zhongshu was not too concerned about preserving his dignity anymore.
It was as if Yang Hu was suddenly roused. He immediately took out the silk banner from his bag.
Four feet long and two feet wide, the silk banner was considered to be of good dimensions. It was bright red with a silk-like tassel, and would look good when hung.
Ling Jiezhou hung it on the wall with a smile, and even deliberately smoothed the tassel below it. He said to Ling Ran, "From now on, this wall in our main house belongs to you."
His expression and tone were exactly the same as when he hung Ling Ran's medal from kindergarten on the wall.
"The magic hand that restores health? Can't you guys think of anything new?" Lu Jinling felt rather bored since she was not met with the objection and challenge she had anticipated.
"The magic hand that restores health is a good phrase. It's just right to put it in the middle of the wall so that the general praise can be seen first. In the future, there can be more detailed praises. Next time, we'll show this to whoever thinks that Ling Ran is still young and inexperienced," Ling Jiezhou replied smoothly so that Boss Yang would not feel awkward. They were, after all, from the same neighborhood.
Yang Hu recovered and flashed an insipid smile. He then took out the red packet he had prepared and passed it to Ling Ran with his waist bent and head lowered. "We didn't even pay the medical bill last time. I'm really sorry."
Ling Jiezhou took the red packet and said, "It's okay. I'll write you a receipt."
"There's no need"
"It's still needed." Without giving them a chance to explain, Ling Jiezhou went to tally the bill. When he returned with the bill, Yang Zhongshu could not sit still anymore and wanted to return the wheelchair.
Tao Ping stopped him from getting up and said with a smile, "You shouldn't be walking right now, so just stay seated first. Gifting a silk banner is a good thing, and we should be happy and celebratory. No more words of apology."
Ling Jiezhou looked at Tao Ping in mild disbelief. From what he remembered, his wife did not have such an affable personality.
"Old Ling, go to old man Zhou's house and get two strings of firecrackers. The hanging of a silk banner wouldn't be meaningful without some noise." The moment Tao Ping said that, Ling Jiezhou understood.
As expected, Tao Ping would not let the Yang family come and leave quietly.
Ling Jiezhou bought two strings of M-5000 firecrackers, the highest standard in the small supermarket. On regular days, they were only used for worshipping ancestors and at wedding banquets.
The loud sound of explosion startled the neighbors in the entire alley. The ones who were free naturally came downstairs to make their inquiries.
Then, Ling Jiezhou laughed out loud and yelled,
"Today, Boss Yang is here to hang a silk banner for our Ling Ran. Such joy!
"Our Ling Ran stitched up the cut on Boss Yang's hand.
"Boss Yang even came here with his son to apologize. We're all neighbors, and there's no need for apologies. So, we just lit up a few strings of firecrackers, and everyone is happy."
No matter what, Yang Zhongshu could not stay there any longer. He went back to the knife-cut noodles restaurant earlier, and even left the wheelchair in the clinic.
The moment the two stepped out of the clinic's front door, a small white box quietly appeared in front of Ling Ran.
"The newbie mission, 'A Small Test of Skill' has been completed. Yang Zhongshu's hand has been treated and the result is satisfactory. You are rewarded with a Basic Treasure Chest." The system's voice echoed in Ling Ran's mind.
The small white box was right on top of the chopping board, but no one else except Ling Ran saw it. Ling Ran thought of something, and he ran his hand over the small white box.
The moment Ling Ran touched the treasure chest, he saw the chest unlock by itself. The cover opened, and amid brilliant light, something that looked like a test tube slowly floated up with a halo around it.
[Energy Serum: Recovers your energy.]
In the blink of an eye, the serum and the treasure chest disappeared without a trace. Ling Ran could only feel that something heavy had suddenly appeared in the pocket of his trousers.
'A real item actually appeared?' Ling Ran lowered his head, a little shocked.