The customers were intrigued by the way Xie Dongsheng reacted to the dumpling. All of them lost their mood for eating and kept having the same question go through their mind: “That dumpling looked really beautiful and smelled really fragrant. I wonder how it tasted”
When they saw Xie Dongsheng leave, everyone cast their eyes on his son, Xie Zhen.
The man with the flowery shirt commented, “Little Xie, it was my fault just now. Can you let me have a taste of that dumpling?”
Xie Zhen was taken back. He was not around previously, but he happened to see Xie Dongsheng stuff the dumplings into the freezer when he entered. He had no idea what had happened prior to that. Furthermore, everyone in front of him was a regular. He thought nothing of a single dumpling. Besides, it was the Dragon Boat Festival today. Giving two dumplings was only right.
With this thought in mind, Xie Zhen took the dumplings out again and asked, “How many do you want?”
The man in the flowery shirt looked at the rest and asked, “Does anyone else want any?”
Everyone exchanged looks, but no one spoke a word. They were all very curious, but recently news of the poisonous dumplings had taken up all headlines. They really were a little afraid of consuming something that looked so shiny. All of them shook their heads.
The man in the flowery shirt said with a bitter smile, “You guys, if it’s problematic, would Old Xie eat it? Forget it if you aren’t eating it. I’ll eat it. Little Xie, give me one.”
“Don’t try to show off.” His wife secretly pinched him.
The man thought nothing of it and took the dumpling that Xie Zhen handed him. He unwrapped it and immediately, a light fragrance spread from within. Everyone subconsciously took a deep breath as that fragrance made all of them feel intoxicated. Meanwhile, Xie Zhen was a chef, and when he caught a whiff of the fragrance, he immediately turned spirited. He unwrapped a dumpling too and immediately ate it without waiting for anyone to say a thing. The moment he swallowed it, he seemed to fall into a trance as he practically tried to stuff the whole dumpling into his mouth in one go! He choked from eating too fast and ran out for some water.
When a woman saw this, she chuckled, “This Old Xie is seriously one of a kind. Doesn’t he feed his son? Look at how hungry his son is. He wolfed down the dumpling and even choked on it.”
The moment she finished her sentence, she heard someone say beside her, “Old Hua, slow down! No one is snatching it from you! Slow down. Hey, why did you choke too? Quick, drink some water.”
When the woman heard that and turned around, she saw the man in the flowery shirt wolf down the dumpling but refuse to drink any water. He endured the discomfort until his face flushed red and only drank a mouthful of water after failing to endure it any longer. He then let out a deep breath and shouted, “Little Xie! Little Xie! Little Xie! I want all your remaining dumplings!”
“Old Hua, sit down. Have you gone mad? You nearly choked yourself to death. You still want more?” said his wife.
The man chuckled and did not say another word. The dumpling was just too delicious, so delicious that he nearly swallowed his tongue as well! Furthermore, he had seen it very clearly that there were not many dumplings. There were about seven and if the others were to realize, would there be any left for him? Therefore, he did not say another word. He put his feet on the ground and quickly wore his shoes to seek out Xie Zhen.
The others were not stupid either. The man’s reaction clearly indicated that the dumplings were suspicious! Hence, all of them followed.
Xie Zhen finally managed to drink a mouthful of water to wash down the dumpling before he heaved a sigh of relief. But at that moment, he heard the man in the flowery shirt shout about buying all the dumplings! He obviously was disagreeable towards it. He didn’t have enough to eat, so how could he give them to him? He was already feeling the pinch for giving out one earlier! He finally understood why his father had stuffed the dumplings into the freezer. His father had been planning on having them all for himself!
Hence, Xie Zhen quickly hid the dumplings in the kitchen and when the man in the flowery shirt ran over, he asked, “Uncle Hua, what’s the matter?”
The man looked around without replying to him. Only after some time did he ask, “Where are the remaining dumplings?”
“I’ve finished them,” lied Xie Zhen.
“Come on. You finished them? That many dumplings would be enough to burst your stomach. Quickly take them out. Name your price. I’ll buy them,” said the man.
“Old Hua, you can’t have them for yourself. You just had one, but we haven’t had any yet!” the voices of the others came from outside.
The man turned anxious, “Weren’t all of you disparaging the chemicals in it? I don’t mind at all, but what about you?”
“We did, but we no longer care. Little Xie, come on. Name your price and we will buy them.” Three more men entered. The woman that had previously been insisting that the dumplings were poisonous asked out of curiosity, “Old Hua, is it really that delicious?”
The man pondered and since they were already suspicious, it was pointless to keep it from them. He said, “That was the best dumpling I have ever had in my life! How should I describe it? The taste is very unique! The rice is delicious, and the bamboo shoots in it are also very delicious. Mixed together, it’s practically” Upon saying that, the man subconsciously licked his lips.
“Don’t speak any further. I’m turning hungry just from listening. Little Xie, look. Your father previously said that he would give them to us. Now, shouldn’t you” the woman thickened her face and asked.
Xie Zhen ruminated for a way to tactfully reject her request when he heard Xie Dongsheng shout behind him, “Sorry everyone. These dumplings are not for sale.”
“Old Xie, there’s no need to be this stingy, right? A hundred yuan. A hundred yuan a dumpling, how about it?” The man in the flowery shirt turned anxious.
Xie Dongsheng said with a bitter smile, “Old Hua, do you know where I just went? These dumplings were given to me by Mt. One Finger’s abbot. I wanted to get more, but he refused to give any. With my understanding of him, there will only be one chance to have these dumplings this year. Each family gets ten and there will not be anymore beyond that. With so many of you here and the few dumplings I have, tell me who should I sell them too? We are all friends. Selling to just some people isn’t the solution, so I’ll just keep them for myself. Sigh, if not for this, why wouldn’t I want to earn some extra money?”
“Ten a year? Isn’t this monk too stingy?” exclaimed the woman.
The man in the flowery shirt added, “That’s right. That’s way too stingy. By the way, if we try to buy it from the monk, will he sell it to us?”
Xie Dongsheng said, “You can try. He will be back in a while.”
Everyone immediately ran out when they heard that.
This situation was not only limited to Xie Dongsheng’s family. Many families had guests and after they had a taste of Fangzheng’s dumplings, all of them clamored to buy them.
However, these people ran out and stood in the sun nearly all day, tanning themselves in the process. Someone even had a heat stroke, yet they did not see the monk return with any dumplings. Some of them turned anxious and could not wait any longer. They began searching the village. While they searched, those who had not tasted the dumplings were bewildered. Once they tasted the dumplings, they immediately joined in the search for Fangzheng.
They completely failed to find Fangzheng despite searching the entire village but even so, none of them gave up. Instead, they boiled over with even greater excitement!