Li Du wanted to help out with the cooking and preparation of dinner.
Mrs. Liu adamantly refused and smiled. "You are our precious guest, Ah Du. How can we let our guest help out? Dont worry, you will have a taste of my culinary skills very soon."
Wesley waved to Li Du. "Brother Li, come over here, let me show you a nice gun."
"What? You are still playing with guns?!" The shout came from the kitchen.
It was Mr. Liu; he could hear them quite clearly as it was an open kitchen.
Wesley laughed at his dads reaction. "Dad, Im just joking. Im an overseas student, not an American citizen; theres no way I could keep a gun. I can only go to the shooting range."
"The shooting range is out of bounds too!" said Mr. Liu, followed by a series of loud, constant chopping sounds as he chopped up the sauted, preserved pork with ease.
Wesleys parents had superb culinary skills. As dish after dish appeared on the dining table, Li Du and Wesley took turns to introduce the Chinese dishes to Sophie.
The Chinese cold dishes appeared on the dining table first. There was braised beef with sauce, cold, dressed, sliced sausages, braised pork trotters in the old Peking style, marinated eggs, and more.
Next, the warm dishes started to make their way to the dining table: roast duck, spicy diced chicken with peanuts, spicy prawn balls with peanuts, stewed pig's feet with tofu, and braised, sauted preserved pork in soy sauce garnished with red chili and coriander.
"Uncle, theres so much food, we wont be able to finish it," Li Du said looking at the table full of food.
"Okay, just one more dish coming up: the stir-fried shredded pork meat with spring onion and a soup. Please sit down, I brought Mao Tai over as well; we can have a drink together later," Mr. Liu said.
"Dad, I want to drink as well."
"Go drink your pig trotters soup, you rascal!"
The last dish was the shark fin soup in a casserole; its exquisite aroma filled the air around the room as it was served.
When Sophie realized what was used to make the soup, she looked uninterested and said, "My apologies, but Im not having the shark fin soup as I joined the Endangered Species Protection Agency. No more shark fins for me."
"Thats alrightI wont have any either. Wesley can have it. This soup is a tonic, nourishing blood and vital energy," Li Du said.
Wesley mumbled to himself softly in his mother tongue, "Its always about nourishing, nourishing and nourishing. It will go to waste tonight anyway."
"Huh?" Mr. Liu didnt catch that.
Wesley replied, "Its nothing." Wesley then spoke in English, "Come, Brother Li, Doctor Sophie, make yourselves at home, eat more."
"Yes, please enjoy the food. Oh, does Doctor Sophie know how to use chopsticks?" said a concerned Mrs. Liu, looking toward Sophie, then Wesley.
"No worries Mom," Wesley said. "Brother Li is here. He will help Doctor Sophie with the food."
And Li Du did just that. Sophie didnt reject his help; her cheeks were full of color, her head was low, and she ate in small mouthfuls. She looked comfortable using the chopsticks as well.
Li Du relished the wonderful dinner the Liuses had whipped up for them.
"Aunty, Uncle, thank you so much for having usthe food is awesome! I can understand how Jin Long got to his size now."
Wesley did not care about his size nor shape; he was happily munching on a pig trotter with one hand and a roasted duck drumstick with the other.
Mr. Liu laughed heartily, "Great, we are glad you enjoyed the food. You are Jin Longs savior, you do not need to thank us. We should at least do this for you."
Mrs. Liu nodded, "Precisely, as the Chinese proverb says: A drop of water shall be returned with a burst of spring. If theres anything we can do for you, please feel free to ask us."
When Li Du left Wesleys apartment, he was carrying a box full of preserved Chinese food, such as the spice marinated dry rubbed duck, Chinese smoked sausages, dried fish and scallops, and some of the food packaged in containers they could not finish earlier on.
Li Du tried to refuse, but Mr. Liu insisted. "So youve forgotten what Uncle told you earlier? Just take them, there will be more that will arrive very soon."
And so Li Du accepted their goodwill.
Back in his apartment at Pine Tree Tops, he started to sort out the preserved food, storing it in the appropriate places.
Rose came back from work. When she entered the house, she flung her shoes to one side and walked into the kitchen.
"Hey, isnt that sauted preserved pork? Thats Chinese sausage, where did you get it?" Rose was surprised.
Li Du turned around and happened to catch a glimpse of Roses long, slim calf, and foot. She was wearing black stockings. The kitchen lights were gentle and had a warm hue; under those lights, Roses stockings and delicate skin matched nicely with each other.
"Where are you looking?" A chilly tone of voice asked.
Li Du could not help but roll his eyes. Dont wear stockings if you dont intend to show anyonewhat a bully! he thought.
"Where did you get those from?" The female cop asked once again.
Li Du refused to answer to spite Rose. He continued sorting out and storing the food, but with a faster speed.
Rose stomped her feet; the glossy red nail polish on her toes shimmered under the warm light, and together with her sulky face, she had an alluring charm.
"Okay, okay, look all you want," Rose said with a dissatisfied tone. "I really cant understand menwhats so great about the stockings?"
Mr. Li was infuriated; he could not hold in his anger and rebutted, "Who wants to look at them? Are you suffering from the paranoia of being watched? A friend gave all of this to me, and it is all mine!"
Rose twitched her lip before lifting a leg.
Thinking he had angered Rose, Li Du quickly took a few steps back and fell into a defensive posture.
Seeing that, Rose was lost for a moment before laughing so hard that she had to hold her belly and catch her breath.
"You thought I was going to kick you? Dont be afraid, I dont have violent tendencies."
Load of bullsh*t! Li Du cursed in his thoughts. You dont have violent tendencies? Who are you fooling?
"Then why did you lift up your leg?"
"Didnt you want to look at my leg? You answered my question, so I let you look at my leg." The lady cop looked very serious.
Li Du was flustered. "Are you a dimwit?"
"You dare to call me names?" Rose had a change of expression.
"Ill make you supperauthentic Chinese flavor! From China!" Li Du replied promptly.
"So do I need to exchange that with my leg?" the female police officer asked hesitantly.
Li Du huffed out a sigh; Confucius was right to say that only women and the petty-minded were difficult to handle. Be close to them and they pick on you. Keep them at arm's length and they complain.
"Im just teasing you. You should look at your facecant take a joke?" Rose laughed loudly again, not giving a hoot about how she looked.
An irate Li Du threatened, "Okay laugh, just keep laughing, be warned that there might be poison in your supper later!"
"Oh, you want to murder a police officer?" asked a fearless Rose. "Then you better be prepared to stay behind bars for life. Pray hard that your a**hole can do its job for the longest time possible, otherwise you will need to wear adult diapers every single day."
Li Du stared blankly at her for a while and then finally turned away from Rose. "The suppers going to be salty, and could be bitter too."
Rose showed a beautiful smile. "Im just jokingyou know I love to joke around. Make a nice meal young man. I like your...your cooking!"
As she said that, she walked over to Li Du and gave him a hug from behind.
Li Du figured that this female tyrannosaurus must have been in a good mood tonight as she would never usually crack such jokes or speak to him in this way.
In order not to ruin it, he had to cook supper nicelyor, he was going to have it tough in the future.
The next day, Li Du and Hans, together with Godzilla, participated in an auction in Phoenix.
However, they did not win any unit; all the seven units at that auction were basically trash and had no value. Li Du did not even attempt to bid.
The last week in June, Hans had a piece of good news: "An auctions coming up. I heard the Vagabond Storage Company might have some good stuff."
"What good stuff?" Li Du asked.
Hans swiped his nose with his thumb. "Heavyweight bikes, and I heard theres more than one of them. They are big storage units!"