Chapter 12 – Drinking ‘Smelly Water’
Zhang Shaoyu walked into his classroom ,looking for Wu Shao. He knew exactly who was responsible for this morning’s fiasco, but both Wu Shao and Ma Li had made themselves scarce. Zhang Shaoyu cursed in his mind: That motherfucker is just delaying the inevitable!
His classmates were giving him strange looks as he walked in, but Zhang Shaoyu couldn’t find it in himself to care as he silently took his seat. Despite his attitude, a few of his classmates walked up to him holding their phones. One of them grinned at Shaoyu and asked, “Hey, Shaoyu! I have a small request…”
“No!” Zhang Shaoyu replied without even hesitating.
“I haven’t even said anything yet, and you’re already turning me down?”
Zhang Shaoyu glanced at the boy and replied, “Since when have we been friends? I can tell what you’re up to. You just want me to do a somersault or something so that you guys can video it, right?”
Having been busted, the boys shrugged their shoulders and left him alone.
Zhang Shaoyu was still preoccupied with his recent feats of athleticism. It really was weird. He did try replicating it before entering the classroom, but no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t jump three meters high, let alone do a somersault. Was it just the adrenaline rush from that life or death situation?
No matter how hard he thought about it, he still couldn’t figure out anything, so he started thinking about something else.
I’m lucky that the punks Wu Shao gathered were a bunch idiots with such low IQ. If there were more of them or if they had been a bit cleverer, I might really have died. What if this happens again? No! I need to learn some self-defense!
Since all the teachers had gone to the police station together to claim the credit for catching the punks, everyone was left to study by themselves. When the last bell rang, they dispersed to do whatever they initially planned to do, like eating together, or just going back home.
A lot of people continued pestering Zhang Shaoyu to do another somersault, but they reluctantly gave up as he kept refusing.
Zhang Shaoyu missed Lizz. He wasn’t sure whether she was bored at home, so he hurried back as soon as possible.
The moment he opened the door, Lizz was there with a happy smile on her face as if she was a young wife. “Oh, Shaoyu! Do you want to eat first or do you take a shower first?(1)”
The day so far had not put Zhang Shaoyu in a good mood, but he cheered up the moment he heard Lizz’s happy voice. He laughed and hugged her around the waist. “Why not both?”
Lizz twisted in Shaoyu’s evil grip, and giggled, “How could anyone eat and take a bath at the same time?”
Zhang Shaoyu shamelessly replied, “I’ll eat while you bathe me, that’s how!”
Lizz turned red and grimaced. “You wish! In your dreams!” She ran into the kitchen and took out the lunch he had prepared earlier. “Come, Shayou, let’s eat!”
Zhang Shaoyu looked at the food and his eyes shrank into mere dots, Didn’t I cook a large plate of sweet and sour pork? Why is there only one piece left now? No! Not even a piece, but just a third of a piece…
Zhang Shaoyu looked at Lizz and asked her, “What’s this?”
Lizz blushed and stared at her feet. “I-I was waiting for you to come home and I got hungry, so I ate a bit! …Are you angry?”
You call this a bit?!Shaoyu’s mouth twitched a little as the thought formed in his head. Despite being in the mood to grumble, he wasn’t really angry. He was already prepared for this possibility, and he felt even more accomplished if Lizz liked everything he cooked.
Zhang Shaoyu patted Lizz’s head while smiling and said, “Of course not… Seeing you enjoy my cooking makes me really happy! I’ll cook more next time.”
“Really?! Shaoyu, you’re the best!” Lizz perked up with a smile and clapped her palms together cheerfully.
Seeing Lizz laugh cleared away all his earlier troubles. “It’s only half past twelve. I still have one more hour…I guess I’ll go out to eat.” Shaoyu put his bag down.
Lizz immediately tugged on Shaoyu’s sleeve. “Shaoyu, can I go with you?”
Zhang Shaoyu thought, Hmmm, she must be bored staying at home the whole day, might as well take her out for some fresh air.“Okay then, let’s go!”
With that, Lizz happily went along with Shaoyu.
Zhang Shaoyu went to his favorite stew restaurant. Since his parents were hardly ever around, he usually cooked for himself. But he didn’t usually make stew, and as the saying goes, children who don’t drink stew won’t grow up healthy. That was the reason why Zhang Shaoyu often came here when he was in the mood for stew.
The moment Lizz opened the door, the strong smell of stew hit her head-on. Zhang Shaoyu had long since grown accustomed to it and felt nothing at all. For Lizz, however, who had led a completely different ‘life’, she covered her nose with her hands the moment she smelled it, scowling. “Shaoyu, what is this smell? Why is it so unpleasant?”
The restaurant’s owner was extremely proud of her stews, and glared at Lizz the moment she heard her words. The moment she saw Lizz’s beauty though, she felt half angry and half envious and began to think, Hmph! This woman must be one of those vixens!
In fact, not just the owner, but even some of the customers were surprised by Lizz’s beauty. Some of them were so stunned that they didn’t even notice the hot stew they were drinking spilling onto their laps.
Zhang Shaoyu was elated with the crowd’s reaction. Was there any man who didn’t want his girlfriend to be the center of attention?(2)He thought: Having this girl around is like sticking hundred-dollar bills all over my face!
Lizz once again tugged at Zhang Shaoyu’s sleeve while asking him, “Shaoyu, this place really stinks, did you come here to take a dump?”
Half the shop almost fell off their chairs after hearing what Lizz uttered. If this was a place to take a dump…Then the things we’re eating must be…Nobody dared to continue down that line of thought, especially those who had eaten half of their food already.
Zhang Shaoyu felt the weight of more and more stares. The lady who owned the shop, in particular, looked as if she would eat him alive. He spoke to Lizz in a low voice, “Lizz, don’t talk nonsense.”
Lizz lowered her head, pouting as if she was being treated unjustly, and muttered, “I’m not talking nonsense, it really does stink…”
Before Lizz could say any more, Shaoyu covered her mouth and said softly, “That’s the smell of the stew. If you haven’t eaten any before, take the chance now to have a taste of it. You’ll like it when you do.”
“Really?” Lizz was skeptical of what Shaoyu just said, but she endured the stench and sat beside Shaoyu.
Zhang Shaoyu ordered a plate of rice and two bowls of ox tendon stew. The owner’s expression only eased after Shaoyu had paid her for the food. The stew was quickly made and brought before them. Lizz sniffed the stew as she looked at it. Floating inside the stew were seven or eight black things which were most likely the source of the ‘stench’. With a difficult expression, Lizz asked Shaoyu, “Shaoyu, do I really have to eat this?”
Zhang Shaoyu was already hungry and couldn’t be bothered to wait for Lizz before he started eating. He answered her between bites, “It’s called stew, try it. You’ll love it.”
“Stew?” Lizz observed the bowl in front of her. She aimlessly stirred the stew inside with a spoon, her mind as chaotic as if World War III had just begun within her.
By the time Shaoyu had finished his rice, Lizz was still grimacing. It looked like her mental war had grown even more intense: maybe the marines were winning, maybe the paratroopers were, maybe even a troop yelling ‘Freedom!’ had joined in the battle.(3)
Zhang Shaoyu was observing Lizz’s rigid expression as she glared at the stew. It was as if she was a small mouse staring at a cat, carefully observing her enemy. Zhang Shaoyu couldn’t hold back his smile as he thought:The ox tendon won’t move on its own, is not like you’re the one who cooked it, right? Why not just eat it and get it over and done with? It’s not poison, you know.
Zhang Shaoyu didn’t know that Lizz had led a life close to nature from childhood, drinking spring water from the mountains, and never eating anything with preservatives, coloring, or sugar. To make the stew as marketable as possible, the store had to use a lot of MSG and other seasoning to make this kind of stew look and taste delicious, but it was these additions that made Lizz proclaim it ‘smelly’.
Zhang Shaoyu felt like it couldn’t be helped and asked her, “Want me to spoon-feed you?”
Lizz knew that she would never be able to summon the courage to eat the stew by herself, and seeing Shaoyu offering her a helping hand, she closed her eyes and opened her mouth wide. She looked as if she was getting ready to descend to Hell.
The other customers, who saw Shaoyu getting to feed such a beautiful girl, were overcome with jealousy, and they started thinking:Why don’t I get a beautiful girl to feed?!
A girl in the restaurant told her boyfriend, “You see, that guy really cares for his girlfriend! I want to be spoon-fed too!”
Too bad for her, however, her boyfriend was completely mesmerized by Lizz’s beauty and answered absent-mindedly, “If you were as beautiful as that, I’d be happy to!” Right after he said that, he realized how stupid he was.
Who in their right mind would tell his girlfriend that she’s not beautiful? Unless one really had a death wish.
The girl, her feelings hurt, unleashed a stream of abuse at the guy, and finally with a loud cry of, “Go eat shit!” she ran out of the restaurant.
The guy was dumbfounded for a few seconds before recovering and running after her, crying, “Yuan! Yuan! Wait up!”
Other customers stared at the incident. Maybe this little girl’s beauty was a curse which could destroy even the country?(4)
Zhang Shaoyu was unaware of any of this, and even if he had been, he wouldn’t have cared. He used a spoon to scoop up a bit of the stew and brought it to Lizz’s open mouth. He was sure that Lizz would like it.
But the moment the stew entered her mouth, Lizz spat it out violently and loudly complained, “What the heck is this?! So disgusting! It’s a mixture of bitter, sour, sweet, and salty! And there’s a bunch of chemicals I don’t recognize at all! It’s even more disgusting than a demon’s potion! Only pigs would eat it, how could I eat this?”
Everything in the restaurant froze. The customers were shocked, and some of them almost choked on their stew.So is she calling us pigs?
The owner finally lost her patience and blew up. Rising to her feet, she pointed at Lizz and cursed, “Okay,you stinking lil’ girl! You damned vixen, my shop’s stew has been popular since before you were born, and you dare say only pigs would eat it? You asking for trouble?” The owner rolled up her sleeves, revealing arms thicker than pig thighs, and exclaimed angrily, “Don’t think I will let you get away with this! Lao Zhou, Lao Huang, lock the door! We’re teaching this little devil a lesson!”
“Yes, Madam!” Two huge men came out of nowhere holding butcher knives and dropped the steel rolling door. They also brought with them two huge, angry dogs, baring their teeth as if they were ready to eat a person alive.
The other customers fled to the corner of the restaurant and started praying to Buddha while making a cross in front of their chest. (Wait, since when did Buddha start using crosses?)(5)
Lizz was accustomed to far stronger killing intent back in the magic world, so how could she be afraid of these normal people? Of course she wasn’t! Lizz stood up proudly and responded with a composed face, “Come on! You think I’m afraid?” (6)
In contrary to Lizz, Zhang Shaoyu had broken out in a cold sweat. “Crap. I just come here to eat, not to get in a knife fight with a butcher. How could these people go as far as this…?”
1. Or me? *teehee* Yeah, right.
2. The jealous type would hate it.
3. Editor’s note : If this isn’t poking fun at the USA, I don’t know what is.
4. Well, historically indeed there were countries that fell before the beauties. Let’s see how ND survives.
6. Come at me brah. Ya think I’m afraid?