Chapter 12 Researching Types of Dishes

To say the least, the interior of the villa was huge. Yang Qi was scared that she might not be able to finish cleaning, so she hurriedly went to the utility room and fetched a bucket, planning on starting her work.

As of the moment, Yang Qi’s room was currently occupied by Bai Yan and An Qing.

“Bai Yan. Just now when you weren’t here, we also discussed something else.” An Qing continued, “We discovered that this room doesn’t have Wi-Fi, we also can’t connect to the site using mobile data.”

“Our phones are still connected to a network?” Bai Yan was a bit surprised, asking, “You’ve set up your phones?”

“This isn’t the case. We just wanted to test if our phones could be used.” An Qing added, “Although we can’t go online, it won’t be a problem for us to contact one another. If ever one of us gets into trouble, we can all easily call each other.”

Saying this, An Qing and Bai Yan quickly exchanged phone numbers, and in the end, he even stored the others’ numbers in his phone.

Once he saved the seven phone numbers, Bai Yan prepared to report to the master of the house.

After Bai Yan left the girls’ room, he saw Zhu Fugui frantically running out of the kitchen towards his way, looking as though he had seen his savior.

“Handsome brother, could you help me look through the kitchen’s items and tell me what should I do?”

Bai Yan accompanied Zhu Fugui inside the kitchen and saw slivers of meat on top of the chopping block that didn’t resemble ordinary cuts of beef.

Bai Yan leaned in closer and discovered that the meat in front of him wasn’t meat normally eaten by regular people. They were dog meat, cat meat, snake meat, and some slivers of meat that Bai Yan was unable to decipher.

Besides that, when Zhu Fugui was hurrying out of the kitchen, he had forgotten to close the freezer.

Looking through the freezer’s open doors, he found even more cat and dog meat as well as a few vegetables.

It was especially strange that rotting meat was abundant. Even if it were far away and separated by a partition, he could still get a whiff of the intense stench.

“Hey look, it’s these items I have a problem with. How could I possibly make something from them!” Zhu Fugui worriedly frowned, staring intently at the cat meat as the color drained from his face, “I could still work with the dog meat since the people in my village also ate dogs. But for cat meat, I heard that cat meat has a sour aftertaste and simply isn’t fit for consumption. What do you think I should do?”

“I heard that there is this dish called ‘Tiger Fighting Dragon(1),’ do you want to make this?” Bai Yan wasn’t proficient in cooking, but it didn’t hinder him in helping explain the dish, “Look, the villa only has these types of meat. It doesn’t carry what normal people eat, like beef and pork, which is a good indication of what type of taste this family has. You should stew them in a pot and add the vegetables according to your tastes to make it tasty. And perhaps, they’ll like it.”

  1. The dish “tiger fighting dragon” is a combination of the flavors of snake and cat meat. Many Cha Chaan teng or tea restaurants in Hong Kong serve this and also counts as Cantonese style food. 

“Ok, I’ll do my best.” Zhu Fugui hesitantly nodded his head, his face still showing a worried look, “Big brother, what you said makes sense, but this meat already smells bad. Even with my awesome workmanship, they still wouldn’t turn out well.”

“…En, can you try using seasoning or condiments to mask the smell?”

When he and Wang Ze conducted societal research before, Bai Yan discovered that some crafty restaurant owners constantly served meat combined with preservatives and medicine to change the flavor of the meat for the sake of cutting costs and reselling them.

So much so, that these cunning owners didn’t even need to buy good meat. They could just turn dead cats and rotten dog and rat meat into skewers, and with the right flavor profile, they could serve various kinds of meat.

In any case, after adding some star anise, customers won’t taste anything other than the seasonings. And, the customers wouldn’t even dare doubt what meat it was coming from since it came from the owner’s mouth.

It was just that eating loads of rotten meat like these will cause them to have diarrhea.

However, in the eyes of these bosses, this wasn’t such a big issue since it wouldn’t kill a person.

Not killing someone is equivalent to not being a big deal.

During this investigation, Bai Yan was deeply convinced by the logic of these shrewd bosses. Seeing disbelief spread across Zhu Fugui’s face, Bai Yan repeated it once more while emphasizing, “Believe me! Adding condiments is the right way. If there’s seasoning in the kitchen, just add them excessively. I feel that this villa’s master isn’t an ordinary person, so adding more flavoring wouldn’t kill him.”

“…” Listening to this plan, would it work?

It was Zhu Fugui’s first time hearing this kind of plan after all his years as a cook.

In the countryside, he was just an honest person. All his neighbors and fellow villagers were customers of his restaurant. He had never mixed water into his wine, let alone all of these weird ingredients into his cooking.

As expected, them city people sure had their ways.

“Alright, if there isn’t anything else, then I’ll take my leave.” Seeing Zhu Fugui lower his head while thinking, Bai Yan thought that it was about time he reported to the master.

“Wait, don’t leave!”

Zhu Fugui abruptly pulled Bai Yan and said, “I still have one more problem! What should I do with this rat meat? I’ve never cooked rat meat before!”

“Oh, so it was rat meat all along.” Bai Yan glossed over the previously unidentifiable meat and felt a little disappointed. He originally thought that this was human flesh.  

If it were human flesh, then the husband and wife were certainly a pair of ghosts.

“If it isn’t rat meat, what did you think it was?” Zhu Fugui pulled out an unskinned rat from the refrigerator that was still breathing its last few breaths, “Only you city folks know how to deal with these. Tell me again, what should I be doing with this rat meat.” 

“How about making a snake swallow the rat?”

“While this rat is still alive, the snake is already dead. How can I stuff that rat inside?” Zhu Fugui was stunned.

“You can think of another way or try deep-frying it, whichever is suitable for them.” As Zhu Fugui’s face filled with anxiety, divine inspiration hit Bai Yan as he thought of a good idea, “Right, Old Zhu, you haven’t heard of the ‘Three Squeakers’ dish?”  

“Three Squeakers dish, what the heck is that?” Zhu Fugui asked, bewildered.

“Three Squeakers is a dish that takes the live newborn rats and seasons them with honey, wine, salt and pepper, seafood sauce, lamb seasoning, etc. The reason for its name is because when the rat is caught by chopsticks, it squeaks. When it’s dipped in sauce, it squeaks again. And when it’s in the mouth, it’ll squeak for one last time. That is why it is called ‘Three Squeakers.” As Bai Yan explained, excitement spread through his face, making him roll up his sleeves to help Zhu Fugui out.

“My god, who would dare eat this kind of dish? ” Zhu Fugui sighed. In his heart, he secretly thought that city folk were such sick perverts but still, he relented and said, “All right. I’ll look if there’s any newborn rats inside the refrigerator.”

For the sake of not getting dismissed, Zhu Fugui pressed his luck.

Bidding farewell to the cautious Old Zhu, Bai Yan left for the third floor of the villa to meet the master.

Once he arrived at the study, he found Lu Tianyi behind the master with his shades on and hands behind his back, wearing a cautious and conscientious appearance.

“Butler, you have arrived.”

Seeing Bai Yan arrive, the master greeted him, saying, “Be at ease. I heard that this round of recruits were all university students and are all highly educated and talented individuals. When I was young, because my family lived in poverty, I went to work after junior high, and so, I never had the opportunity to continue my studies. Now that I am old, I have finally found the opportunity to do so, but I don’t have the same energy I used to have anymore. It must be nice for you university students to be able to study so much from a young age.”

“You exaggerate. How are college students’ diplomas any different from the high school diploma you have back then. Despite having studied so much, aren’t we still doing temporary work for you?” Bai Yan flattered.

“Hahaha. You college students are so modest.” The master laughed heartily as though eating this up, “I’m fine here. Our family is merely a simple one with two troublesome sons. You just need to pay close attention to other people carrying out their jobs. Other than accompanying me tomorrow with Young Lu, there shouldn’t be any other matters.”

“Yes, sir. The new chef has a problem and wishes for your instructions. He is somewhat of an expert in making special dishes, but the ingredients inside the freezer were only a handful. Could you approve of him to go out and look for more ingredients? He guarantees that he can make a satisfactory evening meal.”

Although Zhu Fugui never said these words, Bai Yan still borrowed his name and asked this with an unchanging expression.

“This… special dish…” The master looked a little intrigued, but after thinking about it for a moment, he still declined his request, “Every day at 8 PM, there will be a delivery truck with fresh ingredients. We’re all accustomed to eating only those and don’t want to change to others. Tell the cook to use the ingredients in the kitchen. Our family is generally not picky but likes to eat meat.”

“I understand, sir.” Bai Yan took note of the delivery time and planned on discreetly looking for information regarding this company later.

After bowing to the master, Bai Yan went to the kitchen to find Old Zhu.

Deliberately leaving out the part where he borrowed his name, he told him about the master’s suggestion, changing Zhu Fugui’s once empty expression to a deeply perplexed one.

The family living in this villa loves eating meat, but do they like this original flavor, or do they just have heavy tastes?

Zhu Fugui, on the other hand, didn’t want to eat the smelly and rotten food.

Seeing Zhu Fugui’s unsure expression, Bai Yan opened his mouth and called his attention, “You can make several kinds and bring them all out by then. With just the first experience, you can then pay attention to their preferences a little better.”

Bai Yan didn’t like helping others, despite promising himself three nights ago to turn over a new leaf and be a good samaritan. But the degree of his ‘reformed character’ was at best, to not step on a hand hanging from the edge of a cliff that was crying for help, and leave, pretending not to see it.

However, the game gave him the position of a butler. If he didn’t help others when there was a problem, he would bear the brunt of the responsibility.

In all of Bai Yan’s years, he had always been the one making trouble for other people, and never took the scapegoat role for anyone. At present, he didn’t even want to experience such a terrible thing. 

After reminding Old Zhu, Bai Yan helped him get busy in the kitchen until it was almost noon.

They entered the villa at 10:30 AM and the time Zhu Fugui had truly entered the kitchen was at 11 o’clock. When Zhu Fugui was almost finished, Bai Yan quickly set the napkins and tableware in the dining hall in advance.

Although the way the master spoke was from someone who was from a rich background but had to climb up from the bottom, he didn’t pay attention to detail, but he also truly didn’t pay attention to the butler and maid he hired, even letting them dress up according to their jobs.

Bai Yan couldn’t risk being careless in the smallest details and simply used his stock knowledge to work to avoid getting kicked out of the villa mid-way through the game. 

The author has something to say: 

When one is used to eating normal food, going to roadside food stalls will occasionally give you diarrhea, but one will still go there and eat the food. Next time…Who cares what meat it is, just pretend not to know where the meat is from.

Defensivecake/ Bee: The mouse dish was really gross. I searched for it and almost vomited.

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