After Zhu Fugui’s death, nothing else notable happened in the villa until Thursday, but everyone’s spirits fell as they heard about Old Zhu’s tragic death.
These past two nights, the door-knocking ghost went to visit An Qing and Lu Tianyi, but both of them remembered the door-knocking ghost’s story and didn’t let it take their heads off, spending the night safe and sound. A day passed by quickly and soon, it was already Thursday.
On the morning of the fourth day, Bai Yan quickly got up as early as usual and dutifully prepared breakfast for the master and madam.
Since the chef was forced to retire early, the madam generously passed on the task of preparing the meals to the responsible Bai Yan. As a result, he had to stay in the kitchen three times a day and struggled to cook the dead cats and rotten dog and rat meat.
Bai Yan was not as skilled as Zhu Fugui with cooking, so he cut the meat using slow and steady motions, the knife moving incomparably sluggish.
He was afraid that if he accidentally cut his fingers, he would then get his wound infected by the rotten meat’s bacteria and would be forced to suffer serious diseases, such as rabies. When that moment comes, it wouldn’t be the game that kills him, but this slight ailment would.
The more a person has something on his mind, the slower his movements were. But, the master and madam’s meals couldn’t be delayed for any reason, so Bai Yan urgently increased his speed to make up for the lost time and finally succeeded in finishing Zhu Fugui’s work without delaying the meal.
After breakfast and lunch, the night had finally come and the master’s guests were about to arrive.
Before the guests arrived, Li Hao uneasily entered the madam’s room and came out with a face full of misery.
Following the madam assigned Zhu Fugui’s tasks to Bai Yan, Li Hao also became the new unfortunate person.
“I’m through! I’m through with this! The madam said that her younger son didn’t like the flowers I arranged in the garden and ordered me to unroot the fourth Chinese Rose I planted. When will I be able to stop rearranging the flowers? And she even insisted that I do it at midnight! Isn’t this intentionally messing with me and without a doubt, taking my life!
Learning from Zhu Fugui’s untimely demise, Li Hao couldn’t keep his cool and remained frantic about his situation. Even if everyone urged him to recall anything particular in his last few days of work, he still couldn’t calm down.
However, Li Hao didn’t want to sit and wait for death to come knocking at his door. He locked himself in his room and tried his best to remember every single detail he saw at the garden these past two days, occasionally leaving his room and roaming around the garden.
As Li Hao was doing his best to search for clues, those who were free also lent a hand for Li Hao to find a way out of this mess.
These unoccupied people certainly did not include Bai Yan. Later this evening, he had to help the master welcome the guests.
At six o’clock sharp, the bell echoed down the halls and the guests started to arrive, causing Lu Tianyi’s face to grow darker by the second. It turned out that the guests that the master had invited were his friends from the club, or to better put it, the club members who still weren’t afraid of the master after he murdered Liu Kui, leaving a total of only three people.
“Teacher Wang, Boss Zhao, Miss Liu, you all came here together? Welcome, welcome.”
The master warmly greeted everyone as they entered the villa, enthusiastically inviting them to the dining hall to take their seats.
As they all took their seats, the master happily engaged in small talk with his guests and discreetly signaled for Bai Yan to serve the dishes.
“Bai Yan, what are we going to do? Can we still serve these dishes…” In the kitchen, Su Xiaoqian nervously pulled on her skirt but couldn’t finish the latter half of her sentence.
“There is nothing we can do. The master has specially requested for these dishes, including the Three Squeakers dish, to remain unchanged. The guests may also be ghosts just like this family.”
Bai Yan casually took out a tray of mice meat from the refrigerator. These mice were stored in the refrigerator overnight, but despite that, they still felt warm to the touch. He gently placed the weakly struggling mice onto the plates.
Strangely enough, today’s food didn’t contain the sour and rotten stench that it usually had. No matter how many or how little condiments they put in, the condiments completely masked the rotten smell of the meat. It even began to emit an attractive aroma, capable of seducing anyone who gets a whiff of the captivating fragrance.
If he didn’t know the ingredients used to make this dish, Bai Yan would also be enraptured by the enticing smell and wouldn’t be able to resist it.
Upon hearing that the guests could be terrible ghosts, Su Xiaoqian’s expression changed.
Since Su Xiaoqian’s face was ghostly white, she might make an embarrassing mistake, like breaking the plate in front of the guests, when serving the dish, so Bai Yan simply served all of the dishes by himself and quietly stood behind the master, waiting for the guests to enjoy their dinner.
Unfortunately, in the end, Su Xiaoqian couldn’t avoid serving food.
As the pale-faced Su Xiaoqian went out, the mistress called her over to take care of her usual tasks. She gave part of her meal to Su Xiaoquan, indicating for her to give this plate of food to her oldest son.
“Yes, I will go now.”
Su Xiaoqian left the room with the dish at hand at lightning speed. In the past, she didn’t want to deliver the older young master’s food, but when she heard that she didn’t need to serve the guests, she gladly took the tray and went straight to the deranged older young master, feeling a little grateful to him.
At the dinner party, the guests merrily drank their wine and ate mouthfuls of the food.
Because of the guests’ presence, the master and the madam ate their food more elegantly, gracefully using the knife to cut the meat into smaller pieces, but in truth, their real table manners didn’t change at all.
However, the most amazing thing was that the young master, who has always only eaten the vegetables, had also begun to eat the meat, eating more than anyone else tonight.
With the young master having such a large appetite, the madam reluctantly gave a big portion of her meal to her youngest son, wanting him to thoroughly enjoy his dinner.
The madam seemed pleased as she watched her son savagely wolf down the food, but as she looked at her almost empty plate, a flash of regret suddenly appeared in her eyes.
Was it her or did the penguin meat that they were eating now tasted extremely similar to the food that they usually ate?
Furthermore, after every meal she ate, she always seemed to forget something. Just what had she forgotten?
Her head would ache when she thought about it, but the savory goodness of the dishes made her dispel her trivial doubts immediately. As soon as she thought of this, she instantly forgot and only focused on enjoying the delectable food in front of her.
“Boss Gu, your family’s dish is extremely delicious! I have never eaten this kind of meat before, what is this?”
Boss Zhao ate a bite with absolute relish. He snuck a peek at Miss Liu and even she had forgone her lady-like manners, crazily eating meat and drinking wine.
“This is farmed penguin meat.” Boss Gu answered with a hearty laugh, “It is delicious! My wife and son both love eating dishes made with penguin meat.”
“Penguin meat, I would never have imagined that such a unique domesticated animal would taste good.” Boss Zhao fervently nodded, “Not bad. Next time, I’ll also ask my chef to use penguin meat.”
Boss Zhao gladly took another bite and felt that it tasted even better as he chewed it. However, he felt that something was wrong every time he took a bite. He discreetly glanced at Teacher Wang. This scholarly man, who always looked composed, was also greedily devouring the food as if he were a reincarnated starved ghost, losing his former erudite appearance and looking a bit like the uneducated youngest son of this family.
The dish was delicious. Even the usually crazy Miss Liu finished it, how could Teacher Wang be careless about his appearance?
Was this the power of a culinary delicacy?
Boss Zhao’s mind was full of doubts as he finished his meal. He rested his eyes for a moment after eating a heavy meal and then accompanied the returned scholarly Teacher Wang and Miss Liu to the master’s study.
Besides dinner, their other objective was to admire the master’s handcrafted plaster cast replica.
The vivid and lifelike replica was neatly showcased inside the study, earning gasps of amazement from the three onlookers.
The three of them ecstatically chatted with the master all evening, their talk even reaching to 11 o’clock.
Seeing that it was already this late, the master called Bai Yan and ordered him to show them the guest room to rest for the night.
After the three had settled in, Bai Yan came to report back, and the master said, “Butler, please call the maid and the cleaning lady and let them attend to Boss Zhao and Teacher Wang. As for Miss Liu… I know she’s quite fond of you. You will take care of her tonight and they all must absolutely feel at home.”