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187 Losing and Winning

 "Boss Yuan, is it the lotus root harvested from Sanjia Village? With only the delicate fragrance, it doesn't have any other smell," having sipped the Lotus Root Starch in the mouth meticulously, Ling Hong said affirmatively.

"Yes. Only the fresh lotus root can meet the requirements of the Lotus Root Starch," Yuan Zhou brought out his standard of the lotus root.

"Others always choose old lotus root. It turns out that only the fresh lotus roots have such a nice taste," Ling Hong had always eaten old lotus root formerly and believed it was more flavorful.

As a matter of fact, Ling Hong was not the only person who believed that. It was a common recognition that old lotus root should be used to make the Lotus Root Starch. It was only Yuan Mei, the well-known gourmet in Qing Dynasty, who ate fresh lotus root. Ling Hong had never expected that he could witness the particular ingredient in Yuan Zhou's small restaurant.

Ling Hong, again, was conquered by Yuan Zhou's craftsmanship.

"You'll know if you taste it carefully," Wu Hai interrupted at the side.

The Lotus Root Starch was flavorful only if one carefully savored it. Wu Hai ate quite slowly this time, therefore his empty stomach was slowly filled up with the warm Lotus Root Starch.

The Lotus Root Starch was extremely rich in nutrition and also had a history of being eaten for as long as thousands of years. As a result, it naturally received great popularity from the literati and poet.

Even if Wu Hai didn't originally like eating sweet and sticky stuff, he started to love the faintly sweet taste now.

"Boss Yuan, you probably didn't add sugar inside," Wu Hai said with certainty.

"No need," Yuan Zhou nodded and said affirmatively.

"It's great. It's just good," Wu Hai said after gulping down the last mouthful of the Lotus Root Starch.

"Indeed just good. But I'm getting a better appetite after eating it and don't have a full stomach at all. Boss Yuan, you are not honest and kind by providing only a single dish," Ling Hong's lotus leaf bowl was scraped clean by the wooden spoon. No wonder he always thought of Yuan Zhou's restaurant even when he was on business trips, Yuan Zhou's dishes were truly delicious.

"Yeah, you are right. After eating the Lotus Root Starch, I feel I can eat another two bowls of Egg Fried Rice," Wu Hai let out a sigh of relief and immediately chimed in with Ling Hong.

"Humm, this is only to clear your stomach. If you want more, please go outside to eat something," Yuan Zhou said seriously.

"Ho Ho. You must be kidding. You want me to eat other food immediately after I've just finished this yummy dish?" In Ling Hong's opinion, he wouldn't go to eat far inferior dishes right away after he had just eaten the tasty ones, even if he was not picky about foods.

"I think Boss Yuan should be responsible for the current situation," Wu Hai said affirmatively.

"Yes, he should be responsible," having just finished their breakfast, other customers all started to echo.

"Only one dish is provided for breakfast for now. This is the rule," Yuan Zhou said earnestly while carrying the Lotus Root Starch ordered by others.

"It's the same answer every time. He really deserves the nickname of Compass," Ling Hong grumbled speechlessly.

"Thank you for your compliment," Yuan Zhou accepted it readily. To him, it was a compliment.

"Boss Yuan's comprehension is always refreshing," Ling Hong sighed with emotion and said.

"Indeed." Other customers beside him also nodded with deep experience.

"Sometimes I wish you could find a girlfriend. Who knows if you would still be so principled," Ling Hong suddenly said in curiousity.

"Yes, absolutely." With a frown, Yuan Zhou considered for a while and then nodded.

"What if she wants to eat two servings? Will you give her or not?" the customers instantly showed interest.

"I will give mine to her," Yuan Zhou said with certainty.

"What if she insists that you cook another serving for her?" Ling Hong had deep experience with girls being unreasonable sometimes.

"That won't happen. She loves me," Yuan Zhou answered confidently.

"So I'll just wait to see you refuse her. But the precondition is that you have a girlfriend first," Ling Hong revealed a cunning smile.

That was completely impossible. Since Yuan Zhou was not an eloquent person, how could he possibly outspeak the girls, let alone that lovers were usually unreasonable.

Ling Hong felt that Yuan Zhou was much too naïve.

"Um, I will have one," Yuan Zhou had sufficient confidence all along in his charisma. After all, he was quite a very extremely handsome young man.

Daytime soon passed. The four guys who had beaten Yuan Zhou days ago were also doing their work as promised. Although they didn't look for Yuan Zhou to apologize again, they were now quite willing to do the agreed work.

They were actually paying the bill for what they had impulsively done.

However, Yuan Zhou didn't really know about that. He just did his own work earnestly. As for when he would cook for them, it was still early to talk about that.

At 7:40 in the evening, the man with wounds all over his face came to the restaurant again.

"Boss Yuan, a serving of Egg Fried Rice," he said vaguely while covering his right cheek.

Yuan Zhou had a pair of sharp eyes. He took out a towel printed with lotus flower pattern and wrapped something before handing it to the man.

"Take it," Yuan Zhou didn't say much.

"Thank you," the man reached out his left hand and felt it for a while. After that, he let go of his right hand and pressed the towel on his cheek.

Only when the man moved his right hand away did the customers notice that his right face apparently swelled up and one corner of his mouth had ruptured and bled. The wounds looked fairly severe.

At that time, Yuan Zhou carried the Egg Fried Rice to him, "Your Egg Fried Rice. Please enjoy."

"Thank you," the man first expressed his gratitude and then halted for a moment and said, "I was defeated."

"I got it," Yuan Zhou said with a peaceful tone. He neither felt regretful nor got surprised, not even asking about the wounds on his face.

Meanwhile, the man had also been accustomed to Yuan Zhou's answer. After he finished speaking, he lowered the head and started to eat the Egg Fried Rice.

Hearing the weird dialogue between the two persons, a regular customer couldn't help asking.

It was Chen Wei who seldom came to have meals. He recognized the wounds and then asked about it, "Your face..."

"Are you asking about the wounds?" The man didn't seem to be used to communicating with others, hence said slowly. But he appeared to be quite surprised while looking at Chen Wei.

"Hum. The wounds seem to result from being beaten. Every time they are alike," Chen Wei said with certainty.

"Yes, it is a result from being beaten. Indeed," the man didn't speak long sentences fluently.

"Is it convenient for you to tell the reason?" Chen Wei frowned. As an instructor of martial arts, he naturally knew the wounds could be considered quite severe. With the frown, he looked rather majestic.

"It doesn't matter. Don't worry," the man wanted to smile but slightly pulled the corner of his mouth, which made his expression look weirder.

"Can't be told?" Chen Wei frowned. The sturdy appearance looked a little scary.

"No. I'm an amateur boxer. I'm not a professional," with short intervals, the man didn't speak fluently. Every time he talked, he would pull the corner of his mouth and would inevitably make himself feel pain.

"Are you well acquainted with Boss Yuan?" Chen Wei became more puzzled.

If he was a boxer, it was then understandable for him to have the severe wounds as well as to have wins or losses. However, why did he tell the results to Boss Yuan every time?

"Not really," the boxer was a little hungry, therefore he first gulped down a spoonful of the fried rice and then answered him.

"Then why do you tell him every time? You don't come frequently," Chen Wei directly pointed out that he was not a regular customer.

"No, I don't. I only come after I finish a match." The boxer set down the spoon.

"Why is that?" Chen Wei wanted to know the answer very much.

"Because Boss Yuan is always here," the boxer said softly.

"Humm," Chen Wei understood a little.

Unknowingly, Boss Yuan had become the boxer's tree hole.

For example, when you told a secret to a tree hole, although it didn't answer you, it would definitely listen to you.

Chen Wei had decent martial arts. He knew a little bit about the boxing industry and also knew the money that an amateur boxer could get was not really a lot.

That can also be explained why he only came after finishing a match.

Having turned his head and taking a look at Yuan Zhou, Chen Wei revealed a faint smile on the face and appeared fairly happy.

Thereafter, the boxer still maintained the habit of coming to Yuan Zhou's restaurant after matches.

Yet, by then, people would ask him about the result of the match, win or lose, even before he said by himself...