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416 Eating and Ar

 Yuan Zhou wasn't really trying to invade his privacy by asking that. He was just puzzled why this middle-aged man would end up in such a predicament since he had such skill.

It was the very first time that Yuan Zhou had seen this kind of middle-aged person. His clothes were plain and old while his gaze was clean and experienced. He simply carried a look of "I have a story" on his face.

That made Yuan Zhou almost bring out the word like "I have liquor."

"I'm new here and haven't found an appropriate job." The middle-aged man didn't really eat elegantly, but ate ordinarily instead. Hearing the question, he said straightforwardly.

"You can look for one carefully. There are many opportunities in this place." Yuan Zhou said kindly.

"Um." The middle-aged man gulped down the meal in his mouth and then nodded his head.

Following that was the sound of the two people picking and chewing the dishes continuously. The middle-aged man ate swiftly.

"Your craftsmanship is really great! Thanks." Only after he finished eating the plain cooked rice did he set down the bowl.

"Thank you for your compliments." Yuan Zhou nodded his head.

"I'm telling the truth." the middle-aged man said earnestly.

Neither of them were talkative, therefore the restaurant was lost in silence.

It was the middle-aged man that broke the silence first in the end.

"My name is Du Sheng. May I know your name?" The middle-aged man asked.

"My name is Yuan Zhou, the chef of this restaurant." Yuan Zhou answered courteously.

"Since we have all known each other's name, we are friends now." The middle-aged man said that.

"Of course." Yuan Zhou nodded his head.

"In order to thank you for your treating, I'd like to play the Erhu, again." While the middle-aged man was saying that, he wasn't really excessively proud of his ability and showed off. He just said it matter-of-factly.

He spoke as if it were very common to play the Erhu to express his thanks to Yuan Zhou. He didn't specifically explained that he had no money or anything else to thank him, merely appearing indifferently.

"Thank you so much, Du Sheng." Yuan Zhou got pleasantly surprised at first and immediately nodded his head and agreed.

"The tune is Two Springs Reflect the Moon." The middle-aged man reported the name of the tune first before he started to play.

Afterwards, the beautiful melody of Two Springs Reflect the Moon passed from the Erhu that had been properly maintained.

Yuan Zhou didn't actually know about the melody. However, the middle-aged man just played so well. Even the unknown tune played just caused Yuan Zhou to be immersed in that beautiful melody, let alone this more popular one.

The two people sat separately. Yuan Zhou got seated in the chef's chair of the kitchen and listened to the tune earnestly and blissfully while the middle-aged man sat on a chair in the main hall and played the Erhu earnestly, tilting his head.

Actually, Yuan Zhou wasn't guessing wrong at first. Du Sheng indeed hadn't eaten anything for two days except for some snacks. Without a job and without money with him, he had only got an Erhu that worth some money.

Theoretically, the middle-aged man could at least dress warmly and eat his fill if he sold his skill somewhere since he had that ability.

However, Du Sheng didn't do that as imagined. What's worse, he walked to such a quiet alley at the back door of Yuan Zhou's restaurant and played the Erhu in this place that nobody passed. It was more like he played for himself.

A tune of Two Springs Reflect the Moon could be finished in no more than a few minutes, therefore Du Sheng finished playing very soon.

"Xi Xi Suo Suo", he cleared away the case quickly and prepared to leave.

"Sorry to bother you, Yuan Zhou. I'm leaving now." Du Sheng walked to the door and then thanked him.

Of course, he went out from the front door of Yuan Zhou's restaurant this time.

"I should thank you. Be careful." Yuan Zhou sent him to the door courteously.

As a chef, Yuan Zhou could tell that Du Sheng was very hungry and also he didn't have money with him. Actually, Yuan Zhou was a little curious about that.

"If he sells his playing techniques, he definitely can make a lot of money. After all, his techniques of playing Erhu are so good that even I, this layman, could recognize it." Yuan Zhou muttered to himself.

No one really knew why Du Sheng didn't make a living as a performer when he can't afford the meals. Yuan Zhou didn't know that, nor did others. He might not want to make money with his ability of playing Erhu or maybe he just didn't want to sell his techniques. Who knows!

There were always some craftsmen who had their own persistence, which made them not know where their next meal would come. However, such kind of persistence wasn't understandable by Yuan Zhou.

"Forget it. It's time to prepare the lunch." Yuan Zhou managed to get rid of various speculations in his mind and started to prepare the lunch earnestly.

...

Time passed soon. When there was half an hour left before the lunch time, the master that took Yuan Zhou as his teacher came, quite a long time after the contest.

Of course, he had specially explain why he didn't come immediately. It was because he had intended to come over here to learn only after he resigned.

"Great Master Yuan, good afternoon. This is the tea I prepared for you with the shoot apices of Keemun. The temperature is just perfect for drinking immediately." Once Master Cheng came over, he handed a ceramic pot respectfully.

"You don't need to do this. Just stand there and stay out of the way." Yuan Zhou frowned, but didn't receive the teapot.

"I'm grateful that you can give me this opportunity to stay with and learn from you." Master Cheng said with a solemn look.

With the respectful manner, Master Cheng was actually performing the disciple ceremony.

"I won't take disciples now, so you are not my disciple. Just watch by yourself." Yuan Zhou said frankly and clearly and also cleanly.

"No problem. Now that Great Master Yuan doesn't like it, I won't do that next time." Master Cheng appeared rather serious. He cleared away the teapot and just stood obediently at the segestes wall.

Standing at this position, he could take in the complete picture of the kitchen and meanwhile, didn't affect Zhou Jia's work.

"Did you resign?" Yuan Zhou suddenly raised his head and asked.

"Yes. I will stay here and won't leave until I feel it's good for me. I hope I won't disturb you, Great Master Yuan." Master Cheng nodded his head.

"No, it's ok. Just come on time. If you want to eat, go line up." Yuan Zhou shook his head and said that.

"Thank you, Great Master Yuan." Master Cheng said courteously and respectfully.

"You don't need to call me like that. Just call me Yuan Zhou." When Yuan Zhou heard the appellation again, he finally couldn't help saying that.

"Then I'm going to call you Boss Yuan." Although Master Cheng was prideful and impatient, he was likewise stubborn.

Even if Yuan Zhou was reluctant to take disciples, letting him to watch was also a kind of learning. It was slightly disrespectful to call his name directly, thus he had to compromise and call him like that.

"Ok. I'm now preparing the ingredients required for lunch." After a nod, Yuan Zhou continued his work.

Hearing that, Master Cheng immediately stared at Yuan Zhou process the ingredients without blinking.

It was during that contest of precious ingredients last time that he saw Yuan Zhou do the same work. At that time, however, he wasn't so close to Yuan Zhou.

The place where the contest was held wasn't like Yuan Zhou's restaurant which had facilities to stop any taste from spreading out and was free from any dust.

The restaurant was small, so Master Cheng saw Yuan Zhou process the ingredients so close for the very first time.

"Everybody, business hours commence now. The first ten customers, please come on in and take seats." The clear and melodious voice of Zhou Jia passed from the door.

While they were talking seriously just now, Zhou Jia had already arrived and prepared everything.

"Boss, a serving of Phoenix Tai Prawns plus Egg Fried Rice." Zhou Jia's voice of reporting orders passed to him soon.

"Ok." Yuan Zhou nodded his head and then he started to scoop the prawns.

"Hua La", Yuan Zhou took the small fishing net and scooped up the exact number of prawns.

"He's going to process the prawns now." As a master, Master Cheng actually specialized in Canton Cuisines. However, he was also clear about the cooking method of Phoenix Tail Prawns.

Normally, now was the time to wash the prawns one by one, take the veins out and then put them into the oil to fry. Nevertheless, Yuan Zhou's method of cooking was beyond his understanding.

"No wonder you are Great Master Yuan. You even wash prawns differently from others." While concentrating his attention on the process, Master Cheng couldn't help saying that.

...