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972 The Stories Are Lies

 The next day, the sun appeared very bright and beautiful due to the rain the night before.

As usual, Yuan Zhou woke up early and went out for a run. With the increase of his restaurant's popularity, his morning runs were no longer as peaceful anymore.

He thought of buying a treadmill, but after taking some meticulous measurements, Yuan Zhou concluded that the second floor was too tiny for a treadmill.

A lot of Yuan Zhou's friends on his social media had a treadmill at home. It was at this moment that Yuan Zhou realized those pictures weren't for the sake of showing off their workout results.

Rather, the pictures were for the sake of showing off their houses that were big enough to accommodate the treadmills.

"All these show-offs!" Yuan Zhou berated expressionlessly.

"Just you wait. When I buy a villa in the future, I will buy three treadmills. One for my own use, one as a backup, and one for Broth. Yes, Broth will have the chance to workout as well," Yuan Zhou thought to himself, planning to let Broth reach the speed of a cheetah.

Usually, when he went out on his morning run, Yuan Zhou would be thinking about something as well. These two days, his thoughts were occupied by the extremely difficult side mission.

[Side mission] Recreating a fictional dish (Incomplete)

(Mission tips: To recreate a dish that only existed in either films or books. The completion rate and grade both need to be above 90 marks. As a future master chef, you must prove to the world that a chef has no limits, even when facing the imagination of storytellers.)

[Mission reward]: Of the leftover ingredients disposed of by the system daily, one set would be left behind. (Received)

[Mission period]: Fifteen days

(Mission hints: Countdown starts from the day the reward was given.)

[Mission penalty]: Daily disposal of leftover ingredients will be even stricter.

This was quite a weird mission. Yuan Zhou couldn't help but frown when he received it.

As Yuan Zhou was an extremely cautious person, he asked for an extremely clear definition of a fictional dish. This cautiousness was something he nurtured with his experience dealing with the system.

And the system gave a clear answer. The dish must be one that nobody has made before. If it was a dish that existed in reality and had merely been modified by the storyteller, it would not count.

For example, Water Bamboo Shrimp and Longjing Tea Diced Chicken Meat would not count according to the system.

In Yuan Zhou's opinion, if it was something fictional, it was definitely a result of unrestrained imagination and there would be some conditions to it that couldn't be fulfilled in reality.

The essence of this mission was for him to use his skill to fill the gap of impossibility.

Here, we had to first exclude the phoenix meat or dragon meat in Chinese fantasy novels. Yuan Zhou had long asked the system for these ingredients. The system had also long told him that these ingredients were unavailable.

A dish like the Jade Flute Cherry Blossom in a wuxia novel cooked by Huang Rong using lamb bottoms, pork ears, cow kidneys, and so on was a dish with 25 flavors.

There were also other dishes like Twenty Four Bridges and Bright Moon, Frosty Three Friends, Fried Centipedes, and so on. When Louis Cha wrote about food, his descriptions were rather complete as the ingredients were all clearly listed.

However, these dishes could only be read. Those that could truly obtain a grade of 90 marks when cooked were very few.

The system was clear that not only must the dish be recreated, it must reach above 90 marks in both completion and grading.

As for the standard used by the system when grading, it did not need much explanation.

Yuan Zhou thought carefully in his mind, and the only dish that he thought could be recreated was Twenty Four Bridges and Bright Moon.

But... according to the novel, this dish required one to use the martial technique Whisking Acupoint Orchid Hand to cut the tofu into tiny balls. Where could Yuan Zhou learn this martial technique from?

The truly delicious dishes couldn't be recreated, while those that could be recreated couldn't reach 90 marks. Yuan Zhou seemed to have met a dead end.

Half a month was given for this mission. It might seem like a lot of time, but that might not be the case. No wonder the system was so generous this time, releasing the reward when the mission was issued.

So there was a trap waiting for him here.

The system seemed to have turned evil. Yuan Zhou wondered who the system had learned all these evilness from. It spent all its time tricking Comrade Yuan Zhou.

"Last night, before bed, I read many wuxia books. Louis Cha had complete descriptions while most of the dishes written by Gu Long are real dishes and very few are actual fictional dishes. As for Wen Rui'an's dishes, it is like reading someone flaunting his wealth."

Yuan Zhou sighed repeatedly. It has been two days since he received this mission. He planned to change his line of thought tonight before going to bed and to stop focusing on wuxia novels.

"A one kilometer run is feeling easier and easier. Looks like I need to increase the distance tomorrow," Yuan Zhou thought when his run was ending.

By the time Yuan Zhou returned to his restaurant, the nearby stores had all been opened. Most of them used Yuan Zhou's restaurant as a point of reference for their operating hours.

This morning, there were customers asking if there were new dishes again. Yuan Zhou told them no.

So was that a surprise?

Steamed dumplings were sold for breakfast. Dough kneading and all other steps of food preparation progressed smoothly. No mishaps happened and breakfast time ended peacefully.

But during lunchtime, several unexpected incidents happened in succession.

First, a person who shouldn't be here had arrived: Zhou Xi.

Wang Hong felt like Zhou Xi's mouth was too powerful as he got tricked by Zhou Xi previously. Thus, he did not bother greeting Zhou Xi.

Meng Meng was the one to greet Zhou Xi. Today, she wasn't streaming. She had just streamed at Yuan Zhou's restaurant yesterday and today was her rest day.

"I thought you mentioned yesterday you were going outstation to attend an art exhibition?" Meng Meng asked directly.

"Mingyi's art exhibition?" Zhou Xi opened his eyes wide. "Compared to Eaves Wu's paintings, what is Mingyi's art exhibition?"

Meng Meng felt like she had to give him a reminder, "But Wu Hai's paintings will always be here. As for Mingyi's..."

"People Passing by A Small Restaurant and This Is Life are both extremely deep paintings and one can never be tired of looking at them," said Zhou Xi firmly with zero hesitation.

This rendered Meng Meng speechless. She then decided to not speak with an idiot.

Zhou Shijie was still away from Chengdu. Thus, nobody else was talking to Zhou Xi. He stood in line quietly, his gaze occasionally landing on the ceiling.

Meng Meng ignored him and started talking with Man Man while waiting in line instead. Only then did Meng Meng found out that from visiting Yuan Zhou's restaurant frequently, Man Man managed to learn some intricacies of dough kneading. Because of that, her bread store's business was getting better and better. She was now at a level where she was thinking of accepting apprentices. After all, the business of the branch she opened was getting better and better as well.

"Man Man, you are now a rich woman. Remember to give me a discount when I visit your store," said Meng Meng joyfully.

"Yes, sure. A discount of 2%," said Man Man generously.

This caused Meng Meng to be speechless. She found that Man Man had not only learned some of Boss Yuan's skills, she had also learned some of his stinginess.

The second unexpected incident was Fang Heng. His father was hospitalized and as the only son of the family, he had to take care of the family during this period.

He had to take care of both the family business and the house.

His mother was rather lacking in tenacity. At her age, she would still get Fang Heng's father to do simple tasks like opening the cap of a bottle for her.

They used to feed their own son dog food at home on a daily basis. It was no wonder that Wu Hai had mentioned that Fang Heng was looking more and more like a dog. Turned out it was because of the excessive amount of dog food he was fed. [1. I believe many already know this. Feeding dog food = public display of intimacy]

Because of the hospitalization of his father, Fang Heng was very busy and no longer visited Yuan Zhou's restaurant as much nowadays.

"I never knew this but a business is truly very complex," complained Fang Heng to Zhao Yingjun.

"I have to read so many reports every single day. I feel like my eyes are turning blind soon," said Fang Heng while rubbing his eyes.

Looking at how pitiful Fang Heng seemed, Zhao Yingjun finally reacted...