What It's Like Being a Vampire

Chapter 259: Show Off

The interior of the Audi A8L was extremely quiet, thanks to the car’s excellent sound insulation which effectively blocked out the noise of wind and roads from the outside.

There was no music playing in the car, nor was anyone talking. The attention of the other three people was focused on “Boss Qi,” who was seated in the right of the rear row.

From the moment they got into the car, “Boss Qi” had been in a state of extreme tension, his entire body taut. His bald head was throbbing with veins and slick with cold sweat, and there was a fearful, vacant look in his bloodshot eyes.

The others, though somewhat perplexed and unsure of the situation, could all tell that something was wrong with “Boss Qi.”

Liu Feibao, the man with gold-rimmed glasses, quietly asked, “Boss Qi, should we head straight to the hospital?”

Boss Qi raised his hand, signaling him to be quiet.

A few minutes later, Boss Qi let out a long sigh. His previously rigid back finally relaxed and he leaned back in his seat, seeming to come back to life.

Only then did Liu Feibao again quietly inquire, “Boss Qi, are you feeling unwell? Perhaps… we should head to the First Hospital in Jianzhou City?”

Boss Qi shook his head and replied, “I’m fine. Let’s find a place to have some tea, sober up, and rest for a while.”

Liu Feibao then mentioned the name of a clubhouse to the driver before turning back again and said, “Boss Qi, were you upset by that rude… That rude guy? Don’t worry, I noted their license plate numbers. They’re all local plates, we can find the people once we find the car, I assure they won’t get away with it.” He was about to say “that bald guy” but he immediately caught himself as he recalled that Boss Qi himself was bald, and hence swallowed his words.

Upon hearing this, Boss Qi turned his gaze sharply toward him and seriously, even harshly, said: “Don’t go looking for trouble with them. If you do anything to him, our cooperation is off the table. Make no mistake, I’m not joking.”

Taken aback, Liu Feibao, not fully understanding, tentatively asked, “Boss Qi, do you know those guys?” In his mind, Boss Qi was more of the vindictive, grudge-holding type than he was, so he assumed Boss Qi had recognized someone in those two cars whom he knew was not to be messed with.

“No, I don’t know them. Let’s forget today’s incident. I’ll have finance transfer you thirty thousand yuan later. Let’s not talk about this anymore.” Boss Qi waved his hand dismissively, leaned his head back on the headrest and closed his eyes to rest.

Liu Feibao initially intended to reject the offer but seeing Boss Qi’s demeanor, he realized that a refusal might not only fail to win him any points but also upset Boss Qi. Thus, he wisely chose to hold his tongue.

As soon as Qi Haoguo closed his eyes, he couldn’t help but picture the horrifying monster he’d seen earlier.

After a while, he couldn’t help but open his eyes and look at the seat next to him. Thankfully, the one seated there now was Liu Feibao, the fat man. Seeing his gaze, Liu Feibao immediately adjusted his gold-rimmed glasses and returned a flattering smile.

Qi Haoguo averted his gaze, declining to feign sleep again, instead choosing to watch the scenery flashing rapidly by outside the car window.

From the moment he first set eyes on that monstrous creature with eight arms, eight eyes, and a body covered in tumors, he understood from the reactions of the other people that, besides him, there was no one else who could see the monster. If there had been, their reactions would certainly not have been what they’d been.

And this was precisely why he initially thought he’d had a hallucination due to being drunk, up until the moment the monster grabbed his head. He even thought his head might be twisted off.

The monster told him that he couldn’t afford to mess with the people in those two cars, and that he shouldn’t let the people around him provoke them either. Otherwise, it would come after him again, and wouldn’t be as “gentle” as it had been this time.

By every sensory judgment, the monster was real.

The fact that others couldn’t see it only made it more terrifying and powerful.

Apart from the immediate shock and fear brought on by this sensory impact, the monster also instilled in him a sort of fear that originated from within himself.

He felt as if he had experienced all the symptoms of the diseases he had feared the most in an instant. For a while, he felt paralyzed, seated in the back and unable to move. The parts below his neck couldn’t sense anything. At one point, for a few seconds, he felt as though something was gnawing at his organs, devouring his flesh.

From the moment he saw the monster until it finally disappeared, the short few minutes seemed like a years-long adventure to him. It led him to ponder many things, to reflect on his deeds throughout his life in a flashback-like manner, to reminisce about times with friends and family, and even to contemplate death on a serious level.

After the monster disappeared, he felt a sense of relief as though it was a new lease on life, as if he had broken through many of his past entanglements and obsessions. It seemed as though he had a clearer understanding and enlightenment about himself and the world.

Therefore, his feelings toward the monster were not merely fear, but a sense of awe that seemed to originate from the depth of his soul. As for hate and anger, he had none.

He knew that the monster definitely had something to do with the bald, bespectacled man who came later. While he had no thoughts of revenge, he was still curious and wanted to know the identity of the similarly bald man. But thinking about the warning from the monster, he suppressed his curiosity and didn’t dare to cross the line. He also warned Liu Feibao not to stir up trouble that could involve him.

Qi Haoguo suddenly remembered something, sat straight, and turned to look at Liu Feibao: “Boss Liu.”

“Here, what’s your command, Boss Qi?” Liu Feibao, who had been making various guesses, hurried to straighten up and respond.

“Our cooperation, the things we discussed during lunch today, the overall direction remains the same, we’ll follow that. However, we need to adjust some details and methods,” said Qi Haoguo ponderously.

Liu Feibao’s heart missed a beat. He thought, well, it’s all over. Boss Qi is obviously not satisfied with the way things were handled previously, and he’s about to blow up.

However, what Boss Qi said next made him even more confused.

“I will shorten your payment cycles, increase the budget, give a higher quote to the downstream people, but the contract will stipulate some changes to the way you work, and it should be standardized.”

“But… if we follow your request, the magnitude of this budget increase could be substantial, and Boss Qi, on your company’s side…”

“I know. This time, I’ve decided to forgo these profits to give back to the local community. Of course, it’s a good opportunity to train the team as well,” said Qi Haoguo earnestly. “As for the details, we’ll have our company’s people liaise with you later. Don’t think about pocketing the extra money as profit. My money isn’t that easy to get.”

“Yes, yes. Don’t worry, Boss Qi.” Liu Feibao agreed but was even more puzzled. What was Boss Qi up to? Was this the legendary “Cutthroat Qi”?

Although the “Youlong Restaurant” is still closed for business, a large group of people still came here for dinner.

The reasons were because You Meng’s cooking ingredients were all here, and when they discuss the details of their new video later, they would also need the kitchen here. Furthermore, the restaurant’s spacious dining hall with a large table was convenient for their large group to have a meal together without disturbing others.

Since they were delayed on the road, they went directly to the “Youlong Restaurant” once they entered the town as suggested by Xiang Kun. He and Xiang Kun got out of the car to prepare dinner at the restaurant while Yang Zhen Er drove Tang Baona and Zhang Qian to settle down at the hotel.

As for Liang Yulong’s car, it went directly to the hotel.

By the time Zhang Qian and Tang Baona, after washing up and resting a bit at the hotel, arrived at the “Youlong Restaurant” together, the dinner prepared by “Chef You” and “Chef Xiang” was ready.

Xiang Kun’s culinary skills need no further words, and You Meng was a professional chef and had run his own restaurant for many years. With Xiang Kun’s understanding of the dinner guests’ palates, the dishes they made were targeted, naturally receiving high praise.

Even Zhang Qian, who had tasted many international cuisines and had a wide knowledge, couldn’t help but praise the rabbit dishes prepared in various ways, and several other local specialty dishes.

Not just her, Yang Jie, Yang Zhuo, Xiao Min, and Zi Cheng, who hadn’t tasted Xiang Kun’s cooking before, were equally full of praise. Especially when they found out that several dishes to their liking were made by Xiang Kun, which even surpassed professional chef You Meng, they were even more surprised.

Especially Yang Zhuo and Xiao Min, this young couple had always regarded Xiang Kun as a “guru” and “idol”. They had already had high expectations for his cooking skills when they learned from Yang Zhen Er and Tang Baona that Xiang Kun could cook, and his cooking was quite good. They didn’t expect that after really tasting his cooking, it still exceeded their expectations and gave them a pleasant surprise. The title “Chef Xiang” that Yang Zhen Er used was not just for fun.

Zi Cheng was also relishing the food, sighing, “Ah Tu, where did you learn to cook like this? It’s so freaking awesome! I’ve had rabbit meat before and it seemed all cooked the same way, but none of it was this delicious! Coach, let me learn how to cook!! Give me a chance!”

“How am I supposed to give you a chance?” Xiang Kun casually followed along, having been roommates with Zi Cheng for years and being around him every day. With his current strong sense of perception, he naturally knew what he was thinking.

Indeed, Zi Cheng immediately said, “I didn’t have a choice before, now I want to be a chef.”

Xiang Kun made a gun gesture with his hand, pointing at him, and said very seriously, “Alright, tell your bowl of rabbit meat and see if it lets you be a chef.”

Zi Cheng widened his eyes, looking innocent, “So you’re asking me to die.”

Xiang Kun: “Sorry, but I’m the chef.”

“Damn! You two are too ridiculous, turning a meal into a parody of ‘Infernal Affairs’? Liu Dechuang, Liang Chaokun?” Unable to resist, Yang Zhen’er made the comment, but she was also laughing very happily.

Everyone had already caught on to their parody of the rooftop scene from ‘Infernal Affairs’, and were laughing uncontrollably. Yang Jie, with the lowest tolerance for humor, was even tearing up.

Xiang Kun wondered whether Yang Jie would have fainted from laughter if he had activated the “Twelve Minions” emotional influence effect at the time.

Zhang Qian said, “I heard from Nana that you learned to cook by searching for tutorials and recipes online and improving bit by bit? And you only started this year? In that case, I must admit, you really do have a talent for cooking. If you can consistently maintain this taste, you can open a restaurant in a major city. It would be really popular and make a lot more money.”

Xiang Kun laughed, “The cost of opening a restaurant in a major city is too high, if it doesn’t succeed, you can’t keep it up. If this place gets up and running, we can consider opening branches in the surrounding area and gradually build our brand.”

Maintain this taste? How could that be possible…

Preparing dinner this evening, You Meng spent a lot of time and money buying and preparing ingredients. He had high requirements for the quality and freshness, and tested many adjustments to cater to their tastes. Xiang Kun had many complicated and intricate steps in the cooking process.

If locals from Tongshi Town or guests from other places were to eat tonight’s dishes, they might not have the same level of experience. Xiang Kun and You Meng cannot possibly interview and adjust to each new guest’s taste.

When the restaurant starts operating, all the dishes must consider the cost and efficiency of production. As long as a relatively constant, basic taste that suits most target groups of diners can be maintained, just like the difference between mass-produced cars and customized race cars.

Of course, he wouldn’t go into such details with Zhang Qian and the others.

Because when the restaurant reopens, besides the taste of the dishes, he has other “secret weapons” to “conquer” the customers who come to eat.

After the successful experiment of the “Twelve Minions” emotional assimilation, Xiang Kun already has a full plan for creating “appetite-enhancing props”.

By then, he can directly transform the eating emotions from Little Fat Girl Liu Shiling into several wood carvings through “emotional infusion”, and then place them in the restaurant.

Activate it during mealtime to stimulate the appetite of the customers who come in to eat, enhance their dining experience, and reinforce the positive feedback from the various rabbit meat dishes in the store.

In fact, he doesn’t need to always use the “emotionally infused” wood carvings to “cheat”, just using it for some time in the initial phase would be enough.

Create a buzz and attention with online videos and analysis posts, attracting the first wave of customers to the restaurant. Then do some live-stream events, let the first wave of customers bring enthusiastic feedback. Once a trend forms online or locally, all he has to do is maintain a consistent taste in his dishes.

Because by then, their various rabbit meat dishes might become the representative delicacy of Tongshi Town due to this trend.

Once a dish becomes a representative delicacy, it will become the default choice of many people as well as the choice when none other can be made.

Just like how many people in Jing City think that the taste of Jing City’s roast duck is just so-so, but whenever someone comes to visit them, they have to take them to taste it at least once, and preferably at the most authentic restaurants. The same applies to special cuisines of other places.

Xiang Kun aims to make their “Youlong-style” rabbit meat a cuisine renowned not only in Tongshi Town but throughout Jianzhou City and even the entire Haixi Province.

Of course, that’s a story for another time. Right now, they are barely getting started.

After dinner, just as everyone was getting ready to clean up, You Meng suddenly stood up and announced, “Next, let’s welcome one of tonight’s chefs, one of our shareholders, and the man known as ‘Citong City’s Peng Yuyan,’ Mr. Xiang Kun, who will present a stand-up comedy performance. Let’s give him a round of applause.”

While most people were perplexed, they were excited to see a show unfold, and readily gave their applause and cheers, especially at hearing the nickname of “Citong City’s Peng Yuyan”.

Xiang Kun buttoned up his coat, adjusted his collar, then walked to the front of everyone, keeping a reasonable distance from the dining table. Clearly, he had come prepared.

Actually, when he had arrived at the restaurant with You Meng to prepare for dinner, the original plan was to have You Meng do a short stand-up comedy routine. If it went well, it would become a regular part of their night. In addition to this routine serving as a gimmick, it would also generate buzz and discussion.

The jokes were all adaptations he and Yang Zhuo found online or came up with on a whim. They were all short and easy to memorize.

As for the performing ability, they had “cheat codes” to make up for it.

He had already arranged the “Twelve Minions” around the ground floor of the restaurant. Before opening, they would make minor adjustments to the dining room to accommodate the Minion wooden carvings which would later be used for their “appetite-enhancing” feature, adding a unique touch to their restaurant.

But You Meng was still too shy, so Xiang Kun had to use some techniques to persuade him to let Xiang Kun try it first tonight. If it went well, You Meng would take the stage the next night.

This was also a chance for Xiang Kun to test the impact and effectiveness of the “Twelve Minions” in such a large space after being distributed.

Xiao Min, who was sitting next to the dinner table, looked at her boyfriend. She knew Yang Zhuo had been helping Xiang Kun come up with some funny jokes. So when she saw Xiang Kun about to perform the stand-up comedy, she knew that he was going to perform those jokes, which made her a bit worried.

Because those jokes, Yang Zhuo had performed them for her before, and instead of laughing, she was filled with goosebumps. It was a bit chilly.

However, a few minutes later, her worries disappeared. She didn’t expect that the same jokes, after Xiang Kun slightly modified and performed them, sounded completely different. Even though Xiao Min had heard the punchline from her boyfriend before, she couldn’t help but laugh her head off, let alone the others.

There were a total of four jokes, each about forty seconds to one minute. The whole act lasted less than four minutes, but everyone broke out into laughter more than seven times. Even after Xiang Kun finished his performance, the laughters still didn’t die down. Not only did Yang Jie laugh till she cried, but Tang Baona did too. It seemed that those girls who wore glasses had a lower sense of humor?

In fact, when spread out like this, the simultaneous activation of the “Twelve Minions” had a limited impact, far less than the impact they had on the plane.

But the jokes that Xiang Kun told were the kind that could be either hilarious or inexplicably cold, depending on whether you could get the point or not.

The joyful emotions from the “Twelve Minions” could synchronize the laughter frequency of the audience. Once they heard those jokes, as long as they thought slightly or felt a bit like laughing, this response would be strengthened, and then they would be immersed in the rhythm of the joke. When the punchline came, their emotions would burst out.

Once the first joke started the laugh, the rest would cause a snowball effect and get funnier and funnier.

In the future, if he runs out of money, he could consider doing stand-up comedy or crosstalk to make a living.

Just as Xiang Kun was feeling triumphant, Zi Cheng stood up laughing, patted him on the shoulder, and roared with laughter, “Forget about ‘Citong City’s Peng Yuyan’, you should be called ‘Tongshi Town’s Guo Degang’!”

Another round of laughter erupted in the restaurant, even startling pedestrians outside their closed shop door.

Next chapter will be updated first on this website. Come back and continue reading tomorrow, everyone!

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