Chapter 200 – Paying the Bill
Tang Wulin grinned as he approached the tuna’s head and pulled apart the salt crust, and revealing its delicate meat underneath. He slid a knife between the cheekbones and cut out a chunk of meat the size of his palm with one swift circular motion before placing it on a second plate.
He offered the plate to Ye Xinglan. “Try this; it’s the best part of the fish. Bluefin tuna has a lot of collagen because it swims in the deep sea, and this section is packed full of it. The collagen, when combined with its tender flesh, bursts with flavor on the tongue.”
Once he handed the plate to her, he grabbed his own and carved out another piece for himself. He sat down with a grin and continued to eat.
Such carefree indulgence brought forward a splendid feeling.
It’s really good! Ye Xinglan thought to herself as she savored the supple meat. She sent a furtive glance toward Tang Wulin. There’s no way this guy can be this nice; he must be hiding something. I need to be careful of him.
This fish is so delicious though! I’ll finish eating first before dealing with him.
The two continued to gorge themselves. The only dissatisfaction Ye Xinglan harbored was that Tang Wulin had never raised his head once to look at her—he was too preoccupied eating.
She had thought that Xu Lizhi was the pinnacle of gluttony, but today Tang Wulin had proven she was wrong. Tang Wulin thoroughly surpassed Xu Lizhi in this regard. She found it truly frightening. Heaps and heaps of meat entered his stomach like factory products traveling on a conveyor belt, yet his pace never faltered. It even seemed to accelerate.
Ye Xinglan mulled things over as she chewed and swallowed. This guy really is an unrivaled glutton. Well, I admit that the fish is delicious.
The sea salt complimented the meat’s savouriness, preserving the juiciness and creating an umami-filled adventure. Her plate had the most delicious tidbit, courtesy of Tang Wulin. The fragrant collagen and the tuna’s soft flesh would forever be engraved in her memory, standing out as her most spectacular food experience.
Half of the tuna had been consumed by the time Xu Lizhi returned. He howled at the sight before promptly diving in to join the glutton forces.
In the midst of the excitement, Tang Wulin set aside a finger-licking morsel for the other boy. The moment Xu Lizhi dug into the piece of tuna cheek, his face went slack with contentment. It was as if he had transcended to a higher realm.
A while later, the restaurant’s boss stood stupefied as he stared at the trio with his mouth agape. Three kids had actually succeeded in devouring a fifty kilogram fish. Ye Xinglan’s cold haughtiness cracked open like a shell, revealing a demeanor irreconcilable with the initial impression of her. She leaned back into her chair. This was the first time in her life that she had felt so full. If she moved another inch, her belly would burst.
“Hey, what’s your name?” Ye Xinglan asked Tang Wulin.
“Tang Wulin.” Despite eating the most, Tang Wulin was still as calm as ever. He may have ingested more protein than usual during this meal, but the sheer amount of food he ate didn’t stray too far from the norm.
“How are you able to eat so much? Don’t you feel bloated at all?” Ye Xinglan asked in disbelief.
Tang Wulin beamed, “Let me tell you guys a secret; actually, I have a dragon in my stomach and it’s the one eating all this food.”
His half truths left Xu Lizhi and Ye Xinglan in a daze.
“A dragon in your stomach? How did it get there?” Xu Lizhi asked.
Tang Wulin shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I was born with it. This is the reason why I can eat so much. By the way, your match today was so awesome! By the time I blinked, you guys had won.”
A look of pride crossed Xu Lizhi’s face. “Of course. We’re Shrek after all. We’ve always been peerless.”
Those words seemed to trigger Ye Xinglan’s alertness. She kicked the little fatty’s leg under the table before craning her neck toward Tang Wulin. “We’re leaving now. You settle the bill.”
“I already said I’m hosting!” Xu Lizhi was a man of his words.
Ye Xinglan scowled at him. “Do you have money?”
“Eh…” Xu Lizhi was at a loss for words. “How did I forget about that…”
Tang Wulin was speechless. Can’t he be more reliable… If I had known this earlier, I wouldn’t have eaten so much!
“What kind of expression is that?” Ye Xinglan said as she glared at Tang Wulin’s stiffened face. “You should know, it’s an honor to treat us to dinner.”
After a moment of incredulity, Tang Wulin nodded his head. “Yeah! It really is an honor. You guys sit down first. I’ll go settle the bill.” Saying so, he stood up and walked away.
Since they were sitting in a lounge, he had to turn and make a beeline for the front desk.
Once he was out of sight, Ye Xinglan smacked the top of Xu Lizhi’s head. “Why did you sneak out! Let’s see how I’ll deal with you once we get back.”
Xu Lizhi pulled an indignant face. “Big sister Xinglan, I made a mistake, but didn’t you eat happily, too? Everything’s fine if you had a good time. What are you hitting me for?”
Ye Xinglan snorted. “We’re from Shrek; just how many people do you think are scheming about us? I don’t think that Tang Wulin is any good. I bet he approached us with ulterior motives.”
After a few blinks, Xu Lizhi retorted “No way. When we first met, he gave me some dried fish to eat. That was before he knew which academy I’m from.”
The corners of Ye Xinglan’s mouth began to twitch. “How are you so sure about that? I bet the Skysea Alliance has been watching you and making plans on how to approach you. If you don’t believe me, then just wait. Once he he comes back, he’ll definitely think of some way to get closer to us.”
Xu Lizhi faced the direction Tang Wulin had departed. “Huh, shouldn’t he be back by now?”
Disdain dripped from Ye Xinglan’s words, “He probably went to the washroom after eating so much.”
After another quarter of an hour, Tang Wulin still hadn’t returned.
“He sure is taking a long time in the washroom! He ate a lot, so a lot comes out?” Xu Lizhi mumbled.
“Go look for him.” Ye Xinlan ordered Xu Lizhi, the beginnings of a storm rumbling in her chest. The reason she had been so forceful in having him pay was that she didn’t have any money either! Since they were here to represent Shrek, she hadn’t brought any cash.
It wasn’t long before Xu Lizhi dragged his chubby self back.
“I-I can’t find him. Big Sister Xinglan, I think he left! I bet it’s because you were so rude to him. He probably dipped after paying the bill. See? I told you he wasn’t trying to get close to us.”
Ye Xinglan said, “This is the so-called ‘capturing by letting loose’, you know? Let’s go then.”
She got up with Xu Lizhi and set off.
“Hey, you two children. Hold up. Aren’t you going to pay the bill?” The boss came over and stopped the two.
On his trip back to the hotel, Tang Wulin couldn’t help but feel invigorated as the cool sea breeze brushed against his face.
As for the bill? He wouldn’t have acted that way had Xu Lizhi not promised to pay. It was a pricy meal after all! He didn’t believe that students from Shrek Academy’s students could be short on money.
What really put him in a bad mood, however, was how Ye Xinglan tried to take advantage of him and how cheaply she treated him. She acted as if having a meal with me was charity work! Since that’s how she views it, then she can pay the bill herself. I’ll save myself some money. The thought of her made him roll his eyes.
For this reason, Tang Wulin didn’t hesitate to leave immediately. Why should I kiss the asses of those Shrek Academy students if they look down on me! If they don’t want to be friends, then I’ll just keep my distance. Naturally, Tang Wulin had his own bottom line and paid his share of the bill—one third.
He was really self-indulgent today, so he began meditating as soon as he returned to the hotel. Of course, he didn’t forget to block Xu Lizhi’s number from his soul communicator. He didn’t want any trouble; he’ll pretend that he had never met them.
In reality and unknown to Tang Wulin, Ye Xinglan’s arrogant eyes had aroused his own pride.