4. Duck Blood Vermicelli Soup
Qiu Rong searched online, went to the market, and bought two bags of fresh milk. Carrying a bunch of things, he returned home, eager to make duck blood vermicelli soup for his spouse.
Following the recipe, he mixed the milk and duck blood, then waited for it to solidify while dealing with other ingredients.
Before dating Yan Ling, Qiu Rong had no knowledge of cooking whatsoever. He had no pursuit in life and would simply eat at the cafeteria to fill his stomach.
Once, while having a meal together with Yan Ling, the CEO asked Qiu Rong if he knew how to cook. Thinking about his tough and resilient persona, Qiu Rong casually replied, “Yes,” unknowingly digging a shallow pit for himself.
Not long after, Qiu Rong successfully graduated, but he hadn’t been assigned to a graduate dormitory yet.
Just when Qiu Rong was about to move to his old villa temporarily, Yan Ling thought about the high rent in City A and proactively asked Qiu Rong if he wanted to stay at his place, taking care of three meals a day as rent.
To go or not to go, that was the question.
He looked up and met the understanding and gentle gaze of the CEO, and his heart trembled.
If not now, when?
Not going wouldn’t be the act of a real man.
Qiu Rong immediately grabbed someone in the clan who was skilled at cooking and diligently learned from them. In just three days, he quickly mastered several common home-cooked dishes. For a period of time afterward, Qiu Rong frequently visited different households to learn stir-frying, making everyone think that their leader was considering a career change and becoming a chef.
Fortunately, Qiu Rong had some talent in cooking, combined with his desire to win someone’s heart, the dishes he made tasted decent, not to the extent that the CEO would kick him out after just one bite.
After more than a year of practice, Qiu Rong’s culinary skills were not extraordinary, but they were considered quite competent.
Since Qiu Rong didn’t have much to do in the afternoon, he decided not to make a simplified version of the duck blood vermicelli soup. Instead, he bought an old duck and pork bones to make a high-quality soup stock.
Once the soup was ready, he would be able to pick up Yan Ling and then go home to cook the vermicelli, perfectly timed.
Qiu Rong planned everything well, but around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, he received a call from the CEO.
“There’s something going on at the company, and we have a meeting. I might be back home late,” Yan Ling said, holding his phone with one hand while Vincent held his other hand, carefully wiping it. “You don’t have to wait for me. I’ll eat at the office, and Vincent will take me home afterward.”
Qiu Rong’s mind conjured up an image of Yan Ling’s constantly by his side expressionless assistant. A vein throbbed on his forehead, and he blurted out, “No.”
“We agreed that I would come to pick you up,” Qiu Rong softened his tone and said, “I’ve been preparing dinner all afternoon. I’ll bring it to the office and wait for you to finish work, alright?”
Yan Ling smiled and asked, “What delicious food did you make?”
“It’s a secret,” Qiu Rong lifted the lid of the clay pot and stirred the steaming milky white soup. He tried to remember where he put the thermos last time after using it, “I’ll bring my laptop to read some papers. I won’t disturb your work.”
Vincent somehow produced a handkerchief from somewhere, wrapped it around Yan Ling’s hand, and tied a simple knot on the back of his hand.
Yan Ling lightly frowned and softly said through the phone, “Alright, if you want to come, then come.”
After hanging up the phone, Yan Ling curled his fingers and disdainfully said, “A burden.”
“Once the wound heals, Your Highness can take it off,” Vincent ignited the handkerchief stained with blood, and the ashes floated into the ashtray, “Otherwise, if the people at the company smell Your Highness’s blood, it may cause unnecessary trouble.”
Yan Ling neither agreed nor disagreed. He glanced at Vincent and languidly said, “Let’s go.”
Before heading to Yan Ling’s company, Qiu Rong asked Meng Baichuan to come and take away the refrigerated box. He only took three bags of duck blood, planning to process them this afternoon and have another meal with Yan Ling tomorrow to finish them all.
Unfortunately, Yan Ling didn’t particularly like spicy food, otherwise, they could have made a spicy hot pot.
When Meng Baichuan took the box, he mentioned the trade negotiation with the merfolk in the afternoon, which unexpectedly went smoothly.
It seemed that the merfolk had found some profitable channels and didn’t raise any objections to the increased price for the werewolves, readily agreeing to it.
“I have a feeling that once they have money, they will directly negotiate cooperation with the vampires,” Meng Baichuan sighed, “It’s a pity, we just made a good profit.”
Qiu Rong tapped his head and said, “What? You really want to reap without sowing?”
The werewolf’s head was resilient, but Qiu Rong didn’t hold back his strength. Meng Baichuan covered his head and tearfully looked at the leader, saying, “Huh?”
“I didn’t plan on bringing you along for this matter,” Qiu Rong said, if it weren’t for the fact that Meng Baichuan happened to bump into him while planning the route with Ruan Sijia, “The vampires have been causing trouble for the werewolves through the hands of the Supernatural Control Centre for quite some time. We’re just giving them a taste of their own medicine, but it’s not something we consider our main business.”
Qiu Rong sneered, “That vampire prince talks a big talk, but he never shows up himself. It’s always the people around him who handle things, and with the centre helping him play Tai Chi, it’s even harder to see the prince than it is to see the head of the centre.”
“If this incident can make him show up voluntarily, that’s great. If not…”
Meng Baichuan’s eyes lit up, thinking of the information he obtained from the refrigerated truck driver, and he exclaimed excitedly, “Then let’s go and raid his suburban villa!”
Qiu Rong: “…”
Qiu Rong: “We can only consider challenging the Supernatural Control Centre’s arrangement.”
Meng Baichuan: “…”
The vampire prince only occasionally shows up at the Supernatural Control Centre’s meetings.
“Go reread the Regulations on Supernatural Ability Control,” Qiu Rong ruffled Meng Baichuan’s curly hair and sighed, “Read less hot-blooded manga.”
Meng Baichuan: “…”
After seeing Meng Baichuan off, Qiu Rong returned to the house to pack the soup.
The rich aroma filled the room as Qiu Rong separated the soup and ingredients, patiently arranging the vermicelli and blood chunks on a plate—although they would eventually be poured into the soup.
On the way to New Moon Media, Qiu Rong thought of Meng Baichuan again.
That kid had some courage, but he was clever in his actions, although occasionally driven by hot-bloodedness…
…His imagination was also quite rich.
…And he had a tendency to blindly follow others.
Qiu Rong: “…”
Forget it, it’s better to have Ruan Sijia keep a closer eye on him.
Qiu Rong had originally planned to take Ruan Sijia with him on this matter, but there were two additional reasons he hadn’t told Meng Baichuan.
One was that he owed a favor to the merfolk and needed to repay it.
The other reason was related to the recent cases of exsanguination deaths.
Although the accusations against the vampires had been dismissed by the Supernatural Control Centre, Qiu Rong still maintained a high level of suspicion towards the vampires, especially within their own ranks.
Two weeks without blood was nothing for vampires accustomed to “vegetarian” habits, but for those accustomed to feeding on human blood…
Hunger could cause any creature to lose their rationality.
Losing rationality meant being more likely to slip up.
“Good evening, Mr. Qiu.”
No matter how many times, Qiu Rong struggled to adapt to Vincent’s politeness, and he tried to be polite in return. “Good evening.”
“Mr. Yan is still working. Please wait a moment,” Vincent slightly bowed and led Qiu Rong to the lounge. He personally fetched a glass of plain water and placed it gently on the table. “It’s not advisable to drink tea or coffee in the evening.”
“Alright, thank you.” Qiu Rong set down the laptop bag and thermos he was carrying and smiled at Vincent.
Fortunately, Vincent left after pouring the water. Otherwise, Qiu Rong would certainly have been restless.
Qiu Rong didn’t often visit Yan Ling’s company. Usually, he would wait in the underground parking lot and occasionally come up. If Vincent wasn’t there, the receptionist would directly escort him to the CEO’s office.
But as long as Vincent was present, the other party would always be waiting at the door in advance, respectfully escorting him to the lounge.
It was as if they were saying, “Please don’t disturb our CEO’s work.”
Not disturbing was impossible. No matter how important the work, one must eat first.
New Moon Media usually finishes work at half-past five, but Qiu Rong lingered a bit before leaving, and then he got stuck in traffic on the way. Now it’s almost seven o’clock.
Seeing Vincent leave, Qiu Rong decisively took out his phone and sent a message to the CEO: “Your puppy is left alone in the lounge (/pitiful).”
The CEO didn’t reply.
Not long after, the door to the lounge was pushed open again.
“The meeting is scheduled to start at seven forty. You can’t take the handkerchief for now…”
Yan Ling swiftly entered the lounge, blocking out Vincent’s voice outside the door.
Yan Ling locked the lounge as he passed by and let out a sigh of relief. He loosened his meticulously tied necktie and unbuttoned a few shirt buttons for better ventilation.
Qiu Rong tilted his head back and planted a kiss on the CEO’s lips as he approached.
Yan Ling gently ruffled Qiu Rong’s head, like a master returning home and petting a puppy. “Sorry for the long wait.”
Qiu Rong noticed the light gray handkerchief tied around Yan Ling’s hand. He grabbed Yan Ling’s hand, avoiding the handkerchief, and held onto his wrist, asking, “What happened to your hand?”
“It’s nothing.” Yan Ling clearly didn’t take Vincent’s words to heart. He untied the silk handkerchief from his hand and waved his fair palm in front of Qiu Rong, reassuring him, “I accidentally scratched it earlier. Vincent made a big fuss out of it.”
Vampires have superior regenerative abilities. Two hours later, the grim wound caused by a silver dining knife on Yan Ling’s palm had already faded into a shallow, barely visible scar, resembling a small cut made on paper, albeit a bit long.
Qiu Rong frowned.
Even the smallest wound would hurt.
His hand slid along Yan Ling’s wrist to the back of his hand, and his thumb lightly brushed against the red mark.
“It’s not a deep cut, it doesn’t hurt. It’ll be fine in a moment,” Yan Ling held onto Qiu Rong’s thumb, gave it a shake, and smiled, changing the subject, “What delicious meal did you prepare today after spending the whole afternoon in the kitchen?”
Qiu Rong still had a furrowed brow, but he didn’t say much. He turned around and opened the lid of the thermos. The thermos was of good quality, and the soup was still piping hot. Qiu Rong removed the layer of duck blood vermicelli and garnishes on top, and steam gushed out from the bottom, quickly filling the small lounge with the aroma of the broth.
“What a coincidence,” Yan Ling said, slightly surprised. “The company cafeteria also served duck blood vermicelli soup today.”
“Is that so?” Qiu Rong raised an eyebrow. “Then why don’t you taste both and see which one is better?”
“Definitely the one you made,” Yan Ling replied as he took the soup spoon handed to him by Qiu Rong. He stirred the fragrant milky broth and said, “The cafeteria doesn’t spend several hours simmering the soup.”
Qiu Rong held the chopsticks and carefully poured the beautifully arranged duck blood vermicelli into the soup, then sprinkled the separately packed cilantro and garlic sprouts on top, achieving the perfect presentation even for takeaway food.
This was a small “feeding the cat” trick that Qiu Rong had discovered.
In reality, Yan Ling would eat anything Qiu Rong made. However, if one observed carefully, they would notice that the CEO preferred dishes that were beautifully plated and delicate when dining out.
So when cooking at home, Qiu Rong would subconsciously pay attention to the appearance of the food.
“I’ve already eaten at home. You have it,” Qiu Rong said. The thermos he brought from home was not large, and it only contained enough for Yan Ling.
Of course, watching the cat eat was also a kind of enjoyment.
Yan Ling was different from most people. He was comfortable with others staring at him for extended periods. So even with Qiu Rong focusing intently on him from the side, Yan Ling ate without any signs of discomfort, calmly following his own pace.
Qiu Rong’s gaze drifted from the love bite on the CEO’s neck to his tongue and bright little fangs that were inadvertently revealed when he bit into the blood cube…
Staring any longer would be a bit… strange.
Qiu Rong quickly averted his eyes, a hint of a smile appearing in his eyes.
A cat’s fangs should not be underestimated; they can deliver quite a painful bite.
“The blood is very fresh,” Yan Ling said as he finished picking and eating the blood cubes in his bowl.
“I saw it at the market and thought it looked good, so I bought some,” Qiu Rong replied. “There’s some leftover at home, so we can have another meal tomorrow.”
“Mmm…” Yan Ling took a sip of the soup, thinking about the batch of blood that the vampire gang had lost.
I hope those little wolves didn’t sell off all the stolen blood in the market.
Because the blood was mixed with milk and cooked, Yan Ling didn’t realize that it was Rong Sheng’s product.
Yan Ling had a meeting at 7:40, and after Qiu Rong finished the remaining bit of soup in Yan Ling’s bowl, he held Yan Ling’s hand and clung to him for a while.
At 7:35, Yan Ling stood up first and said, “Go wait in my office. The desk there is more comfortable for looking at the computer.”
“Okay,” Qiu Rong let go of Yan Ling’s hand and glanced at it to make sure the red marks on Yan Ling’s palm had disappeared before putting his mind at ease.
Yan Ling stood up to get Vincent’s handkerchief, intending to tie it back on to avoid being scolded later.
But as he raised his hand, he paused.
There was not a trace of injury on his palm.
Has his recovery ability improved again?
…Or is it because he just ate duck blood?
Yan Ling didn’t dwell on it too much. He turned around and extended his palm for Qiu Rong to inspect. “Look, I told you it would be fine soon.”
Qiu Rong smiled and held Yan Ling’s finger, lowering his head to place a gentle kiss on the soft palm. He smiled and said, “Hmm, it’s good that you’re okay.”
This was the first time Qiu Rong didn’t find his healing ability so mediocre.
Qiu Rong: I healed my wife’s wound, pain pain fly away~
Yan Ling: Have I become stronger again?
Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.