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Underground Associates [SLQ]

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#1Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:38 am

Jan Ren
After a while of not having done anything really, Jan Ren was out and looking for a job yet again. It appears that in this city, many of the jobs delved in customer service and dealing with the local gangs, rather than anything related to actual product creation or food cultivation. That is, those would be his experiences so far.

As a lone Sinese in a Joyan city -- even despite having somehow adopted a younger sister for himself, the young man couldn't help but feel lonesome. Homesick feelings got to him lately more than they should, and in some day he found himself unable to as much as take up a request. Stagnation is the enemy in his occupation and the young adult had watched as his very life has been dropping to such state as of late, whether he'd liked it or not. Certainly, not doing anything was refreshing every once in a while; though when he realized he'd actually went up a kilo or two and grew the dreaded gut, he immediately sprung into action. Screwed be every other form of reason; his physique was his greatest asset and should Alisa learn that he wasn't neglecting just his work but also his self, he'd likely be expelled from the guild...!

That said. The lingering out-of-place feelings were an issue needed to be answered. And it just so happened that a chance was bestowed upon our Jan Ren upon his recent complain, followed by a sigh. When all of a sudden, he could hear someone yell in Sinese in a close house. This would mark the first time since his time with Tien, that he'd heard someone else actually speak similar language. Naturally, the raven-haired absolutely had to take this opportunity, whichever the person may be and their issue.

WC: 300

#2Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:49 am

Jan Ren
"Hello, sir!" He'd beamed, eagerly reaching to introduce himself after barging in. "I am J--"

"I don't care about that now!!" The angried Sinese stranger yelled right back, shutting our poor Blue Pegasus man up in no time. Sheesh. Talk about a dire situation. What possibly could rile him up so?

Deciding to find some patience in himself, not to jump the gun and lash out at the other for... Well, lashing out; Jan Ren took a deep breath to calm himself, then reproached the situation, on a more professional level. Abundance mindset be damned as this was effectively the single person in all of Hosenka he'd found, that even spoke the same language. Naturally his interest forewent his reason, and the young man put himself up to a task he was perhaps not entirely ready for. That is, appealing to short-tempered man of similar origin.

After finally agreeing to hearing him out, the aging Sinese had introduced himself as Jing Biang Shue, a humble owner of a three-star restaurant in Hosenka. He'd immigrated to Fiore with his family, who had all worked with him in this restaurant where he served as both the owner and the chef. Jan Ren could somewhat admire this man's status; being one to cook his own meals occasionally (when he wasn't in a productive rut), especially considering this country's glaring lack of Sinese cuisine or ingredients similar. That Jing's problem -- the one that caused him to yell like so -- wasn't one he was willing to share with Jan Ren so openly.

Despite acknowledging the young man's own preceding status and occupation, he'd still (rather rudely) insisted that he was left alone, and that the wizard went his separate way. With not much room to argue, the young man found himself literally kicked out of the room. I guess a bit of soothing green tea just wouldn't cut it, huh.

WC: 615

#3Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:56 am

Jan Ren
Considering it was still high noon out, Jan Ren couldn't see any reason why Jing would so violently kick him out; though there was also the fact that, despite it being such a bustling hour per se -- the restaurant itself was empty. Getting into the older man's head wasn't that difficult when one actually tried to. His family weren't around, his business wasn't getting any customers and in the first place, he was glaringly understaffed. Depending on how many kids he had (assumed to be an average number of between 1-3), it was likely that this place wasn't receiving much traffic simply because the small family couldn't afford to get more help. And if that's the case...

"Hello!!" He barged in again, smiling once more very brightly as he confidently made his way; "I'm J--"

"Didn't I just tell you to get lost, kid!!?" Oof. There it is again.

But this time, Jan Ren wasn't going to back down. He'd announced his personal experience in the dining industry, boasting for all to hear (in Sinese that is) to persuade this old man. However, that was for naught as well as his pleas were rejected. So he wasn't going to receive help from outside wizards so easily either, huh. For the last chance, insisting he'd stay; he decided to order a random item from the menu. "I'm a customer here now. You can't possibly kick me out if that's the case, right?" Wrong as he was, Jing swallowed his pride and after grumbling some, retreated to the kitchen to fix up the very item ordered; in a small portion, but enough to satisfy our wizard's palette.

In fact. It was the first time he'd tasted original Sinese cooking besides his own. It was almost as if for a brief moment, he was finally back in his own country. Consuming its own secrets. However...

WC: 927

#4Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:03 am

Jan Ren
There was nothing inherently bad with the interior. It was as Sinese as could be, obviously appealing to that specific crowd if it had the chance to. With a chef and owner so prissy and hot-headed, one could imagine what was it that drove customers and pedestrians from this establishment. Though the most dreaded fear happened to be the most obvious one, too.

"Disgusting!!"
"Whaaat!!?"

Though he'd abruptly screamed it out, face clearly showing disgust after the first bite, the Blue Pegasus wizard had absolutely no intention of letting that slip. In fact, he'd ordered whatever this was that is irrelevant to the story with full meaning to praise the dish and indulge in his home country's tastes to the fullest. Yet that was impossible given how... Repulsive this dish was. The flavors were all over the place, the meat wasn't cooked enough and the broth tasted like it was frozen and simply preheated. 'Not fresh' didn't begin to describe how bad it tasted. Naturally after paying sufficiently, Jan Ren was kicked out again, ordered never to return a second time.

Just like that, the Sinese got himself banned from the only Sinese establishment in Fiore as a whole country, that he'd ever found.

Depressed and disheartened at the recent event, the long-haired's slumped figure was seen dragging itself through Hosenka in search of something to perhaps, wash off the lingering confusing taste he took in. Found slurping on some bubble tea by a park's bench not too far, some woman in her apparent forties approached. "There you are!" She exclaimed, much to the young man's surprise; "Long black hair, of clear Sinese origin... A wizard from Blue Pegasus. Can you please hear me out?" She asked.

Now as a ladies' man, Jan Ren was inclined to listen. But what he'd heard was easily surprising. Otherwise I'd be bored writing this.

WC: 1,232

#5Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:15 am

Jan Ren
Surprise surprise, this woman was Xi Zhao Shuen; Jing's very wife and the co-owner and managed at the restaurant Jan Ren just found himself kicked out of twice in a row. If he didn't know any better he'd have guessed the woman came to him for more staff though it was likely that seeing how she was looking for him, she knew what was going on and that, mere staffing wouldn't help; regardless of her husband's initial rejection of the young man. So then, what would her request consist of?

Apparently... It was persuasion. To elaborate, Jing's lousy cooking methods haven't always been so disgusting. In fact, his occupation in Sin was a chef for a five-star restaurant, though following their immigration to Fiore and struggling to meet month's end, on top of Jing's very status revoked and having to start anew as the chef in a small shack-of-a-restaurant, took its toll on the aging man's mind. Despite managing to earn four stars, in time his cooking got lazier by the moment and he got more aggressive with customers; resulting in many fights, failing to pay bills and debt in time and ultimately losing a star, degrading their place to a mesely three-star establishment that rarely gets visited.

If Jing only decided to take some anger control help, or rediscover his cooking skills anew, surely the restaurant would slowly improve. After all, as she'd explained, they had sufficient staff in 4(!!) of their kids as well as a strict policy on proper customer service and hygiene. Calling back, Jan Ren did notice that the place was spotless. Everything was practically sparkling clean, uncharactersitically for such a place. So the issue really was the owner.

Though having been banned twice, the young man requested that Xi accompanied him in his attempt; Jing would not let him in otherwise. Not that he had a plan either. This was merely... An attempt.

WC: 1,551

#6Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:27 am

Jan Ren
"Jing!!"

"What is it boy!! I told you to beat it!!!" The loud thump sound would have to be a kitchen or butcher knife stuck against a wooden cutting board, probably. From behind red curtains separating the dining room from the kitchen came out Jing Biang Shue, fully geared with a cook's apron and a chef's hat. Despite having no customers, he was preparing something...?

"--Wh-- Xi Zhao!!? Why--"

"Jing, we need to talk. Please." Clearly concerned, a drop of sweat rolling down her head as she looked her aggressive husband straight in the eye; naturally her pleas were rejected as the old man rejected it all with your standard excuses. This was Jan Ren's cue to come in. "Listen up." He suddenly started, speaking out of line (yet not forgetting his manners, adding a light bow to the woman right before his approach).

Rudely reaching to grab Jing by the apron, Jan Ren glared straight into the other's eye, breaking any and all attempts for rapport. He'd already had sufficient interaction with this guy to realize mere words wouldn't get to him -- especially if he was of Sinese origin. Old fashioned as he would be, he needed something else for proper persuasion. In which case, Jan Ren proposed something a bit out of the ordinary and certainly cheeky;

He'd cook in the same kitchen, against Jing himself, using the same utensils and ingredients. Whoever makes a more delicious dish proves the point.

Cooking against a previously five-star head chef certainly wouldn't be an easy task, especially considering the young man wasn't a professional cook by any means. Home-cooking could only get you so far. And yet, he was certain in his victory after having tasted Jing's own dishes. Absolutely livid and borderline violent, the aging Sinese only accepted because his wife had displayed her own concern.

The topic: Mapo Tofu.

WC: 1,862

#7Jan Ren 

Underground Associates [SLQ] Empty on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:36 am

Jan Ren
...It was an embarrassingly clear victory.

Despite being new to the recipe and dish, Jan Ren's sufficient knowledge in basic cooking was enough to score him the win against a pride-infested chef like Jing. Even a complete stranger's opinion pointed to the wizard's victory, for a resounding absolute win of six votes for Jan Ren; and none for Jing's own version.

"Do you understand now?" The young Sinese cheekily started, dropping the cockiness as he stared the maddened chef down; "You used to be a head chef in a five-star restaurant in Sin, weren't you. At my age, I wouldn't accumulate nearly enough experience to outdo you. And yet, here we are." He explained. Though his choice of words was questionable, the message was relayed all the same with proper help from Xi's own approach and borderline tearing expression. Truly a tragic day for this family.

"Jing... For our sake, for your cooking's sake...! Please..." She pleaded. A single glance to the old man, in his gradually slumping state; head finally lowered in defeat, told of what would unfold.

"... ...Alright." Finally. He'd agreed.

Despite trespassing and once again finding himself banned from the restaurant, Jan Ren marked this a definite and complete win. However much Jing had decided to stick with the program he'd be receiving was up to him, though with Xi around to help persuade him and remind him of this event, our young wizard had the feeling he wouldn't be running away anytime soon. Which meant... A complete win!

Even after the first session, "Fast!!!" the restaurant received traffic again. As if the neighborhood heard of such and hopped right back in. Business booming (or at least, active) once again, it appears he'd managed to help someone in an unexpected way. In Sinese too, the entire way! Who would've thought! And to add to such surprise, his own picture was added to the menu with an item listing, "Cheeky Pegasus". An original dish.

The Sinese found himself getting paid in person, without as much as a former agreement; more like a donation, by Jing and Xi. How, wholesome.

WC: 2,000+

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