Chapter 3 – Cooking Deity-Level Chicken Soup

Xu Aiguo and Zhang Ailian, a married couple, did not harbor any feudalistic notions of favoring sons over daughters.

Even the affection for their two daughters exceeded that for their two sons. Of course, one of these daughters referred to Xu Fangfang, not Xu Jinning.

However, Xu Jinning didn’t really mind.

She was indifferent to these matters. She wasn’t from this time and space, and she didn’t have much emotional attachment to the Xu family. Moreover, she knew that the world’s setting was unchangeable, especially for cannon fodder like her—merely existing to serve as a stepping stone for the protagonist’s success. So, she had no intention of changing and just went with the flow, taking each day as it came.

However, at this moment, as Xu Jinning sipped the chicken soup allocated to her, her face was filled with satisfaction.

【Sigh, the chicken soup made by my mother is really delicious. Truly deserving of the skill of a cooking deity. No wonder Xu Fangfang later coveted the recipe from her adoptive mother and earned a lot of money.】

Even though the bowl didn’t have the large chicken leg she liked, only containing chicken soup and a few chunks of chicken, Xu Jinning was still quite content.

After all, both the chicken soup and chicken chunks were very flavorful.

If she could have a big chicken leg, it would undoubtedly be even more delicious.

One chicken, two big chicken legs. One was taken away by Xu Xiangdong, and the other naturally went to the head of the household, Xu Aiguo.

Even Zhang Ailian, who cooked the meal, also had chicken chunks in the chicken soup.

However, Xu Aiguo still cared for his wife. He picked out half of the chicken leg meat and gave it to Zhang Ailian, muttering that he shouldn’t have let the eldest take the other chicken leg. Otherwise, he could have given the other chicken leg to his wife.

“Ailian, why aren’t you eating? What are you looking at Ningning for?” Seeing his wife with wide-open eyes, staring without blinking at their younger daughter across the table, Xu Aiguo asked.

Zhang Ailian snapped back to reality and said, “Nothing, it’s nothing.”

‘I just feel like my ears are playing tricks on me.’

She didn’t utter the latter part of that sentence.

Turning her head towards her youngest daughter, Xu Jinning, Zhang Ailian asked tentatively, “Ningning, does Mom’s chicken soup taste good?”

Enjoying her meal, Xu Jinning lifted her head slightly, her eyes sincere, “It’s delicious.”

【With cooking skills akin to a cooking deity, how could it not be tasty.】

Xu Jinning then picked up a slice of cucumber and put it in her mouth.

【Sigh, even such a simple dish like sliced cucumber is made so wonderfully. If I can eat such delicious food two out of three meals a day, life in this household doesn’t seem bad.】

Although Xu Jinning couldn’t cook, she was a bona fide foodie, or one might say, a gourmet. She loved eating good food the most.

Zhang Ailian looked at the plain cucumber in front of her, listening to the praises from her daughter, and her slightly tanned face turned a bit rosy without her noticing.

Actually, her cooking skills were just average.

A cooking deity, that’s a bit too exaggerated.

However, Zhang Ailian was surprised and happy that her daughter enjoyed the meals she cooked so much.

After all, their daughter’s foster parents were officials and lived in the city before. The food, drink, and clothing they had must have been better than what they had in the countryside. She was afraid her daughter might have trouble adjusting when she suddenly came back.

Fangfang went to the city first, and at that time, Ningning hadn’t returned yet.

Fangfang said over the phone that Ningning didn’t want to come back. She refused to acknowledge her biological parents in the countryside and only wanted to stay in the city. In the end, she had no choice but to return to the countryside, even deliberately wearing patched clothes just to gain their sympathy, making them think she hadn’t lived well with her foster parents.

Fangfang didn’t want to see Ningning like this, so she left the clothes here in advance specifically for Ningning.

Initially, listening to Fangfang’s words, Zhang Ailian thought it would be challenging to get along with Ningning. On the surface, their interaction seemed indifferent. However, Zhang Ailian didn’t expect to hear her daughter’s inner thoughts, as if only she could hear them.

However, the lively and cheerful sentiments seemed inconsistent with Ningning’s apparent indifference.

Although Zhang Ailian was shocked to realize she could hear her daughter’s inner thoughts, she wondered if it was a good thing. With this ability, she could now get along with Ningning.

Thinking of this, Zhang Ailian suddenly became happy and excited.

Ningning, now 15 years old, had only recently returned to their side. After all, she was her own biological daughter—how could she not dote on her?

However, Fangfang’s earlier words made her cautious.

Now, Zhang Ailian thought that perhaps she didn’t need to be so cautious. With the ability to hear her daughter’s thoughts, maybe they could have a good relationship.

So, she tentatively said again, “Ningning, Mom noticed that your clothes are a bit old. In your room, there are clothes Fangfang left behind, without patches. How about you wear Fangfang’s clothes for now? When Mom gathers enough cloth vouchers, I’ll make you a set of new clothes.”

Beside them, Xu Fanghua, upon hearing about new clothes, also expressed interest. However, when she turned to see the patched clothes on Xu Jinning, she just pursed her lips and remained silent.

Xu Jinning’s movement of drinking chicken soup slightly paused, a hint of sarcasm in her eyes.

She said, “No need, I’m used to wearing my own clothes.”

【In the eyes of her biological mother, is she only worthy of wearing Xu Fangfang’s clothes?】

【Why are these clothes so old, with so many patches? It’s because since she can remember, she followed her foster parents to the Red Star Production Team in Sichuan Province, only staying in the city a few days ago. Life in the Red Star Production Team was even more difficult than in Qinghe Production Team, where filling one’s stomach was already a problem, let alone clothing. Where would new clothes come from? These clothes were patched up by herself. Besides this one, another piece of clothing was also full of patches.】

【They say she lived fifteen years of prosperity with Xu Fangfang, but who knows that those 15 years were spent in the countryside?

Xu Fangfang’s biological parents only returned to the city last year, but they didn’t take her back with them. Yet, mysteriously, as soon as they returned to the city, they immediately discovered she wasn’t their biological daughter. They quickly found Xu Fangfang from Qinghe Production Team, wanting to acknowledge her as their biological daughter.

In the few days she spent in the city, instead of experiencing the supposedly good life in the city, she faced her parents coldly telling her she wasn’t their biological daughter.】

【However, everything seems too coincidental. Maybe 15 years ago, her daughter was deliberately switched by Xu Fangfang’s biological parents, or maybe not. Perhaps it was done to spare the biological daughter from suffering.】

【In fact, isn’t that the case? She followed them in the Red Star Production Team, couldn’t get enough to eat or warm clothes, had endless chores, and even faced several crises of getting seriously ill. Meanwhile, Xu Fangfang, though in the Qinghe Production Team, was loved and cared for by her family, could study, and didn’t have to do any fieldwork. Who is really living a prosperous life?】

【Let her wear Xu Fangfang’s clothes? Can she even fit into them?】

【Moreover, Xu Fangfang intentionally left those clothes. She didn’t like them but deliberately left them. Isn’t it just to provoke her? And now it has worked.】

These are the points that readers, including Xu Jinning, criticized while reading the story.

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