Chapter 77 – The real her

After calling Mr. Ban and my mother to tell them I wouldn't be home for dinner, I drove Mi Cai to the "Spicy to Death" hot pot restaurant where I used to hang out with my friends.


The restaurant had been renovated this year, and its capacity had increased. The only thing that remained unchanged was Uncle Li, the chef with his hat, and his apprentices, who were bustling about in the open kitchen.


As we entered the restaurant, the air was filled with a strong smell of chili. Mi Cai instinctively covered her mouth and nose.


I looked at Mi Cai with a smirk and said, "If you can't handle it, we can still change the place now."


Mi Cai, not wanting to show weakness, lowered her hand and without a word, found an empty seat and sat down.


I smiled and shouted to the service counter, "Give us a hot pot chicken and a hot pot carp, extra spicy, extra large."


The waiter in the service counter responded, and immediately handed the written order to Uncle Li in the kitchen.


Twenty minutes later, the hot pot chicken and fish I ordered were served. I also ordered two bottles of beer. I felt that this was the best moment in my life, with wine, meat, and a beauty like Mi Cai accompanying me. More importantly, I was looking forward to seeing Mi Cai's tearful and snotty face from the spiciness. This was not me taking pleasure in her misfortune, who asked her to call me a lunatic just now!


So, if I really had to define our relationship, I think "rivals" is the most suitable and accurate.


I poured myself a glass of beer and drank it in one gulp, then said to Mi Cai, "Miss Mi, you can start eating now, why aren't you picking up your chopsticks?"


"You're cheating, you just drank a glass of beer to dilute the spiciness!" Mi Cai complained to me.


I knew her complaint was because she was nervous. The two hot pots in front of us were covered with chili peppers, and the spiciness seemed to be boiling in the air.


I smiled and said, "You can also have a drink first, I don't mind."


"If I drink too, who's going to drive us home?"


"That's easy to solve, you can drink a soft drink. I'll get you a can of herbal tea, it's more effective than beer." I said, not giving Mi Cai a chance to make excuses. I went to the service counter and got a can of herbal tea for her, then raised my eyebrows and said, "Drink up, eat up, and remember this spicy night."


Mi Cai looked at me unhappily and said, "I'll eat, but you don't have to look so smug!"


I immediately put on a serious face and said to Mi Cai, "Am I serious enough now? Hurry up and eat, the hot pot is best when it's hot, it won't taste good when it cools down."


Mi Cai looked at me, then used her chopsticks to move the chili peppers on top and picked up a piece of bread, tentatively took a bite, and then froze.


I was secretly delighted in my heart, eagerly waiting for Mi Cai's upcoming embarrassment. But to my surprise, Mi Cai calmly ate the piece of bread and said to me, "It's not as spicy as I thought!"


I looked at Mi Cai suspiciously, trying to find any signs of struggle on her face, but she looked calm and composed, even picking up a piece of chicken and eating it with relish, and even had the time to give me a disdainful look.


I turned to look at Uncle Li, doubting whether he had lost his touch. I then moved the chili peppers aside and picked up a piece of bread to chew. The explosive spiciness was almost beyond the limit of my taste buds. After just one bite, I felt my body heating up and sweat started to bead on my nose.


I slammed my chopsticks on the table, drank a glass of beer in one gulp, and still not satisfied, I drank Mi Cai's can of herbal tea clean. Today, Uncle Li not only didn't lose his touch but also outdid himself. The spiciness was literally baked into the bread!


Mi Cai looked at me with a smirk and asked, "Zhao Yang, are you from Xuzhou? You can't even handle this little bit of spiciness?"


"Are you from Suzhou? Since when do people from Suzhou eat spicy food like this?" I said, pouring myself another glass of beer to relieve the spiciness, and wiped the sweat off my nose with a tissue.


Mi Cai enjoyed watching my miserable state and finally asked with a smile, "Zhao Yang, have you ever heard of the Carolina Reaper?"


"What's that?"


"It's the world's spiciest chili pepper, bred by an American. I've tried it, and I couldn't handle it at all! But this little bit of spiciness here doesn't scare me."


I was speechless for a long time before I said, "You were so cautious just now, I didn't expect you to be such a good actor!"


Mi Cai calmly said, "There's a saying that one becomes black when near ink. When you spend a lot of time with someone with bad behavior, you'll inevitably pick up some bad habits!"


I was choked by Mi Cai again and wanted to vomit blood. I held my chest and said to Mi Cai, "I have a clot in my heart that I can't spit out…"


"Then you should eat more chili peppers, the stimulation might help you spit it out." Mi Cai said with a concerned expression.


I suddenly felt that I couldn't continue communicating with her, because I wasn't in the right state today. I decided to swallow my pride for now, and fight another day.


…After leaving the "Spicy to Death" hot pot restaurant, my mouth was in a fiery pain. I was gulping down a can of herbal tea to cool off, while Mi Cai walked beside me as if nothing had happened. Her calm demeanor only magnified my embarrassment.


After a few steps, I turned back to Mi Cai and asked, "Are you going back to the hotel now?"


Mi Cai shook her head and said, "It's not time to rest yet, it's too boring to go back to the hotel!"


"Then let me take you to play some video games, it helps with digestion after a meal," I said enthusiastically.


"Do we have to play those video games that only elementary school students are interested in?"


I was a bit annoyed and said, "Do you gain weight if you don't tease me? Who told you that only elementary school students like to play video games?"


"When I went to find you yesterday, you were playing with an elementary school student," Mi Cai replied calmly.


I stared at Mi Cai for a long time, then said resentfully, "Fine, I'm just a childish elementary school student, are you satisfied now?"


"Don't be upset, look at you now, all angry. If I tie a red scarf around your neck, you'll look exactly like an elementary school student!"


I finally admitted defeat and pleaded, "Please stop teasing me, or we really won't be able to get along."


Mi Cai, with a victorious smile, said, "I don't necessarily have to tease you, a man who can't even catch a chicken, but you have to listen to my arrangements later."


"Your arrangements? Did I hear that right? I'm not used to you being so proactive."


"You must have misunderstood me. I'm not a very passive person. Remember the last time we went to the outskirts to sing at night? That was my idea."


I was instantly infuriated, "You have the nerve to bring that up, do you know how badly you screwed me over that time?"


"But you didn't learn your lesson, still doing whatever you want, acting like a rogue!"


Mi Cai's words reminded me of my various misdeeds, and I felt a bit embarrassed. I changed the subject and said, "…Let's not talk about that, it's pointless. Just tell me how you want to arrange things later."


Mi Cai thought for a moment and said, "I want to listen to you sing. I didn't get a good listen last time, I was too scared."


"What were you scared of?"


"I was afraid that if you saw through me, my end would be miserable. You threw my quilt and blanket down from the upstairs, like a violent maniac!"


"You were scared? That's unbelievable, you were so stubborn back then!"


"I was stubborn because I didn't want to submit to a jerk like you. Of course I was scared, I'm just a woman!"


Looking at Mi Cai's aggrieved expression, I suddenly found this woman to have a cute side. Perhaps this was her after letting down her guard, a more genuine her!

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