Chapter 239 – Drinking together
Siming Street is one of the few street food alleys in the Capital City.
Due to the noise and pollution concerns, the Capital City had banned all night stalls over a decade ago. However, both the local residents and tourists had a demand for such places. So, in specific areas, they reopened the food stalls and implemented strict regulations, becoming a favorite destination for food enthusiasts who know their stuff.
Many gourmets believe that only at places like these can you truly experience authentic cuisine.
The so-called high-end hotels and fancy restaurants are only about appearances.
Leaving aside whether this viewpoint is correct, the success of Siming Street’s businesses is undeniable, especially during the sunset hours. Along the street, the shop lights are all turned on, and a row of big red lanterns adds to the festive and harmonious atmosphere.
The entrances of these food stalls are filled with tables and chairs, and there are hardly any empty seats as mealtime approaches. The air is filled with the fragrance of various cuisines – steamed, boiled, stir-fried, deep-fried – making life feel wonderful!
Siming Street is a pedestrian street, so cars can only park in the nearby parking lots.
As they got out of the car, Liao Jia pulled out a pair of sunglasses and put them on himself, and then gave another pair to Lu Chen.
“Put them on. People like us aren’t really ourselves without them.”
Lu Chen contemplated the deeper meaning behind his words and didn’t refuse his kind gesture, putting on the sunglasses.
Liao Jia took Lu Chen to a stall called “Old Zhu Sichuan Restaurant,” which specializes in authentic Sichuan cuisine and also serves spicy crayfish. The place was bustling with activity, with a constant stream of gourmets and lively chatter.
However, there was a small table outside that was reserved for them.
Liao Jia sat naturally on a white plastic chair and then smiled, while saying, “Little Li knows the boss, so he called ahead to reserve a table; otherwise, we wouldn’t have found an empty one now.”
Little Li is the spirited young man with a crew cut, Liao Jia’s assistant and driver, a man of few words.
Lu Chen sat opposite him and smiled, “Then we should taste the chef’s skills.”
Little Li beckoned the waiter and first asked for Liao Jia’s and Lu Chen’s opinions before ordering.
“Sour fish, mapo tofu, twice-cooked pork, spicy hotpot… and five pounds of spicy peanuts, the large ones!”
After Little Li finished ordering, Liao Jia asked Lu Chen, “Is that enough, or would you like to order some other dishes you like?”
Lu Chen replied, “It’s enough, thanks, Elder Brother Liao.”
Liao Jia chuckled, “Don’t thank me yet; when you dine with me, you have to drink. How about some beer?”
Based on his previous behavior, if he caught Lu Chen’s agreement, they would definitely drink Red Star Erguotou.
And even though he was upset with the Lu Chen, he still admired Lu Chen’s creativity and talent, so he gave him face.
Liao Jia was really shocked the first time he heard the song “In Spring”. Later, he heard that it was written by a young man in his twenties. He could hardly believe it.
In this regard, he really admired Lu Chen and had been looking for an opportunity to meet him.
But before Liao Jia could meet Lu Chen, he found out about the relationship between Lu Chen and Chen Feier from Tan Hong.
At that moment, Liao Jia felt quite frustrated.
In any case, Liao Jia’s thoughts were complicated. It’s not that he wanted to be jealous of Lu Chen or anything like that; he wasn’t that petty. But he really felt uneasy keeping his emotions bottled up inside.
So today, taking advantage of the chance to get to know each other, he intercepted Lu Chen.
Most importantly, Liao Jia wanted to see what kind of man Chen Feier had chosen!
Moreover, Tan Hong had specifically introduced Lu Chen to him. Obviously, he hoped that the two of them could become friends.
To become a friend of Liao Jia, it wouldn’t do for you to not know how to drink!
After a moment of contemplation, Lu Chen said, “Alright!”
Liao Jia snapped his fingers stylishly and said, “Buddy, bring us two cases of small Budweiser.”
Two cases of Budweiser were promptly delivered.
Little Li skillfully tore open the packaging, took out two bottles of beer, and gave one to Liao Jia and one to Lu Chen.
Liao Jia twisted off the bottle cap and said to Lu Chen, “Come on, let’s start with one bottle!”
Lu Chen chuckled and opened his beer, clinking it against Liao Jia’s bottle. “Cheers!”
He now had a better understanding of Liao Jia’s temperament.
Within their circle, opinions about Liao Jia were mixed. Unlike Tan Hong, who was universally respected, some people found Liao Jia easy to get along with, straightforward, and not one to play tricks. Others thought his gangster style was too strong, and he had a tendency to curse and lose his temper.
Today, he was living up to his reputation.
Lu Chen knew that if you get along with someone like him, they could become great friends. But if he didn’t suit your taste, it was best to keep your distance. After all, why provoke trouble if you can’t handle it?
Liao Jia had pursued Chen Feier and liked her for a long time. If he could greet Lu Chen with a big smile after all those years of chasing Chen Feier without success, then Lu Chen would definitely keep his distance as far as possible.
Currently, he was directly opening up to Lu Chen and his attitude was obviously easygoing, without much malice.
But deep down, he was definitely still unhappy, and challenging Lu Chen to a drinking contest was simply a way for him to vent.
At this point, if Lu Chen continued to hesitate and actually refused, not only would he lose face, but he would also be looked down upon.
So, he quickly downed a bottle!
Lu Chen’s alcohol tolerance couldn’t compare to a true alcoholic, but drinking low-proof beer, he probably wouldn’t have any problem to drink until his stomach was full.
Moreover, these were small 330ml bottles of Budweiser, so there was even less pressure for him.
They each finished a bottle, and Liao Jia seemed somewhat satisfied, saying, “Not bad, you’re acting like a man!”
“The thing I hate the most is those young pretty boys with oily hair and pale faces, all weak and frail-looking, just looking at them makes me want to puke!”
“Let’s have another bottle!”
Lu Chen, with an unchanged expression, downed three bottles in a row with him.
Liao Jia put down an empty bottle, took a deep breath of alcohol, and said, “This feels good!”
Lu Chen chuckled and opened another bottle, saying, “I’ll toast to you, Elder Brother Liao!”
It is not polite to come and not to reciprocate!
‘If people respect me, then I will also respect them.’
Even though Lu Chen is more mature than his peers due to possessing three bountiful memories of life, he remained calm and composed in the face of adversity.
But that doesn’t mean thatt he has no temper.
If it were another newcomer, they would surely be cautious and not dare to confront someone like Liao Jia, who is something like a big brother in the industry.
Lu Chen is not like that.
He stands as firm as a wall, as he has no requests for him, so he has no fear of Liao Jia.
Since the other wants to have a drinking contest, he cannot allow him to control the pace!
Liao Jia was a bit surprised, but he didn’t show any weakness and immediately opened up a bottle to compete with Lu Chen.
Three more bottles were consumed.
The two of them had a boxed lunch for lunch, and in the afternoon, they were filming a music video at the welfare center. By now, their stomachs were empty. With six bottles of Budweiser consumed, Liao Jia’s face started to turn red, and he was beginning to feel the effects of the alcohol.
In contrast, Lu Chen remained unfazed, just as before.
He never shows signs of being affected by alcohol, even when he’s drunk.
Liao Jia suddenly had a bad feeling because in this way, he couldn’t determine Lu Chen’s alcohol tolerance at all.
It was this kind of opponent that drinkers feared the most.
Relying on getting Lu Chen drunk to vent frustration now seems like a wrong choice.
Fortunately, at this moment, piping hot dishes were brought to the table, and Liao Jia quickly said, “Let’s eat first…”
The dishes at Old Zhu Sichuan Restaurant are really excellent, the flavors are authentic, especially the Sour and Spicy Fish, which is exceptional. The meat is tender and melts in the mouth, with distinct flavors of sour, spicy, numbing, and fresh. Lu Chen was full of praise.
The Spicy Crawfish was also very good, a big bowl full of them, it was almost impossible to stop eating.
Since Liao Jia couldn’t figure out Lu Chen’s bottom line, he no longer tried to compete with him in drinking. Instead, he slowly engaged in a consumption battle, one bottle at a time. Even so, he didn’t ask his assistant Little Li to help him deal with Lu Chen.
After drinking a lot, Liao Jia’s words began to flow, rambling about a lot of things..
It was all about past events, mainly about rock and roll. He talked about the time he and the Black Crow Band performed at the Workers’ Stadium in the capital, with tens of thousands of rock fans roaring together. Thinking about it now still gets his blood boiling.
Now he makes much more money than before, but he couldn’t find that feeling anymore. He’s even afraid to hold a concert, fearing being cursed by the rock fans of the past.
The traitors of the rock movement!
Lu Chen was drinking and listening more than talking, but he could feel the confusion and pain in Liao Jia’s heart.
For those former rock musicians, survival or death is truly a big problem!
Gradually, more and more empty bottles were placed on the table.
Liao Jia’s face turned red from drinking, and he was slurring his words. Lu Chen also seemed a bit tipsy.
“Sir, would you like to hear a song?”
At that moment, a young man and a young woman approached, and the man was carrying a guitar in his arms.
Both of them appeared to be in their early twenties, probably a young couple, dressed modestly.
There are countless struggling singers in the Capital City, performing on the streets and applying for licenses to perform. Some opt for this kind of informal street performance, which is considered lower in status.
Because those who roam the food stalls on the street often lack high skills, and some of them are not even real singers.
Liao Jia laughed heartily and took out a large bill from his pocket, handing it over.
“No need to request a song. Just lend me the guitar for a while; I’ll sing myself!”
This was Liao Jia’s unconventional side. If it were any other celebrity, they wouldn’t stoop to such levels.
But it was also his true nature.
This singing couple probably had never encountered such a situation before, and they both stared at each other in confusion.
Lu Chen smiled and said, “Don’t worry, we won’t damage your guitars.”
Having experienced singing on the streets, he knew that the other party was worried that Liao Jia might damage their guitar if he got drunk.
The other party’s guitars weren’t too shabby, worth at least a couple thousand yuan.
It’s normal to cherish them.
The young man hesitated for a moment but in the end he still let his girlfriend take the money, then he took off the guitar.
He didn’t trust Liao Jia, who looked like a gangster, but Lu Chen on the other hand looked trustworthy.
Liao Jia took the guitar and skillfully tested the sound, while muttering, “It’s not even tuned properly, and they want to perform?”
The young man’s face turned bright red in an instant.
Liao Jia didn’t pay attention to him and made some adjustments, then strummed the steel strings with force!
T/N – Bruh, this chapters are so long, I spent half a day to translate it…With that said the story is getting even better, but we do indeed need more of Chen Feier, that’s just facts.
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