Lin Dan has just settled Mrs. Chi down when a group of people comes outside the hostel, clamoring for her. The shopkeeper is afraid that these people will make trouble and destroy his storefront, so he prevents them from entering the hostel in any case. Although they can’t go in, these people stand in front of the door crying and drawing passers-by to stop and watch.
Lin Dan opens the window and looks through a crack. She finds that the leading person is an old woman who looks very down and out by wearing a dress that has turned whitish from much washing without any pearl hairpin on her hair. Yan Shouye on whose arm the woman is leaning keeps calling her mum, it sounds extremely sad.
It seems that this is the wife of Yan Bo who is Putin's master. In theory, Lin Dan also needs to call her Shinai(a respectful address for the wife of the master of one’s father). However, it is really hard to call her that honorific title, because what the old woman is doing now is enough to cast the reputation of Lin Putin that Lin Dan has clarified with difficulty into the abyss.
The old woman is beating her chest and wailing, "Bloody Lin Putin, it is not enough for you to bully a widow and an orphan, still, let your daughter bully us! Your daughter said that you were filial to serve my husband while living and to give proper burial after death. Bah! What a revolting humbug she was by saying this. My husband had been lying in a sickbed for several months. Lin Putin didn't even give him a glass of water, let alone take care of him. I took care of him physically and mentally. I asked Lin Putin to send a letter to my son, but he was afraid that my son would fight for the fortune with him when he came back. He promised to send the letter but burnt it when he got out of the door. As a result, my son was unable to come back to see his father in time for the last time. Does anyone think he is not wicked? A son should inherit his family business. What qualifications does he have to stop my son? When my husband died and had no son to smash a basin for him (a ceremonial activity at funerals in ancient China), he threatened me with this fact and asked me to give him all the money of my family and stopped burying my husband unless I gave it to him. What could I do without any support? My husband’s coffin is still stuck at home, I can't let my husband have nowhere to rest..."
Passers-by are caused to shed tears by the sad and devastated woman. If this continues, Lin Putin’s reputation Lin Dan once clarified will be thoroughly sullied.
After closing her eyes with great difficulty, Mrs. Chi awakens and says with indignation, "Nonsense! She is talking nonsense! Your Shigong (a respectful address for the master of one’s father) was ill, although your father wanted to send a letter to Yan Shouye, she held him back anyway, saying Yan Shouye was going to take the imperial examination (an examination system by which to select officials) and could not be distracted. She never expected that your Shigong's illness would worsen so rapidly that he lost consciousness in less than half a month and couldn't take care of himself with basic human physiology. At that time, she had to contact Yan Shouye who had already gone out to study and could not be found without knowing his destination. Your father kept cleaning the waste of his master and cooking medicines for him. After that, he had to support our family. He did all the work inside and outside. She hated to do those dirty and tiring things and tried to stay away. When your Shigong died, she said that all the money had been given to her son to study, and she could not find any extra money to hold the funeral for him. She cried and begged your father to do something about it. Finally, your father took out all his savings and borrowed fifty taels of silver at a high rate of interest. Thanks to your father, your Shigong could be peacefully buried. In order to repay the debt, your father did not even rest at one breath. The next day after the funeral, he went out to work and earn money. He came to the capital with many twists and turns. He had been sending money back without interruption over the years. Unfortunately, he did not leave any proof. We can't even clearly explain it even if we have as many as 100 mouths! "
Chi opens the package and takes out two memorial tablets, crying, "Your father is a good man, but why does a good man have no good reward?"
She also wants to run out to argue with the old woman, but the latter is the wife of Lin Putin's master, who has brought Putin up from an early age with actual seniority and kindness. The more she argues, the more she appears to be disrespectful and unkind to elders. She will be reduced to absolute inferiority by arguing. This is exactly what the ethics of the society are like--elders are free to beat and scold the younger generation, but the younger generation can't even try to disobey. People alive can be crushed by the expression of "filial duty". Moreover, she is not articulate either, she could be seduced into saying something she shouldn’t and makes her husband wronged.
Lin Dan naturally believes in Chi more than she believes the people outside. Besides, in her memory, Lin Putin is indeed a good man who has never done a bad thing in his life. Since Lin Dan is in the name of his daughter, she naturally needs to find ways to protect his reputation. However, it is obviously a bad idea to argue and refute. No matter how eloquent she is, the identity being one of the younger generation makes her almost lose before the arguing. It is not an honor to win a quarrel with your elders.
"Mum, pack up your belongings and let's leave the capital." Lin Dan makes up her mind and says, "you give me the memorial tablet and I will return it to them."
Chi hands over the tablet without hesitation. Unconsciously, her daughter has long become her mainstay.
Lin Dan wraps the memorial tablet in white silk, carefully holds it in her arms and goes downstairs.
"Here they come, here they come! Lin Putin’s wife and daughter!" Someone recognizes Lin Dan and Mrs. Chi, hurriedly shouts. Passers-by who have already been very interested in this matter gather around to see what is going on.
"Well, you are finally willing to come out!" The old woman wipes away her tears and rushes forward, she is prepared to argue with them until she makes their reputation bad. She is the wife of Lin Putin’s master and Lin Dan's Shinai, so whatever she says makes sense, and she is not afraid that the mother and daughter kick up a fuss.
Lin Dan raises the memorial tablet to block the old woman. When the old woman extends her hands to grab Lin Dan’s collar, Lin Dan slips the memorial tablet into her hands. Then Lin Dan kneels down and kowtows three times, and slowly says, "Shinai, my mother and I are leaving the Capital immediately. Take care of yourself. This is the memorial tablet of my Shigong. Please take it back. My mother and I are not qualified to worship him any more. "
The old woman hates the Lins and would not listen to Lin Dan carefully. She throws hardly the tablet in her hand on the ground without thinking.
Chi exclaims and hurries to catch, but eventually, she can’t. The memorial tablet falls to the ground, it bounces. The loosely wrapped white silk spreads out, revealing the carved words on it. The crowd cranes their necks to look at it and find that it is indeed the memorial tablet of Yan Bo. The base has been blackened for the most part, but it doesn't look dirty. Instead, it oozes a layer of oily and bright cover which shows that someone often lights incense to memorize him in front of the tablet and wipe it with a silk cloth.
However, the well-maintained memorial tablet is now cracked by the old woman. What a sin!
Someone aside immediately scolds, "How dare you to smash the memorial tablet of the departed. Aren't you afraid of the nemesis?"
The old woman, seeing the cracked memorial tablet, gets a terrible shock. Yan Shouye is also not able to respond. Chi takes the memorial tablet first and wipes it with her handkerchief. When she touches the gap, her fingers tremble, showing how restless she is.
Lin Dan who is always expressionless finally sheds tears. She takes the memorial tablet and wipes it with her sleeve with light and cautious care. Then she places it respectfully on the steps, kowtows hard three times to the tablet with her mother, and then they stagger away.
The red marks left in front of the steps by the blood of the foreheads of Lin Dan and her mother shock passers-by around. Lin Dan and her mother say nothing, but they beat the old woman's countless nonsense. Passers-by who have been outraged before are all silent and do not say anything about helping the old woman to teach Lin Dan and her mother a good lesson. It is either black or white, and who is loyal or treacherous, this memorial tablet alone is enough to tell clearly.
"My husband!" Only then does the old woman slowly return to absolute being, and her legs are so weakened that she sits on the ground. Yan Shouye doesn’t know whether he needs to kneel down or keep standing up. It is very wonderful to see his colored face.
No one notices that the old housekeeper of the Yongding Mansion has been standing outside and watching in the crowd, while the son of the Marquis has been sitting in the opposite building for tea and seeing the farce clearly. Staring at the direction Lin Dan and her mother are heading towards, he gives a long sigh and finally takes out some silver notes (something in ancient China like bank notes today) to his servant to let him chase them.
Lin Dan naturally declines the help of the son of the Marquis. Her intuition tells her that only keep a distance from the son and Yan Langqing, can they live peacefully.
Seeing the servant coming back with the intact silver notes, the son of the Marquis becomes speechless. He once thought he knew Lin Dan very well, but it is not until now that he finds out that she is so stubborn and fierce that she wades barefoot even though there are thorns all over the front.
When the son of the Marquis comes home unhappily, the old housekeeper is reporting the situation to the Marquis in full detail, "When I arrived, Mrs. Chou was making a terrible scene which attracted many onlookers and throwing mud at chef Lin in order to vilify his reputation. Lin Dan and Mrs. Chi were so frightened that they dared not to show up. Their words became so far off the mark, so I intended to come forward to stop, but Lin Dan and Mrs. Chi were forced but unexpectedly also came out, they didn't say anything to defend, gave them back the memorial tablet of Chef Yan, and kowtowed to the tablet and Mrs. Chou three times respectively, and then they went away. Chou, knowing that it was Chef Yan's memorial tablet, still held it up and smashed it to the ground. The tablet cracked immediately..."
In fact, Chou did not know that it was Yan Bo's memorial tablet. At that time, she was scolding severely. In addition, Lin Dan deliberately slowed down her speech and turned down her voice. It would be very strange that Chou could distinguish it carefully. It was a pity that onlookers were especially concerned about Lin Dan's rhetoric, so they were all sure that the thing in the white silk package was Yan Bo's memorial tablet and naturally thought that Chou knew.
Hearing this, the Marquis sighs, "Even the memorial tablet of her deceased husband can be smashed, which shows that Chou has been full of nonsense! She really has no affection for Chef Yan. So she could never take good care of him when he is seriously ill, not to mention her son who can’t fulfill his filial duty. If there were no Putin, the Yans would not have come so far today. In one word, it's the money that's causing the trouble. These people are really seduced by money and lose their conscience."
The old housekeeper chimes in, "Yes! Without throwing dirty mud at Chef Lin, how can they rightfully rob the golden knife, the recipe book, and the restaurant? Chef Lin had a hard time beating out the fame of the Yans’ cuisine. They just wanted to find ready-made cheap food. They also thought that other people were fools and could not see their calculations. No matter how they slandered Chef Lin for being heartless and unjust, disloyal and not filial, this memorial tablet worshiped all the year round can silence them! If Chef Lin really does something to cheat his master and destroy his ancestors, does he dare to worship his master's memorial tablet at home every day? On the contrary, Chou and Yan Shouye were so scared that their legs became weak at the sight of the memorial tablet, which showed that they had not done less guilty things. "
"I know best what kind of person Putin is, he absolutely wouldn't do those evil things. Inheriting the mantle is not like inheriting the family wealth which belongs to you if it is given to you. You can spend the wealth freely. But as for inheriting the mantle, the most important is that you must have the strength. It's not an easy job to be a successor to the imperial chef. It will be clear as soon as you get to the kitchen table whether you have any real skills or not. Only when the Imperial Chef Yan is senile will he pass on his mantle to Yan Shouye who is absolutely worthless. Passing on his mantle to Yan Shouye affects his fame as a cook, doesn’t it?" The Marquis says, becoming angrier.
"Absolutely! The Yans know that Chef Lin has been gone and can not come to confront them. Poor Lin Dan and Mrs. Chi can only leave sadly beyond dispute." The old housekeeper shakes his head and sighs.
"It is not easy for an orphan and a widow out there to live, you should send someone to bring them back." The Marquis can’t endure any more, says to the old housekeeper with a gesture.
The old housekeeper hurries to look for them. The Marquis finds his son standing at the door. He frowns and says, "Go and send Yan Langqing away. Our mansion will not keep these corrupt guys. Skilled cooks can be hired as many as I want, it makes no difference without her."
The son nods, cups his hand in the other before the chest (to show respect) and leaves without saying a word.
Yan Langqing, who is preparing to stay in the mansion to show her capabilities, never expects that the terrible scene her grandmother and father made takes away her good job instead of saving the Yans’ reputation.