Hearing the noise, the handsome man immediately calms down and says, "Find a place to hide and I'll go out and have a look. The clatter of horses' hoofs is uniform. It should be a group of well-trained soldiers. It's not far from Cangshan Camp. It can go back and forth in an hour. I think that it was Zhao Liu and Tietou couldn't find us, so they went to ask for the rescue. "
Lin Dan nods and watches him go out, in order to prevent accidents, two little servant girls and she go to find a hidden place to hide. Moments later, the gate of the stronghold slowly opens, and the handsome man comes in with a tall general with a knotted beard, followed by Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou.
"Fuck, you get us to this barren mountain to save people in the middle of the night; it turns out a trip for nothing! These are all my bodyguards that I bring out. It hurts me as much as a knife cut in my heart if I lose one. Although there is no fight today, we have been ready to fight. You must remember this, you own me!" The bearded general complains.
"General, these are the ones we save from the woodshed, not injured." A column of soldiers come running to report the situation, followed by Xiao Zhu and others who are very thankful.
"Where is the shopkeeper? Don't you say there is another Shopkeeper Lin who has to be rescued anyway?" The bearded general looks around; he looks impatient on his expression.
"I am here, thank you all for coming to the rescue. I appreciate it!" Lin Dan immediately steps out of the dark and bows deeply. Peony and Cuckoo bow nervously.
The bearded general looks at Lin Dan carefully and finds that she is only graceful in figure and has no girl's beauty, which immediately disappoints him. He thinks that Lin Dan, the shopkeeper whom Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou have told him to rescue safely, is a beauty beautiful enough to cause the fall of a city or a state, but it turns out to be like this.
"Forget it, forget it, and get up." The bearded general grows more impatient. "Brothers toil in the daytime, trudge in the middle of the night, and don’t know how many will lie down tomorrow. Had we known it was such a small bandits' nest, we wouldn't have come at all! "
Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou show embarrassed look. If they had known that the bandits had not yet been big enough, they would not have rushed down the mountain to ask for the rescue. Their leader had practiced excellent martial arts and was sure to protect himself, but Shopkeeper Lin and the two little servant girls were at risk. Bandits have always been inhuman. They defile women when they grab them. They cut their tongues when they grab men and sell them to the mines in the Western Hills. They didn’t dare to delay time, so they immediately gathered all the troops and came to kill the bandits.
"Where are the bandits? Have you solved them?" The bearded general looks at the handsome man and doesn’t doubt that he has the strength.
"It was all settled by Shopkeeper Lin." The handsome man points to the hall. These people hurriedly walk in to check, and then they are shocked.
"Fuck." The bearded general goes round and round in the crowd for a few times, then runs to the empty wine jar and sniffs hard. His face grows darker and darker. "What kind of wine is this, so fucking fragrant?"
Xiao Zhu proudly replies, "This is Thousand-Day Wine. Our shopkeeper brews it herself."
"Thousand-Day Wine? The wine Liu Xuanshi once drank?" The bearded general turns up his voice and looks shocked. Then, forgetting about the mess, he picks up a glass used by bandits, pours the little wine left in it into his mouth, licks his lips with his tongue and utters exaggerated sounds of sizzling.
"Good wine, it is really a rarely good wine. It is fragrant, mellow and strong enough, smooth in throat, scorching in stomach, sweet in flavor and consistent in aftertaste... This is the best wine I have ever drunk, and it is worthy of the legendary Thousand-Day Wine!" The bearded general, sighing, lifts the glasses on the table one by one and pours them back and forth, even sparing the last drop or two.
Most of the bodyguards he brings are as addicted to alcohol as he is, and they also check the flagons in succession in the hope of finding extra wine. Unfortunately, bandits have always been greedy and have spoiled all good things. Will they leave some of the good things to others?
"Nothing left, fuck, nothing left; will you die if you drink less?" The bearded general can't find wine, can only vent his spite upon the bandits who have been drunk to death, suddenly think of the wine is made by Shopkeeper Lin, hurriedly turns to look at her, a pair of eyes as big as copper bells are burning brighter than torches.
Lin Dan feels sorry and cups one hand in another and says, "Report to my general, this wine is extremely difficult to brew. It takes me three years to get only one jar. There is no more."
The bearded general's burning eyes go out instantly, and then he lifts the big jar and shakes it vigorously. Then he is pleasantly surprised and he says, "There is still a thin layer of wine in it. Quickly, quickly, quickly bring me an empty jar!"
The handsome man shows helpless expression, but also quickly brings him an empty jar to be filled with the wine. The bearded general pats at the bottom of the big jar again and again. The wine left is still only a little bit. The wine in the big jar is gone before the palm-sized empty jar is filled. It is really a pity.
The bearded general looks at the small jar he holds in his palm, and at the large jar that had been filled to the brim, and at the bandits who have been drunk to death. Suddenly, he is furious and catches one of the bandits, kicking and swearing, "Fuck your grandmother, the robbery has come to my territory! When you wake up, you’ll see how I kill you! "
The bandit is kicked so much by the general that he is repeatedly vomiting blood, but he still doesn't wake up, showing how drunk he is.
Lin Dan duly cups one hand in the other and comforts them, "Thank your bodyguards for coming late at night to help me and others. There is still some food in the kitchen. Can I bring some food for you to grab a bite? I'm sure you must be tired from running all the way. You'll just have a rest and recharge your energy. "
Zhao Liu and Luo Tietou are drooling over the leftovers on the table. Hearing this, their eyes light up and even the handsome man quietly swallows his saliva. The bearded general has never tasted the dishes of Shopkeeper Lin. His reaction is only plain. And his bodyguards nod casually and then take out ropes to tie up the bandits.
Lin Dan smiles lightly and take the two little servant girls to the kitchen. Those bandits only care about drinking, so they didn't eat much food. Now the dishes are all hot on the hearth.
Later on, dishes are served, a large basin of stewed beef with rice wine, a large basin of beef balls with bone soup, a plate of braised beef tendons, a plate of fried beef with scallion, and a bucket of rice, all of which are sufficient for 20 or 30 people. The dishes are all hot, and emitting vapor, unspeakable strong smell of meat mixed with the mellow bouquet slowly spreads out in the hall.
With a big noise in his throat, the bearded general swallows a mouthful of saliva.
Much more noises in throats... the bodyguards he brings successively stand up, swallowing saliva while covering their bellies; only feel that their bellies are full of greedy worms that are in a state of crazy agitation.
"It is hard for all the bodyguards to come to our aid. I have no belongings and only have decent skills. I would like to thank you by this meal today. I hope you don't dislike it." Lin Dan thanks again with a sincere tone. Her servants have tidied up the messy dining tables and filled bowls with rice.
The bearded general cranes his neck, swallows a mouthful of saliva, then waves his hand repeatedly, "We don't dislike, we don't dislike, and it’s our duty, duty." While talking and laughing, there is no impatient mood. His bodyguards also gather around, they are ready to start eating.
"Let’s eat." As soon as the handsome man's voice is heard, the crowd hurriedly picks up bowls and chopsticks.
"This beef is stewed with Thousand- Day Wine?" The bearded general eats a piece of stewed beef. His big eyes like copper bells widen at the moment, and then he speeds up. He pours food into his bowl like wind puffs clouds away... The crowd shows no weakness, every one of them is eating with their mouths full of food and their faces full of wonder.
Stewed beef is all made of marbled beef, lean meat is occasionally mixed with white fat, cooked enough and soft glutinous and it is easily melted in mouths. Beef balls are made of short heads and neck heads (names of different parts of cow meat) which are repeatedly beaten with wooden sticks and kneaded to form balls. After being cooked, the taste of the balls is smooth and elastic. Naturally, a cavity will appear inside the balls, which is filled with butter and bone soup. When teeth lightly bite, the fresh, fragrant and thick juice will spill out. The taste is amazing. The beef tendons are fried at the first step, then steamed for 15 minutes, and finally stir-fried in a pan. The red and bright soup wraps each beef tendon. The bite feels soft and glutinous at first, and tastes a little sticky when it is about to break. The taste is wonderful.
Those dishes on the table are very fragrant, very glutinous, very thick, very fresh and delicious, and the taste is made absolutely unique by Shopkeeper Lin! The crowd eats only half full even by picking and robbing. All the resentment of trudging late at night is dispelled, leaving only a lingering impression. This trip is worth it, really worth it!