Lee: Three Square Meals a Day

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Operator Record
Three Square Meals a Day
Lee icon.png

Whenever you're in someplace new, check out the local wet market.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Lee to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Lee.
Characters
Male Old Kuranta B icon.png
Produce Vendor
Yanese Thug icon.png
Street Thug
Cashier
Supermarket Worker
Backgrounds
Lungmen Alley Misty
1
Lungmen Alley
2
Lungmen Alley Rainy
3
Yan Supermarket
4
Lee just wanted to take a stroll to the produce market. What he did not expect was that this stroll would take more than a decade.
<Background 1>
[A produce vendor asks Mr. Lee,]
Produce Vendor Excuse me, I see you've been circling the market for a while now. Are you having trouble finding what you need?
Lee Oh, are you talking to me?
Produce Vendor I am. We're about to close soon, so if you don't leave, you'll have to spend the night here.
Lee But it's not even seven.
Produce Vendor Heh, knew you weren't from around these parts. This place is a complete mess at night. Nobody in their right mind would keep their doors open late.
Lee I did happen to arrive just a few days ago. Only settled into an inn around here last night.
Produce Vendor There are so many places you could go to in Lungmen. Why visit our tiny little market?
Lee Just a little habit of mine. Whenever I go to a new place, I like checking out the local market.
These places are always a good gauge of customs, mannerisms, and local color.
Produce Vendor Aren't all markets the same? Noisy as hell, just a bunch of people coming and going?
Lee Well, for starters... the market in Shangshu can stay open all night, but not this one here.
Produce Vendor Oh...?
So, were you going to buy something? I'm closing up my stall otherwise.
Lee What would you recommend?
Produce Vendor We're in the dead of summer and it's hot out there. Maybe grab a couple sprigs of wild bamboo shoots and make porridge out of em' to relieve heat and prevent heatstroke.
Lee Hmm, maybe next time then. I don't think the icebox in the inn is big enough to hold half-meter bamboo shoots.
[Mr. Lee leaves.]
Produce Vendor Huh... Strange fellow.
Gonna end up going home late because of him...
Street Thug Hey, lou sai, isn't it a bit early to be closing up shop?
Produce Vendor (Ugh, can't dodge these scumbags even at this time of day...?)
Street Thug You ready to pay up? Don't forget what you owe me from last month.
Produce Vendor B-Business has been slow th-the last few months... I sincerely apologize, but I truly have nothing worthy of your attention...
Street Thug Well that's too bad. Get your ass outta here then. Somebody more capable can take your spot.
Produce Vendor Hey, wait! What are you doing?!
[The thug breaks some of the vendor's goods.]
Produce Vendor Let go of me! D-Don't smash it! Please, give me just a little more time! I promise I'll have the money for you!
Street Thug Pah! Too late!
??? Now, now, my brother. Let's play nice here.
Street Thug Huh, who the hell are you, old man?
[Mr. Lee returns.]
Lee Old man? My, you do flatter me with that honorific. I'm more than happy to just be brothers.
Street Thug I'd watch my tone, if I were you. While you're at it, shouldn't you ask who I'm working for?
Lee Would it be the illustrious Lin family?
Street Thug If you know that much, then show some respect.
Lee (My goodness. Why do eight out of every ten hoodlums I run into in this city say they're working for Lin?)
Aha, no wonder why you looked a bit familiar. I remember seeing you at the Lin estate.
Street Thug Uhh... Y-You know me?
Lee Of course I do. The golden osmanthus flowers were blooming magnificently at Old Lin's place last year, and he made plenty of honeyed osmanthus. Did you also take some home with you?
Street Thug O-Of course! Before I left, Old Lin gave me a dozen jars. I couldn't even finish them all.
Lee Hmm, oh my... I forgot to mention, Old Lin doesn't grow sweet osmanthus in front of his house. They're peach trees.
Street Thug Diu nei ah, do you know Lin or not?
Lee Maybe I do, maybe I don't. But I can say for a fact that you don't.
If you know what's good for you, beat it. I hear Old Lin's governance is pretty strict. If he knew someone was using his name to do evil, such a man wouldn't get off lightly.
Street Thug Bah. Talk about rotten luck.
[The thug leaves.]
Produce Vendor Err... Sir, thank you very much.
Lee Don't worry about it, it's not like I even lifted a finger. The next time you run into these scoundrels, know that there's nothing to be afraid of. Most of these thugs are just nobodies trying to take advantage of the situation to extort people. There's no way real gangsters would be this brazen.
Produce Vendor *sigh*... I'm just a small-time peddler. How can I tell if someone's a big deal?
Wait, don't go yet.
Lee Hmm?
Produce Vendor The icebox in your inn might be small, but it should fit this bag of lychee just fine.
Planted 'em in my own backyard. They're not worth any money, but they should still taste fine. It's the least I can do.
Lee ......
Produce Vendor ...Sir?
Lee Ahh, I was just thinking, getting to enjoy the wonderful taste of lychee makes the long trek out here worth it.
Produce Vendor Hah, I'm glad to hear it. If you enjoy 'em, feel free to come back any time.
Lee Sure.
<Background 2>
[The vendor from before called Mr. Lee from afar.]
Produce Vendor Mr. Lee! Hey, Mr. Lee!
Lee Well, if it isn't Choi, our honorable vendor. I heard you calling out to me before I even stepped into the market.
Produce Vendor I just don't want you left with bamboo shoots that aren't fresh anymore. The cold season is the perfect time to enjoy these winter shoots.
Lee There's no way they'd go bad in just a few minutes, is there?
Produce Vendor Remember to soak them in salt water once you take them back. That'll make 'em last longer.
Lee Maybe next time. The kitchen in the place I rented only has enough room for a couple produce bags before I have to throw them in the icebox.
Produce Vendor I won't take no for an answer. This is the finest white-eyed bamboo I have. I saved it for you because you're a man of character.
Lee Really, it's alright. I'll have an honored guest over in just a few days. The stuff's not going to keep for very long.
Produce Vendor Oh, you've made friends in Lungmen?
Lee Not sure friends is the right word.
??? Then, what must I do to be considered your friend?
[The Rat King shows up.]
Lee Oh, Mr. Lin, are you here to pick up fresh produce for your wife?
Lin The wife isn't so picky. She wouldn't send me to a market more than ten kilometers away just to pick up some bamboo shoots.
Produce Vendor (Wait, Mr. Lee... Is, is it really him...?)
Lee (Just treat him as you would a regular passerby.)
Lin You haven't answered my question yet.
Lee Please, I'm just an ordinary civilian. The man who invites me to a fancy banquet at a nice restaurant is already a bosom friend to me.
Lin That's not what my men have been telling me. Apparently, you've been in and out of all the small eateries around here this past week.
Lee If you could've found me at all those other places, why come out to this market so far from home?
Lin I wouldn't make the trip for a few stalks of bamboo shoots, but for a friend, I'd consider it worthwhile.
Lee You speak too highly of me, Mr. Lin. I just took care of a few odd jobs for you, that's all. Even without me, you would've been able to resolve things just fine.
Lin I disagree. Had you not been there, I doubt the outcome would've been comparable.
Lee Ah... Mr. Lin, I know exactly how much I'm worth.
Lin So, how do you plan to cook these bamboo shoots? They're very high-quality.
Lee A nice and simple braising sounds tasty enough.
Lin Such a pedestrian method is a waste of perfectly good ingredients. If you ask me, it'd be better to slaughter a fowlbeast fresh and make some hearty stew.
Lee Then, you're no longer appreciating the delicate sweetness of the bamboo shoots.
Lee Besides...
Lin Let's hear it.
Lee Hah. Besides, these bamboo shoots came from the countryside. They be of willful temperament. I doubt they'd pair well with other ingredients.
Lin The biggest concern is that they grow too well. Even deep in the mountains and ancient forests, they'll attract wave after wave of bamboo shoot diggers.
That being the case, how could they ever hope to live a life of peace and contentment?
Lee Haha, that remains to be seen.
Lin Wei would not visit a man's home for no reason...
Lee I believe.
Lin Believe what?
Lee I believe... that once Master Wei picks up the chopsticks, he won't be able to stop to chat with me.
Lin Hmm... Lou sai, do you sell apples here?
Produce Vendor Ah, yes, I certainly do. I'll get them for you right away, Mr. Lin.
Lin How much?
Produce Vendor Ah, um, that won't be necessary. The fact that we've been able to live in peace all these years thanks to you is payment enough.
Lin It's not easy running a business. Here, take it.
Lee Didn't you say you weren't buying anything?
Lin Since I'm already here, might as well grab something for my daughter.
Lee Aiya, men do change after kids. I wanted to invite you to see the flowers at Jiangqi next year, but I suppose I'll have to give up on the idea.
Lin I suggest you settle down as well, and leave behind that life of wandering.
Lee Forget it. That isn't the life I'm searching for anyway.
<Background 3>
[Fumizuki is looking at Choi the vendor's goods.]
Produce Vendor Madam, take a look at this season's greengage. Thin skin, thick flesh, and a tiny core. Tangy and delectably sweet, one bite and you'll be salivating for more.
Fumizuki Hmm...
Produce Vendor If you don't take a few catties back with you today to make wine, you won't be get to experience this flavor after the Qingming Festival passes.
Fumizuki Alright... Weigh some out for me then.
Produce Vendor Right away. You know, there's a saying that goes "green plum wine tastes freshest in season." ...Hah, I'm not particularly well-read, I just happened to hear that somewhere.
Lee Choi, I hear you buttering up your customers from over here, trying to get into their pockets, eh? You've... become quite the smooth talker.
Produce Vendor Oh come on, it's just business.
Fumizuki Do you come here often, Mr. Lee?
Lee Long time no see. What brings you out here today, Madam?
Fumizuki This is the largest, most comprehensive produce market in Lungmen. Naturally, the best choice whenever you need ingredients.
Lee What kind of ingredients need you coming out here in person?
Fumizuki Well, Yenwu's birthday is coming up, and I'd like to make him a few dishes.
Lee What do you have in mind?
Fumizuki I haven't decided yet, but it wouldn't be anything more than what he normally likes to eat.
Lee I'm sure Master Wei's preferences... must be quite a test for your culinary skills.
Fumizuki Hardly. What's a little effort if your heart is in the right place?
Lee Fair enough.
Fumizuki But I'll admit... as this is my first time here, I'm having difficulty picking out what I want. I'd appreciate your advice if you don't mind.
Lee Sure, can do. Take these tomatoes for example. If you want to just eat them as you would a fruit, go with a pink one, which has a crispier texture. If you're cooking with them, opt for the deep red ones, which are juicier and have a stronger taste.
Fumizuki Alright, I'll keep that in mind. They have some taro over there. I'd like to make some taro smoked meat.
Lee Taro, huh? Given tubers of about the same size, go with the heaviest one. That means it has a greater water and starch content, which leads to a soft, glutinous taste.
Fumizuki Great. What about shiitake mushrooms then? Should I go with dried, or fresh?
Lee Both have their advantages, Madam. It all depends on what you want to cook.
Fumizuki Stuffed mushrooms.
Lee Go with dried shiitake in that case, they have greater pungency after soaking.
Fumizuki Oh... I see.
Lee Before I forget, there's a store up ahead that sells soy sauce. It's perfect for making braised fowlbeast.
Produce Vendor (Though, they recently raised their prices.)
Lee (You don't need to worry about that, Choi.)
Fumizuki For the rose petal and soy sauce glaze?
Lee Mmhmm.
Fumizuki Actually about that... Yenwu does eat this dish often, but only because I'm the one who's quite fond of it.
Lee I'm aware.
Fumizuki Hmm?
Lee He's brought it up at the dinner table before. Is it so unusual for his tastes to take after those of his wife?
Fumizuki Pfft... Haha.
You're a smoother talker than that vendor.
Lee Haha. Speaking of which, I've become a bit of a businessman myself lately.
Fumizuki Haven't you always been easygoing with your finances? From the very beginning, Yenwu repeatedly asked you to take up a very important position in the L.G.D., but you refused each time. Why are you worrying about your livelihood now?
Lee There's an extra mouth to feed back home now, so I need to run some errands to cover the living expenses.
Fumizuki Hmm? Are you finally starting your own family? Yenwu and I can stop by and offer our congratulations one of these days.
Lee It's more like... Actually, an old friend came from afar and left a child behind in my care.
Fumizuki (Shakes head)
How terribly irresponsible... Did he say when he'd be back?
Lee No... But there's no way he'd just abandon the girl, right? I reckon he'll be back after a few months.
After I hand the girl back to him, I plan to take a page out of his book and go on a long trip myself.
Fumizuki What, Lungmen isn't good enough for you?
Lee No, it certainly is. But, I am a wanderer after all. Can't stay in a single place too long.
Fumizuki *sigh*... In any case, thanks for your advice, Mr. Lee. I pretty much have everything I need now, so I should get going.
Lee Take it easy, Madam.
[Fumizuki leaves.]
Lee ......
Produce Vendor Mr. Lee! Psst, Mr. Lee!
Lee Oh... Did you need something, Choi?
Produce Vendor You've been standing here all day, you know? Other people have to shop too.
Lee Sorry about that, haha. How much for the imported cherries?
Produce Vendor Didn't you say they were too expensive for you?
Lee Yes, but the kid likes 'em, so I figure I can take a few catties home and give them a try.
<Background 1>
[Lee walks to Choi's stall.]
Lee By the way, did the stuff I ordered from you last week come in yet?
Produce Vendor Sure did. I have everything ready for you.
Lee My, I'm sorry. I had some stuff to take care of at home today. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Produce Vendor Haha, don't worry about it. It's not even nine yet, and the sun hasn't even set. Too early to close up.
But, why'd you come here yourself? Couldn't you just send your apprentice over?
Lee He had work to take care of today. We just moved into the new place, so he went with Waai Fu and Aak to tidy up.
Produce Vendor You moved? Was the old place getting too cramped?
Lee Yup. Didn't have as many rooms as I would've liked, which made it hard to have guests over. Also wanted to add another freezer, but the kitchen was too small.
Produce Vendor Are two freezers not enough for you?
Lee That's what happens when you have multiple mouths to feed. Thankfully, Hung's learned the ropes by now, or I'd keel over dead from all that cooking.
Produce Vendor You know, nobody's gonna shed any tears if none of your other talents get passed down. But, the world can't afford to lose your culinary skills. Having him here is already a huge relief.
Lee He's only just scratched the surface. He's far from ready.
Produce Vendor So, are you going to cook by yourself today?
Lee Yes indeed. They've been busy all day, and deserve a proper reward.
Produce Vendor Haha! Take this potted kumquat with you then. To your new firm's successful opening and continued prosperity.
Lee Oh? Isn't this tree very important to you? You've kept it in the store for years, and never let anyone go around touching it.
The cold season just passed, and it's bearing rich fruit. Why... are you giving it to me now?
Produce Vendor To be honest with you, Lee, I don't plan on keeping this shop open much longer.
Lee Are you moving somewhere else?
Produce Vendor I'm about ready to retire.
Lee ......
It's been more than a decade, huh...
Produce Vendor Almost thirty years, including the time before you started coming.
Just got a notice last month saying that this place is going to be demolished and converted into a supermarket. Though, we'd still be able to preserve the shop.
Lee Too many places have been going down around Lungmen these days... The teahouse near my place also got demolished, and they say it's going to turn into a coffee shop.
Produce Vendor Hah, that's exactly it. It's fine though. My wife and I have worked so hard all these years. It's time to rest now.
Lee Your son and daughter have grown up and moved out as well, so there's no point to holding down the fort any longer. Why don't you travel, take in some new sights and sounds?
Produce Vendor We've been in Lungmen all these years, and haven't seen any of Yan's other cities yet.
The savings we've scrounged up over the years, as well as the compensation from the government, should be enough to give us a few years of good fun.
Lee, you've been all over the place. Got any recommendations for us?
Lee I've pretty much settled down in Lungmen too. Asking me to suddenly think back to my days on the road is no easy task.
But, when I think about it a bit more closely, all the bad things that happened are like dark clouds parting after a storm. What remains most vividly... is pleasant scenery and warm smiles.
Produce Vendor And, a noisy produce market.
Lee Hahahaha! You still remember our conversation from back then, huh?
Produce Vendor Once I go to Shangshu myself, I'll have to visit that 24/7 produce market as soon as I get the chance.
Lee Good... Very good.
Produce Vendor Looking back all these years, every time I saw you, you always said you were going to leave Lungmen. But now, more than ten years later, turns out I'll be the one who's leaving.
Lee That's right. Every time I tried to leave, there would always be some happy little accident tying me down.
Anyway... Choi, a lot of people come to me before setting off on their trips, asking me to read their fortunes.
We've been old friends for so many years now, so I don't mind giving you a free reading today. Want me to tell you how your journey's going to go?
Produce Vendor Haha, sure.
[Mr. Lee uses his feng shui to read Choi's fortune.]
Lee Hmm...
Produce Vendor What does it say?
Lee This is the Shih-Wang hexagram, which is a symbol of great auspice. On this journey, you will enjoy smooth travels, fair weather, and good health.
Produce Vendor Hahaha, you really know how to say what people want to hear.
Lee I'm not trying to butter you up, Choi. This is my heartfelt desire. That fate... will bring us together again in the future.
Produce Vendor ...May fate bring us together again.
<Background 4>
Supermarket Broadcast Winter's almost here! That's right, winter's almost here! That means we're offering great deals here at the supermarket–buy one get one free on certain selections of fresh meat! Winter's almost here! That's right, winter's almost here! That means we're offering great deals here at the supermarket–buy one get one free on...
Waai Fu How long have we been standing in line, Hung? Is this ever going to end?
Hung Just a bit longer. There's a big sale at the supermarket today, so a lot more people showed up than usual.
Waai Fu All over a piece of meat? My legs are gonna fall off from all this standing. I don't even get this tired from holding my martial arts poses.
Hung A few days ago, Mr. Lee went out of his way to order braised leg meat in scallion oil, saying he wanted to eat it over his birthday. Luckily, they're selling that meat fresh at the supermarket today. Wait a few days longer and we'd only be able to get our hands on the frozen stuff.
Waai Fu I swear, the older he gets, the more childish he becomes. Whenever he wants to eat something, he has to have it then and there.
Hung Well, birthdays are when your dreams are supposed to come true.
Hung You say all that, but weren't you the one who picked out a present well in advance and hid it in your room?
Waai Fu H-How'd you find out? Didn't I say I can clean my room just fine by myself?!
Hung I didn't go into your room... I just happened to see a bin filled with wrapping paper when I went to take out the trash.
Waai Fu Argh, I didn't think it'd be so hard to wrap up a present either! Had to wrap it and unwrap it so many times before I finally managed to fold it flat.
Supermarket Worker What would you like to get, Sir?
Hung A cut of leg meat, please.
Supermarket Worker Front or rear?
Hung Rear.
Waai Fu, have you seen Aak? Why isn't he here yet? We need to head back after picking up the meat.
Waai Fu No clue. He disappeared as soon as we went inside.
(Looks all around) Ugh...
Oh, isn't that him right there? He's walking toward us.
[Aak returns to Hung and Waai Fu.]
Waai Fu Where've you been all this time? And what did you buy?
Aak Nothing. Just window shopping for something I could pick up for Old Lee.
Hung Didn't see anything you liked?
Aak Hehe, nope.
<Background fades out and in>
Cashier That'll be a total of 471 LMD. Will you be paying cash or card?
Hung Excuse me, Miss... I think you did the math wrong.
Cashier Huh? We calculate everything by machine. There's no way it would be wrong.
Hung (Strange, how is more expensive than what I calculated?)
Waai Fu, mind opening the bag up for me? Let me add things up again.
Waai Fu Don't worry about it, Hung. You might've made a little slip-up. Let's hurry up and head home with our stuff first.
Aak Yeah, that's right. We've been out all day, and I'm sure Waai Fu here is tired. Let's go home and get some rest.
Hung and Waai Fu ......
Hung Waai Fu, open the bag.
Waai Fu Here you go, Hung. Comb through everything carefully.
Aak (Oops, should've kept my mouth shut...)
[Waai Fu opens the shopping bag.]
Hung Leg meat, white radishes, pumpkin, lotus root...
Waai Fu Umm, Hung, there seems to be a pouch of herbs at the bottom of the bag.
[Waai Fu takes out the herb pouch from the bag.]
Waai Fu Aah... Achoo! *cough* *cough*... What the heck is this stuff? It stings!
Hung *cough* *cough* *wheeze*... What is this?!
Aak Huh? What are you two lookin' at me for? Nobody ever said you had to open it up.
If anything, the stuff the two of you are gettin' for Lee is way too boring.
Anyway, I'll head back first. The two of you can catch up later.
[Aak runs off.]
Waai Fu *cough* *cough* *cough*... Why you little...
Get back here, you little!