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The drive towards The Savory Alley was filled with silence. Shen Lingqing wasn't nervous at all, but Qiao Lian was on the edge. This was the first major assignment her miss received from her father, and Shen Lingqing couldn't afford to fail this time. Today, her Auntie Jiao Jiao would accompany them to help Shen Lingqing make a proper inspection on The Savory Alley.

The car Fu Shuren was driving today was a simple black sedan that bore no insignia of the Shen family, and all of them ditched their usual uniform—in favor of wearing casual clothes for civilians.

Shen Lingqing couldn't do much about her striking appearance. She could only dress down today, only wearing a pair of denim jeans and a slightly loose black shirt. On her feet was a pair of white sneakers. Her long hair was tied in a loose braid and hung over one of her shoulders.

They didn't want to give an impression that they were from SY Holdings that managed the chain of restaurants the 'Food Goddess' owned. As a cover, Fu Shuren decided to park the car they were using in a public parking space a couple of meters away from The Savory Alley.

"Miss Qing, are you sure you're okay with this?" Jiao Jiao asked, passing the black jacket Shen Lingqing brought with her.

"What's a better way to see what the rats are up to other than seeing it with my own eyes?" Shen Lingqing didn't bat an eyelid and turned around to leave. "Let's go."

Fu Shuren and Jiao Jiao gave each other a knowing look and sighed. Although both of them knew that Lu Xinyi's tongue could be sharp at times, it still surprised them to hear Shen Lingqing speak like this. It seemed to be one of the things she inherited from her mother.

With the demon princess's cold beauty and expression that forbade anyone to know what she was thinking, it made people around her wary and intimidated by her. Unlike the other Shens that were easy to get along with, Shen Lingqing didn't have many friends; in fact, she only tolerated Qiao Lian to accompany her.

Shen Lingqing was once a charming and happy child, but as soon as she hit eight years old, people around her started to notice the sudden change in her demeanor. She spoke less to others, but her eyes were very observant with her surroundings. They weren't sure what had changed, but it seemed the ShenLu couple was aware of what happened to their daughter.

The three didn't have a choice but to follow their miss's lead as they walked towards the restaurant. From outside, they could already see the elegant yet poorly-placed signage. Shen Lingqing thought that, if a strong wind blew right now, the possibility of it falling down was huge.

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It was the first red flag in her opinion. She would rather see an old and simple sign than to see a fancy one that could pose danger to their customers. Shen Lingqing braced herself to see more disappointment once inside. The signage was just a start.

Surprisingly, when they stepped inside, they saw several customers inside—dining and conversing with each other. If the restaurant was fully packed with patrons like this, how come there was a big dip in their sales report? Qiao Lian frowned, but Shen Lingqing already knew the answer.

A waitress came and greeted them. She led them to a vacant table where they could get a better look at the restaurant. The menus were passed one by one, and Shen Lingqing only frowned at the type of dishes listed on it.

There was a loud laughing sound that reached Shen Lingqing's ears, and their attention was immediately drawn to the man bragging in front of the other customers.

"Is it true that the Shen family is backing up this restaurant now?" one of the customers asked with curiosity.

"Why, of course. The SY Holdings probably saw how lucrative our restaurant could be. I wouldn't be surprised if The Savory Alley follows the path of Oriental Bliss soon," the manager of the restaurant said proudly.

"What bullshit is he talking about?" Qiao Lian sneered lowly, loud enough for Shen Lingqing and their companions to hear. "How dare he compare this poor restaurant to Master Lingyu's Oriental Bliss?"

Shen Lingqing thought the same, but she didn't dare to voice out her opinion. She thanked the waitress for the complimentary tea served at their table. Meanwhile, Fu Shuren and Jiao Jiao only watched the scene with amus.e.m.e.nt. This clown probably didn't know what kind of circus he was performing in front of them right now.

"Are you ready to order?" The waitress came back with a notepad in one hand. She was a young woman with a height only reaching 151 centimeters. She looked kind and sweet but used to working hard as her hands had slightly calluses on them. Shen Lingqing had noticed it earlier when she was serving them tea, but she supposed it was normal to see a person living paycheck after paycheck.

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"Please give as a serving of all the dishes listed on your menu," Shen Lingqing finally said, which earned a curious stare from her companions. "I would love to see all of it." Her words came out in such a gentle tone that Fu Shuren and Jiao Jiao hadn't heard for a long time. It was like they were given a sneak peek of what Shen Lingqing was when she was younger.

The young woman seemed happy, getting such a huge order from them. The waitress immediately took back the menus from the four of them and rushed to the kitchen. Qiao Lian followed her retreating figure and then glanced at Shen Lingqing who didn't even bother to touch her teacup.

Qiao Lian pinched the bridge of her nose. Shen Lingqing said she wanted to see the dishes, which only gave them an impression that she might not bother to taste any of them.

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