Potatoes and mangoes.
All because of a bit of antics,
Can you be one?
Sugar and spice.
Will it be all nice?
Furiously translated by Akari and Blazaria
Edited by (a reeling from the frenzy) cfadmode.
Thank you dear Pwip Da Ren for the free mention. We adore your work in HM and most especially with Marriage Concerto. I, cfadmode, is your one true and a loyal camper fan. 😁
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And a shameless discord invite from the BAT Team. We are not blind, we are sonartastic!
Thank you for reading and your thoughtful comments.
And your generous donations!
We are humbled.
Chapter 6: Chuan Chuan
With three thousand five hundred yuan in her pocket, Mi Qing was feeling a little excited.
Usually, three thousand five hundred yuan was not enough for her to buy a piece of clothing. But right now, the three thousand five hundred yuan to her was as precious as money to save a life.
On the way home, she carefully counted her money. Other than having to pay the landlord three hundred yuan, she will still be left with three thousand and two hundred. As long as she doesn’t buy clothes rashly, three thousand and two hundred should be enough to last her for a month.
The next thing she had to do was, to get herself a job as soon as possible. As long as she has a steady income, she will then be able to live a better off life.
Initially, she was rushing home to write a resume, and share it on the internet. But before she even reach the entrance of South City Garden, a burst of aroma, that could make people’s heart caper like a monkey and their mind gallop like a horse, wafted towards her.
She stood on the spot and breathed in deeply, it was the smell of chuan chuan xiang.
Mi Qing looked in all directions. There was indeed a chuan chuan store across the street, and it was named ‘Fragrance that Floats Ten Miles’.
En, even though the name was a little tacky, but the fragrance really did smell appetizing.
Mi Qing hesitated, eating chuan chuan felt a little extravagant. But she had been already hungry for two days, thus she really really wanted to have a good meal.
She thought for a while; the amount of chuan chuan that I can eat alone would not cost more than a hundred yuan, it is still affordable.
A gust of cold wind brought the aromatic smell towards her again. Mi Qing shuddered in the wind. She had decided to eat chuan chuan to warm herself up.
Seeing that there was a customer walking in, the waiters of ‘Fragrance that Floats Ten Miles’ enthusiastically greeted her. After seeing Mi Qing clearly, the waiter’s eyes brightened up. He put on his brightest smile in his entire life, and asked Mi Qing, “Beautiful lady, how many seats do you need? Do you have a reservation?”
Mi Qing studied him, the clothes that he was wearing should be the store’s uniform, it looked like the traditional clothing that people in Han Dynasty wore, but for the sake of convenience, it was short-sleeved.
She smiled, and said to the waiter, “I did not make a reservation, and it will just be me alone.”
The store was not crowded at that time. The waiter looked one round, and brought Mi Qing inside, “There’s a seat available there.”
Mi Qing followed him in, and casually looked at the surrounding. The store was renovated to the ancient Chinese style. Even the tableware were full of ancient flowery carvings. The waiters in the store all wore the same uniform, which looked very clean and neat.
Passing by a stairs, she looked up, and asked curiously, “Are there any seats upstairs?”
The waiter: “There are only private rooms upstairs, it is also our office area. Would you like to have a private room?”
Mi Qing thought it over, “Will there be extra charges?”
The waiter nodded, “Yes.”
“Oh, then, nevermind.” Mi Qing shrugged, and continued to follow the waiter.
Reaching her table, she noticed that the tables and chairs were very clean. It did not have the greasy feeling that normal restaurants had. As she sat down, she heard a woman shouting in her direction, “Xiao De Zi, come and lead the customer in. Is it that you can’t walk anymore when you see a beauty?”
Mi Qing lifted her head, and saw a woman in red qipao walking towards her direction.
Her uniform was different from other female waiters, thus she should be in a higher position than those waiters.
When the waiter that lead Mi Qing in saw her, he quickly laughed, “Sister Rongrong, let’s not speak carelessly. If the boss hears that, he will want to cut my bonus again!”
The woman who was called Sister Rongrong waved his hand at him, as if shooing him again, “Go and serve other customers, I’ll handle it here.”
Xiao De Zi quickly ran to the door to lead the customers in. Sister Rongrong looked at Mi Qing, and smiled, “Beautiful lady, is this your first time here in our store to eat chuan chuan? I have never seen you here before ah.”
Mi Qing: “En, I just moved here yesterday.”
Sister Rongrong nodded her head, and did not press further, “Our flavour here is really good. Do come by frequently to eat when you’re available ah.” As she spoke, she poured tea on Mi Qing’s cup, “Are you alone? What flavoured pot will you like?”
“Red pot.” Mi Qing thought over, and added, “The spiciest type.”
Sister Rongrong smiled, and put down the teapot, “Alright, that area is where you can choose your meat and vegetable, you can take whatever you like. The longer stick cost one fifty, and the shorter one cost thirty cent.”
“Oh, alright.” Mi Qing nodded and Sister Rongrong went to instruct the waiters. Mi Qing looked at her and thought, this Sister Rongrong really do know how to make business. Not just that, but she doesn’t look too bad either, don’t tell me she’s the lady boss?
Mi Qing took three plates of potatoes from the food selection area. Just as she went back to her seat, the waiter also brought her pot out to her table.
“Once it starts to boil, you can put the ingredients in. The spices area is over there, take it as you please.” The waiter opened the fire below the pot as he introduce them to Mi Qing.
“Alright, thank you.” Mi Qing took a look at the spice area. She went to choose her spices then her meat and vegetables. When she brought back the basket of food, her pot base was ready.
It was simply perfect.
She took off her coat, hang it over her chair and begin putting her meat and vegetables into the pot. Before her first pot was cooked, she sees a familiar figure walking in from the entrance.
It was her landlord, Xiao Gu.
……she instantly felt that her appetite was gone, and that she could most probably save up to half of the money.
The store was getting crowded, and all of the waiters are busy. Xiao Gu looked around, and saw Mi Qing sitting inside.
His lips curved, and walked towards Mi Qing, “You have money to eat chuan chuan. Seems like you were able to sell your clothes?”
Mi Qing rolled her eyes when he was not looking, “Why are you here?”
Bumping into him by just eating chuan chuan, she was really unlucky.
And what is worse was his next line.
“This store was opened by me.”
Mi Qing: “……”
Xiao Gu looked at the food on her table and said, “So many potatoes, seems like the price you sold the clothes for wasn’t good?”
Mi Qing: “……”
It was alright if he insulted her, but why did he have to insult her with potatoes? What’s wrong with liking potatoes to eat?
She lifted her head, and angrily stared at Xiao Gu, “What’s wrong with potatoes? Do you know how delicious potatoes are? Last time, whenever I ate with others, they never allow me to take potatoes. They always said that I would not be able to eat other things if I ate potatoes at the beginning of the meal. Thus the only choice I had was to put the potatoes in at the last pot, but by that time I would already be full from eating, so I would not be able to eat much potatoes. Then again they would say that I always had too much leftover potatoes, yet I always take them! Now, I finally have the chance to eat chuan chuan alone and you still want to control how much potatoes I have?!”
Xiao Gu: “……”
Unsure whether it was because this was the first time that Mi Qing said such a long string of words to him, or whether it was because of the content of what she said was so twisted that he felt sad for her. It actually made him speechless.
He smiled at Mi Qing, and said, “If you like to eat potatoes, then take more. We have a lot of potatoes here, since others don’t really eat them.”
Mi Qing: “……”
She really felt like smashing the potatoes on his face ah!
At the same moment, two families entered the store. It was the families of Little Fat and Little Black, the two kids that was previously stopped by Xiao Gu.
They were the frequent customers of the store. And it was because they were relatively familiar with Xiao Gu, that’s why they ran to his store to ask him to forge their parents’ signatures.
Little Fat and Little Black were just lectured by Xiao Gu that afternoon, and were very unwilling to visit the store and give him business. But their parents just love to eat the chuan chuan there. Little Fat was feeling down the moment he stepped into the store, and what made matters worse was that, Xiao Gu was also in the store.
He had an expression one would have when they meet their enemies. When he saw Mi Qing at Xiao Gu’s side, his round eyes lit up, and shouted loudly, “Boss Xiao, who is that beautiful lady ah?”
Xiao Gu turned his head and looked at them, then smiled, “She is the new tenant that you found for me.”
Little Fat: “……”
He could not withstand this cruel fact, “F-” he manage to hold back the vulgarity, for his parents were at his side.
Without noticing, Little Black walked all the way to Mi Qing table, with a face full of smiles he said to Mi Qing, “Sister, why not stay at my house, the rent will only be 199, and the price includes water and electricity.”
Mi Qing’s eyes brighten. Xiao Gu lowered his head and glanced at Little Black, “Do you have a real estate license?”
Little Black refused to concede defeat and said, “My parents have!”
“But we do not have the intention to rent out a room.” Little Black’s mom grabbed his collar and brought him away.
Xiao Gu glanced at Mi Qing, and blandly said, “The beef is about to be overcooked.”
Mi Qing: “……”
She quickly scooped the beef up, then dipped it into the sauce and scrape the meat one by one off the stick.
Xiao Gu turned his body, and went to the second floor. Seeing that he went upstairs, Lin Jingrong, who was initially serving customers, followed along.
“You rented out your house? I did not hear you mention it before ah.” She asked.
Xiao Gu tucked his hands in the pocket of his coat, and slowly replied, “En, Little Fat’s prank.”
Lin Jingrong did not understand, “What prank?”
Xiao Gu said, “They wrote my phone number in a house rental ad.”
Lin Jingrong: “……”
Kids these days, do not mess with them ah.
She glanced at Xiao Gu, then asked, “Since it was a prank, it should be alright if you explained it clearly to her, right?”
Xiao Gu replied, “Her money was stolen, and she’s from other city. If I do not take her in, she will most probably have to sleep under the bridge.”
Lin Jingrong went quiet for a moment, then said, “That’s true, such a pretty lady, it would definitely be dangerous if she is out alone.”
Xiao Gu nodded, “En.”
Lin Jingrong paused, and stopped moving, “I’ll be going back to work then. This is the time when the store is most crowded.”
After speaking, she turned and headed downstairs, and subconsciously looked at Mi Qing’s direction.
Mi Qing was very particular about the way she eats, just like a big wealthy family’s daughter –– in fact, just looking at the way she dressed herself, Lin Jingrong had already thought of that.
Why did a rich girl like her, come all the way to A city alone? And why did she not contact her family and friends after her money was stolen?
Xiao Gu must have took these into consideration before, but still decided to take her in.
Lin Jingrong stood in place for a moment, then turned and went into the kitchen.
After finishing the beef in the pot, she happily added the potatoes in. She sat down, and saw the Sister Rongrong from just now walking towards her with a bowl of cold glutinous rice cake.
Mi Qing: “I did not order this.”
Lin Jingrong placed the cake onto her table, and smiled at her, “A gift from me as this is your first time here. Just treat it as a token from this store.”
Mi Qing gratefully looked at her, “Thank you! You are more generous than your boss.”
Lin Jingrong could not help but laugh, “It is unavoidable for businessmen to be a little stingy. In fact, our boss is very nice to the workers. As long as you do not steal his dried mangoes, anything can be settled easily.”
Mi Qing: “……”