Chapter 65: Face to Face
Translator: Announcement to all my readers at the end, but first, please enjoy this chapter.
"Rou’er, what kind of riddle are you and second uncle doing? What’s this about making money?” Zhou’shi asked curiously.
“Mother, actually second uncle and I have just started a business, luckily we didn’t make a loss!” Wen Rou smiled sweetly as she answered.
“How much did you make?” Wen Ting’s eyes brightened.
“After calculating, as of yesterday we made about 8 silver liangs!” Wen Rou said delightedly.
“8 liangs? So much!” Wen Shouchai’s eyes stood at attention, if they split it according to the agreed 50-50 portion, he’ll get 4 silver liangs!
Wen Shouchai had lived for over 30 years in this world, but it was the first time he’d held so many silver liangs!
“Actually it’s not suppose to be that much, but the soldiers yesterday bought quite a lot and this amount included tips and things, so it amounts to exactly 8 silver liangs!” Wen Rou explained.
“Hah, who cares where it came from! It’s real money, Rou’er, when second uncle’s injuries are better, I’ll help you again!” Wen Shouchai roared, smacking his thigh.
“Rou’er, you’ve counted it correctly, ba!” Zhou’shi really couldn’t believe her ears.
A commoner family could live well for half a year on 8 silver liangs.
“Mother, you just wait, ha!” Wen Rou said and bounced out of the room.
She ran back with a bright red cloth bag in her hand.
With loud clanking sounds, the table was littered with round copper coins along with pieces of broken silvers, and of course there were the 5 large silver liangs awarded to her by Sheng Yaoshan.
“Rou’er, are you sure you earned these through your little business?” shock was apparent on Zhou’shi’s face.
“Madam, please be at ease, these were all really earned through Rou’er’s hard work.” Madam Zhen said.
“Oh, so Madam Zhen knows about this as well?” Zhou’shi turned to looked at her.
“Ever since Shouzhen is injured, I’ve been helping out Rou’er in her skewered barbecue business these few days and have seen Rou’er’s barbecue skills with my own eyes. People flocked to her stall everyday until we can’t keep up with the demand. It was the same day after day. In fact there’s an old man who comes every single day, but was always just a little too late and had to leave with empty hands.” Madam Zhen said cheerfully, embellishing the story just a little.
“Oh? So it’s like this?” Wang’shi also felt interested.
“Yes! A few days ago I was there too. Though I don’t know why Rou’er picked that place since it was so quiet. If it had been downtown area we might have earned more than 8 silver liangs, we might have gotten 10 or even 20 liangs in total!” Wen Shouzhen said proudly, clearly straying into bragging territory.
“Second uncle! There’s no way…” Wen Rou looked at Wen Shouzhen with stunned eyes.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk! Brother, sister, just what is going on recently? First, Xiangyang’s most famous restaurants started buying your home brewed wine, and now there’s Rou’er’s barbecue stand. That’s certainly a lot of money, ah! Looks like third brother is on his way to becoming a rich man, ah!” Elders brother Wen Shoucheng had an envious look in his eye.
“Well, I think it’s all down to Rou’er’s competence. Since second brother and Madam Zhen are so keen, and since I have some free time, let’s all properly invest in this business. That way we can all grow the business and split the profit later. What does everyone think?” Wang’shi said enthusiastically, clearly hoping to invest.
“Well…” Zhou’shi hesitated, since Wen Shouzhen was not at home, as a woman she was not qualified to make such an important decision without the man of the house.
Moreover, the wine recipe actually came from that ancient recipe book Wen Rou had won, and most of the brewing was done by her without much help from others, ah!
“Elder uncle, elder aunt, second uncle, Madam Zhen, Rou’er is grateful for your confidence, but Rou’er is still young and this barbecue thing is just for fun and some allowance money. I still want to learn cooking from dad and eventually have my own restaurant. A small stall is nothing compared to a real restaurant, so everyone please look forward to it! In a few more days, I will be going back to the restaurant kitchen with dad!” Wen Rou had seen Zhou’shi’s hesitation and thought that she might as well reject it on the spot.
“En! Little sister is right! We must take the long term view on this. Little sister has real skills, it would be a shame to cut her culinary education short for the sake of making money on food stalls. It would be like dropping a watermelon to pick up some sesame seeds.” Wen Ting said righteously as he stood next to Wen Rou.
“Brother, thank you for your support!” Wen Rou said happily.
“Fourth brother seemed to have developed quite the scholarly air, may we know what’s the status of your application…” Wen Shan asked.
“A successful scholar is a successful officer! A good man is one who serves his fellow man!” Wen Ting stood up, one fist raised to the air.
“Hahahaha, fourth brother, I think you should set your goals a little lower and just pass next year’s exams, ba!” Wen Shan was unable to resist the urge to pick at Wen Ting’s sore point.
“Hmph! You just wait and see.” Wen Ting finally saw through Wen Shan’s words, he turned his head his away with a sniff, ignoring them.
Brother, you must do your best! I will also do my best. Just give me a few more days, I will certainly make your wish come through! Brother, just wait! Wen Rou watched as he brother was heckled by others, a prickle of anger rose in her heart.
Just wait ba, I will definitely pass next year’s exams! Not only will I pass the initial test, I will also pass all the tests set in front of me, and make it to the palace test! Wen Ting vowed secretly in his heart!
“Madam Zhen, you hold on to these money, though we are not a large family we won’t treat you badly. After this why don’ we go over to my place, eldest sister-in-law too, and properly plan out the celebration and make a list of what we should prepare? When Shouzhen comes back tonight, let’s pick out a lucky date!” Zhou’shi sensed the odd atmosphere and quickly changed the subject.
“Yes, yes, yes, let me be the first to thank brothers and sisters!” Wen Shouchai quickly bowed his thanks.
That night, when Wen Shouzhen came back from work, Zhou’shi quickly told him everything that had happened .
Wen Shouzhen listened with great amazement. Looks like Wen Rou hadn’t spent these few days playing around, she had really been stretching her culinary skills, and quite successfully too!
The whole family happily sat in a circle, carefully comparing Wen Shouchai and Madam Zhen’s date of birth, they turned out to be a great match with each other! In the time takes to brew a cup of tea, the wedding date was set to 10 days later.
Wen Shouchai spent his days doing his best to heal from his wounds while Madam Zhen busied herself making wedding clothes. Other members of the family were occupied buying Celebratory New Year items. This meant that there wasn’t a single free hand to help out Wen Rou.
“Little sister, will you be opening your stall tomorrow?” that night, Wen Thing knocked on Wen Rou’s door, and pair of siblings proceeded to lit the lamps and sat to chat together.
“En, brother, you should go to bed soon, ba. You still have to go to school the next day!” Wen Rou vowed quietly to herself, so long as Sir Song Tao refuses to change his mind, she would not give up!
“The master has gone home for the new year, our vacation starts from tomorrow, why don’t I give you a hand, ba!”
“Your education is more important, you should just stay home and study, ba!” Wen Rou shook her head.
“You little brat, are you saying I can’t go? Do I really need you to educate me? Moreover, I can also study during our rest times, who knows the outside air might also be good for my brain!” it appeared that Wen Ting was quite determined.
“That… very well, your job is to call for customers, ba!” Wen Rou could only agree.
“Call for customers? No problem!” Wen Ting thumped his chest confidently, but inwardly his heart wilted a little. Call for customers? You mean like those noisy food sellers in the streets…that’s so shameful!
The next day, following her usual routine, Wen Rou brought Wen Ting with her.
With the sharp December wind like knives against her face, Wen Rou’s cheeks soon grew rosy.
“Little sister, you should take cover from the wind and let me do this!” Wen Ting felt distressed at Wen Rou’s cold red cheeks and freezing hands.
“It’s fine, brother, once the fire starts up it’ll be warm!” Wen Rou never stopped her movements.
In a short while, aroma from the iron through started to spread out. The special item for today was the addition of ‘Rou Jia Mou’.
Yesterday, after hearing Wen Rou’s success with her business, he had happily sponsored some new ingredients for her.
Some pre-cooked bacon and baked white buns.
All she had to do was split the bread and fold the meat into the bread, after a brief toasting it was ready to eat!
“Brother, every thing’s ready, go ahead and call for customers, ba!”
“Ah, right! Selling…” Wen Ting nodded his head and opened his mouth, only, nothing much came out. His face turned as red as a boiled lobster.
“Hihi, bro. Let me do it ba!” Wen Rou covered her mouth, amused to see Wen Ting so embarrassed. She clearly, and straightforwardly opened her mouth and started hollering, “Grilled bread, berbecue meat and rou jia mo, all freshly made and delicious…”
Wen Ting stood on the side, feeling more and more ashamed.
“Sister, sister!” just as Wen Rou sucked in another breath to yell, the ink black door burst opened.
Liu Xian, all dressed up like a colourful ball ran out, he accidentally slipped and rolled forward a few steps, just like a ball.
“Aiya, your majesty, please be careful!” Wen Rou put down the grilled bread in her hands and ran out.
“Hei hei, apologies for making elder sister worry, Xian’er is fine!” Liu Xian rolled up from the floor, all smiles. Don’t look down on this fatty for being fat, he’s actually quite lively. Moreover he was dressed in thick clothes, a mere fall was not going to harm him much.
“Your majesty, are you alright?” Sheng Yao Shan also ran out, followed Wen Yue.
“Sister, sister, Xian’er could smell your cooking all morning, Xian’er is starving, brother Yao Shan, money!” Liu Xian announced as he bounced towards Wen Rou.
Sheng Yao Shan had an awkward look on his face. This was the 9th prince after all, ‘how could he just simply call someone ‘sister’? He’s a prince, ah! If the word sister came out of his mouth, isn’t that person ‘royal sister’!
To think that this Miss Wen actually managed to gain such high rank with just a few grilled bread!
“Your majesty, sister Wen has prepared a special delicacy, would his majesty like to try some?” Wen Rou said, immediately made a rou jia mo, and gave it to Liu Xian.
“Sister, this is so delicious, what is it called?” Liu Xian asked through a fully stuffed mouth.
“Rou jia mo!” Wen Rou smiled.
“Rou jia mo?” Sheng Yao Shan immediately straightened up. “Miss Wen, I’ll have one too!”
It looked like the impact from that rou jia mo was still quite fresh on Sheng Yao Shan’s mind, ah!
“Would young master Ren like to try some?” there was a trace of amusement in Wen Rou’s eyes.
“I’ll pass on the rou jia mo, I’ll have two grilled bread please. I’ll eat them at home.” Ren Yue said with a smile as he waved his hand.
“Takeaway?” Wen Rou was immediately wary, could it be possible that he intended to give them to that old man?
“I’ll let you have the grilled bread, I’ll even let you take them away with you. However, you must take a bite out of both bread!” Wen Rou said.
“You…” Ren Yue was speechless for a long time, surely she was not expecting a scholarly and elegant young master like himself to eat on the streets like a commoner, ba?
“That wicked child! Just what kind of person do you think this old master is! To think that you’ll use that same trick twice!” Sir Song Tao angrily rushed out, still dress in indoor clothes. It looked like he was in such a hurry that he did not bother to dress up properly.
“Sir Song Tao, why have you come! It’s cold outside!” Sheng Yao Shan rushed over and took off his own black fox fur cloak to drape them over the old man’s shoulders.
“Sir Song Tao!” Wen Ting was shocked.
Translator: I hereby announce that I am dropping this novel. As for the reason for dropping it… it’s for my mental health, I can’t take it any more, my friends, family and random strangers can’t take me complaining at them any more. It chips away at my sanity and… let’s stop here.
It’s official, I’m dropping this.