Chapter 306 – Fragrant Dew Rice aka Flower Dew Rice (b)
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Gumihou
First, they want to devour his teahouse. When he rejected their offer to buy, they bought the shop directly opposite and made such a showy display of it too. Were they targeting him?
Luo Dongting was not being narcissistic. The position he occupied was very sensitive, therefore he had reasons to be cautious.
“I understand. Make sure to keep watching that side. Report everything to me, regardless of whether it is trivial or not. That’s right, pay extra attention to the people they associate with.”
The manager saw him off respectfully, promising to carry out his orders.
The group of young men were still discussing whether to visit the shop on the opposite side. When they invited Luo Dongting to come with them, he instinctively recoiled and immediately refused, “You go if you wish, I shall return first.”
Seeing his rather odd reaction, the companions exchanged glances with each other but did not insist.
The group of young men hung around the teashop until afternoon, but in the end, they did not visit the teahouse opposite.
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That evening, the treehouse closed its business at the appointed time. After the three cooks cleaned up the kitchen, they all went home.
Shiyu asked Gan Ping, “Uncle Gan, what kind of new rumours have you collected?”
Gan Ping gave a bitter smile and shook his head, “Most rumours are about pretty widows doing unmentionable things at the market. Nothing about dead people.”
Shiyu was not in a rush, “Don’t worry, just take your time. However, you should think of a way to make people eager to bring fresh news to you.”
Gan Ping nodded pensively, “I’ll try to think of something.”
The next day, the waiter saw that an ordinary-looking middle-aged man had set up a table underneath the peach blossom trees. On the table were brushes, inkstone and paper.
As he cleaned tables, his pricked up ears heard-
“…I’m collecting stories… right now I’m collecting accounts about violent deaths in the countryside… if you can bring any stories like this, I’ll treat you to some tea…”
Storytellers would often collect rumours and gossips from the countryside. Later, they would weave them into stories to be told at teahouses and restaurants to attract patrons and make money.
Therefore, the appearance of a middle-aged man collecting rumours at a shop front was nothing too noteworthy.
What interested him more was the lack of people coming out of the city to view the peach blossoms.
Just what is going on now?
When he posed the question to the manager, the manager said, “The young masters from yesterday found themselves idle and decided to make the trees and plants in the city bloom. Therefore, the peach blossoms here are no longer a unique sight.”
Since it was no longer special, fewer people came out to see it.
The waiter cast a sympathetic glance to the teahouse opposite them.
It must not be easy to come up with a unique way to attract customers. In the end, it turned out to be a one-day sensation. 
The miss over there must be upset over this.
Still, although there was no one  thronging to admire the peach blossoms, the unique treehouse teahouse still attract quite a lot of attention from passersby. Moreover, their unique dishes of Milk Tea and Rushan also entice those who like to try out new foods.
Therefore, although the treehouse was not as lively as before, it could not be considered deserted either.
The days passed quickly.
The craftsmanship of the cooks who made the dishes daily grew better and better.
One day, the three sat down and chatted together. One of the cooks said, “We rarely get any customers here. If the master opens up a shop in the city, I’m sure we’ll have lots more coming to buy these special dishes.
The other two merely smiled and shook their heads, “Do you think the owner is short of this money?”
They have seen the ice jade shelves in the rooms as well as the crystal jade bottles on those shelves. Anyone one of those bottles is worth a year’s worth of Rushan.
Let’s not mentioned the night peals embedded within the rafters or those delicately made silver wind chimes chiming under the trees…
“Xiao Dong, ah. The master doesn’t lack silver. We should just do our work properly.”
The one called Xiao Dong was a young man. He curled his lips and said, “The master doesn’t lack silver but she’s not particularly generous either.”
“Our salary is three silver taels a month including meals. Even most chefs within the city are not paid like this, what are you complaining about?” asked one.
Xiao Dong muttered something under his breath but did not say anything else.
The other two shook their heads at his attitude.
When a person became greedy, they could no longer be contented with their current lot. Hopefully, this young man would not go down a crooked path.
The next day was another big snow day. When the people peeked out from their houses, they were a little shocked.
Such a great amount of snow!
The snow was more than knee-deep. One of the domestic dogs leapt out and immediately sank out of sight.
It’s been decades since they had last seen this kind of snowfall.
Snow days heralds a good year. Looks like we’ll have a good harvest again next year.
Not only were the adults happy at the sight of the snow but children who had been stuck inside for most of the winter could not resist venturing out to enjoy the snowy scenery.
Even those who had devoted themselves to Cultivation came out to relax and have fun with others.
Perhaps, only in the face of nature’s gift like this will the people of all classes become equal.
The best place to enjoy the snowy scenery would be by the top of the Mingyue Mountain on the outskirts of the city.
 That morning, Shiyu took Liu Eleven and Ling Xiaoxiao with her to Mingyue Mountain.
The snowy scenery was beautiful but the wild game attracted her even more. She wanted to use this opportunity to see if she could collect any mountain treasures.
Since it was winter, nearly everything had already withered. Within the desolated forest they could clearly hear the faint sound of sparrows’ wings beating in flight.
Perhaps the cold snap came too swift this year. On some branches, they found fruits frozen to the branches.
Liu Eleven carried a basket on his back and seized every piece of fruit he could find.
In addition to fruits, there were also game animals.
Pheasants were especially plentiful. They were particularly stupid too. After catching sight of the people, they fluttered off and hid in the snow with their tail feathers sticking out. Liu Eleven quickly caught up to them and seized them one by one.
After a single circuit around the mountain, he returned with a full bag.
Aside from pheasants, they also managed to snag two hares and a wild boar.
Wild boar meat is tougher and gamier than regular pork and could be very fragrant when done right.
Since they have caught all these game, it’s better to process them here before bringing them back to the treehouse.
“I remember we passed by a plum blossom forest earlier, let’s go there now.”
The three of them grabbed their game animals and made their way towards the plum blossom forest. Halfway down the mountain, they encountered young men and women travelling together. They appeared to be heading towards the plum blossom forest too.
They were all in their teens, junior Cultivators out to have a little fun in their leisure time. They were at the age where they enjoy life most. Or, one should say, only the young have the luxury of being so leisurely.
Once they have reached middle age and faced the ups and downs of life, it would be difficult for them to retain such a leisurely feeling ever again.
The elders of the Sui Clan did not hinder the young from coming out to play. Not to mention, travelling and experiencing life could also be considered a type of self-cultivation.
The scene of blooming plum blossoms is best experienced with a snowy background.
The young men and women flitted over to this forest joyfully but found that someone else was one step ahead of them.
At first, they thought that these people were also here to enjoy the scenery. They were about to move somewhere else when they saw a girl in blue picking the plum blossom flowers with her sleeves pushed up.
[Gumihou: This chapter is not so bad, but kind of filler-ish]
 Fixed some minor weird sentences.
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