Chapter 10: The Culinary Tycoon

Goose Goose Goose

“Oh, young man, you’re back? Where did you go so late?” Wen Li had a smile on his face, warmly greeting Yu Qingze while secretly inquiring.

The boy behind him poked his head out, saw Yu Qingze, and quickly hid back.

Yu Qingze: …

“Uncle,” Yu Qingze nodded and greeted, glancing at Chang Le and the others, noticing that their expressions weren’t very good. He calmly said, “Just went out for a walk and to clear my mind.”

“Oh, have a good meal and settle your stomach,” Wen Li said as he followed Yu Qingze into the main hall, getting closer to him. He asked, “Young man, where are you from? How old are you this year? Are you married? Do you have any family members? How did you end up in Niu Tou Village?”

The boy by his side also sneaked a glance at Yu Qingze.

Yu Qingze was overwhelmed by this series of questions. He quickly raised his hand to stop Wen Li and said with a worried expression, “Uncle, I’m already 28 years old this year. I’m from the northern region. I lost all my belongings on the way here, and now I have no money. I don’t know how I’ll get by in the days to come.”

“Oh… I see.” When Wen Li heard that Yu Qingze had no money and was already so old, his interest immediately waned, and his smile faded.

Then, he turned around and said to Grandpa Chang and Chang Le, “Father, Brother Le, think it over again. They are very satisfied with Brother Le over there. If we miss this opportunity, there won’t be another chance. Also, this is a gift they brought today.”

Wen Li took out a small wooden box from his pocket and placed it on the table. He opened it, revealing a silver bracelet wrapped in velvet cloth.

“Look, the patterns on it are so beautiful, and it suits our Brother Le well. Brother Le, come, try it on.” With that, Wen Li picked up the silver bracelet, held Chang Le’s hand, and attempted to put it on him.

Chang Le quickly broke free, stepped back, and shook his hand at Wen Li.

“Oh, you shy child, you’ll get married someday…” Wen Li said.

Grandpa Chang glared at Wen Li and said, “Who’s getting married! Didn’t Xiao Le already say he doesn’t agree! If you continue with these nonsensical things, believe me, I’ll break your leg!” With that, Grandpa Chang went to the corner to find a pole.

Chang Le and Chang Hao watched without moving, while Yu Qingze quickly stepped aside.

“Hey, Father, what are you doing? I’m also doing this for the good of Brother Le. He’s already grown up. We can’t just let him stay unmarried… Hey, hey, hey, don’t hit me! I’m leaving, I’m leaving…” Wen Li shouted as he ran away, followed by the boy who glanced back at Yu Qingze along the way.

“Wait!” Grandpa Chang shouted.

Wen Li thought the old man had changed his mind and happily turned around.

“Take the things away!” Grandpa Chang pointed at the empty box on the table.

Wen Li quickly came back and took the box away, muttering, “Father, don’t be so stubborn…”

Wen Li wanted to say more, but when he saw Grandpa Chang raising the pole in his hand, he quickly scurried away.

Once Wen Li and the other person had left the courtyard, Chang Le approached and took the pole from Grandpa Chang’s hand, placing it back in the corner.

Grandpa Chang sighed and turned to Yu Qingze, saying, “Sorry you had to witness that.”

Yu Qingze shook his head without answering, unsure of how to respond. Every family has its own difficulties, and this was not something he could inquire about or intervene in.

“By the way, did you ask the village chief about the household registration issue? What did he say?” Grandpa Chang asked.

Yu Qingze shook his head and said, “It’s not easy. The village chief said that if I buy an acre of land in the village, I can apply for registration. But to buy an acre of land, I need fifty taels of silver, and I have to earn the money first.”

Upon hearing this, Grandpa Chang sighed and comforted him, saying, “Take it slowly. There’s always a way. If it doesn’t work here, we can go to a more remote place where the land isn’t as expensive.”

Yu Qingze nodded and turned to hand the two wooden boards he was holding to Chang Le and Chang Hao. These were made for them from some leftover materials by the village chief.

“What’s this?” Chang Hao asked as he took the wooden board. It was about one foot wide and two feet long, with small wooden strips nailed around the edges.

Yu Qingze replied, “It’s for you to practice writing.”

Upon hearing that it was for writing, Chang Le and Chang Hao instantly shifted their attention. They looked at the wooden boards with some skepticism, wondering why they were enclosed with four small wooden strips. After all, if they wrote on it, they couldn’t erase it, and once they finished writing, it would be useless. What was the purpose of the four wooden strips?

Yu Qingze knew exactly what they were thinking, so he smiled and said, “You don’t have to use charcoal to write on it. You can fill it with sand or clay, and after writing, you can smooth it out and continue writing.”

He added, “It’s better to use fine sand, it’s convenient and clean.”

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

The two brothers suddenly realized. Chang Hao happily said to Chang Le, “Brother, let’s go to the riverside tomorrow at noon and collect some sand!”

Not far from the village, there was a large river called Qinghe, which flowed from west to east, all the way to the seaside. It was also an important river that served as a boundary between the north and south during the Dashing Dynasty.

Chang Le’s face was filled with joy, and he nodded in agreement.

The next morning, when Chang Hao woke up, he saw a pile of sand in the courtyard, still wet from being just brought back.

By the time they returned home at noon, the sand had dried. Chang Hao couldn’t wait to take out the two wooden trays and pour the sand into them. Then, he used his fingers to write his name, Chang Hao, stroke by stroke on the sand.

“Brother Yu, look quickly, I can write my name!” Chang Hao held the wooden tray in front of Yu Qingze, who was picking vegetables, and asked, “Do you think I wrote it correctly?”

“Let me see.” Yu Qingze took a quick glance. The young boy’s handwriting was still a bit messy, and the shapes of the letters weren’t very well-formed, but he had indeed written it correctly. He extended his thumb and praised him, “You wrote it correctly, great job!”

In the past few days, whenever they had free time, the two brothers would write and draw on the ground. Yu Qingze knew that they had already learned.

Chang Hao raised his head excitedly and asked, “My brother can write now. Can you teach us a new character tonight? My brother’s name?”

Yu Qingze replied, “Sure.”

After dinner, Chang Hao happily ran towards Yu Qingze with a wooden board and a charcoal stick. Yu Qingze picked up the charcoal stick, or rather, the firewood stick, to prepare to write. Suddenly, he realized that the character “Le” (乐) had a traditional form, unlike “Chang” (常) and “Hao” (浩), which were the same in both simplified and traditional characters.

He hesitated for a moment and then turned to look at Chang Hao’s expectant eyes. He asked, “How about we learn Grandpa’s name first? When I’m done with my tasks, I’ll teach you your brother’s name, okay?”

Chang Hao thought for a moment. They also needed to learn Grandpa’s name, so he said, “Okay. Then today we can learn three characters!”

Grandpa’s name was “Chang Dashan,” written in the same form for both simplified and traditional characters, making it perfect for teaching.

Yu Qingze happily wrote the characters “Da Shan” (大山) and their stroke orders on the wooden board.

“Why does Grandpa’s name have so few strokes?” Chang Hao was surprised. “Da Shan,” just six strokes combined.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Yes, because both of these characters are pictographic. When you make big gestures, how do you do it?”

“Just like this!” Chang Hao spread his arms wide, making a big movement.

Yu Qingze continued, “Look, you stretch your arms straight and open your feet a little. Doesn’t it look like the character ‘Da’ (大)?”

Chang Hao widened his feet, looked at his own body, and then looked at the character “Da” on the wooden board. He was amazed, “It’s the same!”

At that moment, Dajian came to call Yu Qingze.

“Keep practicing, I’m going out,” Yu Qingze smiled and patted the young boy’s head, then went out.

The village chief had already invited Master Yu Jiaoyao to the house, and they were currently drinking tea in the main hall. The rest of the family and the village chief had been instructed to stay in the old house or the kitchen.

Yu Qingze was seeing Master Yu Jiaoyao for the first time.

He had a refined appearance, a slender figure, and fairer skin than the other villagers. However, due to the recent busy farming season, there was an undeniable weariness on his face. Even so, he exuded the elegant temperament unique to scholars, which was clearly discernible at first glance.

The village chief introduced the two to each other.

Yu Qingze politely cupped his hands and said, “I’ve met Master Yu Jiaoyao.”

Master Yu nodded slightly and didn’t say much.

The three of them took their seats.

At this point, Master Yu Jiaoyao set aside the tea in his hand and took out his writing utensils one by one from the nearby box, grinding the ink while saying, “Village chief, young fellows, please explain the specific details of your agreement to me. Tell me one by one, and I will write it down for you.”

When the village chief went to invite him, he had briefly explained the situation to Master Yu Jiaoyao. So the village chief primarily spoke while Yu Qingze supplemented, and Master Yu Jiaoyao occasionally asked questions. It took about an hour to write the cooperative contract in duplicate.

After both parties had reviewed it and found no issues, they each signed their names and pressed their handprints, finalizing the collaboration.

Upon completion, Yu Qingze hesitantly asked Master Yu Jiaoyao to write the character “Le” (乐) for him and also requested a poem commonly used for enlightenment education in this area.

Master Yu Jiaoyao looked at him curiously.

Yu Qingze explained that it was for Chang Hao and Chang Lao to learn to read, but his own skills were limited, so he hoped that Master Yu would agree.

Upon hearing this, Master Yu Jiaoyao thought of the figure always peeping outside the school and didn’t ask further. He quickly took up his brush and wrote a poem.

Yu Qingze picked it up and looked at it, feeling awkward. It was “Ode to the Goose.”

It is indeed suitable for enlightenment education, no problem. But I don’t know if the person who wrote this poem in the other world is also named Luo Binwang?

Carrying a contract and a “textbook,” Yu Qingze returned home full of confidence.

With these two things, he can use them for some time, not only to teach Chang Le and Chang Hao but also for self-study!

Whenever he goes to the county town, he will buy a book from the bookstore for self-study! As for traditional characters and such, for Yu the chef who already has a foundation, it’s a piece of cake!

Imagination is always abundant, but reality is stark.

Traditional characters are something you can recognize just by looking at them, but if you don’t write them many times to remember, they will forever be recognized by your eyes, but not by your hand.

In any case, Yu Qingze happily returned home and taught the names of the two brothers, Chang Le and Chang Hao. All three of them were very happy and satisfied.

After two more days, Yu Qingze’s foot injury healed, and he no longer needed the “third leg” to walk. It became much more convenient.

During these two days, the remaining rice in Chang Le’s family’s two fields had been harvested, and only the transplanting of seedlings remained. However, Grandpa Chang fell ill.

At first, he had a poor appetite and always wanted to drink water. Later, he started feeling dizzy and nauseous, weak and pale.

“Grandpa, why aren’t you eating? These sour beans are really appetizing,” Chang Hao asked when he saw Grandpa only had half a bowl of porridge and put down his chopsticks during lunch that day.

Yesterday at noon, Yu Qingze saw that the sour beans were ready to be eaten, so he stir-fried a dish, which was warmly welcomed by everyone.

Although the dishes made by Yu Qingze were delicious, the summer weather was sweltering and they had been working continuously, so their appetites had decreased somewhat. It just happened that the sour beans were pickled and this appetizing dish aroused their appetites again.

However, Grandpa Chang’s appetite hadn’t recovered since this morning.

Chang Le also put down his chopsticks with concern and gestured, asking Grandpa if he felt unwell somewhere.

“It’s nothing, just the weather being too hot. I have no appetite during this bitter summer. Haven’t we experienced this before in previous years? Don’t worry,” Grandpa Chang wiped the sweat off his forehead and smiled.

Yu Qingze felt that Grandpa Chang didn’t seem quite right, resembling symptoms of heatstroke. He asked Grandpa Chang about some symptoms and received a positive response. Immediately, Yu Qingze said to Chang Le, “Grandpa’s condition is not right, it seems like heatstroke. We need to call a doctor to take a look.”

Upon hearing this, Chang Le nodded and gestured for Chang Hao to go and fetch the doctor.

“Hey, don’t worry about me. I’m fine, no need to call a doctor. Xiao Hao, come back…” Grandpa Chang tried to stop Chang Hao, but the little one with short legs ran swiftly and disappeared through the courtyard gate in the blink of an eye.

Yu Qingze instructed Chang Le to spread a cool mat and had Grandpa Chang lie down on the ground. He then went to the kitchen, filled a basin with cold water, and returned, asking Chang Le to use a damp cloth to wipe Grandpa Chang’s sweat and cool him down.

After that, Yu Qingze went back to the kitchen, prepared a cup of lightly salted water, and gave it to Grandpa Chang to drink.

Grandpa Chang watched the two of them bustling around while comforting them that he was fine.

When the doctor arrived and examined Grandpa Chang’s pulse, he said, “He has heatstroke. You did a good job with your treatment. I’ll prescribe some medicine for him to take and he needs plenty of rest. Uncle is getting old, and it’s so hot outside, he shouldn’t go to the field anymore.”

Chang Le nodded anxiously, not daring to let Grandpa go out and work again.

The doctor wrote a prescription and then asked, “Do you have mung beans at home? If you do, boil them with honeysuckle to make a decoction for Uncle to drink. It can help reduce heat.”

Chang Le shook his head and immediately indicated that he would go out and buy some.

After the doctor left, Chang Hao accompanied him to collect the medicine, while Chang Le immediately set off to buy mung beans in the town. Yu Qingze and Chang Hao stayed at home, brewing the medicine and taking care of Grandpa Chang.

It was not until evening that Grandpa Chang began to feel better and looked more energetic.

At night, when Grandpa Chang fell asleep, Chang Le earnestly expressed his gratitude to Yu Qingze. If it weren’t for Yu Qingze’s timely discovery of Grandpa’s condition, they wouldn’t have known that Grandpa had been enduring on his own for such a long time.

In the following two days, Chang Le only allowed Grandpa Chang to work in the fields during the cooler times of the day, and as soon as the sun got too hot, he quickly sent Grandpa back home.

Grandpa Chang was both amused and annoyed, unable to scold his well-behaved grandson but feeling worried about him. He had no choice but to reluctantly return home.

Fortunately, there were only two fields left for transplanting, and with Yu Qingze’s help, they were successfully completed within two days.

“Finally done! It’s so exhausting!” Chang Hao shouted loudly, letting out all the accumulated fatigue from these days.

By that time, it was already dark.

Yu Qingze and Chang Le couldn’t help but laugh at his reaction.

Indeed, it was tiring. Yu Qingze considered himself physically fit, but under such intense labor, he also felt exhausted. He had taken a break due to his foot injury, but Chang Le and the others had been working non-stop. It was no wonder Chang Hao let out such a howl.

The next day, everyone enjoyed a good sleep-in, allowing their tired bodies to fully relax and recover. Even Chang Le, who usually woke up early, slept in for an extra half hour.

After breakfast, Yu Qingze said to Chang Le, “Brother Le, I want to go to the town tomorrow. Can you take me?”

Chang Le nodded, mentioning that he also had to go to the town to sell vegetables.

“That’s great,” Yu Qingze replied happily. He wanted to take a good look at the county town and investigate what kind of business would be good.

“I want to go too!” Chang Hao, the young boy beside them, exclaimed, then asked his brother, “Brother, are we going fishing this afternoon?”

Chang Le nodded. Whenever they went to sell vegetables, he would catch some fish from the river to sell as well.

Fishing? Yu Qingze raised an eyebrow, finding it quite interesting.


Translator has something to say: *Sigh … Stop being a light bulb, Chang Hao. Kids!


  1. sissilia says:

    Thank you for the update ❤️💯

  2. Thanks for the chapter! I’m glad it wasn’t serious. I’m enjoying the fact that cutie has a mature, good hearted family member around. Too many stories kill off family, make them ill enough to only be a burden, or horrid monsters you have to run away from.

  3. Oreoe says:

    Until Yu Qingze learns sign language to be able to understand Chang Le, Chang Hao needs to be a little light bulb.

    1. Maybe Yu Qingze can start with body language 😉😂😂😂

    2. light says:

      Right 😅

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