Chapter 36: The Culinary Tycoon

Whole Family’s Mobilization to Boost Chang Le’s Confidence

After releasing the lotus lanterns, it was getting late. The two of them slowly made their way towards the West City Gate, walking and browsing around. However, at this moment, their minds were not on shopping but on each other.

Having just expressed their feelings, both of them felt a mix of excitement and nervousness.

Not to mention Chang Le, who was naturally shy, even Yu Qingze couldn’t calm down his emotions.

From time to time, he would sneak a glance at Chang Le’s face and squeeze his hand, holding it tightly, feeling incredibly elated.

Having a boyfriend!

Moreover, a boyfriend who sees marriage as a possibility!

And such a wonderful boyfriend!


Thinking that the person holding his hand would be his lifelong partner, Yu Qingze couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

Chang Le looked at the upturned corners of Yu Qingze’s mouth and couldn’t help but smile, feeling a ripple of happiness in his heart.

Brother Yu seemed so happy, and that was a good thing.

Shortly after leaving the city, the candles inside the lanterns burned out. The weather was pleasant, with moonlight shining down and many people on the road. The two of them walked hand in hand, slowly strolling along.

“Brother Le, can you see clearly? Do you want to replace the candles with new ones?” Yu Qingze asked, concerned that Chang Le might have trouble seeing the way.

Chang Le shook his head. The moonlight was still bright enough, and he could see the road clearly. Besides, they often walked this path and were familiar with it.

Under the moonlight, holding hands, they strolled as if taking a leisurely walk, which felt special.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

After entering the village road, they noticed some villagers ahead. Chang Le withdrew his hand, lowered his head, and silently increased the distance between them. He anxiously glanced back at Yu Qingze and gestured, indicating that there were people ahead.

“It’s okay, let’s keep going,” Yu Qingze gently shook his head to reassure him and didn’t hold his hand again.

Seeing that he didn’t mind, Chang Le continued walking forward with relief.

Yu Qingze sighed inwardly.

This was an ancient world, not the open-minded 21st century. People’s views on relationships were still quite conservative, especially for this shy little turtle by his side. He had already endured too many curious gazes before, so he was afraid of gossip in the village. In the city, it was fine because they didn’t know anyone, but now that they were entering the village, he became more reserved.

He could understand.

And because he understood, he felt even more heartbroken.

He secretly calculated that, based on his current earning speed, he should have enough money to buy the land by the end of this month. At that time, he must quickly invite the village chief to help him complete the citizenship procedures.

Once the household registration was settled, they could proceed with the formal engagement!

From engagement to marriage, there would be about six months in between. He must open the restaurant during that time and earn as much money as possible. He aimed to build a house by early next year and then marry Chang Le!

When they arrived home, Grandfather Chang and Chang Hao were still awake.

Seeing them return, the drowsy young boy, who had been dozing off on the table, immediately perked up. He quickly went to the door to greet them and enthusiastically helped Yu Qingze carry the basket. “Brother, Big Brother Yu, you’re back? Was it fun?”

Chang Le nodded and handed him the lantern he was holding, indicating that he bought it for him.

“Wow, little lion! I love little lions the most!” Chang Hao, holding the basket with one hand, eagerly took the lantern from his brother’s hand with the other, expressing his happiness.

Yu Qingze chuckled and teased Chang Hao, saying, “Were you waiting for us or for what’s in the basket? The candle has burned out, but there are replacement candles in the basket. If you want to light it up, you can replace them.”

“Hehehe, of course, I was waiting for you guys! The things in the basket and the lantern were just incidental,” Chang Hao excitedly placed the basket on the dining table and skillfully replaced the candle inside the lantern with the replacement candle. He lit it again with great proficiency.

“Wow, such cute little lions!” Chang Hao looked at the two adorable little lions illuminated by the candlelight and felt extremely happy.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “I’m glad you like it. Your brother specifically picked it for you.”

Chang Hao turned his head with a beaming smile and thanked his brother, saying, “Thank you, Brother. You’re the best!”

Chang Le’s eyes curved with joy as he smiled happily.

“This little monkey insists on waiting for you to come back before going to sleep,” Grandpa Chang said with a smile when he saw them return. Then he turned his head and scolded his grandson, “Now that you’re back, why aren’t you going to bed? If you’re late for school tomorrow, watch how your master punishes you!”

“Grandpa, dear Grandpa, let me eat some roasted chestnuts first, and then have a Hawthorn Gourd. Oh, and my little candy man too. If I don’t eat it today, it will melt tomorrow! We can’t waste it!” The little monkey took out the snacks from the basket, first took the roasted chestnuts, opened the oiled paper wrapping, and scooped out a handful for Grandpa. “Grandpa, you should eat too.”

It was August now, and the chestnuts sold on the street were the small, ripe hairy chestnuts. The large chestnuts took a little longer to mature. But these small hairy chestnuts were quite flavorful, just a bit harder to peel.

However, it was clear that it didn’t pose a challenge for the young boy because he didn’t bother peeling them. He just bit into them directly. With a crack, he bit open a small opening and then used his teeth to tear open the thick outer shell. The inner skin was already slightly separated from the flesh from being roasted, so it was easy to peel.

The golden chestnut meat went into his mouth—soft and fragrant, simply delicious.

After eating a few chestnuts, Chang Hao moved on to the Hawthorn Gourd. The roasted chestnuts could be saved for tomorrow, but the Hawthorn Gourd and the little candy man couldn’t be kept until then—they had to be eaten today.

“You two should go take a bath,” Grandpa Chang said to them.

Yu Qingze said to Chang Le, “Brother Le, you go first.”

Chang Le nodded and went to take a bath.

Once Chang Le left, Chang Hao, who was still eating his Hawthorn Gourd, pulled Yu Qingze closer and whispered, “Brother Yu, how is it going between you and my brother?”

Yu Qingze patted his head and smiled, “It’s going very well. Thanks to your help, I’m very grateful.” At this moment, he had to praise the young boy.

“Hehehe, you’re welcome. If you need anything, just come to me. I’ll definitely help you.”

“Good, there’s actually something I need your cooperation with.”

“Huh? So soon? What is it?”

Yu Qingze pulled Chang Hao into the room, and they didn’t turn on the lights. They whispered to each other for quite some time.

After they finished, Chang Hao asked suspiciously, “Is this going to work?”

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “It will definitely work, and we have to give it a try. Otherwise, your brother will never gain confidence and will always think poorly of himself. You think your brother is the best, right?”

Chang Hao nodded, “My brother is the best!”

Yu Qingze replied, “That’s why we have to make him realize how great he really is!”

Chang Hao nodded again, “Okay, Brother Yu, don’t worry. I’ll do as you say.”

“Good, remember to act naturally and not let him find out, okay?”

“I understand.”

“Great, let’s cooperate well!”


Although they were whispering and discussing quietly, their voices weren’t too soft, and they didn’t close the door. Grandpa Chang, while eating chestnuts, listened to their ‘secret’ and chuckled happily.

The next morning, Yu Qingze and Chang Le met in the kitchen.

“Morning, Brother Le.”

Chang Le nodded, blushed slightly, and then went out to wash his face with a basin of water.

Things had progressed too quickly for him last night, and it caught him off guard. He felt a bit dazed throughout the night. After coming home, he quickly took a bath and went to sleep. Surprisingly, even with such excitement, he fell asleep quickly and slept well.

After waking up from a nap and feeling more clear-headed, Chang Le recalled the events of last night, and it felt unbelievable, like a dream. Seeing Yu Qingze again made him feel shy and embarrassed.

Yu Qingze couldn’t help but chuckle when he saw Chang Le’s reaction. He still had such a thin skin, like a shy little turtle.

In the morning, Chang Le made breakfast.

This time, Yu Qingze intentionally didn’t give him any instructions at all. Chang Le made everything on his own—egg pancakes and seaweed soup with small wontons.

Chang Hao took a bite of the egg pancake and praised, “Wow, brother, this egg pancake is delicious and fragrant.”

He then ate a small wonton and took a sip of the seaweed soup. “These wontons are also tasty and delicious, and the soup is so flavorful. Except for Brother Yu, I’m sure no one else in the village can make them this good! It’s delicious!”

Yu Qingze also complimented, “Today, Brother Le made everything by himself. I didn’t say a word.”

Chang Hao looked up at his brother in surprise and said, “Really? Brother, you can be a master chef!”

Grandpa Chang nodded with a smile, “Xiao Le’s culinary skills are indeed getting better and better.”

Chang Le listened to the praise from the three of them, feeling shy but also very happy. He felt a sense of accomplishment because his initial goal was to ensure that Grandpa and Xiao Hao could eat delicious meals every day!

Hearing their compliments gave him a sense of achievement, and he couldn’t help but straighten his back a little.

He would continue to learn diligently with Brother Yu. One day, he would be able to master all the dishes without Brother Yu’s guidance.

While they were enjoying breakfast, Wen Li came over to deliver some cold noodles.

Upon seeing their breakfast, he exclaimed in surprise, “You guys made wontons and egg pancakes yourselves?”

In rural areas, breakfast for most people usually consists of plain congee and pickled vegetables to get by. Dishes like wontons and egg pancakes are considered expensive and time-consuming, so they wouldn’t know how to make them. They would only eat them occasionally during festivals or special occasions.

When Chang Hao saw his uncle, he proudly replied, “Yeah, my brother made them. They’re delicious, and I especially love eating them.”

Chang Le chuckled helplessly and patted his younger brother on the shoulder.

Wen Li smiled and said, “Chang Le is so capable. Here, this is today’s portion of cold noodles. Aze, weigh them and settle the payment.”

Yu Qingze checked the quality of the cold noodles, then weighed them and calculated the cost. He directly paid Wen Li.

Wen Li took the money happily and left.

Lately, since he started making cold noodles, Wen Li rarely came over for no reason. During the day, he had to tend to the fieldwork, and at night, he made cold noodles. He was busy all day long.

Yu Qingze took the dried cold noodles. They settled the payment on the spot and earned money. They no longer had to think of ways to make money every day, so they had a relatively peaceful time.

This relieved Yu Qingze and the others.

They were already busy with their daily business, and if they had to deal with Wen Li’s occasional troubles on top of that, it would be even more bothersome. Now, they could consider it as Wen Li’s family working for them in a way, making full use of Wen Li’s labor, so he wouldn’t have the energy to do other things. It was quite convenient.

After breakfast, they set off to the city to open their stall.

Recently, Yu Qingze had also been teaching Chang Le how to make the broth for Guandong Zhu skewers and how to season it. Just in case he wasn’t around, Chang Le would still be able to make it properly.

After putting all the ingredients for the broth to simmer, Boss Liu sent someone to invite Yu Qingze.

Yu Qingze arrived at Boss Liu’s noodle restaurant, and Boss Liu and his two sons were busy in the kitchen. When they saw him, Boss Liu uncovered several plates of noodles on the table and asked Yu Qingze to taste them.

On the table were two plates of stir-fried noodles, two plates of mixed noodles, two plates of fried sauce noodles, and two plates of knife-cut noodles.

These are new noodles dishes that Yu Qingze taught Boss Liu, which they are preparing to launch.

Yu Qingze tasted each one and then pointed at the knife-cut noodles, saying, “This one is a bit tough, but the others can be sold.”

Upon hearing this, Boss Liu and his two sons were delighted.

Boss Liu said, “Then let’s start with these six varieties today, and once we have mastered the knife-cut noodles, we can introduce them. What do you think, Boss Yu?”

Yu Qingze nodded and replied, “That’s fine, Boss Liu. You can decide on that.”

Boss Liu was pleased and continued, “Boss Yu, you taught us these noodle dishes, so I plan to give you 40% of the profit we make from this portion. Do you think 40% is enough?”

Yu Qingze was surprised and said, “I didn’t teach you with the intention of getting a share of the profit.” He had only wanted to infuriate Boss Wang and take over his business, ideally causing him to close down.

Boss Liu nodded and said, “I know you didn’t expect it, but in our Liu family, our ancestral motto is to repay kindness with a gushing spring. When someone has helped us, we must repay them. You taught us a new method, so either you take a share of the profit, or we directly buy the method from you. However, this method is priceless, so I had no choice but to propose sharing the profit. I hope you understand.”

Yu Qingze was taken aback. This Boss. Liu was unexpectedly straightforward. But such a person was worth trusting, and they could be lifelong business partners.

After giving it some thought, Yu Qingze said, “40% is too much and not suitable. If you insist on giving me a share, 20% is enough.” Taking too much advantage wouldn’t be convenient for long-term cooperation.

Boss Liu frowned and said, “20% is too little. We…”

Yu Qingze interrupted, “20%, or you can just buy the recipe directly.”

Boss Liu stared at him, and Yu Qingze returned his gaze.

The two of them stared at each other for a while. Finally, Boss Liu sighed and said, “Alright, let’s settle for 20%. If you end up losing money, don’t blame me.”

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “I won’t lose money.”

Boss Liu turned around and said to his second son, “Second son, bring writing materials. Let’s write a contract.”

Soon, Boss Liu drafted a simple contract, and both of them pressed their fingerprints on it. They each kept a copy.

Yu Qingze couldn’t help but laugh on his way back. Boss Liu was quite interesting.

In addition, if he included the 20% earnings from the newly introduced noodle varieties at Liu’s Noodle Shop, he might be able to resolve the household registration issue a bit earlier.


1 Comment

  1. Koir says:

    I seriously love them flat noodles

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