Chapter 46: The Culinary Tycoon

Obtaining Residency

They set off immediately upon deciding to go.

The village where Li Zheng lived was behind Niutou Village, so they had to pass through Niutou Village to reach the county town.

As they passed by the village, Yu Qingze asked the village chief and Li Zheng to wait for him by the roadside for a moment. He went home and brought out the box where Chang Le had stored the money for him. Inside were all the earnings he had made in the past month, from the snack stall, mooncakes, and his share of the noodle money from Liu’s Noodle House. It amounted to nearly ninety taels, almost a hundred taels. This was only possible because he had made a substantial profit from selling mooncakes recently. It was just enough.

Chang Le helped him string the copper coins one by one. The large strings contained one thousand coins each, while the small strings had one hundred coins each.

One tael of silver is equivalent to one thousand copper coins, which is called a yuan in currency. Stringing them together forms a long string, which is quite heavy. Fortunately, Yu Qingze would regularly go to the money exchange to convert them into silver, or else it would be very inconvenient to carry eighty yuan of copper coins when going out.

After counting eighty taels of silver, Yu Qingze put them in a large money pouch, which he then tied around his waist with a bundle, for easy protection. This was almost eighty percent of his wealth, on which he relied for buying land and obtaining household registration.

Grandpa Chang saw it and asked him, “Do you want me to go with you? It’s safer with more people.”

This matter might take a long time to handle, and Yu Qingze didn’t want the old man to go through the hardship, so he replied, “Grandpa, it’s not necessary. The village chief and Li Zheng will accompany me.”

Upon hearing that the village chief and Li Zheng would go together, Grandpa Chang felt relieved and advised, “Still, be careful and stay safe.”

“Okay, Grandpa. I’m leaving now.” Yu Qingze responded, taking some silver and copper coins and putting them in a small pouch for backup. Then he bid farewell to Grandpa Chang and went to meed up with the village chief and others, who waiting at the intersection. The sooner they finished the business, the sooner they could return.

“Alright, stay safe.”

The three of them headed towards the county office in the north of the city.

After the gate guards were informed, Li Zheng led them to the east side of the county administrative building, where the registrar’s office was located. This was the place where land transactions and household registrations were processed.

Upon entering, there were only three people inside. Two individuals were sitting at desks on the left and right, copying documents, while a man who appeared to be under forty was handling official affairs in the middle.

After Li Zheng entered, he greeted first and said, “The humble ones pay respects to the registrar.”

The village chief and Yu Qingze also followed suit and paid their respects.

The registrar looked up, glanced at them, and asked, “What is the matter?”

Li Zheng explained the situation.

The registrar looked at Yu Qingze, then turned to Li Zheng and asked, “Do you both understand the procedures?”

Li Zheng nodded and replied, “Yes, we understand.”

Yu Qingze also nodded in agreement.

The registrar then lifted his chin towards the right side and said, “Over there, do as you need to do.”

“Thank you, Registrar.” Li Zheng expressed his gratitude and led Yu Qingze to the clerk on the left to complete the formalities.

The clerk extended his hand to the three of them. Yu Qingze saw this, glanced at Li Zheng, and upon seeing Li Zheng nodding, he handed the pouch containing eighty taels of silver to the clerk.

The clerk quickly counted the amount and then went to show it to the registrar. After receiving the registrar’s approval, he returned and divided the silver into two portions. Thirty-five taels were placed in the box on the left, while the remaining were placed in another box on the right.

Once the money was collected, the clerk began to inquire, “Which piece of land would you like to buy?”

Li Zheng replied, “A fertile acre in Niutou Village, west of the city.”

Upon hearing this, the clerk went to the back shelf and pulled out a ledger. After flipping through a few pages, he pointed to them and said, “These three documents are all for the public land in Niutou Village. The ones without a red seal are still available for sale. You can choose one for yourselves.”

Yu Qingze took the ledger, looked at it, and then handed it to the village chief, saying, “Village chief, take a look and help me choose a plot. I’m not familiar with the village’s land.”

The village chief took the ledger, examined it, and then pointed to a specific entry, saying, “Let’s go with this one. It has good water source and is close to the road.”

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Okay, let’s go with this one.”

The clerk took the ledger again and double-checked, asking, “This plot, you won’t make any changes?”

Yu Qingze nodded and replied, “Yes, no changes.”

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

The clerk then stamped a small red mark on the back of the document, indicating that it had been sold. Afterward, he took out another ledger and asked Yu Qingze for some personal information to register. Then he produced a blank official land deed and filled in the necessary information, double-checking it with Yu Qingze. Once the ink had dried slightly, he took it to the registrar.

The registrar looked it over, then took out two seals and stamped them on the deed.

After sealing the document and allowing the ink to dry, the clerk said to Yu Qingze, “Please pay one tael of silver as the document fee.”

Yu Qingze took out one tael of silver and handed it to the clerk.

After receiving the silver, the clerk cut the completely transcribed and sealed deed in half, giving one part to Yu Qingze and keeping the other part for the government’s records.

Yu Qingze held the official land deed in his hand, feeling relieved. Finally, the first step was completed.

Then, the clerk handed him a slip of paper, saying, “Take this to complete the household registration.”

Yu Qingze took a look at it, and it read “Official Land Registration” on it. Yu Qingze murmured to himself, realizing that this was probably their special designation, indicating the method of buying official land with eighty taels to process the household registration.

Truly a shady practice.

The purchase of the land was finally completed, and now he needed to go to the clerk on the right side to process the household registration.

However, at that moment, a gong sounded. The two clerks and the registrar quickly tidied up their desks, stood up, and left.

The clerk who had just processed their land purchase procedures said, “Office hours for the morning have ended. The officials need to have their lunch. Come back in the afternoon.”

Yu Qingze asked, “What time does the afternoon session start?”

The clerk replied, “Come back during the hour of Wei (between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM).”

After saying that, the clerk hurriedly ushered them out and locked the door as they left.

On the other side, as the county official stepped out of the yamen, he was stopped by someone.

“What are you here for?” the official frowned when he saw the young man in front of him.

The young man grinned and said, “Uncle, my father sent me to invite you to have lunch with us.”

“What does he want?” the official asked.

The young man replied, “Nothing, he just wanted to make it up to you for the trouble caused earlier. He wants to apologize.”

The official sighed and said, “Let’s go then.”

“Yes, yes,” the young man gestured for him to follow and whispered, “By the way, uncle, I saw three people in your office earlier, what were they there for?”

The official glanced at him and said, “Why do you ask about that?”

The young man responded, “Uncle, you don’t know, the young one among those three was the person who previously snatched our business. And you know what? He even partnered with our archrival, Liu’s, to come after us. Now they’re stealing all the customers from our noodle shop! Our business is worse than ever, barely making enough to cover rent and daily expenses. It’s really infuriating!”

The official frowned upon hearing this and said, “I have no involvement in your business matters. And you shouldn’t use my name to do anything. I’ve already told your father about this.”

The young man quickly replied, “I know that. But, uncle, since he came to you for something, why don’t you, you know, give him a hard time or cause some trouble for him? Just to vent our frustration.”

The official stared at him and said, “Childish! Official duties are not to be treated lightly!”

With a tearful face, the young man pleaded, “Uncle, we’re on the verge of losing our business, and we won’t have enough to eat. We can’t earn any money, and we thought maybe helping you could help us too. But now we’re left with nothing. What can we do?”

The official suddenly stopped walking, furrowed his brows, and stared intently at him.

Undeterred, the young man nodded and said, “It’s true. Business is really bad. My father hasn’t been sleeping well lately due to the worries. You’ll see when you meet him later.”

The official sighed and said, “Let’s go.”

On the other side, Yu Qingze and the other two watched as the clerk walked away.

“Let’s go. They will take at least an hour for lunch break. We can come back in the afternoon,” the village chief, who was more familiar with the situation, suggested.

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Let’s find a place to have lunch and take a rest.”

The three of them left the county office, and Yu Qingze found a decent restaurant to treat the village chief and the assistant.

To be honest, the food in this restaurant didn’t taste that great, but the village chief and Li Zheng seemed quite happy. As they chatted, Yu Qingze got to know more about the situation.

After finishing lunch and still having some time, Yu Qingze took the village chief and Li Zheng to his snack stall and treated them to some Guandong-style hot pot.

After taking a few bites, the village chief and Li Zheng regretted their decision. The village chief said, “You should have brought us here earlier instead of going to that restaurant. It’s a waste of money, and the taste isn’t as good as this.”

Li Zheng also nodded and said, “Exactly, ah, it’s a pity that we already ate enough to be quite full. We can’t eat anymore now.”

Yu Qingze laughed and said, “This is just a snack. When we go to my place tonight, I’ll cook some dishes, and we can have a proper chat.”

The village chief said, “That sounds great! I’ve heard that Aze’s cooking skills are excellent. I won’t hold back and will definitely try it.”

Li Zheng exclaimed in surprise, “Really? Aze can cook as well?”

The village chief replied, “Yes, look at all these dishes. He made them. How does it taste?”

Li Zheng nodded while eating a meatball and said, “It’s really good. It tastes even better than the food we had at the restaurant.”

The village chief smiled and said, “See, Li Zheng, I never lie.”

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Alright, once we’re done with the household registration, let’s all go to my place and have a gathering.”

“Yes, let’s do that,” Li Zheng replied.

Chang Le walked up to Yu Qingze and asked how things were going.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “I got the land deed done in the morning. We’ll go to handle the household registration in the afternoon.”

Chang Le also smiled upon hearing this, feeling like things were going smoothly.

In the afternoon, the three of them went to the county office again, but they only saw two clerks present, and the registrar was not there.

Based on the morning’s process, it was clear that the registrar would need to confirm and stamp the documents in the end.

Yu Qingze asked the clerk responsible for household registration, “Excuse me, is the registrar not here yet?”

The clerk replied, “He came, but he went to discuss urgent matters with the county magistrate. It’s uncertain when he’ll be back.”

Yu Qingze nodded and asked, “Can we still process the household registration today?”

The clerk answered, “We can process it, but we won’t be able to finalize the results without the main clerk’s return to stamp the documents. It’s uncertain when the registrar will be back.”

Yu Qingze and Li Zheng exchanged a glance, and then Yu Qingze said, “Let’s proceed for now. Maybe when we finish the initial steps, the registrar will be back.”

The clerk glanced at him, smiled, and said, “Alright. Give me your land deed.”

Yu Qingze handed over the land deed and the piece of paper he received earlier in the morning.

Upon seeing the paper, the clerk indeed didn’t ask for the original household registration wooden plaque. Instead, he asked the village chief and Li Zheng to provide additional information for the new household registration. Then, he recorded the information in the county register based on the provided data.

Then he took out a specialized household registration wooden plaque and wrote down all the information one by one. After finishing, he said, “We can only proceed up to this point. The next step is for the main clerk to stamp the documents, and then we can handle the tax assessment.”

Completing these procedures took nearly an hour, but the main clerk had not returned yet.

Yu Qingze asked, “Excuse me, is there any indication from the registrar about when he might be back?”

The clerk shook his head and said, “The registrar didn’t say. It’s uncertain. Maybe you should come back tomorrow; he might be available then.”

“Maybe” he’ll be available tomorrow, but it’s also possible that he won’t be. This is clearly an excuse. When big shots in the workplace don’t want to see someone, the answer they give to the subordinates is always this sentence. It’s like a universal response.

Upon hearing this, Yu Qingze reached into his pocket, took out a silver coin, and handed it over, saying, “Please help us out, sir.”

Unexpectedly, the clerk pushed the silver coin back and said, “I can’t help with this. You should come back tomorrow.”

Yu Qingze tried to offer a little more, but it was still rejected.

If even money couldn’t resolve the situation, it seemed that they wouldn’t be able to handle the household registration today.

Li Zheng suggested, “How about we come back tomorrow?”

Yu Qingze nodded helplessly and said, “That seems to be the only option.”

As the three of them walked out, they encountered someone at the entrance of the county yamen. When Li Zheng saw the person, he exclaimed in surprise, “County Magistrate?”


Thandar: Isn’t it kinda stupid to stall the household registration by the registrar. Like what is the end result you want outta this? Yu Qingze getting the paperwork a few days later? How does it relate to Wang’s Stupid Noodle Crap losing money? Dumb dumb dumb


  1. sissilia says:

    Thank you for the update ❤️💯

  2. Eyesee says:

    I feel like them being petty like this will only come back to bite them in the end.

  3. Aprillen says:

    Somehow the chief clerk is busy with the county magistrate… Who is apparently standing right there, not busy with the chief clerk… 🙄

    Thank you for the chapter!

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