Chapter 76: The Culinary Tycoon

This Establishmen Doesn’t Welcome You

At this moment, Yu Qingze wouldn’t let Brother Le just go back to the kitchen like that. He caught the cloth falling from his face, took a few quick steps, and pulled Brother Le into an embrace, whispering softly, “Are you angry?”

Chang Le lightly punched his chest.

“Mmm… Help! Someone is trying to murder their beloved spouse!” Yu Qingze covered his chest with one hand, bent over in a pained expression, while his other hand still held onto Brother Le’s waist.

Seeing his clumsy performance, Chang Le was both angry and amused. He simply turned around and didn’t look at him.

Yu Qingze quickly straightened up, embraced him from behind, and whispered, “Alright, be good, don’t be angry. I’ll find a way to resolve it.”

Chang Le turned around to look at him. Although he knew Big Brother Yu wasn’t really at fault, he couldn’t help feeling inexplicably angry.

Yu Qingze nodded and raised three fingers in a gesture of swearing, saying, “I promise, I really do.”

Hearing this, Chang Le pursed his lips and gestured, asking, “How will you solve it?”

Yu Qingze pondered for a moment and replied, “I really need to think about it carefully. Anyway, it will be resolved within these two days.”

Chang Le gestured again, saying, “If it’s not resolved, then you have two months, no, one month, where you’re not allowed to kiss me!”

Originally, he wanted to say two months, but upon second thought, it seemed too long. It would already be the Lunar New Year, and he wasn’t sure if he could endure that long, so he retracted one finger.

Yu Qingze chuckled and pinched Brother Le’s finger, then kissed it lightly, saying, “Yes, my lord!”

Chang Le blushed at the mention of “my lord” and quickly turned around and ran off after Yu Qingze kissed him.

Watching Chang Le enter the kitchen, Yu Qingze’s face darkened, and he furrowed his brow.

Young Master Shi went from exchanging greetings with him yesterday to making a move on him directly today. He wondered if that person understood what he said today?

He needed to find a good solution to this.

Generally speaking, anyone with even a hint of emotional intelligence would understand the meaning behind his words and the interactions between him and Brother Le. But he was afraid that the issue wasn’t the other person’s emotional intelligence, but…

Thinking about this, Yu Qingze felt frustrated. If only Young Master Shi didn’t have a connection with the landlord’s family, it would be much easier to handle. He didn’t know exactly what kind of relationship Young Master Shi had with the landlord’s family, but it seemed like the landlord’s son and Young Master Shi got along well…

If he could just find out more information.

After pondering for a while, Yu Qingze came up with a few ideas, but ultimately chose a more appropriate one and decided to resolve it in the next few days.

After freshening up, he entered the kitchen. Taking advantage of Brother Chang’s distraction, he quickly kissed Chang Le on the face. When he received a loving stare from Chang Le in return, he happily busied himself.

“Brother Le, after resolving this matter, I’ll have to go back to the village for a few days. I want to try making some new things,” Yu Qingze said to Chang Le while busy with his tasks.

Chang Le looked at him in surprise and gestured, asking what he wanted to make. Couldn’t they do it here?

Yu Qingze replied, “I want to make smoked bacon and sausages. It’s not convenient to do it here, and besides, this place is crowded with prying eyes, which isn’t very suitable. Apart from that, I also want to try making sweet potato noodles.”

A few days ago, Yu Qingze calculated the accounts for October. Aside from the wages of the hired workers and other costs, they made around sixty taels.

He managed to recover the initial investment, but considering the shop’s rent was previously paid by the Zhao family, if they deducted the rent, their rate of earning money was still too slow.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

Being able to recoup the investment in the first month of opening the business was actually considered very good, but in Yu Qingze’s plan, it was far from enough. Even if they included the share from Liu Ji’s side, it still wasn’t quite sufficient.

Thirty percent of the money earned from the shop was reserved by Yu Qingze to give to Grandpa Chang and Chang Le. He couldn’t use their share of the money for building the house and getting married. When calculated like this, the expenses for building a house and getting married after the Chinese New Year would be substantial, putting a strain on their savings.

Moreover, when it came to building the house, Yu Qingze wanted to build a relatively large one in one go to avoid future troubles. Based on his calculations, they would need at least four rooms: one for him and Brother Le, one for Xiao Hao, one for Grandpa, and the remaining one as a guest room. If they had children in the future, the children could also stay in that room. If they didn’t have children, it would still serve as a guest room, which would be great.

Therefore, the urgent matter at hand was to earn money, earn money. The current month was just the right time to start making smoked bacon. On the other hand, a few days ago, Brother Chang’s mother mentioned that the villagers had dug up sweet potatoes, which gave Yu Qingze the idea of making sweet potato noodles.

They had rice noodles here, but they didn’t have sweet potato noodles yet. The process of making sweet potato noodles was more complicated than that of rice noodles. If they succeeded in making sweet potato noodles, they should sell well. Moreover, almost every household in the village had sweet potatoes, so the raw materials were abundant. At that time, they could also introduce spicy and sour noodles in the shop, as it was approaching winter. Having a bowl of spicy and sour noodles, tangy and warm, would be satisfying.

When Chang Le heard about the new dishes, he asked, “What are they like?”

Yu Qingze explained, “Smoked bacon and sausages are smoked meats that can be preserved for a long time and are especially fragrant. Sweet potato noodles are noodles made from sweet potatoes. They have a chewy texture and, if made well, can be even more delicious than rice noodles. However, I’ve never made them by hand before. I’ve only heard my master mention it a couple of times, so I don’t know if I can succeed. Anyway, I’ll give it a try first.”

After thinking for a moment, Brother Le nodded and gestured, asking, “How long will you be gone? Do you need me to come with you?”

Yu Qingze shook his head and said, “Probably seven to ten days. Once the smoked bacon and sausages are ready, I don’t need to keep an eye on them. I’m not sure how many days it will take to make the sweet potato noodles. If I make them, I’ll come back. You don’t need to go, it’s too tiring to travel back and forth. Grandpa and I will take care of it.”

Upon hearing this, Chang Le nodded in agreement.

Yu Qingze then turned to Brother Chang’s mother and said, “Uncle, during this time, could you or Brother Chang come and stay at the shop? I’m a bit worried about Brother Le being alone.”

Upon hearing their conversation just now, Brother Chang’s mother nodded and said, “Sure, when you’re ready to go back, just let us know a day in advance. We’ll come over together. It’s also a good opportunity to make some dim sum in the morning.”

“Thank you, Uncle,” Yu Qingze said with a smile.

Brother Chang’s mother chuckled and said, “No need to thank me, it’s such a small matter.”

The next morning, Yu Qingze looked at the time and realized it was about time. He tidied up and prepared to go out to find Steward Zhao. On this day of each month, Steward Zhao would go to the stationery store in the town to buy rice paper for Old Madam Zhao.

He found the store and indeed saw Steward Zhao accompanied by a servant picking rice paper inside.

He walked in and called out, “Steward Zhao.”

Steward Zhao turned around and, upon seeing Yu Qingze, exclaimed, “Oh, Boss Yu, what a coincidence! Are you here to buy stationery too?”

Yu Qingze shook his head and said, “No, I came specifically to find you.”

“To find me?” Steward Zhao was surprised. Seeing the troubled expression on Yu Qingze’s face, he pulled him to a corner and asked, “What’s the matter?”

Furrowing his brows, Yu Qingze asked, “Steward Zhao, I wonder if you know about a cousin of Young Master Zhao surnamed Shi.” The landlord’s son is named Zhao Qin.

“The Shi family? They are his uncle’s family, and he has several cousins. Which one are you referring to?”

“The one who is around seventeen or eighteen years old, with delicate features and seems to have a good relationship with Young Master Zhao.”

Upon hearing this, Steward Zhao nodded and said, “Ah, you must be referring to Shi Sheng. He’s the only cousin around the same age as Young Master Zhao. What about him?”

Yu Qingze hesitated and said, “Lately, he has been coming to my shop frequently, and his purpose is not just for dim sum. As you know, I’m planning to marry Brother Le after the Chinese New Year. I have no intention of marrying anyone else in this lifetime except for Brother Le. Besides, we couldn’t possibly match a prestigious family like the Shi family. But this young Master Shi keeps coming over… This, well…”

Upon hearing this, Steward Zhao opened his mouth wide, surprised, and said, “Are you saying that Shi Sheng has taken a liking to you? And he comes to your shop every day?”

Yu Qingze nodded, his brows tightly furrowed, and said, “Yes, I can’t understand it either. You see, with his status and Young Master Shi, why would he be interested in me? And he even offered to wipe my sweat in front of my fiancé! This… sigh, I don’t know what to say…”

“…,” Steward Zhao was also stunned and didn’t know what to say.

After a moment of silence, Steward Zhao patted Yu Qingze’s shoulder sympathetically and said, “I think I know why he might be interested in you.”

Yu Qingze asked, “Why?”

Steward Zhao sighed and said, “I heard that his family recently arranged a marriage for him with the second young master of the Zeng family in the northern part of the city. The Zeng family is considered a prominent family in the city, while the Shi family has been in decline in recent years and hopes to gain some benefits through this alliance.”

Yu Qingze asked in confusion, “If the Zeng family is so good, shouldn’t Young Master Shi be satisfied? Why would he still…”

Steward Zhao sighed again and whispered, “My dear Yu, you don’t know the whole story. This Shi Sheng is an illegitimate child, only having a slightly better life because of his good relationship with Young Master Zhao. He is not favored in the family. Otherwise, why would the Shi family arrange for him to marry into the Zeng family? You see, the second young master of the Zeng family is said to be weak and bedridden, and there are rumors that he is unable to… you know.”

Yu Qingze remained silent.

After a while, Yu Qingze suddenly grabbed Steward Zhao’s wrist and pleaded, “Steward Zhao, please help me with this matter. If Young Master Shi keeps coming every day, I don’t know how to explain it to my fiancé. I have no intention of marrying anyone else, and my future happiness depends on you, my dear friend.”

Steward Zhao smiled at Yu Qingze for a moment and said, “Don’t worry, the marriage arrangement with the Shi family is already set and won’t change.”

“But he keeps coming to me like this every day, and the customers in the shop have noticed. Rumors are starting to spread, and my business might suffer.”

Upon hearing this, Steward Zhao narrowed his eyes and asked, “Does he find you in the main hall of the shop?”

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Yes. Many people have seen it. He takes out his handkerchief and says he wants to wipe my sweat, and it scares me… The crucial point is that my fiancé saw it too!”

Steward Zhao looked at him sympathetically and said, “I guess one of his motives might be to spread rumors. If the Zeng family finds out, they might cancel the marriage. Sigh…”

Yu Qingze asked anxiously, “What should I do then?”

Steward Zhao comforted him, saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to our young master when I go back. He admires you, and if he mentions it to the head of the branch family, there’s a good chance he will speak to his relatives. They can’t afford to have someone who’s already engaged getting involved with other men.”

Upon hearing this, Yu Qingze felt relieved and thanked Steward Zhao, saying, “With your words, I feel reassured. Steward Zhao, thank you so much. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t know what to do. Oh, by the way, when you come to the shop later, I’ll let you taste the new dim sum I’ve made and take some back for the old Madam and the young master.”

Steward Zhao smiled and said, “Sounds good. I’ll come over after I choose the rice paper.”

“Great. I’ll head back now. See you later.”

“Alright, go ahead.”

With Steward Zhao’s words, Yu Qingze felt relieved. He didn’t expect Young Master Shi had already been engaged, and it was such a marriage arrangement. Young Master Shi’s actions were bold, completely disregarding his reputation while resisting this marriage.

Yu Qingze was also repulsed by this kind of marriage, but you can resist it yourself, just don’t drag him into it!

As he walked to the street outside the shop, he coincidentally bumped into the landlord’s son and Young Master Shi coming his way.

“Boss Yu, we’re here again!” The landlord’s son, Zhao Qin, greeted Yu Qingze cheerfully.

Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Young Master Zhao, welcome.”

On the other side, Young Master Shi enthusiastically said, “Boss Yu, have you just returned from outside?”

Upon hearing Young Master Shi’s words, the smile on Yu Qingze’s face instantly faded. He nodded slightly and remained silent.

Seeing his cold attitude, Young Master Shi bit his lip and said, “Boss Yu, I have something to tell you.”

Yu Qingze furrowed his brows. Seeing Young Master Shi’s expression, could it be that he hasn’t given up yet?

Since Zhao Qin was also present, Yu Qingze said, “Young Master Zhao is here too. I also have something to say to Young Master Shi.”

Young Master Shi’s eyes flickered when he heard that. He hurriedly said, “Then let’s go inside and talk?”

“No need, it’s just a couple of words. Let’s say it here,” Yu Qingze said. “Young Master Shi, I heard that you are engaged to the young master of the Zeng family. Congratulations. My fiancé and I will also be married early next year. I will have only him as my wife in this lifetime, and there won’t be any other lovers. Do you understand?”

Upon hearing this, Shi Sheng trembled. How did he find out about his engagement? But he still wanted to fight for it, so he said, “I will find a way to cancel the engagement. I, I only have feelings for you.”

Yu Qingze frowned and said, “Thank you for your admiration, but I only have feelings for my fiancé.”

“But how can that mute ger be worthy of you? He can’t even speak, and it’s said that he can’t have children!” Shi Sheng shouted in defiance.

“Cousin…” Zhao Qin’s eyes widened in disbelief as he looked at his cousin.

His cousin was actually interested in Boss Yu? But Boss Yu already has a fiancé. No wonder Boss Yu said what he did earlier. And how could he say such things in front of someone’s fiancé? Moreover, there are other people around.

Shi Sheng turned to look at his shocked cousin, biting his lip. He felt embarrassed to lose face in front of his cousin, but thinking of his own goal, he stubbornly stared at Yu Qingze.

Shi Sheng’s derogatory words about Brother Le immediately made Yu Qingze’s face darken. He no longer cared whether he would offend the Shi family or the Zhao family. He said, “Young Master Shi, mind your words! Brother Le is the best person in my eyes, incomparable to anyone else! I have said all I need to say. I hope Young Master Shi won’t continue this meaningless entanglement!”

Afraid that this young master would suddenly cause a scene, Yu Qingze turned to Zhao Qin and said, “Apologies, Young Master Zhao. I don’t think Young Master Shi is suitable for dining in this establishment. It would be best if you take him home. From now on, this establishment does not welcome him.”

With the situation having reached this point, Zhao Qin also lost his appetite for dim sum. He pulled his cousin and said, “Cousin, let’s go quickly, back home.”

Shi Sheng stared at Yu Qingze in shock, unable to believe that he had been rejected. He shouted loudly, “What did you just say? Yu Qingze, you will regret this! How can there be such a foolish person like you in this world? You know that mute can’t speak and can’t have children, yet you still want to marry him?!”

“What did you say?” Yu Qingze stood there with a dark expression, his gaze fixed on Shi Sheng’s eyes, filled with a chilling intensity as if brewing a storm, intimidating and dreadful.

Zhao Qin and Shi Sheng were accustomed to seeing Boss Yu’s smiling face, but seeing his current expression, they instinctively shrank their necks. Shi Sheng held back the words he wanted to say, keeping them stuck in his throat, afraid to utter another word.

“Let’s go, let’s go home,” Zhao Qin quickly pulled his cousin and left.

Shi Sheng stood there in a daze. This terrifying man, this man who threatened him with a dark expression, was not the Yu Qingze he knew, not at all.

Seeing his cousin standing there blankly, Zhao Qin sighed and pulled him away.

Once Zhao Qin and Shi Sheng were far away, Yu Qingze turned around, intending to return to the shop. His good mood was completely ruined.

As he turned, he noticed Brother Le and Brother Chang standing at the doorstep, watching him. There were also other customers nearby.

Not far behind, Steward Zhao stood there with a servant, his brows furrowed, already standing for quite some time.


Thandar: Ahhh come on Shi Sheng, why would you lower yourself for a stranger? Have some pride in yourself and don’t chase people who are not available.

1 Comment

  1. Aprillen says:

    I mean, I get that he’s desperate, but you can’t ruin other people’s lives in order to save your own happiness!

    Thank you for the chapter!

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