Chapter 83 (Part 1): The Culinary Tycoon

Laba Festival and Dr. He

After ensuring that everyone in the village was able to successfully produce the sweet potato noodles without any major issues, the next morning, Yu Qingze returned to the shop with Jiabao and the others.

They brought along a cart filled with sweet potato noodles, some made by Yu Qingze and the others made by the villagers who quickly learned the process.

Yu Qingze purchased the villagers’ sweet potato noodles at a price of 18 wen per jin. In the snack shop, one jin of driedsweet potato noodles could make 6-8 bowls of sour and spicy noodles. The price for each bowl of sour and spicy noodles was 10 wen. Based on recent sales, they were using more than 20 jin per day, and the sales were still increasing. Overall, it was quite profitable when calculated on a monthly basis.

For the villagers, the fresh sweet potatoes on the market cost about 3 wen for two jin. Most of them went to other villages to buy them, and some could even buy them for 1 wen per jin. With good skills, they could produce one jin of sweet potato noodles from less than six jin of sweet potatoes, while those with lower extraction rates needed about eight or nine jin of sweet potatoes to produce one jin of noodles. In general, it took about seven jin to produce one jin of noodles.

Regardless of the situation, Yu Qingze ensured that they had enough profit margin. Those with better skills could earn more money, while those with less skill could earn less. It was fair.

The villagers who sold the noodles were delighted when they saw the copper coins in their hands, which further motivated them. They immediately returned home and resumed production. Seeing that some villagers had already made money, others also became more enthusiastic about their work.

Since the entire village was making sweet potato noodles, the neighboring villages had their sweet potatoes cleared out by the villagers, and the distance they had to travel to buy sweet potatoes became farther. Some even had to go to the villages on the east side of Tongshan City. Later on, some households set up specialized collection points in the eastern market. But that’s a story for later.

As they entered the twelfth lunar month, the weather became colder day by day, with a strong north wind blowing, and daylight arrived later. The working hours of the snack shop were delayed by half an hour, but when the village laborers left home, it was still early in the morning.

After unloading everything at the shop, Yu Qingze went to the kitchen and said to Brother Chang’s mother, “Uncle, the bunk bed that the village chief sent has been installed. Uncle Chang said to let you know.”

“So fast?” Brother Chang’s mother asked in surprise.

Yu Qingze nodded and said, “Two beds have already been made, and they are already skilled at it. Also, tomorrow is Laba Festival, and our snack shop will be closed for a day. Uncle Chang said to remind you to buy some paper candles on your way back.”

“Okay, I’ll remember that,” Brother Chang’s mother replied and turned around to make the sour and spicy noodles.

Seeing this, Yu Qingze approached Brother Le and stole a quick kiss on his face.

Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.

Brother Le stared wide-eyed: !

Yu Qingze smiled, washed his hands and dried them, stood next to Brother Le, then took Brother Le’s hand from the table and held it, giving it a squeeze. He said, “I’ll knead the dough, you go and wrap the dumplings.”

Brother Le withdrew his hands, his ears turning slightly red. He gently bumped into Yu Qingze and then stepped back, taking the dumpling wrappers and starting to wrap them.

“Brother Le, Grandpa has been coughing these past few days. He’s been taking the medicine according to the previous prescription, but I might not come to stay at the shop for a while. We’ll wait until Grandpa’s health improves.” Yu Qingze said.

Upon hearing this, Brother Le quickly gestured and asked how Grandpa was doing.

Yu Qingze nodded and replied, “Grandpa says it’s similar to previous years, so you don’t have to worry.”

Brother Le’s mood became a little down. Grandpa’s condition had persisted for about a decade. Every year, the medicine didn’t have much effect, but if he didn’t take it, the condition would worsen.

Yu Qingze comforted him, saying, “If you’re worried, after the Laba Festival, I’ll take Grandpa to the city to see Dr. Li.”

Brother Le nodded, feeling a bit relieved.

The day passed busy and bustling. In the afternoon, when they closed up, Yu Qingze told everyone that they would have a day off the next day. After tidying up and letting the workers leave first, they took the opportunity while some stalls were still open and went to buy some things.

Yu Qingze, Brother Le, and Jiabao checked everything one last time, locked the door, and then went to West Street to buy some incense and paper money before returning home.

The next day was the Laba Festival.

In the morning, Brother Le and Grandpa prepared lunch at home, while Yu Qingze took the two boys to the mountains to chop firewood.

These past few months, he and Brother Le had been busy with the snack shop, leaving all the household chores to Grandpa. Grandpa didn’t have much time to chop firewood, and the stack of firewood at home was almost gone. They had to chop some more before the snow came, to get through the winter.

The three of them entered the mountains and, led by Chang Hao, arrived at a slope with many dry branches.

Jiabao came to chop firewood for the first time, full of excitement. He ran here and there, happily picking up dry branches.

Chang Hao didn’t pick up the branches from the ground. He had a hatchet hanging behind him, and whenever he saw a large dry branch on a tree, he would climb up like a little monkey and chop it down.

“Xiao Hao, be careful. That branch is so thin. Can it hold your weight?” Jiabao anxiously watched as Chang Hao stood on a branch as thin as his arm and quickly reminded him.

Yu Qingze also shouted, “Be careful, little monkey!”

“It’s fine, Brother Jiabao, Brother Yu. I’m light, I’ve chopped firewood like this before.” Chang Hao casually replied, tiptoeing, gripping the tree trunk with his left hand, holding the hatchet with his right hand, and swinging his arm to start chopping.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

The half-dead branch was easy to chop. Chang Hao chopped it about eight or nine times, and the relatively large dry branch snapped and fell down with a crash.

Jiabao quickly dragged the fallen branch away.

The three of them chopped for half the morning. As the sun rose higher, and they had chopped quite a bit, Yu Qingze called out, “Xiao Hao, Jiabao! That’s enough, we can go back now!”

“Oh! Got it! Let me finish chopping this one.” Chang Hao replied.

The two boys were currently under a tall tree, looking up. The tree was very tall, with a large dead branch and thick branches nearby, which were easy to chop. However, it wasn’t easy to climb up because there was a long stretch at the bottom without any protrusions to step on.

“It’s so high. Can you climb up? Maybe we shouldn’t chop it.” Jiabao asked.

Chang Hao nodded, “I can.”

After securing the hatchet, Chang Hao hugged the tree with both hands and squeezed his feet onto the trunk. Once he had a secure hold, he moved his hands up a bit, pulling his body up…

The little monkey successfully climbed the tree. After climbing up the initial trunk, there were other branches behind for Chang Hao to leverage, making it relatively effortless.

It took some time, but he finally chopped off the thick dead branch, which was thicker than his thigh.

“Hahaha, what do you think, Brother Jiabao? I told you I could chop it!” Chang Hao proudly stood on the branch, showing off to Jiabao.

“Yeah, that’s impressive! Come down quickly, it’s time to go home.”

“Wait, let me rest for a moment. I’ll drop the hatchet down, so make some space.”

Chang Hao dropped the hatchet, wiped his sweat, and leaned against the tree trunk to rest, while looking into the distance. After the dead branch fell, it created an open space where he could see the scenery on the opposite mountain, which was beautiful.

As he was looking, Chang Hao blinked his eyes and rubbed them. How come he saw someone lying motionless on the open space on the opposite mountain?

“Brother Jiabao, there’s someone on the mountain across.” Chang Hao called out.

“Is someone chopping wood over there?”

“No, that person is lying on the ground motionless.”

“Are they just sunbathing and resting?”

“I don’t know.” Just as Chang Hao finished speaking, he saw the person getting up. Chang Hao said, “Oh, they were sunbathing indeed. Oh no, they just stumbled… It seems like they can’t get up.”

“What’s wrong?” Yu Qingze approached and asked.


1 Comment

  1. Aprillen says:

    Thank you for the chapter!
    I wonder who the injured person is…

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