Yu Qingze laughed and said, “Dr. He, don’t worry about it. The prescription you gave to Grandpa is incredibly important to us. You don’t need to be polite with me. Just choose whatever you like.”
Dr. He laughed and said, “Alright then. I won’t be polite. I’m still savoring the lunch I had at your place yesterday.”
Upon hearing that Yu Qingze was the person who saved his father’s life, the middle-aged man immediately clasped his hands and bowed, saying, “I am grateful for Boss Yu’s help. We will be forever indebted to you. If you ever need anything in the future, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
Yu Qingze smiled and replied, “Brother He, there’s no need to be so formal. We just happened to come across the situation. We’re all villagers here, so no need to worry about it.”
The middle-aged man wanted to say something, but Dr. He interrupted him, smiling and saying, “Alright, you two don’t need to keep being polite. We met by fate, and if we keep going on like this, I’ll be starving.”
“Hahaha, Dr. He is right. Come on, let me take you to get your food.” They helped Dr. He, and Dr. He helped them. It was hard to say who owed a debt of gratitude to whom, just as Dr. He said, it was good enough to have made the acquaintance.
Yu Qingze took the two of them to get their food and then said, “We also have a sour and spicy noodle dish, but you can’t have it since you injured your leg.”
Dr. He expressed some regret upon hearing this and said, “My son also said the sour and spicy noodles are delicious. If only I had come on the day when it was available. Now I can’t have it even if I want to.”
Yu Qingze smiled and said, “Then you can come and eat it another time. After all, Yunzhou is not far from here.” Dr. He mentioned that his family was from Yunzhou.
“That’s true. When you visit Yunzhou, remember to come to my house as guests, so I can properly entertain you. I usually go out for two months in spring and autumn, but the rest of the time, I’m at home.”
“Sure, thank you in advance, Dr. He.” Yu Qingze replied with a smile.
Dr. He and his son returned to Yunzhou the next day. Although Dr. He had some other places to visit originally, his leg injury prevented him from doing so. He could only return home and recover. Before leaving, Yu Qingze also gave them some cured meat to take back and taste.
Two days later, the first batch of cured meat and sausages prepared by the villagers were ready. Yu Qingze inspected them one by one and purchased them according to the previously discussed price.
During the purchase, he explained to the villagers in advance, “Fellow villagers, let me make it clear beforehand. You’ll earn 15-20 coins per jin for each type of cured meat. When I sell them, the price will definitely be higher than that; otherwise, I won’t make any profit. That’s for sure. Regardless of how much I sell them for later, if someone sees that I’m selling at a higher price and secretly goes to sell it in the market, once discovered, it will be considered a breach of contract, and I won’t cooperate with them again. I hope everyone remembers.”
The villagers agreed.
After selling the first batch of cured meat, the villagers were extremely happy to receive money. By this time of the year, it was almost New Year’s, and they didn’t have much to sell. There wasn’t much work to be done in the fields, and they mostly stayed idle at home. When it came time for the Lunar New Year, buying New Year goods required money for everything.
Nowadays, every household in the village is making sweet potato noodles and cured meat. Sweet potato noodles are made faster, and once sold, some of the money is used to buy more sweet potatoes, while the rest is used to buy meat to make more cured meat. They can sell sweet potato noodles approximately every two days, and a second batch of cured meat can be sold two or three days after the first batch.
The money that comes in circulates and generates more money. The month that used to require spending money has now become a month of earning money. How can they not be happy?
The entire village now wishes to worship Yu Qingze. Everyone praises Brother Le as well, saying that it’s fortunate he saved Yu Qingze in the first place. He truly made the right choice! Otherwise, they wouldn’t have such a good opportunity now!
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
In one day, Yu Qingze and his team bought all the cured meat and sausages in the village, categorizing them based on the strings representing different flavors. The next morning, he borrowed the village head’s ox cart and flatbed cart, as well as flatbed carts from Brother Chang’s and Tie Zhu’s houses. He also borrowed several scales. Together with the shop’s employees, they first brought five flatbed carts of cured meat to the shop.
The prices and sales arrangements were made in advance.
When it was time to open the shop, they set up two large tables at the entrance, covered them with clean mats, and placed various cured meats on them. They placed price tags in front of them. Afterwards, they brought out stoves and began steaming the cured meat and sausages in front of everyone.
On this day, all the employees were working, and Grandpa Chang also came to help at the shop.
Yu Qingze selected two employees who were good at talking and had arithmetic skills. When the cured meat and sausages were almost steamed, and the aroma had already filled the air, they started banging the gong and shouting at the entrance.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
“Gentlemen, come and have a look! Our Yu’s Delicious Delights proudly presents a variety of cured meats: cured pork, cured sausages, cured chicken, cured duck, and cured fish. The flavors are unique, mouthwatering, and unforgettable. The fragrance spreads for miles! With the upcoming Lunar New Year, invite your guests, visit your relatives and friends, and bring our cured meats. There couldn’t be a more suitable choice…”
In fact, even during their preparation process, they had already attracted quite a few people. Now, with the aroma of the cured meat filling the air, without the need for the assistant’s shouting, people naturally walked over.
“What is this? It smells so good!”
“Boss Yu, what kind of food is this? It smells amazing!”
“Yes, just smelling this aroma makes my stomach rumble, even though I just had breakfast.”
When Yu Qingze lifted the lid, instantly, the aroma of the cured meat became even more intense.
Everyone took a deep breath, feeling their saliva production go into overdrive in their mouths, and they couldn’t help but swallow hard.
It smells so good…
“Dear villagers, these are cured pork, cured sausages, cured chicken, cured duck, and cured fish. I’ve cut them into small pieces. Please taste the flavor,” Yu Qingze said, and together with one of the employees, they cut the cured meat into small pieces and skewered them on bamboo sticks. Brother Chang handed them out to everyone to taste.
The oily but not greasy, rich and fragrant flavor immediately captivated everyone’s taste buds!
“Boss Yu, how much is this cured pork? And what about these cured sausages…”
“I like the spicy flavor. How much for the spicy ones?”
“This cured duck is delicious too!”
While Yu Qingze was busy cutting the meat, Brother Chang took the lead and answered, “Dear villagers, please listen to me. The cured pork and cured sausages come in three flavors: five-spice, spicy, and numbingly spicy. The five-spice flavor is 70 wen per jin, while the spicy and numbingly spicy flavors are 80 wen per jin. Cured chicken and cured duck are 60 wen per jin, and cured fish is 50 wen per jin.”
Yu Qingze set the prices, all of which were 20 wen higher than the purchase price.
“It’s so expensive!”
“Yeah, quite pricey!”
“But the taste is really good! I’ll buy some to try!”
“Same here, I’ll buy some too.”
“Waiter, can I buy half a jin?”
“You can buy half a jin. And you can buy cured sausages by the piece!”
“Give me half a jin of spicy cured pork and a piece of regular cured sausage!”
“I’ll take a piece of cured fish. I love eating fish!”
The entrance of the snack shop suddenly became lively. People were ordering half a jin here and a piece there. The three of them couldn’t keep up. Yu Qingze quickly called another assistant from the shop to help.
In the morning, most of the locals were buying a small amount to take home and taste. After all, it was quite expensive, and if they bought it home and no one liked it, it would go to waste.
Those who bought more were the traveling merchants. They were about to leave, and who knows if they would have a chance to come back? Moreover, at this time, most of the traveling merchants were rushing back home for the New Year. Buying something fresh and unusual to take back for their own consumption or as gifts for relatives and friends was also an option.
As noon passed, in the afternoon, more local people came to buy, and the volume increased accordingly. They no longer bought half a jin or a piece but bought in larger quantities—chunks, five or ten pieces, one or two whole ones.
Yu Qingze and his team were busy, not even having time to return to the shop for lunch. Later, it was Brother Chang who arranged for someone to take turns with them, allowing them to come back and have their lunch.
Before they could close in the afternoon, the five carts of cured meat they had brought out were already sold out. The wooden box used to collect money was filled to the brim with copper coins and silver fragments.
Brother Le carried the large box of money into the room, and Yu Qingze had Brother Chang come in together. They organized the copper coins into stacks and put the silver fragments in a separate small bag.
Then, Yu Qingze and Brother Le carried the large box of money to the bank and managed to exchange it for silver bills before the bank closed.
The cured meat and sausages made by dozens of households in the entire village were not just five carts’ worth. On the following day, Yu Qingze and his team dragged another five carts to the shop.
Even before they opened the shop, many people were already waiting at their front gate. These were the ones who didn’t manage to buy cured meat yesterday but specially came early today to buy. Among them were two individuals who said they came all the way from the other side of the river.