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PSLMD Chapter 55


Chapter 55 – Helping Others Leads to a Meaty Reward

Yan Xiaosi was worried about not being able to sell the firewood, so when the restaurant owner asked, she quickly replied, “Yes, we’re selling it. Are you interested in buying some firewood?”

A middle-aged woman came out from the small restaurant and stood beside the owner. After hesitating for a moment, she said, “My dear, our business isn’t good enough to need so much firewood. Besides, we still have some left in the storeroom.”

Hearing the middle-aged woman’s words, Yan Xiaosi understood that probably because they were all dressed in ragged clothes and looked thin and weak, the restaurant owner felt sorry for them and wanted to buy their firewood.

As expected, the owner replied to the woman, “Winter is coming soon, and the price of firewood will increase. It’s good to stock up on some now.”

The middle-aged woman no longer objected.

The owner kindly asked Ms. Zhong, “Miss, how much are you selling the firewood for?”

Yan Xiaosi could see that the owner was kind-hearted, and so could Ms. Zhong.

“If you want it, these five bundles of firewood will be forty wen.”

Ms. Zhong was a grateful person, and without hesitation, she gave the owner a discount of ten wen for his kindness.

The owner immediately instructed the woman to get forty wen from the counter and handed it over to Ms. Zhong.

Ms. Zhong took the money with joy in her heart.

There were many woodcutters selling firewood, but the demand was limited, so it wasn’t easy to sell. Selling it for forty wen was better than taking the five bundles of firewood back to Shaoyao Village untouched.

After the owner called two workers to unload the firewood, Ms. Zhong was about to express her gratitude and drive the ox cart away. Before she could speak, Yan Xiaosi jumped off the cart.

“Xiaosi, what are you going to do?”

Yan Xiaosi walked up to the owner and looked back at Ms. Zhong, “Mother, don’t worry, I just have a few words to say to the owner.”

The owner examined Yan Xiaosi carefully, thinking that although he was thin, short, and looked weak, he had a certain spirit about him.

“Young man, what do you want to say?”

Yan Xiaosi glanced inside the restaurant. At this time, it should be breakfast time, but there wasn’t a single customer inside.

“Owner, your business isn’t doing well, is it?”

For a moment, the owner’s expression changed and his brow furrowed.

Yan Xiaosi continued, “The location of your restaurant isn’t great. There’s Xiangmanlou not far behind and another big restaurant not far in front. With your small restaurant sandwiched in between, it’s no wonder your business isn’t good.”

The owner looked at Yan Xiaosi with admiration in his eyes.

This child managed to identify the problem at a glance, impressive.

“Young man, since you’ve identified the problem, do you have a solution?”

Yan Xiaosi smiled slightly, his hands behind his back, appearing mysterious, “Of course, I do. Seeing as you’re kind-hearted and have helped us, I’ll show you the way to success.”

At this moment, the owner had ignored Yan Xiaosi’s age and listened to him attentively.

Yan Xiaosi’s tone suddenly changed, and she asked the shopkeeper, “Shopkeeper, is there a pier in Daxing Town?” The Miluo River runs through the territory of the State of Chu, and it happens to pass through Xize County. There is indeed a pier in Daxing Town, which is quite large. Many cargo and passenger ships come and go at the pier, so the flow of people there is considerable.

The shopkeeper didn’t understand why Yan Xiaosi suddenly mentioned the nearby pier; what did it have to do with his small restaurant?

“Indeed, Daxing Town has a pier. Why do you ask, young man?”

Not only was the shopkeeper puzzled, but Ms. Zhong, Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, Yan Shuyun, and the shopkeeper’s wife were also quite confused.

Ms. Zhong said to Yan Xiaosi, “Xiaosi, if you have any ideas, just tell the shopkeeper directly.”

Yan Xiaosi smiled at Ms. Zhong and said, “Mother, don’t worry, I’ll tell the shopkeeper my idea.”

“Shopkeeper, is your restaurant mainly selling steamed meat and stir-fried dishes?”

She sniffed the aroma of the steamed meat and then asked the shopkeeper. The shopkeeper replied, “Our small restaurant can’t compare to big restaurants like Xiangmanlou. The cook is my wife. Her specialty is steamed meat. She can also stir-fry a few simple home-cooked dishes, which we sell daily.”

Steamed meat and simple home-cooked dishes are not fancy, but perfect for filling hungry stomachs. The nearby pier has a large flow of people, including porters and sailors who are always around. This small restaurant has low prices, making it suitable for those at the pier. After some consideration, Yan Xiaosi suggested to the shopkeeper, “Shopkeeper, since the restaurant has no business, why don’t you take the cooked rice and dishes to the pier to sell? A large bowl of white rice with some dishes, priced at five coins a bowl, can be sold in the morning, noon, and evening. What do you think of this idea?”

As a businessman, the shopkeeper was naturally quick-witted. As soon as Yan Xiaosi spoke, his eyes brightened, and he immediately thought her idea was excellent.

Although a bowl of rice and dishes would only sell for five coins, the large number of people at the pier meant that the small profit could add up. It was better than running a restaurant with no customers.

“Great suggestion, thank you for the advice, young man.”

Ms. Zhong, Yan Shuqin, Yan Shuxue, and Yan Shuyun were all amazed that Yan Xiaosi could come up with such a good solution in just a few words, resolving the small restaurant’s predicament.

After offering her suggestion, Ms. Zhong and Yan Xiaosi prepared to leave. Before Yan Xiaosi could return to the oxcart, the shopkeeper said, “Young man, please wait.”

Yan Xiaosi glanced at the shopkeeper, “Shopkeeper, is there anything else?”

“Just a small matter, please wait a moment.”

The shopkeeper answered Yan Xiaosi, then urged his wife, “Wife, didn’t the meat in the steamer just finish cooking? Hurry up and get some for the young man to take with him.”

“Ah, I’ll go right away.”

The shopkeeper’s wife quickly went into the restaurant with a smile.

Ms. Zhong originally wanted to refuse, but seeing Yan Xiaosi standing there without moving, she didn’t say anything. The aroma of the steamed meat wafted through the air and Yan Xiaosi couldn’t help but stay put. Her weak body made her powerless to resist the temptation of food. However, since she had given the shopkeeper a suggestion, it was only fair for her to have some meat. If she hadn’t given the shopkeeper advice today, perhaps this small restaurant would have disappeared after some time.

The shopkeeper’s wife quickly came out, holding an oily paper package.

Yan Xiaosi glanced at it, noticing the package was plump and there was grease on the paper. The shopkeeper’s wife was indeed quite generous.

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