Chapter 12 - Zhenxiu Restaurant's Third Young Master

On the other side, Manager Liu had already checked the goods and was inwardly stunned by the quality of the abalones. He came up with a plan within his heart and said to the siblings, ”You’re troubling me, this manager, just for these few abalones? Alright, since you guys seemed to be in a difficult circumstance, I’ll make an exception and take these abalones for eight hundred copper coins!”

“Eight hundred copper coins?” Yu Xiaocao and Yu Hang looked at each other, then she pursed her lips and snatched the earthen jar with the abalones back from Manager Liu’s hands, “Manager Liu, do you really take us as beggars?”

“What do you mean by that?” Manager Liu looked like a craftly old scoundrel as he twirled his beard and sneered, “With the quality of these abalones, my offer of eight hundred copper coins was already quite a lot. If you can sell them for six hundred copper coins elsewhere, then that just means you’re a skilled seller!”

When Yu Xiaocao saw his firm expression, a sense of uncertainty emerged within the heart. She doesn’t know the market price for abalones! She couldn’t help but shift her gaze towards Yu Hang.

Yu Hang was completely unaffected by Manager Liu. He gave his youngest sister a soothing smile and said, “Business is all about mutual consensus. Since we aren’t satisfied with Manager Liu’s offer, then we should excuse ourselves!”

Manager Liu had originally thought that these two children would be easily fooled. He had planned to coax and scare them into selling the abalones at the lowest price possible. However, they didn’t fall for his tricks. They directly turned around to leave without making any unnecessary comments. He felt somewhat anxious inwardly, so he hastily stopped them by saying,

“You guys should consider carefully! Once you pass up this offer, you won’t be able to find a better deal! Who would dare to accept goods that our Fulin Restaurant had rejected?”

“Ha!” A laughter that carried a slight sense of childishness sounded, “Manager Liu, you’re speaking in such an imposing manner. When did your Fullin Restaurant become the overlord of this street?”

Manager Liu abruptly raised his head, narrowed his eyes, and replied with a smirk, “I was wondering who it was! So, it turned out to be Zhenxiu Restaurant’s Third Young Master! What? Is Zhenxiu Restaurant trying to interfere with our Fulin Restaurant’s matters now?”

“Interfering with your matters? This young master doesn’t have that much free time! I’ll just leave that for your own master to worry about!” Zhenxiu Restaurant’s third young master, Zhou Zixu, faintly smiled and said, “I just can’t stand seeing people, on the pretense of doing honest business with all customers, taking advantage of others and forcing them to their precious seafoods at a lowered price.”

“You––“ Manager Liu noticed that a crowd was forming and knew that he shouldn’t continue to argue with him. Thus, he turned towards the siblings and said, “You two come in first. I’ll definitely offer you an appropriate price!”

“It’s probably a price that only you will be satisfied with!” A faintly indifferent smile emerged on Third Young Master Zhou’s handsome and somewhat tender-looking face, “Tanggu Town is located near the sea. Therefore, most of the locals are familiar with determining the quality and market price of marine products. Little sister, would you please show everyone the abalones that you’re holding? Let us see if our Fulin Restaurant, who does honest and fair business, gave a ‘fair’ price.”

Most of the bystanders didn’t know what was going on. However, after listening to Third Young Master Zhou’s words, was there anyone who still didn’t understand? Fulin Restaurant’s manager was bullying these two young siblings. He was using his powers to take advantages of them and forcing them sell their valuable marine goods at a low price. 

A large market was open today at Tanggu Town, so there were numerous fishermen from nearby fishing villages walking on the street. The most hated thing for these fishermen were dishonest merchants who maliciously demands a lower price. Thus, they volunteered in succession to be the sibling’s examiner.

Although Yu Hang has a quiet temperament, but he had a clear-headed understanding of the situation and had already made a decision in his mind. In the past, when he came to sell game with his father, he had heard about the rivalry between the new restaurant, Zhenxiu Restaurant, and the old brand, Fulin Restaurant.

This Third Young Master Zhou appeared to be helping them, but he was probably just taking this opportunity to attack Fulin Restaurant. This was a battle between two strong competitors, so was it really necessary to hurt innocent bystanders?

Yu Hang held back his youngest sister’s eagerness and politely said, “Business is about the mutual willingness between the two parties. It’s natural for the seller to set a price and the buyer to bargain. Even if the deal doesn’t work out, we can still maintain a benevolent relationship. We have nothing more to say since Manager Liu didn’t like our goods. Please excuse us!”

As he spoke, he bowed with his hands clasped together and pulled Yu Xiaocao out of the crowd.

Manager Liu was already fuming with anger due to Third Young Master Zhou’s taunting, but he knew that it wasn’t wise to keep thinking about taking those high-quality abalones. Thus, he used this opportunity to get himself out of this awkward situation. With a toss of his sleeves, he snorted and entered the restaurant. However, he broke out in cold sweat inwardly.

Zhenxiu Restaurant was a new restaurant that had only been opened for less than a year. It was backed by the Zhou Family, who were one of the four major merchants within the entire empire. The Zhou Family’s ancestral home just happened to be in Tanggu Town, so Fulin Restaurant wasn’t in a dominant position.  

Nevertheless, Fulin Restaurant was still an established restaurant. They still had several famous specialty dishes in their restaurant and a group of loyal customers.

However, these past two months, the Zhou Family’s third young master had returned to his ancestral home. He had mysteriously obtained several new dishes that really suited the county magistrate’s appetite, and also attracted many of Fulin Restaurant’s customers.

His master was already unsatisfied with him due to that matter. If he also earned the reputation of being a bully today, then he’ll probably be dismissed from his position as the manager of Fulin Restaurant.

Manager Liu alerted himself inwardly. Although he regretted not being able to obtain those precious abalones, he also didn’t dare to use any devious schemes anymore.  

“Eldest Brother! Why didn’t we take this chance to teach that snob Manager Liu a lesson?” Yu Xiaocao was still aggrieved about that matter and angrily asked while shaking her small fist.

Yu Hang looked at his youngest sister’s puffed up face, which had very lively expression. He couldn’t resist pinching her little face and replied with a smile, “Fulin Restaurant was backed up by people from the government office. Ordinary citizens shouldn’t fight with government officials. If we seriously offend Manager Liu, then it would be difficult for us to stay in this town in the future.”

Yu Xiaocao was stunned. As a modern-day citizen who was ‘born under the red flag and raised in the spring breeze’, it was her first time being taught that ‘people are classified based on their wealth and status’. Thus, various feelings surged into her heart.

Yu Hang noticed that his youngest sister had stopped walking and had dazed expression on her face. He thought she was frightened, so he hastily comforted her,

“Youngest Sister, don’t be afraid. As long as we do the right things, then those rich people and government officials wouldn’t be able harm us. Father said that our emperor was a good ruler, who was intelligent and had fair judgment. The officials under his rule were still mostly fair and honest. A good example would be the county magistrate of Tanggu Town. He was well-known as an upright magistrate!”

Yu Xiaocao collected her composure. In the novels and television, there were many wealthy people and officials who looked down on the common citizens in ancient times. Hence, she inwardly reminded herself to keep a low profile in the future.

“Eldest Brother, is our emperor really that powerful? He can make all those high-ranking official obediently submit to his ruling?” Yu Xiaocao had just recently transmigrated here, so she still didn’t know what dynasty she was in.

Shhh––“ Yu Hang almost reached out to cover her mouth. What does she mean by ‘obediently submit to his ruling’? Fortunately, they were in Tanggu Town, a small coastal town. If they were in the capital, which was full of fourth-rank officials walking on the streets, they would had been convicted of irreverence. 

Chortle––“ 

Just when Yu Hang felt inwardly glad that no one had heard their conversation, he heard a young man’s distinctive laughter.

When the siblings turned their heads, they saw the young master in refined clothes who they met earlier. He was currently pulling his horse and walking behind them.

Yu Hang’s face immediately turned pale. He doesn’t know if this noble young master had heard his youngest sister’s disrespectful words. He gritted his teeth, walked towards him, and said, “Thank you so much for speaking up for us earlier…”

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Myst's Thoughts

Translator: Myst