Chapter 54: A Novel Excuse to Ask for Leave

It was May. The weather wasn’t considered hot in Chengdu this year. Yuan Zhou made his way to the gourmet street ① and started to wander about.
Dressed in an ordinary T-shirt and khaki casual pants, Yuan Zhou’s style didn’t differ much from before. The only difference now might be the color of his clothes. Previously, he barely wore any light-colored clothes, but now he paid no heed to that anymore.
This gourmet street was the biggest one in the city. Stores were arranged in orderly rows along the street. The first floor mainly served food suited for the ordinary folk. It was lunch time now, when business would be booming as can be seen from the swarms of customers. Yuan Zhou wasn’t a picky eater, thus he chose a restaurant which he assumed served fresh food based on the scent, then walked towards it.
“Old Town Steamed Bun House”, Yuan Zhou took a look at the name before entering.
What to eat didn’t matter; the important point is that the ingredients must be fresh.
There were quite a few customers inside. Most of them ordered the steamed buns and soup and everyone seemed to enjoy their food.
“Boss, give me a serving of steamed buns with vegetable fillings, a bowl of soup and a bowl of tremella broth.” Yuan Zhou began to order the dishes after glancing through the limited options on the menu.
“They’ll be served right away. Hold on, please.”
This restaurant was operated by a couple. The husband seemed simple and honest; his arms was firm and strong; his face was red due to exertion from kneading the dough. The wife was dressed fashionably. She had curly permed hair and light make-up, giving her a lively and attentive look. She appeared to be good at mathematics as she received money while serving the dishes at the same time without affecting both.
“Here are your steamed buns and soup. The tremella broth is in the pot over there. Scoop some for yourself.” The wife carried a tray of four steamed buns towards him. They were steaming hot and emitted the delicate fragrance of wheat.
After taking the bowl, he realized the soup was warm and was at a perfect temperature to be consumed immediately. Furthermore, a small plate of kelp was also served for free on the tray.
“Gulp”
Yuan Zhou first drank a mouthful of soup to soothe his dry throat, then prepared to taste a steamed bun.
The steamed bun smelled fresh and the scent of the flour kept emitting from it. With a bite, the delicate fragrance of vegetables rushed down his throat. At that moment, however, Yuan Zhou frowned a little.
Ever since his five senses were strengthened, Yuan Zhou was able to capture even slightest smell and taste with his tongue and nose. Right now, apart from the fragrance of the flour and the crispness of the vegetables, there was also a horrible underlying smell that couldn’t be covered.
Since the vegetables used to make these fillings didn’t contain any oil themselves, some oil would be mixed into the fillings to give it a better taste. But apparently, the oil used was of inferior quality. Yuan Zhou could hardly bear the taste. He quickly stuffed his mouth with the skin of the steamed bun and the porridge which was not fresh as well.
“System, these kind of dishes are really difficult to eat.” Yuan Zhou couldn’t help grumbling.
The system read, “Host, what you need to learn is the earnest attitude of every chef towards their cooking. Please continue with your gourmet adventure.”
“Can you please not use the term ‘adventure’ when I am actually studying whole-heartedly?” Yuan Zhou expressed his worries about the system’s communication skills.
Yuan Zhou then started to search other restaurants for taste testing.
The first day ended with Yuan Zhou spending money to conduct various taste tests.
“ling ling ling”
Yuan Zhou got out of bed very early in the morning after being awakened by his cellphone’s alarm. There could only be one reason for him to do so.
Picking up an A4 paper prepared previously, he then went downstairs and stuck it to the front door.
Afterward, he went back, in hopes of getting more sleep.
However, Yuan Zhou was much too naive. He had barely returned to his room on the second floor and didn’t even get the chance to lie on his bed before pandemonium broke out downstairs.
If one listened closely, the yells were all about opening the restaurant. After considering for a while, he washed up and then fled the restaurant.
………
On the other side, Vice Division Chief Lee was on his way to the tax bureau. He had intended to drop by Yuan Zhou’s restaurant for an inspection.
Actually, he wanted to refuse this assignment. For a suspicious restaurant, just informing the Trade and Industry Bureau for an inspection would have been fine. He had no idea what the Division Chief was thinking, ordering him to go there and take a look.
Even though it was an order from his superior, he still went to his workplace first to clock in as a precaution before reporting that he was going out. This way, all procedures were completed and there would be no troublesome problems later.
“Where are you going, Lee?” just as he finished all the procedures and was preparing to leave, he bumped into the other vice division chief, Vice Division Chief Wang.
“Oh, Wang. I’m about to carry out the task given by the Division Chief. And you?” he stopped and answered.
“Well, Lee, our superior seems to have taken a shine to you. Then I won’t take your time much longer.” Vice Division Chief Wang left a few compliments behind with a smile on the face.
Although Vice Division Chief Lee felt confused, he decided to accomplish the task from his superior first. After rubbing his big belly, he headed to the car park to get his car.
The tax bureau was a mere twenty-minute drive from Yuan Zhou’s restaurant. It only took the bald man twenty-five minutes to get there even with his careful driving.
At the entrance of Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, a wonderful show was taking place, waiting for Vice Division Chief Lee to have a look.
“Gee! Who knows where exactly had Boss Yuan gone?” asked someone in a loud voice.
“Only God would know. The restaurant has been closed for two days already.” Immediately, another one answered discontentedly.
“This weird excuse is really astonishing. Can’t he open the restaurant and do business the normal way?” One sentence followed another and all filled with discontent.
At that moment, a weak female voice spoke up, “I did check. It really was the National Love-One’s-Hair Day yesterday.”
“What? It’s real?” her words brought about lots of responses immediately.
“Is it the main point now? The important thing is to get our meals.” The weak voice just now was instantly covered by the cacophony, and the crowd then started discussing the new problem. This was the scene that came into Vice Division Chief Lee’s sight just as he arrived.
“What is the matter with this angry mob? Is there anything wrong?” Looking at the excited crowd, Vice Division Chief Lee’s heart started pounding.
After hesitating for a while, Vice Division Chief Lee still decided to go up to ask about the situation.
“Hey, brother. What’s going on? Did the boss run away after collecting the payment?” Recalling Yuan Zhou’s declaration of his revenue, Vice Division Chief Lee asked firmly
“You are new here, aren’t you? No, it’s not like that. We are all here waiting for our meals.” The man which the question was directed to turned his head and took a look at Vice Division Chief Lee before giving him an explanation.
“Waiting for your meals? You could also eat at other restaurants. What are you guys gathering here for?” Vice Division Chief Lee was puzzled. It had already been twenty minutes since he arrived. Why were all these people waiting for their meals at the entrance of a closed restaurant?
“You are new so you don’t understand. It’s a good thing that you haven’t been cheated.” the man revealed a peculiar smile, so peculiar that Vice Division Chief Lee felt a shiver down his spine.
“Fine, I’d rather go to the front and check it myself.” Vice Division Chief Lee whispered while squeezing forward towards the entrance of the restaurant slowly.
The most eye-catching thing about the entrance was that the restaurant didn’t even have a sign. Nevertheless, Vice Division Chief Lee knew the restaurant had already been registered. Since there wasn’t a sign right now, was the boss concealing something or what?
While thinking this way, he immediately overturned his own idea, as there was a notice pasted on the door.
Notice, “As today is the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, I hereby declare a rest.”
Vice Division Chief Lee felt he must have read it wrongly. As a government worker, he was fairly familiar with official holidays and when they were. When he saw this so-called official holiday, however, he was no longer quite sure about it.
The girl that checked the holiday yesterday took out her phone and searched the internet again. When she found it was really that holiday as mentioned in the notice, the girl immediately held up her phone and said, “I just checked. This holiday really exists.”
“What?” as the one who had the strongest reaction, Vice Division Chief Lee took a large step forward and stared at the screen, carefully reading the description.
After reading, that the realization that this holiday was real dawned upon him. Vice Division Chief Lee then became truly speechless in his heart, and the rest of the people also followed suit.
What the f*ck! Why doesn’t the boss just go to heaven!

The gourmet street is really a street or an alley where lots of restaurants, eateries and stalls gather together, providing various specialty dishes of different regions.

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