Chapter 9: The 1st Customer

It was now Thursday morning. Most people were working, thus there wouldn’t be much business during this time.
Yuan Zhou had at least worked in the kitchen of a 3-Star Hotel before. Although it was vastly different from his tiny restaurant, the rush hours were more or less the same. He certainly knew that no guest would come at the time.
Yuan Zhou turned around and headed back into the restaurant. He paced around the kitchen and discovered a red button in a concealed position.
“System, what’s this?” Yuan Zhou clearly remembered that such a thing did not exist previously in his previous kitchen before the renovation.
The system read, “It provides a place for resting.”
“It’s really simple and direct.” Yuan Zhou pushed down on the button while he complained about the system as usual.
“Zi”
With a light grating sound, a chair emerged in the middle. It seemed quite plain just like the square wooden stools for ordinary use. The only slight difference was the legs of the chair, which were wrapped in metals at the bottom. Giving it a sci-fi feel.
Yuan Zhou sat on the chair with curiosity, but he found nothing different. Of course it felt good and was more comfortable than normal chairs. Furthermore, as he gently stretched his legs he discovered that the chair could also move. Besides that, the moving chair produced no sound. Yuan Zhou played around with it happily just like a child that got a brand new toy.
His good mood didn’t last too long when he found it was almost 11:30 and the crowds outside the street were starting to thicken.
Some people gazed at the restaurant for a while, but clearly had no intention to enter. Yuan Zhou started to feel anxious.
At around 12.20pm, the crowds outside were getting larger. Yet, there were still no guests that entered the restaurant, nobody even inquired about the price.
This made Yuan Zhou even more worried. He walked to the door and looked outside. There was a newly-opened fast food restaurant down the street. He had got up early the previous day thus hadn’t noticed it. But today the green colored shop sign seemed fairly eye catching.
Their business was pretty good. Through the glass window, he could see no vacant seat left. Yet, people outside were entering.
“What’s so good about fast food? What I have here is specially supplied.” Muttering something, he went back to his own restaurant.
“Ding ling ling, Ding ling ling……..”
The harsh ringtone disrupted the quiet atmosphere in the restaurant.
Yuan Zhou answered the telephone and found it was from Sun Ming.
Sun Ming was his first friend he made after he graduated and started to work. He was loyal to his friends and had a well-off family. He had got along well with Yuan Zhou who didn’t speak much.
He had just said “Hi” when a torrent of words gush through the phone with a rapid fire rate.
“Yuan Zhou, what’s the matter with you? Didn’t I say I would give you a farewell dinner? You haven’t settled on a date and time?”
“I’m really sorry. I was too busy to tell you that I wasn’t going to leave anymore. I got the store redecorated and am currently ready to start a new business.” After being reminded, Yuan Zhou recalled that Sun Ming had indeed intended to treat him to a farewell dinner before he left. He had almost fainted due to the big surprise the system gave him these few days that he had almost forgotten about the dinner.
Sun Ming forgave his carelessness after Yuan Zhou apologized to him.
“Why didn’t you inform me of your new restaurant? I can come over and be your first guest.” Sun Ming interrogated with a discontented manner.
“I was about to give you the notice. Since it is the first day of my business, it seemed a little hasty.”
“Got it. Wait there. I am sending you two flower baskets right now. What business is it?”
“Some kind of eatery……..”
Sun Ming interrupted Yuan Zhou and said squarely, “I will go over to your restaurant for my supper, to increase the number of your customers as well.”
“Please rest assured. It’s fairly good stuff, although a little costly…”
“Brothers shouldn’t need to mention that. How expensive can a small restaurant be? Wait for my arrival tonight.” After that, Sun Ming hung off the telephone.
“Maybe this way would work.”
Yuan Zhou got an idea in his mind after Sun Ming’s call.
Returning to the kitchen, Yuan Zhou started to cook the Egg Fried Rice again. As this was his second time, he was already familiar with the necessary steps. In a shorter while, the golden Fried Rice with Eggs was ready.
“It is still as mouth-watering as the first time.”
His taste buds once again experienced a grand banquet, Yuan Zhou then prepared to cook another serving after he finishing his meal.
Yes, that’s right. The idea that occurred to Yuan Zhou was that he could eat several bowls more to serve his friends. Worse come to worse, he would pay for the price himself. In order to obtain the reward as soon as possible, Yuan Zhou indeed sacrificed a lot.
But dreams were sweet while reality was harsh. The system appeared again at the time.
The system read, “Each guest gets only one serving per meal.”
“The volume of each serving is not much. What if the guest isn’t full and orders one more? That won’t work?” Yuan Zhou felt that the system was causing him problems in all directions, it prevented anybody from seeking out loopholes.
The system read, “As a prospective Master Chef, some temperament and rules are necessary.”
All Yuan Zhou could say was“You are definitely right. I don’t have anything to retort.”
Time passed by slowly until night arrived as Yuan Zhou and the system challenged each other’s wisdom.
“Yuan Zhou, you’re really rushed, huh? You don’t even have a shop sign.” Sun Ming teased Yuan Zhou after he had parked his car and left the flower baskets at the door.
“It’s only you? As expected of your character.”
Yuan Zhou walked up and led him to the high chair to be seated. Looking behind Sun Ming, he didn’t find anyone else, thus felt a little disappointed.
“It was fairly rushed so I came alone today. Next time I will bring some friends to your restaurant.”
Sun Ming looked around and said, “This place is fairly elegant. There are only so few chairs? Anyway, get me the best of your dishes right now.”
“Let’s make a deal first. It must be the best dish of yours available. We are friends but now I am your guest. Just serve me the most expensive dish. Don’t worry, I will pay.” Sun Ming said generously with an appearance of local wealthy landlord.
“Ok. But I only serve Egg Fried Rice right now. I’ll get you one…” Seeing Sun Ming say so, he also smiled and replied.
Just before “My treat” came out from his mouth, he was interrupted by the system.
The system read, “All people in the restaurant are guests. Please charge them equally as per the price.”
Yuan Zhou gave a middle finger to the system in his heart. The system had a deep love for money, as well.
“Ok. Egg Fried Rice. Hurry up. I am hungry.” Sun Ming didn’t care about that. With a smile, he urged Yuan Zhou to cook the Egg Fried Rice. Then he looked carefully at the surroundings of the restaurant.
It was only a 30 square meters’ room, decorated simply. He looked at the menu and saw the price list behind. There was indeed only one item, Egg Fried Rice, written on a wood board. But the price shown on the wood board made Sun Ming feel that he hadn’t entered a restaurant.”
He looked around the surroundings subconsciously and looked back at the price. Still, the figure was as before. Egg Fried Rice, 188 RMB.
After considering awhile, Sun Ming felt he had understood what was happening.
“Hahaha. Yuan Zhou, the price is marked wrongly.” Sun Ming said with a smile to Yuan Zhou who had been busy in the kitchen.
At that time, Yuan Zhou just finish preparing the Egg Fried Rice. He first placed the food in front of Sun Ming, then looked at the price and said, “That’s correct. It’s indeed that much.”
Sun Ming got fairly unhappy with that. What was the matter with Yuan Zhou? As a close friend, he came here to support his friend’s business. But it seemed that this guy took him as a fool. Only one serving of Egg Fried Rice for 188 RMB? Was he kidding?
Ok, forgot it. We may know a man’s exterior but not his heart. He decided not to get along with him anymore. But since he had already promised to pay for the meal, he didn’t feel comfortable leaving at once, all he could do was to sit and eat first.

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