Chapter 94: Good Morals

It had been three days since Yuan Zhou began practicing sculpting. He’d become quite skillful and could now consistently achieve unity of both form and spirit.
Such lengthy and repetitive practice made Yuan Zhou fairly bored in the beginning, but when later Yuan Zhou began to discover great pleasure from it, it nevertheless became his favorite new hobby. He would basically carry a chair to the door and sit there sculpting whenever he had a moment free.
Thus, it became a convention for him to go to buy the ingredients early every morning.
“Radishes again, right?” while he was picking out radishes, the aged woman who sold vegetables asked Yuan Zhou, smiling.
“Yes.” Yuan Zhou nodded and continued his selection.
“It’s so rare that a young man loves to eat radishes. So you’ve eaten up all those that you bought yesterday?” the aged woman was quite curious. After all, it was the fourth time that Yuan Zhou had come over to buy the assortment of radishes and carrots. Regardless of the breed, he bought all those that looked nice.
“I use them for other purposes, not eating.” Yuan Zhou announced his purpose straightforwardly.
“Alright. How many are you buying today? The radishes are very fresh today.”
“This is all of them.” Yuan Zhou picked up the radishes and put them in different bags, each filled with about 5 kgs of various vegetables, and then gave them to the aged woman.
“It’s 48.3 RMB in all. Just 48 RMB is fine” the aged woman just offered a round number nicely.
“Thank you.” with one hand receiving the vegetables, Yuan Zhou handed the money to the aged woman with the other.
“You’re quite welcome. Thanks for the exact change. Please come again.” the aged woman said enthusiastically.
“Sure.” Yuan Zhou placed the vegetables into a hand cart beside him.
It was the kind of hand cart that elderly people took to save effort when they did their daily grocery shopping. Yuan Zhou walked out of the vegetable market pulling such a hand cart, with his expression unchanged.
In order to prevent bruising the vegetables from the shaking of the cart, Yuan Zhou also installed a manual dampening device around the inside of the hand cart.
It was actually just an air-filled plastic bag placed between the vegetables and the cart, which prevented the vegetables from any scratching.
Yuan Zhou had been pulling the small hand cart just like that for two days by now, and felt that it was quite easy to use.
The hands of a chef required careful care. Naturally, Yuan Zhou wasn’t going to carry such heavy objects with his own hands every day. It’d bring down the sensitivity of his fingers.
Yuan Zhou walked back to his restaurant unhurriedly while pulling the hand cart, not paying any attention to the weird looks from other passerby.
It was only 7:30 AM, still early when he arrived at the entrance. A gust of wind swept through. Yuan Zhou frowned slightly and opened the door before putting the vegetables in kitchen. Afterwards, he took out his telephone and prepared to make a call.
“Xiaoyun, don’t come in today. You can take a day off.” the second the call was connected, Yuan Zhou immediately spoke his purpose.
“Ok, boss.” Mu Xiaoyun agreed tamely. Even though she’d already walked half the distance from Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, she still turned around and went back to her house.
5 minutes later, with the moisture in the air increasing, the sky that had been getting brighter darkened again all of a sudden. It looked like it was actually 7 or 8 in the evening rather than in the morning.
“Hong Long”….. just in a short while, a downpour began after a rumbling of thunder.
“Just like I expected, a rainstorm. Wonder how long it’s going to last.” standing at the door, Yuan Zhou looked at the heavy rain outside. Luckily, the doorstep was relatively high and prevented the rain from flowing inside.
The sparse passerby from before were now all gone. However, Yuan Zhou had no intention of closing the restaurant. Instead, he returned to the kitchen and began to knead dough.
It seemed he was preparing to cook Clear Broth Noodle Soup, and hence made the noodles beforehand.
“Truly a rarity of rarities. The restaurant is actually still open.” wearing slippers, Wu Hai walked into the restaurant and said in surprise.
“Yes, what do you want to eat?” Yuan Zhou nodded and asked.
“I want some hot food. Clear Broth Noodle Soup, the set meal, please.” Wu Hai was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, appearing to be an aged man roaming the marketplace.
“One moment.” Yuan Zhou began to cook the noodles that he had just prepared.
“How auspiciously quiet it is. To be able to eat without waiting, it’s something I haven’t experienced for a long time.” Wu Hai sighed in bliss.
Yuan Zhou, as usual, completely disregarded the wistful words of Wu Hai from the beginning.
“Why is the little girl not here?” when he found the girl was missing, Wu Hai couldn’t help but ask him.
“Humm, she is taking a break today.” Yuan Zhou’s muffled voice passed through the mask.
“Does the little girl go to school?” Wu Hai didn’t know the school time all along.
“It’s still early.”
“Then why isn’t she here?” Wu Hai was quite curious.
“Ah, I understand. Tsk-tsk. Boss Yuan, you are so kind-hearted.” watching Yuan Zhou’s speechless manner and listening to the rainfall outside, Wu Hai had a sudden inspiration. Then he asked.
“Concentrate on eating the noodle, please.” Yuan Zhou set down the dishes.
“Ok.” Wu Hai first carried the bowl up and gulped down half a bowl of the broth.
“In such rainy weather, it’s so comfortable to drink a warm broth like that.” after putting down the bowl, he heaved a sigh with emotion.
“Try to savour the garlic.” Yuan Zhou pointed at the two cloves of garlic.
“Boss Yuan, when can you carry the garlic to us after you peel off the skin?” upon seeing the skin of the garlic, Yuan Zhou got speechless immediately.
Yuan Zhou didn’t speak, nor took notice of Wu Hai. Instead, he just looked at the rain curtain outside and slightly frowned.
“Pa Pa Pa” with the sound of footsteps passing, a man, who had no umbrella in his hand, ran past the door of Yuan Zhou’s restaurant in the rain.
In no time, he returned and walked straight inside the main hall.
“Boss Yuan, you are still leaving the restaurant open?” the man that came in was just the guy who liked betting with others whether Yuan Zhou would open the door or not outside the entrance of the restaurant in the morning.
His name was Wu Min and he worked nearby. As he was resting at home today, he had planned to come out taking a walk and then have breakfast. Who could expect it would rain, which made him completely soaked in the sudden heavy rain.
Having failed in taking breakfast, he had only to run back quickly. Fortunately, it was not too cold. When he ran past Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, however, he found the ever capricious boss Yuan was surprisingly leaving the restaurant open for business. Of course, he must come inside and have a look.
“Why not? What do you want to eat?” while he was asking, Yuan Zhou took a white sealed towel from a cabinet and then handed over to him.
Eating at the side, Wu Hai nevertheless spared a little time revealing a mischievous smile to Yuan Zhou, as if he were telling that he was not the only one who was surprised.
“Clear Broth Noodle Soup, please. Thank you. I have never expected Boss Yuan you have new towels here.” Wu Min received the towel with astonishment on his face and began to wipe his arms.
“Humm, wipe the hair first.” Yuan Zhou stood inside and said earnestly.
“Boss Yuan is so considerate today. Are you afraid of me catching a cold?” as suggested, Wu Min wiped his hair. He frequently came here for meals in normal times and sometimes joked with Yuan Zhou.
“You wanna hear the true words or the lie?” Yuan Zhou asked primly.
“I wanna hear both.” Wu Min answered, smiling.
“True words are that I don’t want you to catch a cold.” Yuan Zhou said readily and then continued saying when he saw a touched manner was revealing on the face of Wu Min, “The lie is that I fear the rain on your hair will drop into the noodle and therefore it might affect the mouthfeel of the noodles.”
Wu Min got completely speechless. He sat down and replied, “I feel the lie is actually more like the truth.”
“It depends on the way you think.” Yuan Zhou spread his hands, indicating it was like that.
“How much is the towel?” Wu Min felt it meaningless to argue with Yuan Zhou about that, thus he directly asked about the price of the towel.
The fixed convention in Yuan Zhou’s restaurant was that payments came prior to eating, which also applied to the white towel used by him. So, he asked quite naturally, yet merely hoping it wasn’t too expensive.
After all, the towel was not edible. However good, it was still a towel. And he was naturally reluctant to pay if it was much too expensive.

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