Chapter 9: Business Is Booming
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
At the old mansion, Aunt Yu and her second son Yu Song also planned to go out. Yu Feng stayed at home to take care of his crippled father and three-year-old sister. They brought a basket of sweet potatoes, cabbages, and a few wild carp.
After eating the crucian carp that Ah Wan gave them yesterday, the family couldn’t stop themselves. The brothers took their fishing poles and went to the reservoir at the village entrance to catch five fresh crucian carp. They used up one fish to make soup for their little sister and planned to sell the rest.
However, when Yu Song opened the door, he was surprised to see Yu Wan standing at the door.
Yu Wan learned from Little Bruiser that there were five people in her eldest uncle’s family—her eldest uncle, who had trouble with his legs, her eldest aunt, who was broad-minded and fat, the Yu brothers, who were diligent, and their youngest daughter, who was less than three years old.
She had seen Yu Feng before. This young man who looked very similar to Yu Feng must be his younger brother, Yu Song. Yu Song was only three days older than her.
“Second Brother.” Yu Wan smiled and greeted him.
Yu Song was shocked.
“Who is it? It’s so early…” Aunt Yu walked over with a basket.
“Aunt.” Yu Wan smiled and called out to her.
This time, it was Aunt Yu who was shocked. It had been seven or eight years since she last heard her call her aunt.
“Second Brother, are you going out? Who’s at home today? I’m taking Little Bruiser to the market. Can you please take care of my mother?” Her voice was soft and her eyes were clean and clear. There was a hint of a young girl’s softness in her smile.
Aunt Yu was stunned for a moment. It was as though she could see the little bundle acting coquettishly in her arms. She almost instinctively wanted to agree, but her rationality pulled her back. Her face turned cold and she was about to reject her.
At this moment, a deep voice came from inside the house. “Don’t worry and go. Your aunt will watch over your mother for you.”
Yu Wan looked in the direction of the inner room and said, “Thank you, Uncle, thank you, Aunt.” She then turned and left the old mansion.
After the Yu brothers left, Aunt Yu entered the room with a livid face. She glanced at the walking stick beside the bed and angrily said, “Why did you agree to her? Have you forgotten who caused you to become like this?”
Uncle Yu was silent. After a while, he said in a low voice, “I told you, my leg injury… has nothing to do with Ah Wan.”
Aunt Yu slammed the door!
There were quite a lot of people going to the market. The Yu brothers walked at the front of the group while Yu Wan walked beside the ox cart. She didn’t have any money, so she used a fresh and lively carp to get seats for Little Bruiser and her bucket of fish. She carried the winter bamboo shoots herself.
It was Little Bruiser’s first time going to the market, and he was so excited that he couldn’t sit still. It was before dawn, he pointed at the night sky and said, “Sis, look! There are ten stars in the sky!”
Then, he pointed at the villagers in front and behind him. “Sis, there are ten of us!”
He even pointed at the village that was left behind. “We’ve walked for ten miles!”
Yu Wan regretted taking him out.
As Little Bruiser chattered, a faint grayish blue light appeared on the horizon. They had arrived at one end of the market.
They were not the first group of people to arrive. At the center of the market, there were already a few hawkers selling dried goods setting up stalls.
Everyone quickly split into two sides and occupied the stalls that they were satisfied with. The stall fees here were very low. If they did not have copper coins, they could use items to exchange for them. Yu Wan used two winter bamboo shoots to exchange for a so-so spot from the clerk.
On her left was a radish seller, and on her right was an egg seller. The Yu brothers had snatched a spot closest to the entrance of Lotus Flower Town. When the customers came out of the town, they could see their stall at a glance.
Yu Song noticed Yu Wan looking over and whispered to his brother, “Is she thinking of our spot?”
Yu Feng said indifferently, “Don’t bother about her. We’ll go back once we’re done selling.”
“Okay!” Yu Song agreed and placed the wooden barrel containing the four crucian carp in front of the stall.
Yu Wan did not care about the stall. What she thought was that Yu Feng and Yu Song seemed to have caught fish too. And she was thinking whether she should help them sell it or not.
Soon, the first wave of customers arrived. Yu Wan didn’t have time to think about anything else and started to do her own things.
She was not in a hurry to shout. Instead, she first used a winter bamboo shoot to exchange for a piece of white tender tofu from the tofu stall opposite. Then, she used two fish to exchange for a spoonful of oil and a piece of salt the size of a fingernail from the vendor of the scallion pancake.
Then, Yu Wan took out the cooking utensils she had prepared beforehand, lit a brazier, and set up a small cauldron. Taking advantage of the time when the small cauldron was heating up, Yu Wan swiftly fished out a live fish from the bucket and cleaned it clean with her knife skills.
Looking at her manner of killing fish, she really did not look like a delicate and soft little girl. The vendors on both sides were shocked.
After the bottom of the cauldron was heated up, Yu Wan poured oil into it and placed the carp inside. She fried the carp until both sides were golden yellow, then mixed the chopped green onions and ginger slices. The fragrance of the onion oil and the crisp fish meat clashed fiercely in the air.
Some passers-by looked at Yu Wan.
By this time, the fish had almost been fried. Yu Wan poured a large bowl of clear water into it.
“Bruiser, add some firewood.”
“Okay!” Little Bruiser excitedly added two sticks to the brazier.
Yu Wan washed a winter bamboo shoot, cut it into slices, and poured it into the fish soup along with the tofu. The fish soup became thicker and thicker. In the end, it became an alluring milky white.
Yu Wan then crushed the salt and sprinkled a few grains. “Alright, we can eat now.”
Little Bruiser obediently sat down. Yu Wan handed the wooden bowl and spoon to him, and he scooped them up to eat.
The tender tofu melted as soon as it entered his mouth. With the milky white fish soup in his stomach, the savory fragrance had a hint of the fresh sweetness of bamboo shoots. Every bite was incomparably satisfying. Just by looking at it, everyone could already imagine the supreme delicacy.
“T-this fish soup…” Someone couldn’t help but say.
Yu Wan pretended not to understand what he meant and said with a smile, “I made it with live fish and winter bamboo shoots. My brother didn’t eat breakfast.”
Upon hearing that it was the child’s breakfast, how could the other party have the cheek to try a bowl?
The fish that Yu Wan sold were big, had a high liveliness, and were all wild. Six home-raised carps goes for six copper coins a pound, but she called out a price of fifteen copper coins. Many people were scared off by the price, but they were all tempted by the way Little Bruiser ate.
The way the child was eating, they had never seen anyone eat so well! One mouthful after another, one spoon after another. With a whoosh, even the tofu and winter bamboo shoots were sucked in!
Child! This soup is hot!
“Huu ~ Huu ~ Huu ~” Little Bruiser used a spoon to scoop a piece of tender meat from the fish’s stomach. He blew on it a few times and mixed half a spoonful of milky white soup into his mouth!
The sounds of people swallowing their saliva could be heard.
A child would never know how to fake it. It was obvious from the way he ate.
However, an expert shook his head and said, “This girl’s fish soup was made incorrectly just now. After frying the fish, it can’t be boiled in cold water. The taste will be locked in the fish, and the fish soup won’t be delicious.”
“Then why is he eating so well?” The young man beside him pointed at Little Bruiser and asked.
The man said, “It’s because the ingredients are good. It won’t be too bad no matter what.”
Someone recognized this man as the chef of White Jade Restaurant.
The White Jade Restaurant was the largest restaurant in Lotus Flower Town. The chefs there had all cooked for the rich and powerful in the Capital! If even he said that the ingredients were good, then it was really very good!
“I want two!” An auntie decided!
Yu Wan chose two pieces and tied them together with a grass rope. She handed them to the other party and said, “Auntie, it’s better to make live fish and winter bamboo shoots together. Buying winter bamboo shoots alone costs six copper coins a pound. But if you buy the fish too, it’ll cost five copper coins.”
There was no one selling winter bamboo shoots here. She did not know what the market was, so she had set the price according to the home-raised carps.
The auntie hesitated for a moment. She did not think it was expensive, so she bought it along with the winter bamboo shoots.
With the first person taking the lead, the business after that was much easier. The live fish and winter bamboo shoots were soon sold out.
The chef of the White Jade Restaurant did not buy anything from Yu Wan. In his opinion, although these ingredients were fresh, they did not catch his eye.
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