Fierce “Husband” – Chapter 25.2

As soon as Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing stepped into the Butterfly Jewelry Pavilion, the clerk who previously entertained Shao Yunan immediately welcomed them in and asked another clerk to quickly report it. In a short time, the voice of shopkeeper Zeng came from the staircase. “Brother Shao.” Shao Yunan looked up and greeted, “Boss Zeng.” Then introduced the person beside him. “This is my husband, Wang Shijing.”


“Brother Wang, please come upstairs.” Boss Zeng brought the two of them to the same room as before, while the clerk served the tea. The shopkeeper Zeng laughed and joked. “Even old Zeng could hear about brother Shao’s popularity in the county school. It’s a pity that Zeng was not able to see the action with his own eyes.” Shao Yunan was not embarrassed in the slightest as he said with a smile, “I was forced to do so. I didn’t expect you to hear about it. I’m not going to be famous now, right?” Shopkeeper Zeng followed his lead by saying, “Fame or not, Zeng does not know, but these days there are many people in the teahouse and pub talking about this. Most of them sympathize with Brother Shao and Brother Wang, and some people even praise Brother Shao for his decisiveness. “


Shao Yunan was embarrassed and just smiled awkwardly. Shopkeeper Zeng also changed the topic. “Since brother Shao came here today, do you have another rare thing to sell?” The flesh like stone, shopkeeper Zeng as a merchant naturally must have learned about it and was now excited to see it. However, this meat like stone was now in the hands of the county magistrate, so shopkeeper Zeng asked about it as a side attack.


Shao Yunan just played dumb as he spoke. “It’s not that I have something rare to sell. Shopkeeper Zeng helped to solve our urgent problem and since the county magistrate asked me to come to the Yamen today, I made some jam as a gift for the county magistrate. I also want to give some to shopkeeper Zeng as a token of our gratitude. I also have some mountain products produced in the village, so I’ll give them to shopkeeper Zeng as well.” Wang Shijing acted perfectly as an ‘assistant’ and took out the last two small jars of jam and a bag of mountain products from his back basket. After all, shopkeeper Zeng was a businessman, so when he heard the word jam, he immediately got excited and asked, “What is jam?”


Shao Yunan shamelessly replied, “It’s a paste made from the wild fruits on the mountain. My family picked a lot of them to eat and since letting them rot would be a pity, Shijing and I thought that making a paste that could last longer would be better. I ate it and it tasted quite good. It can also be eaten directly or accompanied by steamed buns, cakes, or snacks. Adding it into water to drink is also okay. If shopkeeper Zeng likes it, I will make some more for you when the wild fruits on the mountain are ripe. “


These words have several meanings in shopkeeper Zeng’s ears. First, the raw materials were wild fruits. Second, it could be made from a variety of fruits. Third, this thing could last a long time, fourth it was rare and fifth, there were many ways to eat this thing! Shopkeeper Zeng did not care much about etiquette and in front of the two people, opened both jars. At once, two different sweet scents of fruit came out. One of them had a strong peach fragrance.


Shopkeeper Zeng couldn’t hide his surprise. It smelled so appetizing! Shopkeeper Zeng raised his eyes. “This is made from peaches?” Shao Yunan nodded. “One jar is made from peaches and the other is made from red sour fruits.” Shopkeeper Zeng looked at the ‘paste’ in the jar and immediately called out to the younger clerk to bring two bamboo spoons. The boy quickly brought two bamboo spoons and Shopkeeper Zeng scooped a spoonful of peach jam to taste it. Shao Yunan, who looked at the experienced expression, tried to bite his tongue. Once the shopkeeper tasted it carefully and took a sip of tea, he changed the spoon before scooping up some red sour fruit jam.


After tasting the two tablespoons of jam, the shopkeeper looked at Shao Yunan with so much intensity that even Shao Yunan could not bear to look straight into his eyes, which also made Wang Shijing’s one eye a little gloomy. “Brother Shao, please sit down for a while. I’ll be right back.”


“I will wait, Shopkeeper Zeng.” Shopkeeper Zeng got up and went out with hurried steps. Then Wang Shijing suddenly held Shao Yunan’s hand forcefully, meeting Shao Yunan’s puzzlement. Wang Shijing held his hand for a long time before asking, “This Shopkeeper Zeng, has a family, right?” Shao Yunan froze for a moment, then he muffled a laugh, pulling out his hand from Wang Shijing’s grip and then circling them around Wang Shijing’s neck, dragging the person over and nibbling hard at the other person’s mouth.


“He is not attracted to me, but to the good things in my hands. Besides, he’s old enough to be my father.” After another nibble, Shao Yunan said very unashamedly. “But I like it when you are jealous of me.” Wang Shijing felt quite ashamed, but his wife said he liked it so he had nothing to be ashamed of in the end. Turning passivity into initiative, Wang Shijing pressed the back of Shao Yunan’s head and kissed him hard on the mouth. His wife was too attractive and only became more and more attractive, so much so he had to keep an eye on him. Shopkeeper Zeng brought another man with him when he came back. Not noticing Shao Yunan’s reddish lips, Shopkeeper Zeng directly introduced them. “Brother Shao, this is Mr. Xu of Yizhang Xuan restaurant. Old Xu, this is little brother Shao and his husband, Wang Shijing.”


“Little Brother Shao, Brother Wang.” Both sides saluted each other and then Shopkeeper Zeng gave the spoon to Boss Xu. Boss Xu’s expression while tasting was very similar to Shopkeeper Zeng’s. Then boss Xu, who was very straightforward, opened his mouth and asked, “Little brother Shao, if you still have some extra jam left, I from Yizhang Xuan restaurant want all of them. The price is negotiable.” Shao Yunan did not show the surprise that the two people thought there should be, he just frowned and then said with a bit of apology. “I only have a few jars left at home. I have given the rest to my friends and relatives. I’m not going to sell the rest since I left it for the children to eat.”


Shopkeeper Xu and Zeng immediately looked disappointed, not knowing what to say next. Then Shao Yunan said, “This jam is not only very time-consuming to make, but also laborious. I planned to sell it, but my family is really short of manpower, so I told the production method to my family’s good friends. They are also the family of the village chief of our Xiushui Village and is a way to return their protection of my family. They are very interested in doing this business, but I’m not sure if they have found a buyer yet.” Shopkeeper Xu looked anxious as he asked, “I wonder if I can go to Xiushui Village with you? This jam is indeed a rare thing, so I would like to buy it all. I can also guarantee that the production method of the jam would not be coveted by others. I will pay two taels of silver for a jar of red sour fruit jam and three taels of silver for a jar of peach jam.”


Wang Shijing was frightened, but Shao Yunan was very calm. Things that were rare were precious, so good things that appeared for the first time would also not be cheap. However, business can only last for a long time if there is a real sense of doing business, so Shao Yunan directly negotiated for Zhao Lizheng’s family. “I will not hide it from the two bosses. Red sour fruit is abundant on the mountain, but peaches are rare. However, there are many kinds of wild fruit on the mountain, so there can be many varieties of jam a year. Even if you don’t get fruits from the mountain, it’s easy to get a piece of land and plant some. The price given by the shopkeeper Xu is too high. Everyone is doing business with integrity, so I don’t want to cut off the future of jam for some momentary money.”


“Shopkeeper Xu, although the method of this jam is more or less the same, everyone’s craftsmanship will be different. Now there are few peaches, so even if we want to make more we can’t do it. Why don’t Shopkeeper Xu try to buy it for 800 copper coins per kilo and the red sour fruit jam for 400 copper coins per kilo. Now is the best time to harvest red sour fruit. Later when there will be no more red sour fruit, shopkeeper Xu should adjust the price. The jam made would also need time and a channel to be sold by shopkeeper Xu.  If you can’t sell it, you can’t make money even when it’s made. It’s a mutual benefit. Shopkeeper Xu may also want to jar the jam according to your own needs. In the future, the price of each jar of jam might as well be set according to the quality, quantity, and cost of the fruit in the season, so that the price becomes flexible and neither side feels at a loss.”


How much would Yizhang Xuan restaurant sell one kilo of jam for? It was their own business. But for Zhao Lizheng’s family that would become the direct manufacturer, considering the long-term business, it was enough to sell for the wholesale price. Besides, if the price was too high, more people would become jealous, which would not be a good thing for Zhao Lizheng’s family. The price proposed by Shao Yunan could still make Zhao Lizheng’s family earn a lot of money even after deducting the costs and labor. Zhao Lizheng’s family paid 10 copper coins per kilo of red sour fruits and 30 copper coins per kilo of peaches. Deducting the labor and cost price proposed by Shao Yuan could still let Zhao Lizheng earn a lot of money a year. 


Water was essential for jam making. Basically one kilo of fruit could produce one kilo of jam. If they really tried to sell it at the price proposed by shopkeeper Xu, it would really be cheating others, which was definitely not a good thing for doing business long term. It was not a good thing to wantonly raise prices just because something was rare. You can raise prices for some things at will, while others, such as jam, are not very difficult to make so it was better to be honest from the start. Also Zhao Lizheng’s prices should be appropriate. After all, the method of jam production could not be kept a secret for long.


Shopkeeper Xu and Zeng both doubted their own ears, especially shopkeeper Xu. He was prepared for Shao Yunan to raise the price. Shao Yunan who saw through the two shopkeepers’ thoughts, just smiled and said, “It would be best if this jam business could be done for a long time. There are a lot of wild fruits in the mountains and there is land in the village where it could still be grown. If there are more rare jams, the price will definitely also be higher.”


“This jam is rare, but it also has a shelf life. Even if you use this method of preservation, it can be kept fresh for four or five months. Shopkeeper Xu, you would still need to transport the goods before selling them, which would also generate cost. If both buyers and sellers are sincere, we can happily cooperate for a long time with each other. It’s true that the money can’t be made all the time and it’s true that water needs to flow, otherwise the businessmen will have a grudge against each other. Shopkeeper Xu treats me as a good seller for our Xiushui Village, so if there will be something rare in the village in the future Shopkeeper Xu will consider a long-term cooperation. The villagers have no right and no power, so if there are any difficulties in this business in the future, I also hope that the shopkeeper can help them.”


Shopkeeper Xu bowed to Shao Yunan and said solemnly, “Little brother Shao is so honest, I Xu, accept little brother Shao’s goodwill and promise to buy jam from Zhao Lizheng’s family in the future. Whether it’s little brother Shao or Xiushui Village, as long as the product is good I will accept it, the price would also be fair.”


“Thank you, Shopkeeper Xu, and thank you, Shopkeeper Zeng, for introducing such an opportunity to Xiushui Village. When I return, I will find Uncle Zhao Lizheng and tell him what shopkeeper Xu said. When the jam is ready, I will ask Uncle Zhao Lizheng’s son to send it directly to Shopkeeper Xu to taste it. If the shopkeeper is satisfied, the two of you will sign the contract and start the official production.”


“If it isn’t too much trouble for you brother Shao,” Shopkeeper Xu said and clapped his hands, making a servant boy immediately come in from outside, holding a box in his hand. Shopkeeper Xu asked the servant boy to present the box to Shao Yunan and said, “Little brother Shao is so kind, this is my and Yizhang Xuan restaurant’s thank you gift I want to present to brother Shao on behalf of my employer.” Without looking, Shao Yunan guessed it was probably money so he just waved his hand. “No, no. There is no need for a thank you gift.”


Shopkeeper Xu insisted. “As little brother Shao just said, business is based on honesty. Brother Shao might think he didn’t do business with me, but Xu thinks Brother Shao deserves this gift of thanks. This jam will not only earn me money, but also reputation. So please accept it.” Not to mention the fact that he took the initiative to lower the price by so much, this sincerity alone was enough for them to maintain a long-lasting friendship with Shao Yunan. Shopkeeper Zeng also tried to persuade them from the side, so after a short time Shao Yunan ‘embarrassedly’ stood up and saluted. “Then I’m sorry. Thank you shopkeeper Xu, thank you shopkeeper Zeng.”


After the business was done, Shao Yunan gained an unexpected fortune and said a big goodbye to the two shopkeepers. The two shopkeepers even personally sent the two of them to the front door, while shopkeeper Zeng even gave Shao Yunan a small gift, a pair of silver earrings worn by girls. The earrings were ordinary teardrop-shaped white jade, so he might have known that Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing had a daughter.


The couple thanked them again and again before finally leaving together. After crossing the street and turning into the alley, Shao Yuan shook the box, the sound of silver ingots sounded so moving that he could no longer hold back his laughter. “Shijing, why do you think this money was so easily earned?  No wonder the owner behind Yizhang Xuan restaurant and Butterfly Jewelry Pavilion could make his business so big. The shopkeeper was good at being a man and that owner was probably even better at being a man.”


Wang Shijing was also very happy. The two didn’t open the box to count how much money they had. They just put it into the basket on Wang Shijing’s back, who then complimented: “It’s because Yunan is so great. If it was someone else, they would find it difficult to earn money.” Shao Yunan raised his chin proudly. “You don’t regret marrying me, do you?”

Wang Shijing replied by squeezing Shao Yunan’s hand tightly. “You are my wife.”


Edited by: Jaisland



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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. comix

    Sensible business men! Thank you for the chapter

  2. Nura Ol’Blast

    I am so happy for them
    Thank you for your hard work

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