Chapter 683: The Many Changes of Wu Hai
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
If one said that those who went back to work on the third day of Chinese New Year were all angels with broken wings in their past lives…
Then Yuan Zhou was most definitely one of these angles with broken wings in his past life. Yuan Zhou’s restaurant was officially reopened for business on the first day of the Chinese New Year. But then, it wasn’t really apt to call this a reopening of the business as Yuan Zhou hadn’t exactly rested even during the Chinese New Year.
He had also been a scammed by the system once during Chinese New Year.
Yuan Zhou originally planned to take a two-day rest. However, after thinking about it, he couldn’t think of anything he could do. Only by opening his restaurant would things be more lively for him. In any case, people like Jiang Changxi, Wu Hai, and the rest were also around as they hadn’t returned to their hometowns for the Chinese New Year as well.
With them around, if Yuan Zhou did not open his restaurant, where could these big bosses eat? Yuan Zhou couldn’t allow them to eat instant noodles and fast food during Chinese New Year.
Moreover, he had also been giving red packets away.
During noon, there weren’t many customers. It was the same at night. The restaurant was as different as the heavens and earth than how it would usually be. A majority of the seats in the restaurant were actually empty. In normal days, this would be rarer than the sun rising from the south.
Yin Ya, Man Man, Wu Zhou, Ma Zhida and the other regular customers were probably still busy paying their relatives new year visits.
Although Zhou Jia wasn’t here, that did not affect Yuan Zhou much. It was not like he had to be assisted by anyone else in cooking. Preparing the ingredients by himself, he did everything in a familiar manner.
The sky would get dark very early during winters at Chengdu. It was as if even the sun itself was going back home for the Chinese New Year. At about 6:15 pm, the sky was already completely pitch-black.
The street was desolate and peaceful, the weather was fresh and cool.
Apart from Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, all other shops on the street were closed and on their doors were notices announcing that the shops were closed for Chinese New Year. The only thing active was a 24 hours service vending machine at the intersection of the street.
Dop. Dop. Dop.
Sounds of the knife landing on the chopping board resounded without stop.
Then, Yuan Zhou raised his head. Looking at Wu Hai, the sole customer in his restaurant, he finally understood why the young girl would suddenly think that Wu Hai’s mustache gave off a sense of security. Regardless of whether it was a holiday season or a normal day, or even the Chinese New Year, so long as Wu Hai was still in Chengdu, he would be one of the first to arrive at this restaurant. Today was no exception. Yuan Zhou opened his restaurant six sharp and Wu Hai was already here, even though he had been here during lunch as well.
“Give me one Welcoming Set Meal, then a set of Spiced Egg, Swedish Meatball, Steamed Tofu with Minced Pork, and finally, a Herbal Tea Egg.” Wu Hai appeared full of energy and did not look like someone who had spent an entire night drawing.
The dishes he ordered weren’t simple dishes either. Therefore, Yuan Zhou ignored him and continued cooking.
“Ahhh, it feels so good to eat free food.”
The more Wu Hai spoke, the more arrogant he seemed, “My goal today is to not stop eating until I’m full as the goal.”
Yuan Zhou was still ignoring him. When he cooked, he would pay all his attention. Wu Hai must have forgotten about this while he was too busy being smug.
However, Wu Hai was still able to continue talking even though Yuan Zhou was ignoring him as there was nobody else in the restaurant. By sheer tenacity, he persisted on.
“What is your goal then?” Wu Hai spoke again, using a high pitched voice this time.
Right after he said that, he spoke again using his original voice, “My goal today is to destroy the finances of the miserly boss, to do the public a favor.”
Wu Hai applauded himself and spoke using the high pitched voice again, “Why don’t you order more Herbal Tea Eggs then? And the Silk Twined Rabbit as well. Both these dishes are the expensive ones.”
“To destroy more of the miserly boss’s finances, I need to preserve my energy. Although the Herbal Tea Eggs are expensive, it is too filling,” Wu Hai explained smugly. Ever since he had gotten the red packet from Yuan Zhou, he had been this smug.
Even when talking to himself, he was still so happy.
Since Zhou Jia was not here, there were no waitresses to serve the dishes. Therefore, Yuan Zhou operated in the same manner he had operated when this restaurant was first opened. After cooking, he would serve it himself.
After the Welcoming Set Meal, the first dish served was the Steamed Tofu with Minced Pork. Wu Hai started eating slowly. He had a dream he had never realized: to spend five long hours eating without a stop in this restaurant.
In the past, there would always be a long line of customers waiting outside. Every single seat was valuable. If he dared to do that, the consequences would be grave. Since today was an extremely rare opportunity where there wasn’t anyone around, Wu Hai could both eat slowly while taking pictures to post on his social media.
Not only was he showing off on his social media, he even left a caption on each of the pictures: Why are Boss Yuan’s dishes even better when they are free?
When eating from one’s own pockets, one had to be stingy but when eating out of someone else’s pockets, one had to be ruthless. Wu Hai was currently perfectly doing the latter half of this saying.
At about seven, Chen Wei arrived and saw Wu Hai who had devoured several dishes all by himself.
“Holy sh*t. Wu Hai, are you a pig? You’re still eating?” Chen Wei looked at Wu Hai while panting. He was forced to babysit his ex-girlfriend’s daughter today. That was why he had arrived late at the restaurant.
He was unsure of what her current situation was, but since he was an ex-boyfriend, he agreed to help for old times sake. Then, he was presented with a five years old little devil who almost drove Chen Wei mad. Further amplifying his pain was Wu Hai’s endless food pictures on his social media.
Chen Wei was extremely furious, feeling like the biggest mistake he had ever done in his life was to add Wu Hai on his Wechat.
“Jealous. You are being jealous.” Wu Hai curled his lips.
While the two was conversing, Jiang Changxi arrived as well. When she saw Wu Hai and Chen Wei, she sat in the middle and placed down her bag.
“Only you two today?” Jiang Changxi asked.
Chen Wei replied, “I think so. Wei Wei went to her grandmother’s place today. Sister Wan also mentioned in the group chat that she’s going back to her hometown for the Chinese New Year. As for Chu Xiao and Wang Nan, I have no idea.”
“She’s not worried that they will be asking her about marriage again?” Wu Hai remarked while eating.
Jiang Changxi said, “Quarrels with parents will never last long anyway. Since she hadn’t returned on the New Year’s Eve, she had to go back during the first day of the Chinese New Year.”
“As for Wang Nan, a friend of mine is going over to Guixi as well and gave Wang Nan a lift there.” Jiang Changxi did not say anything about Chu Xiao as they weren’t that close with each other.
Chen Wei looked at the empty seats in the restaurant and said, “Finally, Wang Nan got to fulfill his wish of returning to his hometown for Chinese New Year. But the restaurant is really quite empty now. It feels like there’s less life here. Do you guys have the same feeling?”
“Boss Yuan, an Egg Fried Rice Set please,” Jiang Changxi ordered while shaking her head. She did not feel the same.
With Jiang Changxi not sharing his feeling, Chen Wei looked over at Wu Hai and gave up. Apart from eating, Wu Hai knew nothing else. A melancholic feeling suddenly started welling within Chen Wei. He was missing Sister Wan. After all, she would agree to anything he said. This was the beauty of Sister Wan’s wisdom.
“Besides,” Jiang Changxi suddenly said.
“Besides that, Sister Wan is probably coming back tomorrow.”
Chen Wei asked curiously, “Boss Jiang, I thought you said that quarrels with parents won’t last long?”
Jiang Changxi said, “That’s right. The quarrel won’t last long. But that does not mean that there won’t be any anger. Sister Wan will probably leave in anger again. After leaving her family during Chinese New Year, apart from this restaurant, where else can she go?”
Jiang Changxi made a lot of sense. Chen Wei did not know what to say to that.
While talking, the food they ordered had arrived. Before the two could start eating, four girls entered the restaurant. They were around 24 years old, young and beautiful, and were coming in holding hands, appearing to be quite close to each other.
Chen Wei raised his head and looked at them. These four were most likely new customers. Looking at how they kept looking around, this was probably their first time here.
It was normal for girls to eat together with their best friends. But it was quite odd for them to come out together during the first day of the Chinese New Year.
“This is the legendary Yuan Zhou’s restaurant. We’re finally here.”
“Meng Meng, lower your voice. Don’t disturb anyone here.”
“See, I’m the smart one to only come during the Chinese New Year. Otherwise, there won’t be any empty seats available.
With this, life started seeping back into the restaurant. Chen Wei lowered his head and continued eating. He was eating faster now. After all, he enjoyed eating in a lively environment.