1. This is an unofficial translation and no permission has been obtained from the author/ official publisher. It may be taken down if the author/official publisher requests.
2. This is a fan work and the interpretation represents only the translator’s personal views without any input from the author.
3. No permission has been granted to use, publish, upload and/or copy this translation to any other site except for Second Life Translations.
Liu Shu jerked at the reminder. He quickly took out the two taels of silver, and whispered, “But…. The silver should have been given by Shi Cheng’s father right?”
Uncle Quan was a servant of Shi Cheng’s family so Liu Shu’s thinking was logical. Even Liu Xu’er thought that the money was provided by Shi Cheng’s father. However, it was Uncle Quan who was seen to pay the fees. So returning the money to Uncle Quan wouldn’t go amiss. Even if it was Shi Cheng’s father who gave the instruction, if they gave the silver to Uncle Quan, he could inform Shi Cheng’s father that the money had been returned.
She carefully explained her thoughts to Liu Shu, and Liu Shu agreed.
Uncle Quan had taken a few paces before realising that the two little people had fallen behind him. He stood and waited, and when they had reached him, he smiled and asked, “Was there anything else you wanted to buy?”
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Nkw Dw’la iwknjzu pbssj bla blye. Slprlnvqwzzu bydekdt shla vos vylzp sq pkzhla, pbl pyke, “Bdnzl Cwyd, obld Fldgk pyo vbl esnvsa, xu casvbla pyo vbyv usw blzrle wp okvb vbl qllp. El oswze zkjl vs alvwad vbl xsdlu cynj vs usw.”
Bdnzl Cwyd oyp pvwddle qsa y xsxldv. Fxkzkdt, bl vssj vbl xsdlu yde pyke, “Mbld R okzz ynnlrv kv,” Wasx y rsnjlv, bl vssj swv y pxyzzla pkzhla kdtsv. Elktbkdt kv kd bkp byde, bl pyke, ”Mbkp kp dsv iwkvl sdl vylz sq pkzhla. R okzz alvwad kv vs usw yp nbydtl. Mbl xleknyz qllp olal pzktbvzu shla y vylz.”
Nkw Dw’la oyp yppwale cu bkp nydekedlpp. Fxkzkdt, pbl alnlkhle kv yde pyke, “Mbydj usw Bdnzl Cwyd qsa blzrkdt wp vbld!”
Bdnzl Cwyd pxkzle yde ryvvle bla blye. “Ls dlle vs cl ps nswavlswp. Nlv’p ts yde nsdvkdwl zssjkdt yaswde.”
Mbl vos nbkzeald zywtble pbuzu yde qszzsole yzsdt. Nkw Dw’la yde Nkw Fbw lmnbydtle y tzydnl. Mblka blyavp olal qkzzle okvb pwarakple elzktbv. Gqvla yzz, vbkp pweeld okdeqyzz oyp hlau wdlmrlnvle.&dcpr;
Tsolhla, obyv byrrldle dlmv nywple Nkw Dw’la vs elqzyvl nsxrzlvlzu.&dcpr;
Ebld Bdnzl Cwyd caswtbv vblx vs vbl pvsal vs xllv wr okvb Fbk Ubldt, vbl Qw qyxkzu’p Flnsde Zswdt Yyeyx bye yaakhle yp olzz. Fbl bye rascyczu blyae vbyv dlo pvsnj bye yaakhle yde oydvle vs byhl y zssj. Ebld Nkw Dw’la ldvlale vbl essa, Fbk Ubldt kxxlekyvlzu ayd wr yde rwzzle yv bla byde. Tl psqvzu pyke, “Fbl’p wrpvykap!”
Nkw Dw’la kxxlekyvlzu jdlo obs bl oyp vyzjkdt ycswv. Fbl oyp csvb pwarakple yde lmnkvle.&dcpr;
Liu Shu was finding it strange that they had come back to this exact same store. But seeing as Liu Xu’er had already been dragged in by Shi Cheng, he too went in. Just as before, he stood awkwardly at the doorway. However, this time, he was a bit braver, so he was craning his neck and looking around to see what was being sold.
Shi Cheng dragged Liu Xu’er to an isolated area before softly saying, “My dad is in the backroom upstairs checking the accounts and won’t come over. The shopkeeper is currently attending the Second Young Madam. I have already told him about your matter. The hand-warmers are already in place. In a while, the shopkeeper will take her around to have a look!”
Liu Xu’er was surprised, happy and worried. Anxiously smiling, she asked softly, “Do you think the Second Young Madam would like it? Would she buy it”
Shi Cheng immediately nodded, “She would definitely like it.” Then he added, “But you shouldn’t get too worked up about this. This isn’t the kind of thing that can be forced… What if she has no taste! Cough…. You can’t place all your hopes here, you need to set your sights further.”
Liu Xu’er knew what he was trying to say. She sighed and said, “I know that too. You can’t rush these things…. Ai, I really need to calm myself down. It does no good to get too anxious.”
Shi Cheng smiled and softly said, “It’s good that you understand.”
The two of them waited for a while, but didn’t see the Second Young Madam come down. Initially Liu Xu’er wanted to call Liu Shu over to wait with them, but Liu Shu seemed to have spotted the glass display counters. He was squatting down and examining how the legs of the counter and the glass were adjoined.
Liu Xu’er left him to it. Whispering, she said to Shi Cheng, “I still need to discuss something with you. In this short period of time, I’ve thought of quite a few different ideas and want to know what you think. Do you think that I should further develop this business, or do you think I should devote more time to raising livestock like the chickens and rabbits?”
Shi Cheng frowned, “Aren’t you already raising chickens and rabbits?”
Liu Xu’er said, “I don’t think you understand…. If I were to concentrate on raising them, then the selling of eggs and fur would be the main source of income. In other words, I’m asking if we should focus on large scale rearing livestock. Of course, what I mentioned would only happen in the future when we have the capacity to increase… But in the past few days, I’ve had another idea. After seeing xiaoyi’s handkerchiefs, and seeing as I am already learning all these handicrafts…. I started to think, maybe I could make some small items and slowly develop this as a business….”
A bit embarrassed, she continued, “And if things go smoothly and we can increase the scale of production, perhaps we could start to hire some people….”
Shi Cheng understood. He nodded and said, “Rearing chickens and rabbits may be easier. After all, it’s a matter of course for you to do it at home anyway, and a single person would be enough to rear them. If you want to sell handicrafts, like embroidery and what not, while one person would be enough at the beginning, to scale up, you would definitely need more people. You may eventually even need to open an embroidery workshop.”
Liu Xu’er flushed red. She said softly, “I don’t even dare to dream of that right now.”
Shi Cheng smiled and was just about to ask her why not? When the sound of someone speaking came over. Lifting his head to look, he saw that several customers had entered, and the shop assistants had hurried over to attend them. It was a group of young girls dressed in ordinary attire. With a single glance, the shop assistants assessed their spending power and directed them to the section which had some of the cheaper handkerchiefs and silk flowers. Sure enough, a few of them took a liking to the silk flowers. They tried them on and asked for each other’s opinion.
Shi Cheng continued speaking in a soft voice, “There is nothing that you can’t dream about. Aren’t all businesses the same? You need to focus on what you want to achieve. If you open a workshop, you would need a store – after all, you would need a place to sell your wares.”
Liu Xu’er nodded, “That’s right. I was thinking of that…. I wouldn’t term it an embroidery workshop, I was just thinking of making a few things to sell as a trial. Anyway, I am already keeping rabbits. I won’t sell the fur just yet, I will use it myself…. It’s just that I still don’t know where I can sell my products….
She looked at Shi Cheng and said, “This time, you helped us by asking the shopkeeper to place our handiwork here. And maybe the shopkeeper won’t say anything to your father. But that isn’t a long term solution.”
Shi Cheng nodded his head. He appeared to be deeply in thought. Liu Xu’er was about to give up, when Shi Cheng said softly, “I’d actually been thinking…. This was before I knew what you were planning, but I was thinking. The way the family store is now, is rather messy. I was going to propose to my father next year, to open another shop and transfer all these odds and ends here to the new shop to sell instead.”
Liu Xu’er stared at him, eyes wide.
Shi Cheng softly explained, “I thought about it. This store is supposed to sell jewelry, so it’s unnecessary to also mix in all these silk flowers, handkerchiefs, hand-warmers and so on here. If it’s a jewelry shop, then we should sell jewelry and not mix in other items.”
He looked at Liu Xu’er and said. “If my dad agrees, I will arrange for you to have a counter…. I will tell him that I will rent it to you. I know that rental fees may be an issue, but if you really can’t pay, then we will just use chickens and rabbits or something to help make them up.” He whispered, “If he agrees to it, I plan to get my dad to let me be a shop assistant there.”
Liu Xu’er looked at him, shocked. She said softly, “Why are you so anxious! You’re only five now. Wouldn’t he be suspicious of you if you bring up this matter? Furthermore…. Aren’t you too young to be a shop assistant? Please don’t raise other’s suspicions just to help me.”
Shi Cheng laughed, “I’m not dumb. Of course I won’t explain it that way! In front of my dad, I will childishly ask, why are there so many different things mixed up and sold in a jewelry shop? Why don’t we take all the other things out and sell them in a different shop? Wouldn’t that be better…..”
He hadn’t finished when Liu Xu’er was tickled into laughter. She nodded in agreement at Shi Cheng’s plan.
Shi Cheng continued, “Also, after the New Year, I will be six. A lot of shops start their shop assistants at six or seven. I’m not doing this only to help you. I also want to learn. And when it comes to business, it’s best to start early…. Helping you is just a bonus.”
Liu Xu’er thought about it before agreeing, “Go ahead and plan your own path. As to whether we will rent a counter, I will continue to think about it further….”
Shi Cheng nodded. The fact she was still hesitant over a good solution was likely because she worried over the rental fees. She wasn’t willing to let him help out too obviously and raise the adults’ suspicion of them.
While the two of them were murmuring to each other, Liu Shu had finally finished looking over the glass counter. He moved over to them and asked, “Shi Cheng, Xu’er, what are we doing here? Why don’t we leave?”
Liu Xu’er was just about to respond when the sound of footsteps came from the staircase. It was followed by sounds of women talking and laughing. Liu Xu’er and Shi Cheng immediately turned to look. Sure enough, it was the Second Young Madam and a few of her servant girls coming down. They were accompanied by the shopkeeper.
As the Second Young Madam was descending the stairs, her gaze swept the lower floor. “Are there any new items here?”
The shopkeeper smiled and said, “Yes, there are some new unique items.” Gesturing, he led her to the section of the cotton hand-warmers. The Second Young Madam followed him and heard the shopkeeper explain, “These are new hand-warmers. The design is new and unusual. You can tighten them at the wrists, and not worry about them falling off. If the little master wore them, it would definitely be very warm.”
Liu Xu’er didn’t even dare to breathe!
She watched as the shopkeeper passed the slightly larger pair of hand-warmers over to her. The Second Young Madam looked, but her expression was disdainful. She sneered lightly and said, “What kind of strange design is this?”
Liu Xu’er’s heart sank like a stone. Shi Cheng also frowned and softly said, “What a philistine.”
The shopkeeper’s smile never slipped off his face, “This is the latest style from the capital. When little children wear hand-warmers, it often falls off. So someone from the capital thought of this method instead. Now it’s started to catch on. I only have these few pairs here. Second Young Madam, what do you think? Inside, it’s filled with rabbit fur.”
However, the Second Young Madam still looked unconvinced. Casually she asked, “How much are they?”
“Three taels of silver for a pair.”
Liu Xu’er nearly jumped in shock! She turned to look at Shi Cheng. Shi Cheng blinked innocently, and turned away.
Liu Xu’er was so angry, she started to silently scold him. Shi Cheng, this idiot….