Transmigration of Mian [Reluctantly] Becomes His Man [Wife] - 085
085 – Selling Recipe
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Qin Mian especially reminded Lei Xiangyi and Lei Xiangli to think of making a variety of cuisines. He would not let his relatives get involved in the wine house. He could only pull Lei Xiangyi and Lei Xiangli in this way. As for whether they would tell Du Shi, it did not matter to him.
Building a wine house required someone to buy building materials, someone to guard the materials, someone to supervise the work, and someone to take care of the food for the workers—it was certainly a big project. Qin Mian figured out which people could be employed in the village, and made a list of thirty people who were assigned jobs according to their abilities and levels. Uncle Zhao Wenzhong was literate and had been engaged in business for nearly ten years. Qin Mian specially invited him to work as an accountant to take charge of daily expenses. The workers in charge of the construction were professional craftsmen hired by Lei Tie from the county town.
This time, the project was very urgent and needed to be completed before the wheat harvest. When the busy farming season ushered in, there would be a serious shortage of manpower.
After all the work had been arranged, Qin Mian and Lei Tie were only responsible for supervising the work. Watching the money in their hands gradually became less, and the wine house transformed little by little, both of them were very satisfied. Even if they were very tired every day, they also felt it was worth it.
On the way to Running Water Town from Zhaoyang County, a luxurious carriage drove quietly, getting closer and closer to Running Water Town.
Near the entrance of the town, a hand lifted the curtain. The owner of the hand casually looked out and his eyes were swept across a construction site going ahead at full steam. He was not very concerned. When he was about to withdraw his gaze, he suddenly saw two familiar figures.
He quickly told the coachman outside, “Chunsheng, drive the carriage directly into the construction site.”
“Yes, gongzi.” Although Chunsheng took the order, he was not clear of the reason. When he inadvertently saw the two people talking at the construction site, he understood.
“The Lord of Heaven makes things easy for us.” Qin Mian said to Lei Tie with a smile of joy on his face. “It hasn’t rained these days, otherwise, the progress will be hindered.”
Lei Tie held his hand tightly. “There’s no need to rush. Even if it’s drag out until the busy farming season, we can hire people. It’s nothing more than spending more money.”
Qin Mian snorted, “You’re all very well to talk, but getting things done is another matter. The head of the house knows the cost of firewood and rice1!”
Lei Tie handed him the bamboo tube hanging on his arm, which contained cabbage and snow fungus soup, “En, [my] wife has worked hard.”
Qin Mian pinched his burning hot ear lobes, took the tube, and drank the soup.
Nie Heng got out of the carriage, looked at the white brocade short boots on his feet, and hesitated for a moment. He still went over while carefully avoiding the bricks and gravel on the ground, and stopped in front of Qin Mian and Lei Tie. He cupped his hands in greeting and smiled, “Boss Qin and Boss Lei, how have you been?”
Qin Mian wiped the soup at the corner of his mouth with a handkerchief. He sized up the noble gongzi in front of him in doubt. He was sure that he did not know this person. He looked at Lei Tie and Lei Tie’s expression also told him that he did not know.
Qin Mian felt awkward and his face did not show any inkling. He politely asked, “May I ask your excellency is?”
Nie Heng had to introduce himself again, “I’m Nie Heng. Last year, I mentioned with Boss Qin that I wanted to buy the recipe from Eating Savory Restaurant.”
Qin Mian remembered. He handed Lei Tie the bamboo tube and cupped his hands in greeting as he said, “It turns out to be Nie-gongzi. I was impolite.”
Lei Tie gave him a nod [as greeting].
“Boss Qin and Boss Lei are great men who are apt to have short memories.” Nie Heng faintly smiled, “Nie remembers that Boss Qin once said you intended to sell the recipe after the New Year. Nie comes today for this matter. I wonder if Boss Qin and Boss Lei can take the time to talk in detail?”
Qin Mian went to the secluded place nearby, “Nie-gongzi, let’s talk here.”
“This…” Nie Heng looked at the noisy environment.
Qin Mian went straight to the topic, “There’s nothing to discuss this matter, I’ll say it directly. There are eighteen ingredients in our seasoning but I plan to sell with sixteen of them. If Nie-gongzi is interested, give me 500 silver taels and I’ll write the recipe immediately. ”
Nie Heng was taken aback. He thought it would take a lot of talks to persuade the other party to sell the recipe.
“Why are there only sixteen?”
“The seventeenth ingredient is very difficult to find. Even if I tell you, you won’t know what it is,” said Qin Mian.
Nie Heng did not believe it. “Oh? What is it?”
Qin Mian said bluntly, “Sichuan pepper; a kind of small black fruit.”
Nie Heng, who had never heard of it, believed he did not deliberately deceive.
Qin Mian said directly, “To be honest with you, we plan to grow this ingredient on a large scale next year. I can see that Nie-gongzi is an excellent businessman. If there is a need in the future, we’ll be happy to cooperate with you.”
Nie Heng looked at him with strange eyes. He had underestimated this youngster. While discussing business with him, the youngster did not forget to pull another business.
Instead of declaring his position immediately, he asked, “So, what about the eighteenth ingredient? Since both ingredients are so rare, the flavor of the seasoning will be very different from that of expensive restaurants without the two ingredients.” Nie Heng was worthy of being a businessman; he hit the nail on the head2.
Without batting an eyelid, Qin Mian shook his head as he said, “These words of Nie-gongzi are wrong. If so, why should we use so many ingredients in our soup? Why not only use the last two ingredients?”
What Qin Mian said was also reasonable. Nie Heng was speechless for a moment and meditated in silence.
Qin Mian did not urge him. “Recently, some people can’t hold back looking for trouble with our restaurant. We’re weak and vulnerable, we can’t withstand any trouble. So we can’t continue to hold on to the seasoning. When the wine house is ready, we’ll release the news about selling the recipe. If you want to buy it now, you only need to spend 500 taels. We’ll sell 20 copies only. Nie-gongzi can think about it carefully. You must know, the later you buy, the less advantage you have.”
Nie Heng’s face changed slightly and he frowned, “Isn’t it inappropriate for Boss Qin to do this? I thought you meant to sell it for 500 taels to me alone. If everyone has this recipe, what’s the difference between everyone who doesn’t have it and the one who has?”
Qin Mian retorted, “Do you know the monthly net income of our small restaurant? Not less than 200 taels. Nie-gongzi doesn’t look like a small businessman. As far as I know, the big wine houses in the county town make at least 1000 taels a month. If they have our seasoning, it can increase at least five times. Even if Nie-gongzi only made a profit in the first month after buying the recipe, you could still earn 5000 taels. Isn’t it worth spending 500 taels? Nie-gongzi thinks about it slowly, don’t be in a hurry. We’ve something else to do. Excuse us first.”
With that, he left with Lei Tie.
Nie Heng calmly looked at their backs. As a profiteer, he involuntarily scolded them in his heart, “Profiteers.”
“Gongzi, they’re too bullying,” said Chunsheng, unable to hold back.
Nie Heng shook his head. In fact, it was worth spending 500 taels to buy this recipe. The reason for this was more than what the little boss said. That little boss was very smart. What he could see, perhaps the little boss could see it too. It was hard to bargain with him.
Chunsheng sighed silently and ran to Qin Mian. It was the first time he saw his gongzi at a disadvantageous position while discussing business.
“Well, think of it as making friends.” Nie Heng talked to himself, which also served as self-consolation. His expression returned to normal as he watched Qin Mian and Lei Tie walk over together.
Nie Heng motioned Chunsheng to give Qin Mian 500 taels and pointedly said, “I just hope that the progress of your wine house will be slower.”
Qin Mian received the silver banknote and responded to him with “hehe”. He handed the silver banknote to Lei Tie for inspection.
Lei Tie looked at the silver banknote, nodded, and returned it to him.
Nie Heng watched it with the tail of his eye. His heart knew these two people were very likely a genuine married couple.
Qin Mian put the silver banknote away and asked, “Do you have a writing brush and paper?”
Nie Heng said, “Yes.”
Chunsheng took out the four treasures of the study in the carriage without waiting for an order.
Qin Mian was not very good at writing with a brush. He handed the brush to Lei Tie.
Chunsheng then bent over to act as a table.
Nie Heng cautiously guarded against other people approaching.
Qin Mian said and Lei Tie wrote, “One tangerine peel, two cinnamons, one fennel…”
Nie Heng’s eyes flashed. There were many spices and herbs among them! No wonder the chef he brought last time could not taste all the ingredients in the soup.
Qin Mian explained in detail, “If the tangerine peel is 1 Jin, the cinnamon is 2 Jin… In short, the proportion is not changeable, otherwise, the taste will be different. Hm… Seeing that Nie-gongzi didn’t use any ill-conceived means to deal with us after leaving Running Water Town, I’ll reveal two more recipes to Nie-gongzi.”
Nie Heng felt slightly comforted, “Then, many thanks. I believe that the gift given by Boss Qin must have its special features.” He intended to goad Qin Mian to prevent him from writing the recipes of ordinary dishes.
Lei Tie looked at him faintly.
Qin Mian glanced at Nie Heng with a forced smile. Gauge the heart of a gentleman with one’s mean measure. If I indeed intended to deceive you, why do I bother mentioning to give you the recipes?
“A-Tie, you write. The first dish is chicken with pungent aromatic sauce. Fry sesame until yellow and grind into coarse flour… The second dish is stewed pork meatballs with crab meat. Wash the scallion and ginger, wrap it with gauze, and squeeze out the water of scallion and ginger for reserve…”
Nie Heng stayed calm and collected but his eyes turned more and more bright. These two dishes were really special. These two novel dishes alone could attract many customers to his wine house. This time, he sincerely thanked, “Many thanks, Boss Qin and Boss Lei.”
“No need, no need. Happy cooperation.” Qin Mian smiled happily.
After Lei Tie finished, he handed the papers to Nie Heng.
“We’re busy. Excuse us.” Lei Tie pulled Qin Mian away.
The first thing Nie Heng noticed was Lei Tie’s writing. He was surprised. Such a confident and wanton style of writing did not come from the hands of a peasant.
He blew dry the ink, folded the papers, and carefully tucked them into his bosom.
“Chunsheng, go back.”
When Chunsheng drove the carriage on its way, he spoke, “Gongzi, I have a question.”
“Ask.” Nie Heng was in a pretty good mood. He was in the mood to chat with his personal manservant.
Shoutout Corner: Thank you, TurquoiseSquid! ♡〜ლ(๑癶ᴗ癶๑)ლ〜♡
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