The business of Xiaohua’s Home Cooking Restaurant was surprisingly hot.
Wang Shuxiu was a good cook, keeping the original taste of the ingredients, and the ingredients themselves were fresh and tender; each dish was also a full portion. All this had won the restaurant a good reputation in the surrounding area in just a few days after opening. The popularity of the restaurant and the money it made brought a new problem, the lack of manpower.
Wang Shuxiu’s previous thought was simple: there were many small restaurants in this area, and it would take time for Xiaohua’s Home Cooking Restaurant to gain a foothold, so how many customers could there be when it first opened? It would be enough to have her alone plus Yi Hang’s occasional help. But who would have thought that business at the restaurant would be so good that Wang Shuxiu and Yi Hang were both working around the clock and were both a bit too busy? Yi Hang hadn’t even been to the plant nursery recently and Yan Yue had taken over all the work there.
“This is not the way to go on.” Wang Shuxiu and Yi Hang discussed, “We need to hire someone.”
Yi Hang straightened his small body, “I’m okay do it alone.”
Wang Shuxiu chuckled and raised her hand to slap Yi Hang, “You’re okay? If you get too tired, your mother will eat me, ah?”
There was a reason for Wang Shuxiu’s teasing. She and Yi Hang’s mother didn’t have a good relationship. The two families lived close to each other, and both Yi Hang and Lu Lingxi were the only children in the family, but they got together and didn’t learn anything good. Wang Shuxiu and Yi Hang’s mother had several arguments over whether Yi Hang was seducing Lu Lingxi to behave badly or Lu Lingxi was luring Yi Hang to do wrong things, and almost got into a fight, but the two little bastards still did what they wanted, hooking up and getting along, not affected at all.
When she said this, Yi Hang was a little embarrassed and immediately followed to show his loyalty. “How come? My mom can’t wait for me to be busy all the time. She thinks I’m getting ahead now and wants to find time to thank Lao San.”
What Yi Hang said was not to make Wang Shuxiu happy, but was true. In the past, before Lu Lingxi’s accident, he, Lu Lingxi, Zheng Tan and Bai Yuan were four little bastards who had been hanging around since junior middle school. The families couldn’t control them, and they were used to living a life of idleness. When the accident happened to Lu Lingxi, Zheng Tan and Bai Yuan’s parents saw that they couldn’t go on like this and sent them away to learn a trade, leaving Lu Lingxi and Yi Hang as the only two out of four brothers. If this was all, it would have been fine, but Lu Lingxi lost his memory and changed his old ways and started to become more sensible. Yi Hang was compared to the mud that couldn’t hold up the wall (worthless).
Fortunately, Lu Lingxi didn’t forget his good friend; first Yi Hang was approached about the plant nursery, and later about the small restaurant. Never mind this busy time, Yi Hang also felt fulfilled. After Yi Hang had washed away the fancy colours on his face and his clothes also turned back to normal, his mother didn’t know how to thank Lu Lingxi, looking at this. The fact that Yi Hang was busy didn’t scare her. The only thing she was afraid of was that if Yi Hang wasn’t busy anymore, he’d go back to his old ways.
They were both mothers, and Wang Shuxiu understood Yi Hang’s meaning. She sighed, “You and Xiao Xi are so sensible that your mother and I have nothing to worry about.”
Although Yi Hang proved himself capable, Wang Shuxiu couldn’t really treat other people’s children improperly, and the recruitment of staff for the restaurant was still on the agenda. But the right people couldn’t be recruited all at once. Lin Mei had nothing to do these days, so she simply came along and helped out.
The business of Xiaohua’s Home Cooking Restaurant was booming, and Lu Lingxi’s mind focused on Tiny Garden again. After a few days of careful consideration, Xue Yongtong finally took Gao Yongliang to Tiny Garden.
“Hello, welcome.” Lu Lingxi was a bit startled when he looked up and saw the visitor, “You’re here? What can I do for you?” He remembered what Yan Yue had reminded him of and stared at Xue Yongtong with some curiosity for a few moments, speculating in his mind about the other party’s identity and his intentions for coming here this time.
Xue Yongtong was a bit embarrassed, to say the least. He was a dignified figure in Fengcheng’s gardening circles, and sneaking into Tiny Garden disguised as a customer was really not very honourable. Facing Lu Lingxi’s clear eyes, Xue Yongtong said with a slight embarrassment, “Little boss, I came here this time to talk to you about cooperation.”
“Cooperation? What kind of cooperation?”
Xue Yongtong deliberated on how to speak, but Gao Yongliang couldn’t care less about him and went around inside Tiny Garden by himself. As soon as he entered Tiny Garden, his eyes lit up. There was a popular saying in foreign cosmetic circles that a practitioner who was a chemist was also a knowledgeable botanist. They worked with plants every day and knew what plants were suitable for what fragrances, which plants’ essential oils had what effect, what plant cells could repair the skin and so on. To choose the right thing, you had to understand the plants first. Over time, Gao Yongliang’s appreciation of plants was not at all inferior to Xue Yongtong’s. It’s just that the two looked at plants from different starting points; Gao Yongliang was entirely practical.
He looked with some fascination at the pot of geranium in front of him. Unlike the geraniums he had seen in Xue Yongtong’s plant nursery that had already shed their petals, the geranium in front of him was not only in full bloom, but the flowers were bigger and more showy, which meant that this geranium could extract more essential oils.
In the plant world, not all plants could produce essential oils, but only plants with balsam glands could do so. The balsam glands of geraniums were distributed on the flowers and a small number of leaves, and the larger the flower the more essential oil it could produce.
Gao Yongliang somewhat liked the smell of geranium essential oil. The light green liquid was fresh and clear. Mixed with the aromas of rose and peppermint, the smell was not particularly sweet and greasy, more on the neutral side, and could be easily mixed with other essential oils. The most important thing was that it was also very practical for use in cosmetic formulations. It could be used for almost any skin condition, not only for deep cleansing, but also to encourage the renewal of skin cells and repair acne marks and scars on the skin.
These thoughts flashed through Gao Yongliang’s mind, and he decided that he had to convince the other party to work with him. These plants and flowers here were too good to be true, not to mention that this geranium was the best he had ever seen. If it could be grown on a large scale and maintained at this quality, he could imagine how promising it would be in the future.
With an eager attitude, Gao Yongliang came up to Xue Yongtong, who had just finished introducing himself and mentioned that he wanted to work with Lu Lingxi to grow the begonias he had bought on a large scale. Gao Yongliang quickly added, “It’s not limited to begonias, other ones are fine too.”
Lu Lingxi frowned slightly; the begonias that Xue Yongtong had taken a fancy to were evolved plants, and large-scale planting was impossible at present. As for the collaboration they mentioned, Lu Lingxi wasn’t really willing. He was a little worried that his secret would be discovered. Just because he trusted Yan Yue and was willing to be unguarded in front of him didn’t mean that he also trusted other people and was willing to have his secret discovered.
Lu Lingxi’s silence indicated his attitude, and Gao Yongliang immediately suggested, “We can talk about the conditions of cooperation slowly. I hope the little boss can seriously consider this opportunity.”
“What’s the matter?” Yan Yue’s voice came from the door. He had just returned from Xiaohua’s Home Cooking Restaurant, carrying the lunch that Wang Shuxiu prepared for Lu Lingxi.
“Big Brother Yan, you’re back?” Lu Lingxi’s eyes lit up. He wasn’t very good at dealing with outsiders, and even more so, he didn’t know how to refuse. Yan Yue had returned just in time, so he very naturally threw the question to Yan Yue.
Yan Yue faintly swept a glance at the two of them, walked straight over and rubbed Lu Lingxi’s hair, “Xiao Xi, take Dahei to Dong Zhi for dinner, leave this to me.”
“Okay.” Lu Lingxi nodded obediently.
As soon as he left, Yan Yue simply said, “The cultivation technology of Tiny Garden is confidential and we will not cooperate with other horticulturalists.”
Gao Yongliang was anxious, “Perhaps you can listen to our conditions first?”
Yan Yue looked at him indifferently, “Perhaps Mr. Gao has been abroad for a long time and doesn’t quite understand the meaning of the Chinese language. I’ve said Tiny Garden won’t cooperate with other horticulturalists.”
Gao Yongliang froze for a moment and finally understood.
Yan Yue was adamant and gave Gao Yongliang a problem, so there was no point in staying any longer. Gao Yongliang and Xue Yongtong quickly left Tiny Garden. Yan Yue stared thoughtfully at Gao Yongliang’s back, thinking about this collaboration he had mentioned. If there was no Luxuan Gardening, cooperation with Gao Yongliang was not impossible. When he was abroad, he had heard Gao Yongliang’s name and had met him once inadvertently. Later, when Gao Yongliang resigned and wanted to return to China to start his own business, he applied to Dezhi Investment for project funding. However, there was another project that was more promising than his at that time, and Yan Yue’s essence was to make money, not to support the start-up out of goodwill, so he eventually turned down Gao Yongliang’s project. He never thought he would meet Gao Yongliang again.
As far as Yan Yue knew, Gao Yongliang’s ideas were good and his ability was also there, but unfortunately, there was Luxuan Gardening in the middle. He thought of the secret Lu Lingxi was hiding, and although he didn’t know what it was, it would probably have something to do with the flowers and plants. The young man didn’t want it to be known, and all he could do was to help Lu Lingxi hide the secret.