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317 The Delight of A Popsicle

 Several days later...

"Boss Yuan, Boss Yuan, surprising news." A man suddenly ran into the restaurant and said anxiously.

It was the break time between breakfast and lunch when there wasn't anybody in Yuan Zhou's restaurant. Even Zhou Jia hadn't arrived yet.

Only Yuan Zhou was there, preparing the dishes for lunch, alone.

Hearing that, he raised the head and looked toward the person.

"What's wrong, Wu Zhou?" Yuan Zhou was a little puzzled.

"Hey! How could you still be so calm? There seems to be a new western restaurant not far from here. Look, it's the invitation letter." Seeing Yuan Zhou's motionless manner, Wu Zhou became quite worried. While speaking, he handed an exquisite card to Yuan Zhou.

The appearance of the card was fairly magnificent. It was wrapped in an invitation bag and the paper felt like the fine and smooth silk cloth.

"Is your company holding the annual meeting so early?" Yuan Zhou received the invitation card and asked with puzzlement.

"Noooope. It's the newly-opened restaurant next door. Look!" Showing the whites of his eyes, Wu Zhou pointed at the invitation letter and said solemnly

"Um, I know. Thanks." After a nod and thanks, Yuan Zhou nevertheless didn't intend to leave the restaurant at all.

"Then why are you still be so calm? This is a high-end restaurant right beside you!" Wu Zhou said anxiously while pointing at the outside.

Having paused a while, he continued, "Of course, I am still in favor of you, Boss Yuan."

"Thanks." Yuan Zhou nodded the head.

Seeing Wu Zhou staring at him constantly, he opened the invitation letter symbolically and prepared to have a look.

It was quite formal. It started with the courteous addressing of Wu Zhou, behind of which was the content.

The content was long. It was summarized by Yuan Zhou himself as, [Our restaurant is going to be open for business on Oct. 1. We wish you could come around and taste our dishes.]

The remaining was sort of polite greetings.

The entire invitation letter took on a splendid rose red. With the dark fringes printed, the texture felt superior in his hand.

"It's a splendid invitation letter. Furthermore, it's very formal." Yuan Zhou remarked justly.

"Isn't it a threat? Boss Yuan, do you think their dishes are tasty?" Wu Zhou asked curiously.

"The head chef is said to be a senior culinary artist, so the dishes are supposedly not bad." Yuan Zhou's remarks were always made to the point.

"A culinary artist?" Wu Zhou wasn't a chef and hence didn't know the meaning of it.

"It's another appellation of a chef," Yuan Zhou said concisely and comprehensively.

"What is the taste of the dishes like compared with yours, Boss Yuan?" Wu Zhou asked with an evil laugh.

"There isn't a comparability between their dishes and mine. I'm doing better than them," Yuan Zhou said seriously and earnestly.

"Er... Boss Yuan, couldn't you be at least a little modest?" Wu Zhou said speechlessly.

"I'm telling the truth. When does telling a truth become immodest?" Yuan Zhou frowned and became puzzled. He didn't mean anything else at all and was truly confused.

"..." Wu Zhou had nothing to say to answer.

"Isn't it so?" Yuan Zhou asked.

"Yeah, yeah, sure. Boss Yuan is the best." Wu Zhou talked as if he were coaxing a kid.

Of course, he also thought the same in the heart. After all, how could he take a fancy to dishes of other restaurants after he had eaten those of Yuan Zhou's restaurant?

However, it was possible for him to go and have a try.

Nevertheless, no restaurant would like to do a one-off business and refuse repeat customers.

If not, how would they run the chain business later?

"Speaking of which, are you worried about that, Boss Yuan?" Wu Zhou was actually only curious about Yuan Zhou's attitude toward that.

"Should I? With the restaurant being here, those who can't get their turn in my restaurant could eat nearby. Actually, I think it's fairly considerate to the customers," Yuan Zhou said lightly.

"Boss Yuan, that was really a fantastic moment of acting cool. You shocked me." Wu Zhou was lost in silence for quite a while and then said.

"Um. Business time will start very soon. Go form the line," said Yuan Zhou.

"Well, alright." Wu Zhou then agreed.

He only reacted when he reached the door.

"Boss Yuan is becoming more and more influential now." Seeing Yuan Zhou' back inside of the kitchen, Wu Zhou sighed with emotion.

"Gee? It's you two, again." Having arrived at the door, Wu Zhou found the two people who came frequently these few days.

Li Cheng and Zhang Fan. The combination of the two persons were really eye-catching. Now that they stood at the door, Wu Zhou naturally got curious.

"Um. Hello." Li Cheng greeted.

Standing beside him, Zhang Fan just smiled implicitly and said nothing.

"The combination is really strange." Wu Zhou muttered in a low voice.

Li Cheng who stood at the foremost of the line had actually heard him, but he didn't turn around to him.

He didn't really care about others' thought. As long as he could fulfill his own wish, it was good.

"Interesting." When Wu Hai saw them in the latter part of the line, he also said.

Although they often heard of this combination these few days, he still felt it interesting.

Besides, Li Cheng asked Zhang Fan some specious questions every time.

In a little while, the lunch time commenced. As usual, Li Cheng ordered the Dongpo Pig Knuckle and the beef.

The two dishes were Zhang Fan's favorite dishes. Li Cheng managed to find it out after the meals.

Just like the several times before, Li Cheng asked him some odd question while eating. Basically, Zhang Fan answered whatever he could answer.

After the meal, the two persons usual departed respectively.

This time, however, Zhang Fan stopped.

"Big boss, please tell me directly if you have anything to tell me. I don't feel it good if you always offers me such treats." Zhang Fan said with a helpless tone.

"Nothing at all. I just want to eat something with you." Li Cheng said earnestly.

"You are my boss. I can't take it for granted that you treat me the meals again and again. If you really have nothing to talk with me, please don't treat me anymore next time." Zhang Fan's head was full of grey hair and the perennial hard work made his back bend slightly. However, the way he talked was methodical and rigid.

"Even after we had meals for several times, you still didn't recognize me. I reckon you have truly forgotten me." Li Cheng sighed first and suddenly said that.

"I'm sure that I don't know you." Zhang Fan nodded the head affirmatively.

He had lived a simple life. How could be there a chance to know such a big boss?

"Twenty years ago, you served in the army, right?" Li Cheng was still a little excited when he said that.

"Yes. Everyone that knows me knows about that." Zhang Fan was a man of great caution.

He wouldn't believe that a big boss would lay his heart bare to a nobody.

"You took train and went back home for vacation in Aug. of 1993." What Li Cheng said was not a question, but an affirmative sentence.

"Well..." Zhang Fan lost his tongue.

Frankly speaking, he didn't really remember that. He was merely a compulsory serviceman that would finish his duty and go back home after three years of military service. When there was a home leave, the time was enough long.

Since it happened so long ago, he had already got nowhere to remember that.

"It was extraordinarily hot that year. My mum took me to Jiangsu Province to visit my father. It's really inconvenient for a woman that took her kid alone in that messy train possibly with bad guys." While Li Cheng said that, his tone was always a little excited.

"Er..." Zhang Fan was actually slightly embarrassed.

It was indeed embarrassing that an unacquainted person told some private matters in front of you.

Not to mention that he wasn't really interested in how the big boss made the giant business. He was nearly 40 this year and the time of believing stories had already passed.

Li Cheng just kept talking at the side and took no notice of him as if here were invisible.

"The green train was very slow and it was extremely hot. There was some breeze from the open window. My mum had carried me tight in her arms until she got seated."

"I was told later that even her luggage was carried onto the train by others. It was a more than 30 hours' journey. During the first few hours, she didn't even dare to go to the bathroom." Li Cheng was a little grieved when he thought of the experience.

"I'm sorry. But what are you intending to say?" Zhang Fan broke in at the gap of his conversation.

Li Cheng had done the same in the past few days. Treating, asking, treating, asking. Zhang Fan felt both impatient and perturbed.

With great difficulty, he mentioned that but meanwhile Li Cheng chattered about something else. Only then did Zhang Fan ask him.

Li Cheng, "..."