Chapter 168 False alarm
The newly hired worker was overboard honest. He was indeed like how the shopkeeper of the tailor shop had described him. He didn’t know how to attract business, but Shu Huan discovered that he had a good memory. At what price he should sell what, as long as she told him once, he would not forget it and also wouldn’t become confused. Hence, she thought of a way. She thought of a moving story for every item sold in the shop and let the worker remember them. When customers come, he could tell them the stories.
Of course, the origin of these stories didn’t need to be further studied. Some were stories that Shu Huan had heard before and some were that she just made up. She only sought for them to move people and didn’t seek that the stories would be true stories. After all, she sold painted stones. Like antiques, it was for people to collect and play with. With a background story, these things would have a soul and would provoke people’s desire to buy them.
The shop had been put in order by Ranmo. There were ready made shelves inside. After she hired the worker, they could put the painted stones on the shelves and after they hang a sign, the shop could be opened. From this point of view, Shu Huan opened her shop too easily. The bookkeeping was also not difficult. Copy the things that were sold and record everything that was sold. She gave this job to Shang Xin who knew how to write.
She also had inquired about the taxes. Those who sold things like hers and had an income below thousand needed to pay thirty. However, the procedures were complicated and needed a stamp from the feudal office. It wasn’t an easy task. Fortunately, she didn’t have any other thing to do. She took Shang Xin and did all the necessary formalities. She also let Shang Xin pay attention, so that in the future she could be lazy and hand Shang Xin the matters. To call by the glorified idiom; whether it was in the official office or doing business, one had to know how to use people. Otherwise, if one had to do everything personally, one wouldn’t have the spare time and would have more work than one could deal with.
After Meijing heard this, she couldn’t help but chuckle, “I think that it’s because you hate to look at the accounting books that you say this, right?”
Shu Huan casted her a glance and said, “Can you be more subtle? You don’t have to be so straightforward.”
She truly hated to check the accounting books and hated to deal with those people of the feudal office.
That sentence made Liangchen who was doing needlework laugh. Then, Shang Xin who wore male clothes came in with an accounting book.
Shu Huan asked her, “How’s the business? Did we sell anything?”
Shang Xin shook her head. Afraid that she (SH) will be disappointed, she quickly said, “Don’t be in such a hurry. The shop is only opened for three days. Yesterday, we sold a set of painted stones and got three silver liang! I think that if we sell three to five sets of painted stones every month, it would be enough to cover our expenses.”
Shu Huan wasn’t in a hurry. She was even mentally prepared that they didn’t sell anything. After all, not many people were willing to spend a lot of money to buy those painted stones that couldn’t be eaten or used. What’s more, the location of that shop wasn’t very good and was very not eye-catching. She was already very thankful that they were able to sell something. Besides, the shop that she let Ji Danqing rent out in her stead, the old servant came back yesterday with an answer. He said that someone rented it and the rent was twelve silver liang a month. This money was enough to cover her monthly expenses. Hence, whether the shop she opened would or wouldn’t make profit wasn’t so important. It could be regarded as a pastime for her leisure time. It would be enough as long as she could earn enough money to pay the worker and taxes.
While they were talking, the dog in the yard suddenly jumped up and barked.
Meijing slapped her forehead and said, “I forgot to feed the dog!”
As she were speaking, she begged, “Liangchen, come with me. That dog is too fierce. I’m a little scared.”
Usually, Liangchen was very easygoing. She put down the needle and followed her (M).
Shu Huan didn’t pay attention to them. She thought about matters with lowered head. She felt that it was a waste to just leave the five thousand silver liang alone. It was better to collect more shops and become a landlord. This way, even if she didn’t do anything, she would have hundred silver liang every month. Many little drops make an ocean. It was always better than not doing anything with it. Even if a time comes when she needed money, she could sell the shops and that would be another income…
As she was thinking about this, suddenly the teacup resting on the table began to shake and slammed against the teapot. Then, the table shook twice. The dog barked louder. Meijing exclaimed once. Then, a hard sound could be heard. Something was broken on the ground.
Shu Huan stood up and met Shang Xin’s scared gaze.
Her voice just fell when she felt that the ground under her feet had returned to the stable state. The table also no longer shook. Liangchen and Meijing rushed in panickily. The four looked at each other in dismay.
After a long while did Shu Huan’s senses return. She took a breath and asked, “What had broken?”
Meijing’s voice was somewhat unstable, “No…that was two pieces of tiles that had slipped down…Miss, that is…”
“Don’t panic,” Shu Huan appeased her. “It’s just a small earthquake. It doesn’t matter.”
Although she said that, she herself had just recovered from the shock. Immediately, her idea to buy more shops to make money had been dispelled completely.
Ranmo was not here. She wasn’t familiar with this world and she didn’t know anything about business. Not only was it very easy to be deceived when buying shops, the most important thing was, who could guarantee that there was no natural calamities and man-made disasters? Besides, she didn’t have much ambitions and didn’t want to be wealthy. As long as she could live this life peacefully, her income was enough to provide for meals and clothing and that she could have a little savings, she would be satisfied. Hence, it was safer to hold onto those banknotes.
After she drank two mouthfuls of tea, she felt that her emotions were eased down. Shu Huan went out to check. Seeing that the dog who barked arrogantly just now had quieted down and was lying on a side while he gnawed on the bone as it swayed it’s tail and if it wasn’t for the two pieces of tiles that fell off were still scattered on the ground, she would’ve thought that the earthquake of just now was an illusion.
After a while, outside the courtyard was filled with the panic voices of the neighbors. There were also some who shouted the names of their children to call them back home. It was suddenly very noisy.
“You…,” Shu Huan turned to remind them. “If we encounter such a thing next time, stay outside of the rooms or go to an open space. If you don’t have time to run, hide next to a solid wooden bed or wardrobe.”
She said it very seriously. The maid didn’t dare to be careless. They kept that in mind and promised to do it.
When Shu Huan returned inside the room, she was still a bit restless. She knew that the earthquake was a normal crustal movement and wouldn’t cause any superstitious panic. She panicked because she didn’t know whether the earthquake was of a smaller magnitude or a pre-shock before the real earthquake. Therefore, the more she thought about it, the more restless she became.
Liangchen was scrupulous and sensed the panic hidden under her (SH) calm face. She asked, “Miss, what are you worried about?”
Shu Huan couldn’t answer it. She was only worried. It was very likely that she scared herself. Why should she tell them to let them also get worried? However, she recalled that the residents in earthquake-prone area often had escape kits. When it was necessary, they could just go out with that. Should she also prepare one? Even if she didn’t use it during an earthquake, she could use during a natural calamity or fire.
It’s a good habit to do it the moment you got the idea. Shu Huan stabilized her mind once gain and said, “Meijing, bring the embroidery kit.”