“What about this one?” The man asked.
Looking at it, Su Tang felt that the place was nice, but she couldn’t afford it and it also wasn’t suitable for her business. She planned to sell desserts after all, so having this kind of large and central location wouldn’t actually help her much. Rather, she felt that the Jiang family’s noodle stall that she had seen before was pretty good.
When he saw Su Tang’s non-committal attitude, Zhang Zheng knew that she wasn’t interested. So, sure enough, the next place he took her two was a spot that seemed to be much closer to the Jiang family’s noodle stall.
“Tang girl!” Madam Qian and Jiang He happened to see the two of them walking over, so Madam Qian called out a greeting.
Su Tang smiled up at her and said, “Huh, it seems Big Brother and sister-in-law aren’t tending the stall today?” (tl note: She’s Su Tang’s “sister-in-law” since Su Tang sometimes calls Jiang He “big brother” but they have no actual relation.)
“Yup. But Miss Tang, who’s this?” Madam Qian looked down at Su Tang with curiosity. In actual fact, she knew who Zhang Zheng was. After all, he was a middle man of sorts, and because of all the shops on East Street he was often running around the area, so most of the people with stores and stalls knew him.
After all, despite the fact that there were many shops in this area, there weren’t actually that many who could stably do business over the long term. It was a competitive market, so shops that didn’t either have something really good or else something really unique would often be driven out of business and then Zhang Zheng would arrive to help sell the empty shops.
Of course, the fact that the rent here on East Street was much higher than it was in other places in town only made the problem worse.
Madam Qian was worried that Su Tang had come because the girl wanted to start selling her fish balls herself. That would be terrible news for her and her husband because their noodle stall had relied almost entirely on her fish balls to reach their present stage of development. Thus, if the girl started selling the fish balls herself there was no way that their own business wouldn’t be affected.
Su Tang could see the worry in the woman’s eyes, but she didn’t offer up any sort of explanation, she just smiled faintly and said, “He works around here, he’s helping me come out to have a look at the shops.”
When Jiang He heard that, he also began to feel worried and blurted: “What kind of shop is Miss Tang planning to open?”
However, after asking the question, he immediately realized his mistake. After all, no matter how young this girl was, there was no need for her to explain to him what kind of business she wanted to open.
Of course, Su Tang just maintained her faint smile after hearing that question, but she didn’t seem to intend to reply at all. On the side, Zhang Zheng was clever and quick-witted, so seeing the situation take this turn he hurriedly cut in: “Miss Su, let’s go over here. There’s a shop that’s a little out of the way, we can go take a look.”
Zhang Zheng hadn’t started by recommending this shop because the location really wasn’t as good as the one he had shown before and it also had a slightly high price when you considered all of its qualities. However, other than those points, there was nothing wrong with it.
That was why, even though Su Tang had told him she didn’t need a big shop, he had still taken her to see the larger shop first. Of course, in the end, Su Tang really hadn’t liked the larger shop, so now he brought her over to this smaller one.
Because the town’s academy was here, this street had naturally developed a bustling market that included many food shops. But the shop Zhang Zheng was talking about really was a bit out of the way, with some distance between it and the gate of the academy.
There were two more shops further past the one he was showing her, but just by taking a glance you could see that their business wasn’t good. After all, it took time to walk this far from the academy, so there were correspondingly fewer customers.
The shop was truly a bit on the smaller side, but looking at the empty rooms Su Tang felt that there was a suitable amount of space for her purposes. She asked, “Can we go inside and have a look at the interior and the courtyard behind?”
“Of course!” When Zhang Zheng saw that Su Tang seemed interested, he immediately went up to knock on the door.
A moment later, a middle-aged man opened the door and, when he saw that it was Zhang Zheng, he squeezed out a bitter smile and said, “Zhang Zheng, it’s you.”
“En, hello again Mr. Lin, I hope your son is doing well? I’ve brought someone to take a look at the shop this time.” After speaking, Zhang Zheng carefully looked over at Su Tang.
When the man heard this, he shook his head. “I see, that’s how it is.” He sounded agreeable, but when he actually saw Su Tang he froze for a moment. However, he still spoke up to invite them in a moment later, “Come on in you two.”
“Miss Su, this is the owner of the shop, Mr. Lin. Even though the courtyard behind the shop isn’t very large, he and his three family members are able to live here just fine. All in all, there are four rooms in the courtyard that are connected to the shop through a back door. Also, the location is only a few steps from the back entrance of the academy, so it’s very convenient if you need to go back and forth.”
Zhang Zheng enthusiastically began introducing the property to Su Tang.
tl begging corner: