These words could only be said by someone who was truly thinking for her sake. It showed that Luo Xingchen really treated Su Tang as a friend that she could trust completely. Because, with her character, she would only say such things to a true friend.
After all, if two people weren’t close enough, some words just wouldn’t be said. So the fact that Luo Xingchen was willing to give Su Tang such a warning was, in itself, a display of her trust.
That was why Su Tang thanked Luo Xingchen so seriously.
Just then, there was a sound and Su Tang looked up to see Su Nuo coming out of his room. He had an excited expression and bright eyes. Apparently, he had heard the words “cold noodles” and was eager to eat this delicacy again tonight.
Su Tang gave Luo Xingchen a final nod to let her friend know she still needed time to consider.
The next morning, after breakfast, Su Tang went over to the old rented courtyard she used to live in to meet up with Zhou Xiaocao and Zhou Dazhu again.
“Yesterday, there was an unexpected incident and I had to leave before explaining everything clearly. In short, I still haven’t made the final decision on which shop I will buy to set the new restaurant up in. However, Xiaocao can still come and start working immediately and help me settle some things and set some things up. There is actually quite a bit to do, and I need someone to run various errands. And, I’ll say this in advance, but running these errands will require the worker to be in contact with many different people in order to communicate things. Xiaocao, as a girl, are you okay with that?”
Su Tang had been forced to leave in a hurry yesterday, so she hadn’t had time to mention any of the details about this job. In reality, her grilled fish restaurant was still mostly in the planning phase. She had already surveyed a few locations and just needed to pick one, but she also knew she wouldn’t have time to keep too close of an eye on things beyond deciding on the location. Thus, she needed to hire someone to do it for her. And Zhou Xiaocao seemed to be a decent candidate for the job, since she had a decisive but also meticulous personality.
Of course, whether she could go on to become to restaurant manager remained to be seen. For now Su Tang could just let her run errands and be involved with the process of setting up the restaurant. However, this work would also require her to appear in public and meet with other merchants and, although this society didn’t restrict women from participating in buisness, it would still cause certain people to look down on her. Many people in this era, especially people in rural areas, felt it wasn’t appropriate for an unmarried young woman to be running around outside to do work as a merchant.
Therefore, Su Tang had to make things very clear upfront. She didn’t want to hear any complaints from the family about how she had let their daughter meet too many outsiders and harmed her reputation but didn’t warn them at all.
Zhou Xiaocao immediately replied directly: “My reputation is already in this state, it can’t get much worse. So long as I myself know I am virtuous, I have nothing to fear. I know that it’s impossible to do business without meeting and contacting with outsiders, and I have no complaints.”
Zhou Dazhu also had no opinion on this matter and said, “En, we are not unreasonable people. It’s Xiaocao’s blessing to get such an opportunity. If she can use her skills to earn money she will be able to carve her own future.”
Zhou Dazhu and Madam Yang had actually discussed this matter after they returned home yesterday. In truth, Madam Yang had been a little worried, but after discussing it she had calmed down. After all, life was too short to bother about these kinds of things. If Xiaocao could really earn a lot of money, there would be no need for their family to be afraid of not being able to find a husband for her.
If push really came to shove, they could just find a man to marry into the family as a live-in son-in-law. Moreover, even if Xiaocao really gave up this opportunity and didn’t earn any money, it wouldn’t fix her ruined reputation, and her future would only be worse.
So, after much discussion, the family had decided that such an opportunity must be grasped no matter what. Thus, even when they heard Su Tang’s warning, neither father nor daughter had any words of complaint.
“That’s good then. There are a lot of things that need to be done and it’s hard for me to do it all on my own. Fortunately, the first restaurant will be opened here in Qinghe Town so if you ever want to see your daughter, you can come here to look for her. For the time being, Xiaocao’s salary will be 500 copper coins a month. If you do a good job, you will be promoted and it will be even higher.”
From the perspective of ordinary farmers, the wage Su Tang mentioned was very high. Zhou Dazhu and Zhou Xiaocao were both shocked and found it a little unbelievable. Zhou Xiaocao said softly, “500 copper coins? How can it be so much? You don’t need to pay so much…”
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