Chapter 109 – A Peaceful Courtyard (2)
“Goodness, my dear Third Young Madam, how could that restaurant possibly make any money? Please don’t pin all your hopes on that restaurant!”
Chu Lian finally turned to look at Senior Servant Gui. “Momo, I know that you only have my best interests at heart, but for matters like this, I know what I’m doing.”
Unlike her usually soft and kind voice, the Chu Lian of now carried the strict authority of a person in power.
Senior Servant Gui stiffened and quickly stopped speaking.
Although Third Young Madam’s personality had changed and she had become much more easy-going with them as compared to before, it didn’t mean that Senior Servant Gui could overstep her bounds as a servant and think to change her master’s decisions. She had committed one of the taboos as a servant.
Finally realising what she had done, Senior Servant Gui broke out into cold sweat.
Chu Lian had the same thoughts. Although she didn’t like being harsh towards others and preferred to live casually, even to the point of being a little dazed and silly at times, she never played around with important matters. She also had her own ideas, and hated when others tried to make decisions for her.
She knew that her way of thinking was very different from the way the people here thought, so upon arriving in the Great Wu Dynasty, she had always tried to be as easygoing as possible. However, that didn’t mean she would allow others to interfere with her choices.
It was the same for the silver accessories today, as well as any important decisions from now on.
“This old servant understands.”
When Chu Lian saw that Senior Servant Gui had finally gotten the message, her expression softened and returned to her usual tender smile. Her gentle demeanor also returned.
“Momo, you have to trust me. Money is easy to earn!” Chu Lian even broke out into a mischievous grin, blinking innocently at Senior Servant Gui.
Although Senior Servant Gui was nodding on the surface, she didn’t believe Chu Lian’s words a single bit on the inside. Even though Third Young Madam had a good head on her, due to her status back in the Ying Estate, she hadn’t been able to interact much with the outside world. Third Young Madam’s stepmother had never really taught her much about the world either, so it would be normal if Chu Lian had good ideas, but not the experience to execute them well.
Senior Servant Gui sighed inwardly. It might be best to let Third Young Madam suffer some setbacks so that she could understand clearly.
After dismissing Senior Servant Gui from the room, Chu Lian kept the gold bricks in the wooden box. Now that she had these gold bricks at hand, she had a total capital of six hundred taels. Although this was already a huge sum in the eyes of most people, it wasn’t enough at all for Chu Lian. She opened up another brocade box on the side, this time to admire Imperial Princess Leyao’s golden qilin that sat within. The corners of her lips lifted up into a smile.
“Imperial Princess Leyao, since you like your Brother He so much, I’ll let you donate the rest of my funds.”
Before heading off to sleep, Chu Lian flipped through the account book that Matriarch He had given her for Guilin Restaurant.
What she had was the accounts of the last three months. Since there were barely any customers, the records for all three months could fit into a single thin book.
Without even talking about whether the numbers would add up correctly in such a thin account book, Chu Lian couldn’t agree on the way the accounts were being recorded. She could see that there were quite a few places where the records didn’t make sense, just from skimming through them roughly.
For example, the following entries…
1st June: Kitchen expenses, 1 tael.
What had they bought? Was it the fresh ingredients for the day, kitchen utensils, or even furniture? They had only described the expenditure in such vague terms that she had to suspect that there was embezzling going on.
2.5kg of pork, 100 coins.
Chinese cabbage, 10 coins.
Tea leaves, 500 coins…
There had only been two or three customers daily for the first half of June. At its lowest, there might not even be any customers at all. At the peak, there had never been more than five customers in a day. And amongst all these diners, only one person had even ordered a pork dish.
This meant that Guilin Restaurant’s pork dishes weren’t very popular, so they shouldn’t be buying more than 0.5kg of pork a day. However, on that day, they had bought five times that amount. So they were using the company’s accounts for their own expenses, hmm?
She had only gone through a third of this thin account book, and she had already found so many suspicious points. There was no need to keep reading further.
It looked like there wasn’t just a problem in management for this Guilin Restaurant, but there were also some rats amongst the employees. Even if this group of embezzlers were to run the most popular restaurant in the entire capital, it would probably still be a losing business!