Chapter 82 – A Scammer?
After covering up Amy and Little Ugly Duckling with a blanket, Mike went downstairs to prepare for the dinner rush. On the way down he placed the little music box inside one of their built in cabinets. It certainly was a useful little thing to help little girls sleep.
Mike immediate got started preparing the ingredients for 128 [Juicy Burgers], just the prep work alone took him about two hours. Part of the reason why Mike wanted to increase his health was this, if he could only increase his strength by 0.5 he would be able to reduce his prep work time by half.
As he kneaded the dough, Mike spent the time thinking about the future. Though he was living happy carefree life with Amy right now, as a father he will do his best to create the most advantageous life possible for his beloved daughter.
For now and in the possible future, this restaurant will be the source of his existence, something that could make money as well as gain the respect and acknowledgement of the people around him. It was also the source of his happiness.
Now that the restaurant was on the right track to success, with new customers coming in everyday, though the restaurant was not filled to the capacity, it was enough to keep him busy.
Anyway, let’s first reach 1000 [Juicy Burgers] sales target and unlocking the [Soy Bean Curd] recipe and increase the menu items. At this rate of advancement, he should be able to reach the target in two days time.
At the thought of [Soy Bean Curd], Mike felt a sudden shot of adrenaline and his kneading grew more energetic.
“Daddy dearest…” Mike had put the dough away to rise when a drowsy eyed Amy came down the stairs with Ugly Duckling tucked under one arm. She stood at the entrance to the kitchen, the little cat like creature scrabbling to get a foothold on her skirt.
Though the creature hatched only a few days ago, this little fellow’s energy was not bad. Though it had just woken up, it did not looked like it was suffering from any kind of sleep drowsiness as it darted here and there in the kitchen, busily amusing itself.
“Go and sit down, ba. Daddy will pour you a glass of water.” Mike turned to smiled at Amy as he went to fetch a glass of water. The energetic Ugly Duckling ran full tilt into his ankle and bounced off. It sat there for a moment, stunned, before slowly, ever so slowly, tilted sideways, all four paws facing the heaven unmoving, it’s head turned towards Amy, tears flowing down its eyes.
“This… is this a scam?” Mike looked at this epic performance, unable to help his smile as he contemplated this little scamp. Trying to pull some sort of trick are we? To think that you’d rather learn this kinds of bad habits instead of something more sensible, you want to join the theatre or something?
“Ugly Duckling, I saw you bang into daddy’s leg with my own eyes, if you want to lie on the floor, then just lie there, ba. I’m not going to hug a dirty cat.” Amy stared down at Ugly Duckling, her face serious.
“Miao~” Ugly Duckling gave a little quiver and miraculously recovered. She trotted towards Amy, stopping to give Mike a bitter look before rubbing itself affectionately against Amy’s little legs.
Mike gave Amy a glass of water, before watching that girl hug both Ugly Duckling and her music box over to a corner to play. From what he could see, and hear, it looked like she had inherited her mother’s singing ability. She only had to hear the music a few times before starting to sing along energetically. It looked like she’d be able to pick up one song within two days, her tender and slightly high pitched voice very charming to the ears.
Mike eyed the clock and saw that it was only half past four, however, there were already people walking about outside the shop, occasionally a head would loomed close to the glass to check if they could catch a glimpse of Mike’s figure.
People even knock on the door from time to time, but they were all ignored by Mike. The opening hours weren’t here yet, moreover, the dough still needed more resting. On top of that, he wanted to make his own dinner first.
By now there was a line of about 7 or 8 people waiting at the door. Some were quite calm, while others were a little agitated.
“Why haven’t they opened yet? I’ve been hungry since this afternoon and come here a little early just for the [Juicy Burger].” A young man paced around in a tight circle, wanting to knock, and withdrawing his hand in the last minute. Someone else had knocked twice already, getting absolutely no response in return.
“Just relax, there’s no use getting upset. Boss Mike is someone who’s really strict with the time. Since the notice said they will open at 5 o’clock, they won’t let you in a minute earlier. If they close at 9 o’clock, they won’t let you linger a minute more. Young man, have some patience and line up properly, ba.” Klaus, who was part of the growing line, imparted these words of wisdom sagely.
Though his smile was pleasant, there was a hidden bitterness written between the wrinkles bracketing his mouth. As a grand level 10 mage, to be found lining up for his meal every single day… if this had been the Lost Kingdom it would immediately become big news.
“If it weren’t for that delicious [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] and the pending investigation on that little girls’ ability, this would never have happened.” Klaus thought, thankfully it had been more than 10 years since the last time he showed his face in society, therefore even though this was the City of Sin, there were very few who would recognise him on sight. This old face of his still managed to retain some measure of dignity.
“To be able to eat the [Juicy Burger] what’s a little wait? It’s not like we can eat this anywhere else.” Harrison who had been standing behind the old wizard laughed. He and his group of close friends had made plans to have their dinner here, but who knew that, one thing after another, each of them had to be at some important meeting or other. Actually, he also had an important meeting later tonight, but decided to came here early to have his dinner before the meeting.
“Harrison, what are you doing here so early? Where are the others?” A carriage stopped nearby and Jacques got off with a curious expression on his face.
“All of those unfortunates have some business or other and couldn’t come, I too have something on later on, that’s why I’m here for an early dinner.” Harrison explained, he also looked over Jacques with curiosity. “So, was sister-in-law happy with the [Yang Zhou Fried Rice]?”
“Here, the dragon coin for this afternoon.” Jacques held out a dragon coin to Harrison with a smile. “Very happy, ah. It’s been quite a few days since she had eaten properly, not even a single grain of rice was left from lunch. She even complained that it wasn’t enough and sent me out here to buy some more for her. From today onwards I’ll be depending on this place for her three meals.”
“We’ll have to thank Boss Mike for this good fortune, I guess this also means you have better economic freedom as well?” Harrison put away the money without hesitation, and patted his friend on the shoulder.
Jacques laughed as he nodded, “That’s true, unfortunately I won’t have time to go out for drinks with you and the others for a while, after picking up my wife’s takeaway I’ll be spending the rest of my time with her.”
“No problem, I’ll drink your share for you.” Harrison nodded back.
After a brief rest, Mike quickly cooked up two portions of [Yang Zhou Fried Rice] and set a tray of the [Juicy Burger] buns into the oven.
Ugly Duckling spent the entire meal time time staring at them with wide watery eyes, it looked so pitiful that Mike almost relented and offered it some fried rice and burger. However, before he could give into the impulse, Amy had already firmly bullied it back to its place.
By the time Mike cleared the table, it was exactly 5 o’clock. He glanced at a window and had to blink twice.
From the door of the restaurant stretched a long line of people, he roughly counted 20 or 30 people. At the strike of the nearby bell tower, everyone’s eyes suddenly gleamed.