Chapter 525 – Meeting an Acquaintance Again

The second store was opened in Dongcheng (east city) District, and the store space was similarly not small.

Master Zhong arranged half of the old employees and half of the new employees here, and planned to personally supervise for a while. Once the store was on track and a suitable store manager was found, he would return to work at the old store.

As the owner, Ye Lin needed to shuttle between the two stores.

However, after the branch store opened, due to the reputation of the first store, there was no shortage of customers here, and it quickly got on track.

Lu Xia didn’t get heavily involved and left it to Ye Lin and the others to handle.

But they still trusted her to some extent and often sought her opinion on things they couldn’t decide.

However, after the new store opened, Lu Xia didn’t go there much after a few days.

It wasn’t until before the Chinese New Year that she thought of coming over to discuss the issue of giving year-end gifts to the employees.

When she arrived at the store’s entrance, she noticed a customer coming out of the store who looked familiar, but their appearance was quite different from the person she knew, so she was momentarily unsure.

Upon entering, she asked Ye Lin for the name of the customer who had just left.

“The one who just left? I remember she got a high-value membership card; she seemed quite wealthy and has been coming in frequently lately.”

Saying that, Ye Lin recalled the customer’s condescending demeanor when casually using a considerable amount of money to get the card, appearing as if she was bestowing a favor.

She rolled her eyes in her mind but didn’t say anything.

After all, as Lu Xia had mentioned before, they were in the service industry, and customers were like gods. You would always encounter some odd ones. At times like this, it was best to endure and move on; there was no need to have issues over money.

Saying this, she opened the registry book containing membership card information and pointed to the entry.

“Hey, it’s this person.”

Lu Xia looked at the name and indeed, it was her!

Lu Chun!

She hadn’t expected to encounter Lu Chun again in this way, and from Ye Lin’s tone just now, she could tell that Lu Chun’s situation was quite different from what she had thought.

After hearing about Lu Chun from Lu Qiu previously, she had thought Lu Chun wasn’t doing well. Her husband had been fired, but now she suddenly had a lot of money to spend.

Although surprised, she didn’t say anything.

Perhaps they had caught the express train of the times, riding the wave of economic reforms and achieving prosperity.

However, regardless of the situation, it had nothing to do with her. Since cutting ties with the Lu family, those people hadn’t come to see her again.

Perhaps they were afraid.

But regardless, it didn’t concern her. She didn’t envy them if they were doing well, and she wasn’t inclined to kick them while they were down if they weren’t.

That’s how it was.

She closed the registry book, and Lu Xia didn’t mention the matter again. Ye Lin was a bit curious, but since Lu Xia didn’t say anything, she didn’t feel comfortable asking. However, she had just seen the person’s name and had some speculations in her mind, although she pretended not to know.

Later, Lu Xia talked to her about giving gifts to the employees.

Ye Lin agreed directly after listening, “Sure, this way our store will be just like those state-owned factories, no, even better than state-owned factories, after all, our salaries are higher.”

Lu Xia chuckled at this, “Let’s discuss it after Master Zhong is done with his work, see what we should give.”

“Sounds good!”

After Master Zhong finished her busy period and listened to her suggestion, she readily agreed. She also thought it was a good idea, as the store had always been busy, and the employees really worked hard. Some rewards were indeed in order.

Afterward, they discussed what to give, which essentially amounted to basic food supplies, but it was a gesture of appreciation.

After finalizing the plan, Lu Xia noticed how busy they had been during this period, so she volunteered to take charge of this matter.

*

Chapter 526 – Jiang Chengyuan Returns

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Just before the Chinese New Year, Lu Xia took a day to go to the street in Pigeon Market where she used to frequent with Jiang Junmo.

A new grocery store had opened here, where you could buy without needing tickets. Lu Xia bought a lot and then hired a car to deliver them to the beauty salon for Ye Lin to distribute to the employees.

On the last working day, the employees at the beauty salon received the New Year gifts from the store. They were pleasantly surprised, and they felt even more touched by the thoughtfulness of the beauty salon.

Originally, their families were envious of them working here; not only did they have high salaries, but they also could learn skills. Now, receiving so many things to take home, their families would definitely think highly of them.

These employees felt a stronger sense of belonging to the store. They became more dedicated to their work afterward. Even when other stores tried to poach them, they remained unmoved.

Of course, these were stories for later.

On the day before the Chinese New Year, there was a surprise from the Jiang family.

Jiang Zhiyuan, the cousin who hadn’t come back for several years, returned!

He hadn’t informed the family beforehand and just suddenly appeared while they were having dinner!

On New Year’s Eve, Uncle Jiang and Aunt Jiang weren’t around either, so the family decided to celebrate in advance while everyone was together the previous day.

Today, Aunt Wang bought a lot of groceries, and Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo personally cooked a sumptuous dinner. But just as they were about to start the meal, the front door suddenly swung open.

A robust figure walked in.

Lu Xia was seated in a position directly facing the door, so she saw it instantly.

She was startled and instinctively shouted, “Who?!”

The others turned to look in that direction, equally stunned.

Finally, Aunt Jiang said in an unsure tone, “Is it… Xiaoyuan?”

As soon as she said this, the tall figure instantly smiled and revealed a set of white teeth.

“It’s me, Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Brother, I’m back!”

After saying this, he looked at Lu Xia, seemingly unsure of how to address her.

By this point, Lu Xia had already guessed who this person was from everyone’s reactions. Before she could introduce herself, Aunt Jiang, in a sudden outburst, stood up and rushed over, hugging the newcomer.

She cried and scolded at the same time, “You little rascal, you finally know how to come back! It’s been several years! I almost forgot what you look like. Why are you so heartless?!”

Jiang Chengyuan, seeing his usually strong-willed mother react this way, felt uncomfortable and didn’t know how to respond for a moment.

He could only look to his father for help.

But Uncle Jiang also glared at him and said sharply, “You deserve it! Gone for six or seven years, not a single letter. If it weren’t for your dad finding out through some inquiries that you’re still alive, the family would be worried! Your mother hasn’t been eating or sleeping well for these years, afraid that something happened to you. Now, you can’t handle this?”

Hearing this, Jiang Chengyuan also felt uncomfortable. He missed his family, but every time he thought about the opportunity he had to join the army being exchanged for his sickly cousin going to the countryside, he didn’t want to disappoint them. He wanted to achieve something to show them.

So, out of fear of getting too homesick and giving up, he resisted and didn’t write to his family all these years.

After nearly seven years in the army, he had done countless dangerous missions, accumulated numerous military achievements, and finally got promoted to platoon leader, giving him the face to return and meet his family.

But seeing his mother so distressed now, he regretted it. He shouldn’t have stayed out of contact with his family for so long, making them worry.

But it was too late for regrets now; he could only console his mother in a flurry of confusion.

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