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Chapter 26 Opening shop
Staring at the white window for a long time, Xiào Mu thought of Hawke’s words that he stopped eating biscuits after he was 10, and wondered if Leo would eat them. Since Leo accepted it, he should eat the biscuits, right? Probably…
Xiào Mu couldn’t be sure, but it doesn’t matter. He has done his part of manners, and he can’t control other people’s behavior. He filled the remaining biscuits into two transparent jars according to taste and put them on the table in the living room. After the afternoon nap, Xiào Mu received a message from Hawke. He washed his face and dried it with some tissues. Then he headed downstairs with the biscuit jars.
“See if you like it? I made at noon break.” Xiào Mu handed the biscuit jars to Hawke as they walked to the school building.
Hawke happily received it and twisted open one of the jars, “Wow, it smells better than what I had when I was a kid.” Taking a piece and ate it, Hawke praised it before even completely swallowing it, “It’s delicious!”
Xiào Mu smelled the milky scent and asked with a smile, “So you like the sweet ones?”
Hawke swallowed one, then took another piece, “I like everything, as long as it tastes good.”
A sentinel passing by smelled the scent and couldn’t help but look back at Hawke’s hand. Hawke saw it and immediately closed the lid. He wrinkled his nose and said, “Mine, I won’t let you eat it even if you stare.”
Right after Hawke said that, the jars of biscuits disappeared from his hands. Xiào Mu was taken aback, and soon realized, “Have you put it in your space storage?”
Hawke nodded and said with a smile, “I’m not hungry now, so just eat a bit to satisfy my tastebuds. I will eat some later between classes to replenish energy.”
When Xiào Mu gave biscuits to the classmate at the opposite dorm building, he already had a plan in mind. Seeing that Hawke also liked it, Xiào Mu wanted to ask him his opinion, “I want to make biscuits for sale. After tasting the biscuits, would you be willing to spend money to buy them?”
“Of course!” Hawke nodded affirmatively and looked at Xiào Mu admiringly. “You are still underage but already know how to start a business.”
Xiào Mu touched his nose and coughed slightly, “Not so exaggerated, I just want to make some pocket money.”
Xiào Mu is not expecting the biscuits to make money. He just wanted to use them to slowly transfer the money he earned from the medicines publicly. In this way, spending money on things in the future will not arouse suspicion by others.
Hearing that, Hawke’s worshipping gaze immediately became distressed, and he patted Xiào Mu on the shoulder, “If you are short of money, you must remember to borrow from me.” He paused, “Or, how about I give you a salary increase?”
“No,” Xiào Mu waved his hand, “Just pay me according to what we agreed. I am neither rich nor short of money.” Then he turned the topic back to business, “Previously, you said before you don’t eat biscuits after 10 years old. Won’t there be very few people buying it?”
Hawke tilted his head and thought for a while, “Everyone definitely likes to eat nice things, but… if someone sees them eat snacks, they may be laughed at, saying that they haven’t grown up. But there must be a lot of people who secretly eat them.” Hawke’s eyes moved as he thought of an idea and clapped his hands, “That’s it! Many people in the school may be embarrassed to come forward to buy the biscuits. You can open a store on the virtual net, then! It’s for the sake of eating good food anyway1.”
Hearing that, Xiào Mu’s heart is moved. This is a good idea, and there is no need to worry about express delivery.
“I will go to the virtual net to check after class.”
Along the way, both Xiào Mu and Hawke received many gazes on them; mostly mocking and contempt. Xiào Mu heard the keyword Level E mentioned several times and could guess what they were talking about. In his heart, he angrily scolded the person who took his picture and posted them on the forum.
The two arrived in the classroom safely, and the class started not long after. This class is a medical material extraction class, the main content is to learn to extract the essence of materials. Different medicinal materials use different tools and steps. The first half of the courses are mostly about equipment learning. As Xiào Mu listened to the lesson, he wondered if the value of the spiritual power recovery be higher for the healing pill if made from the extracted medicinal materials2. Also, he wondered if there are any finished products online. If there is, he wanted to buy some on weekends and try it.
It was only 3.30 pm after Xiào Mu finished his classes for the day. He wanted to inquire about opening a store in the virtual net while Hawke wanted to go back to the dormitory to do an experiment, so the two went back to the dormitory together. Xiào Mu returned to his room, opened the terminal, and searched about the store opening process. He read the relevant information carefully, and the corners of his mouth curved in a good mood. It is very convenient to open a store on the virtual net. There is no age limit and one can just rent a place at the store rental center on the official website of the virtual net. After that, one simply registers their business and it’s done.
Xiào Mu clicked on the shop rental center and a large map was marked with dense green dots appeared. These are all the shops that could be rented. After a glance, he closed the window and decided to determine where to rent after a site visit. Xiào Mu put on his helmet according to the instructions and lay down in the holographic capsule3. After everything is ready, he pressed the green button on the right side of the capsule with his right hand. The next moment, slight dizziness came, and when he opened his eyes, he is in a confined space with mirrors around him.
[Welcome to the virtual net, this is where you input your name and adjust your appearance’s interface. Please enter the name you wished to be called on the virtual net]
A pleasant female voice sounded. After that, a virtual screen appeared in front of Xiào Mu, with a naming interface on it.
Xiào Mu thought for a while and wrote ‘Little Wood Block’, and then clicked OK on the confirmation dialog box that popped up.
[Please set your appearance. Do take note that the greater the difference with your appearance in real life, the more it will cost you]
Xiào Mu’s image appears on the virtual screen. The setting bar on the right-hand side is similar to the appearance customization interface in games. Not only he could adjust his face, but his height also can be set. Xiào Mu glanced at the mirrored walls around him and realized that these are probably here to help one observe the effect during customization. He found it very novel and tried changing his long hair to short black hair. The cost in the lower right corner changed from 0 to 5,000 star coins. The corners of Xiào Mu’s mouth twitched when he saw that; it is too expensive! He tried to modify different parts and found out how the charges are determined. Changing colors alone will cost 1,000, and facial features will start from 5,000 coins, even just a bit. Changing the height or body shape will cost 10,000 onwards. After Xiào Mu finished his customization, the total fee came up to 63,000 star coins. Without any hesitations, Xiào Mu canceled the preview with one click and restored to his original appearance. He is trying to open a shop to cover the money he will be spending in reality, and he needs people to know that he opened a shop to make money. Hence, he doesn’t need to hide himself.
One second after pressing OK, the mirrors around Xiào Mu disappeared. Noises could be heard, and he found himself standing at the entrance of a bustling street. After a while, several people suddenly appeared beside Xiào Mu. Those people didn’t stop and walked directly into the street to mix into the crowd. Looking around, Xiào Mu can see that it is exactly the same as a real-world shopping mall. There were buildings everywhere. The only difference was that all buildings were on the first floor. He pinched the back of his hand, and the pain came in an instant. Amazing!
Xiào Mu took a step forward and found that the shops he passed by were mostly mecha or medical material shops. There were 2 restaurants in between and their business looked quite good. As Xiào Mu was walking, his shoulder was hit by someone who passed him from behind.
“Hurry up, the Mecha Challenge of the first season will start immediately, I don’t want to miss it.”
“I have tried my best to be as fast as possible…”
The voices swiftly disappeared on the road ahead, but Xiào Mu no longer gets surprised at their running speed. After a moment of thought, he walked in the direction they disappeared. Before he even got closer, the deafening cheers blasted into his ears. Then, Xiào Mu discovered that the place is a huge arena, surrounded by enthusiastic spectators. 8 mechas were standing on the stage, some in human form while some in animal form. All were at least 3 meters tall; very oppressive.
A host stood in front of the mechas and said, “In 5 minutes, the game will officially start where the 8 mechas fight to decide the top 4. For the schedule, please see the official website. And for spectators who have not place their bet, you should do so in this last 5 minutes!”
When the voice fell, the 8 mechas collectively turned right and returned to backstage. Xiào Mu looked at the smoothly moving mechas in amazement. At first, he thought it was the auction site of mechas. It turned out that those mechas were driven by people. With more and more spectators, Xiào Mu felt uncomfortably squeezed. After watching a game, he left the arena while covering his ears.
Walking around the arena, Xiào Mu looked around at the mecha-related shops around and had an idea in his mind. He opens the map location on the terminal and shares it with the shop rental center map. He zoomed in on the map and clicks on the rentable shop near the location to view the details. The shop rent in this area is the same pricing, 500 coins per square meter per month. Xiào Mu chose a 20 square meter shop and fill in the registration information. The name of the shop is ‘Fragrant Sweet Pastries’ and he paid a one-month rent of 10,000 coins.
After filling in the information, Xiào Mu’s terminal received the permission of the store door. At the next moment, a prompt pops up on the screen: [Please upload the interior design of the shop as soon as possible. The rental center will proceed with the renovation as soon as possible]. Xiào Mu clicks on the ‘Fragrant Sweet Pastries’ icon on the homepage of his terminal. It listed various information about the store, including area space and daily income. The column of the interior design drawing of the store is blank, indicating that it is waiting to be uploaded.
The shop Xiào Mu picked is located in the second row of the street. Just outside his shop is a mecha repair shop, and further out is the arena. He went inside the shop, took a look at the shop, and drew the interior design of a bakery. The area nearer to the wall is the production area, and the window side is the sales area. He wrote down the equipment and furniture needed in each area. After he finished selecting the things, Xiào Mu double-checked to make sure nothing is missing and uploaded the design to the rental center.
[The construction time of Fragrant Sweet Pastries will take 20 hours. Please check back in 20 hours to confirm completion]
Xiào Mu smiled, then walked around a bit more before leaving the virtual net. When he sat up from the holographic capsule, he realized that the sky has already turned dark. He quickly jumped up and went to the cafeteria to have dinner. After that, on the way back to the dormitory, Xiào Mu checked his schedule for tomorrow’s classes. There’s 1 major class each in the morning and afternoon; he had to get up early.
After half an hour from dinner, Xiào Mu tied his hair tighter and went downstairs to run around Building 30. The occupancy rate of Building 30 was low and there were few people around. Xiào Mu has thought about it. Since the dormitory and area around are both safe areas, should someone makes trouble for him during his jog, he will run into the dormitory.
After running for about 5 kilometers, Xiào Mu is physically close to his safe point. He returned to the dormitory to eat a low-grade boost pill and went downstairs to continue running. At the moment it was completely dark, only the street lamp opposite the dormitory was still shining. But the light was very dim when it reaches the dormitory building.
Checking his health bar, Xiào Mu saw that only half of his stamina was recovered. He planned to make some medium-grade boost pills on the weekend. Now that his stamina is more than 200 points, and the low-grade boost pill is insufficient as it only recovers 100 stamina points.
Once again, Xiào Mu’s stamina bar reaches almost to the safe point. He panted and wiped the sweat from his forehead. When he is about to walk towards the dormitory, Xiào Mu saw a figure standing not far away, and he was startled, “Who?!”
The man approached him, and Xiào Mu exclaimed in surprise, “Major General Leo.”
Leo looked down at Xiào Mu’s red face and asked, “Startled?” Hearing that makes Xiào Mu a little embarrassed, and Leo humphed, “So timid.”
Xiào Mu gritted his teeth and asked, “Major General Leo, haven’t you heard of the saying ‘human scaring another human will lead to death’4?”
Leo: “I haven’t heard of it.”
Xiào Mu curled his mouth. Nevertheless, while trying to catch his breath, he asked, “Is there something you want?” Since Leo came over to find him, there must be a reason.
Leo raised his hand, a transparent jar suddenly appeared in his palm, “Returning this back to you.”
Xiào Mu looked at the empty jar and blinked. He is very familiar with the jar because he specifically bought it for his biscuits. After taking the jar, Xiào Mu looked at Leo uncertainly, “You… have finished all?”
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