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As a result, it wasn’t Cui Qingfeng, but a passerby who was riding their bicycle. A wave of disappointment flashed through Xu Zhao. He was too anxious to wait any longer, so he notified Father Cui, then dragged Xu Fan to walk around all over the place. However, the weather was very hot, and when they walked to the intersection, they were already tired and drenched in sweat. Beads of sweat also covered Xu Fan’s tiny face, so he took Xu Fan to sit under the shade of a tree to enjoy the summer breeze and watch the endless stream of pedestrians.
Although this era was impoverished, it seemed that everyone was happy. Moreover, this year was a bumper harvest, so it meant that everyone was living a bit better, and they also had more pocket money in their hands.
While Xu Zhao was observing everything, he suddenly heard the bicycle bell. He tilted his head up and saw Cui Qingfeng’s bike stopped in front of him.
Xu Zhao hurriedly asked, “How did it go?”
Cui Qingfeng was in a very good mood as he spoke in circles. “Guess!”
Xu Zhao directly opened the foam box and lifted the small quiet. “We sold out,” he said with surprise.
“Not just that,” Cui Qingfeng happily said.
“What does that mean?” Xu Zhao was puzzled as he asked.
“It means we didn’t have enough to sell,” Cui Qingfeng happily said. “The old customers said they taste even better than before. When I was on my way home, there were more people who thought it was delicious and wanted to buy some, but I didn’t have any more to sell. Hahaha.”
“Really? Your old customers really thought it was good?” Xu Zhao asked.
Cui Qingfeng was extremely earnest as he said, “Liars will swallow a thousand needles!”
Xu Zhao immediately let out a sigh of relief. He was truly afraid that his popsicles wouldn’t suit the tastes of the people of this era, and that would lead to him not being able to make any money. If that was the case, he and Xu Fan would either starve or freeze to death in the upcoming winter. This was great. Xu Zhao’s heart was relieved. His clear eyes gazed upon Cui Qingfeng and said, “Then can we continue to make more?”
“Yes, let’s make more.”
“Let’s make more now.”
“Right now?” Cui Qingfeng asked in surprise.
“Xu Zhao nodded. “Yes.”
“But I only go to the countryside once a day.” The weather was hot and biking to the countryside once wasn’t even, not to mention making the trip twice. Although popsicles weren’t expensive, the only reason the rural folk were willing to buy one was because they were busy with farming season and because the weather was very hot. However, there wasn’t anyone who was willing to buy two in one day. That was a bit too extravagant.
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “We won’t go to the countryside this time. We’ll sell it at the intersection!”
“Sell it at the intersection?”
“Yes. Why don’t we give it a try?”
“If you say we can, then we’ll do it!”
It was already noon. This was when the Cui family usually had their lunch, however, since Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng wanted to make it in time to sell popsicles at 2 PM, they actively made popsicles instead and didn’t have time to eat.
But Xu Fan had time to eat.
With Xu Zhao’s consent, Xu Fan followed Mother Cui to sit in front of the cutting board to eat. The always self-reliant Xu Fan didn’t need Mother Cui to hand feed him. He used one of his small hands to hold the spoon and held onto the bowl with the other. Like this, a small bowl of noodles went directly into his stomach. Xu Fan was a good eater.
Mother Cui was a kind mother. Seeing how handsome Xu Fan was, her heart was filled with joy as she said, “Xu Fan, slow down.”
Xu Fan continued slurping down the noodles.
Seeing that Xu Fan was almost finished, Mother Cui couldn’t hold back from talking to him. While listening to Xu Fan’s milky and cute voice, he happily asked, “Xu Fan, how old are you?”
“Two and a half.”
“Who usually watches over you. Your Daddy or your grandma?”
“My grandma.” Xu Fan placed the spoon on the cutting board, and his two hands lifted the small bowl, entirely covering his tiny face. After two gulps, the noodle soup was completely drunk clean.
Xu Fan placed the bowl down, turned his head towards Mother Cui and said, “My grandma doesn’t call me Xu Fan. I have another good-sounding name.”
Mother Cui was very cheerful as she gently asked, “You have another good-sounding name? What is it?”
“Baobao. I’m also called Xu Baobao1Baobao just means baby. But it’s weird to call him Xu Baby, so I kept the Chinese. and Sanwa2Sanwa means third child since Xu Fan was the third child born into the Xu family of his generation.”
“Baobao, Xu Baobao, Sanwa—
These were the nice-sounding names?
Xu Zhao, who was drinking water, choked and sprayed the water everywhere.
Cui Qingfeng couldn’t suppress himself and let out a huge laugh.
Xu Fan’s small finger pointed at Cui Qingfeng, and he said to Mother Cui, “H-he’s laughing at me.”
“Qingfeng, you’re not allowed to laugh at Xu Baobao,” Mother Cui immediately said.
Cui Qingfeng tried his best to endure it and stopped laughing. He turned his head and asked, “Xu Zhao, isn’t his name Xu Fan?”
“Xu Fan is the name I picked. His grandparents like to call him Baobao or Sanwa.”
Cui Qingfeng wanted to laugh again.
Xu Zhao made a 囧 face and guilty said, “Stop laughing. Hurry up and put the popsicle molds inside the refrigerator.”
Cui Qingfeng finally became serious and lined the popsicle molds inside the refrigerator. They then cleaned up the area, and finally ate lunch.
At half past two, Mother Cui went to work at the factory.
The popsicles also happened to be frozen and ready. Xu Zhao and Cui Qingfeng quickly wrapped them in the popsicle paper and stuffed them inside the foam box. They carried a stool and stood under the shade of a tree by the intersection. They happened to come just as the workers in the county town were heading back to work from their afternoon nap. Everyone’s faces had a trace of summer sleepiness, needing something refreshing to wake them up.
Xu Zhao immediately shouted, “Popsicles! Popsicles! Popsicles that are sweet and will quench your thirst!”
This immediately caught the attention of the passerby.
Of course, this shocked Cui Qingfeng as well. In his heart, Xu Zhao was an elegant and refined scholar. He was a kind of pureness that grew out of mud, yet was unsullied, and was completely different from a rough man like himself. He didn’t expect Xu Zhao to be so down-to-earth. This caused his impression of Xu Zhao to immediately rise. Besides liking him, he now also admired him.
After all, in the environment of this era, there were few people willing to let go of their pride and hawk their wares on the streets. However, Xu Zhao was willing to do it, and this was a kind of courage and resolve.
Cui Qingfeng couldn’t help staring at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao suddenly turned his head to also look at him.
He was startled and asked, “What is it?”
“I need change,” Xu Zhao said.
It was only then that Cui Qingfeng realized that Xu Zhao had called the people over and already sold some popsicles. He was so quick.
“How much do you need?” Cui Qingfeng quickly asked.
“two cents,” Xu Zhao replied.
After Xu Zhao finished speaking, he saw a passerby walking down the street looking towards their direction. He immediately put on a smile and greeted, “Would you like to buy a popsicle? We just took them out of the fridge, and they’re especially sweet.”
“How much for one?” a passerby asked.
“Three cents. We have milk and red bean flavors that will help prevent heat-stroke. Which kind would you like?”
“Can I buy two for five cents?”
“If you buy two, I can pick the larger ones for you. However, the price will be six cents,” Xu Zhao said in a gentle tone.
Cui Qingfeng never knew Xu Zhao was so smooth at talking. He thought he himself was good at sales, and would often brag to his youngest uncle about how capable he was. However, compared to Xu Zhao, he was a complete newbie. During the whole process, besides getting the change, he had no other use. He could only watch Xu Zhao as he very naturally hawked to the customers and sold the popsicles with a gentle smile. Everything was done perfectly without any mistakes to pick at. When he looked at the foam box again, there wasn’t a single popsicle left inside.
Not a single popsicle was left!
There had to be a hundred sticks earlier!
And it all sold out in half an hour!
On the other hand, for Cui Qingfeng to sell 150 popsicles, he would have to tirelessly ride his bike like a dog and run around while shouting for sales for three hours before he was able to sell everything. Yet Xu Zhao didn’t even have to call out for long before he sold everything!
Cui Qingfeng stared at Xu Zhao with a dumbfounded expression.
“What’s wrong?” Xu Zhao asked.
“How did you do that?” Cui Qingfeng asked.
“Do what?” Xu Zhao asked in return.
“How did you sell the popsicles so quickly?”
“It’s all because someone helped me.”
Xu Zhao pointed to the side, at the tree where a small milky child was currently sucking on a mung bean popsicle with relish. His small face was earnest and his small lips stained red. This was precisely Xu Fan or Sanwa.
“He helped?” Cui Qingfeng curiously asked.
“You can’t look down on live advertisements.” Xu Zhao then turned to call out, “Xu Fan, come here. We’re leaving.”
Xu Fan sucked on the mung bean popsicle as he walked to Xu Zhao’s side. He reached out his small hand to hold onto Xu Zhao’s larger ones.
Cui Qingfeng still didn’t understand and continued to ask Xu Zhao how he sold so many popsicles in such a short period of time.
Xu Zhao couldn’t tell Cui Qingfeng that it was because he studied marketing before. He could only explain that it was the flow of traffic, the customer’s wants, and Xu Fan’s advertisement and his enthusiasm that promoted the business.
Cui Qingfeng finally understood. When they got back to the house, he took out all the money they earned from selling popsicles today and counted it. Seven Yuan and five cents. It was a whole seven Yuan five cents! This was how much he earned from selling in the countryside for two days. Although he had to split it with Xu Zhao, the profits were still drastically higher than before. Cui Qingfeng immediately split it and gave Xu Zhao four Yuan.
“What are you doing?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Dividing the money,” Cui Qingfeng said.
“Who divides it like this?” Xu Zhao said with a smile.
What other way is there to do it?”
Cui Qingfeng was a poor student. When it came to calculations that were too “profound,” he was always at a loss. Moreover, he only recently started his small business and was still unable to see the whole picture.
However, Xu Zhao was able to. Xu Zhao was very smart and was able to think of everything that needed to be done. “It’s simple. We’ll split it after taking out the expenses. Besides, we won’t divide the money for now.”
Cui Qingfeng felt that he couldn’t keep up with Xu Zhao’s train of thought and asked, “We’re not splitting it now? Then when will we?”
“We’ll split everything in two days.”
“Why? Won’t it be the same if we do it now?”
“It’s not the same. Seven Yuan five cents is too little. We’ll take the Seven Yuan five cents as production costs, and we’ll be able to make even more.”
“Production costs? That shouldn’t need seven Yuan five cents. We’d be able to buy a lot of ingredients with that.”
“It’s precisely because we need to buy a lot of ingredients,” Xu Zhao said, his eyes twinkling with something called confidence, making him look especially breathtaking. He slightly flicked his eyes, his gaze wandering to Cui Qingfeng as he said, “That’s because we’ll be able to sell 500 popsicles tomorrow and 1000 popsicles the day after that.”
“A thousand?” Cui Qingfeng asked in shock.
“Yes,” Xu Zhao replied.
“That’s too many. How could we sell that many?”
“If I say that we can, then we can.”