Raising the Evil Spirit

Raising the Evil Spirit

Chapter 8 - Unusual Storefront

Perhaps stimulated by the balance on his card, Su Kun was determined to start a business and set off on the road to wealth.

This passion, mocked by Geng Zimo as "flaring up once a month for a few days, more regular than a woman's period", was burning brightly once again.

The S University he was at now was the most favored among several candidate locations he had scouted over the past few months. Like other colleges and high schools in Li City, S University had converted its old campus into a branch school a few years ago to expand its scale. Except for the graduate school, the entire university had moved to the current new campus, located in the suburbs of Li City where land was cheaper.

The surrounding areas were mostly residential communities that had only started developing in the past two years. Apart from the faculty and staff of S University, some nearby business owners, and families who had moved here for their children's education at S University, the residents were quite limited.

This limited population had not truly formed a lively and complete urban district, so the land and housing prices here remained low.

In addition to this, what Su Kun favored about this place was that, like almost all universities nationwide, there was a street outside the west gate of S University that was bustling with people coming and going all day long, never deserted. Apart from the occasional women's accessory store, supermarket, and daily necessities store, the storefronts along the street were almost all restaurants and eateries, covering all price ranges.

Store owners on this street, even without business experience, did not have to worry about lack of customers. Those with even a bit of business acumen and skills had almost all made a name for themselves, with a solid storefront and a continuous stream of students, building a reputation passed down from class to class, and business was absolutely booming.

Su Kun felt that choosing such a place as a starting point was most suitable.

With the mindset that caution is needed for the first venture, he spent a whole day wandering around this street and S University, roughly figuring out some simple rules and patterns.

Seeing that it was getting dark, Su Kun originally planned to pick up some vegetables from the supermarket next door on his way back. The vegetable prices here were a bit cheaper than those at the market in their community. However, thinking that Geng Zimo had gone for an interview and was unlikely to make it back in time for dinner, he hesitated.

He stood in the empty space between the supermarket and the rice noodle shop next door, looking up at the sky with a miserable expression. Scenes of nearly being killed by that vicious ghost last night replayed uncontrollably in his mind. A few seconds later, he lowered his gaze, twitched the corner of his mouth, and his steps towards the supermarket paused in midair. He stiffly turned around and entered the rice noodle shop.

Business was good at this shop, and it was almost full at meal times. He shared a table with a short, bespectacled young man, sitting face to face. The boy looked honest and shy, but was actually quite outgoing. While waiting for the rice noodles, he struck up a conversation with Su Kun.

This was just what Su Kun wanted. After all, he had only been scouting the area for a few months, and no matter what, he couldn't know as much about this place as the students here. So he took the opportunity to ask the bespectacled boy many questions.

"Actually, there's almost no store on this street that doesn't do good business," the boy said, pushing his glasses. "In winter, the two hot pot restaurants over there are always packed. In this weather, the barbecue stalls in that area do the best business. The rest, like this rice noodle shop, don't have a particular seasonal preference. Students sometimes don't care about the content, they just want to come out and eat. At least that's how it is with the few of us in our dorm."

Su Kun nodded. He could understand this. When they were in college, they were the same. Sometimes they would call a few people out to eat, just for the atmosphere, not caring what they ate. If one place was full, they'd go to another. Every place was just for eating.

"But..." he seemed to remember something and vaguely pointed to the north. "I just saw a store over there that didn't seem to have many people going in at this hour."

"Oh--" the bespectacled boy drew out his tone, almost instantly knowing which store Su Kun was talking about. "That bone soup spicy hot pot place, right?"

"Yes, that one."

"That place was actually a hot pot restaurant when I was a freshman, and business was quite good. I was even taken there a few times by my seniors. But I think it was in the second half of the semester, the owner seemed to have some family issues and hurriedly sold the shop. We probably went back about a week later, and it had changed to a barbecue restaurant."

The bespectacled boy saw the waiter bring the rice noodles and handed Su Kun a pair of chopsticks, taking a pair himself and starting to pour vinegar into his bowl with a gurgling sound. After pouring about half a bowl, he passed the vinegar bottle to Su Kun.

"Barbecue restaurant?" Su Kun took the vinegar bottle, poured the rest in, then took the oil bottle from the side and looked at it, finding no label on it.

"That's sesame oil." The bespectacled boy pursed his lips, then continued from where he left off. "That barbecue restaurant probably lasted one semester. It was understandable that it was deserted in the winter, but even in this season there weren't many people. In the end, the owner probably couldn't take it anymore. By the time we went back after school started, it had changed to another place, seemingly a halal restaurant."

Su Kun: "..." So how many iterations has this bone soup spicy hot pot place gone through, damn it!

The bespectacled boy was probably amused by Su Kun's expression and laughed a couple of times before opening his mouth again.

This time he didn't slowly beat around the bush and said it all in one breath: "The halal restaurant also only lasted a few months. Then, you know, it changed hands several times in a row. Anyway, that storefront is quite odd. Since that hot pot restaurant, no store has lasted long. This bone soup spicy hot pot place just opened last month. Business was actually not bad when it first opened, and now it's like this. Who knows when the next one will come..."

"..." Su Kun held the sesame oil bottle, speechless for a few seconds, before dripping a few drops into his bowl. "Why is that? Have you guys eaten there? Is it the taste or some other reason?"

"I don't know." The bespectacled boy shook his head. "Our dorm went to eat there once. Everyone said it was okay, and the store was quite clean too. Sigh~ you know, every place always has that one store that changes owners a few times a year."

"Mm, that's true." Su Kun nodded, picked up a chopstick of rice noodles, dipped it in the bowl, and took a bite. "..."

Bespectacled boy: "Why is your expression so twisted?"

Su Kun: "..." My whole tongue is numb! Σ(っ°Д °;)っ

Glasses boy suddenly slapped his leg: "Ah! I forgot to tell you, the sesame oil here isn't the fragrant sesame oil we usually eat, it's Sichuan peppercorn oil, the numbing kind."

Su Kun: "..." I so want to smear your face with peppercorns - what's the use of telling me now? Jerk! TAT

Because his tongue was numb and it affected his speech, plus the two of them seemed to pay attention to table manners, they didn't chat much while eating. Su Kun took out his phone and sent Geng Zimo a text message, asking when he would be back.

Geng Zimo had probably finished the interview, as he replied very quickly. Before Su Kun could put his phone back on the table, it vibrated. Opening the new message, Geng Zimo said he was already on the bus from the train station and would be home soon.

The company he interviewed with, Unic, is a chain brand established in recent years under Huatian, a domestic entertainment giant. It specializes in selling merchandise and licensed audio & video products of Huatian's artists. It has chain stores in first, second and some third-tier cities nationwide. The stores have a unified style and carry a wide variety of merchandise.

Each year, they also collect ideas from fan votes to create new products, with prices ranging from low to high to cover fans from all levels. In addition, Huatian arranges for its artists to hold autograph sessions and small fan meetings at Unic stores in various cities, greatly enhancing the chain's status in the hearts of fans. Huatian has stated that the main purpose of creating this chain brand is to forge a legitimate path amidst the rampant piracy market.

It must be said, at least judging from Unic's development in recent years, it has been very successful.

However, for job seekers like Su Kun who are not fans, these are not the key points. The key is that this company has the backing of Huatian, is financially strong, and offers very high salaries and benefits. This means there is a flood of applicants and the threshold is naturally set very high.

Moreover, the position Geng Zimo interviewed for this time was not at the Unic branch in the city center of Lishi, a third-tier city, but at Unic's headquarters in H City. That's why he said he was just trying his luck.

Of course, only someone like Geng Zimo would try his luck. Su Kun would never do that. As someone who has always guessed wrong on exams and only gets "thanks for your patronage" when scratching lottery tickets since childhood, he has no luck to try, only bad luck. →_.→

"So fast? How did it go?" Su Kun sent another message.

There are many high-speed rail trips between H City and Lishi City, almost every hour from morning to night, which is very convenient. But one trip still takes a good half hour. Su Kun thought he would probably have to solve dinner there and wouldn't get home until 7 or 8 pm.

"The weird boss hired me! I'll treat you to a nice meal tomorrow!"

Su Kun: "..." A boss who sends a final interview notice in the morning requiring you to interview that afternoon is definitely weird. = =

Complaints aside, he was genuinely happy for Geng Zimo and also happy for himself - from now on, he would no longer have to face that guy's half-dead expression~(≧▽≦)/~

With a relieved and joyful heart, Su Kun finished the rice noodles cleanly and even paid for Glasses to thank him for the useful information - definitely can't take over that unlucky shop that serves bone broth spicy hot pot!

He took the bus back to Guanyang New Town, so delighted the whole way that he almost wanted to hum a tune, until he got off and faced a pitch-black alley. His face instantly fell - fuck, he was so focused on waiting for Geng Zimo that he forgot there was still a night road waiting for him here!!

When walking at night, eight out of ten times you'll run into ghosts. This kind of thing gives Su Kun psychological trauma second only to seeing a skinny old lady at night.


Hi, I'm Nightowl. I thrive in the quiet hours of the night, where my translations come to life. You’ll often find me with a cup of tea, surrounded by my collection of vinyl records, sharing stories that keep us all up a little too late.

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