It was time for the employees to eat and Xie Luan therefore had to reluctantly put the cub down. Just thinking about the fact that some days ago the cub was still in its egg, Xie Luan felt very uneasy and gave the cub one last glance.
As the others seemed to, unconsciously or not, distance themselves from this cub, Xie Luan had taken it upon himself to take proper care of him and he had unknowingly become somewhat overprotective.
According to Xia Qi, the cub was now free to move around outside the hatching room. But Xie Luan, as a human, had been very aware of how cold the weather had recently been and when he saw the cub, his first impulse was therefore to pick him up and use his own body temperature to warm him.
Sometimes when Xie Luan needed his hands free, he would even pull down the zipper on his jacket and place the nox cub inside. It worked best if he sat down so after preparing the food, Xie Luan picked up the cub again and put him inside while he ate.
“We will get something delicious today, the investor and Vice President of our club has personally cooked. Let’s just agree to not fight over the food this time,” Xia Qi said this to everyone but it was mainly for Zarad, because among the employees, he was the only one who had not yet tasted Xie Luan’s delicious cooking. Everyone else had already experienced it and had now a little more restraint.
Although Zarad had fixed his image a bit and didn’t look as scary, he was still distant and quiet. He only nodded slightly when Xia Qi looked over at him and did not say anything.
As a former General, he had not lacked good food, he had once even spent tens of thousands on one dish containing the rare golden crab. However, he had also eaten a lot of “employee meals” with his soldiers and he knew not to expect too much. However, he didn’t say this out loud. Because, despite coming across as having no social skills, Zarad still had enough emotional intelligence to know not to express his rude thoughts.
After doing her announcement, Xia Qi disappeared into the kitchen. While waiting, Zarad went and sat down at the table, however, he suddenly felt an entrancing smell. Xia Qi was walking towards them with the dishes and Zarad couldn’t help but turn his head in her direction and follow the dishes with his eyes as they were placed on the table. Just looking at them instantly awoke his resting stomach and although he hadn’t felt especially hungry before, he was now starving.
How could there be such a tempting fragrance? Zarad recognized the main ingredients used in the dishes, but feeling the scent he started to doubt his own senses.
He was so distracted by the food that he didn’t even notice the nox cub placed inside Xie Luan’s jacket. In fact, his eyes never even left the food and he couldn’t help but swallow.
The other people present were not surprised by the state of their new colleague. Because, when they first ate the food made by the investor himself, they had been even more extreme than he was right now…
“If I can get such a staff meal every day, then I am even willing to work for free!” Feng Wenxian, who recently had become their accountant, said this very sincerely. Xia Qi had told him this morning that Xie Luan would cook and ever since he had had this intense craving, to the point of almost dying of longing.
Although their other new employee, Zheng Zhou, did not make a sound, his expression involuntarily revealed everything and one could see that he agreed with Feng Wenxian’s statement.
When Xie Luan heard this, he smiled and said, “I can’t do it every day, but after the financial situation of the club gets better, we will recruit someone responsible for cooking and I will then teach that person the recipe.”
Many of the dishes that Xie Luan had cooked was in fact just common dishes in his world. Very basic home-cooked dishes, like fried shrimp, sweet and sour pork tenderloin, and sautéed eggplant. [T/N: Scroll to the end for food pictures.]
Of course, he had to change them a bit as not everything was possible to find on this planet but he had managed to find things with similar taste and the dishes were not that much different than the original dishes. As for why Feng Wenxian had the appearance of a reincarnated hungry ghost that had not eaten for 800 years, well, that had more to do with the food culture of this world…
On his first day in this world, Xie Luan had already discovered that it was quite different from his world.
There were of course catering businesses in this world too, however, the catering industry was not very developed. Most people’s daily meals consisted of nutrient packets and they rarely ate at a restaurant. Even families that could be considered regulars would only go once or twice a week.
On his first day, Xia Qi had taken out a small box filled with nutrient packets and handed it to him, saying that it was this month’s food rations.
Xie Luan had therefore tried nutrient packets and even though it was not repulsive or inedible, as a person from another world he could not get used to it.
The taste of the nutrient packet’s content was bland and the texture was thick, it was a bit like drinking porridge. Although it would fill your stomach and provide enough nutrition, there was no sense of happiness when eating.
Or at least that was what Xie Luan felt, the people in this world seemed to be accustomed to this way of life and at present there seemed to be no desire to change.
So after auctioning off the bonanza, Xie Luan had used a small part of the earnings and started to improve the food for himself and the other people in the club. Before when there were only nutrient packets, everyone ate alone, just hurriedly emptying it and getting back to work. But now everyone gathered together and enjoyed the food together.
The atmosphere in the club had become much better as everyone got to know each other and was more well-rested and happy when they got back to work.
When the dishes were placed on the table, everyone tried to be civilized and pass the dishes around but when everyone had been served they hurriedly dug in.
Dipping the shrimp-like creature in the sauce and taking a bite out of it, Feng Wenxian couldn’t help but exclaim, “Sometimes I forget that this is not a restaurant but a nursing club, but, oh, that restaurant would definitely earn a lot of money and everyone on Gaia would know of it!”
It might not even stop at Gaia, it was possible that word of it would travel throughout the entire universe.
Anyway, Feng Wenxian now felt that the dishes found in restaurants outside really weren’t worth their high price. He used to think that they were delicious, but ever since he had his first staff meal here, he felt that they were no better than nutrient packets.
The dishes in those restaurants also contained some of the ingredients that the Vice President used, but they tasted entirely different. Feng Wenxian didn’t know if it was the way he prepared them or the seasoning, but there was a huge difference!
Before he had eaten here, Feng Wenxian never knew that food could be so delicious.
The rigid former General had already joined the others as they gorged themselves, leaving all table manners behind, and when he heard Feng Wenxian’s remarks, he even nodded in agreement.
The delicious Golden Crab that had cost him tens of thousands couldn’t even compare to the dishes he was eating now. After having tasted this, Zarad suddenly felt that every good meal he had ever had was bland in comparison.
Xie Luan certainly wouldn’t give up on their club and start a restaurant instead, but Feng Wenxian’s words made him think.
This world’s catering industry held great business opportunities. Although he couldn’t open a restaurant himself, maybe he could make a corresponding investment in it later?
The money from the auction was almost entirely drained and although their club gave an income, after the daily expenses, there was almost nothing left. Xie Luan thought about it, if he wanted to develop their branch and make a name for it in the interstellar, then he would need a huge amount of money
They therefore needed to open a water source and reduce outflow. He wanted to let the cubs in their club have a better life, and right now, with their current income, this could not be achieved. Xie Luan therefore needed to find a way to open a water source.
His plan to do that, which was still quite vague, was temporarily put aside, and after eating lunch, Xie Luan prepared to do the important thing of today– Film a promotional video.
Their club was located on Gaia and although there were many cubs on Gaia, not to mention the universe, it was obviously impossible for parents to notice such a low key club that no one knew of. Before the renovations began, Xie Luan had therefore thought about promoting their club by shooting a video after the place was fixed up.
Luckily there was a filming tool in the club which was not much different from the camera used in his world.
Xie Luan bent down to pick up this “camera” and the nox cub, who was sitting inside his jacket, put his two front paws on the zipper as to hang on and safely stay put while Xie Luan moved around.
Xie Luan had been very careful as he didn’t want the cub to fall out, but seeing his action, he relaxed a bit.
“Meah.” Feeling the youth’s stare, the round fluffy cub in the jacket looked up, and made this sound.
Meeting those beautiful light cyan eyes, Xie Luan gave a slight smile and slowed his speech as he asked, “Good, can you hold on a little longer?”
The “camera” was a little heavier than he had thought and using one hand was not convenient when filming. Normally, Xie Luan had to use at least one hand to hold the cub when he stood up with him in his jacket, but seeing as he could hold onto the zipper Xie Luan decided to let him stay in his jacket while he did the filming.
After all, having him in his jacket, even if the cub had to hold on by himself, was still a lot better than letting the cub sit on the cold ground.
The winter of this planet had been especially harsh for Xie Luan who did not possess the physical qualities that most other alien races had.
The other employees in the club were all still wearing thin clothes, it was only Xie Luan who needed to dress in thick winter clothes, with jacket and gloves. When the others had seen it for the first time, they had all shown surprise on their faces before changing to an expression of realization and pity…
After being separated from their equipment, human beings were very weak. Everyone in the club lamented over this, but they did not look down on Xie Luan. They knew that the reason that the club had started to make progress was all because of Xie Luan’s efforts.
Zarad watched Xie Luan put the nox cub in his jacket as he was shooting. In order to not disturb the other’s work, he decided to wait until he was free to talk to the other about the nox race. According to the current situation, there did not seem to be any trouble, so he didn’t feel that it was urgent.
Shooting and making promotional videos did of course still require some skill. Although their branch had undergone a big-scale renovation, there were still many shortcomings in the specific facilities and compared with other Cub Raising branches, it looked very simple.
Xie Luan tried to select the angles that could highlight the branch’s advantages. In addition to the video clips that he filmed, he also took a couple of photos and selected a few of them before he uploaded it all to the connector and started editing it.
“Are we going to post it on Xingyou?” Walking over, Xia Qi satisfyingly eyed the screen and asked this.
After making promotional videos or writing advertisement texts, most nursing clubs posted them Xingyou. It was the largest social networking platform in the interstellar and it was therefore also the most convenient way to promote their club.
Xie Luan nodded. He had already changed the username of his previously registered account to “Cub Raising Association – Yunbao Branch” and he planned to later use this Xingyou account as the official account of their club.
Since it was a new account that no one paid attention to, Xie Luan didn’t expect it to bring a lot of customers by itself. So after releasing the promotional videos and some pictures, Xie Luan also posted them on the “Cub Raising Association” platform. It was an official account managed by the Star Alliance and it was responsible for publicity and promotion of all Cub Raising Association clubs.
Being on that platform should bring them a little more publicity. But as he wasn’t sure how much, Xie Luan decided that he was going to wait and see how much publicity it actually gave before deciding if they should spend money to further promote the club.
Promoting on the Xingyou was actually really similar to how one did it on Weibo. One could do as Xie Luan had just done, but one could also buy official promotion such as displaying ads or more indirectly promoting through search engine promotion, fan headline or fan tunnel. However, seeing as the price for it was a bit high, Xie Luan was a little reluctant and hesitant, after all, there were many other things the money could be spent on.
After releasing the promotion video, Xie Luan did not keep an eye on the activity and instead went back to the house to take care of the cubs. Xia Qi was, on the contrary, very nervous and after a while she snuck back to the office in order to check on the situation.
However, to her disappointment, it showed that their video had only been forwarded one time, and that was to that platform. The number of praises was also only about a dozen, to some it might still sound like a lot, but most of them were only friendly praises from other branches…
Xia Qi was inevitably a bit disappointed and embarrassed about her high expectations. When it was time for dinner, everyone could see that she was still a little downcast.
When Feng Wenxian asked about it, Xia Qi told him the reason and after saying it out loud she felt a little better.
It was in fact a very normal thing, both Xia Qi and Xie Luan knew this.
Xie Luan gave an almost unnoticeable sigh. Sure enough, the money couldn’t be saved… He knew this could happen and accepted it calmly. Tomorrow morning he would buy official promotion on Xingyou.
Zarad silently listened to his colleagues’ conversation and then in the evening, he took out his old communicator that he hadn’t used in a while. Frowning, he stared at it for a while before contacting someone he considered reliable.
Following the sleeping patterns of the military, Ron, who had just been promoted to Lieutenant General of the Star Alliance, had already gone to bed. However not long after he fell asleep, he was awakened by a burst of sound. He was a little angry to be disturbed, but when he saw the name shown on the communicator, that anger disappeared together with any sleepiness he had.
“Hey, where are you?! I know that you are upset about being unable to use your abilities, but you can’t just disappear like that, it’s been more than a month.” As he spoke, Ron dragged his hand through his messy bed hair. He had been worried for the other, Zarad had helped him a lot and he was also the reason that he joined the military, he had always respected the latter.
“Even if you no longer have your ability, everyone in the military department still respects you greatly. Besides, it’s peaceful right now, there have been no major conflicts in years…. You have retired so give yourself some well-deserved rest, just, please contact us once in a while…” In the end, as Ron rambled on, trying to comfort the other, he went from wanting him to return to trying to persuade him to at least show life signs every once in a while.
During their conversation, Zarad had stayed quiet and it was first when Ron finally started to calm down that he spoke, “My ability should be restored soon.”
He paused and then said, “I can’t explain why, but I need you to log onto your Xingyou account and go to the Cub Raising Association platform to forward a promotional video, the branch’s name is Yunbao. When you’re done, ask some of the brats to do the same, they will listen to you.”
Ron was a little overwhelmed by the amount of information in these three sentences. He was both shocked and delighted by the first part, but the latter’s instructions puzzled him.
“Forwarding that promotional video, this is for…” He was about to inquire about it but got ruthlessly interrupted by the other.
“Just do it, okay?” Zarad felt a little guilty about how he treated the other, but he couldn’t exactly tell him that he was currently a gatekeeper at that branch…
Lieutenant General Ron reflexively shrunk his neck back at his harsh tone and said, “Forward, forward, forward, okay, I will forward it right away.”
After saying this, he found that the call had been cut off. A bit disgruntled, he put the communicator down, and then immediately went to do what he had promised.
Therefore, the next morning, Xingyou exploded with speculations.
“Looking at this, that nursing club called Yunbao must really be something special, right?! To be forwarded by a lieutenant general, a major general, and around three or four other military officers. This really is – —!!”
“I went on the starnet to check, this nursing club is not in the top three thousand in the interstellar ranking. I could not find what their ranking is.”
“I don’t know what’s going on, but this club’s backing seems a bit powerful.”
A large number of comments such as these suddenly appeared in the comment area below the promotional video, and the forwarding of the video had soared to several thousand in the morning, not to mention the countless praises flooding in.
Xia Qi had felt a bit reluctant about checking on Xingyou so early in the morning as she didn’t want to be disappointed again. But she had decided to lower her expectations and look anyway. The result was that she got completely stunned by the soaring data.
She must have stood in place and stared blankly at the screen for at least ten minutes before she could believe her own eyes.
I love it when translators do this, so here are some pictures of the food Xie Luan cooked:
 – To open a water source and reduce outflow is an idiom that means to increase income and save on spending / to broaden the sources of income and economize on expenditure.
 – Lieutenant General is one rank below General and one rank above Major General.