As planned, they wanted to reintegrate themselves into society, find a livelihood and live a low-key existence—this was their dream life.
The two of them had found a shop on the corner of the street and made all the preparations to open a small restaurant. However, many things cropped up and they had to delay their plans as well as travel around with Hao Ren. Now that everything was settled, they could finally focus on their dream. Naturally, Nangong Wuyue and Nangong Sanba were excited to help their parents. And since the others were also idle at home, they decided to help the duo.
The premise, located at the street corner, was originally a converted single-story shop. The layout before the conversion included a rest room for shop owner, and a relatively spacious place for counters and shelves. The owner made an extension to the front of the shop with a coloured steel sheet to expand the shop space. It was precisely because of this layout that the Nangong couple decided to rent this place. The place where the counter was originally placed could be used as a kitchen, while the front extension was just nice for the dining space. Perfect for a small restaurant.
Nangong Wudi had come to the premise early in the morning, standing in front of the shop and lamenting. "I did not expect my dream can come true… Ayesha and I first had this idea while retiring in the mountains a hundred years ago. We thought when the world finally was peaceful we would settle down in a peaceful place, open a small shop, sell groceries or food. But we were taken to another world for more than a hundred years... And now we're back and our dream has come true."
Nangong Sanba stared at his dad, feeling surprise. "Dad, I didn't know you have a dream."
"I had two dreams. The first dream was to be the world's best fighter, fighting the evils and make the world a better place. The second dream was to open a small shop." Nangong Wudi was earnest in his voice. "After I met your mother, all was left was the second dream."
Hao Ren was listening on. Nangong Wudi's name not only had a character, but his vows were also full of character vis-à-vis the two seemingly mutually exclusive dreams.
Lily asked loudly, "Uncle, now you finally talk like a present day human. No more 'yours truly', eh?"
In fact, Lily was just as old as Nangong Wudi was, but the husky was curious, imaginative and impulsive. You would get mad if you try to rank the otherworldlings in Hao Ren's house based on their seniority. So no on batted an eye even if she barked like a dog, which by the way, she was.
Nangong Wudi smiled. "Old habits die hard, but I did change a lot. But then again, the world has changed a lot too. I have no problem conversing with people but it beats me when it comes to uncommon words. Speaking of it, I can't even understand your novels. Even if I could recognise the simplified characters, the modern terms like 'homo' are just beyond me—
Before Nangong Wudi could finish his sentence, Lily interrupted him with a loud howl. She leaped up a metre high as if someone had stepped on her tail. As loud as her howl was, there was no way she could bury the word that Nangong Wudi had uttered. Everyone suddenly looked at Lily with an odd look on the faces. Hao Ren instinctively kept a two-metre distance away as he asked, "Lily... looks like your writings have become wilder..."
"Leave me alone!" Lily was embarrassed. "It's necessary to make the story flow!"
Now, even Nangong Sanba had taken three metres back. "It sounds dangerous."
Lily glared at Hao Ren and then Nangong Sanba. Her arms akimbo. "Maybe I should include you two as the characters in my book!"
Hao Ren and Nangong Sanba quickly toned down their reaction and complimented the husky as open-minded and kind. Meanwhile, Nangong Wudi pretended to have lost the plot, lowered his head and gossiped with his wife. "Ayesha, do you know..."
"Dad! Stop it!" Nangong Wuyue said as she turned and walked into the shop. "Come and help me out!"
A few days ago, Hao Ren had helped the Nangong couple hire a renovation guy to make some minor changes to the shop and installed the essential equipment such as cookers and freezers. They also had the needed ingredients ready yesterday. Today, they were here just to lay out the tables and chairs and having some fun at the same time. Initially, the Nangong couple had only planned to sell breakfast, but after seeing the shop, they decided to open a restaurant. So today's opening hour would be set at noon. As it was already late morning, the couple wasted no time preparing for the grand opening. Lily jumped around and issued orders. "Hurry up! Mr. Landlord and Sanba, clean up the table! Battie, you help aunt prepare the dishes! Wuyue, clean the glass! Big... Big Guy, you can't stay inside, it's too cramp here. Go outside to serve the guests. I have gone around the town yesterday and told everyone about the opening today. Many of them will come… By the way, oh, firecrackers, firecrackers, I want to play firecrackers!"
Ordered by Lily to work, Hao Ren forced a smile and blinked at Vivian who was passing by him. "That girl is going crazy again."
Vivian pursed her mouth and said, "A dog that likes firecrackers... something must have gone wrong during the evolution."
Everyone was busily preparing for the restaurant's first day opening. However, there were really not many things to do: the preparations that need to be done starting from a few days ago had basically completed by yesterday. Today, everyone was here to have fun more than working. Lily's rapturousness said it all: the husky did not even have the idea of work in her mind. When the tables and chairs were set, and the various cold dishes were put into the freezer, Lily immediately ran to the back room before coming out with a large box of firecrackers. She was as happy as a child was when holding the firecrackers in her arms. She said with a ten-thousand-watt smile on her face. "Mr. Landlord, let's play firecrackers together!"
Hao Ren looked at the direction of the kitchen. Ayesha and Vivian were sorting things inside. After all, they were doing this for the first time. This kitchen was new to them. They were unfamiliar with it. They had forgotten where they kept the ingredients and spices that they had prepared last night at. Fortunately, Nangong Wuyue could not bear watching the mess in the kitchen. She quickly went it to help, sorted everything out and returned things to where they should belong. Now everything nice and tidy. The siren was good at nothing except her good memory, which was obviously better than the two in the kitchen.
"Probably not much a problem..." Hao Ren said. But before he knew it, Lily already dragged her outside excitedly.
Nangong Wudi looked at the still empty street. "I'm nervous suddenly… where are the guests?"
Nangong Sanba smiled and said to his dad. "Don't worry. Though Southern Suburb has not many residents, they are all warm and hospitable. Lily had informed her neighbours yesterday, they would surely come and show us support no matter what."
Suddenly, the crackle of the firecrackers tore through the air outside the restaurant. Lily had ignited the string of firecrackers for the opening ceremony.
Nangong Wudi and Nangong Sanba glanced at each other before they skipped to the outside.
Smell of gunpowder and smoke rose as the loud crackles continued. Then was a 'double kicks'—a type of two-stage firework that shot into the sky and popped in the air. Lily holding a lighter in her hand running around Hao Ren happily. She shouted cheerfully. "The restaurant is open now!"
Hao Ren smiled and looked at the happy maiden who appeared happier than the owner of the restaurant was. "I think you don't need the firecrackers; you're noisy enough."
Y'lisabet looked on, covering her head in her hands. For the first time in her life, she was seeing the earthly customs, which apparently startled her. "Wow! I didn't know that you guys' customs are so rugged!"
Hao Ren looked the little demon, puzzled. "What does it have to do with rugged customs?"
"Crazily lots of explosives—" Y'lisabet pointed to the smoky atmosphere. "Even demons don't celebrate like this!"
Hao Ren did not know how to react. He was speechless for a long moment before he patted the little demon on the head and said, "You will see something more amazing during the New Year celebration, which if according to your standards, the firepower we used during the New Year is enough for start a skirmish."