Over the next few days, the bakery business was slow. Elder Lan said he didn't mind, but Hana could tell he wished for the bakery to become popular again.
Renae pulled her aside. "It's because you don't have a specialty."
Hana raised her eyebrow. "What?"
"The bakery sells yummy things, but so do the other bakeries. Ancient desserts are very popular Hana. Some bakeries had sold their interpretation of the dessert for generations and are known for it.
The roll cake is basically the only thing we do that is unique, but other bakeries also have that. The combination of soft cake and cream is too common, no matter how cute it looks."
Renae looked at Rina. "You agree right Rina? On Fifth Avenue, there's this one shop that is popular with kids your age."
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Rina nodded. "My school is 10 floors down, but people in class still go there for Yule logs."
Yule logs? Aren't those suppose to be only sold for Christmas? Hana frowned. "Fine, I'll think of something."
Humph, what was the most important thing in business? Although she had been terrible at the subject, she still understand the rules of supply and demand.
"System, summon the opera cake."
Hana carefully placed the masterpiece into a glass case. This is their specialty then. She added the price label and notice: Limited supply, only one shop specialty cake sold per day. Easy and done. She didn't really have time for dwell on anything complicated after all.
Ring. Hana turned as the door to the bakery opened.
"It's you," Hana recognized the girl who walked through the doors of the bakery. She placed the tray of goods in her hand on the counter.
Song Qi paused, a flash of surprise passing through her eyes. "Hana Zhao . . . " Her voice was hesitant. "You own this place?"
"No, but I am in charge," Hana scanned over the girl. The first time they met, Song Qi had shielded her brother from her. The girl was like a wilting flower, ready to fade away the next moment.
Now, she had changed slightly. Her posture was tall and demeanor more confident. It seems like her judgement was correct. Interesting.
"I came to ask if you are hiring," Song Qi stated directly. Her voice was gentle, but firm.
"We are," Hana raised an eyebrow. "You looking for work?"
Song Qi bowed. "Yes, I would like to take up a position please. I have experience in cleaning and customer service. I can also learn anything required of me."
Hana waved her hand. "No need for that, you're welcome to work here. We can negotiate your salary inside." She led Song Qi into a side room and shut the door.
"Actually, I don't want a salary," Song Qi said, "Instead, I hope I can stay in one of the storage rooms."
" . . . are you serious?" Hana asked.
Song Qi smiled. "I actually will attend A.S. Academy in a few weeks. However, I don't have enough money for the dorms so I need to find a place to live. I hope you can accommodate me." She paused. "I —"
"No way!" Renae barged into the room. She apparently had been eavesdropping outside the door.
Hana sighed. "Didn't I tell you to monitor the bread?"
"Well, it's not burning yet . . . anyway that's not the point," Renae pointed at Song Qi, "There's no way you gonna live in some closet like some teenage Cinderella. Hana, you won't let her right?"
Did I say I would agreed? Moreover, how do you even know what Cinderella is? .
"Song Qi, you can just enter the Bluewing dorm like us." Hana pointed at Renae. "Since we're going to be classmates, you might as well. Bluewing's only requirement is for you to work in the bakery. You don't have to pay fees."
Song Qi nodded. "Thank you."
Renae crossed her arms. "I'm just surprised that you actually ended up here. Did you finally grow a spine? Ran away from your scum of a brother and family huh?" She was slightly miffed since Song Qi had brushed her off the last time she offered to help.
Song Qi's face stiffened. "I suppose. It's none of your business anyway." She nodded at Hana. "Thank you."
Hana tossed her a set of keys. "No problem. After you settle in, I inform you of your duties."
After Song Qi left, Renae huffed. "I don't think I'll ever get along with her. I don't know why, but she irks me. Even though I probably was a little nosy, but still."
One was outgoing and spoke her mind without hesitance. The other seemed mild but reserved. Hana thought the dorm would get livelier soon.
Renae widened her eyes in alarm as a burning smell became evident. "The bread!"
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