Chapter 6 To Buy SeedsLin Luoran drops her dirty clothes into the garbage truck and jumps onto a bus, heading to her destination.
Compared with the busy streets, the air is stuffier in the crowded bus. With the precious bead, Lin Luoran gets on the bus without hesitation. She doesn’t notice the foul air, but the atmosphere is strange. Why is everybody looking at her?
With the plan of making a fortune in her mind, Lin Luoran completely forgets that her appearance has changed. Even though her clothes are still cheap and plain, her delicate cheeks and bright eyes make her stand out.
Lin Luoran is beautiful but shabby. If it happened to other girls like her, they might be harassed on this crowded bus. However, Lin Luoran has the bead and with her cleansed bone marrow and cleared meridians, she is no longer an ordinary pretty woman. She wears a gentle expression together with a noble and righteous temperament. Normal people won’t even dare to look right at her.
R City is the capital of S Province. As the well-known center of leisure, it has a large population. Pedestrians and cars fill the broad street so the bus has to drive slowly. Lin Luoran changes two buses and finally arrives at her destination. With green façade and two small shops, it is the outlet store of a larger seed company in R City. Lin Luoran used to buy rice and vegetable seeds for her family and fellow-villagers. The price of seeds here is reasonable and the quality is pretty good so she is willing to come a long way here to buy seeds.
Seed is not people’s daily necessities. It is natural that the store only has a good turnover in planting seasons.
Now, there is no one shopping in neither of the two shops. A plump lady in uniform is texting under the counter.
Standing one meter away from the counter, Lin Luoran clears her throat to draw the sales lady’s attention.
The lady puts down her phone and puts on her professional smile. She is shocked as she looks up and sees Lin Luoran.
“This girl is so pretty. Her skin and temperament are so much better than mine.” The sales lady sighs quietly. However, she doesn’t feel jealous as she does when seeing other pretty girls. This certainly has something to do with Lin Luoran’s temperament.
“Belle, do you want some seeds? Do you need my recommendation?”
The sales lady calls Lin Luoran “belle”. This is not a compliment. People in R City are passionate, and workers in the service industry will call every female customers “belle” and male customers “handsome”.
Lin Luoran has prepared for this. She smiles and replies, “Do you have small tomato seeds?”
“You mean cherry tomatoes?” The sales lady asks for confirmation.
“Yeah, yes!” Baojia has corrected her a million times that it was called “cherry tomato”. Still, Lin Luoran can’t get rid of her habit…
The sales lady knows what Lin Luoran wants, and she takes out a little bag of cherry tomato seeds after rummaging through the shelf. In recent years, business has been bad. The seed company used to despise this kind of small purchase, but it has started to make smaller bags of seeds.
“How much land can this bag of seeds cover?” Although Lin Luoran comes from the countryside and she used to help her family do farm work when she was a child, she is not an expert, for she does spend most of her time studying.
“It seems to be a little bag, but the seeds can cover more than half a mu of land.” The sales lady is patient because explaining to the customers is also a part of her job.
Half a mu… Lin Luoran is speechless. Even if she demolishes that little cottage, there will only be half a mu of land in that space. If she plants cherry tomatoes for such a large patch, there will not be any more land for other vegetables. Nevertheless, all of this is just her disguise. She then asks for a dozen of more seeds of cabbage, celtuce and spinach, etc.
All the seeds only cost her about 100 yuan. Indeed, she doesn’t buy a lot.
The sales lady packs the seeds and finds the pretty customer still wandering in front of the counter. She asks, “Do you need anything else? We are a big seed company. Though the store is small, we do have a good variety of seeds.”
“Do you have wild ginseng seeds?” Lin Luoran pretends to be embarrassed, but she is looking forward to getting a positive reply from the sales lady.
Right. Lin Luoran never intends to make a fortune by growing vegetables. She doesn’t see herself as a protagonist and it is a big problem to explain the source of the vegetables.
It is not the first time for the sales lady to meet such an amateur customer. However, because this one is pretty and unpretentious, she smiles and explains, “Belle, wild ginseng is worth a lot, but its seeds are cheap. Few people except researchers will collect them. Also, you can’t call cultivated ginseng wild. Here we have ginseng seeds of a species called “prospect”. It costs 720 yuan per kilogram. The “prospect” ginseng is very much similar with wild ginseng. Do you want some?”
Lin Luoran is ashamed that she just made a fool of herself, but she is aware that there is a huge difference between the price of cultivated ginseng and wild ginseng. Should she take the second-best option?
“Can I have a look at the seeds? Someone else asked me to buy some so I’d better check out the quality.” Lin Luoran leaves herself a way out.
The sales lady rummages through the shelf for quite a long time and finally finds the ginseng seeds. These seeds are put aside since few people might come asking for them.
Lin Luoran grasps some seeds and concentrates on them. She is disappointed.
There is only a wisp of faint green smoke insides of these seeds, indicating their lack of spirit. Lin Luoran is not sure whether the ginsengs she cultivates in that space can be sold as wild ginsengs.
She looks around and a small plastic bag of seeds on the counter catches her attention.
It is a zipper bag with a few seeds in it. Those seeds are emitting thick green smoke but look very similar to the ginseng seeds in her hands… Lin Luoran’s heartbeat races. Those must be good stuff!
“Are those ginseng seeds?” Pointing to the zipper bag on the counter, Lin Luoran asks, pretending to be careless. With her good eyesight, Lin Luoran can count clearly that there are seven seeds in the bag.
The plump sales lady turns back and has a look. She says without much thinking, “Those are also ‘prospect’ ginseng. They are probably the sample some customer asked for then forgot to take away. You can bring those back to your friend to have a look, if needed.”
Sales staff of the seed company deal with seeds every day so they can basically recognize the species of seeds which look very alike in the eyes of amateurs. Therefore, the sales lady can tell that those are ginseng seeds.
Lin Luoran’s plan works out. She holds back the pleasure and leaves the store with all the vegetable seeds as well as that small bag of ginseng seeds.
She passes by a tall guy as getting out of the door. Lin Luoran doesn’t pay any attention to him but the tall guy can’t help having a second look at her. He thinks for himself it is definitely true that people always say there are lots of beautiful girls in R City, and it is not so bad to be banished to this place!
Lin Luoran has got the seeds she wants. Unprecedentedly, she calls for a taxi as soon as she gets out of the store, rather than taking the crowded bus. In less than a minute, the tall guy comes out in a hurry. All he can see is the busy traffic. There is not even a shadow of Lin Luoran.
“She leaves so fast! I’m so pissed!” The tall guy stamps his feet in front of the store.
The plump sales lady also comes out with anxiety on her face. “General Manager, I … I really don’t know those are seeds of wild ginseng…” She flushes bright red. She makes such a big mistake when she even doesn’t get a clear picture of the new manager. What can she do?
The tall guy almost spits out blood!
“What wild ginseng seeds! Those are the seeds of a 500-year-old wild ginseng! Wild ginseng seeds are rare, let alone seeds of a 500-year-old ginseng… There is no point to tell you this now. They are already gone!”
Hearing this, the sales lady forgets about her knowledge that cultivated wild ginseng is not “wild”. Guilt and fear fill her mind, nearly making her cry.
Seeing that the sales lady is about to cry, the tall guy’s head is going to explode, “Forget it. It’s my fault. Just go back to work…” He sends the sales lady back to the store, but the bad look on his face does ruin his good appearance.
“I shouldn’t have gone after that woman and ask for her number… God! Does it mean I have to stay here longer? Who on earth takes away my ginseng seeds? Ahh!”
The tall guy laments in regret. A sparrow is astonished by him, so is the passengers. People all dodge him, which makes him look worse.
In the meantime, on the taxi, Lin Luoran sneezes out of no reason. Country people always say that sneezing out of no reason means that someone is talking about you behind your back. Lin Luoran can’t figure this out. Are her parents back at home missing her?
Lin Luoran thinks that she should go see her parents after a while. She smiles and feels satisfied with the seeds in her pocket.