The warrior’s Rebirth Chapter 61

The Warrior's Rebirth

**Chapter 24. Hajeong Guesthouse -03**

“Why do you have to scare me like that? Right from the first day of business.”

“It’s not about scaring you, it’s about reinforcing the message. To make sure you do your job right. Since you know how much you dislike harsh words from your mother, I am the one who has to say it.”

“Alright, let’s take a look around.”

Knowing it was all for her sake, So Hajung smiled and led Seok Jin-ho around.

Checking every table and chair meticulously from the first floor to the second, she then thoroughly examined each guest room on the third floor.

“If cleaning is done like this every day, that would be great.”

“It shall be done.”

“But don’t overdo it. If we are short on staff, let me know anytime.”

“Understood.”

The young woman, barely twenty, who was in charge of the guest rooms, smiled and nodded her head graciously.

So Hajung had personally interviewed her and found that she was quick-handed and competent, which was something Seok Jin-ho remembered well.

Moreover, since So Hajung had checked thoroughly by herself, Seok Jin-ho hadn’t felt the need to say much after the initial instructions.

“Now, we just need the stewards to show up.”

“They will be here soon. For now, they said they will only send about twenty.”

“Isn’t that less than expected?”

“It’s not good to have too many from the start. And don’t forget, we are only a trio.”

“Aha!”

Jeong Maryung’s eyes twinkled with realization.

He only considered the scale of Seokpung Trade Company, forgetting the situation at the Ascension Martial Company.

With this realization, anticipation began to fill Jeong Maryung.

Once a mere servant of Seok Household, he was now a proud martial arts instructor.

“Thinking weird thoughts again?”

“Not at all!”

“Sure, your expression gives it all away. Doesn’t it?”

“You are right.”

Tak Yoon agreed.

He knew what was on Jeong Maryung’s mind just by looking at his face.

“Master! Let’s head to the kitchen next. I totally forgot to check it when we were on the first floor!”

“Alright.”

While in the corridor, So Hajung swiftly headed down to the first floor once again.

Despite having appeared overwhelmed before, So Hajung was now brimming with energy.

“Taking care of the garden seemed less enthusiastic than this.”

“Well, gardening is boring by comparison. Even though So Seol is with me, it doesn’t feel like I’m mingling with people.”

“There…”

Following Seok Jin-ho down the stairs, Tak Yoon scratched his head, looking troubled.

Seok Jin-ho noticed and looked at him.

“Speak up. You, more than anyone, have that right with me.”

“It’s nothing grand, just a little worry.”

“What is?”

Seok Jin-ho asked while watching So Hajung hastily inspect the kitchen for the freshness of ingredients, sanitary conditions of utensils, and the storage jars for various seasonings.

But Tak Yoon hesitated to speak immediately.

“Ah, I doubt whether I have the right to teach others. Especially since I haven’t learned inner strength, but external martial arts.”

“What I want from you and Maryung isn’t at that level. You just need to teach the basics you have been practicing. Lead by example. Both of you only need to lay the foundation for the stewards. I’ll handle the rest, so there’s no need to worry. But it seems, Yoon, you have a hidden liking for the title of martial arts instructor? Normally, if it’s burdensome, you would refuse, but it looks like you are considering it.”

“That, that’s…!”

Tak Yoon flushed with embarrassment.

Caught off-guard by Seok Jin-ho’s sharp observation, Tak Yoon’s face revealed it all.

Not to scold, but Seok Jin-ho found the sight rather endearing.

“It’s human nature to have desires. Sometimes, it’s important to listen to your instincts. Suppressing too much can lead to illness later on. Like here.”

Seok Jin-ho’s hand reached Tak Yoon’s chest.

At that, Tak Yoon’s eyes widened in surprise.

“In the heart?”

“Exactly, the heart. And the sickness of the heart is hard to cure. A physical injury heals, but the heart doesn’t work that way. You’ve seen it yourself.”

“……”

Tak Yoon’s expression darkened, recalling the sight of Seok Jin-ho, who had been close to death.

“So, if you want to do something, just say it. Don’t keep it to yourself.”

“Right now, I’m already quite happy, Young Master. No, Head of the Company.”

“It might be so now, but things can change later. So speak up without hesitation when that happens. Understood?”

“Yes.”

After patting Tak Yoon’s back a couple of times, Seok Jin-ho stepped out through the back door of the kitchen.

He wanted to check if the disposal of leftovers, called ‘cham,’ and various scraps from food preparation were being handled properly.

“You’ve come out first?”

“Yes. How’s the kitchen?”

“Not super satisfying, but not bad either.”

“Then let’s start the business.”

“Yes! Oh, and Master. Thank you for caring about me so much.”

So Hajung bowed her head deeply.

She felt immense joy and pride in receiving such a grand gift from the much younger Seok Jin-ho.

She really wanted to express her gratitude.

“No need for thanks. I’m the one who’s grateful. Thanks to you, I’m as good as alive. So just enjoy. That’s how I also find happiness.”

Recalling the original owner of the body who had passed away, Seok Jin-ho spoke.

The feelings of apology towards the nursemaid and Tak Yoon, until the moment the eyes were closed, were still deeply rooted in his heart.

Therefore, Seok Jin-ho warmly embraced So Hajung with a smile.

In the late afternoon, Seok Jin-ho sat alone in the office, making an uncharacteristically serious face.

“The profit isn’t bad, but it’s a bit disappointing.”

The newly opened Hajeong Guesthouse didn’t make a huge profit as anticipated, but it was still operating reasonably well.

At least it wasn’t running at a loss.

However, Seok Jin-ho felt a little let down.

If he had just one powerful weapon, he felt it wouldn’t be impossible to conquer the marketplace of Hwanghwa County.

“Though it needs to be close to the Ascension Martial Company, and thus is a bit away from the commercial area, the location is still not bad. It’s comparable to other well-established guesthouses. But that’s as far as it goes.”

This wasn’t just any place; it was the guesthouse given to So Hajung.

Also, since it was business conducted under So Hajung’s name, Seok Jin-ho wanted to develop it into a guesthouse representative of Hwanghwa County.

“Restaurant business is really about regulars. And you catch regulars through flavors. But just having flavor isn’t enough to increase their number.”

Seok Jin-ho tapped on the table.

It was possible to create special dishes with ordinary ingredients.

But the problem was that other guesthouses could figure out the recipes and imitate them.

It might be tough to get the proportions right, but duplicating the flavor wouldn’t be too hard, and such an approach meant only a short-lived business.

“In that case, there’s only one way. We need to create a truly unique dish that cannot be imitated. Using ingredients that are not easily accessible.”

Seok Jin-ho’s eyes sparkled.

There’s a saying about small profits and quick returns, but after all, only a small sum is collected.

Moreover, people can eventually grow tired of even the most delicious foods if they eat them too often.

So, creating a dish that is expensive, special, and not something you can taste frequently would be the solution.

“A unique dish that can only be had at the Hajeong Guesthouse. A dish that can’t be routinely enjoyed, even if you have the money. Perhaps it will be sold exclusively by reservation.”

In the case of smiths known as masters, they create custom weapons according to client requests, so they don’t make many in a year.

Yet, despite that, their income was significant.

Rather, there were heaps of clients pleading to commission work, regardless of the time it took.

Seok Jin-ho thought Hajeong Guesthouse should operate similarly.

“Rather than forcefully pulling in customers, making them beg to purchase is much better.”

The issue now was finding the means to achieve that goal.

So Seok Jin-ho furrowed his brow, lost in thought.

Knock, knock, knock.

“Young Master, it’s me. May I come in?”

“Come in.”

Just then, So Hajung came searching for him.

Yet, she carried an unusual determination in her eyes.

Unlike her usual self, she sat before Seok Jin-ho, her eyes fiercely bright.

“I’d like to discuss something with you, Master.”

“What is it?”

“Before we took over the guesthouse, we visited every guesthouse, restaurant, and food stand in Hwanghwa County, remember?”

“We did.”

Seok Jin-ho nodded.

Despite eating at all those places out of necessity, Seok Jin-ho remembered getting quite an earful from So Hajung.

He enjoyed the delicious food but left more than half of the bland meals uneaten, which had resulted in quite a bit of nagging.

“Thinking it over carefully, I’ve realized something peculiar.”

“What is it?”

So Hajung’s motivated posture appeared rather adorable to Seok Jin-ho.

Though the body was barely eighteen years old, mentally, Seok Jin-ho was an old soul.

Thus, he looked at So Hajung as though she were his granddaughter and coaxed her to speak.

“There are no spicy dishes. There are a few mildly spicy items, but nothing tear-jerking hot.”

“Now that you mention it, seems true. Have you considered why there’s a lack of spicy dishes?”

“What do you mean?”

“Do you think you’re the first to discover there are no spicy dishes around here?”

Caught off-guard by Seok Jin-ho’s counter-question, So Hajung blinked.

She hadn’t considered this viewpoint and was flustered.

“Now you mention it, that’s true. There are so many intelligent people around. Not to mention the numerous skilled chefs.”

“Could the lack of such dishes simply mean there’s not much demand for them?”

So Hajung’s face clouded over.

At the same time, she felt an urge to hide in a mouse hole.

She was embarrassed for having behaved as if she had made some significant discovery.

“I guess my thinking was shallow…”

“No need for apologies. I am just providing a different perspective. It’s not that my thoughts are absolute. And beyond that, I am proud to see you working hard on your research. You really do seem like a true owner of a guesthouse.”

“Even so, I am still full of mistakes.”

“It’s natural to make mistakes at first. Who does things perfectly from the start? Experience accumulates through trial and error. What’s important is the effort. You’ve been doing well. Even though it hasn’t been long since the opening, isn’t it true that there have been no complaints? That’s all because you manage and guide the staff well.”

“Why the sudden praise?”

So Hajung blushed.

But Seok Jin-ho was sincere.

Compared to the time at Seok Household, she seemed much brighter and more active, seemingly healthier by the day.

She seemed to be unwittingly attracting people.

“I’m just stating facts. So give it a try.”

“The spicy dish?”

“Yes. Developing new foods is crucial. As much as maintaining and developing signature dishes is important, having new dishes can attract more regulars. That’s how you can increase your array of signature items, and Hajeong Guesthouse will flourish.”

“I’ll try. Leave it to me!”

“Leave what? You are the owner. And I’m thinking of differentiation strategies, so hang in there a bit more.”

Energized once again, So Hajung looked at Seok Jin-ho with a bright smile and said,

“I hope I’m not causing you any unnecessary trouble.”

“Don’t be silly. You know it’s necessary for the Ascension Martial Company, too. So no need for guilt. Besides, you’re just the first recipient from a long line of thought. I’m also considering something for Yoon.”

“Really, I could die happy now, Master.”

“Don’t say such things carelessly.”

“Haha! I was just kidding. I’m going to live a thousand years with you and Yoon, building houses side by side.”

So Hajung laughed, clearly delighted at the thought.

Seeing her joy, Seok Jin-ho also allowed himself a smile.

**End of Chapter 24. Hajeong Guesthouse -03**



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