Jiang Nan thought about it for a while, but couldn't come up with a sure-win plan. He could allow the owner to have a taste of his own medicine and spam the owner's Google Ratings with a bunch of 1-Star reviews, but that wouldn't solve his own problem. He would need 1,000 5-Star Ratings to balance his own Rating to an average 3-Stars, and he had neither the time nor manpower to do that. Also, if he really did that, the owner of that MASS Dollar Mart and him would end up in a review war, both of them spamming negative reviews on each other's Google Ratings. It was self-destructive for both of them.
Probably the best way was to become a well-known convenience store whose name would spread via word of mouth. Most people were more willing to acknowledge information from their family or friends than from a stranger online. Jiang Nan pondered as he thought about how he could get out of this situation.
It was now about 11:00, and he began to prepare lunch. He took a box of instant noodles out from under the counter and opened a packet. Pouring boiling water from the dispenser inside the 7/11 store, he covered it with the lid and began to wait.
Sigh... Jiang Nan was depressed. He had just graduated from university and opened this store with his meagre savings, but he had already encountered such a troublesome situation. His father was the director of a small, no-name factory that was enough for their family of three to live comfortably, and his mother was a housewife who sold her handsewn clothes online for some extra pocket money for shopping. Neither of them would be able to help much, and he didn't want to worry them.
Ai, the woes of a university graduate...
Jiang Nan broke his disposable wooden chopsticks apart and began to stuff the noodles into his mouth. It was hot, with good consistency, but it was bland and tasteless. The sparse dried condiments did nothing to improve the palate.
Jiang Nan people-watched through the glass windows of his store. It was depressing to see tens of people thronging the streets, yet the inside of his store was entirely empty. Sighing once again as he disposed of his waste, he began to take a damp cloth to wipe the shelves.
The "Adult Sector" was done, and now Jiang Nan moved onto the "Food & Drink Sector".
There were many kinds of cool soft drinks of both the bottled and canned variety such as chrysanthemum tea and earl grey to the normal coke and sprite.
There was the "Hot Food Sector", which included plump and juicy roast sausages, soft and fluffy steamed buns and appetising and alluring pastries.
There were also snacks, ranging from instant noodles to potato crisps including dried fruit and cookies.
There was also basic groceries such as vacuum-packed mushrooms, vegetables and fruits, sealed poultry, seafood and meat. The list could go on for the rest of the chapter, but there is already enough filler to boost the word count so I'll stop for now.
As Jiang Nan was moving a small shelf away in order to clean the walls hidden behind it, he found a grey door with a plastic sign on it, very much like those "Maintenance Only" or "Authorised Personnel Only" doors you would see in shopping malls and other public places.
"Hmm? I don't remember seeing this door here during the renovation process." Jiang Nan muttered to himself as he began to squint at the words on the plastic sign. Now, Jiang Nan is neither short-sighted nor dyslexic, so it wouldn't take more than a second to read and process simple short phrases.
This plastic sign had a white piece of paper slotted into it, with mysterious black characters that resembled Egyptian hieroglyphs. However, the more Jiang Nan stared at it and attempted to make sense of it, the words seemed to morph and change shape into something he could read and understand. It was highly abnormal and it was a strange feeling.
The characters were exactly the same as before, but somehow Jiang Nan could now read them.
"Warning: Another World Behind!" Jiang Nan said aloud. Immediately after, he began to look around him, thankful for once that his shop was so empty. If there was someone who had heard him, or worse, videoed him and put it up on YouTube under something like: 'This Man belongs in the International Mental Hospital', he'd never be able to live it down.
Jiang Nan wondered to himself if this was some elaborate prank done by the contractor before he reminded himself that all contractors sought profit, and they would never waste money on something like this. He put his hand on the cold metal knob and hesitated. Should he open it? If he didn't, he might always regret not finding out what was behind, but if he did, it might bring undesired consequences. It was like the story of Pandora's Box.
His hand began to turn and the door swung open.
"What the F***!" Jiang Nan swore after finding out what was behind.
Happy Cliffhanger! This Chapter is for tomorrow since I'll be going to Malaysia for a day.
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