Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 128: Guess It Out (Part 1)
On the second day, Shen Miao got up late.
Xie Jing Xing came yesterday at the third of the five night watch periods (modern timing: 11pm – 1am), and she was so exhausted after talking with him, so she had a night of dreamless sleep and when she woke up, it was already very late.
Shen Miao was rarely lazy in getting up, thus Luo Xue Yan took it that she was tired due to the tribute feast yesterday, and instructed the others to leave food for Shen Miao so that she could eat upon waking up. Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan went to the Ministry of War as they were just reinstated, and need to handle a number of old matters. Shen Qiu and Luo Ling were also not in the house because Luo Ling was searching for an assignment, thus Shen Xin might as well let Luo Ling assist Shen Qiu, so that others would not bully Luo Ling for being green.
As a result, in this new ‘Shen residence’, there was only Luo Tan and Shen Miao left. As it turns out, Feng An Ning sent an invitation to Shen Miao today, requesting Shen Miao to accompany her to pick some jewellery. Shen Miao let Luo Tan go instead and also sent a few Shen residence guards for Luo Tan, and only said that she felt tired and want to rest in the residence for the day.
Luo Tan did not say anything else and urged Shen Miao again before leaving. After Luo Tan left, Shen Miao instructed Mo Qing to send a letter to Guang Wen Tang and Mo Qing left after complying.
After the lapse of two years, there were at the end some changes in the Ding capital. For example, Young Lady Liu Ying of Bao Xiang Luo that was previously a buzz and hot favourite, was redeemed by that infatuated Gentleman Mo with thousands taels of gold. There was no longer a Young Lady Liu Ying but in the past few years double-sided embroidery, which was long lost, quietly appeared in the Ding capital and one bolt of embroidered silk was sold to hundreds of taels. One heard that that not only the embroidery lady had exceptional skills, she was also very pretty and managed the embroidery workshop so well, that it earned bushels of gold daily.
Changing to another means of living, in fact, might not be worse off. No one knew the hope that would rise after the first step was taken.
For Liu Ying to live well, the person worried about her would also be happy. Pei Lang was one that kept his promises, thus when Shen Miao saw Pei Lang at the tribute dinner, she had a plan in her heart. Pei Lang had already obtained Fu Xiu Yi’s trust, and thus was willing to keep Pei Lang by his side. Even though Fu Xiu Yi was mistrustful, and this intensified after he became the monarch, but in all fairness, the current Fu Xiu Yi was still very appreciative and cherished talents. Pei Lang was one who had ravine in his heart, so Fu Xiu Yi would definitely find ways to keep Pei Lang around.
It was precisely because of that, Fu Xiu Yi tested Pei Lang’s virtues and integrity. She could not see Pei Lang hastily, else it would arouse Fi Xui Yi’s suspicions
That pawn had not even passed the line that divided the rival territories.
She said, “Bring the cloak out.”
Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang were tidying the room and asked curiously when they heard Shen Miao, “Young Lady is going out?”
Shen Miao said, “There are some things that needs to be done.”
Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang no longer spoke, as Gu Yu silently went forward to comb Shen Miao’s hair and Jing Zhe went to bring the cloak out. It was not visible but Shen Miao’s maids immediately obeyed her orders, that if anyone were to see this they would definitely be shocked, as even the servants from the Palace would not necessarily be this swift and calmed.
After leaving the residence’s door, Mo Qing went to Guang Wen Tang so Shen Miao called for Ah Chi. Shen Miao was currently much closer with this subordinate of Shen Qiu, as when they were at the Northwestern region, Shen Miao came out with many military ideas for Shen Qiu, which naturally was what she heard from Fu Xiu Yi’s advisors in the past. Even though she just followed mechanically, from others’ perspective, they found that Shen Miao’s stratagems were as if conceived by divine beings, and that she had the talents of a General. Those army leads were all uncouth brawny males, but they admire Shen Miao’s brains and were much more respectful.
Shen Miao said to Ah Chi, “Do not tell others about the outing today.”
Ah Chi’s heart quivered, his allegiance was originally with Shen Qiu, but at this moment he felt that Shen Miao’s clear eyes were giving so much pressure that he nodded, “Yes.”
Ah Chi found an ordinary carriage for Shen Miao. Since this carriage did not attract others’ attention, others would not be able to recognise that it was the Shen family’s horse carriage. There was no other reason but because Shen Miao offended the Princess Ming An from the Qin country yesterday, and HuangFu Hao and Princess Ming An were currently staying in the Yan Qing Lane, which was not far from her house. If by coincidence they meet, it would be bad if Princess Ming An gave Shen Miao problems. This Princess was very arrogant and wilful and the Qin country had lots of guards. If something really came out, it would be too late for Shen Xin and wife to come over with more people.
It was just that Ah Chi’s heart was still very puzzled. Leaving the capital for two years, if one were to speak about who in the Ding capital had friendship with Shen Miao, it would be the Young Lady of the Feng residence, Feng An Ning. But today, Shen Miao rejected Feng An Ning’s invitation so it was obvious that she was not going to see her. Ah Chi’s imagination ran wild and started thinking of the novels that Luo Tan speak about in the Luo family to Luo Qian, Ah Chi’s heart quivered. If it was really some secret relationship with whichever Gentleman, he would do his utmost to inform Shen Qiu of the matter. It was so difficult for their Shen family to have such a talented and good-looking Young Lady, how could some wild kid from who knows where, come and snatch her away.
But it did not dawn to him that the place that Shen Miao wanted to go was the Feng Xian Pawnshop.
The Feng Xian Pawnshop was the same as two years ago, still deserted. After all, not everyone had treasures to pawn here.
Shen Miao alighted from the carriage and Ah Chi followed closely, with Jing Zhe and Gu Yu also jumping down. Ah Chi had no time to size the place up, when he saw Shen Miao heading into the pawnshop without consulting anyone.
The shop assistant that was wiping the table saw the four people heading in. The person in front was wearing a cloak, but then pulled the cloak and veiled hat down, revealing a delicate face, clearly a pampered young lady of a big family, and the noble air around her made one unable to underestimate her. He smiled fawningly, “Does Young Lady want to pawn something?”
Shen Miao glanced at him. The shop assistant of the pawnshop had changed and one heard that after they went to Xiao Chun City, the Feng Xian Pawnshop was closed for two years. It was only reopened not too long ago, but one did not know if that Young Lady Hong Ling and Ji Yu Shu were still around. She said, “I am looking for Hong Ling.”
The shop assistant was surprised for a moment before carefully looking at Shen Miao again. Shen Miao looked at him calmly and the shop assistant paused for a moment before quickly saying, “May Young Lady please wait for a moment.” He then turned around and entered the back hall.
A moment later, a red clad female came forward with that shop assistant following behind. She was still clad in a red dress and her appearance was much more amorous, even more moving than two years ago. When she saw Shen Miao, her pupils coagulated before suddenly laughing, “Long time no see. Young Lady is increasingly more beautiful that Hong Ling could not even open her eyes.”
Even though Hong Ling said these rude and impudent words, one did not feel that they were slutty, but instead there was a kind of straightforward feel to them. Shen Miao nodded her head faintly and Hong Ling smiled again before speaking, “Old rules, Young Lady follow me but…” She pointed her fair finger towards Ah Chi and delicately laughed, “This silly great hulk cannot come along.”
Ah Chi had a lively personality and was not as cold and detached as Mo Qing, so when he was pointed out by Hong Ling, a flirtatious female, his face turned red. But he still insisted, “This subordinate will follow Young Lady.”
“You wait here.” Shen Miao said, “I am going to see a friend. It is enough for Jing Zhe and Gu Yu to follow.” Her tone was uncompromising, thus Ah Chi was unable to say any words of refute.
On the contrary when Hong Ling saw this, a peculiar look flashed in her eyes. Most likely she did not expect that Shen Miao, a small and delicate person, would discipline her guards every time till they are docile and obedient. Moreover be it Mo Qing or Ah Chi, they all respected her from the bottom of their hearts. A skilled subordinate would often be haughty but in front of Shen Miao, these people did not have even a little arrogance at all.
Shen Miao was a capable person.
Hong Ling brought Shen Miao to the Lin Jiang Xian building. Jing Zhe and Gu Yu were following behind as Shen Miao asked, “One heard that the Feng Xian Pawnshop only reopened not long ago. Two years ago…”
“Two years ago, there was some changes in the manager’s family, thus he closed the pawnshop and headed back to the hometown. It was only recently that he return to the Ding capital.” Hong Ling smiled and continued the thread, “Speaking of which, Young Lady is our pawnshop’s first long-time customer.”
Shen Miao had calculated it in her heart and just smiled faintly in agreement. When they reached the building, like previously, Hong Ling settled her down in the elegant room, “Hong Ling will now call the Manager. May Young Lady wait here a while and have some tea.” Finishing speaking, she left the room.
There were plums and tea on the table with incense rising in spirals. This elegant room was exactly the same as before. For such a big pawnshop like the Feng Xian Pawnshop, they did not rent it out to others and just let it sit here during the two years of not running the business, it really had an appearance of a rich and powerful magnate.
Before Shen Miao finished the cup of tea, there was the sound of someone pushing the door open from the outside. She placed the tea cup down and saw a person clad in a jade green gold brocaded long robe, wearing a gold headgear and a smile as he approached.
That person still had a baby face as previously but because of the two years, he now showed a bit of maturity. It was just that he still had the look of mischievousness like in the past but… Shen Miao looked at him. This Ji Yu Shu wore such gaudy clothes but could still look that happy, this person must be extremely coquettish, down to his bones.
When Ji Yu Shu pushed open the doors and saw Shen Miao, his eyes lit up and did not hide the slightest as he praised, “One thought that Young Lady Shao Yao was the most beautiful young lady that this one had seen, but now it seems that Young Lady Shen is not to be outdone. One have not seen for two years and Young Lady’s magnificence has increased so much, that this one is unable to find any words to praise Young Lady.”
When Jing Zhe and Gu Yu saw this, a look of displeasure appeared on their faces. Ji Yu Shu words were a perfect example of a skirt-chaser taking liberties of young females. But such words were coming out from this innocent face, making one confused if he was deliberately stupid, or this was just unintentional words.
Shen Miao smiled faintly, “Manager Ji is also more affluent than before.” Her gaze landed on Ji Yu Shu’s gaudy clothes.
Ji Yu Shu sat opposite Shen Miao and poured himself a cup of tea, looking very happy like he was sincerely rejoiced with the reunion. He said, “One did not think that Young Lady Shen still remembered this old friend. One heard that General Shen just returned to the capital not too long ago, and Young Lady Shen was not in the rush to see others but came to the Feng Xian Pawnshop, seemingly treating this one as a trusted person. This one’s heart is really moved.”
Shen Miao, “…” Last night a person with wishful thinking just left and now another one came. Shen Miao only felt somewhat of a headache. Moreover Ju Yu Shu said it so seriously, he really thought that Shen Miao was that close with him.
Shen Miao lightly coughed, “Actually one come here today to do business with Manager Ji. One just returned back to the Ding capital and is not clear about many matters, thus one would need to rely on the Bai Xiao Sheng.”
Ji Yu Shu was first startled before saying, “Do business? That is good to talk about. The Bai Xiao Shen would sincerely put every effort for what Young Lady Shen want to know. As for the cost, since this one is friends with Young Lady Shen, one will give a reduction of two tenths (20% discount).”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu were rolling their eyes behind. Ji Yu Shu was managing such a big family business, the pawnshop on the surface, but he was actually doing a business of no capital, and one transaction would become an endless stream of money but he was so stingy. Two tenths? It was indeed that all businessmen were evil.
Shen Miao faintly smiled, “Money is easy to handle but this time the information is not easy at all.”
Ji Yu Shu said, “Young Lady Shen really know how to joke. At that time even the business of ‘creating’ information, my Feng Xian Pawnshop accepted and deal with it without any mistakes, so what else can one not accept.”
“But Manager Ji was not in the Ming Qi for two years. One fear that it would be a bit troublesome to inquire about matters of the Ming Qi.” She said.
Ji Yu Shu smiled and his eyes showed a unspeakable pride, “Young Lady Shen must not underestimate the Feng Xian Pawnshop. Although this one was not in the Ding capital for these two years and the Feng Xian Pawnshop was also closed, but business still needed to be done. Else how would one have money to support one’s family? The Xiao Bai Sheng is still working. After all one cannot just throw away two years of harvest. Yong Lady Shen do speak, what information you want to inquire? I, the manager of the Feng Xian Pawnshop will naturally serve Young Lady all the way.”