Book 10 Chapter 33 - Chen Feirong Asks Three Times

Pa! Pa! Pa! Pa!

The noises were extremely muffled, not all that clear.

By Clear Distant City’s food market entrance, two Judicial Sector bailiffs were waving their staffs, carrying out punishment.

The one who was being struck was a forty something year old middle-aged shopkeeper. His clothes were removed, pants taken off, his bottom and back badly mutilated. Under the extreme sense of shame, after receiving just a dozen or so strikes, he already fainted.

Apart from these two Judicial Sector bailiffs, there were several other Judicial and Trade Sector officials here.

That young master who was drinking by that northern lake was also here, dressed in a minor eighth rank Civil Sector uniform.

Of his two good friends from that day, there was a round faced squinty eyed young master who was also here, dressed in Civil Sector major ninth rank Taxman uniform. While watching this type of beating happen, his expression was calm, but within the depths of his eyes was a bit of a pleased expression.

According to Yunqin law, if there were any fake, botched goods or other issues, depending on the severity of the issue, Civil and Trade Sector could make an agreement. Those who weren’t too nasty in their actions didn’t need to be locked up, they only needed to be struck in front of the food market in front of everyone as a warning to others.

Today, the amount of strikes was only twenty, the punishment not that severe, but the one who was being struck was Auspicious Virtue’s Clear Distant City branch company’s shopkeeper Shi San.

The reason for being beaten in public was because more than ten households, after using Auspicious Virtue’s rice, all had diarrhea. After examining the rice, they discovered some white powder that was extremely fine. After this fine white powder was investigated, it was determined to be the south’s White Guanyin Talcum Powder!

Only a small amount of this type of white talcum powder had to be added when rice was being grinded, and then it could make the rice appear extremely fair and clear. However, because it was unfavorable for the human body, Yunqin restricted its use. Only those traders who took risks out of desperation would add some in their rice to substitute shoddy goods and make a profit in this way.

Because of the allure of the benefits, similar things might be happening all over Yunqin’s cities large and small, but because it happened with Auspicious Virtue this time, it stirred up an especially great commotion.

The seventeen merchant companies' alliance were already like a setting sun behind the western mountains, completely powerless to stop Auspicious Virtue’s might. Heavenly Wind Pearl Jade’s Great Shopkeeper Zhang was indeed just like what Cheng Manying said, losing quite a bit of weight. When these news came out, it shocked all of the markets, the seventeen allied merchant companies’ shopkeepers also immediately becoming rapt with joy, as if seeing a glimmer of hope in the darkness.

That was why during this public lashing, all of the seventeen allied companies’ shopkeepers who could come hurried over.

Some well-known merchants in the surroundings also gathered one after another.

Since everyone received news, Auspicious Virtue’s mysterious great shopkeeper, because of her doubt and unwillingness to accept this case, was also on her way.

Everyone here knew that the important figures from Auspicious Virtue were definitely going to come. It was because for Auspicious Virtue, this was the most severe threat.

Dozens of carriages were parked outside the food market. Shopkeeper Wu Qiutian from Flourishing Heights who was in charge of the administrative matters over Sunrise Roost and Vast Abundance Province was also currently anxiously waiting in a carriage.

While he was anxiously waiting, the carriage Lin Xi and Chen Feirong were on already passed through Clear Distant City’s city gate, already not far from this food market.

Green Luan Academy didn’t interfere in Lin Xi’s journey to Great Ascent Town, nor did they grant Lin Xi a new identity that could help him hide his true identity. It was because the less contact the academy had with Lin Xi, the more Lin Xi remained in the secular world apart from the world of cultivators, the less people would notice him.

Who would notice a small servant within a merchant company?

What Lin Xi had right now was precisely the identity of a servant, serving as Chen Feirong’s attendant. He passed through inspection without any difficulties, entering Clear Distant City.

Since he had many more years of business knowledge and foresight than the people of this world, he understood better than anyone that this was extremely dangerous for Auspicious Virtue who had just gained their footing. Only, this danger arrived in a manner that was too simple and direct… so this definitely didn’t have anything to do with Auspicious Virtue. In Lin Xi’s opinion, Auspicious Virtue already possessed knowledge and experience far exceeding all the others as soon as it entered the rice business. At the very least, in the following year of time, Auspicious Virtue only wished to complete some arrangements, they didn’t have any plans to obtain profits in an unrestrained manner. All of Auspicious Virtue’s crops were all ‘crab shell yellow’, ‘water fragrance’ excellent rice crops purchased from River Facing and Xiangshui Province. After this matter broke out, Flourishing Heights also cooperated in the investigation, not finding any issues in the section of shipping goods, no such thing as a worker using inferior rice to replace good rice.

It was because it was unrelated to Auspicious  Virtue and rather the conspiracy of others that Lin Xi decided to accompany Chen Feirong here and deal with this matter.

Was it those seventeen allied merchant companies, or did someone else wish to get a cut of Auspicious Virtue’s meat?

Lin Xi didn’t think too much about this issue. For him, regardless of who it was, since these types of sinister methods were used, someone interfering with him in this secular world battle, then he would retaliate with the most severe methods, making them pay a disastrous price.

“They’re here!”

The people who were gathered here in front of this food market immediately entered a state of chaos. Many carriages that were stopped at the entrance to the food market were immediately startled.

Without any show of aloofness or trying to hide anything, Flourishing Heights’ two province shopkeeper Wu Qiutian immediately moved aside the curtain, getting off the carriage and moving between the crowd that separated.

Those who came only to join in on the liveliness originally didn’t know much about the inner details, all they knew was that the one who was coming was definitely Auspicious Virtue’s great shopkeeper. In that instant, regardless of whether it was the people who moved aside to make way for the people in this extravagant carriage with the characters ‘Auspicious Virtue’ on them, or if it were the countless people who stretched out their necks, they were all inwardly extremely excited, feeling blessed that they were given the chance to see Auspicious Virtue’s female great shopkeeper with their own eyes.

An ocean wave-like cries of alarm and sighs of praise sounded from the crowd.

Chen Feirong left the carriage, facing the gray leather coated Wu Qiutian who wore a yellow weasel skin cap only Mountain Yin Province merchants liked to wear.

No one noticed the servant behind her, everyone’s eyes were completely drawn by her figure.

She was still dressed in a set of red-colored, white fur bordered coat, her black waterfall-like hair bound simply under a white jade hairpin. However, her figure was alluring, her beautiful appearance and her dignified state, together with her mysterious background and fame made her radiate with unprecedented brilliance.

Zhang Lingyun who was dressed in Civil Sector minor eighth rank official robes watched as this beautiful woman who seemed to have seized all of the world’s beauty for herself got off the carriage. Under the ocean roaring cries of admiration, the corners of his lips instead produced a pondering smile.

This Auspicious Virtue’s mysterious great shopkeeper indeed didn’t leave him disappointed.

For people like him, what stimulated desire the greatest wasn’t one’s figure or appearance, but rather a woman’s status and position.

This was a great merchant company that had just recently risen up, so it didn’t have any authoritative backing in the royal court yet. Meanwhile, even though his official rank was low, he had an extremely reliable mountain backing him… That was why he dared do this type of thing. That was why in his opinion, this otherworldly beauty Auspicious Virtue great shopkeeper was merely a white sheep.

“Auspicious Virtue’s great shopkeeper was actually such a young woman!”

“Those rumors were actually not at all incorrect… Auspicious Virtue’s great shopkeeper was actually truly this beautiful.”

“Her previous decisions could be called extremely wonderful, but for Auspicious Virtue to do this type of thing now, it is quite frightening…”

Since Chen Feirong’s appearance stirred up ocean roaring disorder and because of the suddenly intensified sounds of discussions, Auspicious Virtue’s Clear Distant City branch’s shopkeeper Shi San woke back up with a daze, seeing Chen Feirong who walked towards him.

He instantly reacted. This was the great shopkeeper who he normally revered the most, someone he worshipped!

When he saw the one he admired the most with his own eyes… and then thought about what happened here, in that instant, his entire body began to shake intensely, wishing to forcefully straighten his body.

There was a thin blanket on Chen Feirong’s arm.

When facing the gaze of this beaten shopkeeper, she only made the most simple movement. She reached out her hand, pressing against his shoulder to prevent him from getting up, using her extremely soft blanket to cover his exposed skin.

“I still came a bit too late.”

She said by this shopkeeper’s ears, quietly apologizing.

These were the most simple movements and words, but right now,when a great shopkeeper like her did this under everyone’s eyes, it was instead extremely shocking.

In that instant, the people in the carriages from other merchant companies all trembled inwardly as well, shivering.

Even though Shi San fainted from shame and anger in the previous punishment, he didn’t scream out. When he saw her act like this now, his eyes immediately became filled with tears of humiliation.

Lin Xi who didn’t draw any attention quietly watched this Auspicious Virtue shopkeeper and then looked at those bailiffs and officials on the other side of Chen Feirong. His brows furrowed slightly, only feeling like this type of aura was a bit familiar… This situation also made him feel even more discontent.

“Sirs, there are many doubtful points of this matter that haven’t been cleared up, the matter not settled. However, you have already acted against my Auspicious Virtue’s people?”

Chen Feirong didn’t speak any unnecessary words either, only gently patting Shi San’s shoulder, calmly looking at the officials in front of her, saying this with a clear voice.

When facing her calm questioning, Zhang Lingyun nodded and said with a calm voice, “It is already confirmed that the rice came from Auspicious Virtue and we discovered a bag of White Guanyin Talcum Powder in Auspicious Virtue’s store. The proof is conclusive, but it is precisely because the severity of this case isn’t too great that we decided to deal with it leniently. I wonder why Great Shopkeeper Chen still feels that this case is still unclear?”

When they heard this young Civil Sector official speak like this, some people who came later to join in on the action all sighed inwardly, inwardly thinking that this was indeed irrefutable evidence. How was this beautiful great shopkeeper going to overturn this case?

However, when facing these words, Chen Feirong only smiled, becoming even more calm. “Sirs, if it really was my Auspicious Virtue who used this type of White Guanyin Talcum Powder, why would only those dozen or so families’ rice have that kind of rice? I reckon that day, thousands of jin of rice was delivered, right? Otherwise, could it be that our Auspicious Virtue was bored from having nothing to do, purposely provoking those dozen or so families? Moreover, Auspicious Virtue’s rice that was delivered to Clear Distant City all went through the water mill to the city’s south, not coming from outside. My Auspicious Virtue’s stores do not have any warehouses, so the transport of rice and flour all came directly from the water mill, so there are even more people who can testify. Even if my Auspicious Virtue wanted to use this type of White Guanyin Talcum Powder, we wouldn’t place them in the shop, I suppose we would at least place it in the water mill. Could it be that when we need to use it, our shopkeepers will have shaking pockets while running over, and then after using it, they will run back after?”

“My Auspicious Virtue still has large amounts of rice crops that haven’t been milled yet, whether or not any of it is rotten or of low quality, you can tell with a single look. Could it be that our Auspicious Virtue will add some inferior goods to good rice?”

After continuously speaking with a smile, Chen Feirong then looked at Zhang Lingyun and the other officials, continuing, “According to my investigations, those dozen or so families normally don’t have many people inside, so it is easy for others to throw things in their rice containers. As for my Auspicious Virtue’s stall having White Guanyin Talcum Powder, the location was in the side miscellaneous goods room. Practically speaking, this is something that needs to be hidden, even if it was hidden in the store, it has to at least be hidden in a place outsiders cannot go into, they wouldn’t hide it in some miscellaneous goods room, what do sirs think?”

As soon as Chen Feirong spoke, the entire food market’s surroundings became quiet. Everyone’s eyes all gathered towards Zhang Lingyun and the other officials, wishing to see how they were going to respond.

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