Xu Sheng was waiting in front of a carriage outside some military tents.
According to the rules, outside carriages weren’t permitted into the military camp region, this carriage of his didn’t receive any exceptions either. However, he was extremely familiar with most of the soldiers here, moreover, because of their farm’s produce and markets, all of Jadefall City region’s military’s quality of lives were improved substantially compared to before. Not only did the establishment of some towns bring more shops and goods, just the lively atmosphere of the town compared to the previous coldness made the soldiers all feel as if they were just carrying out a normal active service, and not something like forced labor and banishment. That was why all of the soldiers who met him would be extremely polite. After some officers he was familiar with chatted a bit with him, they brought him some chilled honey melons.
When it approached noon, several officers and more than ten soldiers courteously escorted Chen Feirong who was dressed in a light purple palace dress.
A strict shout of berating immediately sounded in the distance. Many of the soldiers were seeing this legendary Auspicious Virtue great shopkeeper for the first time, so when they saw this true goddess-like beauty, they were all momentarily stupefied, forgetting what they were supposed to do, thus incurring the criticism of the officers.
Chen Feirong bid the officers and soldiers who escorted her farewell. After she got onto Xu Sheng’s carriage, there were some horse hoof sounds. A group of orderly light cavalry troops followed behind the carriage.
Xu Sheng asked with a rather serious voice.
Ever since he arrived in Jadefall City, he always served as Auspicious Virtue’s main representative in this entire Jadefall City region. Normally, when Jadewater Province’s military or various sectors’ civil officials wanted to discuss some matters with Auspicious Virtue, he was the only one who needed to appear. However today, when the military came to bring him a report, they stated that Chen Feirong had to come. Moreover, right now, there was a several hundred cavalry troop that followed them. This naturally made him feel a bit different from normal.
Chen Feirong said quietly, “Revival Friend Company’s caravan was attacked and plundered in Mountain Sun Path.”
“Revival Friend Company? Their caravan was attacked?” Xu Sheng’s expression changed slightly, his brows also immediately furrowing.
“Not a single person was left alive.” Chen Feirong looked at his slightly rigid figure, nodding and saying quietly with a calm voice, “Not a single living mouth was left… This fleet was led by Revival Friend Company’s third shopkeeper Xue Jingyin, composed of a total of two hundred and thirty-two men. Xue Jingyin originally entered Jadefall City to establish some farms in Heavenfall Province, moreover discuss some continuation matters with Heavenfall Province’s Provincial Supervisor Manor about followup arrangements.”
When he heard the number two hundred and thirty-two people, Xu Sheng’s eyes were immediately filled with shock. “In Mountain Sun Path, even if it is the western region bandits, there is no way they can infiltrate this type of region in Mountain Sun Path… Revival Friend Company’s plans to set up farms in Heavenfall Province are things we did not know about before, this is acting against our Auspicious Virtue. Our relationship with Jadewater Province’s Provincial Supervisor Manor is better than with Heavenfall’s Provincial Supervisor Manor. When they head to Heavenfall Province, this will bring about quite the conflict with our following plans.”
Chen Feirong nodded. “What you said is all correct. Revival Friend Company is our Auspicious Virtue’s main competitor, and this time, they came precisely to deal with us… Jadewater Province, apart from having the most military personnel, most of the other people are from our Auspicious Virtue. Only our Auspicious Virtue’s farms and pastures are suitable to hiding large amounts of loading carriages.”
Xu Sheng nodded. “That is why Judicial Sector and the military are suspecting that this might have been done by our Auspicious Virtue?”
Chen Feirong quietly said, “It isn’t a suspicion, they are just carrying out a bit of an investigation according to procedures, or else they wouldn’t feel any apprehension in becoming hostile with our Auspicious Virtue, they wouldn’t go as far as to first call me over to explain the situation a bit. After all, our Auspicious Virtue does upright and honorable business, there is no way we would act so unrestrained and daring. This involves the lives of more than two hundred and thirty people. This type of serious crime isn’t something any business man can shoulder. Right now, the main thing is that Judicial Sector and the military still don’t really understand the intent behind the plundering of this carriage fleet. I remember that originally, we had a fleet that was scheduled to leave tomorrow. When you go back, postpone this for a bit first, wait until after the military’s investigation. It also seems a bit strange for me, if they want to steal provisions, bandits who lack food supplies definitely wouldn’t dare enter this region. However, if they aren’t trying to steal food, only stealing wealth, why do they have to completely seize this entire fleet… Hiding the traces of an entire fleet really is a bit too troublesome and dangerous.”
Xu Sheng’s brows immediately furrowed fiercely, saying with an overcast voice, “Could it be that the target was precisely the horses and loading carriages? … Don’t tell me that they want to do black market business, or that some things that were previously accumulated in the dark are going to be brought out of Jadefall City? They were worried that if large amounts of carriages were transferred over from outside Jadefall City, the identity of the one transferring the carriages would be easily found out through those loading carriages?”
“My suspicions are about the same as yours.” Chen Feirong said calmly. “However, those who can kill so many people from Revival Friend Company, moreover able to quickly bring away all of these carriages, prevent the military from being able to immediately investigate their identity, their strength is definitely extremely great. Transferring over large amounts of carriages into Jadefall City without the identity of the one behind the scenes discovered is still doable… I feel like the key lies in that these carriages were already made ready. Seizing this fleet of carriages will be much faster than transferring over large amounts of loading carriages. This seems to be fighting against time… to complete some type of huge matter as quickly as possible.”
“If they want to fight against time, then it means that there is an opponent that poses a great enough threat. These powers are all not things we can interfere with.” Xu Sheng took a deep breath. He turned around, giving Chen Feirong a look while saying this.
“What you said is indeed correct. That is why I am worried about the safety of some of our Auspicious Virtue’s troops. Since we cannot provoke them, we can only do our best to avoid them. Today, I asked the military to search through all of our Auspicious Virtue’s farms and pastures, moreover having the military watch over the areas I believe might be dangerous.” Chen Feirong suddenly revealed a smile and said, “However, there are some other dangerous things… That is why I fear that we must let Sir Lin know, must let him arrange for assistance.”
“Contact Sir Lin?” Xu Sheng’s breathing couldn’t help but freeze, his hands becoming a bit cold. He understood extremely clearly that both him and Chen Feirong both wished to see Lin Xi again, but he even more so understood that Chen Feirong understood propriety when doing things. If there weren’t any dangers they really couldn’t deal with, she definitely wouldn’t trouble Lin Xi. “What other dangerous matters are there?” That was why he asked quietly with a bit of shock.
“There are still some lingering influences from Liu Family… You don’t know about some matters between me and Liu Family, but Sir Lin does.” Chen Feirong shook her head lightly and said, “Sir Provincial Supervisor has indeed offered us quite a bit of care. Today, in the barracks, he sent someone to specially inform me that there were Liu Family members who were transferred to Jadewater Province, seemingly also investigating me and Auspicious Virtue’s matters.”
“Previously, Liu Family has also investigated a bit of my background in Dragon Snake Border Pass. However, all of those people there had already been completely slaughtered by Sir Lin.” Chen Feirong paused for a moment, and then she continued, “The more unresigned Liu Family remains, the more ruthless their methods in getting revenge against us will be. That is why with us alone, I fear that we won’t be able to deal with them.”
Xu Zheng suppressed his voice and said, “Sir Lin’s current whereabouts are hard to trace… what method can we use to quickly inform him?”
“We previously decided to use the soaps.”
When she thought about how this was secret between herself and Lin Xi, moreover an extremely powerful method, one that could even be considered Yunqin’s greatest method of transmitting military intelligence and secrets, Chen Feirong revealed a sweet smile and said quietly, “Our Auspicious Virtue’s grains still haven’t spread throughout all of Yunqin, but our soaps have already occupied all of Yunqin’s streets and alleys. Wherever people bathe and wash clothes, our soaps will lie there.”
Xu Sheng stared blankly.
Chen Feirong smiled sweetly, continuing to explain, “Previously, when Sir Lin and I decided on this secret, we already completed all preparations. In every single one of our factories, we will prepare a movable design mold. When we want to transmit some type of message, our workshops across various lands would all immediately quickly produce the soaps with messages we want to release… Then, we would use some preferential excuses to deliberately lower the price of the soaps a bit… soaps with even more elegant exteriors, but the quality is just as great, moreover the price cheaper, who wouldn’t want them? This is especially the case for many caravans, there would be many small traders who would spread these soaps to every corner of Yunqin with even greater speed, even to the most distant border pass.”
Xu Sheng took a deep breath, asking with a quiet voice carrying a bit of disbelief. “What you are trying to say is that… we are just going to directly print the contents of the message we want to tell Sir Lin on every single piece of soap?”
“Correct.” Chen Feirong said with a light smile, “Sir Lin and me previously agreed on a set of unique coded text… the set of characters he wrote for me are square-shaped, extremely easy to turn into movable design molds, also like extremely profound runes. The two sides of the soaps would all have bulging imprints like this, extremely special and pretty to look at. When we were making them before, we made a few sets for some great scholars and great officials, the words on them all some swearing and cursing words like ‘culture snobs who don’t know elegance, only know how to moan about imaginary illnesses yet still trying to write books’, ‘greed for silver and gold brings momentary pleasure, but later only brings harm for the entire family’, these types of interesting lines Lin Xi wrote himself. When those scholars and great officials saw them, they not only didn’t get mad, they were all extremely fond of them, feeling like the patterns were special. Many of them might still be displaying them in their houses, feeling reluctant to use them. Sir Lin really is interesting sometimes, giving these series of soaps that use these characters the name ‘Another World’. Just these characters and words’ unique patterns are enough to make many scholars become even more fond of our soaps, feel like they are full of artistic taste and elegance.”
Xu Sheng was completely stupefied when he heard this.
He had always managed a Fish Market from when he was young, and now, he already came into contact with quite a few merchants. However, these ideas and thoughts were no longer about intelligence, but rather made him feel that the brain of this Sir Lin Xi he respected so much was completely different from that of a normal person.
“Who would predict that the secret was just under the full light of day, that they were under the eyelids of anyone in all of Yunqin’s streets and alleys?” As the carriage jolted, he stared blankly, only after a while he couldn’t help but say, “This is a massive information structure others definitely won’t even be able to think of! Moreover, the speed at which the information is conveyed is not only fast, it is exceptionally thorough… even the royal court’s information structure is inferior… It is because the royal court only has those officials spreading messages, but we have countless merchants and peddlers pushing the wave and adding to the billows.”
Chen Feirong smiled to the point where her eyes narrowed. “Ever since Sir Lin decided to do the black market business, he felt like this would definitely serve a great use in the future.”
Xu Sheng’s emotions couldn’t help but feel mysteriously shaken. “Sir Lin really is extraordinary.” He also smiled, saying this with a sigh of admiration.
3. After the rebellion in Jadefall City, the entire region was separated into two provinces. Jadewater Province which includes half of Jadefall City together with Heaven's Lens Lake and Heavenfall Province which is the other half of Jadefall City.