Book 14 Chapter 31 - Joy

When Auspicious Virtue’s stores began to close one after another, a merchant company named Li Manor Company that had continued for a hundred years was also forced to resell, transferred to a different merchant company.

Li Manor Company, this company that originated from Sunset Roost Province, known for its fragrant cloud muslin mainly specialized in the cloth business. Originally, they didn’t do any business with Auspicious Virtue at all. The reason why they would be caught up in Auspicious VIrtue’s storm was only because a piece of news was incautiously leaked out: Li Manor Company wanted to borrow Auspicious Virtue’s troubles to purchase Auspicious Virtue’s soaps and Honey Pomelo Tea business, the price they gave much lower than purchasing it normally.

This type of taking advantage during another’s precarious situation, an example of purchasing depressed prices, couldn’t be more common in the upper levels of business. Normally, it didn’t seem that nasty, nor did it have anything to do with the common people.

However, when this type of information spread during Yunqin’s early winter, it triggered extreme fury among Yunqin’s common people.

Almost all Yunqin common people immediately refused Li Manor Company’s products, Li Manor Company’s doors would also often have all types of melon peels and rotten leaves piled up before the stores opened. Some older women who normally didn’t have much to do would also carry over some wooden benches, sit in front of Li Manor Company to chat idly, block Li Manor Company’s road opening like this.

Many merchant companies who originally did business with Li Manor Company also tacitly stopped doing business with Li Manor Company, which was why Li Manor Company’s master quickly felt like their situation was already critical, selling their shops to other merchant companies one after another.

Yunqin Empire didn’t only have down to earth and lovable people.

At the very least, Li Manor Company’s master who suffered the consequences of his own actions wasn’t this type of person, just that most of Yunqin’s people were this type of people.

The reason why they didn’t feel they were that down-to-earth and lovely was because they were this type of person to begin with. While living among these types of people, they didn’t feel like they were all that special.

The only thing they knew clearly was that they dearly loved this empire they were proud of, they remembered those deeply moving stories, knew how this powerful empire was established.

Xiangshui Province’s White Sand City.

Zhang Gongshan stood in front of a closed Auspicious Virtue rice store.

He was the boss of White Sand City’s greatest perfumed oil store, but he was normally exceptionally frugal and miserly, to the extent where he wasn’t even willing to buy a case of makeup for his wife, normally eating at most some salted fish and chinese cabbage.

It was because in White Sand City, during a certain period, their mackerel will be extremely cheap, preserved into salted fish, this will naturally be much cheaper than other meats and vegetables… Moreover, salted fish were so salty, you couldn’t even eat that much in a single meal.

Zhang Gongshan was precisely this type of person.

That was why his nickname in White Sand City was precisely Cold Water Chicken. The meaning was that when cold water was used to blanch a chicken instead of hot water, it will be hard to pluck even a single feather from this chicken.

Normally, he didn’t have too many good intentions towards Auspicious Virtue’s shop either, at most feeling fear and jealousy, jealous that Auspicious Virtue’s business really was too good, feeling that if his business was that good, then he wouldn’t have to eat so much salted fish, perhaps he could eat a few meals of pork knuckles.

The few days after Auspicious Virtue’s shop closed, he didn’t feel anything special either.

Only, as the time after Auspicious Virtue’s shop closed was longer and longer, every time he passed by this place, while looking at the black and brown door boards sealing up the entrance, Auspicious Virtue’s signboard fluttering in the winter wind, his heart mysteriously felt more and more uncomfortable.

Auspicious Virtue store’s entrance was always extremely clean.

Even though it hadn’t opened up for many days, unknown where the employees and that Shopkeeper Wu went, everything from the doorway up to the entrance was even cleaner than his shop’s entrance that he washed every day.

This day, he looked at this Auspicious Virtue store that had already remained closed for a long time, as if it wouldn’t open again for a long time, looking at the Auspicious Virtue signboard swaying in the wind. He felt more and more uncomfortable, to the extent where all of the discomfort from eating so many years of salted fish seemed to have surged at this moment.

He felt like in front of this shop, he himself seemed to have become a piece of salted fish.

He clenched his teeth, leaving this closed store and returning to his family. He removed a bundle from the large chest underneath his bed, and then with trembling hands, he opened it. After checking the banknotes inside, he placed them into his inner pocket, and then left.

This night, the smell of simmer-fried pork knuckles wafted through his family.

The simmer-fried pork knuckles were gifted from Butcher Zheng from across the street.

It was because everyone in White Sand City knew that this normally the most stingy person that not a single feather could be plucked from, donated almost everything his perfumed oil store was worth to Auspicious Virtue.

As Auspicious Virtue’s closed stores were closed longer and longer and its Great Shopkeeper Chen Feirong traveled through Yunqin’s various lands  longer and longer, Auspicious Virtue’s disappearance already seemed inevitable. It was because even if Auspicious Virtue could offer some shares of their company, there weren’t any merchant companies with enough wealth to truly save Auspicious Virtue. The reasoning was all the same, businessmen didn’t want to risk spending their money, what they feared was if this money was riskily spent, there wouldn’t be any return, that it was just thrown into a bottomless pit.

However, because there were enough simple and lovable Yunqin people, Auspicious Virtue’s fate also revealed a hint of a turn for the better.

A shocking piece of news spread.

Mountain Yin Province’s number one rich merchant, Flourishing Heights’ master Cheng Manying already sold off all of his assets, investing all of his silver into Auspicious Virtue.

From the very beginning when Auspicious Virtue first began the rice business, Flourishing Heights was always Auspicious Virtue’s most powerful partner. Even though as Auspicious Virtue quickly expanded and grew massive, there was at least a share of Flourishing Heights’ livelihood that was linked to Auspicious Virtue, during this time when Auspicious Virtue was already showing signs of collapse, if Flourishing Heights decisively withdrew themselves, they would at most suffer a bit and wouldn’t have to accompany the other to the grave.

However, Flourishing Heights instead completely abandoned their chances of freeing themselves, instead throwing in all of their property.

Some of Yunqin’s southern merchant companies also began to try to gather silver for Auspicious Virtue.

From the earliest few provinces in the south, it quickly spread to all of Yunqin Empire. Some local officials and wealthy merchants began to solicit contributions for Auspicious Virtue.

A travel-worn Auspicious Virtue carriage was currently hurrying towards Central Continent City.

Chen Feirong in the carriage closed the newest account book that entered her hands, smiling in a somewhat weary manner, quietly saying to herself, “Lin Xi… you’ve indeed exceeded my expectations again.”

The power of Yunqin’s people was astonishing.

After Flourishing Heights’ one time full force injection of funds, batches of donations of silver began to pour towards Auspicious Virtue from various lands as well. She couldn’t imagine just how much of this silver came from people like that old lady with silver hidden in her pillow, how much of it came from a cheapskate like Zhang Gongshan who normally wasn’t even willing to spend money on himself. However, the amount of these batches of silver far exceeded her imagination.

These silvers already allowed some of Auspicious Virtue’s closed workshops to start operation again, already enough to open up most of Auspicious Virtue’s closed workshops.

Only, the issue both her and Lin Xi had to consider wasn’t only for these stores to open up again, but rather for Auspicious Virtue and all of these people in the southern provinces with difficult lives to last until next summer.

That was why the present power, for Auspicious Virtue, still wasn’t enough.

She and Auspicious Virtue both needed more support.

That was why she carried a project plan on her.

A project plan that came from Lin Xi, but was later copied by her in her own handwriting.

When this project plan was passed to her, there was a piece of good news that made her feel happy in Lin Xi’s place.

East Forest Province Swallow Descent Town, a fair skinned woman was currently holding a vegetable basket, walking along the streets.

This woman was extremely beautiful. Even though her clothes were ordinary and she was holding a basket, this was still a beautiful scenery.

“Simin[1], these are the sesame cakes my family just made, bring some pieces back for Shopkeeper Lin to taste. I don’t know anything else, but I know he still loves these cakes, he would even come back to reminisce about it. If Shopkeeper Lin starts complaining, just tell him that I forced them into your hands.” In front of a flat bread shop, a middle-aged boss lady with a flower apron stopped this woman, directly wrapping up some sesame cakes with cloth and stuffing them into her basket.

The woman couldn’t decline in time, only able to helplessly express her thanks.

The instant her line of sight withdrew from the basket’s sesame cakes and the flower apron boss lady, this girl who was currently walking out from this flat bread shop’s corridor eaves stared blankly, her basket sliding out of her arm.

Those cloth wrapped sesame cakes also fell out of the basket, scattering across the ground.

The middle-aged boss lady who had just turned around stared over in shock.

She only saw that across from this beautiful woman who clutched her mouth with her hand, stood a green clothed, smiling youngster.

The youngster was tall and straight, he looked extremely handsome, and he was definitely not someone from the nearby towns.

Suddenly, someone in the streets cried out in alarm. “Jiang… this is Young Sir Jiang?”

Only then did this stunned middle-aged boss lady’s eyes widen. When she heard the cries of alarm and saw how Wang Simin acted, she remembered who this smiling youngster whose eyes flickered with radiance was.

“Did Young Sir Lin also come back?”

There were people in this street who couldn’t help but utter this type of thought .

Then, this middle-aged boss lady who was originally from Deerwood Town and came here to do business saw that youngster who quietly faced Wang Simin nod slightly in the direction where that voice came from.

“Lin Second also came back!”

This middle-aged boss lady was shocked, unable to help but cry out in alarm.

pa noise sounded. Immediately afterwards, she gave herself a slap to her own face. “Pah pah pah...what kind of disrespectful nonsense am I spouting. Lin Xi is already like this now, yet you still dare call him Lin Second.” She rubbed her own face, thinking that in the end, Lin Xi still came from her own Deerwood Town, thus feeling more and more proud.

“Young Sir Lin returned!”

“What?”

“Young Sir Lin returned?”

Loud cries immediately disrupted this calm street. The streets immediately began to erupt into commotion.

East Port, Swallow Descent, Clear River, the people of these towns all learned that their most beloved Young Sir Lin returned from the front lines!


1. Girl Jiang Xiaoyi promised to marry if he survived the battle in East Scenery City B13C49

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