June weather began to heat up and the fiery noon temperatures could unsettle anyone. Besides the surrounding hustle and bustle, there were no other sound. There wasn’t even a single gust of wind, even the trees were not stirring.
Amidst this stifling noon weather, most were lazy to go out. However at Ke Xilai inn, guests had just arrived. These people were all wealthy businessmen of Jingling. Two days prior they had received an invitation from Magistrate Zhao daren stating that he had a special guest who wanted to invite them but did not say who it was. But if Zhao daren personally sent the invitation then ordinary people like them did not dare to delay, and had arrived at Ke Xilai inn just on time.
Inside the most glamorous and spacious guest room of Ke Xilia , Huangfu Wu Shuang with his hair combed up high was anxiously sitting on a bamboo couch.
Behind him stood Jixiang who was quietly fanning him.
And beside him was Hua Zhu Yu, who today wore a pearl white robe, made of thin, vibrant material, exuding a fresh and cool feel. This robe was made from the silkworms of Nanhai sea and was originally Huangfu Wu Shuang’s, but today, was worn by her.
Huangfu Wu Shuang pair of beautiful dark eyes stared at Hua Zhu Yu, a long while later, the corners of his lips hooked up as he said, “Take it as I’m indulging you today, let you wear such nice things. Well, you can go down now. Hopefully this idea of yours can recover those silvers, if not…..”
He coldly humphed twice. Though he did not finish talking, anyone who heard could guess his unspoken words.
Hua Zhu Yu smiled and said, “As long as Your Highness follow this servant’s lead, will definitely be successful.”
The first floor of Ke Xilai had a special banquet hall which was now occupied by more than 10 businessmen adorned in luxurous garbs who were murmuring amongst themselves. They had waited a full 2 cups of tea’s time, but the person who had invited had yet to show up, truly impertinent.
While they were murmuring, a clear voice from the stairs floated down, “Have made you all wait long, A Bao is ashamed.”
Everyone lifted their heads up to see a gongzi calmly descend the stairs. He was adorned in a plain robe, which appeared a little large, his wide sleeved robes and sophisticated ornaments, gently stirring with his every step.
His pace was slow, gentle and elegant. His slender white fingers extended out from his sleeve, in his hand held a fan which he gently opened as he descended. Decorated on the fan was a single magnolia flower,surrounded by a few blooming flowers, that stood upright, exuding an unparalleled pureness and nobility.
Everyone was a little dazed. Though they couldn’t be blamed as perhaps since they were born they had never seen such a person before. Perhaps they had seen someone more beautiful but not as noble. If they’d met someone as noble, he wasn’t as beautiful.
Instantly, everyone had a thought, that it was such a pity that such a radiant and elegant individual was a man.
Everyone stood up to give their greetings. They wanted to see what kind of person this individual was. Looking at him he did not appear to be a businessman. They wondered how he was able to ask Zhao daren to invite them here.
As everyone was silently assessing him, he had arrived with a frown as he coldly scolded, “How can you neglect the special guests like this. The weather is hot, quickly prepare the ice and pour everyone tea.”
The servants standing behind them instantly complied and left. Moments later, two men carried in a block of ice. Using ice to combat the weather was not something uncommon for people with money to do but the ice block that this gongzi instructed to have brought in was truly very large. The ice block was 3 feet tall and placed in a large basin in middle of room.
Everyone was shocked. Though Ke Xilai was the largest inn in Jingling, it still would not have such large ice like this, even they did not have such ice.
Due to the ice, the hall instantly cooled down.
As they lifted the cup of tea for a sip, they again were startled. The tea was fragrant and soothing with a calming aftertaste. It contained the scent of rose petals, gentle but not overwhelming. They had never tasted such rich tea before, it appeared to be tea especially made for the palace and only a few pounds are produced each year.
Hua Zhu Yu slowly sat down at the head of the table. Her lips faintly curved into a shrewd smile as she slowly said, ” On such a hot evening, I did not want to bother everyone to come to this banquet but A Bao had a business proposition to discuss with everyone.”
Her gaze swept across the room, seeing everyone intently listening, she smiled and paused, then clapped her hands together and said, “First, everyone should enjoy the food and wine!”
Instantly, servants arrived and placed the wine and dishes on the table.
Looking at the dishes spread out in front of them, everyone knew that these dishes were not something Ke Xilai inn could make.
First off, they had yet to taste the wine but just from its fragrance, they could tell it was more than a hundred years old.
And this table full dishes, in fact, they were wealthy businessmen so what dishes have they not tasted, but the dishes in front of them were all delicacies they had never seen before.
Like that vegetable stirred dish, the ingredients were not ordinary vegetables. They could not tell what the vegetable was but it looked extremely fresh.
Only the palace would have such delicacies. Everyone could not help but speculate Hua Zhu Yu’s identity. Now they were cautiously considering the business proposition she mentioned.
“This Gongzi wants to do business in Jingling, but I have just arrived. I went and looked around and saw some shops I fancied and they happened to be your shops. I want to acquire your shops, don’t know if you have any objections, the price we can negotiate, will definitely not let you suffer,” Hua Zhu Yu slowly said.
Hearing this, everyone could not help but look at one another. To acquire all their shops would require a huge amount of money. Did this person have that much money?
“Bao gonzi, no matter how much silver you give, I still cannot sell you my shop!”a man said apologetically.
Other businessmen also sounded in agreement.
A faint smile formed on Hua Zhu Yu’s lips. In fact, this was the outcome she wanted.
These few days, she went to investigate the businessmen of Jingling. The shops they had along the road were always crowded, there were shops that were more than hundreds of years old, even some that they personally built and developed, but they were all famous shops.
Therefore, they won’t easily sell their stores to others.