“This servant requests Your Highness to appeal to His Majesty to erect a harbor in Jingling. These past few days, this servant has inquired around and this place truly is prosperous, bustling with people and booming businesses. With the addition of a harbor, it certainly will be beneficial. Furthermore it will neatly put an end to this matter and not let those businessmen suffer too many losses,” Hua Zhu Yu slowly said.
Huangfu Wu Shuang didn’t think that Hua Zhu Yu would ask such a favor, he thought she would have a different request. She was actually appealing for others. Was there still people like that in this life?
His laughter halted as he gazed at the beautiful little eunuch in front of him. Inside he was quite startled. He closed his eyes and opened them after a long while later before he slowly said, “According to you, this prince will bring this matter up to Imperial Father but whether Imperial Father will agree or not, this prince is not certain.”
“As long as Your Highness asks, His Majesty will certainly agree!” Hua Zhu Yu said with a smile. He musts.
Huangfu Wu Shuang began to organize his contracts and intended to call a guard over when Jixiang entered with a letter.
“Your Highness, a letter was delivered. Please take a look Your Highness.” Jixiang said as he handed the letter over to Huangfu Wu Shuang in a bent posture.
Huangfu Wu Shuang took the letter and glanced over it. His expression changed as he coldly asked,” How are there people who are aware we want to sell our shops?”
“Eh? Who sent the letter?” Hua Zhu Yu also felt it was strange. The matter of them buying shops was kept under tight wraps, and they haven’t sold yet so how did someone find out.
“Look!” Hua Zhu Yu caught the letter as Huangfu Wu Shuang threw it towards her. Written with a hairpin, the sender stated that they were willing to buy the number of shops in her hands at a high price and wanted to meet tonight at Mingyue Pavilion. There was no signature attached.
“Since there’s someone willing to buy, there’s no need to exhaust effort to find buyers, it’s better to sell all the shops tonight! Yuan Bao, go change, later go settle this business,” Huangfu Wu Shuang said with a grin. At first, he was unwilling to let Hua Zhu Yu sell the shops tomorrow. He wanted to wait a few more days to sell at a higher price but Hua Zhu Yu used all kinds of excuses to dissuade him, irritating him greatly. Saying that if they earned more, others will suffer a greater loss.
Though Jingling wasn’t as prosperous as Yu City, it was still considered a thriving area bustling with people even at night. Lanterns were lit all over and horse carriages continuously sped pass. Due to the simultaneous rise in value of the shops, there were even more people along the streets than usual and the inns were full of foreign merchants and traders from all around.
The distance from Mingyue Pavilion and Ke Xi Lai Inn was not far so Hua Zhu Yu did not ride in the carriage. Huangfu Wu Shuang felt bored waiting back at the inn so he wanted to tag along, hence he had to humble himself as a servant.
But this servant completely disregarded the ‘master’s’ command. Walking along the street of the night market of Jingling, he found everything fascinating and novel. Back in Yu City, he snuck out of the palace many times but not frequently and has never roamed the streets at night.
One moment he was buying candy gourd, then a few seconds later he was buying a piece of glutinous rice cake, and next he bought a piece of jade. In a flash, all the guards had their hands full of stuff.
As Huangfu Wu Shuang was about to place the candy gourd in his mouth, Hua Zhu Yu lifted her hand to stop him.
“Don’t forget, today you’re just a servant. Where is there a servant who dares to eat candy gourd while walking about? Furthermore, aren’t you afraid this isn’t clean?” Hua Zhu Yu whispered.
Today she was adorned in a soft, elegant robe; her hair fixed in a high bun with a moon hair clasp. She exuded the air of noble gongzi from just one glance. On the other hand, Huangfu Wu Shuang was dressed in a shabby servant attire, besides the candy gourd in his hand which looked out of place, he truly appeared nothing more than a servant.
In truth, Hua Zhu Yu prevented Huangfu Wu Shuang from eating the candy gourd out of fear that once he took a bite there would be a problem. He was the crown prince, every time he ate something, there was always someone to test his food for poison, only once it’s been confirmed that there’s no poison could he eat it.
“Didn’t you say there’s no difference between people of ranks, now I’m just a commoner, alright..” He looked at the red candy gourd and couldn’t help but swallow his saliva and unwillingly handed it over to the guard behind him.
A moment later they had arrived at Minyue Pavilion.
Radiating from the swaying lanterns, the dazzling lights lit up the street like it was broad daylight. In front of the 3 story pavilion, a series of fragrant floweres were planted, and beneath the brilliant lights they were blooming full of life. The night breeze blew pass carrying the faint tune of a zither as silhouettes flickered pass, like a heavenly scene on earth.
“Can’t believe there’s such a wonderful place in Jingling!” Huangfu Wu Shuang widened his pair eyes to take in the scenery.
It appeared he has never visited a brothel. When Hua Zhu Yu was still at Liangzhuo, she had accompanied her subordinates to expand her knowledge and she had also performed as a musician at Tuy Tien. This time there was important business to attend to so Hua Zhu Yu leisurely ascended the stairs and entered Mingyue Pavilion.
She wondered, ‘Will I be punished for bringing the future emperor to a brothel?”
Just as they entered, a few young girls dressed in dazzling attires came forward to welcome them, coquettishly asking, “This Master, I wonder which girl you are looking for?”
The girls boldly grasped onto Hua Zhu Yu’s arms, their tender, lovely faces were slightly flushed, and their bright eyes rippled with seduction.
“I have a meeting with a guest in Begonia room on the second floor,” Hua Zhu Yu coldly said as her sleeves flew out, nonchalantly removing her arms from the girls, causing them to momentarily lose face.
Second Floor, Begonia Room
Hua Zhu Yu lifted the pearl curtains and gracefully entered.
It was a cool evening and from outside the window, the night sky was calm and clear.
Inside the room was a brightly lit hanging lamp which illuminated a rosewood table full of delicacies.
The head chef of Mingyue Pavilion was not bad, he definitely spent quite a bit of effort to present this table of delicacies.
However, there wasn’t anyone inside, well it’s not that there was no one, it’s just that the person facing them was sitting behind a screen.
The screen was white as mist, soft as snow, neither silk nor brocade, indistinct as clouds. And the person resting behind it was obscured by the dense, hazy mirage.
Hua Zhu Yu furrowed her brows, if the other person did not want to reveal their face then she didn’t care to look. She leisurely sat down beside the rosewood table and smilingly said, “You were the one that sent the invitation, inviting me here?”
“That’s right!” The silhouette appeared to be reclining against the couch and spoke in a leisure manner with a light tone, making it hard for one to decipher age and whether the opposing person was male or female.
Since she had also used a fake voice when she disguised as a male previously, Hua Zhu Yu knew the opposing party must have used some sort of drug to change his voice.
“How did you know we have stores to sell?” Huangfu Wu Shuang stood behind Hua Zhu Yu and coldly asked.
“I was only guessing, didn’t think I was actually correct.” The opposing party replied in a lazy tone.
“ Don’t know how much you are willing to offer to acquire our stores?” Hua Zhu Yu narrowed her eyes, if the opposing party came, then he must have intentions of buying hence it’s better to get straight to the point.
“Ten thousand taels!” the person replied with no hesitation.
Ten thousand taels for one shop was not much different from the market price. With more than 30 stores in their hands, they could repay their debt to Jixiang Yue when the stores were all sold.
Hua Zhu Yu did not think that person would give out such a price that quickly and was just about to agree when that person leisurely added, “Ten thousand taels for all your stores!”
Ten thousand taels for more than 30 stores, this price was ten thousand taels lower than the amount she put forward to acquire these stores. Compared to the market price, it truly was as different as heaven and earth.
Was this person kidding?
Hua Zhu Yu calmly smiled and asked, “ Are you joking!?”
Hearing this, Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly sneered and asked,” Are you intending to cheat people?”
“You’re right, I want to cheat!” The figure behind the screen adjusted his position and seemed to be comfortable lying down on the couch.
Hua Zhu Yu coldly smiled, closed the fan in her hand, and gently patted the table. “If there’s no sincerity, we need not discuss any longer,” she said as she elegantly stood up. Now, she had no fear of a lack of buyers. This person, based on what did he think she’ll sell at such a low price.
Just as she stood up, the person behind the screen lazily spoke. “You can’t not sell, because, if you don’t sell, you’ll suffer great losses.”