This person’s martial arts was unfathomable. Hua Zhu Yu arched her brow, signaling Huangfu Wu Shuang to not act recklessly. Seeing this, the guards turned serious and surrounded Huangfu Wu Shuang to shield him.
A heavy atmosphere descended on the room, making it hard to even breathe.
The figure behind the screen lightly chuckled and sipped his wine. He then lazily said, “There’s no need to worry, I only wish to buy your stores. Here, there’s exceptional wine, delicious food, A Bao gongzi please enjoy.” Once done talking, he clapped his two hands together twice.
A slender woman walked in, wearing a long green dress, hair secured in a high bun with a gorgeous jade hairpin fixed in place. In her hand held a pipa, her face was as white as snow, gentle and sincere as her lips curved in a beautiful smile capable of stirring one’s heart strings.
“Gentlemen, this slave Qian Qian greets you all, don’t know what type of music you gentlemen would like to listen to?” Qian Qian softly asked.
“Miss Qian Qian, please play ‘Yu Meiren’” said the person behind the screen.
Qian Qian nodded in affirmation. Sitting on the chair, her jade-like fingers swept across the strings and began to play and sing. With the resounding pipa and melodious singing, the heavy atmosphere within the room completely dissipated.
Delicious food, lovely voice, even remarkable pipa skills but no matter how pleasing to the ears, no one had the appetite to dine and enjoy it besides the person behind the screen.
Inside, many thoughts were flashing through Hua Zhu Yu’s mind. If she sold the stores to this person at such a cheap price, then everything she had done up to this point was for naught. But if she doesn’t sell, the consequences would be even worse. No matter what choice she made, she was on the losing end. She had fallen into the scheme that she personally created and there was no escape.
The current market price rested in his hands, she no longer had a grasp on it.
“We can negotiate…” Hua Zhu Yu said.
“There’s no need for negotiation.” The person behind the screen cut her off before she could finish. Huangfu Wu Shuang was so furious his eyes became glaringly red. They were so close to victory yet suddenly they lost to this person. No matter who, they’d be enraged enough to cough up blood.
“You all, catch this person for me, I don’t believe once I catch him, he can continue to cause trouble. I want to see, in the end just what kind of person are you to sneakily hide behind a screen, not daring to meet people.” Huangfu Wu Shuang slammed the table and stood up, instructing his guards to act.
“Why is this gongzi so forceful, gongzi must know, this isn’t Yu City!” An elderly voice from behind a door drifted over as they saw an elderly man with a bent posture walking over with a smile.
This person was Xijiang Yue’s A’Gui.
Seeing the elderly man, it suddenly dawned on Hua Zhu Yu who the person behind the screen was.
Nan Bai Feng Rong Luo.
After coming to Xijiang Yue to borrow 300,000 taels, Huangfu Wu Shuang had instructed his people to investigate Nan Bai Feng, but resulted in only one finding: enigmatic.
Where he came from, how he struck rich, what are his preferences, his age, his appearance, who he associated with, if he had a backer ..… not a single inquiry could be uncovered.
They just knew the he had rose to fame in Southern Kingdom in the pass two to three years, know that he’s wealthy, that he open Xijiang Yue, but he never revealed his face, everything was handled by someone else.
A’Gui walked out with a tea pot in hand and leisurely went up to Huangfu Wu Shuang and lifted his hand to pour a cup of tea. With a smile he said, “ Gongzi, have a taste of this tea to calm down.”
“Its you!” Seeing A’Gui, Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly sneered and said, “So that’s your master? Great, we borrowed your money and wanted to repay you but you actually dare to go against us. If that’s so, we won’t repay that money!”
“If you don’t repay, someone else will repay it for you.” A’Gui filled the tea cup and went behind the screen and silently stood there. Hua Zhu Yu understood what A’Gui was implying. They had the loan contract that Huangfu Wu Shuang signed in their hands. They only needed to bring that loan contract to court and the Southern Emperor would have to personally repay the debt.
“Why are you doing this, we only want to repay the debt to you, what else!” Huangfu Wu Shuang glared at them and coldly asked.
“Because of a single lie, a scam, you effortlessly earn thousands of taels. But have you ever considered, how many people will end up bankrupt because of you, how many people will incur staggering debt!? Perhaps in their whole lifetime, will not be able to repay,” Rong Luo coldly said.
Hua Zhu Yu was startled, before she had also considered this. Whenever someone benefited, there would always be someone who suffered. But perhaps because she had never involved herself in business, she thought that those businessmen were all wealthy, even if they experienced a loss it wouldn’t be to the point of going bankrupt. But she did not consider, with the temptation of such a huge profit, many people would take the risk to borrow money and acquire shops, carrying a huge debt on their shoulders, plunging to their demise without even knowing it.
A night breeze swept pass the window, clearly very cooling, very cold, yet Hua Zhu Yu’s forehead was drenched in sweat. Something was coiling up inside of her, making it hard for her to breath.
Huangfu Wu Shuang wanted to advance but Hua Zhu Yu quickly stopped him. “Gongzi, calm down!” She then turned to face the figure behind the screen and slowly said, “If Rong gonzi has acted, then this business deal, I will agree to it.”
At first she did not understand why he went against her but once she realized his identity, it was not hard to guess. If he was Xijiang Yue’s owner, perhaps he received someone’s missive, or possibly he had seen through this scheme of hers early on.
She had lost.
She willingly admitted defeat.
After quickly signing the contract, Hua Zhu Yu raised head to gaze at the figure behind the screen and with a faint smile said, “Farewell.” Their entourage slowly left the room. The first floor was still full of guests and on stage a girl was singing some song in a voice tinged with compassion and slight grief.
Hua Zhu Yu headed straight for the entrance but a few girls who had eyed Hua Zhu Yu’s beauty deliberately came forward to cling onto her, but seeing the cold glint flash in her eyes, they all retreated.
It was well past midnight and the people roaming the streets were sparse. Huangfu Wu Shuang strode towards her and loudly asked, “Yuan Bao, speak, will we not be able to get back those thousand taels!?”
Hua Zhu Yu turned her head around, beneath the moonlight and street lanterns, she narrowed her eyes then looked at Huangfu Wu Shuang and slowly replied, “Can’t get it back! But this servant hopes Your Highness will keep your promise and still follow through with the favor this servant asked!”
The favor Hua Zhu Yu requested involved erecting a harbor, once they returned to court and turned the rumor into the truth, she could make up for the wrongs that she committed.
“It has already come to this, you think I can still agree to that!?” Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly gazed at her then swiftly entered the alleyway and left.
Hua Zhu Yu silently stood in the dark alley, surrounded by trees on all four sides. With the appearance of the night wind, the leaves could help but surrender to the wind’s strength and slowly fell, descending on her shoulders.
She did not follow Huangfu Wu Shuang, but turned towards a different street and slowly strode forward.
A tall elegant figure slowly walked out from behind the screen. A’Gui went up to him and lightly commented, “This Yuan Bao, truly is an intelligent one!”
“Such outstanding demeanor, yet carries such a dark heart, truly is a shame….”
Laced with disdain, the voice slowly receded into the dark night.