Chapter 441 - Is This Daylight Robbery?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
After the fiasco, the opera troupe took extra care that night, making sure to leave before dawn broke to prevent anything else from occurring. Before they went on their way, Sanniang repaid the value of their three trunks in full. That opera troupe leader’s fury dissipated upon receiving the silver, and he left much happier than when he first arrived. That young miss, Zhan Mo, even left a note for Mo Ruo, but nobody knew of its contents!
At sunrise, Jing Rong prepared his group for departure. Ji Yunshu exited her room after she had finished packing up her belongings, only to see Sanniang leaning on the guardrail before Mo Ruo’s door. Her fair arm was extended at her elbow, a yellowish note pinched between her index and middle fingers. She turned it over and over repeatedly while she waited for her prey.
A door opened; Mo Ruo stretched lazily as he yawned. He rubbed his eyes, blinking twice before making sure that it was who he thought it was before him. Sanniang asked gently, “Finally awake?”
Mo Ruo scoffed, his eyes fixed on that note between her fingers, “Something for me?”
“You’re sharp - it’s for you indeed.”
“Your secret wine brewing method?”
Mo Ruo scratched his chin, “Don’t tell me - are those the title deeds to this inn? Since Sanniang is so generous, then I’ll be receiving these with thanks.” He reached out towards them!
Sanniang suddenly pulled her arm backwards and around her back, putting that note out of his reach. She waddled forwards, grinning wickedly at Mo Ruo as she taunted, “Do you want it?”
Sanniang put that note to her nose and sniffed, remarking, “There’s a faint fragrance of a woman’s.”
A woman? Mo Ruo was intrigued.
Sanniang continued, “That young miss went quite a ways to thank you for saving her life. She purposely left this for you before she left early in the morning, repeatedly reminding me to personally deliver this into your hands.” She waved the letter around under his nose!
Mo Ruo snatched it away and opened it; there were only three written sentences.
Many thanks, young master. We will meet again if fate allows. This debt will be repaid.
Her handwriting was considered neat, but her lack of practice showed; it was someone who did not write on a daily basis. He folded that letter neatly and hid it in his sleeves, away from prying eyes.
Sanniang cosied up to Mo Ruo, raising a plucked eyebrow as she teased, “So? What moving love song did that sickly young miss dedicate to you?”
Mo Ruo smirked. He turned to face her, shaking his head regrettably, “Alas, I thought it was a recipe for wine, or the deeds to this inn.”
“Are you disappointed?”
“A little bit.”
Lang Po began to holler from downstairs, “Teacher Ji, Young Master Mo, the carriages are ready and waiting outside. It’s time for us to leave.”
Teacher Ji? Mo Ruo and Sanniang snapped their heads back, meeting Ji Yunshu’s nosy gaze. Sanniang spoke, “Has the young master risen? Why didn’t you say anything?” You gave me such a fright!
Ji Yunshu merely nodded, heading downstairs without paying attention to Sanniang’s sarcastic comments, “It’s rare to find such an aloof young master today, especially one so stingy with his words.”
Mo Ruo headed down as well, their entire party leaving the inn as the world began to wake. So did Zhao Huai and his men!
With everyone gone, Sanniang was at her usual spot behind the counter, her fingers flicking the abacus before her. The more she calculated, the murkier her gaze became, muttering, “I’ll definitely recoup my losses someday, along with the interest they owe me!”
Their carriages travelled along the official path for half a day, not once stopping since they left the inn. It was already June, and the sweltering heat at midday was not something to be taken lightly. This, in combination with the humidity, made it unbearable even in the shade of the carriages.
Wei Yi tugged at his shirt and collar, mopping away at his dripping sweat, grumbling, “It’s so hot!” Ji Yunshu could only use a piece of paper, fanning him patiently. He asked, “Shu’er, aren’t you hot as well?”
She shook her head.
“When I was sleeping last night with Brother Lang, he kept squeezing me to a corner - now I’m aching all over! It was so hot too and I pushed him for ages, but he wouldn’t budge!” He was full of complaints!
“Shu’er, can I sleep with you? You’re much smaller and won’t take up much space. There’ll be plenty room for everyone, and…” He grabbed her hands, “Shu’er’s hands and body are cold - if we slept together, it wouldn’t be hot anymore!”
“You rascal, what are you thinking of?” Ji Yunshu flicked his forehead jokingly as she pulled her hands out of his palms.
Wei Yi grabbed his head and winced, blinking innocently, “Does Shu’er not want to sleep with me?”
Ugh! How should she reply? If she just used any old excuse, that fellow would take her words for the truth again! She decided not to answer.
Knock, knock! Someone rapped on the carriage door.
Ji Yunshu pulled back the curtains. The next minute, Lang Po handed a water bottle to her through the open window, “Teacher Ji, you must be thirsty. Have some water.”
She received it carefully, “Many thanks.”
“That’s right, Teacher Ji, his Highness wanted me to ask you if you wanted to stop and rest for a while?”
“There’s no need.”
Wei Yi pushed his way and popped his head out of the window, shouting, “I want to rest!” He did not wait for Lang Po’s agreement and bounced about, “I want to get off the carriage, out of the carriage!”
Neigh… The horseman pulled in his reins as the carriage came to a halt. Wei Yi jumped down almost immediately, sucking in a few deep breaths feeling as if he had just been resurrected!
“Master Wei, are you alright?” Lang Po asked concernedly.
“The weather’s just horrible these days. How about riding with me? At least there’ll be some breeze.”
“But I don’t know how.”
“That’s no problem, I can teach you.”
“I don’t want to. I want to sit with Shu’er together in the carriage.” Wei Yi pouted.
Ji Yunshu peeked out, telling Wei Yi, “Wei YI, if you’re tired, we can rest here for a bit.”
“I’m not tired, just hot.”
“Then come back inside, I’ll fan you. It’ll be much more cooling when the sun sets - this way we can also arrive at Anfu by the evening.”
Wei Yi considered briefly, before nodding. He had already put a foot up onto the carriage when he paused, as if he had just remembered something important. He turned back to glare angrily at Lang Po, stretching out a haughty hand, “Didn’t you say you’ll return my silver to me at the relay station? You didn’t give them back yesterday, so give them to me now!” He looked like a little debt collector!
That rascal may be dumb, but he had a good memory! Lang Po did not have that many silvers on him; why would he? He felt his empty pouch, and his eyelids began to twitch. Coincidentally, Jing Rong looked back at him from the carriage in front, “What’s wrong?”
Lang Po dismounted straightaway, running towards Jing Rong as he whispered, “Your Highness, Master Wei asked me for his silver. It was fifty-three taels! I don’t have that much on me, this…”
“Then borrow some.”
Huh?! Lang Po pleaded, “Your Highness, you were the one who took Master Wei’s silver; I didn’t take any of them! Even if you pushed this onto me, I can’t solve it!”
Jing Rong nodded, but only for show, “Then, how about this. This Prince will lend you fifty-three taels which you can return to him. I’ll deduct this amount from your next pay.”
Holy cow, is this daylight robbery? Lang Po had the impulse to choke him, but, he didn’t have the guts; he could only agree to this obviously lose-lose situation, “Fine, this servant will borrow those taels.”
ChouFleur Rants Corner
*huggles* poor Lang Po. JR why are you so thick-skinned?! It's hard to work for you, you know?
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