Once again, Pei Qianhao passed the initiative to Wu Ling, having decided that he wouldn’t interfere in the latter’s matters.
Wu Ling froze and pondered for a moment before nodding. “This subordinate understands.”
Pei Qianhao stared straight at him. “Ye Qingzhu saved you before.”
Wu Ling froze once again, only regaining his normal expression after a long while. “Prince Hao many thanks for the reminder; this subordinate understands.” He then walked out, finding every step that he took to be laborious and heavy.
After taking just a few steps out of the main hall, Wu Ling spotted Ruo Yuan walking over. Despite noticing that Ruo Yuan seemed to be nervously evading eye contact, he was too preoccupied with Ye Qingzhu’s matter, and didn’t notice the former attempting to greet him, simply brushing past her.
Watching Wu Ling’s wide back, Ruo Yuan couldn’t help but become despondent. She had tried to sort out her feelings so that she could prevent herself from constantly being bashful whenever she saw Wu Ling. Why did he ignore me? Can’t we even be friends?
While she was still in a daze, she was shocked to hear footsteps from behind her, immediately jerking out of her thoughts.
It’s Prince Hao!
Ruo Yuan immediately bowed. “This servant pays her respects to Prince Hao.”
Pei Qianhao waved his hand, signalling for her to stand up before he continued on his way.
Ruo Yuan felt as if a breeze had blown past her ear, and by the time she returned to her senses, Pei Qianhao had already passed by. Turning around, she could still make out his departing figure.
Hm? Did something happen? Why is everyone leaving the residence? Where is the Princess Consort?
Meanwhile, the object of Ruo Yuan’s worry, Su Xi-er, had just boarded a horse carriage headed towards Mei Jinxiu’s medical clinic.
Upon arriving, they found that the entrance to the clinic had been blocked by a mass of people, and the carriage could only stop some distance away.
Su Xi-er quickly alighted the carriage. Clad in her pink dress that was of superior quality, it was obvious at a glance that she was from an influential family, but the commoners were unaware of her exact identity.
A few middle-aged men and old uncles with white beards were standing in front of the medical clinic’s entrance with extremely solemn expressions.
Mei Jinxiu pointed at them and softly said, “It’s them; they’re all physicians in the capital. They claimed that I’m affecting their business and not sticking to the code of the market by randomly setting prices.”
“Don’t worry about it; just leave everything to me.” Su Xi-er instructed as she walked forward with Mei Jinxiu closely following behind.
Everyone saw a figure in pink walking over, and realised that it was a beauty once Su Xi-er came closer. The person behind this beauty is Physician Mei. Is this the ‘reinforcement’ Physician Mei has brought?
Su Xi-er stopped in front of the middle-aged men and old uncles with a smile. “Your purpose in blocking the place is simply because you want Physician Mei to raise her price.”
A middle-aged man at the lead got straight to the point, repeatedly nodding his head. “If she raises her price, we won’t stop her from running her medical clinic. Even though the purpose of a medical clinic is to treat illnesses and save lives, we also need some way to earn a living. She can’t disrupt the rules of the trade.”
This point is stated in Beimin’s laws; merchants are not to lie, not to illegally traffick goods, not to smuggle government salt, and above all else, they are not allowed to maliciously mess with the established prices. Reason is on our side; we’re not scared even if we have to go to the Magistrate Office!
Su Xi-er swept her gaze across the many civilians. “Physician Mei didn’t maliciously disrupt the rules. With so many civilians in Beimin, those with money would naturally visit your medical clinics. The patients Physician Mei treats are mainly impoverished commoners.”
Some civilians started discussing. “What the young lady said is right. Those who seek Physician Mei out for treatment are mostly the lonely elderly and impoverished commoners.”
“That’s right. Even though Beimin is wealthy, not everyone is rich.”
“What right do they have to say that Physician Mei is deliberately reducing prices with ill intentions?”
After hearing such responses, the few middle-aged men didn’t know how to react, and it took a while before an old uncle with a white beard spoke out. “We won’t ask Physician Mei to raise her prices, but she must make a promise that she will only treat those impoverished commoners.”
Mei Jinxiu’s main intention in setting up the medical clinic was precisely to accomplish this, and was about to nod her head. However, before she could do so, she was stopped by Su Xi-er.
1. Edible salt that is produced and sold by the authorities or salt that is distributed by the government after taxes have been collected. Salt was considered a necessity and its importance was on the same level as precious stones, gold, copper, iron and other resources.
If you were Su Xi-er, how would you deal with this situation? ;)