Han Yunxi's gaze narrowed to trail after the woman as she sidestepped her for Long Feiye. Fortunately the woman didn't get too close before Han Yunxi's killing intent ended their plans tonight prematurely. All she did was switch spots to sit across from Long Feiye. Han Yunxi didn't go back to her seat, but leaned on one side with arms crossed, observing the situation. Long Feiye glanced at her as he suppressed a grin. He hadn't paid any attention to this girl. If Han Yunxi hadn't tried to tease her on purpose, he wouldn't have looked at her at all. Meanwhile, the three young masters only traded looks with each other.
Xie Yujun only mused, Looks like this move is more appealing to his friend than Sir Ye himself.
Third Master Zhou wondered, If we can't get Sir Ye, winning over Sir Han isn't bad either. He can't be ordinary if he can talk business with Sir Ye.
Ninth Master Murong wondered, Sir Han's really into this. He's that impatient?
After their exchange finished, Ninth Master Murong laughed and said, "Sir Han, Wanwan doesn't know the etiquette, so please don't blame her! How about this, we'll have her down three cups as an apology to you!"
Wanwan had been repeatedly instructed to win Sir Ye's heart before coming here tonight, but she didn't expect her soul to be stolen away by the very sight of the man. As Jiangnan's number one songstress, she had countless rich men supporting her. Rich ladies threw thousand taels of gold just to beg her for a song, and tens of thousands to keep her for a night. There were even those who would throw away their family fortunes just to wed her. But she had yet to meet anyone who could move her high-minded heart. Since she owned the Xie Clan son a favor, she agreed to come this time. Before that, Sir Xie had told her of Sir Ye's origins and that if she delighted the man, it'd be an honor to be his concubine. Although she was stunned by the man's background, she declined the offer to wed him. Her bottom night was accompanying him for one night!
Yet who expected her to throw away all inhibitions after spotting Sir Ye? If he was willing, she would be happy to leave with him, even if she didn't get a title or status. Right now, she knew the situation had shifted after Ninth Master Murong's words. Xie Yujun kept shooting her meaningful looks, but she pretended not to see. Standing up, she declared, "Please don't blame me, Sir Han. After Sir Ye picks a song, I'll play for him before coming to you to pay back my debts."
Han Yunxi nodded. "Miss Wanwan, are you teaching me the principle of 'first come first serve?'"
The three sons panicked at her words. Xie Yujung hastily mediated, "Sir Han can certainly joke. Come come come, I'll drink three cups to pay you in Wanwan's place. She's great everywhere except for that temper…hehe, a feisty one!"
"Feisty?" Han Yunxi smiled inwardly. Selling out can be considered feisty? She grinned back, "More like she's taken a fancy to Sir Ye instead of me, right? Haha!"
Long Feiye remained with his head bowed as he toyed with his winecup. Still, Han Yunxi's words made him grin. He never drank, but he did this time and found the wine quite good.
Seeing Sir Han force the other's hand while Sir Ye remained silent, Xie Yujun began to reconsider. If Sir Ye really wasn't interested in Wanwan, then he was giving the man no face by insisting on the issue. With a chuckle, he said, "Wanwan, Sir Han's into you! Come come come, let's let Sir Han pick a song first."
Wanwan was full of grievances, but Xie Yujun's warning look made her retreat. If she ruined his business, the Xie Clan's power could ensure she had no way to live on in Jiangnan anymore. Setting aside her pipa, she walked to Han Yunxi and bent down with her list of songs in both hands.
"Sir Han, please choose a song."
For some reason, Han Yunxi went to lift Wanwan's chin with her fan again. She smiled as the other was forced to raise her face and said, "What's your favorite song?"
"I like them all," Wanwang replied.
"Then you can sing them all once," Han Yunxi replied.
Wanwan's face paled along with the other three lords.
Sing them all? There are over 30 songs there? And all of them are really long. If she sand them all, she might sing herself hoarse!
After a moment, Wanwan recovered and said, "Sir Han, you…really know how to joke."
"Do I look like I'm joking?" Han Yunxi retorted.
Wanwan immediately felt wronged and looked to Xie Yujun with pleading eyes. But the latter only saw Han Yunxi's serious face and didn't know how to respond. He finally regretted bringing the singer here at all. Everything would be fine if they just stuck to talking business.
Third Master Zhou glanced at Long Feiye as he spoke up next. "Sir Ye, your friend certainly likes his jests. How about we finish talking business first before enjoying some tunes? I've arranged for everyone to go on the lake today. Wanwan can accompany us and Sir Han then, what do you think?"
He was obviously seeking Long Feiye's aid in smoothing over the matter. Long Feiye finally looked back with a grin, but it was only reserved for Han Yunxi. "Enough, enough, stop fussing. Come over here!"
Han Yunxi was surprised. With Long Feiye's personality, he rarely got involved when she made a racket, unless it was to clean up after her mess. But tonight he stopped her instead? Why was he suddenly being so kind? Does he actually pity this Wanwan? Han Yunxi went to his side reluctantly, only for him to suddenly pull her into his lap!
Han Yunxi had no idea what Long Feiye was doing. Although he was fond of doing these dominating actions in public, but she was pretending to be a man right now! The other three men were equally flummoxed, while Wanwan could only gape. In the silent room, the entire world grew still except for the gently fluttering paper of Wanwan's song list.
This Sir Ye was actually…a homosexual? He liked men?
So it turns out Sir Han was actually his companion. No wonder the man found such fault with Wanwan!
Looking at the four people's various shocked expressions, Han Yunxi finally understood Long Feiye's intentions.
"It's not good if word gets out that the East Origin Hall's young master's into men, right?" she muttered back.
"It's fine as long as it makes you happy," Long Feiye replied. He picked up his wine and drained it in one gulp before showing Han Yunxi. "Do you feel better after I drank a cup in penance?"
Han Yunxi didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but she put on an affected air and said in a coquettish tone, "We'll see after your performance tonight!"
Wanwan was utterly crushed by that statement. She was Jiangnan's number one songstress, talented in both skills and looks. But she couldn't even compare to a mere man? Unable to bear it any longer, she glared at Xie Yujun and ran out, even leaving her pipa behind. Xie Yujun and the others finally recovered their wits enough to exchange looks. When they returned to their seats, Long Feiye was still sitting with Han Yunxi on his legs.
All joking aside, Long Feiye didn't delay their actual business matters. Although this was his first time meeting the trio, he could more or less read them already. They were definitely not in charge of the discrepancies at the salt mines but likely had other backers behind them. The three big clans wouldn't need to leave their salt mine matters to these witless idiots. He didn't want to waste time with them either, but he needed them to reach the actual masterminds. They began with casual conversation, but the anxious Ninth Master Murong soon led the topics to pricing.
"Pricing?" Long Feiye asked thoughtfully.
Han Yunxi was sprawling lazily on Long Feiye's lap when she interjected, "What kind of pricing did you offer others in the past?"
This money rightfully belonged to the imperial treasury and Great Qin's people. Many places in the empire were still waiting for imperial silver to cover reconstruction costs. Moreover, Gu Beiyue and Linger's medical reforms needed funding too! She would chase back every single coin that these people wasted away. None of them would get mercy!
Long Feiye grinned inwardly. Even now, he still admired this woman's intellect. He had no idea how many more surprises she had yet to show him. Her question was quite sensitive and on point. It was easy to make the other party cautious. If he had asked the same thing, the others would be on their guard. But as a companion to him, her casual question sounded very natural.
"Heheh, different quantities have different pricing," Xie Yujun replied with asmile.
"Aiya, it can't be you give different prices to different people?" Han Yunxi scoffed. "I though Sir Ye had enough face to earn a friend discount? Haha!"
Xie Yujung wished he could drag the man out of Long Feiye's lap this instant and kick him out! Instead he only laughed along. "Of course we'll give Sir Ye face!"
"Then you tell me, is Sir Ye your biggest customer to date?" Han Yunxi asked.
By "big," does he mean giving face or asking quantity? Xie Yujun didn't know what to say right away. By his side, Third Master Zhou and Ninth Master Murong were even more clueless. Most of their dealings were private transactions in small quantities with people they already knew. The business was done quickly without so many complications.
Before Xie Yujun could reply, Han Yunxi simply asked, "How about telling us about your biggest customer in the past?"
Big news! The drama adaptation of Seven Unfortunate Lifetimes (一时冲动，七世不祥) by Jiu Liu Fei Xiang has been confirmed, starring Yang Chaoyue (Dance of the Phoenix) and Ding Yuxi (Moonlight, The Romance of Tiger & Rose)! You can read the English translation of the webnovel right here on volare.
Yang Chaoyue's pretty and Ding Yuxi's a great actor so...fingers crossed for a good adaptation! The current name of the drama in Chinese is 七时吉祥 (check out the tags on twitter too)! Some promo pics to whet your appetite: https://twitter.com/dramapotatoe/status/1498853773451542531
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, PGC JOKES! Check out the translations here!