Han Yunxi could always keep her cool, but it was always Long Feiye’s words and actions that swayed her heart. She was the only one in the world who knew that a man as chilly and aloof as Long Feiye wanted children so much. He had high status and wealth equivalent to an entire nation, he could call on wind and rain as he pleased. There really wasn’t much she could give him in turn.
Seeing Han Yunxi remain silent, Mu Linger began to cite more examples. “Your legs haven’t even healed yet, yet you’ve been busying yourself so much these days that you can’t even eat your meals on time. What are you thinking by having a baby? If you really want one, then hurry up and deal with that surname Bai! Fix the hatred between East and West Qin! Then you can have as many babies as you like!”
“Big sis, even if you can hold onto the pregnancy for a full ten months, what happens afterwards?” she added. Perhaps East and West Qin would be united by then and they’d find world peace. Perhaps Long Feiye could accompany her and enjoy familial happiness together.
But perhaps it wouldn’t even take ten months before East and West Qin met on the battlefield again. Nothing was predictable, so what was a baby to do? Was she supposed to keep hiding its existence, or become a target of public criticism, or have it grow into an object of contention for both sides?
“Big sis, you’re a burden enough on Long Feiye by not knowing any martial arts. Can you guarantee that having a baby won’t drag on him more? He’s got enough to deal with on his shoulders.”
Mu Linger had already said everything she needed to, but Han Yunxi still remained mute. Despite her rash and impulsive ways, Mu Linger had a quick and clever heart. Otherwise, Gu Qishao might have abused her to death ages ago. Mu Linger knew that Han Yunxi understood her logic, but it’d be difficult to convince the woman to her ways. After some hesitation, she added, “Big sis, neither you nor I had a mother growing up. You should understand what that’s like.”
Her words were like a knife that cut out Han Yunxi’s heart. In her previous life, she didn’t have a mother or father! Ever since she was a child, she had craved stability and companions. She’d experienced life as a wandering vagabond and the pain of loneliness, so she wanted to give her child the very best. Her responsibility didn’t start from the moment she had a baby, but the second she decided to breed new life.
Han Yunxi still didn’t speak. Her eyes were downcast as she slowly wheeled herself out of the door. Mu Linger didn’t chase after her, but watching her retreating form as her heart inexplicably ached.
Han Yunxi, just what have you decided to do?
As soon as Han Yunxi left Ning Jing’s courtyard, it was to head for the Council of Elders. Although her brow was painted with exhaustion, her eyes were clear and bright, sharp and alert. It was as if she had never suffered any worries.
“Fifth Elder, Kangan Private Bank will send someone over to conclude and sign the secret agreement. When that time comes, you can represent Myriad Merchant Hall to seal the deal. Make preparations tonight to spread the news by tomorrow morning. Remember to tip off the auction hall to write some nice things so they can warm up the crowd when they open their doors tomorrow,” Han Yunxi said seriously.
“Is princess planning to make a trip?” the head elder asked curiously.
“Mm. We can’t delay things on the gambling house side. Uncle Cheng is right, if East Origin Hall beats us to it, then we can forget about going on in the business! He and I will make a trip there, but you should come along. If the price is appropriate for both sides, then we’ll finish the deal today!” Han Yunxi said.
“This 500 million price tag is really…” the head elder still ached when he thought of all the silver.
Uncle Cheng, who had been silent all this time, suddenly spoke up. “Head Elder, if you tarry any longer, then we might as well not go at all. By the time East Origin Hall buys it, you’ll regret it!”
The head elder looked at him without a word.
Uncle Cheng added, “If Master Ning was here, he wouldn’t hesitate so long!”
Everyone sighed with emotion at those words. Ning Cheng was famous for his split second decisions, so he would never waste time. If he was there, then the Council of Elders wouldn’t have to shoulder such a huge risk.
“Master Ning isn’t here, but it’s enough that the princess is! It’s the same thing if the princess makes the choice in this matter!” Fifth Elder cried, leaving Head Elder speechless.
Han Yunxi didn’t say much, but simply set a time with Uncle Cheng and the head elder before going back to her room to catch up on sleep. Uncle Cheng finished his preparations and had time to spare, so he decided to visit the auction halls. Unexpectedly, someone wrapped an arm around his neck as soon as he set foot outside Myriad Merchant Hall.
“Who’s there?!” Uncle Cheng was about to retaliate when the figure behind him spoke in a cold voice.
“Uncle Cheng, why don’t you try and struggle? I’ll immediately tell Han Yunxi how you went to find me!”
“Jin Zi!” Uncle Cheng exclaimed in alarm. He was so busy with the gambling house that he’d forgotten all about this fellow. In a low voice, he murmured, “Do you think Han Yunxi will believe you?”
“Of course she won’t, but she will believe the three little pageboys with me!” Manager Jin lowered his head, his fringe hiding his eyes. It was impossible to read his expression, but the curve of his lips was cold and sinister. “Han Yunxi has been looking for those three pageboys for a very long time.”
Uncle Cheng finally grew alarmed. Those three pageboys were the same ones he sent to smash up the gambling house! Didn’t he give them silver to get out of Three-Way Black Market? Why were they in Manager Jin’s hands now?
“Jin Zi, let me go and I’ll bring out your indenture agreement right away,” Uncle Cheng said.
Manager Jin laughed out loud. “Indenture agreement? What use do I have for that? Let me tell you, if Myriad Merchant Hall doesn’t help me repay Kangan Private Bank what I owe, then our business won’t be over!”
Where was Uncle Cheng supposed to find 300 million to help him pay back his debt? Manager Jin understood the man very well, so he wanted him to convince Han Yunxi and the Council of Elders to shoulder the burden. But Uncle Cheng also knew that Han Yunxi would never help Manager Jin with his debts. And he knew Manager Jin thoroughly, too. Although the man seemed steady and sedate, he was an incomparably ruthless man. If he couldn’t figure something out, he’d have no peaceful days. After some hesitation, Uncle Cheng muttered, “Give me two days. Once I’m back from a trip, I’ll help you pay back the debt.”
Manager Jin’s smile turned icy. “Uncle Cheng, are you going out of town to get cash?”
“Han Yunxi and the Head Elder are going to buy two properties. I have ways to get some of the money, at least 250 million or more. Combined with my savings, it’s enough to clear your debts,” Uncle Cheng said.
“Why should I believe you?” Manager Jin retorted.
“You don’t have to believe me, but if you find Han Yunxi now, I’ll get no benefits and...neither will you!” Uncle Cheng said icily.
After some hesitation, Manager Jin released him. He wasn’t afraid of the man running away, so he decided to trust him this once. “Alright. Clear the debt first, and we’ll talk about the indenture agreement later!”
Uncle Cheng nodded, but his eyes flashed with ice. Once he got the three little pageboys back, how could he ever spare Manager Jin? Is he sick of living, behaving like this on Myriad Merchant Hall’s turf?
Han Yunxi made up four hours of lost sleep before she got out of bed and washed her face to freshen up. Then she set off immediately. Uncle Cheng and the estate owner, Jia Dai, had arranged to meet at South Jue Garden. It would take them less than two hours to arrive. They entered through a side gate and switched to sedan chairs that took them a long distance before reaching a courtyard. Inside was a very imposing looking building, and Jia Dai was standing there in attendance to wait for them.
He was a man of about 50 years with a white beard akin to a goat’s. Dressed in dark, unassuming robes, he nevertheless carried the air of someone important.
“Master Jia, this is my master, Lady Han,” Uncle Cheng introduced Han Yunxi. The head elder was playing the role of her attendant.
Jia Dai smiled slightly and bowed with his hands clasped. After exchanging amenities, he invited them upstairs. But as thy settled down at the tea table, Jia Dai used two fingers to represent his legs and made a small bowing gesture. Then he said, “Lady Han, this coarse tea is hardly attentive enough to my guests, I ask that you forgive me.”
“Master Jia is too polite,” Han Yunxi replied politely, showing that she understood him full well.
After a few cups of tea, Uncle Cheng began to speak. “Master Jia, my master’s agreed to the price you mentioned last time. I don’t know if today--”
“Aiya, that price…” Master Jia interrupted, “Aye, I won’t hide it from you, but you’ve come a step too late.”
“What’s the matter?” Han Yunxi feigned anxiety, while the head elder was truly panicking.
“Someone came by this morning with a deposit of gold. I’ll tell you this now, that was an extremely heroic buyer--he offered 600 million at the outset to buy both gardens,” Jia Dai chuckled.
“600 million?” the head elder couldn’t help but cry out.
Uncle Cheng kept shooting Jia Dai looks until the man finally looked his way and stomped on his foot beneath the table. Uncle Cheng immediately understood what was going on. Jia Dai must be sounding out Han Yunxi by raising the price first. Now he knew what to do too.
“Master Jia,” he cried, “That’s dishonest of you! We agreed on 500 million.”
“Master Cheng, I reminded you last time that someone already had their eyes on my properties. You didn’t leave a deposit, so you can’t blame me!” Jia Dai said self-assuredly.
The head elder looked anxiously towards Han Yunxi. Only East Origin Hall could pay the likes of 600 million right off the bad. If they were so decisive, it meant that these two properties were really worth something! Suppose East Origin Hall really opened up gambling houses here? Then everything would be as Uncle Cheng predicted and Myriad Merchant Hall could forget all about the casino business from now on.
“Master Jia, how much of a deposit did that buyer leave?” Han Yunxi asked.
Jia Dai raised a single finger. Without a doubt, it represented 100 million. A big sale like this wouldn’t just settle for a simple 10 million deposit.
“A hundred million…” Han Yunxi said thoughtfully, before muttering to the head elder, “What do you think?”
The head elder hesitated. Before, they’d only guessed that East Origin Hall was the buyer, but now it had turned into reality. He had to reevaluate the worth of these two properties. But the price really was too high and went beyond his expectations. As he remained mute, Uncle Cheng hastily pulled him aside and tried to coax him into the deal. Running out of ideas, he could only bring up Ning Cheng to pressure the man again.
Uncle Cheng’s original goal was to vex Han Yunxi and put obstacles in her way. If Han Yunxi couldn’t find another location, he didn’t mind giving up the extra income from this location, either. But now that Manager Jin was threatening him, he had to get the money to repay the other man’s debts. Otherwise, his life was forfeit.
After a round of coaxing, the head elder was finally convinced. Of course, he would still defer to Han Yunxi’s views first. In a low voice, he said, “Princess, everything will be as you say.”
Han Yunxi glanced at Uncle Cheng with a faint glimmer in her eyes. She said, “Master Jia, we’ll offer 700 million, so think it over! Even after paying reparations, you’ll still earn more with our offer.”
1. Bowing with the fingers - this is a reference to a famous Chinese story about an emperor who took his retainer out to tea and poured him a cup to drink. Because they were traveling incognito, the retainer couldn’t bow in person to express his thanks, so he used his fingers instead. You can read a blurb about the story here and here.
Hi hi, another release! I also translated all the chapter titles up to the end of PGC yesterday. The author has about 100 chapters of extras focusing on (most of) the main characters after the story ends so look forward to that.
Note: "Manager Dai" has been changed to "Jia Dai" in chapter 918 as the "Jia" was actually his surname and not a title!
In other news, sidebar GIF has been updated and the music playlist is back online! Again, you'll need flash enabled to run it though. This month's selections feature songs from Love and Destiny, The Destiny of White Snake, Legend of Zu 2, Ashes of Love, and Lana del Rey's newest album
as well as the crippling realization that English names of Chinese dramas need more creativity pfft. Music lovers, unite!
Just one more chapter from August I owe ya all, and then we can start diving into those sponsored releases. ;)