Chapter 101: He’s Vengeful, She’s Vicious, and You’re Greedy! (2)

The sun quickly returned for another round of futile sparring against the night, and the citizens of Jiang’an blearily poked their weary heads out of their residences at the crack of dawn.

The city of wealth within Great Yong was indeed a city of wealth with immeasurable profits, but attaining a steady stream of customers each day was equally challenging compared to the profits.

With such a large city of entitled Young Masters, Young Misses, and aspiring businessmen and scholars bustling with greed, it was no wonder the shopkeepers and storeowners within the streets of commerce coerced their wives to massage their sore backs each evening.

If only they didn’t buy out the entire stock by the strike of evening, ah.

If only, if only, the storekeepers lamented, knowing full well that the thought of true relaxation could only remain as a fleeing dream.

Each item sold was equivalent to the next day’s meals.

Accumulate a massive mountain of such savings, and their wives and children could live plentiful and contented lives without having to forage to ward off their starving stomachs.

All within their family could rest and relax except for them, the ever-lonely shopkeeper of Jiang’an.

Surrounded by wealth all day, yet their own servants were happier and healthier than their master.

“Glazed caramel candy available for only three coppers!”

The first cry broke the spell of forgetfulness cast by the encroaching nightfall, dispersing the remnant vestiges of sleep and fatigue away with the heartfelt cry.

The rays of dawn twinkled in response, bathing the streets with a gentle glow.

“Red Sky Perfume is now open! The store of the best perfumes and cosmetics for the Young Misses and Young Madams of Jiang’an is now open!”

“Old Ma’s braised chicken and sweet and sour pork for only a few coppers!”

“Black Eagle’s Martial Arts School! Now accepting disciples!”

Subsequent cries of agonized vigor shook the slumbering streets of Jiang’an, welcoming the socialites with overflowing pockets with wide arms and a strained smile.

“I say, Fellow Wei,” an official in his mid-thirties shook his fist towards the minister. The official’s countenance was decorated with an ugly expression, as glare desiring to rip the flesh off of Wei Xuan’s body.

“Just how did you do it?”

“Do what?” Wei Xuan blinked, his handsome countenance beaming with an innocent confusion.

“Fellow Tang, what have I done wrong?”

The official’s countenance darkened even further, and before Wei Xuan could react, he had slipped his hand into the minister’s hands, extracting a wrapped package.

“This, ah!” Tang Ma groaned, his hand shaking the package wrapped in cloth with a frenzied vigor.

“Great Scholar Tie’s Treatise on the Healthy Mindfulness and Spirit, that is one of his most difficult works, and you already transcribed an entire copy!? Just how did you achieve a feat, quickly tell this official, ah!”

“Be careful not to drop it,” Wei Xuan warned, pointing directly towards the official’s ghastly expression.

“Otherwise, don’t expect this minister to refrain from marching to the front door of your residence to demand my wager’s amount of compensation, ah.”

“You!”

The minister raised an eyebrow towards the flustered Tang Ma, his hand extended towards the frozen official with an expectant expression.

“Y-you better not do that!” the official screeched as he shoved the wrapped package into Wei Xuan’s hands, staring at the latter with a slightly fearful gaze.

“D-don’t you dare tell the Madam that I’ve upheld another gamble again. Otherwise, this official shall submit a memorial accusing you of murder!”

“What, your wife is worrying over the lack of expenses in your Tang Family?”

“Yes! Not only that, even my Fourth Brother is eyeing my position with that wolfish gaze, ah!”

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Wei Xuan broke into a bout of unrestrained laughter at Tang Ma’s expression of deeply wishing to cry.

Clapping the official on the back, the minister pointed towards a nearby restaurant, fragrant odors emanating from the luxurious building.

“Look, I’ll treat you to a meal at the Golden Rooster before we head off to court. This way, you can save a little bit of your meagre non-gambling reserves and successfully re-enter your madam’s bedchambers, ah?”

“That’ll be helpful, I’m in a pinch recently – hey! Just when did our Great Yong have such a shameless official as you!?”

As the minister and official headed into the elite restaurant, the sounds of bickering could be heard from several meters away…

“That Fellow Tang, he actually placed his entire monthly earning from the court as his wager…”

Wei Xuan shook his head as he strode down the steps of the Imperial Court, a wry smile breaking on his countenance.

Greeting the nearby officials with an amiable mood, the minister stared in the direction of the Imperial Court’s depths, mirth contained within his gaze.

By successfully baiting Tang Ma to eat at the Golden Rooster Restaurant, the official renowned as possessing the greatest private enterprise within Jiang’an, he had caused him to forget his memorial that resulted in a rather comical scene.

Thinking about the official kneeling before the golden throne with his ever-squinted eyes, Wei Xuan nearly burst into another round of laughter.

That’s what you get, possessing a mountain of wealth but acting piteously for a small sum of three hundred thousand taels of silver, ah!

Unable to stop himself from chuckling, the minister departed from the vicinity of the Imperial Court, heading into the nearest commerce street to purchase a decent quantity of food.

The slightly humorous and miserable fate of his compatriot and fellow gambler Tang Ma, was quickly thrown out from his mind.

He had two hungry youths to feed!

“Old boss, can I order the same set as yesterday?”

Wei Xuan called towards a nearby owner of a restaurant, beckoning the round man with his hand.

Hearing the minister’s request in greater detail and recognizing the returning customer as the one who had purchased a massive quantity of food the day before, the restaurant owner rushed into his store to shout towards the cooks.

An order of food worth fifty silver taels, he could not let this customer go!

Smiling as he left his name onto the restaurant’s registrar to confirm his order of food, Wei Xuan began his customary sweep through the street, his gaze inspecting the stalls and stores for any interesting bargains or purchases.

Rouges, cosmetics, clothing from the far regions, jewelry, calligraphy brushes, and even tattered martial arts manuals, nothing escaped his perception.

The minister waded through the crowd with ease, his figure flickering through the torrent of citizens ravaging the commercial streets of Jiang’an.

Finally, Wei Xuan could only come to a halt, his eyes fixated on a monolith of black stone.

It was a simple monolith containing a large list of names, and three people stood by its sides. Two were soldiers, and one wore the uniform of the Taiyi Sect as he sat before a table, a set of brush and ink ready at hand.

Naturally, these people were those ordered by the Imperial Court to establish a voluntary registration for those willing to partake in the Taiyi Sect’s proffered ‘special opportunity’.

Of course, Lu Jing Yi had forbid either official or messenger to coerce others into joining the expedition, but neither particularly cared or even felt the need.

Hundreds of names were scratched onto the monolith’s surface, the white engraved lines confirming their participation in the opportunity. Wei Xuan was fully aware that numerous monoliths akin to the one standing before his gaze existed throughout Jiang’an.

He had assisted in erecting one at the southern end of the Peace Harmony Street, though he wasn’t certain about the amount of participants listed on the black stone.

For the minister, the opportunity sent by the Taiyi Sect amounted to nothing more than –

“Young Miss, are you here to register?”

The member of the Taiyi Sect’s voice suddenly rang in Wei Xuan’s ears, causing the minister to raise an eyebrow and pay attention.

Turning his gaze towards the slightly descript table, he spotted a young girl with her maidservants converse energetically with the youthful cultivator.

“This… could you explain what the black stone is about?”

The girl asked, her eyes blinking with an innocent charm. The member of the Taiyi Sect took one glance at her countenance, before returning his gaze to the brush as he spoke in a monotone voice.

“Young Miss, the Taiyi Sect is offering a special opportunity to those with a major Yin physique or diagnosed with cold deficiency. Simply put, it is a recruitment board to acquire talents for the Sect.”

“Major Yin physique?” the girl repeated, her expression immediately becoming downcast. Fiddling with the hem of her dress, the young girl’s countenance soured, her lips pushing into a pout.

“Honorable Hero, does the Taiyi Sect only accept those with a major Yin physique or… cold deficiency? I think…”

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“Young Miss, those are not restrictive qualities, hence the Young Miss can register if she wishes,” the sect member replied with a slightly bored tone, instantly provoking the ire of the maidservants next to the young girl.

Ultimately, his next words silenced the bristling servants.

“The Sect Elders have decreed that while a major Yin physique is not necessary, those without it will not attain many significant results. Thus, if the Young Miss…”

“I understand…”

Rapidly losing interest in the conversation between the influential Young Miss and the member of the Taiyi Sect, Wei Xuan allowed his gaze to roam over the monolith, his eyes searching for any interesting detail.

Mm… Fellow Jiang couldn’t restrain his urge to promote his influence and authority, registering his youngest daughter Jiang Xun’er… neither could Fellow Guo, for Guo Xiyun’s name glared from the list.

Wasn’t Guo Xiyun already over twenty years of age? How would she transition into an apt cultivation technique without suffering from the risk of spiritual deviation?

The Sixth Young Miss of the Tang Ducal house, the Feng manor’s Eldest Young Miss, the Western Commandery Princess’ only daughter… nearly all of the influential families in Jiang’an had listed their children as participants, seeking to bolster their reputation and influence in Great Yong’s society.

To that, Wei Xuan could only nod in approval.

If their children could ascend past Nascent Soul and enter the Mortal Tribulation Realm, perhaps even the Imperial Family would transform into chickens before the lucky family’s foot.

Qi Ducal House’s Second Young Miss, The Youngest Madam of the Gu Marquis, an unknown person by the name Yang Yun Xi, Wei An Fei….

Wei Xuan suddenly froze, his countenance displaying a solid expression of absolute disbelief.

Wei An Fei?

His Wei An Fei!?

- my thoughts:
Uhm?
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