Chapter 110: An Encroaching Sense of Foreboding (3)

As it turned out, though Wei Xuan was cognizant of a scant amount of knowledge regarding the cosmetics, apparel, or accessories enjoyed by women, he was an excellent worker at carrying luggage.

Noticing that the girl seemed to be struggling to carry the unusually heavy bag of cosmetics from the Blooming Scarlet House, the minister instantly swooped in to take the load from her hands, refusing to give it back.

And henceforth, the First Madam, emboldened by the notion of strolling the market streets of Jiang’an, promptly deposited all other bags into the minister’s arms.

“Fei’er, as you can see, the Shattered Star Continent primarily relies on three modes of currency,” Sheng Miaolan carefully explained to the young girl between bites of zongzi, her other hand displaying three coins of copper, silver, and gold.

Each coin was delicately carved, with inscriptions of the character ‘Yong’ and a date circumventing the center.

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“Shattered Star Continent?” the girl echoed in confusion.

“Hehe, that’s just the name our ancestors bestowed onto the continent – but enough about that! The first unit is the copper coin, and is usually utilized to purchase commonplace objects such as food from stalls, books, libraries offering a rental service, and some cosmetics places. The copper coin, though lacking in value compared to the other modes of currency, is oftentimes utilized as the standard currency in the three great empires.”

“Next, there is the silver coin, equivalent to a tael of silver and approximately three quarters of a silver liang,” the First Madam tossed the silver coin into the air, stowing the copper coin into her purse hidden underneath the folds of her robe.

“More noble institutions and businesses charge their services and goods in the silver coin, though several may utilize the copper coin as the base standard. Moreover, a hundred copper coins is equivalent in value to a silver coin, and silver liang is utilized more often in larger, bulk transactions compared to the silver tael’s more common usage.”

“Bulk transactions… such as buying properties?” An Fei asked in a quiet voice, her mouth chewing onto a piece of candied hawtorn.

“That’s correct, though tools and artefacts of a certain quality and above are additionally charged by the silver liang.”

Wei Xuan suddenly interjected, a warm smile on his countenance as he neared the two women.

Jutting his head between the young girl and mature woman’s shoulders, the minister opened his mouth, waiting to be fed whilst maintaining his steady pace.

“Then finally, the gold coin, with the same conversions into the tael and liang,” Sheng Miaolan chuckled as she tenderly fed Wei Xuan a long strip of youtiao.

As the minister closed his eyes in bliss, the golden coin flipped through the air to land into An Fei’s delicate palm.

“Great Yong’s officials are paid in the gold coin regardless of rank, though the amount in which they earn differs. The use of the gold coin is thoroughly restricted to the highest level of transactions regarding artefacts and items of the highest quality or of remarkable rarity.”

“The gold coin is equivalent to a hundred and fifty silver coins, so don’t lose it, little lass!”

Wei Xuan squinted his eyes towards the young girl in a mock glare, though his smiling countenance suggested otherwise.

Fifteen thousand copper coins were clenched within her tiny hand!?

An Fei gave a start, nearly allowing the gold coin to slip through her fingers and get lost within the street. Swallowing a dry gulp, the young girl quickly shoved the coin back into the First Madam’s purse, shaking her head all the while.

The minister and First Madam broke into laughter upon witnessing the embarrassed flush spanning An Fei’s countenance.

Saying no more, the trio entered a rather well-known restaurant, to bless their ravenous stomachs with delightfully delicious food.

As for the hungry Eldest Young Master holed up in the study, he could… wait.

In the Imperial Palace, one imperial physician wandered around within his courtyard, his expression vacant and devoid of consciousness. His steps faltered as he aimlessly tread on the pathways of polished stone, though his motions contained an unfathomable rhythm and swaying.

“This doesn’t seem right… if she had any symptom of cold deficiency, then what about that unusual pulse…”

Feng Tian Mu murmured, the fingers of his right hand curling and relaxing as his eyes remained shut.

His vision remained blocked, but his sea of perception replayed scene after scene of a young girl’s pulse, as well as the state of the meridians, blood vessels, and conditions of the inner organs of her body.

“If it were cold deficiency, then…” the imperial physician mused, his fingers drawing symbols in the air.

The heartbeat instantly became detached and feeble, yet the secondary pulse resounded within his ears like the surging of a war drum.

The bloodstreams and meridians depreciated in the vitality surging through the channels, causing the spiritual essence within the body to diminish to about a tenth of its original reserves.

“This should be the original symptoms of cold deficiency, only…”

“…Brother Feng truly loves to study medicinal texts, immersing himself to become oblivious to his surroundings,” a young girl’s voice rang out from the entrance of the courtyard, dispelling Feng Tian Mu’s tranquil mental state.

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The Imperial Physician revealed a disgruntled expression as he glared at the intruder, his brows twitching with the tempting intention to throw the young girl out of his courtyard.

In the end, he threw up his hands in aggravated defeat, directing a persistent gaze of disapproval towards the intruder.

“This physician is already owed a favor by the Third Young Miss of Wei,” the physician growled.

“If the Third Young Miss deigns to owe another favor, then Tian Mu shall consider it; otherwise, please depart from my courtyard.”

Wei Rou Yan revealed a dazzling smile, dancing forward to spin around the irritable physician, her fingers trailing on his chin. Noticing his ire flexing its grasp towards the heavens, the young girl took a step back, wrinkling her nose at the strong medicinal odor.

“Oh, Brother Feng does not need to worry; Rou Yan has indeed come for another favor,” the Third Young Miss dipped into a mock curtsey.

“Brother Feng only needs to convince the Empress to allow for one of my servants to accompany my Fourth Little Sister during the trip. Otherwise, as her elder sister, how could I watch my younger sister walk into a dangerous path alone?”

“Then go ask the Empress yourself; the Third Young Miss has no need to seek this physician’s help for such a trifling matter,” Feng Tian Mu replied with a deadpan expression.

“This physician cannot help the Third Young Miss for this favor. Please return, there are still many herbs to be tended to.”

The Imperial Physician, under the astounded gaze of the Third Young Miss of Wei, pushed the beautiful maiden out of his courtyard, before slamming the doors shut and activating the locking mechanism with an audible click.

Wei Rou Yan stared at the locked doors for a brief moment, before stomping her feet in mock frustration.

“If I could even get the Empress to allow me in dispatching a servant, would I have asked for a second favor…”

“Fei’er, did you have enough fun?”

Wei Xuan fiddled with a silver coin, directing a doting gaze towards An Fei. His hand pet the young girl’s hair in an absentminded mood, causing the latter to bristle with embarrassment and Sheng Miaolan directly hugging the minister’s arm.

“Lord Minister, you mustn’t only dote on your daughter,” the First Madam cooed in a coy and suggestive manner.

“You should dote on your maidens, I also want my head pet!”

An exasperated expression immediately erupted onto Wei Xuan’s countenance, and the minister withdrew his hand to knock the First Madam’s forehead with his knuckles.

“You’re still acting like that in secret, this minister shall deal with you later tonig-“

Deng!

Interrupting Wei Xuan’s words was a deafening roar as a heavy bell rang from the end of the street.

Moments later, the cacophony of a hundred bells chiming at the same time ravaged the streets of Jiang’an, causing the wandering onlookers, noble Young Masters and Young Misses, businessmen, scholars, and officials to glance towards the sky.

As they expected, the proclamation following the ringing of the bell was indeed earthshattering.

“The Taiyi Sect has accumulated enough participants! All are to prepare to depart in three days, and only participants may attend, and accompanying servants are not permitted!”

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