Ming Xian’s face flushed red. Thinking that this jade-looking beauty was going to leave tomorrow, she ignored Jian Sheng’s dark face to take out the dishes and arrange them properly.
She stared at Mo Ruofei and said all in a hurry, “I picked out today’s dishes especially for you. I hope you enjoy it.”
Mo Ruofei was surprised to smell that familiar scent. He went to the table to wave his hands, stopping Jian Sheng from pushing her out.
On top of the table there were four dishes and one bowl of soup. It was perfect in color, aroma, and taste. The entire table of dishes was exquisitely prepared. Translated by The Novelst
Mo Ruofei felt strange as he looked at the dishes. He sat down to pick up a small piece to try and smiled as he asked Ming Xian, “This dish really does have a special taste to it. These are all popular dishes in Wangjing City. How is the local chef so able to cook WAngjing dishes? Lady Ming Xian, you are such a caring person.”
“I’m glad you like it! The chef was hired from Wangjing City. He usually only cooks for the fifth miss, but Ming Xian thought you would enjoy your hometown cuisine. So I begged Chef Man to cook this for you,” Ming Xian’s heart thumped heavily in her chest, feeling his gaze on her.
She thought happily that her efforts in begging the chef for so long and even making that pair of shoes for him had not been in vain.
“No wonder it tastes so familiar. So it’s Chef Man from Duobao Court in Wangjing City. I heard Owner Lin has three young masters and one miss. Who is this fifth miss? And she seems to be very favored, having Chef Man here to cook just for her? Does Lady Ming Xian know?”
His voice was gentle and sincere. Ming Xian’s brain nearly melted into paste. Immediately, she kept nothing back as she spoke, letting Mo Ruofei learn without expending too much energy all about Hua Buqi, her rise from a beggar to servant girl, from a girl raised by a dog to an adopted daughter of the manor.
Once Ming Xian had left, Mo Ruofei took out a painting. In that painting, the moon hung high, the heady fragrance of laurel blossoms wafting through the air. A beautiful woman raised her head to smile at the moon. The eye spoke with an eloquence and truthfulness that surpassed all speech. It was the same painting from the imperial censor Lord Chen that was delivered to Yaoling Manor in advance.
Fate in this world was really so wonderful, thought Mo Ruofei.
He thought back to that night he encountered Hua Buqi and to her demeanor. He began to laugh.
Jian Sheng was puzzled. “Young Master, what makes you so happy?”
Mo Ruofei pointed at the painting and said, “If Ming Xian hadn’t mentioned this, I would have missed it completely. The night was too dark so I couldn’t see her face properly, and during the day she had a cloth over her face, covered in dirt and soot. I didn’t think of this at all. Now that I think back to it, Hua Buqi’s demeanor really is similar to the Madam’s.”
Jian Sheng continued the thought. “Young master, you mean Owner Lin’s newly adopted daughter, the fifth miss, is the person we’re looking for?”
Mo Ruofei smiled with confidence. “The news of the seventh prince looking for a person in the west has already been spread far and wide. A servant girl who had been kept in the vegetable garden for seven years was suddenly adopted as a daughter, this matter already seems a little ridiculous. Jian Cheng, bring my namecard to them personally, or else Old Master Lin will not see us. Remember not to mention anything about the painting.”
“Jiang Sheng understands,” he said, quickly walking out of the room.
Mo Ruofei smiled and looked at the painting, remembering all of a sudden the words that Hua Buqi had said to him at the entrance to Yaoling Manor. His eyes filled with interest.
He mumbled, “If you scold me for being a beast inside, then you’re someone raised by a dog? What a cunning little girl, do you think I’ll just take that?!”
The namecard was three inches long and one inch wide. On the white edges there were silver threads and a vermilion square coin was printed in the center.
Old Master Lin looked at the namecard in his hand and shook it in excitement. He took a deep breath to ask kindly, “Is the person you’re serving Young Master Mo of Wangjing City, of the Mo family?”
Old Master Lin’s reaction was along the lines of Jian Sheng’s expectations. He replied with a smile, “Indeed, my lord is the young master of the Mo family of Wangjing City. I appreciate Yaoling Manor for healing my wounds. My lord wanted to express his gratitude to Old Master Lin personally before he leaves.”
The most powerful person in the land was naturally his majesty the emperor. The richest people in the land, however, were the four families: the Yun family of Feiyun Castle, the Liu family of Mingyue Villa, the wealthy traders Zhu family of Gangnam, and lastly the Mo family of Wangjing City.
Other than operating their own traditional family businesses, the four families were also involved in royal affairs.
Feiyun Castle sold weapons and horses and were the power behind the army weaponry. The Liu family of Mingyue Villa sold official ware and porcelain. The Zhu family of Gangnam provided silk and tea. And the Mo family of Wangjing City were rich because of geographical advantages: eight out of ten businesses in the city were Mo family businesses, and the royal families also held quite a few shares of those businesses.
That was why even though the Mo family did not overlap with any of the imperial palace businesses, they were still able to take charge of official banks. Taxation and military pay all went through the Mo family’s Fangyuan bank to make the transfer. As long as one held the banknote with the red vermilion square coin symbol, one could exchange it into cash with any bank in the land.
Old Master Lin’s eyes brightened slowly. How was he so lucky? The person seventh prince was seeking was just like Hua Buqi, and now just when he was looking to socialize with the powerful, this person who had all the connections in the city was here? Translated by The Novelst
“I’ve heard from my son that you’ve fully recovered from your injury. Please send my goodwill to your master. I will be holding a farewell banquet for your master and would like to invite him over,” he smiled. If Yaoling Manor wanted to expand its business to Wangjing City, he would definitely require a lot of help from this young master in the future.
Proofread by: Hannah
You can support me & access to advance chapters here ^^ Become a Patron!