The next day, the bruises on He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng’s faces became much more obvious, making their swollen faces almost look like pig heads, but their mental state was good.
They didn’t leave their father tied up the whole time but released him later. Even so, Father He behaved like an honest person and didn’t dare to make any noise at home.
Without Father He being noisy, they immediately felt much more relaxed and slept very well that night.
Not to mention . . . they all had enough to eat that day and the day before. The day before, they ate at Zhao Jinge and Jiang Zhen’s wedding and the day after . . . the He family ran out of rice, but He Chunsheng let He Qiusheng go to their uncle’s house for a meal. But he and He Xiasheng couldn’t. Early in the morning, they went to the Zhaos’ house hungry, thinking that they would starve all day. They didn’t expect that Jiang Zhen would give them two bowls of rice to eat, and when they finished eating, they were asked to move the porcelain.
Did Jiang Zhen accept them? Would they be able to follow Jiang Zhen in the future? He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng immediately went to work, and the people on the boat could not help but look at them secretly. Their faces were bruised and swollen like this, but they were still happy. Are they really alright?
Jiang Zhen didn’t stay on the bow of the boat for long but took Zhao Jinge inside the cabin.
In order to have more room for cargo, the space for people to rest within the cabin was made much smaller by Jiang Zhen, but even so, he still had two beds—he really didn’t want to share a bed with Wang Haisheng.
These two beds were very narrow, less than one meter in width; one was on the left and the other one on the right side of the cabin. There were also containers underneath for storing things, and there were shelves above. For that reason, one could only lie down and not sit.
“Jinge, do you want to lie down and have a rest?” Jiang Zhen asked, the beautiful feeling from last night made him always want to hug him when he looked at Zhao Jinge.
How nice would it be for two people to squeeze together in such a narrow bed? He made a curtain out of cloth, so he didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing them!
“No. Are you tired? Go lie down, and I’ll look after you.” Zhao Jinge didn’t pay any attention to the deeper meaning behind Jiang Zhen’s words. Instead, he looked at Jiang Zhen with concern.
Jiang Zhen: “. . . I’m not tired.” So it’s better to push him down directly!
Jiang Zhen pulled Zhao Jinge to the bed. As soon as he laid down, Zhao Jinge stiffened up and breathed faster.
This was not their house, nor was it their bedroom . . . Zhao Jinge lay motionless and faced a problem—if Jiang Zhen really tried to do something, should he agree or refuse?
“Jinge, we are here.” Jiang Zhen kissed Zhao Jinge, who had been nervous the entire way to the county town; they had already arrived.
There were many rivers in Hecheng County. Some of them were originally there, and some of them were dug out for convenience. There was also a river behind the porcelain shop, as well as stone steps leading to the river.
Jiang Zhen stopped the boat there, picked up the shopkeeper of the porcelain shop, and then took the shopkeeper with him to the place where he had brought his porcelain.
“Jiang Zhen, the one who wants to buy your porcelain is the steward of the Zheng mansion in the county town. The Zheng family is one of the largest families in the county town. Be careful when you go there,” said the shopkeeper of the porcelain shop.
“You can rest assured, Shopkeeper. I will.” Jiang Zhen knew how to behave.
The house of the Zhengs had been there for some years; its main door was facing the street, and its back door, the river. Jiang Zhen and his group, without asking questions, went to the back door.
It was no longer early, and two servant girls dressed in blue were washing clothes by the river. When they saw Jiang Zhen’s party, they were asked to announce them. After a while, the housekeeper of the Zheng mansion came out with two other servants.
Before, when Jiang Zhen had gone out to do business, he had gained a lot of experience. He didn’t feel there was anything to this kind of scene, but Zhao Jinge and He Chunsheng were very uncomfortable, and they didn’t even dare to look at these people, keeping their heads down.
Jiang Zhen had to do a lot of things today. In fact, it would have been more convenient not to bring Zhao Jinge. But he brought Zhao Jinge anyway. If nothing else, he hoped that Zhao Jinge would see a bit more of the world outside.
If he only cared about going ahead and kept Zhao Jinge in Hexi, the distance between him and Zhao Jinge would certainly increase more and more . . .
Holding Zhao Jinge’s hand, Jiang Zhen soon let go of him and went up to talk with the shopkeeper.
Such a big family had its standards of conduct, and the price that had already been negotiated before would not be changed easily. Jiang Zhen only needed to help move the porcelain into the warehouse and then he would get the money.
This time, to speed up the process, even Zhao Jinge helped move the goods, and no one thought it was wrong for him to do so.
Zhao Jinge, who was fully dressed in men’s clothes, looked just like a man. If someone didn’t know him, looking at his tall body, they wouldn’t even think he was a ger.
“The warehouse is over there. Just move it there and put it down.” Steward Zheng just finished speaking when he suddenly stopped and then saluted in one direction, “Young Master!”
When Jiang Zhen looked over, he saw a young man around twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old standing not far away.
This man must have just got up because he still looked a bit sleepy. He only wore a very bright robe, which was very different from the gray clothes worn by ordinary people in that era. But he still refused to put it on neatly.
When he heard Steward Zheng’s words, he replied casually, but after accidentally seeing He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng, he couldn’t help laughing. “Uncle Zheng, where did these two pig heads come from?”
“Young Master, they are here to deliver porcelain,” Steward Zheng said somewhat helplessly.
The young man laughed again and then left. But before leaving, he said, “Hey, you two, you’d better heal your faces at home before you come out again haha.”
He Chunsheng and He Xiasheng lowered their heads, a bit ashamed.
However, the young man was probably a nobleman, so they could not afford to be dissatisfied with his teasing.
Jiang Zhen took a look at them, and then his eyes fell on Zhao Jinge. When he saw Zhao Jinge’s cramped appearance, he suddenly felt a bit uneasy.
This shipment of porcelain sold for more than one hundred silver in total. Apart from the share given to the manager of the porcelain shop and the filial respect given to Steward Zheng, in the end Jiang Zhen got 105 silver.
Jiang Zhen gave He Chunsheng two silver, Wang Haisheng two silver, and then gave the rest to Zhao Jinge.
One hundred silver was not light, it was actually quite heavy. Zhao Jinge held the silver and was a bit confused. “This . . . This . . .”
“You keep it,” Jiang Zhen said.
When Zhao Jinge went out, he had taken a convenient bamboo basket with him, so he wrapped up the silver and put it in the basket. He didn’t dare to carry the basket on his back now, so he held it in his arms, and got nervous again.
Jiang Zhen didn’t comfort him. This man’s nervousness would get better slowly.
“Boss, let’s go back quickly.” He Chunsheng was also very nervous. As long as he thought that Zhao Jinge had a hundred silver with him, he got very worried and afraid. He thought that the people around them might do bad things to them and try to rob them.
But Wang Haisheng was much calmer; he had seen even more silver.
“No, we still have something else to do,” Jiang Zhen said. He thought about it for a moment and asked Wang Haisheng and the He brothers to stay and watch the boat, then he took Zhao Jinge to a shop selling ink, paper, and inkstone.
This time, Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge were dressed in their new clothes. Although they still didn’t look like scholars, they would not be looked down upon by others. When they entered the shop, someone immediately came up to greet them.
Nowadays, there were several kinds of paper, not only rice paper. After Jiang Zhen asked for some hard paper, the shopkeeper immediately took out some hard paper for drawing.
The price of this paper was not cheap, but it didn’t distress Jiang Zhen, who had some money on his hands at this moment.
“Jinge, pay,” Jiang Zhen said to Zhao Jinge as he chose some paper dyes and even picked out a scholarly book.
Such things cost three silver . . . Zhao Jinge was reluctant to take the money out, but after a glance at Jiang Zhen, he still took the money out of the bamboo basket and then carefully put all the things bought by Jiang Zhen in the bamboo basket.
Zhao Jinge seldom came to the county town in the past, and even if he did, he never dared to go inside many shops. At the moment, he suddenly visited such a shop where only scholars visited, and he also bought three-silver worth of things at once. He suddenly felt that he was a completely different person.
Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge to make cards, and at the same time, Liu Heitou, who let his people apply medicine on his face, also went to the county town.
He had become the leader of the thugs in that gambling house, and usually, he only needed to let his subordinates watch over the games there. But today, he decided to go there in person.
Jiang Zhen didn’t know what this meant . . . Liu Heitou intended to go to the gambling house and ask the people he knew to give a gift to the gambling house manager and inquire about Jiang Zhen.
If Jiang Zhen actually had any background, he could be recognized by these things, but Jiang Zhen had no background . . .
After touching his face covered with herbal medicine, Liu Heitou’s eyes flashed with a trace of ruthlessness.
Making cards was not difficult.
Instead of using Arabic numbers, Jiang Zhen wrote, “1,” “2.“ “3,” “4” to “13” on the cards and then drew patterns with black and red dyes. Finally, he took out two blank cards that he planned to represent the king and the queen.
In modern times, Jiang Zhen would definitely write “Emperor” and “Empress” on these two cards, but in that era, it would be absolutely fatal to write so . . . Jiang Zhen wrote: “Tiger” with red ink on two cards and “Tiger” with black ink on the others. The king card became the tiger card.
After that, Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge out again.
He had asked Yang Jing to help him make an appointment with the gambling house manager for a drink. Although it was not yet time, they could go and wait there in advance.
There was only one restaurant in the whole county town, and it was there Jiang Zhen had made the appointment to meet. Zhao Jinge refused to come to such a place before, but this time, Jiang Zhen had serious work to do, so he didn’t try to stop him. Finally, he followed Jiang Zhen gingerly in the restaurant and went to the second floor.
There were no private rooms on the second floor of the restaurant, but the environment was relatively better. As soon as Jiang Zhen went upstairs, he saw the young master of the Zheng family, who he had seen before in the Zheng mansion, sitting idly on a chair, drinking wine alone with his legs on the table.
Edited by : Faro