When they left the tailor shop, Zhao Jinge looked excitedly at Jiang Zhen. “Do you really want to open an escort agency?”
“Yes.” Jiang Zhen laughed. “We can’t stay in the countryside all the time.”
In fact, if it were the modern times, Jiang Zhen wouldn’t mind being an ordinary citizen. After all, ordinary people had enough to eat and drink and their lives weren’t bad, so they generally wouldn’t encounter much danger.
But it was the ancient times. If they stayed in the countryside and did nothing, who knew when they would be killed in a catastrophe. Apart from that, in another decade or two, he would not be as strong as he was now. He’d be old and frail. At that time, if there were a draft order, would he be dragged into the army?
Maybe if he had some money, he could be exempted from military service, but if Hecheng County’s magistrate were to be replaced by a money-loving one and he who had no background, how could he keep his family business? Even if none of these things occurred . . . This Daqi dynasty had existed for hundreds of years, and it was uncertain when this would change. If there were just ordinary people at this time, they would definitely be slaughtered.
Jiang Zhen’s thoughts extended a bit far away, so seeing that Zhao Jinge was puzzled, he spoke to him slowly.
Zhao Jinge had never thought about this before, but now that he listened to Jiang Zhen, he realized that he had thought too little before.
“But all of this is just in my head, maybe we won’t run into any problems.” Seeing Zhao Jinge’s tangled face, Jiang Zhen put his hand on his shoulder and gave it a squeeze.
Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge to eat a sweet bowl of lotus root noodles that looked glittering and translucent, and bought him another pancake to eat. Zhao Jinge wanted to refuse, but thinking about the story Jiang Zhen had told him yesterday, he held back.
Seeing this, Jiang Zhen took a bite of his pancake in a good mood. He was no longer as poor as he was at the beginning. He still couldn’t eat delicacies or wear silk and satin, but it really wouldn’t matter if he bought something small to eat on the street.
Their ship only left Fucheng for the next city the next day, and in the meantime, every aspect of their trip was on track, not requiring Jiang Zhen to constantly keep an eye on it. It was at this time that Jiang Zhen started teaching Zhao Jinge to memorize the multiplication table and to learn Arabic numbers.
In Daqi, Arabic numbers did not exist or were unknown, but Jiang Zhen thought it was more convenient to learn mathematics with numbers, so he taught them to Zhao Jinge and also gave him a lot of arithmetic exercises in addition and subtraction.
According to his experience of learning math when he was a child, if someone wanted to calculate quickly, they needed to practice more!
In this era, people barely learned math, and to count things they used their fingers. Zhao Jinge had a hard time learning these things, but he never gave up and studied very conscientiously, so he could already help Jiang Zhen in many ways. In a few days, he might even be able to take some matters into his own hands.
Jiang Zhen taught him with more energy, and at the same time, he himself also studied hard every day, trying not to write as if he was missing arms . . .
They stayed outside for nearly twenty days on this trip.
Jiang Zhen originally thought that this trip could bring him a few dozens of silver, but it was not the case. He not only did not make any money on this trip, but he also lost some . . . However, it wasn’t because the business wasn’t profitable. On the contrary, the business made a lot of money. After subtracting costs, Jiang Zhen earned nearly a hundred silver, it was just that, when he started, he forgot to include the fees at the various places.
In a few cities, as soon as their boats stopped, several officials would stop to inquire, so a little bit here and a little bit there . . . although each time it was only a few silver, but added all together, it depleted all his profit. But it was also a good start. After doing it once, there would be no need to bribe with silver so much. When someone came over, it would be enough to give a silver or two for them to have a drink.
When he returned to Hecheng County, Jiang Zhen not only brought back all the merchants he had taken out but also brought back some merchants and their goods from the places they passed through.
The two big ships stopped at the dock, and immediately they started loading and unloading the cargo. At that point, Yang Jing came over.
“What is the matter?” Jiang Zhen looked at Yang Jing.
“Boss, Young Master Zheng asked me to wait for you here. He wants to meet you,” Yang Jing said. He had been wandering around the docks for a few days already to finally meet Jiang Zhen today.
If Young Master Zheng wanted to see someone, he naturally could not be neglected, so Jiang Zhen spoke to his men and immediately set off.
After going to the Zheng family house and inquiring with the steward, Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge entered the Zheng family house once again and then met Young Master Zheng.
Jiang Zhen’s first impression of Zheng Yi was that he was a dissolute boy, but this time, he was dressed neatly and the whole person was very spirited, very different from before. His eyebrows and eyes were full of self-confidence. Apparently, something good had happened to Zheng Yi.
Zheng Yi had indeed encountered good things, and he had pretty much already prepared the cards, hiding and tucking away the good things that had been there for two months and could finally see some light. Apart from that . . . he suddenly realized that Jiang Zhen was even more thoughtful than he had imagined. Although he didn’t understand why someone who hadn’t left Hecheng County could have so many ideas, he didn’t care about it all as long as Jiang Zhen could bring him benefits.
“Jiang Zhen, you are quite clever to think of this way of making money,” Zheng Yi said.
“Young Master Zheng is complimenting me. I’m just making some hard-earned money,” Jiang Zhen said.
“You might just be making some hard-earned money now, but maybe not in the future,” Zheng Yi said. ‘‘You’ve got yourself an escort agency, haven’t you? I have a business opportunity. Do you want to take it?”
“What kind of opportunity?” Jiang Zhen asked, but he had already made up his mind to take it.
He created this escort agency and even got the gambling house hoping to attract the attention of the young master of the Zheng family.
“I’m going to the capital, and I hope someone will escort me there,” Zheng Yi said.
“Young Master Zheng, there should be no shortage of people you could use for protection around you?”
Jiang Zhen was somewhat puzzled. The Zheng clan had many servants and subordinates. Zheng Yi, who was going to the capital, was supposed to have no shortage of people to protect him. You know . . . he was originally just trying to take over some business of transporting goods for the Zheng family.
“You might not know that, but the north isn’t as peaceful as here. And the more people protect me, the better,” Zheng Yi said.
The south of the river was rich. Even if some people had no land, they could still make a living by working for others, but the north was different. In some places, there were many natural disasters, so there were refugees. And if one was not careful, these refugees who couldn’t make a living became bandits. There were a few water bandits in the south of Yangtze River, but in the north, there were a lot of bandits.
The Zheng family had a lot of influence in Hecheng County, so nothing would happen when they went out. But if he were to run into water bandits along the way, they would definitely rob him!
Zheng Yi was a man who cherished his life and, naturally, had to be prepared for everything if he was going to the capital, not to mention . . . he also wanted to talk to Jiang Zhen some more. When he talked to Jiang Zhen before, he had a feeling that he had benefited greatly, and now, he naturally wanted to find out more from Jiang Zhen.
“Young Master Zheng can give me this opportunity. I beg for it!” Jiang Zhen immediately said.
“Then go and get ready. We’ll leave in ten days,” Zheng Yi said with a smile.
Edited by : Faro