Jiang Zhen didn’t want to get in touch with those bigwigs who were officials, but Master Zheng asked to see him specifically, so he obviously could not get away from it.
Letting Zhao Jinge went back to their accommodations first, Jiang Zhen went to Zheng Yi.
Compared to the courtyard Jiang Zhen was staying at, the courtyard where Zheng Yi resided could be called luxurious. Even if Jiang Zhen didn’t know much about goods, he knew that the things in them were probably very expensive. However, all this did not amaze Jiang Zhen.
Paved slate floor, no matter how flat it was, was still just slate. Compared to all kinds of tiles in the later generations? it was all marble . . . At this time, people could not polish marble as smoothly as in later generations, let alone carve flowers or something else on them.
As for the planks—having seen all kinds of beautiful wooden floors and solid boards there, Jiang Zhen really couldn’t think of them as beautiful.
As for the luxuries—for people like Jiang Zhen who did not study antiques at all and do not like them, modern furnishings were actually much more beautiful. Because of this, Jiang Zhen did not show any curiosity and envy at the things in Zheng Yi’s house.
At the same time, after standing in a military posture for more than a decade, Jiang Zhen stood with his own momentum, and every step was measured.
Master Zheng came to see Jiang Zhen because of the strong recommendation from his nephew. He thought he was just an ordinary man with outstanding points. He didn’t expect that he would finally see a young man with an extraordinary bearing.
Although the young man had dark skin, rough hands, and was wearing ordinary clothes, and it could be seen from the details that he did not have a good life in the past, he had an excellent temperament. Judging only from his appearance, he was afraid that no one would have thought that he had been an ordinary farmer before.
For a moment, Master Zheng even suspected that his nephew had been deceived by a person with ulterior motives.
It’s just . . . this man, who had approached their Zheng family, gave them many things, but he never cheated them of anything.
Also . . . in places like the capital, their Zheng family was really nothing. It’s not worthwhile for this person to cheat them.
Master Zheng quickly regained his senses and began to talk to Jiang Zhen, and when he spoke, he did not know whether it was intentional or not, but he still used Mandarin.
The Mandarin of Daqi was very similar to modern Putonghua. Most of the people in Beijing spoke Mandarin.
After a few days of adaptation, Jiang Zhen has learned this variation of Mandarin. Because he had once spoken Mandarin since he was a child, he actually didn’t even carry a southern accent when speaking it.
When the Second Master Zheng spoke to him in Mandarin with a Jiangnan accent, he responded with pure Mandarin.
His Mandarin was much more authentic than that Master Zheng.
Master Zheng’s expression suddenly became a little subtle.
Because Zheng Yi had been talking to Jiang Zhen in Hecheng County’s dialect, he did not know that Jiang Zhen could speak Mandarin, so he was shocked for a while. Because he often traveled between the capital and the south of the Yangtze River, Zheng Yi could understand many dialects and could not only understand Mandarin but also speak it a bit. Occasionally, when he got acquainted with some scholars in the south of the Yangtze River, he would show off his Mandarin.
He always thought he was talented in this area, but right then . . . Jiang Zhen’s pronunciation of every word was at the standard.
He hadn’t been in the capital for a few days yet, right? How exactly did he learn?
How did he learn it? Of course, primary school Chinese teachers teach pinyin one by one, and let every student stand up one by one to read literature . . .
Jiang Zhen also knew that Master Zheng wanted to embarrass him.
He didn’t want to offend Master Zheng for no reason, but he didn’t intend to put up with being embarrassed by others.
“Not bad. It’s really good,” Master Zheng said. “You can speak Mandarin. When the matter of stitching up the wound is reported, I will be able to take you to meet the dignitaries of capital.”
He was smiling and was full of amiability. In just one sentence, he said that all of his previous probes and the embarrassments he caused Jiang Zhen was for his own good.
Jiang Zhen had seen a lot of such people. There were several leaders above him before who, even if he were to rush in and knocked over someone’s table, would continue smiling despite such a commotion, so it wasn’t surprising, nor was he sincerely terrified, because of the other party’s amiable manner.
Of course, his manners were not lacking and even did a good job—this society was different from that o modern times.
Master Zheng took in Jiang Zhen’s appearance and secretly marveled at it; his evaluation of Jiang Zhen also rose higher.
At that moment, he really believed in his nephew’s words—this Jiang Zhen, he was afraid, was really capable of making a career for himself.
Master Zheng’s expression became more and more amiable.
Master Zheng spoke to Jiang Zhen for some time, pulling Jiang Zhen along at first to talk about various things in Hecheng County. Later, he asked about the stitching up of the wounds and the cards, praising Jiang Zhen for his dexterity. After that, he invited Jiang Zhen to a meal.
The food on the table was very exquisite, but Jiang Zhen, who often stayed in hotels in modern times, was still very calm.
After the meal, it was already dark, so Jiang Zhen said goodbye.
Watching him go away, Master Zheng immediately said to Zheng Yi, “This person must be well solicited and can’t be ignored. Do not let others have the opportunity to sell themselves.”
“Second Uncle, that’s what I thought as well,” Zheng Yi said. He had always attached great importance to Jiang Zhen.
“By the way, I have a vacant house in the capital surrounded by merchants. You can give it to him,” Master Zheng said.
Zheng Yi nodded.
The better mansions in this capital would be impossible to buy without some access, taking a mansion and giving it to Jiang Zhen was indeed good.
They were expected to stay in the capital for a month or two this time, and Jiang Zhen really needed a place to settle down.
When Jiang Zhen went back to his room, Zhao Jinge had already eaten dinner but left some food for him. “Jiang Zhen, Li’s braised pork today is particularly delicious. I’ve saved it for you.” After saying that, he added, “This meat is rather fat, so I only ate two pieces.”
Then he glanced longingly at the bowl of meat on the table.
Pieces of pork belly that were two fingers wide and three fingers long were braised in soy sauce and sugar, which was greasy and made people have a good appetite.
When Jiang Zhen and Master Zheng had dinner together, they were very restrained, so he did not have enough to eat. Right then, he directly asked Ruo’er to serve him a bowl of rice.
In addition to braised pork, the rice on the table also included winter melon soup, cold tofu, and two stir-fried vegetarian dishes.
Jiang Zhen took the rice and swept away all the dishes and even picked up the last piece of braised meat and took a bite.
Edited by: Faro