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“Master Jiang.” At this time, Shen Anxin also came over. He smiled towards Jiang Zhen and started to thank him. “Master Jiang, thank you for before. If it wasn’t for you, my reputation . . .”
Feng Chenglin said that in public. Although it had some impact on Jiang Zhen, it wasn’t big. But it would definitely make him unable to face people in the future.
“You’re welcome. He was also talking about me that way,” Jiang Zhen said.
“I still need to thank you, if it wasn’t for Master Jiang, I would have been miserable,” Shen Anxin said again; his gaze that fell on Jiang Zhen had even more degree of affection in it.
Zhao Jinge looked at Shen Anxin acting like this and suddenly felt that the oranges in his mouth were a bit too sour, not tasty at all. At the same time, he also felt a surge of panic.
Shen Anxin was really much better than him. Compared to He Qiusheng, he could at least work and earn money, and compared to Liu Qianqin and Zhao Lingxiao, his reputation was clean. But what about Shen Anxin? Shen Anxin was rich, educated, and better looking than him . . .
“In public, he can’t do anything,” Jiang Zhen said.
“But it still would make me look bad.” Shen Anxin looked at Jiang Zhen and lowered his head, a blush on his face.
“If you want to be a man, don’t be so squirmy,” Jiang Zhen, after seeing this appearance of Shen Anxin, reminded him.
Although Shen Anxin’s appearance wasn’t feminine, his personality was somewhat sticky. He was different from Zhao Jinge in the end.
When Zhao Jinge’s engagement was broken, he was only twelve or thirteen years old and was not as tall as today. When Zhao Fugui took him out to work for someone, he did not hesitate to pull up his trousers and clothes to plant rice seedlings in the paddy field . . .
At that time, there were idle men in the village who were teasing him, and boys of the same age who said that he would never be able to marry if he showed his body to others. But didn’t he still work as usual?
Zhao Jinge always thought he should get married and when he was in trouble, he stuck to it. This Shen Anxin . . . couldn’t he be a bit tougher? If someone yelled something, couldn’t he scold back?
He was so weak and intent on feeling sorry for himself but still concerned about his reputation . . . It’s no wonder the Feng family didn’t take him seriously and coveted his family fortune. In fact, if he was more open-minded, not to mention that he was a ger, even if he was a woman, no one would dare to bully him.
Jiang Zhen also knew that Shen Anxin’s character was like this, and it couldn’t be changed, but he still kindly reminded him.
Shen Anxin’s eyes reddened as he spoke. It would be nice if he was really a man, but he wasn’t; he was a ger. He tried to behave like a man before, but now he just wanted to be someone’s beloved ger. “I know . . . I will change . . .”
“Jinge, do you want to go there to observe the fishes?” When Jiang Zhen saw him like this, he became more and more unsure of what to say to him, so he just wanted to leave quickly.
Zhao Jinge nodded in a hurry; he was eager to take Jiang Zhen away from Shen Anxin.
Jiang Zhen smiled and was about to take Zhao Jinge to the pond. But at this time, Shen Anxin took a few steps forward and was about to pull on Jiang Zhen’s clothes. “Master Jiang, wait.”
Jiang Zhen subconsciously avoided Shen Anxin and frowned. “Young Master Shen, don’t do such misleading actions in the future. My wife will be unhappy.”
This action of Shen Anxin . . .
Any more and people would really start to think he had something with Shen Anxin!
Zhao Jinge should also be jealous, he might not even let sleep in the bed . . . Thinking like this, Jiang Zhen immediately looked at Zhao Jinge.
At this time, Zhao Jinge felt that orange in his mouth was sweet. Jiang Zhen’s words made him very happy.
As for Jiang Zhen’s worries . . . he worried too much. Zhao Jinge was now thinking that he should serve Jiang Zhen well, so Jiang Zhen wouldn’t have the strength to look for someone else.
Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge happily went to watch the fish, leaving Shen Anxin standing in the same place, feeling somehow depressed.
When Feng Chenglin said dirty words to him earlier and Jiang Zhen stood up to him, he couldn’t restrain his heart from beating violently. He knew that he liked Jiang Zhen.
Although they were not possible, it was fine to just say a few words to Jiang Zhen . . . However, Jiang Zhen did not have him in his eyes.
Shen Anxin couldn’t say what he was feeling in his heart for a while; he felt sour and bitter.
This time, Jiang Zhen was just here to go through the motions. He got to know some people and let some people get to know him, but he didn’t fight for that imperial merchant position.
After discovering this, those merchants became even more enthusiastic towards him.
Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge stayed in the Zheng family house for a long time. When they left, they didn’t go out for several days, patronizing the training of his men at home.
These days, the capital was very lively.
Firstly, because the Ministry of Household Affairs had selected some royal merchants and, secondly, because a new thing had come out from the palace.
That new thing was called Gentlemen’s Cards because the pattern of the card inside was derived from “plum, orchids, bamboo, and chrysanthemums.”
There were many ways to play, and it was the best way to pass the time. For a while, almost all the upper-class people in the capital were talking about it.
Zheng Yi asked the painter to draw a pair of exquisite cards, which were finished in a short time. Meanwhile, the cards in the Zheng family shops also sold very well.
Sometimes, the easiest thing to circulate was something used for playing.
For a while, almost everyone in the capital was talking about the cards. But when the Ministry of Household Affairs decided on the matter of imperial merchants, not many people paid much attention to it.
When Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge to a nearby shop to buy pen, ink, paper, and ink stone, he heard someone asking if there were any cards for sale in the shop.
“For now, only the shops of the Zheng family can sell the cards,” the shopkeeper who packed things that Jiang Zhen bought answered.
“So . . . ,” the man said, “there is no Zheng family shop nearby, you will need to go to a farther location.”
When Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge to a teahouse to listen to people telling stories . . .
The storyteller in the teahouse, who was usually rewarded by talking about books, was actually explaining how the cards could be played. He was surrounded by many people who were listening to him in rapt attention.
Even when Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge for dinner, there were people playing cards next to them.
Jiang Zhen: “. . .” The popularity was higher than he expected . . .
No wonder the Zheng family would specifically send him a carriage . . . Unfortunately, underneath his hands, there was not even a single person who could drive a carriage.
In ancient times, where were the very rich and idle people? Without a doubt, they were in the capital.
It had been three hundred years since the Qi Dynasty had been established, and the number of noble sons and daughters in the capital was increasing every year. Not all of them were promising, so many of them just hung around all day long. However, they were the people who accepted the cards the fastest and popularized them in a very short period of time. For a while, many of them stopped wandering around and stayed at home to play cards every day.
“When we go back, let’s play cards too.” On his way back with his pen, ink, and paper, Jiang Zhen said to Zhao Jinge.
“Huh?” Zhao Jinge looked at Jiang Zhen, puzzled. Didn’t Jiang Zhen always say that those who played around would lose their ambitions, so why did he bring up playing the cards? Of course, he wasn’t very fond of it himself.
He was no match for Jiang Zhen in every way right now, and he was more willing to learn and practice Chinese characters than playing cards.
“Whoever loses at that time will take off a piece of his clothes,” Jiang Zhen said again.
Zhao Jinge’s face suddenly turned red; he had the feeling of “so it was like this” again. Jiang Zhen looked so decent, but he was not serious! And he. . . he even yearned for it.
Edited by: Faro