The sea merchants of Daqi were basically selling things from Daqi, and then earning back in silver, gold and precious stones. After all, Daqi was rich in products while small countries in the West didn’t have these products.
In the past, the Wen family did business with several small countries beyond the Western Ocean so Wen Ming and Jiang Zhen initially did so as well. This time, due to Jiang Zhen’s suggestion, they went even further and met people from Europe.
A European ship was in need of repair, so they stopped in a small Western country, unable to move on, but they still had their goods on board. Finally, all these goods were exchanged with Jiang Zhen and Wen Ming for porcelain and silk.
Wen Ming took Zheng Yi and others to the ship and used the key to open one of the rooms.
“Zheng Yi, are there really rare things here?”
“Zheng Yi, can I buy a clock here? My grandfather always wanted one. “
“I didn’t expect that there was a dock hidden in this place, it’s quite interesting.”
Following Zheng Yi was a group of young men, who were talking and looking curiously around the ship.
The weathered ship was a bit old so its appearance was not very good. When this group saw the ship, they could not help revealing some dislike. After they followed Wen Ming into the cabin and saw that there were only a few black chests they started frowning even more: “What kind of treasure is this? Is there even such a rare treasure that needs to be so tightly hidden? “
Wen Ming did not answer, but took out another key and opened one of the boxes: “Gentlemen, you can come and have a look.”
The young people gathered around curiously, and then someone exclaimed: “Ah!”
Wen Ming smiled and said: “It’s dark here so you can’t see anything, you better take it outside and look at it.”
The men looked at each other and finally a young man with the highest status picked up the contents of the box and went outside.
Today’s weather was very clear and the sun outside shone brightly. In this sunlight the young man holding the object in his hands saw it for the first time clearly.
The thing he was holding was a mirror which was very different from the copper mirrors used in Daqi. It actually reflected him in the slightest details!
He always thought he was extremely good-looking, but now he realized that his nose looked a little dirty!
“What is this?”
“Is it a mirror? How many such mirrors are there in total?”
“Can you sell me one?”
Even Zheng Yi looked eagerly at Wen Ming: “Such a mirror should be given to the Empress Dowager! I want to buy one, prepare one for me.”
“Young master Zheng, we have one ready for you.” Wen Ming said: “Of course, this is a rare thing from outside so its price is very high.”
“Haha, the price is not a problem!” Zheng Yi immediately said. In these three years, Jiang Zhen has made a lot of money, and so has he. He made even more.
Being a sea merchant makes money, but it also requires a lot of investment but him? As long as those salt worker households were fed, the salt was constantly being produced so the cost was very low.
Even if today’s official salt was sold for only 7 or 8 copper coins per kilo, but the salt farm sold it for only three or four kilos, they were already making money every day.
At the end of the day, all people needed to eat salt!
Most of the mirrors Wen Ming and Jiang Zhen brought back this time were only the size of a palm, and they looked small and exquisite. In addition to mirrors they also brought back some beautiful glass.
Glittering and translucent, the glass beads mixed with a little green were so beautiful that these people looked at them without blinking.
“You were brought by young master Zheng so I will tell you the real prices. Glazed beads are one hundred silver a piece, the glazed bowls are two thousand silver a piece, glazed cups one thousand eight hundred silver . . . if it was someone else, I wouldn’t sell it so cheaply.” Wen Ming said.
“Master Wen is indeed right!” Those young people said one after another. These people were basically all sons of officials, so they looked a bit down on Wen Ming before. Wen Ming was just a merchant, why should they look up to him?
But at this moment, they treated Wen Ming with great enthusiasm.
“Master Wen, these things, don’t take them out to sell, let us just share them!” Another person said. Such beautiful glazed beads, surprisingly only cost 100 silver a piece… if they bought them and resold them they could earn the difference in price!
“Gentlemen, we have several shops so you have to leave me some to support them.” Wen Ming laughed, and finally took out half of the goods and sold them.
Even if it was only half of the goods it was still quite a lot so each of these people were able to buy some. The young men left excitedly but not before they praised Wen Ming for a while.
Wen Ming looked at them with an expression like he was taken advantage of and they made a great deal but after a moment he stopped smiling.
When he first saw those glass beads, he also thought they were precious jewels. He thought he would buy them no matter how expensive they were. Luckily Jiang Zhen spoke a few words in the language of the people of Europe. He explained that these glass beads were just a failed product of glass burning so it was worthless…
After they exchanged for the glass and mirrors these thousands of glass beads in the box were given to them for free by the crew they traded goods with.
The beads given by those people could be sold for more than 100,000 silver so….. this trip really earned them a lot of money.
Wen Ming was very happy, but after he got off the ship and found Wen Yingniang still waiting for him on the pier he became even happier.
However, Wen Yingniang was a bit unhappy: “So you still remember me!”
“My lady, I’m really sorry.” Wen Ming apologized to Wen Yingniang with a smile and then give Wen Yingniang a small mirror: “Look at this, do you like it?”
Wen Yingniang immediately gave a startled cry.
When Wen Ming gave the mirror, Jiang Zhen also took out a mirror to give to Zhao Jinge: “Jinge, you look really good now, take a look.”
Zhao Jinge took the mirror and saw his expression clearly.
When Jiang Zhen and Zhao Jinge finally left the room, an hour and half had already passed.
Both of them changed their clothes before going down hand in hand and seeing two children rush over.
“Father!” Zhao Mingzhu hadn’t seen Jiang Zhen for a long time so due to her excitement she hugged Jiang Zhen’s leg before bursting into tears.
Zhao Chengyu was different. He was only two years old and even if he had some impression of Jiang Zhen before, he was already a complete stranger to him now. He just hugged Zhao Jinge leg and opened his eyes wide, looking at Jiang Zhen while pursuing his lips but not speaking.
“Chengyu, greet father.” Zhao Jinge told his son as he picked him up.
After Zhao Chengyu was born, he had many people serving him so he definitely received more care than Zhao Mingzhu. However he did not receive as much from Jiang Zhen so naturally he couldn’t act like Zhao Mingzhu in front of Jiang Zhen.
He just looked at Jiang Zhen and did not speak.
Jiang Zhen picked up Zhao Mingzhu with one hand and then picked up Zhao Chengyu from Zhao Jinge’s arms with the other. Then he kissed Zhao Mingzhu and Zhao Chengyu: “Did you miss dad?”
“Yes.” Zhao Mingzhu immediately said: “Father! Father!”
“Father.” Zhao Chengyu, this time also called father.
“What a good boy.” Jiang Zhen took out two kaleidoscopes that he got from those European merchants and gave them to his children: “Father got them from outside for you to play with.”
Jiang Zhen accompanied the two children for a while as the children happily called him father, which made him kiss them several more times.
The more he looked at his own children, the more he liked them!
Mingzhu was Jiang Zhen’s first child so he paid most attention to her and Zhao Chengyu looked like Jiang Zhen very much. Jiang Zhen also liked him very much and wanted to play with his two children until the end of time.
However it was impossible.
There were a lot of things waiting for him outside…
However, he can take the children with him, can’t he?
With a child in each arm, Jiang Zhen headed out.
“Give me the children to hold, your leg is still hurt!” Zhao Jinge hurriedly chased after him.
Zhao Liu followed them outside: “What’s wrong with Jiang Zhen? Is your leg hurt?”
When Jiang Zhen returned to the ship, Wen Ming had already sold half of the mirrors and glass.
After sheepishly touching his nose, Jiang Zhen let Wen Ming accompany Wen Yingniang to have a rest, while he took care of the rest.
After the silver and the most valuable goods were removed from the ship, the rest could be done by his men so Jiang Zhen could finally go home.
Zhao Jinge built a large and beautiful house near Yabian Village. At first it was only a mansion but later, due to Jiang Zhen’s suggestion, he also circled a beach into it, building a very large courtyard
The seawater was much clearer than in modern times, so Jiang Zhen could regard it as having a private beach.
Unfortunately, he was so busy that he didn’t have much time to enjoy himself at his beach….
“At sea, you either eat fish, salted vegetables or salted meat every day. At most we had bean sprouts to change things up. I really missed the food at home.” Jiang Zhen took Zhao Jinge by the hand and went back to the Zhao mansion, this time to eat.
It was not really a meal time, but the whole Zhao family accompanied Jiang Zhen and ate together. Seeing that he had such a good appetite they ate a lot of food together.
“This time you came back with two less ships.” Zhao Fugui waited until Jiang Zhen had almost finished eating before he asked: “Are you okay?”
“Father, I’m fine.” Jiang Zhen said: “It’s just that these two ships couldn’t be found. I have already sorted out the list of missing people and will give their pensions to their families tomorrow.”
“Ugh . . .,” Zhao Fugui sighed.
Zhao Liu looked at Jiang Zhen anxiously: “Jiang Zhen, it’s too dangerous to go out to sea…. “
“Mother, I won’t go to sea in the future.” Jiang Zhen smiled and looked at Zhao Liu: “I will accompany you all and rest for a few years.” Everything was difficult at the beginning, but now that they are no longer a fledgling business, the future will become much simpler.
“Good, good!” Zhao Liu was overjoyed as she nodded her head repeatedly.
Zhao Jinge also looked at Jiang Zhen and was so excited that his hands trembled.
Edited by: Antiope1