“No. It was your little servant who came and said it, only saying that you should go back quickly and they came all the way from the capital, so you should hurry.” From the capital? Shao Yunan’s movement of putting on his shoes slowed down by two beats, probably already guessing who had come.
When the others heard that it was people from the capital, they were all shocked, and Zhao He asked, “Yunan is everything okay? Did the county magistrate’s men come here again?” They all knew that Magistrate Jiang’s elder brother was from the capital and was here for New Year’s Eve.
Shao Yunan shook his head. “I don’t know. I’m afraid not. I’ll go back and check.” Looking up, he smiled. “It won’t be a big deal. I guess he came to discuss business with me. Uncle Zhao, Auntie, I’ll prepare sheep skewers tonight. I’ll bring some over for you to taste. If you think it tastes good, ask Brother He to come and learn from me.”
“Don’t worry about us, you should go back quickly. If you need help, let someone come and inform us.”
“I won’t be polite to you.” Shao Yunan, who had put on his shoes, took the large pot of sheep bones brought by Zhao Yuanqing and walked away.
Inside the main hall of the Wang Residence, Wei Hongwen, with a respectful expression on his face, talked with Elder Cen, Jiang Kangning and Kang Rui. He did not say what the purpose of his visit was and Elder Cen and Jiang Kangning did not ask. Before the person who made the decision in the Wang family appeared, everyone tacitly brushed over this topic.
When he came to the Wang residence, Wei Hongwen learned that Elder Cen and Kang Rui, the former Minister of Rites, were living here and just from their words, he could guess that both Elder Cen and Kang Rui loved these pair of peasant sons very much. Wei Hongwen, who was originally determined to obtain benefits on this trip, suddenly became more cautious.
If behind Shao Yunan there was only Jiang Kangning it would be okay, but since there was also Elder Cen and Kang Rui, things had become much more tricky. Although Elder Cen only had a fourth-rank official position in the capital, he was Master Weng’s fellow disciple, who studied together in the same school. The reason why he was only fourth rank was because he was victimized by court struggles during the former Emperor’s time.
Kang Rui was Elder Cen’s student. He was also a teacher at the Imperial College and had a lot of knowledge. But the most troublesome thing was that Kang Rui’s father-in-law was captain Shi Zuoyu, who was in charge of the capital garrison. Although Kang Rui’s wife passed away, Kang Rui never remarried and his father-in-law admired him very much.
Although the Marquis of Hengyuan had power, as far as Wei Hongwen was concerned, he did not yet have the strength to confront Shi Zuoyu. Even his father, the Marquis of Hengyuan, would not touch Shi Zuoyu’s domain for no reason.
Elder Cen and Kang Rui’s appearance disrupted Wei Hongwen’s plans and thus Wei Hongwen had to make a new assessment of Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing. In this regard, he gave Shopkeeper Xu and Zheng another dissatisfied glance, making both Shopkeeper Xu and Zheng break out in cold sweat. Right before the New year, they were urgently summoned to Chinan province by the big Shopkeeper, Wei Xiu, who came here with the big boss behind them, so they didn’t have time to send someone over to keep an eye on Shao Yunan’s side.
It could be said that the presence of Elder Cen and Kang Rui caught Wei Hongwen off guard, making him change his original plans. Wei Hongwen could only work harder. In any case, something must be gained this time.
After settling down, Wei Hongwen politely said, “Hongwen has heard a lot about Little Brother Shao, so this time I took the opportunity to come to Yongxiu Province to meet with several stewards and Little Brother Shao. I also wanted to express my gratitude for Shao’s help.”
Shopkeeper Xu immediately said, “Little Brother Shao has given us a lot of good ideas. Our big boss has long wanted to meet Little Brother Shao.” Shopkeeper Zeng also nodded his head and confirmed it. Elder Cen smiled slightly and said, “I have heard about this. Yunan has also mentioned Shopkeeper Xu’s name to me a lot.”
“I don’t dare.” Shopkeeper Xu hurriedly got up. Jiang Kangning said in a joking tone, “The Zhao family’s jams have been earning a lot of money for Shopkeeper Xu. That kid is just being lazy and sends out the money-making transactions one by one.” Shopkeeper Xu was extremely embarrassed and didn’t know how to answer this question.
Then Jiang Kangning said, “Brother Yunan has gone to the Zhao’s house. Someone should have already called him back. By the way, I remembered one thing. Yunan sold some golden chrysanthemums to Shopkeeper Xu and proposed a high-end route. I wonder if it was successful?”
Shopkeeper Xu didn’t dare to answer, while Wei Hongming, who knew that Jiang Kangning knew the situation in the capital decided to finally reply. “Shao Yunan’s idea was really good. But the number of golden silk chrysanthemums is too small. County magistrate Jiang also knows that there are many prominent people in the capital, so I have a lot of headache ah. I will not hide it from you. I came this time to try to buy more good tea from Little Brother Shao.”
What Wei Hongwen said was ‘good tea’ not not good ‘chrysanthemum tea,’ which was a little intriguing. Elder Cen pretending to be confused said, “The golden silk chrysanthemum is indeed rare and I like it very much, but there are indeed too few of them. Even to this old man, Yunan has only given a few dozen a year.”
Someone interjected, “Teacher, you have dozens of golden chrysanthemum teas to drink, but this student can only go to you to ask for them. This year’s chrysanthemums were really rare, so this student had to ask Yunan for more.”
“Haha.” Elder Cen laughed very proudly. “This old man is his adopted father, so since he has something good, shouldn’t he pay respect to his father first?” Kang Rui raised his eyebrows. “This student is still his Senior Brother.”
Wei Hongwen was shocked, while Shopkeepers Xu and Zeng were also astonished. But Elder Cen just laughed. “I’m sorry to make you shocked. Yunan is always afraid of causing trouble for me, so he has not made any public announcements about it for the time being. After his troubles are resolved, the official recognition ceremony will be held. If the second son of Wei is free at that time, he may come and join the fun.”
Jiang Kangning said helplessly to Elder Cen, “Yunan’s troubles are nothing. He just has a deep mind.”
“That’s not true.” Elder Cen was also helpless. Kang Rui, “Yunan is just thinking of you, Master. He really wants you as a father.” Elder Cen, “Hehe.” The three people liked singing their three performances one after another, so Wei Hongwen had to immediately say, “Such a happy event, this junior will come with a big gift.”
Elder Cen smiled and waved his hands. “There is no need for a big gift. The two Shopkeepers also should come to make things even more lively.”
“Thank you, Dean Cen, for the invitation.” Shopkeepers Xu and Zeng got up and saluted at the same time. They were a bit anxious in their heart, were the big plans for this trip going to change? Who would have thought that Elder Cen would recognize Shao Yunan as his adopted son? This was not a matter that was easy to handle.
Shao Yunan returned home unhurriedly, but Guo Ziyu was very anxious. Seeing that he was back, Guo Ziyu hurriedly dragged him over and said. “Yunan, a person came from the Hengyuan hou’s residence. I’m afraid it’s for your tea and wine. Elder Cen asked me to tell you that you should call him father in front of him and call Dean Kang Senior Brother.”
“Huh?” Shao Yunan was stunned. “Just listen to Elder Cen, he might have his reasons. You go in quickly, they have been waiting for a long time already. Shopkeeper Xu and Shopkeeper Zeng are also there.”
Shao Yunan blinked. “Oh, good. Tell Zimu that we will have sheep skewers for dinner tonight and ask him to chop these sheep bones I brought back into pieces, big pieces and blanch them in hot water first.”
“Okay, don’t worry about dinner anymore and go now.” Guo Ziyu pushed Shao Yunan in the direction of the main hall. Hearing an unfamiliar voice inside the house, he took a deep breath and pushed the door open with a smile on his face. The conversation inside the room came to an abrupt end, followed by a few voices.
“Little Brother Shao!” Shao Yunan, who came to talk, closed the door casually and greeted them with a smile. “Honored guests Shopkeeper Xu, Shopkeeper Zeng. Shijing and I went to pay our respects to you on New Year’s Eve, but you were not at home. Your families told us that you had gone to Chinan province. When did you come back?”
Shao Yunan’s enthusiasm eased the embarrassment and tension of the two Shopkeepers, as Shopkeeper Xu replied. “I just came back yesterday. Brother Shao, this is our big boss.” Shao Yun’an immediately looked at the stranger, who saluted him in turn. “I’m Wei Hongwen. I’ve heard about Brother Shao for a long time already and seeing him today, it seems that you really deserve your reputation.”
This was a long distance shot. Elder Cen and Jiang Kangning sat on the two seats at the top. Kang Rui sat on the side of Elder Cen, while Wei Hongwen and the two Shopkeepers sat at the side of Jiang Kangning in turn. Shao Yunan sat down next to Kang Rui and said, “It’s really a coincidence that Mr. Wei is here today. I am about to make a new dish tonight, so you and the two Shopkeepers should also have a taste.”
It had to be said that Wei Hongwen was very surprised by Shao Yunan’s behavior. The other party was clearly a young boy, not to mention that he could not even tell the other person was married, let alone that he was the son of the peasant family that he hated and was angry at. Such a handsome, elegant-looking young man looked just like an official son, not a peasant son from some farming family. Wei Hongwen has already lost his vision once, so he secretly admonished himself not to belittle this person again.
Wei Hongwen showed an elegant smile and said, “Then it’s truly a coincidence that I’m also here. I have heard a lot about your cooking skills, Shao Yunan. It just so happens that I have brought some water and wine with me, so let me take it and add it to the fun.”
“That would be great. Father, my Senior Brother, and my elder brother always say that my family’s wine is tasteless and not strong enough.” Elder Cen, Kang Rui, and Jiang Kangning shut their mouths in time. When did they ever say such things!? Wei Hongwen also almost spurted out a mouthful of blood. ‘You still dare to say that your family wine was not tasty enough?’ Shao Yunan smiled innocently, since Elder Cen, Dean Kang, and Big Brother really said that the rice wine he made was really not as tasty as his goat milk wine.
Edited by: Jaisland