The Empress said, “The Emperor and Cen Yuebai are right. To outsiders, he is someone who can make wine and tea, and make novel things. But if you, Your Majesty, let him enter the court, it will be different. Although that person is not in the court, he can still help with the economic development of the Great State of Yan and your ambitions.”
“Now that he presented such peerless books to you, he is also assisting Your Majesty. Your Majesty is blessed. Such a miracle man is willing to serve Your Majesty, willing to help Your Majesty revive the greatness of the Great State of Yan.” The Empress then stood up, knelt down, and bowed. “It’s Your Majesty’s heavenly destiny and with the help of the miracle man the Great State of Yan will prosper!”
Emperor Yongming hurriedly picked up the Empress and hugged him, his voice hoarse. “I have never asked for a heavenly destiny. I only want my Empress to be healthy. I hope that the miracle man can cure my Empress.” Dai Qiyou tried to swallow his sorrow and showed a smile. “I will always stay with Your Majesty.”
Not wanting the atmosphere to be too uncomfortable and not wanting to affect Qiyou’s health even more, Emperor Yongming helped Qiyou sit down and said, “By the way, that man sent me the jade pendant with another meaning. He wants us to wear this jade pendant for the jewelry store first, to do something called publicity, so that it can be widely known. This jadeite stone is rare from what I heard Cen Yuebai say. In the future, it will be auctioned at the auction house and with the Emperor and the Empress’ advance publicity, the price should be very high.”
The Empress looked at Emperor Yongming and smiled. Emperor Yongming was puzzled, so he said, “The matter of the jewelry store is something I heard Eunuch An mention. But looking at the words and deeds of that person, that person has decided that the Emperor is a smart ruler.” Emperor Yongming still did not understand. “Why do you think so?”
The Empress said, “Emerald stones are rare, but that man dared to ask the Emperor to publicize the emerald stones. Obviously, it was because he didn’t worry that the Emperor would ask him to hand over all the jadeites in his hands. Not only this jadeite stone, he also did not avoid the Emperor with the tea and wine business. If he hadn’t recognized the Emperor as a wise Emperor, how could he have dared to be so obvious?”
When the Empress said this, Emperor Yongming actually became embarrassed, but he just put his arms around the Empress and laughed. “It doesn’t matter whether he believes that I am a wise ruler, as long as my Empress does.” The Empress was laughed at by Emperor Yongming.
“Your Majesty, didn’t the Fuangnan Mansion donate a lot of grapefruit? That man seems to care quite a lot about food, so why not reward him with some grapefruit?” Emperor Yongming said, “He offered such precious products, so it would be too shabby for me to reward him with only some grapefruit.”
The Empress said, “I don’t think he cares much about gold and silver jewelry. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have donated more than 3,000 taels of gold. He also returned the 5,000 taels of silver that I gave him last time. He also said ‘not to be a slave to money.’ His majesty might as well reward him with some rare things that might be his favorite. Your Majesty can look at the New Year’s tribute from various provinces and countries, and pick something rare for him.”
Emperor Yongming nodded and felt that there was some truth in what the Empress just said, so he said, “Isn’t his husband’s family very evil? How about I give him a title so that he can handle others?”
But the Empress shook his head and said, “They are now Cen Yuebai’s adopted sons and Jiang Kangning’s adopted brothers, so no one would dare to bully them in Yongxiu County. With such evil family members, giving them a title might only attract more trouble. Also Your Majesty, if you give them a title, what will you say to the public? Others don’t know his strangeness, so they would investigate the reasons carefully and it may not be a good thing for them. I remember that there is a younger brother in his husband’s family who seems to be a scholar. If he wants to take the imperial examination, Your Majesty might as well send someone to inform the examiner in that province that no matter how well that person does, he will not be allowed to advance.”
“Well, that’s okay. The examiners of the various prefectures should be finalized soon and I will let them do it. But Cen Yuebai should not write a ‘letter of guarantee’ for him.”
The Empress said, “Cen Yuebai is the rightful father of those two people and that family used to cause enough trouble. Even with a deed in their hands, how can they really break from their clan? Let Elder Cen write a letter of guarantee to not make it difficult for them.”
“Okay I will do as the Empress said. You ask Zhuo Jin to pick some suitable rewards. I…” After thinking about it, Emperor Yongming said, “I’ll let Cen Yuebai hand it to them, otherwise a direct reward might cause more trouble for them again.” The Empress smiled. “Your Majesty is wise.”
Before Qingming, the whole Yongxiu County was busy. Such busyness was coupled with prosperity that had disappeared from Yongxiu County for many years. Although he was kidnapped and beaten, Shao Yunan was still very busy. The next day, Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing went up the mountain with their three children.
Guo Ziyu wanted to go with them, but Shao Yunan said, “If you follow us, who will watch over the tea factory?” Guo Ziyu had no choice but to back down. Then it was Guo Zimu who wanted to follow, so Shao Yunan asked, “If you follow us, who will make snacks for the snack store?”
Guo Zimu had no choice but to back down. Then it was Aunt Zhou who wanted to follow, so Shao Yunan asked, “If you follow us, who will make bags for the bag store?” Aunt Zhou had no choice but to back down.
Just as Uncle Zhou was about to speak, Shao Yunan asked, “All the family members have work to do today, so if you go with us, who will do your work?” The others who hadn’t had time to speak could only leave with Uncle Zhou.
Yan Fusheng said, “Master, I’ll go with you.” Shao Yunan, “Brother Guo will not be at home, so if you go, there will be no one at home to decide what to do. Also someone is going to send tea over today, so you and Nurse Qin both have to help me watch.” Yan Fusheng, “…” and took two steps backward. Nurse Qin also backed down.
Dai Jiang and Jiang Kangning both sent people to protect Shao Yunan’s safety. Yan Fusheng said, “If we can’t follow you, Master, you and Elder Master have to bring guards.” Shao Yunan, “No, I don’t need any of them, it’s awkward. Moxi also doesn’t like strangers following us.”
Wang Qing, who received a look from his young father, lowered his head slightly. “I don’t like it either.” When he said that, Jiang Moxi spoke as if it was a matter of fact. “Do not like!” Yan Fusheng was defeated once again.
In this way, Shao Yunan and Wang Shijing, who had made arrangements for the tea collection, went to the mountains. The tea factory in Yongxiu County would take over most of the work, while Shao Yunan would take care of the rest. Those who collected tea for him last year, would also collect tea for him this year.
Jiang Kangning issued a document in the name of the county government, saying that the tea factory would buy tea at a price per kilo, based on the quality of the tea. This matter was announced a month ago and Zhao Lizheng approached Shao Yunan because of this.
What Shao Yunan meant was that the villagers of Xiushui Village could also give some tea to the tea factory. Therefore, no one could ask why no one in Xiushui Village brought tea, but all the good tea collected would be handed straight to him. In fact, the special and first-class tea collected by the tea factory would also be secretly sent to Shao Yunan.
All the Keemun black tea in Yongxiu County was bluntly collected into Shao Yunan’s private pockets. After Wang Shijing inspected the entire territory of Yongxiu County, he found that there were only 24 ancient Qimen black tea trees in Yongxiu County, which was very small compared to the hundreds of ancient Longjing tea trees.
Shao Yunan absolutely couldn’t let other people waste it, as it would be the most profitable tea he prepared this year. Tang Genshu, who has been investigating the distribution of tea trees with Wang Shijing, was in charge of picking the tea at the Wang residence, while Wang Shijing was in charge of picking the Qimen black tea. So Wang Shijing and Shao Yunan would be busy for several days.
Edited by: Jaisland