“How are you managers?”
The cold reproachful voice went straight into their ears and hit their hearts. The managers shuddered and their faces showed fluster, “Young Mistress, is it that the accounts are not right?”
The Marquis’ Dowager Lady will check the accounts every month. If there is something wrong, she will scold them or if the situation is worse, she might even report them to the magistrate. As such, they have never dared to do anything funny with regards to the accounts after so many years.
“The accounts have nothing wrong with them. It’s the receivables that are too much and too long!” Murong Xue’s delicate hand waved and the account book accurately fell into the manager’s lap.
“When you open for business, you might let customers put it on the tab. But there must be a limit to how much. It’s ok if it’s 3 or 5 months; 1 to 2 years might be straining it but see the accounts in your hands. From 10 years ago owing till now, for rogue customers who do not pay a cent, you still dare to let them take things from the store? Do you want to close the store down?”
Are there much rogue customers? How is it they don’t remember?
The managers looked down bewildered to flip through the book. Looking at the debtors’ name, they all turned bitter, “Young Mistress, it’s not us that make the decision to allow them to owe, but those that come to take things from the store are all from the Wu’an Marquis’ household…”
“So what if it’s the Wu’an Marquis’ household? Even if it’s the lady herself, Murong Rou personally, she’s also a customer, and you only need to carefully serve her. Who let them take things and only need to owe and not pay?” Murong Xue sharply interrupted them, her gaze cold as ice.
The managers looked at each other and lowered their heads, their voice soft as a mosquito, “It’s… It’s the old Lady that allowed…”
Murong Xue’s mouth curved into a sneer, she knew it would be like that.
Ten years of accounts piled together made it quite tall. She didn’t flip through all of them but picked a few from ten years ago, five years ago and then saw the last two months. She found that from 10 years ago, Wu’an Marquis’ household would come to the clothing store and order large batches of new clothes. Ten to twenty rolls of high, medium and low quality types of cloths wouls be used – from Wu’an Marquis Household’s Dowager Lady, to the lowest of maids and servants would all be tailored from there!
Just like that for 10 years – they had only recorded the debt but had never paid a single cent.
Also, there was the jewelry store, that they would also often visit. Every season, they would take away quite a number of sets for old, ladies and young mistresses.
Every 2 to 3 months, Wu’an Marquis’ household’s people would also go to the antique shop to take one or two antiques, paintings and never pay a single cent…
No wonder Du righteously said that she didn’t steal the earnings from her mother’s dowry stores. It was because the money earned had all gone to fill the debt left by Wu’an Household, and thus had hardly any money left. Even if she wanted to steal, there was nothing left.
“This is the way step-grandmother helps my mother take care of her stores?” Murong Xue flipped open the curtain before walking into the inner room, sneering at Du.
Du glanced at her and answered without care, “Your aunt makes their clothes and jewelry there to help the store’s business…”
“Taking things and paying up is called helping the business. Taking things and not paying, and taking for ten years with ease is called being thick-skinned!” Murong Xue unceremoniously interrupted what Du was saying, word-by-word, “The noble Wu’an Marquis’ Household is not beggars on the street, actually doing such a shameless act like street thugs. Even if they don’t feel ashamed, I feel ashamed for them.”
“Rou’er is your dear aunt. How can you say such a thing about her?” Du snapped, her eyes flashed with cold sharpness.
As the mistress of the Wu’an Marquis’ household, Murong Rou held the reins to the household’s internal matters. Tailoring new clothes and making jewelry etc. fell under her purview. If Murong Xue ridiculed Wu’an household’s people for being shameless, it would mean ridiculing her.
Murong Xue tutted in disdain, “My mother is her direct older sister-in-law. She shamelessly takes goods from her older sister-in-law’s dowry stores without paying anything, and I can’t even say a few words about her?”
Muong Xue waved her hand to cut her off and lightly looked at her, “Don’t say anymore to me. She is my aunt. As her niece, giving her a few sets of clothing and jewelry is part of respecting her. I am her niece, and both my parents have passed away, how can she not take care of me and make me a few sets of clothing and jewelry every month at her dowry shops?”
“You…” Du pointed at Murong Xue, so angered that she was speechless. This little bitch – doesn’t she not like to speak much? How is it that she has become so eloquent?
Murong Xue glanced sideways at her and coldly said, “My mother’s good dowry shops have been ‘taken care’ by you into such a mess. If I let you continue ‘taking care’ of them, the 6 shops will definitely have to close. Could I trouble step-grandmother to return the deed of the 6 shops to me? I will personally take care of them. Whether managed well or badly, it will have nothing to do with step-grandmother anymore!”
Du’s face darkened and she lowered her eyelids. After Shen’s death, she had her eyes on these 6 shops. However, Ge Hui also knows about these 6 shops and after Murong Ye and Murong Xue grow up, she will have to return the shops to them. As such, she cannot openly take over but can only do it using sly schemes.
Ge Hui’s very sharp and if the shops made false account, he would definitely discover. Hence she thought of this underhanded method – by randomly taking things from the shops and quietly moving the assets out of the shops and into her pockets.
Over the ten years, they had moved most of the shops’ assets. In a few more years, the 6 shops would be entirely theirs. They never imagined that at this crucial moment, Murong Xue would find out about it.
If she hands these shops over the Murong Xue, they will no longer be able to take things from the shops. The shops still have a number of valuable items. It would be painful to just give them up!
Eyeing her changing expressions, Murong Xue knew what she was thinking about. A sneer formed and she said, “Step-grandmother, if you want to spoil your daughter, I can’t meddle in what you want to give her, and also can’t be bothered to meddle. But, please do not use my mother’s dowry shops to get favors because those shops have been left to me and my brother by my mother and have absolutely nothing to do with you! If you insist on continuing to manage, I might not be able to resist telling others how the shops have been ‘developing’ over these ten years…”
Du abruptly looked up at Murong Xue, her eyes flashed with cold sharpness – this bitch, she dared to threaten her! Well, very well!
“It’s just 6 shops. I don’t even think much of them. If you want them, I’ll give all of them to you!” Du picked up an old ebony box and quickly opened it, taking a few pages of deeds and huffily threw them at Murong Xue, “Get out of Yutang Court now. You are not welcomed here!”
Murong Xue took the deeds and carefully looked. After ensuring that they were correct, she nodded, satisfied, “No need to trouble step-grandmother. I am utterly disgusted with Yutang Court. Since I have the deeds, we have nothing linking us anymore. Even if you beg me, I wouldn’t want to come!”
“You…” Du choked and picked up the tea cup in front of her and threw it across, “Scram!”
Murong Xue tutted, grabbed the curtain and threw it forward. Ping! The tea cup knocked onto the curtain, tea splashed everywhere and the tea cup shattered…
The 6 managers stood in the corner, heads down, not looking anywhere else, and pretending that they didn’t see the sparks flying between Murong Xue and Dowager Lady Du. The family matters of the Marquis’ household don’t concern them as store managers, and they dare not be concerned either. It is better that they protect themselves.
Du schemed against Murong Xue to make her pawn he mother’s dowry. Then she came here and took away 6 deeds, casuing Du and Murong Ruo to not only fail but lose their own interests as well. Seeing Du hopping mad, she felt really comfortable!
Murong Xue’s mouth curved into a faint smile and she leisurely walked in front of the managers, arrogantly saying, “We can no longer tolerate the ten years of debt that Wu’an Marquis’ household owes. The six of you should immediately return to the store and send your staff to Wu’an Marquis’ Mansion to collect the debt!”
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