Du and Murong Rou, both mother and daughter, were wealthy yet they were still unscrupulous in stealing both her and her brother’s assets. How greedy and ambitious. Any little relationship between them had been destroyed by both mother and daughter. The goods in her mother’s dowry shop could be given to anyone except for Wu’an Marquis’ Household.
“Er…” The managers looked at each other, their faces turned bitter, “Reporting to Young Mistress. We send our staff to the Wu’an Mansion every month to ask for money but they still stall us and never give any money…”
“That’s right, Young Mistress. Wu’an Marquis’ Household’s people are very cunning. No matter what our staff say, they only say one sentence – we will pay next month…”
“When our staff ask for money next month, they will continue saying that they will pay the next month. This way, they have delayed payment from ten years ago till now…”
As the managers noisily discussed. Murong Xue’s mouth curled into a sneer – Du and Murong Ruo are planning to quietly move all the goods away from Chen’s dowry shop? How ambitious. They are really skilled in the art of silently stealing.
Now that she has taken over the management of the shops, the mother and daughter’s schemes should end here, “I have thought of a way. If you follow my instructions, I promise that Wu’an Marquis’ Household will obediently pay up the money owed.”
“Really?” The managers’ eyes brightened and looked towards Murong Xue in unison, “What way?”
The streets of the Capital were busy and crowded. Early spring breeze mixed with the fragrance of hundreds of flowers making people happy. The bright sunlight shone onto people making them warm.
A grand horse carriage slowly travelled and steadily stopped in front of Wu’an Marquis’ Household. The curtain opened and a young girl in pink stepped out. Her face was bright like blossoms, her hair like dark clouds, her brows like spring’s mountains and her eyes like autumn’s water – it was Wu’an’s wife-born oldest daughter Song Qingyan.
Stepping onto the steps and off the carriage, Song Qingyan held onto her maid’s arm and walked into the Mansion. Her eyes glanced towards the oak wood box, her mouth curved into an elegant smile – the jewelry shop’s new jewelry suited her very much so she had taken them without any hesitation.
Oldest aunt’s (Chen’s) dowry shop was good like that – whatever she saw she could take, and only need to record in the accounts without paying.
“Young Mistress!” The guard respectfully bowed towards her.
Song Qingyan acknowledged with a hum and gracefully walked into the main door. She was just about to enter the main hall when a male voice came from behind her, “I am the staff from Zhuyu Court, under the order of the manager to clear the accounts of Wu’an Marquis’ Household. Please help me inform.”
Song Qingyan’s beautiful brows frowned slightly. She turned towards the staff only to see him wear a gray rough robe. He was of average height, with common looks and was the type that could stand in the crowd and definitely not be noticed.
“Isn’t Zhuyu Court and the client’s accounts settled once a month? It is not the start nor the end of the month, what are you settling?” She has just taken new jewelry from Zhuyu Court, and now the staff from Zhuyu Court has come to Wu’an Court to settle the accounts. Are they chasing for money? How annoying.
The staff looked towards the sound and saw Song Qingyan. Recognizing that she is the frequent customer Wu’an Marquis Household’s Young Mistress, he smiled and said, “Young Mistress, I have come to settle not last month’s account but the previous accounts – those that should have been settled last month…”
“Alright, alright!” Song Qingyan interrupted him impatiently, “It has been busy in the Mansion recently and we don’t have time to settle the accounts. Come again when it’s the end of the month. Get all the accounts in order and we will settle them together.”
The staff’s mouth curved slightly and a flash of disdain appeared beneath his eyes. These perfunctory statements again. He has heard the same things until he could almost grow ear wax. Luckily Zhuyu Court is now under Murong Young Mistress and he doesn’t need to bother about not offending this demanding lady anymore.
“Song Young Mistress, I also know that it is the wrong time to come. But the manager has said that if I cannot settle the accounts this time, he is going to fire me. I have elderly and young dependent on me and cannot lose this job. Please Song Young Mistress, pity me and settle the accounts!”
The staff cried as he said that, looking extremely pitiful. People passing by were all attracted by the commotion and gathered in a crowd, pointing, “What is happening…?”
“I don’t know. It seems like he is asking for payment…”
“If he wants to settle the accounts then just settle it. Why scold him until he’s so pitiful…”
“Who asked her to have the Wu’an Marquis as her father. Her status is extremely noble. Who would dare to blame her for scolding just a shop staff…”
Bits and pieces of discussion was traveled into her ear and Song Qingyan’s pretty face immediately turned red in anger. She glared at the public and angrily argued, “I am not scolding him!”
The crowd was not convinced. She was the only master around there. If she wasn’t bullying that person then who else could it be?
Song Qingyan was furious. She strode over to the shop staff and grabbed his clothes and pushed him in front of everyone, “Tell everyone that I did not scold you!”
The staff was caught off guard and fell to the ground. A sharp pain traveled from his elbow making him suck in a breath. He looked up towards Song Qingyan, and said word by word, “I have come today only to collect the debt owed to Zhuyu Court by the Household. Why is Song Young Mistress making things difficult for me?
Song Qingyan was guilty and her eyes flashed uncomfortably. She impolitely said, “Where did I make things difficult for you? I have already said to let you come again at the end of the month…”
Upon hearing that, the staff became angry, “Every time I come to Wu’an Marquis’ Mansion to settle the accounts, the staff always give me excuses like that. I dare not trust Young Mistress’ perfunctory statements anymore. Now, Zhuyu Court has become short of cash because Wu’an Marquis’ Household has owed 10 years worth of debt. We need this cash urgently…”
“Wu’an Marquis Household has not settled 10 years worth of accounts. Is that real?” A commoner said.
“Of course it’s real. If you don’t believe, brother, I will read it to you.”
The staff quickly took out a copy of accounts statement and loudly read, “On XX year, XX month, XX day, Wu’an Marquis’ lady bought a set of Southern pearl jewelry, a set of sapphire stone jewelry, a set of pearl jewelry, and a pair of Southen pearl head jewelry, worth 20 thousand taels. On XX year, XX month, XX day, Wu’an Marquis’ lady bought…”
“It’s really the date from 10 years ago… Is the list not fake…”
“Who dares to falsify such things to scheme against the Wu’an Marquis’ Household? Unless he doesn’t want to live anymore…”
“That’s true. Zhuyu Court’s reputation is good. The manager is also an honest person. He wouldn’t forge such a thing to harm others…”
“The noble Wu’an Marquis’ Household takes people’s goods and doesn’t pay up. When people chase for ten years worth of debt, they still try to delay payment. How… how… sigh…”
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