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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 329 - To enjoy fortune, a road must be built first (2)
The talented women offered cup after cup of wine. Ji Man didn't hesitate with accepting the cups of wine. She even took the initiative of helpfully intercepting wine for the director. Of course, she secretly spat out all of the wine into her sleeve.
Later on, when she was supporting the director as they were walking down the stairs, Ji Man very considerately suggested, "Director, you look a bit tipsy. This one had already book a room for you in the neighboring inn. How about letting these talented women assist you with walking over there?
Director Tang smiled with unchecked vulgarity. Patting Ji Man's shoulder, he said, "Teacher Ji, as expected, you have a very good understanding of other people."
Shopkeeper Liu had given gifts and toasted Director Tang several times during the meal, but he hadn't obtained any smiling expression from the director. But, in the end, Ji Man had been the one that benefited from the meeting that Shopkeeper Liu had arranged. When they left Luoyan Pagoda, Shopkeeper Liu's expression didn't look pleasant, but Ji Man didn't care. They were both rice merchants, so they were naturally going to be competitors. Hadn't Shopkeeper Liu come here with the intention of trying to profit by using her status as Marquis Moyu's heir's teacher?
When she returned to the marquis's estate, the back gate wasn't closed even though it was getting late. Ji Man stuck her head out and looked around, then she dashed in the direction of her room.
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Haohao was staying in the room next to hers and being watched over by a servant girl. Since her body stunk of alcohol, she naturally couldn't visit Haohao in her current state. After she entered her room and was about take her clothes off to take a bath, someone suddenly clamped his hand over her mouth.
There was a disadvantage to staying in someone else's home. At any moment, the owner of the home might pop out and scare you half to death.
Without a better option, Ji Man could only push Ning Yuxuan's hand away from her and say, "Marquis, this one is a man right now. Isn't it a little inappropriate for you to be lurking in my bedroom at night?"
Marquis Moyu's expression didn't look good. He raised his hand and lit a lamp. Wrinkling his nose, he asked, "Did you go drinking?"
"It was for networking." After Ji Man took off her outer robe and tossed it to the side, she felt much more comfortable.
Right now, Ning Yuxuan looked like a wife that had caught her husband red-handed with coming home after an evening of debauchery drinking. His posture had already shifted into an interrogating one.
"Did you forget that you're a woman again?"
Ji Man nodded. "Marquis, you've also forgotten something. Right now, this one is a man."
With her chin raised high, she looked as if she was one step away from knocking against the tip of his nose. Ning Yuxuan pursed his lips as he looked at her. "What more do you want?"
He had already given Haohao to her. Why wasn't it enough? Why couldn't she quietly remain in his inner court and care for their child? Why did she insist on going out and exposing her face in public?
Ji Man narrowed her eyes and looked at him for a while before saying, "I want to become a tree, not a trumpet vine. Marquis, do you understand?"
Marquis Moyu froze in shock. He didn't have time to recover and ask her what she meant before she started talking again.
Half-talking to herself, Ji Man continued, "I must have gotten drunk from the alcohol vapors to ask such a question. A man like you, who's full of male chauvinism and doesn't have any romantic feelings, how could you possibly understand me?"
Minding her own business, she washed her face, then she collapsed onto her bed. Pointing at the doors, she said, "I still have to give Haohao lessons tomorrow morning. I won't keep the marquis up any longer. Have a safe walk back."
Left speechless by her stream of words, Ning Yuxuan furrowed his brow. Feeling rather angry, he turned around and left.
The price of Zhangjun rice was about the same as other rice, but its kernels were especially plump, so they were doing pretty good in sales.
And so, Ji Man took out her savings and rented out stores in various parts of the capital to expand the scope of her business.
While rice was still being transported from Zhangjun without interruption, it was about time for her take stock of her inventory and make a decision. Would it better for her to build a road from Zhanghun to the capital or continuing paying a high freight fee while earning small profits each time and having the advantage of quick turnover?
This time, after Zhao Zhe had entered the palace and paid respects to the emperor, he paid another visit to the dowager empress's place to chat with his mother alone. There were many mountains between Zhangjun and the capital, so once Zhao Zhe left the capital, he probably wouldn't see his mother for several years.
As Wu Yong was trying to think of an excuse to allow Zhangjun Prince to his extend his stay in the capital, Ji Man came by the inn.
With a serious expression, Ji Man said, "I think it's necessary to build our own road. Brother Wu, what do you think?"
Wu Yong asked in curiosity, "Why do you want to build a road? Is there a good reason? It would be a very large undertaking to do so."
"It's exactly because it's a large undertaking, so it'll be reasonable to ask for the funding to come from the imperial treasury. While His Highness is still in the capital, he should rely on the dowager empress to discuss this with the emperor, " Ji Man said, "Once a road is built, it'll also be very helpful for our future plans. Brother Wu, think about it. If a road could be directly building from Zhangjun to the capital, a lot of time would be saved from delays that happen on mountain paths. In the future, if you want to transport weaponry and such, wouldn’t it also be faster..."
Wu Yong furrowed his brow. "His Highness had written several petitions to request for a road to be built between Zhangjun and the capital, but the new emperor had refused all of his appeals under the reasoning that there's a national treasury shortage."
"A national treasury shortage?" Ji Man laughed. "The dowager empress can't renovate her palace because there's a national treasury shortage. A road between Zhangjun and the capital also can't be built because there's a national treasury shortage. But, haven't you heard that the emperor is going to build a pavilion called Wangyue Pavillon for the empress? Why is there suddenly enough money in the national treasury for that expense?"
"That..." Wu Yong sighed. "That's also within reason."
With an expression as if she was doing all of this solely for the nation, for the common people, and for the prince, she said, "Brother Yu, as an imperial strategic advisor, it's your duty to think of a solution. You can't just allow the emperor to continue to mistreat His Highness."
Wu Yong solemnly nodded.
Only a few days had passed before Marquis Moyu received a request for government funding. The messenger said that the letter had been presented directly by Zhangjun Prince to the emperor, so the new emperor couldn't reject it outright. Zhao Li had it sent over here instead. The implied meaning was that he wanted to use Marquis Moyu as the excuse to reject this request.
Standing in front of a small blackboard and shooting a quick glance at Ning Yuxuan's figure, which wasn't far away from them, Ji Man solemnly taught Haohao. “Repeat after teacher. To enjoy fortune, a road must be built first."
Haohao opened his mouth and repeated, "To enjoy fortune, a road must be built first."
The corners of Ning Yuxuan's mouth twitched.