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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 333 - What do you think of my daughter? (2)
Ji Man was eating when she heard Zhu Shuyou say, "Teacher Ji, I heard that you're not married yet." Ji Man almost spit out the food that she was chewing. She hurriedly stood up and said, "This one isn't in a hurry to start a family."
Ning Yuxuan was nearby and making small talk with a group of court officials. Zhu Shuyou glanced over his way, then he stretched his hand out and pulled Ji Man to the side.
As it turned out, this tendency of abruptly pulling people to the side was a hereditary habit for the Zhu family.
Looking at Ji Man with a good-natured expression, Zhu Shuyou said, "Teacher Ji, as someone that's part of Marquis Moyu's household, you'll likely to have bright prospects in your future. I heard that you also have a family business?"
Ji Man cleared her throat. "... This one has a relative that's a grain merchant."
Zhu Shuyou nodded. "It's about time for the rice that's being used for the tribute to be changed. We've always been using rice from the Li family. But, actually, rice from any merchant family would be okay too. Teacher Ji, would your family be able to do this business?"
Ji Man gasped. This was the rice that would enter the palace! Looking at him with a somewhat guarded gaze, she said, "Sir Zhu, your favor is too high. This one is just from a small merchant family..."
Assistant Minister Zhu chuckled. "There's no need to be so self-effacing. Once the rice becomes tribute rice, does it matter if it came from a small merchant family or a large one? Won't its price increase by a hundredfold either way? Actually, speaking of this matter, it's quite the coincidence. The decision for choosing which merchant to buy the rice from is under my purview. I'm also familiar with the people in the Ministry of Internal Affairs."
The discussion had already gotten to this point, so Ji Man frankly asked, "Sir, is there something that you would like this one to do?"
Since he was willing to give out such a fatty piece of meat, then the help that he wanted couldn't be small. Ji Man didn't guess wrong. What he wanted really wasn't something insignificant.
Zhu Shuyou opened his mouth and straightforwardly asked, "Teacher Ji, since you don't have a wife, what do you think of my daughter?"
Ji Man had seen parents worried about marrying off their daughters, but she had never seen something like this before. How horrible exactly was Zhu Yurun that her father had to pay such a high price in order to marry her off?
Ji Man wanted to cry, but she didn't have tears. She wasn't a man. Even if you wanted to give her the imperial harem, she still couldn't marry a woman.
"I know that this isn't an issue that can be rushed, so you can take your time to consider this." Zhu Shuyou patted her shoulder and said, "After all, my daughter is really..." Zhu Shuyou trailed off with a sigh.
Honestly, Zhu Yurun wasn't ugly, so Ji Man couldn't understand. Why would she have such a difficult time getting married?
On the way back, Ji Man asked Ning Yuxuan her earlier question.
Looking as if he had just stepped into dog poop, Ning Yuxuan said, "He wants you to marry his daughter?"
Ji Man nodded. "It's probably because I have such a gentlemanly appearance."
"You can't marry her." Ning Yuxuan interrupted her. With a blackened expression, he said, "I won't even bring up the fact that you're a woman. Even if you're a man, Zhu Yurun isn't someone that you can marry."
"Why?" Ji Man was somewhat surprised.
Ning Yuxuan sternly answered, "She's an unclean and faithless person. She’s not even married yet, and she's already pregnant. You should keep your distance from her."
Ji Man slightly furrowed her brow. She recalled Zhu Yurun's physical state. As it turned out, she wasn't actually chubby. It was just a sign that her pregnancy was progressing well.
If a woman got pregnant out of wedlock in ancient times, she would either hang herself out of shame or be cursed at so badly by other people that she would become scared of going outside. Ji Man didn't think Zhu Yurun was unclean and faithless. There were plenty of single mothers in modern-day. However, that Miss Zhu had seemed very cheerful and easy-going. Her large eyes had looked quite lively. It was pretty good that Zhu Yurun could maintain such a healthy attitude.
After returning to the estate, Ning Yuxuan sat in her room for two hours without speaking. After drinking two pots of tea, he finally left.
Ji Man didn't have the free time to guess what he was thinking.
The next day, after Haohao's classes were over, she hurriedly went to the rice store to check on the situation.
Right after Ji Man stepped into the rice store, she heard someone calling out in a syrupy voice, "Teacher Ji."
She turned her head and wasn't surprised to see that the voice had come from Miss Zhu.
The nearby people were all pointing at her, but Zhu Yurun acted as if she didn't seem them. She walked straight into the rice store. Standing by Ji Man side, she asked, "The weather is pretty nice today. Teacher Ji, would you have the time to accompany Yu-er on a boat ride?”
Before Ji Man could answer, an old woman that was passing by the store couldn't stand the sight in front of her anymore. She flung a rotten egg at Zhu Yurun's feet and shouted, "Bah! Have you no sense of shame?!"
Seeing a perfectly nice dress becoming dirty, Ji Man slightly frowned.
In contrast, Zhu Yurun pretended to not notice. After shaking her dress a bit, she continued to look at Ji Man.
Ji Man didn't know if she was just feeling sympathetic towards this young woman, or if she was troubled by a curious mind that wanted to know Zhu Yurun's backstory. She nodded and said, "Let's go."
The other employees in the rice store watched them leave with strange looks in their eyes. Yan Buba was that only that remained uninterested towards anything except money. Grabbing hold of the old woman that had thrown the egg and was leaving, he said, "Either sweep the floor or pay two copper coins for the mess that you made."
Not trying to avoid suspicion at all, Zhu Yurun pulled Ji Man along. She hadn't even brought along a servant girl. After they had boarded a decorated leisure boat, she gestures for Ji Man to sit down.
Ji Man asked a question that she already knew the answer too, "Miss Zhu, is something the matter?"
The young woman across from her looked at her. Putting away her smile, she said, "People say that business people don't like to lose money. I came here today because I want to discuss a business proposal with Teacher Ji."
Ji Man wryly smiled. "Miss, if you're hoping that this one will marry you, then this one is afraid that this business isn't doable."
Zhu Yurun frowned. "Why?"
Not even slightly embarrassed, Ji Man said, "I'm impotent."
Zhu Yurun blushed, but she still laughed and said, "That's even better. This will be like me giving you a free son then!"
Ji Man, "..."
Was this like being given the chance to marry a goddess, but it was only because she was already pregnant with another man's child?
Ji Man coughed to clear her throat and took a sip of tea. "Miss Zhu, if you just want to find a father for your baby, it shouldn't be difficult."
"I know." Zhu Yurun grinned. "But, I want to find a man that's even better looking than him, that's the difficult part."
Him? Ji Man's gossiping spirit was awakened. With her ears perked up, she asked, "Who is he?"