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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 376 - Always working towards a goal (1)
Ji Man obediently followed Ning Yuxuan out, and Wen Wan was left for Liu Hanyun to handle.
“The empress likes Haohao a lot.” Ning Yuxuan pursed his lips and said, "You don't have to worry about him too much."
The empress and the new emperor hadn't had a child yet. Although the fourth prince lived in the palace too, the new emperor didn't care about him. Therefore, the palace became much more livelier after the addition of a young child. Knowing that Haohao was Nie Sangyu's biological son, Pengyue felt slightly closer to him. In addition, the new emperor had personally bestowed a new name to Haohao, so Haohao's life in the palace was pretty good.
However, as Ji Man listened to Ning Yuxuan talk, her brow never relaxed. No matter how nicely it was framed, her son was still a hostage in the palace. She was always worrying that at any moment the emperor could become unhappy with Marquis Moyu or if he wanted to force him do something. When that happened, Haohao would be the first person to suffer. But, right now, she was only a wealthy rice merchant. She didn't have the power to oppose the emperor.
Although Marquis Moyu had sufficient power, he was loyal to the emperor. He was the type to obediently surrender without putting up a struggle. He couldn't even be compared to her. Ji Man sighed. Men weren't reliable. She had to depend on herself.
Although she knew the answer would be no, Ji Man still asked, "Can I enter the palace to see him?"
Ning Yuxuan shook his head without even considering. "You should prioritize on hiding yourself well. You shouldn't even frequently come here, much less think about entering the palace. If something comes up, I'll go look for you."
Ji Man lowered her gaze and dully agreed. Unless it was something related to Haohao, she really didn't want to see Ning Yuxuan.
After Wen Wan woke up from the suicide attempt, she passed the next several days quietly without any fuss. It seemed that she had genuinely lost her memory, and even needed Tanxiang to frequently remind her who was who and what to do next. Although she would occasionally get headaches, she said that she still didn't remember any old memories.
And so, Ji Man didn't bother continuing paying attention to news about Wen Wan anymore. Regardless of whether or not Wen Wan actually had amnesia, she was still confined. If Marquis Moyu ever let Wen Wan out one day, she would reconsider the matter. However, the likelihood of that happening was extremely small.
Just as Ji Man was feeling happy that her rice business was expanding its storefronts and becoming a well-known brand in the capital, a mishap occurred.
Someone had gotten sick from eating Ji Store's rice and died. That person's family members filed a lawsuit against Ji Store. This was followed by many commoners claiming in succession that there was a problem with Ji Store's rice.
What nonsense. Ji Man was eating the same rice too. How could someone die from eating this rice? It was obvious that someone was jealous about Ji Store's success and was trying underhanded tricks.
After Ji Man had run off those commoner families and obtained evidence, she secretly invited a local judicial official for a meal. Afterwards, the local judicial official weighed the money tucked away in his sleeve and smiled as he said to leave this matter in his hands.
However, on the day of the trial, the local judicial official for the case was switched to a different person. The new person ordered people to thoroughly investigate Ji Store's rice. Because this store had provided the tribute rice, he said this matter had to be reported to the officials in the palace as well.
If a big deal was made out of this matter, it definitely wouldn't be good for Ji Store. While Ji Man was gritting her teeth over the change in events, several rice merchants that had stores nearby came over to watch the fuss. They were smiling as they took turns to comfortingly say words like, "A person with a clean conscience doesn't fear false accusations. As long as there's nothing wrong with Ji Store's rice, there's no reason for you to worry about being investigated."
It didn't matter if there wasn't anything wrong with rice or not. It would be bad publicity for a large number of officials to go over and investigate her rice stores. Ji Man looked at the judicial official that was presiding over the case and decisively sent someone to notify Assistant Minister Zhu about this matter.
Since Assistant Minister Zhu had been the one to recommend Ji Store's rice as the tribute rice, if a problem arose over Ji Store's rice, Assistant Minister Zhu would naturally be blamed too. And so, as soon Zhu Shuyou heard this news, he sent Qian Yingchen over to check on the matter.
As the director responsible for the money and rice given as tribute and tax, Qian Yingchen had a black expression as he headed over to the local judicial court. He didn't look at the people that were about to head out to check. Instead, he went straight to the local judicial official and whispered something into his ear.
Afterwards, the official ordered his subordinates, "Go and bring back two bags of rice and check the rice that way."
Ji Man slightly relaxed.
When she brought those people to her rice store, Yan Buba calculated something on his abacus and said, "We probably won't be able to get back the two bags of rice if they're taken for investigation. That'll be a loss of one tael and six coins." After saying this, he selected two bags of good rice for them to take back and check.
It would take a while to investigate the results, so the judicial official said the trial would be continued tomorrow.
Ji Man waved at the rice merchants that had come over to watch the show and said, "Shopkeeper Liu, Shopkeeper Rong, don't leave yet."
Shopkeeper Liu turned around and said with a smile, “Ji Store is facing trouble, but we have no way of helping out. Isn't it for the best if we leave first?"
Shopkeeper Rong nodded and parroted, "Proprietor Ji, you'll be busy handling your troubles."
"This isn't a big deal." Ji Man smiled and said, “I haven't seen the two of you in a while. Since I have some free time today, how about we go to Luoyan Pagoda together? What do you think?"
Liu Store and Rong Store had originally been the two biggest rice businesses, and they used to get along like fire and water. But then, Ji Store had appeared in between them. It hadn't been a big deal when they had chosen to support Ji Store in order to hinder each other. It was only after Ji Store had been the one chosen for supplying the tribute rice, and its business continued to flourish that these two sides became displeased, especially because Ji Man was the current head of the rice merchant association.
When faced with a mutual enemy, the previous enemy became a friend.
And so, Shopkeeper Liu and Shopkeeper Rong were united in their desire to see Ji Store's embarrassment. Ji Store's owner was merely a weak and gentle scholar. Although he had a good character, he didn't have a threatening presence. Shopkeeper Liu and Shopkeeper Rong thought it over. What was the harm in accepting the invitation and going over there for a meal?