T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 377 - Always working towards a goal (2)
Although the case had been pushed to tomorrow, the other shopkeepers were sure that Ji Store would suffer damage. They had already put everything into order so that the local judicial official wouldn't let Ji Man off easily.
Ji Man's attitude was very good as she invited them to Luoyan Pagoda's top level. It was about time for dinner, and there was no shortage of luxurious dishes on the tables. Seeing this sight, everyone though that Ji Store's owner was truly very generous.
"Why is there still an empty seat? Will someone be joining us later?" Liu Shopkeeper curiously asked.
Ji Man smiled and looked towards the staircase.
Everyone followed Ji Man's gaze and was stunned by what they saw. The last guest was actually the Assistant Minister of Revenue, Sir Zhu.
Wasn't there gossip that the engagement between Ji Man and Miss Zhu had ended in failure? Why had Assistant Minister Zhu still come here?
“Sir Zhu." Ji Man was smiling as she approached him. She courteously saluted with her hands and said, "This one is very grateful that Sir Zhu has honored us with your presence."
Zhu Shuyou amicably smiled. He patted Ji Man shoulder and said, "How could I possibly turn down a dinner invitation from you?"
Everyone felt nervous when they heard these words. They had assumed that since the marriage between the two families wasn't successful, there would no longer be any connection between them. So then, why was Sir Zhu still treating Ji Man so cordially?
Original translation is from fuyuneko dot org. If you’re reading this elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
It was because Ji Man knew how to conduct herself well. Although the marriage had fizzled out, Ji Man still went over to Zhu Residence several times because of Assistant Minister Zhu's guilty conscience. If she had a good relationship with the people at the top, how could the people at the bottom succeed in causing trouble for her?
Shopkeeper Liu and Shopkeeper Rong wanted to seize this opportunity to get closer to Assistant Minister Zhu. They regretted on being too hasty today and not taking out a few pieces of their family heirlooms. They could only cautiously offer toasts from the side.
To their surprise, Assistant Minister Zhu kept chatting with Ji Man. The two of them were sitting next each other and ignoring the rest of people sitting at the table. They were going back and forth with toasting as if they were close friends despite the difference in age. The nearby shopkeepers could only accompany them with forced laughter.
"Oh, how did we end up forgetting every else?" Ji Man smiled as she said, "Come on, let's all drink together."
"Ah right, let's all drink..."
The smiles on other shopkeepers' faces were stiffening. Watching Assistant Minister Zhu's extremely jovial mannerism that was only directed towards Ji Man, the other shopkeepers felt shock and vexation.
Assistant Minister Zhu was pretty efficient at handling problems. The next day, the judicial official in charge of the case was returned to the original one. The original official announced that no issues were found with Ji Store's rice during the investigation and that those other people had gotten sick from eating other things. There was no connection between their sickness and Ji Store.
Ji Man let out a long sigh of relief. Not only did she sent over generous gifts to Assistant Minister Zhu's home, she also sent over two beautiful dresses to Zhu Yurun.
As a result, Zhu Yurun paid her a visit before two days had even passed since the gifts were sent. Wearing her new dress, she bounced over to Ji Man and greeted, "Older brother Man... Ah, no that's wrong. It should be Mister Ji!"
Seeing her bright, shining eyes, Ji Man though that Zhu Yurun's life must be going well. Ji Man walked out of the rice shop and brought her to Fuman to eat snacks. “Miss Zhu, why do you have the free time to visit this one?"
“I just paid a visit to my maiden home, so I came over to see to see how you're doing in the passing.” Zhu Yurun blinked. Her gaze inadvertently fell on Ji Man's earlobe. She was stunned for a brief moment, then she asked with a grin, "Mister Ji, is your life much better now that you don't have to marry Yurun?"
"Miss Zhu, why would you say such a thing?" Ji Man sighed. "This one is just a lonely bachelor..."
The two of them were currently in a private room, and Zhuer was waiting outside. Zhu Yurun couldn't suppress her curiosity, so she directly asked, "Mister Ji, you said you were impotent. But, are you really impotent, or is it because you're not actually a man?"
Ji Man spluttered and crumbs of osmanthus cake sprayed out of her mouth. She looked at Zhu Yurun in astonishment. “How..." did you know?
Although Zhu Yurun was a bit foolish, she was also an especially meticulous person. Seeing Ji Man's flustered response, she knew the answer to her question. She hurriedly said in quiet voice, "I won't tell anyone. I was just feeling curious."
Ji Man cleared her throat and stressed, "I'm a man."
Zhu Yurun swept her gaze over Ji Man's neck and nodded. "Sure. So, why are you cross-dressing?"
“... I've already said I'm a man. I'm not cross-dressing." Ji Man's face was slightly red. So many clever people hadn't been able to tell. Instead, it had been this stupid and foolish chubby girl that saw through her disguise. She felt like a skilled martial artist that was defeated by someone that sold pork. What a crappy feeling!
“Uh-huh, sure." Zhu Yurun continued to look at her like a curious baby.
Ji Man gave up. "It's naturally easier to move around as a man. I have something that I want to do."
"Oh, so it's like that." Zhu Yurun nodded her head as if she suddenly understood something, but then she showed a very confused expression as she asked, "What big thing can a woman want to do? Since I've married into the Qian household, I don't feel like I have anything that I need to do."
Speechless for a moment, Ji Man looked at her before asking, "Does Sir Qian treat you very well?"
"Has his view of you started to change?"
"Has the servants and minor concubines in his household acknowledged you?"
"Nope." Zhu Yurun heartily laughed. "I didn't even think about all those things before you asked me. So, there's still a lot of stuff left for me to do."
Ji Man could only roll her eyes. "You should find a goal for yourself to work towards, that way you won't feel so bored."
Zhu Yurun dryly laughed and said, "I already feel lucky that I could marry him. There's nothing else that I want. What should I do?"
Ji Man was dumbstruck.