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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 378 – Grain War (1)
How could it be possible to not want anything else? If she were to use herself as example, she wanted to get revenge for Nie Sangyu and her father. After that was accomplished, she wanted to figure out a way to return to modern-day and find a partner to have a lifelong steadfast relationship.
It was obvious to her that Zhu Yurun was in an awful situation. And yet, Zhu Yurun had just said that there was nothing else that she wanted.
Ji Man couldn't understand her viewpoint, but as she looked at the happy smile on the chubby girl's face, she felt somewhat envious of her. Skills and tricks could be learned, but it wasn't possible to learn how to be broad-minded. Some people were naturally tolerant and generous, that was also a type of blessing too.
It was a pity that she was the type of petty person who would report the tiniest flaw and didn't think it was excessive to hold a grudge for over a decade. Although she couldn't relate to Zhu Yurun's type of happiness, she wished her well.
However, she didn't believe that it was possible to reap without sowing in this world. It was just like how she didn't believe in those light novels where a large number of people would like the female lead even though she hadn't done anything to deserve their affection. Not only that, the setting of the world would always grant the female lead lucky encounters the entire way.
“I almost forgot. I came over here to tell you something that I heard from eavesdropping outside of my dad's study," Zhu Yurun said, "I wanted to give you advance notice on what I heard as a way to thank you for the dresses that you gave me."
Ji Man was slightly curious as she asked, "What were they talking about?"
"I didn't understand the details, but anyways there's a drought in Jiangbei Region, so there might be a bad harvest in the coming year, and they're planning on collecting the agricultural tax that's paid in grains earlier." Zhu Yurun smiled and said, "Anyways, the people selling grains are definitely going to earn a profit from this."
Ji Man's heart skipped a beat in alarm. This silly girl, how could she eavesdrop on classified information and then come out and tell her about it?
“I'm just telling you a bit of good news in advance. I was hoping you would be cheered up after you found out." Zhu Yurun continued to smile. "I keep feeling that I owe you something."
Just as Ji Man was going to say that she didn't owe her anything, the young woman seemed as if she was in her own world as she continued to say, "Anyways, I'm not worried anymore now that I know for sure you're a woman."
"I'm a man." Ji Man had to emphatically refute again.
Zhu Yurun giggled. She swept her gaze over the snacks on the table and ate her fill before leaving. As she was leaving, she said, "I won't tell anyone else."
If it was anyone else, Ji Man wouldn't be so easily reassured. However, Ji Man simply shook her head and let this chubby, young woman go. Zhu Yurun was a steadfast, young woman. Once she promised something, she definitely wouldn't go back on her word.
After returning to her rice shop, Ji Man called Yan Buba over for a private discussion. "I heard that the imperial court is going to collect the agricultural tax in advance."
The people in the official court were quite ruthless. By collecting the agricultural tax earlier, it would be the commonfolk that would suffer when there was a shortage of grain in the coming year. Since ancient times, grain played an important role. This was the reason why Ji Man had put aside her high profit business and started selling rice.
"Boss, where did you hear this news?" Yan Buba curiously asked。
“Don't concern yourself with how I got this news. The important thing right now is to figure out a way to deal with this," Ji Man said, "The imperial courts is going to store up on grain by collecting the agricultural tax earlier. What that times comes up, it could cause problems to the major rice merchants. Even if we're only doing this protect ourselves instead of the commonfolk, we need to figure out a plan for how to deal with this."
Yan Buba fiddled with his abacus for a while before looking at Ji Man with shining eyes and saying, "This one has an idea, but it'll require a significant investment. Boss, would you be interested?"
"What's your idea?" Ji Man looked at him in curiosity.
As Yan Buba quietly said his idea, he saw Ji Man's startled gaze. He especially brought over a piece of paper and recalculated the cost for Ji Man.
As a result, Ji Man went to see Zhangjun Prince and knelt down in front of him.
Zhao Zhe felt very curious as he listened to Ji Man's request. "Why do you want so much grain? Do you even have a granary big enough to store it?"
"Yes, this one has already brought many granaries throughout the capital. There'll be plenty of space to store the grains." Ji Man kowtowed and very respectfully said, "With this move, this one is laying the foundation for conquering the country for Your Highness."
Zhao Zhe chuckled. He thought that she was over exaggerating. "I already have a vast territory that has abundant resources, including plentiful food. Even if you gain a monopoly over the capital's rice business, how could that possibly win over a country for me?"
"People view food as the primary need." Ji Man said, “It's true that Zhangjun produces the most food. As long as Your Highness believes in this one, this one will definitely open the capital's gate for Your Highness when the crucial moment comes."
The smile on Zhangjun Prince's face was slowly put away. He was very serious as he looked at her and said, "Do you not know that such a heavy burden can't be shouldered by a mere woman?"
"This one understands," Ji Man said, "This one isn't asking for Your Highness to have such high hopes. This one will purchase the grains with real money and is only asking for part of the grain to be sold on credit. The borrowed amount will be repaid in the following year. If this plan fails, this one will take responsibility for the loss."
Zhao Zhe looked at the woman and only felt somewhat amused. He thought that she might be useful in curbing Marquis Moyu's movements at the critical moment, but she had actually said that she wanted to help him conquer the country. Zhao Zhe only felt incredulity and that this was beneath his dignity.
The most ingrained belief of all the men in this era was that women weren't capable of achieving great things. Other than relying on men, what could a woman possibly do by herself?
The road between Zhangjun and the capital was currently being built at a speed that was easily seen. He had already stayed here for a while, and it was about time for him to return to his fiefdom. Zhao Zhe was still hesitating over whether or not he should trust her. After all, she was asking for five hundred thousand bushels of grain. This was Zhanjun's total grain production for one year.
Zhao Zhe thought for a long time before saying, "Come back here in a few days and bring a reason that can persuade this prince to accept your request."