Beloved at the Door - 9
Chapter 9 – Yan Niang
A warm feeling rose in Fang Dahu’s heart when he saw her smile and had already regarded her as his woman.
“Later, I’ll be going out with my Father to run errands, do you have anything you want? I will buy it for you.” He said.
Shangguan Yan’s eyes brightened.
He is going out with Steward Fang? Something must be going on!
“Is Brother Hu going out to deal with important matters? That’s awesome!” She looked at Fang Dahu with an admiring gaze. According to men, this kind of look is just like face powder to women……… addictive honey.
When Fang Dahu felt his fiancee’s adoring gaze, he straightened his back and answered proudly.
“You’re right, it’s something important. Old Master won’t allow others to do it except for me and my Father.”
“Oh? What is it?” She asked innocently.
“I can’t tell you but it’s an important matter. As a woman, you don’t need to know.”
“This……..since it’s an important matter, Ma’er won’t ask anymore.” Shangguan Yan nodded obediently but her eyes showed disappointment and a kind of alienation.
When Fang Dahu heard her, he became a little anxious. He had managed to snatch her from others and regarded her as his treasure but now seeing her so disappointed, he began to panic. He was thinking that sooner or later, she will be his wife and their fate will be bound together, and if she does not turn to him, who else can she turn to?
Fang Dahu’s heart constricted.
Well, even if she is told a little, it shouldn’t have too great an effect.
He looked around to ensure no one was around and then whispered to her. “I will tell you a little but you must not tell anyone.”
Sure enough, as soon as he spoke, she showed a face full of admiration and delight again. Fang Dahu’s vanity was stirred and after receiving the encouragement in her eyes, he finally could not hold back and secretly told her.
It turned out that Fang Dahu was going out with his Father to deliver gifts. Old Master was keeping a woman outside and the only three people who knew about this matter were the Old Master, his father, and Fang Dahu.
Shangguan Yan was pleasantly surprised.
Old Master Qin has a woman outside! This secret makes her feel like she had discovered a treasure!
For Old Master Qin to become the largest salt merchant, he must be holding many salt citations*, so he must be more cunning than other businessmen. Therefore, if he intends to keep a book on his dealings with Lord Yan Zheng and hold it as a bargaining chip, he will definitely keep it in an unexpected place.
(Salt citation was an official document issued by the ancient government to the salt merchants as permission for them to trade in salt.)
Like the other people, she thought that the book would be hidden in a secret compartment or secret room inside the mansion and did not expect that the book might not be in the Qin Mansion. She failed to find it after spending so much effort but unexpectedly, now without much effort, she got it.
If she is Old Master Qin, she will surely not put the thing that is related to her life in the mansion for others to find it.
It is an awesome move!
“Brother Hu, as long as it’s bought by you, I’ll like it. What is important is your intention and as long as you have me in your heart, it’s good enough.” After getting to know such an important secret, she was so happy that her mouth had turned sweet.
Fang Dahu was overwhelmed by her delicate voice and sweet words. A warm feeling rose in his heart and unable to control himself, he made a move to hold her hand. Shangguan Yan allowed him to do it and then pretending to be shy, she pulled back her hand.
“Hurry up. Leave now and don’t delay, lest I worry.”
Although he got the opportunity to hold her hand only for a while and had eaten a little of her tofu*, Fang Dahu was already satisfied. However, he still showed reluctance as he left.
(Eat someone’s tofu means taking advantage of others or molesting someone.)
After he had left, Shangguan Yan turned around to find Di Jing standing not far away looking at her.
She also stared back at him with curiosity. He seemed to emit a sense of indifference. She wondered whether this man had taken the wrong medicine as he kept staring at her these few days.
The two people faced each other for a while and then Di Jing retracted his gaze before he entered the house without saying a word.
Showing an inexplicable expression, Shangguan Yan muttered. “Crazy.”
She was in a good mood and was not bothered about him. With her arms folded on her chest, she touched her chin with a hand which is a habit of hers while she is thinking.
She must find out the identity of the woman that Old Master Qin is keeping!
Although the matter was very challenging, it did not pose any problem for Shangguan Yan because her ‘fiance’, Fang Dahu, quickly told her everything after being teased by her several times.
She shook her head. This Fang Dahu could not compare to his Father, Steward Fang’s tight-lips.
Ai, women are indeed catalysts of disasters. He is still not steady enough.
It turned out that the lover of Old Master Qin is a woman by the name of Yan Niang in a brothel.
She smiled with admiration…….Old Master Qin deserves to be called a capable businessman!
This Yan Niang is only twenty-eight years old and is the owner of Ru Yue Fang. She is the brothel keeper cum madam and has more than a dozen beautiful girls working under her.
Shangguan Yan is also a businesswoman and has a flair for doing business. After making inquiries about Yan Niang’s fortune trail, she came to an understanding. On the surface, the person running Ru Yue Fang is Yan Niang but in fact, Old Master Qin is the actual owner.
This Old Master Qin truly deserves to be regarded as the old icon of the business arena. He keeps a lover on the outside who at the same time can help him manage the brothel business without having to reveal himself. Whenever there is a business to discuss, he will hold it in Ru Yue Fang and brazenly go to the brothel to enjoy himself while Old Madam cannot even voice an opinion.
While he is helping to bring business to his brothel business, at the same time, he can also enjoy a happy time with Yan Niang. No matter how one looks at it, it’s killing two birds with one stone.
Shangguan Yan arrived at Ru Yue Fang and looked at the richly ornamented building.
To describe the garden first, every plant and tree was like a part of a fairyland scene. The pavilions and terraces were built with such unique ingenuity that it made one desire to remain, forgetting to return home.
When she saw Yan Niang greeting guests in the reception hall, she sneaked into Yan Niang’s room and began to search. She searched the bedhead to the cupboards, the floorboards, and even the air well was carefully looked through. After about half a sichen, she still could not find any trace of the account book.
She started to feel annoyed again.
Can it be she is mistaken again?
At this time, footsteps sounded outside the door of the room. She immediately stepped behind the cupboard just as the door was pushed opened and Yan Niang’s sweet laugh drifted in.
“Yan Niang is very happy to welcome Gongzi’s honored arrival.”
Shangguan Yan was filled with disinterest. She thought that Yan Niang was Old Master Qin’s woman and would only greet guests in the reception hall. She did not expect that Yan Niang would bring guests into her bedchamber too.
Is it possible that she usually entertains guests in secret while Old Master Qin is not around?
“Yan Niang is courteous. It’s Di Mou’s honor to have Yan Niang personally welcome me.”
Shangguan Yan, who was hiding behind the cupboard, was startled. She recognized the voice and sneaked a peek at the person.
It is not a wrong guess………it is indeed Di Jing!
She was truly shocked. Never would she have expected that he would come to Ru Yue Fang to enjoy a romantic liaison and in addition, it is with Old Master Qin’s woman!
After the feeling of shock had passed, Shangguan Yan felt an indescribable disappointment. Although she and Di Jing were strangers who met by chance and were unaware of each other’s background, she came to an understanding after several months of getting along with each other.
He is not tempted by women, a clean and self-loving man who is loyal to his wife. In this world having several wives and concubines is society’s norm, therefore, such a man deserves her admiration. She has a favorable impression of him and even regards Di Jing as a friend.
However, it is a pity that knowing someone does not mean knowing his heart and she had always thought that she is very acute in judging people. Although she did not know this Di Jing’s background, this person had always shown a righteous and awe-inspiring demeanor. But when she personally witnessed the lustful gaze in his eyes when he looked at Yan Niang, she was truly disappointed and also felt depressed.
She saw Di Jing put his arm around Yan Niang’s waist and used his other hand to stroke her face while his eyes were overflowing with a gentleness that could drown people. In the Qin Mansion, he had never shown this side of him and she did not know what he whispered into Yan Niang’s ear. However, it made Yan Niang chuckled and hit him bashfully.
A fire burned fiercely in Shangguan Yan’s heart and she turned her eyes away…….what her eyes do not see is considered clean. However, her ears could still hear clearly.
The two people in the bedchamber were whispering sappy sweet nothings to each other which disgusted her.
“Di Lang……..” Yan Niang said in a charming voice. “Yan Niang has a precious treasure here which you will definitely like when you see it.”
“Your whole body from head to toe, which part is not a precious treasure?”
Shangguan Yan rolled her eyes. When she heard those ambiguous words ‘precious treasure’, the meaning was very clear. How boring! If she did not care for the overall situation, why would she listen to those words? She would have long ago knocked them unconscious and fled.
Yan Niang would not let it go and said coquettishly. “Aiya, I’m telling you the truth. With this precious treasure, we can lead a good life.”
“Oh? Is there such a rare precious treasure? I must have a look at it.”
Shangguan Yan heard sounds of items being turned over and after a while, Di Jing’s surprised voice drifted over.
“This………how did you get this?”
“This was given to me by that Old Man Qin for safekeeping. Inside here are all the details of the quantity, place, and date of his dealings with Lord Yan Zheng.”
Shangguan Yan turned her head in surprise and stared at them.
Can it be that Yan Niang is talking about the account book?
“This is the account book.” Di Jing could not hide the surprise in his voice. He flipped through the book and stared at the records.
Yan Niang who was beside him rested her head on his shoulder and explained to him. “The amount of the bribes that Old Man Qin gave to Lord Yan Zheng was a lot and to obtain more salt citations, he had invested a lot of money. The old man was afraid that Lord Yang Zheng would not admit he had taken bribes in case this matter is exposed, so every time he would write down the amount of the bribes given and the number of salt citations.”
Di Jing stared at the account book and a sharp light flashed in his eyes. With the corner of his lips slightly curved, he deliberately asked Yan Niang.
“By giving this book to me, is it because you want…….”
“Di Lang, this slave’s heart is already yours and wishes to be with you. You said you have no power and can’t be with me. Isn’t it just because you fear that Old Man Qin will deal with us if he finds out about us? With this book, you don’t have to be afraid anymore because now we can use this against him and deal with him. You and I can stay together and we no longer need to meet secretly anymore. Tell me, isn’t this a precious treasure?”
Di Jing laughed loudly and pull Yan Niang into his arms. “My Yan Niang is so smart. With this book, I really don’t have to be afraid of the Qin Family. This is indeed a precious treasure!”