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Chapter 12 – The Grand Opening

The Grand Opening

Cui Xingzhou is not only a close friend of Zhao Quan but also his long distant relative. How can he allow Zhao Quan to be absurd?

 

In order to cut off the Marquis Zhennan’s wrongful thoughts, Cui Xingzhou said, “He has many wives and concubines. If you go and invite his relatives, I’m afraid it’s bad to treat one person favorably but not the other. It’s not good to treat any of them badly. In that case, it’s better to save time and not even invite him.”

 

Liu Miantang hesitated and said, “But you and Doctor Zhao seem to have a deep friendship. Is it really fine… To be so rude?”

 

Cui Xingzhou lowered his eyes and decided to eliminate future troubles. “Brother Zhao, although he has excellent medical skills, especially feels that others are better. Those who know him well avoid him from making deep connections with his wife and concubine… If you weren’t seriously ill at the beginning, I would never have invited him.”

 

Miantang blinked and understood the meaning behind her husband’s words. It turns out that the highly skilled doctor, a fine-looking man loves stealing other people’s wives! This… Isn’t it a hungry lecherous wolf!

 

When she recalled the last time the high skilled doctor came to help her, her husband looked unhappy. Maybe he was jealous.

 

But when she was seriously ill, he did not care about getting cheated on and insisted on inviting Zhao Quan, who could save her life. What kind of deep relationship did he have with her?

 

At the thought of this, she felt a little apologetic in her heart and filled with unspeakable sweetness. She hurriedly assured her husband: “Since he is like this, I won’t even look at him in the future… Husband, are you angry with me when I talked to him earlier?”

 

The woman in front of him was beautiful, but the most provocative time was when her eyes were moving and her cheeks were rosy. At present, Miantang is like this. Her face is like a peach blossom, and her eyes are like autumn water… Cui Xingzhou looked at her for a long time, and then slowly said, “It’s okay, ignorance can be forgiven. It’s good that you will not talk to him in the future…”

 

Although she is reluctant to part with him, her husband has an important chess lesson to attend. It is said that it is difficult to find such a good teacher. The teacher hates lazy people the most. Thus, her husband has to go out early for his chess lesson.

 

After seeing her husband out of the house for a while, Liu Miantang reluctantly prepared to turn around after seeing him get into the carriage and out of the alley.

 

At this time, Mrs. Zhang, who came back from pouring night waste next door, caught the scene of her sending her husband off, but she only saw a carriage curtain shaking and disappearing at the corner of the street. She quickly looked back and called Liu Miantang, saying in a high voice, “Lady Cui, please wait. Is that your husband who took the carriage just now?”

 

Liu Miantang smiled and said yes. Mrs. Zhang said with a little regret: “I only happen to see him swishing onto the carriage and made me have a blurred vision. In addition to the cloak collar he wore was too big that it covers half of his face. I only manage to see the top of his head. Next time if your husband were to come in front of me, I can’t even recognize him as Mr. Cui…”

 

After listening to what Mrs. Zhang said, Liu Miantang didn’t think much of it. She just smiled and said: “We are all close neighbors. The future will be long. There will always be a time to see him.”

 

After she promised her, Miantang turned around and wanted to go back to the yard.

 

Servant Li said that there was more than half of the hot water left in the pot earlier on, and she can take a bath in the pot too. It rained these days, and the weather was wet and cold which caused her hands and feet to hurts lightly. If she can warm them up, it can relieve the discomfort.

 

However, Mrs. Zhang is a person who likes to meddle and is inquisitive about things. She wants to take this opportunity to spy on the truth about her neighbors. In the future, she can start a conversation with her other neighbors and have the capital to talk.

 

“Lady Cui, don’t blame me for being too nosy. It’s just that your husband always comes back in the night and leaves early in the morning. There’s no sign of him. You should tell him that it’s bad to behave like this. After a long time, the neighbors will gossip.”

 

Speaking of this, Mrs. Zhang lowered her voice and then said: “You know, the officials and gentry in town who had mistresses are also like this. They look like they are afraid of being seen, which makes our street a mess. Every once in a while, there is always the legal wife coming to make a fuss of it, which makes us cannot live in peace…”

 

With these words, Mrs. Zhang stared at Miss. Liu’s face to see if she could show a guilty expression.

 

But Liu Miantang smiled and said generously: “My husband is not a dandy. He has serious things to do. Which businessman doesn’t want to go out early and return late? Why does he bother to delay his affairs for the sake of other people’s rights and wrongs? Some people have nothing to do when they are full, and I can’t control other people. But there is one thing. If someone slanders my husband and destroys the innocence of my family, don’t blame me for finding the person at the person’s house to beat and scold, smashing his belongings, pulling the person’s long tongue, and report to the neighborhood chief! “

 

Lady Cui said this with a sweet smile on her face, but Mrs. Zhang felt that there was a fierce light in the beautiful eyes of the young lady. Looking at the manner, it was not as simple as just swearing and pulling the tongue!

 

For some reason, Mrs. Zhang shuddered. She didn’t want to sound out her intention again. She just smiled and turned around with the night bucket back to her house.

 

Servant Li had been standing in front of the door and heard what Liu Miantang’s said. Her heart is full of mixed feelings.

 

Although the young lady tried her best to maintain her husband’s reputation, she didn’t know that her status was worse than that of the officials and gentry in this town. Looking at her calm and upright face, it was unbearable to watch.

 

At noon that day, Servant Li made an exception and cooked red dates ginseng chicken for Liu Miantang.

 

Miantang looked at the thoroughly stewed yellow chicken in the casserole, and the aroma goes straight to her nose.

 

Servant Li opened the lid and said, “Madam, you are feeling uncomfortable with the cold these days. Red dates, Chinese wolfberry, and ginseng are added to the soup to warm your body and drive the coldness away…”

 

But before she finished, Liu Miantang said painfully, “Such good food must be stewed only when my husband comes back! Otherwise, like previously, the meat we prepared has been left hanging till it almost spoil and there was still no sign of him coming back!”

 

Servant Li said with a grim face, “Men don’t need for such tonic. The Cui family is at least a wealthy family. Madam doesn’t have to be too frugal.”

 

As the saying goes, “The collapse of the ant nest on the bank of the Qianli river is by no means a day’s work”. Liu Miantang can see now that the decline of the Cui family is not only due to the poor management of the master but also due to the ignorance of the frugality of the servants.

 

However, Servant Li was kind-hearted, so Liu Miantang could not blame her when she look at the thick ginseng tonic but can’t help being heartache. She told Servant Li to tell her when she wants to use this kind of precious medicine to supplement her food in the future, and only can cook when her husband’s at home.

 

Servant Li was being reprimanded that her face became darker and darker. She filled her with soup with a straight face silently. Then she put it heavily in front of her and said, “Madam is right, I’m being meddlesome today!”

 

Liu Miantang looked at her, scooped up a spoonful, and sipped it, the warm soup went down into her stomach, and immediately warmed up her limbs and bones comfortably.

 

She looked up gratefully at Servant Li, who seemed to be still angry that she was putting up a black face, and said: “Servant Li, don’t mind me being too naggy, but there isn’t much money at home now. When the shop opens and money is brought in, our family including the servants can eat meat every day… Not only me, but Servant Li should also drink ginseng chicken soup every day to make up for it. I know that Servant Li has always been loyal to the Cui family. I shall thank you on behalf of my husband first.”

 

After hearing this, Servant Li couldn’t keep up with her black face any longer. She just sighed slightly, picked up the long chopsticks, separated the chicken, and put a chicken leg into the bowl of Liu Miantang.

 

She doesn’t know what The Prince will do with this woman in the future, but there may not be too many days like this. Her words are of little effect on The Prince to change his mind. She was just being compassionate to her and cooked more meat for this poor woman.

 

The opening day of the store was carefully selected by Liu Miantang which was set in the middle of the auspicious day. Two fiery red firecrackers are hung high in the entrance, and the new plaque of the “Jade Porcelain Workshop” is hung high, covered with a piece of red cloth.

 

Although the Cui family has no relatives or friends here, Liu Miantang invited neighbors to join her to make it appear more lively.

 

At this time, the people in the town knew that it was the Cui family who had moved to North street and purchased the two shops.

 

Some nosy people inquired about the prices of the two stores that Mrs. Cui purchased. After they found out the price, they envied her and secretly lamented her shrewdness.

 

Looking at the newly decorated new store, the shiny appearance of porcelain, and the young lady of the Cui family’s ability to manage things, those gossipy women have put off the thinking of this shrewd businesswoman being a mistress of town’s officials and gentry.

 

Although the young lady of the Cui family is a little too beautiful, she is a person who starts a business to earn a living.

 

If those prostitutes who sell their laughter are used to living a lazy life and are used to spending big money, they are all people who like to show off things. Where can they endure the hardship of handling business?

 

For a moment, the neighbors sincerely congratulated Lady Cui and wished her a prosperous business.

 

However, the opening ceremony was being held, but the male owner of the store was never seen. According to Lady Cui, her husband went to learn chess from a famous teacher. He was too busy to come down the mountain.

 

Right! Everyone understood at once. It turned out that it was a beautiful lady has married a man who have a poor ability or low level to become successful!

 

It turns out that her husband of the Cui family is a spoilt brat. He is a master that asks only others to do, but without himself! By leaving such a beautiful lady to come out to make a living, he played lute-playing, chess, calligraphy, painting, and explored his other interests of events that don’t make a living.

 

What a pity! What a pity! Such a capable beauty, but entrusted to a bad person, married such a  pampered son of a wealthy.

 

In addition to sighing, there were also those who looked at the beauty of the Cui family and started to have bad thoughts about her. Since the lady’s husband is not at home all day, they don’t know whether the boudoir can be empty. They need to go to the back door of the lady’s mansion to have a look during the night to see if the door was opened for people to slip in.

 

For a period, people going in and out of the shop had different thoughts. When five firecrackers rang out, representing five blessings, the red cloth was removed with the sound of a gong. The Cui family’s shop was officially opened in Longquan town.

 

However, opening the door to do business is not as simple as uncovering the red cloth.

 

The town is full of porcelain and the competition is fierce. Those old stores that can be established are popular with all their familiar and frequent customers. With a stable source of customers, they naturally do not need to worry about sales. There are even a lot of porcelain kilns that have opened their shops. They produce and sell their products, which saves a lot of time for social connections.

 

However, the Jade Porcelain Workshop is a newly opened shop. In addition, it is not opened by a local person and has no foundation. To open a shop here rashly is as good as burning money.

 

After a busy day of opening the new store, no customers came to the store for several days.

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