Chapter 30: Uncle Chen Shu 𝚒𝓃𝘯𝙧𝚎𝗮𝚍. 𝒄𝐨𝓂
“Oh?” Chen Shu chuckled kindly. “If you have something to say, then let’s hear it.”
Now Chen Rong waffled.
She looked left and right, bowed her head and stammered, “I have nothing to say.”
That clearly meant she had something to say.
“Come with me,” said Chen Shu as he rose.
Watching Chen Rong’s beautiful figure following behind Chen Shu, a young lad asked the Chen servant with interest: “Who is this young lady?”
“Ah Rong of the Chen house, daughter of a concubine-born descendant from a subsidiary branch.”
The young man suddenly deflated, shook his head and sat down again.
Chen Shu led Chen Rong into the guest hall. He walked to the host seat and regarded Chen Rong smilingly. “What is it? Can you tell me now?”
Ah Rong took one step forward, knelt down before him and said, “I’ve come to see you because I want to ask that I not be given to any man as a concubine.”
Chen Shu knitted his brow, staring at Chen Rong for a long while as he thought: She is only a lass who just arrived in Nan’yang. How can she know the clan has decided on this recent arrangement?
Since she didn’t nose around, then did she take a guess? But she was only fifteen years old. Not only did she know in advance Nan’yang would have a food shortage, but she also knew of the clan’s arrangements. This young lass was, as told by everyone, an intelligent girl.
Chen Shu studied Chen Rong as he took slow sips of wine. After placing the lid down, he lightly asked, “Did you gift me ten carriages of grains for this?”
His words were very straightforward, brutally direct even.
Chen Rong kept her head down and after some time, she replied in a low voice: “Aye.”
She said ‘aye.’ She actually told him ‘aye’!
This time, Chen Shu was at a loss for words. He placed the cup down and regarded Chen Rong carefully, though there appeared to be no anger on his face.
At this time, Chen Rong seemed to have plucked up all her courage for she raised her head, pressed her lips together, and stubbornly said to Chen Shu, “Uncle, in your opinion, how is my intelligence compared to the other Chen ladies?”
Chen Shu furrowed his brow without answering.
Chen Rong paid no attention and continued: “In Ah Rong’s humble opinion, if the clan sent me to be a man’s concubine, I would only become his plaything. It’d even be normal were I to meet my death after several years because I had married a terrible man.”
Chen Shu couldn’t help looking dour upon hearing her words.
Chen Rong looked at him hopefully and added: “Such arrangement would not benefit the clan. With my ability, I would still be able to help my husband even if I were to marry to a second-tiered noble. If luck is on our side, who’s to say he can’t be a hidden dragon among men and become of great assistance to the Chen house?”
Chen Rong knocked her head on the ground in a kowtow and quiveringly said, “Uncle, both my beauty and wits are uncommon. If these strengths are properly placed, I can be of great advantage to the family. If they are not properly placed, on the other hand...”
At this juncture, Chen Rong suddenly stopped.
She slowly looked up.
Her small face at this time was deathly blanched and her eyes were misty, but her lips were tightly pressed together, on her stubborn face was also a ruthlessness. “If the clan must send me to be someone’s concubine, then I’m afraid I can no longer say anything should matters arise in the future!”
Could no longer say anything should matters arose in the future!
She was threatening them!
Outrage instantaneously rose in Chen Shu’s heart. He glared at her and was about to snap when he saw tears pitifully rolling down her elegant face. He then recalled that she had just given him ten carriages of grains and helped him in his urgent time of need, and so was unable to lash out.
He sighed at length. “Ah Rong, you’re only a little girl. How can you think to threaten the clan?”
Though his words were grave, there was no malice in his voice.
Chen Rong quickly knocked her head in kowtows and cried: “Uncle, I’m afraid. I’m very afraid...” She choked and then burst into tears.
Chen Shu was a merchant and, therefore, conducted business as the tradesmen do. Other elders would be furious to hear Chen Rong’s threat. He was different, however. From the moment he received ten carriages of chestnuts and grains from Chen Rong, he had wanted to return the favor.
He watched Chen Rong’s beautiful appearance, thinking awhile: this young girl not only has an elegant deportment, she moreover has wits. As she said, if her strengths can be placed properly, she’ll surely be of help to the clan.
While he was in rumination, Chen Rong’s suppressed sobbing could be heard, making her seem more pitiful in his eyes.
He at last sighed and rose to say: “Don’t cry. Stand up.”
When he saw Chen Rong obediently stop crying and get on her feet, he nodded and said, “I will consider your request.”
“I thank you, uncle.”
Chen Rong kept her head bowed and slowly receded outside, her shoulders trembling.
After having gone five steps, she paused. Chen Shu saw her take a handkerchief from her sleeve to carefully wipe away her tears. After she finished, she even produced a mirror and a powder box, and then looked into the mirror to carefully redo her makeup.
This girl did not want to let others know she had just cried. She wanted to leave face for the both of them.
Chen Shu nodded to himself unknowingly.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
At the moment he withdrew his gaze and Chen Rong stowed the powder box into her sleeve, a coldness flashed.
Chen Shu stared wide-eyed in shock. He clearly saw the sheath of a dagger inside Chen Rong’s right sleeve.
This little girl had actually brought a personal weapon with her. Perhaps...?
Chen Shu frowned, staring after Chen Rong, who was making a brisk exit, as he carefully considered the situation.
At this time, a guard by the door respectfully asked, “My lord, what should we do about the ten carriages of grains the young lady had brought?”
Ten carriages of grains? Despite being so young, this girl was really the decisive type that could pick up and let go.
“First move them into the west warehouse.”
“Go tell the young lady, by which I mean Ah Rong, that per my permission, she does not need to appear at the banquet tonight.”
“Tell her it’s already known that there is a beautiful lady in the Chen clan. There won’t be much that I can do, sigh...”
In addition, Chen Shu thought to himself: She’s a young orphan girl who is seeking shelter from the clan. No matter what, I cannot take her food unrecompensed.
For this reason, he instructed: “Send her eight carriages of silk and two of fabric, give her twenty gold leaves as well.” These goods came out to precisely worth slightly more than the current price of ten carriages of grains.
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