Young Tree That Isn’t Trimmed Won’t Grow Straight
The matriarch did not receive them, instead directing granny Zhao to hand those things to Feng Yu Heng: “A-Heng take a look yourself. See if there is anything wrong.”
Chen shi glared directly over: “What could possibly be wrong? I’ve already handed them over, so what more do you want now?”
The matriarch slammed her cane: “I’m annoyed with you!” The volume was so loud that it frightened everyone, causing them to shrink back their necks.
Feng Yu Heng aptly reminded her: “Grandmother, do not get angry by any means. Your health is important.”
The matriarch nodded and accepted the teaching. She urged: “Quickly take a look at these things.”
Feng Yu Heng held the three deeds in her hand and walked back to Yao shi’s side, “Concubine mother, please see if it’s just these three?”
Yao shi received them and saw that one of them belonged to Hundred Herb Hall. Another was a jewelry shop, while the other was an antiques shop.
These were all things prepared personally by the imperial physician Yao as a dowry for when she married out of the family. These three businesses were all very profitable businesses. They could help subsidize his daughter’s livelihood. But he never thought that the moment she set foot in the Feng family, these shops would never be seen.
“These are the ones.” Yao shi became filled with emotion.
Feng Yu Heng also took the journals and flipped through them. Although she could not understand the details, the totals were clearly written. The three shops were under heavy debt. Not only were they not turning a profit, they were losing vast amounts of money.
Chen shi saw her raise an eyebrow and snorted and gave a warning: “Look clearly at how much money the Feng family has pumped in to your shops. It is written very clearly. Now that the shops have been returned, these debts need to be properly accounted for.”
As she said these words, everyone in the room felt startled.
They were all elders within the Feng manor. They knew what kind of shop had been given that year by the Yao family. One medical herbs shop, one jewelry shop, one antiques shop, each one was a profitable business. How could it be that they turned a loss?
The matriarch naturally knew what sort of idea Chen shi had, but the shops had been under Chen shi’s control these years. She had no real say in the matter.
Feng Yu Heng, however, did not have any doubts and only said: “Don’t worry mother. I will personally find someone to audit the accounts. If there really was a loss, repaying the losses is something that should be done. But the people who managed the shops these years must also be held responsible. Also,” She coldly looked at Chen shi, “If it is found that the business situation and the actual situation do not reconcile, then I welcome mother provide A-Heng and the Feng family an explanation.”
Chen shi did not understand: “What explanation should I give the Feng family? Isn’t the shop yours?”
A-Heng replied with a question: “Now you recognize the shop as mine? At the time, who was it that said a maternal family’s dowry would belong to the husband’s family?”
Chen shi knew that her own logic was flawed. Rolling her eyes, she did not want to continue on this topic, but with regards to Feng Yu Heng auditing the accounts, she was afraid. She could only speak distractedly, “I am the Feng family’s official wife. You are a mere concubine’s daughter and a junior, yet you dare to doubt me. Where have the rules you’ve learned gone?”
Feng Yu Heng replied: “Deep in the mountains to the northwest. The Feng family really didn’t give A-Heng any person named Rules.”
The matriarch also reminded Chen shi: “You are indeed still the head wife of the Feng family, but you can no longer be part of this family!”
Chen shi became enraged to the point of wheezing. Standing up and pointing at the crowd, she screamed: “You are all colluding! This is all a setup!”
Feng Yu Heng could not be bothered to waste words with her. She faced the matriarch and saluted: “Grandmother, A-Heng will retire first. Having regained these shops, there was a desire to leave the manor to investigate them. I wish to request permission to leave the manor from grandmother.”
The matriarch nodded: “Go! Bring maidservants and return earlier.”
A-Heng bowed and retired along with Yao shi and Zi Rui.
The matriarch glared at Chen shi and coldly warned: “Do not ruin Chen Yu’s future because of your own personality. If you don’t change yourself a little, Feng family will consider sending you to a temple.”
Speaking of Feng Yu Heng, as she left Shu Ya courtyard, she took Huang Quan and Qing Yu and exited the manor. This was the first time she would leave the manor since arriving in the capital. Immediately after leaving the jurisdiction of the Feng family, she began to feel relaxed.
Huang Quan looked back and stared at Feng Yu Heng for a moment, saying truthfully: “Second young miss, bear with it a few more years. Then there will never be a need to return. You are all one family, what sort of person was that!”
Even Qing Yu could not get used to seeing the Feng family’s members, “Isn’t master the prime minister? I truly could not imagine the honorable prime minister having such a head wife back home.”
Feng Yu Heng shrugged: “If you want to enjoy the entertainment, then there will be plenty to see these coming years. In this manor, each person has their own act; furthermore, their acts will definitely be spectacular.”
Huang Quan returned to her giggling appearance and said: “That’s also fine. That will keep it from being boring. Just take it as playing around with them. From time to time, whip them and pressure them.”
Qing Yu mumbled: “Sister Huang Quan, don’t just casually talk about beating someone.”
These people talked and laughed and very quickly found themselves at Hundred Herb Hall.
Feng Yu Heng did not bring them directly in. Instead, they stood near the entrance and pretended to look at items.
The employees of Hundred Herb Hall came and went. There were plenty of people who came for medicine. The partner of the shop was busy until the shift change. A middle-aged man who appeared to be the shopkeeper, stood at the counter. He held something in his hand and was talking non-stop to an old man.
Feng Yu Heng and company walked in and heard him say: “This is 500 year old ginseng. I tell you, old sir, if it weren’t for you saying your boss was severely ill and needed ginseng to save his life, I wouldn’t ever take out something this good.”
The old man looked at the thing in the shopkeeper’s hand and repeatedly waved his hand: “I don’t need something this good. How much would a 500 year old ginseng cost? Even if I sold my family’s land, I still could not afford it!”
“Ah!?” The shopkeepers patted his shoulder: “Old sir, I could tell that you are not an exceptionally generous person, so I did not bring out the thousand-year-old ginseng. But for what reason are you buying ginseng? It’s to save a life! The ten-year and few-hundred year ones, what if they aren’t enough? Wouldn’t your money be wasted! Money is a worldly possession, so protecting your life is what’s most important!”
“But… but I don’t have money!” The old man was frustrated and began scouring his bags.
The shopkeeper’s eyes stared at the small cloth bag that the old man pulled out. Each and every one was just a silver piece. Put together, it was not more than twenty taels.
“This was what I could collect from everyone in the village, but it still is not enough for 500 year old ginseng!”
The shopkeeper curled his lips in contempt, “It’s a little lacking.” Then waved his hand: “It’s fine. Hundred Herb Hall treats healing the sick as most important. We can’t turn away a patient because they don’t have money!” As he spoke, he took the money from the old man’s hands. That old man, however, was very unwilling and wanted to take it back, but he could not overpower the shopkeeper. “Come, take care of the ginseng!” The shopkeeper stuffed the so-called 500 year old ginseng in to the old man’s hands, “Quickly go back and save your boss’ life!”
The old man, seeing that the ginseng was in hand, became so grateful that he did not know what to say. He simply knelt down and kowtowed to the shopkeeper: “Great well-doer! I will kowtow to you! Thank you for saving a life!”
The shopkeeper quickly helped him up: “Not at all, not at all! This is what the Hundred Herb Hall should do. Quickly return, saving their life is most important.”
Looking at the old man emotionally holding on to the ginseng faltering to leave, Huang Quan raised the corner of her lip: “Was that thing ginseng?”
Qing Yu also did not believe: “And 500 year old at that?”
Feng Yu Heng snorted: “It was just a tree root.” Then ordered Huang Quan “Go bring back that old man.”
Huang Quan nodded: “Then what will the young miss do?”
Feng Yu Heng raised her foot and headed in to Hundred Herb Hall: “It seems there are plenty of nice things in here. Since someone has already bought ginseng, then this young miss will go buy something else.”
Huang Quan giggled and chased after the old man. Qing Yu followed Feng Yu Heng in to Hundred Herb Hall.
The shopkeeper saw a decently-dressed young girl followed by a maidservant and knew that this was a big customer. He quickly invited them inside and gave them a seat and poured them tea. After busying himself for a while, he finally obsequiously asked Feng Yu Heng: “Does this young miss wish to buy medical herbs or request a doctor for a house visit?”
Feng Yu Heng asked: “Aside from selling medical herbs, you also have doctors?”
The shopkeeper proudly said: “Naturally! We at Hundred Herb have two doctors. They alternate each day. When one goes to make house visits, the other attends to Hundred Herb Hall.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded and looked around the hall before saying: “Yesterday, my mother fell ill. Doctor prescribed a glossy ganoderma and said the older the better. I heard that Hundred Herb Hall had the most complete collection, so I wanted to come and see. This girl’s family also does not understand too much. Originally, I was afraid to come out and buy expensive medical herbs for fear of being cheated, but seeing that old man just now be so grateful, I thought that such a large medicine hall wouldn’t cheat people.”
The shopkeeper, upon hearing these words, did not appear even the slightest embarrassed. Instead, he accepted what Feng Yu Heng said about “not understanding too much” and beamed while ordering a young helper: “Go! From the inner room’s dressed on the northern wall, in the sixth drawer on the third row, bring the thousand year glossy ganoderma.”
The helper reluctantly agreed, but glanced at Feng Yu Heng in worry. The shopkeeper called out: “Quickly go! What are you standing around for!”
Not long after, a wooden box was brought out by the helper. The helper was around fifteen or sixteen years old. He lowered his head and raised the box then, using the box to cover his face, winked at Feng Yu Heng.
Feng Yu Heng could see the helper mouth: “Do not buy.”
She nodded with a smile, keeping this little helper in mind.
The shopkeeper received the wooden box and kicked aside the helper. Then flatteringly brought it before Feng Yu Heng: “Young miss, please look.” As he spoke, he opened the box. A very large so-called glossy ganoderma appeared before Feng Yu Heng’s eyes. The shopkeeper continued: “Thousand year glossy ganoderma is truly rare!”
“Oh?” Feng Yu Heng raised an eyebrow and carefully inspected the ganoderma, “Is it really that rare? Then it seems that this Hundred Herb Hall really is a treasure.”
The shopkeeper was completely thinking of how to cheat her of her money, so he missed the meaning inside Feng Yu Heng’s words “Young miss is right. Just now, that old sir came to buy ginseng, as you saw. This Hundred Herb Hall does not care if it’s 500 year old ginseng or 1000 year old glossy ganoderma, so long as life can be preserved, any medical herb can be brought out!”
“Then what price does shopkeeper think to sell this glossy ganoderma at?” She squinted at the shopkeeper. With his shifty eyes, she could tell it wasn’t anything good.
“What does the young miss wish to pay?” The shopkeeper asked, “You should also know that 1000 year old glossy ganoderma is a truly hard to find item. This price could be excessive, but the young miss is buying this glossy ganoderma to save a life, so I wish to ask what the young miss is willing to pay? Offer up a price, if it is close enough, then I will wrap this glossy ganoderma up for you. Furthermore, saving life is most important. I could never risk your family madam’s life over a little money.”
If it were someone that did understood nothing, then they really would be moved by this shopkeeper.
But he could not move Feng Yu Heng because Feng Yu Heng clearly recognized that the box’s bullshit glossy ganoderma was really just some tree bark that looked like glossy ganoderma.
Passing off a tree root as ginseng and bark as glossy ganoderma. They truly were not wasteful.