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Published at 30th of December 2020 02:55:53 PM

Chapter 611
Chapter 611 - Top-Notch Treasures

The golden kitten stopped in front of a piece of fist-sized raw jade ore and glanced at Xiaocao . When it saw that she bent over to pick up the material, it continued to walk forward . It didn’t take Xiaocao much effort before she picked four to five pieces . There were some large ones, small ones, exquisite-looking ones, and even some crude-looking ones .

The raw jade ores selected by Yu Xiaocao were all in Zhu Junyang’s hands . He was reluctant to make his little lass do all the work, so whenever she picked up one from the ground, he would take it from her and carry it . Both of his hands were now full of ores, luckily, none of the rocks selected by the little divine stone were overly large, so he could still handle the ones he was currently holding .

In the end, the golden kitten stopped in front of an ore that was covered in tiny little dots, similar to the tiny pores on a human’s face . The kitten’s golden dark eyes flashed with joy when it sensed the rich aura inside the rock . The aura the rock was exuding was some comfortable and warm that all it wanted to do was lay on top of the ore .

Shopkeeper Zhang saw that Miss Yu’s gaze had landed on top of the raw jade ore that was as large as a millstone and hurriedly gone over to explain “Don’t judge it by its appearance . Although the surface of this rock is bumpy and full of holes, this type of ore falls under the ‘sandy, rough, and bumpy’ category of jade . The rough exterior of this raw jade ore is classified as one of the ‘finer jades’, and it has a relatively high chance to develop into a quality jade . If you like this one, then I’ll have someone get it out for you . ”

“This piece is rather large, so moving it out will be too troublesome . Why don’t we break into it right here?” Yu Xiaocao marked a few lines on the stone under the little divine stone’s guidance and then nodded her head at an experienced master to break it out .

After thirty minutes had passed, the stone cracked open and a piece of smooth, exquisite, and mutton fat white jade was exposed . This piece of mutton fat jade was white and flawless in appearance; it was as moist as milk . It was even slightly warm to the touch .

The experienced master who was brought over to extract the jade held the mutton fat jade that was bigger than the size of a regular basketball . His eyes shone as he exclaimed in admiration, “I have worked in this field for decades and I have never seen such high equality mutton fat jade before!”

It was well known that jades were expensive and can support people financially, this was especially true for quality-jades, which can fetch a higher price than regular jades . Quality jade was hard to come by, but there was no doubt that the jade in the experienced extraction master’s hand was a top-notch jade . Based on its color, texture, and appearance, it was impeccably perfect .

Even a small jade pendant or jade tassel made from this variety of mutton fat jade would cost a fortune . This jade exceeded the quality needed to make a jade bracelet . It was not an exaggeration to say that this jade was priceless . If any of the family had a jade bracelet made from this jade piece, then it could even be regarded as a family heirloom and pass it down through the generations!

It would be more than enough to carve ten jade bracelets from this large mutton fat jade and still have some remaining jade leftover . The remaining material from this piece of jade could be sculpted into small flower decorations . This piece of jade was worth enough to produce the amount Wisdom Jade Pavilion could earn in three years! If they carved this large piece of jade into a larger object instead of bracelets, then it would definitely become one of the great treasures of the capital . There were only a few people who could afford such a jade sculpture in this world!

The final product of the jade was based on the ‘material’, ‘craftsmanship’, and ‘meaning’ behind the jade . The price could increase by ten times when the material was made from the finest jade material and it could increase by ten times again if the craftsmanship was done by a first-class craftsman . The quality of this jade was definitely the best among the best . There were many excellent jade craftsman masters in Wisdom Jade Pavilion . There were only a few craftsmen in the entire Great Ming Dynasty who had surpassed the mastery of the craftsmen in Wisdom Jade Pavilion . Those craftsmen rarely took the initiative to openly carve for others . As for the ‘meaning’ behind the jade, as long as Master Wu from the Wisdom Jade Pavilion sculpted the jade, then there would be no problem .

Shopkeeper Zhang cautiously took the mutton fat jade from the extraction master . He narrowed his eyes in admiration at the extremely rare treasure in his hands . He had worked in the jade industry for over thirty years, and this was the first time he had seen such a perfect and beautiful piece of raw jade . He loved jade, so it was impossible for him to contain his excitement while holding this piece jade in his hands .

A voice suddenly broke him away from his trance, “Master, did you extract the jades from the other rocks?”

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Shopkeeper Zhang suddenly snapped out from his trance . His master had already promised to give this piece of rare jade to Miss Yu . Based on how much his master doted on Miss Yu, he would never ask her to pay a huge sum for the jade . Instead, he might even give the jade to her for free as a sign of his affection . This was a rare treasure from the Wisdom Jade Pavilion! Yet it was already destined to be given away! If the jade could be stored in the Wisdom Jade Pavilion, then he would be able to admire the jade every day . However . . . his dreams were bound to fail!

Zhu Junyang glared at Shopkeeper Zhang in contempt for how lacking he was currently acting . He didn’t even feel distressed as the owner of the Wisdom Jade Pavilion, yet Shopkeeper Zhang acted like someone had carved his heart out from his chest .

“It seems like I’m quite lucky today and managed to have a good start! Let’s strike the iron while it’s hot and extract all the jades from these rocks!” Yu Xiaocao leaned over and looked at the mutton fat jade . She didn’t know much about jade, but she could tell that the jade looked flawless and it was warm and smooth to the touch!

Zhu Junyang stared at her profoundly and thought, ‘Continue pretending! Do you think I’m blind? You chose whichever ore that the golden kitten stopped in front of . The longer the golden kitten stood in front of it, the higher the quality the jade will turn out to be . The golden kitten stood in front of this piece of jade the longest, and it turned out to be a top-notch treasure . As a result, all the pieces of ores she picked out must all be quality jade!’

Just as he expected, there were two more pieces of mutton fat jade from the remaining pile of jade . Although the quality and value could not compare to the first mutton fat jade they found, they were still of rare quality . However, the two mutton fat jades were not as large as the first one . One piece of jade was enough to be carved into a pair of jade pendants and small decorations while the other one could be carved into a pair of mutton fat jade bracelets . The remaining jade were all white jade, which were also very valuable .

Shopkeeper Zhang’s heart bled as he watched! If these jade were sold in the Wisdom Jade Pavilion, then this year’s profit would definitely soar and his bonus as the shopkeeper would also be extremely generous . But now . . . it will all be gone!

But Shopkeeper Zhang was somewhat doubtful . How could this young girl’s luck be so good? She was able to extract good quality jade from every raw ore she picked up . Could she be a master in discerning jade? No, that was impossible because the jade experts that Wisdom Jade Pavilion hired all had decades of experience . Yet, none of them were able to extract a jade from every piece of rock they chose, let alone a high-quality jade each time! Even if she was a young girl who learned how to identify jades from the moment she was born, it was still impossible for her to be more experienced than those jade experts . It seemed like . . . he could only reluctantly attribute all of this to sheer luck!

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“Little lass, do you still want to choose more jade?” Zhu Junyang asked the little lass softly when he saw that his little lass was fiddling with the mutton fat jade that was large enough to sculpt two pieces of jade pendants from it . When he saw that his little lass shook her head in response, he turned to Shopkeeper Zhang and said, “Bring these jade rocks to Miss Yu’s private room!” 

Shopkeeper Zhang hesitated for a moment and asked, “Do . . . do I bring all the jade to her private room?”

Yu Xiaocao pursed her mouth and jokingly asked, “What’s the matter? Are you afraid that I don’t have enough money to pay for them? Don’t worry, even though I didn’t bring enough money today, I will have someone send the full amount tomorrow! Or, is it because Shopkeeper Zhang is unwilling to part with the top-notch mutton fat jade?”

Zhu Junyang’s expression immediately darkened . What was wrong with this manager? The shopkeeper was usually very capable and clear-minded, so what happened to him today? Why was he acting so muddle-headed? Didn’t he see that his master was the one who invited this guest over? Didn’t he realize that he was causing him to lose his face in front of his little lass?! He was even willing to give her the entire shop as well as all the workers of the shop over to his little lass! He wouldn’t even feel the least bit unwilling or distressed!

So what if she didn’t bring enough money? This prince didn’t lack money! Besides, she was going to become his wife in the future, so how dare a mere shopkeeper babble so much when the future female head of the house came over to choose a few ores? It seemed like Shopkeeper Zhang was getting bored of working in the Wisdom Jade Pavilion as a manager! They lacked a shopkeeper in the western border jade exchange, so maybe he should send Shopkeeper Zhang there to work for a few years .

His master’s gaze was as sharp as a knife . Shopkeeper Zhang immediately sobered up after he received a glare from Zhu Junyang . What was he doing? Since his master took the initiative to invite a guest over, that meant his master valued the guest a lot . The whole shop was owned by his master and since his master didn’t feel heartbroken by this, then why would a mere shopkeeper like him interfere in his master’s personal matters? He had to quickly find a way to make amends quickly because if he had accidentally angered his master, then it would be the end of his career as the Wisdom Jade Pavilion’s shopkeeper . His master might even send him to the west border out of anger; if that happened, then he wouldn’t even have enough tears to cry!

Although Shopkeeper Zhang had only worked in the Wisdom Jade Shop for three years, the business of the shop soared to new heights each year . His master also changed the shop's business model, causing the annual profits to greatly exceed their expected amount . All the employees would receive big bonuses because of the increased profit . Even the young clerk working at the shop received two hundred taels as a bonus, much higher than usual . Since a small-time clerk had received such a large bonus, it was unimaginable how much the manager received!

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It was almost the end of the year now and the shop accountant had begun to calculate this year’s profits . He knew that this year, the shop had made more profits compared to the previous years, so the bonus the employees would receive would definitely exceed that of last year . Last year, he received two thousand taels of silver as a year-end bonus!

At the end of the year, when he reported Wisdom Jade Pavilion’s accounts along with the other managers to his master, none of the other properties could compare to how much Wisdom Jade Pavilion earned except for Treasure Pavillion and the plantation . The other shopkeepers could only stare at them enviously because it was impossible for them to earn the same amount of profits as they did . Being the manager of Wisdom Jade Pavilion was a lucrative job and many people were eyeing his job . He couldn’t lose his cushy job over something minor!

When he noticed that his master was unhappy, Shopkeeper Zhang hurriedly tried to make up for his mistake, “Miss Yu, you must be joking with me! You are the one and only distinguished guest that master has ever personally invited over . Let’s not discuss money because that would be too formal! This servant was just asking whether I should bring it all the jade to your private room first or have the master craftsmen look at the jade first . Then, you would be immediately able to discuss the style you want them to carve it into . As for this piece of top-notch mutton fat jade, would you like it to be carved into a bracelet? Or would you want to carve some ornaments or decorations from it? The experienced craftsmen from our shop can give you some good suggestions…”

“Oh . . . is that so? I thought Shopkeeper Zhang was reluctant to sell this jade!” Yu Xiaocao smiled sweetly at Shopkeeper Zhang who was sweating profusely . Zhu Junyang had a gloomy and displeased expression on his face while Yu Xiaocao secretly pulled on his hands .

“Miss Yu must be joking! The jade and the shops are all under my master’s command, so how could a mere servant like me make such decisions? But I have to say, Miss Yu, you have a great eye for discerning jades . You managed to discover such a high-quality mutton fat jade that could only appear once in a century . This servant has been selling jade for no less than twenty years and this is the first time I have seen such a fine piece of jade!”

Shopkeeper Zhang keenly noticed that Miss Yu was the key to determining his master’s mood based on their earlier interactions . He noticed that the young girl merely tugged on his master’s sleeve and gave him a warning look, and the expression on his master’s face immediately improved . His master’s gaze no longer felt like a sharp knife aimed at him . Shopkeeper Zhang felt like he was reborn again after this calamity passed .

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