Fang Jinxiu, who had pursued her so tirelessly, would not give up because of a door.
She stood where she was, looking all around, hoping to see someone she knew who could bring her in.
But she, after all, was a girl who rarely went out. Even if she was out and about more than her sisters, she came in contact just with the people of the exchange firm.
The people coming here were not just those dressed extravagantly; some were poor. The extravagant ones came from powerful aristocratic clans. The poor ones were usually from scholar families.
Even if their houses were in dire straits, these scholars were still part of the land-owners.
Fang Jinxiu simply did not look at the people from the aristocratic clans. She was only looking for scholars. As expected, she saw a poor middle-aged scholar coming this way before long. Fang Jinxiu's eyes sparkled.
She knew this scholar. His name was Wang Mingyao, a scholar here in the city. Right now, he was teaching at a school.
She knew him because he had caused a disturbance at the exchange firm.
His son was attempting to cash in a missing banknote that he claimed was stolen. He came to demand compensation from De Sheng Chang. She was there on the scene and had tried to placate him. Fortunately, Mister Wang was extremely angry with him. After calming down and realizing it was his mistake, he apologized and left.
She knew this person, and she knew he lacked money.
"Mister Wang, Mister Wang," Fang Jinxiu greeted, approaching him.
Mister Wang was shocked by a young lady blocking his path. He narrowed his eyes at her before recognizing her.
The Fang Family's exchange firm was woman-run. Last time he was there he had seen her.
He felt embarrassed about what happened there, but he still nodded to her.
"Mister Wang, I want to go in and find my sister. Could you pretend I was your servant?" Fang Jinxiu went straight to the point.
Mister Wang was stunned.
Fang Jinxiu saw him hesitate, so she hastily fished out a broken silver from her purse.
"Mister, thank you very, very much. I really am worried about my Elder Cousin..." she said in a whisper, offering the silver.
Mister Wang immediately paled.
"Preposterous. Fake is fake, real is real. I refuse to do something like fooling a sage," he yelled, then flung his sleeves in anger and walked away.
Fang Jinxiu also had an angry countenance, feeling very awkward with the silver in her hand.
"This sour scholar!" she cursed under her breath.
Didn't he lack money? Wasn't this killing two birds with one stone?
At her shame and anger, a jeer came from next to her.
Fang Jinxiu immediately furrowed her brows and looked to see a young man grinning as he sat on a carved rock next to her.
The young man was seventeen or eighteen, fair and clean. He was wearing somewhat old but clean robes, and was holding a wooden stick.
"Just go in," Fang Jinxiu said ill-temperedly.
The young man laughed and got up, then reached for Fang Jinxiu.
"Young Miss…" he started.
He was cut off by Fang Jinxiu's glare.
"Get, get, get!" she said viciously, brandishing her horsewhip.
She was not some delicate and pampered young miss from a bureaucratic family. She had plenty of strength and face.
The young man smiled again.
"Didn't you want to give me money? You give me the money, I will take you in," he said, pointing at the entrance.
Fang Jinxiu looked at him with surprise and sized him up.
"You don't know who I am. If you want to take my money, you must be truly reckless," she warned.
The young man tsked twice.
"You don't know who I am. I would be the first to be disallowed from stealing here," he said, beckoning with his hand. "Hurry up, do you want to go in or not?"
This person is no beggar, thought Fang Jinxiu.
Although he was thin and wearing old clothes, his hands were clean; even his fingernails had no dirt under them.
He should be a poor scholar.
"I'll give you the money when we go in," she said after consideration, gripping her money.
The young man's mouth twitched.
"That's fine," he said. He balanced the wooden stick on his shoulder. "Let's go."
It was really fine?
Fang Jinxiu was half-believing half-not, but thinking about Jun Zhenzhen that had entered earlier, she did not dare tarry here.
When they saw the young man approaching, the burly men at the entrance were somewhat disdainful, but they did not chase him away.
"Seventh Chen, what are you doing?" the head guard asked.
Fang Jinxiu suddenly realized something.
He was the descendant of the Jinyun Hall's original lord.
Though Chen family was once part of the aristocracy, after a hundred years, their successors were now just ordinary people. If it weren't for the Jinyun Hall's event, the people of Yangcheng would have already forgotten him, let alone recognized him.
Fang Jinxiu could not stop herself from giving this young man called Seventh Chen a second glance.
No wonder he said he would be the first to be disallowed stealing here, because today he was here at the Jinyun Hall to snatch money.
"Go in and take a look," he said breezily while walking in.
Fang Jinxiu hesitated for a moment before following him in.
"Who is this person?"
As expected, she was stopped by someone.
Fang Jinxiu fully intended to say she was his servant, but in time, she caught sight of Seventh Chen's heel.
Although she was wearing simple clothes right now, simple clothes for the young miss of the Fang Family were not what a servant would wear. Moreover, Seventh Chen could not possibly have a slave.
"I'm sending her in to make money."
After a moment's hesitation, Seventh Chen's voice came from ahead. Fang Jinxiu was first stunned, then furious.
What was the meaning of this? Sent in to make money? What money?
The burly men laughed.
The descendant of the Chen's wanted money so much he would not let even a beggar go. Naturally, he would use any method to make money, even selling snacks to a barmaid.
Thus, they were not concerned. Someone asked for her surname.
It was needed for her to enter. Fang Jinxiu caught one of the men writing down 'Chen' in the corner of her eye.
This was to signify that she had come in under Seventh Chen. In case she caused trouble in here, Seventh Chen would be responsible.
Fang Jinxiu ground her teeth.
"Fang," she said.
When they heard 'Fang', the men gave her a second look. A flash of suspicion. But there were many people named Fang in Yangcheng. It was uncertain whether she was from that rich Fang Family.
Seventh Chen had already brought her in.
After passing the courtyard gates, Seventh Chen reached out his hand.
Before he could finish, several broken silvers were smashed into his hand.
"Next time be more careful with your words," Fang Jinxiu said angrily.
Seventh Chen weighed the silver in his hands and smiled easily.
"Didn't I say the truth? Didn't you come in so I could make money?" he said, pointing at the silver.
Fang Jinxiu ground her teeth.
"You so easily let anyone come in because of money. Aren't you afraid I could be a bad person?" she asked in poor temper.
Seventh Chen smiled and appraised her.
"Young lady, what sort of crime will you commit?" he asked with a smile.
"I-I'm a thief," Fang Jinxiu snorted.
Seventh Chen barked out a laugh.
"A thief?" His expression grew solemn. "Then remember to give me a share of your stolen money."
Fang Jinxiu scoffed, not stopping to reason with him and went in directly.
This side of the courtyard was well known for its winding paths connecting north and south. The path led to a waterside pavilion through some mountainous rocks. At the moment, there were many people here, but it didn't look crowded. It was an exceedingly beautiful and secluded location. No wonder people praised the Jinyun Hall so much.
But at the moment, Fang Jinxiu was wholly uninterested in looking at her surroundings. She voraciously sought out Jun Zhenzhen's tracks.