A palm-sized coral quietly lay in the crystal cabinet. It had an orange-red hue all over, while its tips were white and translucent like jade. This was a superior-quality Jizo coral, be it in terms of size, shape, or texture.
Even someone as picky as Chu Liuyue took a fancy to it with just one glance. This thing is very effective in expelling the cold, evil qi in Qiang Wanzhou’s body, so I have to buy it.
Her eyes then shifted to its price tag, which stated: ten white crystals.
This Jizo coral will cost me my entire fortune, huh. I won’t have any leftover money to buy the other herbs then. Her head started hurting at this thought.
Before she was reborn, she had almost never bought anything out of her own pockets. While she could still afford the living standards in Country Yao Chen after her rebirth, she couldn’t do so here because it wasn’t easy to earn white crystals.
A stage-five warrior like Wu Zhao only had those few crystals on him despite having stayed at Ping Liang Square for so long, much less her.
With an arm across her chest and a hand stroking her chin, Chu Liuyue fell into deep thought. It looks like I have to quickly think of a way to earn money…
“I’ll take this,” she told the pageboy who was waiting at the side.
The pageboy immediately came up to her with a smile. “You have a good eye, Miss. This is the most beautiful piece in our latest batch of Jizo coral. We’ve just put it up for display, yet you’ve taken a liking to it already.”
She nodded in agreement despite being immune to such flattery. “It’s not bad indeed.”
Looking somewhat proud, the pageboy told her, “You can rest assured that the items in Hundred Herb Building are all of top quality. Is there anything else you want?”
She waved her hand in response. “Just this for now while I’ll continue to look around.”
The smart pageboy said nothing more after that. He then put on his gloves, intending to take the coral out of the cabinet when he heard a delicate female voice saying, “Wait! I want that piece of Jizo coral!”
Chu Liuyue looked past her shoulder and saw a young lady—who looked around twenty years old—in a yellow top. She had a lithe figure and a pretty face, but the corners of her eyes were hooked up, and she reeked of haughtiness that made people uncomfortable when looking at her. The young lady’s eyes were fixed on that piece of Jizo coral as if she didn’t even notice Chu Liuyue and her entourage.
Standing next to her, on the other hand, was a handsome young man in his mid-twenties. Wearing a light-blue shirt, the man stared at the young lady with adoration.
Chu Liuyue’s lips curled up at the sight. What a coincidence. Those two are old acquaintances of mine.
This young lady was Jiang Yucheng’s younger sister, Jiang Yuzhi, whereas the young man was the Xiahou family’s second son, Xiahou Tingan. Both of them had some relations with her at one point in time.
Needless to say, Jiang Yuzhi was once Chu Liuyue’s future sister-in-law. When she got engaged to Jiang Yucheng back then, she had tried to become closer with Jiang Yuzhi, but the two of them somehow just couldn’t get along with each other well.
This was especially so after a particular incident, where she told Jiang Yuzhi off for a mistake she made. After that, the latter became even more upset with her and would deliberately go against her time and again. Thereafter, Chu Liuyue no longer paid any more attention to Jiang Yuzhi.
Shangguan Wan, however, had always maintained an excellent relationship with the young missy. Both were considered close friends who always kept in touch with one another.
On the other hand, Xiahou Tingan grew up as a study companion, so he was rather familiar with all the princes and princesses in the palace. The crucial thing was that he used to be fond of her and had even had the intention of marrying her.
She rejected him from the start and had never taken this matter to heart. But upon seeing this pair together now, she couldn’t help but find it strange.
“I’m sorry, Fourth Missy Jiang, but this piece of Jizo coral has already been picked by this lady here.” The pageboy had clearly recognized the two newcomers’ identities, so he was being very careful with his apologies.
Hearing that, Jiang Yuzhi frowned. It was only then that she deigned Chu Liuyue a look.
She was surprised to see a stunning face staring right back at her though. Since when did such a person appear in Xi Ling?
As the saying went: ‘opposites attract, and likes repel.’ Jiang Yuzhi—who never liked to be outshone by others—instantly disliked the other woman as she sized her up.
Seeing that the female in red was not adorned with any accessories or luxurious fabrics draped over her, Jiang Yuzhi surmised that she had to be a low-born and must’ve come from outside Heaven’s Canopy.
The contempt and disdain in her eyes grew even more apparent at the thought of that. “Has she paid for it?”
The pageboy paused. “No, but—”
“In that case, it doesn’t belong to her. There’s no problem with me buying it, right?” As she spoke, she lifted her hand, motioning a servant to come forward.
When the servant placed ten white crystals on the crystal cabinet at her beckoning, Jiang Yuzhi flashed Xiahou Tingan a smug smile. “Tingan, earrings made from this piece of Jizo coral will surely be beautiful. Don’t you think so?”
There were only a few families in Xi Ling who could afford to splurge ten white crystals so extravagantly on a superior Jizo coral just to make a pair of earrings.
Xiahou Tingan pinched her nose indulgently. “Of course. You look good in everything after all!”
Like a little woman in love, Jiang Yuzhi’s smile deepened, not bothering about the other people around them.
Caught in a difficult position, the pageboy turned to Chu Liuyue with an apologetic look. “I’m really sorry about this, Miss, but Fourth Missy Jiang is a VIP of our store. Hence, I’m afraid I can’t give this piece of Jizo coral to you. Don’t worry though; we’ll definitely find a satisfactory piece for you and give you a 20% discount as compensation. Will that be okay with you?”
Everyone knew the rule ‘first come, first serve.’ But when it came to the rich and famous, their words were the rules. Thus, the pageboy didn’t dare to not give what Jiang Yuzhi wanted.
The question made Chu Liuyue laugh. They want me to compromise when they’re only giving me a discount of two white crystals? Since when have I become a pushover? I might’ve been merciful enough to give up the Jizo coral had it been someone else speaking nicely to me since I only require it to refine medicine and can make do with others with similar effectiveness. But because the other party is Jiang Yuzhi, I will never back off, no matter what.
“No,” answered Chu Liuyue bluntly. “The deal is sealed the moment I told you to wrap it up, so this piece of Jizo coral is naturally mine now. Whoever came after that has to wait in line and is in no position to fight for it with me. Isn’t that right?”
The smile on the pageboy’s face was slipping off fast. This lady wants to go against Jiang Yuzhi openly? That’s the Fourth Missy Jiang, who is also the younger sister of the current prince consort! It’s well known that Jiang Yucheng holds great power in his hands, so why would she choose to offend the Jiangs when everyone else is trying to butter them up?!
Naturally, Jiang Yuzhi was shocked to hear that answer. “What did you say?”
Chu Liuyue rapped her knuckles against the crystal cabinet, her dark eyes calm. “I said that I’m not giving up the coral to you.”
Used to being spoiled all the time, Jiang Yuzhi naturally lost her temper when she couldn’t get her way and saw how a small fry actually dared to go against her. “I dare you to repeat that!”