This was an actual gold ingot!
One tael of gold was worth ten taels of silver!
Moreover, this piece of golden ingot that Yuan Hui casually tossed over was probably worth more than one tael of gold. It should be worth at least a few dozen taels of silver!
In all her life, Zhen Ting Yun had only laid eyes on a tael of gold a handful of times before, let alone being fortunate enough to see a clutter of a few dozen taels of silver. One had to know that back when Zhen Ting Yun wanted to buy the zither from the elderly scholar from the neighboring school, she practically talked until her mouth rotted to have the price lowered to eight taels of silver. Because of these eight taels of silver, only she knew how much thought and effort she spent. Her hard-earned savings of many years were all added to make up that sum to buy back a secondhand zither. If back then she had a few dozen taels of silver, she could have directly bought a brand new zither from a shop. She would not have to expend such great efforts then.
Therefore, when Zhen Ting Yun was suddenly given a piece of gold ingot, other than being pleasantly surprised, she was more overwhelmed with fear that her legs felt weak. If it was not for the fact that one hand was balancing the tray, and the other was gripping the gold ingot, she might have really approached Yuan Hui and grabbed his collar to demand where the gold came from.
Even though she could not go forth and grab Yuan Hui’s collar, it did not stop Zhen Ting Yun from shooting a piercing look at Yuan Hui.
Yuan Hui was unruffled by the whole situation and casually told her, “In the afternoon when you instructed Liu Shun to deliver lunch, I had her go down to the stable and dig it out.”
Zhen Ting Yun still did not understand what he meant as she continued to stare at him with wide probing eyes.
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Wllzkdt pzktbvzu lmyprlayvle, Zwyd Twk qsanle bkxplzq vs lmrzykd, “Valhkswpzu, usw nzykxle vbyv R pvszl uswa bsapl. Jwv cyple sd xu nbyaynvla, vblal xwpv’hl clld y ekal alypsd qsa xu ynvksdp. Rq vbyv olal vbl nypl, R oswze’hl zlqv psxl qsax sq nsxrldpyvksd qsa vbl sodla. Gde pkdnl usw pyke vbyv usw ldnswdvlale xl kd vbl pvyczl, vbl nsxrldpyvksd pbswze’hl clld zlqv okvbkd vbl pvyczl. Fs R bye Nkw Fbwd ekt yaswde vbl pvyczl…”
Gqvla vbyv, Zwyd Twk elnkele vs yee, “Wsavwdyvlzu, kv aykdle blyhkzu vbyv eyu yde vbl pvyczl oyp kd y olv xlpp ps qlo rlsrzl oldv vblal. Xvblaokpl, vbl xsdlu rswnb zlqv sd vbl taswde xktbv’hl yzalyeu clld vyjld yoyu cu ydsvbla rlapsd.”
Ebld Hbld Mkdt Zwd blyae bkp osaep, bla lulp zkv wr. Mblu olal raynvknyzzu tzlyxkdt yp pbl pyke, “Yy Nyd Msw kp y ayal calle sq pwrlaksa bsapl prlnkyzzu byde-rknjle cu xu qyvbla swv sq vbswpydep sq nszvp. Rv’p elqkdkvlzu osavb xsal vbyd y qlo esgld vylzp sq pkzhla!” &dcpr;
Fs, eke kv xlyd vbyv cynj vbld, Zwyd Twk zlqv xsal vbyd fwpv sdl rklnl sq tsze kdtsv?
Fwal ldswtb, Zwyd Twk dseele kd ytallxldv. Wasx vbl pkel sq bkp rkzzso, bl zkqvle wr y xupvlakswp czynj rswnb, “Od, sdl rswnb.”
Hbld Mkdt Zwd, “…”
Gv vbyv hlau xsxldv, pbl sdnl ytykd lmrlakldnle vbl qllzkdt sq clkdt nyrvkhyvle cu Zwyd Twk’p clywvu yp bla blyav pvyavle vbwxrkdt ayrkezu okvbkd bla nblpv.&dcpr;
Tso pbswze pbl rbaypl kv? G xyd okvb y bydepsxl qynl nswze xlpxlakgl svblap. Rd yeekvksd vs vbyv, kq bl bye xsdlu yde oyp okzzkdt vs tkhl kv vs usw, lhld kq uswa blyav oyp xyel sq pvllz, usw oswze pvkzz cl xshle.
Zhen Ting Yun wanted to directly sell Ma Lan Tou to Yuan Hui and call it quits! That was such a large pouch of gold…
In the end, Zhen Ting Yun brought forth all her self-control and forced herself to give a few words of reply, before carrying out the piece of gold ingot.
In fact, other than money, there was something else within Yuan Hui’s pouch.
After Zhen Ting Yun stepped out, Yuan Hui leaned against the bedpost and re-opened the black pouch with gold embroidery. From within, he took out a small jade pendant.
The jade pendant was exquisitely carved. It looked like it was meticulously chiseled and polished by extremely skilled craftsmen, and the jade itself was of high-quality purple jadeite. The color was almost as deep as ink and from one glance, people could tell that it was of the highest quality.
There was a saying that, ‘The gleaming gold and purple jade, a monarch does not amass such things. Yet, only with gleaming gold and purple jade can one’s empire see light’. Purple jade was the highest grade of jadeite. It was ‘the color of supremacy, the rarest of jades’. A person could not purchase it even if they had ten thousand taels of gold.
Moreover, a bold cursive calligraphy of the word ‘Xi’ was engraved at the very center of the jade pendant.
This ‘Xi’ and the ‘Hui’ in Yuan Hui; the former represented brightness, and the latter represented darkness. The two words were antonymous of each other.
Everyone in the world knew that the current Emperor had a royal uncle, Duke Su. He was a regent appointed by the late emperor. His full name was Fu Zhang Xi, but few people knew that his courtesy name1In addition to one’s given/birth name, a courtesy/style name, is a name bestowed upon one in adulthood. was Yuan Hui.
Yuan Hui leisurely leaned against the bedpost as he rubbed the jade pendant with his fingertips. He was deep in contemplation, the things he was thinking about seemed to pose some mental strain as his brows furrowed and he pursed his thin lips.
The room was blanketed in a still silence.
Zhen Ting Yun was definitely Old Madame Zhen’s granddaughter. After she left Yuan Hui’s room, she could not hold herself back and took a bite of the gold. It seemed to be real.
Alas, what a delightful worry it was to carry a piece of gold.
Zhen Ting Yun’s tiny heart was beating wildly. It took a long time to settle down and consider what she needed to do next. She first when to seek out Liu Shun and asked about what Yuan Hui told her.
It was not that Zhen Ting Yun doubted Yuan Hui. But it was, after all, such a big pouch of gold. Regardless of everything, she must have a clear grasp of the whole situation in order to feel more at ease. Otherwise, if something cropped up in between, it would be disastrous.
Liu Shun had always been an honest child. When Zhen Ting Yun asked about what happened, she candidly told her, “Master Yuan said that he left something in the stable and had me look for it. He told me to pay special attention to Ma Lan Tou’s stall. As it wasn’t a big deal, I did as told and really found the pouch in Ma Lan Tou’s stall. Most likely because it was raining previously, the grounds were muddy and the pouch was covered in mud that no one spotted it before. I was also the one that washed the pouch for Master Yuan…”
Zhen Ting Yun nodded. She felt more relieved and instructed Liu Shun, “In the future, remember to inform me first before anything else.”
Liu Shun nodded immediately. After much consideration, she said, “Master Yuan also had me prepare some hot water for him to wash up.”
Zhen Ting Yun, “… There’s no need to inform me of such trivial matters.”
Liu Shun thought to herself, ‘How does one differentiate which matters are trivial and which are not? Previously, when Master Yuan had me pick up the pouch from the stable, was that supposed to be considered a big deal?’
After dismissing Liu Shun, Zhen Ting Yun pondered on what to do with the piece of gold ingot. She still had some silver teals, so she would not be needing this piece of gold for now. She would have to temporarily stash it away. However, she currently shares a room with Old Madame Zhen. If she carried this gold ingot on herself, she would not be able to hide it from Old Madame Zhen…
If it was to be discovered by Old Madame Zhen, she was afraid that she would not be able to keep the gold ingot anymore. Old Madame Zhen would use the grounds of ‘I’ll keep it safe on your behalf’ to take the gold ingot. From Old Madame Zhen’s point of view, Zhen Ting Yun was her granddaughter. Therefore, Zhen Ting Yun’s money was her money. However, Old Madame Zhen’s money… Zhen Ting Yun better not dream about coveting it!
So, it was not ideal to carry this gold ingot on her person. Yet, they were currently staying in an inn, she would never feel safe leaving the gold ingot laying around the room.
After much contemplation, Zhen Ting Yun could only grit her teeth and turn back to Yuan Hui’s room.
Yuan Hui had yet to sleep when he saw her returning to his room not long after she left. He found her actions strange as he asked, “What is up with you now?”
Zhen Ting Yun, with a look of resignation as she parted with her beloved treasure, handed the gold ingot back to Yuan Hui, “Can you help me hold on to it first?”
Yuan Hui, “…”
There were times, he really did not understand what was going through her mind.
Zhen Ting Yun did not forget to reiterate, “I’m just asking you to help me keep it. I’m not returning it to you! In the future, when I wish to use it, I’ll definitely come to you to retrieve it.”
An expressionless Yuan Hui, “Hehe…”
In all honesty, Zhen Ting Yun originally wanted to ask Yuan Hui a few more questions. She wanted to ask, ‘Since you could even afford to buy a horse like Ma Lan Tou, why did you have to steal other people’s horses?’
But after further thought, she finally decided against it. After all, he had lost his memories and could not recall anything. This question, and the others circulating in her mind, would have been rather pointless.
Furthermore, when she pieced together the fact that Yuan Hui stole her horse and was carried back again unconscious and wounded. It was not difficult to draw a somewhat dangerous conclusion by herself. Yuan Hui was most likely being pursued to be killed, thus, in his rush to escape, he stole Zhen Ting Yun’s horse.
As for the people who were chasing after him…
Although Yuan Hui came back unconscious and if he had not chosen Ma Lan Tou, a horse that recognized Zhen Ting Yun as its owner and knew how to return, he might have already met his demise in the wild. Yet, currently, Yuan Hui was alive and peacefully recuperating at the inn. Just based on this, it could be concluded that the people chasing after Yuan Hui were dealt with, they most likely met with an unfortunate ending.
The things that Zhen Ting Yun could only guess, Yuan Hui would know even clearer.
However, his attitude could be described as being magnanimous and without any concealment. When dealing with Zhen Ting Yun, he was also a good and knowledgeable mentor, which would deem him as being harmless.
Thus, this was why Zhen Ting Yun did not ask any further questions. Although she often weighed the pros and cons and tried to get smart with him, she was also guided by her own ideas and principles. If a beast trusted a person and was willing to reveal its underbelly despite its injured and dire state, then one should return the same level of trust.
But many years later, when Zhen Ting Yun looked back at her initial thoughts, she could only grit her teeth in indignation. Sure enough, she was too young and naive back then that she did not see through the farce and know the real face of this old schemer!
After all, when a beast showed a person its underbelly, it did not necessarily mean that it trusted that person. It was just confident enough that the person did not pose a threat.
The author has something to say:
Yuan-Beast-Hui: Wife, shall I show you my underbelly?
Zhen Ting Yun: After you were injured, you laid in bed every day. Currently, you’ve gained three pounds. Thank you very much!