GNU sponsored chapters (2/3) by Caerie, Carthun and Wstphl at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch.30 Part 3.
Cheng Yujin carefully counted twice. But because it was only a rough estimation, she was afraid that she might remember wrong, and deliberately used her hand to weighted the whole box for a while. Finally, she was sure that the number of gold ingots didn’t change, except for the extra pile of land deed.
It was rare for Cheng Yujin to feel ashamed. She had just gouged the gentleman’s intention with a thief’s suspicion. If Cheng Yuanjing knew what she thought just now, he probably would be angry enough to take the land deed back.
Cheng Yujin very tactfully pretended nothing happened and began to sift through the land deed.
Cheng Yujin read the deed from beginning to end and sighed inwardly. In the past few years, Old Master Cheng took advantage of the crown prince and indeed had made much money. Today, he gave it all at once. There were nearly sixteen hundreds of mu of lands, seven shops, one house, six thousand taels of silver, four boxes of paintings, calligraphies, and jewelry, and a whole box of gold ingots. Because the crown prince couldn’t expose his identity, there were many places where the Old Master could take benefits from. After a few years of work, even the Old Master accumulated so much money. Exactly how many assets did Cheng Yuanjing have?
Cheng Yujin couldn’t imagine it.
Cheng Yujin put the land deed aside. Then she turned on the lights and took out the account books of the shops she got. Cheng Yujin began to read it seriously. Unexpectedly, the gain greatly exceeded her initial guess.
Old Master Cheng gave her a total of three shops. Two in Zhengxi district and one in Xuanbei district, plus a small farm. Because Cheng Yumo got a box of silver and gold utensils alongside one thousand silver taels, Cheng Yujin originally expected her shops to be worth at most two thousand taels. But unexpectedly, the shops’ actual business condition was much better than she thought.
Zhengxi was a prosperous district, not far from the six ministries offices. The two shops there were facing the street. One was a clothing shop, and the other was a jewelry shop. Both businesses were excellent and generating around two thousand silver taels annually. The last one was a glaze shop in Xuanbei district, which had a connection with the government ceramic workshop. After paying various bribes, it was still profitable.
This was much better than the dead things on Cheng Yumo’s hand. Although utensils made from gold and silver were precious and beautiful, the price would inevitably be discounted if it was ever getting liquidated. Needless to say, one thousand silver taels stored in a locked box wouldn’t increase in value. Instead, it would gradually decrease over time. Unless Cheng Yumo lent out the money to collect interest, the total value would only continue to decrease.
Another important point was these three shops were all located in the capital, and even the small farm was in the suburbs. Cheng Yuanxian and Cheng Yuanhan each got two shops, but they were both far away in Yangzhou. Cheng Yujin didn’t plan to marry outside the capital. If she were given shops in Jinling, Yangzhou, or other places, she wouldn’t be able to get anything, no matter how profitable they were.
Cheng Yujin closed the account books and finally felt the pleasure of getting rich overnight. A high ranking family’s income was roughly divided into four parts: salary, lands, shops, and grey income. With Yichun Marquis manor’s current standing, no one was stupid enough to pay a bribe to them, so the grey income was negative. Cheng Yuanxian and Cheng Yuanhan’s official salary was almost negligible. Although rental lands were profitable and easy to manage, the output per year was limited. Opening a business was risky, but the return was equally great. Among them, the two shops in Zhengxi district were well-located and highly profitable. Those were almost certainly the Old Master’s main income generator.
Cheng Yujin roughly estimated that sixty percent of the Old Master’s income source was now in her hands. Not to mention the additional box of gold she got before leaving.
Over the years, Qingfu Junzhu has bought a lot of flashy jewelry for her. Cheng Yujin’s clothes were also changed every season, and she hardly wore previous clothes again. However, although Cheng Yujin lived honorably on the outside, only she herself knew what kind of life she actually had. She didn’t have any source of money, and she couldn’t take out the jewelry given by Qingfu Junzhu and sell it. Inside the manor, there were a lot of human relationships, and she needed money everywhere. Cheng Yujin has always been strapping for cash, and she had to calculate every piece of money she used.
So Cheng Yujin’s dream was to have her own dowry, manpower, and business. Thanks to the blessing gained by the two branches’ quarrel, the Old Master was finally had it enough and decided to distribute the properties early. Cheng Yujin used Qingfu Junzhu and Cheng Yuanxian to brush her presence in front of Old Master Cheng and finally got her own share. Cheng Yujin counted the properties in her hand and found that she had a small farm, three profitable shops, one thousand mu of fertile land, one-third of public silver that the crown prince was too disdain to accept, a few paintings and calligraphies collection, and finally the most useful one: a box of gold ingots. In just one night, her fortune grew to more than ten thousand taels. She suddenly became a rich woman.
However, this fortune could attract an even bigger disaster. Qingfu was born as an honorable Junzhu. She was married in bringing a rich dowry and has presided over the manor’s finance for so many years, taking a nice profit for herself in the process. Even so, the money in Qingfu’s hands was less than ten thousand taels. If others knew how much Cheng Yujin actually got today, she would soon meet with a big disaster.
Unfortunately, they would never know. Cheng Yujin carefully separated the things in her hand. This box of ingots could no longer be seen by anyone. Together with the land deed that Cheng Yuanjing gave her, it had become Cheng Yujin’s last escape route, and she would never let others know. The shops were given in front of everyone, so she couldn’t hide it. Cheng Yujin had to make a plan to keep it in her own hands. As for the Old Maste’s painting and calligraphy collection, Cheng Yujin didn’t care. They were just small extras. Even if taken away, she didn’t feel hurt.
Cheng Yujin carefully checked the land deed and silver bills against the light one by one, then hiding them carefully. Counting money truly made people happy, and Cheng Yujin was especially so. Even if she knew the difficulty of keeping the shops’ income in her hands, it still didn’t affect her good mood.
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