GNU sponsored chapters (4/4) by risa and anonymous sponsors at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!
The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch.40 Part 1.
After sending Cheng Yujin off, Xiao Liuzi went into the tea room. Liu Yi asked: “Has eldest Miss Cheng gone?”
“Yes. Eldest Miss went to pay respect to Ninth Master, and left after saying a greeting.”
Liu Yi nodded: “Cheng family’s two male masters haven’t made any progress after so many years. They only know how to blame others and fate. Not even half as good as a little girl.”
The clean-faced Xiao Liuzi tidied up the things on the table and asked: “Godfather, then these things…”
“She is filial to Ninth Master. These days, I see Ninth Master is in a much better mood. Since she accompanies Ninth Master and makes him happy, it’s okay for me to run an errand for her. Anyway, she is just a little girl and cannot affect the overall situation.”
Liu Yi didn’t know that Cheng Yujin had known Cheng Yuanjing’s real identity. He only thought that Cheng Yujin still regarded Cheng Yuanjing as Cheng family members, so she ran back and forth every day to show respect to the elder. The rest of Cheng family members stared at Cheng Yuanjing in hostility, fearing that he was eyeing their family’s possessions. Among so many people, Cheng Yujin alone would enthusiastically show good intentions. With this contrast, Liu Yi’s impression of Cheng Yujin was getting better and better.
“Godfather, you have a lot of things to do. How about this son do eldest Miss’ errand for you?”
Liu Yi waved his hand, “No, it’s not a difficult task. It’s just one trip, I’ll do it myself. Merchants are treacherous. Your face is still too tender. The shopkeeper might be contemptuous after seeing you and do not take the instructions seriously. If I go, I don’t think they will dare to perfuse me.”
Xiao Liuzi nodded. This was indeed the case. Liu Yi was a smiling tiger from the palace. Over the years, he accompanied the crown prince outside, and had become more and more frightening. Using Liu Yi to deter a small shopkeeper was like killing a chicken using a heavy saber.
Which shopkeeper dared to look down on Liu Yi? As the saying goes, hitting a dog had to wary of its owner, and an owner’s power could also be seen on the dogs they kept. Eldest Miss Cheng could send such a powerful domestic servant, Yunyi Shop’s employees would surely treat her with respect, and dared not to look down on her.
Xiao Liuzi had finished speaking, but he still stood there, looking at the things on the table. Liu Yi glanced at the food box next to him, understood his godson’s meaning, and scolded: “Look at your character. Why I never see you so active in doing your jobs?”
Xiao Liuzi smiled and said, “Isn’t it because godfather loves me? My godfather is so great, of course this son can lie down lazily.”
Hearing this, Liu Yi laughed. He kicked Xiao Liuzi and said: “Glab tongue. Only know how to eat. Go away.”
Xiao Liuzi pretended to be hurt, then he cheerfully wrapped two pieces of pastries with a handkerchief and went out. Recently, Cheng Yujin came to Chenming Courtyard every day. The people who worked there initially took a precaution, but gradually warmed up. After all, the pastries she brought were really delicious, so who could resist?
Cheng Yujin didn’t know what kind of killer move did she dispatch. The shopkeepers of Yunyi Shop and Linlang Pavilion were almost scared to death. Although Liu Yi concealed his identity as a eunuch, the temperament of a depot guard(1) was still there. The shopkeeper almost knelt down in fright. Under Liu Yi’s momentum, the shopkeeper naturally put a heavy emphasis on the instructions he received, for fear that Liu Yi might get dissatisfied. Therefore, Cheng Yujin’s ideas were implemented better than she thought. At the end of the month, the shops delivered the account books, and Cheng Yujin was surprised when she saw this month’s profit.
In just one month, the profits doubled. And not only that, but the shopkeeper also sent a message that the silver lining soft muslin and cloud motif cyan brocade was the best seller and had been sold out. When other fabric shops saw the trend, they also used the same materials to compete with Yunyi. Meanwhile, the customers who bought ready-made clothes also came to ask whether there were any new designs.
This development was out of Cheng Yujin’s expectations. She originally planned to use the ready-made garments to push up the sale, but didn’t expect it to be so popular. Cheng Yujin calculated her income once again and added it to her savings in a good mood.
It seemed that using ready-made garments was the right choice, and changes could be made faster in the future, such as changing the batch of new clothes every half a month. Too fast, and it would affect its rarity. Too slow, and other shops would imitate them. Half a month was just right.
Cheng Yujin took out a few design patterns she had made before, picked up one top and two skirts, and planned to bring it to Liu Yi tomorrow, so he could help her pass the designs to Yunyi Shop. Cheng Yujin grew up among gold and brocade. The competition among boudoir girls was intense, and Cheng Yujin always had to get the top spot. Over the years, she spent countless thoughts on clothes and accessories. Moreover, she also wanted to put on a face, and refused to show her efforts on the bright side. Even when competing with others, she had to do it nonchalantly, as if she didn’t care about dressing up. Therefore, after years of experience, Cheng Yujin was very knowledgeable about designing clothes and matching accessories, and even a mama specialized in clothing and hairdo couldn’t match her.
The clothes she used to make were very cumbersome. From a single button to the embroidery on her clothes, she had to point out every single detail and chose each one carefully. It was impossible for her to buy and wear ready-made garments. The female servants who worked on Yichun Marquis manor’s sewing room always had a headache when seeing Cheng Yujin. But finding an outside workshop that could meet her standard was even harder, and the end products would have many inevitable shortcomings.
But it’s alright now. Cheng Yujin owned a clothing store, so she could do everything by herself. Cheng Yujin finally could make any pieces of clothing as detailed as possible, and even earning money in the process.
Cheng Yujin also thought of several jewelry designs. She had long been dissatisfied that her jewelries were too old-fashioned. Even though she could change the style of a few of them, but it was a pity that she couldn’t buy the one that could satisfy her. Now, she could draw some design she wanted, took it out, and let Linlang Pavilion make it, before sending the final products back for her review. If Cheng Yujin were satisfied, she would wear it for a few days to see people’s impressions, and then she could finally let Linlang Pavilion sell the new designs. If she wasn’t satisfied, she would slowly alter the design.
Until late at night, Cheng Yujin was busy under the lamp. It wasn’t until Du Ruo come several times to urge her to sleep that she reluctantly put away the designs, recounting this month’s net income several times, and went to bed in satisfaction.
The next day, Cheng Yujin went as usual to Old Madam’s courtyard to pay respect. As soon as she walked in, she heard Ruan-shi said: “Mother, Jingyong Marquis manor has sent people to remind us. Isn’t it time to prepare Mo’er and Huo Marquis’s wedding?”
(1) Depot Guard: The Eastern and Western Depots and the Brocade Guards were security and surveillance units created during the Ming period. They were supervised by high court eunuchs and wielded considerable power. Historians say they were the “eyes and ears of the emperor” because they had particularly been designed for the purpose of spying out state officials and eliminating potential rivals. (source: chinaknowledge.de)
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