The One Being Scammed Is You
500 taels of silver was not a small amount, but it was clear that it was not much to this madam, as she very happily pulled out a banknote and handed it over. She then stared straight at the wooden box.
Xuan Tian Ming placed the wooden box on the table, and Feng Yu Heng gestured for Qing Yu to open it. When a piece of a pure-white jade appeared before the madam, she immediately felt that spending this 500 taels of silver was truly too worth it. She had never seen such a beautiful piece of jade before. Even if it had not yet been worked on and turned into a completed product, it was still enough to attract her attention. The madam was someone knowledgeable of the industry and immediately understood that this was a treasure with an extremely high value.
But she wanted it! The more it was a treasure, the more she wanted it, even if the price was many times higher. She trusted that her family would also be able to afford it.
Thus she spoke up and said: “I want the thing in this box. Please provide a price!”
Qing Yu glanced at Feng Yu Heng and did not say anything. She knew that Feng Yu Heng had already been planning on selling this piece of jade. As long as the other side was able to provide the money, it did not matter who they sold it to. But precisely how much this was worth, it was a bit hard to estimate.
Feng Yu Heng looked up at the madam then smiled and said: “Madam really is magnanimous. You’re able to consume so much good jade?”
The quick-to-speak servant immediately replied for her master: “You just need to worry about providing a price. It’s just a bit of silver, isn’t it. Our madam is not lacking for silver in the slightest.”
“Oh.” She nodded and thought to herself. What should the price of this be?
At this time, Xuan Tian Ming, who had been quietly sitting to the side, said: “50 million taels.”
“50 million taels?” The servant at the madam’s side was shocked. 50 million taels was a large amount of silver!
But Feng Yu Heng glanced at him, the look in her eyes obviously said: Just 50 million taels? But she immediately accepted the response that Xuan Tian Ming gave with his eyes. She knew that he understood, thus she did not speak.
The servant on the other side, however, tried to negotiate: “Although your things are nice, they are too expensive. Just a box of these things is not worth that much money… Five million taels is more like it.”
Qing Yu felt that this servant was truly unable to learn her lesson. Even after being slapped, she still had so much to say. She could not help but coldly snort: “The masters are speaking. Where is there any room for you to interject?”
“Shut your mouth!” The madam scolded her: “Shut your mouth for me!” After saying this, she turned her attention back toward the box of jade materials. The more she looked, she more she was unwilling to part with it. The more she looked, the more she felt that her heart was being pulled in by the piece of jade, and they were becoming one. It was as though this box of jade was her life. If someone wanted for them to separate, she would definitely fight with them. “50 million is 50 million. Ji Xiang, go back and have the servants bring the banknotes over.” Her gaze did not shift, only telling the servant, “This box of jade, I must bring it back.”
“Madam!” Ji Xiang quietly advised her, “On this trip out, we did not bring that much in banknotes. Although we do have 50 million taels, I fear that master will also have other uses for that money. It’s rare that we come to the capital. We need to have some money prepared for bribes. If it’s all used to buy these things, if master has a need for the money, what should be done?”
What the servant said was reasonable. Unfortunately, her madam had already been dazed by this beautiful piece of jade. Who cared about needs or bribes. Right now, all she wanted was to bring this piece of jade home. As for whether or not the money had any other uses, this was already cast out of her thoughts.
“I told you to get it, so just go and get it. If husband asks about it, I will take responsibility. What are you worrying about. Quickly go and fetch the banknotes.” She rushed the servant, and there was nothing that the servant could do. She could only obey and turn to leave.
The madam sat on a chair brought over by a clerk, but her entire body was leaning on the table to hold the box of jade. It gave off the feeling of a lecher holding a beauty. All that was lacking was her drooling.
Today, she had truly found a treasure. Based on her many years of appreciating jade, the box before her was worthy of being called a rarity that could only be seen every thousand years. 50 million taels of silver sounded like a large amount, but people that knew the industry could tell that this box of jade was not just worth 50 million taels of silver. But just how high that price could be, even she could not begin to estimate. It was also because of this that she did not care too much about her husband’s uses for the money, whether that was for bribes or to improve relationships.
Feng Yu Heng watched the person’s look of joy and could not help but sigh to herself. She just thought, did women really not have any defense against this sort of thing? Looking at this madam’s appearance, if she did not sell this jade to her, blood might very well be spilled.
But… she then turned to look at Xuan Tian Ming, mouthing to ask: “Isn’t 50 million too little?”
Xuan Tian Ming shook his head, “It’s not.”
“But I feel like it’s not much. I wanted to trade it for even more.”
The other person, however, said: “Don’t worry. I won’t do any business that will allow you to suffer a loss.”
Feng Yu Heng felt a little more at ease. With people bringing tea, the servant only returned after they had finished two cups of tea. A guard followed behind her. It was only after she came up the stairs and saw her madam did she say to the guard: “Alright, we’ve arrived. Just wait in the carriage outside.”
The guard nodded then went down the stairs. When the madam saw the servant return, she immediately waved her over. The servant placed a stack of banknotes in her hand. She did not even count it and directly handed it to Feng Yu Heng: “Count it yourself.”
Feng Yu Heng did not receive it, nor did Xuan Tian Ming. Qing Yu looked at the two and did not receive it either.
The madam was puzzled, “The banknotes have been brought. Someone take them!”
Only then did Xuan Tian Ming say: “Madam might have misunderstood. Or perhaps you did not understand what I said.”
“Hm?” The opposition was startled, “What did I not understand? What did I misunderstand?”
Xuan Tian Ming said: “50 million taels, I was talking about gold, not silver. Even if you were to give me banknotes, they should be for gold.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and let out a sigh of relief. 50 million taels of gold, this price was more like it. But while she was happy, the madam was dazed. Even the servant opened her mouth not knowing what to say.
50 million taels of gold? The madam blankly fell back in her seat. The warmth that had once been there seemed to have had a bucket of cold water poured on it.
It was as she was saying, how could a box of such beautiful jade be bought for just 50 million taels of silver. But if it was gold, not to mention not having it right now, even if she returned to Lan Zhou, she could not get that much. 50 million taels of gold could compare to the national treasury of a small country. These two… were truly just stealing money, right?
“Don’t go too far.” The madam’s shock had subsided slightly, as she looked coldly toward Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng. For the first time, there was no need for the servant to speak, as she coldly spat out: “I have already been sufficiently respectful to you two. Know how to be satisfied. If you make too many threats, don’t blame me for being impolite!”
“Hmph.” Feng Yu Heng shrugged. Who was she scaring!
Xuan Tian Ming was even more disdainful than her. While sipping the tea, he closed the lid on the box containing the jade.
The servant with the quick mouth was finally unable to endure and began cursing: “Impudent lowly people, going back on your word, how could the capital have such shameless people like you!”
With her cursing like this, Qing Yu wanted to hit her again; however, the servant dodged. This caused Qing Yu to angrily call for people to come.
As for Feng Yu Heng, when she spoke up this time, she said to the madam: “I’ll offer you some advice, keep your servant’s mouth cleaner. Don’t believe that there will be nobody to hurl abuse for me. I just can’t be bothered to use this sort of method to resolve problems. Our policy is to take action without arguing if possible. If you continue to speak impolitely, don’t call out in pain if you’re hit.”
“You would dare!” The servant was extremely shocked: “Our madam is the head madam of the prefect of Lan Zhou. You actually dare to act out against us?”
Finally, their identity was exposed, but this identity did not cause any waves. Even Qing Yu said with great disdain: “A family member of the lowly prefect of Lan Zhou dares to come to the capital and go wild?”
Feng Yu Heng, however, muttered: “Lan Zhou! It sounds like a very large place. Is it in the South?”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “That’s right. It’s in the South.”
The two began to chat between themselves, with Feng Yu Heng asking: “I heard that Lan Zhou is a vast and abundant land. The fruits grown in Lan Zhou are especially sweet.”
Xuan Tian Ming replied: “That’s right, that Lan Zhou is connected to Gu Shu. The temperature is hot and dry. that’s why the fruit grown there is extremely sweet. I heard that Gu Shu and Lan Zhou have become intimate through trade. With the merchants passing through, Lan Zhou’s regional government is richer than the others.”
“Oh! That’s why the madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect is so magnanimous in her spending and is able to spend 50 million taels. But in the end, she is still lacking. When it comes to gold, she is powerless. Hah!” She sighed, “Unfortunately, it seems that madam will not be able to bring this box of jade back.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled slyly. The smile left the madam hating that she could not go forward and tear her smile apart. But just as her anger reached its apex, she suddenly heard Feng Yu Heng say: “Ah! Madam too, why did you not provide your identity earlier? If we knew that you were the family of such a powerful official, how could I not give you a bit of face.”
The madam’s eyes lit up, “What do those words mean?”
Feng Yu Heng frankly said: “50 million taels of gold is to fool outsiders. Since madam has such a background, we naturally cannot ask for such an expensive price.” While she spoke, she pondered, “How about this, 80 million taels of silver. How about it?”
“Hm?” The madam was startled and did not dare believe it, “Is this true or false?” She really began to see a glimmer of hope!
“Of course, it’s true.” Feng Yu Heng’s attitude was very sincere, “It will be 80 million taels of silver. Madam has 50 million taels here; however, 30 million is still missing. As you see it…”
“I don’t have it right now, but I will definitely get it for you in a couple days.” The madam had set out her capital. Gritting her teeth, she pushed the banknotes in her hand over. “This shall be considered the deposit. Let me bring this jade back with me. At present, we are staying in the posthouse. How about you send people to come and collect in a couple days?”
Feng Yu Heng pushed the banknotes back, “Since you are the head madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect, how could we take a deposit from you. Naturally, we trust you. You can take this jade back with you. In two days, I will personally come and ask for the money. When that time comes, just give the 80 million taels to me.”
The madam saw Feng Yu Heng nod and did not say a word before stepping forward to pick up the box. She did not even let the servant hold it. She just nodded to Feng Yu Heng and said: “Many thanks.” She then quickly descended the stairs.
Qing Yu was quite anxious: “Young miss, are you not afraid that she’ll flee? In the end, whether or not she’s really the head madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect is not known.”
Feng Yu Heng smiled and said: “Her identity should not be an issue. Normal people wouldn’t be able to bring out that many banknotes at once, but…” She put on a sly smile then said: “In four hours, go and file a report. Just say that imperial daughter Ji An lost a box of pure-white jade. The price is extremely high.”