“The outside world even thinks you’re stupid, that’s why you don’t do anything, for fear that you’ll go crazy if you overdo it,” Yuan Jiangxing couldn’t help but advise him,, “Zhiyu, when you were in the capital, you didn’t fight for the power. I agreed with it very much. That position is not easy to sit in. Sometimes it is like a cage. But now it is just Jiangnan, and things are different, so you don’t have to hold back anymore.
Zhiyu, you are a capable person. It’s not that I don’t want you to rest, but… I just think it’s a pity.”
“I don’t think it’s a pity,” Fu Zhiyu lowered his head and smiled. “Uncle doesn’t have to persuade me. Let’s leave it like this, I think it’s fine.”
All Fu Zhiyu felt was that he was in the most comfortable position he could be in, not wanting to move at all.
Everything went as he wished, the people he hated didn’t appear, and the family members he missed were all by his side, and everyone was very good. He felt that he really had no reason to change this kind of life.
Jiangnan itself was also very good now, and there was no need for him to intervene.
As for the invitation, he tossed it aside and ignored it.
Yuan Jiangxing sighed when he heard him say this. Knowing what he meant, he stopped advising him, took the invitation and left.
After about a month, the shop started by Yuan Lu and Mingdao opened. It was a jade shop named “Bright Moon Pavillion”. Fu Zhiyu was invited by the two youngsters to visit it several times. On the first day, he didn’t go to join in the crowd. He just sent gifts and went the next day.
“Cousin, come and see which one you like,” Yuan Lu grinned; at first glance he didn’t look like the owner of the shop. “Take anything you like, I mean anything.”
“No need, didn’t Mingdao give me something?” Fu Zhiyu said, “I still have it on my head.”
“That’s the jade craftsman I found,” Yuan Lu glanced at his head and said with emotion, “Sure enough, it looks best when worn by Cousin. It’s a blessing for this jade to be worn on Cousin’s head.”
Fu Zhiyu lowered his head and smiled, not saying anything.
Yuan Mingdao went out temporarily; there was a batch of new goods escorted from outside the city. He was going to keep an eye on it, so Fu Zhiyu sat in the shop and waited for a while.
The shop Yuan Lu had chosen was very large, with three floors and cubicles. Fu Zhiyu sat in the cubicle on the first floor and drank tea. Yuan Lu was also busy, chatting with Fu Zhiyu now and then. Before he finished speaking, he was pulled away to do business again.
The jade from Southern Xinjiang was indeed first-class, and people never stopped coming into the shop.
There were some books in the cubicle, and Fu Zhiyu wasn’t bored. He took a look at them casually. They were probably brought from Southern Xinjiang by the way. Some were story books, and some were travel notes that recorded the customs and traditions of Southern Xinjiang. It was fresh; anyway, he was idle now and there was nothing to do, so he took a book casually, drinking tea and eating snacks while turning the pages.
Before he finished reading the introduction of the book, he heard a noise outside.
Yuan Lu wasn’t nice to the outsiders this time. Fu Zhiyu heard his cold, bland voice: “Deng Jinghe, get out of here, my shop will not do business with you.”
Fu Zhiyu was taken aback, put down the tea in his hand, and glanced out.
Yuan Lu being angry was one thing; it was the name “Deng Jinghe” that attracted Fu Zhiyu’s attention for a moment.
Among the four giants of Jiangnan, Yuan, Lin, Deng and Qian, no one could tell the clear ranking. It was the truth that everyone kept their wealth confidential. Besides, there was so much business that even the owner couldn’t tell exactly how much money he had, let alone compare it with others.
Deng Jinghe was that “Deng”, and he was regarded as a competitor of the Yuan family.
Not only that, Deng Jinghe was a very important figure in the middle and late stages in the original work, and he left a deep impression on Fu Zhiyu.
In the previous life, the Yuan family was slaughtered in the capital, and Yuan Jiangwen’s original business was greatly affected. Although there were shopkeepers in all stores, there was no leader in the group. What’s more, the incident happened suddenly and everyone was unprepared. It was only natural that the Yuan family’s business was taken advantage of in the chaos and swallowed up.
Fu Zhiyu was already unable to protect himself at that time, and he had no time to take care of Jiangnan, which was thousands of miles away. He had to read the original work before he knew everything that happened later.
The Deng family annexed most of the businesses left by Yuan Jiangwen. After the integration, they became the richest businessmen in Jiangnan. At that time, the head of the Deng family was Deng Jinghe, who was young and looked about the same age as Fu Zhiyu.
In the middle and late stages of the original work, Deng Jinghe cooperated with Xie Ke to take over the isolated place of Southern Xinjiang without bloodshed through trade. Xie Ke’s unification of the continent was successful, and Deng Jinghe became the first-rank imperial merchant. Except for the emperor, he was probably the richest person in the world.
In his previous life, Fu Zhiyu’s and his timeline were far apart, and the two had never seen each other.
Now that he heard the name, memories of the original work poured in all at once, leaving Fu Zhiyu in a sudden daze.
He had been living comfortably for so long that at times he almost forgot that there was such a thing as the original novel.
Deng Jinghe’s life was very dramatic. His mother was a prostitute who had an affair with Master Deng. After an accidental pregnancy, his mother carried him into the Deng family and became a concubine. But Master Deng had a rich romantic life. He had more people in his backyard than the emperor’s harem, and there were countless mistresses outside. Deng Jinghe’s mother was jealous, short-sighted, and a little stupid. She used several tricks to win favour but was caught, causing unrest in the family home. She was still confined when she went into early labour and gave birth in the woodshed. She didn’t survive that night and died the next day.
Although there were many women in the Deng family, there were indeed not many descendants. Only one son and one daughter had been born to the main wife, and there was no one from the concubines. The patriarch of the Deng family was ruthless, preparing medicine for the other party every time and watching until they drank it. Deng Jinghe was really a pure accident. After all, the brothel was not his own home. Master Deng drank too much and forgot about it. The next morning, he hurriedly ran to deal with business matters. He didn’t expect to be hit in one go.
He wanted to get rid of the baby before it was born, but the old lady of the Deng family believed in Buddhism, and she had begged for a sign at the beginning of the year that said it wasn’t advisable to see blood this year, but to be kind and benevolent, otherwise it would be detrimental to the Deng family’s luck. So, it was not advisable to kill the baby.
Deng Jinghe’s mother also relied on her belly to dare to act. She touched the bottom line of the family rules several times in a row. If it was someone else, they would’ve probably been beaten to death. But her ultimate punishment was just to be locked in the woodshed and reflect for a few days. After all, no one knew at that time that she would go into labour early.
After Deng Jinghe was born, he was raised in the old lady’s courtyard until he could speak, and then he was sent to a remote house. The old lady saved his life but didn’t like him at all. The only good feeling she had was that Deng Jinghe’s mother happened to die the day after New Year’s Eve and didn’t stain her sign.
Deng Jinghe had a very poor life when he was young. As the son of a major merchant in Jiangnan, he almost starved to death several times before he gained a little bit of power.
When Fu Zhiyu read the original work, he couldn’t help but compare Deng Jinghe with the people around him. He felt that he was a bit like Fu Lingxiao and a bit like King Xidan. He had the inconsistency of Fu Lingxiao’s appearance, and he had King Xidan’s crazy energy of not caring about anything.
The book described Deng Jinghe as having a face like jade and an unpredictable mind. If Fu Lingxiao was like a snake, King Xidan was like a wolf, Deng Jinghe was like… a fox?
Fu Zhiyu listened to the noise outside getting louder and louder, and becoming more intense. Thinking about it, he couldn’t help but lift the curtain and take a look out.
“…look at you.” When Deng Jinghe faced the irate Yuan Lu, his expression didn’t change at all. He shook his head and sighed, “Not doing business with whom, ah? I really like that jade ruyi. It is a rare good thing. It just happens to be the old lady’s birthday soon. I promised my grandmother that I would give her a beautiful thing.
Yuan Lu, we are considered friends, so just sell it to me. I will never bargain, okay?”
Yuan Lu had always been kind to others. When he first met Deng Jinghe, he really stupidly felt that the other party was pitiful. He was a good person with a bad background who was constantly improving himself. Yuan Lu planned to make friends, but when he turned around, he was screwed by Deng Jinghe, and a business line slipped out of his hands. Yuan Jiangwen didn’t think it was a big problem; it was a normal way to do business. If Yuan Lu could learn something, learn to know people and be more careful, it was not a loss.
Yuan Lu had grown up, but he would never forget that failure for the rest of his life, so much so that he vowed to be at odds with Deng Jinghe. This time, the line of the Southern Xinjiang jade was won by him over Deng Jinghe, which could be considered a tooth for a tooth and also caused him to gloat a bit.
But Yuan Lu knew that the person in front of him had no bottom line. It was probably because of the regrets of his youth that Deng Jinghe had an overly unreasonable obsession with money, so that he did whatever it took and didn’t believe in feelings at all.
Their paths were different, and Yuan Lu didn’t want to have any further exchanges with him.
Deng Jinghe watched the people in the shop surround him, so he took a step back, but still didn’t leave. He was about to say something, but he happened to see a person coming out of the small room on the side.
Someone he had never seen before.
Fu Zhiyu was dressed simply today. He was wearing a plain white robe with no decorations. His long hair was pulled back and held by a jade hairpin given by Yuan Mingdao. The wind blew through the hall, blowing up a few strands of hair that fell lazily on his cheeks.
Fu Zhiyu was just a little curious about Deng Jinghe, and he also heard Yuan Lu’s angry voice. He felt that it wasn’t good for him to sit and listen, so he simply came out. But after he came out, the noise stopped all of a sudden.
Yuan Wanyun always praised him for growing more and more good-looking. Fortunately, he didn’t like to go out; otherwise, who knows how many girls would pin their hopes on him. Fu Zhiyu always thought that it was just his mother’s love filter. He was used to seeing his own face. It was beautiful, but he didn’t think it was very amazing, let alone to the extent described by his mother.
But Yuan Wanyun was really not exaggerating.
She didn’t know what her son had eaten but just like the blood in his body, there was always something inexplicable about him that attracted people, and sometimes it even worried her.
Fu Zhiyu didn’t care about the affairs of the backyard and usually hardly needed anyone to serve him. He didn’t know that the servants in his mansion had been replaced by Steward Zhou a few times. There were always some bold people who coveted their master. Fortunately, they were all stopped in time. Some were out of luck, but there was an endless stream of them that couldn’t be controlled. The latest batch looked very honest, but they didn’t last long. One after another, they caused problems, and the maids who wanted to get into the master’s bed were dealt with by Steward Zhou.
There were many beauties in the backyard of the Deng family. Deng Jinghe had travelled south and north over the years and had seen countless good-looking people, but he had never seen anyone like this. He only felt that after taking a look, he forgot what he had just said.