This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 12: Use
What really occurred behind coincidences was worthy of being studied.
The Xie Family was a wealthy family of Guanzhong. Xie Rou, the eldest daughter, was akin to half the leader of the Xie Family. She originally had been active around Changling and if there wasn’t anything special, she definitely would not appear in a little district city.
Xie Rou hesitated slightly.
Ding Ning was silent for a moment. Then he looked at her and said softly, “Is it due to me?”
Xie Rou stilled and then understood Ding Ning’s meaning. Her face flushed slightly. She hurriedly shook her head and said, “It’s not because I swore an oath and was punished to return to Guanzhong. The family has some matters.”
Ding Ning nodded calmly and politely. “I am just coincidentally passing by. Soon, we will be in a hurry to travel, so let’s bid farewell here.”
Xie Rou looked at Ding Ning’s calm gaze. Her lips parted slightly but she didn’t know what to say. She watched as Ding Ning turned around. She didn’t know how she felt as she watched his back, just that she felt she had drank a cup of cold water in this icy weather.
“Just this simple?” Fu Su said softly, frowning as he looked at the returning Ding Ning.
Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “Did you expect her to come with us to Deer Mountain?”
Fu Su looked at his expression and saw Ding Ning did not seem to be joking. He couldn’t help but shake his head and sighed. He said, “I hope that you can find a solution to your health problems soon. Otherwise, you will miss a great marriage.”
Ding Ning used silence to end the conversation.
“This young man is really good.”
A voice filled with praise reached Xie Rou’s ears from behind her.
“Father?” Xie Rou turned around in surprise.
A short and stout merchant dressed in purple brocade stood behind her. He wore a jade belt and large jewel rings. His accessories and the patterns of his purple brocade clothes were all of tacky taste. His face was slightly rosy due to his plumpness lending him an extremely tacky appearance.
At the sight of a Xie Rou whose eyes were filled with surprise, this garish middle-aged businessman grinned. He repeated in the heavy accent of Guanzhong, “This young man is really good.”
Once again, a light blush crept on Xie Rou’s face. She said, “You may not even have heard what I just talked to him briefly about. Why do you suddenly have such an opinion?”
“From his way of doing things, I can see what a person is like.” The short and stout merchant looked in satisfaction at her and said, “He clearly wants to refuse you and deliberately keep a distance. But there are many ways of refusal. He chose the most appropriate and kind one.”
Xie Rou looked at him in puzzlement.
The short and stout merchant smiled and explained. “He used the calmest method. This method is not drastic and will not arouse powerful emotions in you. He really does want you to gradually forget him and not have any more entanglements with you. Right now, everyone knows there are problems with his health. He should know that the Xie Family can help him, even so he treats you like this. Regardless of whether it is because he doesn’t want to drag you in, or he has no time to consider relations with a woman, this shows that he is kind at the very least, and a sincere person.”
After a moment, he looked at Xie Rou and said, “Also, I learned that the reason Two Level Tower of the Changling streets was able to rise to the top is related to him. From his way of conducting matters, if the Xie Family were to really have a son-in-law as such, I fear, he can manage major matters better than me.”
This short and stout merchant was naturally Xie Rou’s father Xie Lianying. According to the rumors on the streets, Xie Lianying was a very gaudy and unrefined businessman who smelled of money. People frequently referred to his name as “Successive winning”. He seemed to feel that it wasn’t enough and gave his son the name “Ever-winning.” All of his accomplishments up until now came from the wisdom and foresight of his wife that had been of the formerly aristocratic family located in Zhongshan in the Wei Dynasty. But the words he spoke with Xie Rou proved that he was very different from the tacky businessman of the rumors.
“In reality, even if you swore you would only marry him and will hold to this promise, you do not need to lower yourself.” Xie Lianying looked at the silent Xie Rou and said, “Think of how many astounding people there were from the previous dynasty to up until now? Which of them did not have women around them that could stand side-by-side with them and help them?”
Xie Rou’s body shook slightly. She took a deep breath and looked up at Xie Lianying, saying, “Father, what do you think I should do?”
“Do not think about the oath. If you meet each other, do not lower yourself and act as though you are pursuing him. Just show your own brilliance. You only have to be more brilliant than the women around him, and become a person more suitable at fighting side by side with him. Then his gaze will naturally not land on someone else.” Xie Lianying looked at her and said, “This is like how we will not be in one kind of business, but if we are in the future, we will naturally pick the best business in that area.”
A hint of light appeared in Xie Rou’s eyes. “It is not very appropriate to use business as a metaphor for your daughter.” While she was quibbling, her mood clearly turned for the better. Her furrowed brow relaxed and she asked softly, “We have prepared?”
Xie Lianying’s expression grew cold as he said, “This time, the Chen Family will feel the consequences.”
Xie Rou noded but inexplicably hesitated.
Xie Lianying could see through her thoughts and laughed. He said, “Don’t worry, I like him and agree for him to be my son-in-law. After we pass here, I will naturally take care of him, and will send someone to see what he is doing.”
Xie Rou was reassured and said with a grim expression, “Then we will depart now?”
Xie Lianying nodded and pretended to sigh in sorrow, saying, “Daughters cannot be kept when they grow up. I have acted like so and you do not even thank me?”
Xie Rou immediately rolled her eyes at him and said, “If you want me to massage your shoulders, tell me.”
Xie Lianying immediately laughed. He moved his shoulders and said, “I’ve been too busy recently, and my shoulders are very stiff. Once we finish this business transaction, I really do need you to massage them.”
Near the inn where the carriage was parked, was a stone bridge. And under it was a noodle shop.
“Do you want to eat noodles? My treat.”
Ding Ning looked at the noodle shop, then he turned to Fu Su. “The noodle shop in Falling Parasol is quite good, especially the sour cabbage with intestine or the red soup with meat slices.”
Fu Su nodded and said with a smile, “I do not like such heavy food as you. Egg and clear soup is good for me.”
“Do not go. Get in the carriage, we are leaving.”
A gentle voice suddenly passed into their ears at this time.
Ding Ning’s gaze stilled slightly. He turned towards the source of the sound in the carriage and said, “Forefather?”
Within the carriage, Forefather Zhou’s narrowed eyes flashed with cold light while his voice remained gentle. “The Xie Family is the richest family in Guanzhong. Since that young woman is the eldest daughter of the Xie Family, Xie Rou, there must be a reason why she has appeared here. Even if you do not want to have any entanglements with her, if she is in any trouble, you should help her if you are able.”
Ding Ning frowned slightly. He naturally knew that Forefather Zhoul was not this kind-hearted. But he had no way of refusing Forefather Zhou’s words with his present position.
Xie Lianying lifted the curtain up a little and looked at the three black carriages in the distance. He turned and said to Xie Rou, “Ding Ning’s carriages have followed.”
Xie Rou thought for a moment and said, “This does not seem like something he would do.”
Xie Lianying thought and said, “It appears to be related to the people he is with.”
Xie Rou looked at him and said softly, “Those people do not look like they are from White Goat Cave.”
Xie Lianying smiled faintly and said, “No matter. Regardless of who from Changling he followed here, at least we are sure they are not our enemy. With what we are doing today, it will be good if an important person from Changling bears witness.”
“It seems the Xie Family is really doing something major.” Fu Su also lifted the window curtain to look at the Xie Family caravan.
At the moment, the Xie Family caravan comprised of only six carriages. This was a small number for the Xie Family, but he noticed that these carriages had not been together at the start, and had gathered together from different corners of this district city.
Ding Ning remained silent as his brow furrowed.
They were clearly concealing something carefully.
Xie Rou had not disguised herself, but the carriages that followed appeared in such a fashion. This said that the Xie Family was heading someplace nearby and what the carriages contained were important things for the Xie Family.
What was being held in those carriages?
But compared to what the Xie Family was going to do soon, he was more worried about Forefather Zhou’s interference.
The Zhou Family were old aristocracy, and at present, they lacked wealth the most. The Xie Family had what the Zhou Family needed the most.
Forefather Zhou had already used the relationship between him and Xie Rou once.
Translator Ramblings: Money makes the world go around … even with cultivators.