Shen Ziqiao yawned as she read the account book. Shopkeeper Fan made it very detailed. She was able to get the gist of the revenues and expenses from the past decade at first glance. In their hands, the trading companies’ revenues multiplied by a few folds. Although it couldn’t be compared to Pan and He Family’s businesses, it was quite well-known in Minyue’s trading companies.
“Third Miss, drink some tea before continuing to read first.” Seeing that Shen Ziqiao yawned again, Hong Yu went to make some new tea for her.
“Lady Meng, I don’t want to read it anymore, okay? I’ve been reading it for a few days and I’ve only gotten through two years of account books. I think I can just read over the recent month’s account books.” Shen Ziqiao gave Lady Meng a resentful gaze. She was really unwilling to stay in the room and read the account books the entire day. She became dazzled and felt hair growing all over her body.
Lady Meng persuaded patiently, “Third Miss, this is your trading company. How can you not understand the account books from your trading company? You need to take over it in the future.”
Shen Ziqiao had no aspirations. After all, when she was in the capital, she was always threatened by Sheng Peiyin, the female lead. Then, Old Madam Shen seized her dowries. It was because of this that she wanted to strive and work hard. Now that she was in Minyue and got everything she wanted, why would she be willing to continue and abuse herself? Obviously, she tried to be as lazy as she could.
But someone refused to let her be lazy.
“Don’t we have Shopkeeper Zhang and Fan? Look at how good they’ve been managing the businesses. Just let them continue…” Shen Ziqiao pointed and kept on finding excuses.
“Third Miss, no matter what, you have to know what’s going on in the trading companies. I’m not saying that the shopkeepers aren’t trustworthy but you can only fully trust yourself.” After what happened with Liang Jianhai, Lady Meng didn’t fully believe in anyone anymore.
Therefore, she hoped that Shen Ziqiao could be like the Madam. Even without the shopkeepers, she would still be able to develop the trading companies well and not place hope in someone else.
“Okay, okay, I’ll go take a look.” Shen Ziqiao picked up the account book again.
“Third Miss.” Nanny Zhang’s voice rang besides Old Madam Pan.
Lady Meng hurriedly welcomed her in.
“The Old Lord wants this maidservant to ask about young miss and if she wants to go to the Twenty-four Businesses with him. He said that the young miss has been in Minyue for a while but hasn’t gone there yet.” Nanny Zhang chuckled.
Shen Ziqiao immediately closed the account book and said seriously to Lady Meng, “As the owner of the trading company, I should know where the trading company is, no? Plus, I need to observe my opponent’s location. Let’s go now.”
Lady Meng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “Then I’ll go with you.”
“Hong Yu can go with me. You’ve been tired these days. Just stay at home and rest.” Then she pulled Hong Yu’s hands and hurried out.
Old Lord Pan was waiting in the main room’s lounge for her. Old Madam and the three aunts were discussing the approaching matters in March.
There was a rule in the Twenty-four Businesses. Every year in March, there was the tradition of setting up a banquet near the water and going for a hike in spring. This year, Pan Family was the host. As the leader, Old Madam had to set up this banquet with her three daughter-in-laws. She had to make sure everything was done correctly so they had prepared a month in advance.
Most importantly, the urgent task Old Madam gave to her three daughter-in-laws this year was to help find her granddaughter a husband.
“Hi grandfather, grandmother, and my three beautiful aunts.” Shen Ziqiao was like a little bird that was just released from its cage. She bounced over and grabbed onto Old Madam Pan and first aunt’s arms.
Second aunt said unhappily, “Act like a lady. Look at the way you’re acting. If people see the way you’re acting during the banquet, how are we supposed to act as matchmakers for you?...”
“Cough, Jiao Jiao isn’t of legal age yet. She’s just a child. What’s wrong with her being playful?” Old Madam Pan coughed loudly and glared at her.
“What do you mean by matchmaking?” Shen Ziqiao asked confusedly, her eyes glued on Old Madam.
“Nothing, nothing. Quickly go to Twenty-four Businesses with your grandfather.” Old Madam Pan waved her hands and dismissed her.
First aunt also chuckled. “Follow your grandfather closely. Don’t be courteous. If you want anything, just tell him.”
Shen Ziqiao held onto first aunt’s arms intimately and said, “I knew I was right when I saw first aunt is the most beautiful and cute.”
“Go, go. You sure know how to sweet talk.” First aunt chuckled and chased Shen Ziqiao away.
“Grandfather, let’s hurry up and go.” Shen Ziqiao smiled at Old Lord Pan.
Old Lord Pan chuckled and shook his head, taking Shen Ziqiao out.
Second aunt returned to the room and dragged Pan Libiao who was still in bed up forcibly. He was still asleep, drunk from yesterday. “Look at the time! You’re still sleeping! Get up!”
Pan Libiao was in a daze and his temple was still pounding. “What are you doing, what are you doing? Why are you acting crazy early in the morning?”
“Your father took Jiao Jiao to the trading company this morning! You’re still sleeping like a pig. Besides drinking, all you know is to play with women every day. What else do you know to do?” Second aunt poked Pan Libiao’s forehead firmly, screeching.
“What are you doing?” After the poking, Pan Libiao felt his head pounding even more. He pushed the second aunt’s hand away and pulled the cover to the side, getting out of bed. Then he went to pour himself a cup of water.
“You don’t know yet, do you? Mother wants to find a husband for Jiao Jiao and keep her in Minyue!” Second aunt said angrily. “Look. Mother and father are treating this granddaughter just like how they did with aunty back then. When Jiao Jiao gets married, who knows how much more dowries they’ll give her.”
Pan Libiao immediately woke up. “That can’t be. Jiao Jiao has the dowries my sister left for her so the Old Lord probably wouldn’t give her that much.”
“Just continue act like this!” Second aunt glared at him. “Back then, I finally convinced mother to let us go pick up Jiao Jiao in the capital but you just had to get justice for your sister. If you minded your business, that stupid woman in Shen Family would’e never incited Jiao Jiao to kick us out. If we brought Jiao Jiao back, would the first household still be as glamorous as they are now?”
“My sister passed away at such a young age. Shouldn’t I question the Shen Family for her as her elder brother? All you care about is my sister’s dowries.” Pan Libiao exclaimed moodily.
Second aunt suddenly stood up as if her tail had been stepped on. She screeched, “Your sister’s things belong to the Pan Family anyway. Since she died, shouldn’t she return her things to us? Plus, I never thought about taking your niece’s things. I just wanted to manage it for her…”
“Enough, enough. I’ll go to the trading company. Stop shouting. We don’t need to manage Jiao Jiao’s things. She can look after it herself.” Pan Libiao’s head hurt even more.
“Even a girl can be the owner of a trading company. Look at you! You’re worse than Yixing Company’s main shopkeeper…” Second aunt started crying, feeling wronged. She was clearly the second madam of Pan Madam, but she lived worse than anyone else. How could she be happy?
Pan Libiao walked out with a dark face.
T/N: This month's donation goes to DirectRelief! Kofi queue: 1/2~