Liang Jianhai started buying cotton on a large scale. The procession used to include two horse carriages but within two days, it had expanded to that of dozens of people. Uncle Qun and the four guards rode their horses near Shen Ziqiao’s horse carriage. His face was darker than the bottom of a pot as he watched Liang Jianhai bring over a procession transporting cotton.
They originally didn’t want to attract any attention while going to Minyue but it was unclear what this Nee Shen was thinking. She actually started purchasing cotton in a large fanfare while on the way. She lacked some manners in the end. If she was a daughter from an influential family who had been taught etiquettes as a child, she wouldn’t have done this.
Shen Ziqiao knew that Uncle Qun objected to her purchasing cotton but she didn’t bother explaining. Those that knew her obviously knew her motive.
Because Shen Ziqiao had been purchasing in large amounts, the price of the cotton had been raised to two hundred silvers a bag. She then put out news that Tianbao Company will purchase cotton under any means. The news quickly spread to Minyue.
When He Chen heard the news, he thought that she was a bit rash. After all, she fought head on against Ma Junfeng. But after seeing Gore’s map, he knew what she was up to.
“Let’s start purchasing cotton too.” He Chen ordered his shopkeeper.
“Sir, but the price of the cotton has already been raised too high. It might cause a ruckus on the market.” The shopkeeper was shocked hearing the command. He was clearly just giving out silvers for free at this point.
He Chen smiled. “I know what I’m doing.”
He should be able to see her soon...
His silent heart suddenly felt a pang of pain thinking of the carefree woman who didn’t care about anyone’s gazes.
She was already the First Madam of the Qi Family.
He Chen’s gaze dimmed. He called his servant over and exclaimed, “Invite Pan Family’s old lord over for a gathering.”
By the time Shen Ziqiao arrived in Minyue, the price of cotton had been raised to three hundred silvers. Besides the He Family who also joined in on the competition, even the Pan Family had been purchasing in secret. Henghui Company who had been purchasing cotton throughout the country did everything it could to buy cotton frenetically.
“How many bags of cotton do we have now?” Shen Ziqiao asked Liang Jianhai.
“A thousand five hundred bags.” Liang Jianhai said, “All the trading companies know now. Not only does Gore need cotton, the small countries are also affected. Their cotton harvest hasn’t been the best. They all need to export from Dazhou.”
“How many bags does the first uncle have?” Shen Ziqiao smiled and entered the Pan Family.
Old Madam Pan knew that Shen Ziqiao was coming so she happily got out of bed. She had been discouraged for the past half month but she looked better today.
“Grandmother.” Shen Ziqiao’s voice was heard before she was seen.
“My Jiao Jiao!” Old Madam Pan struggled to get out of bed but she was stopped by everyone.
Ever since Yixing Company was sealed, Old Madam Pan frequently felt a headache. The past two days even, she was strengthless. She could only lie in bed and rest. They invited a physician over but they couldn’t tell what was going on. The three daughter-in-laws were extremely anxious.
Shen Ziqiao hurried in and sat on the bed disregarding her manners. She threw herself in Old Madam Pan’s arms and exclaimed, “Grandmother, I miss you so much.”
Old Madam Pan gestured to hit her hand. “Miss me how? You never came back from the capital.”
“I’m here now, aren’t I?” Shen Ziqiao smiled. “First aunt, second aunt, third aunt, I haven’t seen you guys in a few days and you’ve become younger and beautiful.”
First aunt couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “You sure know how to talk.”
The atmosphere became carefree. No one mentioned Yixing Company as if Shen Ziqiao didn’t come for that but for Old Madam Pan.
“Jiao Jiao’s here?” She was just talking to Old Madam Pan when a deep and steady voice rang from outside.
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Grandfather.”
Old Lord Pan walked inside and waved the three daughter-in-laws greeting him off. “You guys can leave.”
The first aunt froze. Why did he dismiss them? Did he have to say something to Jiao Jiao? Recalling the difficult situation the Pan Family was facing, the three aunts didn’t dare hesitate. They lowered their heads and flushed out.
“Jiao Jiao, what do you plan on doing with the cotton?” Old Lord Pan asked as soon as he sat down.
Old Madam Pan glanced at her partner in shock. What exactly was going on? Could the cotton purchases that had been happening the past few days have something to do with Jiao Jiao? Weren’t they storing the curtains for Yixing Company and then selling it to Gore in the future?
“Grandfather, how much cotton do you have now?” Shen Ziqiao knew that grandfather knew what she wanted to do so she smiled and asked him.
“Two thousand bags. There hasn't been that much cotton recently. Of the two thousand bags, a thousand five hundred bags were stored from a while ago.” Old Lord Pan knitted his brows and said.
Henghui Company stored quite a lot of cotton.
“That’s pretty good. Have people resell these cottons to Henghui Company in the next two days.” Shen Ziqiao said, “You must find a brand new person. Don’t let Ma Junfeng know that we are the ones selling cottons.”
Old Lord Pan didn’t understand now. “You...you’re not selling these cottons to Gore? Why are you selling it to Ma Junfeng?”
Gore was in need of cotton. Though Yixing Company was sealed, Tianbao Company wasn’t. If they could sell cotton to
“Grandfather, don’t worry. Listen to me. Sell the cottons to Ma Junfeng.” Shen Ziqiao said.
Old Lord Pan didn’t expect that Shen Ziqiao purchased cotton to resell it to Ma Junfeng.
“Jiao Jiao, why are you benefiting that surname Ma?” Old Madam Pan hurriedly asked. She was worried that Shen Ziqiao was too young and wouldn’t do anything calmly enough.
Shen Ziqiao patted Old Madam Pan’s hands and comforted, “Grandmother, don’t worry. You’ll find out whether we’re benefiting him or the other way around in a few days.”
Seeing that Shen Ziqiao knew what she was doing, Old Lord Pan nodded. “Let your first uncle know if you need anything.”
“Okay!” Shen Ziqiao smiled and nodded.
Within half a day, news of Shen Ziqiao coming back had spread. After meeting her uncles, she went to Tianbao Company, not even having the time to rest.
Shopkeeper Fan and Zhang were already there waiting for Shen Ziqiao.
“Third miss, the two thousands bags of cotton are outside the city. What should we do now?” Shopkeeper Fan had heard about Shen Ziqiao’s plans for the cotton from Liang Jianhai.
“Have someone meet with Ma Junfeng. Three hundred twenty silvers a bag. Sell all the cotton to Ma Junfeng.” Shen Ziqiao ordered, “Don’t let him suspect anything.”
“Third miss, leave this up to me.” Shopkeeper Zhang smiled.
Shen Ziqiao smiled and nodded, not staying long in the Tianbao Company before heading to Yixing Company.
Yixing Company was still sealed. The store that always used to be crowded was now empty and sparse. As for Henghui Company across from them, it was like the past Yixing Company. Businessmen entered in and out. It was quite crowded and lively.
“Young madam, what if Ma Junfeng becomes the head of the companies?” Hong Yu exclaimed behind Shen Ziqiao in pure hatred.
“Just him?” Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Let’s go and meet Eldest Master He.”
Shen Ziqiao had already made plans with He Chen to meet in the restaurant they encountered each other in last time.
The restaurant wasn’t far. The horse carriage passed through the Twenty-four Streets and they arrived not long later. Shen Ziqiao pressed her hat down and followed the waiter to a private room upstairs.
After entering the room, she took her hat off and smiled at the man standing by the window.
He Chen was still handsome. He was expressionless and looked at Shen Ziqiao with a calm and indifferent gaze. Only he knew how fast his heart was racing.
“Brother He.” Shen Ziqiao bowed and smiled, walking forth.
Glancing at her smiling face, He Chen’s gaze deepened. “Hope you’ve been well.”
“Thanks for your help. Let me toast to you.” Shen Ziqiao knew that He Chen was also purchasing cotton. She knew that he was helping her.
A smile floated on his lips. “How could you tell?”
He walked over and sat down, picking up a cup of tea. His gaze brightened as he looked at her. She was confident that he was helping her?
Shen Ziqiao smiled. “Of course, if you didn’t help in secret, Ma Junfeng wouldn’t have just shut Yixing Company down.”
He Chen lowered his head and drank tea. “What do you plan on doing now?”
“Sell the cottons to Ma Junfeng.” Shen Ziqiao said. “Didn’t he say that he’ll buy cottons at any cost? Then give him that.”
“You seem...to be different from the past.” He Chen looked deeply at her. He felt like she was different.
No matter what she encountered in the past, though she would be nervous and afraid, she wouldn’t try so hard to return the favor. She was like an audience watching a show. But now, she was part of the show.
Was this because of Qi Zheng?
Shen Ziqiao thought he was referring to her appearance. She clutched her face and laughed. “Have I become an old woman?”
He Chen laughed. “You’re still really beautiful.”
“Let’s talk serious.” Shen Ziqiao smiled. “How much cotton do you have?”
“A thousand bags.” He Chen said. He had to steal this from Ma Junfeng.
“Then sell them to me.” Shen Ziqiao said.
He Chen shook his head. “It’s too late.” He continued to laugh as Shen Ziqiao revealed a bewildered expression. “I had people sell it to Henghui Company.”
Shen Ziqiao’s eyes brightened. She laughed and patted He Chen’s shoulders. “Thank you, Brother He. You’re amazing. Only you guessed what I was doing.”
He Chen lowered his head and looked at her hand, his heart touched.
Within two days, Henghui Company had bought Shen Ziqiao’s thousands of bags of cotton. Though she didn’t earn much, she achieved her motive. With He Chen’s a thousand bags, Henghui Company had at least ten thousand bags of cotton by now, right?
Shen Ziqiao was in a great mood. She played poke with Old Madam Pan everyday.
The three uncles in the Pan Family were still on the go for Yixing Company.
Henghui Company got ready to load the ship with cotton and prepared to transport them to Gore.
At this time, news came from Gore. They purchased all their cottons from Insa. It was only a hundred silvers per bag.
Insa was next to Gore. Almost a third of its citizens in the country planted cotton.
News of Gore’s neighboring countries’ cottons suffering from disaster was unreal.