Chu Changge didn't expect the only words on the entire sheet of paper were "Thank You". Even more surprising was the news from Chef Guo that Murong Yun Shu was poisoned by the Soul Snatcher.
Suddenly, he felt like the earth was shattering from underneath him. He stood like for a long while not know what to think. Then he crunched up the piece of paper inside his palm and burned it to dust. The dust scattered all over the ground. After that, a child-like innocent smile appeared on his face, slowly he started to laugh louder and louder, "HA HA... HA HA HA HA....."
The four guardians lower their heads and remained silent. When the laughter started, they knew their boss had another melt down, one that's worse than the one three years ago. Back then it was a howl, this time it was laughter that sounded even more desperate than howling.
Chef Guo lowered his head too, he was contemplating whether he should make the "Soup of Desperation" or the "Soup of Annihilation." Ay, regardless, boss's not looking good.
The laughter finally stopped after a long while. He frowned and looked at Chef Guo devilishly, his eyes stared at like cold, sharp daggers that could make anyone shuddered, "How did she get poisoned?" His deep and bellow-like voice sounded like it could slice though anything.
Chef Guo's knees weakened, he body shuddered and almost dropped on his knees. With quivering voice, he replied, "One of the survivor of House of Tang, Tan San Niang1, disguised as the bard at the brothel and poisoned madam under King Liang, Jr.'s order."
Chu Changge strike him hardly across his cheek, making a crisp slapping noise, angrily he said, "If you couldn't even take care of Tang San Niang, why do I want to keep you around?"
Chef Guo's face looked just like normal, no red mark or swelling, but blood ran down the corner of his mouth. He threw himself onto his knees, "Mercy, boss. That Tang San Niang was very good at disguising, I didn't learn about her true identity till I had took her down. By then, it was already too late...." Ay, I should made Soup of Mercy. The inner damage he sustained from sect leader's slap would take him about a month to recover.
East Guardian said, "Boss, perhaps we should have Chef Guo make up for his mistake by retrieving the antidote from King Liang Jr's residence in Shu Province."
"There's no antidote for the Soul Snatcher. What King Liang Jr. referred to as antidote was just another form of poison that could slow down the effect of the Soul Snatcher." Chu Changge secretly balled up his fist. After a few seconds, he added, "The four of you, go get Feng Cheng and take him to Jiang Ling House of Murong."
"Yes, Sir!" replied the four guardians solemnly.
"Chef Guo, accompany me to Shu Province."
"Thank you boss for showing me mercy! Even if I have to use mouse poison, I will poison all members and mice of King Liang Jr's residence."
Back to Jiang Ling, it's already June. Middle of the summer, the sun was beating down like a giant fireball. It was so hot that Murong Yun Shu wish she could walk around in bare shoulders and feet. She should have stayed longer in the North, or went into the cooler mountains. Practically anywhere was better than being in Jiang Ling, located south of Jian Zhou.
She already had four pieces of ice of human's height in her bedroom but she was still burning up. Murong Yun Shu laid on her green barley chair and stared at the book in her hand. She was thinking which mountain she could go to buy a piece of land and build a summer villa. Unfortunately Chu Changge burned down the entire peach forest in the City of Feng. Else she'd be very tempted to buy a hut from him.
In the midst of all her crazy thoughts, Lu'er entered her room, "Miss, Master Nie and Manager Qian2 are waiting at your study."
"Bring them in."
"But this is your bedroom, I don't think you should let Master Nie and Manager Qian come into your bedroom."
"Then send them away."
"Ugh... but they said they have matters to discuss with you."
Murong Yun Shu frowned, "I am not leaving my room today."
Lu'er gave up, at least this year miss didn't hide underground. Better to let them into her bedroom than having a discussion below ground.
After a while, Nie Qing and Manager Qian followed Lu'er into Murong Yun Shu's bedroom.
Murong Yun Shu wearily put down the book in her hand, "You guys are not getting along?"
Nie Qing snorted, then noticed that Manager Qian didn't say anything, so he continued, "The preparation for printing the silver dollars is more or less done. The Ministry of Revenue requested the total amount of the first badge of silver dollar to be printed."
"Same as what we do for banknotes, we print as much silver dollars as we have real silver."
"Problem is we don't know how much real silver does Huifeng Bank has currently," said Nie Qing snappily.
Murong Yun Shu frowned, "Manager Qian is right next to you." Ever since she had "assigned" Nie Qing to work in the bank, she has been quite removed from all the bank matters. She just checked the amounts coming in at the end of every month. She had no idea how much silver the bank currently has.
As soon as she brought up Manager Qian, Nie Qing was enraged.
Murong Yun Shu looked at Nie Qing, then at Master Qian. What was going go?
"This is confidential matter. I dare not disclose to others without miss's permission," said Manager Qian in a very business-like manner.
Murong Yun Shu nodded, "From now on, you can give him any information that he asks for." After all, the emperor sent him here to surveil Huifeng Bank; if he couldn't surveil anything, it'd just seem like they were hiding something.
"But he.... is not part of the Murong House," Manager Qian was very worried, this guy was the spy from the Court!
Murong Yun Shu smiled, casually she said, "That's okay. With Master Qie's business acumen, even if he has knowledge of confidential matter, he wouldn't be able to do any harm."
Her words made the corner of his eyes twitched, he gave her a murderous stare. Unfortunately, he caught sight of her ancient zither earring, the murderous chi froze in midair, then dispersed. Nie Qing saturninely turned his head to look at the beams in the room.
Manager Qian made an enlightened look, nodded repeatedly, and said, "Had I know that's Master Nie's level, I wouldn't have bothered keeping everything from him...."
Nie Qing was infuriated, but didn't have the guts to blow up, so all he did was snorted while looking at the beam.
Murong Yun Shu pretended she didn't hear anything and continued to ask Manager Qian, "Anything else?"
"One more thing....." he paused, looked at Nie Qing, then at Murong Yun Shu. Seeing her nod, he continued, "Mingjian Manor has started using the fifty million silver."
"Words have it that they are transporting them to King Liang's resident in Shu Province. A total of five separate bands, guarded by Zhen Yuan3 Escort Agency4."
Murong Yun Shu pursed her lips, her eyes and brows quivered slightly, an unfathomable smile radiated out of her eyes.
Finally, it was time...
1. San = three, Niang = woman. Most likely the wife of the third Tang's child.
2. The author used the word "money" as the character's surname. This is a real surname.
3. Name of the Escort Agency means "far away town"
4. A protection agency for hire. They work as bodyguards for people and/or shipments of goods. Commonly seen in Wuxia novels. (Source: WuxiaWorld.com)