Nightfall - Chapter 48

Published at 9th of April 2018 09:20:12 AM

Chapter 48

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Ning Que earnestly looked at the man and said, "I have to admit that your conditions are pretty good."

The man answered with laughter, "I serve the government and naturally shall tackle affairs beautifully. Young boss, to be honest, money isn't a problem for the Imperial Court, which means it isn't necessary for me to retain much kickback. If you agree to move out, the price is still negotiable. Anyway, we want to satisfy everyone."

The price was fair, or to some degree even surpassed the category of reasonableness. If Ning Que closed the Old Brush Pen Shop and moved away, he would make a killing without any loss. Meanwhile, he understood that his shop was regarded as a small item by that owner. Insignificant as it was, it could bring force to the owner when he negotiated with the government. If not, this small shop wouldn't be worth so much.

He glanced at Sangsang subconsciously, aiming to perceive her opinion. However, her small face was still as blank as usual, and it was hard to see whether she agreed or not. Then he thought of that middle-aged Big Owner, who stepped into his shop the day they started business wearing a sword at his waist, feeling something was unusual with this affair.

The man took several looks at Ning Que and asked with a frown, "Young boss, whether you agree or not, at least you should say something."

Ning Que moved close to the man, and smiling, he lowered his voice. "Elder brother, I come from a small place. So I'm just wondering, if I say no, what do you plan to do next?"

If those words came from the potbellied shop owners, probably the man would regard it as a challenge to him and slap them. However, because of the young age as well as the humble attitude of Ning Que, he just stayed stupefied for a short while before his careful explanation. "Such things as pouring masses of rubbish at the door of your shop or throwing bricks at midnight would be naturally unavoidable. If you continue to enrage us, it's hard to say whether we'll secretly pollute the well in the backyard of your shop or not. You know, we earn a living from this."

Ning Que faintly stiffened at this answer, lamenting silently in his mind. "If there's a bright moon in the sky of Tang Empire, then the way that moonlight shines at present is the same as it had in the past."

Obviously, these guys besieging the Old Brush Pen Shop were badasses idling in the Jianghu world, who were working for the Chang'an Local Government and the Logistics Department of the Ministry of Revenue, and hard to deal with. Ning Que was well aware that despite their good attitude at the moment, no one knew how wicked they would be if he persisted in not moving out. It was not those badasses that made him scared. The problem was, he had just killed the censor, and moreover, he would take the academy entrance exam in about twenty days. Thus, he felt it hard to reject those conditions, for he was reluctant to bring trouble on himself during that period.

Just at this point, a dense pace of footsteps came from Lin 47th Street followed by the sharp voice of a man whose words were extremely tart and sarcastic, indicating something ruthless and uncaring.

"Littering rubbish? Throwing bricks? Polluting the well? Who gave you bastards the courage to do this? Or have you ever done that at Lin 47th Street? If so, I don't know how your hands remain on your wrists."

A group of men wearing indigo all over approached from the other side of the street. The man who spoke just now was slim with thin brows and eyes and a sharp voice, his indigo clothes waving with the wind as if they were hung on bamboo.

He walked to the door of the Old Brush Pen Shop and greeted Ning Que with a bow, and then he turned to those badasses, saying mockingly, "A gang of bastards like you, unable to even lift your heads in the Southern Area, should dare to force others to move! As for those things I have mentioned, which one would you dare to do? Are you not scared of me breaking your legs?"

A hint of timidness could be caught in the face of the man who had just bargained with Ning Que. However, taking a glimpse of those local government runners under the tree behind him, he gathered his heart again and said with a sneer, "Mr. Qi, we have to make it clear that we don't do those things not because we're scared, but because they're dirty. Now that this young boss is understanding and considerate, it isn't necessary for us to do that."

Mr. Qi raised his head and spat at the foot of the man. "Bah! Gu Xiaoqiong, you shut up! But for the fact that Lin 47th Street belongs to our elder brother, how can you bastards pretend to be so decent here?"

Gu Xiaoqiong stretched out his neck, shouting, "What do you want? I was negotiating with the young boss legally, not threatening him with any knives and sticks. I'll pay for his lease contract. What's the matter with it? If you can prove that I've broken the law of the Tang, then let's go for a judgment in the Chang'an Local Government!"

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Mr. Qi gave him another "Bah!", and then turned back to Ning Que with a second bow, saying, "Young boss, your agreement on opening the shop here is, in itself, a respect to our 3,000 brothers. Please feel at ease to continue your business here. Whoever dares to harm you, I'll chop his head off to make amends to you."

Anxiety appeared somewhat on Ning Que's face when he sensed a fight was on the verge of breaking out, but in his heart he remained calm and actually even interested in witnessing how those gangs in Chang'an tackled troublesome affairs. It didn't take much time for him to find that the man who had rented the shop out to him was obviously of a high status in the underworld of Chang'an, which meant the government would feel frustrated to solve the problem through the employment of those thugs. Ning Que was standing there, waiting for the fight to be triggered with great pleasure, however, the problem unexpectedly turned to him. He promptly held his fist in his other palm in front of his chest to make a salute and said with a smile, "Mr. Qi, I feel very grateful to that Big Owner who has exempted me of my rent for three months. However, the price offered by this Gu Xiao... Mr. Gu's price is really attractive."

Ning Que prevented himself from uttering more and took a wait-and-see approach. His words had made Gu Xiaoqiong happy and excited, who then said to Mr. Qi with laughter, "Mr. Qi, have you heard? Those're the own opinions of the young boss."

Mr. Qi suppressed a "Humph!" from his nose and turned to Ning Que again, asking, "How much did he promise to give you?"

"200 taels of silver." Ning Que stuck out two figures and then added after a second thought. "Mr. Gu promised to give me more if my business suffers a loss."

Mr. Qi took a sneering glance at Ning Que, and pointing to the bluestone bricks under his feet, he shouted harshly, "200 taels of silver? Can other places in Chang'an offer such a fair price? To tell the truth, such a place does exist, which is exactly located in this Lin 47th Street! Why? Because our benevolent elder brother strives to shelter all of the shop owners in the street! Those thugs in the Southern Area have no choice but to offer such a high price. As a result, those d*mn ungrateful bosses have all moved away with the money!"

Embarrassment appeared on the face of Gu Xiaoqiong. In fact, this affair on this street had remained unsolved for almost half a year, which even stirred the patrons of both sides, who were determined to occupy this street regardless of the profit. It was not proper for the government to be directly involved in the affair, and meanwhile, those flunkies in the Southern Area had no courage to offend that Big Owner, thus, money became their best way to solve the problem. Some shop owners moved away with the money given to them, and some transferred their shop at a low price to avoid offending the two sides despite the loss of money. Anyway, those in the Southern Area had made a profit without too much sacrifice.

On hearing those words, Ning Que calculated silently in his mind, and then he found that it was more profitable for that Big Owner to transfer the interest to the government. If he was really on the side of those shop owners, he then truly matched with the word "benevolent".

Mr. Qi looked at Ning Que with his icy eyes. The moment his rage was about to burst out, the enjoining of his elder brother bumped into his mind. He then held back his anger and shouted, "Did they promise you 200 taels of silver? Well, I'll exempt you one year's rent! In addition, we'll help you to keep order free of charge!"

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