Chapter 106 The slave contract
Shu Huan didn’t go ask Shang Xin again. Regardless whether the deduction was the truth or not, it could be affirmed that she had a tragic experience. There was no need to mention it again and let her suffer the pain of remembering. Even when facing her, Shu Huan didn’t reveal sympathy or pity and still treated her the same as before.
One couldn’t keep dwelling onto the past. One had to look forward.
Du Qiu’s ability of getting things done truly let people exclaim in admiration.
In only a short day, he was able to find out Shang Xin’s identity. When Gu Xiran asked him to go find Shang Xin’s uncle to buy Shang Xin, he didn’t even ask, turned and went to do it.
Before dinner on the evening of the same day, Gu Xiran led Du Qiu into Lotus Pavilion. A slave contract with the handprints of both parties and which was done inder the eyes of reliable guarantor was put in front of Shu Huan.
“So fast?” Shu Huan was truly very surprised!
Gu Xiran also laughed when he looked at the Du Qiu next to him, “When he said that he had already bought her, I was also a bit surprised.”
Du Qiu’s expression was faint and said, “It was nothing difficult. That man was so poor that only the pants he had left was not broken. The moment I said that I wanted to buy, he hurriedly sold her to me.”
Shu Huan lowered her head to look at the contract. On the slave contract it was written that the price was five silver liang. She was even more speechless.
Five silver liang! That was only half of her monthly allowance. It was already enough to buy the whole life of a girl!
She had always known that in this world, money was worth more than a human life. However, she didn’t expect that it would be worthless to this point. Originally, she thought that if the twenty silver liang of monthly allowance from her and Gu Xiran wasn’t enough to buy the person, she might have to use the gold that she had accumulated.
Shu Huan’s lips raised slightly, showing her irony. It seemed that she had left the stage of extreme poverty and had entered the middle-class. However, what made her surprised was; why didn’t the uncle of Shang Xin ask for a higher price?
When she asked Du Qiu this question, the expression of Du Qiu didn’t change a bit and he said, “He wanted, but didn’t dare to.”
The meaning behind this fluttering sentence was very rich. Shu Huan couldn’t help but let her imagination run wild.
Gu Xiran laughed, “Didn’t he mention to you that he had already used Shang Xin to pay his gambling debt?”
Du Qiu shook his head and said, “When I threw the money at him, his eyes almost fell out. He would probably prefer to die than give out this silver personally. Not only didn’t he mention this, he didn’t even ask about why I wanted to buy Shang Xin or whether Shang Xin was still alive or death. He only pestered me to bargain.”
Although, she had already expected this, but she still sighed with sorrow when she heard that.
Du Qiu continued, “After signing the slave contract, I quietly followed him for a while. He first went to a wine shop and had a big meal. Then, he went to find people to gamble with. It seemed that today, he got a bit of luck and won a little.”
Gu Xiran asked, “You gave him the whole silver according to the instructions I gave you?”
“Yes, one ingot of fine silver.”
After Gu Xiran heard that he was silent for a moment and then sighed, “Then, trouble would probably come to the door.”
Shu Huan was looking at that slave contract when she heard this. She was surprised for a moment and asked, “Are you talking about those gambling den owners?”
“Mm.” Gu Xiran lowered his eyes. “When they found out that a penniless person suddenly went to a wine shop to have a great meal and also had money to go gamble; what would they be waiting for if they didn’t they look for him to pay back the money and get the person (SX)?”
When the question was being led by him, it was easy to strike home and hit the essence. Shu Huan nodded and said, “But that person had been poor for so long and it wasn’t easy for him to get a bit a money. Would he easily hand it over?”
This wasn’t a question. Du Qiu immediately shook his head, “Impossible.”
Gu Xiran smiled faintly, “It was possible that the money would be snatched away. Even if it didn’t get snatched, he couldn’t hand over the person (SX).”
“I think that people like him would bring the owners here to find the person in order for him to keep the money. Moreover, even if those owners had snatched the money, they may not be satisfied.” Shu Huan gently flipped the paper in her hand, sighed and said, “Then, this slave contract would be of no use. It was signed later than them.”
Gu Xiran nodded silently. Originally, he was waiting for Shu Huan to ask him what to do. Who would’ve thought that he waited for half a day, she still didn’t utter a word? When he looked up again, he saw that both she and Du Qiu was looking at him with a calm face. He couldn’t help but have the urge to wipe his sweat, “Why are you looking at me?”
Du Qiu didn’t speak.
Shu Huan said smilingly, “To see how long you would keep one in tenterhooks! You already set a trap for him. Then, you must’ve thought of a way to deal with it once and for all, right?”
She didn’t think that this time, Gu Xiran would shake his head.
Shu Huan was startled, “What do you mean?”
Gu Xiran laughed, “I was only able to think of despicable way.”
Shu Huan sighed from relief and gave him a scornful look, “Does one still need to be fair and aboveboard when dealing with those people? Besides, I haven’t forgotten your quick-lime and hot pepper water!”
“Cough, cough…,” Gu Xiran faked two coughs embarrassed and uttered a sentence, “I was forced by the circumstance.”
Shu Huan laughed. Du Qiu turned his eyes and didn’t look at him, but his lips were obviously slightly curved.
“Let’s go look for doctor Ji!” Gu Xiran shook his head laughingly and said, “I thought about a way, but I had to make sure whether it could be realized otherwise, I had to think of another way.”
Shu Huan didn’t know what his intentions were to go look for Ji Danqing, but she didn’t ask. Anyway, she would know when she went there. She reminded Meijing to bring the dinner to Bamboo Pavilion. No matter what, one couldn’t discuss while being hungry, right?
The only thing that made her dejected was that the communication was too backwards in this era. They had to go back and forth to talk about one thing. In the modern times, if there wasn’t internet, there was still phones. A lot of time would be saved. But then again, the females of Gu household had good bodies. The whole day, they had maids to serve them and had exotic delicacies, tonics and sweet soup to eat, but it couldn’t be seen that they had gotten fat. This was probably related to this amount of exercise.
At Bamboo Pavilion, a meal just happened to have been put. Ji Danqing was a bit surprised when he saw that they came at this time. He put down the chopstick he had just raised. He didn’t ask whether they have eaten or not, turned and let the maid go bring more bowls and chopsticks.
At this moment, Shang Xin still had the identity of a guest and ate with Ji Danqing. At this time, she was also at the table. Taking advantage that Gu Xiran didn’t mention the proper business yet, Shu Huan handed her the slave contract because she (SH) knew that she (SX) knew how to read. She apologized, “I still went to investigate your past with your real name. I didn’t have any other meaning. I only wanted to know what kind of trouble you had encountered and if I could solve it for you, I would solve it.”
Originally, she didn’t want to mention that she had investigated Shang Xin’s identity because she was afraid that it would stir up her disease of the heart. However, on the way here, Gu Xiran said that this matter needed the cooperation of Shang Xin. Since it was like that, she had no other way but to tell her.
Shang Xin dazedly took over the slave contract. She only looked at it for a short while when her tears fell onto the slave contract. She quickly used her sleeves to wipe away her tears for fear that the tears would stain the paper.
Shu Huan looked at it and secretly shook her head. She didn’t persuade her. How could such a pain be eased with just some words of comfort? She only said, “What I said before is still valid. Later, when the matter is settled, if you don’t want to stay here, you can take the slave contract with you.”
Shang Xin wiped her tears for a while with a lowered head. She shook her head and suddenly returned the slave contract to Shu Huan. Then, she knelt in front of Shu Huan and said, “You saved me from the depths of misery…I have nothing to thank you with. I can only make an all-out effort to be your maid. Besides…I have nowhere to go to now. I beg second young master and mistress to please take me in…”
Shu Huan sighed lightly, reached out, pulled her up and said, “If you want to stay here, then stay. If one day you want to go, just tell me. I will then return the slave contract to you.”
Shang Xin only nodded while she sobbed and didn’t speak.
At a side, Ji Danqing saw that the scene was a bit sentimental. He smiled and changed the topic. He asked, “All of you came to look for this humble one at this time, could it be that there is something you want to say?”