Book 2 - Fame Spreads

Chapter 30.1 - The Incoming Letter


Note:
2/5

Auspicious snowfall foretold a prosperous upcoming year.

When the new year’s first heavy snow fluttered down from the sky, He manor was already filled with cries of joys and laughter.

For every person in the manor, the new year held a different significance. The youth, with the addition of another year, matured. The old turned even older. However, the two old men in the He manor were nevertheless quite delighted. Their younger generation had already matured enough to replace them.

Their days of shielding the He manor from wind and rain had gradually come to an end.

And this was perhaps the most cherished wish of all the old men!

“New Year’s Skill Competition, officially begins….” Following the vigorous words of the third uncle He Quanyi, the training ground echoed with an ardent applause.

The difference compared to the previous years was that among the younger generation, only one member had attained the sixth layer.

He Yiling- third uncle He Quanyi’s eldest daughter. This year she had turned twenty and could be considered as the female expert of the third generation. In ordinary peasant households, the females had already married before this age. However, for cultivators, twenty years was not considered old at all. Instead, it was considered as the beginning of the magnificent youth.

Therefore, when He Yiling ascended the stage, she received the loudest of the reception. Her opponent was He Yihai. Confronting his younger sister’s offense, he could only bitterly smile and drag the fight around before issuing a sudden, lucky winning strike. Seeing this, the elders of the family were all beaming with smiles.

Subsequently, He Yixuan and He Yitian appeared on the stage. Their skill seemed to have become increasingly polished.

Under the provocation from a freak like He Yiming, they all had raised the goals they had set for themselves, which, in turn, had increased the combined battle strength of the third generation to a new level.

Although none of them had broken through their respective bottlenecks during the year, their progress had already pleased their elders.

As for He Yiming, when he stood up, all the members on the stage dispersed like a flock of birds. Nobody would willingly disgrace themselves.

With He Yiming’s strength, not mention the younger generation, even if the entire manor swarmed him, he wouldn’t have too much trouble.

Seeing this, He Wude and the rest could only bitterly smile and shake their heads. However, inwardly, they were quite pleased.

If the future generation would also be like this, the foundation of He manor would be steadfast for several decades.

During the Skill Competition, He Yitian and Cheng Yanli, husband and wife, sat separately from the elders. They could be considered to have settled down as a couple, living in their independent residence.

Within one year they have married, even if they were not too affectionate with each other, at the very least, they exhibited the mutual respect between husband and wife. Their conduct was quite appropriate during the event.

However, He Yiming indistinctly felt that as a married couple, they were too courteous to each other.

Perhaps only after a certain amount of time would they truly accept each other as partners.

However, it was not all perfect.

The only matter they were to be condemned about somewhat was that after one full year of their marriage, the He family had yet to see the appearance of the fourth generation.

Although He Wude and the other elders didn’t speak about it openly, from their behavior, certain clues were apparent. However, these old men were quite good at deception. They didn’t let He Yitian and Cheng Yanli to pick up on these clues.

After the Skill Competition, everybody dined together and went their separate ways.

However, in the great courtyard, He Wude, the second generation’s three members, He Yiming, and He Yitian were gathered together.

The topic of their discussion was precisely the development plan for the new year.

Previously, among the third generation, even He Yitian had never participated in this discussion. However, today, He Wude had specifically called He Yitian and He Yiming to attend the discussion. His intentions were evident.

The children of the third generation had officially begun to participate in the affairs of the manor.

Around a round table, He Yitian and He Yiming were responsible to fill their elders’ teacups while listening and offering their assertions at the same time.

He Quanming placed the account book on the table and said, “Father, this year’s profit is quite good. Accounting the expenses and sales of the shops, we’ve altogether summed up a profit of two thousand silver taels.”

He Quanyi also tossed out an account book and said, “A lot of the land around the manor has already been cleared out. The revenue from the grains is also quite good. Adding the hunts from the forest and the sales of mountainous local specialities in the city, the harvest is plentiful,” He paused for a bit before continuing, “However, there are hundreds of mouths to feed in the manor. Adding in their monthly salaries, special rewards and so on….the profit is not as much as it seems. Adding in the new constructions, repair, and assembling the materials for the future castle, it’s a huge expense- in total an expenditure of five thousand silver taels.”

He Yitian and He Yiming exchanged a glance. It turned out that even after everybody in the manor painstakingly worked, they were unable to cover their expenditure.

He Wude faintly nodded. His face didn’t have a shred of expression, as if already expecting such an outcome.

“Second, how is the business with Yuan family?” The old man calmly asked.

He Quanming’s face immediately revealed a full smile, “Father, this year, our business partnership with Yuan family has gone extremely smooth. All the products have been sold without a hitch, fetching a profit of a thousand gold taels.”

He Yitian and He Yiming gaped, almost not daring to believe their ears.

Although gold and silver were both expensive metals, the difference in their values was quite significant. In the Northwest, two taels of gold could easily be exchanged for ten taels of silver.

Two thousand gold taels meant ten thousand taels of silver. In comparison, the manor’s five thousand taels deficit didn’t even seem worth mentioning.

He Wude smiled in satisfaction before suddenly saying, “Yitian, Yiming, do you understand now? Although we’ve shops in the city, due to constant expansion of the manor, even after all these years, we’re still not able to cover this debt. To continue the expansion of the manor and save for the clan as well, business with Yuan family is our true lifeline.”

He Yitian thought for a bit before saying, “Grandfather, this Yuan family you speak of, is it the same as Yuan family of the Gold Forest country?”

“Correct, the Yuan family of Gold Forest country,” He Wude faintly nodded and said, “Although their strength in the Gold Forest country is not too big, they have vast connections. Moreover, the current family head of Yuan family, Yuan Zeyo, is my companion from back in the day who ventured the world outside with me. They are definitely the best partners for our He family.”

He Yiming eyed everybody around and asked, “What’s our business with the Yuan family that involves such a profit?”

He Quanming hesitated a bit, then said, “Smuggling.”