Chapter 12.2: What I Want Is to Slap Your Face
Shen Lang held certain reservations since the beginning.
The golden yellow dye recipe he handed to Lin Mo previously was an early modification created during the 17th Century in China, but the recipe in his mind was the modern improvised version and though the material used was the same, the process was slightly different and there were a few additives added which was able to raise the quality of the silk by a few percentages.
Xu Jiazhu had his own recipe and Shen Lang had his own. He’d be able to win the fight today, but to crush the Xu Family? It isn’t likely. He would need to open another door.
“If I’m only able to win in terms of the golden dye recipe, it cannot prove my talent.” Shen Lang turned to Xu Qianqian. “You’re good in dyes. Which color is the most difficult to create?”
Yes, the most difficult color to produce since time immemorial was the color purple and not the golden yellow. Of course, it isn’t to say purple cannot be created. Ancient China once used redroot gromwell to produce a purple dye, but the quality was too poor. After that, they improvised their method and used conches instead.
Qi Heng Gong liked to wear purple silk. At the time, one purple silk toppled five white silk and thus showing its rare, exotic nature.
The west too used purple dyes. But it was processed from seashells instead. The wife of Ptolemy adored the color and its vibrant hues that she’d gone as far as dyeing the sails purple, her clothing purple, and the decorum of her room purple.
But whether the material used was conches or seashells to extract purple dyes, the cost to create them was extravagant. One gram of purple dyes required at least 300 seashells.
Hence why purple dye became a valuable commodity for the rich.
This world had yet to figure out a method of extracting purple dyes from seashells and conches. Then, where did their purple dye come from? From the mixtures of blue and red dye!
But unfortunately, the result from the mixture was lacking and unworthy of being sold publicly. The red and blue dyes of this world weren’t of quality sources to begin with. Mixing the two together only reduced the quality of the purple dye further because the red and blue dye dried at a different speed that when the two was mixed together, the end result was a faded color that washed off easily.
“Purple dyes are more difficult to create than golden dyes, right?” Said Shen Lang.
“Of course!” Xu Qianqian nodded her head.
Purple dyes were regarded as one of the lists of unsolvable problems in the world of silk.
“Alright.” Shen Lang clapped his hands. “Then, in order to prove my talent, why not compete with both the purple and golden dye? You can use all your resources and money. I am only one person without anything, so, of course, I’ll be using cheap materials. Once finished, we’ll present to everyone our finest creations and compare. What do you think?”
Shen Lang smiled charmingly.
I’ll prove to you all that I, Shen Lang, am enough to crush your Xu Family whole in one piece and make this so-called crime of theft the butt of your joke!
“Shen Lang, you’re too childish. This is ridiculous!” Xu Jiazhu snorted. “Why should we compare with you? You’re wasting time! Please, Esteemed Officials, take him directly to prison and force him to confess his sinful crimes!”
Shen Lang looked at the officials present. “Esteemed Officials, what do you think of my method of proposition?”
Several of the officials present sneered. The city’s government treated and tended them with great care. Moreover, the Xu Family helped fun their wealthy livelihoods. When Shen Lang asked them a question, they turned their heads like they never heard a word he said.
Shen Lang sighed and looked at the youngest official.
He was a young master of a noble family in charge of running Xuanwu City’s prison. In Shen Lang’s case, this young master would become his powerful backer if successful in seducing him to his side.
He once recalled the short time spent with the young master in the past. If there were no mistakes, this young master stood in opposition to the Xu Family.
Meeting Shen Lang’s gaze, the young master hesitated for a short moment before sighing. Then, he stood up. “Xu Family Head, let him try. If he can’t win, it’ll prove the recipe was indeed stolen. We’ll then, of course, arrest him on spot.”
Xu Jiazhu’s eyes immediately turned icy cold.
He has stuffed the official’s belly full so they have no choice but to turn a blind eye to the Xu Family’s affairs. This young official who recently arrived held no favorable views towards the Xu Family and now he wants to use the chance to cause trouble? Who does he think he is?
You already took money from me, why are you singing the opposite tune this time? Don’t you know that we’ll soon be tied to the Zhang Family?!
“Lord Wang, are you sure?” Xu Jiazhu asked coldly.