Xu Qianqian… this woman was truly feeling herself.
I can abandon you, trample all over you, Shen Lang, but you’ll still be as infatuated before my presence. If you’re useless, I’ll sweep you out of the house. If you’re useful, I’ll let you enter my house and have you slave away just for me, Shen Lang.
Shen Lang said nothing, only turning around. The image of her only crumbled further into the dark abyss. He wondered why the previous him allowed himself to be fooled.
Xu Qianqian reached out her hand and called out, her voice amorously angelic. “Shen Lang, even though you can create dyes, it means nothing. You’re still the same as before. Don’t think you’re so great in your dyes compared to our highly skilled craftsmen. There are dozens of them yet they are without a name.”
This is true. Craftsmen are only but a humble lowly servant dog slaving their lives away for a family. They weren’t vied after in this world. They had no status. They’ll never amount to anything.
Even if Shen Lang could create a dye as beautiful as the happily, composed Tenerife Sea, he was still in the end only as a simpleton village boy. Though pleasing to the eyes, he wasn’t worth much.
“You cannot read nor can you practice martial arts. You aren’t able to do anything. Your future is grim. Why waste on trivial matters. Come to us. We’ll provide for you.” She said pitifully. “And don’t forget, you still owe Tian Heng one thousand gold coins.”
Lin Mo had yet to purchase Shen Lang’s new dye recipe. Xu Qianqian seized this opening. Naturally, the one thousand gold coins he owed Tian Heng wasn’t in his hand. They’d make sure with all their might it’d not fall to his hands.
Tian Thirteen appeared in thin air like a ghost, his apparition no more than a distortion of light. “Shen Lang, I stick to my words. If by tonight we do not have one thousand gold coins, your family, they’ll soon be a goner.” He said menacingly, dragging his finger across his throat. “I swear upon my Heiyi Gang.”
“Shen Lang, you have less than a day left and with no way out. Where will you go to earn a thousand gold coins? The only way to survive is to come back to me. Take refuge in my home and offer us those two dye recipes unconditionally. I’ll make sure Tiang Heng and the others no longer bothers you and your family.”
“It’s almost dawn.” Tian Thirteen yawned. “Soon, we’ll be going to your house tonight to collect our fees. What will you do? Time is ticking. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Less than seven hours left.”
“Shen Lang, you’re not expecting the young official, Wang Lian to help you, are you? Could that be it? No, he can’t save you. You aren’t his responsibility. It’s impossible that he’d be willing to help you. He only did such ireful actions because he has a grudge against my fiance, Zhang Jin. Knowing I’d soon marry him, he deliberately oppressed my Xu Family. He surely won’t care about your life and death.”
Xu Qianqian was right.
“Shen Lang, rest assured.” Tian Thirteen sneered. “Our Black Warrior Gang will surely find a plausible reason to arrest your family with god honest blatant charges. Then, we’ll find some random corner in the middle of nowhere and make you and your family vanish in thin air. You’re family’s too poor, like duckweeds without roots. No one would be sad if you were to leave this world. What can you do? You have nothing.”
“Before the sun sets, I cannot guarantee your safety if the Xu Family does not have the new purple and rainbow dye recipe in hand by then. Black Warrior Gang has always been cruel and fierce in doing this kind of things. Shen Lang, I know you’re not too good at thinking, but you should at least be smarter in this situation.”
Her eyes flickered before turning around to board the carriage.
“Expect us to arrive at your house by nightfal,” Tian Thirteen whispered, his figure disappearing into the shadows ever so slowly.
He need not follow Shen Lang. Tian Thirteen knows the country bumpkin’s an extremely filial child. So long as he gives even a momentary look over his parents and little brother, he’d not be able to do anything.
During the whole dramatic performance, Shen Lang said nothing, only quietly watching on as the duo tried their best to entrap him in a psychological trauma.
From a distance afar, Xu Qianqian opened the curtains from the carriage. The sunshine rays magnified her beauty. She looked back at Shen Lang standing still in the middle of the street.
Suddenly, she burst in bouts of giggles.
“Weakness truly is a sin. He looks just like a dog.” She smiled lightly. “Shen Lang, it is already a gift from the heavens that you’re able to enter my house once more to serve me not as my husband but as a dogged servant. Otherwise, someone like you with a retarded brain should just starve to death.”
This bitter and toxic words, only she’d speak of it when alone and without another accompanying her.
It’d deal a great blow to her image, after all.
… … …
Shen Lang stood idly by in the middle of the street.
Making money… it meant nothing to him.
Even if he had all the riches in the world, without power and status to protect himself and his family, it’d only invite him future troubles.
This is a world where the strong prey on the weak. If you weren’t the tiger, you’d end up their lunch.
The Xu Family, Lin Family, and the Black Warrior Gang… any of those three was a giant mountain he had troubles overcoming. Tian Heng and the Xu Family, they’ll make a move tonight. No doubt about it. They’d force Shen Lang to a corner and have him hand over the two dye recipes in exchange for the lives of his loved ones.
How pitifully cruel.
But even then, even if he’d chosen to surrender, he’s left without a choice but to work as the Xu Family’s lowly servant for the rest of his life. He’d live his life as their cattle whilst continuing to milk out his potential. He and his family would not be able to live peacefully in comfort.
This problem needed to be solved once and for all.
Originally, he hoped to place his lifelong dream of hugging to a powerful woman’s thighs till he was more mature, more handsome, and more charming. He needed time to prepare. But it looks like his plans had been thrown out down the well. Things needed to advance more quickly else he’d fall into an endless hole of despair.
Shen Lang quickly rehearsed the plan in his mind over and over again like his life was on the line.
Dawn would fall soon and darkness would envelop the sky whole as it danced with the stars carelessly, breathlessly.
He’s running against the bitter fate of time. He needed to hurry, needed to go to the city, to go to the ever so powerful family.
The Count’s Palace!