Chapter 9.1: Making Money! Let the Performance Begin
… … …
Hearing Tian Thirteen’s malevolent voice, Shen Lang smiled lightly. “Brother Tian, do you want to sleep with me?”
“Two days left. If there are no thousand gold coins by then, your family will be killed.” Then he was gone, cloaked under the covers of the night.
The thatched home was too broken. The roofing leaked towards the corner. His family slept in one room whereas, he slept in another by his own lonesome self.
Lying comfortably on the bed, Shen Lang rubbed his fingers along the silk sheets. Sighing, he turned around and pressed his cheek against the fluffy pillow. His heart, it was content. He felt blessed to have a family who cared only for his happiness.
Though poor, they gave him the best they were able to manage. Far too often, rural families belonged to a poor background, sometimes unable to gift their children new clothings for the New Year or provide them what they wished for.
Shen Lang’s family were the poorest of the poor, but even so, he’d always receive three sets of clothes from his loving family. No matter how difficult, they’d toil hard for their child.
Three sets; one for the summer, one for the autumn days, and another for the spring occasion.
Shen Jiang never had the luxury of having new garments each year, only old clothings handed down, but he did not mind it too much.
Shen Lang’s not sure why his family dotes on him with such great, tender care.
Shen Jiang fared no better either. He’d often play and fool around every passing day, never once taking this life of his seriously, but even his careless nature worked hard to provide for his older brother.
Shen Lang had no redeeming qualifications other than his charming look. If he’d not cross this world, his reliance on his family would only deepen. What then would he do once they passed on and Shen Jiang married and had a family of his own?
“Shen Lang, you owe so much to your family… worry not… I’ll take care of them for the rest of my life…” He vowed he’d never let them experience a cause for suffering. They’d live well for the rest of their life. He’d make sure Shen Jiang married a good wife who’d give him a happy family.
But he needed to overcome his trial before moving forward.
Tian Heng promised him three days to raise the thousand gold coins. So far, a day had passed and he was left with only two. When the time nears, what would happen if he’s unable to grab hold a thousand a gold coins? Shen Lang’s sure Tian Heng would seek the blood of his family.
Is it even possible to earn a thousand gold coins in two days?
… … ….
Shen Lang awoke and rubbed his eyes. Yawning, he turned to the side and watched the rising sun for a short moment, slowly taking in the view. Thereafter, he got up and grabbed the herbal medicine for Shen Wang and Shen Jiang after breakfast.
Shen Lang’s mother grew uneasy. She readied herself to open the door.
“It’s alright, mother, I’ll go.” Opening the door, the faces of Tian Thirteen and Tian Fourteen came to view.
“Shen Lang, time is pressing. Let’s go make money.” Said Tian Thirteen coldly.
“Lang’er, what happened?” His mother questioned.
“Mother, it’s nothing.” He smiled. “This two are my friends.”
“Ah, so it’s a friend of Lang’er.” She said enthusiastically. “Let’s drink porridge together.”
Tian Thirteen laughed. “No, it’s alright, aunt. We’ve already eaten.” His smile was charming, looking nothing like the harbinger of death as he played the part of a good guy.
Shen Lang did not panic and finished his food cordially. As he rose to his feet, his mother stuffed an egg in his mouth. “You must eat well.”
“But…” He wanted his father and brother to have the egg.
“Go on, eat.” His mother cut him off. She grabbed another egg, peeled off the skin, and split in two for Shen Wan and Shen Jiang.
Resigning himself, Shen Lang sighed. “Okay, I’ll eat. Anyways, mother, I’ll be heading to Xuanwu City with my friends. Today, a very good scholar came to Xuanwu School to lecture some good topics.”
“Lang’er, will you be home for lunch?” She said nervously.
“I won’t be able to come back at noon though I’ll try my best and be back before dinner.”
“Aunt, my family lives in Xuanwu City.” Tian Thirteen interrupted. “We’ll be sure to not let Shen Lang grow hungry. He’ll be taken care of in our hands.”
“I hope my son won’t be a bother to you all. Come home later. I’ll give you eggs to eat.”
“Alright.” He smiled.
And the three left the Shen Family home to make money. Tian Thirteen and Tian Fourteen followed closely behind.
One thousand gold coins… an astronomical figure indeed.