Chapter 767: Feng Zhen’s Luck in Love (III)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“What are your thoughts? Please give me a definite answer so that I can pass it along to my lord. I don’t want her to wait outside for too long and cause trouble.”
If Feng Zhen and Shao Guang were like a couple on a blind date, Jiang Pengji was like the friend who was there to provide support. She went outside to avoid disturbing their conversation.
Feng Zhen understood her intentions and didn’t spend too much time teasing Shao Guang. Instead, he was very straightforward and requested an answer.
If he spent too much time inside, who knew if his master would end up causing some trouble in this house of dining and courtesans?
This place was a vector for creating awkward situations.
If rumors of “Liuzhou Magistrate picks a fistfight over a beautiful woman in the courtesan tower” or some similar kind of drama started to spread, it wouldn’t end well. If there was a scandal about a man, that would be considered somewhat trendy, but pinning it on a woman would be huge news. After Yang Si reminded him of this, Feng Zhen took the advice to heart and started carefully considering Jiang Pengji’s female identity in fear that she may end up being a victim of malicious rumors.
Shao Guang’s expression was completely empty, but his heart was conflicted.
“This is no trivial matter! I should carefully consider my options.”
Based on the current situation, Wanzhou was indeed a very appealing place to go.
Liu Xi’s background wasn’t too bad. Despite still being leagues below the level of the Xu brothers, he was still from an aristocratic and noble family.
Liu Xi’s authority and power weren’t weak, meaning it would be best for Liu She to delegate his authority. Even if he didn’t, Liu Xi would still hold a county in her hands and not be completely powerless.
If Shao Guang wanted to stray away from the Xu family and kick them aside, Jiang Pengji was indeed the best option.
However, the biggest concern was, even if he acknowledged her, would she acknowledge him back?
It wasn’t that Shao Guang had an inferiority complex. If one looked at his family background, his lineage wasn’t considered too well-off. As such, they were completely ignored by the Xu family.
With a cautious heart, Shao Guang carefully beat around the bush to ask about Wanzhou’s current situation and Jiang Pengji’s organizational structure.
He wasn’t just asking useless questions. The answers to his questions would determine Jiang Pengji’s character and enable him to make the right decision.
He couldn’t let people use him over and over again. If Shao Guang kicked away his ties with the Xu Family to join Liu Xi, only to become another lackey who got buried in the snow because of his poor family background, what would be the point of switching sides? Would he just have to kick Liu Xi away and find yet another side to join?
The answers to these questions were of the utmost importance to him.
Feng Zhen understood Shao Guang’s worries but didn’t attempt to point out the other’s intention. Instead, he answered the questions generously and without jumping between topics.
Shao Guang grew more awed as his questions received answered. In fact, he almost spilled the tea in his hands from shock.
“Is everything you just said true?”
According to Feng Zhen’s answers, aside from Feng Jin, who came from an extremely well-off family, the entire staff of the Wanzhou governing body was below the average requirement.
This proved that Liu Xi really didn’t care about a person’s family lineage. He felt relieved knowing that he didn’t need to worry about this aspect of history repeating itself.
As long as there was no prejudice against family backgrounds, Shao Guang believed he could still become successful one day.
Feng Zhen laughed a little and said, “Why would I be lying? My lord may have taken the entirety of Wanzhou without a word, and look as if she has some power, but before we took down the crown, who even knew who Liu Xi was? How many people could she convince with a single statement like ‘I am Liu She’s son’ or ‘I am the brave son of a famous father’ with her lowly title? Even if someone did answer to the summoning, she wouldn’t always take them in. She’s here to recruit talent, not to build ancestral relationships for herself.”
After hearing this, Feng Zhen paused for a moment before lowering his voice to speak to Shao Guang.
“To be frank, after capturing the crown, my lord’s name was supposed to gain quite a bit of reputation. Even though it wasn’t enough to compare to the Xu brothers, fewer than five people would have had a reputation comparable to her’s within the land of Dongqing. It should’ve been a great opportunity, but it also just so happened that my lord’s identity was revealed at the same time. Shall I ask which reputable family of nobility would willingly bow down to a woman in this world full of misogynistic ideals?”
Although Dongqing was not a brutally misogynistic country like Zhongzhao, the effects remained. Even back when the Daxia Dynasty first emerged, there were people who spread rumors about General Xu, the ancestor of the Xu family. The same was true in the present, especially with many people becoming more conservative.
These seemingly harmless rumors were filled with hateful words and prejudice against General Xu.
The people who attacked General Xu all used the same reasoning that “General Xu was incapable” simply because she was a woman.
Even to this day, the sentiment stayed the same.
In the eyes of many, gender itself was the original sin. It had no relation to skills and abilities.
Shao Guang hesitated and asked in a low voice, “Zi Shi, you’re telling me all of this is because of you…”
Feng Zhen laughed and said, “A superficial relationship built on pretense will never be as precious as a timeless helping hand. To say it in my lord’s vulgar language… If you refuse to work with me today, you will not reach my status tomorrow. The people will scold her now for defying gender roles, but don’t know if she will take the throne in the future. You don’t have a place to go now anyway, so why not take a gamble? At the very least, my lord’s character certainly won’t disappoint you.”
Shao Guang felt as if his worldview had just been completely overturned.
“Unless you are like the commoners outside who don’t think she will make it?” Feng Zhen asked.
Shao Guang rolled his eyes and said in defeat, “We’ve been friends for years, don’t you know me at all yet? Male or female, human or canine, does it make a difference to me?” How else would he know the feeling of having opportunities taken away and getting brushed off by others just because of his ancestral background?
Feng Zhen and Wei Ci’s sales pitches were too tempting. How could Shao Guang not be moved by them?
The harsh truth was also that the choice wasn’t his. His fate was in the hands of the others.
Shao Guang’s temper was also the reason why Wei Ci and Feng Zhen decided to speak with him directly.
Now that Shao Guang was a fish caught in the net, Jiang Pengji no longer needed to stroll around outside the room.
“Did my lord have a fateful meeting? Why are you smiling so happily?” Feng Zhen asked teasingly when he saw Jiang Pengji’s satisfied expression.
“There was no fateful meeting, but I did end up seeing a world-class beauty who said she has a combing tonight.”
Jiang Pengji’s expression was filled with excitement. Besides her, the livestream channel was filled with lines and lines of compliments for the beauty.
Feng Zhen felt his mouth twitch a little. Shao Guang was staring at her in complete shock.
Was this new master before him a man or a woman?
The original meaning was to use a wooden comb to gather hair up and tie it above one’s head to symbolize the end of a young girl’s childhood.
It was clear at this point what the meaning was. It hinted that a courtesan in the building would be taking in a customer for the first time.
It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it was a man who was getting excited over this news, but this new master was actually a woman!
Jiang Pengji held back the expression on her face and turned her gaze towards Shao Guang. Feng Zhen immediately understood and said a few courtesy lines to maintain the situation.
Even though the three had already come to a consensus, and Jiang Pengji had successfully dug up a piece of Xu Pei’s property to make Shao Guang join their camp, they still had formalities to take care of.
“In other words, Chongming is willing to give up his current career path to help us out, correct?”
Shao Guang sat up straight and bowed. “May I ask for the lord’s mercy? I shall work hard and dedicate my life to supporting my lord.”
A satisfying ending for all!