Great Tang Idyll – v1-c008

Within The Plan Is Even More Oddity Within The Plan

Idler’s Note: Happy Father’s Day~!

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Upon hearing Mistress’ interrogation, Erniu didn’t even think and directly kneeled down right there with a thump. He didn’t dare face Mistress in the midst of a rage. He had thought of giving away Little Mister but then he suddenly realized that if he really did give away Little Mister, would Little Mister be punished? Of course not. Mistress would only praise Little Mister and would also praise him. The problem was after the praise, would he himself have a life? If Mistress didn’t punish him, Little Mister could casually find a reason to let him die without a whole corpse.1

Due to this, Erniu felt that the only thing he could do was to not make a sound while awaiting Mistress’ wrath. Even if Mistress had others give him a beating, it would be good. As for explanations? How to speak of it? Could he say that it was Little Mister who deliberately told him not to sell the grilled strips in the two manors? Bear with it—assuming that Mistress wouldn’t beat him to death.

“Tell me. Why did you not tell me those grilled fish strips are produced by your family? Really had not discovered before, our manor here actually had such a character. Earned quite a bit? What future plans do you have?” Upon seeing such a demeanor from Erniu, Mrs. Zhang-Wang also tried her best to control her own tone of voice as she slowly spoke.

“Mistress, I can’t say. Even if you [honorific] beat me to death, I can’t say. I can only say is that I, Erniu, and I, Erniu’s family haven’t done anything to be sorry for against Zhang Manor. Mistress, you [honorific] later on will certainly know this. I, Erniu, will die for the sake of the Manor but won’t even think of harming the Manor. I’m just talk, talking business.” Erniu knelt on the ground, forcefully clenching his fists together, his face already flowing with tears. But he was even like this and he still did not sell out Zhang Xiaobao.

At this moment, Zhang Xiaobao was lying on top of the couch and upon clearly hearing these words, he actually laughed. Wang Juan also heard them and seeing Zhang Xiaobao’s expression, angrily said: “Why don’t you step forward to save him? You’re laughing. Do you think Erniu stupid, that he should be mocked?”

“Fart,2 when have I ever mocked Erniu? From now on, Erniu will be my family. I’m laughing because I, Zhang Xiaobao, had people willing to die for me in my previous lifetime and even now in this lifetime, I will have them still. Worth it for me. From now on, Erniu will be my dear brother. When he’s living, I’ll have him enjoy glory and wealth; he dies, I’ll help him take care of his family. You’d have me go out. If I really went out, how could I face Erniu?” Zhang Xiaobao suddenly spoke an obscenity as he stood up from the couch, his smile not changing but his little fists were tightly clenched.

“A swindler like you could actually also acquire the hearts of people? I don’t believe it.” Wang Juan was a bit jealous. Her data, if Zhang Xiaobao wanted to know it, he could. But Zhang Xiaobao’s whereabouts, it could only be exposed after he did it himself. This difference really was too great.

“Humph! You don’t believe it? I’ll tell you. On that day, up until the final minute before the explosion, if I wanted to run, I could still escape. I didn’t call for them but my brothers were all already in position. If I just made a hand gesture or a move, the team of 6 snipers that your side had in place would immediately be knocked out. It was only that my life didn’t have that much time left and I didn’t want to harm you guys.

Don’t assume that you guys are so powerful. I’ll tell you that in your team, there were some people who, compared to Erniu, were nothing. Erniu still knows his standing, still knows loyalty. That person amongst you had already sold his soul. Not all people are you, Wang Juan, and not all people can become a Tyrant Flower.”

Zhang Xiaobao was now finally angry as he ruthlessly spoke to Wang Juan. He also had his bottom line that no other person was allowed to touch.

Wang Juan was already muddled. It wasn’t that she hadn’t thought that the team had traitors but she just wasn’t willing to believe it. At this time, the little bit of hope left in her heart had been destroyed. She naturally understood the meaning within Zhang Xiaobao’s words. She didn’t hate Zhang Xiaobao and she didn’t hate the person that had sold her out. After all, she couldn’t demand that everyone be just like her. She was only a bit envious. Zhang Xiaobao who was nothing more than a swindler, on what basis could he have such good brothers? Based on what?

The two of them nursed their respective attitudes in thought while outside, Erniu and Mrs. Zhang-Wang were also having their confrontation.

“You really won’t talk?” Mrs. Zhang-Wang, emphatically pausing after each word.

“Beat me to death and I still won’t talk.” Erniu stubbornly replied.

Wang Juan, who was still contemplating her thoughts within the room, nearly laughed out loud upon hearing Erniu’s words.

“Then, fine. Talk. How do you want to partner up?” Mrs. Zhang-Wang thought for a bit, turning her head to glance at the room that she had just walked out of as she asked.

“Mistress, give me another 2 guan [strings]. I’ll use it to buy fish and make fish strips. Then, I’ll take them to the other bustling areas to give away for free—especially to a high-grade restaurant. Five days later, I’ll return 50 guan [strings] to Mistress.” Erniu spoke according to the script that Zhang Xiaobao had set.

Mrs. Zhang-Wang smiled and nodded as she gently said to Erniu: “Erniu, you’ve always been a smart and sensible person in my house. Almost everyone thinks this. But I know you and am reassured about you, which is why I gave Xiaobao and Juan-Juan to you to care for. Since you want this money, then I’ll give it to you. If there can be 50 guan [strings], then let there be 50 guan [strings]. Even if there’s a loss, it’s nothing. Don’t think too much of it. For your Mom to have a son such as you, she must be happy. I think your Mom also knows your character—just like me.”

“It’s over. My Mom knows.” Zhang Xiaobao faintly said as he stood on top of the couch.

“Unh, a mother knows her son best.”3 Wang Juan, who had simultaneously heard Mrs. Zhang-Wang speak, agreed as well.

“My Mom spoke these words for me to hear, ~ne.” Zhang Xiaobao smiled.

“Then, why are you still so happy?” Wang Juan asked.

“Why aren’t I happy? My Mom is so smart—of course, I have a reason to be happy. My Dad, that bookworm, lucked out.” Zhang Xiaobao directly flopped down with a thump from where he stood as he lay at Wang Juan’s side as he said to Wang Juan who was unhappy with his action: “Today is the happiest day for me. I found a good brother and also know the degree to which a mother’s love can be great.”

“To what degree?” Wang Juan really had no way of understanding.

“To the degree of unconditionally supporting their child. Listen, my Mom will definitely promise it. This makes me recall something written in a book somewhere. Those who are mothers, although they clearly know their own child could get burned boiling water, will still unconditionally support it. She’ll secretly watch. If there’s danger, she’ll immediately rush over to grab the water kettle rather than let her child get burned.” Zhang Xiaobao said sentimentally.

“What is that? The nobility and greatness of man is only because of this?” Wang Juan was still refuting Zhang Xiaobao. Even though she was already touched, she still wouldn’t admit defeat.

“Wrong. Not just humans. Even animals are also the same. If you’ve seen hunters go hunting, you’ll understand. Those animals that chewed off their own legs to escape the clamps will definitely be female, if only because they need to return to feed their children.” Zhang Xiaobao spoke thus.

“Don’t speak to me of such uselessness. I don’t like listening to it.” Wang Juan turned her head, not wanting Zhang Xiaobao to see her own red eyes. She was missing her family from the previous life again.

“Fine, I won’t speak. Just listen.” Zhang Xiaobao was thankful to God; he finally had parents in this lifetime.

“Yingtao, come here. Take this money. When it’s time, give it to Erniu to use.” From outside, Mrs. Zhang-Wang called out toward the room. Yingtao immediately ran out to receive that wooden piece that represented 2 guan [strings] of cash.

“Erniu, you stand up as well. Remember my words. I trust that you can take good care of Baolang. In a while, go to the accounting room to get some meat. Go home to eat a good meal.” Mrs. Zhang-Wang took out another wooden piece to throw to Erniu who was still kneeling there before slowly walking away.

As if waking up from a dream, Erniu trembled as he picked up the wooden piece, not able to speak as he watched the silhouette of Mistress in the distance.


It was just like Zhang Xiaobao said. When conscientious people saw that fish strips made money, imitations immediately appeared. The price was a bit cheaper but sales were not as good. One was not evenly salted. Another fish strip had no way of being grilled to the degree that Erniu’s family had as they could not control the temperature as well.

Upon getting the money, Erniu instantly started buying great amounts of raw fish according to Zhang Xiaobao’s instructions and then had the fish strips produced sent to a few restaurants for people to freely sample.

Five days later, the free supply of grilled fish strips to each restaurant was suddenly gone. This stuff, men actually didn’t like to eat. As tasty as they were, they weren’t as good as marinated beef for wine appetizers. But children and women liked them. These two kinds of people were simply too important—important to the point that any man of a normal sexual orientation couldn’t not consider.

The 5 days of free samples, which gave the wine-houses a taste of the sweet rewards afterwards, necessitated that they prudently consider the financial benefits—or rather, the amount of profit—brought by this stuff. The most direct one was with the brothels. The women there were plentiful and had already made the grilled fish strips a type of essential snack food. Secondly were the men seeking a woman who couldn’t help bringing some back to seek the beauty’s favor. Finally were the people with children who, when eating and drinking themselves, discovered that children liked this stuff and would also bring some back. They would then throw it to the child with a stern face while speaking two lecturing sentences full of harsh words—this was the depth of fatherly love.

But now, the supply had suddenly stopped. Those that had appeared in other places differed too much from these—just the balance of salt itself could not be compared with. The restaurant owners were all frantic now as they asked around for the place that made these fish strips, trying to figure it out.

Erniu had been constantly obeying Little Mister’s orders as if by remote control. Upon seeing many people inquire, he had his big brother come out to hold the talks with a bidding war to sell the recipe. In reality, there was only one and that was to pickle or the process by which marine fish were cured. Such a simple thing before being publicly disclosed could let people crave it so endlessly. But after someone spent 120 silver taels4 to obtain it, they could only keep the dismay they felt in their heart to themselves.

“Didn’t I tell you to ask for copper coins? Yet, you insist on bringing back so much silver. You tell me—if I want to buy a bit of stuff, you’d use silver to pay the bill? If I buy 200 catty5 of soybeans, do you want to take out this big piece of silver to look for an illness?6 How would you let me speak of you? If I want to sell tofu right now, should I watch you get out some silver to go buy some? You want to constantly pay with silver for business in the future? You yourself may feel like you’re tired of living but don’t drag me along to die with you!”

Zhang Xiaobao looked at the small pile of silver that Erniu placed in front of him, smacking his forehead as he spoke. But seeing that sorry expression of Erniu’s, he knew that this deed had been done by Daniu. So he could only sigh as he had Erniu first take the money back to his mother there for repayment and have the remainder be gradually exchanged for copper coins in order to better execute the next step of the plan.

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14 thoughts on “Great Tang Idyll – v1-c008

    • They could but like the currency exchanges today, they would need to pay a fee for the service and with the amount of money they’re talking about, it likely would take time.

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  1. Money ~_~. Well, it’s really hard to handle money, I already admire Erniu with him being what he is and suddenly handling such jobs, lol.

    — Thanks for the chapter~ ^^.

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