Great Tang Idyll – v1-c014

Being Able To Cheat A Bit Is A Bit

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Song Jing-gong wanted to thoroughly investigate in order to make the swindle easier later on. While he made his inquiries, his eyes stared into the eyes of the two kids. He originally assumed that upon seeing such pretty sugar people, these two kids would make a fuss to get them. He even came up with how to respond then. As long as the kids liked him, he would succeed at the first step.

Alas, what he saw was that the two kids’ eyes only gave the sugar people a once over and then ignored them to look at him. They even smiled sweetly. Only, why did that smile feel not right—unless little kids all smiled this way? It was a bit cold.

“Who are you? I’m Zhang Manor’s Little Mister.” Zhang Xiaobao batted those innocent big eyes twice as he curiously asked.

Wang Juan also tilted her head in concert with Zhang Xiaobao as she asked: “Right, ~ya.1 You’re who, ~ya? I’m Wang Manor’s Little Miss.”

Hearing these voices that slurred the words a bit, Song Jing-gong was not a bit surprised. He believed that the family members of these two kids must have taught them how to speak. Families with a bit of money were all like this—always feeling that their own children were stronger than other people’s so they’d teach them a few sentences to get more praise from others.

Thinking of this, Song Jing-gong made a very funny face in order to make the two children laugh. But the result was that the two children both turned their heads. This affirmed even more his internal speculation. Sure enough, they weren’t kids that were that smart.

In actuality, Wang Juan was turning her head because she saw that when this Song Jing-gong made a funny face, his teeth was still stained with stuff so she was disgusted while Zhang Xiaobao wasn’t willing to speak any more with this person. Swindling—it didn’t even require him to give any kind of guidance. He thought that this swindler was preparing to go to his house to deceive the adults.

Upon seeing the two kids’ appearances, Song Jing-gong felt that he couldn’t use the original method after all and could only turn to the two young girls who were probably maid servants and say: “I’m called Song Jing-gong. Seeing how good your family’s Little Mister and Little Miss are, I suddenly decided that I wanted to help your two manors a bit. Quickly bring me to go see your patriarch.”

“With just you? And you even want to see our patriarch? You’re dreaming, ~ne? If I were you, I’d leave here immediately. Our manor doesn’t need your kind of people coming here.” Shiliu coldly looked at Song Jing-gong and scoffed, leaving not a shred of compassion as she spoke.

Over there, Yingtao was the same. Confronting Song Jing-gong like an enemy, she hugged Zhang Xiaobao tightly in her embrace as she turned her head to look elsewhere.

‘Failure—it really is too much of a failure being a swindler to this kind of degree. The other person is already on guard, how could a swindler still keep working? Yingtao and Shiliu are not bad though—they know how to judge people and help the family avoid quite a bit of danger.’ Zhang Xiaobao held back his smile while using his head to rub against Yingtao’s neck.

Yingtao liked these two children so seeing that cute appearance of Little Mister’s and feeling that Shiliu wouldn’t go tell Mistress after seeing it, she turned her head to kiss Zhang Xiaobao on the face.

Over there, seeing such a situation, Wang Juan was afraid that Song Jing-gong wouldn’t go swindling—how could she nab a swindler, then? So she could only say to Shiliu: “Go home. I want to go home.”

Shiliu was also of this intention and turned around to return while carrying Wang Juan, not even sparing a look at Song Jing-gong. Yingtao naturally followed after her.

Seeing that the two maid servants were carrying the kids away, Song Jing-gong wasn’t angered a bit. He smiled and also followed afterwards, walking toward that side. Seeing this, the kids, who had been watching the excitement just now, returned back to the river on this side and jumped down one after the other to resume with their games—all not willing to continue following them. Those adults who had tagged along, discovering that it wasn’t their own manor anymore, also turned around to go back.

“What are you doing, following us?” After walking a portion of the way, Shiliu discovered that this Great Swindler Song was actually following after them and stopping in her tracks, she turned her head around in a furious query.

“When was I following? Could it be that this manor being your family’s mean that I can’t walk on the road? It’s not like I’m going into your family’s courtyard.” Song Jing-gong didn’t care one bit as he laughingly spoke.

“Then, go on and follow. You, don’t hope to trick our family’s Mistress. My family’s Mistress won’t even get taken in by you.” Shiliu bluntly pointed out the facts, speeding up as she walked back while carrying Wang Juan, prepared to call on the footmen once at the courtyard to drive him away. If she had known they would encounter this swindler, she would have brought along a few people when they came out.

“This maiden might be thinking wrongly. I, this Song,2 have never tricked people before. It would only do to have proof whenever you speak. Otherwise, I’ll sue you in court. At any rate, I am also of the honorary title of Juren.”3 Song Jing-gong responded with a threat.

“Unh, a swindler is a swindler. Who knows how that Juren of yours came about?” Shiliu quietly muttered. This time, she really couldn’t continue insulting Song Jing-gong. She knew that Juren were not good to provoke after all. Even her own family’s Master still didn’t have such an identity right now, ~ne.

Seeing that the two maid servants were scared, Song Jing-gong was gloating. This Juren identity was really useful, ~ah. He’d swindled so many people and yet, wasn’t it because they couldn’t get a handle4 on him and also because of his own identity that they had no way to get a court suit?

Juren, ~ah! Xiaobao, you able to beat him?” Wang Juan was being carried by Shiliu up front so she turned her head around to face Zhang Xiaobao as she used lip-speech to speak to him.

Juren counts as what fart? Back when I was swindling, the group of doctorates subordinate to me had four that were previously the valedictorians5 in the nationwide high school test.6 Dare to swindle my family? I’ll let him know why the flowers are so red.7 You leave first, I’ll delay him. You return and tell my Mom about things on this side. Have my Mom prepare a bit. Divide the talks into several times.” Having met a swindler, Zhang Xiaobao didn’t want to just let him go, either. Since he’d arrived, then they’d entertain him thoroughly. The benefit of having Wang Juan going back first with the news and dividing the talks up into several times was that they could have time for discussion.

“All right, I’ll have Shiliu walk quickly. You’re not making preparations? Looking at the jade ornament8 hanging from his waist, you can guess that he’s probably succeeded many times.” Wang Juan nodded slightly as she asked.

“Go on your way. I prepare for what? How many tricks does he have? Compared to me, he’s not even on the same level. I’ll definitely let him experience who exactly is the ancestor of swindlers. Unh, this question is a bit profound.”9 Zhang Xiaobao was completely open today as well while he joked around with Wang Juan.

After hearing the words Wang Juan spoke in her ear, Shiliu increased her speed, almost running as she left first. Song Jing-gong didn’t know what matter had appeared and wanted to chase her but he also wanted to follow this little boy. While he was still unsure as to how to decide, Zhang Xiaobao spoke up.

“Lie, liar.”10 When these three syllables popped out of Zhang Xiaobao’s mouth, Zhang Xiaobao even accompanied them with a gesture by using a finger to point at Song Jing-gong.

“Little Mister, I’m not a liar. I’m a good person.” Song Jing-gong was really scared now. He wasn’t scared of the two maid servants talking on their return. He trusted in his own ability to get the person managing the affairs of that manor to listen to his great money-making plan. But he was afraid of this kid speaking—especially since he was a small boy. He had already found out from the mouths of the people of that Ge Manor that the Zhang Manor on this side only had one boy in this generation.

What does a boy mean? All of the adoration is focused on this kid’s person. At that time, not to mention if he really did want to go swindling, even if he didn’t swindle, one word from this kid could let those who were his parents change their minds. There was an aphorism that was the most convincing for people and that was that when kids looked at people, they could tell good from bad, especially with kids that still didn’t have any comprehension as they said that it was when the kids’ hearts were purest, their eyes the cleanest.

Song Jing-gong didn’t wish to have his previous work come to naught just because of one kid so he inwardly deliberated on how to let this kid come to like him as that would make things easy. He thought and then took out a little toy sword made out of peach wood11 from his sleeves. There was even a red string on top. Using his hand to grasp one end of the string, he swung the sword in front of Zhang Xiaobao’s eyes.

Zhang Xiaobao gave a “he-he” in laughter and didn’t look at that toy sword. Instead, he pointed at Song Jing-gong as he said: “Money, money.”

If Wang Juan were here, she’d definitely be laughing to the point of gasping for air. This Zhang Xiaobao was really too ruthless.

Song Jing-gong wasn’t Wang Juan so he naturally didn’t know what he was about to face. Hearing such a little kid call for money, he felt that it should have been taught by the adults in his family. To start having kids know about money from such a small age, he definitely had to swindle this kind of family. Unh, he must pass the obstacle of the kid he was facing. He wanted money? Fine, he’d give money.

Thinking this, Song Jing-gong took out a copper coin from within his sleeve. On it was written ‘Kaiyuan Tongbao.’ He laughingly gave it to Zhang Xiaobao.

Upon seeing that it was only 1 wen [cash], Zhang Xiaobao didn’t even think and waved a small hand to knock this coin down to the ground as he continued pointing at Song Jing-gong to say: “Silver, silver.”

Yingtao hugged Little Mister—she’d originally intended to directly and quickly leave but she had listened to Little Mister’s words just now telling her to slowly hang about in back and to not mind anything else, so she could only endure the ‘harassment’ of this Great Swindler Song.

Song Jing-gong picked up that copper coin that had been knocked down while he cursed inwardly. This little bit of a kid had already started recognizing silver, could it be that the masters of the manor had nothing to do but throw the kid on a pile of money? Gritting his teeth, he dug out the 1 tael or more of silver pieces and reluctantly placed it in front of Zhang Xiaobao.

Zhang Xiaobao wasn’t modest, either, freely accepting it as he continued calling for silver. Then, seeing that helpless gaze of Song Jing-gong’s and feeling that he didn’t seem to have any more silver, began to call for money. Song Jing-gong still had money. Not much—only 100 wen [cash] as too much would be too heavy. He took that out too, handing it over to Zhang Xiaobao.

Now, this was heavier than the silver from before. Zhang Xiaobao struggled to use both of his hands to hold onto the money string, placing it in between himself and Yingtao, sandwiching it just right, before his eyes locked onto the jade ornament at Song Jing-gong’s waist. The string of the jade ornament was tied to the waist with the jade falling at the thigh to weigh down on the clothing.12

Zhang Xiaobao just stared at it intently, not speaking at all. Song Jing-gong suddenly felt uncomfortable inside and not knowing why, he followed the kid’s gaze to see the jade ornament. If Zhang Xiaobao had stared at the jade ornament from the start, then Song Jing-gong would definitely not give it away. After all, it was bought for 5 guan [strings of cash]—no matter how bad the jade was, it was still not cheap.

Zhang Xiaobao was currently using psychology. This was called gaining a cun [inch] to advance a chi [foot],13 getting it little by little. You already gave a bit anyway; you still lack the other bit? This was only because Zhang Xiaobao’s age was too small. If he were slightly bigger, he could have used gaining a chi [foot] to gain a cun [inch].14 Start out by asking for a little more. If you didn’t give it, then ask for a bit less to let you feel like you couldn’t keep on rejecting it and so, comply with the latter relatively smaller request.

How could Song Jing-gong know these things, ~ah? He was furthermore unable to realize what kind of person the kid in front of him was. So resolving his heart, he took off the jade ornament, too. He was roughly panting as he handed it over, thinking that this time if he didn’t swindle hundreds of silver taels, then he would not desist at all.

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18 thoughts on “Great Tang Idyll – v1-c014

    • LOL, he’s probably benefitting from his adult mindset. Although that’s not to say that kids don’t know how to use their age to their advantage. I’ve come across some kids that knew how to work a good game. 😉

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  1. Actually, its possible that an ancient swindler is better then a modern one in this situation.

    Oh, Im not talking about the number of trix or techniques but on how to apply what one knows to fit with that current era. The ancient swindler also knows what tools/materials are available to use compared to a modern one.

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  2. LOL
    Swindled by a child that isn’t even 2 years old XD
    Now the only thing to do is run with the riches or tell his mom to put the swindler away, and if the swindler says that the kid has his money they could just say he is lying since it would be impossible for such young kid to do that lol
    Thanks for the translation~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that’s Psychology~! Woohoo~!
    But really, even if a person know the theory or psychology, having knowledge isn’t enough to be able to do it in reality, in action~! Whew~! I’ve already tried some in the past when psychology become one of my minor subjects. But well, the difficulty differs… lol.

    — Thanks for the chapter~ ^^.

    Liked by 1 person

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