"Enough. Didn't you think there was something wrong with your son too and even sent people to examine him? Oh right, how is Feng Yixuan right now?" the emperor asked casually. Only before this woman could the emperor be relaxed.
"That damn brat, he went mad and tried to undo his seal and almost died, unconscious for three days and nights. But when I thought he was going to actually die and was preparing to cry at his funeral, he woke up." The fiery woman rolled her eyes, shrugging.
"Is that how a mother should talk about her son?" The emperor was a bit flabbergasted. From the way she spoke, she sounded almost like it was a pity her son didn't die.
"That damn brat deserves it! He's never tried to so hard for his own mother or protect me, but for a woman I've never seen before, he was willing to risk his life to become strong, saying some bullsh*t that he was going to protect her." The fiery beauty gritted her teeth, not caring that she had cursed right in front of the emperor.
You need someone to protect you? You, a t-rex woman of steel, people fleeing the moment they meet you, beasts dying at the sight of you, flowers not daring to bloom in your presence, need someone to protect you?! The heavens would personally thank you if you stopped being so harmful! The emperor blinked, naturally not daring to actually say these words out loud. And he would not mention that she was being jealous of her future daughter in law even more so.
"Enough. I'm going back. Notify me when there's more news." The female t-rex yawned, preparing to leave.
"Mm. Also, tell young Feng there's never an end to making money, so make time to have a cup of tea and play chess with me tomorrow," the emperor added as Lisha* was about to leave. Young Feng was the emperor's nickname for Feng Yixuan's father.
*Looked ahead to check, just as suspected, she is usually referred to by her full name. In China, close friends refer to each other by their first names only.
"Alright," the female t-rex waved offhandedly, then left.
The study's door shut once more. The emperor leaned back in his chair and his eyes landed on a small frame. Inside was a little painting with two young men smiling and a young girl in between smiling widely. Of the two young men, one was him and the other was Feng Yixuan's father. The girl in the middle was naturally the female t-rex. His thoughts wandering far away, the emperor suddenly thought of when his two good friends risked their lives to save him and thought of when the female t-rex planned each step to reach the throne and young Feng did all he could to help him win it. Had it already been ten years? Time flies fast. The emperor smiled gently.
"Achoo!" Claire sneezed loudly, then rubbed her nose. She frowned as she looked up at the round moon in the night sky. "Is someone talking bad about me behind my back again?"
"Not talking bad about you, but showering you with compliments and presents!" Li Yuewen suddenly appeared behind Claire like a ghost.
"Cousin Yuewen, are you a ghost? Not knocking on the door before entering..." Claire said, displeased.
"You didn't even close it, how could i knock on it?" Li Yuewen retorted indignantly. "Within just one afternoon, we've received so many flowers and gifts along with many invitations, those people change favor so quickly!" Li Yuewen cursed disdainfully.
"Don't get impatient. The person we're waiting for will definitely come." Claire smiled slyly, looking up towards the bright moon.
But for the next three days, the crown prince did not come. Other aristocrats came, all with the purpose of seeing Claire, or to be more accurate, wanting to see the stunning beauty Claire had transformed into, Lan Ling, but were blocked by Li Yuewen. She only said that once it was her younger cousin's birthday, they would host a banquet and invite them all. Only after pestering Li Yuewen and being sure they would receive an invitation did the nobles leave reluctantly. Making Li Yuewen both amused and annoyed at the same time was that among them, not only were there young aristocrats, there were also some middle aged and old men without wives.
Inside the study, Li Yuewen finally could not hold back and asked Claire, who was sitting at desk, "Claire, why hasn't the crown prince come yet?"
"You yourself has said that the crown prince is unordinary. If he rushed over like those other lowly nobles, I would find it surprising. Don't worry, he will come soon," Claire replied casually. She was flipping through an account book. "Cousin Yuewen, there's something strange about about expenses. How come we've only used half of what I expected?"
"Heh heh..." Li Yuewen smiled slyly. "After the convention, the original price we had set for buying the store previously dropped by half."
Claire's face fell. She immediately understood what was wrong. Since when was her cousin was competent in business?
"Then did they have any conditions?" Claire twirled the fountain pen in her hand, her tone displeased. A feeling of unease arose in her heart.
"The store is the Intymen clan's. They specialize in furniture and magic beast pelts. They hoped that they could send a set of their high class furniture." Li Yuewen said proudly. She had thought Claire would praise her, but Claire suddenly threw down the fountain pen and reprimanded her angrily, "Cousin Yuewen, do you know what a loss you've made? And a large loss, no less!" Claire felt a twinge of a headache coming on. Sure enough, the Li clan was incompetent at business.
"Why? The Intymen clan gave us half off and even sent a set of high class furniture!" Li Yuewen was completely baffled. This was clearly a great deal, why was Claire saying they had made losses?
"What do you know?" Claire said helplessly. "That shop's original price was thirty thousand gold. Half off means a profit of fifteen thousand. But they gave us a set of furniture. If they advertise that the stunning Lan Ling used their furniture, what do you think will happen? Will the Intymen clan only profit fifteen thousand gold?"
Before Claire finished speaking, Li Yuewen's expression had already changed. She finally realized that not only did she incur losses, but it was a huge loss! If they really did as Claire just said, then many people would buy their furniture. Would their profit be just fifteen thousand gold? Of course not. Perhaps it would even be more than 1.5 million?!
"Go and set a contract with them. Make them send their best furniture and make sure we get five percent of the profits. Only then can they advertise that Lan Ling used their furniture." Claire starting flipping through the account book again.
"Five percent of their profits? And what about paying for the store? Are we really going to ask for five percent of their stock and pay nothing?" Li Yuewen looked at Claire strangely. Did Claire think they were idiots? She wanted five percent of the profits without doing anything?
"Just go. Tell them that they can advertise every time. For example, if they start selling beds, they can advertise that it can help preserve your figure and that Lan Ling had been using their bed. If they don't agree, then say that we've already discussed this with other merchant clans and that they will agree immediately," Claire said impatiently, continuing to flip through the account book.
Li Yuewn looked at Claire doubtfully, wanting to say something, not willing to leave.
Standing behind Claire, Camille persuaded Li Yuewen, "Miss Li, just do what Claire just said. They will definitely agree."
Only then did Li Yuewen leave, albeit hesitantly.
"Claire, no wonder the Li clan declined to this state." Camille smiled widely as he poured another cup of flower tea for Claire, but his next words were piercing. "Currently, the most powerful members, Li Yuewen and Li Mingyu, are completely incompetent at business. The others aren't even worth mentioning."
Claire closed the account book and looked up at Camille, smiling. "Perhaps not. Perhaps there are some people in the Li clan competent at business, but are simply currently suppressed by those elders and hasn't shown themselves yet."
"So?" Suddenly, an ominous premonition arose in his heart. Camille watched Claire cautiously. "What do you want?"
"I hope that our wise and brilliant secondary commander can use his foresight to search for capable people and then develop them. Only our talented and unparalleled secondary commander can do this. Your brilliance is unmatched. My cousins aren't even a hundredth of what you are." Claire raised the cup to her lips gracefully and took a sip, her expression unchanging as she spoke. "Even the flower tea you make is unique, incomparable."
A few moments later, Jean, who was guarding at the door, saw Camille prancing out, looking like he was floating. Jean stared, blinking a few times. Yes, Camille was prancing! His bizarrely giddy expression seemed to be asking for a beating.
Li Mingyu passed by the prancing Camille in the hallway and immediately stopped. He watched after Camille prancing away with confusion. Once he turned and saw Jean's mouth twitching slightly, he understood immediately. Claire must have used her usual method of persuading Camille again.
"Claire!" Li Mingyu called out as he walked into the room.
"What, Cousin Mingyu. Did that person come?" Claire raised her head, taking another sip of the flower tea, then setting it aside. Next to her, Black Feather and White Emperor were fighting over a piece of chocolate cake. A pair of white and another pair of black claws were tugging the cake stubbornly.
"How did you know?" Li Mingyu asked with a bit of amazement. Based off of Claire's tone, she seemed to have known long ago that he was going to come today.
"Just think about it. It's about the right time." Claire rose up, smiling faintly. She pushed her chair in, about to leave.
"You're going out like this? Without transforming?" Li Mingyu frowned slightly.
"No need." Claire smiled. "Bring the other sword to the main hall."
Li Mingyu was confused, but he still listened to Claire's command, also leaving to fetch the sword.
In the main hall, the crown prince was sitting quietly, waiting. Many servants were busily moving gifts and flowers. The crown prince frowned. He didn't expect that after three days, the Li clan's residence would still be as bustling as a marketplace. But in any case, it seemed that the stunning woman, Lan Ling, had never shown herself.
Just as the crown prince was pondering, there was the sound of footsteps at the entrance. When he raised his head, he saw Li Mingyu and a young girl walking over. Lan Ling still wasn't showing herself? The crown prince frowned. Lan Ling wouldn't even meet him?
"Greetings, your highness, the crown prince." Li Mingyu and Claire bowed.
"Duke Li, she is?..." The crown prince could see the similarity between Claire and Lan Ling and already had a guess, but he still asked.