Chapter 44 – Family
Early the next morning, after having breakfast, Lin Jia Wen went to the bookstore that Qin Kai Xing spoke of yesterday. The bookstore was really big, with three floors. It was the largest bookstore Lin Jia Wen had ever seen.
Lin Jia Wen entered, and someone similar to a server* immediately greeted him. “This brother, do you have a rank**? Please come and register first.”
[*T/N: server, waiter, wait staff, etc, like the ones at a restaurant]
[**T/N: 功名 gong ming – scholarly honor in the imperial exams]
After registration, the server said to Lin Jia Wen: “You can read the books on the first and second floors here as you like, but you can’t take the books out of the bookstore. You can only read them in the bookstore. If you need tea or snacks, you can go to the third floor. Please take care of the books. If you damage it, you will have to compensate for the price of the book.”
Lin Jia Wen thanked the server. First, he strolled around the first floor. There were many kinds of books in this bookstore. There were tables and chairs to the side of each row of bookshelves. There were many people in the bookstore, but it was quiet. Lin Jia Wen saw that everyone was sitting quietly and reading. Even when there was a discussion going on, they kept their voices low.
Lin Jia Wen excitedly chose several books he was interested in and sat off to the side to read.
Over the next few days, Lin Jia Wen plunged into the ocean of knowledge, soaking in the bookstore every day.
In the bookstore, Lin Jia Wen also met Qian Qing Kun, who was also a scholar. The two hit it off and they admired each other’s talents.
“Brother Lin, haha, I really couldn’t tell from your appearance. At first, I thought you were taking a martial arts exam! I didn’t expect many of our opinions to be so similar. It’s great to meet such a like-minded friend like you. We can often discuss articles together in the future.”
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When Qian Qing Kun first saw Lin Jia Wen, he saw this man with the waist of a bear and the back of a tiger* who was also a scholar. He was curious, so he started to chat with him familiarly. Unexpectedly, they talked so much, and then they went to the third floor of the bookstore to have tea and chat together.
[*T/N: tough and stocky build]
“Brother Qian, I am also very happy to meet you and become your friend. Unfortunately, this time I came to Beijing with my family to visit my younger brother during the Mid-Autumn Festival. After we see him we will be going back.” Lin Jia Wen felt very regretful. He hasn’t read enough of the books in this bookstore.
“Ah! That’s really a pity. Is your younger brother working as a palace servant in the palace? This tiem, thanks to His Royal Highness destroying the barbarians, the emperor and the empress decided to bestow a grace. The grace of the Mid-Autumn Festival this time is unprecedented.” Qian Qing Kun also said, “Let me say this, His Royal Highness is really an excellent prince. He is not only invincible in the military, but also very important to us literati. It is said that the backer behind this bookstore is His Royal Highness. It is to give the younger generation from poor and humble families a chance to read books.”
“That’s right, I am really grateful for this grace. Otherwise, I don’t know when I would see my younger brother! The family misses him very much.” Lin Jia Wen said with emotion.
“I have an aunt who also works in the palace, so I know a little bit. Which palace does your younger brother work for?” Qian Qing Kun asked.
“My younger brother works as a servant in the empress’s palace, and he makes dim sum in the Royal Snack Kitchen.” Lin Jia Wen answered Qian Qing Kun’s question factually.
“That’s pretty good. Compared to some places, this is really a good place. Your brother is very lucky.” Qian Qing Kun thought for a while. “Rumor has it that in the empress’s palace there is a secret story about His Royal Highness.”
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Qian Qing Kun said mysteriously, “I heard that His Royal Highness has taken a fancy to a palace attendant in the empress’s palace, and now he favors him day and night. I heard that the palace attendant is still very young!”
Lin Jia Wen frowned when he heard this, but didn’t think much of it. He just smiled. Which of those nobles didn’t have any romantic affairs? His Royal Highness’s wisdom and brilliance in martial arts have been spread all over the world, and he was resolute in dealing with the barbarians. Unexpectedly, there were also some quirks…
On Qin Kai Xing’s side, things were also progressing smoothly. Just a few days after opening, the cloth was selling very well. There were many good fabrics and silks here in Beijing, and the designs were also fresh and beautiful, but the prices were also high.
The fabrics that Qin Kai Xing brought were of good quality. The patterns were outdated on their side [in their hometown], but here in the capital they were considered fresher, and the price of the fabrics was relatively affordable. Moreover, it was very popular among the people in the west of the city.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Qin Kai Xing was very happy. If this went on, the goods that they brought this time would be cleared in a few days. He thought that coming to Beijing this time was a really good decision. Not only did he sell the inventory, he also made a small profit. He planned to buy some popular goods in Beijing before going back. At that time, he would definitely make a lot of money. If he could find a fixed client to cooperate with that would be even better.
As the Mid-Autumn Festival approached, the Lin family and Qin Kai Xing were full of expectations for meeting with Lin Jia Bao…