Chapter 80: Handsome but Dumb (Part Two)
For some reason, after only chatting with this fatty for a little bit, Fang Jie felt like he was more interesting compared to people like Da Quan.
How bored must a person be to appear beside Fang Jie and ask if he was here to rob them?
“Eh… can I ask you to do me a favor?” Fang Jie stood up, dusted off his clothes, and asked seriously, “I’m thankful that you won’t report me, but can you be a good person until the end by bringing me into Chang’an?”
“Clearly, you aren’t a deserter,” the fatty said while pouting, “Which deserter would run back into a city? Although you are wearing the soldier’s uniform of Right Reverent Guard, perhaps you killed a soldier and took the clothes. Since you could be a murderer of a soldier, I need to capture you and bring you to the local government. I’m a righteous member of Great Sui, and I need to do this to protect the peace of the region.”
While the fatty walked toward Fang Jie, Fang Jie reached out his hand and gestured. “I will give you 500 silver taels, just enough to reimburse your loss.”
The fatty paused. Just as he was about to say something, someone coughed inside a horse-drawn carriage.
The fatty’s expression changed, and he shook his head and said, “No!”
“1,000 silver taels!” Fang Jie clenched his teeth and said, “Treat it as you doubled your money. You can forget about me once we enter the city.”
Another cough sounded, so the fatty shook his head again.
Fang Jie took a deep breath and made the final offer, “1,100 silver taels. I won’t pay more than that, not even a cash coin.”
“Deal!” It wasn’t the fatty but the person inside the horse-drawn carriage who replied.
Wu Yidao, the wealthiest merchant of Great Sui, decided to bring this deserter-looking person into the Capital for 1,100 silver taels.
Wu Yidao lifted the curtain and said to the fatty, “This is the business that I took in; it has nothing to do with you. Eh, nothing.”
The fatty asked with a wronged expression, “Do I get any shares of it?”
Wu Yidao shook his head and said, “Not even a cash coin.”
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Fang Jie sat on a horse-drawn carriage and took off the soldiers’ uniform on him with difficulty. Then, he lifted the curtain and asked the fatty beside him who was riding on a horse, “Do you have clothes that I can change into?”
“Yeah,” the fatty replied, “For 500 silver taels.”
“Even if it is made of gold threads, it shouldn’t cost 500 silver taels!” Fang Jie cussed in his mind while negotiating, “Maximum 50 silver taels. Even the best cotton jacket made by the most famous Joy-Auspicious Shop is only worth this much.”
Fang Jie was telling the truth. Only the famous Joy-Auspicious Shop in Chang’an could sell a piece of clothing for close to 50 silver taels.
The Capital of Great Sui didn’t lack big families and rich people, but only officials could wear fancy clothes. Although merchants were rich, their social status was low. If they wore fancy clothes, it was challenging the laws of Great Sui, and they would be punished.
For these rich merchants to distinguish themselves from ordinary people and look good when doing business, the famous Joy-Auspicious Shop created a delicate and comfortable clothing line just for these rich people. These clothes all looked as good as fancy clothes that were made of silk, but they were expensive.
This was a great marketing plan. Since Joy-Auspicious Shop started selling these clothes, all the merchants came to make purchases, and they took pride in wearing clothes made by Joy-Auspicious Shop. The boss of Joy-Auspicious Shop was a genius as he made ordinary clothes look similar to fancy clothes; this wasn’t illegal.