Chapter 34 – Swindler

When Li Yuan, the eldest grandson of Nanchiao, left, his face was far less attractive than when he arrived.

Li Ziye’s refusal to yield made Nanchiao very angry.

Soon, the news of Li Yuan’s defeat spread to the Yin Family and the Merchant Alliance.

The three families were not originally united, and with the Li Family’s business being a piece of fat that everyone wanted a bite of, the three families were even more at odds.

If possible, all three families wanted to swallow the opportunity to cooperate with the Li Family and completely suppress the other two families.

Late at night, a big fire blazed in the Merchant Alliance, illuminating half the imperial city as bright as day.

In Li Yuan, Li Ziye, who was practicing swordsmanship under the moonlight, saw the distant fire and a dangerous curve formed at the corner of his mouth.

Over at Second Brother’s place, they finally began to take action.

The timing was just right!

The next day, before dawn, half the imperial city was in chaos.

The people of the Merchant Alliance angrily stormed into the Yin Family Money House, demanding answers.

Because, among the goods burned last night, they found a waist tag carelessly left behind by someone from the Yin Family.

Outside the Yin Family Money House, the crowd of onlookers was packed, all wanting to see what had happened.

They had also heard about the big fire in the Merchant Alliance, but from the current situation, it seemed to be related to the Yin Family Money House.

“Everyone, everyone, please calm down, please calm down.”

Inside the Yin Family Money House, Yin Zhongdu, who was about to turn sixty, was alarmed and walked out quickly with a cane.

“Yin Elder, give us an explanation!”

The person in charge of the Merchant Alliance threw a waist tag engraved with the character “Yin” on the ground in front of the crowd, angrily demanding an explanation.

A servant boy stepped forward, picked up the waist tag, and respectfully handed it to the old man.

Yin Zhongdu took the waist tag, his expression slightly solemn. After a moment, he spoke, “The waist tag is indeed from my Yin Family, but the big fire was definitely not set by anyone from my Yin Family. I, as an elder of the Yin Family, dare to guarantee the hundred-year reputation of the Yin Family that this is definitely not the work of the Yin Family!”

“Yin Elder, my Merchant Alliance has suffered so many losses, and it’s not something you can just push off with a few words!” The person in charge of the Merchant Alliance said angrily.

“Yao, what do you want?”

Being wrongly accused for no reason, Yin Zhongdu also felt a bit aggrieved, and said in a deep voice, “What do you want? Of course, it’s compensation!”

The person in charge of the Merchant Alliance said angrily, “I’ve already calculated the account for you. A total of three hundred thousand taels of silver. If even a single tael is missing, my Merchant Alliance will fight to the end with your Yin Family!”

“Yes, fight to the end. The Yin Family is too much of a bully!”

A voice of indignation suddenly sounded from the crowd of the Merchant Alliance, which was quite abrupt but also timely, stirring up everyone’s anger.

Looking over, it was a young man, handsome and extraordinary, with an exceptional temperament.

If Li Ziye could describe his appearance, it would definitely be a new edition of the Chinese dictionary.

However, at this time, no one had the time to look at what Li Ziye looked like.

“Yes, fight to the end! Too much of a bully!”

One person ignited the fire, and everyone erupted. Under Li Ziye’s “kind” instigation, the people of the Merchant Alliance became restless, their momentum like waves, and their emotions increasingly out of control.

In the crowd, Li Ziye shouted at the top of his lungs, looking flushed and excited, even more so than the people of the Merchant Alliance.

The person in charge of the Merchant Alliance looked back at the young man who was shouting the most vigorously among the crowd and gave him an appreciative look. This young man was good and had a keen eye. He would have to be promoted when he returned!

“Did you hear? The goods burned last night were a greeting gift from the Merchant Alliance to the Li Family of Yuzhou City, worth three hundred thousand taels of silver. Now it’s been set on fire by the Yin Family, and the Merchant Alliance’s losses this time can be described as heavy!”

“A greeting gift of three hundred thousand taels of silver? The Merchant Alliance is so generous?”

“If they can win the opportunity to cooperate with the Li Family, three hundred thousand taels is nothing. Besides, those goods weren’t given away for free. However, none of this matters now. With the goods gone, the Merchant Alliance’s desire to cooperate with the Li Family is probably not that easy.”

“The Yin Family is ruthless too. I heard that the Yin Family also wanted to cooperate with the Li Family this time, probably afraid that the Merchant Alliance would get ahead and resorting to such a sinister trick.”

“Who wouldn’t say so? The Merchant Alliance has suffered such a big loss and will definitely not let it go. Let’s wait and see!”

Outside the Yin Family Money House, people were whispering to each other, and soon, the whole street knew the “inside story.”

Of course, this inside story was also spread by Li Ziye’s classmates.

Inside the Yin Family Money House, Yin Zhongdu looked at the excited crowd inside and outside the money house, his expression growing increasingly gloomy.

This is trouble!

If this matter is not handled well, the reputation of the Yin Family Money House will be ruined.

The business of the money house depends on its reputation. If the reputation is tarnished, who would dare to do business with the Yin Family Money House!Thinking of this, Yin Zhongqiang suppressed the anger in his heart and looked at the steward of the Merchant Alliance in front of him, saying in a gentle voice, “Steward Yao, there has been no grudges between our Yin Family Money House and your Merchant Alliance in the past, so why would we do something that harms others and benefits ourselves? There must be someone framing us, and I hope Steward Yao won’t be manipulated by others.”

“Being manipulated? Are you saying that our Steward Yao is brave but foolish?”

Before the steward of the Merchant Alliance could speak, Li Ziye’s voice rang out from the crowd, sowing discord.

“That’s right, you’ve committed a wrongdoing and now you want to shift the blame onto others. You dare to do it but not to admit it. Our Steward Yao won’t be fooled by you!”

Immediately, a young man in a green robe standing next to Li Ziye echoed his words.

Li Ziye and the young man in the green robe exchanged a glance, then simultaneously averted their gazes.

Encountering a fellow troublemaker!

They were both here to stir up trouble.

Sure enough, after the two of them incited the crowd, the steward of the Merchant Alliance’s expression turned ugly, and he looked at the old master of the Yin Family with a stern gaze, saying in a deep voice, “Old Master Yin, the evidence is here. If you still want to argue, do you want to take this matter to the authorities before Old Master Yin will admit it?”

“Steward Yao.”

Upon hearing the mention of involving the authorities, Yin Zhong’s expression changed, and he stepped forward, saying in a low voice, “This matter is indeed not something our Yin Family is responsible for. Can Steward Yao please give the Yin Family ten days? I will definitely find out the truth of the matter and give the Merchant Alliance an explanation.”

“Ten days?”

The steward of the Merchant Alliance snorted coldly, lowering his voice like Old Master Yin, but raising his volume slightly, saying, “Old Master Yin wants ten days as soon as he opens his mouth. Do you want to give the Yin Family time to find a scapegoat to take the blame? I can’t afford to give you this face!”

In the crowd, Li Ziye pricked up his ears and heard the conversation between the two, immediately shouting loudly, “Steward Yao is right. Today, we must seek justice!”

“Yes, seek justice! The Yin Family has gone too far!”

The young man in the green robe also echoed, inciting the crowd together.

“Seek justice!”

The already agitated crowd of the Merchant Alliance couldn’t bear the provocation and immediately joined in the shouting.

Li Ziye and the young man in the green robe silently remembered each other’s appearance, preparing to send someone to investigate the other’s identity after today.

Encountering a fellow troublemaker here meant that they were either the mastermind behind the scenes or the beneficiary of this matter. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and there might be a chance for cooperation in the future.

The commotion in the Yin Family Money House became more and more intense, and outside, more and more people gathered, all eager to see the two sides fight.

Seeing that the fire had been lit, Li Ziye prepared to slip away.

Seeing the situation, the young man in the green robe also quietly walked out from the crowd, ready to retreat.

Outside the Yin Family, the two of them exchanged a smile and extended their hands.

“Li Dazhuang,” Li Ziye introduced himself.

“Sun Erniu!” the young man in the green robe replied honestly.

The two shook hands, then immediately retracted and walked away.

Hmph! Trying to deceive us!

Li Ziye and the young man in the green robe both inwardly scorned the other!

Back at the Li Family estate, Li Ziye sent someone to investigate the background of the young man in the green robe.

Similarly, after returning home, the young man in the green robe also immediately sent someone to investigate Li Ziye’s identity.

“Li Ziye?”

“Zhangsun Fengyu!”

After looking at numerous portraits, the two of them recognized each other at a glance.


Li Ziye and Zhangsun Fengyu once again scorned each other’s character.

“Are you saying that the legitimate son of the Li Family also went to the Yin Family Money House to cause trouble?”

In the Zhangsun estate, Zhangsun Nanqiao, upon hearing her nephew’s words, showed a hint of surprise on her beautiful face.


Taking a sip of tea, Zhangsun Fengyu looked disdainful, “I have never seen such a shameless person, and he even lied to me, saying his name was Li Dazhuang!”

“You also lied, calling yourself Sun Erniu, didn’t you?” Zhangsun Nanqiao exposed the former’s hypocrisy without mercy.

“Aunt, why are you speaking up for an outsider?”

Zhangsun Fengyu was surprised, “Could it be true, as the rumors say, that you have taken a fancy to that young man from the Li Family? Aunt, you must think it over. That boy is even younger than your nephew!”

“Get lost!”

Zhangsun Nanqiao scolded without mercy, “I think you’re itching for a beating. If I don’t tell your father to give you a good beating?”

“Ah, Aunt, I was wrong.”

Zhangsun Fengyu immediately admitted his mistake, saying, “But, Aunt, what do you think the legitimate son of the Li Family meant by this?”

“Stirring up trouble and causing infighting among the three families.”

Zhangsun Nanqiao said calmly, “The people of the Li Family came to the capital city because they were forced by the court, so naturally, they are not willing to compromise easily.”

“Then, was the fire at the Merchant Alliance last night also set by the Li Family?” Zhangsun Fengyu asked in a serious tone.

“That’s not necessarily the case.”Changsun Nanqiao shook her head and said, “It might indeed be the Yin family’s doing. After all, I left Li Garden in disappointment, and now the Merchant Alliance has suffered another heavy blow. The direct beneficiary would be the Yin family.”

“But if it really was the Yin family, why would they leave evidence behind? That doesn’t make sense,” Changsun Fengyu expressed his confusion.

“Perhaps it was an oversight.”

While speaking, Changsun Nanqiao’s lips curved into a radiant smile. “Of course, the Li Family is also a suspect. Fengyu, that Li Ziye is quite interesting. You should try to get closer to him.”

“Get closer?”

Changsun Fengyu’s lips twitched as he said, “I’m just afraid that if I get too close, he’ll end up being my uncle by marriage.”

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