103 Yang Villa Upgrades and the Fourth Miss

    Throughout the meal, mostly Xiaoyi was the one talking, but the conversation wasn't too boring. Halfway through the meal, her father, the Old Master, began talking about new expansions too.

    "The villa may be getting a few upgrades in the next few months," he said in a steady voice, "All outer walls will be knocked down and rebuilt to match the current auspicious and trending styles. Paths between and inside all the courtyards will be repaved to match the walls. The East Courtyard will get a larger central pond. Including this courtyard, all the other courtyards will also have the walls, doors, and windows replaced by newer ones. Servant quarters and the kitchens will be expanded, and I'll be hiring new servants soon to take better care of the villa."

    Besides the personal servants of everyone, there were only a few spare servants that took care of other chores around the household. Yujia could see why if her father had a few extra taels, he might dedicate that to getting new servants.

    Everything else, though, seemed more like extravagance than practicality.

    Unless her father had a sudden surplus in money, his decisions to go with such a grand expansion didn't make sense. How could a small merchant like him afford all of these things instantly?

    Xiaoyi seemed to be confused too, asking, "Father, why are there all these expansions?"

    He smiled slyly, replying, "Let's just say that a few business connections of mine helped me make some other connections with other merchants. I got my hands on helping the shipment of some special goods, and the pay is high too."

    Yujia frowned. His vague wording and the smile on his face made her think of some bad situations. Don't tell her that her father was... involved in selling drugs? His words in the modern day sounded awfully like he was involved in drug dealing. She wasn't sure if drugs were a big thing in this time period, but still...

    Madam Zhang spoke her words for her. "It's nothing illegal, right?"

    "Illegal?" He raised an eyebrow, taking a few seconds to respond, "You can rest assured that no negative consequences will come out of this. Even the Yu's Old Master- he was the one who recommended me- is part of it. Don't you think our villa would look nice with some new walls?"

    Yujia was more convinced now that her father was involved in selling drugs or some other illegal material. He was just so evasive with his words.

    She wasn't that emotionally involved with him, but it wasn't exactly a nice thing to know that her father upgraded from a small merchant to a drug dealer.

    There could be the possibility that he wasn't doing illegal things, but based on what he said so far, the tone of his words, and the sudden influx of money in his pocket, Yujia doubted it was anything otherwise.

    She picked up a small piece of braised pork and slowly chewed on it. Whatever. She didn't care what her father did. As long as it didn't trouble her, she could care less of what he sold and involved himself in. It just bothered her slightly to think that her father might be dealing drugs.

    Because of the mention of the Yu Family, the conversation stilled a little. Up until now, because of Yujia's presence, they avoided any talk of marriage and engagements, but with the Yu's Old Master, Yujia expected that this topic was inevitable. She had to talk about it sooner or later.

    Her father was the one who asked the question. "How's progress going with... your five hundred taels?"

    Yujia stopped chewing the pork in her mouth and swallowed. "Things are going fine, Father."

    She didn't want to go too in-depth with what she was doing, since it wasn't clear if the Old Master would appreciate her associating herself with a fancy young master of another family, or that in these brief days, she already found herself a master for painting.

    "How much have you made so far?"

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    "Not much. I'll get the money by the deadline, though." Yujia called on the nonchalant attitude of the Fourth Miss.

    "If you say so." Her father picked up a piece of dried tofu, then went back to eating. Silence settled across the table, the only sound being the noise of chopsticks clicking against plates and quiet chewing from each person.

    Like Yujia thought, her marriage was definitely a topic to be avoided. No one knew exactly what to say about it.

    Then, Xiaoyi started a random conversation, and chatter spread across the table again.
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