The Daily Life of a Female Esper in Ancient Times-Chapter 113

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Fortunately, the county magistrate took pity on Li's Mother and her son, helping to preserve their family estate. Li Ming realized the importance of studying and throwing himself into preparing for the Imperial Examination.

During Li Ming's studies, members of the Li family caused trouble a few times. Luckily, Li's Mother was strong-willed, and the loyal servants drove those people away. After several years of peace, Li Ming was able to concentrate and pass the lowest provincial examination to become a Xiucai.

The Li family then became fearful and visited Li Ming a few times to make amends. Li Ming did not wish to reconcile with his old family. However, Li's Mother, considering Li Ming's future career and reputation, swallowed her resentment and made peace with the Li family again. Each year, she had someone send gifts to the old home, allowing them to keep their mouths shut.

After Li's Mother passed away, Li Ming would only send annual gifts during the New Year, but never returned in person.

"Hui, you must not neglect your studies either," Li Chou and Li Guang's studies were important, but Li Hui's was even more crucial.

"Mother, I will not let you down," the recent events made Li Hui clearly understand the importance of power. Thinking of Li Xia's efforts during this period, Li Hui suggested, "Mother, this time when buying shops to run a business, let Xin and Xia try their hand at it."

Mrs. Lu had the same thought, using this opportunity to properly guide Li Xin and Li Xia. Remembering Li Shan in the mansion, the generous Mrs. Lu decided to include her in the training as well.

When Li Shan, Li Xia, and Li Xin received Mrs. Lu's message to teach them how to manage shops, the three reacted differently.

Li Xin was willing to learn and try, seeing it as a life experience. After marrying, she would need to manage her own assets.

Li Shan was the most interested, as a concubine's daughter, her monthly allowance was fixed. Aunt Wang's money, apart from supporting her own family, was spent mostly on Li Yao. Little was spent on Li Shan, so her funds were always tight. Before even getting the shop, she was already thinking of how to make money from it to supplement herself.

Li Xia had little interest in this. To earn money, she preferred going to the mountains to dig up things to sell directly. Her carving skills were already renowned by Li Hui. Making one or two pieces a month could easily earn her over a hundred taels of silver. Li Xia had no desire to engage in the labor-intensive work of running a shop.

Mrs. Lu handed them three shops, telling them to decide what business to run, and explicitly stating that thirty percent of the shop's profits would be theirs. The remainder would go towards shop expenses and be contributed to the public fund.

Li Shan was very satisfied, thinking that if she could earn 1,000 taels of silver per month, she could keep 300 for herself. The thought made her laugh out loud, drawing everyone's attention.

"Third Daughter, do you have any opinion?" Mrs. Lu's cold gaze fell on her, making Li Shan shudder. After being severely punished by Mrs. Lu, Li Shan was somewhat afraid of her.

"No, Mother, I will definitely manage the shop well," Li Shan hastily assured. Seeing Mrs. Lu no longer looking at her, Li Shan glanced at Li Xia, thinking she would surely outdo Li Xia and show everyone her abilities.

Unfortunately, Li Xia did not even look at her, her eyes vacant with a distant expression.

There was no choice but to wander the mountains for several consecutive nights, rushing back at dawn. She also had to be cautious to avoid those trying to find the Righteous Vigilante.

Especially last night, it was extremely dangerous, and she almost got discovered. Unexpectedly, the wealthy Cao Fugui had set up many secret lines in the Capital City to search for the Righteous Vigilante, with watchmen roaming everywhere at night. Last night, there were many people loitering outside Guihua Alley. π’»π“»π˜¦π‘’π“Œπ‘’π“«π“·π‘œπ“‹π˜¦π“΅.π“¬π˜°π“‚

After returning to her residence, Li Xia told Auntie Mei about Mrs. Lu's plan, asking her to help come up with ideas for what business the shop should operate. Li Xia currently had no desire to rack her brain, feeling exhausted.

"The Lady's teaching is such a great opportunity for you. Look how eager the Third Cousin is," Auntie Mei was unsatisfied with Li Xia's lazy demeanor.

"Auntie, Li Shan is eager because she lacks money to spend. I have money, so there's no need to rush," Li Xia did not hide her carving income from Auntie Mei, giving her half of what she received from Li Hui each month.

"You figure it out yourself, but you must manage this shop properly," Auntie Mei reminded her that the Li Mansion did not have much money left, which Mrs. Lu had not hidden from the household staff and servants. Everyone knew the situation.

Li Xin decided to open a restaurant. Her previous experience managing the kitchen gave her knowledge of food. Coming to the Capital City with Li Xia also provided new culinary experiences. Li Xin planned to open a mid-range restaurant. The shop Mrs. Lu gave her was in a bustling area with high foot traffic. As long as the food tasted good, customers would come.

After discussing with Aunt Wang, Li Shan decided to open a clothing shop. Li Shan had a unique eye for fashion and put together outfits well. She brought in a few embroiderers from the mansion to work at the shop. Li Shan wanted to offer high-end clothing for noblewomen, but with limited capital and connections, and many such shops already existing, she could only cater to the general public instead.

To everyone's surprise, Li Xia simply renovated the shop and hung a sign proclaiming "One Bookstore" as its name.

After surveying the area, Li Xia found that a bookstore required relatively little effort. She had Li Hui help contact book merchants to stock an initial batch of books. Then she set off firecrackers to celebrate the opening.

The bookstore employed a manager and a clerk. Li Xia would bring Qiu Shui to audit the accounts monthly. Under Li Xia's casual management style, Qiu Shui had trained herself into a capable housekeeper and accountant.

After a month of operations, when they received their shares at the end of the month, Li Xia's earnings were not much less than Li Xin's and Li Shan's, surprising them. How did Li Xia make so much money?

Li Xin was merely curious, but Li Shan directly doubted whether Li Xia had supplemented her earnings deceptively. However, as Li Xia continued bringing in substantial sums, they stopped being surprised.

The reason Li Xia could make so much money was that her bookstore rarely sold books related to the Imperial Examination. Instead, she sold more fiction novels and erotic illustrations.

Benefiting from Qiu Ling's knowledge of the Capital City's gossip circles, Li Xia found several skilled writers in this genre and commissioned them to write novels and fiction. Li Xia also spared no expense in producing quality publications, naturally attracting good business. Of course, these details were not something Li Xia could disclose.

The Li family's assets slowly recovered. Good news also kept coming from Liuzhou.

Lu XuanNing led troops to defeat Prince YongKang. Upon hearing this, Li Xin excitedly told Li Xia how wonderful it was that Liuzhou was secured, Li Ming was rewarded with a promotion in rank, though his position remained unchanged as he stayed in Liuzhou to restore its former prosperity.

Mrs. Lu received the news and arranged for people to pack up and prepare to return to Liuzhou. Unexpectedly, Li Ming wrote a letter asking Mrs. Lu not to return to Liuzhou for the time being. Although the rebel army was defeated, the impact it caused had not been completely eliminated. Due to the roving bandits resulting from the rebellion, travel was still unsafe. He instructed her to wait until it was safe before returning. At the same time, he reminded Mrs. Lu to keep a watchful eye on Li Hui, Li Chou, and Li Guang, ensuring their studies did not lapse, especially Li Hui, as the Metropolitan Examination would likely resume shortly after the war's victory.

On the day the great army returned, Mrs. Lu booked a private room early, as they were going to watch the triumphant return of the army. The weather was excellent on the day of welcoming the army back.