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    Chapter 71 - All Expenses Paid by Emperor Shunwu

    He Zhiran pretended to help Fei Nanyu up, asking, "Do you want to sit in our cart and head to the county office?"

    Fei Nanyu glared at the scholars before nodding. "Alright, thank you, Miss."

    Seeing that things were getting serious, one of the scholars quickly gave in.

    "It's just twenty taels of silver each, right? We agree. It's such a small matter, no need to bother County Magistrate with it."

    He Zhiran noticed this and held out her hand to them.

    "Since you don't want to go to the office, give us the money now!"

    The scholars exchanged glances before secretly pooling their silver.

    In no time, a hundred taels of silver were presented to He Zhiran and the others.

    Peng Wang waved them away.

    The five scholars hastily departed.

    He Zhiran handed one hundred taels of silver to Fei Nanyu.

    "Take it!"

    Despite his injuries, Fei Nanyu's gaze still exuded an untamed spirit.

    "Why did you help me? Aren't you afraid of offending those people?"

    He Zhiran shrugged nonchalantly. "I just couldn't stand idly by. Don't read too much into it."

    To avoid arousing suspicion in Fei Nanyu, He Zhiran averted his gaze, refusing to meet his eyes directly.

    "You should be able to walk, right?"

    "Yes, I can."

    With effort, Fei Nanyu stood up and bowed deeply to the group.

    "Many thanks to all of you for your help. If there's a day we meet again, I, Fei Nanyu, will repay your kindness with all my might."

    With that, he limped away, turning his back on them.

    It wasn't until Fei Nanyu's figure vanished that He Zhiran called Peng Wang and the officials to go find something to eat together.

    He Zhiran couldn't predict whether her act of saving Fei Nanyu today would bring her any future rewards. However, she was convinced that even if they didn't become friends in the future, their encounter today would at least prevent them from becoming enemies.

    While He Zhiran was lost in thought, Peng Wang couldn't hold back his curiosity and asked,

    "Sister-in-law, based on my understanding of you, you're not the type to meddle in others' affairs. Why did you choose to save that man?"

    This matter had originated from her own selfish motives, so He Zhiran naturally wouldn't reveal the truth.

    "I can't stand seeing the strong bully the weak, so I couldn't resist getting involved."

    Peng Wang didn't believe her explanation at all, but since she didn't want to elaborate, he didn't push the issue further.

    After walking for about ten minutes, Peng Wang pointed at an unassuming stall and said,

    "That stall's wontons are delicious, and their signature braised meat is also a must-try. Would you like to give it a go?"

    At that moment, He Zhiran was starving, so her standards for food were not high. As long as it could fill her stomach, she was content.

    Moreover, from the tone of Peng Wang's words, it seemed that he had visited this stall before and enjoyed the food enough to want more. It must be good.

    "I have no objections. Whatever Brother Peng decides is fine with me," He Zhiran replied.

    The officer concurred, "We'll eat whatever the leader says."

    Seeing that both of them were agreeable, Peng Wang led the way to the wonton stall.

    He ordered three bowls of wontons and a large platter of braised meat.

    He Zhiran took a bite. Both the wontons and the braised meat tasted quite nice.

    However, compared to the exquisite dishes she had enjoyed in her previous life, they lacked a certain something.

    However, given the scarce resources of ancient times, it was already impressive that the food could taste so good.

    The weather was already hot, and after slurping down a steaming bowl of wontons, beads of sweat appeared on all three of their foreheads.

    Seeing the blazing sun outside, the officer felt somewhat resistant.

    "Boss, the sun is too scorching. Shouldn't we find a place to rest before continuing?"

    Peng Wang shared this sentiment. In the past, when they transported convicts, they would usually seek shade during midday heat and resume their journey in the afternoon.

    "There's a teahouse over there. Let's go have some iced tea and take a break."

    He Zhiran also wanted to quench her thirst with cold tea, but she knew that this was her only chance for some solitary action, and she couldn't afford to miss it.

    "Brother Peng, I'm not afraid of the heat. Besides, I still want to buy a few things. Why don't you two rest while I do my shopping, then I'll meet you at the teahouse?"

    From recent events, Peng Wang no longer treated He Zhiran as an ordinary convict; he trusted her character.

    Such a minor request wouldn't be refused by Peng Wang, especially since he wasn't keen on accompanying her shopping in the sweltering heat.

    "Well then, let's take a break. Sister-in-law, you can go do some shopping."

    With that, He Zhiran parted ways with the two. She began searching for another fabric store.

    Considering that her family didn't have any spare clothes and, with the sweltering heat, they all had a distinct odor, she knew it was essential to address this matter when possible.

    Thus, before leaving, she planned on purchasing some cloth to take back with her. While they weren't in a hurry to travel over the next few days, she could ask her sisters-in-law to sew them some new outfits.

    Not far from where she stood, she spotted a fabric store.

    He Zhiran didn't forget her current status and didn't wish to draw too much attention to herself.

    Therefore, she chose fabrics that were simple in color and lightweight, purchasing enough for their needs.

    The shopkeeper, seeing her buy such a large quantity of cloth, kindly offered her some scraps as a gift.

    Neither He Zhiran nor the original owner was skilled in sewing, so they had no idea what these scraps were for. However, seeing the shopkeeper present them like treasures, she imagined they would surely be useful in the hands of someone more adept at needlework.

    After expressing her gratitude to the shopkeeper, He Zhiran pushed the wooden cart and continued on her way.

    Intent on finding a secluded spot, He Zhiran steered her wooden cart into a quiet alley. After ensuring that no one was around, she entered her spatial dimension and retrieved two bags each of rice and flour. Additionally, she had purchased twenty roast chickens and twenty roast ducks from TaobaoBa, repackaging them all in oil paper before placing them on the cart. She also planned to buy some pork and vegetables. Considering the sweltering heat that day, He Zhiran was disinclined to continue browsing the market and decided to complete her shopping through TaobaoBa. Looking at the overflowing supplies on the cart, He Zhiran felt no burden at all. After all, it was Emperor Shunwu footing the bill... It was indeed true. The four million plus she had earned came from exchanging items from the Shunwu Empire's treasury. Essentially, he was the one paying! Checking the time, she realized it had only been half an hour since she parted ways with Peng Wang. If she were to join them at the teahouse now, they might suspect how she could have amassed so many purchases in such a short time.

    Thus, He Zhiran didn't rush to leave. She pushed the wooden cart to a shaded spot and found a vacant seat for herself.

    Taking the opportunity, she ordered an iced drink from Taobao to alleviate the heat.

    Since her transmigration into this world, He Zhiran had never felt so relaxed.

    Sitting on the wooden cart, she sipped on the icy drink, swaying her legs rhythmically...

    Just as she was basking in her contentment, she suddenly sensed footsteps approaching from the direction of the alleyway.

    He Zhiran hastily stashed the half-finished drink into her space and turned her gaze towards the source of the sound.

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