By the next day, the entire black market knew about the changes in the 'Black Jade Inn' and its master. Everyone was praising about the beautiful decorations of the inn and the delicious food.
Next day, People started visiting the inn from early morning. Although they didn't get to eat the famous dishes of the 'Black Jade Inn' but Elder Fu had announced that the inn was going to serve a very special tea and delicious snacks. So, people were excited.
Li Ming again spend her morning in teaching the Huang sisters to make coffee and some snacks. The girls were quick learner and just in one hour they learned everything.
Actually it was not that hard to make coffee and fry some chips!
When Li Ming came to the main room to check on the customers, she found that at least 12-13 people were there.
Seeing this she was feeling good.
For the rest of the morning, the inn got many customers. Everyone liked the new tea (coffee) and the snacks.
When it's nearly noon, the 'Black Jade Inn' got its first customer who booked a room for a week. Everyone was happy as it had been nearly a year since anyone had stayed in the inn.
The rest of the day went smoothly. In the evening Li Ming again cooked with the help of the Huang sisters this time and the servants with their master and the customer, all enjoyed a hearty and delicious dinner.
In one of the rooms upstairs, a person in black clothes was sitting on the table. The glow of the candles could only give a little idea about his gender and figure but his face was completely in shadows.
Another person in black clothes was kneeling in front of him.
"My Lord, there's no information about the 'White Pearl Lotus' yet. I have asked our secret guards to keep an eye on the disciples of..." The person kneeling down said.
"Hmm." This was the only reply that he got as the man sitting on the table stopped him to talk any further. He stood up and bowed. As he was turning around to leave, his master stopped him.
"Book a room in 'Black Jade Inn' for me. I heard that they serves very delicious food." The man said in a melodious tone.
"Yes my lord!" The other man bowed and left the room.
Next morning, the 'Black Jade Inn' was again filled with customers and another man came to book a room.
Li Ming made sure that the Huang sisters were making everything right and when she was satisfied enough, she left Madam Fu to take care of everything.
She had asked Elder Fu to prepare a carriage for her. The carriage arrived early and she asked the guards to load some boxes into the carriage. She gave some instructions to Elder Fu and informed that she would be late. After that she left in the carriage.
8 hours later the carriage finally stopped outside a house in a town near imperial city. Yes! It was the same town in which the previous owner of Li Ming's body grew up as a child. The reason of Li Ming coming here today was related to her future plans.
The house in front of which the carriage had stopped was none other than the orphanage.
The old couple who looked after the orphanage came out to see who was in the carriage. They saw a young girl of 13 years old, coming out of a carriage. The carriage was neither too lavish nor too normal. But the young girl looked like a young miss of some rich family. Her clothes and jewelry were of high quality. But due to the veil, they were unable to see her face.
The couple were surprised to see this young miss at their orphanage.
"Can I talk to you both?" Li Ming asked the old couple. She had changed her voice with magic, so that no one could recognize her.
The couple hesitated for a moment but then led her inside. The condition of the orphanage was not that good. Everything was in poor condition.
After everyone settled down and the old madam served tea, Li Ming looked at the children working around the house.
"Who opened this orphanage?" She asked after observing the children for a moment.
"My father started this orphanage. After his death I took over and now both me and my wife looks after these poor children." The old man replied.
"If that's the case, then why I can't see anyone older than 13/14 years in the group?" Li Ming asked with a frown while looking puzzled.
At first the old couple was so shocked that they hesitated for a moment but then the old madam said laughingly, "Once these children become older than 14 years, they leave this orphanage to search for work and build themselves a good life."
Li Ming laughed mockingly at the old madam's words. She sure knew how to pretend.
The old couple looked uncomfortably at the laughing young girl.
"This.....Young Miss..." The old madam started but Li Ming cut her off.
"You can call me Miss Li. And don't think just because no one else has caught you in your business, then you can fool everyone easily." Li Ming looked at the old couple who were now looking terrified.
"We have no idea what Miss Li is talking about." The old madam said.
"Don't need to pretend anymore. I know that you sell these children as slaves. And you has been doing it for a long time." Li Ming said while playing with the tea cup in her hand.
This time the old couple were too afraid to even speak a single word. Their business had been going well for all these years and never anyone from the village suspected them. They had never thought that one day a small girl would come and destroy everything.
Right now their minds were running at full speed to stop this girl from ruining their lives. If this truth was revealed then they would spend their rest of life either in prison or in poverty.
The first thought that came in their mind was to kill the girl, but as they tried to stand they were unable to move. They both looked at each other in terror and then they looked at the girl in front of them.
"Planning of killing me?" She asked with an evil smile.
The look in her eyes terrified the old couple to no end.
"Don't worry. I'm not going to tell anyone about what you both were doing. I'm here for business and I want to make a deal with you." Li Ming told them in a serious tone.
Li ming's words made the old couple relax. The old madam even smiled a little as she thought that Li Ming wanted to partner with them in their business.
After reading old madam's thought, Li Ming wanted to strangle her to death. But she controled herself.
"Bring your mind out of the gutter." She said to old madam while glaring at her. Her glare erased the smile from the old madam's face.
"How much money you make in a month from your business and was their any other benefits for you in this business?" She asked the old man.
"We can get at least 100 silver taels for selling two or three children but we don't receive any other benefits. Only the girls who were sent to brothels can get higher price. But since the children are small we can only sell five or six children in a year. Overall, we can earn nearly 500-800 silver taels a year. " The old man told her. But it was clear that he was terrified.
Li Ming processed his words and then finally asked, "What will be the consequences if you stop selling the children?"
"That.....It's not that easy. The people involved in this business are not normal people." The old man replied with a sigh.
"Give me all the details about these people. I'll take care of it. Now lets come to our business deal. I'll give you 100 silver taels every month as your salary if you agree to work for me." Li Ming told the old couple.
The old couple was so shocked. It was once in a lifetime opportunity.
"Miss Li, if you can really take care of those people then we have no problem working with you." The old man said.
"Don't worry about that. It's now my problem to solve. And let me clear your mistake, you are not working with me, you are working for me." Li Ming looked at the old man and his wife.
When both of them nodded their heads in understanding, she asked, "Can anyone in this house read or write?"
"I have some basic knowledge." The old man told her.
Li Ming nodded her head and took out a parchment. "This is the contract. It states that both of you work for me and this orphanage and these children are mine to order. Read it carefully and then sign it."
"But Miss Li, what do you want us to do?" The old madam asked in confusion.