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Forensic Imperial Concubine by Erika Black

Chapter 25
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It would have saved Harper so much trouble if she managed to run away secretly, but she was

unexpectedly stopped by the

young man.

"You're so mean. How could you leave me alone and run away?" Carlson was angry.

"I'm just afraid that people from the Joy Club would take revenge on me. You're from the imperial

family, and they wouldn't dare

hurt you. They have a strong background, so I wouldn't dare go against them when I'm just a nobody."

"But you still did it. I'm not afraid of anyone in the Joy Club unless they have the support of His

Majesty!" Carlson boasted. "But if

it weren't for you, I would have been tricked. I can't believe those bastards set a trap for me."

"You're welcome. I was just short on money. Why don't you invite me to dinner to thank me?"

Harper replied frankly. Carlson studied Harper, who looked obsessed with money. "Are you lacking


"I'm short on money. My mother passed away a long time ago, and my stepmother's cruel. She doesn't

give me any money. My

father's incompetent and doesn't favor me. So, yes. I do lack money."

"Never mind. I'll buy you something to eat since you're so pitiful," Carlson sighed. 'His father must have

a lot of concubines, ' he


"Thank you very much." A slight smile appeared on Harper's lips. "Since it's your treat, I won't turn


As the youngest son of Prince Allen, Carlson led a life of luxury and had been spoiled by his parents

and brothers. He had never

experienced what it was like being short of money. "I knew you'd say yes. By the way, my name's

Carlson Jun. What's yours?"

"Harrell Qin," Harper replied. Qin was her late mother's surname.

"Harrell. That's a good name. Let's go to the Spring Restaurant and have a good meal! By the way, tell

me, how did you know

that there was something wrong with the dices?" Without asking whether Harper wanted to go, Carlson

started dragging her.

Nina, Harper's maid, and Porter, Carlson's manservant, following after them. It angered Nina when she

saw Carlson holding

Harper's arm, and she wanted to slap his hand away. It was inappropriate for an unmarried lady like

Harper to be casually pulled

around the street by a man.

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"Don't worry. His Highness is a nice man!" When Porter noticed that Nina was worried about Harper

being bullied, he reassured


Nina, however, only gave Porter an angry glance and hurried after Harper.

Once they entered the Spring Restaurant, they bumped into Hansen. "Oh, Carlson! How come Uncle

Allen let you out today?"

Hansen sneered.

"Why is there a stray dog barking here?" Carlson retorted. Apparently, they loathed each other.

"Say that again! Carlson Jun!" It was clear that Hansen wanted to fight Carlson by the angry red on his


"I'll say it a thousand times!" Carlson sneered. "I despise people like you the most. You have done bad

things, and yet you want

to have a good reputation. I've never seen anyone as shameless as you in my entire life!"

"Go to hell, Carlson Jun!" The scream echoed as Hansen stomped to Carlson with his fist raised.

Harper kicked Carlson's leg

from behind, and he jolted, accidentally hitting Hansen's stomach that made him fall to the floor. "Ha-

ha! Hansen, I can't believe you'd actually kneel down in front of me. I'm so flattered. Please get up."

While Carlson didn't understand what was happening, he found Hansen's misfortune enjoyable.

"Carlson Jun!" After he scrambled to his feet, Hansen lunged at Carlson. Carlson slightly dodged and

kicked his bottom. Hansen then fell on the floor again, which made everyone in the Spring Restaurant

laugh. The angry Hansen knew that he was no match for Carlson and he snapped, "Wait and see. I

won't let you off!" "Humph!" A snort left Carlson. "Do you really think I'm afraid of you? Show me what

you get next time! I'll wait for you! Harrell, let's go!" Unaware that someone was watching them,

Carlson dragged Harper to the second floor. The moment they stepped into a private booth, Carlson

patted Harper on the back and said, "You do have some tricks up your sleeve!" "Now that I'm on your

side, I won't allow anyone to bully you. What's more, I hate double-faced people!" Harper stated. "Yeah,

let's not talk about him. Tell me, how did you know something was wrong with the dices?" Carlson

asked excitedly. He considered himself an expert with dices and cards, because he had been playing

those things since he was a child. Although his father strongly disapproved of it, he still loved to play

them. That was why he was so surprised that he didn't realized that he was being fooled by the people

in the Joy Club. Harper took four dices out of her pocket and said, "Look at these four dices. What's the


Carlson was silent as he looked at them and studied them carefully. Eventually he shook his head.

"There's nothing different." The answer made Harper smile, and she took two dices and placed them in

a bowl. After she covered it with another bowl and shook them, a crisp sound came from it. She

changed the dices and shook them again, the sound came out sharper. "Can you hear the


"It sounds different."

Harper nodded and mixed all the dices together again. "The sharp ones are faulty, and the crisp ones

are normal. The club was

loud so people with bad ears couldn't hear the differences. They used the noise to cover it up since no

one would pay attention

to the sounds of the dices."

"I see...Please give them to me. I'll go home and study them carefully."

"No problem." Harper nodded and handed over the dices. "Just play occasionally. Don't get too


"I know. You're such a busybody!" Carlson picked some food for Harper. "Since you're so good at

gambling, do you still have any

special skills up your sleeve?"

Harper ate quietly and didn't answer his question. As Carlson noticed the way she ate, he said,

"Harrell, when you eat, you look

just like those women in the Imperial Palace but you're more graceful than them."

"People put food first. When eating, you must behave yourself. Eating's an art. If you're forced to sit

opposite a man who wolfs

down the food and dirties the table, I'm sure that you will lose your appetite. Sometimes, the table

manners aren't only for self-

cultivation but as well as to not disturb others," Harper explained.

"You have a lot of reasons!" Carlson propped one hand against his cheek and stared at Harper. "But

you do look really good

when you eat." There was only the slightest of twitch at the corners of Harper's lips. "I have to go after

the meal." "You're leaving so early?" Carlson asked quizzically. "I want to do some small business so I

want to see if there's any good store. I want to buy it and make money so I won't need to depend on

others to make a living," Harper said seriously.

"A store? Why don't you ask me for help?" Carlson proudly patted his chest. "I definitely know the good

stores in the city. I'll take you there, and I guarantee you'll be satisfied!"

Harper's eyes lit up. "I see. Thank you, Your Highness."

"You're welcome. Let's go, I'll show you the stores." Carlson had always been decisive in doing what he

wanted to do, so he

toured Harper around to look at stores. They decided to choose a store in the northern part of the city.

It was a two-story store. The original owner of the store wanted to sell it because the house was old

and hard to maintain, and

there was even a deed for the land. It was too good to be true, but Harper still hesitated because the

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price was a bit higher than

she could afford.

"What? You don't have any money?" Carlson pounded at his chest. "It doesn't matter, I'll lend you


"It's not a lack of money. I just think 5, 000 taels of silver is a little expensive for this store." After a

moment's hesitation, Harper

offered, "How about 3, 000? The house's too old. The restoration of the store would cost me a fortune

so 5, 000 is an extremely

high price for me. Besides, it's not a good location for a business. I want to open a herbal medicine

store, that's why I don't care if

the location is good or not."

There was some hesitation on the owner's part but he eventually agreed to sell for 3, 000 taels of silver.

It made Harper smile

when she got the deed for the land, because this was her own property from now on.

"Why are you so happy to buy a bad house?" Disdain filled Carlson's expression. "You want to open a

herbal medicine shop, so

you're a physician?"

Harper nodded. "Yes, but I won't diagnose illness for normal people. The store will specialize in offering

services to women."

"I don't understand!"

"Well, do you want to join me or not? Then the store will be under your protection. I'll give you thirty

percent of the profit. What do

you think?" Harper said with a smile as she tried to tempt him.

"You're not going to lose money, right?"

"Hey! What are you talking about?" Harper complained. "I haven't even started yet but you're already

bringing me down. Come

on. Are you going to join me or not?"

"All right. Since I'm a shareholder, should I give you money?" Carlson asked curiously.

"You don't need to give me money but I need your help!" A wicked smile flashed through Harper's face.

"I guess I'll have to ask

Lady Casey a favor!"

"My mother?"

"Yes! I need her help. Would you please put in a good word for me?"

"Sure, of course. My mother loves me the most. If I ask her, she'll definitely help me. But will our store

make money?" It was

clear that Carlson didn't believe her and thought that she was too weak to run a store all by herself.

Harper's gambling skills were

great, but when she wanted to start a business, he doubted her.

"Don't look down on me. You'll see. I'll prove it to you!"