A Strange Servant
"Ah, sorry," the young servant raised his hand. "I'm new here, so I want to ask for some direction."
Wei Liuying scrutinized the man's appearance. Was there any noble from other cities who came here recently? She clearly couldn't remember anyone, but her knowledge and information that she could receive were limited. She couldn't know that well whether this young man was lying or not.
"What do you want to know?" Wei Liuying spoke out.
The servant's eyes lit up when he heard Wei Liuying's answer. "It's about this store. Is there any similar store that sold Chestnut Cake?'
"There are some others, but the best is this store."
"Ah, is that so?"
Looking at the long line of servants, the young servant felt dispirited. He looked like a sad puppy that had just lost his favorite food.
Wei Liuying looked at the young servant calmly. Her eyes were calmly analyzing the man's clothes and attitude. His way of speaking did sound a bit different, but it was still fairly similar. However, when the man raised his hand, Wei Liuying could see that there were marks of sharp wounds.
'Is he a soldier?'
Only soldiers usually have wound marks on their bodies. After all, they were faced with threats of war over and over again. It would be weirder if they didn't have any wound whatsoever in their bodies.
The young servant looked at Wei Liuying. "Miss, are you in a hurry?"
Xiao Qing frowned. She was about to snap out and tell the young servant to go away when she sensed Wei Liuying held her upper arm to stop her from speaking rashly.
Wei Liuying's eyes gleamed. "Is there anything else you want to ask?"
"It's this… do you know the best sweet in the capital city? I need to buy some popular ones for my Master before it's time for His Highness, the Third Prince, returned," the young servant said with a worried expression.
People who looked at his young and adorable face wouldn't be able to reject him so easily. However, Wei Liuying was completely calm when she was facing the stranger in front of her. Her brain circulated to think about what the young servant said rapidly.
"His Highness the Third Prince, Prince Ji Sheng will only return back tomorrow. You still have enough time to line up. There are only some pastries that are known to be good in the Capital City. This is already the best one," Wei Liuying pointed to the store beside her. "If there's nothing else, I'll excuse myself, Mister…"
The young servant sighed, seemingly ready to resign to his fate to line up. "You may call me Yang. Many thanks for the information, Young Miss. As my thanks, would you like to have a Chestnut Cake after I bought it?"
Wei Liuying arched her eyebrows. She was merely answering his question, and now he wanted to give her an expensive Chestnut Cake? It was priced several dozen copper coins just for a single cake, which was an expensive price since the size was so small.
[A/N: Copper coins were the main unit for money in Ancient China. People in ancient times believed that the Heaven is round and the earth is square, which is one of the reasons why the copper coin has the round shape and a square hole in the center. A string of 1000 copper coins is equivalent to a liang/tael of silver, but in early history, the number is not standardized and can change depending on the economic situation]
"It's too expensive," Wei Liuying disagreed. Before Yang could say anything else, she pointed to the line. "Also, it'll take too much time. I'll be taking my leave first, Mister Yang."
"Ah, wait for a moment."
The servant named Yang turned around to the small stalls. There were a lot of small stalls on the street with a lot of people going around. They usually sold some pastries or sweet candies or some other food.
Wei Liuying frowned, but she didn't move from her position. Her black eyes were watching Yang from the back as if she was wondering what he wanted to do. At that moment, Yang took out a few copper coins and exchanged them with a sugar painting in the shape of a bunny.
Yang took the sugar painting and walked over to Wei Liuying with a smile on his lips. "This is for you, Miss."
"There's no need. All I do is give some information that you can easily know from other people," Wei Liuying refused.
"I already try to ask many people, but you're the only one who's responding to me patiently and politely. The sugar painting didn't really cost a lot, but if there's a chance in the future, I'll repay the favor." Yang winked.
Wei Liuying was confused. This was the first time she ever saw a servant acted this brazenly on the street. However, her slender hand took the sugar painting from Yang slowly. It wouldn't do her any good to refuse him again.
"In that case, I'll accept the sugar painting."
Yang beamed. "Many thanks for your help today. If fate wills it, let's meet again, Miss."
"Yes, leave it all to fate," Wei Liuying replied softly. Her hand was holding the sugar painting in her hand while her eyes watched as Yang disappeared in the crowd. Her eyes narrowed slightly.
Did he not want to buy the Chestnut Cake?
Xiao Qing tugged Wei Liuying's sleeve. "Miss, that servant is weird."
"You're right," Wei Liuying acknowledged it. Looking at the sugar painting in her hand, she sighed internally. Recalling the words that she had said, there shouldn't be anything that she leaked out…
"How many people know when His Highness the Third Prince, Prince Ji Sheng's return is exactly?" Wei Liuying asked.
Xiao Qing blinked her large eyes. "Only high ranked nobles should be able to know because it'll be dangerous if some enemies caught wind of the news."
Wei Liuying's eyes narrowed. It seemed that she had accidentally slipped out. She could only hope that Yang's servant was not Prince Ji Sheng's enemies or things wouldn't be pretty. Well, even if something happened, it shouldn't be possible to relate the incident with her because several high ranking officials also leaked the news to their children.
"Let's go back."
As she walked, Wei Liuying bit the sugar painting slowly, enjoying the sweet taste. Even though she was a noble daughter, her allowance was simply too pitiful. It was to the point that she didn't even have spare money to buy sweets and pastries.
When the two of them returned, they could see Wei Xiao Hua standing near her carriage. Her face was sour.
"First Sister?" Wei Liuying called out.
Wei Xiao Hua turned around and forced a smile out on her beautiful face. "Third Sister. Do you have fun?"
"Yes. I only walk around."
However, Wei Liuying noticed that Wei Xiao Hua's eyes landed on the sugar painting that she held. Wei Xiao Hua didn't have much allowance too because her father's concubines didn't wish for her to live well. They all kept the money for themselves and used it for other things.
'I should have finished the sugar painting before coming. But then again, sugar painting is only 3 copper coins…'
It was cheap, so many people could afford it. However, it was more popular among the commoners because of the cheap price while noble daughters sometimes found it unsightly to eat such cheap sweets when they could buy better ones.
"You've returned, Third Sister?" Wei Zilin peeked out from the carriage. Her eyes also landed on the sugar painting in Wei Liuying's hand. "Why do you buy such cheap sugar paintings? Do you want us to be mocked by other ladies?"
Wei Liuying merely showed a smile. "It's only a snack, why would they bother with it."
Wei Zilin scowled. They all knew very well how rumors easily spread and given their status, it wouldn't be weird if other noble ladies heard about this.
"Let's go home," Wei Xiao Hua said after a while."
"Yes, First Sister."
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