The second-floor window-side seat of the Changfeng Town teahouse had been occupied by Lu Chengxiao for over an hour. The tea and snacks on the table remained untouched as he gazed out of the window downstairs.
Babao craned his neck to see what was outside, casting glances repeatedly, spending the entire afternoon trying to figure out what was so interesting downstairs.
Thinking about how their Young Master had walked around several main streets in town earlier in the day, Babao finally realized something and scratched his head, asking, “Young Master, are you looking for someone?”
Lu Chengxiao gave him a glance and replied, “I told you that you don’t have to follow me. If you’re bored, you can head back.”
Upon hearing this, Babao vigorously shook his head. “I’m not bored. How could I be bored following Young Master? What I mean is, if you’re looking for someone, why don’t you tell me? Their last name, first name, where they live, what they look like, I can help you find them.”
Lu Chengxiao propped his chin up with his hand. “If I knew their last name, first name, and where they lived, I wouldn’t need you.”
Babao’s eyes widened, realizing that he was indeed searching for someone.
He had an idea and suddenly said, “Could it be the person who lost their purse?”
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Nw Ubldtmkys nbwnjzle yde dseele.
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Xd vbl Lsavb Fvallv sq vbl vsod, Nw Ubldtmkys pvsrrle oblal bl bye nywtbv wr okvb Nkw Zw vbyv eyu. Tl pvsse vblal qsa y obkzl, zssjkdt dsavb, yde vbld nsdvkdwle oyzjkdt. Xd csvb pkelp sq vbl pvallv olal pbsrp yde bswplp. Tl osdelale oblal bla bsxl xktbv cl.
Bdnsdpnkswpzu, bl bye oyzjle yzsdt vbl pvallv vs vbl cydjp sq vbl Zwpbwk Skhla. Xd vbl svbla pkel, vblal olal hypv talld xswdvykdp. Tl jdlo vbyv ryppkdt vbaswtb vbyv aswvl oswze vyjl bkx vbaswtb plhld sa lktbv hkzzytlp. Llkvbla Twyktldt dsa Nkwgbydt bye plld bla, ps kv oyp wdzkjlzu vbyv pbl oyp qasx vbl vsod. Vlabyrp pbl oyp y tkaz qasx sdl sq vbl dlyacu hkzzytlp?
Lu Chengxiao felt a pang of regret. That day when she asked him if there was anything else he wanted to know, he couldn’t believe he lacked the courage to ask one more question. Even if he had asked, it wouldn’t necessarily lead him to her, but wasn’t there always a place for a heart full of thoughts to find solace?
With these thoughts in mind, he continued his leisurely walk onto the stone bridge. However, halfway across, he abruptly stopped in his tracks.
At the bridgehead, two beggar children were sitting by the bridge. When they saw him, they turned to look at him. When Lu Chengxiao saw the face of one of the children, he was somewhat surprised; it was a child he had seen near his home once.
The boy clearly recognized Lu Chengxiao as well. He froze for a moment, then quickly scrambled to his feet. The younger child was a bit slower to react, but his actions mirrored the older boy’s. The older one held the younger child’s hand and tightly clutched his clothes, keeping a nervous eye on Lu Chengxiao.
Lu Chengxiao raised an eyebrow. Why were these strangers so guarded? But then he realized that the older child was probably no more than eight or nine years old, while the younger one was only about five or six. They were vulnerable and, if they encountered a malicious person, could easily be kidnapped or sold.
After a moment’s thought, Lu Chengxiao reached into his money pouch and took out two small silver coins. Seeing that the children were a bit nervous, and since he had no intention of crossing the bridge in the first place, he placed the silver coins on the bridge near his feet. He smiled and gestured for them to take the money before he turned and left.
Once Lu Chengxiao had crossed the stone bridge and was some distance away, the little girl called out to her brother. It was only then that the boy led his sister to where Lu Chengxiao had left the silver coins.
The young girl spotted the two small silver coins on the ground and, with joy in her voice, softly exclaimed, “Brother, money!”
Even though they were just five or six years old, the girl, having lost her parents and guardians, had been exposed to a life of wandering. She had followed her brother and looked at various food stalls, and within a few days, she naturally learned to recognize the value of money. With money, they wouldn’t have to go hungry or endure the cold and hardship.
The boy unconsciously licked his dry lips, nervously clenching and rubbing his hands. He turned to look towards the end of the bridge, where Lu Sanlang’s figure was long gone. He rubbed his hands on his already ragged clothes before reaching down to pick up the two small silver coins on the ground. He held them, feeling the irregular, handcrafted pieces of silver in the palm of his hand, the texture feeling very real.
Recalling a previous memory, he opened his palm, mimicking what he had seen adults do with the silver pieces. He wiped one of the coins and brought it to his mouth. Even though he didn’t understand the significance of this action, he smiled, his eyes and eyebrows curving upwards simultaneously. He nodded vigorously and said, “Mm, there’s silver! Here, there’s…” He paused, not sure how much there was since he had never handled silver coins before.
With a mischievous grin, he carefully pulled out a pocket from the innermost layer of his clothes, placing the two small silver coins with the copper coin that had been given to him by Liu Yi earlier. These past few days, he had only spent money to buy buns for his sister, so he had saved a small but growing pile of coins.
The little girl, despite her shyness, was also a clever child. When she saw her brother hide the silver coins, she tilted her head and reminded him, “Brother, that’s from Lu Sanlang.”
The boy nodded, “I know.”
Although the little girl was young, she understood that they had received a favor from Fairy Sister Liu Yi, and receiving a favor meant they had to do something in return. In this case, the task was keeping an eye on the person they had just seen – Lu Sanlang.
Now that they had collected coins from both households, what should they do next?
She watched her brother with eager eyes.
The boy, pulling his sister close, sat down by the bridge’s railing again. After thinking for a while, he wasn’t sure how to explain it to his sister. He leaned on his hand, furrowed his brow, and sighed, “You don’t understand.”
The little girl blinked her eyes and asked, “Don’t understand what? Just tell me, and I’ll understand.”
The boy rubbed his nose and pondered how to explain it to his sister. After a while, he started by asking, “Well, do you think Lu Sanlang is good-looking?”
The little girl nodded.
“How about that sister who gave us money, is she good-looking?”
At this moment, little Ya didn’t hesitate at all and nodded three times, “Good-looking!”
Her voice was crisp.
The older brother chuckled, thinking about how to explain to his sister the situation of Lu Sanlang, the young man whom many girls in the town wanted to marry. He had learned this information from the fat chef who sometimes shared food with them in their daily lives. He felt that the girl who gave them money had a similar purpose.
But this didn’t seem like a good thing to say, especially not to his sister. He scratched his messy hair bun for a while, not knowing how to respond. Finally, he managed to say, “That’s right, they’re both so good-looking, so it’s okay to take money from both sides.”
“???” Both of them are good-looking, and taking money from both sides, is there some connection here that she doesn’t understand?
The six-year-old little Ya was full of question marks, completely confused by her own brother.
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