53 Broken Porcelain

    These past few days, Xue'er wondered why there were not many people who came to buy goods. She knew that there were not many people of high status within the border town, which could explain why the small embroidery shop did not have many customers.

    Huo momo did not have many rules for her to follow. She was only required to come to help out about three times a week, and the rest of the time, she would travel around to, through the forest, the miles upon miles of wild and uninhabited land was what she enjoyed the most.

    Her free time was also spent practicing the stitches that Huo momo had began to teach her. As of now, she could begin making simple clothes for commoners, while her embroidery would be passable for the upper classes.

    She sat in the bright room of the embroidery shop, working on the handkerchief. The fabric was thick pale ivory cotton and Xue'er was using her embroidery needle to sew small little five petal decorative flowers to decorate the edges. The green stems from which the flowers bloomed gave a freshness to life from which it had blossomed.

    Xue'er had been very careful, to make sure that the seams were well hidden, that the front and back were indistinguishable, it was no different from a two-sided piece that was well known throughout the kingdom.

    "You don't have to put that much work into it, it's for the brothels, your hard work will most likely be for naught." Huo momo's sharp eyes gazed over the embroidery that Xue'er was holding, she shook her head.

    "But, weren't you the one who taught me to pour my heart and soul into every piece I make, to make sure that it is my best work being presented?" Xue'er's eyes widen, as she looked at Huo momo in confusion.

    "Yes, but believe me when I tell you that your work will only be wasted, the handkerchief that you so poured your work into will be used to wipe the wine that men spill from their lips after drinking one too many cups." Huo momo said as if she was telling Xue'er a tale of horror.

    "But isn't it the same as noble ladies who buy a dress so intricately embroidered that it takes months to make, yet it is only worn once?" Xue'er asked.

    "..." Huo momo was speechless. Yet what Xue'er said held true. She knew that noble ladies rarely wore something more than once, especially if it was a special order, such as an upper-class banquet.

    At this revelation, Huo momo began to ponder her life's choices, and all the robes she made long ago.

    [Where are they now?

    Were they sitting at the bottom of a wardrobe right now collecting dust?]

    Xue'er's eyes blinked earnestly, but she continued to embroider the edges of the handkerchief as if she did not hear what Huo momo had said.

    The old lady sighed as she watched the girl continue working.

    Little did she realize the needle in Xue'er's hand had become slightly faster as if spending less time per embroidery.

    Even that sharp gaze did little to see through the shortened time that Xue'er had begun to spend on each piece. Perhaps, it was the large number of hours that Xue'er spent practicing that her rushed work was no different from her usual work.

    "Ah!" Huo momo nearly yelled out as her pair of scissors knocked into her teacup, scattering into a million pieces.

    Xue'er stopped what she was working on and ran to see that Huo momo had accidentally given herself a cut on the leg from the broken porcelain.

    Xue'er looked at her with a worrying expression, but she stayed silent.

    "I'm fine." Huo momo brushed it off, as she limped upstairs in pain. Everything was silent, save for the sounds of the floorboards creaking.

    Xue'er bent down to carefully sweep away the broken bits of porcelain, then sniffed the air for that distinctive smell of copper that blood would have. She didn't make out much of it, so Huo momo should be fine.

    As long as it was a simple cut, then it didn't need her attention. Of course, Huo momo would be able to take care of herself, she was a grown woman, besides, would she be able to live to this age if she sought the attention of a doctor each and every time she got a cut?

    Nope, she wouldn't have.

    Xue'er looked up to the stairs where she did not venture and smelled the distinctive scent of Tian Qi powder. This powder was effective in aiding wounds to heal and could be ingested internally, or used externally for minor cuts or bruises.

    Right, the medicine was something she would have been most likely to use as well. Given this environment, the plant could be dried, crushed into a fine powder, and sold. Since it could be stored for long amounts of time, it wasn't so costly and most households could get their hands on it.

    Xue'er stopped all thoughts and got back to what she had been working on.
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