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    Night shifted into day and days passed by aimlessly after Huo momo had left, the shop was empty. There were no longer any customers that came, so Xue'er guessed that the clients had already been notified of the changes and brought their business elsewhere.

    Strangely enough, there were no other shops that would take over the place, perhaps that was due to the shop already having an owner, no one would ever really know. Though Xue'er did not stop her embroidery practices. Progress would be seen day by day as the pieces of cloth became even more embellished and flamboyant. The needlework had improved tremendously, though such pieces were for her eyes only. It was such a pity that such beautiful works could only be thrown in a corner to collect dust.

    As Xue'er practiced her needlework, little shadow came in with the remains of something with feathers in its jaws.

    "What have you done?"

    Xue'er looked at little shadow spitting the thing from its sharp teeth. The bird was still alive after that ordeal, and after that, it had begun to grow stronger. Even after being in little shadow's mouth, it could shake its feathers.

    She placed down her unfinished work and her hand came to stroke the little feathers that were turning a tinted shade of purple. It could no longer be considered a normal bird after awakening from death. She observed the bird as it nuzzled closer to her hand, no longer bothered by the cold touch.

    The feathers slightly tickled the palm of her hand. Xue'er's lips raised slightly as the little creature nuzzled closer to her.

    "Little shadow, it seems you will have a little friend soon." Xue'er looked at little shadow who had nuzzled closer to her in a furry white ball. It bared its jaws and made a threatening sound as soon as it heard.

    Here there were, a human figure, a small fox-like silhouette and a small bird all nuzzled up close together. It really made for a strange sight of what one expected to see in the deep forests.

    ~

    "I think I might know where they are being hidden." Li Yang said to the little girl who had been spending a lot of time in his clinic.

    After spending time with her, he realized that her temperament was usually calm and quiet. She did not quite remind him of the fierce girl who came to him demanding that he find a person for her, yet he still decided to do as she wishes.

    After telling her the place, she did not leave as expected, instead, she loitered around the clinic.

    She was a strange child indeed, not indulging in things that normal children would. He watched her as she got closer to the curtain where he kept those patients. She looked back at him with a smile, "They have not died yet?" She did not seem too surprised as she spoke. There was a hint of mockery as she looked on them with her innocent eyes. Her grin to say was quite terrifying.

    He was not sure why she kept watching over them. Perhaps it was a personal grudge, perhaps it was her curiosity for the morbid. Yet she never seemed to fear anything that was in his shop either.

    "Is there anything else you need?"

    "No, I'm just looking around, nothing to it." Xue'er said. Her hand went into the herbal cabinets to feel around. When she pulled out a fern-like leaf with part of the root still attached, she looked at Li Yang, "Can I keep this?" She asked.

    Li Yang looked at the plant that was nearly withered in her hands.

    "Sure, if you want." He said without as much as giving it a proper look.

    "Thanks." Xue'er said as she placed it into her sleeve pockets.

    As she was walking out, her steps paused and she turned around to look at Li Yang, "What type of place is the Hundred Flower Hall?" Xue'er asked out of curiosity.

    It was uncertain if he would know, but since he had been in this town for a longer period of time than her, perhaps he would have some useful information.

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    "The Hundred flower hall is the only establishment of its kind, it was opened by a woman who calls herself madam Lu, though it is said she came to this town a few years ago by herself with only an elderly servant by her side, no one really knows where she was from. But within a few years, she was able to get the license from the imperial court and open her business officially." Li Yang spoke everything that he knew, it was not much and could be considered common knowledge to the inhabitants of the town.

    Even if this woman did have a powerful backer behind her, they were thousands of li away, only sending orders. The success that was today had indeed come from the woman's own abilities and skill in business, even if the cost was the suffering of so many others who did their works lying on their backs for the establishment. It was not a glorious establishment, but there were many willing to pay for its services.

    Yet in such harsh times, how many could actually look down on what others did to put food in their stomachs.

    Xue'er nodded as she walked out of the clinic.

    As she was almost out the door, she heard a voice asking "What is your name?"

    There was not the slightest pause as she walked out the door, not bothering to answer the question. She was sure he would assume that his voice was only out of earshot, and slowly the question would be nothing more than a passing memory.

    Once she stepped outside, she carefully looked at the exterior of the small yet invisible clinic. Resting within a small alleyway. Without any knowledge, one's eyes could mistakenly pass by this small, battered place without noticing. Though it was painted in a joyous color, it had long faded away into a dull and unfavorable color.

    But this color was still pleasing to her eyes, perhaps it was due to the lack of effort placed upon the fading paint, or maybe all the bright colors were simply too pretentious for her taste.
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