77 The Fourth Miss Sees Someone Familiar Again

    Yujia turned at the voice, seeing the face of someone she barely knew but seemed to run into all the time for some particular reason. He wore a very, very familiar wine red cloak draped around his shoulders, and specks of pierced gold glinted in his ears. His dark eyebrows knitted together and for the first time since the past two times she saw him, she noticed that his eyes, in the sunlight, were a surprising light shade of golden hazel, a rare color that she had never seen before. Perhaps it was because during the past two times where she saw him, the situations were all too distracting that she never got a good look at his face.

    Even so, Yujia recognized him very easily. After all, how could she forget the person she mistook for a thief and was dragged into cold water by?

    "Oh, it's you," she stated with a nonchalant shrug.

    Uninterested to see whatever trouble he wanted to cause her this time, she spun around and continued her way out of the shop and down the street. The boy seemed to have something to say to her though, chasing after her until he was in front of her.

    Yujia stopped in her steps, a very unamused frown appearing on her face, her eyes looking up in frustration. "What do you want now?"

    The boy shot her a glare back, gesturing to the cloak he had on as of the moment. "I gave you my cloak so you didn't have to go out in public in an indecent manner- but why did you sell it?"

    It took me a few moments of thinking for Yujia to remember how she told Hui'er to sell the cloak he gave her after pulling her into the water. She sold it because she honestly didn't see any reason to have it around, and if others in the household saw her with a cloak so high quality, they would definitely get suspicious. Besides, she didn't expect to return it since she didn't think she would have so much bad luck that she would run into the owner of the cloak again, and extra money was always good.

    How much did she sell it for again? Was it twenty taels? And how did he figure out that she sold the cloak?

    She gave another shrug and answered, "I didn't really need it. Do I need a reason to sell something that I technically had the possession of?"

    "It was a gift!" he exclaimed, his head shaking in disbelief while his neck shrunk back, "Who sells gifts that other people give them? Do you even know how much I spent to get it back?"

    Her left shoulder half-shrugged, somewhat entertained with the fact that with every shrug she gave, the more anger seemed to erupt out of him. "Why should I care how much money you spent on that? It's your own decision to buy it in the first place."

    "I spent one. Gold. Tael," he said, the words coming out seethingly.

    Oh god. Yujia remembered when Hui'er offered to exchange the hundred silver taels she had for one gold tael. A gold tael was worth a hundred silver ones.

    Was he saying that he spent a hundred taels on something that she got twenty taels for? Wasn't that clearly a dumb decision he made on his own? How wealthy was he to be this stupid?

    "That's still your fault for making that choice," she replied. Yujia stepped aside and resumed walking. She didn't want to waste any more time talking to this person.

    Seeing that she moved on, the boy hastily followed after her, furious words coming from him as he walked next to her.

    "You don't understand! Think- if you were to graciously gift someone with something important to you, and then that person goes and sells it right away, would you be completely okay with knowing that some stranger you didn't even know could be using this important object of yours? Besides, it's not even like I wanted to spend a gold tael. It was just that at the moment, all I had on me were gold taels, and that irritating vendor woman you sold it to would not listen to any reason at all-"

    "- Consider yourself unlucky for spotting your precious cloak amongst the hundreds of other vendors in the marketplace then," Yujia cut in, a sigh in her voice, "Your logic still doesn't make sense though. If you didn't want any stranger to use your cloak, then why did you give it to me in the first place? Am I not just a passing stranger too? What makes me any different from the others, hm?" She stopped and leaned in. "Enlighten me."

    Instead of giving her a long speech of explanation, Yujia could swear that she saw hints of red appearing on his cheeks. "You're just-  I swear-" he faltered, words failing to come to him.

    "Right. I totally understand now." Yujia rolled her eyes.

    But in that moment, perhaps she did reach some sort of enlightenment for a new idea appeared in her brain out of nowhere.

    If the boy was so wealthy that he would be willing to spend a gold tael to get a simple cloak back, then that meant that he had to be some sort of very wealthy individual with a good family background. That meant that he was either some young master of a merchant family or one of a government official. Either way, he had plenty of money, and money was precisely what she needed in this moment.

    Could she... potentially convince him to invest in her pencils?

    Yujia wasn't sure how she was going to do that, especially if he wasn't from a merchant family. She didn't even know this boy that well either, so it would be awkward to ask him about it. If anything, Bo Zhiyuan would be a better person to ask since they have had some sort of history of business together.

    She almost dismissed the idea on the spot, but then she chose not to. With careful thinking, there was still a chance that he would agree to invest in the pencils. Might as well ask him since he was one potential investor than to not ask him and have one less chance.

    She worded her question carefully but in a casual manner. "Say, if you were to have so many taels to waste on a cloak, won't your family disapprove?" This question was in the hopes that he would reveal what sort of background he had.

    The boy froze. "No," he shook his head while he answered slowly, "they won't. We happen to have a lot of wealth, so even though a gold tael is a lot for a cloak, it's only a fraction of what my father earns, so they don't really care."

    "Why do you care so much about this matter then?" she asked, still probing for the answer she wanted, "If your father earns so much money, it shouldn't be to the point where you care about the fact that you spent a gold tael."

    "I may be wealthy, but I'm not wasteful," he insisted, his eyebrows gathering even tighter together, "My father is also... a merchant. So, I've always... been taught how to spend money wisely. A gold tael may not be much compared to the overall amount of fortune my family has, but its value shouldn't be ignored, especially when our empire still has so many of those in poverty and would risk their lives for that amount of money."

    In comparison to his previous sentences, the last one seemed much more confident when he said it, drawing Yujia's attention.

    Though, she also got the answer she was looking for.

    He was from a merchant family!

    And all merchants, as far as she knew, would definitely be interested in investing in a good product. With this confirmation, she just needed to move onto the next step of pitching her product and potentially getting an investment if he was interested.

    Her attitude instantly changed, the flat look on her face being replaced with a brilliant smile. She folded her hands together, suggesting, "Now thinking about it, I suppose that I still have some level of fault for selling the cloak and forcing you to waste such money. To show my true sincerity of apologizing, how about I treat you to a cup of tea in the inn over there?"

    She pointed to the inn and restaurant right next to them, keeping the smile on her face. The boy only looked back at her with a new gaze of confusion, completely baffled on her instant attitude change towards this entire situation.
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