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98 The School Head and the Fourth Miss

    By the end of the day, Yujia had finished turning around half of each inkstick into pigmented powder. She separated the colors in different bowls. After the grinding, Yujia also worked on the beginning sketches for the shop, getting a few smaller example sketches finished. She needed to go to the market to buy a piece of paper or scroll large enough for the larger display, so for now, she hadn't started on it yet.

    That evening, she ate the leftover takeout with Hui'er. Despite food being cold, it was still delicious after being warmed up, so both of them enjoyed the meal, which they managed to finish.

    Yujia went to sleep on a full stomach and a simple smile on her face That night, she had a better sleep than all the other nights since she transmigrated.

    The next morning, once she had breakfast and prepared herself, Yujia decided to pay a visit to her master again with her box of pencils. She wanted to talk with him about some certain topics, and she figured that he would want to try using her pencils too.

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    Before she left yesterday, he explained the structure of Lingxin to her so that the next time she returned, she would know where to go without needing a student to lead her. Once inside Lingxin and past the marketplace, one could head two directions.

    To the left was the direction to the actual Lingxin Pavilion, and there were normally guards that prevented ordinary people from entering. To the right was a path that lead to the Ice Lily Pavilion and the Half Moon Pavilion, which was open for students. Scattered throughout branches of the same path included classrooms and other rooms that served purposes like examinations. The right path, near the pavilion, also included a few structures that were living quarters for her master, Ye Yunhe, and the head of the school. The center of the school was located there as well, where all important individuals went for business.

    Yujia was instructed that if she wanted to go visit him anytime, she should check Lingxin Pavilion or visit the center. She was also given a white jade pendant that would help her go wherever she really wanted in Lingxin. The pendant appeared to carry a lot of power with it- Yujia saw Yunhe wearing a similar one on his waist- so although she didn't put it on right away after leaving yesterday, today, she threaded it around the belt of her robes too.

    Without spending much time in the villa, Yujia left for Lingxin.

    The moment she arrived, she went to check the pavilion first. Just like her master said, she was allowed to easily pass by the guards near the pavilion with the pendant. Upon seeing that no one was there, Yujia wandered in the direction of where she believed the center of the school was.

    The thing was, her master never gave her very specific instructions- only general descriptions of where things were. In a few minutes of wandering through the academy, Yujia did stumble upon what she thought might be the central building. It was a structure larger than many things around it, and the material used to build parts of it resembled the front gates of the school, so Yujia assumed that there was nothing else it could be.

    With a little bit of uncertainty, Yujia walked closer to the building, deciding to head inside to see if she could find her master there. She was assured that she could practically go anywhere as long as she was in the possession of the pendant, so she wasn't too wary, but there was still a part of her that made her wonder if there was a chance that the building was somewhere she wasn't supposed to go.

    In the end, she decided to go in. She was even allowed to step inside the Lingxin Pavilion that was the namesake of the school. Why wouldn't she be able to enter this grand building?

    Yet when she entered the open doors of the building, Yujia regretted doing so.

    The interior of the building didn't seem like what she expected of the school's center to be like at all. At the very front, on a raised area, was a table where a stern looking man sat. His hair was graying- not to the point where it was as white as her master's hair, but still having a few strands of white mixed into his dark hair- while his clothes were made of a rich blue, dark black, and emerald green fabric, all detailed with silver embroidery. In front and below him were two columns of students all dressed in varying shades of pale blue and white and sitting at three tables per column. They all listened attentively while the man at the front taught.

    By all means, this place seemed more like a classroom than a school center. Yujia definitely didn't belong in this place. Except, the moment she wanted to turn to leave, the man who was teaching noticed her presence.

    His speech froze in-between when he saw her. Along with his silence and the direction his eyes pointed, one by one, the students listening turned their heads to look in Yujia's direction as well, fixing their gaze on her.

    She could read many things in their expressions, but mostly pure confusion at what she was doing here.

    The teacher spoke first. "Who are you, and what business do you have here?" Each word of his was concise and echoed through the quiet room.

    Yujia didn't know why- was it the man's domineering presence?- but she immediately kneeled on the floor and set her pencil box down. She folded her hands in front of her and replied, "This one wandered here by accident, and is a disciple of... the founder."

    Ah, she didn't even know his name! She hoped that using the "founder" got her point across, but her hesitancy was clearly going to be misunderstood as a lie.

    "Yue Ze, that old man? When did he get a girl like you as his disciple?" The man frowned.

    Yue Ze? So that was the name of her master?

    Yujia took note of that.

    She was about to show the pendant on her waist as proof, but that was when Yunhe walked in from a door in the side of the room, holding a book in his hand. He took a look at Yujia kneeling at the back of the room, then at the man who was interrogating her. Taking in the situation quickly, he stepped up front and saluted the man.

    "Father, she's my junior sister."

    Father? So the man was Ye Yunhe's father... and therefore the current head of the school? No wonder he was dressed in fine robes and held such an imposing demeanor.

    "Junior sister?" The man- his father- turned his direction to his son. "So, she really is your master's disciple?"

    Yunhe nodded. "Yes. In fact, she became Master's disciple just yesterday. She must've came in the wrong door accidently since she still doesn't know the academy well."

    Yujia bowed lower. "I apologize if I disturbed Elder in teaching."

    "Hm." He waved his hand. "Go tell your master that old age must be driving him crazy to take a girl as a disciple."

    And then, as if nothing happened, the school head picked up in his lesson right where he left off. Some students took a look at Yujia one last time, but soon, they were absorbed in their lesson again.

    Yujia was left kneeling at the front of the room, perplexed on if she should continue kneeling or get up and leave. It was only when Yunhe gestured for her to go around behind the students to go through the same door he went through that she rose gingerly and crept across the room after him. She shut the door behind her once she entered, closing out the droning noise of the lesson in the other room.
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