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112 A Fourth Miss Searching For Information

    In order to get a few necessary things done, such as completing the large scenery sketch, Yujia worked on them for the rest of the day. Once again, she had dinner with her family, and things passed without many more events.

    When the morning came again, Yujia headed to Lingxin, ready to gather some information on Ye Yunhe. This wasn't only for Xiaoyi's sake- Yujia wanted a reason to learn more about her senior brother too. Since they both studied under the same master, it was necessary for her to get to know him better.

    One thing that she noticed as she walked to Lingxin was that near the front of the academy, a few small existing buildings were being torn down. The actions attracted the attention of a few early passersby, but only Yujia knew what it was for. Now, she knew exactly where Zhizhong chose the location of the shop. It was exciting to think that a few days later, a store that partially belonged to her would open in the exact same spot.

    After wandering around the school for a while, Yujia discovered Yunhe at Lingxin Pavilion, working on his painting. He was so absorbed in it that he didn't even notice her until she called out his name.

    "Senior Brother Ye."

    It was then that Yunhe turned around, setting the brush in his hand down. "Junior Sister," he acknowledged, "You've been visiting Lingxin a lot lately. What are you here for today?"

    "I just want to talk, Senior Brother." Yujia beamed and helped herself to a seat next to him. "We're senior and junior siblings, but I still don't know much about you, and you still don't know much about me. Can I ask you a few questions?"

    "You have a point. Go ahead." Yunhe nodded.

    "Well, Senior Brother, let's start easy. I'm eighteen years old. How old are you?"

    Yunhe raised his eyebrows and answered, "Eighteen? You're so much younger than me. I'm twenty-eight this year."

    Twenty-eight...

    That was a bit old for Xiaoyi. With Xiaoyi being seventeen, that made Yunhe a whole eleven years older than her. Yujia recoiled a bit at the thought of her younger sister marrying someone eleven years older than her, but then again, she was going to marry someone at least forty or so years older than her. In this time period, it likely wasn't a big deal for Xiaoyi to marry Yunhe, despite their age difference.

    Though, at the same, if Yunhe was twenty-eight already, it meant that he likely already had a wife.

    So, Yujia followed up her question with a natural one, "Then, are you married? I imagine that the woman you marry would be very sophisticated and elegant, like Senior Brother, right?"

    "Ah, no." Yunhe shook his head and laughed lightly. "I've been in an engagement before, but that... didn't work out. I haven't met any women that match me in terms of personality."

    "Oh? So Senior Brother's standards are very high?"

    Even though she was a bit put off by the age difference between Xiaoyi and Yunhe, she liked the idea that he didn't have a bunch of wives yet.

    "No, my standards aren't that high. Why is Junior Sister asking about this?" Yunhe laughed again, casting his eyes away. He clearly wanted to avoid the topic, but Yujia needed answers.

    "What's Senior Brother's ideal woman, then?"

    He answered her question with another question. "Why does Junior Sister want to know?"

    "You can learn a lot about someone based on their ideal type," Yujia replied without hesitation. She couldn't tell him that her sister liked him, so she thought of this excuse ahead of time.

    "How about Junior Sister tells me about her ideal husband?"

    Yujia thought for a second. It was an intriguing question. She had a faint understanding of her ideal type in the modern world, but because she never had any relationships with anyone, she never truly understood romance and love.

    What was her ideal type, really?

    "I think... I look for someone not too childish," she responded slowly, "I want him to be mature, refined, and responsible. He shouldn't have an easy temper. He... should be able to compromise and understand me. As for other things, like family background, wealth, and social status, I don't care. In fact, it's even better if he's not someone with much power or responsibilities. I want a simple relationship that doesn't ask for much. As long as we're happy together, I am content."

    Yunhe smiled. "Junior Sister response is well-thought out."

    "Not really. What about Senior Brother? You have to tell me now, right?"

    "Alright." Yunhe looked at the lotus pond in front of him, pausing before giving her an answer. "I actually don't know what I like. Perhaps someone strong. I don't want... her to be too weak. And someone who doesn't care about how our relationship is perceived by the public, even if by other's standards, we are not supposed to be together."

    "I never thought that Senior Brother would be such a romantic person!" Yujia remarked after hearing his response.

    At the same time, this also meant that since Yunhe wanted a strong woman, Xiaoyi didn't seem like the type to be too physically, mentally, or emotionally strong. This made two things on Yujia's checklist that decided that Yunhe wasn't too good of a match with her younger sister.

    Color crept into Yunhe's face, but he asked, "I do have a question for you. How do you feel about a... hypothetical person? He's eighteen, like you, and he has a few concubines and bed servants already, just not a formal wife. He does have somewhat of a temper and a bit- actually, very- flirtatious, but he's extremely talented at painting. 'Prodigy' wouldn't be a wrong word to describe him. He

    can

    sympathize with others that he cares about, and he

    can

    be refined, like Junior Sister said. It's just often times, he might not portray these traits that much because he's very energetic. What are your thoughts about a person like this? Except, again... he's hypothetical."

    "Hypothetical?" Yujia grinned. "Are you joking? Clearly, someone you can describe so vividly isn't hypothetical. Who is this person?"

    "Alright, I'll admit, he's a real person. But who he is isn't important. How does Junior Sister feel about someone like him?" Yunhe repeated his question.

    "Well, based on what you said, I don't like him." Yujia decided to be completely direct, although she wasn't sure what purpose Yunhe served by asking this question. "He sounds repulsive."

    "Repulsive?" He raised his eyebrows once more.

    "If not repulsive, what other words can be used to describe his actions? Obnoxious? Distasteful? He's at only eighteen, yet he already has a couple of concubines and bed servants. Is he the Emperor? If at eighteen, he has a couple of servants, then a few years from now, is he going to harem of a few hundred women? You claim that he's a prodigy at art, but someone who spends all his time flirting and engaging in other activities, I doubt he has time to improve even the slightest."

    Hearing the words that were coming out of her mouth, Yunhe couldn't help but laugh. His Junior Sister truly was something.

    Meanwhile, Yujia just felt a strong disliking towards this person that Yunhe described simply because of the kind of amorous person he seemed to be like. She could understand someone like Zhizhong, who, at eighteen, was married, but didn't seem like he had more than one wife. Whoever Yunhe talked about, however, displayed that by having numerous concubines and no wife yet that his intentions were messy. Especially since Yujia didn't know this individual personally, she didn't feel the need to be too restrained with her words.

    Yunhe didn't seem too bothered by her response though, and in fact, even amused. So, nothing seemed to be wrong. Otherwise, Yujia was prepared to apologize the moment she spoke all her thoughts if Yunhe was offended.

    "Thank you for your opinion," Yunhe said between a laugh.

    The half-finished painting on the table drew Yujia's attention away. She asked Yunhe a question about it, and he gladly responded, making their conversation go to another topic. She finished with asking her interrogation questions, anyways, gathering a decent understanding of Yunhe for her to give her opinions to Xiaoyi.

    The morning passed with their conversation, both of them learning more about the other. Later on, Yujia would attempt to pay a visit to her master too, in the hopes that he was awake, yet finding that he was still sound asleep. She would have to go see him another day.

    ...

    Towards noon, Yunhe walked back to Half Moon Pavilion to see Junior Brother Rong. Rong Yuan had his painting this time, so after Yunhe gave a few words of critique, he brought up Junior Sister Yang again.

    "You asked her some things? Wow, Senior Brother really is the best! What did you tell her? What was her response?" Rong Yuan questioned quickly, his attitude becoming instantly more interested.

    "I told her just some normal things. A few compliments about how talented and refined you were, but also that you had a few concubines."

    "That's no problem! As long as most of your words were complimentary. And then?"

    "And then..." Yunhe winced a little, anticipating Rong Yuan's negative response once he answered. "And then, she called you repulsive, obnoxious, and distasteful."

    Rong Yuan's beaming grin vanished. His expression blanked.

    "S-Senior Brother, what?" he sputtered, his voice increasing in volume. "How could she say something like that? I'm- this- no-"

    Yunhe patted Rong Yuan's shoulder assuringly. "Don't feel too upset about this. Like Muyun said yesterday, there are plenty of other women for you. This is just a sign that you two are not fated to be."

    Rong Yuan was silent for a few seconds. Yunhe mentally prepared himself. Based on what he knew of this Junior Brother, this silence was the calm before the storm. He always had a period of denial before his anger erupted.

    Except, unlike Yunhe expected, Rong Yuan did something completely different.

    He blinked twice, his head sunk down, and he pointed out in a low voice, "Senior Brother... has a point." He backed away a few steps, saluting. "Then, if Senior Brother will excuse me, I'm going to go buy a lot of alcohol and drink my sadness away."

    "...?"

    Was it really necessary for Rong Yuan to be so dramatic over a rejection from a person who probably didn't even know of his existence? It was the first time for Yunhe to see him act like this, and it was actually quite pitiful to see his Junior Brother's actions.

    "Junior Brother..." Yunhe tried to encourage, "don't act so depressed. She doesn't know how great of a person you are. She probably doesn't even remember meeting with you."

    "Wait!"

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    Right after Yunhe said his words, Rong Yuan's head instantly snapped back up.

    "Senior Brother, you have a point! She doesn't remember me! So she doesn't know what she's missing! Did you mention my name when you were talking to her?"

    "No."

    "Then, everything is solved!" Rong Yuan exclaimed, "All I need to do is to meet her in person. One meeting, and I can convince her of how great I am! Senior Brother, can you arrange a meeting for us?"

    Yunhe shook his head, now disappointed with how Rong Yuan was taking this. It was good to have hopes, but his hopes weren't that realistic. Based on what Yunhe knew about his junior sister, she wasn't someone to fall in love at first sight.

    He began to walk away, but Rong Yuan chased after him.

    "Senior Brother! Please!"

    Yunhe stopped in his tracks and turned to him, giving him a solid refusal. "I said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm not going to play matchmaker for you. The only reason why I even mentioned you was because we happened to be discussing something similar. Now, I believe that Junior Brother should go back to his wine and mourning. Good day."

    He didn't want to give his junior brother pointless delusions. Whatever obsession Rong Yuan had right now would die down in the future, and Yunhe would prefer to not have his junior brother act ridiculously when he was going to regret it later. Yunhe wasn't interested in creating any unnecessary drama when there was no need for that. He knew how dramatic it was to be involved in a relationship where only one individual was chasing after another, and so, based on his own experience, he didn't want to put Rong Yuan through the same thing when it was highly unlikely for Junior Sister Yang to like him.

    So, despite the fact that Rong Yuan chased and begged after him, Yunhe continued to walk on, and ignored his junior brother until Rong Yuan gave up.
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