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113 Time Passes For the Fourth Miss

    Two things happened for the rest of the day.

    First, Yujia visited Xiaoyi in her courtyard and explained to her what she found out.

    "He's eleven years older than you," she said.

    Xiaoyi only poured both of them a cup of tea after hearing that, her expression not changing the slightest. "I'm fine with that."

    "Really?" Yujia frowned. It seemed like she was thinking too modern. "But then, he's twenty-eight and unmarried. He doesn't even have a single concubine. Don't you see something wrong with that?"

    "Not really. Isn't that a better thing?"

    Yujia thought that it was because Yunhe was so focused on improving in art than his own private matters, but it didn't make sense by the ideology of this time period. Even if he didn't want to have a wife, part of his responsibility was still continuing his family bloodline. Yujia wasn't sure if he had older or younger brothers- if he did, she hadn't met them- but if Yunhe was an only child, it didn't make sense for his father to be alright with him of not even showing the slightest interest in these matters. His father seemed like a strict type too who would definitely expect Yunhe to already have children at his age.

    So, what was the exact reason behind Yunhe's lack of wives? Yujia could only speculate at potential possibilities.

    She continued after a moment of thought, "Well then, I also managed to ask him his ideal sort of woman."

    This statement was what made Xiaoyi's eyebrows fly up as she exclaimed, "Older Sister, isn't that too direct?"

    "I managed to ask it in a subtle manner. With smooth transitions. I'm not going to reveal your feelings to him, alright? Trust me on that," Yujia explained, trying to let Xiaoyi relax.

    "Then... what did he say?"

    "He was pretty vague, but he said he wants a strong woman. Are you strong?"

    "How so? In what manner?" Xiaoyi's eyebrows settled down and furrowed together. "I mean... I can't lift anything too heavy... but then again, what normal young miss can?"

    "I'm thinking that he doesn't mean it like that." Yujia shrugged. "You're right that there are barely young ladies who can lift heavy things. Unless he's looking for a farmer..." She quickly dismissed that thought. It was hard to imagine someone as graceful as Yunhe with a rough aunt who was used to working in the fields. "Maybe he means someone emotionally strong? As in someone who can support him in tough times. So, for example, if one day, Lingxin Pavilion collapsed- which is probably impossible- he'll want someone who won't just burst into tears and make him feel worse about himself. He'll want someone who can endure everything by his side."

    "That's understandable." Xiaoyi nodded thoughtfully and replied, "I guess I'm not... that strong in that matter. But I can change! I can become better for him, if-"

    "Don't change yourself for someone else," Yujia cut in, "That's never a healthy idea. You're fine just the way you are, unless you yourself agree that you want to change. Don't let other people and their ideals change you."

    "I-" Xiaoyi bit her lip. "But I agree, I think that- I need to be emotionally stronger too. How can I differentiate if I'm changing for myself or changing for another person?"

    Yujia paused, letting a moment of silence rest for her to think before she answered, "That's difficult. It's probably hard to tell when you're stuck in the midst of the situation. Just, for now, take it slow. Don't jump to solid decisions yet when you barely know Noble Ye. I know you're probably caught up in all your emotions right now, but give it some time."

    "Alright." Xiaoyi looked down. "Older Sister has a point."

    Yujia gently smiled, glad to see her younger sister was relenting, even if she was only doing so a little bit.

    ...

    The second thing she did that day was working on more art. That seemed to be her only task for now, so besides adding finishing touches to her sketches, she created more both as practice and demonstration. Then, she also painted a few more generic paintings to sell at Lingxin to get some nice pocket cash. Besides buying her way out of her marriage, she also wanted to enjoy the life of a wealthy artist and splurge on some nice things for herself.

    The rest of the week passed in a similar manner. Yujia occasionally visited her master to chat, and she also sold a few of her paintings. All this time, she monitored how the store built. On a few occasions, she even saw Zhizhong at the same spot too, directing a few workers to arrange things in a particular manner that he wanted.

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    And then, finally, Yujia witnessed her art supply shop finish in construction. The artisans finished crafting the first stock of pencils.

    Her store could open now.
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