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133 A Lot of Thoughts From the Fourth Miss

    Evening came, yet the Old Master still hadn't returned.

    By this time, Yujia was a bit tired of getting rest. She spent a lot of time convincing Hui'er that she really just needed an opportunity to stop lying down and to get out of her bed before her maid finally let her get up and walk a few paces around the room.

    As Yujia paced, worries began to appear in her mind. It was a bit pecuiliar for the Old Master to not return to home for dinner, but when she talked to Xiaoyi, who visited a few moments ago, about it, Xiaoyi assured her that that's what their father did occasionally, especially when business talk took a while and he needed to eat dinner with his business partners. Even if the Yang Family wasn't the richest, the Old Master still worked so hard day by day, so coming home in late hours weren't that uncommon of a thing, especially since he was talking about some new business opportunities recently.

    Still, however, regardless of when he returned home, Yujia was determined to wait. She needed to get this money off her chest and the deal finalized before she could get any rest. And while the sky grew darker and darker outside, more and more worries appeared in her head. She tried to walk each worry away with a step of pacing, but that didn't seem to work out either- the more she paced, the more worries she had.

    Finally, after a little less than half an hour, she grew tired of pacing and took a seat at the table in her room, nervously tapping her fingers on the box that held the five gold taels and her entire hope for the future.

    She had so many things that she wanted to do. They went from small things, such as creating oil paint, to larger goals, such as exploring the ancient lands to enrich her perspective and experience, an idea that came to her recently.  If she couldn't buy her way out of the marriage, then she would either have to wipe away all of these ideas of freedom, or resort to her last option: running away.

    Yujia didn't want to run away for a couple of reasons. The main one was that she still wanted to know the exact history of her body, to try to solve the mystery over her background and perhaps come up with some puzzle pieces over transmigrating. She knew that she liked this current life of hers a lot more, but she also wanted to prepare herself for in case there was a possibility of transmigrating back to her old world. Yujia didn't want to accidently trigger that transmigration process, so she had to know what it was.

    And therefore, she

    had

    to purchase her freedom.

    Hui'er sat down next to her, across the table, looking at the box as well. She looked back up at Yujia's face, taking in her expression.

    "Miss, don't worry too much," she assured, "It's going to work out."

    "I really hope that it does," Yujia said with a cough.

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    Yujia was about to pick up some sort of conversation to ease her mind- perhaps to ask Hui'er if she would be interested in travelling with her in the far future- but before she could, Hui'er suddenly stood up. The chair behind her scraped loudly against the floor. Yujia looked at the other girl and found that she had her eyes fixed on the paper windows.

    Hui'er pointed at one of the windows, her hand shaking. "I... saw a shadow pass by... just now..."

    Yujia immediately sat straight, her posture tensing. "What? Don't scare me."

    "I'm... not joking."

    That was when they heard a knock at the door.

    Their two eyes met, and silently, they reached the conclusion that Hui'er would go open the door to see who it was. Yujia watched Hui'er walk slowly to the front of the room. She then pulled open the door by just a crack.

    A moment of silence passed, then Hui'er exclaimed, "Oh, it's just you, Manyu!"

    Upon hearing this, Yujia let out a deep breath of relief. Manyu was one of the maid friends that Hui'er recently made up. They had a confict in the past that broke their relationship to a point that Yujia didn't think was going to fix, but apparently they did just yesterday.

    This was something that Hui'er told her about as spare conversation, and though Yujia remembered how much Hui'er cried after Manyu framed her of thievery, she only gave a few warnings to the other girl. She couldn't dictate who Hui'er chose to associate herself with- the only hope she had was that Manyu truly became better to Hui'er and repented for her past actions.

    Yujia heard the two of them talk some more by the door. As Yujia listened to their conversation drone on, she felt her posture relaxing again. She tucked the box underneath her arms and leaned the side of her head against her arms, thinking.

    She thought about many things. Her future. Her friends. Her family.

    Midway through her thoughts, she caught the scent of something sweet in the air for no particular reason. It was a strange sort of sweetness- the kind of sweetness that belonged to not any type of fruit or flower that she knew of. The stranger thing was the sudden emergence of this new scent in the air as well. Where did it come from? What was it?

    Confusedly, Yujia sat straighter, taking another sniff of the air. It really was a confusing scent that she-

    Her thoughts couldn't even finish, for in the next second, she blacked out.
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