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191 Theory Discussion and the Artis

    She fell forward, her arms reaching out to break her fall. But before they could, Zixu flinched, his hands reaching upwards and pushing up against her shoulders. Her body stiffened.

    Their eyes met. She stared into his dark irises for a solid moment, her breath caught, the world almost slowing around the two of them.

    Zixu had pretty eyes. She only just noticed that. Her face was so close to his that she could count his lashes. His eyes held immeasurable depth behind its layers of darkness, and when she stared straight into them, she couldn't tell anything from them. If eyes were windows to the soul, then Zixu kept his windows covered, carefully shrouding himself with the darkness.

    Then the driver, likely hearing the shuffling noise, called out from the front, "Sorry about that! Young Master, this section of the road is a bit bumpy- please sit securely!"

    Yujia recoiled, drawing herself back immediately. She could feel a burning heat creep up her neck, spreading across her cheeks in what she guessed would be a glowing shade of red.

    Unable to bring herself to look up, in frantic movements, she swiped at her seat with the spider to clear it, then sat down, taking in a deep breath.

    "I'm sorry-" she hastily said, her words tripping over each other in the rushed way that she spoke, "I should've sat down properly before- all that happened. That wasn't- right of me."

    Zixu coughed, shaking his head as his hands, once rested on her shoulders, dropped to his lap. "It's not your fault. The road was bumpy, and you fell. No need to apologize." His hands went back to the box that slipped out of them in the rush to stop her from falling on him, rotating it once again. "Do you have a pin?"

    "Ah?"

    "A pin," he repeated, looking up, "like a thin hairpin. Or some sort of thin metal. I can try to pick the lock for you."

    "Oh! A pin for lock-picking..." Grateful for the complete topic diversion, Yujia quickly followed through with Zixu's request.

    Yujia raised her hand to her head. In her maid costume, she didn't wear any hair ornaments to keep her disguise believable, but she did have one thin metal pin that she threaded through her bun to keep it in place. She pulled it out, which loosened her long hair that cascaded down to her back.

    The pin wasn't all that thin, but at the tip, there was a sharp point. It might be enough to manage to pick the lock of the box, though then again, Yujia didn't know much about lock-picking. She would just have to wait and see if it would work out for Zixu.

    Zixu took it from her, holding the lock to the light and sliding the pin in, moving his fingers in detailed movements. A twist there, a nudge there- a few moments passed of his attempts to pick the lock, though to no avail.

    The lock remained locked, all intact.

    He stared at it for a few more seconds, then handed the hairpin back to Yujia, a sigh escaping from him. "It won't open. This lock is a bit more complex than I expected."

    "Really?"

    Yujia took the box back too, peering into the lock. With how small everything's scale was, she was surprised to hear that the lock was complex. Though thinking about it, this only boosted her curiosity even more. How far was Madam Zhang going to go just to protect this secret?

    "Where's the box from?" Zixu asked, tilting his head.

    Right. Yujia forgot that she barely explained anything to him. So quickly, she went over a couple of things- from her lack of discoveries in the other courtyards to how she discovered this strange box in Madam Zhang's. Zixu listened intently.

    At the end of all this, he speculated, "It doesn't seem likely that the poison is within the box, Junior Sister."

    "Hm? Why?" Yujia blinked.

    "If she had been poisoning you for so long, and has continued it until recently, then there shouldn't be so many spiderwebs under the bed. All the dust and webs collected there means that she hasn't touched it anytime recently. The need to continue poisoning you many times means that she would likely put the poison in an easily accessible location. Though under the bed is a good spot for secrecy, it is not convenient at all for her to continuously retrieve and put the poison back."

    Zixu pointed at her box with a turn of his wrist.

    "So, whatever is in there will not be poison."

    Yujia's eyebrows rose. "Would you bet money on it?"

    The corners of his lips turned up as Zixu replied, "Sure. I wouldn't tell you these theories if I wasn't the slightest bit confident. You want to bet money, Junior Sister?"

    Yujia quickly laughed, shaking her head. "No, no, how could a junior sister gamble with her Senior Brother?"

    On the inside, she thought that whoever would be willing to bet money with Yu Zixu on theories that he came up with had to be insane. Judging by the Zixu she knew, he always said things with the risks calculated. If someone tried to bet with him, then there would be a high chance that they would be on the losing side every time.

    And Yujia didn't want to become a broke, sad child yet.

    "If not poison," she mused to herself, "what could it be? And who could be the true culprit?"

    Zixu had an answer already prepared, saying, "There could be the chance that whoever it was already disposed of the poison now that you are gone from the household. It would be foolish for them to keep holding onto incriminating evidence like that, unless they had another purpose."

    "True," Yujia agreed.

    "It could also be the one individual you did not search- the Yang Family's First Miss."

    "Qingxia?" Yuija bit the inside of her cheek. "I didn't think that Qingxia was probable."

    "You haven't searched her room, however," Zixu reasoned, "so anything could be possible."

    "True," she said again. While gathering her hair back to a bun, Yujia suddenly thought of and asked, "So, I went under the bed because a servant entered the room. What happened? Wasn't that servant in the main room, a part of the meeting?"

    "Ah." Zixu glanced up, thinking while he spoke, "A mishap occurred. But nothing too dangerous, since you managed to get through it all, right?"

    "I suppose."

    That was when the carriage stopped, arriving at the Yu Villa's front doors. The driver hopped off, and from inside the carriage, Yujia could hear the noise of his preparation so that Zixu had a platform to walk off of.

    Zixu, standing up and giving her a smile, suggested, "I'll tell the driver to give you a ride back to Lingxin."Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com  for visiting.

    "Alright. Thank you," Yujia stood up too, folding her hands and bowing. "See you next time, Senior Brother."

    "Certainly, Junior Sister."

    ...

    Zixu left the carriage, one hand behind his back as he walked briskly into the villa. He kept a straight, blank face as he passed through the various courtyards and walkways to get to his courtyard.

    The moment he stepped foot into his courtyard, however, a shade of red spread across his complexion. He froze in his steps, staring blankly at nothing.

    His hand reached up to run through his hair. His eyes squeezed shut.

    The scene flashed back in his mind- her, falling over him. His hands pushed up against the warmth of her shoulders. Her eyes, staring back into his, and all the angles and details of her face, pressed into his memory.

    "Ah, Yu Zixu, you are an idiot," he muttered. "An absolute idiot."
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