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227 What Information About the Artist?

    What good was there in knowing information about her? Yujia didn't think that there was anything all that special about herself, besides her transmigration part. Who could possibly know of it, besides the few people she trusted enough to tell?

    It was just a bit incredulous to think that anyone would be interested in gathering information about her, out of all people.

    Zixu didn't reveal that it was a joke, or anything like that. He continued, "Yes. You may recall a certain Senior Brother of yours- Noble Rong Yuan?" Zixu smiled some more, amused at this secret that he was telling her right now. "He fancies you, I believe."

    Yujia thought back to Rong Yuan- the one fellow disciple of hers that was chasing after her for the past few days. For the most part, she ignored and avoided him. She thought that it was just a brief infatuation that would pass soon, and besides, she wasn't looking for too much romance right now. She just wanted to get her life together first.

    To think that he actually bribed Yu Zixu to give him info...

    "And... did you tell him anything?" Her jaw tightened.

    Zixu's eyes widened, shaking his head. "No. Nothing. I agreed at first, but right before the exam, I told him that I wouldn't give him information. Except in retrospect, if I had been wiser, I would've told him some things."

    "And what would you say?"

    "Maybe some things about how you like drinking good wine, how you like dogs, or how you like art related things. Shallow facts like that."

    She tilted her head again. "If you could've gotten first place, why did you not tell him those things? I wouldn't mind." Yujia sipped from her jar.

    Zixu sighed. "Because. I feel like that would be betraying your trust. You told me plenty of things, with some information that I don't really think that I have the right to tell others. If I told you that I only told Noble Rong a few basic facts about you, would you still believe me? Or trust me?" He swirled his jug of wine. "Besides, I also wanted to prove that I could get first place with my own ability, not through pulling tricks like this. Believe it or not, I have morals too."

    "Well then, why did you agree in the first place? How can I trust you right now? How do I know that you're not lying to me?"

    "If I were lying to you, I wouldn't have told you about all of this." Zixu wrinkled his nose. "Plus, I'm far too drunk to lie properly."

    "You have a point." Yujia drank her wine again, eyebrows raising.

    "Though, I regret agreeing in the first place. If I hadn't agreed, I wouldn't have tried all sorts of ways to get to talk to you. During the forest, then, I wouldn't have gotten sick or wasted all that time. I wouldn't have spent time helping you with your family villa drama either. And if I hadn't wasted time, then I could've done better on the exams. So in the end... "

    Yujia stared at him blankly, then lifted her hand, running it through her hair. This was the part that she was the most guilty for. "I'm really sorry," she admitted.

    Zixu waved his hand carelessly. "Don't be. I'm not blaming you; it's not your fault. It's all my problem- putting the blame all on you would be pointless." He looked into the distance. "I only blame myself. There are so many decisions that I've made in the past few days that I wish I could change. I wish I took better care of my health. I wish I spent more time studying. I wish I looked over the goddamn history of some dusty, ancient chancellors and ministers who I thought would not appear on the exams. It's funny how we always regret everything like that, isn't it?"

    Yujia wordlessly sipped her wine.

    Seeing this pause, Zixu then smiled his close-lipped smile again. "But, do you know what I regret the most at this moment?"

    "What?" Yujia turned to face him.

    "I regret not betraying your trust and telling everything about you to Noble Rong." He dipped his head down. "I think, with the choice I made, I really am a fool. My entire future, everything I ever wanted, could've been given to me if I was less of a fool, and if I cared less about your trust."

    "Yet you didn't tell him. Do you really care about my trust that much?" Yujia couldn't help a puzzled smile.

    "No," Zixu answered quickly and honestly, "I think it was less of your trust, and more of the idea that I wanted to prove to myself that I was better than cheating too. But again, now, seeing the results, there are so many, so many regrets."

    Yujia couldn't stop a light laugh from escaping her. Of course- what did she expect? This was Yu Zixu. He didn't care much about trust and all that.

    She remarked, "Well. At least, out of all this, you have my trust now, as useless as it is. You're my good senior brother and close friend."

    "Friends, hm?" He looked pleasantly amused at her words.

    "I know. I'm not a very valuable friend. Can't get you any political connections or help you with any sales. But at least I can cook some pretty good steamed buns... which, did you try the ones I left for you the other day?" Yujia suddenly thought of it.

    Zixu confirmed, "Yes. They were alright. Will you make me more in the future?"

    Yujia nodded. "Of course. If you want. And painting techniques- I'll teach you more of those. I feel like I owe you too many things, and I need to pay you back in some manner."

    "Alright. I'll anticipate that." Zixu still kept his smile, but his gaze seemed to lose interest. He went back to his wine.

    Yujia straightened herself, seeing that this conversation wasn't a topic that Zixu was far too concerned about right now, which made sense. The other things on his mind were greater right now in terms of importance. She brought it back to one of the previous topics.

    "I still think you should talk to your father," Yujia suggested. "It's too early to become hopeless. And if he disagrees, you could try to prove yourself in other ways. If he sees that you're working hard, maybe he won't force you to inherit the business. And if that doesn't work, then maybe you can just... be completely rebellious and carry through with your plans to go into the government, without your father's approval."

    Zixu's gaze went back to her. "You seem so invested in my matters."

    "Of course, because I care." Yujia grinned. "I thought we established it already before- we're friends. I'm only doing what's right by staying with you and talking you through about this. And that's why I'm here, drinking with you too."

    "You know..." Zixu leaned towards her without warning, expression suddenly becoming serious. "When you say things like that... don't you remember that I'm a man?"

    Yujia froze.
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