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232 An Offer From the Artist For Some Soup

    Zixu got to the point rather quickly.

    He took out the jade pendant she lost in the Yu Villa, handing it to her. "Next time, don't be so careless, alright?" he said casually.

    Yujia took it from him and nodded. "Thanks. I don't know how I left it at your place. And..." she paused, glancing up at him, "you shouldn't have come all the way here. Sending a servant would be enough."

    In Yujia's mind, it wasn't exactly a good thing for Zixu to come all the way just to deliver a pendant. Not only did Yujia feel bad for making him send it himself, but also, there was the fact that scenarios like these would only encourage her master, who seemed to enjoy his new career as a matchmaker.

    Zixu, on the other hand, didn't know. He leaned his head back against one of the poles of the pavilion.

    "Is there anything wrong with me coming here personally? Lingxin is so close. It's only a brief walk for me, and besides, I'm a disciple here as well. Did my junior sister forget?"

    Yujia shook her head and let out a small laugh. "No, that's not the reason. You can come and go from Lingxin as you please, it's just... you know, it's actually kind of funny. You won't believe it when I say it."

    "What is it?" His eyebrows raised up.

    "My master has some weird plans. They're like-" Yujia's words suddenly fell short.

    They're like... what? What was she going to say? That Yu Zixu was potentially about to be paired up with... Ye Yunhe? Or that Yu Zixu was about to be paired up with... her?

    No, no, no. That was way too strange to say, especially since it involved Zixu. She couldn't say things like this. What was she thinking?

    So, Yujia hastily added on, "Actually, nevermind. I just realized that... I was about to spout nonsense. You wouldn't understand anyways. But... on a completely separate, unrelated note, how do you feel about Senior Brother Yunhe?"

    She leaned forward a bit in anticipation, hands folding in front of her.

    "Yunhe?" Zixu's lips flattened in a thin line. "What about him? I thought I told you last night, I don't care about him much."

    Yujia narrowed her eyes, trying to recall the last words Zixu told her about Yunhe.

    "You never said that," she ended up saying.

    Zixu shrugged. "Not explicitly. But I implied it, and now you know." He then leaned a bit closer. "But don't tell your senior Brother I said all these things, alright? He thinks that we're good friends."

    Yujia pursed her lips. "You trust me that much?"

    Zixu's expression didn't change. "You seem trustworthy enough, and not the type to go gossipping and tattling around. Especially after what happened between us last night..."

    The moment she heard this, Yujia's eyes widened.

    She jumped, immediately interrupting, "Don't say it like that!" She raised a hand to her lips. "People will misunderstand, and we didn't do much; we just drank some, and also-"

    At her reaction, Zixu glanced around the pavilion lazily, a smile tracing his lips. "There's no one else here. Relax."

    "Still, the way you worded it-"

    "Am I not telling the truth?" he cut in, "I gave some secrets to you. Are those secrets not something that happened between us?"

    Yujia stopped.

    He had a point. She was the one who was taking the word in the wrong manner.

    Heavens, what was wrong with her? First with Zixu's words that she misinterpreted yesterday, and now the words from Zixu that she took the wrong way just now...

    "Well," she stated plainly at a brief pause, diverting the topic of the conversation, "I'm glad that you feel indifferent towards Yunhe."

    Zixu blinked. "Really? Why?"

    Yujia stopped again.

    Indeed, why? Why would she be relieved about that?

    She didn't give herself much time to think, waving her hands in dismissal and hastily saying, "Nevermind, nevermind. I'm just saying things without thinking about them." Giving a look at the pendant in her hands, she then said, "If that's all, I won't waste anymore of your time."

    She waited, expecting for Zixu to say those customary words of farewell and to return back to his villa.

    Instead, he stayed put, replying, "I think I'll stay here for a bit longer. I don't want to return home yet."

    "Why?"

    He put on his typical calm smile, his words becoming careful and his voice dropping in volume by just a degree. "Let's just say that I don't want to face my father right now."

    Hearing his tone of voice, and thinking about what he told her last night about the deal Zixu made with his father, Yujia didn't pressure him to continue. She observed his expression, then asked, "Have you had any hangover soup yet?"

    "No, not yet."

    This unrelated question seemed to take Zixu aback, though he quickly masked his surprise with a blank expression.

    "You drank a lot last night. You must have a bad hangover." Yujia put on a small smile. "The chef in Lingxin's kitchen has a pretty good recipe for hangover soup. Since you're not returning home anytime soon, let's go have some soup."
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