8 Little Lady
"This amount of money should last you an entire weeks worth of wholesale." Yuxi watched as Suying opened the pouch of gold coins and then turn the bag upside down. Catching the light of the morning sun, the gold fell like autumn leaves.
It was a disrespectful and moral-degrading sight to watch the man immediately scramble on the floor to pick up the gold coins.
Yuxi saw the child's eyes glisten at the coins before her, and she immediately reached for one of the coins. One was enough to supply her food for 100 days.
"This is mine, you dirty scum!" Frightened at the scream, the child flinched back. Her broken and hungry face resembled a wounded animal.
The child then chose to reach for the dirty and broken apples.
"No, that's dirty." Yuxi softly said.
"Here, this should be enough to last you for a while." Turning towards her servant who gave her a golden pouch filled with coins, Yuxi turned towards the child.
Before anyone could stop her, she had grabbed the dirty hands of the child. Frightened, the child swatted at Yuxi's hands.
"Don't touch me!" The child shrieked, pushing Yuxi to the ground in fear of being strike again. Before Yuxi blinked, the child was out of sight and so was the pouch she offered.
"My lady, should I get her for you?" A shadow guard took a step forward. If he wanted to, he could effortlessly catch the child.
"Follow her, but don't hurt her. Make sure she gets home safely with the money. If she doesn't have any siblings, see if you can lead her to a safer place like an orphanage or shelter." Everyone was taken back by Yuxi's words.
Before the shadow guard can make his move, Yuxi grabbed him. "Regardless of the circumstances, don't hurt or forcefully apprehend her."
The guard immediately nodded. "Understood, Lady Yuxi." And just like that, he disappeared.
"She was probably frightened. I shouldn't have acted so rash and grabbed her." Yuxi mumbled to herself, as she dusted the dirt from her hanfu.
"I hope the man didn't hurt you, little lady."
Yuxi turned to see the same boy who had helped her.
Upon closer glances, he was quite handsome. Though he was still young, it was evident he would grow up to be quite the looker. With eyes the color of swirling gold, high nose of nobility, and sharp jawline, he had the type of face that'd usher people for a second glance.
"Yes, thank you." Yuxi said with a soft smile.
Although she was thanking him, her eyes weren't directly looking at him. Instead, it was searching for Weihao.
Suying was surprised to see Yuxi disregard him. No one has ever brushed aside the Young Master of the Han family. His surname alone was enough to send people fearing for their life.
Yuxi's reluctance to paid him any mind or attention was beginning to irk, but intrigue him.
"May I ask for your name?" Suying gently asked, in hopes of seeing her again. He wanted to know if his family was more influential than hers. It was a measure of family wealth and power.
Yuxi raised a slight brow. She was skeptical of the stranger, but judging from the townspeople's reactions towards him, Yuxi knew he was a very important Young Master.
Yuxi remembered a prominent family in Leijing with the surname of Han, but she couldn't properly remember their achievements and wealth.
Not wanting to seem rude, she finally spoke up.
"My name is Chen Yuxi-"
"Mei-mei, you shouldn't talk to strangers." Weihao's chilling voice sliced the warm atmosphere.
He grabbed Yuxi's tiny wrist and pulled her behind him. Using his bigger body and height, he shielded Yuxi from Suying's curious gaze.
"Why, if it isn't Chen Weihao." Suying's taunting voice flooded Yuxi's ears. He spat out her cousin's name like it was dirty water.
Yuxi didn't expect Weihao to be acquainted with the boy. But observing the high tension between them, she knew there was a long history between the duo.
"I would say it's a pleasure to see you, but then again, I'd be lying." Yuxi's eyes slightly widened at Weihao's cold and usual tone. His face was so nonchalant, it was beginning to scare Yuxi.
"You're back in Leijing already? Last I checked, you were crying on the battlefield over a cheap and broken sword." The sword was a gift to Weihao by someone very special to him.
Everyone knew this was a touchy subject. Suying had been Weihao's best friend, before the 'accident' happened.
No one in the training camp knew what exactly happened the night of the storm. They didn't know the single event that destroyed their friendship.
"You bastard..." Weihao growled, his eyes growing fierce and dark.
Suying smirked. He knowingly provoked Weihao in hopes of getting the boy riddled up.
Yuxi was startled when Weihao suddenly took a daring step forward. Because of the hand wrapped around Yuxi's wrist, she was also forced to take a step forward.
Sensing unwanted conflict and attention, Yanxi tugged on the sleeve of her cousin.
"Wei-ge, it's getting dark. Let's go home." He didn't hear her.
"Wei-ge." She sweetly called for Weihao's attention.
Yuxi purposely used a much softer and sweet voice to sway and fool the little boy. Yuxi, whose soul was wiser beyond Weihao's years, knew how to sway a boy to her bidding.
When Weihao didn't budge from his spot, she thought her voice was ineffective against him.
Since Weihao's back was turned from Yuxi, she didn't see his softening expression. Both boys were captured by the voice, except one was intentional and the other wasn't.
"Alright, before the buns cool down, let's go home." He finally said after a long silence. A low and soft smile blooms on Yuxi's face.
"Okay!" She readily agreed.
Yuxi allowed him to hold her wrist as he dragged her towards the direction of their awaiting carriage.
Feeling curious of Suying, Yuxi took a secretive glance back at the boy. He stared right back at her and upon catching her gaze, he winked.
Terrified she was caught in the act, Yuxi nervously turned around. She picked up her pace, until she was practically sprinting in the direction of her carriage.
In running away and acting shy, Yuxi had unknowingly provoked Han Suying.