Chapter 25 – Level 8 Violet Ranked Beauties (I)
“You…” Sura’s ordinary cheeks flushed red as he stared at Ye Yin Zhu. For a moment, this imbecile had rendered him speechless. He realized his heart was violently beating, and his surroundings no longer seemed important. In his mind, there was only Ye Yin Zhu’s recent words.
“Hey, come back to reality. The things you have in your pot is becoming paste.” Ye Yin Zhu poked Sura’s forehead.
“Ah——! My pork chops!” Sura cried out in alarm. He grabbed the Angel’s Sigh and rushed back to the kitchen. He hurriedly yelled, “Yin Zhu, I accept this gift. But, you can’t make me wait upon you for a lifetime. We are friends. You’re mine, and I’m yours.”
Ye Yin Zhu smiled. “As you wish. In any case, I will give you money no matter what when you ask.” In fact, he didn’t even have a lot of money on him as Sura held it all. His body was best described as penniless.
Every day, the weather was cold, and only the midday sun’s bright and beautiful rays could produce a feeling of warmth. Ye Yin Zhu and Sura didn’t have classes in the afternoon, so they had both returned home to eat together. They then walked towards Milan City, as they hadn’t gone to Floating Orchid Pavilion for two days. Since the competition was over, they could now return to work.
“Yin Zhu, you know what? For the past few days you’ve been missing, I don’t even know how many guests questioned us waiters.” Sura smiled as he spoke up.
Ye Yin Zhu obtusely asked, “What did they ask about?”
“Dummy, they’re naturally asking why you haven’t been coming. We can only say you requested a leave of absence. I didn’t expect you to be so popular. Your zither playing is indeed excellent. Boss Anya fortunately ordered all of the waiters to not reveal that you are a student at the Milan Institution. Otherwise, your peace at the institution would have vanished. From my observations, despite Floating Orchid Pavilion’s isolated location and small number of tea-drinking clientele, each client has a unique identity. Moreover, some are even great nobles.”
“Sura, you are really wise. It seems as if there is nothing you don’t know.” Ye Yin Zhu somewhat enviously glanced at Sura.
Sura proudly said, “Of course. And you definitely resemble a little dummy.”
“Little? I am taller than you!” Ye Yin Zhu was nearly a head taller than Sura.
“What does height have to do with this? You should call me Teacher Sura. Haven’t I taught you a multitude of things?”
Ye Yin Zhu replied in surprise, “Our ages are similar, so how can you be called Teacher? Sura, don’t tell me that you aren’t as young as you appear to be…”
“You?! You are truly infuriating. You don’t even understand what is done to become a teacher!”
Sura remained silent.
When the two of them arrived at Floating Orchid Pavilion, the business had yet to open. Walking inside, they came across Dida. Since they began working here, regardless of whether it was Sura or Ye Yin Zhu, both of them were well-received. Ye Yin Zhu’s popularity was naturally because of his excellent zither playing, while Sura was praised for his quick work pace. Moreover, his movements were very efficient, as the other servers had reported to him. Perhaps because the waiters’ wages were all pretty good, there was hardly any conflicts breaking out among them.
“Yin Zhu, you came. If you hadn’t come, I would have gone deaf from all the questions from our clients.” As Dida teased Ye Yin Zhu, he gestured for the two of them to come in.
Sura glanced at Ye Yin Zhu and said, “I’m going to go change into my work clothes; you head on up. I’ll deliver tea to you in a moment.”
“Okay,” Ye Yin Zhu replied. He accompanied Dida upstairs, walking over to the special area he performed in every time.
“Elder Brother Dida, I truly feel apologetic. These past two days, school has occupied my time, that’s why I—”
Dida smiled and interrupted him. “It’s nothing. Boss said that even if you are busy and can’t come, there’s no need to worry about this place. Anyway, your daily wages have been calculated. It seems the Boss really likes your zither music; every time you play, Boss will sit at the top of the stairs to the third floor and gaze down at you alone for three hours. Of course, we all like your zither music. It is an absolutely intoxicating pleasure.”
As Dida spoke, Ye Yin Zhu arrived at his special performance area. When he settled in, Dida unfurled the muslin curtains, making it so that people would be unable to see him from the outside. Ye Yin Zhu liked this very much because it prevented him from being interrupted during his playing. Behind him was the humongous ancient tree trunk. Whenever he sat here, it seemed as if he could sense its heartbeat. That fresh, clean atmosphere and amiable feeling completely invigorated his body. As a result, his ability to bring out his zither music increased.
The noisy clamor outside trickled in; Floating Orchid Pavilion had already begun business. At this moment, the muslin curtain was disturbed as Sura’s head popped in from the outside.
“Here, you should drink your tea first. Don’t work so hard. Play a song and then take a break. You always play for the entire three hours. Don’t your hands become tired?” Sura spoke with deep concern as he placed the teapot and teacup beside him before pouring a cup for Yin Zhu.
The tea was a light shade of sparkling, translucent blue. A faint fragrance wafted up, penetrating deeply into his heart.
“Sura, what is today’s tea? This is different from the tea before.” Ye Yin Zhu drank a mouthful. The tea was somewhat bitter, but once the bitterness passed, there was a sweet aftertaste that left a savory imprint on his lips and teeth.
Sura’s face reddened, and he lowered his head, not looking at Ye Yin Zhu. “This is Forget-Me-Not, a naturally pure wildflower. It is also offered as a beverage in the imperial palace as it can nourish and repair the kidney, raise the vitality of one’s blood, and clear the heart and lungs. It also improves the liver and eyes and nourishes the skin. Drink, it’s good for you. This tea is the priciest among the selections offered here. I secretly stole you a cup.”
“Forget-Me-Not, Forget-Me-Not; this name is really meaningful. Sura, you should never be afraid that I will forget you. How can I? We are good brothers. Only, your memory is fantastic. We haven’t been working here for long, yet you are quickly becoming an expert of scented tea.” After he said this, he took another drink, exclaiming in admiration once more.
Sura replaced the curtain and carried the tray away, no longer willing to stay and allow Ye Yin Zhu to see his scarlet face. Lightly pressing his hand against his chest, he felt the ferocity of his beating heart. Sura darkly asked himself, ‘What is going on? Why did I coincidentally choose this scented tea brand?’
Drinking the cup of tea, Ye Yin Zhu began his afternoon performance. He was still using the Moon and Tides’ Clear Brilliance Zither, and a gloomy, poignant zither song pouring out from beneath his eight fingers. Once everyone began to hear him play, they all felt confused. Today’s zither music seemed to have a few changes compared to last time. The innocence seemed to have lessened significantly, as if it had matured. What they didn’t know, however, was that this was the outcome of the evolution from the Pure Zither Heart to the Courageous Zither Heart.
Ye Yin Zhu continued to play as always. Whenever he began playing, he immersed himself in the musical pulse, his performance unceasing. Everyone was completely bewitched by the zither music. The Zither Heart Realm advancement, as well as the Waterfall of Connecting Pearls’ emotional stimulation earlier today, made his zither music become more pleasant to listen to and more effective in drawing others under its spell.
Even without a single trace of magic, every client outside listened reverently, intoxicated. No one even spoke; only the sounds of clinking cups could be heard sporadically. Whenever someone voiced a sound, everyone else will immediately glare at the disturber. Floating Orchid Pavilion’s elegance had virtually improved a whole rank because of Ye Yin Zhu’s arrival.