(The chapter before this one was blocked so I could not post it on here. For those who want to read it, it is still available on my wattpad account, with the same name. )
She kept her head down and did not look at Zong Ching.
In Zong Ching's hand was a small blue bag with a simple green vine sewn on it. The design may be simple but if you were to look closely, you could see the detailed leaves of the vine and intricate designs. Zong Ching felt as though this bag was very familiar but he could not recall why. Zong Li looked at his brother and was puzzled why his brother wasn't giving back the pouch. He took it upon himself and took the bag from Zong Ching's grasp.
He walked up to the boy with a smile and handed the blue bag to him.
"Here you dropped this. This looks very detailed, did someone give this to you?" He asked.
"Uh yes. It was my sister." The deep voice responded.
"Well then, here." He handed it to him and walked back to the table. The boy bowed and quickly walked out.
"Come sit and eat Ching, I heard the food here is the best." Zong Li sat down and immediately began eating while Zong Ching was still in the same posture as when his brother took the pouch from him. Somewhere inside him was telling him that he has seen this boy before and it bugged him that he couldn't remember.
He walked back to the table and stared out of the balcony and looked around the center room. The balcony was hung inside to give them a clear view of the main room of the pavilion. Usually balconies would be hanging outside to give the customers a view of beautiful sceneries but this pavilion has a different idea. Why look outside when the inside has to more to look at?
The main room was the room that customers would see when they enter from the front door. The door's ceiling was almost as high as the building and giant chandeliers hung on the ceilings to brighten the room. The middle of the room had a fountain flowing with water being pushed out from underground. Green vines climbed up the poles and walls and the amount of greenery gave this room a fantasy feeling to it. Golden light brightened the room and gave off a sun-like glow. This is one of the main reasons why Water Lotus Pavilion became the largest and most successful shop in the town.
Mingxia ran out of the room and quickly began running towards the kitchen where the back door was located. She looked at the time and realized it would become night soon. She had to return before someone found out.
As she ran she did not look in front of her and bumped into someone by accident. She looked up to see a man adorned in silk grey robes with piercing black eyes staring at her.
'He's… the SECOND PRINCE!'
The second prince was the only prince in line that was the most favored. He would have most likely been in line for the throne if he hadn't given up his rights two years ago. Like the first prince he had a long line of military accomplishments from an early age and also has a large influence in the trading business. Who would of knew that he chose to give up his right to the throne. He may have lost a lot of power but that did not mean he had no more. In fact, after he left the line to the throne he established many connections with other civilizations.
She gulped, realizing that his fan had fell.
"This servant apologizes for dropping your fan. This mister please forgive this servant." She apologized over and over again as she held up his fan to him.
He picked up the fan and she began running towards the kitchen.
"Stop." A voice commanded, she stopped in her tracks and looked back to bow her head.
"You bumped into me and you think that a simple apology will do?" The voice was calm and yet it was threatening as well.
Mingxia gulped again. "This servant does not understand what else he must do."
"Well let me tell you then. The bone of this fan is made of the rare wood, ebony. The paper is made with a very rare type, the drawing on this was drawn by the renowned artist Master Chu. The fan is worth about 100 gold. When you bumped into me you made a dent in the wood. Is this how you thought you'd repay me?"
When Mingxia heard 100 gold she was shocked beyond words. "100 gold for a stupid fan, you have got to be kidding me." She held her head down and did not look up. The second prince may not appear strong but you should never underestimate him.
"Second brother, he's only a servant boy, do you think he even has enough to repay you?. Even if he worked for 100 years he probably could not even finish paying you." Another person stepped out behind him. This person was dressed in a dark red robe and his hair was tied up in a small bun to appear scholarly.
"True, but since he is working here then there may be some hope." A playful voice said and a person behind the last walked out. He was wearing an orange robe, his hair was tied up in a small bun as well, but unlike the other two, it was very messy. He gave off a lively aura unlike the other two.
"Anyway, how are you going to repay me?" The man in red asked Mingxia.
"Uhh..." Mingxia racked her brain, as the daughter of a viscount she could get that much within a couple of days. However her identity right now is a servant boy. For a commoner to get this much money in only the time of a couple of days would surely raise suspicion. Silence condemned on them and Mingxia did not dare to look up.
"You don't work here do you?" The second prince walked up to her and used his fan to raise her chin. He sucked in his breath when a pair of warm brown eyes looked up to meet his grey ones. Before leaving Mingxia used a bit of makeup to look as masculine as possible but she underestimated how beautiful she actually looked. With pale skin, bright eyes and pink lips, her appearance doesn't lose to her sister's.
"I have never seen you around in my pavilion." He quickly recovered and continued questioning her.
Seeing that she has been caught she stood up straight and looked at him straight in the eyes.
"You're correct Sir, I do not work here. I never knew that the high and noble second prince would be the owner of this pavilion." She let out a smile that resembled a smirk.
The two men behind could not believe the direction of the conversation and that there was someone that would actually have the audacity to look at the prince in the eye.
"Interesting." The second prince smiled and studied the "boy" in front of him. His sharp eyes could tell that this "boy" is definitely not a boy the moment he(she) stood up straight.
"So, how are you going to repay me?"
"How am I supposed to know, you caught me. You know I'm not a servant here so what do you plan to do?" Mingxia boldly went straight to the point.
After some considering an idea formed in his head. "Hmm… How about you work for me for a week."
"Hah?! Are you kidding me? Are you sure your brain wasn't kicked by a mule?" Her mockery caused the two "audiences" to shudder. After all, no one dares to speak to the Prince like that.
However the second prince did not seem affected by her mockery, continuing to smile and act like nothing happened.
"Of course I am not. I am setting a trade that is beneficial for you. Work under me for a week and consider yourself free of debt." He explained simply.
Mingxia continued to hold her "Are you crazy?" face but began to think that he was correct. A week of working in exchange for 100 gold. This trade could even be considered too generous.
"Deal." She accepted without thinking, again.
"Good. Remember to come tomorrow and meet me in the first VIP room."
"Tomorrow?" Mingxia questioned.
"Of course, it is better for you to be debt free faster right?"
Mingxia sighed. "Alright."
"Well then, see you tomorrow Lady Mingxia." After saying this he quickly walked away with his two friends following him.
"Wait... What?! Come back here!" Mingxia wanted to scream but she realized the balconies already had a handful of people looking at her. She quickly ducked into the kitchen. Of course the crowd of people included Zong Ching and his brother Zong Li.
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