Chapter 6: Mediation

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Translated by : togekiss

Edited by : Anks & Ely


Plum Blossom

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Plum Blossom

It was an inevitable principle that everything in the world has a polar opposite. Where there was Yin, there should be Yang. Where there was bitterness, there should be sweetness. Where there was a golden mansion, there would be a dilapidated shack. While there was affluent houses, there was also the Ping Yang Alley, which was considered rundown and poor. While the flourishing East Street was lively, the cheerless West Street was in decline.

As if completely uninfluenced by the New Year's atmosphere, the citizens of West Street were sparsely clothed as they rushed hastily around to various places. They did not have the relaxed mood of the New Year. Most of their faces seemed apathetic and cold. Compared to the pressing problems of food and clothing expenses, the New Year festival did not seem as important. In the middle of the street, there were only a few houses that had stuck simple Spring Festival couplets on red paper at their entrances, and hung old-fashioned lanterns, vaguely giving a slight feeling of New Year.

A few children sat in front of a cosmetics stall, playing with a button that they had just picked up earlier. Sometimes, they would lift their dirty faces to scrutinize the Jiang Ruan trio curiously before enthusiastically returning their attentions to their own play.

Contrary to what one might expect, there was a peddler selling plum blossoms. At his stall, he displayed a few large, chipped earthen vases with a few stalks of almost wilting plum blossoms. His eyes brightened as he saw Jiang Ruan and her maids. He hawked hastily, "Beautiful plum blossoms, does Miss want one? When it is placed in a room, it will look very pretty. It's also fragrant!"

"How much are these plum blossoms?" Lian Qiao asked.

The peddler spread his palms, "They are not expensive, five bronze coins."

"So expensive," Lian Qiao spoke in surprise, "We don't want them anymore."

"Ai, ai, ai," Upon seeing this, the peddler quickly said, "Forget about it, just three bronze coins will do. The price cannot be lower. The children in my family are still waiting for a warm bowl of rice."

Lian Qiao wanted to reduce it further when Jiang Ruan had already opened her mouth, "I want everything that you have."

Bai Zhi was startled and spoke up in slight disagreement, "Miss, money is tight now-"

Jiang Ruan shook her head, "Do according to what I say. There is a need for them later."

Bai Zhi no longer said anything. She poured most of the bronze coins from her personal cloth pouch into her hand, and handed them over to the peddler. The peddler did not expect to close this business deal so successfully. Normally, travellers on East Street were penniless. They were not likely to spend any money on flowers. Yet, he had an unforeseen gain today. Therefore, he might as well push the vase containing the plum blossoms into Lian Qiao's arms, "It's the New Year now. Miss, you should also invite some good omens. I will regard this porcelain vase as a gift to you." After he finished speaking, he packed up his stall and left.

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