Chapter 37 – Enthusiasm at the Mid-Autumn Festival (part 5)

Sponsored Content

Bright moonlight shone down on the bed, revealing what appeared to be frost on the ground. Bai Xi raised her head and thought about her hometown. Although her family in this world were very good to her, she still missed her family from her original world. She thought about her mischievous grandfather, her mother and father, her cold older brother, and her good friends and team mates. How were they doing?

“Young Master1, try this mooncake!” Suddenly, there were vicissitudes of voices behind her.

Bai Xi stopped looking at the moon and turned to look at the stall. The stall vendors were an old husband and wife, who were plainly dressed. Their faces radiated happiness.

“There is egg yolk inside. It’s really tasty,” the old lady said with a smile as she looked on kindly.

Bai Xi prepared to take out some silver, but the old lady opened her mouth again and said, “You don’t need to give us silver. Young master, just take it to eat.” The old woman stuffed a mooncake into Bai Xi’s hand.

“Young Master is really lucky. My family’s old lady is actually stingy and it’s rare that she’s feeling generous. You should take her up on her offer,” the old man next to the old lady chimed in. “You shouldn’t think that the old lady is bragging. She personally made the mooncakes that the entire capital loves to eat.”

“Old man, you’re the one who is bragging.” The old lady glared at him, but her eyes were dancing without any annoyance. Rather, she gave off a feeling of happiness.

Bai Xi simply smiled. The couple’s happiness was infectious. She took a small bite of the mooncake and found that what the old man said was right, this mooncake was delicious. Although the outside wasn’t that good, it had a good texture and rich flavour. After she ate it, she could also taste the happiness.

“It’s delicious.”

“Is Young Master a citizen of Xi Yue?”

“You could say so.” This body was a citizen of Xi Yue, but she wasn’t.

“I see. So Young Master wanted to come out tonight and have fun.” The two elders didn’t continue their questions. “If Young Master walks one street further, then Young Master can see many beautiful festive lanterns2.”

Sponsored Content

“Yeah, you should follow the advice of the old lady. Since there will also be a fire dragon dance3 performance, Young Master should enjoy tonight to the fullest and have some good memories.”

“Okay, thank you. Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!” Bai Xi didn’t think too much about what the old couple said and just smiled before leaving.

“Such a graceful young man. If I was 40 year younger, I would want to marry him.”

“Damn old man. You want to marry? That would depend on if that young man would want you.”

The old man grinned and the two looked at each other. They laughed.

“Eh? This… This young master is not only handsome, but also very generous. It’s unfortunate that my wife is old.”

The old man looked at the old woman’s hand, which contained 100 silver liang4. He sighed and said, “I just saw that that young master has signs of a great calamity on him. I hope that God can bless him to be safe.”

“Damn old man, you could have not said that.”

“Well, saying it is also useless. This is destiny. This old man has already made an oath to Buddha to not tell fortunes for others.”

“I hope that Buddha can bless that young master with a peaceful life.” The old woman also sighed and didn’t blame the old man. She knew that the old man would swear before Buddha that he would not tell fortunes anymore to save her.

……….

Bai Xi had yet to walk to the further street that the old couple had told her about when she heard firecrackers and excited yelling. Not long after, she saw the dragons in the distance ‘dancing through the air’. They were accompanied by an ensemble of 10 traditional percussion instruments lead by a drum and gong. A Chinese horn5 played various tunes such as ‘General Order’ and ‘Victory Order’. Along with the percussion accompaniment and the Chinese horn, the dragon dancers stepped along with the dragon lanterns. It was a magnificent sigh as it looked like a fire dragon flying through the air.

Sponsored Content

The road was full of people, who were quickly forming a human barricade. They weren’t able to squeeze past the crowd to see the fire dragon dance. Bai Xi didn’t try to see the fire dragon dance. Instead, she walked over to a roadside noodle stall.

“What kind of puppets6 does Young Master want?”

“I want to make some, can I?” Compared to the fire dragon dance, she really liked puppets. She recalled the first gift she received from her cold brother. No, she should say, it was thrown at her. But, it had been the only gift. After that, she had liked puppets.

“Of course you can,” the street vendor answered comfortably.

Bai Xi focussed on making the puppets. It didn’t even register that she had attracted the attention of everyone around her. Her hands were deft, and she quickly finished making three of them.

“Young Master is really good at this,” the store vendor praised wholeheartedly. There wasn’t the slightest hint of envy in his expression, just joy.

“Thanks.” After Bai Xi gave the street vendor some silver, she ignored the crowd’s expressions and took the 3 puppets away. However, she had only taken a few steps before she was blocked by someone.

“Young Master, my family’s young master wishes to buy your handmade puppet.”

“I will sell some later.” Bai Xi frowned and walked past the figures.

“Young Master, here is one thousand liang.”

“…”

“Two thousand liang.”

The people surrounding them gasped. The small puppets could sell for two thousand silver? How could they not be stunned?

Sponsored Content

“If I say I do not want to sell, will you continue to increase the price?” Bai Xi smiled.

“Yes.”

“To avoid wasting time, what is the highest price your young master will give you?” She wanted to see how much the puppets were worth.

“Ten thousand liang.”

The bystanders let out shocked sounds. Ten thousand liang for just 3 puppets? Did they mishear?

“What about your family’s young master?” A spendthrift, this is definitely a spendthrift.

“Here is ten thousand liang. We ask that Young Master hands over the puppets.” The other party was as cold as ever, making it seem like he did not hear the reaction from the crowd around them.

“If your family’s young master really wants to buy my puppets, he should come find me himself.” She wanted to know the purpose of the buyer. Was he targeting her or did he really want the puppets?

The other party’s expression darkened and there was a flash of hesitation. In that time, Bai Xi had disappeared from his sight.

The man did not catch up, but instead went to a private room in Piao Xiang Restaurant. A man sat by the window of the room. “This subordinate has failed their duty and has let that man go.”

“It’s fine.”

“This subordinate does not understand. Why did Young Master want to buy those puppets?”

Sponsored Content

The man looked straight at the figure outside the window, his gaze locking onto a figure in white. He said, in a low voice, “Did you need see the puppets in his hand?”

“Eh? That…”

“Since he wants to see me, then I will go see him.” A gust of wind blew and the man’s figure disappeared from inside the room.

1.(公子) – this term is used to address the son of a duke or ranked official and is different from how I have translated Young Master (少爺) previously. 少爺is used by servants of the house to address the son of the house, or is used as a polite term of address by others. As I don’t think there will be much difference in English, I plan to use the translation of Young Master for both 公子 and 少爺.

2.Lanterns like this.

3.(舞火龍) I believe this is a performance, where there is a procession of lanterns/torches like below?

4.(兩) a type of currency.

5.(嗩吶) suo na – a type of wind instrument.

6.(面人) these are like little figurines on sticks, so I think they’re a type of puppet.

Sponsored Content

You'll Also Like