Prior to the next day, Hui'er informed Yujia of a key fact.
Although a festival ended not too long ago, the Emperor's birthday was coming up tomorrow, meaning that the whole day would be another festival. And with the Emperor being held as such a holy being, his birthday would definitely be a large celebration.
The only odd coincidence was that the old Fourth Miss shared the exact same birthday as the Emperor. They were both surprisingly born during the Plum Blossom Month, on the twelfth. Because of that, the Fourth Miss was never given a chance to celebrate her own birthday. She had to honor the Emperor before herself.
But the current Yujia didn't see what reason there was to become gloomy because of that. She couldn't celebrate her own birthday because the world put on an entire festival for the Emperor only? Well then, she would just celebrate the Emperor's festival by pretending like it was all put on for her! As long as she kept these thoughts inside of her, there weren't going to be any negative consequences, and she would enjoy herself more too during the festivals put on by the public.
Because of her positive mindset, when the next day came, Yujia was ready to make her birthday a blast. It wasn't her true birthday, which was originally in September, but since her body was born on this day and she wanted an excuse to celebrate, why not celebrate now?
The weather, seemingly appeasing the Emperor as well, turned out bright and full of sunshine. Though the temperature was a little warm, it wasn't a problem either. Yujia didn't think that she would be wearing the new pretty robes she bought until the summer, but it didn't seem right to wear anything else when festive colors were supposed to be present on everyone else.
Because she wanted to check up on her shop first thing in the morning, she didn't call over Xiaoyi or Hui'er to come along with her. Yujia also wanted to have some time alone to explore the beginning of the day-long festival that would be set out in honor of the Emperor before she invited others along with her.
Everything about the shop seemed to be going well, so after Yujia briefly checked up on it, she left. Things were going at a steady rate, and she didn't doubt that she would reach her goal by the deadline. And though she thought she arrived early enough in the morning to check up on the shop, she heard from Gao Yi that Bo Zhizhong actually stopped by even earlier, and he seemed a little bit anxious at something as he went through the storage room and withdrew a few pencils.
Yujia thought that this sounded somewhat suspicious, but she couldn't figure out how to contact Zhizhong, so she decided to bring up the matter tomorrow, or if she managed to see Zhizhong during the festival.
Walking underneath the morning sunlight, Yujia watched as vendors prepared their stalls for opening while a few others began to set up various attractions that would obviously be present at the festival. She couldn't wait to see what fun there would be today and tonight.
Yu Zixu had a habit of waking up early.
He started off his day with a few simple tasks: rinsing his mouth, washing his face, brushing his hair, dressing in his robes, and taking some time to breathe in the fresh morning air. His schedule during the morning was almost like an exact routine, where he would follow those steps repetitively every morning. When he was by himself, life was rather dull because he knew how everything would turn out. At times, he would prefer to associate himself with other people so that he could entertain himself with predicting their actions, while other times, he would actually prefer to pass some time while knowing exactly what was going to happen because he was alone with himself.
Mornings just tended to be times that he preferred to spend alone.
But if it weren't for his younger brother, then this morning, despite the fact that it was the Emperor's birthday, was going to be a morning that he spent like every other day.
Yu Ziyang— his real younger brother who was sickly all the time— actually had an odd occurrence where he was strong enough to get up on his own in the morning. Somehow, his younger brother managed to walk all the way to his courtyard to greet Zixu standing up for the first time in weeks, and asked Zixu of only one task: to buy him some pastries.
There was one pastry shop by the river that cut through the capital that Ziyang and Zixu used to enjoy as children. Perhaps Ziyang dreamt of an old memory last night, for this morning, when he woke up, that was the only thing he had an appetite for. Ziyang could've called any servant to get the pastries for him, but there was something a little bit nostalgic about old memories of the two brothers walking together to get pastries. The thoughts of his younger brother were things Zixu didn't quite understand.
Ziyang was always more of the sentimental type.
Therefore, despite the fact that Zixu was reluctant at first, he still agreed to Ziyang in the end that he would go purchase pastries since his younger brother couldn't walk the long distance between the villa and pastry shop. He supposed that Ziyang also really wanted Zixu to get the pastries for him not just for nostalgic purposes, but also because Zixu knew his tastes exactly, which were things that mere servants would not know or memorize, even if Ziyang described them to an extreme detail.
A few moments later, after Ziyang's request, Zixu found himself walking through the streets and down the riverbank to buy pastries from the one shop that Ziyang wanted pastries from.
Coincidentally, that was when he saw Miss Yang.
Yujia heard from Hui'er that there was a decent pastry shop that usually had quite costly pastries. The shop could've been the most popular pastry shop in all of Xiang if the pastries were cheaper, but most common people never tasted the quality of the desserts because of the high prices. Being someone who enjoyed good food, Yujia wanted to have a try, except because of her limited budget, she never did until now, where she heard that because of the fact that the Emperor's birthday was occuring, the shop might have a discount.
Discounts were always welcome in Yujia's book, and she decided that if there really was one, there would be fresh pastries for her breakfast this morning.
Following some directions that Hui'er gave her, Yujia walked along the riverbank of one large river that cut through the capital, passing a few landmarks like the boat-seller to a large pagoda, until she reached the shop that she heard of.
The pastry shop was smaller than what Yujia expected. If not for the label of "Little River Pastries", Yujia would've skipped over the building entirely. Maybe the costs of the pastries were to the extreme, but the outer appearance of the shop didn't quite match up with the entire luxury theme.
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Once Yujia stepped into the store, she discovered that the inside was better than the outside. Within the shop, the entire environment was very cozy and warm, with hints of sweetness and glazed bread floating throughout every inch. There were two tables for eating, which only one person occupied, but besides that, the majority of the shop was made up of a main counter and a kitchen behind that where all the cooking took place.
Someone was standing, his back facing her and at the counter, when Yujia walked in. He seemed to be placing his order at the time, murmuring in a soft voice the things that he wanted. "A thousand-layer cake, three mung bean cakes with a little extra sugar, and two steamed buns with sweet filling. And one sesame cake too."
The voice seemed familiar. So did the figure of the young man's back.
Thus, the moment he turned around, Yujia wasn't surprised to be greeted with the face of Yu Zixu.
She smiled politely at him, then stated, "Young Master Yu, you're buying pastries for breakfast too? I didn't know you had such a sweet tooth."
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