In fact, coincidentally, it was even the exact same inn that she went to in the morning with this certain individual— only this time, he was the one who was buying her the best tea in the house.
Yujia picked up the cup, taking a long sip of the warm tea, which was a good drink to have after all the pastries and other snacks she ate along the festival. She reached over for the teapot and poured Hui'er, who was sitting by her side, a cup as well.
Across from her, the boy introduced himself. "You already know that I'm the Third Young Master of the Bo family, but my name is Bo Zhizhong."
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"It really is fate that I keep meeting you, Bo Zhizhong," Yujia said, her eyebrows raised.
Yeah, it was fate. But a really twisted, aggravating kind of fate that kept bringing her people she didn't particularly need or want to see. Instead of giving her this Third Young Master of the Bo family, why didn't fate just drop a sack of five-hundred taels in front of her?
Though, the bigger question was: would it be common etiquette to share her name right now?
Yes, it would.
But didn't he already know her name, since he referred to her as "Miss Yang"? And was it even correct to give her full name to this person who she didn't even know that well? She remembered that back then, she told Bo Zhiyuan her full name, but that was because she wasn't that careful in the past, in comparison to now. What should she say now, then?
A few moments of hesitation passed, and then Yujia decided with saying, "I'm Yang Yujia."
Screw this. He probably already knew her name. There was no point in hiding it even further.
"Miss Yang," Bo Zhizhong gave her a complacent smile and started, "I had a long thought about it, and your so-called pen-cils intrigue me. I'm going to be straightforward here: how many taels would you like for me to invest in them?"
"Are you joking?" Yujia curled her upper lip. "Just earlier today, you told me something along the lines of… was it…'women can't do business'? 'You're not wealthy enough?''Your father doesn't want you to business?''There's no need in taking a risk in such an unknown product?' What exactly was it that you said? I think I forgot."
An awkward laugh came from him, but he didn't waver too much. "Miss Yang, I'm fully aware of what I said before. And… I also know that we didn't have exactly the 'smoothest' history together in the past. But my older brother— I believe you said that you once did business with him?— showed me the drawing you did of his fiancée, and both your skills and originality won me over."
So, he did know Bo Zhiyuan. The fact that Bo Zhiyuan was so willing to show him the drawing must mean that they were close enough to a certain degree, making Yujia begin to believe that maybe he was telling the truth about his identity as the Third Young Master.
"I know the struggles that… someone like you may go through to bring an invention to the public, and I'm very willing to help you," Bo Zhizhong continued.
His words sure were pretty. They were words laced with flattery and kindness, something that Yujia was susceptible to. But in this situation, she would be dumb if she thought that everything he said was genuine and true.
"How about five-hundred silver taels?" Yujia proposed slowly, the words nothing but a figment of a dream in her thoughts.
Immediately, the boy responded, reaching for his satchel and placing it on the table.
Yujia's eyebrows flew up at that, unconsciously backing up. She said that as a joke. Who knew that he would take what he was saying so seriously? Wasn't he afraid that she would just take the five-hundred taels, buy herself out of her engagement, and then just flee? How much— or how little— did that sum of money mean to him?
"No, no, no," she sputtered, pushing the satchel of taels back towards him. "I don't need that money. I don't need any money from you. I already have an investor."
To be honest, the only reason why she sat down to have a chat with him while knowing that she had the founder of Lingxin now as her backer was that she wanted to amuse herself to see what he would say. She didn't expect him to be so serious at all.
"I found a fairly wealthy and influential painter as my master, and they're willing to devote some funds to me since they believe in my skills despite the gender I was born with."
Bo Zhizhong shrank back, obvious disappointment showing on his face. He must've thought that she would be easy to win over with a few courteous words and a satchel of taels.
Seeing his frown and shoulders lowered in defeat, Yujia felt a little sympathetic. Maybe she was a little harsh with her words and tone, but back then, he had been very adamant with his stereotypes and gender roles too. Did he really deserve to get another chance? It didn't really hurt to have an extra person giving her money, did it?
Yujia's mind trailed off to the festival that was going on. It seemed like it would last all night.
There was a sudden craving in her mind for the thing she was used to at every big event she went to, be it the midnight college parties she went to, art galas, or pathetic high school reunions.
She really wanted a drink right now. Even though she had a bad experience with beer and acrylic paint in the past, she didn't hold any memories that would ruin a good cup of wine for her. Sadly, however, Yujia already spent most of her money and she doubted six copper coins would get her anymore than a sip of good wine.
Raising her head and taking a good look at Bo Zhizhong, another idea formulated in her mind.
He had lots of money. She wanted a good drink.
Surely, there was some sort of opportunity in those two situations, no?
A grin spread across her lips. "How about this? I changed my mind about this entire situation a little, but I'm still not convinced. Why don't we settle this over some jugs of wine? If I get drunk first, then you can invest in my pencils, and if you get drunk first, there aren't any consequences. Let's leave it to our alcohol tolerance level to decide for us. And also, you're paying for the wine."
Bo Zhizhong's eyes narrowed, his eyes scanning her as if deciding if there was some sort of scam in this offer. Seeing that there really wasn't, he nodded. "Alright. Do you have a preference for kind of wine?"
It was a bit peculiar for Yujia to find herself sitting at an inn, agreeing to settle the question of an investment with the same individual who declined her offer and refused to invest in her product a few hours ago.