There were hushed gasps from all around. Everyone finally understood why Lei Xiaoyu was so insistent on getting this doll. Because what she took out now was unexpectedly a doll that was identical to the vendor’s in material and quality. The difference was that the doll in Lei Xiaoyu’s hand was a bit smaller, carved to look like a playful little girl.
The vendor’s eyes brightened. “Miss, do you wish to use that puppet? If so, I can make an exception for you and give you three tries!”
Lei Xiaoyu drew in a deep breath and nodded. She cautiously placed the puppet into the hole in the center of the table.
“Miss, the time has begun.”
On the first try, Lei Xiaoyu was defeated.
The second time was a repeat of the first.
Beads of sweat started to form on the bridge of her nose. Lei Xiaoyu’s fingers gently shivered as she fixed her eyes on the nine wooden bowls. Shadow images began to weave in and out of her vision.
This…it’s this…no…it’s this one…
The vendor’s voice echoed in her ears. Lei Xiaoyu’s complexion paled and her breathing became rapid.
Tenth breath of time.
She trembled. Since she wasn’t able to find the doll, that meant she had lost the qualifications to obtain the doll in the vendor’s hands. Moreover, if another ten breaths of time passed, she would lose her own doll.
Lei Xiaoyu’s heartbeat reverberated in her thoughts. Each beat seemed to extend to forever. Gradually, she felt as if she could no longer breathe.
“From the left to right, second row, first one.” A calm voice sounded out from her side.
Lei Xiaoyu lifted her head in shock to see Qin Yu’s calm expression. For some reason, all of the panic and fluster in her mind disappeared, entirely vanishing. As if just by seeing Qin Yu, all her troubles receded.
As she was in a trance, Qin Yu continued to say, “If you keep staring off into the distance like that, you won’t have enough time.”
“Eh?” Lei Xiaoyu regained her composure. She pointed a finger, “This one!”
She never even considered if Qin Yu might be wrong.
Before the vendor was able to conceal the ridicule in his eyes, he directly froze. Then, all that remained was disbelief.
The little girl doll was lying peacefully below the bowl. Lei Xiaoyu cried out, “There it is, there it is!” She turned and hugged Qin Yu, “Thank you, thank you!”
Qin Yu glanced at the vendor, his eyes serene. Before the vendor could say anything, Qin Yu had already picked up the little girl doll. “That’s enough, hurry and take back your doll.”
Lei Xiaoyu flushed red and received the doll, looking at Qin Yu with gratitude.
Cao Yaozong’s face stiffened. He hurried to conceal his expression as he squeezed out a smile. “Qin Yu, that was wonderful. We’re lucky you were here today!”
Shen Xing also hurried over. The group of women surrounded Lei Xiaoyu, chattering around her.
Qin Yu drew back several steps and looked at Cao Yaozong walking over. “Is there a problem?”
Cao Yaozong stared at him, his eyes ice cold. “It looks like you’ve forgotten the advice I gave you before.”
From behind the crowd, there was a sudden burst of noise and chaos. Then the crowd parted to the sides and a group of city guards responsible for watching over the night market marched in. The guard in charge shouted out, “We have received a report that your stall has been manipulated with and has violated the rules of the night market. Follow us for an investigation!”
Before anyone could respond, the city guards lifted the stall and left in a hurry with the vendor.
Cao Yaozong grinned at Lei Xiaoyu. “Don’t worry. Since he’s been taken away by the city guards, he won’t be able to escape.”
As he spoke he flashed a smile.
Shen Xing indignantly said, “No wonder our Xiaoyu never won once. It’s because this vendor was using tricks to cheat! Humph, the rules of the treasure watchers are very severe. If a problem is discovered, he will be in great trouble. And everything lost to him will be sent back intact!”
Cao Yaozong said that he would go and take back their belongings. Since the vendor broke the rules, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Lei Xiaoyu hesitated before nodding and agreeing. She said not to humiliate the man and just take the doll.
Cao Yaozong grinned. He turned and left to chase after the city guards.
Shen Xing and the group said they were tired and pulled Lei Xiaoyu into a temporarily built night stall. There was a table for four and it just so happened that there was no room for Qin Yu.
Lei Xiaoyu was going to stand up when Shen Xing smiled and said, “Big Brother Qin, I’m sorry but could you sit down first. Once Cao Yaozong comes back then you’ll have company.”
Qin Yu nodded and sat down.
Disregarding all else, the taste of the food was great. It had been a long time since he had satisfied his appetite for food and drink, and he ate with refreshed gusto.
But Lei Xiaoyu found her food somewhat distasteful. She would occasionally glance at Qin Yu and then look around.
Finally, as Qin Yu was about to finish eating, Cao Yaozong returned. He had an angry and resentful expression. “Curse it, those city guards are all useless trash. Halfway back, the treasure watcher managed to run away!”
He shamefully said, “Xiaoyu, I’m sorry. The doll was also taken away. But don’t worry, I have asked the city guards to search with all their strength. That fellow absolutely cannot escape!”
Lei Xiaoyu was disappointed. Her eyes darkened as she forced out a smile. “It’s fine…” She took a breath and stood up. “I’m feeling a little tired today. You can all continue to have fun; I’ll be going home first.”
As she reached the exit she said, “Big Brother Qin Yu, can you bring me back?”
Qin Yu put down his chopsticks and stood up. He glanced at the group of people not too far away and nodded, “I thank you all for your cordial company today. Until we meet again.”
He followed Lei Xiaoyu and the two left together.
The night deepened and there was a chill in the air. But not only were there no fewer people in the night market, there were even more than before. After a long silence, Lei Xiaoyu released a breath. She turned around and said, “Big Brother Qin, we haven’t officially introduced ourselves yet.”
She came to a stop and reached out a hand. “Nice to meet you. My name is Lei Xiaoyu.”
After a brief hesitation he gripped her hand. Her fingers were soft and cool to the touch.
Lei Xiaoyu gently smiled. “Then from now on we can be considered friends. Everything that happened in the past was my fault, so I hope you don’t mind.”
Qin Yu shook his head, “I’ve already forgotten about it.”
Lei Xiaoyu blinked her eyes. “Big Brother Qin, do you know why my name is Xiaoyu?”
Qin Yu was a bit confused. Did the thoughts of this girl usually change so quickly? After thinking about it he honestly shook his head.
“My father said that on the day I was born, there was a thunderstorm billowing in the skies, but the raindrops tinkled down lightly without any hail or deluge. So before I was born, he determined I would be a girl. He said that although I have his last name, I don’t have his imposing momentum. Xiaoyu…Xiao Yu…it’s a name that means light rain, so from then on I was called Lei Xiaoyu. My father said that he didn’t expect me or need me to have any achievements in my lifetime. All I needed to be was like a light rain, steady and calm, safely sheltered for the rest of my time.” As she spoke to here she wrinkled her nose in dissatisfaction. But then she slyly smiled and said, “But he looks down on me too much, so I’m angry about that. Although when I think about it, my days have been good so far, so I won’t bother to haggle with him about such things.”
Qin Yu was silent for a moment. He slowly said, “Your father must love you very much.”
Lei Xiaoyu proudly looked up. “I never doubted that.” She quickly walked forward and turned around, coming face to face with Qin Yu. “And you, Big Brother Qin? What is the meaning behind your name?”
Qin Yu shook his head, “There isn’t one.”
Lei Xiaoyu curled her lips. “How can you not have one? Cao Yaozong, you’ve seen him right? He’s that annoying pest. His father gave him his name in the hopes that he could bring honor to his ancestors. Although now, it seems that these expectations will be difficult to realize. But for better or worse, the hope is still there. So tell me, since I've already told you something so embarrassing.”
Qin Yu said, “I really don’t have one. I am an orphan so I’m not sure where my name came from.”
“Ah!” Lei Xiaoyu’s eyes widened. “Big Brother Qin, I’m so sorry! I didn’t ask you on purpose!”
Qin Yu laughed. “I’m not that fragile. It’s been many years so I’ve grown accustomed to it.”
His eyes drooped down for a moment and he suddenly asked, “Could you tell me why you want the vendor’s doll so much?”
Lei Xiaoyu was silent for a moment before a big smile appeared on her face. “There’s not much of a reason. It’s because I think that puppet is very similar to a gift an elder of mine gave to me. But I wasn’t careful and lost it later, and I’ve been looking for it all this time.”
Even though she was smiling, Qin Yu could still see the truth in her eyes.
He sighed inwardly and said, “Do you want to take back that doll?”
Lei Xiaoyu’s eyes widened. “How?”
“If you want it then come with me.” Qin Yu grabbed onto her hand and headed back to the night market.Previous Chapter Next Chapter