Lin Xulian's days went as usual. Refining medicines for Caoyao Pavilion, having her lessons in palace etiquette and waiting for the second prince's move. She was quite disappointed that they're taking a long time executing their plan. But she can't blame them, although the Lin manor isn't that heavily guarded according to Feng Jun Yi's standard since Xulian dismissed half of the guards he chose, just Lin Huang and Rui's presence is more than enough security.
Because of the stagnant flow of her life inside the manor. Lin Xulian decided to roam around the city secretly. She only took Xiao Tianshi with her since Xulian gave her the task of memorizing the capital's topography. Xiao Tianshi have a talent in painting and her sense of direction is superb. She's perfect for drawing maps which is a great merit for the mercenary. She is just immature and playful that is why her older sister can't leave her alone.
They silently left the manor by leaping over the wall. It was weird since technically, Xulian is the master of the manor. Lately, Yin Mei is becoming stricter in her lessons. Even her smallest wrong move, she could spot it! Xulian can't help but compare her to her enemies she faced during battles. They couldn't even sense her movements but Yin Mei can see her wrong posture despite being covered with thick layers of clothing. Her Mei jiejie would yell at her every time she makes a mistake that she impulsively called her mother! This made Yin Mei embarrassed and became even stricter that Xulian scolded herself.
When Xulian and Tianshi arrived in the city, they entered several stores and tried every street food they find appealing. They have no problem about money after the deal Xlian made with the Hao grandfather and grandson so they stuffed themselves to brim. They also bought some good quality fabrics and sked the store to deliver them to the manor. Xulian plans to send them to the Martial Arts School to make proper uniforms for the students. It has been more than a month since they arrived in the capital and Xulian and the Xiao Sisters misses their home.
When they got a bit tired from going around the city, they entered a teahouse to rest a bit. The moment they entered, two men at the corner of the first floor subtly looked at them. Although as usual, Lin Xulian wore red robes and red veil, most of the people knew her identity. After all, she is the only one bold enough to wear such color and doesn't mind being flashy. The two men naturally recognized her. They followed the two girls with their eyes until they arrived at the second floor.
Lin Xulian chose a table that is visible from the first floor. She obviously felt the two men's gaze. They fail to mask their vile intention, at least to Xulian. She purposely let them see and observe her.
"It seems that the fun will start now." Xulian said in a low voice.
"What do you mean boss?" Tianshi on the other hand is clueless. She is still thirteen and her martial is still not that profound that is why she begged their big brother Rui to continue train her during their stay in the capital. She still needs to grow to become useful for her boss and for her future in the mercenary.
"It's nothing serious really. Just some rats sneaking around. Nothing hard to deal with." Xulian said while sipping her tea.
Xiao Tianshi tilted her head to the side in confusion. She doesn't get anything that her boss said. "Boss, what should we do after this?"
"We're done with our errands so we just have to relax a bit to pass the time. It's still early. Mei jiejie will force me to practice my calligraphy again. I hate writing! Why should I write if I could remember everything anyway? And our mercenary uses codes to communicate. I don't need fancy writing."
"But boss, Mei jiejie said that an empress would need to write reports and decrees. It would be humiliating if others will find your writing ugly."
Xulian pouted and looked dissatisfied. "Tsk! So troublesome. What did I get myself into? I'll demand compensation from Feng Jun Yi. He didn't inform me ahead of time about these stuffs."
Xulian then looked down towards the first floor and happened to see about eight men entered at the same time. They split into pairs and sat on different tables but she realized that their tables are all visible from her position. Xulian lowered her head to sip her tea but still observed them in her peripheral vision. She smiled coldly and couldn't hide her excitement that Tianshi could see it.
"Boss, what is it? You seem excited for some reason. I want to know!" Tianshi looked at her boss with sparkling curious eyes. She knows that whatever amuses her boss would surely be fun.
"Nothing much. It's just that the rats in the city looked amusing."
Tianshi looked at her boss oddly. 'What's fun about rats? Maybe Mei jiejie's lessons turned boss nuts.'
"Let's go Tianshi. It's getting dark. We need to go back or big brother would freak out."
When they are outside the teahouse, Xulian paused. She looked like she just remembered something. "Tianshi, go back inside and buy some varieties of tea. I'll go buy some pastries. We might not be able to go out again anytime soon so I will take this chance to stock up some of my favorite snacks. We don't have time to spare so let's just meet at the back alley of the manor where we leap off earlier."
Xulian purposely said them in a loud voice. "Okay boss! Give me some share to! I like the osmanthus cake and lotus bun!"
"Fine. I'll go now." Xulian then set of in relaxed manner.
When Tianshi arrived at the designated spot that Xulian and her planned to meet up, Xulian still wasn't there so she decided to wait a bit. The sky is already dark and the lamps in each household began to lit up but her boss still hasn't arrived. Tianshi began to worry and decided to entered the manor through the front gate and find Lin Huang.
When Tianshi found Lin Huang in his study, she is already panting and trembling. "Y-young master! B-boss…b-boss!"
"What had happened to you? Where is Lian'er? I knew the two of you sneaked out." Lin Huang knitted his brows seeing Tianshi's flustered face.
"B-boss…she didn't come to our meeting spot. It's been a long time already. I think boss went missing!" Hearing this, Lin Huang run out from the study like a gust of wind.