Chapter 68: First Class Goods
Lin Si Yao enjoyed his tea in silence, occasionally taking a glance at Su Shuilian, who was merrily chatting just right by. She met his gaze, and they slipped smiles at each other. She must’ve been worried that she was ignoring him. Lin Si Yao’s mouth curved upward, and sipped his tea.
What Jiang Yangrui started as a polite business deal became a full-fledged conversation and gossip. She was secretly impressed by Su Shuilian’s extensive knowledge, and assumed that she was definitely not someone who was raised in a common household.
Judging from the natural atmosphere she created, Jiang Yangrui couldn’t help but suspect her real identity.
Of course, she didn’t dare ask with a mere shopkeeper-seamstress relationship. After all, she had the right to her own privacy.
If her hunches were right, Su Shuilian must be a daughter from an aristocrat family running off with Lin Si Yao. But her flawless embroidery skills dissipated Jiang Yangrui’s doubts.
“First Shopkeeper, the verification is finished. Here’s the verdict.” The craftsman returned from the back, and passed up an envelope for her to read.
Jiang Yangrui skimmed through the content in a flash, a smile slowly formed on her lips, as she looked up from the envelope and met Su Shuilian’s curious stare. And spoke: “Shuilian, congratulations, <Drunken Beauty> has been determined as First Class Goods.”
The country of Dahui had a uniform system of measuring quality. Each embroidery floor had a validating craftsman, in order to determine the value and legitimacy.
Embroidery is judged through size, difficulty, art, and materials, and divided into three quality levels- first, second, and third classes, then split into upper, mid, and lower subcategories. Any goods below Third Lower Class was considered crude, something that even a normal housewife could embroider and unsuitable for the market. So even if a business were to take those in stock, the goods would be repressed and unsellable.
The <Paired Phoenixes> that Su Shuilian completed along with Xi Cui was determined as “First Lower” Class, mostly because Xi Cui was too reserved about her part of the embroidery.
However, having <Drunken Beauty> validated as the highest grade was quite a leap from Jiang Yangrui’s expectations.
She had considered the possibility of Su Shuilian’s work being graded as First Upper before, but it never ventured beyond the corner of her mind. It was a shock to see it with her own eyes and listen with her ears.
In the eleven years of managing the embroidery floor, they had never once received an First Upper Class work. They’ve only had three pieces of First Mid Class works before, with one of them still under the hands of Su Shuilian.
Across the entire Fanluo City, how many embroidery floors have produced a First Upper Class embroidery? None! But with just one of these talents, any embroidery floor would have long since risen as a top floor in the metropolis.
The woman in front of her, who didn’t even remotely resemble a seamstress, had broken Yueyun’s eleven-year standing record in merely half a month, rewriting Fanluo City’s history of embroidery.
Jiang Yangrui felt incredible joy that she had signed her into a contract. With Su Shuilian’s morals and personality, there was no worry at all about her being poached by the other floors in a year. In a year, she’ll still be able to say that Su Shuilian was under her Yueyun Floor. As for salary, Jiang Yangrui was willing to pay any price as long as it was reasonable.
“A’Yao, let’s go eat something good at the Wu Qin Restaurant.” Su Shuilian happily took Lin Si Yao’s hand, and led him to the Wu Qin Restaurant on the west side of main street.
The validation of <Drunken Beauty> had earned her twenty fat pieces of silver. This was her first paycheck upon entering Dahui’s Fanluo City. How could she not be happy?
“Sure.” Lin Si Yao grinned as he touched her joyful face. He felt a little surprised: She can be satisfied with just these twenty pieces of silver?
He thought about the glittering treasure and jewelry stored under the dresser. Any of them was well worth ten silver, and there was one piece that was worth well over a hundred. Even when they first met, he was carrying close to fifty silver. Back then, she didn’t care too much about money anyway. They spent only what they needed, and sometimes he had to suspect, did she even know their true market value?
Though those twenty silver were the result of half a month of labor, so it naturally wasn’t the same.
When the two arrived at Wu Qin Restaurant at noon, it was a long wait since it was full of customers. They managed to find a table at the very corner.
“Waiter, please prepare two crispy-skin ducks to go, we’ll pick it up after the bill.” Su Shuilian beckoned. She wanted Dabao, Xiao Chun, and Xiao Xue to have a taste at home.
“Sure thing! Don’t worry, madam, I’ll take the order to the chef now. You just need to tell them your table number when you come pick up.” He smiled kindly at them. The waiter was the same one back then, when the pair came to eat here for the first time. It was a rare sight to see such a handsome young man and elegant lady coupled together in Fanluo City. They were quite hard to forget.
The other customers occasionally glanced at Su Shuilian’s table, too. Their eyes were filled with amusement, with a hint of envy.
Lin Si Yao furrowed his brows unhappily, and gave a quick exhale. His iciness and pressure immediately negated the entertained gazes of the nearby.
“A’Yao? What’s wrong?” Su Shuilian heard his grunt, and stopped eating. Seeing his darkened expression, she worriedly asked: “Are you feeling alright?”
“It’s fine. Just a little stuffy in here.” Lin Si Yao looked away, and threw an excuse.
“Stuffy?” Su Shuilian looked around in confusion. With the howling winter outside, the warmth of the indoors should be comforting. Though maybe he was the same as her, and was not used to large dining halls.
“Then let’s finish quickly, and go shopping for some New Year’s goods.” Su Shuilian beamed, and pinched a piece of fried fish to his bowl.
“Sure, you should eat more yourself.” Lin Si Yao’s unhappiness disappeared in an instant with Su Shuilian’s act. He filled her a bowl with the mixed stew of chicken, mackerel, soy beans, bamboo shoots, and carrots, and started eating. She was already his wife, and that was enough. What did others’ envy involve him for?
But, Lin Si Yao hadn’t realized that a gaze from nearby wasn’t for Su Shuilian, but specifically for him…. Lu Wan’er, sitting under the window on the west side.
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