Chapter 63 – Displaying Meager Skills In The Face Of An Expert
With the money we had on hand, I originally suggested that we should at the restaurant where the people treated me for dinner, but once we arrived at its doorsteps, they told us that the little money we had was not enough, and that our money was not even enough for a single dish…..If we only relied on our hard-earned money to eat, and not on Jian Nan’s gold, then we were only able to eat a little by the dockside. Another suggestion was for me to conceal my face with a veil, and go back into the restaurant where I cheated some people for food.
These words made me very depressed, last time at the restaurant when we were eating, the entire table was full of dishes and food, and a lot of leftovers as well. And that man had casually took out a lot of money to pay for the bill. Back then, I still did not know silver was much more precious than copper coins, and thought that it was very easy to get a meal, but today, after a laborous day of work for money, I have come to appreciate every single coin.
If I was discovered by these people, they might come and give me trouble, so I obediently followed Jian Nan’s advice and put on a veil.
Passing by the dockside, everywhere appeared to be busy, and in the past, I had thought they were having fun, but now, I know they all are working hard for a good meal to eat, to eat rice and good food…..the ladies at Qi Feng Lou should be the same, right?
A hungry stomach is very unbearable, whether it be a cat or a person, it is all the same. The only difference was that people had to work to get food, and I…..I take and steal…..
High God Old Lao’s furnace of pills uses ingredients that take thousands of years to harvest and then another thousand years to be refined, the roast chicken inside a shop requires careful preparation and time, the fish that the common folks buy is exchanged using their hard-earned money, and the one wrong, is perhaps me…..
I have understood yet another principal, work is very difficult, so in the future, Miao Miao will be a good cat and won’t steal.
A fragrant scent wafted from in front of me, aggravating my hungry stomach. Luo Luo lead us around turns and corners, and finally brought us to a place to eat, it was called ‘Lee’s Restaurant’.
Many men and women wearing tattered and old clothes were sitting inside, it had a very warm environment inside, and many people had urged to the Xiao Er* to bring the food up. The fragrant smell of food had originated from here.
*[TN]: Xian Er: Ancient term/name thingy to call the waiter
Although I made efforts in concealing my own face, we still couldn’t avoid the gazes of the civilians. Using our appearances as extremely vicious looking travelers, we scared them off into not wanting to come any closer. Luo Luo says it was because of our clothing, and after all, Shao Zhong was the Third Prince Nezha’s disciple, and as he descended down into the mortal realm, he wore clothing made by celestial maidens. And myself, I wore the clothing that Bi Qingshen Jun had brought me, but knowing that I was picky, he chose one made from cotton and fabric, which was also very gentle, and was material only people of rich families could afford. Although Jian Nan and Luo Luo were dressed very simply, they did not appear as if they were children from poor families either.
The people around us had scared my hair standing. I swept a glance towards the people around, and found that there was no one familiar and no one who would give me trouble, thus allowing me to relax and call the Xiao Er over to order food.
Hearing me call out, the Xiao Er rigidly walked over, and his speech had become stammered. He had also reported the our order wrong several times, and kept trying to take a peek under my veil.
I was very dissatisfied with this work attitude, so I grasped the menu: 5 Flavour Roasted Chicken, Xijing Marinated Fish, Eight Treasures Carp…..
Hearing the order, the Xiao Er had finally recovered, his face glowed with a bit of colour. He kept nodding, but I did not expect Shao Zhong to cover my mouth and did not let me continue ordering, and then loudly shouted to the Xiao Er, “Bring us all of your cheapest dishes! Do not order any of the ones she ordered!”
The Xiao Er momentarily became disappointed, turned his head to look at me again, and the slowly left.
With my paws, I angrily slammed it onto the table, and asked, “Why am I not allowed to order food?”
Shao Zhong said with a darkened face, “Granny Cat, I beg you, we do not have that much money on us, and if we had ordered the dishes you picked, then even if we sold ourselves, we wouldn’t have enough to pay the bill!”
“Nonsense!” I pointed at my own nose and refuted, “I am worth 152 silvers! How would we not have enough if we sold ourselves?!”
Jian Nan immediately tried to smooth things over, “Don’t worry about it, let Shifu order, we have enough money to cover the bill.”
Shao Zhong made a ‘hmph’ sound towards me, “Do you also treat your Shifu to eat at home?”
I hurriedly lowered my head and remained silent…..suddenly feeling very sorry for Bi Qingshen Jun…..
A big plate of pie, a plate of plain buns, a plate of large cabbage buns, a plate of pickled vegetables, and a big pot of porridge arrived, and after Shao Zhong shoddily added money, he ordered for me a cheap plate of fried fish.
Whether it be at Luoying Mountain or Xuan Qing Palace, I have never eaten food as simple as this, but…..every piece was incomparably delicious, as Jian Nan had said, it must be because this meal was from our hard-earned money.
They really had courage for not touching that plate of small fish, and I had counted a total of eight fish, so I painstakingly and gritted my teeth as I split the fish into four portions, and then gave a portion to each person.
This was my first time sharing my food with others, but they all had returned one fish to me saying that they didn’t particularly like eating fish.
As I ate this scentless fish, my heart felt as if it was melting, and many many things had come to my understanding, but was separated by an unbreakable wall.
But what was that wall? Although I didn’t understand, there would be a day where I would understand, so I did not continue to think about it…..
After having my fill, Shao Zhong took out the copper coins to pay the bill, and I stared as the lovely money flow from our hands into the hands of others. I could not help but wave my paws goodbye to the money.
Out on the streets, we prepared to leave for Jian Nan’s residence to rest, and then go into the mountains to find wild game or maybe catch some fish. I held the two chains of copper coins in my hands and after five days of waiting, the trial down in the mortal realm would be over.
But I did not expect a fourteen or fifteen year youth would suddenly and slowly move towards us, and in an instant, accelerating his speed, he rushed towards Shao Zhong. Shao Zhong moved to the away to the side, but the boy suddenly fell, and so he had to reach out his hand to help him.
Out of the blues, the youth pulled off Shao Zhong’s money bag, and then turned around the corner and fled.
In the face of this cat, to steal something, is it not showing meager skills to an expert? Therefore I quickly sprang up and pounced forward to block his way, and then gently tapping the wall, I created cracks and tears, and then I murderously stared at him.
The youth refused to give up, he wanted to turn around and escape from behind, but Shao Zhong armed with his twin blades had already blockaded his retreat, trapping him in the middle.
The corners of my lips began to curve as began to think about how I would deal with this petty little thief. At the minimum, I would have to at least beat him severely, and then let him understand what it was he did wrong.
But this youth all of a sudden, knelt down, and cried for mercy, “Lords and ladies, please forgive me, this little one has no choice but to choose this profession, I have an eighty year old mother at home and a five-year old child at home, my mother is sick and the child hungry, so I was forced to steal money to buy medicine, please forgive me!”
This…..this sounds very pitiful, I know how both having an empty stomach and being sick sounds like, but it is indeed excusable. Shao Zhong’s face also became tolerating, so he reclaimed the copper coins that were stolen, and then handed him 30 of copper coins from his two chains, and let him slide away with it.
After he traveled some far distance away, Luo Luo very quietly said, “There’s this thing…..I…..I don’t know if I should say it…..”
“Speak.” The me that was currently in a very good mood waved my hands.
“That…..that…..he appears to be around 15 years old…..isn’t his mother giving birth to him at 65 years old…..and then him giving birth at ten…..”
“What’s wrong with that? I know of a cat that gave birth at one.” I dismissively waved my hands, “And here I thought you were going to tell us something important.”
Shao Zhong’s expression became angry once again.