Chapter 106: Scraps
Translator: Irene Editor: Pranav
As Mingxiu strolled towards the embroidery workshop, she couldn't help but smile at the thought of Brother Li Wei's clumsy appearance from earlier. Every few days or so Brother Li Wei would bring some wild animals. In the past, he had brought them over alive, but now they were all roasted and marinated with high-grade honey. Sometimes, he would even bring dipping sauce, and Mingxiu couldn't help but always eat a lot.
Really! How could he offer meat to a girl every time? What if I get fat?
But each time she saw Brother Li Wei's bewildered expression, she couldn't help but eat her fill. Plus, the food tasted great. There was softness within Brother Li Wei's tough appearance; he was a simple man, and chatting with him had soon become the happiest part of her day.
Brother Li Wei would talk about the front line, battles with dire beasts, and the kinds of strange plants that lived within the Wilderness. And on the other hand, she would talk to him about the workshop and her embarrassing childhood stories, making him laugh out loud each time. She, too, would convulse with laughter upon hearing the stories.
She was quite frustrated. She would usually appear to be gentle and quiet, so why did she reveal her true self in front of Brother Li Wei?
They shared many little secrets. For example, only the two of them knew that Duanmu Huanghun was the mysterious naked man. The only thing she couldn't understand was why Huanghun had addressed himself as Bangwan?
Thinking about how Bangwan had fallen into such a pitiable state because of her chase made her subconsciously stick out her tongue. Brother Li Wei had said that Bangwan was definitely being mischievous and had proceeded to tell her about the many bad things he had done when he was in school, which made Mingxiu stare at him with wide eyes.
Mingxiu then talked about the bad things she had done in school as well, stunning Brother Li Wei completely. His expression had made her feel a little proud.
Time flew by when they were together.
As she entered the workshop, she regained focus and went into work mode. She had been assisting her master by being in charge of the workshop for a long time now, and practically managed all work-related matters, whether big or small. Mingxiu always concentrated at work-if one became distracted while embroidering, it was incredibly easy to make a mistake.
Although her master frequently praised her talent, Mingxiu felt she was only just a little more meticulous and focused.
Speaking of talent, Ai Hui was the real deal. Even Brother Li Wei complimented him non-stop and tried so hard to pull him into the Infantry Division.
"See, there's fog now. It's starting again!"
"How hard-working! Is he a sand puppet? He doesn't seem to get tired."
The shocked voices of the embroidery ladies could be heard throughout the workshop, and Mingxiu knew that they were referring to Ai Hui. She diverted her gaze towards the workroom. Mist rose against the window like a dire beast that had just woken up from a deep slumber and started spitting fog.
Ai Hui had commenced his training for the day.
Mingxiu was moved. Her junior's natural talent was already shocking, yet his diligent attitude far exceeded hers as well. She was in complete admiration.
Other than occasionally visiting the training hall, Ai Hui devoted all his time to practicing his embroidery. Since eating rice wasted too much time, he had previously brought heaps of dried food into the workroom.
Ai Hui had a sand puppet with amazing culinary skills who specialized in elemental food. The dried food was exquisitely made and contained a pretty good amount of elemental energy.
Mingxiu was aware that in the Cultivation Era, there was a group of cultivators who were known as "bitterness cultivators" as their training was always tedious and tough. From what she observed, if Ai Hui had been in the Cultivation Era, he most definitely would have been a "bitterness cultivator."
Eating in the workroom, sleeping in the workroom, training right after waking up, eating when hungry, sleeping when tired-the stinky herbal medicinal smell that she considered unpleasant was like a sweet syrup to Ai Hui. Before he had appeared, she had never known how arduous training could be.
Within a short period of time, Ai Hui had become the embroidery ladies' idol. Actions always spoke louder than words; although he never engaged in much conversation with the girls, his actions had already convinced all of them.
Such perverse perseverance was always highly revered.
In the beginning, Mingxiu had been a little worried that Ai Hui's health would be damaged. She had some level of medical expertise because of her brother, and with that knowledge, she checked on Ai Hui's body regularly. However, she had found that he was very healthy, and what she was worried about did not happen.
After a few observations, she realized that Ai Hui had an excellent understanding of his own body's condition. He would always rest just before reaching his limits, never overexerting himself.
Mingxiu was greatly shocked. She didn't know how Ai Hui had done it, but she nevertheless set her worries aside.
What she didn't understand, however, was that recently, the Twilight Silk Ai Hui had been churning out had become shorter and shorter. The recent batches of silk were only a meter long. If it had not been for the fact that each batch's silks were uniform in length, she would've suspected that something went wrong with his training. It seemed more like he was experimenting.
Previously, the money-grubbing look he had on his face after producing a silk that was over ten meters long had greatly irritated Master.
Yet, he had no such look when he was training, and it was apparent that he didn't see the Twilight Silk as money.
Scraps weren't worth much yet his silk steadily grew shorter and shorter. He was losing a lot of money each day. When she thought about how his heart must be aching, she wanted to laugh.
But, while the silks were getting shorter, the quantity was increasing. He had actually managed to use up two Twilight Cocoons in a single day.
The accumulated pile of Twilight Silk that he had pulled out was impressive. In order to prevent wastage, the workshop had been using the silk as sewing thread. Although it was quite a pity to use such a quality material as thread, the Twilight Silk was indeed tough.
Her junior was in trouble, and Mingxiu couldn't help but feel a bit of schadenfreude.
Ever since Master felt that Ai Hui wasn't passionate about embroidery, her whole countenance had changed-no, she mustn't say that about Master-it was her style of teaching that changed.
All the materials used were recorded and accounted for, and Mingxiu saw the amount Ai Hui owed increase non-stop. At this point, he was going to have to sell himself to the workshop.
Even Master couldn't do anything about it, but she continued keeping track of the material usage records, not overcharging a single cent.
Mingxiu helped Ai Hui sell a batch of Twilight Silk, and while it wasn't worth much, it was something. A pity such short lengths were worthless. She sold over a hundred pieces at five yuan each.
Mingxiu snapped out of her thoughts upon hearing her name being called. When she saw that it was the frequent visitor, Manager Li, a warm smile appeared on her face as she greeted, "Manager Li, long time no see. How's business nowadays?"
Manager Li was about forty years old and was a sharp-witted man. He hurriedly responded, "Thanks to you, it's been okay. I have come to buy a batch of Twilight Silk scraps."
Mingxiu was slightly taken aback. "You've finished using the hundred pieces from before?"
"Yes, a new order came in coincidentally." Manager Li maintained a harmonious smile and continued, "I am thinking of purchasing more this time but am not sure if the shop still has it?"
Mingxiu nodded. "How many would you like?"
"Give me whatever you have." Manager Li added quickly, "The consumption rate is high and fast. Do you have stock?"
Mingxiu smiled. "Let me check."
Manager Li said hastily, "Thanks for your trouble."
However, Mingxiu's smile disappeared the moment she turned around. She had a pensive look on her face as she strode over the doorstep to enter the hall. She immediately gave an order to the servant girl beside her, "Take a few pieces of Twilight Silk that Junior has pulled. No, I'll take it myself. Where is the pile?"