Chapter 120 – Playing for the Deaf (1)
It was just past 1pm. At this hour, Defeng Teahouse didn’t have much of a crowd, so Royal Princess Duanjia and Chu Lian picked a private room and settled in. It was still an hour before the show would start.
At the same time as their arrival, someone else was already sitting in the best private room there was. High on the second floor, the room had a good view of everything happening in the teahouse. As he scanned the area, Xiao Bojian’s eyes lit up. His deep gaze settled upon the sole person he was waiting for.
She had come! Lian’er had come!
Xiao Bojian tightly gripped his teacup, barely restraining his excitement. The liquid in the cup trembled with his shaking hands. In his agitated state, Xiao Bojian only managed to drink half a sip of tea..
Xiao Bojian turned his gaze to the young girl accompanying Chu Lian. They were about the same height, but there was no mistaking her identity. Upon recognizing her, the smile he hadn’t been able to hold back dampened.
His narrowed eyes lowered even further. He didn’t understand why Royal Princess Duanjia was out with Chu Lian. They even looked like they were close friends, talking and laughing together.
Somewhere else in Defeng Teahouse, Prince Jin and Tang Yan had already chosen the private room next to Royal Princess Duanjia and Chu Lian’s. They were able to settle down without being seen, thanks to their guards.
Suddenly, One appeared out of the shadows in Xiao Bojian’s private room, respectfully asking, “Master, what are your orders?”
Xiao Bojian shot a look in the direction of Chu Lian’s private room. Then, he turned to One and whispering something into his ear. One received his orders and left.
Within Chu Lian’s private room, Royal Princess Duanjia was holding her teacup in her hands, slowly sipping her honey water mouthful by mouthful, bored out of her mind. She looked up at the woman sitting opposite her and her excitement grew. For some reason, she could get along very well with Chu Liu.
Thinking back to the professional tea brewer they had chased out of the room earlier, Royal Princess Duanjia’s lips pressed into a smile. “Hey, Chu Liu, why don’t you like to drink sencha?”
“The taste is too complicated, I don’t like it.”
Most people liked sencha in this time, especially the process of brewing sencha. They liked to treat it like an art form, adding all kinds of spices, classifying the various types of tea and determining their different flavours, as if it was something sophisticated. However, Chu Lian had just deemed the entire process ‘too complicated’, like it was silly to fuss over something as small as brewing a cup of sencha. How interesting!
Royal Princess Duanjia seemed to think that Chu Lian disliked things because she knew of something better.
“Chu Liu, what kind of tea is even tastier than sencha?”
Since Royal Princess Duanjia had asked so eagerly, Chu Lian quickly replied without thinking, “Mingqian tea and Yuqian…”
Even before she had finished speaking, Chu Lian knew she had messed up. She quickly stopped talking.
The Great Wu Dynasty didn’t have any proper green tea at all, let alone the high-grade types of mountain-grown tea like Mingqian tea and Yuqian tea. Hadn’t she just put her foot into her own mouth?!
Chu Lian regretted her words so much.
When Royal Princess Duanjia saw that she had stopped speaking halfway, she immediately kept asking. “Hey, Chu Liu, you can’t just stop like that! What’s that Mingqian tea you were talking about? Explain it to me now!”
Chu Lian had a conflicted expression on her face. How was she supposed to explain it? The Great Wu Dynasty didn’t even have a proper tea plantation. If she were to explain further, wouldn’t the princess turn speechless?
While she was worrying over how to explain things to the princess, there was a knock at the door.
Royal Princess Duanjia shot a look at her handmaid. A moment later, the handmaid returned, leading a clean-looking waiter into the room.
“Princess, it’s a waiter. He’s brought some snacks.”
Royal Princess Duanjia nodded. The quick-witted waiter laid out Defeng Teahouse’s specialty confections on the table before carefully taking out a narrow necked bottle from a box. He then explained in a prim manner, “Esteemed guests, this is a complimentary bottle of mead from the teahouse. The owner happens to be celebrating a happy occasion today, so every guest will receive a portion. The formula used to brew this mead has been passed down in the owner’s family for generations, and the flavour is excellent. Dear guests, would you like to try some?”