The manager took the rouge, put it onto the shelf, and smiled. “Miss, I am afraid that this is a rouge shop, not a spice shop. I apologise, but if you go out and turn left, there’s a spice shop one street away.”


“No, you have it here.” Piao Xu’s voice became lower and lower as her body leaned forward; she rolled her sleeves up as a subtle glint flickered across her eyes.


Su Xi-er didn’t know what the manager saw, but his smile suddenly changed before he started to behave mysteriously. After a moment however, the only difference observers would be able to find would be him behaving more respectfully to Piao Xu.  


“Miss, why didn’t you say that you wanted that type of rouge earlier? It is exclusive; come to the backyard with me.” The manager took Piao Xu to the backyard.


When they almost entered the curtain door, the manager saw Su Xi-er and immediately instructed a young woman. “Go and see what that Miss needs.”


The manager had been in business for a long time, and was familiar with different rouge, foundation, and women’s clothing. She could tell with one look that the long pink dress Su Xi-er wore was made of excellent fabric, a sign that they should treat her well.


Following the manager’s gaze, Piao Xu took a few extra glances at Su Xi-er when she realised that the latter was very beautiful.


“Miss, this way please.” The manager lifted the curtain up and extended her hand to invite Piao Xu in.


Piao Xu quickly returned her attention to the manager and nodded before following her in.


Back in the antechamber of the shop, the shop assistant was full of smiles and very cordial. “Miss, is this your first time here? I’ve never seen you before. What kind of rouge and foundation do you need?” 


Su Xi-er shook her head on purpose. “No, I have already been here a few times, as well as purchased several things.” Her words were half true. I have been here as Ning Rulan, but never as Su Xi-er.


The shop assistant looked surprised. “How can it be? You are so beautiful that I would remember you with one look. If you have been here a few times already, why do you look so unfamiliar to me?”


“Perhaps you weren’t in the shop when I was here. Anyways, I will only need a dark coloured powder rouge today.”


The shop assistant was even more shocked when she heard this. “Dark coloured? You are young and beautiful, why use those outdated colours? Dark colours are for women in their forties. They’re not suitable for you.”


“Just bring them over.” Su Xi-er’s tone was certain, stopping all of the shop assistant’s questions.


I have no choice if she is so insistent on dark colours, even if they’re unsuitable for her.


“Miss, our shop only has one type of dark coloured rouge. Take a look and smell to check if it’s alright?” The shop assistant said as she took out a small box.


Su Xi-er took it over, opened it. It has a bit of a peach blossom fragrance that you won’t notice if you don’t smell carefully. The colour is also appropriate for my purposes. “I will take this box. How much is it?”


The shop assistant smiled. “A tael of fine silver.”


In Nanzhao’s number one rouge store, most ordinary rouge and foundation would cost a tael of silver. However, rouge stores all had a quirk ー they would add in special flowers in each rouge and foundation, even including the Purple Fragrance flowers from Xiliu nation.


Therefore, rouge stores were usually only patronised by the wealthy. For ordinary families, they would only use the groom’s betrothal gifts to buy rouge if their daughter was getting married.


Su Xi-er took a tael of silver from her purse and handed it to the shop assistant, who then smiled and accepted it before handing her the wrapped box.


“Do you need anything else?”


Su Xi-er deliberately acted puzzled and said, “I was going to buy a box of rouge and then head to the spice workshop. Just now, I heard the manager say that there is spice here. Why don’t I buy them together?”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Sangria

TLC: Rakumon


Rakumon: I wonder what Ning Anlian is up to again...