After that, Yi Ti accompanied Cecil to scan some strange things and it was packed in a sack as a “sign of friendship” from a stall owner, so the people on the street saw such a weird scene—— a handsome man shopping with his girlfriend while holding hands and carrying a bulging sack…
Wandering like this, it was noon before they knew it.
Yi Ti and Cecil put the sacks into the space in a place with no one around. She then swept the area with her divine sense, incidentally found a tea house nearby that had very good business, and decided to go!
So the two walked toward that place.
Cecil held Yi Ti’s hand with one hand and held a frog-shaped object he just bought in his other hand, playing with it, seemingly full of interest.
Yi Ti didn’t know where that rusted copper thing was interesting but as long as he liked it.
The two were lucky. When they walked into the tea house, a table of guests just left on the second floor, and their location was near the window. They sat down on the chairs, watching the streets where many pedestrians come and go while leisurely sipping tea and eating refreshments, enjoying the pleasures of life.
In all fairness, Yi Ti didn’t like eating in teahouses, but once in a while was fine. After picking up the menu, she quickly ordered siu mai, shrimp dumplings, glutinous rice chicken, and others as well as a pot of tea, then waited patiently.
And Cecil, sitting across from her, was still seriously playing with the frog in his hand.
Yi Ti asked a little jealously: “Is it that interesting?”
“Very funny.” The young man nodded decisively as he replied.
“Where is it fun?”
“It only has three legs.”
Yi Ti: “…” Just that? But…
She curiously took the toad from him and took a closer look: “It really only has three legs, can it even stand firm?”
“No problem, it made a triangle so it’s stable.” Cecil said in a somewhat teacher-like manner, “This is proven in your knowledge. Take any two sides of the triangle, then the non-common endpoints of the two edges are connected by the third edge, and then…”
Someone suddenly laughed from the table next to them.
Because of her divine sense, Yi Ti easily knew that the other party was looking at them while laughing. She turned her head, slightly embarrassed. The one who laughed turned out to be a middle-aged uncle wearing a black Tai Chi suit. He seemed to be about 40 years old. There were a few empty plates, a pot of tea, and a teacup in front of him. It looked like he was about to get up and leave.
He saw the two of them look over and said with a smile: “Little girl, you’re not locals, right? Came here to play?”
Yi Ti nodded: “En, that’s right, but we don’t quite understand this.” Anyway, if they don’t understand, then they don’t. There was nothing to be ashamed of.
Seeing that she admitted she’s a novice very frankly, the smile on this middle-aged uncle’s face became deeper. He then said: “You are holding a three-legged toad.”
“It’s a toad.”
“Isn’t it a frog?”
Seeing the uncle about to choke, Yi Ti laughed dryly. Okay, she really couldn’t distinguish between frogs and toads. Taking a closer look, it really seemed to be a toad but she seemed to have heard the term three-legged toad before. When she used to go to the antique street before, they have also read some so-called “information” madly, but in the end, she had almost forgotten all about it. She vaguely remembered…
“The three-legged toad meant fortune, right?”
“Yes.” The uncle nodded then pointed, “It’s the best product of the wealthy. Generally speaking, in addition to having three legs, it must have a Tai Ji Liang Yi* on top of its head, the Big Dipper* on it’s back, and two strings of copper held in its mouth.”
Yi Ti took a closer look: “No, it just had three feet.” Taiji, Big Dipper, copper coins, there’s none at all!
The uncle coughed slightly with a smile.
Yi Ti was taken aback and was in tears: That meant the one who made this fake was simply lazy!
She held her forehead. However, she never thought of it as a genuine product.
The uncle spoke again: “But looking at the shape and rust, it should be an old object made decades ago. It’s nice to keep this little thing.”
Yi Ti handed the thing back to Cecil, nodding and smiling: “It’ll be an antique after a few hundred years.”
The middle-aged man in Tai Chi suit was stunned, and then laughed: “That’s right.” Afterward, he asked, “Little girl didn’t come here for a lucky pick, right?” If so, afraid they wouldn’t have such a good mentality.
Yi Ti nodded: “En, an elder is celebrating his birthday and I was planning on buying a gift.”
“That’s a good choice.” The middle-aged man said implicitly, “You can also go to the store to have a look.”
“This is how we planned it.” Yi Ti replied, feeling the kindness of the other party.
At this moment, the waiter in the restaurant came over with what Yi Ti ordered.
Don’t know if there’s water on the floor or some other reason, when he walked to their table, his body suddenly staggered and was about to fall on the two of them.
When everyone was sitting, the person standing was naturally attention-grabbing. Therefore, some people would look at the waiter intentionally or unintentionally. Seeing him about to fall, many people’s throats overflowed with shocked voices, but in the next second, the young man, who had been sitting, stood up at some unknown point, his right hand firmly supported the waiter’s body while his left hand turned in an arc, easily straightening the tray that was about to tilt.
Many people and even the middle-aged uncle who was talking to them just now brightened up. They obviously hadn’t thought that the young man, who seemed very good-tempered, would have such a side.
“Sorry, sorry, thank you…” The waiter quickly put the things in his hands on the table, then repeated his apologies, and thanks.
Yi Ti looked at Cecil who shyly said “it’s nothing”, smiled then put the things in the tray on the table, her elbow accidentally knocking the three-legged toad on the table to the ground.
After a muffled “bang”, a clearly visible seam was on its shell.
She picked it up quickly, and after taking a closer look, looked at Cecil guiltily: “Sorry, it was broken by me.”
“It’s okay.” Cecil took out from his pocket (actually from his space) another three-legged toad exactly like this one and very reliably said, “actually, I bought three.”
Yi Ti: “…” He actually knew how to buy spare parts, not bad.
She sighed and she simply stuffed the split three-legged toad into her pocket.
Immediately after, the two ate. Of course, Yi Ti was actually the one mainly eating. And during the meal, they continued to chat with the uncle they encountered. While chatting, the uncle simply went to their table, and a few new guests, who couldn’t find a place were, moved to tears.
It was Yi Ti and the uncle talking but later, her main business was to eat so the person in conversation became Cecil. She had to say, he seemed really interested in such things. When listening to someone speaking, his serious expression was almost like a student about to take the college entrance examination. This undoubtedly aroused the uncle’s strong affection and hidden desire to be a teacher.
So the trio’s situation became like this——
Talking talking talking.
Listening listening listening.
Eating eating eating.
In the middle, Yi Ti waved her hand and ordered a few more refreshments. While eating, she smiled and watched Cecil speak. Except for her, she rarely saw him chatting so inquisitively with other people.
After more than an hour, when Yi Ti stuffed the last fried dumpling in her mouth, the uncle also picked up the already cold teacup in front of him and drank it. He smiled at the young man, who had taken out a notebook to write notes at some point, then asked: “Say, do you want to be my apprentice?”
Of course, he was just joking.
With his eyesight, he naturally saw that these two young people couldn’t do it, but didn’t expect…
“May I?” Starry eyes.
Yi Ti coughed slightly, then said: “Uncle Hai, sorry, he’s really interested in this.”
“Hahaha, I see it.” The uncle laughed, ‘How about it? Do you want to visit my shop? I’ll show you something good.”
During the chat just now, this middle-aged man, who called himself “Uncle Hai”, mentioned that he had an antique shop on this street, but this was expected. He could enjoy tea in a teahouse wearing a Tang suit, meaning he’s a local customer and he didn’t seem to be the type to set up a stall.
Of course, Yi Ti, who was going to buy something, had no opinion. So after paying the bill, the two followed him out together.
After walking for about two hundred meters, Sun Hai stopped, and said: “We’ve arrived.”
Yi Ti looked up and was surprised to find that the words “YeHeJu” were written on the plaque. Uncle Hai was the boss of YeHeJu?
“So Uncle Hai, you’re the boss of YeHeJu,” Cecil said directly.
“What? You’ve heard of it?”
“Uncle Hai, is your surname Sun?” Yi Ti asked.
“Yes, my surname is Sun, given name Hai.”
“Then, do you know someone named Zhao MingQi?”
“Little Zhao?” Sun Hai raised his brow, “Do you know him?”
“En, he introduced us to come here.”
Originally, the “Boss Sun” that Zhao MingQi said was Sun Hai. After knowing that they were actually “introduced by little Zhao”, Uncle Hai laughed loudly, and repeatedly said with emotion, “this is fate.” He then directly stated that they would also be discounted for this meeting.
And so, the three people walked into the store one after another.
*太极, Tàijí, the Absolute or Supreme Ultimate, the source of all things according to some interpretations of Chinese mythology
*两仪, liǎngyí, heaven and earth / yin, and yang
*北斗七星, běidǒuqīxīng, Ursa Major / Great Bear / Big Dipper