A Maiden's Strange Voyage - 第1章: A Strange Girl | Penana
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Fantasy
Manga
A Maiden's Strange Voyage
Writer EndlessMidnightMoon
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  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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A Maiden's Strange Voyage
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第1章: A Strange Girl
EndlessMidnightMoon
May 14, 2018
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10 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!5DkCCcxXoapeLzZA7ALPposted on PENANA

If anyone asked what she thought of the woman standing before her, chances were it was odd. And even if it was, Chaoyun was curious. Since she took over for her mother when it came to this customer. Curiosity had been something that factored in heavily, when it came to which tables she will take. copyright protection33PENANA1NCCxLnHY8

Since there were also other servers. And some preferred a boy rather than a girl. But the woman was a little slow, as she still looked through the menu above her. Paper was still expensive, and could only be used to write words. copyright protection33PENANA53LqGnCel1

So a board was given, when they simply wrote their menu on the front of it. And she read from it slowly. Although even Chaoyun knew all of it. And it wasn’t all too hard. Just quite different. And it was different enough as it is. copyright protection33PENANAoKf9kfKrQv

As much as she preferred her over her other options. One of which had been a daughter of a rich merchant, given that she was able to come here on her own. And took the chance to demand, as much as she could. Even boasting of how interesting her father was. As though it will have caught Chaoyun who was attracted based by curiosity and she never did have it. As she was simple, and didn’t have much life experience. Even worse than Chaoyun, who had dealt with plenty of them before. As a young child when she began this. copyright protection33PENANAgRiTtQFRxD

One of the reasons why she dealt with unusual customers or incredibly important ones, as she was always able to have them leave satisfied. And a reason why she was often approached to handle more tables, but refused. copyright protection33PENANA0DHM4oaHCv

If anything, she came at the right moment. Her entry had been something which turned plenty of heads, for a woman dressed only in red, her hair worn into a high bun. With poise and elegance that one might think she belonged to the imperial court, as a concubine or a wife of a high ranking official. Not in this restaurant, in a small town far away from Kaifeng or Luoyang, the two most important cities in Song China. copyright protection33PENANAI0fYazdU13

She took a seat far and right in front of the window, which was away from that girl. Who will be fuming that she lost to someone like her. Even if many agreed, she will have outclassed that girl. But she simply chose to entertain her. copyright protection33PENANApiUIcozRg6

And the other was her usual customer, except that he ate as it was. And took the chance to show off his skill, at least when it came to the guqin. Which was an instrument typically with around four to six strings. Sometimes it could stretch further than the norm. At least that was what she heard. As did most instruments, but out here even looking at one of them was rare. Much less see what others could do. The woman took a glance at him, as he played, charming most of the crowd. copyright protection33PENANAuhKb3Ozdvc

Knowing that she should get her attention back, if she wanted to be able to move on faster. copyright protection33PENANAIecYcmyqhz

“Our menu is on the board there.” Which had been written by a man so pleased with them that he took a well carved wooden board and took the time to slowly do it. He was a learned man displaced by disaster, and much of his family gone. But didn’t have much luck in finding employment. copyright protection33PENANAuHRoq3NZV4

“Don’t you have other tables to go to?” Seeing as Chaoyun stood there not doing anything. While all the others could have been seen running around. She simply looked away, not having a good explanation for this. “I’m not that special.”copyright protection33PENANA5plQBpFaCb

“I’ll take the order first.” copyright protection33PENANAmlpzkCWS3d

“You’re the daughter of the owner, Bai Yi’er aren’t you?” She asked. While looking at her, for a moment. Even if many said that she looked nothing alike with her mother, clearly because she was a girl she had found as an infant. copyright protection33PENANArxVjWlnJki

Not her own child. Something which she never hid from Chaoyun. “Chaoyun, Bai Chaoyun. Although are you sure that your mother never had lessons when it came to words?” copyright protection33PENANAOqH9gjyVub

“Certain. It was the name she kept when she adopted me.”copyright protection33PENANA6RxwqR9nJc

“An interesting choice, as most women who adopt are either desperate or hope to have a child. On the other hand, it seems that she adopted you perhaps out of necessity and obligation.” copyright protection33PENANABbJwuFRRpb

She shrugged. No matter what, her mother still had raised her with that knowledge, rather than just keeping a secret. copyright protection33PENANAadCSnTbWOF

If anything she never seemed to have thought that she was her child, but at the same time was her mother. In a sense, it wasn’t something that many will say that it was right. Other than it was ambiguous of her motives behind such a choice. copyright protection33PENANA8VwFsXwCkf

Bur to her, it had never really mattered. Even if it had, it never seemed to have affected her life adversely. If at all. She had cared for her, sometimes even better than some parents did to their own children. Had never treated her as an extra hand, not fully. Realising that she could do with a good childhood if she could afford one. copyright protection33PENANAOVqysVdjND

“It isn’t that important. All that matters is that she cared for me for all my life.” Although she could think about taking the order faster, although she wasn’t naturally keen. Given the fact that she was wishing to avoid the one customer she hoped to. copyright protection33PENANAvXQ7Pe00aP

On this end, she was able to do so. And she will just stay here. If she could. “That is certainly true.” copyright protection33PENANAGiLdXeauQv

Knowing that this was the right time before she will have begun to hear some nudges. Since this was a little too much for anyone’s liking. Which was quite true and right. copyright protection33PENANAKErbcT6qcT

“Yes. So may I take your order?” She gave an awkward smile. copyright protection33PENANA3IQUPF8QGi

“I’ll take the signature.” She went off to give it to her mother at the end. Ready to give to her mother. And handling it. Heading into the kitchen, where she dropped the order by her mother. Who told it to the cook. copyright protection33PENANAGnBsAzGK3w

Her came out, her hair work into a tight bun. She was in her mid thirties by this point, her face had never been anything to boast of. Rough hands due to years mostly cooking, washing and cleaning. She helped on most days, the same for all children here. Since few had parents who were merchants or scholars, hence an extra hand was more than welcome. More than able to just walk out, since today was not nearly as busy. Able to have Chaoyun decide to just take a few tables here and there. copyright protection33PENANAgNbHYoB5OO

Although most of whom she did were people she knew, or had become friends within a short amount of time. Delivering the next order to the man playing the guqin. Who gave her a wink. Before she returned to waiting for the woman’s order. copyright protection33PENANAYSwPMmuUcb

Not long after, an order will have come. Tonight was a full house by all means. The boy rushed in to take the plate. He was called XiaoYan, and was two years younger than she was. With parents who were in need of cash. Her mother did need a hand, and she took him. And gave him some of the leftovers if they had any, or extra ingredients which could not be used or saved for tomorrow. She handed it to him, since he handled quite a bit of the entire place.. “Thanks.” copyright protection33PENANAdTyPl8o1Ts

Large by all means, since they were popular here. Travelers came for the food, and her mother used it as a chance to expand as much as she could. Hence the need to hire as many as she did, and being able to do as much as copyright protection33PENANAyagKRf8tkX

“How about you just take more so that bit gets a break?” Her mother asked her. She did try it, as successful as that was. By the end, she simply too exhausted to even maintain the kind of quality which made this place how it was. With a girl interested in listening to tales by people from far away. Or even stories which has had very little chance to ever be heard. copyright protection33PENANAhjPN8C9Cwm

She sighed. Since she did feel bad for him, and her mother will allow her to go more often for trips. “I’ll look for a few more.” Although Yan was suggesting to her about the customer who was seeking her no matter the time. And she was going to ignore that girl to the end. She swore that on her ability to impress. copyright protection33PENANAOKgnzBvXDp

As much as she didn’t want to have to conform to the almost perfect standards of her copyright protection33PENANAqczGWrV5Ug

“And here is the order.” One of the cooks, a middle aged woman. Named Xue. She took it out into the hall, looking for the woman. Who stayed beside the door, taking the nearest seat she saw. copyright protection33PENANA2czSZHu9k1

“Are you sure that you don’t have any more work?” Turning around just to see the one person who should be there. A servant who had made it his duty to approach her at last, likely being at a loss of what to do. “Or you don’t feel likecopyright protection33PENANAw8LMvko1i1

Often dressing in a way or acting in a way which set them apart. And that was how she usually took on tables. As he was often terrible at them, while she made hers personalized. Able to do so. copyright protection33PENANAqJe0pbrlgm

“Are you finding this alright?” She asked the woman. copyright protection33PENANABjyacySGHc

“Fine. If I ask for some wine?” The woman took a bite. With a certain smile, before she retreated. Since she was going to buy a bottle herself. Heading into the kitchen, where she is facing with a smile. copyright protection33PENANAIdlt0ROoS7

“Anything to add?” Xue looked at her. Handing poor Hao a few plates. Which he juggled quite well. copyright protection33PENANAqjQEkgQMB6

“A bottle of wine. For the woman.” She didn’t specify, but most of the time Chaoyun was trusted to make a good judgement regardless of the time. copyright protection33PENANA8cqHnCfgjX

“Are you going to try and talk to her. You could actually spend time taking care of the other matters. It’s not really as important as your own curiosity.” The woman looked at her from above, as much as Chaoyun tried to look away. Not intending to listen to it any further. copyright protection33PENANAs1bNvbEjAx

Although that held weight, but to Chaoyun it was something that she couldn’t even avoid. Not at all, having food on her plate, never worrying about the next meal. It simply made her curious about the world, and the need to satisfy it. copyright protection33PENANAr0QhFaxvW9

Rather than be gracious, and content with what she knew. She dreamt of what she could see. From the time as a child, where the first time was a man who once told tales to her. It was something that she wanted. copyright protection33PENANAC5m2NKF20Y

She ignored her, simply waiting for that bottle to come. A chance to be able to do something. And get away from her. Because her mother never said anything, which to her was all she needed. Especially in this context, since the woman who was telling her this had not been someone that should have mattered. copyright protection33PENANA0s0cgvnVPY

She left into the hall. Slowly walking through it, avoiding the one table in the middle. Which made her wonder what sort of luck did she have to be in the middle of the restaurant. It made her life difficult, as she went to the furthest table. And avoiding it at any cost. copyright protection33PENANAtgZkyFv6bs

Which made taking any table other than the ones on the ends of the restaurant impossible. Well, she had her excuse if she needed them. copyright protection33PENANAgNxCQkmvnm

“Please wait, Miss.” She walked faster to avoid the man. To avoid him from managing to catch her. Or managing to convince her otherwise. She liked to be able to move freely, and only picked when she was forced to. copyright protection33PENANAuoPuA6ZY1P

She avoided him as much as possible without having her food topple over. However, she didn’t notice something. Something that was at the end the most important, as she fell head first into the floor. The wine spilling all over the place. copyright protection33PENANAWv5WPEBkLM


Author's note: And this concludes the first chapter of A Maiden's Strange Voyage, and there will be more to come in the next week. Do tell if you have enjoyed the series, and if you have any thoughts as to how the works looks as of now. Chaoyun, was both entertaining and a little difficult to write (but not nothing I can't handle yet.)copyright protection33PENANAM1AjDrE0X2

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