Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Before Ye Qingxuan came to Avalon, Wolf Flute had promised him that his letter of recommendation would be sent to the school, allowing him to take the exam. But now Ye Qingxuan was at a loss because everyone told him that there had been no sign of the letter anywhere.
The banquet had already begun. He was waiting with Old Phil at the door, but had no idea how much longer they would have to wait.
Some distance away by the entrance, Sidney was still wandering anxiously.
“Still not here? The dinner is about to start.”
Sidney frowned and looked at his pocket watch. When he saw the young man wandering nearby, he became even more irritated, “Why is he still here? Someone, take him…”
Halfway through his sentence, he heard a carriage coming from afar. With handsome black horses pulling it, the luxurious carriage quietly parked in front of the hall. Sidney’s face suddenly lit up, and he walked quickly to the carriage.
Ye Qingxuan turned around and looked hopefully at the carriage. He was hoping to see a messenger step out, and gave him his very late letter of recommendation.
“But a messenger cannot afford such a carriage,” a voice whispered in his heart. “Do you see the gold-plated handle on the door? A messenger working together with you for a whole year wouldn’t be able to afford such a thing.”
The carriage slowly came to a stop, and the door was pushed open. The person who stepped down was no messenger, but a well-dressed young boy. His face was pale as if he had not seen the sun for a long time. His eyes were cold and arrogant.
“Master Banner!” Sidney wiped off his sweat and went up to greet the boy, “Why are you so late?”
“Left a bit late.” The blonde young man put his hand on Sidney’s arm to get out of the carriage. He quickly looked at the hall and remarked, “The dinner isn’t over yet.”
“It’d be better if you had come earlier, of course,” Sidney said laughing. He said softly, “You are only sixteen years old, and are already spoken of highly by Mr. Schuman. Your brother is already the concertmaster of the seniors. If the Adrian family produces another concertmaster, the influence from this generation will certainly be able beneficial to the family.”
“I know, so here I am,” Banner answered casually.
“You have nothing to worry about, I have already made the arrangements.” Sidney lowered his voice, “Once the president finishes with his speech, your solo will be next. No other candidate can compete with you. This is the first step to establish your reputation, and then I will…”
“Oh, you’ve worked hard.” Banner walked ahead expressionless, as if it had nothing to do with him.
When he saw Ye Qingxuan standing not far away, he frowned. “Who is he?”
“Some kid from downtown, no one significant.” Sidney did not even look at Ye, and only urged Banner to walk faster. “The president arrived a while ago, let’s not keep him waiting.”
Banner nodded, and looked back at the boy in front of him, “Excuse me, you are in my way, please let me pass.”
Until now Ye Qingxuan had not even realized that was blocking the young man. He was pushed aside by Sidney before he could react. He staggered, but silently let him through, saying nothing.
Banner saw his clothes and seemed to have understood something. His eyes became friendlier. “Do not wait here. It is not a place for a servant. Do not cause your master any trouble.”
Ye Qingxuan opened his mouth, wanting to say something, but nothing came out.
Banner looked away, and walked into the lively dinner hall.
Ye Qingxuan was silent. After a long time he looked down. He had wanted to say that he was not a servant, but compared to those rich and noble young men, he may as well have been.
He was no longer a young master, nor did he have the letter, so what was the point of sticking around?
He did not know what he was thinking, only that he was ridiculous. He shook his head and waved his hand at Old Phil, “Come on, Old Phil.” He said softly, “We are going home.”
“Why are you here?” When they got to the middle of the street, a man ran up to him, breathless. The middle-aged man was wearing a black school worker’s uniform, and seemed surprised for a moment, “Come with me.”
“What?” Ye Qingxuan was dumbfounded.
“Aren’t you the new guy? Didn’t you know to wait at the back door? Why did you come here?” He did not give Ye Qingxuan a chance to speak and grabbed him, “Don’t just stand here, we are going to be late.”
Ye Qingxuan was stunned for a moment, “You were looking for me?”
“Of course, who else would I be looking for?” The middle-aged man grabbed him, and made their way to a house. Ye Qingxuan knew something was not right. There were many servants in the house getting dressed. When they saw him, none of them seemed surprised, or said anything at all.
One of the servants who was dressed saw the man come in and smiled, “John, you found him?”
“This guy went to the front entrance, not sure why. It was rather troublesome.” John waved his hand and gave Ye Qingxuan a uniform. “Hurry up, the kitchen needs people!”
“The kitchen?” Ye Qingxuan blankly looked at the uniform in his arms, and suddenly understood. He felt depressed all of sudden. He forced a smile but it looked like he was crying. “Do I really look like a servant?”
Five minutes later, the white haired kid with a uniform carried plates and fixed his tie in front of the mirror.
Well, he did somewhat look like a servant…not!
Along the way, he could not help being pushed forward by a variety of people. Before he knew it, he was already at the kitchen.
The kitchen was crowded with people coming and going.
“Hurry, table four ran out of fruit platters…”
“Does anyone know where champagne is?”
“We ran out of fruit, what do we do?”
“Why did you buy so many sausages? Damn, the stupid guy in charge of purchasing mixed up the forms! He wrote the fruit’s price in the sausage’s…and wait, whose dog is this? Eh? Kinda cute…come over and let me see.”
In the kitchen, the cook who was waving the purchase forms and cursing stopped when she saw Old Phil. She went up to pet it. Old Phil’s eyes were only focused on the sausages. It did not even bite at her touch, only drooling for the sausages.
“Oh, do you like sausages?” The cook smiled at Old Phil’s greedy look, picked up two sausages, and carefully placed them front of it. Old Phil jumped over and began to eat feverishly. The cook carefully patted Old Phil on the back, and suddenly exclaimed, “Ah, look, look, so soft! I can pet it!”
A group of girls helping out in the kitchen suddenly took notice. They came together, “Ah, I want to pet too.”
“Yeah, it’s soft, like a cushion …”
Ye Qingxuan was standing on the side, speechless. He wanted to ask them, “Are you blind? Old Phil used to dominate the town of Lute. Children would cry whenever he gave them a stare…”
“Whose dog is this, how come I have never seen it?” The cook asked after she was done petting Old Phil.
“Uh, that…” Ye Qing Xuan raised his hand, “Is mine.”
The cook was surprised to see him, “Who are you?”
“Isn’t he the new guy from your kitchen staff?” said John.
“You idiot, this is an Easterner!” The cook pointed at Ye Qingxuan’s white hair. “Where did you find him?”
John was dumbfounded.
“Never mind, I came to look for a job anyway.” Ye Qingxuan quickly raised his hands, easing John’s embarrassment. He sighed. It seemed that the Royal Academy of Music was no longer a possibility, but at least he could fulfil his promise to Old Phil.
He gave Old Phil, who was enjoying his food, a quick look. He shook his head and sighed, “As long as you are happy.”
The cook gave him a look and also shook her head, “Never mind, the other guy must have left because the pay was too low. Why don’t you work for the night? I will pay you after. If you work hard, maybe you can stay.”
“Yeah.” Ye Qingxuan chuckled.
“What is the kitchen doing? Why so slow?!” Outside of the kitchen someone had asked loudly, “Are the truffles and caviars not ready yet?”
“Ready.” The cook quickly began to work, and signaled for Ye Qingxuan to help.
Just when Ye Qingxuan rolled up his sleeves, someone walked in. The manager came in sweating like a pig, “Do you have extra hands in the kitchen? We need someone up front.”
“I can’t help you, boss. The school hasn’t started yet, and the workers are still on vacation. The school committee suddenly told me to hold a banquet. We got as many people as we already could.”
“Forget it, we need people in the front. You, you, you, come with me.”
The manager pointed to a few people, and finally pointed at Ye Qingxuan, “And you.”
“What?” Ye Qingxuan was stunned.
In the hall, the crystal chandelier on the ceiling emanated a soft light, illuminating the wide space with no glare. The masters’ portraits were hanging on the white walls. Even the stones on the floor were carved with a faint flowery pattern. Everything looked exquisite and solemn.
The band was playing some soothing music. It was a very relaxing atmosphere. The elderly were gathered together, deliberately leaving the young ones with more time and space.
The young ones tended to gather in groups of three or five, holding a glass of wine and talking quietly. On the three long tables were a variety of untouched, exquisite dishes. Only the cold dishes and appetizers were occasionally visited.
In this pleasant atmosphere, the white-hair kid stood in the corner as if he did not exist. He was holding a tray, eyes staring at all the glasses held by the guests.
As soon as someone’s glass was empty, Ye Qingxuan would emerge out of nowhere with a tray. With a voice so soft it would give someone a chill, he politely asked, “Sir, would you like a glass of champagne?”
Many people were startled by his sudden presence, but Ye Qingxuan did not care, thinking, “I already poured your wine, what’s there to complain? You are lucky I didn’t spit in it.”
In his boredom, he began to appreciate the oil paintings hanging in the hall.
The paintings seemed to have been done by someone famous. The portraits were lifelike, each with its own spirit and grace, like a real person were standing in front of him.
Anyone could easily see that the subjects of the paintings were the grand masters among the countless musicians–the twelve uncrowned kings!
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