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"I have returned, mother." Mei Xing entered the room that reeked of sweat and other smells despite the open window.
Mei Xing then walked to the bed and said, "Mother, go take a shower. I will clean up the place for you."
"Okay. Thank you." Her mother then got off the bed and walked to the bathroom to clean her body.
Meanwhile, Mei Xing used her work experience and went to tidy up the place like she usually does, starting from the dirty blankets on the bed to the towels on the floor.
After tossing all of the dirty blankets and towels into a basket by the door, Mei Xing wiped the bed and furniture before sweeping and mopping the place.
Mei Xing moved at an incredible speed, and by the time her mother came out of the bathroom fifteen minutes later, it felt like she'd just entered a new room.
Mei Xing then went inside the bathroom to clean the bathroom before giving herself a quick shower.
"Come over here…" Her mother patted the space beside her on the bed with a gentle smile on her face.
Mei Xing nodded and sat beside her.
Her mother then retrieved a hair comb and gently combed her silky black hair that was slightly below her shoulders.
"Tell me more about this new workplace," she suddenly asked.
Mei Xing then proceeded to tell her mother about Xiao Yang and how they practiced for tomorrow.
"This Xiao Yang does seem like a wonderful individual. You should ask him to visit me whenever he's free so that I can personally see for myself if he's trustworthy," her mother said.
However, Mei Xing said, "The Manager is a busy person. He works seven days a week and accepts many customers a day, but I can ask him for you."
"I appreciate it."
After combing Mei Xing's hair until it was perfect, her mother lowered her arms and spoke in a low voice, "Mei Xing, why don't you leave me here and go live your own life? You're an incredibly intelligent girl. I'm sure you'll achieve big things in life even without me in the picture. I don't want to drag you down with me in this hellhole, and I most certainly don't want you working the same job as I am just to barely survive."
"You know I cannot abandon you here, mother. My dream is to earn enough money so that you can live a comfortable and relaxing life… outside the City of Pleasure."
Her mother showed a bittersweet smile on her face.
Even though she was proud of her daughter's intelligence, it sometimes felt like she was speaking to a mature young lady instead of a little girl who was only 12 years old, and this gave her complicated feelings in her heart.
"Mei Xing, I am destined to remain in the City of Pleasure forever. I was born in this city, and I will most likely die in this city as well. However, you're different. You have so many choices with your life. Unlike the dumb me who can only spread her legs and moan for her customers, you're a smart girl who can do whatever you put your mind to. Why don't you try becoming a cultivator? You're already way past the age when one can start cultivating."
"Will becoming a cultivator make us money?" Mei Xing asked.
"Of course! Cultivators are the richest people in the Four Divine Heavens! Not only are they wealthy, but they are also very influential!"
Mei Xing suddenly turned silent, clearly pondering.
"If you decide to become a cultivator, your mother here will buy a cultivation technique for you even if I have to work twice— three times harder."
"Cultivation techniques are very expensive. We cannot afford to spend money on that when we can barely survive ourselves." Mei Xing shook her head.
"It's okay, mother. I don't care about being a cultivator. My new job pays me spirit stones. Although I do not know how much they're worth, I know they're definitely worth much more than the coins the others give us."
Her mother sighed inwardly. Knowing Mei Xing's stubborn character, it was impossible to convince her to leave now. Perhaps when Mei Xing grows a little older and starts becoming rebellious— when she gets tired of her own mother.
"Let's go to sleep, mother. I have to wake up early tomorrow for work." Mei Xing said.
Mei Xing then went to close the lights before getting back into the bed and snuggling beside her mother underneath the warm blankets, quickly falling asleep.
The following morning, way before the sun even began to rise, Mei Xing woke up and quietly left the bed to not disturb her mother's sleep.
After washing her face, she prepared to leave for work.
However, as she reached the doors, her mother spoke in a low voice, "Stay safe, Mei Xing."
"You too, mother!" Mei Xing responded in an energetic voice before leaving the room and making her way towards the Heavenly Massage a couple of streets down.
When she arrived at the massage parlor, Mei Xing could already see people lined up outside the massage parlor, but none of them were actually getting the massage today, and they were all just waiting in line so they could sign their names onto the waiting list.
Mei Xing knocked on the door before entering.
"Good morning, Manager!" Mei Xing greeted him with enthusiasm.
"Morning." Su Yang stopped cultivating and opened his eyes.
"Are you ready to work?" He asked her.
Su Yang then handed her a new set of clothes and said, "Wear this. It's your uniform starting today."
"Thank you!" Mei Xing showed a pleasantly surprised expression when she saw the uniform, as this was her first time being given something like this. At all of the other places she had worked at before, she never received anything and had to work with whatever she got, so she was definitely grateful for the uniform.
Su Yang opened the store exactly at sunrise, allowing the customers inside, and Mei Xing greeted each and every single one of them with a bright smile on her face.
"Welcome to Heavenly Massage!"
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