Chapter 67 : Ceaselessly l.u.s.tful Nature (Part I)
Among the twelve brothels of the capital, the most alluring one was Bai Hua Lou.
The magnificent Bai Hua Lou was located in the most prosperous Ruyi Alley on West Street. The ladies of Bai Hua Lou all had their own fortes, which compelled men to indulge in their pleasure and neglect their own families. To say they earned thousands everyday was no exaggeration.
Miss Mu Dan from Bai Hua Lou was its most famous attraction. She had an elegant and proud demeanor and was extremely charming. Due to her having some western blood in her, her exotic features were striking and stunning, thus adding to her seductiveness. She did things daringly and resolutely, yet was good tempered and talented. All kinds of contradicting qualities enhanced her charm. Many people had offered a large sum of money, wanting to capture the beauty's heart and body, but regrettably, Miss Mu Dan made a living through performances and not by selling her body. Yet tonight, for the first time in the three years since she had entered Bai Hua Lou, she offered to sell her body.
At this moment, Bai Hua Lou was extremely crowded and the main hall with the beaded curtains was filled with several rich young masters from n.o.ble families. Everyone wanted to be Miss Mu Dan's guest of honour.
A young master in green, seemingly in his early twenties, was sitting in the middle. His appearance was considered good-looking except for the bruise at the bottom of his eye which made people feel disgusted. Obvious at first glance, it was caused by overindulgence. He fanned himself with one hand and in a subtle flirting tone he said, "Why is Miss Mu Dan not out yet, making everyone wait for so long."
A young lady in a thin, pink skirt was standing at his side. Her jade-like hands were holding a small wine cup as she gently a.s.sisted the young master in green, "Mu Dan jiejie is currently getting dressed. Young Master Li's words have deeply hurt nujia, could it be that only Mu Dan jiejie is recognised?"
 Nujia ( 奴家 ) – your servant (humble self-reference by young female)
The young master in green was the eldest son of the capital's Senior Marquis Li Dong. Li Dong had two sons in total, the eldest son, Li Yang, had neither talent nor knowledge. He went womanizing everyday, taking after Li Dong's l.u.s.tful nature. The younger son, Li An, on the contrary, was intelligent and gifted. At a young age, he was already accomplished in his path to being an official.
Tonight, it was Li Yang who had come to Bai Hua Lou, wanting to claim Mu Dan's first night.
At a seat not far from Li Yang's, there was also someone with a drunken gaze. There were liquor stains all over the young man dressed in blue. Behind him, was a tall and st.u.r.dy manservant and at his side, a tender and pretty lady was pouring wine for him. He was none other than Jiang Chao who had already drunk alcohol before coming here.
Jiang Chao's gaze was hazy. He pulled the lady pouring wine into his embrace, asking "I heard that Mu Dan from your lou loves talented scholars the most?"
For the lady to be suddenly pulled into his embrace was an opportunity for her to act bashful, yet she did not expect Jiang Chao to ask something like this. Nevertheless, the ladies in the brothels knew how to observe changes in expression. Although she was puzzled by his question, having noted Jiang Chao's dressing she was able to conclude that he looked like someone from an affluent family, so she did not dare to brush him off. She said in a soft tone, "It’s not completely true, it is only that more than half of the people Mu Dan jiejie selects are scholars." She gave a warm laugh, " And looking at young master's appearance you must be a genuine scholar, endowed with great talents and very knowledgeable."
She had been better off without making additional comments as once she said those words, Jiang Chao's expression changed. It was as if Liu Min, sitting on a horse of great stature with a leisurely att.i.tude, appeared before his eyes. At once, he pushed the lady aside, coldly picking up the wine cup and taking a sip. She did not understand why Jiang Chao suddenly flew into a rage, but only able to curse him with an unlucky sentence in her heart, she gave an apologetic smile and left.
At this moment, a clear and melodious voice from upstairs rang out, "Miss Mu Dan has arrived."
Instantaneously, everyone was simmering with excitement. Li Yang, who was fanning himself, heard the announcement and squinted his eyes at the level above to see.
They only saw a lady with her face obscured by a veil appear above. She was wearing a small, phoenix style garment in jade green with a Confederate rose floral design and detailing on the collar from the Shu province. It was matched with a long winding skirt made from silk, and her thick, l.u.s.trous hair was coiled into two loop buns that pointed towards the sky. This hairstyle made her look distinguished and unique. A copper hair ornament with a rose-shaped torsion ribbon was inserted into the painstakingly styled, cloud-like hair. She wore agate bracelets on her smooth and soft wrists, and there was a silk knot attached to her waist with a fragrant perfume sachet hanging from it. She had on a pair of embroidered shoes with a connected twin lotus flower design. Her whole look was radiant like spring flowers, in fact, even more gorgeous and touching than flowers.
Confederate rose (hibiscus mutabilis)
As she was covered by the veil, the crowd could not see her looks clearly. However, seeing that gentle and graceful demeanor, they already felt their hearts itch unbearably and they yearned to rush up there and take off the veil.
That lady was magnanimous, she was standing on the second level's small stage, leaning against the pillar when she suddenly laughed softly. That voice was like silver bells, crisp, clear and pleasant to the ears, yet, it had a hint of ambition in it. She extended a pair of tender jade-like hands, gently removing her veil. At once, revealing that bewitchingly attractive face.
To speak the truth, while Mu Dan's facial features were beautiful they weren't the national standard of beauty; for example, she definitely could not compare to the Jiang fu's Jiang Su Su or Jiang Ruan. However, she was victorious in that exotic style. Her skin was slightly tanned, yet it did not come across as unstylish. Her azure eyes were like sapphire and when she mildly took a glance around, most of the men present already felt completely hooked. Li Yang mumbled, "This type of natural, rare beauty, if obtained it is inevitable for one to be completely immersed in pleasure. Mu Dan, I definitely want her!"
Although Jiang Chao was usually not as l.u.s.tful as Li Yang, he was still a man after all and he had drunk some liquor. The alcohol had already taken effect and Mu Dan was a rare beauty, therefore, a ball of fire was growing in his heart.
Mu Dan was also an expert. In this capital, every man wanted to trifle with her, yet in the end who was toying with whom was still unknown. She gently threw the veil downwards and immediately, all the men rushed forward like a swarm of bees to s.n.a.t.c.h it. A young man, who with great physical strength, managed to s.n.a.t.c.h the veil, put it under his nose and mildly sniffed at it, his gaze revealing infatuation.
Li Yang frowned, but Mu Dan stood upstairs gently smiling and said, "Young masters, Mu Dan is here. Now, the bidding can begin."
Her body posture showed boldness and excitement, immediately inciting the people below the stage into a frenzy. Li Yang stared at her fixedly, "Such a beauty, I wonder how much pleasure she can give in bed."
He signaled the manservant by his side with a wave of his hand and the manservant promptly went to sign up to be a part of those who were bidding.
Li Yang was quite a.s.sured because in the capital, in terms of riches and fortunes, the Li family was second to none. His father Li Dong had also done this sort of bidding for a lady in a brothel. Money to them was a small matter, as long as they could own the beauty's heart and body.
Although there were many young masters below the stage, most of those who came to the brothel to bid had neither talents nor knowledge, and even if they had a little capability, they were somewhat afraid that the elders in their families would find out. Therefore, the money they used was personally their own and ultimately they were timid. However, he did not want any secrets or a wife, nor was he scared that his father would find out. Perhaps his father, upon hearing about this, would want to come another day to experience that unrivaled beauty's taste.
Li Yang was pleased with himself. The people bidding were compet.i.tive at first, but gradually it slowed down because the price was no longer something that normal rich families could afford to pay. Mu Dan smiled brightly, watching the taels gradually increase.
 Tael – a former Chinese weight based monetary unit.
At the end, there were only two people still bidding. One of them was Li Yang's manservant and the other was a tall and muscular man.
Li Yang waved his hand to summon the manservant back to his side. Seeing that the price had already reached three thousand and fifty gold, he lazily stretched out four fingers and said, "Four thousand and fifty."
The tall and muscular man retreated to Jiang Chao's side and in a low voice said, "Young master, that fellow is clearly trying to provoke."
Jiang Chao's indignance was hard to contain, originally he was determined to win Mu Dan no matter what, and although he was tipsy, deep down he still knew that four thousand and fifty gold was no small sum. He did not have so much silver at all. However, upon hearing Da Niu's words about that person provoking him, Liu Min's arrogant and haughty expression with a hint of scorn appeared in Jiang Chao's eyes. He gnashed his teeth and said, "Five thousand and fifty!"
Once those words were said, the surrounding people were all shocked because before this day, there had been no courtesan with a marked price of five thousand and fifty gold a night. Li Yang snorted, he seriously looked at Jiang Chao, seeing that although Jiang Chao's clothes were not cheap, it could not compare to his own. He was certain that the other party was forcing himself to continue on despite difficulties, therefore he without care, waved his hand and said, "Six thousand and fifty."
"Seven thousand and fifty." Jiang Chao gritted his teeth. He felt that the other person had changed- he was the current zhuang yuan lang who was flushed with success, urging his horse on while parading through the streets like a hero. He only had one thought, continue competing, he must continue on competing with him.
"Eight thousand and fifty." Li Yang said angrily.
"Nine thousand and fifty!" Jiang Chao smashed a tea cup.
Li Yang was furious, he could see that this person was intentionally going against him. He said, "Add another hu of valuable jewels."
 Hu ( 斛 ) – ancient measuring vessel / fifty liters.
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***
Jiang Chao, seeing that he no longer only bid with gold, looked at his small wine cup and suddenly became clear-headed. Nine thousand and fifty gold was something that he could never pay out. Not only that, once Jiang Quan knew of this matter, he would surely beat him up till he couldn't get out of bed. However, under the public's gaze, must he dejectedly abstain and give up his winning chances? At this moment, his compet.i.tive nature was evoked and his actions tended outweighed reason. He raised his head and coincidentally saw Mu Dan's gaze towards him on the second floor. That gaze with a slightly cheery smile, it was like a warm encouragement, and yet, a soundless mocking. He felt his heart skip a beat and he said fearlessly, "Ten thousand and fifty!"
"Furen and master had a very fierce argument," Lu Zhu gave a cunning laugh, "Furen wants to give them money to redeem Second Young Master, however, master says that there isn't that much money. Then furen started crying and argued with master."
Jiang Ruan laughed, "Furen really wronged him." Jiang fu indeed did not have ten thousand and fifty gold taels. The fu looked magnificent and splendid, yet in the end, it was only an empty sh.e.l.l. Not to mention, a few days ago, in order to bribe Zhao daren for Jiang Chao's exam, Jiang fu offered a large sum of money. Although in the end he did not reap any benefit, and the money was already spent.
"Something so big happening in the fu, how could one as a daughter not have a look." Jiang Ruan stood up, "Let us go and see."
Lu Zhu and Zhou momo were sleeping in the room next door, and Jiang Ruan did not wake them up. Lian Qiao and Bai Zhi draped a coat and cloak over her. They had just walked to the courtyard's door when they saw Fu Rong supporting Jiang Dan out. Jiang Dan saw her and jumped out of her skin. She hurriedly saluted her and asked with great caution, "DaJiejie also heard about Second Brother's matter?"
Jiang Ruan nodded, "Although I am unsure of what has happened exactly, I must still at least go and observe."
"This was what I thought too," Jiang Dan shyly lowered her head, "After all, we are all siblings from the same family."
Jiang Ruan looked at her and did not say anything further. Both of them rose and walked towards the main hall. They had just entered the main hall when, as predicted, the first thing they heard was Xia Yan's wailing. Jiang Ruan raised her eyebrows, seeing a few yiniangs at the scene. Jiang Li was standing with a look of gratification at her misfortune and Jiang Su Su's face was extremely pale. Observing closely, one could see the panic in Jiang Su Su's eyes.
First Yiniang was currently carefully advising Xia Yan, "Furen do not cry anymore. What should we do if you cry too much and harm your body?"
Xia Yan did not bother to look at her, she only tightly grabbed onto Jiang Quan's arm and complained tearfully, "Laoye, he is our flesh and blood, are you really planning on not caring about him anymore?"
Jiang Quan pursed his lips and lowered his head and glanced at Xia Yan. Xia Yan's hair strands were slightly messy and the cheeks that were usually br.i.m.m.i.n.g with a scholarly spirit were dripping with tears, appearing even more elegant and beautiful. After all it was his beloved woman. Jiang Quan helped her up with one hand and sighed, "It’s not that I do not wish to save him, it is really because the fu does not have that much money."
"We can go borrow money." Xia Yan was in a bit of a frenzied state of mind, "Laoye, don't you know many bureaucrats, just borrow from them. We do not need to for long, I can later borrow it from my maternal family. Laoye, Chao'er cannot land into their hands- you know what sort of place Bai Hua Lou is!
"Nonsense!" Jiang Chao retracted his hand, his gaze hardening and becoming frosty. "Borrow money from bureaucrats! Do you take my Jiang fu's reputation as something that can be easily trampled on?"
"Father, what has happened? What place is Bai Hua Lou?" Jiang Ruan asked. Only then did the onlookers notice that she and Jiang Dan had come. Jiang Quan furrowed his brows, "What are you doing here?"
Bai Zhi and Lian Qiao curled their lips, all the yiniangs in the fu had come, purposely not calling Jiang Ruan and Jiang Dan, this was truly taking them as invisible. Jiang Ruan said, "It is the middle of the night and I heard voices arguing. I was deeply concerned so I came to take a look. But what has happened?"
Her expression of concern did not appear forced though Jiang Quan stared at her with a complicated emotion in his eyes. Under the lights, Jiang Ruan looked alluring, wearing a satin mantle with a prosperity symbol, enhancing her whole person to be as exquisite as a jade carving. He too, had heard rumours about the happenings at the Lantern Festival a few days ago and he had suspicions about Jiang Ruan in his heart. The girl before his eyes was tall, slim and graceful, and upon observing carefully, she had a bit of Zhao Mei's appearance from the past, in fine clothes and riding a well groomed horse.
He was absent-minded for a few moments, however, Xia Yan saw Jiang Ruan and her eyes lit up. She threw herself towards Jiang Ruan and said, "Ruan'er, Mother knows you are the most soft-hearted, you are a kind child. Now, something has happened to your Second Brother. The dowry that jiejie left for you, can you take it out at once to save your brother? In a few days Mother will return it to you."
Notice - Anybody who wants to try their hand at translating are most welcome to join the Rebirth team. If you are interested, you can drop a comment below or mail at [email protected].
Join us on to fangirl about this novel and many others in the meraki world. You can also read this novel offline on Wattpad – .
Translated by : Salv
Edited by : Anks & Ely
*** You are reading on https://webnovelonline.com ***