The White-Haired Imperial Concubine - Chapter 6 - Stealing Someone From the Brothel (1)[Updated at: 2021-01-11 22:05:21]
Chapter 6 Stealing Someone From the Brothel (1)
Life is like a gamble. Every time you make a bet, either you strike rich or you lose your home, but Man Yao clearly won this bet. After the false alarm in the great hall where she was injured and her wedding robes were cut up by Zongzheng Wuyou, the Emperor of Lintian didn’t punish his son but in order to pacify her, he granted her the six-month grace period and bestowed her a residence as well as many precious treasures.
The sunlight lit up the large courtyard, and the seedlings that sprouted up from the ground created a fresh vibe. Under the willow tree was a woman with soft and fair skin, sleek brows, bright eyes, and clear spirits that seemed to contradict the mature vibes of her age. Her silky hair was long and soft, loosely held together by a thin string of silk, letting out several wisps of hair that danced in the gentle breeze. She wore a white robe that fluttered in the wind, as if it was the moon dancing, beautiful beyond words.
When Xiao Sha walked into the inner courtyard, he felt that the woman bathing in the sunlight was shining so brightly it hurt his eyes. He hurriedly lowered his head and reported, “Zhuzi(1), this subject has already found that from the guest list the Emperor sent over, only the Ninth Prince and General Fu Chou have not yet married nor taken concubines. Ninth Prince is the stereotypical rich playboy, even though he does not have a wife nor concubine, he likes to hang around the grounds of the fireworks, he is already familiar with countless beauties; General Fu has spent most of his time on the battlefield and is cold and prone to fits of temper, because of his sinister aura, no one dares to get close to him.”
Amongst the thirty or so people, only two were single, yet neither of them were easy to get along with. Man Yao quietly listened and walked around in circles while her eyelids drooped, “Let’s set aside this matter for now. The renovations for the teahouse are nearing completion, were you able to invite over Jingcheng’s most famous pâtissier?”
Xiao Sha replied, “Replying to zhuzi, I have already completed it according to your instructions. The teahouse will be able to open for business within the next two days.”
Man Yao nodded her head in appreciation and then lightly shook her head, “That’s not enough. Call on Ling’er to come with me to Fragrance House.”
Surprised, Xiao Sha raised his head, coincidentally seeing Ling’er walking in from the outer courtyard, and asked, “Zhuzi, why do you want to go to a brothel?”
Man Yao gently smiled and just told the two to get ready.
Frangrance House was the most famous one of Jingcheng’s brothels. The girls there had a variety of body shapes, each one better than the next, and each had a period of time when they were very popular. The most famous one was Chen Yu guniang(2), not only were her looks top class within Jingcheng, she was also incomparable when it came to playing stringed instruments. There were countles people who wanted to purchase her and take her home as a concubine, however, this woman was quite proud and once said that if she could not obtain someone’s heart and have them accompany only her forever, then she would rather grow old and die in the brothel.
When Man Yao stepped into the brothel, regardless if it was the men who came to seek pleasure or the women in the brothel, everyone’s eyes shined. Her white robe trailed across the ground, and she had an elegant aura surrounding her, face as white as jade, red lips, and because she drew a couple of strokes onto her sleek eyebrows, they looked a little manly. Furthermore, she was originally quite tall, and currently she was holding a fan in her hand, waving it back and forth, looking like carefree young master. Behind her, Ling’er was disguised as a bodyguard thanks to Xiao Sha.
“Aiyaya, whose family’s gongzi(3) is this? Look at how handsome he is, pei pei(4), our girls are already lining up.” A forty year-old or so woman took one glance and recognized that it was someone with a high status and immediately smiled to welcome them, using the handkerchief in her hand to wave them over. The heavy smell of perfume attacked their nostrils and Man Yao scrunched her eyebrows and took a step back. Xiao Sha hurriedly went in front and laid out his sword horizontally. The brothelkeeper understood and shut her mouth only to hear a clear voice drift over, “Seventh Brother, I had no idea that another person as beautiful as you would ever be born!”
Such a familiar voice, Man Yao raised her eyes and across the finely crafted stage, she saw two handsome and extraordinary males walking through the hallway on the second floor. One of them was wearing a pale blue robe of brocade, his mouth raised up in a smile as his eyes stared straight at her, not even bothering to hide the stunned look in his eyes. That person was Ninth Prince, and the other person called “Seventh Brother” was naturally Zongzheng Wuyou. He shot a look at the Ninth Prince, his sinister eyes looking abnormally cold. The Ninth Prince shivered and realizing that he was out of line, hurriedly continued, “Seventh Brother, let’s go inside.”
Zongzheng Wuyou scanned the surroundings below, and Man Yao felt that his gaze was calm and quiet, drastically different from the frivolous and arrogant persona he showed in the great hall. It looked as if he was looking at a group of dead objects, there wasn’t any wavering of emotions, not carrying a single drop of emotions. She couldn’t help but secretly become suspicious: The Prince Li whose two taboos are alcohol and women, how could he show up at a brothel?
Zongzheng Wuyou’s gaze met her bright eyes, and only felt that it was somewhat familiar and unconsciously looked a little longer before turning around to enter the room with the Ninth Prince following him in.
Ling’er whispered into her ear, “Zhuzi, isn’t that the Ninth Prince? Whose the person with him? How could there be such a handsome man in this world?”
“It’s Prince Li.” Xiao Sha cleanly replied.
Full of surprise, Ling’er’s eyes widened, “What? Zhuzi, he, he’s that shameless and arrogant person who didn’t even let you in the gate…”
Man Yao pressed her eyebrows together and lowered her voice, “Ling’er!”
Ling’er hurriedly closed her mouth. Hearing that the white-clothed handsome male upstairs was the Emperor’s most favored son, the brothelkeeper’s heart jumped, her eyes full of calculations.
Man Yao let Xiao Sha take out a gold ingot and the brothelkeeper’s eyes lit up as she reached out to take it when Man Yao spoke, “Qin mama(5), we would like to meet Chen Yu guniang, we’ll trouble you to help us make the arrangements.”
The old brothelkeeper measured the heaviness of the ingot and had a hesitant look on her face. Seeing her eyes look towards the private room that Zongzheng Wuyou entered, Man Yao smiled, “Qin mama please be assured, I just want to meet Chen Yu guniang and talk with her, it won’t take long.” After speaking, she shot Xiao Sha a glance who took out another gold ingot.
The brothelkeeper finally smiled and arranged for them to enter one of the private rooms on the second floor, right next to the two princes.
The southern private room was spacious and there was a jade curtain that separated the inner and outer rooms, attesting to its extravagant decor.
The Ninth Prince was sitting across from Zongzheng Wuyou conversing with him, “Seventh Brother, that princess from Qiyun used all sorts of methods to get a grace period of six months, but a month has already passed and she hasn’t made any movements, don’t you think that’s weird? Could it be…that day in the great hall that sword of yours made her so scared she became dumb?”
Zongzheng Wuyou lazily leaned back in the chair, holding the teacup in his hands, he twirled his long and slender fingers, “That sword was within her expectations.” He recalled everyone’s reactions in the great hall: blank stares, horror, worry, some were even frightened to the point of shaking…yet she with her back straight, quietly stood there, her bright eyes were full of calmness and not a hint of fear could be seen.
The Ninth Prince jerked, confused, “Why? She’s a woman and also a princess, having her clothes shred into pieces in front of so many people, are you saying that she was willing? For what purpose would she do so?”
Zongzheng Wuyou gently curled his lips, faintly smiling, “She wanted that time period of half a year.” He couldn’t see a single trace of interest for him in her eyes.
Ninth Prince, “Rumors really can’t be trusted. This Princess Rong Le’s words and actions, where does one see even a drop of unruliness and willfulness?”
Zongzheng Wuyou calmly replied, “If she’s the real Princess Rong Le, then the one who spread those rumors were not her but someone who has a grudge with her.”
The Ninth Prince’s eyes brightened as he came to a realization, “This princess…is quite interesting. Seventh Brother, let’s investigate her to see if her looks are also unexpected as well.”
Zongzheng Wuyou indifferently replied, “If you want to go, go alone. I have no interest.”
The Ninth Prince pursed his lips and laughed, “You’re so boring, ey! That’s right, Seventh Brother, how come every time to go to the palace you anger fuhuang on purpose? You’re not usually like this, why?” In his eyes, other than loving to taste all types of weird tea, his Seventh was indifferent to everything else, as if he was someone with no emotions. But every time he went to court, he changed into someone completely different and constantly opposed fuhuang.
Zongzheng Wuyou lifted his eyes to look at him with a cold gaze, causing his soul to jolt. With an indifferent expression on his face, Zongzheng Wuyou raised his teacup and held it near his lips before taking a sip, his brows slightly furrowing, “Old Ninth, this is the tea that you were confident about, thinking I would like it?”
The Ninth Prince was still mulling over the matters about Qiyun’s princess when he heard this question and immediately retorted, “Seventh Brother doesn’t like it? This tea has quite a unique taste to it!”
Zongzheng Wuyou slowly put the cup down, “This is Beiyi’s exclusive wheat tea, and while it’s true that it has a unique taste, I don’t like it.”
With an ‘Oh’, the Ninth Prince felt a little disappointed, “I thought you would like it…Seventh Brother, you usually don’t come out of your residence. Since you’re already out here today, then why don’t I let Chen Yu come in to play a song for us, sound good? Her playing is quite beautiful to hear.” His face was full of longing as he looked towards Zongzheng Wuyou, and seeing that he didn’t voice his agreement but also didn’t disagree, he happily ordered the people outside, “Someone come.”
A man entered the room and politely asked, “If Ninth Prince has a matter, please order.”
Ninth Prince: “Tell Chen Yu to come here.”
The person was a little hesitant and cautiously answered, “Replying to Ninth Prince, Chen Yu guniang just entered the room next door.”
The Ninth Prince’s face fell and he raised his eyebrows, “She didn’t know that I came? Go now and ask her how much money that person gave her. I will give her ten times that amount.”
(1) zhuzi: The owner/master of a residence.
(2) guniang: Literally means girl/lady, refers to an unmarried young woman.
(3) gongzi: Refers to a young unmarried man.
(4) pei (啧): The sound of spitting
(5) mama: Literally means mother. In terms of the brothel, this is what the lady in charge of the brothel is called because she technically owns them; she is not actually their mother.