Wife Doting Addiction：My Abducted Tsundere Husband - Chapter 189
Chapter 189: She Likes Girls?
One month later, in the Prince Rui Manor…
Now that there was a princess consort residing in the Crown Prince’s Manor, everything seemed to be completely different from before.
Early in the morning, the housekeeper presented a report summarizing the affairs in the manor to Yu Long before respectfully taking his leave.
Summer was drawing to a close, but the cicadas outside continued to chirp boisterously.
Alas, the blistering heat did not show any signs of subsiding.
Qing Lan, the maidservant who was part of her dowry, walked in carrying a wooden box with golden engravings.
When she saw Yu Long flipping through the accounts of the manor, she hurriedly spoke up, “Crown Princess Consort, your body has just recovered.
The imperial physician has ordered you not to overexert yourself.
” Although the sword she had stabbed herself with was not life-threatening, she had remained unconscious for three whole days before finally waking up.
She had already been recuperating for two months and had just recovered some semblance of vitality.
“His Highness is not around, but there needs to be someone who manages the affairs of the manor!” Yu Long said indifferently.
“His Highness has already been gone for 17 days.
Behaving like this just after you both got married; it’s over the top!” Qing Lan complained with dissatisfaction.
Yu Long’s gaze brushed past her sternly.
Her voice was slightly cold as she scoffed, “When was a servant ever allowed to discern the right and wrongs of their masters?” Qing Lan froze.
She fell onto her knees and trembled, saying, “This servant was wrong! This servant won’t dare to in the future!” “You’re a servant of the Crown Prince’s Manor now.
His Highness is your master, and no matter what he does, you must always remember to protect your master.
Am I clear?” Yu Long said dryly.
“Yes, this servant will keep it in mind!” .
“Stand up then!” “Thank you, Crown Princess Consort!” Qing Lan stood up.
Her eyes fell onto the box she had carried in a while back, and she hastily mentioned, “Crown Princess Consort, these are the tonics that Imperial Concubine Rong has just bestowed from the palace.
” Yu Long briefly glanced at it, before closing the ledger in her hand.
She said, “Over the past few days, I have not entered the palace to pay my respects to the Imperial Concubine and the Empress Dowager.
I should take this opportunity today and go over to express my thanks!” “Crown Princess Consort, you want to enter the palace? This servant will instruct the subordinates to prepare the carriage!” Qing Lan said respectfully.
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COM Yu Long’s eyes turned as she said, “Let’s return to the prince’s manor first before entering the palace!” “Yes!” Yu Long’s identity was vastly different from her past self.
Maidservants and subordinates swarmed after her the moment she stepped now.
“I am returning to the prince’s manor.
There is no need for everyone to follow me!” Yu Long exclaimed.
She only brought Qing Lan along as she boarded the horse carriage and set off onto the streets.
The weather was scorching, and the tree leaves all curled up after being dried under the sun.
Cicadas sang weakly and without strength.
However, there were quite a few pedestrians on the streets, squeezing past one another as they busied themselves.
The horse carriage slowly creaked along Zhuque Street.
Qing Lan sat inside the horse carriage and held a scented jade fan in her hand as she fanned Yu Long gently.
A gust of hot wind swept in, blowing open the curtains of the carriage.
Yu Long glanced out of the window and issued an order.
“Get the horse carriage to stop in front of the restaurant ahead!” Qing Lan hurriedly passed down her order.
Later, Yu Long trod slowly into Qingxin Tavern.
It was not yet noon, and there were very few customers in the restaurant.
Four barrels of ice were arranged at all four corners, and the window facing the river was wide open.
The moment someone stepped inside, they would be greeted by the cool and refreshing river wind.
After finding a seat next to a window, Qing Lan poured Yu Long a cup of tea and stood upright by her side.
She had visited this Qingxin Tavern with Yu Long to join before to join in the Dragon Conqueror Gang’s gathering.
She knew that this restaurant belonged to Su Jiu.
Why did their princess choose to come here? Yu Long stared at the river landscape outside the window.
She was expressionless, and it was impossible to tell what she was thinking about.
At that moment, a girl walked out from the rear courtyard and approached the counter, making a huge mess as she searched for something.
The back door opened, and Li Tai walked out.
When he saw his daughter, he immediately questioned, “Didn’t I ask you to head to Official Qiao’s house to gather news on Master? What are you still doing here?” Li Xin tossed the silk handkerchief in her hands onto the counter and pouted.
“I’m not going!” “You are agitating me to death, brat! Master has treated you so well.
Back then, when we were both wandering the streets, it was Master who provided a haven for us.
Every time she came over, she would bring food and necessities for you, never treating us like servants.
You, on the other hand, still harbor a grudge against Master for sending you back last time! How dare you be so resentful?” There weren’t many servants in the dining hall.
In a fit of anger, Li Tai casually spewed out his opinions to rebuke Li Xin, not caring where he was.
By the window, Yu Long’s eyes twitched as she quietly listened on.
“I don’t dare to be resentful! I’m just too embarrassed to go to Official Qiao’s house, alright? Could you get someone else to go?” Li Xin huffed as she lowered her head, her complexion pale as she was subjected to the scolding.
“I want you to go!” Li Tai admonished furiously.
“I definitely won’t go!” Li Xin scoffed, and picked up the teapot with a huff, before moving off to serve the customers.
“You… infuriate me so much!” Li Tai sighed.
His daughter had grown up, and she could no longer be beaten.
He hated himself for not teaching her well.
Yu Long’s back was facing the counter.
She lifted a brow, sending a signal to Qing Lan.
Qing Lan immediately understood her intentions.
She raised her head and said to Li Xin, “Lady, serve us a pot of tea!” “Coming!” Li Xin was in a bad mood after being chided, and could only acquiescence grumpily.
Li Xin dragged her feet over and placed the teapot on the tabletop.
When she caught sight of Yu Long, she suddenly froze.
She spoke with vigilance, “You are…” She recognized Yu Long and was about to address her as the princess.
Just then, she recalled that Yu Long had already married Xiao Lie.
“This lowly girl greets the Crown Princess Consort!” Li Xin lowered her head.
“We’re outside, there’s no need to stand on ceremony!” Yu Long laughed warmly.
She glanced back at Li Tai while tidying up the accounts and interrogated, “Is there any news on Su Jiu?” “No!” Li Xin shook her head slowly.
“Oh!” Yu Long nodded her head lightly.
Li Xin carefully poured a cup of tea for Yu Long.
She nibbled her lips hesitantly as she asked, “Why is the Crown Princess Consort here? His Highness, he… is he doing well?” Yu Long noticed the girl’s reddened ears, and her eyebrows quirked slightly.
Her tone of voice remained unchanged as she replied, “He’s doing okay!” Li Xin did not leave either.
Instead, she merely bowed her head and stood right there.
Her fingers were fidgeting with the hem of her clothes, as though she was dying to say something, and yet, was reluctant to speak.
“Crown Princess Consort!” Li Xin’s head jerked up.
Her expression was hard-pressed as she asked anxiously, “This lowly girl’s life was saved by His Highness.
I have always wanted to repay His Highness for his kindness.
Could the Crown Princess Consort permit this lowly girl to enter the manor as a servant to serve you and the Crown Prince?” “Is that the case?” Yu Long chuckled lightly.
“You are Su Jiu’s friend; how could I make you a servant so unfairly?” “It’s not unfair!” Li Xin urgently answered, “I can do anything, I’m also not afraid of suffering.
I beg the Crown Princess Consort to take me in!” “But…” Yu Long plastered a troubled expression on her face.
“I’m afraid your father will not agree!” “If my father agrees, will the Crown Princess Consort be willing to take me in?” Li Xin asked in anticipation.
“We can discuss this after you ask your father!” Yu Long flashed a dignified smile.
“Alright, I’ll ask right now!” Li Xin answered emotionally.
Just as she was about to turn around to ask Li Tai about this, she saw a figure flash through the door.
Ah Shu had rushed in a hurry.
The moment Ah Shu entered, he walked straight to Li Tai and asked, “Brother Li, do you have any cash readily available in the restaurant?” Li Tai swallowed his shock and asked, “Master Shu, what happened?” “The bodyguard agency met with some problems, and there is an urgent need for money.
But I don’t have enough available cash with me!” Ah Shu said anxiously.
“I… I don’t have much here as well.
I only have 2,000 taels!” Li Tai responded.
The trading company, bodyguard agency, and the restaurant had withdrawn a large amount of money in the past few days, and the amount of cash they had at hand was only sufficient for internal circulation.
The bodyguard agency had coincidentally encountered problems at such a time, and such cases had even occurred in succession.
In every case, the goods that they were transporting were robbed, and now, the customers were knocking on their doors asking for compensation.
They needed a large sum of money.
Previously, there were not enough hands at the bodyguard agency, and Ah Shu had to make a trip personally.
Now that he had just returned from the journey, he was blocked at the door by several merchants.
Numerous batches dispatched by the bodyguard agency were affected at the same time.
Ah Shu knew that someone had deliberately targeted them, but he also knew that investigating the instigator would take some time.
Now, they had to prioritize protecting the bodyguard agency’s reputation.
Ah Shu knitted his brows firmly.
“What should we do?” “If you need money, I may be of help to both of you!” Yu Long stood up and walked forward.
She said with a smile, “How much money do the two of you need?” Ah Shu froze when he saw Yu Long, but his expression soon became cold.
He glared at Li Tai and asked, “Why did you let this girl in?” “This…” Li Tai answered in a panic.
“I didn’t see her enter.
” “Ah Shu, why do you need to throw such a big tantrum?” Yu Long said, “I am here to help your Dragon Conqueror Gang.
” “No need!” Ah Shu sneered.
“But just now, I overheard that the bodyguard agency has run into problems.
Are you sure you don’t need my help?” Yu Long smiled faintly.
Her eyes turned as she continued, “Why don’t you sell this restaurant to me? You can simply name a price, it doesn’t matter how much.
You can use the money to solve your problems in time!” Ah Shu was so outraged that his complexion turned ashen.
He clenched his fists and warned with hostility, “I never attack women.
Don’t force me to make a move!” Li Xin suddenly charged over and shielded Yu Long.
She spoke coldly to Ah Shu, “How dare you take action against the Crown Princess Consort?!” Li Tai jolted in shock and quickly went to tug Li Xin over.
“This is none of your business! Return to the rear courtyard!” “I don’t want to!” Li Xin broke herself free from Li Tai’s grasp and shouted, “In the future, I will be following the Crown Princess Consort.
I am her maidservant, and naturally, I will protect my master as well!” Ah Shu’s fury surged, and he sniggered in anger, “So it turns out that our Chief ended up raising an ungrateful wrench!” “Do me a favor and get lost right now!” Li Tai fumed, before raising his hand and slapping Li Xin with a ‘smack.
’ Li Xin had never been hit before, and she was instantly stupefied.
Tears streamed down her face, and she raised her feet and scampered towards the rear courtyard.
Yu Long stared nonchalantly at Ah Shu and said with a frosty voice, “I had good intentions, but if you’re unwilling, it’s fine.
Why do you have to do this?” After she spoke, she turned around to leave.
Qing Lan’s disdainful gaze swept past Ah Shu and Li Tai, looking at them with a sense of loftiness and condescension.
After that, she chased after her own master.
Ah Shu glared hatefully at Yu Long’s departing silhouette.
If Su Jiu had not specified not to harm this woman, he would already have sent her a flying punch to destroy that face of hers.
As they returned to the Yun Nan Manor, Yu Long’s expression was emotionless, and her sitting posture was prim and proper.
When she recalled that girl Li Xin, a profound glint flashed past her eyes.
“Crown Princess Consort, you do not need to mingle with those barbarians.
In the future, we should just avoid them!” Qian Lan said as she massaged Yu Long’s leg.
If it was not for the past interaction between their Crown Prince and those people, just based on their backgrounds alone, how could they have the qualifications to speak to their Crown Princess Consort? And they even dared to be so discourteous! Yu Long closed her eyes wordlessly, and her lips slipped into a faint but cryptic smile.
The horse carriage stopped right outside the Lord Yun Nan Manor.
Once the carriage doors opened, someone suddenly walked over and bent down to kneel on the ground, serving as a human footstool for Yu Long to disembark the carriage.
A glint flashed past Yu Long’s eyes as her embroidered shoes stepped on his back.
She heard him speak in a low voice, “This lowly one has found traces of her whereabouts.
However, this lowly one also bumped into His Highness, the Crown Prince, and could only withdraw and return.
” Yu Long frowned slightly.
Sure enough, Xiao Lie had gone to find her! “Mm, do not be discovered by His Highness.
If you do not have complete certainty, do not make a move!” “Yes!” “The Dragon Conqueror Gang’s bodyguard agency has met with issues, so she might return soon.
Intercept her on the road back to the capital.
” Yu Long’s voice was chilling as she spoke.
“Yes!” Yu Long nodded her head faintly and stepped off his back, before taking deliberate, slow steps into the prince’s manor.
Once inside the rear courtyard, she bumped into Xia Huan, who was about to leave.
Yu Long welcomed him with a face brimming with smiles.
“Huan’er, are you heading out?” Xia Huan’s eyes were completely cold as he looked at her.
“The bodyguard agency is in trouble.
Does this have anything to do with you?” The smile on Yu Long’s face faded.
“Huan’er, what are you talking about? After all, I am the exalted Crown Princess Consort now! Do you think I would go out of the way to make trouble with a bunch of ruffians? You are looking down on your older sister!” “I know the kind of person you are! What can’t you do?” Xia Huan’s frosty eyes brushed past her.
“I’m warning you, do not touch the Dragon Conqueror Gang.
Otherwise, I definitely will not let you off!” “Huan’er!” Yu Long yelled in a crisp voice.
But Xia Huan was too lazy to pay her another look.
He walked out with big strides.
Yu Long’s complexion was ghastly pale.
She stood transfixed, her entire being trembling.
When she looked up, she saw her father, Xia Cang, standing not far away while staring at her.
Yu Long took a deep breath and walked over slowly.
She curtsied and said, “Your daughter greets Father!” Xia Cang supported her with both hands and said with a solemn voice, “Huan’er was a wandering bandit for 20 years, and he has just returned home, so he may not understand many things.
Be a little more patient with him!” “Yes, your daughter understands!” Yu Long gently nodded her head.
“In the end, he’s still the Crown Prince of the Lord Yun Nan Manor.
There will be a day where he finally understands!” Yu Long’s face warmed up as she smiled, saying, “Huan’er is Yu Long’s biological younger brother.
No matter what he says or what he does, your daughter will not blame him!” Comforted, Xia Cang nodded his head.
“Your father knows that you are sensible and reasonable in what you do!” He then paused, before continuing, “Is His Highness back?” Yu Long’s long eyelashes quivered.
“Not yet!” Xia Cang’s eyes became sterner, and he stated, “His Highness, the Crown Prince, is absent, so you should enter the palace more often to accompany the Empress Dowager and Imperial Concubine Rong.
” “Yes, your daughter will enter the palace later!” Yu Long shared a meal with Lady Yun Nan, before boarding a carriage to head into the palace.
At this moment, Imperial Concubine Rong was in the middle of taking an afternoon nap.
When the palace maid attending to her saw Yu Long walk in, she was about to stand up and pay her respects when Yu Long made a silencing gesture.
The maid hastily shut her mouth.
“Pass me the fan.
You are all dismissed!” Yu Long ordered in a suppressed voice.
“Yes!” The palace maid tipped the auspicious jade fan to Yu Long with both hands, before retreating with light steps.
Yu Long took the place of the palace maid and gently fanned Imperial Concubine Rong, who was seated on the low bed.
After a long time, Imperial Concubine Rong woke up from her nap.
When she realized that Yu Long was the person attending to her, she immediately rose with a smile.
“Long’er, when did you arrive? How can I allow you to serve me? Those servants deserve to be beaten!” “I’ve been here for a while! When I saw that Royal Mother was sleeping, I could not bear to disturb you!” Yu Long flashed a sweet-tempered smile, which was both warm and dignified.
“It has been tough on you!” Imperial Concubine Rong waved her hand and gestured to Yu Long to sit down by her side.
“It is Long’er’s duty to be filial towards Royal Mother.
How could it be tough?” Yu Long smiled modestly as she intimately supported Imperial Concubine Rong to take her seat.
“I am not referring to this.
” Imperial Concubine Rong sighed softly and muttered, “Lie’er is probably not back yet, right?” “His Highness is busy with his responsibilities.
This concubine does not find it unfair in any way.
” Yu Long smiled quietly, and could only pretend not to understand what Imperial Concubine Rong was implying.
“You are such a good child!” Imperial Concubine Rong gently patted Yu Long on the back, her gaze amiable.
However, Yu Long’s eyes dimmed, and she apologized in a low voice, “It was all Yu Long’s fault for causing His Highness to be disappointed, and for causing Su Jiu to be sad.
When His Highness returns, Yu Long will clarify matters with His Highness.
Even if we get divorced now, Yu Long will not harbor a single strand of resentment.
” Imperial Concubine Rong held her hands.
“It’s not your fault, you don’t have to blame yourself like this! Your marriage with Lie’er was personally endowed by His Majesty! Can you receive a divorce at a whim?” “But… Yu Long is unwilling for His Highness and Su Jiu to remain this way.
Su Jiu left Shengjing in sorrow, and His Highness was unable to rest easy and immediately went to search for her after receiving the news.
He has already failed to attend court sessions for several consecutive days, so this won’t work in the long run!” Yu Long’s eyes were mournful.
“When you first got married to Lie’er, it was for the sake of the bigger picture.
Both Lie’er and Su Jiu should have understood this!” Imperial Concubine Rong spoke seriously, “When Lie’er returns, I will have a good talk with him.
If he is still unable to let go of Su Jiu, he can just marry her as his concubine!” Yu Long nodded her head.
“Yes, If I can be sisters with Su Jiu and serve His Highness together, that would naturally be the best!” “Only, it’ll be unfair to you!” Imperial Concubine Rong stroked Yu Long’s hand tenderly.
“It’s not unfair at all.
As long as His Highness is happy, Yu Long is willing to do anything!” Yu Long bowed her head, her eyes bashful.
When Imperial Concubine saw her demeanor, she nodded her head in gratitude, delighted to have a daughter-in-law so selfless.
Yu Long remained in the palace with Imperial Concubine Rong and only returned when the sun had set.
Under the twilight, Yu Long’s eyelids drooped, and her eyes glimmered darkly.
Now, it appeared that she had to dispatch even more men out.
She definitely could not allow Su Jiu to return alive! After the seventh month, the blistering heat gradually subsided, and the days became slightly chillier.
Ah Shu had recently been extraordinarily busy; firstly, a new branch of the bodyguard agency was being opened, and secondly, the people who had robbed their bodyguard agency had been found.
The instigator behind the scenes turned out to be the eldest son of the Bai Family, who had friction with them in the past.
Because of their previous grudges, they had been training forces behind the scenes to topple the bodyguard agency as a means of revenge for their fallen brother and sister.
After being caught, Bai Laoda took his life that very night, and the matter remained unsettled.
The businesses run by the Dragon Conqueror Gang flourished and had already taken root in many different regions around Daliang.
They were slowly building up in power, and the reputation of the Dragon Conqueror Gang was now resounding.
In the Crown Prince Manor, however, Yu Long had been suffering from insomnia over the past few days.
She had previously investigated the Bai Family who held a vendetta against the Dragon Conqueror Gang and secretly supported them in their revenge.
However, she did not expect that person to be so useless.
He was caught by the members of the Dragon Conqueror Gang in such a short period and sent to the magistrate’s office.
She could leave him alive and give him the chance to bite her back.
Hence, she dispatched some men that night to snuff out his life.
She had initially thought that her deeds were untraceable and that no one would find out.
Who could have guessed Bai Laoda, who should have been dead and buried at this point, would suddenly be tossed into her room in the middle of the night the day before? The corpse that was already beginning to decompose emitted a dreadful stench, frightening her to such a degree that she almost fainted.
Bai Laoda would not appear for no rhyme or reason.
She had the vague feeling that Su Jiu was about to return! No matter how hard she tried to destroy her foundation in Shengjing, and no matter how many people she sent out to assassinate her, all her efforts were to no avail.
She was returning! And she certainly came prepared! Early in the eighth month, autumn had already arrived.
Exotic flora and fauna started to bloom in the Ji Manor, creating a verdant and prosperous scene as usual.
Inside the main courtyard, the windows of the study were partially open, allowing rays of light to filter in and shine upon the man’s face, which was as beautiful as a flower and as clear as water.
Ripples spread across his visage, which was three times more enchanting than the blooming begonias in the garden.
The man held a ledger in his hand, but he was obviously in a trance as his long eyes gazed out of the window.
He was vexed, yearning, and upset, and these complicated emotions surfaced simultaneously on his face.
Two months had passed slowly just like this… and at the same time, had relentlessly flashed by in the blink of an eye.
During this time, a couple of moderately significant things occurred.
About one month ago, a second branch of the Qingyu Commercial House was opened in Fuyang.
Allegedly, due to the reputation of Shengjing’s Commercial House, the branch opened in Fuyang received explosive popularity the moment they opened.
However, the other merchants poured out incessant grievances.
When Ji Yuxian heard the news, he rushed over without getting a wink of sleep, only to bump into the Crown Prince, who was previously Prince Rui, Xiao Lie.
When the two of them met, they walked their separate ways with a form of tacit mutual understanding.
Following which, at Jingzhou, another branch of the Dragon Conqueror Gang’s bodyguard agency opened at Feng Shui.
Ji Yuxian continued his chase, but he still failed to catch a glimpse of Su Jiu’s shadow as usual.
Master Su Jiu’s name not only resounded in Shengjing but also at Jianghu, where her reputation became more and more widespread.
In Shengjing City, ever since those significant changes had occurred in the palace, everything had been quite peaceful and uneventful.
The Crown Prince had been secured, and Xiao Jing’s confidants in court were gradually rooted out cleanly.
A few days ago, Xiao Lie had brought up his intentions to divorce Princess Yu Long to Emperor Zhao Ping for the third time.
Naturally, Emperor Zhao Ping did not agree, and the hundreds of officials in court had also expressed their opposition.
After Princess Yu Long was injured, her health had been poor, and when she heard about Xiao Lie’s wish to divorce her, she had promptly fainted once again.
Chang Huan had already officially become the Crown Prince of the Lord Yun Nan Manor, Xia Huan.
He began to mingle with the influential court officials, and he no longer had any ties with the Dragon Conqueror Gang.
Additionally, there was another insignificant event that happened within Shengjing City.
A new brothel was opened, and it was called the Qing Brothel.
With great pomp and circumstance.
There were rumors that although this Qing Brothel was newly opened, its business was strangely lucrative.
It had taken quite a bit of revenue from the Drunken Joy Pavilion and the Chunhua Brothel.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door, interrupting the man’s train of thoughts.
He turned his head and said, “Come in!” Jin Feng sounded an acknowledgment and entered, before reporting, “Eldest Master, this subordinate just received news that the Dragon Conqueror Gang has just opened the fifth branch of their bodyguard agency at Yunzhou.
Ah Shu already set off early this morning.
” Ji Yuxian stood up abruptly and spoke in a grave tone, “This news came too slow!” He then walked out briskly with urgent footsteps.
This time, he was hell-bent on catching that woman! “Master!” Jin Feng opened his mouth to speak, “This subordinate has another piece of news!” “What?” Ji Yuxian paused in his steps and turned around.
“Last night, someone fetched the Eldest Mistress away from the villa!” Ji Yuxian’s eyes narrowed.
“Why are you only telling me this now?” “The person who fetched the Eldest Master away locked the doors of the villa before leaving.
The people inside could not get out, and they had no way of reporting this.
This subordinate only found out after sending several men to check on the villa this morning,” Jin Feng bowed his head and said.
The Eldest Mistress was taken away? Ji Yuxian’s heart began to pound violently.
Had that girl returned? “Are there any movements on the Su Family’s side?” the man asked with a hoarse voice.
“The Su Family’s residence in Shengjing was previously mortgaged out to repay the loans of the Su brothers.
I heard that two days ago, Su Wenqian suddenly had enough money to repay the mortgage and buy it back.
Now, the entire Su Family has already moved back!” “Head to the Su Manor!” Before Ji Yuxian finished speaking, he had already stepped out of the door.
The horse carriage traveled to the bustling Zhuque Street, before becoming stuck in a sea of people.
“What’s the matter?” Ji Yuxian pushed open the carriage door, his handsome face riddled with anxiety and impatience.
“Replying to the Master, I heard that the newly-opened Qing Brothel is selecting their top courtesan today.
Everyone has swarmed over to busk in the excitement!” Jin Feng answered.
Just as Ji Yuxian was about to instruct Jin Feng to make a detour, his phoenix eyes froze when he caught sight of a familiar figure weaving through the doors of the Qing Brothel.
His body instantly stiffened.
The man alighted the horse carriage and walked towards the Qing Brothel.
“Master? You want to go in there?” Jin Feng shouted.
When he noticed that Ji Yuxian appeared to have lost his soul, he hastily parked the horse carriage by the side of the road and quickly chased after him.
The Qing Brothel was three stories tall; it had vermilion doors and embellished windows, as well as colorful glazed eaves.
It was exceptionally lavish and extravagant.
After stepping in, its layout was no different from an ordinary brothel.
Only, it was more grand and luxurious, with gold and jade in glorious splendor and heaps of wine and meat.
The establishment lived up to its name.
At that moment, the hall was packed full of people, with several girls twisting their waists and dancing on the stage in front.
People on the second floor were walking around, and every single one of them was a young master who wore lavish clothing.
However, he was certain that he had not seen it wrongly.
Then, a spirited and neatly dressed manservant walked over and smiled, saying, “Eldest Young Master Ji has graced us with his presence, bringing light to our humble brothel.
I have already reserved a seat for you! Please follow this lowly one upstairs!” It was Ji Yuxian’s first time stepping into the Qing Brothel, and yet, the manservants here all recognized him.
It appeared as though the owner of this Qing Brothel had spent quite a bit of effort to train the subordinates.
The man followed that manservant upstairs calmly, his pair of phoenix eyes scouring in all directions.
The manservant brought Ji Yuxian to a suite on the second floor.
Inside, the plumes from the incense burners formed streaks of calligraphy.
There was also a set of mahogany tables and chairs, with stalks of fresh colorful begonia flowers placed in porcelain vases on the table.
It was especially refined and peaceful, and compared to the bright and standard rooms on the first floor, this suite seemed to have a unique and special touch to it.
Beyond a bead curtain, one had a direct view of the stage platform on the first floor.
“I must invite this Master to wait here for a while.
The top courtesan selection will begin shortly!” The manservant poured out a cup of tea for Ji Yuxian as he said with a flattering smile.
The tea was fragrant and its aroma was outstanding.
It was top quality Biluochun tea.
Ji Yuxian lowered his head and sat on the chair languidly.
His eyes gazed out of the bead curtains, still searching for that figure.
He did not find the person he was searching for, but he saw another person enter the suite next to his.
A guard watching outside, making it obvious that the person wasn’t an ordinary commoner.
It seems like that person had also heard of her return to the capital.
Ji Yuxian took a sip of tea.
Just then, there was an uproar on the first floor, and when he lifted his head to take a look, he instantly froze.
The girl was donned in a light-green robe.
Her hair was tied up in a bun, and her eyebrows were well-defined.
Her facial features were simply exquisite, her face that of devastating beauty.
Yet, her tall and upright posture made it difficult to discern her gender.
At that moment, she was walking up the stairs.
Her arms were wrapped around a gorgeous woman who wore a light green floral dress.
They were whispering into each other’s ears while giggling.
Countless girls downstairs were screaming at the top of their voices, “Master Jiu!” “Master Jiu!” Su Jiu looked at them and flashed a practiced smile, inciting the piercing screams of the girls below.
Ji Yuxian stood up and gaped at the girl walking slowly up the stairs.
Although it had been more than two months, he felt that the girl’s countenance was the same as before, clear and beautiful.
Yet, there seemed to be something different about her.
The lucent and bright eyes of the past were less pronounced, and the faint light radiating in her eyes made her unreadable.
The girl sat in the opposite suite, and through the bustling crowd and the two bead curtains, she raised her cup at him.
Ji Yuxian’s beautiful eyes suddenly narrowed.
At that moment, a brothel madame who was dressed to the nines and wore a thick layer of makeup made an appearance on the first floor.
She announced that the selection for the Qing brothel’s top courtesan had officially begun.
The candidates who participated in this selection were all the most beautiful and popular girls in the brothel.
There were a total of ten girls, and the judging criteria included their appearances, their demeanors, and their mannerisms.
Additionally, they would compete in poem writing, calligraphy, painting, and other categories.
As long as someone was within the brothel, they could evaluate the ten beauty candidates and give them a vote.
The girl who received the most votes would be the top courtesan.
Usually, the top courtesan at a brothel would be selected once every three years.
The chosen courtesan’s first night could be bought for tens of thousands of taels and would be treated as an honored guest in the brothel.
Those noble and lofty courtesans could even choose their clients.
All in all, as long as someone was selected as the top courtesan, they would enjoy a higher status and a life of extravagance as the center of attention.
The ten girls who had been nominated were already standing on the stage.
Their faces were masked by a piece of muslin, and although their appearances could not be seen, each of them had a sweet and seductive figure, a full bosom and a slender waist, black and luscious hair, as well as a charming demeanor.
Even before the face reveals, they had already attracted the cheers of everyone below the stage.
“Thank you, sirs, for gracing us with your presence today.
All the wine will be on the house today, and I hope that everyone will have fun! We will commence the selection shortly; a voting slip will be distributed to everyone here.
You can write the name of the lady you like, and we will personally collect the slips from you all later on.
” The brothel madame was wearing a hibiscus-colored satin dress with gold embroidery, and the smile on her face was akin to a painted peony.
Once the brothel madame finished speaking, several manservants distributed a pink leaflet covered with peach blossoms to every single person.
The bead curtains of Ji Yuxian’s suite were pried open, and a manservant also passed him one.
At that moment, the ten beauties on the stage strut around the rounded stage, allowing the guests seated in the suites on the second floor to have a look.
Then, they removed the muslin masking their faces.
All the candidates for the top courtesan were naturally outstanding beauties, and among the ten girls, there were dignified and beautiful ones, gentle and elegant ones, cold and quiet ones, as well as seductive and charming ones… all sorts were present.
There were only ten of them, and yet, it seemed to encompass all the beautiful girls in the world.
In the first round, five people were eliminated based on appearance and demeanor.
The remaining five then displayed their skills that included zither-playing, chess, writing, and painting.
Ji Yuxian could no longer wait.
His mind was overwhelmed by his desire to confront that girl in the opposite suite.
Right then, one of the girls concluded her dance.
The crowd reached a climax, each of them with reddened faces as they stared at the girl on the stage, whistling and shouting.
There were no movements from the neighboring suite, but at the opposite, the girl who Su Jiu brought was leaning onto her shoulders and giggling about who knows what.
Her smile was attractive and intimate, and the body that leaned against Su Jiu moved with the rising and falling of her chest.
The man’s eyes became ice-cold, and he got up abruptly.
Opposite him, the bead curtains suddenly opened up, and Su Jiu stepped out from behind.
She stood at the wooden porch, seemingly to get a better view.
The girl cuddled next to her pliantly and brought the wine cup to her lips.
Su Jiu, on the other hand, did not receive the cup in her hands, and directly took a sip from the cup instead.
Then, she smiled at the girl with a raised brow.
Her handsome and beautiful visage caused the girl to blush shyly.
Jin Feng watched on in a daze and mumbled, “The Young Mistress couldn’t have started liking girls after getting emotionally hurt, right?” The moment he completed his sentence, however, the temperature around him instantly plummeted, almost enough to freeze a person solid.
His Master’s complexion was extremely ugly, and his pair of phoenix eyes glared coldly at the other party, as though a few blades would fly out at any time.
Those blades would stab into the hand of the girl who was cuddling Su Jiu.
Ji Yuxian knew that Su Jiu had stood there to tell him, or them, not to go look for her.
His eyes turned as he sat back in his seat.
When he sensed the thick cloud of grievance that shrouded his Master, Jin Feng sealed his mouth, not daring to speak again.
The girls downstairs were still showcasing their talents.
These skills were what the girls had learned since they were young, and be it their zither playing or their painting and calligraphy, their level of mastery was comparatively better than even the daughters of noble families.
Furthermore, their mysterious and pitiful backgrounds made them appear even more bewitching.
The remaining five girls were slowly eliminated one by one, and after an hour, a girl named Qian Qiu emerged as the winner, becoming the top courtesan as chosen by the crowd.
The girl wore a smoky light-blue dress embroidered with flowers.
Her figure was curvy, and she was graceful and outstanding.
She carried a sense of literary appeal, and the eyes on her peachy face were bright and especially mesmerizing, with autumn water rippling through them.
From the start to the end, the girl remained collected, and the smile on her lips was just right.
There was no trace of pride on her face despite being the winner who was revered by all.
Instead, she was even more humble and warm.
The entire Qing Brothel was filled with cheers and shouts.
All the men on the bottom floor stood up and stretched out their necks to gawk, busking in their fortune of meeting the top courtesan.
In the future, meeting her might no longer be as easy and simple.
Innumerable petals descended from the sky as the girl bowed in all directions to show her gratitude.
The brothel madame was brimming with smiles as she walked onto the stage.
She gestured for the crowd to be silent, before exclaiming, “Today, we are not only celebrating Qian Qiu’s win, but also her first time serving a client.
Whichever master is willing to cherish Qian Qiu and take her first night, you may now name a price!” When the crowd heard this, they immediately flared up, and countless shouts overlapped one another.
The asking price started at 200 taels, and in the blink of an eye, it multiplied to 1,000 taels.
1,000 taels… 2,000 taels… 5,000 taels… 8,000 taels… … The price continued to inflate, and everyone appeared to have gone insane as they continuously bid.
If they could catch a single glance of the girl’s smile, even losing a fortune and pawning their assets would be worth it.
“20,000 taels!” A crisp voice echoed from the top floor.
The brothel madame immediately shouted in excitement, “Master Su Jiu has bid 20,000 taels! Is there anyone willing to offer a higher price?” The people downstairs all gaped upwards in unison, their eyes filled with shock, admiration, praise, and surrender at that youth.
20,000 taels of silver to buy the first night of a girl at Qing Brothel.
This Master Su Jiu must be someone who threw gold around recklessly at the sight of beauties.
The people who frequented the Qing Brothel over the past few days had all heard of this Master Su Jiu.
Today was their first time seeing him, and they were all collectively astounded that the rising merchant in Daliang was so young.
“Is there anyone willing to offer a higher price than Master Su Jiu?” the brothel madame strained her throat to shout.
“30,000 taels!” A low voice sounded from the suite next to Ji Yuxian.
The manservant attending at the side immediately shouted, “Master Xiao is bidding 30,000 taels!” “50,000 taels!” Ji Yuxian bid a price nonchalantly, his eyes covered with a layer of icy frost.
He wanted to take a good look at what she was playing at.
“Master Ji has bid 50,000 taels!” The moment he spoke, the area below was plunged into absolute silence.
They had no means of competing with the richest man in Daliang in tossing silver away.
Here, the brothel madame was the happiest of the lot.
She was already grinning from ear to ear as she asked, “Is there a higher bid?” “70,000 taels!” Su Jiu had a faint smile on her face and directly raised the bid by 20,000 taels without batting an eyelash.
Before the manservant could even bellow away, a voice already spoke from Ji Yuxian’s suite.
“100,000 taels!” The entire Qing Brothel sucked in their breath.
The brothel madame widened her eyes in utter joy.
She thumped her chest to prevent herself from fainting away in ecstasy.
She turned over and looked at Su Jiu.
“Master Jiu, are you going to raise the bid?” Su Jiu quirked her brows with a smile as she looked over.
“Eldest Master Ji has thrown out 100,000 taels, so he must sincerely like Lady Qian Qiu.
Since that is the case, this gentleman will not snatch what other people love.
Eldest Master Ji can have Lady Qian Qiu!” The girl beside her crooked her head and flashed a charming smile.
“Master Jiu, isn’t there still me?” “Right!” Su Jiu extended an arm and stroked the girl’s chin.
“This Master still has Lian’er.
” Jin Feng threw a sympathetic look towards his own Master, whose face was so dark that tears were threatening to fall.
In the past, his Master’s love rivals were men, and yet, it was already so difficult to succeed.
Now that women were included… This was undoubtedly a huge sin! What exactly did his Master owe the Young Mistress in their previous lives? Downstairs, the brothel madame shouted a few times, but no one dared to bid a higher price.
In the end, the top courtesan Qian Qiu’s first night was bought by Ji Yuxian for 100,000 taels of silver.
This was also the highest asking price for a courtesan’s first night in the entire Shengjing City.
Even though the selection of the top courtesan had concluded, the brothel was still bustling with activity.
Those men who did not manage to successfully bid for the top courtesan all unwillingly shifted their eyes onto other girls.
They all went their separate ways in search of pleasure.
Opposite, Su Jiu stepped down the stairs, not forgetting to flirt and exchange pleasantries with the other girls.
Ji Yuxian stood up to follow after her, but a manservant soon walked in.
He said respectfully, “This was what Master Jiu got this lowly one to pass to Eldest Master Ji.
Master, please have a look.
” The man’s beautiful eyes flashed, and he opened it up directly.
“I have paid the 100,000 taels of silver for the Eldest Master as a gesture of gratitude for taking care of my mother for three months.
I will leave Qian Qiu to you, and I wish the Master a pleasant spring night!” The man suddenly clenched the strip of paper in his hands, the veins on his temple bulging.
The brothel madame brought Qian Qiu over and said with a smile, “Tonight, Qian Qiu belongs to the Eldest Master.
I hope the Eldest Master accepts her kindly!” Qian Qiu gracefully curtsied, her voice like that of a yellow oriole as she spoke, “This servant greets the Eldest Master!” A profound smile surfaced on Ji Yuxian’s face.
That girl was originally an absolute beauty, but before him, her appearance was very much lacking.
The man’s long eyes glimpsed at the neighboring suite as he smirked and said, “This Master will give Qian Qiu to Master Xiao next door as a gift.
Go over and serve Master Xiao!” Qian Qiu froze, and her pretty face paled as she responded softly, “Yes!” Ji Yuxian’s long legs moved as he took big strides out.
In the neighboring suite, Xiao Lie gripped a teacup in his hand.
His bottomless eyes were half-closed, and it was impossible to tell what he was thinking about.
The brothel madame walked in and explained her reason for coming.
His deep eyes brushed past Ji Yuxian, who was descending the stairs.
He did not even glance at Lady Qian Qiu standing at the side before he got up and took his leave.
Both the brothel madame and everyone else were instantly shocked in place.
These three people participated in a bidding war, each drastically raising the price with every bid.
Now that the beauty was placed before them, why didn’t they pay her a single glance?