Chapter 397 - Does Teacher Ji Also Want A Taste?
Original and most updated translations are from volare. Please don't read elsewhere and stop supporting theft.
Although three murders had occurred in Yuzhou City and all who heard knew that those men saw ghosts prior to their deaths, nobody knew that they had seen the ghost in the House of Serenity. This detail was indeed well-kept; none of the yamen runners had let their mouths run loose. The House of Serenity, a famous house of pleasure, had never been short on customers - even though the killings did not affect the normal operation of the House of Serenityl. It was still bright out, but the House of Serenity was bustling full of customers.
The interior of the brothel was almost like a miniature palace. The entire compound was three-storeys high. The first floor was were waiting customers sat. It was wide and spacious, with gold-painted tables lined up along the sides of the hall. In the middle was a huge, round stage crafted from glossy marble. Gauzy sky-blue muslin cascaded from the ceiling, enveloping the stage; from outside through the drapes, the stage looked hazy, almost dream-like. It was also surrounded by a pool of moving water with several differently-sized water wheels within it.
The second floor was devoted to ‘watching’. Roughly twenty tables were arranged along the railings for guests to look down at the stage, and behind the tables were guest rooms. The third and highest storey was reserved for officials and the wealthy; as the saying goes, the more money you pay, the higher your position. Every single component of the furnishing and decoration was carefully considered! The House of Serenity could be described with one word: ‘ornate’; whether it was golden statues, carved pillars - even the nails used in the building were sparkling gold. Jade stones, decorative hills, a small creek, windmills… you could find anything you could want.
Ji Yunshu had a lady on each arm as she strode in, with Jing Rong following behind. Those two ladies first offered wine, then leaned onto Ji Yunshu - one of them even sat directly on Ji Yunshu’s lap as she said, “Master, you’re a slender one, but you look extremely fair and handsome!” With a wave of her handkerchief, a thick waft of perfume and rouge drifted across. Ji Yunshu wrinkled her nose at that heavy scent. And how could her small frame possibly endure that lady’s weight? Her brows furrowed as she mustered all her strength to keep her legs from turning into jelly.
This scene was not lost on Jing Rong. He covered his mouth, hiding a mocking smile. Who asked you to act like a young master! You deserve it!
Ji Yunshu grit her teeth, planting her feet down into a more stable stance. She smiled flirtatiously as she lifted that lady’s chin with a finger, teasing her, “I didn’t expect this beauty to be this heavy, but, this young master likes what he sees.”
“This young master looks well-dressed - you must be a young master of some prominent family, no?”
“What do you think?”
“You must be! I wonder which family is this young master from?” That lady leaned forward, her arms resting on Ji Yunshu’s shoulders.
Ugh! Ji Yunshu sank further into her seat with that extra weight. No way, I can’t be this weak - I’ll lose all my face. She smiled stiffly, “Would this beauty fancy a guess?”
That lady thought for a while before her eyes lit up, “Maybe, the Young Master of the Zheng Family? I heard that the Zheng Family Young Master looked just like you - fair and clean-shaven.”
“Mm-mm, that’s not right. Try again.”
“The Second Young Master of the Liang Family? I saw him once at the city gates a few years ago - you resemble that person I saw then. Are you really the Second Young Master of the Liang Family?”
Ji Yunshu smiled devilishly, pinching that lady’s chin firmly as she said without blinking, “That’s right, it’s me.”
The eyes of those two ladies immediately lit up, as if they discovered their new money-tree.
“Aiyoh, didn’t I say? Young Master has a noble bearing, with charisma and looks as well. This lady must have used up all the luck from my three lifetimes to have the chance to serve you, Second Young Master Liang.”
“Second Young Master Liang, why don’t we head to the third floor? I’ll have some fine wine prepared. Let us sisters serve you together - it’s too noisy here.” The two tried to pull Ji Yunshu upstairs.
Ji Yunshu pushed them away. She smoothed out her little moustache and narrowed her almond-shaped eyes, “It wasn’t easy for this young master to come here - it’s not enough for just you two to serve me.”
“Fine, we’ll call over more of our sisters. We promise that you’ll have a good time.” With that, they hurried away to do what they promised.
Ji Yunshu massaged her thighs as soon as they left - were they already bruised? Jing Rong shot her a look, the barest of smiles on his face, “You deserve it.”
Ji Yunshu glared at him, puffing her chest out, “This is called sacrificing myself for the sake of my art.”
“I’m curious now - what kind of mysterious character is that Second Young Master Liang? How could those people just believe that you were him.”
“Who cares who he is, as long as they believe it.”
“What’s the whole point of this?”
She scanned her surroundings before speaking in an undertone. “Don’t you want to know why those three dead men would go to the same room? And why would all of them said that they had seen a ghost?”
“Of course I do.”
“Since you want to know, then Your Highness needs to act along with me.”
There was a question mark all plastered across Jing Rong’s face. This Prince has never acted - it’s always real, okay.
Ji Yunshu continued quietly. “I’ve read the case files from cover to cover. All three of them saw the ghost in the ‘Moonlit Dream’ room on the second floor, which belongs to the famous dancer Miss Yu’in. I heard that Miss Yu’in is an incomparable beauty; every man who met her would be captivated by her eyes.”
“Why? Does Teacher Ji also want a taste?”
Jing Rong’s look of disdain was palpable, the whites of his eyes as he rolled them back comparable to those of dead fish.
That same time.
Those heavily made-up women pounced on them excitedly. This was the Second Young Master of the Liang Family, well-known throughout Yuzhou City. They naturally wanted to look good in his books, please him - all for the possibility that this young master might help them buy out of their contracts. Five women surrounded Ji Yunshu, all enticingly calling for ‘Master Liang’! Two of them had wanted to target Jing Rong, but they stopped short when they saw his icy stare.
“Master Liang, what do you think of our sisters? Are you satisfied?”
Ji Yunshu looked them up and down, and her brows knitted as she stroked her moustache again. She remarked displeasedly, “Even though this young master isn’t picky, you could at least find some that are a little more presentable.”
“What does the young master mean?” Those ladies were cross.
Ji Yunshu glanced upwards to the second floor. “I heard that your most famous dancer is called Miss Yu’in? This young master travelled all this way To see her. In any case, I’m the Second Young Master of the Liang Family - the one thing I don’t lack for, are silvers.”
The ladies finally understood! “So you’re actually here for Yu’in.” One of the ladies gave the table a swipe with her handkerchief. “Yu’in only sells her talents and not her body. If the young master is looking for a good time, you’re better off spending it with us sisters. We promise that you’ll have the best time of your life.”
“That’s right, Yu’in can dance but so can we. What’s more, Mother Bao will be selling her tonight - the highest bidder gets the girl.” They pointed to that round stage draped with muslin, “See, she’ll be sold just there. Yu’in hasn’t been doing well these two months; Mother Bao said that since she can’t earn and keep, she can only sell her like she’s a treasured item. Lots of young masters will be coming tonight. Master Liang probably won’t be able to see Yu’in right now. How about you wait till the evening, bid high, and buy her? You could then bring her back to your estate - she can dance for you every day, all day.” Those ladies giggled derisively.
Ji Yunshu asked, “Why are you auctioning off Miss Yu’in? Isn’t she your top act?”
“That was in the past, but ever since…”
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