Although Madam Jian turned into Nanny Jian, she gave a suggestion to him at the very least. Ning Que wouldn’t reject her invitation to pretend to be innocent. He didn’t forget the actual purpose that he had for searching the brothels in the capital. As a youngster who came from the rural areas and could visit the best brothel in the capital, he was very satisfied.
Walking down from the stairs of the western room, there was a flat grassfield behind the building. A thin stone path crosses a white fence and a brook appeared under the star lights. On the two sides of the brook were a few small houses and faintly songs could be heard coming from them. It was clear that the dancers for the royal rituals were practicing in them.
The personal maid wasn’t particularly happy after been rebuked and when she saw Ning Que walking around with his two hands on his back like a tourists viewing his scenes, her expression turned even colder. She mocked “Madam Jian is acting weird today, treating a poor student like you so nicely. If you are intellectual, then why didn’t you pretend to reject the offer? Well that’s right, people as poor as you still want to visit brothels. For sure someone has a thick skin.”
Since he was been called a thick skin, Ning Que has to act like a thick skinned person. He pretended to not understand the mocking between the maid’s lines and replied softly. “Since Sir Zhu was willing to pay for me, then I wouldn’t want to reject his good will. That was something between two men. It may sound complex, but it was actually simple.
“You are just a boy calling himself a man,” the maid continued mocking. “Paying for a few cups of wine was fine, but letting him pay for a woman too? He is not a relative of yours. How are you even able to stand to do that?”
Hearing the maid talk about being a man and a boy, Ning Que instinctively thought back to the first time he saw Li Yu at the small house in Wei City. At that time Li Yu wasn’t the princess but rather just a maid. Today another maid was talking about the same topic. Although that event occurred not too long ago, why did it feel like something it happened a few years back.
The maid has already returned to the royal palace. Countless officials and citizens were busy preparing for her return. He himself also arrived at Chang An and somehow started to visit brothels and heard the songs especially made for her return before her. After thinking about this, he could help but started laughing.
“What is so funny?” The maid wrinkled her eyebrows and rebuked.
Ning Que waved his hands to show he has no bad intention. He just wanted to ask some questions and didn’t want to waste this precious chance by arguing with this young maid.
After knowing how highly the officials viewed this Red Sleeve Dance Club, Ning Que faintly knew that Officer Zhang Yi Qi’s secret place should be here. Only this place was secret and good enough for him.
But how should he go about and gather information? Pretending to be idiot or naive brat wasn’t suitable. He started to talk about the random and funny things that happened in the borderline city. He believed that these rough stories would be interesting to the maid who lived in the most prosperous city in the world.
To capture the hearts of characters like maids, Ning Que always had his techniques. This was unrelated to the princess in the royal palace but he always had the coldest little maid who didn’t like to laugh beside him. An indifferent maid like Sang Sang was tamed by him. But of course this is from his own point of view and may not be true. To tame this maid of Madam Jian was not hard at all.
It wasn’t a surprise to Ning Quest that after walking around the lake for a bit, the maid started to smile and talk. She excitedly exchanged gossips that were often talked about in the business. Ning Que learned about how the dance club came about. which girl in the back was the most popular, who was bought out by whom, and which girl’s master was the biggest official in the government.
The prettier the girl, the easier it was for them to use beauty to make money because this method was very easy. The ratio of input to output was also truly amazing. The Flower Girls who came out of the Red Sleeves had an extremely high chance of becoming various nation’s high status officials’ concubines. One could make enough money for the rest of her life. Eventually she could even get a good home. Who wouldn’t be willing?
When Madam Jian established the Red Sleeves, she also wanted it to be a clean dancing club. But in order to live in the patriarchal society, how could a seemingly famous and respectable dancing club resist pressure from various nations’ nobles and even royal families? Therefore at last she could only yield to reality and began to cater to the reality.
The flowers on the trees next to the lake were blossoming. The starlights reflected in the flowing water broke into infinitive fragments. The world behind the white wall was so clean and pretty. Ning Que walked under the starlights like a poet, but watching such clean landscape he did not feel relaxed.
“Little youngsters don’t have to worry.”
Ning Que thought about the maid’s comment for a while. He then shook his head and discarded the thoughts and emotions he had into the lake. As he walked along the lake, occasionally he would see pretty girls walking on the road and leaning on a side politely let them go through first. They appeared to be very courteous.
Like what’s said in the previous text, a fifteen year old young student pretended to be mature would always let others feel funny. At least, funny ugly ones would make others feel disgusting, but if one’s funny and immature then he would be cute.
After Ning Que arrived at Chang An, shower became much more convenient than in Wei City. His slightly curled black hair that was oily and dirty in the frontier was already washed by Sang Sang’s hands and became very clean. Although he couldn’t be considered handsome, his face was decent and looked naturally good.
Because the sour and spicy soup sold on the fouty street was too delicious and it tasted even better with several thin layers of beef, these days he and Sang Sang were mostly eating this dish. As a result he actually became a little fatter so now he looked very cute, extremely easy to get others’ favor.
Those girls who were given way by Ning Que looked curiously back at him. When they saw that he was clean and decent, they automatically treated him well when he walked by, but until they realized he was the one who came to the building because of their humiliations, they couldn’t help but cover their mouth and laugh. The girls had seen many strange things in the building, but it’s their first time seeing Madam Jian ordered people to take a youngster to visit the brothel. While they were curious and excited, they actually surrounded Ning Que and did not let him leave.
The little maid was being squeezed outside. Looking furiously inside, her heart was filled with a emotion of having her own toy taken away by older sisters. She angrily took the name Madam Jian out and shouted like a little tiger. “Don’t mess with a little kid. This youngster is a student who wants to go to the Academy. He is also…..that thing. Are you guys actually willing to give the big red envelope! All spread out!”
“Yo yo yo, see how our Little Grass getting mad? We simply think this youngster is interesting, why are you so mad? Hmm, since he’s actually a talented guy trying to get into the Academy, then we definitely should take a close look.”
A speedy but somewhat husky voice came up. The crowd slightly spread out and a pretty and eye-dazzling woman walked out slowly. This woman was around twenty, had a full figure, and her hands, arms, and waist showed outside the dress were a little chubby. When she walked, it seemed like water was going to drop out.
Yet she had a small face, which concealed all of her chubbiness. Because of this people wouldn’t feel that she was fat but instead surprisingly appeared to be delicate and comely.
Seeing this woman, Ning Que’s eyes suddenly lit up and shouted silently in his heart: it’s her!