Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 109: Leaving One’s Trade (Part 2)
In the morning on the second day, Shen Miao just finished her meal when she saw Shuang Jiang panting as she ran over. When she entered the room she immediately said, “Young Lady! Something happened!”
“Slowly speak about the matter. Look at how anxious you are.” Gu Yu reproached. Shuang Jiang swallowed but still could not hold back and said everything without going through her brain, “A few days back did not the Jing family returned to SuZhou? Today an official came over and said that the Jing family encountered a band of bandits on the way back to SuZhou and was murdered by those bandits. Seeing that there are some relations between the Jing family and Old Furen, the official then came to the residence to inform.” Shuang Jiang patted her chest as she continued, “Now the bandits are really rampant to even murder people in broad daylight and not spare anyone at all. If they had knew that this would happen, the Jing family would definitely regret coming to the Ding capital.”
Shen Miao’s eyes hang down. Whether the Jing family was truly exterminated by bandits would depend on individual thoughts. But Shen Miao knew that Sun Tian Zheng’s methods were always swift and decisive, just like in court. Since the matter originated from Jing Chu Chu, how could Sun Tian Zheng be reconciled with Sun Cai Nan’s death. Shen Miao believed that if it was possible, Sun Tian Zheng could not wait to also exterminate the entire Shen family. But the Shen family was not like the Jing family.
The Jing family’s ending was still the same as in her former lifetime, dying due to Jing Chu Chu’s greed. But now Jing Chu Chu was in Sun Tian Zheng’s hands and he would not let Jing Chu Chu die easily. To live full of desperation was perhaps more painful than death.
However, this matter had nothing to do with her.
Shen Miao spoke to Gu Yu, “Where are the things prepared?”
Gu Yu said, “In the chest. But…” Gu Yu was somewhat hesitating, “Young Lady, you really want to…”
“Go retrieve them.” Shen Miao interrupted her words.
In half a shichen (1 Shichen = 2 Hours), four people walked out of the Western side door of the Shen residence.
Among the three people, the one leading was a young gentleman with delicate features, clad in a moon white robe and wearing a hat. The gentleman was shorter but was somewhat adorable like a carved jade. His pair of eyes had a rarely seen brightness and with this kind of good looks, one would be very sought after in a small hall.
Following him behind, were two people dressed as attendants, but they were walking clumsily. Behind the attendants, there was a guard who compared to these three people, was much taller.
“Do not be afraid.” Shen Miao said, “Have more courage and do not reveal anything.”
These four people were not others but Shen Miao, Jing Zhe, Gu Yu and Mo Qing.
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu were not used to wearing male clothes, and their faces were almost filled with tears as they were somewhat afraid, but Shen Miao was very calm while even Mo Qing’s heart was whispering. They did not know that during the time when she was a hostage in the Qin country, she would be made fun by the Imperial family, and had to wear male clothes for more than a few months. Now playing the role, it was actually quite vivid.
When three of them enter the carriage, Mo Qing personally drove the carriage. Gu Yu asked Shen Miao, “Young Lady, are we really going to Bao Xiang Lou?”
“But…” Gu Yu said, “Can we not talk outside? If anyone see Young Lady visiting an entertainment house…” She could not go on as Gu Yu also did not know what would happen to females who visit entertainment houses.
“Bao Xiang Lou is a place of business, and in a place of business money talks. The people there would not speak about etiquette and morality as that is a place where one abandon all restraints. No one will pay attention to any show.”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu glanced at one another and saw helplessness in the other’s eyes. Shen Miao’s intentions were very strong that even nine cattle, would not be able to pull her out of matters she had decided on. Moreover there would always be a variety of high sounding reasons, and now that they have walked to this way, one could only carry on.
In an elegant room in Kuai Huo Lou, someone parted the curtain and walked in. Ji Yu Shu said, “Third Xie Older Brother, you come at the right time. There is a matter that one needs to inform you, Prince Ding…”
“Oh.” Gao Yang who was at the side suddenly spoke and mumbled to himself as he held a wine cup. “Why is this time different?”
“What difference?” Xie Jing Xing spoke as he sat down by the window. He poured himself a cup of tea and looked towards the direction of Gao Yang’s gaze.
One only saw that at the ground floor of Bao Xiang Lou, a horse carriage had just stopped and a few people came out, with Mo Qing leading. Following behind him, there were three youths.
“In the past that Mo guy would be coming and going alone, so why is there so many people today? Is this instructed by Shen Miao?” Gao Yang supported his chin to contemplate.
“Let me see.” Ji Yu Shu stretched his neck out for a look at and a divine light appeared on his face, “Could it be that Shen Young Lady is one that is generous to servants and when the servant do a good job, she will reward them with a trip to Bao Xiang Lou. I also want to be a servant in Shen Young Lady’s residence.”
“Go away.” Gao Yan pushed Ji Yu Shu’s head away and said, “Why do I feel that these people look a tad familiar?”
His voice hardly landed when one saw Xie Jing Xing spraying a mouthful of tea out with a ‘Pu’.
“Third Older Brother!” Ji Yu Shu whose head and face was sprayed at jumped up in a flurry and spoke angrily as he tidied his clothes, “What are you doing!”
Xie Jing Xing did not pay any attention to him as his surprised gaze was still on those few people below, “Even come here oneself.”
“Oneself?” Gao Yang caught the meaning in his words and took a closer look below. When he saw it clearly, he almost turned over.
That carved jade young gentleman that was led by, was not that Shen Miao?
There was actually a female who dressed up as a male to visit an entertainment house in the world. If one did not personally see it, Gao Yang only thought that such things would only appear in novels.
Shen Miao followed Mo Qing and entered Bao Xiang Lou. When the young lady welcoming saw Mo Qing, she ran up and smiled, “Lord Mo, still pick Young Lady Liu Ying right?”
Mo Qing nodded his head and it was only then when the young lady seemed to be aware of the people behind Mo Qing and hesitated for a moment, “These few people…”
“Are together with me.” Mo Qing said.
That young lady was surprised for a moment before thinking of something and looked at Mo Qing teasingly, “One did not think that Lord Mo had this kind of taste… It is nothing, the more the people, the livelier it is.”
When Gu Yu and Jing Zhe heard this, and their faces immediately reddened and Mo Qing also became somewhat uncomfortable. The only person that was calm in this entourage was Shen Miao.
That young lady led them to the small building in which Liu Ying was staying. Mo Qing was already a frequent visitor in Bao Xiang Lou and all the young ladies here would know of him, so it was not surprising. It was just rare to see such handsome gentlemen like Shen Miao and the rest. Especially Shen Miao, who was like a carved jade, which made young ladies turn over and smile.
When they reached Liu Ying’s building, the young lady leading knocked on the door and said, “Liu Ying, Lord Mo is here to see you.” Finishing, she then said to Mo Qing and the rest, “This servant will leave first.”
Mo Qing pushed open the door and walked in. There was a female sitting in front of the dressing mirror, clothes were loosely wrapped on her body which had a head full of black flowing hair. Hearing the movement, she did not even turn around to speak, “You are early today.”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu looked strangely at Mo Qing before Mo Qing softly coughed twice, “It is not only me.”
Liu Ying’s hand paused and she turned over before being stunned upon seeing Shen Miao and the rest. Afterwards there was a trace of anger on her face as she said, “What is the meaning of this?”
Not waiting for Mo Qing to finish, Liu Ying sneered, “If you want to play like this then you have to pay twice the amount.”
When the words were spoken, not only Jing Zhe and Gu Yu, even Shen Miao looked strangely at Mo Qing.
Mo Qing was somewhat distressed as he did not know what he did a few days ago to warrant such anger from Liu Ying today, and the cold alienation begin to appear again.
“Young Lady Liu Ying, this one is Mo Qing’s master.” Shen Miao spoke to break the impasse and smiled gently, “We are not here to ‘play’.”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu wanted to cover their eyes and could not wait to pretend not to know.
Hearing the word ‘master’, Liu Ying paused and her gaze fell on Shen Miao to size her up. Shen Miao walked over and Jing Zhe and Gu Yu quickly moved the stool at the table nearer to Liu Ying and waited for Shen Miao to sit down.
“It is you that let Mo Qing come over and pick me daily?” Liu Ying asked.
Shen Miao nodded her head.
Liu Ying used a hand to support her chin and suddenly her gaze had lots of amorous feelings, “This servant do not understand Gentleman’s action. Can it be that one is really in love with this servant?”
Mo Qing looked at the skies. Liu Ying was after all a female in the pleasure house, thus when she speak about romance, it was the point of perfection. Jing Zhe and Gu Yu, however had an expression of contempt.
Shen Miao looked at her, “What does Young Lady Liu Ying think?”
Liu Ying carefully sized Shen Miao up and her eyes paused before she suddenly laughed, “This young lady want to play a show of a fake phoenix like those novels?”
She actually saw through her female identity with a look. Shen Miao was not at all surprised. She was born with good looks and when she was dressed up as a male, her complexion was as fair as jade with shaped brows and was too delicate when walking thus when one look seriously, naturally it would not escape the others’ eyes.
“I want to redeem you.” Shen Miao said.
Liu Ying could no longer laugh.
The duration that she was sold to Bao Xiang Lou was not short and at present, she was not as popular as those years ago. The people that asked for her were getting smaller, much less someone saying that they would spend a fortune to redeem her.”
“Liu Ying do not understand Young Lady’s meaning.”
“I am lucky to have gained a handkerchief and it was a rarely seen double-sided embroidery. In Ming Qi, there are less than ten people who will be able to do double-sided embroidery.” Shen Miao said, “After much inquiring, one learned that it came from the hands of Liu Ying.”
“You!” Liu Ying’s hands tightened, “How do you know it came out from my hands?”
Shen Miao waved her hands, “It is not important how I found it out. The important thing is that I have an embroidery workshop and it is lacking an Embroidery Head. Does Young Lady Liu Ying feel interested in managing my embroidery workshop?”
Liu Ying looked at her incredulously and suddenly laughed like a spray of blossoms, “Young Lady, are you thinking of getting me to leave the trade?”
Jing Zhe and Gu Yu were somewhat dissatisfied with Liu Ying’s current demeanour, and Mo Qing was also slightly frowning. How many females were willing to wash away the flowers. Liu Ying was still young, thus she might have a good future if she washed away her past.
“I was sold by others to this place.” Liu Ying had a frivolous face on, “And the skills learnt were all for the bedroom and thus, one only know how to treat a male good. Young Lady want me to manage the embroidery workshop and make a hard living as an unskilled worker, I would not to be able to get by such difficult days. Does not one fear that I will bankrupt the workshop?”
Shen Miao stared at her as she smiled gently, “It is my business if it bankrupts or not, but doing it or not is your business.” She casually said, “It is just… This matter may mean nothing to me but to you, it could be the only way out from this place.”
“There are thousands of people in the world and tens of thousands of businesses, everyone have a way of living. As for me, one do not find that a female from a brothel is cheaper than others but the world view it as such.” Shen Miao said, “Like my Guard Mo, he is a servant but no one will look down on him. My personal servants even have people who would envy them. The matter of the world is such and people are separated by three, six and nine ranks. Who do not want to be a person on top of others, and who is willing to be trampled everyday by others?”