Please note that this release is unedited. I will put the edited one as soon as I can.
Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 110: Subduing Pei Lang (Part 1)
“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?”
“You!” Liu Ying most hated others bringing up the matter of her being debased to prostitution and would always become angry.
Shen Miao said, “You may wish to consider it.”
“Since Young Lady look down on people who are reduced to dust, then why the need to say these words to me.” Liu Ying retorted with a laugh.
“What I look down, is people who are willing to be reduced to dust.” Shen Miao stood up and said, “After a few days, Guard Mo will come again so Young Lady Liu Ying do not need to be in a hurry to answer me. But… Usually there would not be a good ending for those who treat others according to appearances.”
Shen Miao gave a look to Mo Qing and he quickly took out a piece of tael and placed in on the table. Liu Ying swept her eyes at him with some anger on her face. Mo Qing was very embarrassed and Shen Miao did not plan on staying any longer, so she nodded her head to Liu Ying and left. One did not know what kind of expression did Liu Ying had on when Shen Miao left.
Only when they were out of Bao Xiang Lou’s doors, Jing Zhe said indignant, “Young Lad… Young Master has good intentions to redeem her but she did not appreciate it. Good intentions do not meet with recompense.”
Mo Qing wanted to say something but at the end endured it.
Gu Yu asked, “Young Lady, are we going back now?”
Shen Miao did not reply and did not move her body at all. Gu Yu felt somewhat strange and seeing that Shen Miao was seemingly looking at something, she followed her gaze and saw that across the street corner there stood a green clad person, who was looking at the little building of Bao Xiang Lou.
Before Gu Yu had time to speak, one saw Shen Miao lifting her feet to walk over.
Under the eaves, a green cladded male was standing straight and closely staring toward the direction of Liu Ying’s building. He was so entranced that he did not know that people walked to his side. Only when a cough interrupted his thoughts, then he saw four people standing in front of him. The one leading was a youth clad in moon white robes with clear and delicate brows and looking like a carved jade, he was unsure which family’s young gentleman did he belong to. At that moment when he was looking, there was a faint smile on his lips.
Pei Lang was stunned and just thought that this youth was seemingly familiar. The youth nodded towards him, “Teacher Pei.”
“Shen Miao!” Pei Lang stared back with large eyes. He looked at the attendants and guards behind Shen Miao before looking back at her. Most likely he was somewhat shocked, “You… Why are you dressed like this?”
It was no less common for a female to dress as male in Ming Qi as for conveniences, many young ladies would occasionally don male clothes, and sometimes it was done pretty good. But Shen Miao… Pei Lang looked at the jade-like youth and did not know what to say in that moment.
“I just came out from Bao Xiang Lou.” Shen Miao said.
All of a sudden Pei Lang started coughing till his face was somewhat red. It was already unusual for a female to dress up as male, but it was his first time hearing of a female dressing up as a male to visit a brothel. But Shen Miao still had a magnanimous look on, without a trace of embarrassment.
Shen Miao suddenly stood forward and approached Pei Lang. With a ‘Pa’ sound that sounded from opening a fan that blocked both their faces, a soft voice sounded at one side of the folding fan, “Everyone says that Bao Xiang Lou’s ladies are stunning beauties in the human world, so I specifically went to visit. Recently there are a number of new Persian dancers that are matchless in beauty.”
From the outside Pei Lang looked calm, he was highly competent in the face of dignitaries and officials, but when facing with Shen Miao’s slightly ambiguous actions, he was somewhat overwhelmed. Not to mention the nonsense stuff that Shen Miao said that let him have a wrong illusion, as if the person in front was really a gentleman who visits brothels on horseback, and was discussing about which brothel has better dancers.
“Nonsense!” Thinking of his identity as a teacher, that word bursted out from between Pei Lang’s teeth.
Shen Miao smiled gently and her eyes became curved like crescent moons, almost like one who was laughing, “But I picked Liu Ying’s place card.”
When the words were spoken, Pei Lang’s body stiffened.
Shen Miao kept the folding fan and smiled towards him, “I see that Teacher Pei had been here looking at Liu Ying’s little building for quite long, is it that one is filled with longing for Young Lady Liu Ying?”
Pei Lang stared at Shen Miao and his usual bland expression suddenly became fierce.
Shen Miao was however unmoved and still laughing as she pointed to Kuai Huo Lou, “Since Teacher Pei is also interested in Young Lady Liu Ying, it will be better to come in with me for a drink and discussion about the beauty.” She clearly behaved frivolously but there was a kind of irresistible majesty to it. She crossed the fan in front of her chest and walked up herself before throwing a sentence, “Fine wine and discussion about beauties, it is the finest thing in life.”
Even though the three of them, Jing Zhe, Gu Yu and Mo Qing, did not understand the meaning of Shen Miao’s words, they had never refuted any decision of Shen Miao so they immediately followed her.
Pei Lang stood on the spot alone and paused for a moment before making the decision to follow.
Upstairs at the position against the window, Ji Yu Shu jumped up quickly, “Look! I had said that Shen Young Lady is interested in that Pei Land and she went around in a big way to pick Liu Ying, just to speak to Pei Lang today!”
Gao Yang could not be bothered about him and speculated, “Just now she used the fan to cover her face. What exactly did she say to Pei Lang?” Gao Yang shook his head, “To use the fan to block, can it be that she know that you know how to read lips?” When saying these words, Gao Yang was looking at Xie Jing Xing.
Xie Jing Xing shrugged his shoulders, indicating a decline to comment.
“Speaking of which, just now how Shen Young Lady made that action with the fan was just like a Casanova, it was even better than me.” Ji Yu Shu lament, “How such a beautiful person fall for such a poor scholar. Even if one were to follow this lord, it is better than following a pretty boy that cannot afford to visit a brothel.”
Xie Jing Xing stood up and Ji Yu Shu asked, “Where are you going?”
“Of course to listen what are they talking about.” Xie Jing Xing smiled meaningfully, “I’d like to see exactly what kind of chess piece Pei Lang is.”
In the elegant room of Kuai Huo Lou, Mo Qing was guarding by the door as Jing Zhe and Gu Yu stood at the sides with their heads down, as if they were not there.
At the table, Shen Miao was pouring wine.
This was Lu wine, amber in colour and had a light fragrance to it. This wine was not intoxicating and as long as one’s alcohol capacity was not lousy, drinking a little more would not cause anything.
Shen Miao poured two cups. Her pouring actions were extremely beautiful, with one hand holding the flagon handle as the wine flow into the delicate crystal wine cup, that even the sound was pleasing to the ears.
Pei Lang watched as Shen Miao pushed a cup of wine to him and smiled, “Teacher, please have it.”
“Shen Miao.” Pei Lang directly called out her name. His expression from when he came in till now was not relaxed as he continued, “What exactly do you want?”
“Teacher Pei is unexpectedly anxious. Is not is like a cow chewing peony if one discuss about a beauty without wine?” Shen Miao looked at him calmly and unruffled in the midst of chaos.
Pei Lang felt blocked up with her words. He had been in Guang Wen Tang for several years and the people he had encountered all respected him, even the most unruly student would not use such a frivolous tone when speaking to him. If it was someone else one could let it be but unfortunately it was Shen Miao. Pei Lang had always felt that Shen Miao was not a frivolous person, so he was unable tell how things stood when she spoke like this.
Seeing that Pei Lang did not speak, Shen Miao lightly laughed. She said, “Only joked with Teacher Pei. Why is Teacher Pei this nervous?”
When she spoke those words, her eyes were clear but her gaze seemed to be teasing, it was clearly an innocent young girl appearance, but in that moment there was actually a kind of unconscious seduction that made Pei Lang’s gaze pause.
“This is Lu wine.” Shen Miao picked the wine cup up and raised it towards Pei Lang and the colour on Pei Lang’s face changed. Shen Miao seemed to have not noticed his expression and slowly said, “In the land of Qi Lu, the wine is also brewed amber in colour. The wine in Kuai Huo Lou most likely was shipped over from Qi Lu.”
Pei Lang looked at her and suddenly picked up the wine cup from the table and drained it of its content.
“This wine is not intoxicating.” Shen Miao spoke with a quiet smile, “Otherwise if others see this, they would think that Teacher Pei is an alcoholic.” Her words were delicate but the words said made Pei Lang’s hands tremble slightly. She said, “Speaking of which, Lu state people are good at drinking and would use jugs to drink most of the time. Gentleman Pei just now seemed to be like a Lu person.”
Pei Lang pursed his lips and did not speak but his warm brows slightly twisted up.
One of Shen Miao hand was on her cheek as alcohol slowly creeped to her face. Even if one did not fear of being intoxicated, there would still be a light redness on one’s face. When the eyes slightly squinted, it was as if a Begonia was asleep but because of being clad in a male garb, it was refreshing and a different kind of amorous feeling. She said, “I remembered tens of years ago, there was a Prefectural Magistrate in Lu state that seemed to also have the surname Pei. If one did not know about it, one would think that Teacher Pei belong to the same family as that person.”
All of a sudden Pei Lang put the wine cup down on the table, at the same time Mo Qing glared like a tiger and his right hand was on the sword around his waist.
“Unfortunately that Prefectural Magistrate Pei’s residence was involved in an old matter and His Majesty beheaded the entire family. In the entire residence, all sons were executed and daughters became prostitutes.” Shen Miao seemed to be unable to suppress a smile, “One heard that Prefectural Magistrate Pei had a pair of outstanding children, a girl and a boy who were still young but died in that storm.”
Pei Lang’s lips were slightly trembling as he asked a word at a time, “Who are you exactly?”
Shen Miao made a sighing sound and served herself another cup of wine, as two round blushes appeared on her fair face, “Actually I was fortunate to hear another secret. Seeing that Teacher Pei also has the surname Pei, one will share it with Teacher Pei.”
“That Prefectural Magistrate Pei’s residence had the ability to send the pair of children away from the scourge. But unfortunately due to the intense chase by the officials, only one can be protected, so… The Prefectural Magistrate Pei’s residence shielded the son but the daughter was caught by the officials.” She shook her head regretfully, “Those officials were like wolves and tigers and would not have any mercy to the criminal family members. How would there be a good ending for the little girl that was caught?” Shen Miao lamented, “I say that Prefectural Magistrate Pei’s residence obviously knew that it would be best dead than alive for the daughter, than to fall into the tiger’s mouth but still pushed the daughter in. It was indeed somewhat ruthless.”
Pei Lang closed his eyes as a pained expression appeared on his face.
“Teacher Pei is so nostalgic. One think that one is filled with empathy.” Shen Miao smiled cheekily as she looked at him, “But one think that this has nothing to do with Teacher Pei, because Teacher Pei is not a Lu person as Teacher Pei was born in a merchant household in the Ding capital. One only spoke about this because this wine is intoxicating and had a moment of emotions.”
Pei Lang’s gentle expression was no longer there and what replaced it was a strong vigilance and defence as he said, “Is this General Shen’s intention?”
Shen Miao shook her head.
“My Father loves me and gave me an embroidery workshop, but is short of an embroidery manager. And what a coincidence, this Young Lady Liu Ying of Bao Xiang Lou also know double-sided embroidery, so I thought that since both were reduced to prostitution and both knew double-sided embroidery, it might be that Young Lady Liu Ying and that criminal official’s daughter have a few points of commonality. So I sympathise and wanted to save her.” Shen Miao looked at Pei Lang and said, “Teacher Pei, do you think this student is correct in doing it?”
She called herself as ‘student’ with her headful of black hair, that was tied up in a male manner in an official hat, looking over with all smiles, seemingly having some air of a jaded youth. But in that clear pair of eyes, the bottom line and intentions were deeply hidden that one would not be able to guess. In this quick witted feigned charm and tenderness, there was a hidden knife like a vivid scene between officials of court.
Dealing with her was like walking on a wire at the cliff. There were hidden meanings behind the words, and it was difficult to differentiate enemies and friends.
Pei Lang turned his head to the side, “What do you think?”
Shen Miao smiled. Her smile was pure as if she was happy that she had done something good. She said, “I think it is good. Even if that Prefectural Magistrate Pei’s son know about the older sister’s whereabouts, he would personally redeem the older sister. But one fear that Pei Young Lady would resent what the Prefectural Magistrate Pei’s residence had done that year and will not be willing. On the contrary would even waste her entire life.”
Pei Lang did not speak.
“In this world there are people who are originally jade but after being mixed in the stone heap for too long, will then become a stone. But there are some people whose aspirations are hidden in their bones, that even if others were crushed or smelted, the arrogance in one’s bones will not change one bit. One heard that even though that Prefectural Magistrate Pei committed a crime, in the beginning he had an air of arrogance and one think that the pair of children that were raised by him, would not be inferior in any aspect. “You say.” Shen Miao looked at Pei Lang, “Is that young lady willing to live with the identity of a nobility who was reduce to windblown dust (aka prostitution) or start living with the identity of clean washed pleasure house lead?”
“After saying so much,” Pei Lang sneered, “What do you want me to do?”