Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 13

Publish Time: 2024-05-28 22:21:50 231 views
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Chapter 13:

Early the next day, when the sky was just getting light, Qi Leyuan jumped up and started chirping.

After he finished chirping, no one paid him any attention. So, he hopped onto the bed, stayed away from Li Zhexuan, and nestled at Li Chunzhou's feet, checking the messages on the chat channel that he didn't have time to read last night.

Zhong Zhiye (Cabinet Minister), "The decree has been issued; the emperor wants to hand this matter over to Dali Temple for investigation. I volunteered to supervise the matter to the emperor, and he agreed. Prime Minister Gu looked at me several times, I felt something was not right."

Shi Gu (Beggar), "Remember to tell us if you find anything."

Zhong Zhiye (Cabinet Minister), "I'll take care of it, you just relax."

Hongwu (Hanlin Academy Compiler): "Today I spent the whole day looking through materials at the Hanlin Academy archives, and I think I understand the meaning of the second half of that nursery rhyme now."

Wang Ruyu (Miss Wang from the Wang family), "Really? Tell us more."

Hongwu (Hanlin Academy Compiler): "In simple terms, the last two sentences mean: the bride is pregnant with twins, the midwife made a mistake, they are not a pair of boys, but twin dragon and phoenix."

Yan Qingze (Merchant), "Why do you say that?"

Hongwu (Hanlin Academy Compiler) explained: 'The saying about clothes and sleeping arrangements refers to a Southern custom where boys wear shirts, girls wear pants, boys sleep at the head of the bed, and girls sleep at the foot.'

"Cheng Yingchu the prostitute remarked: 'I think this theory is pretty close to the mark. The clues seem to point towards the girl in the dragon-phoenix twins. The culprit must have some connection to her.'"

"Young Master Bi suggested: 'Let's go to Spring Flowers Tower tomorrow and find the culprit.'"

"The merchant Huang Yuanwu worried: 'But there's a curfew at night. If we don't leave before it gets dark, we'll be trapped in Spring Flowers Tower. Isn't it more dangerous to stay with the evil spirits at night?'"

"Miss Wang from the Wang family, also known as Wang Ruyu, expressed: 'Isn't it said that the number of evil spirits will increase with time? If we don't go now, it will only get more dangerous in the next twenty days.'"

"The beggar Shi Gu suggested: 'I think it's better to investigate Spring Flowers Tower. We've already solved the clues from the nursery rhyme. Now we need to investigate the deaths of Minister Liu and Player Zhenxing separately. We also have to verify each of the six rules one by one. And one of the rules states that 'Oirans are friendly and can be sought for help when necessary.' If we assume this rule is true, then as long as we can find an Oiran, our lives should not be in danger... but I can't enter the Spring Flowers Tower with my current identity.'"

"Young Master Bi proposed: 'It's easy to handle. Let's decide on a meeting point, I'll provide you with new clothes, and I'll cover the expenses. I have a lot of money with my current status.'"

Hongwu (Hanlin Academy Compiler) said: 'I also support it. If we don't dare to investigate actively, clues won't come to us. Don't forget our goal is to leave this Dungeon.'

"The merchant Huang Yuanwu refused: 'You guys can go ahead! I'm not going!'"

[Wang Ruyu] (Miss Wang from the Wang family), "Why are you in such a hurry? No one is forcing you to go. Here's the plan: tomorrow at noon, those willing to go will meet at the entrance of Spring Flowers Tower, and those unwilling can investigate elsewhere."

[Yan Qingze] (Merchant), "There's one more thing. Today at the tea house, I overheard them talking about the Oiran election. In this place, they elect a new Oiran once a year. But this year's Oiran election hasn't started yet. So, who exactly is this Oiran in the rules referring to?"

[Ying Rui] (Maid), "If they haven't had a new election, wouldn't last year's Oiran still hold the title? Who was the Oiran last year?"

[Yan Qingze] (Merchant), "It seems to have been a courtesan named 'Gu Lingfan.'"

[Ming Xiang] (Courtesan), "But from what I know, apart from the madam at Spring Flowers Tower, there seems to be another powerful woman, no, I should say, a young girl... I plan to try my luck with her tonight."

[Young Master Bi], "We'll find out tomorrow when we investigate. We can even place bets on both sides if needed."

[Liang Jiayou] (Fisherman), "Um... I have something to ask. Is the curfew rule only in effect in the capital city?"

[Shi Gu] (Beggar), "Actually, I tried it last night. Even at night, the streets in the capital city were not dangerous. So, the curfew rule is likely false... I think the hidden rule might be - avoid being seen by the night patrolling soldiers."

[Liang Jiayou] (Fisherman), "That makes sense. The group I joined has been on the road non-stop. It's dark now, and they show no intention of stopping."

Linlang (the maid), "So the night isn't dangerous, the dangerous thing is the night patrol. As long as they're not caught, they can investigate at night? But would the rules be that simple?"


Qi Leyuan felt a pain on his head, he looked up and saw Li Chunzhou yawning while pulling his rooster crest. Li Chunzhou was wearing her inner garment and casually grabbed Qi Leyuan by the neck, throwing him off her bed.

"Chiiii~roo~~~" she called out lazily, stretching Chihong's name, asking her to come and help her change clothes.

Li Chunzhou was pampered since she was young, used to having someone take care of her. But Chihong was not just a maid to her, she had other duties - every time Li Chunzhou's guests approached her, Chihong would say expressionlessly, "I've never seen our mistress care about anyone so much before."

No matter what she said, coming from Chihong's poker face, it always sounded believable. When the guests were charmed by Li Chunzhou, Chihong would deliver the final blow, saying, "Our mistress is someone who values emotions, she's easily hurt."

Qi Leyuan flapped his wings, accidentally hitting Li Zhexuan's foot by the bed. It suddenly struck him - did Li Zhexuan take off his clothes before sleeping just now? It seemed like he didn't... He couldn't quite remember.

"Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck! (This guy got into bed without taking off his clothes!)" Qi Leyuan exclaimed indignantly with a series of chicken noises.

His cackling was too loud, Chihong glanced coldly at him, sending a chill down Qi Leyuan's spine. He immediately fell silent, having a wild animal-like intuition for danger.

"Oh, I feel like a real animal now," thought Qi Leyuan.

Under Chihong's intense gaze, Qi Leyuan quietly lowered his head, pecking around on the ground, trying his best to mimic how a chicken should behave.

Chihong helped Li Chunzhou put on her inner dress and draped on her outer coat, then started to comb Li Chunzhou's hair. Looking at Li Chunzhou's slightly grumpy reflection in the mirror, Chihong lowered her eyes and said calmly, "Miss, the servant girl named 'Red Bean' has run away."

Li Chunzhou nodded nonchalantly and gazed at her reflection in the mirror, lazily saying, "Hmm, probably ran off with her parents."

Placing a freshly picked peony flower on Li Chunzhou's head, Chihong remained silent for a moment before asking, "Shall I go fetch her back?"

"No need..."

"Lady Chun!"

Before Li Chunzhou could finish speaking, a deep voice interrupted her. Mi Hongbao, with his black slightly curly hair, burst into the room.

Li Chunzhou turned to look at him, and before saying anything, she smiled gently.

"Let's go," Mi Hongbao said excitedly, "Aren't we supposed to see something fun today?"

Chihong tactfully left the room, Li Chunzhou gently guided Mi Hongbao to sit beside her, and then she combed his hair.

"Why are you so anxious, the good show won't run away, haste makes waste… I'll braid your hair like before, okay?" Li Chunzhou carefully selected hair accessories for Mi Hongbao from her box.

Whenever Mi Hongbao tilted his head slightly, he could see Li Chunzhou's pure face in the mirror next to him, along with her serious expression. Li Chunzhou's fingers weaved through his hair, occasionally touching his scalp, sending a pleasant tingling sensation to Mi Hongbao's heart.

He watched Li Chunzhou biting the hairband with her rosy lips, her gentle demeanor looking especially serious.

Just as Mi Hongbao returned to his senses, he noticed Li Zhexuan silently standing behind Li Chunzhou. Shocked that he hadn't realized there was a third person present, he angrily whispered, "Fool, go away!"

Without lifting her gaze, Li Chunzhou asked, "Why do you have such animosity towards him?"

"..." Mi Hongbao remained silent for a while, then hesitantly said, "I don't know why, but when I see him standing with you, I feel uneasy inside."

Li Chunzhou pinched Mi Hongbao's hair and said, "Others don't mind, why do you, A'bao? Don't be so jealous, okay?"

In Shengjing City, people only know that Mi Hongbao is handsome, likes to smile, and has a good temper. But to Li Chunzhou, this guy doesn't seem as friendly as he appears.

Mi Hongbao spends his days being carefree, and he seems very approachable. But since he grew up surrounded by wealth, he doesn't have much sincerity towards people. When he pursues someone, he treats them like they're the most special person, but once he's bored, he discards them like old shoes. He's as unpredictable as the weather in May, changing his mind constantly.

The girls at Spring Flowers Tower often have mixed feelings of love and hate towards this unruly young master.

Li Chunzhou lowered her gaze, thinking that men are always the same – wanting many things for themselves but hoping their partner only has eyes for them.

But, despite her thoughts, Li Chunzhou didn't show any emotions on her face. She silently helped Mi Hongbao fix his hair accessory, then took his hand and said with a smile, "Let's go out and have fun!"

Li Chunzhou put on her veil and hat as they passed by the entrance of Spring Flowers Tower, noticing the few people on the street.

Early morning belonged to the brothels, as the surroundings were quiet and everyone was lost in deep slumber.

Even though the morning wasn't too warm, Mi Hongbao had already shed his outer garments, wearing only a light spring shirt. Riding a horse quickly was prohibited on the streets of Shengjing, so he lazily rode along. The girls of Pingkang Alley were even more enthusiastic—waving and calling out to him from afar, inviting the young master upstairs to play.

Riding alongside him on a white horse, Li Chunzhou wore a veil covering her face. Her voice, muffled by the veil, was still a bit unclear, but Mi Hongbao thoroughly enjoyed their conversation.

He noticed Li Chunzhou glancing at the sugar figure seller on the side of the road, and he asked, "Lady Chun, do you eat sugar figures? I'll buy you one."

Li Chunzhou came back to her senses, gently shook her head, "No, thank you."

When Li Chunzhou was sold to Spring Flowers Tower at the age of five or six, the madam was wearing silk clothes that Li Chunzhou had never seen anyone in her family wear. Passing by Li Chunzhou's house, she saw Li Chunzhou weaving willow branches in front of the door at a glance.

Back then, Li Chunzhou was not yet called Li Chunzhou.

Mama Li bought a sugar figure for Li Chunzhou, smiled kindly, and asked her if there were any adults at home.

Li Chunzhou looked up blankly at Mama Li, it was the first time she had seen a woman dressed so expensively and beautifully.

Li Chunzhou had long forgotten what she had said in response at that time. It was the first time in her life that she had eaten a sugar figure, and all she remembered was that the sugar figure was very sweet.

She remembered when she was eating the sugar figure, her mother and the pretty middle-aged woman were having a conversation. When Li Chunzhou looked up, she saw her mother with tears in her eyes, giving her a final hug before pushing her towards the madam.

From then on, Li Chunzhou never ate sugar figures again.