Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 2

Publish Time: 2024-05-26 08:05:28 403 views
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Chapter 2:

The Second Prince's gaze shifted lazily towards Li Chunzhou, seemingly light but also heavy as if a ton of weight pressing down on her, making it hard to breathe.

"Come here." He waved casually at Li Chunzhou, then lazily closed his eyes.

Li Chunzhou knew this was his relaxed expression. Whenever she saw him like this, she had to admit, Liang Changfeng really had a handsome face that contrasted with his harsh inner self.

Those who had seen the late Queen said that the Second Prince bore a striking resemblance to her, making people unable to help but think of his mother when they saw him... and the rumors of him killing her.

The Second Prince was not yet thirty, but his aura was more unpredictable than his other siblings, especially his deep and affectionate eyes, which could easily ensnare anyone who met his gaze.

However, Li Chunzhou was indifferent to appearances, as she faced her own reflection every day and had long been desensitized to beauty.

What truly made her wary was Liang Changfeng's unfathomable cunning.

Despite many encounters, Li Chunzhou had never fully grasped this man- it seemed like he only showed others a small part of his life, like the tip of an iceberg.

Li Chunzhou hates this feeling.

She didn't really want to approach, but slowly moved closer to the Second Prince.

As Li Chunzhou reluctantly and obediently approached, Liang Changfeng lifted his eyelids and stared at her for a moment, a dazzling smile suddenly appearing on his lips. Although his face was very charming, it sent a shiver down her spine inexplicably.

Li Chunzhou could recite what was about to happen next like a skilled actor, as she had memorized every minute and every second that happened on the stage from countless repetitions. Even though she felt tired of it, she still had to move forward step by step.

Her hesitant expression was seen by others as the shyness and awkwardness of a young girl.

Second Prince remained expressionless, unable to tell his emotions. He turned the ring on his thumb and suddenly grabbed the delicate wrist in front of him, pulling her into his arms with surprising strength.

He held Li Chunzhou like that, making her sit on his lap, and absentmindedly stroked the soft cheeks of the person in his arms as if petting a cat.

Second Prince is the legitimate son of the former queen, but he is not a popular heir among the civil officials. Firstly, because he is keen on studying business practices, which go against the traditional hierarchy of scholars, farmers, artisans, and merchants in Daliang. It can almost be considered heretical. Moreover, he spends months away from the capital as soon as he leaves the city. Secondly, he is known for his wild and reckless behavior from years of indulging in pleasure-seeking activities, making him an unsuitable candidate for the throne.

Compared to these matters, the delayed marriage was not a big concern.

Li Chunzhou became famous, and at the same time, Second Prince's ridiculous actions spread far and wide along with her reputation.

The most likely person to succeed to the throne in the court is the eldest prince closely connected to the noble families, followed by the Third Prince, while Liang Changfeng is completely excluded from the possibility of succession.

Even so, no one in the capital dared to provoke Liang Changfeng, the unpredictable madman. Just a while ago, he personally chopped off the fingers of a minor official's son from the Ministry of Personnel because of an incident involving Li Chunzhou.

The Deputy Minister of Personnel, grieving, repeatedly submitted memorials in hopes that the Emperor would uphold justice for his subordinate. However, Liang Changfeng, apart from being in line for the throne, is also a shrewd and experienced businessman. He holds a purse with half of Daliang's money in it. He is not lacking in money or power; how could anyone really do anything to him?

Over the years, the Emperor has been obsessed with the words of alchemists, dreaming of immortality and neglecting state affairs for many years. In the end, Prime Minister Gu suppressed the uproar involving Second Prince and the Ministry of Personnel. Second Prince had to pay a hefty sum of silver taels, and the matter was considered settled.

Holding the little child in his arms, Liang Changfeng carefully examined the changes in Li Chunzhou's body. He hadn't returned for several months, and now he lazily held Li Chunzhou, absentmindedly massaging her waist. Suddenly, he raised an eyebrow and smiled, "Seems like you've grown taller."

Li Chunzhou nodded discreetly while sitting on Liang Changfeng's lap, busy peeling lychees. The lychees in her hands were not the salt-brined kind commonly found, but fresh ripe lychees. Lychees from Lingnan were renowned for their crimson scale-like skin, resembling sheep fat jade. However, the capital was far from Lingnan, and lychees easily spoiled, often rotting before they could be delivered.

Without a doubt, the plate of lychees in front of them must have been hastily transported from Lingnan by order of Second Prince. Lychees were not expensive, but the labor and resources spent on them could probably equal a fortune.

Placed delicately on Li Chunzhou's fair fingers, the lychees looked quite alluring. She peeled them leisurely, popping the juicy flesh into her mouth, and whenever one looked slightly spoiled, she fed it to Liang Changfeng.

The lychees in the plate were disappearing one by one. Prince Edward's chilly hand held hers, absent-mindedly asking, "What happened to the injury on your wrist?"

Li Chunzhou raised her hand and looked at it. The shallow wound on her wrist had just scabbed over. It still hurt a bit if touched lightly. She casually said, "I forgot when I got this little scrape."

Then, she earnestly started to peel the lychees, too busy to look up. She was currently in her growth period. The madam always forbid her from eating too much sweet or rich food to maintain her figure. Li Chunzhou could only eat freely when entertaining clients.

"Wasn't it yesterday?" Prince Edward grasped her injured hand and glanced down lightly, staring at Li Chunzhou without a word, his eyes carrying a heavy scrutiny.

As he pulled her hand, half-peeled lychees fell to the ground, collecting dust, making them inedible. Trying to recall, she indeed seemed to have accidentally cut herself the day before.

But she had been trapped in this cycle for far too long. Before even a month passed, she would return to "today" - June 12th.

The so-called "yesterday" felt way too distant in her memory, becoming blurry and unclear.

Li Chunzhou took the last lychee from the glass plate, looked up with bright eyes fixed on Liang Changfeng, and coquettishly said, "I truly can't remember, Master Edward."

What she couldn't remember, Liang Changfeng, who had been away for months, knew very well. Certainly, someone must have been monitoring her every day.

Liang Changfeng always loved collecting rare and precious things ever since he was little, and he still does now. Among all his treasures, Li Chunzhou is undoubtedly the most valuable one, even this whole Spring Flowers Tower is nothing more than a golden cage to keep her confined.

Li Chunzhou is like a shining flame, and to keep her burning forever, Liang Changfeng gave her a lot of freedom.

Li Chunzhou hesitated for a moment, feeling reluctant, but still handed the last lychee to Liang Changfeng. Liang Changfeng smiled and bit the lychee from her hand, his lips lightly brushing against Li Chunzhou's fingertips. She flinched as he held her hand, wiping away the sweet residue from her fingertips.

Li Chunzhou furrowed her brows tightly, quickly pulling her hand back to discreetly wipe off the saliva left on Liang Changfeng's body.

Liang Changfeng noticed her actions, not getting angry but instead chuckled mysteriously, warningly rubbing her waist with his cold fingers, making Li Chunzhou uncomfortable.

Li Chunzhou adjusted her posture and confidently leaned against him.

She had been with the Second Prince since she was about ten years old. The Second Prince treated her in a confusing way, sometimes like a customer and a prostitute, sometimes like an elder and a child. No one had taught Li Chunzhou that this was wrong, and no one dared to remind her without Liang Changfeng's permission, so Li Chunzhou grew up like that.

Li Chunzhou seemed to have something on her mind, her cheeks suddenly puffed up, looking rather gloomy.

Liang Changfeng could clearly see her change in mood but didn't bother guessing, so he directly asked, "Who made you unhappy again?"

Li Chunzhou looked up and asked, "If I tell, can Second Master help Lady Chun feel better?"

Liang Changfeng's pale hand gently touched her soft cheek with his knuckles, as if he was admiring a beloved treasure, and said quietly, "Of course, go ahead and speak."

"The Third Young Master of the Chen family wanted to harm me because I didn't want to see him. Can Second Master help me?" she said while pulling Liang Changfeng's sleeve gently.

The Second Prince seemed to enjoy this, leaning on his temple with his left hand, looking down at Li Chunzhou's sweet face. After quietly observing for a while, he suddenly smiled slightly and lazily ordered, "Jian Yi, take my token and bring Chen Jianqing to the front of Spring Flowers Tower, give him twenty lashes as a punishment."

The guard behind him nodded silently and left. Li Chunzhou happily leaned towards his face, rubbing her cheek against Liang Changfeng's face like a little cat or dog, smiling sweetly at him, and then said in a teasing tone, "Will Lady Chun be upset with Second Master for punishing him for me?"

The Chen family was the leader among the four noble families. While the court had been supporting commoner youths in recent years, the complex relationships between the noble families still intertwined, with their fates being closely linked and not easily overturned.

The Second Prince absentmindedly touched her thigh and said, "They wouldn't dare. Outside the royal family... no matter how high their status is, they are still servants."

With her goal achieved, Li Chunzhou began to fidget as she tried to get down from his lap, planning to run away.

She never mentioned the serial murder case to the Second Prince, and he didn't ask either, because they both knew - Li Chunzhou could not be the culprit.

Liang Changfeng suddenly grabbed her, leaned in close to her ear, and said in a playful tone, "Lady Chun, you're getting older... don't make me wait too long."

Li Chunzhou quickly jumped off his legs, looking around and avoiding eye contact with Liang Changfeng. She awkwardly smiled and tried to move towards the door, but was stopped by the Second Prince who grabbed her wrist and pulled her back, then held her tightly on his lap.

The pitiful and cute appearance of Li Chunzhou made the Second Prince smile. He chuckled, held Li Chunzhou's chin with one hand, and her shoulder with the other, enclosing her in his arms.

The Second Prince's hand slipped under her clothes and played with her smooth legs. As their skin touched, Li Chunzhou blushed and shivered as his cold fingertips traced over her skin, causing goosebumps.

Not satisfied with just touching her, he hugged her tightly and kissed her repeatedly, pinching her cheeks and forcing her to open her mouth to kiss her on the rosy tongue tip.

Li Chunzhou's thighs involuntarily tensed, trapping the man's hand. She tried to resist the Second Prince's advances, but he bit her ear softly, saying, "Lady Chun, if you see other men, I won't be angry..."

Li Chunzhou paused, her small hands uncertainly resting on his unyielding arm.

The Second Prince held Li Chunzhou's delicate chin and interrupted her as she spoke, slipping his fingers into her rosy mouth, playing with her lips and tongue as if punishing her for being flirtatious.

Liang Changfeng, looking down at her face, drawled slowly, "It's okay to play along with those people, just don't go too far and forget who your master is."

He looked at her with a clear sense of superiority and mockery.

Li Chunzhou felt ashamed and closed her eyes as Liang Changfeng cruelly toyed with her, displaying a mocking gesture. He then provocatively wiped his hands with a handkerchief in front of Li Chunzhou, who was trying to hide her anger. He chuckled and kissed her red lips affectionately, saying, "Listen, it's getting cold lately. Don't run around in this attire. You like cloud brocade, right? I'll have someone bring you a few pieces later to make clothes for me to see."

Li Chunzhou avoided looking at the Second Prince's face.

When Li Chunzhou finally emerged from the elegant room, her neatly arranged hair was messy, and the peony flowers on her head seemed to have been trampled, reflecting her despondent state.

Li Chunzhou, with an unpleasant expression, walked back slowly as the Third Young Master of the Chen family, who had been captured by Jian Yi, was being held down on the street by two guards, surrounded by a crowd watching.

Amidst the noisy crowd, Jian Yi mercilessly whipped Chen Jianqing twenty times. Initially, Chen Jianqing tried to endure the pain quietly, but after ten lashes, he began sweating profusely, crying out in pain. Eventually, Chen Jianqing was carried back by the servants.

Li Chunzhou leaned against the crimson railing for a while, finding happiness in Chen Jianqing's suffering. As her resentment dissipated and turned into carefree indifference, she hummed a tune, walking lightly and cheerfully back to her courtyard.

Chen Jianqing couldn't understand why Li Chunzhou turned against him in his wildest dreams, as the reason she accused him behind his back to the Second Prince was entirely different from what she had stated.

Li Chunzhou framed him because Chen Jianqing insisted on having a young man from the Spring Flowers Tower serve customers.

In Spring Flowers Tower, there were not only prostitutes who sold their bodies, but also entertainers who only sold their skills and didn't want to sell their bodies. However, the entertainers worked harder than the prostitutes, yet earned only a fraction of what the latter earned.

The madam didn't force the entertainers to sell their bodies. She just feared the comparison – working hard all month but still earning less than what others made in one night. Who could be content with that?

Many prostitutes didn't agree to sell their bodies at first. But earning two coins a month playing the zither, and earning one coin just by having a drink with a customer - not for sleeping with them, just drinking, who wouldn't want to make money if they had the chance?

The downfall of many entertainers started with that one drink.

Few could persist for years selling their skills without selling their bodies. Xiao Qing, a famous entertainer in Spring Flowers Tower, managed to do so, but occasionally, there were wealthy youths like Chen Jianqing who were not convinced.

No matter how the madam tried to handle things, Chen Jianqing relied on his wealthy background and acted stubbornly. The entertainer was almost driven to desperation and it caused a big commotion, even reaching Li Chunzhou's ears.

That's why today's events happened.

The Second Prince was aware of the situation. Everything that happened to Li Chunzhou was reported to him through the Dark Guards. Liang Changfeng knew that Chen Jianqing was wrongly accused in today's incident, but he still agreed with Li Chunzhou to keep the peace.

He had a strong desire to control those around him and enjoyed indulging in small, harmless matters to amuse himself. As long as it could pacify Li Chunzhou, he didn't mind going along with it.

The Second Prince didn't care at all about whether other people were being treated unfairly.