Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 21

Publish Time: 2024-06-04 23:01:51 222 views
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Chapter 21:

Xinlan doesn't stand out in looks among the beautiful girls at Spring Flowers Tower, but her curvy figure makes sure she always has admirers. She's straightforward, can't read, and some snobbish guests often look down on her to feel superior.

Most girls in Spring Flowers Tower like Xinlan only have a first name and no last name to avoid clashes with guests' last names causing awkwardness.

Today, along with Bi Yuansi, there are seven other players. After Bi Yuansi left, they exchanged glances and silently agreed on a plan. The seven split up - Ji He went to find the madam and requested to see a girl named Cheng Yingchu privately. He also wanted to ask about how to handle turning from a woman to a man. Hongwu, Shi Gu, and A'ping requested a private room, while Wang Ruyu, Zang Bing, and Yan Qingze stayed in the lobby drinking tea with Xinlan.

Seeing the conversation going cold, Yan Qingze took the initiative and asked, "Miss Xinlan, could you tell us about Oiran and the 'Second Master' we just saw?"

Xinlan noticed their friendly tone and respectful behavior, so she happily shared some gossip with them while munching on seeds. When it came to Gu Lingfan, she couldn't avoid discussing the past events and conflicts with Li Chunzhou.

"Well, you see..." Xinlan whispered mysteriously, "Mom originally intended to use Fan Nuo to attract the Second Prince, but he ended up falling for Lady Chun, who was just a young girl at the time with blonde hair."

Xinlan spat her seed shells into her hand and said with a hint of glee, "If it had been Fan Nuo who caught the eye of the Second Prince instead, she probably wouldn't need to entertain as many guests as we do now. It's a shame! I bet she never expected to be outsmarted by that clingy follower trailing her all day."

Zang Bing listened with interest, stroking her chin. She sympathized with Gu Lingfan's feelings - being overshadowed by someone much younger at the haughty age of teenage years must have been quite frustrating.

As Li Chunzhou's dazzling appearance grows, Gu Lingfan's sense of crisis deepens each year. She may no longer see Li Chunzhou through the eyes of an elder like before. The feeling of "caring mixed with jealousy, and jealousy mixed with a hint of loss" is something only those involved can truly understand.

Wang Ruyu kept staring at Xinlan's face, puzzled by what she saw. She touched her own face and asked in annoyance, "Is there something on my face?"

Wang Ruyu snapped out of it, shook her head, and said, "No, nothing."

"Ah, I see now~" Wang Ruyu and Zang Bing's disguise was quite clumsy. Xinlan immediately saw that they were both young girls. She suddenly felt mischievous, leaned towards Wang Ruyu, and playfully asked, "Are you trying to accompany me to Mount Wu together... right?"

The tone of the phrase "accompany me to Mount Wu" was light and lingering, a fancy term Xinlan had picked up from other patrons. She actually had no idea what the phrase meant.

Although Xinlan usually had a carefree personality, she didn't usually exhibit such "improper" behavior in front of guests. Her usual approach was to be welcoming but reserved. However, today, in front of Wang Ruyu and Zang Bing, who came from noble backgrounds, Xinlan suddenly felt competitive.

It seemed like being a prostitute was inherently seen as a stain for women. In all situations, comparisons were feared the most. To avoid being disadvantaged, Xinlan took the initiative to display an "unconcerned" attitude towards her purity through her actions.

It seemed that as long as she didn't care, she could hide her humble and lowly social status. She almost unconsciously acted in this manner, not even knowing why she did it. It was as if she used a sense of superiority through this reckless behavior to prove she was not inferior.

When Xinlan pressed herself against Wang Ruyu with her soft bosom, Wang Ruyu blushed instantly, flustered as she denied it, shaking her head vigorously like a tambourine. She awkwardly said, "I'm sorry, Miss Xinlan, I just thought you looked a lot like Xiang Yun..."

Xinlan widened her big round eyes and grumbled, "Who is Xiang Yun? Why do I have to look like her, instead of her looking like me?"

Wang Ruyu quickly waved her hands and gently explained, "No, no, you got it wrong. Xiang Yun is... a character in a book, a very lovely girl."

At first, Xinlan was puzzled, then she covered her face and couldn't help but giggle secretly for a while. It was the first time someone said she looked like a character in a book. In the past, customers would only praise her figure in a vulgar way, and although Xinlan pretended to be flattered, she didn't really like it.

Watching the cheerful Xinlan, Wang Ruyu couldn't help but wonder, what kind of life does this child lead normally? Why does she have to work as a prostitute in the brothel? Is that really the life she wants? Or could it be... she just doesn't know there are other ways of living in the world?

While it might be okay when she's young, what will happen to Xinlan when she gets old and loses her looks? Would her parents really allow their daughter to waste away her life in the red-light district...?

The realism and freedom in this Dungeon were so high that Wang Ruyu couldn't treat this girl as a lifeless NPC without emotions and flesh.

On the other side, Hongwu, Shi Gu, and A'ping finally met Kong Yangping from the Spring Flowers Tower, who worked as a general servant in the brothel, carrying the foot-bound prostitutes to serve clients. When there were no clients, he did odd jobs in the building.

A'ping sniffed himself all over. Even though he had changed into clean and luxurious clothes after begging for several days, he still felt like he had a stench of garbage on him. But when he saw the hunched and shuffling Kong Yangping coming in, he felt relieved and couldn't help but say, "Brother, your randomly assigned role is really shabby..."

Kong Yangping felt a bit offended by this and stood up straight, saying, "Come on, how can you, a beggar role player, dare to say that? Didn't you even have a meal the first day? Although I work as a security guard in a brothel, at least I don't have to eat plain buns every day like common folks. Just yesterday, I had a whole roasted lamb."

A'ping was very surprised and asked in disbelief, "How is it possible? You all eat so well?"

Kong Yangping grunted proudly, "I can eat what guests leave behind."

"..." A'ping was silent for a moment, then said, "Bro, save some for me next time."

Shi Gu and Hongwu watched them in silence, about to say something, when suddenly they heard the door to the elegant room being pushed open. The four of them looked towards the door together, and Kong Yangping bent down again until the person coming in introduced herself as Ming Xiang, then he straightened up.

Hongwu took the initiative to explain to the other three, "I sent a message to bring Ming Xiang here."

Ming Xiang sneaked out from the courtyard. Last night, she managed to stay by Li Chunzhou's side through persistent pleading. The next morning, Chihong informed Mama Li about it, so from today, Ming Xiang would no longer be following the monthly rituals of the girls in the building and instead follow the standards of the maids by Li Chunzhou's side.

Hongwu asked, "Have you found out any information from your investigation?"

Ming Xiang shook her head and said hesitantly, "I couldn't get close to Li Chunzhou at all... that Chihong, the maid with a scar on her face beside Li Chunzhou, she arranged for me to take care of the five-colored parrot that the Second Prince gave to Li Chunzhou, but..."

At this point, Ming Xiang's face clearly showed fear, "But that cage was clearly empty, there was no parrot..."

Ming Xiang couldn't help but wonder if she triggered some death condition, why would the tall maid point to an empty cage and ask her to take care of a bird that doesn't exist...

"An empty cage...?" Shi Gu murmured to himself, "Could this cage be related to the rule about 'breaking the cage'?"

Kong Yangping then said directly, "How about you try breaking that cage? If it works, maybe we can just leave the Dungeon."

Ming Xiang looked blankly, pointing to herself asking, "Ah...? Me?"

***

Inside the room where the Second Prince is.

Li Chunzhou ate the pastries on the small table with satisfaction, then wiped her hands with a handkerchief.

The Second Prince played with Li Chunzhou's hand, suddenly recalling the scene from many years ago when he first saw Li Chunzhou.

At that time, Li Chunzhou was still young, wearing a white outfit, shy and eager as she hid in the distance watching him. Even though half of her body was exposed, she tried to hide her head, clearly a clumsy child, making the Second Prince remember the skies.

When Liang Changfeng was very young, he raised a white western dog given to him by the queen's family to please him. Because of its snow-white fur, it was named Cloud Sky.

The little dog was less than a month old when it came to him, only able to make random noises and crawl around Liang Changfeng. It was cute and unique in the entire palace, belonging only to Liang Changfeng, so Cloud Sky was very favored and practically grew up by Liang Changfeng's side.

At first, the Second Prince didn't know how to take care of a dog, only giving it things he thought were good.

The puppy was always hungry and eager for milk. When it saw Liang Changfeng, it licked his fingers, sometimes even vomiting from overeating and whining playfully.

So, Liang Changfeng sent people to the Royal Zoo to learn how to raise a dog. He even changed several groups of servants close to him for this. After careful care for some time, Cloud Sky finally became healthy and started to look like a normal little dog.

Cloud Sky was a silly dog with a smiley face by nature, always wagging its tail and jumping on anyone it met.

Unfortunately, before it could grow up, it died.

After Cloud Sky's death, Liang Changfeng never had another dog until the day he met Li Chunzhou, finding something more interesting than a dog.

Second Prince waved his hand, and Li Chunzhou actually ran over obediently. He deliberately pinched Li Chunzhou's soft little face, causing the child's bright expression to immediately turn sad, probably because he applied too much force.

The Second Prince squatted down, looking at the little face crying like a kitten, and after frowning for a long time, he suddenly relaxed his brows and smiled gently.

Back when Li Chunzhou was still young, her beauty was already showing through her innocent appearance. When she stood before Liang Changfeng with tears in her eyes, and timidly pressed her cheek against his hand, quietly whimpering like a puppy, Liang Changfeng felt she was like a cloud.

Coincidentally, just as he was about to forget about the dog, Li Chunzhou appeared before him - it felt like his cloud had returned to him.