Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 6

Publish Time: 2024-05-26 12:05:28 289 views
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Chapter 6:

The servant struggled to tear his gaze away from her smiling eyes and was about to push the door to go back in, when it was opened from inside.

The person who came out was wearing a snow-white straight robe with a deep blue wide belt around the waist. He had no jade pendants, fragrance sachets, or ornaments, which made him look clean and neat. His long hair was casually tied with a blue ribbon, falling behind his head, with a few strands of hair hanging on the side of his face, giving a sense of androgynous beauty.

Due to being on stage and constantly wearing makeup, Xu Yanqu always had a lingering smell of powder. The hands that opened the door were delicate and slender, even more beautiful than a lady's.

His face was extremely beautiful, with red lips, white teeth, shining black eyes, and clear features.

Looking at the smiling Li Chunzhou, Xu Yanqu said with a sigh, "Well, it's fine, but next time don't stand at the door asking this kind of question."

Laughing as she took off her veil, Li Chunzhou joked, "Aren't you Brother Yan the famous actor in Shengjing City now? I'm afraid I can't reach your level."

Xu Yanqu raised his hands with bracelets on them, pinched Li Chunzhou's face. He was tall and in his prime, usually dressing in green clothes, which made him slightly feminine in his words and actions.

Lowering his head to look into her eyes, Xu Yanqu, with his slender peach blossom eyes, sighed and jokingly said, "You, a born troublemaker, have a charming nature. Heartless yet loving, just looking at your smiling face... foe!"

As he spoke, Xu Yanqu removed the snowflake from Li Chunzhou's shoulder, then looked at her calmly and asked, "Lady Chun always has a reason when she comes here. So, what is it this time?"

Not getting angry about him pinching her face, Li Chunzhou squinted and playfully said, "Brother Yan, I only play pretend with others, with you, it's real fun."

Although Xu Yanqu appeared doubtful, his lips couldn't help but curl into a smile. He glanced at the young man behind Li Chunzhou, paused, unconsciously looked away as if being enchanted, furrowed his brows, then forced his gaze back to Li Zhexuan, asking Li Chunzhou, "Who is this guy? Why is he following you?"

If Xu Yanqu were a cat, his fur would have been standing on end by now.

Pretending to be clueless, Li Chunzhou asked, "Don't you know?"

Li Zhexuan looked up and showed Xu Yanqu a practiced smile that was flawless but also artificial, making one inexplicably shiver.

Then Xu Yanqu's eyes gradually became vacant, and after coming to his senses, he touched his forehead, "Oh, I forgot, this child is the one you rescued, huh? When did that happen? He has grown so tall..."

Li Chunzhou didn't care about propriety, she affectionately held his hand to stop him from delving deeper into his memories and got straight to the point, "I came to see you because I want to buy a maid from your Xiangru Court."

"What maid? What's her name?" Xu Yanqu pushed open the door to let her in.

Li Chunzhou was so familiar with the place it felt like home to her. She sat down on a chair and mentioned the name directly, "That girl named Red Bean, is she still here?"

Without asking why, Xu Yanqu called a servant, "Go to the backyard and see if there's anyone named 'Red Bean.'"

After speaking, he took out two white porcelain tea cups, intending to make tea for Li Chunzhou.

Li Chunzhou picked up the tea box and jokingly asked, "I heard that the tea merchant has been coming to listen to you sing every day recently, why are you still drinking this cheap tea?"

Xu Yanqu sat on the other seat, speaking gently, "Indeed, that tea costs tens of taels per pound, but I have already sold it off."

Besides singing, Xu Yanqu's biggest hobby in life is saving money.

As soon as they sat down to chat, before Xu Yanqu's tea had even brewed, a servant hurriedly informed them, "There's a lady named Hong Dou whose family has just arrived, they are currently speaking by the west gate."

Li Chunzhou smiled and nodded, "Yes, I am looking for her."

"Why is Lady Chun looking for her, do they know each other?" Xu Yanqu smoothly lifted his tea cup, skimmed the tea leaves with the lid, and asked.

"Sort of... I want her to come with me and be my maid," Li Chunzhou replied vaguely.

The servant looked worried and cautiously said, "In response to the young lady, it seems that Hong Dou's family has come today to redeem her..."

Li Chunzhou took out a gold ingot from her purse, "Return her parents' money, then sell Hong Dou to me. This money will be for your Xiangru Court."

She placed the heavy gold ingot in the servant's hand and sent him to find the head servant.

Xu Yanqu glanced at her unexpectedly, then lightly withdrew his gaze.

Li Chunzhou asked, "Aren't you going to ask me?"

"Ask what? You won't tell the truth anyway," Xu Yanqu lightly tapped her forehead across the table.

Li Chunzhou just smiled, jumped off her chair, and said to Xu Yanqu, "Don't forget to come watch me at the Oiran Contest in ten days, okay?"

"Okay, I promise to throw gold coins at you from the audience when the time comes," Xu Yanqu also smiled. Throwing gold and silver jewelry onto the stage as a reward was actually a tradition at the theater. The people in Daliang were open-minded, and there were all kinds of audience members, young and old, men and women. If the performance was good, the more carefree guests would not hesitate to take off their gold rings and wrap them in a handkerchief before throwing them onto the stage. After Xu Yanqu sang in the most magnificent scene of the play, there were dozens of gold rings piled up on the stage after the performance ended.

Li Chunzhou sensed the teasing tone in his words and made a face at him.

Seeing her about to leave, Xu Yanqu raised his eyebrows gently at her, set down his tea, and escorted her out the door.

Walking side by side on the road, Li Chunzhou gestured at his slim waist and grumbled, "Brother Yan, you're too thin, your waist is as slim as mine."

Xu Yanqu glanced at her and muttered softly, "It's fine to be thick where it matters."

Li Chunzhou paused, then laughed instead of getting angry when she realized. She reached down towards Xu Yanqu's waist to pull his belt, saying while pulling, "Who are you talking dirty with? Come on, show me how thick it is...let me see!"

Now it was Xu Yanqu's turn to blush, he gently pushed Li Chunzhou's hand away and said softly, "Please stop..."

Li Chunzhou thought Xu Yanqu was just playing around with her, so when he surrendered, she smirked.

As they approached the door, a steward with a puzzled look brought a red bean over to Li Chunzhou and said warmly, "It's a blessing for Miss Chunzhou to choose you, this is the contract, from now on this girl belongs to the lady."

Red bean finally realized what was happening, she tried to break free from the steward's grasp and said emotionally, "Uncle Wang, what do you mean by this?! Didn't my parents discuss with you? They are planning to buy my freedom back..."

Steward Wang tried to persuade Red Bean in a mix of kindness and threat, "You ignorant girl! If you follow Miss Chunzhou, that will be a good life for you!"

Red Bean saw that they were determined to sell her to the Spring Flowers Tower, she was not a pushover, so she began crying and shouting at the gate, "You heartless betrayers, all you care about is money! How dare you! Brothels are not a good place, and you are disgusting for even considering it! I refuse to go!"

Li Chunzhou was not surprised at all, as if she had expected Red Bean to cause a scene like this, the reputation of the Spring Flowers Tower was well known for its association with the red light district, and it was common for girls like Red Bean to avoid such places.

Li Chunzhou casually petted the small chicken in her arms and told Li Zhexuan, "Make her faint."

Li Zhexuan took a few steps forward, made a light chop at the back of Red Bean's neck, and she immediately lost consciousness, softly collapsing to the ground.

Steward Wang caught Red Bean as she fainted, Li Chunzhou fixed her hat and said to Steward Wang, "Please have someone take her to our building. If her parents cause any trouble, tell them to come to Spring Flowers Tower to find me."

After arranging everything clearly, before parting ways, Xu Yanqu looked at her face and suddenly said, "Even though it has only been two or three days since we last met, you seem to have changed a lot."

"Really?" Li Chunzhou turned back and asked, thought for a moment, then smiled and replied, "Maybe."

For Xu Yanqu, it had indeed been only two or three days. Li Chunzhou counted quietly in her mind; this was the one hundred and twenty-first cycle. If all the times she had relived were lined up on their rightful paths, Li Chunzhou had been trapped in this cycle for a whole ten years.

"It's been a long time since I heard you sing a song..." she said with emotion.

Xu Yanqu put his hand on her head and touched it, "Are you living in a daze? Didn't you just come over the day before yesterday?"

Li Chunzhou squinted her eyes like a cat, just smiled and didn't reply. Before leaving, she repeatedly instructed him, "Remember to come see me."

Xu Yanqu leaned against the door of Xiangru Court, watching her figure gradually disappear around the corner. In the background, a young child was practicing a song repeatedly, singing in a childish manner, "You coming back is like reuniting broken mirrors, do not search for false titles. Simple meals are better than gold and wealth; may we spend this life cherishing each other."

***

Li Chunzhou held Qi Leyuan and returned to Spring Flowers Tower ahead of others. It was almost time for lunch, and the girls who entertained guests last night were waking up one by one. This lunch was their first meal of the day.

Among all the brothels in Shengjing City, Spring Flowers Tower was considered a top-notch place. Even for many girls of humble origins, staying at Spring Flowers Tower was like having a good job. Even when they grew old and couldn't sell themselves anymore, they could stay at the tower to do chores instead of ending up in worse places.

Being able to wear silk in summer and have thick clothes in winter was already considered good in this world.

All the girls in the tower, including the madam, ate the same communal meals. If they wanted something else, they had to buy it themselves. Only Li Chunzhou's meals were personally approved by the madam, as she needed to control her figure.

The madam knew that Li Chunzhou liked to eat, so she kept a close eye on her.