Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 8

Publish Time: 2024-05-26 14:05:29 245 views
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Chapter 8:

Li Chunzhou walked around and stopped in front of a few houses, observing for a while. She finally stopped in front of a small vendor at the entrance of a alley at the east end of the market.

She bent down to pick her favorite fruits. In front of her was an old woman in her fifties or sixties. Li Chunzhou lifted a corner of her veil, revealing a shy smile, and innocently asked, "How much is this, Grandma? Is it tasty?"

Looking at her face, even the most harsh woman couldn't help but soften her expression. Under Li Chunzhou's sweet words, the old lady picked out a few juicy plums for her while saying, "Come, taste this, dear. It's very sweet."

"Grandma, have you always lived here?" Li Chunzhou squatted next to the old lady, nibbling on the plums, and looking up, she asked, "Have you heard of a family named Zhao living here?"

Qi Leyuan was let down, and when no one was looking, he crazily ate rice from the neighboring rice shop.

"The Zhao family..." The old lady searched through her memories and said, "It seems that a few years ago, there was a family named Zhao living here. The head of the family was a scholar who had been taking exams for several years without success. They also had a daughter, but they moved away after having a son."

Li Chunzhou's eyes lit up as she softly asked, "Grandma, do you remember where that family moved to? Or what their names were... Do you remember?"

The old lady frowned uneasily, "Hmm... I'm having trouble recalling, but if I remember correctly, they moved to Yangzhou. It's been many years, and that youngest son of theirs must be of the age to take the imperial examinations now. I wonder if he's more successful than his father..."

As she remembered, she told Li Chunzhou about the past.

Unexpectedly hearing some news already made Li Chunzhou happy. The more the old lady talked, the more Li Chunzhou was sure her guess was right. She happily hugged the old lady's arm and sweetly said, "Thank you, grandma."

The old lady was startled by her affectionate actions, "Oh, this child..." she said, but then lovingly touched Li Chunzhou's face with her wrinkled hand, making Li Chunzhou's face a little sore.

Seeing the warmth in the old lady's eyes, Li Chunzhou smiled even bigger. She bought a big bag of fruits they had just eaten and gave it to Li Zhexuan to hold. Then she waved goodbye to the old lady and happily skipped away.

Whether it was a man or a woman, a child or an old person, Li Chunzhou naturally knew how to win people's hearts.

Dealing with the old lady required acting innocent and enthusiastic, not knowing much about the world, while also speaking sweetly and asking about their small daily matters every time they met, listening to their chatter even if she was tired of it, patiently catering to them.

For Li Chunzhou, interactions between people were about satisfying their desire to talk, their vanity, and even their desire for control, giving them what they needed and taking what she wanted.

After gathering enough information in the area, Li Chunzhou returned home with various pastries and fruits hanging on Li Zhexuan. Then in the evening, she finally returned to Spring Flowers Tower holding the little chick Li Li in her arms.

Inside Spring Flowers Tower, there were many children aged six or seven who had been sold into servitude, working as servants and maids until they grew up, at which point they would start performing or even selling their bodies.

Li Chunzhou shared all the things she bought with these children, watching as they gathered around her, their bright eyes fixed on her. She affectionately patted their round heads, remembering how the older sister in the tower used to share snacks and fruits with her.

Mama Li couldn't help but run over to Li Chunzhou, hug her tightly, cup her face, and ask, "Oh, my dear daughter, where did you go? You didn't tell me, what if something happened to you! Mama would be so worried..."

Mama Li carefully checked Li Chunzhou from head to toe, held her hand, and asked, "Are you hurt anywhere?"

Looking at Mama Li, Li Chunzhou suddenly felt bored, wondering if Mama Li was afraid of her getting hurt or running away...

Li Chunzhou didn't want to think too much about everything, as it would only bring pain, so she casually responded to Mama Li, freed herself from the matron's grasp, and started to walk upstairs.

As night approached, people at the Spring Flowers Tower began to work. The matron and the brothel's workers bustled up and down, carrying drinks and meals to different rooms, decorating with lanterns, and colorful lights.

The rain from the previous night had not completely dried yet. In the deep vermillion-colored corridor at the end of the Spring Flowers Tower, birds flew lightly overhead. The people in wooden clogs hurried back and forth, like raindrops, hurriedly walking with heads down, as if trying to hide their presence.

Mama Li kept asking Li Chunzhou where she had been that afternoon.

Li Chunzhou, slowly climbing the stairs, turned back. She still had a hint of youthful innocence that had not completely faded. Looking down from above, her pride and spirit as a young person couldn't be hidden.

Lady Chun was becoming even more beautiful, the matron thought to herself. Any man who locked eyes with her would probably feel irresistibly attracted.

Li Chunzhou smiled gently, her eyes showing a hopeful look, but her tone was calm with a hint of indifference, "Mom, don't worry, I won't run away."

As soon as she finished speaking, Mama Li frowned, her hand holding the pipe paused.

Not sure if Li Chunzhou's words had struck a chord, Mama Li sighed, watching Li Chunzhou's lively figure for a while, the sparks on the cigarette's tip flickering, she didn't smoke.

The evening was the busiest time at Spring Flowers Tower, and Li Chunzhou was about to start work. Even though she had the Second Prince looking after her for years, she didn't need to sell herself to customers. But to live decently at Spring Flowers Tower, having just one wealthy client wasn't enough.

Back in her room, Li Chunzhou washed her hands and started writing letters with a brush. Her handwriting was beautiful, elegant and graceful, you couldn't tell it was from a prostitute's hand.

To different people, Li Chunzhou wrote different letters. For all these men who came to the brothel, no matter if they had ulterior motives, Li Chunzhou pretended not to know.

When dealing with older clients, Li Chunzhou's letters were lively and innocent, with a mischievous tone, as she familiarly invited them to the tower for tea and a chat. No matter how serious and stern the men were in their youth, they became more infatuated with those who had vibrancy as they aged, as if they needed the lively energy around them to warm themselves as they grew older.

When writing letters to middle-aged men slightly younger in age, Li Chunzhou pretended to be naive and curious, asking questions that weren't too difficult. Typically, men of this age liked to show off their knowledge and enjoyed lecturing young and pretty girls like Li Chunzhou. In front of them, Li Chunzhou simply played the role of a obedient daughter, willing to listen to their advice on life, admire them and be grateful.

As for the youngest teenage boys, there was no need for any complicated skills. Just having a pretty face was enough to win their reckless and sincere affection.

The only thing Li Chunzhou had to do was smile at them, preferably showing two dimples, then quickly lower her eyes shyly when their eyes met, and when they came over to ask her, she would immediately look down without answering, half covering her face in a shy and embarrassed manner.

That's all she needed to do, the young people would fill in the rest in their minds.

Li Chunzhou didn't feel tired of the life in the building, she would write down every guest's birthday, the date she first met them, anything important, she would have someone nearby give them something to ensure that the esteemed guests would always remember her.

As Li Chunzhou skillfully wrote sincere and heartfelt words on the letter paper, Qi Leyuan stood on the table looking at her in amazement, quietly sighing in his heart — beautiful women really can deceive people.

Li Zhexuan stood quietly and obediently next to Li Chunzhou, she rubbed scented balm on his hand with the scent of gardenias, and let him touch the paper one by one, leaving the scent on them, and then put the letters in them.

Holding a pen, she occasionally glanced at Li Zhexuan who was folding the letters, "It's not folded like this, fold it like I showed you, like this..."

She was like teaching a child who hadn't mastered life skills yet, patiently showing him again, Li Zhexuan followed her movements, slowly repeating the action of folding the paper.

The willow tree outside the window swayed in the wind, brushing against the window frame, the air was filled with a refreshing green smell, the gentle evening breeze made people feel drowsy.

Qi Leyuan jumped off the table, starting to figure out how to clear the dungeon, the three things that needed investigating he couldn't help with, so he decided to start with the rules, Qi Leyuan racked his brains and began to think hard:

Breaking the cage or killing it can end everything. What does "it" refer to...? Is it a demon? Was the thing that killed the player last night a demon? Did Zhenxing break any rules? And what is the fake rule...?

Before Qi Leyuan could gather his thoughts, a voice interrupted him. A little girl with braided hair ran in and said, "Miss, the prince is here, he's upstairs and wants to see you."

Li Chunzhou's brush paused, ink seeped through the paper. She crumpled the paper into a ball and threw it out the window. She grabbed a handful of silver coins from the drawer and said to the little girl, "Tell him to wait, I'll be there soon."

Just as she spoke, a deep voice came from the doorway, "What's so urgent that made you keep the lord waiting?"

Li Chunzhou looked up and saw a young man in a round-collar robe, black leather boots, with a fancy fish bag around his waist, entering. He didn't wear a headscarf but tied his hair back in a ponytail. His face was handsome, with thick eyebrows, bright eyes, and a straight nose.

Although the young man who barged in was dressed casually, his clothes were clearly elegant and loose-fitting. The fabric was luxurious, with a design that exuded grandeur. There was a rope of gold and silver beads hanging around his neck, creating a crisp and rich sound as they collided when he moved.

It was indeed Mi Hongbao.