Raise the Price in a Fit of Anger
As expected, that person was also looking downwards at the stage. The sound of a zither entered her ear, sonorous and resounding. Hearing it was enough to make someone go mad with desire.
The beauty’s figure was delicate, with two hands placed on the strings of the zither. She proficiently strummed the strings and her movements were flowing and smooth. She played gracefully and the people listening felt utterly relaxed and invigorated.
After the solo was over, the audience was already making a terrible amount of noise. The beauty was supported off the stage by maidservants. The brothel keeper walked in front.
“Respective lords, everyone has already seen that this beauty’s appearance and talent, her physique and manner of talking. She exceeds in all of those aspects. There is nothing to nitpick about her. Is everyone satisfied?”
As the brothel keeper spoke, she saw that the people in the audience and those upstairs were all in an uproar. She smiled, unable to conceal her happiness. She hadn’t seen this kind of a reception even back when Mu Dan first arrived.
The brothel keeper waved her hands and loudly shouted, “Honored guests, the bidding will commence! The highest bidder wins. Starting price is five thousand silver tael!”
The brothel keeper had initially said the starting price would be one thousand tael but now it had suddenly been raised to five thousand tael. Some people in the audience withered at the price five thousand tael to take a young lady’s virginity? Some felt it wasn’t worth it.
They thought about it simply. After the first night was over, there would still be other opportunities in the future. They didn’t need to be concerned about when it would happen.
However, for those whose wallets were bulging and had their hearts dead set on the beauty, they were obsessed and it was as if their spirits had left them. Their minds only thought about that half covered face and they wouldn’t hesitate to bid their entire family’s fortune to have her.
“Six thousand tael!”
“Seven thousand tael!”
“Ten thousand tael!”
“Ten thousand five hundred tael!”
A smile blossomed on to the brothel keeper’s face as people shouted the price up to thirty thousand tael. She looked as if she could already see a large pile of silver beckoning to her.
Qing Le looked at Xiao Yuan. “Why don’t we have a go?”
Xiao Yuan hadn’t yet opened her mouth, when she heard a sound from the neighboring room.
The great prince gave Zhao Zun a look. “If Brother Zhao likes her, this prince is willing to let you bring home a beautiful woman. Consider it me making up for any deficiencies in your last visit.”
The great prince gave his bodyguard a look and the bodyguard loudly shouted, “One hundred thousand tael!”
Zhao Zun frowned slightly. That girl was, without a question, beautiful. Her young, inexperienced appearance was lovely and charming and she was most certainly an extraordinarily gorgeous woman.
“Great prince, there’s no need for you to waste your money like this.”
Mu Dan, who was standing by their side, had a slight change in her expression. She felt exceptionally displeased and her heart felt heavy. Luckily, she managed to suppress the feeling quickly and feigned as if she didn’t understand what was happening as she helped the two men pour wine.
After a bid of hundred thousand tael was shouted out, everyone in the hall became quiet for a few seconds and quite a few people fell silent.
When the brothel keeper heard this bid, her eyes suddenly lit up and just as she predicted, it was the great prince who was being liberal with his money.
Xiao Yuan took advantage of the situation and looked over. The first thing she saw was Mu Dan draping half of her body on top of Zhao Zun. She felt somewhat indignant.
She clicked her tongue. “Such a large amount of money!” Qing Le dispelled her previous notion of bidding. A hundred thousand tael was enough to buy herself a lot of jewelry.
Who would’ve known that all of sudden Xiao Wan would cast a glance at Hong Xiu. Hong Xiu was taken aback. Xiao Yuan lifted up two fingers and immediately pushed Hong Xiu forward.
“Two hundred thousand!”
Hong Xiu hadn’t even had time to react before shouting out loud the numbers. Everyone in the audience was shocked. The brothel keeper was so shocked that it took her quite a while to respond. She immediately shot them a smile.
“This lord wants to bid two hundred thousand. Are there any other offers?”
Hong Xiu’s legs felt like jelly and she hurriedly rushed back inside. She looked at Xiao Yuan. “Lord… This servant girl’s legs have gone weak.”
“Be brave!” Xiao Yuan unhappily glared at Hong Xiu.
Qing Le was also surprised and gave Xiao Yuan a few looks. “Have you gone mad?”
Xiao Yuan lifted up her chin and looked just like a haughty peacock. “My dad is the Right Minister. I have money.”
Qing Le hadn’t had time to swallow her sip of wine and almost spat it out.
“I’ll invite you over tonight to listen to her play,” Xiao Yuan said in a generous tone of voice. The corner of Qing Le’s mouth abruptly twitched upwards. Two hundred thousand tael to listen to one song? That is one expensive song! How could the Right Minister have such a prodigal daughter? Qing Le’s curled her lip. If it had been her in Xiao Yuan’s place, she would’ve been beaten a long time ago.
Sometimes Qing Le was extremely envious of Xiao Yuan. The old madam loved her dearly and on top of that, the Right Minister protected her.
“Being able to see a beautiful sight for even just a moment is worth countless gold tael. What do you know?”
Xiao Yuan spoke in a self-assertive tone of voice. Who let her father be so rich and overbearing in the past?
The great prince’s expression changed. He looked over to the figures next to him and looked again at Zhao Zun’s expression. He had already promised he would get the woman for Zhao Zun and was determined to win this auction. Who could’ve predicted he would meet someone that’d try to ruin his plan? Damn it!
The great prince gave his bodyguard another look. The bodyguard nodded his head and shouted to the people below them, “Two hundred and fifty thousand!”
Xiao Yuan gave Hong Xiu another stern look. Hong Xiu scowled miserably as she furiously shook her head, “Lord, please spare your servant girl.”
“You’re not allowed to eat drumsticks for one whole month!” Xiao Yuan stared down Hong Xiu. Hong Xiu immediately stood up and shouted, “Three hundred thousand tael!”
The great prince’s brows furrowed deeply. This person was serious about competing against him.
“Continue calling out!”
“Three hundred and fifty thousand tael!”
Hong Xiu turned her head and looked at Xiao Yuan, who nodded at her, “400,000 tael!”
Qing Le was already dumbfounded. In a blink of an eye, the price had been pushed up to four hundred thousand tael. Qing Le rushed over to Xiao Yuan and grabbed her. “Have you really lost it? She’s just a prostitute. If you really like her, we can come by another day and listen to her play. Why must you insist it be today? Besides, you’re not even a man.”
Zhao Zun’s interest had been piqued. He turned his head to look over. He felt like that figure and the servant by their side were somewhat familiar. However, at the moment, he couldn’t quite remember where he had seen them before.
The man looked very fair and he had a groomed appearance, meanwhile the man next to him was sporting a full beard. Zhao Zun’s brows furrowed.
Xiao Yuan broke free of Qing Le’s grasp. “What of it? I can take a look too.”
Xiao Yuan was driving Qing Le mad. She even dared to bring the price up to four hundred thousand tael.
Qing Le covered her mouth. “You’re not allowed to speak anymore. After today, I am going to have to be a refugee. The Right Minister will lock the door in my face and forbid me from seeing you. He might even have my legs broken!”
Xiao Yuan shook her head and gave her a small, sweet smile. In that instance, Zhao Zun shook himself out of his stupor and realized that person was actually Miss Xiao Ninth!
After a moment, had passed with no reaction from the other party, the great prince finally relaxed. He was in bit of pain after spending 400,000 tael in a blink of an eye. Even if he had managed to keep up his calm and collected composure during the exchange, he might have been unable to maintain his smiling expression if it had continued any longer.
Zhao Zun drank some more wine as he carefully observed Qing Le’s hand perched on top of Xiao Yuan’s shoulder. He was somewhat displeased and itched to take a knife to cut off the offending hand.
Qing Le suddenly felt like a cold breeze had blown past them. She was so surprised that her entire body went cold. Taking advantage of Qing Le’s distraction, Xiao Yuan quickly spoke to Hong Xiu.
Hong Xiu was taken aback but was only met with Xiao Yuan unhappily staring at her. She braced herself.
“Seven hundred thousand tael!”
Qing Le almost jumped up out of surprise, “You’re crazy! Really, truly crazy!”
Xiao Yuan didn’t mind. She had something weighing on her heart that she couldn’t shake off. She was feeling especially displeased.
The brothel keeper was so shocked that she could do nothing but stare blankly as she watched these two people bid against each other. Seven hundred thousand would be enough money to open up another Fang pavilion.
The great prince’s expression plummeted. He looked over at Zhao Zun and noticed his gloomy expression so he clenched his teeth and decided to go for broke.
The bodyguard shouted again, “One million tael!”
Qing Le felt like both of these people had gone mad. Luckily, the other party had continued bidding and without saying a word to her, dragged Xiao Yuan away. She certainly didn’t want to face the old madam’s scorn whenever she visited the Minister’s manor in the future.
“Come on! Come on! This place isn’t fun anymore. I’ll take you somewhere that’s more fun. Hong Xiu, hold onto your family’s lord. She’s drank too much. Let’s hurry up and go.”
Hong Xiu recovered and rushed to hold onto Xiao Yuan’s arm. Xiao Yuan smiled. She had already decided not to bid anymore. This girl could go to the great prince.
After a long time had passed with no counterbid, the brother keeper made the final call, “All right then. Tonight, this beauty will have her master! The guest in the emperor’s pavilion.”
When Zhao Zun heard this, he snapped out of his daze. He had been staring intently at the slowly retreating figures who had their arms around each other’s shoulders. A nameless torrent of hot rage boiled up inside him and a sneering look appeared onto his face.