Chapter 28 – Place of pleasure

The night breeze gently brushed, the Xiang River was dripping, the flower boat docked in the river, and the flowers competed for beauty by the river.

Shi Hua Yuan, a famous place for fireworks on the Xiang River, where high-ranking officials and nobles come and go, spending a hundred gold coins in one night just to win a smile from a beautiful woman.

When the moon rose on the branches, Li Ziye dragged Bai Wangyu and walked into Shi Hua Yuan.

In Shi Hua Yuan, there was singing and dancing. On the high platform of the first floor, four dancing girls danced gracefully with pipa in their hands, their figures graceful and their bodies half-hidden, making people dry-mouthed.

“Young masters, please come in. Do you like any of the girls?”

As soon as the two entered, a heavily made-up woman approached, holding a painted fan, looking at them with a smile on her face.

“This is our first time here, no need for small talk. Hurry up and find two clean girls. My brother here doesn’t like ordinary rouge and powder. And of course, we can’t forget about the silver.”

Li Ziye confidently took out a large ingot of silver and handed it to the woman, arrogantly saying.

“Young master is truly generous!”

The flower girl couldn’t stop smiling when she saw the silver in her hand. She looked back and shouted, “Quickly, bring Xinghua and Lihua to entertain our distinguished guests!”

“Xinghua, Lihua?”

Li Ziye almost burst out laughing when he heard these two names.

Couldn’t they have chosen better stage names?

“Brother Li!”

Beside him, Bai Wangyu looked nervously at the lively scene around him, sweating on his face. He said, “Let’s go.”

“What’s the rush?”

Li Ziye pulled him to sit down at an empty table and smiled, “We’ve come all this way, we should relax a bit before going back.”

“Young masters, we’re here!”

At this moment, two women with enchanting figures walked down from the second floor, their bodies swaying and twisting with every step, almost breaking their waists.

“Young masters, take a look. How about them?”

The flower girl led the two girls forward and smiled.

“Clean girls?”

Li Ziye looked at the two seductive women in front of him and asked suspiciously.

“Young master, rest assured, they are definitely untouched maidens.”

The flower girl said with a smile on her face.

Li Ziye looked skeptical but didn’t ask any more questions. He couldn’t ruin his own business, could he? He glanced at the two women and then pointed to the little red hat beside him, grinning, “Ladies, please accompany my brother here. You won’t be short of silver.”


Xinghua and Lihua heard this and exchanged glances, then sat down next to Bai Wangyu, their bodies clinging to him like water snakes.

“Ladies, this is improper. Men and women should not be so intimate. It goes against etiquette.”

Bai Wangyu, surrounded by the two women, felt uncomfortable and said anxiously, dodging and speaking in a panic.

Li Ziye saw this and felt even more relaxed.

You always have that calm and indifferent face. Now, are you panicking?

Even other people’s children have their days like this!


Li Ziye felt even more cheerful and couldn’t help but laugh.

“Young master, what about you? Don’t you want to find a girl to accompany you?”

The flower girl saw that the young man in front of her was the one with the money. She smiled even more flatteringly on her heavily made-up face and asked.

“No rush, let’s wait.”

Li Ziye grinned and said, “I heard that Yu Qingxuan, the unparalleled beauty of the capital city, will perform at Shi Hua Yuan tonight. Is it true?”

“It is indeed true.”

The flower girl smiled and said, “Miss Qingxuan is on her way and will be here soon.”

“That’s good.”

Li Ziye replied and then picked up his wine glass and quietly drank, not wanting to say anything more.

The flower girl saw this and wisely didn’t disturb him anymore. She gave a signal to the two girls on the table, indicating that they should serve the distinguished guest, and then turned and left.

The first floor became more and more lively. Obviously, besides Li Ziye, many people had also heard the news that Fairy Qingxuan would come to Shi Hua Yuan tonight.

As the famous flower of the Great Shang Capital, Yu Qingxuan’s identity was extremely mysterious. No one knew her background. Since her stunning dance in the flower competition three years ago, all the noble young masters in the capital city had gone crazy for her. They spent all their money but couldn’t win a smile from her.

On the second floor, in each private room, the most distinguished guests of the capital city were sitting, also waiting for Yu Qingxuan to appear.

And on the third floor of Shi Hua Yuan, there was only one person, dressed in a silver-gray wide robe, looking down at the crowd below, his handsome face showing no ripples.

Younger Brother!

Li Qingzhi stared at the figure of the young man on the first floor, and a rare warmth appeared in his cold and indifferent expression. After a moment, it disappeared.

It was only natural for him to come here before Yu Qingxuan appeared at Shi Hua Yuan. It wouldn’t arouse suspicion from others.


At this moment, on the second floor, the sound of a qin playing, like celestial music, rang out. With just one sound, the entire Shi Hua Yuan fell silent.

Like weeping and complaining, urgent and rapid, on the second floor, in the private room facing the stairs, the bead curtains swayed, and a graceful figure appeared and disappeared, leaving a breathtaking glimpse of her beautiful face.

Dressed in green, with her hair tied up, her eyebrows and eyes were picturesque, her temperament was elegant, as if a fairy had descended to the mortal world, without a trace of worldly aura.

Gradually, on the second floor, the sound of the qin became faster and faster, like the explosion of a silver bottle, with thousands of troops and horses galloping past.


All the guests on the first floor were intoxicated by the music and couldn’t help but cheer loudly.

“Ten Sides Ambush?”

Li Ziye was first stunned, then he curled his lips and muttered in a low voice, “It sounds just like that. Why use an ancient qin for a beautiful pipa piece?”


The sound of the qin suddenly stopped, as if clothes were being torn, so abrupt.

All the guests on the first floor also froze, and the place instantly fell silent.

At this moment, Li Ziye muttered in a low voice, but everyone heard it.Behind the beaded curtain on the second floor, Yu Qingxuan suddenly stood up, her gaze fixed on the young man on the first floor who had attracted everyone’s attention, her face showing a look of shock.

It’s him!

“Where did this greenhorn come from? Does he understand music at all, daring to spout such nonsense here?”

On the first floor, many wealthy young masters, hearing someone slander the fairy in their hearts, angrily rebuked.

“Pretending to understand when he doesn’t, he’s not afraid of biting his tongue!”

“Who is this, does anyone know him? He’s not afraid of losing face!”

“Where’s the servant boy? Throw him out!”

One person started the tirade, and the others echoed. Immediately, the first floor hall was filled with curses and reprimands. Clearly, Li Ziye’s previous evaluation of Fairy Qing Xuan’s zither skills had provoked public anger.

On the second floor, laughter echoed from the private rooms, as they watched the stranger on the first floor who had incurred the wrath of the crowd, their faces showing a playful look.

Which family’s greenhorn is this? He really dares to say anything.

“Your Highness, he is the third son of the Li Family.”

In one of the private rooms, a soft voice reminded.

“Oh? The legitimate son of the Li Family?”

Behind the half-drawn curtain, a man who looked about thirty years old spoke, his tone curious.

The man’s appearance was quite ordinary, compared to the other princes of Great Shang, he was somewhat plain. A thick blanket covered his knees, indicating some problem with his legs.

Prince Muyuan, the eldest prince, was born with a disability in both legs and could only move around in a wheelchair. If he were the son of an ordinary concubine, such a prince would have no chance of inheriting the throne.

However, the mother of the eldest prince came from a prominent family, and coupled with his status as the eldest son of the royal family, even with his disability, he still had many followers.

Behind Muyuan stood an older eunuch named Zhao Jie, who had been with Muyuan for over a decade. He was a well-known expert in the royal family.

“Your Highness, should your old servant invite him up?” Zhao Jie asked.

“No need.”

Muyuan shook his head and said, “Let’s wait and see. I also want to see what’s so special about this legitimate son of the Li Family.”


Zhao Jie responded lightly, then stood quietly without saying more.

In the hall on the first floor, Li Ziye looked at the excited crowd, his expression slightly stunned.

Was it necessary? He had just spoken the truth, and these people were so agitated, as if they wanted to eat him alive.

Fanatics, no matter the era, were always so terrifying.

“I remember now, he is Li Ziye, the son of Li Baiwan from Yuzhou City!”

At this moment, among the many young masters on the first floor, someone finally recognized Li Ziye’s identity and shouted.

“Li Baiwan? That nouveau riche?”

“No wonder, what kind of insight can a son of a nouveau riche have!”

“A country bumpkin who has never seen the world, making a fool of himself here.”

Once Li Ziye’s identity was revealed, the crowd’s laughter rang out again, so timely.

The young masters of the capital, at this moment, once again felt the superiority of their status, their chins raised so high that their nostrils were almost visible.

“El… Elder Brother.”

Amid the rising and falling laughter, suddenly, a young nobleman noticed the white-robed scholar entangled by two women. He was first taken aback, then his face showed a look of shock, and he exclaimed, “Elder Brother, why are you here?”

As soon as his words fell, everyone’s gaze instinctively turned to the white-robed young man next to Li Ziye. After a moment, their expressions were all shocked.

Was this Bai Wangyu, the first disciple of the Confucian School?

Surrounded by pear and apricot blossoms, Bai Wangyu saw the shocked gazes around him, his face showed a touch of embarrassment, and he nodded to the crowd.

“Elder Brother, why are you here?”

A student from the Imperial Academy stood up, his face full of disbelief, and asked.

“I came with Brother Li.”

Bai Wangyu answered awkwardly.

“Brother Li?”

The student from the Imperial Academy was taken aback, then looked at Li Ziye, who had just provoked public anger, his fists clenched and his face growing angrier.

This man actually brought Elder Brother to such a place!

Elder Brother was the pride of their entire Imperial Academy.

Li Ziye felt the murderous gazes of the crowd and couldn’t help but touch his nose. These people, they came to the brothel for pleasure, but they didn’t allow others to do the same?

On the second floor, in the private rooms, pairs of eyes watched the situation below, waiting for the drama to unfold.

The legitimate son of the Li Family actually brought the Elder Brother of the Confucian School to this place of pleasure. They wondered what the expression of the Confucian School’s leader would be when he heard about this.

Seeing the crowd on the first floor becoming more and more agitated, Yu Qingxuan, behind the beaded curtain on the second floor, suppressed the waves in her heart and said, “Young Master Li, would you like to join me on the second floor?”

As soon as her words fell, all the noise in the hall on the first floor immediately disappeared. The silence was somewhat terrifying, so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.

Everyone was shocked and took a while to recover.

“Fairy’s invitation, I would be rude to refuse!”

Li Ziye grinned, then stood up and walked towards the second floor.

However, just as he had climbed three steps, Li Ziye stopped, turned around to look at the crowd on the first floor, grinned, and said, “A bunch of country bumpkins!”

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