roubled at the fact that the handsome young man at the back of the boat must be the illegitimate son everyone mentioned here and there. If that was the case, how could he have access to so much money?
Of course, she didn’t openly pose her question. She remembered when she first started taking in customers; her seniors used to say that Count Sinan was a regular of the capital’s brothels. Even after his marriage, he often visited the boats on the river, provoking the official censor to file many complaints condemning him. But due to his history with his highness, nothing could be done about him.
Who would have thought that, after twenty years, Count Sinan’s son would once again repeat the cycle? From at the moment she caught glance of Young Master Fan, Si Ling realized that he was new at this, which was why she was very surprised when he requested the most popular girl here:
Like father, like son.
Some red lanterns suddenly appeared during the chatter, and shouting could be heard. The madam stood up with some uncertainty. With his sharp eyes, Teng Zijing saw that there were two guards of King Jing Manor and ordered the flower boat to get to shore.
After Crown Prince Jing got on, he went to the back like he always did. Madam Si Ling was very startled seeing another important guest. Apparently, that young master had very impressive connections.
Teng Zijing was well acquainted with the prince’s guards and went to drink with them.
In the cabin in the back of the boat, the Prince saw Fan Xian’s pitiful state, and said mockingly, "It’s not like Miss Lili will eat you or anything, so why are you sitting so far away?"
Fan Xian thought: "If you had come any later, I might have started eating people." He then asked, "Why have you come so late?"
That caught the Crown Prince off guard. "What should I tell you? Father gave me an earful because you invited me here." Instead, he answered, with a smile, "Being from Danzhou, you are unfamiliar with the customs in the capital. Only after meals are you supposed to come out to enjoy the evening scene.
"Evening scene" was carefully chosen, and Fan Xian realized this custom might not necessarily exist. But he decided not to expose the prince and instead raised a toast. Strangely, despite meeting the prince only three times, both of them felt their personalities were somewhat compatible. Crown Prince Jing didn’t have the lordly aura for a relative of the emperor, and Fan Xian was not like the other sons of wealthy families. Even more, Fan Xian was honest and behaved naturally, even in front of the prince, which incidentally worked well with Li Sicheng’s temperament.
After a few cups of alcohol, the two began to get familiar with each other. The crown prince seemed to be very interested in Fan Xian’s life in Danzhou. Fan Xian spoke carefully and discussed things that weren’t too out of the ordinary, such as the mirage he saw that one time.
The only other person in the room besides them was Si Ling. She felt quite uneasy, as she wasn’t sure which one to serve. Although the one who rented out the boat was Young Master Fan, Crown Prince Jing was still the crown prince. What if Young Master Fan wanted her to serve the prince?
Li Sicheng looked at the girl with a smile. Frequently visiting the brothels, he had seen Si Ling before, but for various reasons he never had any interactions with her. Seeing the troubled look on her face, and in spite of the fact that he was well aware of her struggle, he still gestured for the girl to sit next to Fan Xian.
The madam wouldn’t let the prince sit alone and already called in a girl from another boat. This girl was named Yuan Meng, and also very popular on the river. Together with Si Lili, they were at least worthy of their guests’ status.
The alcohol became thicker as the night grew darker. Fan Xian and the crown prince deepened their connection, both were satisfied with this meeting. Seeing the bright moon had changed position, the two looked at each other and smiled, each taking their girl to their cabins.
Red candles were lit. Li Sisi’s gaze was soft and gentle like silk. She leaned lightly against Fan Xian, her fingers caressing his palm. Her breathing was as graceful as an orchid.
Undetected, Fan Xian took out a pill he had made from his sleeve and quietly crushed it. With a smile, Li Sisi fell into a peaceful slumber. The scent of the sleep drug made the cabin as fragrant as orchids.