Chapter 246 "A Man is Invincible When He is Cheap"
Just as Hong Yu Ying became entranced by Feng Shen's long departed figure, Zhu Ge Rou had anxiously arrived at the scene with her car.
As to why it took so long for the woman to come, it's because she didn't realize her daughter's carriage had gone missing until she was some distance out of the city, making the search ever more difficult.
Luckily, through the wheel mark and inquiry of the soldiers, she was thankfully able to track her way over to the hot spring palace.
“Yu Ying, why are you just standing there in the snow?”
Pained by the fact that her daughter had become a snowman, Zhu Ge Rou dearly dusted her daughter’s body, only to be frightfully shocked by the girl's face.
“Oh my heavens, Yu Ying, what’s wrong with you! Why is your face so red? Please don't scare mother here!"
“Mother, I-I fell in love with him.” After long period of idle silence, Hong Yu Ying uttered this out, sending her poor mother into a panic with her lovestruck and shy appearance.
“Who? Who's him?” Zhu Ge Rou kept asking, worried something might've happened to the girl.
"Phoenix Lord, the one from North Qing. Mother, how come you never told me about him? He's so handsome and good looking. And that voice, it's mellow like wine, smooth and intoxicating. Then there's his eyes. They are brighter than even the brightest stars in the sky. I want to marry him." Since she had always been under the loving care of her parents, Hong Yu Ying believes that so long as she wishes it, the Phoenix Lord will definitely take her as his wife.
“Aigya, my beloved daughter, what nonsense are you talking about? The entire kingdom knows not to marry that man. The Phoenix Lord is a known medicine pot, it's just a matter of time before he passes away…" Before she can finish her sentence, Hong Yu Ying had already covered her mother's mouth to stop it.
“Mother, even if he's a medicine pot, he's still the best looking medicine pot your daughter I have ever seen. Besides, from what I saw, his body doesn't look all that sick from the outside." Obsessed, the girl turned a blind eye to any demerit that should've been picked up, giving her mother quite the headache.
Now Zhu Ge Rou don't even know how to explain this to her husband.
“This matter, forget it. Wait until your father returns then we can discuss it. Recently both the sixth prince the crown prince is looking to pick their royal consort. No matter which of these, they are better that that Phoenix Lord my dear." Or so she heard from her husband anyways.
As men coming into a marriageable age, both the king and dowager are looking to set up the ceremony to pick up possible candidates.
Hong Feng naturally favored the crown prince more since he was after all the royal tutor, but Zhu Ge Rou appreciated the sixth prince more due to the boy's talent. Regardless, no matter their opinion, it will all become moot if their daughter was unwilling. To make the matter worse, the girl just had to fall for the Phoenix Lord at this time.
Now Zhu Ge Rou was starting to regret the fact that she had brought the girl out. If she didn't, none of this would've occurred. She has a hunch, this relationship her daughter was trying to pursue won't go so smoothly.
While this all took place in the forest, Hong Feng on the other hand was currently having a secret conversation inside the Green Moon Brothel.
Green Moon was one of the handful of brothels in the capital that caters to all levels of society. Whether it be dignitaries of a foreign state, commoners with a certain wealth, or the royalties of the kingdom, all will at some point be captivated by this place and their prostitutes.
Normally Hong Feng wouldn't need to come to such places for a mere meeting, however, that changed after the incident with Nangong Liang. Through the order of the king, all ministers of the court are to self-reflect for three months, hence the reason why he's having a meeting with Yang Qing here.
“The matter I ordered you to investigate, how is it going?" Hong Feng takes a sip from his wine cup as he asked the question.
“Your Lordship, there is no clue as to where the black powder originated from. Whether it be the waterway or land routes, we couldn't find any records of it being moved. Its as if the stuff just magically appeared inside the secret chamber of the Nangong manor." Yang Qing carefully answers, afraid his findings would incur the wrath of the man.
“Keep looking. Also, is there any movement from that Ghost Sect?" It's been some time since the incident, but Hong Feng couldn't put it aside for its too suspicious in his view. Something was nagging in the back of his head that the incident was related to that supposed Second Miss of the Lan House. Issue was, he can't find any evidence to prove it otherwise.
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“Since the last time where their vice-sect leader was injured by me, their presence had practically vanished from the capital." Yang Qing cheekily states this, proud of his own achievement.
“Don’t be careless and be sure to find out the real identity of the Ghost Sect's leader. Anyways, it's getting late so I'll head back first." Regarding his visit to the Green Moon Brothel today, the man had done it behind his wife's back. He may be visiting for business and not for tomfoolery, but that still doesn't excuse him from his wife's ire if he's caught.
“Your Lordship, why so anxious to leave now that you are here? From what I heard, the Green Moon had just brought in several young and beautiful girls that hasn't been broken in yet. Why don't you allow me to be the host today and grab some of the better ones for you? They say a couple of the girls from the batch are so delectable that you can practically squeeze water out of their skin." Yang Qing had long heard from his sources that although Hong Feng was of noble birth, the man's a strange one that went against the norm.
Its commonplace to find a man of nobility to have enough wives to fill a whole mansion, and if not then least three to four concubines. Yet, Hong Feng only had one wife over the years, and that was Zhu Ge Rou.
Even if that may be true and the man before him only allowed one wife, but Yang Qing doesn't believe that's all the truth in the story. In his view, no man wouldn't like to sneak a bite here and there.
“I appreciate your kindness Yang Qing, but listen to me. Rather than playing around with some woman, you're far better off marrying one that can help you from behind." Hong Feng had on more than one occasion advised this subordinate of his to seek a partner, yet the man never listens.
It's not like he cares about the wellbeing of the person, it's just that Hong Feng feared the womanizing would hinder Yang Qing in his job.
Helpful? Yang Qing murmurs this in his head.
It's as the lord says, there had once been a woman who helped him in establishing the Sha Sect.
Unfortunately, she had turned ugly and old.
The woman even threatened himself to not have a good ending.
Humph, to be able to make me not have a good ending isn't even born yet!
Tipsy in the head, an ugly face emerges from his mind, causing Yang Qing to feel queasy and nauseated.
Ever since that day outside the Treasure Cave where he encountered his former wife, he had sent his men to investigate her whereabouts. But by the time his men returned, what came back was the report that she and their child had perished in a fire.
The damn woman, how dare she steal my blood!
Remembering the matter again, Yang Qing chugged another cup of wine again from depression.
He's not sad for the blasted woman, rather it's those children. Without them, his family line would be at its end.
Seeing Yang Qing not heeding his warning, Hong Feng figured its time he left too. Quietly standing up while his subordinate continued with the drunken hazing, he was blocked by the brothel's Mama along with three other girls at the doorway.
Any other normal man would've at least taken an extra glance when faced with such beauty, but Hong Feng didn't even bother to look and pushed aside the girls.
“Mama Song, where's the beauties you promised!" Yang Qing asks with need in his voice, making the Mama to urge the girls inside to serve the customer.
Looking up, Yang Qing only found the girls to be young and average, hardly the stunning beauty promised by the Mama.
Just as he wanted to get angry, his eyes suddenly fell upon the last woman to enter.
Under the yellowish glow of the candlelight, the woman's face seems to glow like the moon, drawing him in and unable look away even for a second.
Then suddenly his hands went stiff upon getting a clearer look at that face, “how come it's you!” Yang Qing jumps up from his seat, unable to believe his eyes.
As if frightened by the outburst, a layer of mist seems to form on the woman's eye, "customer, do you know me? My name is Wulei."
Note: Wu Lei actually means "no tears" in Chinese. Quite a nice name actually.
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(30$ to make me stay up late into the night is fair right for this novel?