Song Lijun walked through the street with his servant, An Liu. Whenever he’s in a disguise, he would don a different identity. That is, the Gongzi of a well-known family in the kingdom. Of course, the family is tied to the Royal family by marriage between Song Lijun’s granduncle and his wife. So it wasn’t a lie if he says that he is their young master. This identity’s name is Jing Yuan.
On the other hand, An Liu’s identity is not that of a servant. Instead, he plays as Song Lijun’s childhood friend. Whenever they are outside like this, An Liu would refer Song Lijun as Yuan-ge while Song Lijun will call him little Liu.
The Flower Pavilion is located in the eastern street which is known to be the busiest in the capital. Song Lijun lowered his straw hat as he moved through the busy street. Soon enough, they could see a majestic, four floored building. The building was adorned in mostly red, and there are few ladies of the pleasure house standing outside, trying to rope in a customer. When they get close enough, Song Lijun looked up at the wooden plaque above the entrance. The stroke of each character was elegant and they read ‘Flower Pavilion’.
One of the ladies working in the pleasure house saw Song Lijun and An Liu so she quickly approached them. “Good day to the two young masters. Are you here to have some fun? Maybe to release some tension?” she asked while acting seductive in front of the two. She also tried to rub her chest against Song Lijun’s arm as she held it close.
Seeing the voluptuous body of the lady, An Liu can’t help but let his eyes wander from her chest, all the way down to her waist. But Song Lijun wasn’t affected in the slightest. Instead, he only scrunches up his nose and turned his face away.
‘Lady, your perfume is too much!’ he thought as he could feel the headache coming. If possible, Song Lijun really didn’t want to come here. But compared to being scolded by his father, going to this place is the lesser of the two evil. Taking a deep breath, Song Lijun turned to face the lady with a big smile on his face.
“Indeed. Today is my dear friend’s birthday. As a good brother of his, naturally, I have to help him celebrate. I heard that recently, Flower Pavilion have a new member. A man of peerless look…” at this, the woman’s expression changed and looked at both Song Lijun and An Liu in a bizarre manner. Seeing this look, Song Lijun noticed his mistake and quickly cleared his throat before he leaned down and lowered his voice into a whisper while he covered his mouth so that An Liu wouldn’t know what he was saying. “You see, my friend actually… bent that way so, if you could help us…”
Song Lijun took out a small bag of coins and handed it to the lady. She received the bag and checked the content. As soon as she saw the gold coins, her expression changed once more, this time into a friendly one. “Of course! We do have a new member recently! Please come on inside! Unfortunately, he is currently serving the fourth prince so you may need to wait for a moment.”
“I see, that is not a prob-” Song Lijun stopped mid-sentence as he processed what the lady in front of him had just told him. “I’m sorry. Can you tell me who he’s currently serving?”
“You heard me. He’s currently serving the fourth prince of our country! Prince Song Lijun! And here we thought only the third prince has such a hobby!”
The real Song Lijun: …
An Liu who also heard this loud and clear was having trouble trying to keep himself from laughing. Song Lijun silently reached out his hand and pinched An Liu’s arm. “Try and laugh. See if I will get few men to serve you while inside.”
“Ah, no! Yuan-ge! Don’t do that, you know I’m not like that,” An Liu replied quickly. Then he gets closer and whispered to Song Lijun. “It seems that her highness took your identity again to cause mischief… What should we do?”
“Go in and while waiting, use the pretext of nature call to go around and find her! Since she used my identity, she should be in the room of the top floor,” Song Lijun replied, his face turned dark when he imagined the sort of things his sister is doing using his identity.
When they entered the building, they were led to a private waiting room since Song Lijun handed out a hefty sum of money. The room was filled with the smell of scented incense and there were also few ladies of the pleasure house coming towards them, tending to their little needs. They were dressed skimpily, the little clothes they have only covering little of their private parts.
Not wanting to spend more time here, Song Lijun was the first to make a move. “Little Liu, you wait here first. I will go and relief myself,” Song Lijun said to An Liu.
“Alright, Yuan-ge. Don’t take too long!” An Liu replied before he turned his attention back to the ladies that are currently serving him fruits.
As soon as he got out of the room, Song Lijun immediately made a beeline towards the stairs. Luckily, when they were brought in earlier, Song Lijun saw where the stair was so he didn’t have to waste any time looking. He went up the flight of stairs but when he was about to enter the fourth floor, he was stopped by a buff looking man.
“I’m sorry, esteemed guest. Please show me your token if you want to proceed,” the man said as he held out his hand toward Song Lijun.
“Token?” Song Lijun frowned as he looked up at the guard. “Brother, can’t you just let me pass this time? I’m only looking for someone,” Song Lijun took out another small bag of coins and placed it on the guard’s palm. The guard just narrowed his eyes but he still inspected the amount inside the bag. Satisfied, he moved away and let Song Lijun pass quietly. “Thank you, kind brother.”
Song Lijun did not forget to thank the guard but the guard only answered him with a grunt. Now that he’s on the fourth floor, he noticed that the atmosphere was a lot different than the floors below.
On the floor below this, Song Lijun could see that decency was lacking. The room was sometimes left open, and in one room, there would sometimes be several customer inside. Not only that, the whole floor was filled with the smell of incense but here, Song Lijun could finally breathe easy.
He carefully walked through the hall and occasionally, he would hear muffled moans from behind the closed door. ‘Since Lijing used my identity, she probably won’t do anything that would reveal herself as a woman. The quietest room should be hers,’ Song Lijun thought as he continued to walk to find his sister.
He had just passed a room when he suddenly heard a loud angry voice from inside, making him jump in surprise. The straw hat he was wearing to keep his face hidden, fell down and before he could pick it up the door to the room opened.
“Did those courtesans think I paid with water?! That was three hundred gold coins! Do I still need to wait this long?!” he roared out angrily. From his tone and the way he spoke, Song Lijun believed that the man was drunk. Not only that, but Song Lijun could also smell the alcohol on the man’s body.
‘This guy reeks… I better get away before I get into trouble,’ he thought as he kneeled down to pick up his hat. Unfortunately, it was this movement that made the drunk man notice him.
“Oh, you’re finally here! I’ve been waiting for so long already!” as he said this, the drunk man grabbed Song Lijun’s arm and attempted to drag him inside the room.
Song Lijun realized that the man mistook him as someone working in the pleasure house so he quickly pulled his arm away. “I’m sorry, I think you got the wrong person!” Song Lijun said before he went to pick up his hat and placed it over his head.
The drunk man’s expression turned ugly when he heard what Song Lijun said and he went forward to grab Song Lijun once more, this time with more force than before. “It is impossible that I got the wrong person! With looks such as yours, it is only natural that you work in the pleasure house. Either that or you’d be sold to some well-known family as a lowly concubine,” the drunk man sneered at Song Lijun as he continued to pull Song Lijun into the room.
“You really got the wrong person! I’m a man!” Song Lijun yelled out. The drunk man just scoffed and didn’t believe Song Lijun’s word. It was at this moment that he hated the fact that his voice has yet to change.
‘Ah, this bastard! Then I can only make this move… though I know how painful it is, you truly leave me no choice!’ Song Lijun lowered his eyes towards the man’s crotch area, aiming at his target. He was just about to lift his right leg for a kick when he heard a cracking sound, followed by a pained wail. Then, he felt the grip on his arm loosened and he immediately took a few steps backwards. Then he was thrown off balance as his back hits a tough wall, or at least he thought it was a wall until he felt an arm wrapped around his waist to keep him steady.
“Didn’t ‘she’ already tells you that you got the wrong person?” a low, baritone voice came from behind Song Lijun, making him turn around. Behind him, stood a young man who appears to be in his early adulthood. His look even took Song Lijun’s breath away.
‘Whoa… this is the first time I see someone who is even more good looking than eldest brother. If the third brother is here, I can bet my whole savings that the third brother will throw himself onto this man,’ Song Lijun can’t help but imagine his elder brother throwing himself to another man, making him curve up his lips.
The man who was holding him steady had chosen this exact time to look down toward him, their eyes met and Song Lijun immediately felt an inexplicable feeling in his chest. His heart began to race, pounding loudly against his ribcage. The man seems to also experience something because Song Lijun could see the change of emotion in his eyes.
“Bastard!” their eye contact was broken by a loud roar and both of them turned back to the drunk man who is now holding his broken wrist. “How would you know I got the wrong person, huh?! She came here alone and was standing in front of my door, naturally, she’s the one that the pleasure house as allocated to me!”
“I know because I was the one she’s allocated to,” the man replied confidently. “The first time I saw her, I had fallen in love with her. And she was the same. After today, I planned to settle with the owner about paying for her freedom and afterwards, we would go back to my country.”
“Huh?” the drunk man stared at both Song Lijun and the other man with a stupefied look. “You’re lying! Both of you looked at each other as a stranger would earlier!”
‘Wait… what is this situation?’ Song Lijun thought. ‘Why do I feel like things are going out of my control?’
Written by: Lin Xiaolong
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