Life is Always Comprised of Too Many Things to Hate on Just as the River Endlessly Flowing Eastward with No End in Sight (Part 1)
Tang Ye exuded an extraordinarily heroic aura in the Anima Satin’s robe. He had a shimmering sword at his waist, cloud-tip shoes and an indifferent expression and his aloof, yet handsome frown gave him the aura of a proud young master hailing from a reputable family.
“Where are we?”
“A place where you can truly kill time, a refined place, a place that’s void of the lowly things.”
“Big Brother, what did you drag me here early in the morning for?”
I patted Tang Ye on his shoulder in a friendly way an elder brother looking after his younger brother would. I behaved as composed as a teacher guiding a lost student. At the same time, it was as if I was resolutely guiding him to loftier heights. With an impartial attitude and the utmost solicitude, I slowly said, “Brother, to carry out a mission, of course.”
The magnificent building with painted pillars and carved beams in front of us was a demonstration of creativity. At this part of the capital, where it’s most bustling, the building occupied a large area of space and possessed a level of resplendence that was hard to be matched. One could tell that its value was incredible with a single glance.
One could argue that marquises, Princes and dukes were ranks equally prestigious, but regardless of how much authority and power one may wield, including members of the royal family or powerful vassals, they would never dare to have such a massive estate to themselves right under the monarch’s nose.
Vermillion Street may be a bustling street, but you won’t see this degree of wealthy and influential people coming and going. All the people in this area sported new and luxurious items.
As for its extravagant decoration, it costs three times more than the wealthiest family in the capital’s property. There’s no family in the capital that could afford to spend this incredible sum. Nevertheless, being situated right under the monarch’s nose, they had to learn to be discreet. They definitely couldn’t be high-profile as bold merchants.
Tang Ye looked at the expansive structure. He looked at the people going back and forth, but paid particular attention to the plaque situated at the top. His gaze hinted at his complex loss for words.
I responded with silence. I allowed time and people to pass by.
I narrowed my eyes and peered at the drifting clouds overhead. I couldn’t help but sigh to myself, “My fate is harsh, yet I have no means of changing it. Life is always compromised of too many things to hate on just as the river endlessly flowing eastward with no end in sight.”
After a long silence, Tang Ye finally muttered the words on the plaque, “Heavenly Fragrance Garden?”
“Heavenly Fragrance Garden?”
I dragged out my response, “Yeeessssss.”
“What is this place?”
“Didn’t I tell you? It’s a legitimate, refined, interesting place that lies beyond the lowly…”
“I can’t believe you have the shame to say it!”
Tang Ye turned his head on his neck that seemed to have frozen stiff. He pointed to the plaque. He expressed the betrayal he felt through his rage, “Isn’t this a fucking brothel?!!!”
All of the men around suddenly halted in their tracks. Then they shot us chiding and tense gazes.
An middle-aged woman suddenly jumped out from the crowd and grabbed the back of a middle-aged man’s collar. She scolded him as if she was teaching her nephew a lesson, “I knew this place was brothel! You told me you came here to research flower arrangement! Where are the flowers, huh?! Show me!”
I glanced over.
‘Mother of god! Isn’t that Assistant Minister Lu from the Ministry of Works?!’
Assistant Minister Lu’s wife scared the living daylights out of him. She pointed at him and went on and on.
“No, you misunderstand; I said that I came here to research chess, music…”
God knows where a particular scum came from, but he said, “Auntie, your husband did not lie to you. What is wrong with arranging flowers here? It’s perfectly normal! They’re just flowers that can move, walk and speak. If you’re tired, you can sit down.”
Another person, who was confused, asked, “Sit down and move on your own?”
The crowd burst into laughter. The middle-aged woman unleashed a ferocious barrage of slaps on Assistant Minister’s face! It was such a terrifying sight that the perverted men, who were laughing, gasped.
The middle-aged woman then said, “Sisters! Come out! Catch these indecent cheaters!”
Her female comrades on the street instantly removed their disguises, and thirty or forty of them charged over to ruthlessly attack their men. In an instant the entrance of Heavenly Fragrance Garden turned into a butcher market.
I was completely stupefied. I had no idea that the auntie hard formed a team to come and catch their cheating husbands today, and it was Tang Ye that exposed them!
As I watched the people around us apologise with an assortment of gazes, I pulled Tang Ye over to the side. I glared at him and fumed, “What did you have to be so loud for? Who screams ‘I’m at a brothel’? Look at how many people are there going behind their wives’ backs. They probably lied, saying that they came for chess or music research. If you expose them, they’ll fight you to the death.”
After I said that, I glanced over to the entrance. And just as I said, Assistant Minister Lu and the men, who were captured, shot murderous glares at us, thereby sending me chills up my spine.
“See? Don’t speak without thinking at the entrance of a brothel.”
“Oh, so you do know that it’s a brothel!” Perplexed, Tang Ye asked, “Big Bro, this is where you had to come to carry out a job?”
“What’s wrong with it? Don’t underestimate it. They’re highly accomplished.”
Tang Ye looked at my serious demeanour. Knowing that there were many watchful gazes out in the streets, he lowered his voice, “Are you saying that there is something to do with Jin Wangsun’s weakness inside?”
I shook my head, “I meant that this is largest brothel in the capital, hey! Don’t leave! Come back; I’ll explain it to you.”
“Look carefully at this Heavenly Fragrance Garden place. Don’t you see something odd about it?” I pulled Tang Ye over and lowered my voice, “Look carefully at the wall. Guess how many brothels are behind this building.”
Tang Ye looked at the walls for a long time then suddenly exclaimed, “It’s exceeded the permitted regulations!”
Tang Ye raised his eyebrow, “This building is resplendent. At most, it’s just a waste of resources and money. All that the Imperial Court could do is say that it’s a waste of resources and not a good influence for the people, which isn’t a major crime. However, there are three layers of doors here. Behind them are countless brothels. The Imperial Court’s regulations state that residences may only consist of three courtyards and no more. Even if Heavenly Fragrance Garden tried to take advantage of loopholes and claim that the buildings had different owners that shared connected pathways, you can’t take advantage of loopholes with just some money in the capital. How come the Imperial Court allows such a structure to exist?”
“You’ve finally noticed the problem. The reason is actually very simple. All of the major gambling dens and brothels in the capital are backed by influential individuals. For instance, the Qilin Guards back Apricot Flower Brothel. This place just happens to be more special. This place will never be shut down by the Imperial court, as its backer is extremely influential.”
“Are you saying that the owner of this brothel has a very strong relationship with the Imperial Court? Is that why we can help you deal with Jin Wangsun if we go inside?”
“Of course. Why else did you think I prepared this set of clothes for you for? It cost a darn lot.” In a friendly tone, I said, “Bro, this is the place. Help a brother out. This is proper business. Don’t brush me off, man.” I gave Tang Ye firm pats on his back and added, “All right, let’s go, let’s go, hurry!”
Tang Ye put up a resistance, “Don’t push me! Tell me what’s going on first!”
“We can’t stall any longer.” I hastily said, “It was hard to convince Su Xiao to go on patrol duty! If he spots us, how am I supposed to explain myself?!”
‘Su Xiao is still suspicious of me after the Apricot Flower Brothel story! He doesn’t believe my claim that it was for investigating a case!! They say that women’s sixth sense is terrifyingly accurate, but Su Xiao is even more precise than them!! Does that mean that Su Xiao is a woman among women?!’
“And yet you just said it was legitimate business. If it was legitimate business, would you be worried about Su Xiao finding out?!!”
“Heh! Whenever did you learn to be so sharp-tongued, kid? Hurry up already!”
Tang Ye and I wrestled with each other on the street. Suddenly, I heard someone call me, “Ming Feizhen, get over here.”
“Hold up for a second!” I released Tang Ye and looked over in the direction of the voice. I pointed at Tang Ye, “Don’t senselessly walk around. I’ll be back right away. I’ll educate you in a bit.”
I quickly went over to where Her Highness was hiding on the street. I, however, didn’t know that Tang Ye planned to flee when I left.
After seeing me go off into the distance, Tang Ye glanced at Heavenly Fragrance Garden and fell into deep thought.
‘Going to a brothel for legitimate work? I’m absolutely positive that nothing good will come out of it. I’m out.’
After making up his mind, Tang Ye turned to leave; unfortunately, he bumped into someone. The individual he bumped into wasn’t heavy, so he knocked them flying.
Tang Ye worriedly went to go and help her up, “Miss, are you all right? Ah… I-It’s you?!”
*Cloud tip shoes – The cloud character refers to the freedom of movement at the tip. This is how they look. ‘Cloud tip shoes’ isn’t a real English thing. There’s no English equivalent word for it. The closest thing to them are kungfu shoes as they’re popularly referred to, but there is a separate word for kungfu shoes, so I’m creating a distinction between them. https://img.alicdn.com/imgextra/i4/2223280384/TB28nvelFXXXXXDXpXXXXXXXXXX_!!2223280384.jpg_430x430q90.jpg