In which this chapter almost runs into a need for a nsfw warning. I guess I should do a content warning…?
Content warning (very slight spoilers?):
Faked attempt at coercing someone into sex. (Doesn’t actually lead to anything.)
After Ye You’s party went down the mountain, they truly first went to eat a noon meal before making straight for Xiangxing City.
Seeing this route, Wei Jin found Ren Shaotian, and when they stopped midway to rest, the two went to see their young master, who had been conveniently relieving himself, and silently stared at him.
Ding Xilai slowly said, “…There’s a reason for this.”
Wei Jin didn’t open his mouth, but he looked as if he was waiting for the other to speak.
Ding Xilai then calmly fastened his waistband and, standing straight with his hands clasped behind his back, used a tone similar to the one he used with his old man to say, “Last time I went to Xiangxing City and ate some of their local delicacies. Since it was extremely delicious, I mentioned it to everyone else yesterday, and they all wanted to try these delicacies. Thus, I decided to bring them to eat it.” He looked at Ren Shaotian. “Isn’t that right, Brother Shaotian?”
The corners of Ren Shaotian’s mouth lifted up, bringing out a somewhat wicked smile.
He wanted to laugh every time he saw this young master of his putting on these airs. He said, “It was quite good. We should let them go.”
Those last words were clearly said for Wei Jin to hear. Wei Jin nodded, still not speaking. Ding Xilai thought that when they returned and the old man asked, this person would doubtless repeat everything word for word, but by that time, they would have already distinguished themselves with their contribution, and the old man would definitely praise him.
His heart suddenly moved, and he insipidly said, “If Brother Wei is afraid that Father would object, then why not first go and inform him about this.”
Ren Shaotian laughed, knowing that this was the young master’s attempt at sending Wei Jin back to Shaolin. However, Wei Jin wasn’t a fool, and since the Pavilion Master had directed him to protect the young master, he naturally wouldn’t leave.
Ding Xilai resigned himself to fate and, while still putting on the same airs, climbed into the carriage. Just as he was about to grab his good friend to complain, he saw the other staring blankly at a person on the side. He couldn’t help but look over and was completely caught off-guard when he saw a devastatingly bewitching face, one that could even bring a country to its knees. His mind immediately went blank and, tongue-tied, he said, “You… you…”
Ye You lazily raised a brow. “What about me?”
Ding Xilai fiercely shook his head and stared at the other in shock.
Wei Jiangyue was also watching from the side.
Hundred-Grass Dew was a very good medicine, and Wenren Heng had diligently applied it for the other every day. Now, unless one looked very carefully, it was almost impossible to see any traces of scars, and even those last traces would probably thoroughly disappear after a little while longer. When he first met this person, this person had only half of the face intact, and now that he was seeing it again this time, the effect was even stronger, leaving people feeling somewhat restless.
And so it went without saying for Ding Xilai, as he took a long while to regain his senses. Seeing the other covering up with a fake appearance, he was even more puzzled and asked, “Why do you need to disguise a perfectly good face?”
Ye You returned with a question, “You mean that I should use this face to visit a male brothel?”
That makes sense. When the time comes, if some of those customers sees him… The group fell silent.
Ding Xilai and his good friend looked at one another, and with tacit agreement, both thought in their hearts: He looks like this, and Wenren Heng still isn’t into men? Is that true or false? Is he Liuxia Hui?
An entire day was required to go from the small county town at the foot of Shaolin Temple’s mountain to Xiangxing City, but their luck wasn’t bad, and there was a night market at Xiangxing City tonight, so they successfully managed to arrive before the gates of the city closed. At this time, the streets were still filled with many people, so the carriage’s movements were restricted and its speed became very slow. Ye You then decided simply to get off the carriage and unhurriedly followed the crowd forward.
Wei Jiangyue didn’t know what he wanted to do and followed along.
Ye You looked around and then walked towards a peddler hawking his wares and asked, smiling, “Mister, the gates are about to close, so why aren’t you heading home yet?”
“My home is within the city, so it doesn’t matter.” The peddler asked, “Does young sir want some osmanthus tea? It’s very fragrant.”
Ye You said, delighted, “All right, give me a bag.”
“Very good.” The peddler was very happy and swiftly moved to prepare a bag for him. Since the peddler was about to pack up, a little more than usual was added into the bag too.
After accepting it, Ye You handed over a few silver, and when the peddler was about to count out the change, Ye You stopped him, telling that it was their first time in Xiangxing City and asking about whether there were any fun places to go. The peddler thought for a moment, and carrying his load, he began walking and talking.
Wei Jiangyue was following along and listened to them talk about inns, food stalls, and plays before a certain someone pointed at him and said, “That’s right, Mister, my friend here has a certain interest, and he needs to sample the delicacies of every place he goes to or else his body will feel unwell. Does this Xiangxing City have a male brothel?”
Wei Jiangyue, “…”
The peddler said an, “Oh,” in understanding and first looked at Wei Jiangyue with some deep meaning before continuing to speak. Ye You carefully listened and emphatically asked about the most famous establishment. It wasn’t until he thought that he had just about gotten everything did he say a word of thanks and take his leave from the other.
Wei Jiangyue said, “If I don’t taste those delicacies, I’ll feel unwell?”
Ye You looked at Wei Jiangyue, and Wei Jiangyue looked back at him. Seeing that he seemed to have a sliver of hesitation in his eyes, Wei Jiangyue thought that he was about to give a sentence or two of explanation, only to hear him ask, “Could it be that I guessed correctly?”
Wei Jiangyue, “…”
“Sir Wei, you’re much too serious. You’ll sometimes miss out on a lot of fun things,” Ye You half-seriously and half-frivolously lectured. Upon seeing the place where the carriage had stopped, he walked over.
Under the city lanterns, Wei Jiangyue watched him go, thinking that even just this person’s simple silhouette bore a sense of confident ease, while also revealing nothing. No one was able to see through it, to grasp it, leaving everyone unclear on what exactly he was thinking or what he wanted to do.
Ding Xilai and the others were all waiting for them, and upon seeing that everyone was present, they entered the male brothel.
The boss’s gaze was calculating, and with one look, he could see that these were a crowd of noble young masters. At once, he plastered a smile on his face and welcomed them in. Ye You was about to open his mouth when he felt the Junior Alliance Leader tug on his sleeve. Upon seeing the other continuously shooting glances at Ding Xilai, he stopped moving and simply stood there. The boss quickly discovered that all of them were looking at one person and also followed suit.
In his heart, Ding Xilai cursed this group of scoundrels. Under Wei Jin’s gaze, he continued carrying an appearance similar to Pavilion Master Ding’s and said, with stiff solemnity, “Boss, give us a few entertainers.”
The boss stared for a moment, as if it was the first time he’d seen such an upright person patronize his business.
The Junior Alliance Leader and the others seemed like they were practically going wild with laughter, and they all thought that it seemed as if they were watching Pavilion Master Ding visit a brothel. Even Ren Shaotian was laughing nonstop.
The boss also counted as quite seasoned and experienced and quickly regained his senses. He said, “All right, please come inside, masters. We have all kinds here, and we guarantee your satisfaction.”
Ye You asked, “Is your lead entertainer here?”
The boss smiled and said, “He’s here. But seeing that these masters look unfamiliar and so it’s perhaps your first time at our Tingzhu Courtyard, I must first inform you of a certain matter. Our lead entertainer’s services include only his skills and not his body.”
“I know,” Ye You said, “I’ve long heard that your lead entertainer is skilled at playing the qin, so today I specially came to hear him play. Since he’s not selling his body, he shouldn’t have other guests at this hour, right?”
The boss said, “Indeed, he doesn’t.”
Ye You pulled out a banknote for him. “Give me a separate private room, and also give them another private room. Invite some tactful and discreet entertainers to accompany them for some conversation.”
The boss’s smile immediately blossomed, and he said a word of agreement before personally bringing them upstairs and preparing two private rooms for them. He then went out to call for some people so as to let these young masters have an easy time choosing a few.
The moment he left, the crowd of people all turned to look at Sir Xiao.
Wei Jiangyue asked, “You want a private room to yourself?”
Ye You spoke as if it was a matter of course, “With my martial arts gone, all of you can’t always rely on the fact that I’ll be with you to find clues, right? So for this matter, I’ll be depending on all you martial heroes. I’m going to go listen to some songs. If there’s any issues, feel free to call for me any time.”
“All of you talk a bit more with the entertainers and ask about anything suspicious, and when necessary, find the time to walk around every corner of this place. I believe in all of you.” As Ye You finished speaking, he saw the boss returning with a group of people. He took the liberty to pinch the face of the entertainer closest to him before tossing the others aside and leaving.
The scarred man faithfully and loyally followed after. When Ye You had just finished pouring a cup of tea, the room’s door opened.
The recent arrival was wearing a green garment, his black hair thick and straight, falling softly down his back. His eyes were long and narrow, unusually handsome and clear, and his mouth was carrying a slight smile. In general, his temperament appeared to be quite good. Looking at this seemingly ordinary-looking young sir, he said, “Hello, young sir.”
Ye You smiled and said, “Hello.”
This lead entertainer sat in the front and asked, “What song does the young sir want to hear?”
Ye You’s tone was tender. “Anything will do. I’d love listening to anything, so long as you’re the one playing.”
The scarred man, “…”
He was starting to suspect that Sir Xiao’s main reason for going outside this time was just for the sake of visiting a brothel.
The lead entertainer’s name was Fuping. He was most likely used to hearing such things, so he simply smiled at the other, set up his qin, and began softly playing. Ye You drank a sip of wine and narrowed his eyes in satisfaction. During this time, Wei Jiangyue came twice and saw this person staring straight at the lead entertainer, as if truly unconcerned about the current progress of things. He fell silent for a moment before wordlessly leaving.
Ye You joyfully listened for a while, and upon hearing some chaos coming from outside, he said, “Go and see what’s happening.”
The scarred man hesitated for a moment, but upon seeing this person look at him again, he finally nodded, stood up, and left.
A creak softly echoed, and then the room was left with only Ye You and the lead entertainer. The sounds of the qin was sinuous and melodious, as if it was a string of touching and tender words of love. Ye You set down the wine cup and stood up, walking over to the lead entertainer. He reached across the qin and pinched the other’s chin, asking, “Beauty, you really don’t sell your body?”
Fuping raised his head and freed himself from the other’s hand. “Yes, if young sir wants, you can find someone else. You’ll definitely be able to pick someone you like.”
“But I just want you. What should I do?” Ye You walked around and sat next to him, running hands through the strings of the qin for a brief moment. “Right when I arrived at Xiangxing City, I heard that Sir Fuping’s skills with the qin were outstanding. I didn’t think that even the person himself was this beautiful, truly making me fall in love at first sight. I won’t be at ease until I’ve obtained him.”
Fuping lowered his eyes. “But young sir…”
“Don’t worry, I have a constant heart. I definitely don’t get tired of the old and enamored with the new,” Ye You interrupted him and said, “And one can’t do this kind of occupation for long; eventually one must find a place to return to call home. My Senior Brother is the Sect Master of Shuangji Sect. Have you heard of Shuangji Sect? It’s an incredibly powerful sect in Jianghu. If you go with me, you definitely won’t suffer.”
Fuping looked at him.
Ye You faced this person, and the emotions in his eyes seemed almost as if they would spill over. After a while, he pressed the other’s shoulder and lightly pushed, pushing the person down onto the soft mat below, his other hand placed on the other’s cheek.
In the same moment, the scarred man and Wei Jiangyue pushed open the door and stepped in. Upon seeing these two’s positions, the two were uniformly dumbfounded.
Ye You didn’t turn around, and for a while, his thumb caressed Fuping’s face. Fuping bit his lips and moved his head slightly, but he didn’t resist. Ye You let out a soft laugh before finally turning to look at the two people at the doorway. “Still not leaving? Wanting to see some live-action erotica?”
The scarred man and Wei Jiangyue backed up, stupefied, and once again closed the door.
Ye You was very satisfied and made to open Fuping’s waistband, but he was stopped by this person.
Fuping asked, “Not returning to a room, young sir?”
Ye You said, “Return to what room? I want to do it right here.”
As he finished speaking, he pushed aside this person’s hands and returned to untying the waistband. Fuping’s expression deepened slightly, and he quickly moved to hit Ye You’s acupoints. Ye You easily blocked him and then let out a wave of inborn energy, directly sealing his main acupoint.
“You…” Fuping’s expression finally changed, and his long and narrow eyes were dyed with a cold light. He immediately showed an unwilling expression, completely at odds with his silent patience just now.
“What about me?” Ye You approached him, all smiles, and asked in his place, “My footsteps are empty of any force, so why do I know martial arts?”
Fuping said, “So you were just pretending?”
Ye You didn’t answer. He pulled out a medicinal pill and forcefully stuffed it into the other’s mouth. Under this murderous gaze, he stood up and went to get the wine jug. He listened to the slight noises from the roof beams before calmly walking back.
Just as he stepped forward, a black shadow soundlessly dropped down.
The shadow held a sword and, upon touching the ground, directly rushed at Ye You but wasn’t able to touch even a thread of clothing. The only thing he saw was this person’s figure flashing, and then a sharp pain on the nape of his neck, before he knew no more.
Ye You didn’t even look down, grabbing him by the clothes and tossing him bodily out the window.
Fuping was also unable to see through the other’s skill, and his expression changed once again. “Who exactly are you?”
Ye You returned to his side and, pinching his chin, forced him to drink a mouthful of wine. After confirming that he had also swallowed the pill, Ye You used a hand to pinch his neck, squeezing down forcefully. Fuping’s expression gradually distorted, and even with his acupoints sealed, he still struggled slightly under the choking force. The corners of Ye You’s mouth lifted, and he softly said, “I’ll count to three. If you still won’t withdraw, then all of you will only be able to bring back a corpse. One, two…”
It was only when the sounds from the roof beams grew distant did Ye You retract his hand. Seeing the other quietly coughing, he said, “Didn’t I tell you before, I’m the Junior Brother of Shuangji Sect’s Sect Master. If you want to know more, then follow me to Shaolin. Li Hua definitely also really misses you. That’s right, she’s already been caught and detained at Shaolin. Did you know this?”
Fuping did his utmost to recover his breath, and just as he was about to speak, a hand came and covered his mouth.
Looking at this person’s eyes, he felt that these pale pupils were sharp and deep, as if clearly able to see through others.
Ye You laughed and said, “If I was you, I’d probably make a big call for help right now.”
“You should give up. The person I’ve chosen, how can I so easily just let him go.” Ye You gave the other a smile, but his eyes weren’t smiling at all. Fuping hadn’t even carefully parsed through this when he was picked up by this person and then knocked unconscious.
The next moment, the door was pushed open by a determined-looking scarred man.
Looking at these two people, he saw that Young Master Xiao was currently holding the other and that the lead entertainer’s face was red, carrying the appearance of someone who had been ravaged. He immediately saw black and felt extremely apologetic towards the Sect Master. With a trembling voice, he said, “You… him…”
Ye You put the person down and looked at Fuping’s face, which had been choked into its current miserable appearance. He unhurriedly straightened his clothes and regretfully said, “Oh, him? He was teased too much by me just now, so he fainted.”
The scarred man hastily grabbed onto this last shred of hope. “You didn’t… didn’t do it?”
Ye You raised a brow. “You think I’d be this fast?”
“…” The scarred man didn’t want to talk about this subject with him and was about to advise him to step back only to hear this person say, “He promised to follow me. I want to bring him with me.”
The scarred man, “…”
 He’s peeing, if you haven’t realized LOL.
 柳下惠 The posthumous name given to Zhan Huo, a Chinese politician back in the Zhou dynasty. He was said to be so virtuous that he once held a lady in his lap without acting the least bit untoward to her.
 I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but I’ve been waffling over what to refer to 小倌 and just sex workers in general in this piece, since I dislike the word prostitute, and it’s not an accurate translation anyway. While these men and women did provide sex as a service, they’re also expected to perform in other ways for guests too (singing, dancing, qin playing, etc.). And many who go to brothels (for instance, Wei Jiangyue back in Fengchun House) go for entertainment purposes rather than purely sex. So they’re more akin to modern day strippers than sex workers. And that was just a long-winded way of explaining that I’ve decided to use “entertainers” from now on. I’ll go back and streamline earlier chapters at the end.
 聽竹院 lit. Listening Bamboo Courtyard.
 浮萍 lit. duckweed. I actually debated with myself about translating this directly, since it’s clearly not a real name, but then I realized that everyone would probably just keep envisioning this poor kid as a duck, so I decided against it.
So, this chapter was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, and I ended up reading ahead a couple chapters, and… hoo boy, lots of things happen from now on, so look forward to it! I’m probably going to regret saying this but… I’m speeding up translations for the next few chapters since I’m excited too. Hopefully, this won’t just be empty words on my part, haha…
Next chapter is already translated. Barring anything happening, it should be up tomorrow. (Probably slightly earlier than today? But no promises.)