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Chapter 13: Never Escaping the Considerations of Utility

    Chapter 13: Never Escaping the Considerations of Utility

    Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon

    After Chen Shuang reproduced a few poems, she said, "Auntie Xue, Yu Bai, one of the four great scholars of Jiangnan, has been in Grand Dominance County for a few days now. There are probably many women from the brothels who wish to meet him. Have you caught wind of who he has met with?"

    Since ancient times, the Jiang and Qian Prefectures have been collectively called Jiangnan. It was a place where many talents gathered. Scholars were one such talent.

    The four great scholars of Jiangnan enjoyed a great reputation throughout the entire world. They were sought after by the women from the brothels. Some didn't even want money, and were actually willing to pay the scholars! Some were even willing to become their concubines.

    "I've not heard anything of that sort." Auntie Xue said, "I'll get Old Shen to continue investigating the matter."

    "Alright."

    Chen Shuang pricked up her sword-like brows slightly. "This great scholar has come to Grand Dominance County just as the Courtesan Belle selection is about to be held! It might be a coincidence, but perhaps he wants to gain some benefit from intervening in the Courtesan Belle selection."

    "If it's just a county selection of a Courtesan Belle, there should be no need for such a great scholar to get involved, right?" Auntie Xue could not help but ask.

    "If he has ulterior motives, it will be difficult to get him to aid me," Chen Shuang said. "If it really is just a coincidence, there might be a small chance of him helping me."

    With that, Chen Shuang revealed a grin. "However, those women from the brothels have also become stupid after spending so much time in such a questionable place. For a great scholar like him, who is famous throughout the world, it's unknown how many renowned courtesans look up to him. How can it be easy to convince such a great scholar to help them?"

    "Get Old Shen to watch him for me. Observe his every move." Chen Shuang said, "Report to me at any time."

    "Alright." Auntie Xue nodded.

    ******

    Qin Yun and Tian Bo returned on horseback under the night sky.

    When they passed by a stone bridge, they saw a restaurant boat floating in the quiet Flower Solarium river beneath them.

    "Oh?"

    There was a bevy of young girls on the boat accompanying two men drinking and enjoying the music.

    "It's the great scholar, Yu Bai," Tian Bo hurriedly said.

    "Yu Bai? One of the four great scholars, Yu Bai. If I recall, he's from Southbright County, right? Why would he be here in Grand Dominance County?" Qin Yun looked over as well. The world needed erudite scholars to govern it. They were different than immortal cultivators, who were like legends. In comparison, scholars were much greater in number. The number of county or provincial scholars was several times more than the number of cultivators. And among scholars, the four great scholars of Jiangnan was absolutely the most famous.

    "I have no idea why he is here in Grand Dominance County. However, I do know that the renowned courtesans of Grand Dominance County's brothels are going crazy for him," Tian Bo said wistfully. "People like us spend money on renowned courtesans, but the renowned courtesans do the opposite. They are willing to spend money on this Mister Bai. There are a number who are willing to marry him too."

    "He's one of the four great scholars of Jiangnan after all. His literature is famous throughout the world. It's only natural that he has many admirers," remarked Qin Yun.

    "Brother Yun, you think too simply." Tian Bo chuckled and said, "The four great scholars of Jiangnan are indeed famous throughout the world! However, if a renowned courtesan were to be involved with Yu Bai by having a fabulous love affair with him, one filled with passion, any mention of the great scholar Yu Bai would by nature include that renowned courtesan! That renowned courtesan's fame would then expand beyond a city or land. It would similarly be known throughout the world! With such fame on the line, do you think a mere ten or twenty taels of silver will win an audience with him? Dream on! It's at least two or three hundred taels of silver!"

    "Having a fabulous love affair with him? Furthermore, one filled with passion? If Yu Bai conducts himself with dignity, it wouldn't end up in such a manner, right?" asked Qin Yun.

    "How can anyone figure out the affairs of the heart? Moreover, even if there's no intense passion, all that needs to happen is Yu Bai being smitten by her and writing a poem for her. Once that poem spreads, everyone would know that the great scholar Yu Bai wrote it for a particular renowned courtesan. The renowned courtesan's fame would naturally be elevated."

    Tian Bo continued, "Even if he were stingy with his poems and was unwilling to write a poem for her, as long as the renowned courtesan remains in a relationship with him for a month or two, it can be announced to the public that the great scholar Yu Bai was smitten by this renowned courtesan. He stayed behind for months instead of returning home. The renowned courtesan would similarly enjoy great benefits from that."

    "Fame! That is essential to a renowned courtesan."

    "The greater the fame, the more people will seek an audience with her. The cost of a single meeting would also go up." Tian Bo said, "Brother Yun, do you now understand why such a great scholar is so sought after by these renowned courtesans?"

    Qin Yun nodded and was somewhat enlightened.

    "To become an area's renowned courtesan, one typically has to have pretty good qualities. Their beauty, skills, and charm all must meet a rather high standard. The only thing lacking is sufficient fame." Tian Bo said, "Fame means money! They might be able to save up a thousand taels of silver in one year but with a great scholar aiding them, they can earn perhaps three to five thousand taels of silver a year. It's a severalfold increase! Tell me, how can he not be sought by them?"

    "The pairing of a scholar and a beauty is such a wonderful pairing. Yet, you have incisively laid out the utilitarian aspects of everything." Qin Yun shook his head and laughed. However, he did find what Tian Bo said to be reasonable.

    "Utilitarian?"

    Tian Bo shook his head and said, "I was once young, with will and spirit. I believed more in ties of comradeship. However, when I first took over part of my father's food and beverage business, things went quite badly and I suffered numerous setbacks. I had even secretly slapped myself in the face numerous times. Only then did I learn that all the hustle and bustle of the world is only for utility and money. To survive in the secular world, there is almost no way of escaping utility!"

    "There might be an extreme few renowned courtesans that really admire that great scholar's talents. However, I dare say that nearly all of them are pursuing him for fame. With fame comes money!"

    Qin Yun laughed when he heard his friend's philosophy. "Little Bobo, you are no longer the same! However, there are still ties of comradeship in this world."

    "Yes, it's because this world is too utilitarian that ties of comradeship become more precious," replied Tian Bo.

    Qin Yun nodded.

    Back then, Tian Bo was only a shy youth that tagged behind him. Tian Bo had now changed and matured.

    "By the way," Qin Yun suddenly thought of something as he asked. "Do you think that great scholar would be able to help Little Shuang? For the upcoming Courtesan Belle selection, can Little Shuang have a chance at becoming Courtesan Belle?"

    "You want to help Sister Xie Shuang?"

    Tian Bo considered for a moment. "It depends on how you want to help her. As long as this great scholar is truly willing to put in the time and effort, she would definitely be able to enter the top ten. It might even be possible for her to enter the top three! As for Courtesan Belle? That would be difficult! People like Fairy Clear Autumn and Lady Scented Dress are famous everywhere. It's hard to surpass them."

    "Top three?" Qin Yun ruminated.

    "If this great scholar is really willing to help Sister Xie Shuang, haha, you probably won't be able to meet her with just twenty taels of silver. It will start from at least fifty taels of silver."

    Tian Bo continued, "However, the greater the scholar, the more they conduct themselves with dignity. They will not easily entangle themselves too deeply with renowned courtesans. I heard that even Fairy Clear Autumn sent him an invitation, but he ignored her."

    Qin Yun nodded slightly as he thought to himself, "Since Little Shuang is accustomed to the beautiful illusions of the brothel, I should help her lead a better life in such a complicated place."

    The livelihood of renowned courtesans was really determined by their fame.

    Without fame, they would resemble fairies falling from heaven into a muddy ditch. The even more tragic ones might end up being sent to brothels that sold sexual services. That would truly be lamentable.

    "Little Shuang." Qin Yun treated her as a younger sister of his. Although his heart pained for her to walk down such a path, all he could do was try his best to make it better for her.
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