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Chapter 19: Courtesan Belle

    Chapter 19: Courtesan Belle

    Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

    Madam Jade, Vice Minister Wang, and Young Master Hong quickly left Qin Manor.

    "What sort of influence does that Young Master Qin have? Isn't he just an immortal cultivator that had just knocked open the gate of immortality? Why would the county governor treat him with so much respect?" Vice Minister Wang asked in hushed tones.

    "No matter what influence he has, he is not someone we can offend," replied Madam Jade.

    Young Master Hong remarked, "Don't overthink things. Since the county governor's intentions are clear, we just need to follow his wishes."

    "That is only natural."

    Vice Minister Wang and Madam Jade nodded in response.

    The county governor could crush them to death easily so how could they dare feign compliance while acting in opposition?

    ...

    Dreamlike Pavilion.

    "Minister Wang, you are back?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady went forward to receive him and served him a cup of tea. "Have some tea first to quench your thirst."

    Vice Minister Wang slumped into his seat and gulped it down before saying, "Dreamlike, you can forget about entering the top three for this coming Courtesan Belle selection!"

    "Minister Wang, you..." Dreamlike Pavilion Lady hurriedly said, "Wasn't it already agreed upon previously?"

    "Lady Scented Dress and Lady Clear Autumn are definitely entering the top three or the selection will be ridiculed as being unfair." Vice Minister Wang said which Dreamlike Pavilion Lady nodded in agreement. "But what about the other spot?"

    Vice Minister Wang said, "The other spot is left to Lady Chen Shuang!"

    "What?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady turned anxious. "She's only a young girl, sought after by Yu Bai. At most, there was an ode written for her?"

    "Her fame is a lot greater than yours at present." Vice Minister Wang continued, "In a few months, Lady Scented Dress and Lady Clear Autumn might not even be able to beat her. After all, that ode was written too, too well."

    "So what if her fame is greater than mine? Isn't it still chosen by the Courtesan Belle panel? With you helping me, wouldn't I be able to enter the top three?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady asked.

    "I'm helping you but there are others helping her," replied Vice Minister Wang.

    "Who?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady asked.

    "Qin Manor's second young master, Qin Yun," said Vice Minister Wang.

    "I heard that he's an immortal cultivator but how is he able to influence the Courtesan Belle selection?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady pursued the matter.

    "He is a distinguished guest of the county governor, who has all intentions to befriend him. It has already been decided that this year's Courtesan Belle will be Lady Chen Shuang." Vice Minister Wang said, "Don't make a fuss if you want to live."

    "County governor?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady's face turned pale.

    "Alright, I came only to warn you, so that you would be mentally prepared. I don't want you to lose your calm during the Courtesan Belle selection." Vice Minister Wang said with a smile. "I might have failed you this time but Dreamlike, I will make it up to you in the future. I still have other matters to tend to. I'll be leaving for now."

    With that said, he got up and left.

    "I'll walk you out." Dreamlike Pavilion Lady still got up and walked him out the door.

    Following that, she returned alone to her room with a stagger.

    "It's unfair. It's unfair..." Murmurs could be heard from inside Dreamlike Pavilion Lady's room. She had forgotten that Chen Shuang's fame was already close to Fairy Clear Autumn and Lady Scented Dress's. As for her, her fame was never Chen Shuang's match, to begin with. She was also aging and had tried all means to forcefully win the title of Courtesan Belle. Many people had resented the unfairness of it behind her back.

    "Second young master of the Qin Manor, Qin Yun?" Dreamlike Pavilion Lady knew that regardless of anything, she could only endure it in silence.

    ...

    Days passed one after another.

    The day of the Courtesan Belle selection approached.

    With the county governor's son, Wen Chong's promotion, the 'Ode to Chen Shuang' spread even faster. It would be common to hear people reciting it alongside teahouses and wine shops. As people listened to the 'Chen Shuang' as described in the ode, they imagined of a fairy-like figure that could make one of the four great scholars of Jiangnan, Yu Bai fall completely head over heels for. It also made Lady Chen Shuang's fame rise greatly, reaching the point of fame that Lady Scented Dress and Fairy Clear Autumn enjoyed.

    Finally, on the day of the Courtesan Belle selection.

    The banks of Flower Solarium river were already filled with the masses. The restaurants that lined the river banks, especially the second floor, had been reserved by many of the rich.

    "Brother Qin Yun, please enter." The second floor of one of the restaurants had been completely reserved. There were only three guests in it-the county governor's son, Young Master Hong and Qin Yun.

    The trio took their seats with female attendants serving them.

    Beyond the buildings railings, they could easily see the huge cruise ship situated beside them. The renowned courtesans inside the cruise ship had yet to appear and all that could be seen were vague figures.

    "Every year's Courtesan Belle selection is when there is the most bustle." Young Master Hong said with a smile, "Countless citizens will rush here to chance a glimpse of the renowned courtesans' beauty."

    "Common citizens cannot afford the money needed to visit a brothel so it's natural that they will not miss the Courtesan Belle selection." added Wen Chong.

    Qin Yun looked at the huge throngs of youths by the riverbank below him. Many of them were cheering.

    "Fairy Clear Autumn."

    "Lady Scented Dress."

    "Lady Chen Shuang."

    There were cheers all around.

    Qin Yun was rather envious of the joy and excitement that these ordinary people had. As a cultivator that roamed the world, he had seen too many instances of the repulsiveness of the human heart. He had also seen too much death in the northern borders. Compared to the renowned courtesans, the excitement the citizens had was better at infecting him.

    "With so many citizens here, are there precautionary measures set up in the vicinity?" Qin Yun asked. "If a demon were to attack, there will be a lot of death and injury."

    "Don't worry. The Courtesan Belle selection is a grand event of Grand Dominance. We naturally did our best at employing precautionary measures. Father has diverted a large amount of manpower here." Wen Chong said, "Even the two ends of the Flower Solarium river has been barricaded to prevent demons of the water breed to launch an amphibious assault. As for everything else? If the demons really want to cause harm, it's impossible to prevent it. Many of them have been hiding in the city for years so it's impossible to defend against them. However, as long as they dare come, not one of them can escape. They will definitely meet their doom."

    "Yes, there's so much manpower with lots of powerful weapons prepared. As long as the demons appear, they will die." Young Master Hong added with a laugh. "Demons also fear death. If they know that it's suicidal, they will not send themselves to their deaths."

    Qin Yun nodded.

    In the entire Grand Dominance County, the county city and the provincial city were relatively much safer because there was a powerful military presence! The demons could only hide in the shadows.

    As for outside the city? The imperial government could only establish an on-site inspection office. However, the demons remained rampant. The days outside the city were a lot tougher. Before the age of eight, Qin Yun had grown up in a village where he had suffered immensely.

    "Roar-"

    The cheers outside gradually reached a crescendo as if it were a roar from a tidal wave.

    Countless citizens were cheering with extreme excitement.

    One renowned courtesan after another walked out of the cruise ship that was floating over the Flower Solarium river. The large cruise ship had a total of three decks. The courtesans came to the top deck of the ship, where it was completely open, allowing the citizens by the riverbanks to see everything clearly.

    "Here they come," said Young Master Hong with a laugh.

    The ten renowned courtesans were excellent, be it their composure or charm. Each one of them was smiling sweetly and looking radiant. To the common citizens, all of them were fairies! Especially the youths and young adults, they were cheering with blushed faces.

    Qin Yun was situated on the second floor of a restaurant where he could see every facial expression the ten renowned courtesans were making on the cruise ship. "It's no wonder so many wealthy men are willing to spend lavishly on them. Even some younger ones are willing to bankrupt themselves for renowned courtesans."

    Some youths would court renowned courtesans to the point of going bankrupt.

    When they had money, the brothels would warmly welcome them. When they had no money, the brothels would directly chase them out.

    ...

    In an ordinary yard in a residential area situated close to the Flower Solarium river.

    Five men were gathered where they could hear the tumultuous cheers coming from the Flower Solarium river's riverbank.

    "The renowned courtesans have appeared." A fatty said with a smile. "Our three brothers, it's about time you go."

    "Remember, the moment when the Courtesan Belle is chosen is when the humans would be most excited. It's the moment when you should take action." Another youth with cunning-looking facial features instructed, "As for that Courtesan Belle, as well as the other renowned courtesans, kill them all. After killing them, feel free to kill those humans. Kill as many as you can."

    "Yes."

    "We have long been waiting for this."

    The three men's eyes were burning with passion.

    "Then, go." The cunning-looking youth waved his hand. "Remember, take action when the Courtesan Belle is announced."

    The three men nodded, turned and left the residential area.

    As the fatty watched the trio leave, he exclaimed, "Pangolin, where did these three idiots come from? The day of the Courtesan Belle selection is when the humans gather their manpower to guard the surroundings. They have many powerful weapons lying in wait. If our leaders were to show their faces, they will only meet with doom. Aren't those three idiots afraid of death? Why do they dare to launch an assault?"

    "Those three? They are demonic slaves." The cunning-looking youth said with a scoff. "They are some lesser demons that had infuriated the water god. After they were transformed into demonic slaves by the water god, they are no longer afraid of death. The water god's commands would be obediently followed by them. The water god had sent them here to unleash a massacre on the humans during the Courtesan Belle selection... Firstly, it's because the leader Chu Yong was killed. The infuriated water god wants the people of Grand Dominance County to remember how powerful the water god is. Secondly, the water god had just finished his experiment. He wants to use this opportunity to see how powerful demonic slaves are when they are willing to fight to the death."

    Fatty was alarmed as he hurriedly asked, "They aren't afraid of death? Why are they unafraid of death? Do those lesser demons that were punished still have their memories after being transformed into demonic slaves?"

    The cunning-looking youth said in hushed tones, "No."

    "If they can't remember the past, isn't it equivalent to being dead?" Fatty's heart palpitated. As a demon, he naturally was mortally afraid of death.

    "That is the punishment of infuriating the water god." The cunning-looking youth grew apprehensive as well. A large majority of the demons in the whole of Grand Dominance County was subordinate to the water god because the water god was too terrifying.

    "Don't forget what's important." The cunning-looking youth hurriedly said, "Remember to arrange your human subordinates to watch the situation! See how powerful the three demonic slaves are when they go all out. Remember to record it. I still need to report it to the water god."

    "Rest assured. I have already arranged for several subordinates to do so." said the fatty hurriedly.

    Demons were terrifying so there were naturally many humans that obediently listened to demons either out of fear or coercion.

    "In a while, there will be a huge massacre." The cunning-looking youth chuckled. "I'll make a move first." He lunged his hands toward the ground and instantly tunneled into the soil as he departed by boring through the ground.

    Fatty brought over two lumps of soil and covered their tracks before leaving the residential area. He too swiftly left the area.
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