Chapter 101: Flower Thief (I)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Langjun’s words are so sweet. They will steal the hearts of many when you grow up.” Xia’er covered her lips with a handkerchief. “Even I am touched.”
Jiang Pengji could always differentiate between truth, lies, and jokes.
“That’s because words are divided into several levels.” Jiang Pengji elaborated her theory. “Mine come from the bottom of my heart, out of my love for treasures like you. Other men who intend to deceive you, however, will not move you one bit, no matter how flowery their speeches are.”
The two girls laughed. Jiang Pengji’s answer was sweet like honey.
Jiang Pengji said what she truly thought, and this touched the girls, even though they had heard lots of flattery before. Unlike other Langjuns, Jiang Pengji didn’t pay attention to their backgrounds, and he was less proud in front of them. The two liked the way she praised herself half-jokingly.
Xia’er agreed, “Langjun is certainly the most honest man I’ve ever met.”
Rimu Xieyang: “Well, well! what’s going on?”
Qianqiu Yuebie Wujiang Zhacai: “I know what you’re going to say. I would have dozens of girlfriends if I were the host.”
Jiang Pengji smiled as she sipped the tea Xia’er had prepared. The ingredients were not as fine as those from the Liu manor, but the girl still managed to make the taste delicate. The warmth slid through her throat down to her heart.
Host V: “@Qianqiu Yuebie Wujiang Zhacai, not really. I’m single.”
Being good at flirting did not guarantee a partner. In her case, she had been close friends with many guys, but she had remained single for years. After all, not many people could bear her penetrating gaze.
Qianqiu Yuebie Wujiang Zhacai: “Sh*t, that’s worse.”
Most viewers assumed girls in brothels were only capable of that, but Xia’er and Chun’er demonstrated how accomplished they were. They were like ladies from great families. In an era of high illiteracy, they surprised them by talking about classics and showing their exquisite tastes for music.
The audience was too amazed to speak.
Host V: “Those who despise these ladies are jokes themselves. These girls are much more learned than many of you. They have acquired knowledge and practiced repeatedly year after year to improve. Isn’t that worth our respect?”
Why would anyone consider themselves better than these girls? Jiang Pengji felt the difference between her opinions and her viewers’.
Rimu Xieyang: “That’s quite true. We’re in different eras with distinct cultures. It’s funny how some old novels imagine modern people time-traveling. And yet, ancient people in brothels can stun us, modern people.”
While some agreed with Jiang Pengji, others did not cease their opposition.
Dali Buyaoting: “This doesn’t change the fact that they are whores. They gain money by being f*cked. By the way, why is the host so eager to defend them? Did you do the same for a living before? Even with a new body, your soul remains stained, b*tch!”
This comment did not remove Jiang Pengji’s smile. She was ill-tempered, but she decided to ignore the comment before she scared Xia’er and Chun’er with her sudden anger.
She would make that guy shut up somehow.
“Time flies when we are with you.” Xia’er took the medicine Jiang Pengji had given her, and she felt much better. Her pale face turned pink, and her eyes glittered like waves under the sun.
Jiang Pengji heard the servants outside reporting the time and was ready to leave.
“May I come again? You know more than many of my peers.” Jiang Pengji meant what she said. “If the court admitted females as officials, you would probably be qualified. We could become colleagues then.”
She ended with a joke, but her praise was genuine.
Xia’er was embarrassed, but she understood that she could never climb the social ladder. “That must be a flattery, for we read only during our leisure time. And you, my Langjun, you must leave us someday when you form your own family.”
Rimu Xieyang: “Even the girls in the brothels become shy because of the host.”
Qianqiu Yuebie Wujiang Zhacai: “I finally realize why the host remains single. Because she wants everyone else to stay single like her!”
She opened girls’ eyes so they could not accept weaker and less thoughtful men. That must be her plan!
Fanghuajiu: “Host, can you mute the noisy Dali Buyaoting?”
Host V: “What’s the point of refraining a dog from barking? That is the way he shows us how well-educated he is.”
That seemed true.
“You are too modest,” Jiang Pengji told the girl. “How do you know it’s not possible for you to work for the court?”
Xia’er and Chun’er did not think much about it. It would have been possible for female officials to work for the court in the Period of Sixteen Kingdoms and at the beginning of Xia Dynasty. But since then, women had become much more constrained, and the situation was still worsening in the current era of five kingdoms.
The worst was the most powerful kingdom, Zhongzhao. Women there were forbidden to show their faces to strangers or to remarry. They were required to obey their fathers as teenagers and then their husbands when they grew up. After their spouses passed away, they were expected to be devoted only to their sons. Ladies who walked on the street were criticized for their corrupt morals, and women were drowned as punishment if they were considered unfaithful.
The ladies in Zhongzhao were even more suffocated than the girls in brothels were.