Chapter 245: A Heartbreaking Tale

The doors to the second floor opened. A sweet, fair, and graceful figure slowly walked out, stopping just behind the pearl curtains.

Even though her face was covered by a veil, her extraordinarily beautiful features could still be vaguely seen, providing just enough to trigger the endless fantasies of all who saw her.

A strange tranquility fell upon the main hall.

Those who frequented such establishments naturally saw their fair share of beauties. However, this woman before them was completely different.

Beneath her simple yet elegant brows were a pair of clear yet mysterious eyes. All those who saw them felt a powerful urge to cherish and protect the one they belonged to.

A faint smile graced her soft lips, which were tender and beautiful. They seemed to sparkle like the morning dew, giving off a unique charm that left one’s mouth dry.

As her tender gaze landed upon each one of them, it made each of them feel unique and special, as if her affections were reserved for them alone. 

These thoughts swept across the minds of everyone in the Immortal Abode, from the aged elders to those who were barely of age, and their collective breathing began to hasten.

“Gulp~”

The sounds of saliva being swallowed came from everywhere in the Immortal Abode, and no one was sure who started it first.

All those who had been invited were respected figures in Brightmoon City. This sort of shameful act reflexively made their faces flush red, but no one seemed to think it inappropriate. On the contrary, this was a perfectly normal reaction to seeing such an exceptional beauty in the flesh.

What formidable charm! Observing from her second-floor private room, where the door was always shut, Pei Mianman clicked her tongue quietly. As a woman herself, she was skilled in this field as well, so she wasn’t too affected.

She sneered as she took in the utterly captivated expressions of all the men present. “Nothing more than a group of dirty lechers.”

A thought struck her, and she turned her gaze in a certain direction. Surprisingly, she noticed that Zu An’s eyes were still clear. Apparently, he wasn’t as shameful as the others.

At least there’s still something good in this fellow. The corners of Pei Mianman’s lips curved upwards ever-so-slightly into a smile so enchanting that not even a flower-covered field could compare with it. It was just a pity that no one could see it.

If she’d had an inkling of what was going through Zu An’s might right at this moment, she might not have been so quick to praise him like this.

Zu An came from a different world, after all. He was used to seeing female celebrities on TV, and could swipe through the updates of countless beauties on TikTok. There was also the 2D world, which was full of perfect women who didn’t really exist. After all this exposure, his concept of beauty naturally exceeded that of the men of this world by a fair margin.

Moreover, his wife was Brightmoon City’s number one beauty. Even if this Qiu Honglei was pretty, there was no way she would be prettier than her.

There was also big sis empress, the gorgeous principal, Shang Liuyu, and many others. Any one of them was a match for her, and he was already close to all of them. He was already numb to all but the most exceptional beauties.

This woman’s bearing and seductiveness made him subconsciously think of Pei Mianman. The two of them actually shared some traits, with one of them being more flirtatious, while the other’s seductiveness carried a hint of innocence.

However, there was no denying that Pei Mianman’s chest was far more developed than hers!

Zu An carefully sized up Qiu Honglei’s chest. Even though it was majestic, it still lacked sauce.

If Pei Mianman had known what was inside his head, she would have been torn between laughing and punching him in the face.

On the surface, Qiu Honglei looked like she was looking at everyone, but in reality, half of her attention was on Zu An. When she saw how quickly his expression had cleared, she couldn’t help but feel amazed.

After all, she had tremendous confidence in her own charm. Just look at everyone else’s reactions!

As expected, this fellow is different. She reminded herself to be more careful when dealing with him in the future.

She was none other than the woman who had been observing Zu An with her senior from their private room. After getting changed, she had decided to come out to appease and distract the crowd, and defuse the life-and-death battle that was on the verge of taking place.

While she was still praising Zu An for being an upright gentleman, she suddenly noticed that his eyes were staring wantonly at her chest.

This fellow is really…

She was momentarily stumped. She had just been praising him a second ago, and yet, in a flash, she immediately regretted doing so.

Despite all the passionate stares that were trained on her, she was able to remain calm and composed, her heart not even fluttering once.

Yet, for some reason, this fellow’s gaze seemed to pierce right through her, making her feel as if she wasn’t wearing any clothes. She subconsciously pulled her clothes tighter around her body.

Her skills of seduction had long been practiced to perfection, and even an unintentional movement such as this worked to tug at the hearts of men, emphasizing the breathtaking nature of her graceful curves.

Her movements did not escape the eyes of the other men. Cries of alarm rang out from around the Immortal Abode.

Out of all of them, Wei Suo’s performance was the most disappointing. His body trembled uncontrollably. He looked around guiltily, then heaved a huge sigh of relief when he realized that nobody had noticed.

Despite this, he still backed away slowly, withdrawing from the crowd while covering the front of his pants with his hands.

His heart weighed heavily with shame and regret. What was wrong with him these days? He had never imagined his body would be so weak! He decided that he was going to head to the local pharmacy to buy some six-flavored foxglove pills for supplementation.[1]

Instead of the zealousness shown by the rest of the crowd, Zu An was full of disdain. So many madams in those period dramas cover their faces with veils, but those veils are all thin to the point of being almost transparent. Why do they even bother?

Who would have thought that the girl in front of him would also use the same trick? That veil didn’t cover shit!

Did she wear it just to add a hint of mystery and enticement?

You might as well just make your clothes a bit more transparent, then!

His disdainful expression didn’t escape Qiu Honglei’s eyes, which showed just a flash of irritation.

You have successfully trolled Qiu Honglei for 33 Rage points!

When he saw the Rage points, Zu An was stunned. What was going on? How did I end up provoking her? After all, the two of them didn’t know each other at all! Furthermore, he was buried in a sea of people. Shouldn’t it be hard for her to notice me even from where she’s standing?

He looked up with a puzzled expression, but Qiu Honglei had already turned her gaze away.

“I have humbly prepared a song for everyone. I hope everyone can offer me your kind opinion.”

As she said these words, the corners of her lips curved slightly upwards, forming a faintly discernible smile. Her voice was soft and velvety, carrying subtle undercurrents of nuance.

The same feeling arose in the hearts of everyone present. My soul truly belongs with this gorgeous woman!

Xie Daoyun couldn’t help but sigh in admiration as well. “I’ve always thought highly of myself, but in terms of temperament and charm, she’s completely out of my league.”

Xie Xiu was quick to console her. “Big sister, you’re going about it wrong. You are the glorious daughter of a city lord, and a well-known talent. No matter how pretty and charming she is, these are nothing more than cheap brothel tricks. How can she compare to you?”

He was not only someone who frequented such places of romance, but also a playboy who broke the hearts of countless women, and he’d seen through such tricks a long time ago. As such, he was also able to snap out of Qiu Honglei’s bewitching charm.

Aside from Zu An, he was probably the most clear-headed man in the Immortal Abode.

Xie Daoyun’s smooth, porcelain face became tinged with redness. “You oily-mouthed smooth-talker. So there are the skills you obtained by deceiving all those girls. No wonder all those distinguished young misses suffered so badly.”

Xie Xiu immediately voiced his injustice. “Sis, I was trying to help you out!”

“Quiet! She’s getting ready to play.” Xie Daoyun made a shushing gesture, and then settled in to observe the performance attentively.

As a well-known talent in the arts, her skill at the zither was naturally flawless. Now that she was here to evaluate a performance that was within her specialty, her demeanor became more serious.

Her momentary sense of inferiority vanished without a trace, replaced by a glowing radiance which spread outward from her cheeks to the rest of her face.

Xie Xiu looked at her delicate features, and sighed deeply. “Truly, a great beauty. It really is a pity, too much of a pity.”

Even though Xie Daoyun was seriously evaluating Qiu Honglei’s zither skills, she was still distracted by her brother’s words. “What is a pity?”

Xie Xiu winked and said with a crafty smile, “It’s a pity that you are my dear older sister! Otherwise, why would I need to go looking for other girls?”

After saying this, he immediately leaped out of her reach. Sure enough, Xie Daoyun huffed in shame and annoyance. “You little brat, you even dare to tease me!”

She jumped up and began to chase him. When she caught him, she immediately twisted his ear.

“Sis, please have mercy~” While Xie Xiu was pleading, a melodious wave of music washed over them. Qiu Honglei already began to play.

Everyone pricked up their ears, paying special attention to the heavenly music. After all, it was rumored that Qiu Honglei would choose to meet someone personally that day, but no one knew what method she would use to choose her guest. That was why no one was willing to let any clues go. She might ask everyone for their opinions after she finished playing.

As the crowd was entranced by Qiu Honglei, the female brothel-keeper Hua Weimian made her way out from a corner of the hall and said to Chen Xuan, “It truly was inconsiderate of us not to have prepared an invitation for your distinguished self. Our Immortal Abode has specially prepared a feast for all of you to enjoy.”

After finding out that he was a sixth rank expert, the Immortal Abode had quietly changed their mind about him.

After all, this was a world that revered strength above all else. Within the boundaries of Brightmoon City, someone at the sixth rank could already be considered a top-notch expert.

Such an expert was worth buttering up and being on good terms with.

No one around them was at all surprised by this. In fact, it was only natural. This was just how the world worked.

Chen Xuan frowned. He still wanted to settle his score with Zu An, but since Qiu Honglei had begun to play her zither, causing a further disturbance might incur the wrath of everyone here.

Moreover, he was also interested in this great beauty and wanted to listen carefully as she played, so that he could form a considered opinion when asked.

Not wanting to stir up further trouble, he nodded at the brothel-keeper. With a member of the Immortal Abode staff leading the way, they were brought to a table on the other side of the hall.

Hua Weimian sashayed over to Zu An and the others, apologizing profusely to Wang Yuanlong and Chu clan’s brothers. She arranged a new spread of food for them, and assured them that their expenses for the day would be fully covered by the establishment.

With the offer of such generous treatment, there was no room for them to object. On top of this, they were worried they might miss out on Qiu Honglei’s music. Chu Hongcai was already engrossed, straining to catch every nuance. How could he spare any attention for Sister Hua?

Zu An sighed. This Sister Hua really was a formidable woman. Her grasp of timing was impeccable.

She seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth just as they had been about to fight to the death. Yet, once Qiu Honglei began to play the guqin, she had immediately emerged to mediate things. A great crisis was quietly averted without any fuss.

Zu An kept his silence. This was the wisdom of survival, after all. There was nothing more to be said about it.

He let himself be drawn in by the music of the zither.

The music carried a special type of magical power. Even though there were no lyrics, the melodious sounds still managed to craft a poignant series of images in the mind.

A cool breeze brushing past,

The falling blossoms beautiful and diverse,

A man drinks alone by a lakeside pavilion,

Like an immortal exiled from heaven.

A lady’s heart ripples, summoning courage as she steps forth,

The two face each other before the flowers and under the moon, paying their respects in love.

One day, the man leaves without a farewell.

The woman waits by the lakeside every day,

Only for the man to never return again.

After many years, the man comes in search of the woman, his face covered in wind and frost.

The woman is nowhere to be found,

Because she has long passed away.

Heartbroken and grieving, he drinks away his feelings by the lake,

Only to learn from the mouth of a fisherman:

There used to be a woman who sat here waiting for her man,

However, she didn’t manage to wait until his return.

One day, as she held a jar of wine,

She sat by the lakeside, drinking and weeping.

When the people found her,

She had already drowned.

No one knew if she had lost her footing, or if she had chosen to die.

When he learned about all of this, the man wept silently.

As the mournful music washed over them, all the men who had come seeking pleasure began to weep.


1. Also known as Six-flavored Rehmanni. It is a common type of Traditional Chinese Medicine used to treat yin deficiency, or ‘heatiness’.

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