Li Qingshan unceremoniously slapped her hand away, but Ge Jian said, "If you want our patronage, that'll depend on your assets!"
"Don't you worry, I only have the best. Miss Cotton Rose has already been waiting for a long while, today she's not receiving any guest and is waiting just for the three of you, I don't know how many people are offended."
A thin man came wailing at this moment, as if to confirm her words. He caught the madam's arm. "Madam, tonight I absolute have to see Cotton Rose, I'll give you whatever you want." But then two strong and sturdy body guards, at least second-grade masters, immediately gagged him and chased him out.
Every man exposed envy and yearning when they heard the three of them were to be accompanied by Cotton Rose. Even the Diao Fei who'd previously stayed cold and indifferent became curious.
The madam chattered in a grating voice while flirting with Ge Jian, her eyes casting amorous glances. Diao Fei sometimes listened to her and sometimes watched the men and women inside the great hall, the view a little overwhelming for him. He'd cultivated painstakingly for many years inside his sect, and such a scene was equally difficult to come by.
Li Qingshan was actually looking upward. The Pavilion of Cloud and Rain was built in an atrium style, with the very summit difficult to spot at a quick glimpse. Paintings of fairy maiden and flying Asparas1adorned the walls. The hallway spiraled round and round from top to bottom; the sound of music and dancing was everywhere. The customers were most numerous at the bottom, hugging the lowest grade flirtatious women. The waft of ardent desire seemed about to shatter through the ceiling of the building.
Li Qingshan dimly saw the jade maiden in the paintings seemingly move, their roaming, flowing eyes enticing the living. But then on a closer look, they once again became ordinary paintings? Was it mere illusion?
Heaven room number one was at the highest floor of the Pavilion of Cloud and Rain, reserved for noble guests. Three qi refining warriors from the Eagle Wolf Guard could naturally be called noble guests.
The madam took them up the building, story by story, past one room after another. Li Qingshan could clearly hear, even more so thanks to his extraordinary hearing, sounds of passionate lovemaking that sent heat to the heart and blush to the face.
They sat on sumptuous and ethereal cushions made of golden silk. The sound of strings and pipes rose from behind the curtain screen, faintly pulling at heartstrings. Suddenly, a crowd of female dancers fresh as flowers came forward and presented their dance, covered in only a sheer gauze that betrayed glimpses of soft beautiful bodies of swaying breasts and rippling rears.
They tasted the fine wine in their cups, appreciated the song and dance in their eyes. An extremely mild exotic scent mingled inside the numerous cosmetic fragrances, wafting into Li Qingshan's nostrils. His mind seemed to become even more infatuated, wishing only to drown in love and beauty, no matter the rise and fall of the world.
The figure of a woman seemed to emerge then hide amidst the dancers, just like stars cupping around the moon in the nimble yet disheveled dancing; merely emerging and disappearing, the glimpse of elusive grace. Hers was a face covered by a veil, who was she? Could it be that Cotton Rose?
The voices of strings and pipes abruptly rose to the horizon. The dancers suddenly spread out, and that woman materialized into everyone's sight. There was only her ardent, solitary dance now. Li Qingshan and Diao Fei watched with rapt attention, not even noticing Ge Jian's departure.
In the hall outside, Ge Jian was conversing with that brothel keeper. "This is something our boss Zhuo arranged, don't you neglect anything."
The brothel keeper said smiling, "How would I dare? Our Pavilion of Cloud and Rain still wishes do business in Blessed Peace. Passion bewildering spice, bewitching dance, enticing music, I used a three-pronged attack. I guarantee it'll make these two kids obsessed until they won't be able to tell father from mother." She threw a glance at Ge Jian's lower body. "Master Ge, didn't you also come out because you couldn't endure anymore? Do you need our Cotton Rose..."
Ge Jian said, "Shut your mouth!" There clearly was a little unnatural flush on his face, and his emotions were somewhat out of control. Those three things were obviously not without their effects on him either. But Zhuo Zhibo had specifically told him that that woman was definitely not one he could touch. Qi refining warriors ruined on her body weren't only limited to one or two, and as to ordinary people from the martial world, they were too many to count. What was even more fearsome was that these people had no regret even to the very end, still willingly handing over all of themselves to her.
At this moment, inside the room, a veil landed on the floor, seemingly a tiny mishap amidst the intense dancing. Cotton Rose stood there in distress. The sound of strings and pipes timely ceased.
The two men stared blankly at the same time. Li Qingshan once again felt intense stupefaction, but he couldn't accurately describe that woman's appearance. It was hazy and obscure as if they were separated by a fog. Inside it, he faintly saw Halfmoon, Gu Yanying, and even tracing back to an even more distant past, that ignorant first love of his former life. His mind was captivated, his heart was intoxicated.
Diao Fei stared fixedly at Cotton Rose, his mouth mumbling, "A'Ning!" He entirely disregarded the wine in his hand already splashed all over the floor, many many memories surfacing into his mind, those intertwined joys and pains carved in his bones and engraved in his heart. He wanted to protect her. Possess her.
Cotton Rose snickered sly and proud inside. Doing something like this was just like a casual fiddle of the fingers for her, incomparably effortless. The target this time was a mere teenage kid, that was even easier. She'd already begun to think about how to make use of him, earn some more spirit pills. They said the pay of an Eagle Wolf guard was very good, she should be able to squeeze out quite some gain. However he was at a mere trivial first level of qi refining and shouldn't be able to withstand her squeezing for too long. The other one actually, maybe he could allow her cultivation to break through once more and reach the third level.
"Dong Dong Dong." A few slight sounds came from the porcelain jar at Li Qingshan's hips, sobering his mind. Little An was extremely well-behaved and hadn't been willing so far to embarrass Li Qingshan, staying extremely quiet inside the jar all along. Such an action actually happened for the first time.
Li Qingshan immediately felt something wrong with himself. He operated the [Spirit Turtle Sea Guarding Secrets]. The monster core inside him shaped like a turtle shell began to spin and release light, quelling everything. Whether the restless true qi, or his messy fluttering thoughts, everything was thoroughly repressed.
His mind suddenly became clear. The spiritual qi revolved to his eyes and he once again look at the woman called Cotton Rose. The layer of dense fog covering her face dispersed at once, and that face that drew the soul and twined the dreams suddenly became commonplace. It wasn't as beautiful as her dancing partners to the side, or even as the attending maids. Even the expression on her face appeared extremely fake and phony, no longer as touching as before.
This feeling was just the same as seeing beautiful women without makeup on the internet in his previous life, it was simply too appalling a sight. But this was much more brilliant, she could actually influence the senses, bring out the most beautiful women inside your heart, making you swayed by yourself.
Those people, they didn't come to meet this woman, they clearly wished to see those women inside their hearts. This female thus so shamefully used the most beautiful place inside someone.
Was this the bewitching art from the tales and legends? Li Qingshan twisted his brows. He wasn't a fool, he immediately understood the deep malice therein. He originally thought that with his strength, even if he couldn't run rampant inside Blessed Peace, there still weren't any opponent he couldn't handle. That was why he was able to come inside the Pavilion of Cloud and Rain without the slightest worry, confident no one needed even think about harming him as long as he controlled himself. But there was a much greater variety of treacherous ploys in this mortal world than what he imagined.
Reportedly, cultivators would encounter all sorts of outer devils in the process of cultivation, confusing one's mind and ruining one's cultivation. Wouldn't that be precisely the creature in front of him?
He look at Diao Fei beside him. He looked simply infatuated, watching Cotton Rose. But Cotton Rose was watching Li Qingshan instead, stunned. She hadn't thought someone could escape from her bewitching technique. She couldn't help but retreat a step under the intense stare of those eyes.
"Pa." A resounding slap.
Ge Jian and the brothel keeper exchanged a glance then hurriedly went into the room. They saw Li Qingshan standing there, sending Diao Fei down to the floor with a slap, the clear imprint of his five fingers left on his face, a trail of blood flowing from the corner of his mouth. One could easily tell how harsh that slap had been.
The furious Diao Fei wanted to fight back, but a hand clutched his neck like a pair of metal pincers, and a fearsome killing aura checked his movements back. He felt that his neck would be squeezed broken if he dared make the slightest motion.
"What are you doing?"
Li Qingshan lifted him in front of Cotton Rose. "You have a good look!"
Diao Fei was already subconsciously operating his true qi, anger and fear breaking his earlier state, while Cotton Rose seemed to have forgotten to employ her bewitching art because of her alarm. Then, just like Li Qingshan earlier, Diao Fei saw that astonishing change and immediately became stunned. This wasn't his A'Ning, A'Ning was now already gone.
The madam cried in alarm, "Whawhawhat are you doing?"
Ge Jian said in a righteous tone, "Stop!"
Li Qingshan let go of Diao Fei. "He looked too ugly just now, I couldn't help myself from hitting him."
Diao Fei landed softly on the ground, saying only after a long while, "Thanks!" One who'd come from a sect like him knew much more about bewitching arts than Li Qingshan, knew how he would end if he were to succumb to them. Once the poison sank deep, even parents or children couldn't awaken one from their obsession.
Li Qingshan pointed at Cotton Rose and said to the brothel keeper, "Tell this ugly woman to get lost, otherwise I soon likewise won't be able to help myself."
Cotton Rose said in a shrill voice, "How dare you!" This was even a duck voice. She was already used to toying with men in the palm of her hand thanks her bewitching art, when had she ever been treated like this? She was especially furious about the words "ugly woman," but that actually made her face seem even more twisted, uglier.
The brothel keeper said, "Master Ge, this newcomer of yours, isn't he really a little too ignorant of rules and customs?" A small qi refining warrior at the first level, where did he get the gall to be so rude to her. She'd have acted already were it not for his status as an Eagle Wolf guard.
Li Qingshan's figure suddenly disappeared from where he stood , reappeared in front of Cotton Rose. He lifted his right arm and ruthlessly swung it.
Within ten steps, one man was more fearsome than a remote enemy country.
Li Qingshan perfectly put this saying into practice thanks to a formidable physique. Cotton Rose's cultivation was at the second level of qi refining, but she specialized in bewitching arts and didn't excel in battle. Neither, it seemed, did she expect Li Qingshan to do something as cruddy as hitting a woman in front of so many people.
You effing got me counterfeit goods, use a fake belle to scam me, you're even bold enough to say I don't understand rules and customs. You're in a bad mood, this father's in an even worse mood. The wrath at having his feelings deceived, the shame at nearly falling into the trap, all of this made his mood poor to the extreme.
The reaction reached his hand, made his arm blur into a curve, stiffly lash out and produce the sound of a whip splitting the air. The blow made Cotton Rose spin round and round where she stood like a spinning top, half her face swelling up, two teeth flying out. She sat down on the floor, dull and giddy!
The maids and dancers were all stupefied. This missus Cotton Rose was the queen courtesan of the Pavilion of Cloud and Rain. She'd always acted high and mighty. Any servant would taste the whip if the tea they brought were but a little too warm or a little too cold. If one spoke offensive words and called her appearance into question, that was a road straight to the land of the dead.
1. An Aspara is a female spirit of the wind or water in Buddhist mythology. Here's an example of a flying Aspara painting