Reaper of the Drifting Moon Chapter 108
Light Novel: Volume 5 Episode 8
The winter of that year was very cold.
The weather in Sichuan Province was originally not that cold during the winter thanks to its basin topography surrounded by high mountains but this time it was different.
There was an unusual heavy snowfall and the severe cold continued throughout the winter. As a result all the roads leading to the outside were blocked and the people of Sichuan had to spend several months in isolation.
Several escort companies tried to open the way to the outside but the terrain was so rough and the snow and ice piled up to the height of a human being making it too dangerous.
In the end the people of Sichuan had no choice but to live in isolation until the snow melted.
It was not long after spring came that the road leading to the outside was opened. As the snow and ice that had accumulated as tall as a person’s height melted a procession of escort companies and carriages continued from the outside.
Seeing the people coming from outside the people of Sichuan realized that spring had finally arrived. Of course the first place people who came from outside looked for was Chengdu the center of Sichuan.
Chengdu was revived by outsiders who had come after a long time. People welcomed guests who had come to Chengdu clearing the snow that was still on the streets.
“I think I’m going to breathe a bit better now.”
“Whoa! It’s the first time I’ve ever had such a harsh winter. I think I’m going to live a little longer.”
There were smiles on people’s lips.
It was a refreshing smile that those who have endured the harsh winter and welcomed spring could make.
Those who had to unintentionally live in exile during the middle of winter could not be so pleased with the foreigners who came to Chengdu.
“Hu it’s very difficult to get into Chengdu.”
There was a man in his early twenties who grumbled as he looked around Chengdu. He was tall and handsome. He was handsome enough for anyone to turn their heads when they ran into him.
He got off his horse and looked around the streets of Chengdu.
The man’s face was full of curiosity.
“Have the others arrived yet?”
It was said that the road to Sichuan was cleared but there was still residual snow everywhere. Even if they departed at the same time the arrival time would be inevitably different due to various circumstances.
A fresh smile appeared on the man’s face who seemed to be contemplating something for a moment.
“I can’t just throw away this golden opportunity.”
He immediately grabbed someone walking down the street and asked.
“Where is the most famous brothel in Chengdu?”
The captured man glanced at the man up and down and smiled slyly.
“Haha! It seems like you’re new to Chengdu and yet you’re looking for the brothel already?”
“Haha! Of course. Since it’s my first visit shouldn’t I smell the women here? That way I can guess what kind of city Chengdu is.”‘
“Huh! You will judge Chengdu through the quality of courtesans? A true boss!”
The man suddenly raised his thumb. The man was also a lustful person famous in Chengdu. The money he had spent on the brothel was enough to buy a large manor.
A light of affection and fondness flashed across the man’s face.
“Since we’ve come to this let us exchange names. I’m Sang-yeon and I live in Chengdu.”
“My name is Seo Mun-pyeong. This is my first time in Chengdu.”
“Since I admire your boldness in seeking the brothel on your first day here in Chengdu I will guide you there directly.”
“Didn’t I say that the Dead Sea is Dongdo? It’s not enough for a person like you to guide me personally.”
“Then why don’t we go in together? I will pay all the expenses.”
Sang-yeon was greatly pleased with Seo Mun-pyeong’s suggestion. It was because he had to reduce his spending on the brothel after spending so much.
Seo Mun-pyung asked
“Which brothels are famous in Chengdu?”
“The Water Lily Pavilion is the most popular. Since it’s strong traditional brothel it has the most prostitutes. The beauty of the courtesans is outstanding and the quality of food is also good so those who visit once will definitely come back.”
“So are we going to the Water Lily Pavilion?”
“However there is a brothel that has been gaining popularity recently. It is called the Divine Fragrance Pavilion1 and although the scale is incomparably smaller than that of the Water Lily Pavilion there are rumors that the beauty of the courtesans is amazing. I’ve never been there before so if you don’t mind I’d like us to go to the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.
“Is there a place like that?”
Seo Mun-pyeong’s eyes twinkled with curiosity.
“I’ve only heard about it. But everyone who has been there praised it.”
“Then let’s go to the Divine Fragrance Pavilion. For the Water Lily Pavilion we can always go there right?”
“Haha! As expected you’re so generous. Then let’s go to the Divine Fragrance Pavilion together.”
Sang-yeon led Seo Mun-pyeong with a big smile.
Along the way Sang-yeon did not hesitate to tell Seo Mun-pyeong that he was a true master and that he is a person who had a good sense of style.
It had not been even a minute since the two of them met. However Sang-yeon treated Seo Mun-pyeong as if they knew each other for a decade.
Seo Mun-pyeong grinned.
The best way for men to get to know each other was through alcohol and women. The brothel was just the kind of place to satisfy both urges at once.
Even if it was the first time they met they could easily get to know each other if they went to the brothel together. When Seo Mun-pyeong came to an unfamiliar place the way to make friends was to go to a brothel together.
Sang-yeon was continuously laughing as he guided Seo Mun-pyeong to the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.
Seo Mun-pyeong burst into admiration.
This is because beautiful courtesans appeared from the entrance of the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.
The beautiful courtesans from Suzhou and Hangzhou called S.e.xiang2 stood out among the others.
“Welcome great sir!”
The general secretary of the Divine Fragrance Pavilion came running.
“Oh! Do you know me?”
“Is there anyone who is unaware of sir Sang-yeon of Chengdu? We are honored for you to come and visit us like this.”
“You know how to see people. I’m here today with a special guest so please guide us to a nice room.”
Sang-yeon shrugged his shoulders as much as possible at the general secretary’s sincere attitude of recognizing him.
“A special person?”
“This is sir Seo Mun-pyeong. He came to Chengdu for the first time today and so I brought him here.”
“Oh is that so? It’s an honor to meet you like this. Mister Seo! Please eat inside.”
“Haha! Nice to meet you. I’m expecting a lot from you. Please don’t let me down.”
“That will never happen.”
Seo Mun-pyeong burst out laughing at the confident response of the secretary
The two were escorted to the most luxurious room in the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.
“Wait here for a moment. I’ll prepare the table for you soon.”
The general secretary bowed deeply to the two of them and then withdrew.
When there were only the two of them left Seo Mun-pyeong asked Sang-yeon.
“It seems that the owner of the brothel is a person with a lot of money. It would have cost a lot of money to decorate the place like this.”
“I heard that a courtesan who had made a name for herself somewhere started it when she became independent.”
“You mean just a high-class prostitute set up this kind of brothel?”
“Where would I have put my money? I must have asked for water.”
“Why? Is there anything that bothers you?”
“No. I was just jealous. If you were the owner of such a brothel wouldn’t you live in the arms of the courtesans every day?”
“Haha! That’s how it should be.”
Sang-yeon nodded his head.
“Do you know who the owner of the Divine Fragrance Pavilion is?”
“How would I know that? I’ll ask when the courtesans come in later.”
“I guess so.”
After a while the courtesans entered the room.
“The girl is called Geum-hyang.”
“And I’m called Cheong-hwa.”
The courtesans were all very beautiful.
The mouths of Sang-yeon and Seo Mun-pyeong were torn to the ears.
“Come on sit here.”
“Haha! The prostitutes of Chengdu are as great as Sozhou or Hangzhou.”
They each shared a drink with a prostitute next to them. The courtesans acted coquettish and poured alcohol for the two of them.
When he was getting drunk Seo Mun-pyeong said to Cheong-hwa
“Where did you even get your education? How can you be so coquettish?”
“Hoho! Did you know that it’s the Madam3 unnie who is teaching us directly?”
“Really? Does the brothel keeper come into the room too?”
“Madam unnie no longer serves guests.”
“You mean we can’t see her?”
“Yes! Madam unnie only serves one person now.”
“Who? The bankroller?”
“Oh! How did you know?”
Cheong-hwa’s eyes widened. Then Seo Mun-pyeong pointed to Sang-yeong sitting next to him and said
“This brother told me.”
“Who is the bankroller to enjoy such good fortune?”
“I don’t know either.”
“You don’t know?”
“Yeah. I haven’t seen his face yet.”
“No way the courtesan of the Divine Fragrance Pavilion has never seen the brothel financier? If I were the bankroller I would call you guys every day. Isn’t the bankroller a fool?”
Cheong-hwa burst into laughter at Seo Mun-pyeong’s words.
Cheong-hwa glanced at Seo Mun-pyeong and told him everything she knew. Seo Mun-pyeong hugged Cheong-hwa and listened to everything she said.
The fastest and most accurate way to get information from any place was to use the brothel there. That was one of the principles of the world that Seo Mun-pyeong learned.
* * *
Behind the Divine Fragrance Pavilion there was a small annex.
The annex was the residence of the Divine Fragrance Pavilion brothel keeper. It was far from the main building and the size was so small that the guests who came to Divine Fragrance Pavilion did not even know that the annex existed.
The small annex was surrounded by a high wall so it was free from external gaze.
There was a well-kept flower garden inside the annex. As if to prove that spring had come beautiful flowers were in full bloom in the garden.
On the flat in front of the flower garden a beautiful woman was sitting and peeling fruits.
She carefully cut the fruit and placed it on a plate.
A small smile appeared on the lips of the beautiful woman. A man was lying on the floor on her knees.
“This fruit is delicious.”
The woman put the freshly cut fruit into the man’s mouth. The man ate the fruit without saying a word.
The woman was happy just to see the face of such a man.
The woman’s name is Soo-hyang.
She was the owner of the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.
The man lying on Soo-hyang’s lap had a beautiful non-human appearance. There were many men in the world but there was only one man with such a fatal appearance it was Pyo-wol.
Pyo-wol lay down using Soo-hyang’s knee as a pillow and listened to what she was saying
“Today an unusual person entered the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.”
“His name is Seo Mun-pyeong and he is called the Little Boxer4 in Jianghu. He is from Zhengzhou city in Henan Province and is rumored to enjoy the wind with strong martial arts in the area. He came to Chengdu because of a meeting with his close friends. They would all be in Chengdu within a few days. I’ll tell you as soon as I find out their identities.”
As Soo-hyang spoke she gently brushed up Pyo-wol’s tangled hair.
Soo-hyang was originally a prostitute who lived on a small hill in Ziyang about a hundred li away from Chengdu.
Her family was originally famous for being well-educated. Soo-hyang’s father was also a famous scholar. But gambling was a problem.
He accidentally fell into gambling and ended up in debt.
The family was torn apart and she went to the brothel to repay the debt. But no matter how much she sold her laughter the debt did not diminish at all and she died day by day in despair.
It was Pyo-wol who saved her at that time.
Pyo-wol who had stopped by Ziyang for business paid off all her debts and brought her back to Chengdu.
Soo-hyang built the Divine Fragrance Pavilion and she willingly let Pyo-wol become her master. Soo-hyang secretly collected and reported the trends and information of guests who came to the Divine Fragrance Pavilion for Pyo-wol.
Most of the courtesans in Divine Fragrance Pavilion were those who were forcibly held in another brothel because of debt like Soo-hyang.
Pyo-wol gave Soo-hyang a large sum of money and Soo-hyang bought them with the money she received from Pyo-wol and built the Divine Fragrance Pavilion.
They were free to work anytime. No one would say anything if they stopped working but the courtesans were more eager than anyone else.
Seo Mun-pyeong thought that he was collecting information but in truth his information was being transmitted to Pyo-wol through the mouths of the high-class courtesans.
At least there was nothing that Pyo-wol did not know about what was happening in Chengdu.
Soo-hyang and the courtesans became Pyo-wol’s eyes and ears and delivered all the news within the city.
Pyo-wol muttered his name and got up. Then Soo-hyang looked at Pyo-wol with a sad expression on her face.
“Are you going already?”
“There are many places for me to look around.”
“When are you coming back?”
At Pyo-wol’s short answer Soo-hyang’s face brightened quickly.
A crafty rabbit has three burrows.
Having checked the first den it was time to explore the next one.
Hope you enjoyed the chapter~
Divine Fragrance Pavilion. Raws: Cheonhyangru 천향루(天香楼).
天 sky heaven celestial
香 fragrant incense sweet-smelling
楼 building of two or more stories
S.e.xiang. Raws: 색향(色郷)
Brothel keeper. Meaning: Title to refer to the owner of the brothel. Also called as the Madam.
Little Boxer. Raws: Sokwonwang 소권왕(小拳王)
小 small tiny insignificant
拳 fist various forms of boxing
王 king ruler royal