While she was reaching here, all she could think of was the fact that she could possibly meet him. Even if it was early evening, making this wholly difficult for her to do so since most people could still see quite far from the other. Not consumed by fear, but there was something deep within her that told her it was better to look.
She reached the brothel with much happiness instead. More than satisfied to have finally arrived, here at somewhere where she was not alone. Giving out a sigh of relief, happy to be here instead. Even if she was not looking forward to the lessons she will be having. Instruments were foreign to her, then so was this whole deal. She had a lot to learn as a courtesan and was the reason why she was an apprentice and not an actual one.
Feiyu lead her up, away from the main crowd. She did not expect any less, the moment she knew that there was a large crowd. It will have made it all but impossible for anyone to really focus with all that noise they were making, and it was still early in the night. Even as the cacophony was the thing that kepr her from thinking that something was very very wrong.
Feiyu showed her the instruments which she will be using. Most of them were flutes, due to their appearance. An instrument which resemble sticks, with holes in them and an opening for her to blow through. It seems that she will be the best with a light instrument, which she did not mind. Carrying around the guqin is a nightmare, while the pipa was not easy either. Hence this was he easiest to handle, and thus she mostly asked for a similar instrument with variations.
With one even having a gourd to blow into. "Take one and blow for me." There was not need for any sort of melody just to see how she was able to handle the instrument. She took the first, which was a little long for her. But she was able to handle it. She blew it, and realized that her first suggestion was not that suitable for her.
But this room had all sorts of instruments which were in official use in court as recent as the year before. As this was something that they needed to do, keeping up with new trends no matter what the cost was. As being novel was the way they survive, captivating men and keeping them coming otherwise they will have no business. And if they have no clients, they became a burden and were often reduced to servants or thrown out of the brothel.
And she knew the same for her. Making sure that she remained popular was the most important, as it meant that she was still in demand. The same thing that she remembered from her time as a waitress, where she had to ensure that she remained amusing. Remained entertaining them and pulling out new original tricks.
It will all be lost the moment she lost her unpredictable nature. The same thing that won her no favors when she was still there, where many found her strange and unlike what they thought a woman should be. But here, it was something that could be used to her advantage.
She took the next and had her chance to blow, which Feiyu deemed a little too short. And the next had been not nice enough, it was only upon the Xiao that she found it the best among them. The dizi will be difficult for her because of the notes. And she sat down upon it, thinking that she was lucky to have found it quite early.
"This has a couple of songs with it, but I want you used to the flute first. I'll show you all the notes." She took the instrument and blew all the notes in ascending order.
"Practice it while you're here, I still have a performance to get to. And I will have to buy it later but that's for tomorrow." She nodded as she left and closed the door. She took the chance to start blowing all the notes herself. Once she was gone three rounds, she just realized that she was alone.
Had it been any other day, she will have simply looked for new things to do. But not today, and thus the best decision which she could come to was to go out. Which wasn't a bad idea, if she wanted to see her perform again. More than happy to oblige it, even as she wondered how long could she get away with this.
She looked down as Feiyu did another song without even batting an eyelash. And another one, since tonight she was keen on playing many many songs. "Well, she's mostly trying to get some alone time. Since she won't likely have much time to herself since a lot of it will go to training her. It was the woman from the night before. The owner of the place whom she never got a name. If anything, it was mostly call her Boss for most part.
"Really?" Although she couldn't tell since the only other person who happened to be her master, was the cook whom she found not only unbearable but also one of the people whom hated with a passion. And probably didn't have a good working relationship, it just didn't go into fights but everything else was there.
"When I had my first apprentice, it was horrible. It was like caring for a child, and with a child you need to guide him and teach how to be a decent human being. But as an apprentice, it's the same except with a craft that you know well." And that was difficult, since her own mother cherished her free time when Dianyu left the place on her own.
"That's true. Although I'm a little scared of ghosts, not because she's abandoning me." Although she was more surprised with herself by the last part, where she had confessed all her feelings.
She gave a nice laugh. Before patting her on the shoulder, trying to get her to understand that this wasn't out of malice at all. She gave a small smile, thinking that this might solve things once and for all. "Well, there is nothing to worry about. Unless you happen to pass through the central road."
She looked at her. "I pass through that road to get here."
"Here's a charm to keep you safe, if you're really worried." If anything, it was nice to not be freaked out at it at the end of the day. "It should be enough since I got it at the temple, and I'll just do it tomorrow."
Dianyu knew that the woman was also rather spooked by this as well. It was written all over her face. She deadpanned and wonder whether she should even take her word given that she was also scared by the same ghost. But still, what could go wrong for her to accept it?
"When did the ghost started to appear?"
"Two decades ago, when I was still a courtesan in the prime of my youth. The first disappearance with a client of mine. He was found two days later with his heart ripped from his chest. Then, I learned that he was intending to leave for a scullery maid. Two weeks later, she was found hanging from the kitchen."
Dianyu was convinced that she was either a serial killer or really unlucky. "No other man offered to take me in, but that can't be a bad thing since I still have the house."
And she really wanted to leave at this point. She couldn't even think what was the better option, leaving and potentially meeting a ghost or stay here and continue spending time with someone who is either a jinx or a murderer. "Well, the other incidents happened mostly around here."
Well, she should think about leaving this instance. It didn't seem all that bad of an idea. Or at least some company who was not questionably sane, or creeped out. "I will like to listen to your story." She gave a nice smile before Dianyu made the run for it when she was too engrossed with telling it.
Once she was a sufficient distance away, she took out the amulet. It did seem fairly normal with nothing out of the ordinary. And so, she kept it in her sleeves. While she got down the first floor, where a courtesan simply pushed her to a free table. The man merely asked her to one thing with an empty cup. "Pour for me."
She obliged him, as much as she did know how to do it while looking the best she did. Although the man looked at her face. "You aren't as pretty as from afar."
The girl felt the urge to splash the water in his face. Certain that the wine was still warm, hence able to scald him in the first place. Well, she knew that she wasn't the prettiest person in the first place but this was way too much. She poured for him and he paid her before getting her to leave.
And for once in her life, she also caught the attention of the entire stage. With Feiyu stopping to give her a small glare, but nothing else was as eyecatching as that. The woman will walk up to her later and take her away from it. "What are you doing here?"
"Well, I was doing something." Nothing else could even come to her mind.
"Show me how you play the Xiao now?"
She blew it in front of her, with the feeling that she was either screwed or possibly going to face a lengthy punishment. Thankful that it was over, as she placed the Xiao back.
"Okay, it looks like it is fine, so good job. Although I expect more next time." Before she stood up, clear that they were planning and going to leave at this point. Still she was unsettled about the whole idea of crossing the same road which she said was the ghost. But then, the same woman turned out to have some interesting moments.
And so, she decided that nothing could go wrong. Hence, she followed Feiyu trailing behind her with happiness. Knowing that nothing could be wrong, as they walked through the districts which was the brightest in the town itself. Candles were lit in all the houses here, and men roamed the streets with their eyes on the women above them.
Before long, they reached the street she mentioned. And she was about to crossed it before she heard a chill down her spine. Something that just stopped her legs from even moving. "I'm here for you."
The whisper in her ears had made her even more desperate to crawl out. But her legs will not budge, not even a bit. Even as she knew she will be willing to dash all the way back to the inn and she will be unlikely to even find it exhausting.
As the whispers got stronger, as she tried to get her legs to move. And it ended with her falling to the ground, and trying to crawl her way out of things. "You can't escape, there is a price for every action."
As it screamed even more and more, she only got more shaken each time. Until she was unable to even move. And then, she saw it. The one thing which left her speechless. The figure had no eyes, and the hands were claws. The kind of hands which could have digged into her heart and ripped it out.
And when she thought it was over, she felt Feiyu. The woman was still here, even as she had forgotten all about it. Before she looked at the figure with no form of fear. Before she stood up and faced it, and she could stand again. Without even being frozen to the ground like she was.
"It's time for me to do what I have to."
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