Though having been confined in the Musical House for many days, it was during those days that they heard Li Mu’s name a million times from those maids and leaders of the Musical House who all addressed him as the poetry and martial arts whiz.
They also learned how Hua Xiangrong had turned the tide and championed the competition tonight from scraps of conversations among the maids.
Undoubtedly, in the eyes of the girls, the name ‘Li Mu’ represented a kind of hope and wonderfulness.
Because Hua Xiangrong, who shared the same fate with them, had changed her destiny as she obtained Li Mu’s favor.
When they felt scared and helpless, they, too, had dreamed about meeting a man like Li Mu, who would rescue them from the demonic Musical House just like Li Mu rescuing Hua Xiangrong.
But now, the real Li Mu was standing right before them.
“Of course he is Young Master Mu. Who else could he be?” Xin’er took of that cat face mask with a giggle and confirmed, looking quite proud.
The girls all irresistibly revealed a hint of overjoy on their faces.
Being bought by Li Mu, the poetry and martial arts whiz, must be a silver lining to the dark cloud, right?
The girls all heard that Li Mu’s reputation in the brothels was pretty good.
“You’re really Li Mu?” Asked a girl with short hair to the ears and a vigorous look, whose eyes suddenly sparkled and were riveted upon him.
Li Mu nodded.
The short-haired girl pressed, “So I take it that the purpose of you buying all of us is to save us, isn’t it?”
Li Mu felt like this girl was getting information out of him.
But before he could answer that question, she continued, “Now that you did this to save us, we’re already freed from the Musical House. You can let us go now.”
At that remark, Li Mu narrowed his eyes.
“Is this girl a retarded or what?”
“Okay. If you give me 9,000 gold ingots, I’ll let you go at once,” sneered Li Mu. He had spent 9,000 gold ingots when bidding for this short-haired girl.
“Fine, merely nine thousand gold ingots. I can…” As the rest of the words came to the tip of her tongue, the short-haired girl’s face abruptly darkened and she failed to finish the sentence.
Because it suddenly occurred to her that at present, she was no longer the prestigious daughter of the head of Flying Tiger Faction, nor the gifted female practitioner that everyone adored. Her internal qi and cultivation had been erased. Her family members had been killed. Let alone 9,000 gold ingots, she had no way to afford only nine gold ingots.
Li Mu gazed at her with a half-hearted smile.
“I… You give me my freedom and I’ll pay you the nine thousand gold ingots sooner or later. I, Lu Shengnan, am true to my words.” The short-haired girl promised, her teeth tightly clenched.
Li Mu shook his head and said, “You’re truly naive. Even if I don’t care the 9,000 gold ingots and also believe that you’ll live up to your words, can you really survive once you leave here? You used to a martial arts practitioner. But now, your Dantian has been destroyed, your cultivation has been deleted. The moment you step out of this room, the men who put you into the Musical House will recapture you and land you there again. Then, you’ll lead a life dozens of times more miserable than the current one. If so, how could you ever pay off my 9,000 gold ingots? Uh-huh?”
“I…” The short-haired girl named Lu Shengnan found she had no answers to that question.
Li Mu added, “Ting’er has kindly pulled you out of the fire pit. But you not only showed no gratitude towards your savior but also tried my patience with hypocritical remarks. Do you really think Ting’er and I are playing the game called throwing money away out of boredom? Do you have any idea that if Ting’er did not feel for you and beg me to bid for you in case you fall to evil hands, I’m afraid by now you’ve already been disrobed completely and toyed on the bed of some lewd man… You’re not only dumb but stupid!”
Li Mu raved angrily in the last part.
Lu Shengnan was thrown in a daze by the sudden harsh lecture.
“Nonsense! I…” She instinctively wanted to refute.
But Li Mu cut her off straight away and ranted fiercely, “You also asked me to let go of all of you? Do you seriously believe you’re saving them? But have you ever consider whether they have any ounce of power to protect themselves? Huh? They’ve already lost their family and friends, so there is no one they can rely on. If they get out of this house, they’ll sink to be other’s plaything within half a day. When that happens, what can you do for them? You missed all these matters not because you’re not smart enough to think of them but you just didn’t think in that way. All you want is to be bundled up with them so you can have higher stakes to earn your so-called freedom. In that case, you’re not only dumb, stupid, but devious! I’m having doubts that Ting’er might have rescued the wrong person. Perhaps she shouldn’t have saved you.”
Lu Shengnan went dumbfounded, unable to utter a word.
This reprimand left her no room to rebut.
Trickles of cold sweat dribbled down her forehead.
Although the remark sounded quite harsh and offensive, when she gave it a thought, she found what Li Mu said did make sense.
She turned to the other six beautiful girls.
Xu Wan’er and the others all stepped back subconsciously to keep a distance with her.
By their side, Shangguan Yuting and Xin’er were both staring at Lu Shengnan reproachingly. They had not seen Li Mu lecture anyone so sternly before. “This Lu Shengnan annoyed Young Master Mu so much! She is really ungrateful. If I knew this, I would not save her at all.”
Outside, the auction was still going on.
Li Mu turned his back to the girl, not saying one more word. He concentrated on the auction outside again.
Shangguan Yuting stood very considerately by Li Mu and stuck out her tender hand for Li Mu to grip. She was comforting through this silent act.
At this point, Zheng Cunjian opened the door and entered. He brought in seven loose-fitting robes and seven pairs of shoes for the seven girls in the room to dress.
Xu Wan’er and the other five girls all stood obediently by the side, who appeared to be afraid that Li Mu would really banish them out of the room. Lu Shengnan, however, quickly put on the clothes in silence and withdrew to the other end of the room. She lowered her head as if a defeated chicken and dared not speak. Or else, she was probably absorbed in thoughts.
By the time the arguing was over, the auction outside had proceeded for an hour.
Even though it was a female slaves auction, as a matter of fact, for the purpose of drawing more guests over and scaling up the event, this auction also arranged some articles bidding during the intermissions. Those articles included secret manuals on martial arts, on warlock magic, weapons, and even treasure maps. But none of those intrigued Li Mu, so he did not join the bidding process.
After the auction of various articles, the sale of female slaves started again. But this batch of slaves at sell were female burglars who had committed countless murders and got their hands steeped in blood before being arrested by the Supervisory Department. Given that they were not good people, neither Li Mu nor Shangguan Yuting placed any bid for them.
Two more hours passed.
A score of slaves was auctioned successively.
With Li Mu’s support, Shangguan Yuting, who was highly compassionate, lavished about 100,000 gold ingots and bought 10 more girls.
According to the introduction file provided by the auction, those girls she bid for were all innocent people. They were driven to such a horrible place like the Musical House because they had been set up due to the decline of their family or the feud their predecessors had caused.
As to Shangguan Yuting’s maybe over-compassionate deed, Li Mu did not disapprove or criticize. On the contrary, he was very supportive.
In his perspective, that compassion was precisely the embodiment of Shangguan Yuting’s kindness and valuable trait.
For Li Mu, it was even more praiseworthy than her unparalleled appearance.
Or probably it was because she had managed to maintain her good nature and sympathy in this devilish Musical House and not be tainted by the foul atmosphere and evil deeds here that she was a Taoist Figure which could approach the Great Way.
Li Mu had no intention to be regarded as a saint, but he did not mind doing something that appeared to be like a saint’s deed in order to retain the precious shining qualities Shangguan Yuting had.
As to how the other people would see him, he could not care less.
At the moment, many seated in the distinguished area already found that mysterious man in Room No. 18 extremely obnoxious and hateful. But they still dared not voice their fury.
The big shots in the rest of the room for highly distinguished guests also placed bids from time to time. But since they did not directly compete with Li Mu to bid on the same girls, the auction seemed quite harmonious so far.
As the auctioned went on, Li Mu opened his Third Eye again to observe the movements of the various experts in the vicinity.
The result basically fitted his previous surmise— as time went by, the number of experts lurking in the streets around was growing.
“You leave with them and help them to settle down.” Li Mu told Zheng Cunjian.
Then, he turned to that short-haired girl named Lu Shengnan and said, “I’ll offer you an opportunity. If you do want to leave, write me a bill signed in acknowledgment of your debt and go now. Ting’er and I won’t force you to stay. But if you choose to stay, there might be a chance that I can help you restore your destroyed Dantian and recover your strength, or even make you stronger than before.”
“Really?” At those words, Lu Shengnan, who had kept her head drooped and her mouth shut, abruptly looked up and cast an incredulous gaze on Li Mu.
Li Mu did not answer her.
Because the silence already explained everything.
Lu Shengnan immediately realized that the man standing in front of her was a martial arts legend himself. His title ‘the poetry and martial arts whiz’ did not come without a ground. Perhaps he could really fix her injuries inside, help her recover her strength, and give her the capital for revenge, couldn’t he?
“Deal! As long as you can help me regain my strength, I’ll take whatever terms you offer.” Lu Shengnan seemed to have finally made up her mind on this.
Li Mu smiled. His smile was commingled with a trace of derision.
Although he did not know what Lu Shengnan meant exactly, he knew she surely had read too much into it. Truthfully, he had no interest in her body.
“Bring them out.” Li Mu waved at Zheng Cunjian.
Zheng Cunjian then escorted all the girls out of the room.
Just before being escorted away, Lu Shengnan seemed finally come to her senses. She took a glance at Hua Xiangrong who was leaning by the side of Li Mu and then considered herself for a second. Next, she was ashamed out of rage and self-mockery. Obviously, with Hua Xiangrong, a fairy-like beauty, as his lover, Li Mu was not tempted by her at all. That realization gave her quite a blow, for she had always believed she was a blessed one and very confident about her beauty.
The room fell quiet again.
Suddenly, an explosion of exclamation broke out outside.
A practically naked female slave from the pasture was ushered onto the main stage.
“Wow, bikini style!”
Li Mu was surprised to see the clothes the female slave was wearing was similar to a bikini, which made her look quite appealing. It was evident that the treatment of the slaves from the pasture was worse than the Qin slaves, who at least had a thin gauzy skirt to cover their body when being auctioned a while ago. But the slaves from the pasture were almost unclothed, as though they had no esteem. However, given their tall figure and blond hair, they were exuding an exotic attractiveness that differed very much from the Qin women.
The auction of the pasture female slaves finally started.
Li Mu knew the highlight of tonight’s event was about to come.
Surely, through his tactical deployment monitor, Li Mu detected that abnormality in Room No. 7.