Chapter 18: A Strange, Beautiful Slave
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
Ye Jiuge contemplated it for a while before fishing two gold nuggets from her coin pouch and playing with them in her hands. Afterward, she took Qing Mama to the venue where the largest gathering of slaves was.
The slave trader was a short, stout man who was deeply tanned. His eyes kept drifting slyly to the gold nuggets in Ye Jiuge’s hand. He flattered her with a grin and said, “Welcome, Miss. Come inside. May I know what kind of slave you are looking for?”
“I am searching for some slaves with great potential to work as servants in my residence. Do you have a finer selection of slaves?” Ye Jiuge asked.
“Miss, the ones displayed on the stage right now are the best in the market.” The slave trader smacked the chests of a few slaves and spoke about them as if he was selling cattle. “Although they are not spiritual practitioners, they have robust bodies. After you take them home and train them properly, they will be useful to you.”
“These do not meet my requirements. Do you have better choices at the back where you store your slaves?” Ye Jiuge asked, pointing to the row of dark huts.
“Those are all inferior slaves. They are even less likely to meet your requirements.” The slave trader shook his head.
“I shall be the one who decides whether or not they suit my requirements.” Ye Jiuge tossed some spare change to the slave trader. She said haughtily, “You just need to lead the way!”
“All right. Come this way, please!” The slave trader accepted the money and guided them along from the front without delaying any further.
Ye Jiuge followed the slave trader into a small, dark hut. The interior was dirty and smelled. Old, frail, sickly and disabled slaves were confined behind the fences. The unpleasantness of the situation made one uneasy.
Qing Mama’s eyebrows knitted so tightly that they looked as though they might twist into a knot. Her aversion made the slave trader feel that there was a strong possibility that he was not going to be able to make a sale today.
“Which one was the slave you mentioned?” Ye Jiuge summoned Zi Shang in her mind.
“The corner to your left,” Zi Shang replied lazily.
Ye Jiuge looked to her left and saw a skinny man curled up on the ground. His entire body was filthy. He was no different from the slaves next to him.
The slave trader followed her gaze. He thought of something and beamed immediately. “Miss, you truly have good taste. That slave is the best one we have here.”
“Didn’t you say that the best slaves are already displayed outside? Why did you leave this one in here?” Ye Jiuge asked, raising her eyebrow.
The slave trader continued to speak with a smile, “Because this slave fell sick two days ago, so he has been recovering here. However, he is an excellent slave. If you do not believe me, you can examine him.”
The slave trader strode towards the slave after making his speech. He grabbed the person’s hair to drag his head up and presented his face directly to Ye Jiuge. His face was unexpectedly clean. The man’s skin was similar to jade, and his facial features were delicate. His long eyelashes spread out like a small fan. Between his eyebrows, a red mole accentuated his beauty with a certain elegance.
With such an appearance, he was indeed a top-quality slave.
“Miss, you cannot purchase him.” Qing Mama became anxious. In the past, Second Miss had caused Eldest Miss to stay away from the residence all night. There were already unpleasant rumors spreading around the streets.
If someone found out that Eldest Miss had bought a beautiful male slave and was allowing him to stay in her residence, Qing Mama was afraid that the nasty rumors would escalate.
Ye Jiuge raised her hand to stop Qing Mama’s nagging. She told the slave trader, “This slave is decent. I like him. Name me a price!”
“Miss, such a beautiful male slave is difficult to find. Since you like him, I will sell him at a loss. One thousand silver taels.” The slave trader quoted a price.
Before Ye Jiuge could reply, Qing Mama had already jumped forward and pointed her fingers at the slave trader. She gave him a piece of her mind, “At first glance, this slave looks ill. Even though you handled him so roughly, he did not wake up. Still, you dare to sell him for one thousand silver taels! Do you think that we are both idiots?”
Since Eldest Miss was determined to buy him, Qing Mama had to help her haggle.
“How much are you willing to pay for him?” asked the slave trader.
“Fifty silver taels. Are you selling him?!” Qing Mama gave him a price immediately.
“That amount is too low. With his looks, regardless of whether he is sold to the restaurants or brothels, he will at least fetch one thousand silver taels.” The slave trader spoke in an exasperated manner.
“How does his attractiveness change anything? He looks so sick that, if we buy him, we will need to spend even more money to buy some medicine for him. If you refuse to sell, then you can keep him!” Qing Mama made a move to leave.
“I really cannot accept fifty silver taels. I need at least five hundred silver taels.” The slave trader’s expression was pained.
“Sixty silver taels. I won’t pay more.” Qing Mama did not allow him any room for argument.
“I can’t. I can’t. Four hundred silver taels.”
“Eighty silver taels.”
After intense haggling, they finally settled on one hundred silver taels. Ye Jiuge paid the slave trader, then took her purchase away.
“Boss, you sold such a fine slave for one hundred silver taels. That is such a loss.” The hired underling that was guarding the door felt that it was a pity. It was the first time he had seen such a pretty man.
“It’s not so bad. I earned back the money I used to buy his medicine.” The slave trader had a miserable expression.
The previous night, he had discovered a beautiful spiritual practitioner wounded and unconscious by the roadside. He had thought that, this time, he would earn a reasonable sum.
He had never expected that the beautiful man had contracted some strange illness. He invited a few physicians to treat him, but all of them said that it was impossible to nurse him back to health.
If he had not encountered a spendthrift blinded by lust that day, he would have suffered huge losses.
Meanwhile, the spendthrift, Ye Jiuge, had just brought him secretly into the Zhilin Residence.
“Eldest Miss, this is the inner residence. If Su Yufeng finds out that you have placed him here, she will incriminate you as a wh*re,” Qing Mama fretted.
“It is fine. Let him wear a dress. I can guarantee that no one will realize that he is a man.” Ye Jiuge was extremely confident about the male slave’s beauty.
“Even if he wears a dress, he is still a man!” Qing Mama felt distressed. What is Eldest Miss thinking?
“In such bad condition, even if he is male, he cannot do anything to me.” Seeing that Qing Mama’s elderly face was almost creased into a dumpling, Ye Jiuge decided to arrange some matters for her to handle. “Qing Mama, since I ended up not buying any slaves, I would like to trouble you to go to our properties and select some suitable individuals to serve in our residence.”
“Noted. I will go and help you choose some servants now.” Enthusiasm overcame Qing Mama. She believed that if there were more servants in the residence, Eldest Miss would not continue to act so recklessly.
After Qing Mama left, Ye Jiuge closed the door to her room and started to check the beautiful man’s pulse. To her surprise, she discovered that this male slave was a spiritual practitioner. Not only that, his level was not low. His cultivation was at least at the intermediate stage.
How could a spiritual practitioner with intermediate stage cultivation end up in such a place as a slave?
Ye Jiuge was exceedingly astonished. She calmed down and scrutinized the rhythm of his pulse. It was extremely erratic—the pulse of a soon-to-be-dead person. No wonder the slave trader was willing to sell him for such a low price.
However, people with such slow pulses were often people that had been poisoned.
Ye Jiuge checked his eyes, lips, and nails meticulously. She did not find anything unusual. It was truly odd!
She took out her Lightning Fire Needle and carefully inserted it into each of the acupuncture points along the philtrum, the web between the thumb and forefinger, and others. In the end, when she pulled out the tip of her needle, it was coated with purplish-black blood, similar to the color of ink.
It was merely a small blood droplet. However, it gave off a sickly sweet stench, causing the person who smelled it to feel nauseous and light-headed with disgust. Truly, it was mystifying.