17 The beginning of the contes
Liu Yang was waiting for the contest to start. The brothel got louder and louder as time passed.
Even if she was in a VIP room, she could still hear the excited people outside. She could also hear groups of people filling in the private rooms next to hers.
This contest had for theme "music". That means the contestants could show off any talent, as long as they had a relation with music. For example, the contestants could sing, dance, play an instrument... It was a wide theme.
The contest was divided into three parts. In the first one, the twenty or so contestants would individually show off their talent. A panel of judges composed of two famous musicians and a popular poet would rank each performance scale of one to ten, one being the worst mark, and ten the best.
The eight people with the highest marks would be able to go to the next round, while the rest would be eliminated.
Following that, the eight remaining contestants would be randomly divided in four groups of two.
The duos would have one hour for the two members to create a performance that mixed their talents and showcase it to the audience.
The jury would then rank the duos from best to worst and the the two worst pairs would be eliminated from the contest.
In this round, luck was an undeniable factor to win, because some groups would have talents more compatible than others, and would therefore have a higher chance to win, but if two people with talents that aren't very compatible managed to make their skills work together, it would be even more impressing.
This test was perfect to uncover hidden talents and let them show off to their fullest their abilities.
In the final part of the contest, the remaining four participants would once again show off their skill, but this time, instead of being judged by the jury, they would be judged by the audience.
Everyone that came to watch the contest had been given the paper with which they could vote for their favorite artist.
Because of this, the winner would be the person who touched the audience the most, and it would also allow the public to play a role in the contest and not just be bystanders.
Liu Yang watched from her room's window the brothel fill up. It was getting more and more crowded but wasn't showing any signs of stopping.
As she waited for the contest to start, Liu Yang couldn't help but regret making Xiao Peng go home.
She had asked the little girl to return because she was disguised as a man, and men didn't usually have many female servants. Even less to accompany them wherever they went.
She didn't want people to misinterpret her and Xiao Peng's relationship. She was here as the brothel's owner, so she didn't want to be seen as unprofessional, mixing personal and private matters.
In addition, she didn't want to show anything that could disclose her identity before she was powerful enough to protect herself, because that could bring a lot of trouble, and given that Xiao Peng was he female identity's servant, she would rather not be seen together with her too much.
After waiting for a few more minutes, Liu Yang finally saw Chen Ning get on the stage.
The woman was wearing a white dress that fitted her perfectly and showed off her curves without being indecent. She had a bright smile on her face, and just like that, she had already charmed most men in the room, and even a few women.
"Hello ladies and gentlemen, thank you for taking some time on your busy schedules to come to our humble establishment.
Tonight will officially be our first contest, and it definitely won't be the last!
For this contest, the theme will be "music" and many talented participants have come to show you their various skill in this domain.
Before starting the contest, I'd like to thank the members of the jury for honouring us with their presence.
Now without further ado, let's start the show!" Said Chen Ning cheerfully.
Loud cheers and applause followed her statement.
Liu Yang couldn't help but smile at that sight. Chen Ning was really talented in creating a good atmosphere. With just a few words, the crowd had already become very lively. She was really charismatic.
After going down from the stage, Chen Ning instinctively looked in Liu Yang's direction.
As their eyes met, Liu Yang nodded at her in approval.
When she saw that, Chen Ning was overjoyed. The owner had just praised her! Her eyes started sparkling like a child and an innocent smile bloomed on her lips.
As she smiled so beautifully, everyone that was watching her became enthralled by her beauty once again.
Seeing that, Liu Yang was speechless. Why had a simple nod from herself made Chen Ning so happy? Was she too cold before? Liu Yang started thinking about how she had previously interacted with Chen Ning, but couldn't find any reason for her to be so happy just because of a nod.
A beautiful sound made Liu Yang snap out of her daze.
The contest had started.
On the stage, a middle-aged man dressed humbly was playing a handmade instrument that sort of looked like an violin.
The melody he played was very beautiful. It was slow, yet sounded extremely hard to play and refined.
Liu Yang couldn't help but be captivated. When the music stopped, it was immediately followed by thundering applauds from the audience.
The next few contestants weren't as good as the middle-aged man, but they were still very talented and it was very entertaining.
Chen Ning had definitely done very well to chose the contestants for the show. Since it was the first show, it was good to start with very talented participants.
As she applauded for a woman who had just finished playing the flute, a courtisan discretely entered her room.
When she saw her, Liu Yang eyed the woman questioningly.
The courtisan respectfully greeted Liu Yang before taking out a paper from her sleeve.
"The manager asked me to give you this paper. I'll take my leave then." Said the woman shyly.
Liu Yang opened the paper. On it was written with a nice handwriting: "Shen Cao is to the room to your left. In the room to your right are powerful people, you should be careful if you talk to them."
Chen Ning was really helpful. Because of her message, Liu Yang wouldn't have to look for Shen Cao everywhere in the brothel. Chen Ning was quite smart, knowing Liu Yang would want to deal with Shen Cao tonight.
Still, she couldn't help but wonder who could possibly be in the room to her right. Who could be so important Chen Neing would go so far as to warn her about them? Her curiosity was peeked.
Suddenly, she heard loud gasps from the audience. Unconsciously, she turned her head to see what had affected the crowd so much, and was instantly enthralled.
On the stage stood a short woman. She was wearing a white dress quite similar to Chen Ning's, yet unlike her, her dress seemed to try to hide her beautiful body. But the woman was just to pretty. Her slender perfect body couldn't be masked by a simple dress.
She looked like a fairy. Her face was covered by a veil, and only her eyes could be seen. They were like pools of ink, and radiated brightly under the light.
This veiled woman simply had no flaw. She was just beautiful.
Without waiting for the people around her to snap out of their daze, the woman opened her mouth and started singing.