WebNovel Museum Of Deadly Beasts Chapter 304 – Air of Arrogance

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Chapter 304: Air of Arrogance

“Steward Zuo, it’s been a while since you last visited us isn’t it? Right, come this way, please. I must say, you came at the right time as we have a newcomer at Grace Pavilion today. She’s a famous beauty from a country in the west of Gra.s.sy Continent. Steward Zuo will definitely be pleased with her,” the staff said respectfully.

It seemed like Zuo Wentang was a regular customer at Grace Pavilion.

Zuo Wentang smiled and told him, “I’m treating a valuable guest to drinks tonight so I expect the service to be top-notch.”

The staff immediately replied, “Of course, of course. You can rest a.s.sured, Steward Zuo.”

As he spoke, he led the two guests inside.

Zuo Wentang then whispered to Lin Jin, “Chief Lin, I’ll be blithe here and just address you as Brother Lin.”

Lin Jin smiled. “An elder is a brother, so I’ll go with whatever you say, Brother Zuo.”

Seeing Lin Jin being so cooperative made Zuo Wentang chuckle in delight.

To address each other as ‘Steward Zuo’ and ‘Chief Lin’ at such a place would undoubtedly made them sound like a pair of killjoys. Other people would end up learning their ident.i.ties too.

It was as the saying went, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. Calling each other brothers here suited the atmosphere.

Lin Jin rarely put on airs and what’s more, he genuinely felt that Zuo Wentang was a man worth befriending.

They entered Grace Pavilion. As it was Lin Jin’s first time here, despite preparing himself mentally from being awed, he was nevertheless stunned by the extravagant decor of Grace Pavilion.

Lin Jin had visited the royal capital and the imperial palace before. Still, the intricacies of the palace decor paled in comparison to Grace Pavilion’s.

How would one describe resplendence and magnificence?

Lin Jin was seeing it with his own eyes. A gilded plaque made of Phoebe nanmu wood[1], stairs made of white jade from the west, vividly painted ceilings, candles hanging from intricate golden frames, and quality drapes, which all added up to an almost surreal scenery.

To sum it up, everything his eyes met were as luxurious as they could be. Even the carpet beneath his feet made him feel like he was stepping on the soft, supple shoulders of a beauty.

“To think the people of this world would know how to indulge themselves this much,” Lin Jin muttered to himself.

More than a hundred candles were lit in the main hall and they were all top of the line premium candles. Instead of the usual pungent smell, the candles here emitted a soft, enjoyable fragrance. The owner of this place must be spending a great fortune on running this establishment.

Being able to afford such a lavish operation implied only one thing – that man was no ordinary guy.

But Lin Jin merely entertained these ideas for fun. He was just curious and figured if Zuo Wentang frequented the place so much, the older man must be a stakeholder of this place as well.

But Lin Jin would never ask that out loud.

As he expected, the room offered to Zuo Wentang was one of the best in Grace Pavilion.

The interior structure of Grace Pavilion was somewhat like a well with a large hall in the center about thirty feet wide. There was also an elevated stage for the dancers to perform.

Tables and chairs were placed all around even on the second and third floors.

From the second floor onward, there were private rooms, though separated only by wooden screens. There were railings on the sides facing the stage, allowing patrons to watch the performance below.

The rooms on the second floor were the best compared to others and the room Zuo Wentang was allocated had the best view from the second floor.

The singing and dancing performers were at such a close proximity that it felt as if they could even touch the girls if they just extended their arms far enough.

“Brother Lin, the rules of Grace Pavilion is that we first taste their tea before savoring the wine. Their tea is just as remarkable and one pot costs at least five silvers,” Zuo Wentang explained with a hearty laugh.

In such a place, there was no longer the need to keep up the image of an intimidating steward of the City Lord Manor. He was in a private gathering so he could carry himself as he pleased.

He could also speak without being reserved.

This might be his true nature, or perhaps he was deliberately behaving this way to help Lin Jin loosen up his mood.

And Lin Jin could tell what he was doing.

“If a pot of tea costs five silvers, a jug of liquor must cost at least fifty silvers,” Lin Jin answered with a chuckle. “It seems we’ll be burning a hole in your wallet today, Brother Zuo.”

Zuo Wentang pulled a face, pretending to be annoyed. “What are you talking about, Brother Lin? How could you use such a description when I’m just having a good time with a brother of mine? Forget fifty, who cares if it goes up to five hundred?”

Lin Jin laughed heartily and took a sip of tea.

Indeed, the price was justified and reflected in the taste of the tea. It was Maple City’s most famous ‘Fragrant Hills Maple Tea’. Although it was named Maple Tea, it was actually a type of green tea with a subtle fragrance and a refres.h.i.+ng taste. It left a person wanting more.

Since Lin Jin was already here, he planned to enjoy himself to the fullest.

At Grace Pavilion, even something as simple as a pot of tea was an item of pure decadence. The water with which the tea was brewed had to be sourced from specific mountain springs which had to be delivered daily by horse-drawn carriages.

This further piqued Lin Jin’s interest in the dishes they would serve here.

Instruments began to play in the main hall as a troupe of seven young women with slender figures, wearing delicate veils, ascended the stage. Tiny bells were tied to their bare hands and feet, jingling delightfully whenever the girls moved.

Thin veils covered all seven girls’ faces, but even so, everyone could see the beautiful faces underneath. As the music played, they began dancing to the rhythm, attracting the gazes of many customers below.

Zuo Wentang stole a glance at Lin Jin only to realize that he wasn’t at all interested in the dancers. To his surprise, he wasn’t behaving like a pa.s.sionate young man would.

“Brother Lin, the girls of Grace Pavilion have all had to go through strict selection, but seeing how you’re constantly surrounded by beauties, you obviously aren’t very impressed by the ones here,” Zuo Wentang joked.

At this, Lin Jin let out a muted chuckle. “Oh please don’t tease me, Brother Zuo. I’m always occupied by beast appraisal research so I don’t have time for all that.”

Lin Jin knew exactly what Zuo Wentang implied. And speaking of which, there were indeed many beauties around him and each one of them was prettier than these dancers in Grace Pavilion.

Like a feast for his eyes, after seeing so many beauties day in and out, Lin Jin grew uninterested in anything less attractive than those girls.

Particularly, Shang’er. That girl was in a cla.s.s of her own; her beauty was to the degree that it could wreck nations.

Having gotten used to interacting with those girls, it was safe to say that Lin Jin’s tastes had been spoiled.

Zuo Wentang laughed and didn’t continue the subject. As they watched the dance performance, Zuo Wentang added, “It’s not time yet but Grace Pavilion’s ultimate beauty will show up later. As the grand finale, Qu Wenji is most charming in terms of looks. Not only can she sing and dance, but she’s also proficient in calligraphy, painting, chess, and playing the guqin. I can guarantee you that more than half of the audience came just to see her.”

As he spoke, a hint of tenderness revealed itself in Zuo Wentang’s eyes.

“Oh?”

Lin Jin didn’t know about this Qu Wenji person.

But seeing how highly Zuo Wentang spoke of her, there must be a uniqueness to this person. Still, Lin Jin was more concerned about what liquor he would be tasting and what dishes he would be savoring later.

Speaking of dishes, Lin Jin hadn’t seen Masterchef Liao for quite some time now.

Masterchef Liao had gone to travel the lands a while back and Lin Jin wondered where he went.

As he pondered, Lin Jin’s nose caught the scent of something fragrant.

‘It’s here.’

Turning to the door, he saw a young girl carrying several dishes in.

There weren’t much but each of them was meticulously prepared, divine in both presentation and smell. This was especially so with that wine that was brought in later. It smelt strongly of quality alcohol.

Compared to the dancers, Lin Jin was more interested in the food laid out before him.

“Come, come, Brother Lin. It’s a custom here in Grace Pavilion to issue three rounds of dishes, each round containing different courses. These here are cold appetizers and the accompanying wine is a plum wine, tastefully selected to arouse your appet.i.te. Only when that’s happened will the main course start arriving,” Zuo Wentang introduced with a hearty laugh.

What’s interesting here was how the performance changed as the dishes were served.

The seven girls from earlier left the stage as two other girls came up.

Of the two, one was playing the guqin while the other played the lute. Slender fingers plucking at strings brought forth a clear and melodious tune. Other than the divine sounds of both instruments, the two girls were also appealing in appearance and figure.

Simultaneously, the private room below had begun to receive their dishes. Looks like this really was a common practice in Grace Pavilion.

“Try it!” Zuo Wentang urged Lin Jin to eat. The latter didn’t hesitate and used his chopsticks to pick up a single green bean. He took a whiff of the vegetable before putting it in his mouth. Sure enough, it was jaw-droppingly delicious.

Then, he took a piece of beef and dipped it in the sauce. The savory meat was so tender it practically melted in his mouth.

‘Amazing!’

Everything else aside, Lin Jin would rate Grace Pavilion highly just because of the food.

Sipping on the plum wine, Lin Jin noted that the drink had definitely lived up to his expectations.

Just then, Lin Jin sensed something off. As he ate, he glanced outside, not at the performers, but a guest that just entered through the door.

This newcomer didn’t dress like a citizen of United Continent. His muscular build and leather armor confirmed Lin Jin’s suspicion. Every strand of his hair was as thick as the bristle of a heavy brush. With his head held high, the man exuded an air of arrogance as he strode in.

[1] A type of high quality Chinese wood.

———-

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