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leengonanowrimo

正 [Part 1/?]

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Jan. 24th, 2014 | 02:24 pm
posted by: leen_go in leengonanowrimo

Length: 3149 words of ??? total; this is a set-up chapter
Prompt: in simplified terms, Kris is a duke, Lay is a courtesan who has a jaded view on life and has trust issues.
Warnings: Unedited, incomplete and posting as I go. May have inconsistencies throughout. Potential triggers for self-harm. Also, cross-dressing. Future angst is a huge possibility.
Notes: 正 is used by Chinese people to count in clusters of five (see wiki). Time passed is based on the Lunar calendar (days/months) and position of the sun in the sky (hours)




“My Lord! Come have a drink with me!”

“My Lord! Come dance with me!”

“My Lord! Tell me about your work!”

Wu Yifan smiled at the girls sitting on either side of him, taking the drink offered to him and knocking it back in a single shot. A leg brushed up against his own and he ran his hand slowly along the length, turning his head to place a kiss lightly on the girl’s neck. He felt a tug on the side of his head and looked around to find the one on his other side pouting up at him jealously, wrapping a stray strand of his pin straight waist length hair that had come undone from the binding atop his head around her finger. “What about me?” she whined and Yifan chuckled lightly before leaning forwards to press his lips against hers.

“Hey, Seok?” Yifan called into the dimly lit establishment

“Yes?” Yifan’s manservant replied dutifully from his position against the wall behind the couch Yifan shared with four of the best women The Star had to offer.

“Remember where this place is. I like it,” He smiled softly, reaching behind heads to run his fingers through the hair of the quietest girl sitting furthest from him, earning himself a quiet giggle from her. “The girls here are pretty,” he explained.


Kim Minseok smiled subtly as he kept his perfect posture, hands behind his back as he bowed slightly, “Of course, My Lord,” he mumbled. Suddenly, several of the candles around the place were blown out simultaneously, leaving only a line of lanterns lit along the length of the stage at the front. Yifan followed suite as the other patrons around him finished their conversations abruptly, silence falling in the room.

An over made-up woman in her forties that had introduced herself to Yifan as the owner of the business stepped to the front and Yifan’s eyebrows furrowed together in confusion as she began to speak. “Seok?” He called behind him in a hushed voice. “What exactly is happening here?”

Minseok leaned forwards to whisper in the royal’s ear, “I’m not entirely sure, My Lord. Shall I go ask?”

“It’s Lay’s dance!” one of the girls offered helpfully, envy and excitement evident in her voice.

“Lay?” Yifan asked.

“Yeah,” chimed another, “She only puts on six shows every month, on the first, the sixth, the 13th, the seventeenth, the twenty second and the twenty fifth. She’s Lady Pearl’s favourite,” she finished, bitter jealousy hinting at the edge of her voice.

The Duke raised an eyebrow in interest as he cracked a grin, “Well, this should be interesting then, shouldn’t it?” he asked out loud to no one in particular as a slender figure made its way to the illuminated spot on the stage. Silky ebony hair flowed over her shoulder. A gold ornament/hairpin depicting birds was placed neatly on the left of her head above the ear, casting glints of orange gold around the stage. Her sun-coloured dress just long enough to touch the floor as she glided along it.

A wave of cheers erupted as the main attraction of the night made her way to center stage, a vibrant smile gracing her pink lips as she took a bow, making sure to make eye contact with every patron in the room that night. A shiver of excitement went down Yifan’s spine as Lay’s brown eyes met his own and Yifan found himself sitting straighter. The girls sharing Yifan’s couch fell from either side of him in surprise before joining him at the edge of the seat and clinging onto his arms once more. Yifan hardly paid them any attention, his focus was entirely on Lay on stage. She pulled out an elegant fan and struck a pose, a clear sign that silences the crowd.

The candles flickered slightly in their lanterns as another girl started to play melodic tunes on her guzheng at one end of the stage, a mere accompaniment to the gracefulness of Lay’s mesmerizing dance, her dress flowing behind her like a songbird’s feathered wings.


“Beautiful,” Yifan heard himself sigh mutter breathlessly and realizing that he was staring with his jaw hanging. He cleared his throat to regain his composure. He , untangled an arm from the girls beside him and signaled his manservant forward. “I’d like to meet this Lay,” he announced simply before Minseok bowed politely and took his leave to cater to his master’s bidding.

Wu Yifan had no idea how long it was before Minseok returned, trailing behind Lady Pearl, who Yifan was sure was wearing too much make-up for her age. “I’m to have a private audience with your Lay?” Yifan asked, eyes never leaving the stage where the subject of conversation curtsied prettily before slipping behind the curtain once more.

“Of course. Anything you ask, Duke Wu.” The owner of the establishment smiled as she waved her floral handkerchief dramatically, “Give me a moment while I tell Lay the good news!” She gave each of the girls at Yifan’s side a quick sharp look before smiling at him as she turned to leave.

A silence fell for a moment. One of the girls picked up the rice wine bottle on the low table in front of them and another picked up his empty glass. “Another drink?” they chirped again and Yifan obliged willingly.



Zhang Yixing collapsed in his chair and stared at the heavily drawn version of himself in the mirror with disdain as he added another stroke using a stick of kohl to the tally on the sheet wedged in between the reflective surface and its frame. He brought a comb to his hair as he contemplated if he should count up the messy ‎’s he’d drawn all over the sheet, wondering when the last time was that he’d actually done a proper count of the number of performances he’d put on as ‘Lay’.

A knock sounded at his door and he spun his head around quickly to greet Lady Pearl. “I have good news, Yixing! Someone’s asked for a private audience with you,” she announced with a wide smile, the nauseating scent of smoke already starting to permeate into Yixing’s dressing room. “You’ve got five minutes,” she continued curtly without waiting for Yixing to reply as she started to pull the door closed once more. “He’s a duke,” she finished with a slight suggestive wiggle of her eyebrows before she disappeared once more.

A heavy sigh tumbled from Yixing’s lips as the click of the door echoed in the room. He replaced the comb on the counter in front of him as a derisive snort ruined his perfectly made up features momentarily, “Duke?” he muttered, staring at the dead eyes in his reflection.

How many times had he poured his hopes of a better life into a wealthy businessman, a sweet talking army captain, an owner of a popular bakery, a lecherous doctor? He still remembered when he’d been excited to be selected to be the First Lady of The Star. The previous person, who had the title, had left the House to marry a man who had bought her freedom. It had been his hope from the moment he’d been pulled off the streets and painted with white powder and red lipstick, to become someone desirable enough to have someone pay for his freedom. He’d sworn from the moment Lady Pearl had announced the “promotion” that it would be less than two hundred dances before he would leave this place, but patrons came and went. They wanted him. They lied to him. They used him.

They wasted him.

Yixing closed his eyes and took a deep breath, giving himself a moment before he stared back at himself again, this time with bright eyes and a sincere smile as he reached up with one hand to fix the flower hair stick hairpin and grabbed his comb once more with the other, trying hard not to think about how many ’s were on his tally sheet already.



“Leave us,” Yifan commanded, as he stood in the middle of the room, Lady Pearl and Minseok close behind him. His eyes never left Lay’s twinkling ones save for the second when the door closed with a click. The room filled with silence as Yifan continued to appreciate the figure standing in front of him before it was broken with a simple ‘Hello’ from Lay. “I’m Duke Wu Yifan,” he introduced himself with only the slightest of acknowledging nods. “Your performance tonight was quite spectacular,” he continued to compliment, stepping aside and pulling out a tucked away chair and gesturing for the dancer to take a seat.

“You should know something before we continue,” Lay said evenly instead of taking Yifan’s offer to sit down.

The Duke raised an eyebrow as he took the seat instead, leaning back to look up at her, “And that is?” he asked with amusement, mind already distracted with ways he would make those beautiful lips call his name out lustfully later tonight.

“I’m male,” Lay said out loud, voice flat, “Most of my patrons don’t seem to care but I feel obligated to announce it now so it’s not a surprise to you later.”

Yifan’s raised eyebrow stayed in its place as he processed the information for a long beat, his mouth agape as he tried to decide if he would join the others that Lay had mentioned that cared little whether the pale beauty was male or female.

“I will explain to Lady Pearl myself if you choose to leave now,” Lay continued, tucking a stray hair behind her – his ear.

 Yifan took a moment to think, deciding finally that even if Lay wasn’t a woman, there were certainly other ways to have his needs satisfied. He gave a smile as he got to his feet again, walking forwards a couple steps until he was close enough to bend down to kiss the latter’s neck. There was a soft sigh before the Duke felt a hand loosening the silk belt at his waist.



Yixing gave a last pull as he helped tighten the Duke’s vibrantly coloured royal attire around its owner’s waist/body. The latter reached up in an attempt to tidy the mess, bending his knees to see himself properly in Yixing’s mirror. Wu Yifan – Yixing was pretty sure that was the name the Duke had introduced himself with – sighed with defeat as he dropped his arms to his side, his hair still far from the perfectly coifed sign of privilege he’d first walked into Yixing’s room with. “I’m hopeless without Minseok,” he muttered as he pulled up straight again, turning around to face Yixing.

“You look fine, Your Grace,” Yixing said quietly with a generous smile, making a point of grazing the other’s neck momentarily as he fixed the collar.

“Well, thank you for last night then,” Wu Yifan said as he headed towards the exit and Yixing followed behind, drawing his own robe tightly around him as he went.

“Pleasure’s all mine, Your Grace,” Yixing smiled again, “You have a good night, then,” he greeted with a small wave before he drew his doors closed once more. He waited until the footsteps fell away from the other side of the door before he stepped out into the hallway as well, hurrying to the end of the passage where he knocked at a dingy door. “Lu Han! Get my bath ready!” he nearly yelled as he waited for The Star’s errand boy to answer, hardly caring that his tone of voice was hardly the most respectful. “And make it piping hot!” he finished with another round of fist pounding against the door, before turning to leave, making long strides towards the back of the building. He stepped off the deck and rounded to the right side of the building where few people frequented and bent over, a dry heave coming up as he tried to dispel the bitter taste of the Duke from his mouth, one hand on the wall for support as he retched. As he started to feel lightheaded, Yixing finally pushed away from the wall and scrubbed the back of his hand across his lips, taking several deep breaths before he finally calmed down, enough to walk back to his dressing room.

Yixing settled gently into his hard bed, bottom still slightly sore from his time with the duke, and let out a long sigh as he reached into the long curtains around the bed, pulling out another folded sheet and drawing a horizontal line for the duke on the page. He swallowed hard as he folded the yellowing page once more, trying not to focus on the fact that that tonight marked the sixteenth ‎ he’d completed so far on his tally as he tucked the page behind layers of cloth. He took a moment to calm himself, reaching up to his head to make sure that his hair was still orderly. His finger paused over a sharp edge of the golden flower in his hair, and a momentary glance around the door to his dressing room reminded him he didn’t have enough powder to cover up yet another blemish on his wrist before his next trip into town. The vivid memory of a previous painful lashing from Lady Pearl dispelled any last temptation to feel alive again.

A soft knock sounded at the door followed closely by a quiet voice that woke Yixing from his daze, “Your bath is ready now,” Lu Han announced, carrying a lantern that flickered light across his small face.

Yixing let out an inaudible sigh as he got to his feet, “Sorry about yelling at you through the door earlier,” he muttered as he neared the young boy. “I wasn’t in the best of moods,” he explained as he closed the door behind them and took the lantern from Lu Han.

“It’s okay,” the boy acknowledged with a shrug as he followed Yixing closely by his side.

The pair walked in silence towards the bathhouse where the younger helped the older remove his robe, tucking it aside on a bench. Yixing sighed with released exhaustion as he lowered himself into the wooden basin, relishing the burn of the hot water as it washed all over his body, his hair floating around his neck in between pale purple flower petals.

“Is everything to your liking?” Lu Han asked from a corner. Yixing nodded once before he submerged his head underwater.

“Shall I wait for you outside then?” Lu Han asked when Yixing resurfaced.

“Actually,” Yixing started, using the cloth Lu Han had provided to wipe himself clean, ignoring the fading lines of varying pink along his arm that appeared as the hot water dissolved away the cosmetic powder he’d applied prior to his show. “Can you brush my hair?” he asked Lu Han quietly.

“Of course,” Lu Han obliged as he picked up a stool to sit beside the tub.

Yixing hummed an almost inaudible ‘thanks’, closing his eyes and sank comfortably into the water.

Soon, Lu Han. I’ll find us a proper home soon.



“You’re late.”

Yifan yawned widely as he stretched his arms above his head, loose sleeves slipping to his elbows as he wandered towards the round breakfast table, a male servant pulling out a chair for him next to his mother.

“Why are you always late,” his mother continued, though hardly expecting an answer.

Another servant placed a fresh steaming bowl of rice in front of the Duke.

Yifan ignored the annoyed tone in her voice, picking up his chopsticks as he eyed the morning’s dishes eagerly. He was barely halfway through a bite of his rice when his mother sighed heavily and placed her bowl on the jade surface of the table.

“And why do you always look so disheveled?”

Yifan rolled his eyes as he reached for a piece of fish, mouth still full from the previous bite, “Relax, mother. All this nagging isn’t good for your wrinkles,” he joked, earning himself a whack upside the head. “Ow!  Besides, it’s not like we have company or anything.”

Another heavy sigh from his mother, “Did you forget that we are being summoned to dinner at the palace with the Emperor’s youngest sister? I think it’s safe to assume that you have to look presentable for a princess.”

Yifan turned and scowled at his mother, mouth hanging open with the half chewed piece of fish still sitting on his tongue. “Are you trying to set me up with her? She’s a little old for me, don’t you think?”

His mother frowned at him as she used a finger to lift Yifan’s chin and close his mouth, “No, it’s the full moon tomorrow night. We always have dinner with her on the Fifteenth of each month.”

Yifan chewed a couple times and swallowed indignantly. “Good,” he muttered, “Because I’m pretty sure we’re related to her in some way.”

He earned another smack across the back of his head, “You keep that idiotic mouth of yours shut tonight; the princess is married to her second cousin.”

“Yes, mother,” he said dutifully before turning around to make a gagging face at Minseok who had to hide his smirk from the lady at the table.

His mother let out another long sigh as she picked up her chopsticks once more and retrieved a roll of cooked egg and placed it neatly in Yifan’s bowl when the latter had finished shovelling rice into his mouth for the moment. “Eat up, you brat,” she said, attention turning back to her own bowl. “We leave when the sun is at its peak in the sky.

Yifan stared at the piece of egg for a brief moment before breaking into a wide grin and shoving it into his waiting mouth, chewing quickly. He’d hardly swallowed the piece before he leaned over to kiss his mother on the cheek quickly, “You know I love you right, Mother?” he said, pulling back with a grin as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

She tried to scowl at her son but only managed an unimpressed smile as she shook her head, “Every bit of a sweet talker that your father was, huh?”

Yifan only grinned wider as he shovelled the rest of his food into his mouth, burping loudly (to his mother’s disapproving grimace) before pushing his chair back and getting to his feet. “Come, Seok,” he announced as he headed out the doorway once more, “We’re to look presentable for the princess,” he enunciated, smiling at his mother sweetly before skipping out to the passageway that led to his bedroom, his manservant at his heels after bowing deeply to the Duke’s mother on his departure.

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Comments {13}

hollyxsuicide

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from: hollyxsuicide
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 02:36 am (UTC)
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a new story from you is already a treat in itself, but this looks so promising! i can't wait for the next part. thank you for posting this.

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leen_go

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from: leen_go
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 05:39 pm (UTC)
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Ahhh thanks! I hope I don't disappoint in the coming chapters! >.

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xingmyheart

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from: xingmyheart
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 03:10 am (UTC)
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spot
hahahahahaha

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tyreling

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from: tyreling
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 05:32 am (UTC)
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screeches

there's more right? more of this right?

;_; Yixing will save you, Lu. I'm sure. But before that, Yifan will do the saving?

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leen_go

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from: leen_go
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 05:40 pm (UTC)
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Lol yes, of course there is more. What kind of prompt fill would this be if that was it omg hahaha
Poor Luhan D;

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Irene ☆ 아이린

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from: miss_aztec57
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 11:11 am (UTC)
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SCREAMS OKAY IM REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS
bc I saw it on sncj and was like oh this sounds good and then I realised it was you and it is really good and so yup, im excited.

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leen_go

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from: leen_go
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
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OH GOSH I hope it ends up okay then! I don't really know what's happening yet, so we'll see askdjfha >.< aiyah

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(no subject)

from: anonymous
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 01:12 pm (UTC)
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Ahhhh! Can't wait for more. I wonder what Lay and Luhan's relationship is.

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leen_go

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from: leen_go
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
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Hehehe I'm glad you like it. Layhan gets explained soon I believe =P

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from: kimdeyya
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 02:13 pm (UTC)
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okay, I cant wait for the next, and I really like it when yixing want him and Luhan to have proper home soon, Im so excited for this story :)

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leen_go

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from: leen_go
date: Jan. 25th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
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hehehe so happy to hear you're actually excited hehehe I hope they get a proper home soon too ;;

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xingxingxing

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from: yelrihs_jefan
date: Jan. 27th, 2014 03:05 pm (UTC)
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omg this sounds SO good... I cannot wait for more! LayHan's relationship is intriguing to me... and ugh poor Lay :\ The poor thing has to go through so much...
oh but wait, "Future angst is a huge possibility." nope. nOPE.

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leen_go

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from: leen_go
date: Jan. 27th, 2014 11:43 pm (UTC)
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\o/ thanks! I really have no idea where this is going, kinda just running with it >.< The characters kinda just formed like that so I'm not quite sure why Lay is such a sad character TT______TT
And I feel the need for that warning because even if I don't think it's angsty, people tell me it is? So maybe they'll be angst, maybe not? But probably, given this prompt orz

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