May 29, 2022 3:56 AM
nie huaisang writes a novel
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Just before dinner, Nie Huaisang finishes the last character of the fourth copy of the first chapter of Romance of the Jade Princess.

The plot of the first chapter is as follows:

There are three flowers. They appeal to a bodhisattva that they would like to be able to understand love. Touched by their yearning, the bodhisattva allows them to reincarnate as three people.

The three flowers are reborn as three sisters, Chrysanthemum, Peony, and Lotus. The three sisters are prostitutes in the beautiful city of Chang'an. Chrysanthemum has grown cynical and no longer believes in such a thing as love; her maid, however, is pining after her. Peony is in mourning because her beloved best friend was lost at sea and is believed dead. A scholar sees her and falls in love with her at first sight. It is Lotus's debut as a sex worker tonight, and she's very frightened; she has sex with an older man who is very kind and gentle to her, and she has her first orgasm. The books are illustrated with a picture of the sisters that isn't not horny. 

He takes the first copy of the book off to Jing Yi.

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He reads it. "This is-- actually not bad."

(He is being the pinnacle of restraint and making no commentary abut the choice of setting or Lotus' plot.)

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"I think it is excellent because I have absolutely no competition."

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"It is undeniably a work of fiction, a thing that is rare in the Scholomance."

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"One that is trashy, melodramatic, pornographic, and of no literary merit whatsoever."

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"No one will have to write any essays on it! It will produce no spells!"

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"They could write essays on it! You know, recreationally."

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"--They definitely could, if they were the sort of person who recreationally wrote essays about romance novels."

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"People do that on Weibo all the time."

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"I'd ask if they had anything better to do with their time, but they're not in the Scholomance, so-- that might be the answer."

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"You have a lot of complaints about other people's time management, There-Must-Exist-Some-Places-Where-Your-Dick-Is-Not-gongzi."

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"Me? Hypocritical? How very dare."

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"I'm just saying if we had Weibo you might be writing essays about how Peony's scholar is a foil to Chrysanthemum's maid."

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"What, and not posting thirst traps?"

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"How do you know what a thirst trap is?! I thought outside of Shanghai you were all busy studying poetry."

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"I was an exclusively well behaved child, who definitely never snuck away to any internet cafés."

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"And if you did you would definitely not look up pictures of your favorite cidol being pinned to flat surfaces."

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"That seems wildly out of character."

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"Do you know anyone who would also like to read Romance of the Jade Princess?"

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"Leng Yue, but she'd keep it quiet, quite possibly Chu Chu..." And then a list of other people in the Chang'an enclave and surrounding indies who might.

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"I'll let you have the copy if you want to pass it around."

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"I'll make sure it gets passed into the right hands."

At the moment he's plotting who would give it the best press in the rumour mills of the Sinososphere.

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"Thank you, you're the best."

And he heads off to the Kyoto table, where Ayako is for once sitting with her enclave.

"Hello, Ayako. Miss me?"

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Ayako glances at her yearmates. One of them makes a motion that would if it were less subtle expand into a shrug. There hasn't been any enormous drama at Shanghai's table at lunch, and she was sitting with Tokyo at breakfast but she still would have noticed any yelling, so what's this about.

"Yes! Yes I have." 

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"I have come to brighten your life."

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"Have you now." 

Total: 28
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