The autumn wind carried a slight chill. Chu Yunhan, who got out of the Mercedes-Benz, pulled up the collar of his trench coat, raised his head to look at the inconspicuous small bar in front of him, and frowned.
This place was significantly different from what he had expected.
The remote location was still passable, but the facade was narrow and simple, exactly the kind of small bar full of street gangsters that could be seen everywhere on the street. The dignified eldest young master of the Chu family entering this kind of place was simply…losing face. If the so-called high-end clubs were all like this, then what would that make of the people inside?
Chu Yunhan regretted coming here, and even more so actually contacting the person from the invitation card. But since they had an appointment, it would be very rude to ditch out at the last moment. He made up his mind to find a reason to leave after a short chat, so as not to displease the other person too much.
He raised his hand and looked at his watch. Half past six. He breathed out and pushed open the wooden door of the bar.
The wind chime hanging on the door lintel made an ethereal sound. The bar was neat and clean, with dim lights, and an old vinyl record playing on a gramophone. The young fair bartender, who was carefully wiping a glass, looked up at him, before resuming his work.
Chu Yunhan looked around. There was only one person sitting at the bar with his back to him, writing something.
He walked over, hesitated, and asked, “Sorry, are you Ben?”
The man turned around. He was in his early thirties, with a pair of gold-rimmed glasses and a handsome face, dressed in loose casual clothes. Chu Yunhan recognized the brand, it was not cheap. The man smiled, gestured to him to take a seat, and said, “I am Ben. Hello, Mr. Zhou Han.”
Chu Yunhan sat down next to him. His attention was drawn to the notebook lying on the bar, and he couldn’t help but glance at it a few more times.
“I got the job on short notice and it’s a bit urgent, so….”
“Is this a blueprint?”
“Yes. I’m a designer, I do architectural design.” The man packed his notebook and pen, and asked, “What would you like to drink? Charlie’s cocktails are very good, especially the Flame Blues.”
“Okay, Flame Blues it is.” Chu Yunhan smiled. He was a bit nervous before, because he didn’t know who this Ben was, and was afraid of encountering someone strange or difficult to communicate with. Now he knew the other party’s occupation, and could also tell his taste, judging by his clothes and pen. From what he saw, Ben was an educated accomplished member of the middle class, which made him feel at ease.
Soon, the bartender put a glass of azure blue liquor in front of him. Chu Yunhan took a sip. A slightly sweet fruity flavor filled his mouth, then suddenly there was a burst of strong alcoholic flavour on his tongue. Burning and sweet, it flowed down his throat and he couldn’t help choking.
Ben laughed, “Slow down, this wine is a bit strong.”
“It’s a bit…” He took another sip, this time letting the wine gradually release its full flavor in his mouth, and commented pertinently, “It’s delicious.” Then, he put the glass down and said, “The club you mentioned before, is it this one?”
The man did not answer his question. Instead he took out a white card and three sheets of paper from his bag and handed them to him. “Your application for membership has been approved. This is your membership card. But before entering the club, you must read these rules and sign your name on top.”
Chu Yunhan took them. The first sheet of paper was the “Member Rules”, which stipulated in detail the rights and obligations of the members. There was a hierarchy among them. The darker the color of the membership card, the higher the membership level, the more activities one could participate in, with the highest level being entitled to participate in the decision-making of the club. Those with white membership cards were the lowest-level members. After reading all the rules, he understood why this circle was so secretive. The rules stipulated that all members were to keep matters related to the club and the member’s information confidential. The second document was an exemption agreement for personal safety. The third one listed the equipment, rooms and activity schedule that the club provided. The higher-level members received better treatment. Lower-level members like him did not have access to private rooms and could only perform activities in the public areas.
He glanced at the rule “I confirm that the identity information I submit to the club is true and valid”, pursed his lips, and scribbled the words “Zhou Han” in the signature column. The identity certificate he submitted before was fake, and his ID was forged. Since the other party did not figure it out in a week and let him pass the check, then he would continue being “Zhou Han”.
Ben took the signed documents and said, “If you are ready, let’s go.”
“Where to?” he asked.
The man glanced upstairs and said, “Take out the membership card. You can’t use the elevator without it.”
When Chu Yunhan stepped on the second floor, he became aware of his own gullibility. That small bar was just a cover, and the real “club” was upstairs.
The second floor was a dressing area, divided into identical small single compartments. Inside one of them, he found a stack of masks. They were of many different colors and styles, but all of them were of half-face type, which only covered the upper half of the face, while the eyes, mouth and chin remained exposed. He randomly chose a simple white mask to put on, and then walked out. After waiting for a while, Ben came out of the other room. Chu Yunhan was taken aback when he saw his appearance.
There was only a pair of black boxer briefs and a black collar around his neck. He was in good shape, with well-proportioned muscles, a black nipple piercing on one side of his chest, and some tattoo lines could vaguely be seen on his waist and abdomen.
“Does it look good?” The man smiled when he saw him standing dumbfounded. “My master will come today too. He doesn’t like me wearing much.”
Only then did Chu Yunhan realize that he was also a sub. He coughed a few times to cover up his embarrassment and said, “It looks good.”
“Let’s go.” Ben led him to the elevator again.
The long corridor on the third floor was covered with a thick carpet, and some oil paintings hung on the walls on both sides. They were all duplicates of world famous paintings and did not pique his interest. At the end of the corridor was a double dark brown door that was closed tightly. The waiter at the door swiped their membership cards and opened the door for them.
Under the high-hung crystal chandelier, a magnificent banquet hall appeared in front of them. There were many people at the venue, men and women, standing and sitting, laughing, talking and drinking. It was very lively. Some were dressed casually, while others were wearing fancy clothes. Some were dressed like futuristic warriors, others in Chinese costumes, and still others in military uniforms and riding boots, like at a cosplay event. There were some who wore as little as Ben, most of them kneeling next to their masters. These were subs or… slaves.
Chu Yunhan silently looked at everything in front of him. This place was completely beyond his expectations. It surprised him and piqued his interest. It was like being in a primitive jungle, where all the established laws of civilized society were discarted and everything was solely based on sex and desire. In this game, choosing each other, becoming a couple, the way of getting along with each other, all animalistic physical instincts were amplified and desire dominated everything.
“Don’t keep staring at someone else’s slave,” Ben whispered softly in his ear.
With an “Oh”, he immediately moved his gaze away from a kneeling blond man, setting his eyes on three huge electronic displays hanging up high above right in front of them, and asked, “What is that?”
“The list above shows the relationship between doms and subs. No one uses their real name here, so the names you see are all pseudonyms. The front row shows the pseudonym of the dom, and the row behind – their sub’s pseudonym. Do you remember what pseudonym you filled in the box on top of the application form?
“…Daylight.” Chu Yunhan regretted his sloppiness now. Back then he had raised his eyes and, seeing the sky starting to lighten, he wrote this word. Had he known about this, he would have at least chosen something like “knight” or “hero”. He looked at the list and asked, “Why are some doms followed by several subs’ pseudonyms?”
“Because they have a one-to-many relationship. In BDSM, everything needs to be controlled by the dom, including the setting and the decision how to play. They need to master the skill of using whips and other props, to be keenly aware of the sub’s state, control the process, decide whether they need to go deeper and continue, etc. There are relatively few doms with good technique and they are very popular, so one dom can accept several subs.”
“Some doms don’t have a sub.”
“Well, the relationship between a dom and a sub is not static. Sometimes the relationship will be cancelled and the dom will have a window period. It is easier if you take advantage of it,” Ben said with a smile. “My master accepted me during a window period. When he had a lot of subs, he didn’t even look at me.”
Chu Yunhan quickly found Ben’s name in the table and said, “Your master is called ‘Hurricane’? He also has other subs.”
“Yeah.” At this point, the man smiled somewhat helplessly. “Master has at most six slaves at the same time. He is the best dom here and the manager of this club. Actually…I am already satisfied that he took a fancy to me.”
Ben should like that “Hurricane” quite a bit, Chu Yunhan could tell. But there was one more thing that puzzled him.
Since Hurricane was in charge of this place and was the best dom, why was he only ranked second?
Seeing him looking at the display with a puzzled look, Ben explained, “This table is ranked according to the membership level of the doms. Mr. Pure Black, who ranks first, has not been here for a long time, so the sub column behind him is vacant. I heard that Pure Black is also the owner here and is very popular. He prefers brown-haired and fair-skinned subs, and many people even dye their hair for this reason. But that’s all hearsay. I joined the club later, and I haven’t met him in person, so I don’t know for sure.” He seemed to think of something and said, “I almost forgot. You can fill in the information, which will make it easier for you to find the right dom.”
Chu Yunhan followed him to the service desk, asked the waiter for a form and a pen, and filled it out. This form listed all the details very thoroughly, such as whether one agreed to a one-to-many relationship, whether kissing was allowed, whether one agreed to sexual intercourse, their preferred posture, what kinds of props they were willing to use, and so on. He blushed, and after filling it in, he quickly slipped it to the waiter, but it was suddenly grabbed by an outstretched hand.
He turned around and was startled to see a somewhat familiar-looking face. When he realized who this person was, his heart suddenly sank.
Why was this guy here? He was……
Before he could figure it out, he heard Ben’s voice next to him.