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"Misguided" Bar is one of the largest nightclubs on the Ancient City Bar Street. As soon as they reached the entrance, the waves of sound and commotion hit them. Unlike the trendy folk music bars, this one follows a retro route and is a hot dance club, a place where people can unleash their nature and reach the peak of excitement.

Han Lei, with her three friends, entered confidently and greeted the servers and familiar faces along the way. It was 8:30 in the evening, and the bar was almost completely packed. Han Lei mentioned that if she hadn't called the owner in advance and reserved a private booth, there would be no empty seats at this time. After arranging for the three of them to sit down, she said, "I'm going backstage to change clothes and put on makeup, getting ready to perform. Order drinks and snacks yourselves, don't be polite, put it on my tab. Tonight, I'm treating you all!"

"Yay, that's awesome!" Wang Xingxing cheered.

So the three of them ordered a dozen imported beers, along with fruit platters and snack platters. Su Xiaotong felt a bit guilty and asked, "The consumption here isn't cheap, are we really letting Han Lei treat us?"

"It's fine, she's a dancer here, the owner will give her a discount!" Wang Xingxing said loudly, covering the blaring music.

They raised their glasses and toasted, and Su Xiaotong leaned in to ask Xia Qi, "Do you know how much Han Lei gets paid for performing here?"

Xia Qi nodded and said, "Yes, she told us before. She gets 500 yuan per performance. She takes turns dancing with other dancers, so the performance time is probably a little over an hour."


"What's wrong, do you think it's not much?"

"It's actually not that much, indeed."

"That's the fixed salary the bar owner gives her. There are also tips from customers, but those are random. If she encounters generous customers, she can make a lot, but it's also possible not to encounter such customers the whole night, it depends on luck."

Su Xiaotong nodded in understanding. Wang Xingxing raised his glass to toast them again, and the three of them drank another round. In the middle of the bar, the three spicy girls in crop tops and ultra-short shorts danced energetically on the stage, setting the mood. Wang Xingxing was really enjoying himself and occasionally whistled, but after a while, he said, "These girls are just warming up, the real highlight is the upcoming performance."

"Is it Han Lei's pole dance?"

"Of course, she's the star performer of this bar."

"I'm really looking forward to it."

At nine o'clock, the girls who warmed up left. The DJ announced with an exaggerated tone that the next highlight of the night was the pole dance show! Cheers, applause, and whistles rose and fell, signaling the climax was coming.

The previously flashing rotating lights on the stage dimmed temporarily, leaving only scented candles on each table to set the atmosphere. In the dim environment, with a sense of mystery and rhythm, the dance music started, and a spotlight shone on the right side of the stage, enveloping a sexy woman in a black bikini, wearing high heels, heavy eye makeup, and dark lipstick. Her gaze was alluring, her posture seductive, as she slowly approached the pole in the middle of the stage, her body pressing against it, caressing it as if it were her lover's body.

Su Xiaotong was stunned. After a long while, she finally confirmed that the woman on stage was indeed Han Lei. 

Although Han Lei was usually open-minded and bold, she didn't wear heavy makeup in daily life, so she looked quite different from the image on stage. 

At the same time, she noticed that many people in the bar, especially men, were completely entranced. They stopped drinking, their eyes fixed on the alluring woman on stage.

After interacting with the pole for a while, Han Lei leaped into the air, her legs gripping the pole as she executed a 360-degree continuous rotation, swinging her long hair, gradually climbing upward, and then sliding down at a breathtaking speed, stopping just a few centimeters from the floor. 

She opened her legs, changed her posture, hooking one leg around the pole, and lying lazily on the ground like a wild cat, lowering her gaze and slightly parting her lips…

The audience erupted in applause again, and Wang Xingxing excitedly whistled. While applauding, Su Xiaotong couldn't help but think, "Oh my, I'm a woman and I'm blushing and my heart is racing, not to mention these men."

"Awesome, so hot!" Wang Xingxing cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted loudly towards Han Lei on stage.

"She is absolutely charming on stage," Xia Qi sincerely admired. "It's great when women can live as themselves."

"Aren't you the same?" Su Xiaotong raised her glass. Xia Qi laughed. "Yes!" The two of them clinked their glasses and finished their drinks.

Han Lei continued with her sexy and spicy performance. After about ten minutes, something unpleasant happened. A large, pot-bellied man who was clearly drunk staggered onto the stage and started awkwardly dancing along with the music. Moreover, he walked up to Han Lei and began obstructing her dance, reaching out with his hands, seemingly attempting to touch her inappropriately. 

Han Lei had clearly experienced such situations before, skillfully evading the man's advances through her dance moves, while using her eyes to signal for help from the security below the stage.

Two security guards came up to the stage and politely asked the man to leave. However, the man was completely oblivious and pushed the guards away, taking out his wallet and stuffing several one hundred yuan notes into their hands, signaling them not to intervene. The security guards were a bit at a loss, after all, he was still a paying customer, and they couldn't be too rough with him to avoid escalating the situation.

The man grabbed Han Lei, forcing her to stop dancing. Then, he started stuffing the bills from his wallet into Han Lei's bikini, seemingly as a form of tipping, but in reality, it was an inappropriate act.

"Hey, what's going on?" Wang Xingxing couldn't bear to watch and stood up from his seat. "Isn't anyone going to stop this guy?"

Su Xiaotong also couldn't bear to witness the scene and asked Xia Qi, "You mentioned customers giving tips, is it in this form?"

"Of course not, I said it happens after the performance, when Han Lei interacts with the audience offstage, not on the stage like this. I've never seen this kind of situation before." Xia Qi said anxiously, "And it looks like this guy is definitely a powerful and wealthy figure here, and the boss can't afford to offend him. If he pesters Han Lei, trouble will ensue!"

"I'll go up and help her!" Wang Xingxing, being a passionate young man, couldn't stand by and watch his friend being humiliated. Xia Qi held him back. "Don't be impulsive, if you go up, it will only make things worse. Let's see how Han Lei handles it; she should have experience dealing with such situations."

The three of them looked towards the stage, only to see that Han Lei did not show any disgusted expression. Instead, she skillfully dealt with the man, oscillating between flirting and avoiding. After a while, she wrapped her legs around the man's waist like she was on a pole, and her hands circled his neck. 

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Although the man was strong, he lacked the usual physical strength after drinking, and when an adult woman suddenly jumped on him, he swayed a few times before collapsing on the stage with a loud thud, seemingly knocked out. Han Lei ended up lying on top of him.

Two men who seemed to be his subordinates rushed onto the stage. One of them roughly pulled Han Lei away and helped their boss up. The bar's owner and security guards also joined them on stage, and together they carried the unconscious man to the backstage area. The DJ changed the music, and the three previous hot girls returned to the stage, dancing energetically to ease the tension.

"Do you want to go backstage and check on her?" Wang Xingxing asked.

"Let's wait a few minutes, the boss will handle it," Xia Qi said.

About ten minutes later, Han Lei, now dressed in casual clothes, appeared in front of them and sat down, pouring herself a glass of beer. Wang Xingxing asked, "Are you okay, Han Lei?"

"I'm fine. Come, let's drink," Han Lei said dismissively, raising her glass.

"What about that guy?"

"He's fine too, just got a big bump on his head from the fall."

"They won't make you compensate him, will they?" Xia Qi asked.

"Compensate? No way. He chose to come up on stage and cause trouble. I've dealt with these kinds of people many times. You can't confront them head-on, you have to use this 'soft method' to deal with them. Besides, that idiot stuffed over a thousand bucks into my bikini, so I didn't lose out."

"You're something else!" Wang Xingxing clinked glasses with Han Lei, and they both downed their drinks.

"What about you two, scared?" Han Lei asked Su Xiaotong and Xia Qi.

"Not scared, just haven't encountered this kind of situation before," Su Xiaotong said.

"I'm used to it. Working in 'this kind of environment,' you encounter these things regularly. It's just the first time I brought you here, and this happened, making you witness such a scene."

"Oh, not at all. You performed really well, I was amazed," Su Xiaotong said.

"Really? Haha, thank you for the praise!" Han Lei lifted her glass again.

The four of them continued drinking for a while. Han Lei said, "Alright, I'm going backstage to prepare. I'll be back on stage soon."

"You're performing again tonight?"

"Of course! Do you think I'd stop performing because of such a small incident? You guys keep drinking!"

With that, Han Lei got up and left. Xia Qi watched her leave and sighed softly, "I think Han Lei is trying to be strong. In reality, she must feel uncomfortable in front of us after such an embarrassing incident. Despite her carefree demeanor, she probably has to pretend in this line of work. Deep down, she's actually quite sensitive. She came over to drink with us to comfort our feelings. In reality, she's the one who got hurt."

"I can see that."


"Yes. When we first met, she mentioned how embarrassed and hurt she felt when her mother pulled her off the stage and covered her up. Otherwise, why would she leave her hometown and come to the city alone?"

Both women fell silent. Su Xiaotong gazed absentmindedly at the colorful lights outside the window, and the surroundings seemed to grow quieter. She heard a street performer singing a folk song called "Pigeon," her favorite song. Emotions surged within her, and she said, "I'll go out for a moment," leaving the bar and stepping onto the street, standing in front of the street performer, listening to him softly sing.

[Lost pigeon, on this night with hands clasped together, I long for a pair of wings]

[To fly to the south, to the south]

[Even if I can no longer see the nameless mountain's height]

[Distant pigeon,]

[You hurriedly fly around, only to return home]

[Tomorrow is too far, today too short]

[Hypocritical people come and go, only concerned about their own comforts]

[Yesterday, I counted twenty-five stars]

[On a Beijing autumn night, the twenty-fifth night of autumn]

[Able to embrace the past and offer the future]

[They dance gracefully in their ulterior lives]

[You will remain forever young in the city of my later life]

[Oh pigeon, you no longer need wings]

[When the mountains are covered in ice and snow tomorrow, I will walk barefoot]

[At the end of your mountain-crossing journey when you were young]

[Two thousand secrets that no one knows]


After the song ended, tears welled up in her eyes.

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