Hua Zhu Yu does not want trouble, she only wants to live her days in peace while temporarily residing in the Northern Kingdom. However, because both Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin presented her with a snow lotus, she had become the most well-known person in the Northern Kingdom in the blink of an eye.
Her heart was full of regret. She should not have left the residence today. Heaven knows who’s hidden in the crowd. There might be people from the southern kingdom, therefore it’s best not to draw too much attention to herself and take a step back.
As a result, Hua Zhu Yu glanced at Xiao Yin, hoping he would step out to settle this matter for her.
But Xiao Yin feigned ignorance towards her expectant eyes and continued to leisurely sit atop his horse. With a faint smile and indifferent expression on his face, he appears to be waiting to watch the spectacle.
Perhaps he’s still angry about the snow lotus.
He’s a noble, proud person who’s probably never been rejected before. Many people vie to become his woman, even if they are only bestowed a low concubine title, they’d still fight to the bitter end. But she dared to reject him in front of all these people, how could he not be angry at her?
Though Hua Zhu Yu’s status was not as noble as his, she still had her own pride.
Apathetically, Hua Zhu Yu turned around and glanced at Qi Qi Ge. She had a pair of sharp eyes and face full of arrogance. In her hand, she held a sword that shimmered underneath the sunlight.
This person most likely admires Xiao Yin, thus she was unhappy and wanted to bother Hua Zhu Yu. In the Northern kingdom, such occurrences weren’t rare.
Wrinkling her brows, she smiled towards Qi Qi Ge and said,” Why must you challenge me? I have no intention of fighting over the crown prince imperial consort position with you!” Afterwards, she turned around to leave.
Since Qi Qi Ge’s intention was exposed, her face became flushed, not sure due to anger or embarrassment.
“You are not allowed to leave!” screamed Qi Qi Ge. With her sword in hand, she chased after Hua Zhu Yu and obstructed her from leaving. “Today, this princess will definitely have a match with you. Say it, swordplay, archery or horse riding?”
So she turned out to be a princess, presumably the daughter of some royal aristocrat. People of the northern kingdom were quite courageous and upfront, open their mouth and it’s “compare swordplay, archery and horse riding”. But Hua Zhu Yu was not interested, she also did not want others to know that she knew martial arts.
“I’m sorry princess Qi Qi Ge, but of those things you’ve listed, there’s not a single one that I know. I willingly accept defeat,” replied Hua Zhu Yu with a smile and eyes curved like two crescent moons.
Anger ignited within Qi Qi Ge. She felt this person in front of her exuded an indescribable charm and boldness even with her face covered, causing Qi Qi Ge to feel inferior. She shuddered in anger and subsequently brandished her sword towards Hua Zhu Yu’s face. “I want to see if you know or don’t!” screamed Qi Qi Ge. Her sword was fast, full of murderous intent.
Hua Zhu Yu calmly stood there, without any intention of moving.
She knew in front of all these people, Qi Qi Ge won’t be able to kill her. Therefore, there was no need to avoid it nor make a move.
As expected, the ringing sound of two metal collisions resonated. Dou Qian Jin’s golden coins circled around and returned back to his hand while the sword in Qi Qi Ge’s hand had fallen to the ground.
Xiao Yin tightened his grip on the reins and his eyes lightly swept over Hua Zhu Yu and Dou Qian Jin.
“Young miss, acting like this is not right. She had already refused, why must you force her?” asked Dou Qian Jin with a light chuckle, his peach blossom eyes shimmering. While talking, he stretched out his hand and threw the coins in the air casually.
Filled with anger, Qi Qi Ge could not retort back a word. Clenching her teeth, she finally said “Fine, don’t know swordplay and archery then forget it, what do you know then? Singing, dancing, it doesn’t matter what you choose, I’ll definitely compete with you.”
Hua Zhu Yu felt speechless. Qi Qi Ge is definitely not easy to get rid of.
The people watching in the crowd suddenly chanted, “Compete! Compete!”
Glancing back she saw Xiao Yin still leisurely sitting atop his horse, as though none of what’s happening had anything to do with him. It seems today he’s determined to stand by and watch.
After contemplating, Hua Zhu Yu said “Then let’s have a singing competition!” Seems like she has no choice but to knock Qi Qi Ge down a notch or two.
A stage was already available. It was the stage that was previously used to have the wresting competition. Qi Qi Ge even invited the Emperor, concubine Ye, and Xian Wang to be judges. Seems like she’s confident she’ll win.
After getting everything ready, Qi Qi Ge got on stage first. She even asked Xiao Yin to play the accompaniment for her.
Hua Zhu Yu always thought Xiao Yin was a music novice and so couldn’t imagine he was actually quite adept at playing the Hu qin.
Don’t know when he had changed, but now he was back to wearing a black Hu robe embroidered with golden threads. He sat on the chair and on his waist, a brocade belt embroidered with a flower could be seen. Don’t know which miss had given it to him.
His left hand held the string while his right hand pulled the bow. A beautiful melody rang out. He played an old piece but the tune was distinct and pleasant. It contained a unique style of the grassland as it danced softly with the breeze.
Qi Qi Ge began to sing but she did not sing in the Han language. She sang in the native Northern kingdom language and so Hua Zhu Yu did not completely understand.
Qi Qi Ge’s voice was pleasant to the ears, very clear and resonating, definitely a girl from the Northern Kingdom.
The two collaborated splendidly, intoxicating the audience with their voice and melody.
Once the piece came to an end, everyone clapped thunderously.
Hua Zhu Yu intended to sing and play the accompaniment by herself but the Northern Kingdom only have the Hu Qin which she did not know how to play. And the Gu qin that Xiao Yin had was probably still at his residence. Therefore she decided to sing without any accompaniment. Honestly, her voice was most suited to perform a cappella.
Perhaps because Qi Qi Ge was one of the best singers in the grasslands, when Hua Zhu Yu stepped on stage, no one believed she could win. Consequently the crowd began talking amongst themselves, with no intention of listening.
The emperor and concubine Ye also appeared quite absent minded. Seems like they were tired from attending this event today.
While everyone was talking, a strong voice rang out overpowering the crowd. Her voice was like the wind blowing across the snow-capped mountain, not a hint of earthliness. It was like the breeze blowing across the grassland, drifting across everyone’s ears.
Her voice was comparable to a waterfall that had flowed across the rocks for thousands of years, captivating, elegant and gentle. Her voice was seductive like water, like a spring mist, like a thousand blooming flowers, even like a thousand fluttering butterflies.
This voice could only come from heaven, it could only be heard in the dreams of mortals!
Her voice was pleasing to the ears and full of warmth. It lingered in the atmosphere, captivating the crowd.
Hua Zhu Yu did not take note of how many people were listening to her, nor did she look towards the audience. Her teacher, Fu Xuan, said that when one sings or plays (an instrument) it should only be for oneself and no other. Therefore, she ignored the crowd and sang. This moment belonged to her, and only her.
In this world, she can only walk alone on her path, persistently striding forward. She looked up towards the sky and smiled, eyes sparkling with tears.