Once the song ended, Hua Zhu Yu returned to her seat. She looked around and realized that everyone else was still in a daze. The emperor was silently siting in his seat while concubine Ye was looking at her curiously. Xian Wang was stroking his beard, his face displayed traces of shock.
Everyone else was still immersed in the song that had just ended.
The wine glass in Xiao Yin’s hand had tilted over. Wine was trickling down but he completely ignored it. His clear, bright eyes were gazing at her. Dou Qian Jin on the other hand, leaned back in his chair. His chin rested on his hand while he seemed to be lost in thought.
Qi Qi Ge was like a chicken that had just been slayed. Even without the Emperor’s judgement, she knew that she was defeated by Hua Zhu Yu but she was not content. Standing up, she walked towards the Emperor and said, “Your Majesty, Qi Qi Ge would like to compare dance skills with her.” She doesn’t believe that she’ll be defeated a second time.
“That’s enough of your nonsense for today is it not?” A middle-aged man wearing a Hu outfit came forward and knelt down in front of the Emperor and said “ Your Majesty, please allow me to withdraw my daughter.”
The Northern Emperor waved his hand, signaling the man to bring Qi Qi Ge back, then shifted his gaze towards Hua Zhu Yu. After a while he then announced “Miss Dan Hong wins this match.” He bestowed her some gifts and jewelry. Then he placed his hand on his forehead, appearing tired he retreated with his entourage and concubine.
That was how the first day of the festival concluded.
That night everyone slept in their tents that were set up near the lake.
Hua Zhu Yu was also granted a small tent. Though it was only for a temporary stay, the tent had all the necessities. A wooden shelf separated the tent into two compartments. On top of the shelf was a vase of orchids. The inner compartment contained a bed while the outer compartment contained a tea table and carved chairs.
This tent was a lot more stylish than the prostitution tent she had stayed at previously.
The night came quickly as the people of northern kingdom gathered wood to set up a bonfire near the lake.
During the day, Xiao Yin had ordered his guards to hunt in the woods and they brought back all kinds of game. They roasted deer meat and sprinkled all sorts of spices on it. The pleasant fragrance attracted many people. Some also fetched water from the lake to make mutton soup.
Everyone was eating and drinking merrily, some ladies were so drunk they couldn’t walk straight. The drunken men and women held hands and stood in a circle surrounding the bonfire and sang, throwing the brocade belts on their arm around in the air.
Seeing this lively scene, Hua Zhu Yu also felt amused, but a moment later her mood dropped. Tiredly, she stood up and went for a walk along the lake.
The bonfire flames stretching towards the sky, the music and dancing, all of this slowly faded from her view. Strangely, she wanted to escape. This picturesque scene to her is just a dream. No matter how hopeful and beautiful the dream, when she wakes up, her father would still have been wrongfully sentenced to death, and she’s still a criminal residing in a foreign land.
She walked far away, but no one paid attention. Hui Xue who had always been stuck to her side, is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps, Xiao Yin thought that even if she ran she wouldn’t escape, which is actually true. A part of her still wants to stay here.
Up ahead in front of the tall grass, she heard mumbling sounds. One of the voices sounded like it belonged to Hui Xue so she pushed aside the tall grass and walked forward, calling out Hui Xue’s name.
However, she was greeted by a shocking scene. Up ahead, Hui Xue was sitting on the ground and beside her was a belt that was discard by Lui Feng who was in the process of disrobing.
Hua Zhu Yu’s face became flushed and she quickly tried to leave stealthily. She thought girls of Northern Kingdom sure are liberal. During the day, she saw that Hui Xue seemed to have some feelings for Lui Feng, but now they are already together.
When she was forced to stay in the prostitution tent, she had heard Zhu Xiang serving her customers, but to witness such a scene with her own eyes was a first.
The moon, the sole witness to all lovers, sure is beautiful and sultry when gazed from the grasslands thought Hua Zhu Yu.
When she arrived near her tent, she was hesitant to enter, wondering if she would witness another tryst inside. While contemplating, she saw Xiao Yin on his horse galloping towards her.
The hazy moonlight shined on his figure, illuminating a silver glow. His black robe was fluttering with the breeze. Underneath the moonlight, he was like an immortal, exceptionally handsome. Perhaps because of the moonlight, he appeared much more gentle than usual, not a trace of that domineering and cold bearing.
When the horse came closer, Xiao Yin pulled back on the reins and the horse let out a sound before stopping.
With the reins in his hand, his bright eyes gazed towards Hua Zhu Yu. Although separated by a horse, neither far nor near, Hua Zhu Yu felt like she was locked in his deep purple eyes.
Hua Zhu Yu put up a smile, then intended to circle around him to enter her tent. Who knew, she had just taken a few steps before a ‘plop’ could be heard behind her, as though something heavy had fallen to the ground.
She turned around and saw Xiao Yin had fall off the horse, lying on the grass.
Hua Zhu Yu wrinkled her brows, raised her head and looked around and saw not a shadow in sight. Did Xiao Yin let his guards off for the day?
She reluctantly came forward and placed her fingers on his wrist. It did not seem like he was poisoned. But now that she was close, she could smell the pungent scent of wine permeating from his body.
Seems like he wasn’t poisoned but intoxicated.
His life was not in jeopardy so Hua Zhu Yu stood up intending to leave.
Suddenly, his hand stretched out and held onto the back of her nape, forcing her to fall into his embrace.
Hua Zhu Yu was surprised that his strength was still so strong even when he was drunk to this state. His arms tightly wrapped around her, pressing their bodies together.
His heavy breath full of wine drifted towards her, causing her to feel light-headed. She wanted to push him away, but suddenly felt a warmth on her cheeks that then drifted down her neck, and finally that warmth landed on her lips.
A moment later, Hua Zhu Yu finally realized that Xiao Yin had forced a kiss on her. At this moment, his lips were invading and conquering hers.