Waking up, Xiao Yin furrowed his brows as he felt a throbbing pain on his shoulder. He then glanced around and his expression gradually darkened. As he sat up, he saw that he had been lying on a soft pillow. This room was clearly her room as there were different rouges placed on the table, there were even some that had fallen to the ground beside his feet.
Fragmented images slowly swirled about in his mind as he lifted his hand to knead his forehead. Last night, he was admiring the moon with wine. He didn’t know how much he had drank but once it was bright Hui Xue came forward to retrieve the wine glass from his hand.
He didn’t remember how much he had drank but he had a high tolerance for alcohol, very seldom did he ever get drunk, but last night he was utterly intoxicated.
It appears sometimes it wasn’t wine that could intoxicate a person but the mood of the drinker himself. Last night, he wasn’t in the best of moods. The wine did not intoxicate him but he became drunk nevertheless.
He held the pillow in his hand dazedly. He recalled reclining on a soft fragrant figure that appears to be hers. It was so comfortable that as soon as he laid down he quickly dozed off and dreamt a sweet and blissful dream.
But after waking up, the dream was shattered and she was also no longer by his side.
Xiao Yin struggled to stand up as he slowly walked outside.
“Your Highness! You’re awake!” his subordinates, who had been guarding outside, exclaimed as they saw Xiao Yin coming out. Hui Xue quickly brought him a cup of tea.
Xiao Yin took the cup and drained it. As if it was nothing, he calmly asked “Where’s the princess?”
“It’s been two hours since Dou Qian Jin came to escort her. Eastern Yan’s wedding procession has left the capital and must be hundreds of miles away by now,” Lui Feng replied in a low voice.
Xiao Yin was startled by this news. He felt as though a sharp sword had pierced through his hollow heart; hollow because of love, hollow because of sorrow.
That emptiness gradually grew as though it was going to envelop his entire being.
He placed the tea cup in his hands down and calmly ordered, “Lui Feng, prepare the horse!”
Lui Feng received the order and brought the servants with him to retrieve the horse. Without even changing out of his current attire, he quickly left his residence, mount his horse and let out a loud whistle. The gyrfalcon perched on his shoulder shifted its head about as Xiao Yin pulled back on the reins and quickly sped off.
Leaving the capital, he was greeted by the vast grassland. Today the weather was exceptionally beautiful and clear. With one glance, one could see to the ends of the horizon.
Xiao Yin steered his horse in the direction of the wedding procession as his gyrfalcon glided across the soft clouds in the sky overhead.
His horse was extremely fast, causing his black robe to flutter in the whipping wind.
One man. One horse. They were like an arrow that had left its bow, zipping across the grassland.
Xiao Yin didn’t know what he wanted to do. If he caught up to her then what? But at this moment, besides catching up to her, he really didn’t know what else to do. Should he just immerse himself in wine forever?
The wedding procession had set off half a day earlier but it was no match for this one man and horse. Before darkness descended, Xiao Yin had caught up to the wedding procession.
He tightened his grip on the reins as he gazed at the meandering wedding procession from afar.
One man and horse remained silently on the hill top.
The woman he loved, in the end had become someone else’s wife.
A heavy desolate feeling like the twilight descended on him.
Now he no longer had the energy to purse the caravan any further. If he chased after her then what? So what if he met her? In the end, she was still another’s wife.
The dreary night wind blew pass as the sun set in silence.
The blood red sun pulled on his shadow as his sleeves fluttered in the wind chaotically, reflective of current state of mind.
Night life in Yu city was illuminated by incandescent lights as lively music could be heard from every corner.
On Anping Street, Tuy Tien1 was the most prestigious music hall in Yu City. Not only were there fine wine and the most famous dishes of Yu City, there were also special musical acts. Once night arrives, this was the grandest place in Yu City.
Tonight, the first floor was illuminated by bright candles as the curtains slowly opened, revealing the silhouette of a woman in a silk brocade as she stepped on stage and a melodic voice rang from her lips. 2
Hua Dan had a lovely voice and her figure shimmered underneath the lights. She sang of a boudoir girl who was happy and bashful after receiving a love letter. After Hua Dan finished her song, she retreated and a young gentlemen in a white robe came up on stage.
Beneath the flickering candle light, one could see he had snow white skin, a beautiful face like that out of a painting, long jet black hair, and a pair a phoenix eyes. He slowly stepped on stage as his eyes swept across the audience. Beneath the stage, no matter where they sat or who they were, they felt as though they could not evade those pair of eyes.
He was iridescent like the moon from the Nine Heavens, devoid of even a speck of dirt, like a finely carved jade.
On stage someone had brought out the Gu Qin and he slowly came over and sat down on the mat and began to play a piece.
His small slender finger, bright like pearls, extended out. A vibrant and clear sound resonated outwards as he softly played “Pleasant Spring.”
The qin sounded very gentle and as everyone listened, they felt as though flowers were blooming and the wind had carried along its fragrant scent. Fresh flowers, beautiful flowers, fragrant flowers, all were reflected in the melody.
This young gentleman playing the Qin was none other than Hua Zhu Yu.
She had arrived at Yu City three days prior. She didn’t have any money nor a place to reside, therefore she went to Tuy Tien to earn a living as a performer. She could only survive in this way.
She came from Northern Kingdom, but Northern Kingdom’s money could not be used in Southern Kingdom therefore she did not bring any with her. Furthermore, she did not dare to bring any of those precious gifts Xiao Yin had given her, as they could not be used and she did not want to leave any clues that might permit Xiao Yin to find her.
She also did not reach out to any of her former subordinates. The things that needed to be done, just her alone was enough. She did not want to involve others.
She no longer had a home in Yu City as her house was ruined. She heard that after her father was executed, her grandmother had let go of all the servants and burned the whole residence to the ground. Her home was utterly destroyed.
While playing the qin, Hua Zhu Yu contemplated that after tonight she would leave this place. She had already formed a plan. She needed to find a way to enter the palace and uncover the real reason for the Hua family’s destruction.
The guests of Tuy Tien were relishing the beautiful music when they were interrupted by an unpleasant sound.
“This piece is not bad, this appearance is also not bad, but you should not be playing the qin at this place!” the voice displaced traces of weariness and irritation as his words evoked others’ anger.
Hua Zhu Yu looked up and saw a person slowly walking up on stage.
It was a young man who at a glance appeared to be around Hua Zhu Yu’s age. He was but a 17 or 18 year old boy, merely a juvenile. His voice especially sounded youthful, obviously still in development.
His appearance was not bad. He had long lashes, black but crystal clear eyes like that of an immortal. Unfortunately, that was just the first impression. If one paid close attention, one would see that on the gentle face there was a dark, heavy aura in between those brows. His whole being exuded power and supremacy, causing others to feel intimidated.
This person was the devil masked behind an angelic face.
This type of juvenile was most likely from a prestigious family as ordinary individuals wouldn’t have such a strong aura.
That juvenile stopped in front of Hua Zhu Yu. He brandished his hand towards the qin on the table and with a bang, cracks started to appear on the beautiful qin.
Seems like this juvenile also had some internal force. Hua Zhu Yu slowly stood up and turned around, intending to leave.
Regardless if the juvenile was deliberately finding fault or not, she did not have time to play with him.
The juvenile let out a cold chuckle and said, “You dare to escape? Let’s see where you can escape to!”
He dropped his chin down and launched towards Hua Zhu Yu’s chest as his five fingers curved into the “Seizing Tiger” move.
Though his martial art skills were not high, his moves were all ruthless, not at all like those hooligans who caused trouble on the streets.
Hua Zhu Yu twisted her body around, dodging his attack. The juvenile did not expect her to be able to dodge his attack so he quickly changed tactics as his fist straightened out and slashed towards Hua Zhu Yu’s neck. If he was not heavy handed, such an attack would make one feel lightheaded but if he use such force, this move would definitely kill.
Hua Zhu Yu narrowed her eyes as she did not think this juvenile would be so ruthless! She had just arrived at Yu City so there was no way for her to have offended him. She really didn’t understand why he was acting this way.
With no time to dwell on the matter, Hua Zhu Yu arched over and retreated back, escaping his advances.
The juvenile’s expression became grim as Hua Zhu Yu had successfully dodged all of his attacks. His eyes were lit with a torrent fire as his face became cold as ice, as though he wanted to devoir people.
Watching this scene, the guests knew that this person was not so simple. It was better to avoid such a person so they all rushed to leave Tuy Tien, not wanting to get involved.
After everyone left, some people, don’t know from where, suddenly appeared. Two went to close the doors of Tuy Tien while the rest advanced on stage to surrounded Hua Zhu Yu.
It appears they wanted to bully people behind closed doors.
- name of the restaurant in Vietnamese, I couldn’t find the name in the Chinese raws so I just kept it in Vietnamese
- She recited a poem/song but it was just too poetic that I totally didn’t understand so I didn’t even bother to try and decipher it. Sorry guys!
*sigh* Our FL can never catch a break….