Huangfu Wu Shuang was truly ruthless as Hua Zhu Yu really was left to starve for 3 days.
When she came out of her room, she was so hungry that it seemed her chest had caved till it reached her back. If not for her internal force supporting her, she was afraid she would’ve long since fainted. When she went out it was not yet lunchtime but luckily the kind Jixiang had left her some snacks.
Hua Zhu Yu devoured the food in a hurry and after she gulped down a cup of water a little eunuch came to inform that Huangfu Wu Shuang summoned her over to wait on him.
Hua Zhu Yu followed the little eunuch to the back garden of Eastern Palace. Passing by the flower garden she saw an open area with lots of swords and other weapons, there were even a few sandbags. This place was probably where Huangfu Wu Shuang practiced his martial arts.
But at the moment, Huangfu Wu Shuang was not practicing martial arts, he was sitting on a bamboo stool busily engaged in who knows what but surrounding him were silk paper, bamboo sticks, feathers, and other materials.
A few eunuch and maidservants were crowded around him, some handed him bamboo sticks while others handed him silk paper, all of which had been applied with a paste (glue).
“Your Highness, this area needs more paste….. this area is missing a bamboo stick…”
“Your Highness, the person in this portrait is so beautiful….. like a fairy…”
As she came closer, Hua Zhu Yu was able to see that Huangfu Wu Shuang was personally crafting a lantern. Lying beside him were a few he’d already done. There were lanterns of all sorts of sizes and shaped in different animal forms. Though they weren’t exceptionally beautiful they were still decent looking.
With the sun shining on his figure as he sat on the bamboo stool, he seemed to exude a warm light. He sat there focused and diligently crafting, entirely different from his usual unruly disposition. There was a faint smile on his lips and a soft expression on his face as if he was just thinking of some happy occasion.
Seeing this side of Huangfu Wu Shuang was quite unexpected as Hua Zhu Yu didn’t think this little devil would also have a calm and gentle side. Furthermore, as a master, even his meals where hand fed to him by someone therefore it was quite eye-opening to see him personally doing such things.
From a glance one could tell he was in quite a good mood, if not, how would these maidservants and eunuchs dare to speak so freely.
“You’re Highness, this servant has brought Yuan Bao here,” the little eunuch cautiously said as he came up to Huangfu Wu Shuang’s side, fearing his words would dampen the Crown prince’s mood.
Huangfu Wu Shuang raised his head to look at Hua Zhu Yu, his handsome face very serious when he asked, “Do you know any lantern riddles?”
Hua Zhu Yu slowly walked over to Huangfu Wu Shuang’s side and said,” There are many different types of lantern riddles, don’t know which type Your Highness wishes to hear?”
Huangfu Wu Shuang held his chin and contemplated, then his eyes turned round and said, “The ones that express affection, admiration, riddles of those sort.”
Hua Zhu Yu thought for a moment before saying,” This servant knows a few but afraid they aren’t very good.”
“Let’s hear it!” Huangfu Wu Shuang said in a low voice.
Immediately Hua Zhu Yu recited a few riddles. Huangfu Wu Shuang listened and thought they weren’t bad so he ordered the little eunuch to grind some ink, and with a brush wrote the riddles on the lanterns. In the end he chose the riddle he liked best and wrote it on the lantern he just crafted.
Hua Zhu Yu narrowed her eyes as she gazed at the portrait on the lantern of a female adorned in plain attires with a high forehead, slender brows, red lips and face full of powder akin to a blossoming orchid.
This portrait was not the same as Xiao Yin’s portrait and perhaps not as beautiful either, but it was still a painting of the same person, Wen Wan.
In the beginning Hua Zhu Yu was angry, if Wen Wan didn’t want to be married off to the Northern Kingdom then why did she give such a beautiful portrait to Xian Wang. Now seeing that Huangfu Wu Shuang also has such a beautiful portrait, then other noble families in the capital most likely have such portraits as well. Seems like portraits of the number one beauty has spread all across Yu City.
That night when the moon just began to emerge, Huangfu Wu Shuang left the palace followed by a group of personal bodyguards.
Since Hua Zhu Yu provided some useful lantern riddles, Huangfu Wu Shuang allowed her to tag along thinking that she had some talent and qualifications to wait on him.
Hua Zhu Yu had never once participated in the early summer festivals at Yu City. She couldn’t believe the amount of lanterns tonight was on par to the amount on Lunar’s New Year festivals.
The capital was the prime area located at the foot of the reigning emperor so it obviously couldn’t be compared to other ordinary cities. Anping Street was the most prosperous area of Yu City, and tonight it was decorated with lanterns and bustling with people. Shops, restaurants, and street stalls were all crowded and lively. Some wealthy businesses placed shadow-picture lanterns outside their entrances with people riding bamboo horses and playing the Suona, some places even lit fireworks.
The lanterns and fireworks lite up the night life of Yu City like a blooming flower, painting the dark night sky with gorgeous colors that cause even the full moon to be ashamed.
Tonight Huangfu Wu Shuang left the palace in a disguise, but this little crown prince was so accustomed to living in luxury that he did not know how to be low-key as his carriage was inlaid with pearls and even the curtains were made of silk brocade. There were dozens of attendants present and even an eye-catching snow white horse leading the way, from just one look one could tell it was a wealthy gongzi1 from a noble family.
The road was full of people but once they saw the carriage they all rush to move out of the way.
Adorned in a blue robe, Hua Zhu Yu was riding a horse among Huangfu Wu Shuang’s group of guards. Luckily Huangfu Wu Shuang still had a brain and did not let her wear an eunuch attire out otherwise everyone would know this was the Crown prince’s carriage, don’t know how much trouble that’ll bring.
The horse carriage went along Anping street, but perhaps Huangfu Wu Shuang was all too familiar with this area therefore the horse carriage never halted and went directly out of Yu City, to the outskirts of Lake Thanh 2.
Lake Thanh, definitely lives up to it’s name, a harmonious place where young misses and gongzi of Yu City meet up in the night.
- gongzi is usually used to refer to unmarried young men from noble families
- Thanh is the vietnamese name of the lake since I couldn’t figure out the chinese name
Sorry for the late update hehe I kept thinking it was Wednesday and forgot to finish translating. Labor Day kinda threw me off track
Stay tuned! Ji Feng Li and Wen Wan bout to finally show up