Sorry for the late chapter guys! This week has been super busy and I had ordered a guzheng and it finally arrived!!! So I was busy fiddling around with it when I should’ve been translating hehe. I may just change the schedule so that it’s still 2 releases per week but not on any specific day so there’s more leeway for me . Anyways, enjoy the chapter!
So Chancellor Ji’s gracing Lake Thanh with his presence. No wonder the atmosphere is so great ah!
Hearing this, Huangfu Wu Shuang gave a disdainful humph before turning and striding back to the inner quarters of the boat. Perhaps he was afraid Ji Feng Li would recognize him. Inside the boat a guard had quickly brought out a seat for Huangfu Wu Shuang who sat down with a cold expression on his face.
Hua Zhu Yu stood beside Huangfu Wu Shuang and looked past the beaded curtains over towards the white boat. The inner quarters of the white boat were also concealed by beaded curtains, bringing inevitable disappoint to those who expended effort to come catch a glimpse of the Chancellor.
At this time, a flower boat suddenly drifted over blocking the white boat’s path. At the center of the flower boat was an embroidered stage surrounded by a wealth of blossoming flowers.
A young miss adorned in a dazzling bright robe gently walked out from the inner quarters of the boat carrying a pipa as she went over towards the embroidered stage. She raised her hands towards the white boat to show her respects before gently speaking, “Bing Rou of Serene Square shall play a song for Chancellor Ji to enjoy.”
Once done talking, the young miss named Bing Rou stroked the pipa strings and a warm, gentle sound emanated out as she sang.
Once the piece came to an end, Bing Rou gave a bow and shyly withdrew.
Afterwards, another flower boat drifted over and a young miss came out gliding towards the embroidered stage but this time she began to dance.
Hua Zhu Yu was quite speechless, watching these brothel courtesans display their skills for Ji Feng Li.
So in Yu City, Ji Feng Li was this popular. Thinking back to the time when she was bestowed a marriage to Ji Feng Li, don’t know how many young misses hated and wanted to slice her up.
Huangfu Wu Shuang waved his hand and a guard quickly came forward.
What’s going on?” He asked with a serious expression.
Terrified, the guard cautiously replied, “Your Highness, tonight is a contest between the courtesans of the various brothels of Yu City. The person that just finished playing the pipa was Miss Bing Rou of Serene Square. The person currently dancing is from Peony Pavilion named Miss Liu Yiyi. There is also Miss Lan Er of Red Plaza and Miss Mian Mian of Cuiyuan Court. The winner will be whoever’s bestowed the largest reward. Therefore these courtesans are blocking Chancellor Ji’s boat and displaying their skills in hopes of winning Chancellor Ji’s approval and obtaining the grandest prize.”
“Why doesn’t this prince know anything of this?” Huangfu Wu Shuang glared at the guard and asked.
“This subordinate has told your Highness, but Your Highness never took interest.” The guard said in an aggrieved voice as he knelt on the floor.
Actually, this wasn’t the guard’s fault. Perhaps Huangfu Wu Shuang had devoted his all into crafting those lanterns recently and now he’s just placing all the blame on the guard.
Huangfu Wu Shuang’s cold eyes swept over towards Hua Zhu Yu as he instructed, “Yuan Bao, perk up your ears and widen your eyes. See who’s the most talented and later choose one.”
“Yes Your Highness!” Hua Zhu Yu raised her voice and elongated the words as she replied. Although she appeared humble, she did not look like a slave one bit.
Miss Lan Er of Red Plaza displayed her Guqin skills while Miss Mian Mian of Cuiyuan Court played the flute.
Once all four courtesans had performed, Hua Zhu Yu began to speak with a soft smile on her lips, “The piece that Miss Bing Rou of Serene Square played was very lively yet soft and elegant. It sounded festive yet had an underlying trace of melancholy, furthermore her voice was quite pleasant and the verses complemented well with the atmosphere. In comparison, her pipa skills were not up to par but still better than the dancing skills of the courtesan from Peony Pavilion. Miss Lan Er of Red Plaza played a pleasant piece but it can’t be compared to Miss Bing Rou’s song. On the other hand, Miss Mian Mian flute skills were quite good and might be comparable to Miss Bing Rou’s pipa skills.”
Hua Zhu Yu listed the positive and negative points of all four ladies.
Blinking his eyes, Huangfu Wu Shuang said, “Then according to you, I should choose Miss Bing Rou? Yuan Bao, go out and announce that this gongzi shall gift Miss Bing Rou 500 taels of silver.”
Hua Zhu Yu was about to speak when over on Ji Feng Li’s boat a guard had walked out and raised his voice to announce, “Our family’s Chancellor Ji gifts a pot of Cymbidium to Miss Bing Rou of Serene Square. ”
Unexpectedly, Ji Feng Li had acted first, angering Huangfu Wu Shuang till his eyes emitted fire as he ordered in a frosty voice, “Not gifting Bing Rou anymore. Gift Miss Mian Mian of Cuiyuan Court one thousand taels of silver.”
Hua Zhu Yu appeared from the inner quarters of the boat and stood at the bow, raising her voice to announce, “Our family’s gongzi likes the sound of Miss Mian Mian’s flute from Cuiyuan Court and shall gift her one thousand taels of silver!”
Once Hua Zhu Yu was done announcing, a guard of Huangfu Wu Shuang’s went over with a thousand silver tael bank note.
One thousand taels of silver was no small amount so Cuiyuan Court will most likely be pleased but unexpectedly Miss Mian Mian was not the least bit happy as her face was full of disappointment and sorrow.
Sure enough in the end the final victor turned out to be Bing Rou.
Whoever received the largest reward will be the winner.
One thousand taels of silver from Huangfu Wu Shuang was worth less than Ji Feng Li’s pot of cymbidium. Although cymbidiums were valuable, they definitely were not worth that much. Clearly, in the eyes of the people of Yu City, a single gift from Ji Feng Li was worth more than a thousand taels of silver.
Learning the outcome, Huangfu Wu Shuang was infuriated. He instruced a guard to go out and announce, “Our family’s gongzi gifts Miss Mian Mian another thousand taels of silver, don’t know who is the final victor now?”
Subsequently, a guard on the white boat raised his voice to say, “Chancellor Ji states that the reward for Miss Mian Mian is higher so of course Miss Mian Mian is the victor.”
Hearing this, Miss Mian Mian of Cuiyuan Court was so happy she burst into tears.
Huangfu Wu Shuang felt dissatisfied, he originally wanted to challenge Ji Feng Li but his opponent disregarded him, no bothering to feud. His anger was set ablaze when suddenly the sight of a lantern with the drawing of a girl was drifting slowly towards Ji Feng Li’s boat.
The lantern that he had personally crafted was wandering towards Ji Feng Li’s side. He instantly got up and pointed his finger towards the lantern and said, “Yuan Bao, hurry and fish back that lantern.”
A complicated expression appeared on Hua Zhu Yu’s face as she looked over towards the vast lake with soft ripples on the water surface. Although the distance between her and that lantern was not far, she unfortunately did not know how to swim.
Gazing at the lantern lazily drifting about the lake, she quickly fostered her internal energy and fleeted across the lake surface. Whenever her foot landed on top a lantern, she would crouch down a bit to gain momentum before once again leaping towards the sky, her blue robe fluttering in the wind like butterflies.
After having gone a distance, she was now quite close to the white boat. She had to rotate her body so this time she employed a bit more of her internal energy, causing the lantern beneath her foot to submerge in water before she could grab hold of the lantern with the portrait.
Just as she snatched the lantern, the white boat appeared in front of her so she gently leapt on top of the boat’s edge, her figure akin to a flower amid the mist. She was just about to fleet across the lake again when she heard someone say, “You’re not allowed to leave!” The crisp voice drifted out from the inner quarters of the boat. “You sank my young lady’s lantern in the lake, without even a word of apology, you’re just going to leave?”
Hearing this, Hua Zhu Yu halted in her tracks and have yet to turn around when a gust of wind could be heard from behind as a whip rushed towards her feet.
Hua Zhu Yu narrowed her eyes as one hand raised the lantern while the other swooped down to grab hold of the whip and using a little internal energy, she leapt up on the white boat.
“Ah? Why is there a portrait of my young miss on your lantern?” the maidservant who slyly attacked her with the whip asked with glaring eyes.