The little maidservant asked with eyes of hostility.
Alighting at the bow like a graceful crane with sleeves fluttering in the night wind, Hua Zhu Yu whole being shined amidst the warm lights of the pentagonal lamps.
Noticing Hua Zhu Yu’s mundane attire, the little maidservant grew haughty but after a clear view of Hua Zhu Yu the little maidservant involuntarily moved back two steps, don’t know if she was taken by Hua Zhu Yu’s beauty or intimidated by her aura.
“This portrait is of your family’s Miss? Then your family’s Miss is Wen Wan. “Hua Zhu Yu raised the lantern and said with a smile.
Sure enough it wasn’t because Wen Wan wasn’t feeling well but that she had a prior engagement and thus refused Huangfu Wu Shuang’s invitation. If her maidservant was on Ji Feng Li’s boat, then Wen Wan most certainly was also on this boat. Don’t know how angry Huangfu Wu Shuang will be once he finds out.
“Earlier you stepped on my Miss’s lantern and sank it down the lake, you have to bring it up for my Miss,” said the little maidservant in a frosty voice as her pair of eyes attentively gazed down at lake, full of regret.
Hua Zhu Yu glanced over at lake that was scattered full with bright lanterns drifting about. That lantern had already sunk to the bottom of the lake, how was she to fish it out? Seeing the look on the little maidservant’s face, that lantern was most likely personally crafted by Wen Wan.
“Even if the lantern was brought back, I’m afraid it can no longer be of any use. It’ll be better if you bring back this lantern for your Miss.” This clearly was her fault as she should not have sunk someone else’s lantern. In the end, the lantern in her hand was personally crafted by Huangfu Wu Shuang for Wen Wan so it was most appropriate to give this lantern to her.
“Pei1, how can that lantern of yours and those other lanterns those smelly men want to gift my Miss compare to the one my Miss personally crafted? Furthermore, my family’s Miss doesn’t just accept anyone’s lantern,” the little maidservant said after a glance at the lantern in Hua Zhu Yu’s hand, her voice full of arrogance when declaring that there was no shortage of men vying to gift her Miss a lantern.
Though the lantern crafted by Huangfu Wu Shuang couldn’t be considered extraordinary, he still poured his heart and soul into making it, yet it was actually scorned by a little maidservant and she even called him a smelly man. If Huangfu Wu Shuang heard this, he most certainly would’ve kicked this little maidservant down the lake.
“If so, then this humble being shall withdraw. Earlier, it truly was my wrong doing. But aside from this lantern, this humble being has nothing else to compensate, perhaps my family’s gongzi will have something to make up for Miss Wen Wan,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly said with narrowed eyes.
“Wait, this boat isn’t a place where you can just come and leave whenever. You must solve my family Miss’s riddle,” said the little maidservant.
Hearing this, Hua Zhu Yu stopped and leaned back against the white boat’s rosewood railing as her lips hooked up in a smile, her pair of dimples continuously deepening.
“Well, if there is such a rule on this boat then it shall not be disregarded. Please, present the riddle!” Hua Zhu Yu calmly spoke, her crystal clear eyes shimmering like gems, particularly bright like spring blossoms.
Quite a few flower boats had surrounded them as the guests gathered at the bow to watch the lively scene.
The little maidservant was taken by Hua Zhu Yu smile and it wasn’t till a moment later before she recovered her senses and lifted her finger to point towards the few lanterns at the bow.
Hua Zhu Yu walked up to a lantern and pulled the paper on top down. Written on it was, ” Chong ru feng wo bujian niao, qi rentou shang chang qingcao. Xi yu xia zai hengshan shang, ban ge pengyou bujianle. (the insect entered the nest without seeing the phoenix, seven head long grass (???), heavy rain pours down the mountain, half a friend disappears (??)2 ”
This was a poem where each verse contained a character and combining all four characters will form a word. This wasn’t too hard so she didn’t have to think much and spoke without hesitation, “Fenghuaxueyue (romance.)”
The little maidservant was startled as she didn’t think Hua Zhu Yu would be able to guess so quickly, even she had to rack her brains a while for the answer when she first saw the riddle.
“Guess this riddle!” the little maidservant pointed to another red dome lantern.
Hua Zhu Yu pulled the paper down and gazed at it, this was another one word riddle: ” Gu yue zhao shui shui chang liu, shui ban gu yuedu chungqiu. Liu de shui guangzhao gu yue, bibo shen chu hao fanzhou.3 ”
Hua Zhu Yu did not need to ponder over this riddle either so she answered without delay, “This is the word ‘hu (lake)’.”
“What about this one, if you can guess this one then there’s no need to compensate for that lantern. Even my family’s Miss can’t guess this riddle!” said the little maidservant.
With a serious expression on her face, Hua Zhu Yu held up the riddle which read : “ Han ce chong chong die die, re ze sisan fenliu xiongdi si ren xia xian, san ren ru zhou, zai cunli zhi zai cunli, zai shi tou zhi zai shi tou 4.”
When Hua Zhu Yu was contemplating the riddle, the little maidservant proudly spoke, ” What, can’t guess it right!”
After pondering for a while, Hua Zhu Yu let out a soft chuckle.
This riddle wasn’t too hard, the corresponding answer was a word, but not exactly a word either. It was a radical5 therefore it was a little tricky.
“The answer is the word “dian (dot).” hua zhu yu smilingly said.
Each verse had the character dian, and each verse pointed towards dian therefore the answer to this riddle was the word dian.
“Dian?” The little maidservant was startled and had fallen into a state of stupor. After coming to a realization, she gazed at Hua Zhu Yu with eyes full of admiration. Standing at the bow, Hua Zhu Yu faintly felt that behind those beaded curtains, a pair of eyes were observing her from the inner quarters of the boat, as thought they wanted to see through her.
“Ying Er, you’re being too rude.” A gentle voice floated out from the inner quarters of the boat as a white tender hand was seen shifting the beaded curtains aside as a young girl, around 17-18 years old stepped out.
She wore a soft blue gown, on her waist was a silver brocade belt from which hung a knotted pendant that cascaded down her robe, gently swaying in the wind. Her hair was pulled up in a bun, her skin was white as snow, face akin to the full moon. She had pair of thick lashes, glistening bright eyes and a soft smile on her lips that was both gentle and elegant.
- pei is the chinese sound of her spitting
- These riddles are too hard to understand, when I was reading it in Vietnamese I literally did not understand a single word????. So I just left it in chinese. But the translation courtesy of google translator is : Insects into the Phoenix no bird, seven head long grass. Drizzle in Yokoyama, half a friend gone.
- google translation is: Ancient light according to the water, the water with the ancient spring and autumn. Flow of water Guangzhao month, Bibo deep boating.
- google translation: Cold side of the stack, the heat is scattered shunt, four brothers under the county, three into the state, only in the village in the village, only in the city head.
- Learn more about radicals here. It has something to do with the sound or position of the character, I’m not too sure either.