The gorgeous silver moonlight, like the vastness of the sea, illuminated the flourishing begonias.
Flaunting their beauty beneath the radiance of the moon, the flowers were silently blossoming through the night.
The flowers enhanced his beauty as he approached closer with each step he took. His unfathomable black eyes, rippling with amusement, shimmered like the night stars.
Usually the saying ‘alluringly stunning’ (Qingcheng juese) was used to depict a woman, but don’t know why when observing this beautiful man in front of them, everyone couldn’t help but think of this. Though he could be described as ‘alluringly stunning’, he did not exude an ounce of femininity.
He walked straight up to Huangfu Wu Shuang and bent his body to pay his respects. His way of paying respects was also very relaxed and at ease.
With a somber face, the corners of Huangfu Wu Shuang’s lips hooked up in a smile, “It’s rare for the Chancellor to come today, please sit!”
Though Huangfu Wu Shuang was full of abhorrence inside, he did not let it show. Kang Wang, who was sitting beside him, had soon stood up to welcome. The courtiers present also swiftly left their table, their attitudes full of respect. Seeing such a scene, Hua Zhu Yu’s heart felt heavy, seems like Ji Feng Li’s influence in court is quite great, dealing with him won’t be an easy task.
Ji Feng Li lifted the front hem of his robe and sat down, joining the celebration.
The music began and festive songs were played. The officials lifted their wine cup to toast to the Emperor’s longevity and then raised their wine cup to Huangfu Wu Shuang as the banquet commenced. The servants of the Kang Wang Residence went up to display various delicacies on the table, marking the start of the feast.
Hua Zhu Yu was still standing behind Huangfu Wu Shuang, waves of emotions boiling within her. Not able to suppress these emotions, her hands tightened into fists beneath her sleeves. Waiting till she was finally able to calm down, her gaze moved towards Ji Feng Li.
He sat below Imperial Tutor Wen and currently, there was an official toasting him a drink. He received the toast and drank. The lights illuminated his beautiful face, reflecting his jade complexion and thin, cinnabar- red lips as a dazzling light radiated from his black pupils.
While observing Ji Feng Li, Hua Zhu Yu momentarily felt a chill crept over her.
A person as calm as water, elegant as a lotus flower, who would imagine he has the venomous heart of a killer?
At a banquet full of wine, the Wine Commandment game (Jiuling) cannot be missed. On a certain table, people were already exuberantly engaged in the Wine Commandment A person over there was holding a dazzling red begonia as he recited, “ Jiangcheng de zhang fan caomu, zhiyou ming hua ku you du. Yanran yixiao zhu li jian, taoli man shan zong cusu, ye zhi zaowu you shenyi, gu qian jiaren zai konggu. Ziran fugue chu tian zi, budai jin pan jian hua wu.” 1
The guests broke out in applause. After reciting verses of poetry, he took the begonia down from his hat and closed his eyes, then gently tossed it. The dazzling red begonia followed the course of the wind and landed on Wen Wan’s lap.
After the initial moment of surprise at seeing the flower fall towards Wen Wan, a few officials began to applaud.
The young man then explained the rules of Wine Commandment to Wen Wan, “Since you are the next to receive the flower, you have to place it on your head, then recite poetry, sing, or dance and then throw the flower to pass it on. Only then will you be considered to have completed the game.”
“It seems, tonight not only are our ears blessed but even our eyes! Miss Wen’s singing and dancing talent … this official has yet to have the fortune to see,” Said an official.
“This official was lucky enough to see Miss Wen’s dance once. That was on the day of the Emperor’s birthday banquet. Even now it is hard to forget!” another official expressed.
Seeing the begonia in Wen Wan’s hands, Huangfu Wu Shuang originally pair of dark eyes suddenly lit up, full of expectation.
Hua Zhu Yu also knew that Wen Wan was very famous in the capital. Not only was she a literature talent, she was even skilled in singing and dancing. It was a rare chance to come by today so Hua Zhu Yu also wanted to see just how outstanding she was.
Wen Wan gracefully stood up and with a gentle smile, said, “They say the Wine Commandment (Jiuling) is like the Royal Commandment (Junling), if Wan has received the flower, then Wan will have to let everyone witness an unsightly scene 2. But Wan’s poetry skills cannot compare to all the officials present, so I really don’t dare to. Therefore, I can only let everyone witness an unsightly song and dance.”
Huangfu Yan suddenly stood and walked up to face Wen Wan with rippling eyes as she smiled and asked, “Wan jie jie 3, do you want to dance or sing, if you dance can Yan Er play the accompaniment for you?”
Listening to Huangfu Yan, Wen Wan replied with a weak smile, “Third princess skills are superb, to want to play for this chen nu 4, chen nu is truly honored. Princess will suffer though.…” she stopped for a moment, then hesitantly said, “it’s that chen nu wants to dance to Ruo Shui.”
Huangfu Yan turned stiff. She didn’t know how to play this song, furthermore she had never heard it before.
Wen Wan’s lashes fluttered, her eyes laced with guilt as she said, “Hope Third Princess forgives, this is a piece Chancellor Ji recently wrote, chen nu had thought of a dance based on this song. Ruo Shui has yet to spread outside. It’s better if chen nu changes to the song- Zhuan Ying Qu then!”
Huangfu Yan lowered her lashes, the yearning in her eyes transformed into a sense of hopelessness and despair. But she quickly smiled and said, “Wan jie jie does not need to change the song. If it’s a song written by the Chancellor, then only the sound of the Chancellor’s flute would match with the dance of Wan jie jie.” She then secretly snuck a glance at Ji Feng Li, and returned to her seat feeling dejected.
- This is a poem by the famous Chinese poet Su Shu. I honestly did not understand a single word from the Vietnamese translation of this verse. It’s like poetic words are in completely different language. But I did find someone else’s attempt to translate this poem and have provided a link.
- she is being humble
- older sister/female
- chen means your subject and nu means female. Your subject female sounded weird so I just left it as is.