Amongst the guests, Wen Wan was still sitting there naturally but once she saw Hua Zhu Yu performed the sword dance, a stunned expression appeared on her beautiful jade-like face. She had recognized that person as the musician from the restaurant Tuy Tien that day, and as for his qin skills, she had also personally witnessed. However, she didn’t expect that this musician would even know how to perform a sword dance, a dance so graceful and stunning, even if one were to practice their whole life, she feared it was impossible to execute such a dance.
While still in shock, she had recognized a fortunate fact. Luckily, he was an eunuch, only just an eunuch.
Hua Zhu Yu had passed on three begonias but only the flower that Zhang daren received was still safely nestled in his hair. Though still feeling tumultuous inside, he stood up and hastily recited a poem before retrieving the begonia from his hair and passing it on.
The person who received the begonia this time was a general over the age of thirty, with a tall and lean yet muscular physique. He face was tanned as though he had greeted rain and basked in the sun for numerous years. He lifted the begonia as his tiger-like eyes drooped and stammered, “This general does not know how to recite poetry, so shall sing a song!”
His speech showed that he was very intoxicated as he most likely drank too much. Staggering, he stood up and grabbed the bamboo chopsticks from the table and began drumming on the table and singing.
“The bright moon rises above the Heavenly Mountain,
Lost in a vast ocean of clouds.
The long wind, across thousands upon thousands of miles,
Beats past the Jade-gate Pass.
Down the Baiteng Road, marches the army of Han
As the troops of Hu peer across Qinghai Bay.
Those that enter the battlefield
Very few ever live to return.
The soldiers gaze upon the borderland,
With thoughts of home and yearning looks,
Surely tonight, in those towering chambers
Ceaseless are the women’s sighs.” 1
The rough voice carried a hint of passion, a trace of grief, and a touch of gallantry.
This was a song that every soldier stationed near the border knew how to sing. When idle with no source of entertainment, if they didn’t practice their martial arts then they would sing. Songs such as ‘Gaun Shan Yue” and “Congjun Xing”….. have been embedded within them, they only needed to open their mouths and they could just sing.
To sing such a song at this time and place was truly not fitting. But he was obviously drunk so no one paid much attention, only a few courtiers pointed their fingers at him and stated, “Liu Mo ah, Liu Mo ah, you’re really drunk.”
“Those that enter the battlefield, very few ever live to return,” The person called Liu Mo passed on the begonia as he mumbled. His drunken eyes glanced over the lake, towards the pile of ruins across the lake.
That was the courtyard that Hua Zhu Yu’s grandmother and her servants had resided in. Kang Wang had arrived at the residence in a haste this time so he had yet to finish clearing everything out.
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart leapt, though she did not know this person, her intuition told her that this person was acquainted with her father. Perhaps, he had also went to Liangzhou to defend the border.
The night gradually got late and the banquet came to an end. People began to rise to say their farewells.
Hua Zhu Yu and Jixiang helped Huangfu Wu Shuang raise his wine cup for a drink to signal the end of the banquet.
Before leaving, as though coincidently, Hua Zhu Yu gaze swept over towards Ji Feng Li and saw him reclining in his seat, attentively watching the begonias blossoming in the night. Resting on his forehead were a few strands of loose hair that stirred with the wind. His whole being exuded a leisure quality that was hard to describe.
Huangfu Wu Shuang was drunk so Hua Zhu Yu and Jixiang had to combine their strength to raise him up onto the horse carriage. He was so utterly drunk that his beautiful face was flushed bright red. His usually clear black eyes were now hazy because of the wine.
Furthermore, this little devil’s drunken demeanor was not good either, once he was intoxicated he would just start crying, completely different from Xiao Yin. When Xiao Yin was drunk he would just laugh and smile brilliantly.
Thinking of Xiao Yin, Hua Zhu Yu’s heart slightly constricted. That person probably still thought she was his sister. Based on his doting love for his sister, if she suddenly disappeared while on the road to marrying off, don’t know how crazily he will look for her.
“Ha ha ha. So comfortable, so very comfortable. Great wine, great wine!” Huangfu Wu Shuang shouted while lying in the horse carriage. The pungent scent of wine infiltrated the air, making it hard for Hua Zhu Yu to breathe.
“Wan Er, Wan Er, why won’t you spare me even a glance?” Huangfu Wu Shuang suddenly sat up and began punching the carriage seat while crying. The thumping sounds were like the wails of a person’s sorrows.
Hua Zhu Yu did not think that simply attending a mere banquet would render him to this drunken state. He was the crown prince but doesn’t pay attention to the consequences of his actions, if someone were to witness his current drunken state, he truly would’ve lost face. In addition, he keeps on spouting nonsense when drunk, even spilling out all of his grievances.
But, when was Huangfu Wu Shuang ever mindful of his identity?
The carriage continued straight along the road, passing by two intersections and it was only a moment later that they had arrived back at Eastern Palace.
According to schedule, tonight was not Hua Zhu Yu turn to stand guard, therefore she stepped down and returned to her room. Hua Zhu Yu resided in the same room as Jixiang and since tonight was Jixiang’s shift, there was no one else in the room, leaving it quite silent and calm.
Hua Zhu Yu sat on the bed for a while before she slowly got up and left the room. She twisted her body and leapt onto the roof.
- this is a poem called the Moon over a Mountain Pass by Li Bai