“Hmm.” Yu Wu Yuan received the letter and nodded slightly. “You can go.”
The man in black lifted the curtain once more and retreated. He did not spare the woman standing there a glance but Feng Xi did and what drew his attention was the look in her eyes, there was resentment, anger and even a trace of helplessness.
The curtain fluttered to a drop.
The inside and outside of the room were like two different worlds separated by this thin curtain.
Yu Wu Yuan opened the letter, a silk paper with written black ink words. He quietly read through it and his eyes gave a slight ripple.
“If Miss Feng doesn’t mind, why don’t you come inside and have a drink with us?” Feng Xi asked as he glanced at the curtain with a trace of interest gleaming in his eyes.
After a long while, there was still no response and the atmosphere seemingly condensed. One could feel the hesitation of the green shadow behind the curtain.
In the end, the curtain lifted and the green figure entered. Her eyes silently swept over the lofty and immaculate man in white and paused slightly before her eyes ultimately shifted towards the poised man in black who was sitting on the other side.
Feng Xi carefully observed Feng Qi Wu and was somewhat surprised that this woman was the best songstress in Yucheng City. She was dressed simply with a plum hairpin fixing her hair. Her face had no touch of rouge or makeup but she was still beautiful nevertheless. She had a peach-blossom face and willowlike brows. But between her brows there was a hint of proudness and her expression gave off a distinct coldness that seemed as if she would refuse any man within a thousand miles.
“Miss Feng, please,” Feng Xi lightly said.
Zhong Yuan immediately stepped forward to pour a cup of wine and then offered it to Feng Qi Wu.
Feng Qi Wu didn’t receive the cup and continued to just stare at Feng Xi silently.
Feng Xi enjoyed his cup of wine leisurely as he watched her.
As for Yu Wu Yuan, his eyes were still on the letter but his thoughts seemed to have drifted elsewhere for he hadn’t even realized that there was an additional person in the room.
After some time, Feng Qi Wu took the cup of wine with one hand and finished it in one gulp.
“It turns out Miss is so forthright!” Feng Xi saw that she had finished the cup in one breath and couldn’t help but chuckle.
“This is the first time that Qi Wu has drunk a guest’s wine,” Feng Qi Wu coolly replied.
Oh?” After hearing this, Feng Xi turned to look at her. There was a touch of red on her cheeks due to the wine and because of this, her cold, haughty expression somewhat wanned, making her appear lovelier. “Miss, your musical talents are outstanding. Many people must’ve contended to invite you to sing for them.”
“Qi Wu has never drunk with the guests.” Feng Qi Wu’s voice was still cold, her eyes still on Feng Xi, as if they were the only two in the room.
Feng Xi looked at her. Her eyes that were clear as ice gleamed indignantly. But what was the reason for it?
“Then it seems Feng Xi is lucky that Miss would give me the honor.”
Feng Qi Wu remained quiet but there was a touch of desolation in her eyes.
When she first sang at Sunset Tower, she knew that she had fallen, her life would be full of hardships and she could never return to the life she had before.
However, even if she was offered riches and honor, even if she stood in front of the red silk, she would not bat an eye. She’s rather throw it away, drive those young men away and just live a life like water flowing along in the stream. Despite the spring wind or autumn moon, she still had the pride of her past clan and kept her dignity. She was not willing to fall to the point of plunging in mud, forever not able to reincarnate in the next life because in the depths of heart there was still a trace………a trace of unwillingness to surrender.
Before she came, the attendant had praised these two men as individuals that were hard to come by. Listening to the attendant’s praises just made her loathe them even more. She had assumed that there were just another pair of mindless, rich young masters that chased after beauty. But she was mistaken. They had let her stay behind the curtain and did not show any interest in her at all. She couldn’t help but feel a trace of shame and surprise.
The moment the curtain lifted, she saw his eyes, they were dark as midnight, deep and boundless yet they gleamed with a dazzling light like that of the sun. For a brief moment, she seemingly was lost in the darkness of those eyes but she did not feel cold nor panic. On the contrary, there was a warmth in that darkness that silently entered her heart which she had not felt for many years.
The warmth had yet to fade when the curtain was lifted once more. She saw those eyes again, they shone with the shimmer of dark jade, a whirlpool of darkness and light that was so dazzling. But she knew that if she were to fall into that whirlpool, she would never be able to escape! Fortunately, the curtain fell and shielded those eyes. She wanted to leave quickly but her legs were heavy in place.
In that moment of hesitation, she could hear his voice calling her.
The instant his calming voice sounded, it seemed as if she was hearing fate beckoning her. She knew it was unavoidable and could only helplessly accept fate’s arrangements.
When the curtain lifted again, she welcomed those eyes that were dark as night. Those eyes belonged to the man in black, his very presence radiated like the luster of dark jade, so impeccably black!
“Qi Wu has been singing at Sunset Tower for four years but this cup of wine from Young Master is the first that I’ve drunk,” She said. Her words were different but the meaning was still the same. She just hoped that he understood that he was her first!
“Feng Qi Wu?” Feng Xi repeated the name and looked at the woman thoughtfully. Although her expression was cold, but in the depth of her eyes, there harborded a kind of aspiration, so deep that it made one feel pity.
Listening to him call her name, Feng Qi Wu’s heart surged with a sense of bitterness. The man who had given her this name had already become part of the golden earth. She still had this name yet she failed to live up to his expectations.
“These past years, I’ve travelled across the six kingdoms but it’s the first time I’ve heard such a wonderful voice,” Feng Xi paused slightly, then looked at Feng Qi Wu and calmly said, “I do not know if Miss would like to accompany me to see the mountains and rivers beyond Qiyun?”
Afterwards, he picked up the bottle of wine and poured himself a cup. He was no longer looking at Feng Qi Wu. It was as if it was not important whether or not she agreed.
But the moment she heard his invitation, a glimmer of light flashed in Feng Qi Wu’s eyes but very quickly it disappeared. Her face was still beautiful as peach blossoms, cold as ice just as before. But her slender hand gently stroked the pipa strings which vibrated like the surging waves of emotions in her heart at the present moment.
Feng Xi finished the cup of wine and looked over towards Yu Wu Yuan. This man who seemingly did not belong to this mortal world actually held an unexpected trace of sadness between his brows.
“I wonder what kind of good news did Huang shizi send for Young Master Yu to be so engrossed in the letter?” Feng Xi casually asked but his eyes seemed to already have a clear understanding long ago.
Hearing this, Yu Wu Yuan came back to his senses. He looked out the window, seemingly at something but as if nothing he gripped the letter and with a gentle wave of his hand, it turned into dust as it floated out the window, falling towards the river down below.
“There’s both good and bad news.”
“Is that so?” The smile on Feng Xi’s elegant face was slightly shrewd. “The good news should be related to the Xuan Zun Seal right?”
Yu Wu Yuan’s expression was still calm and collected as he reached for the wine cup. Gazing down at the clear wine in the porcelain cup, he gently gave it a shake and the wine rippled. Instead of answering, he asked, “How do you know the letter is from Huang shizi?”
“It is well known that because of Young Master Yu’s single sentence, Huang shizi had decided to give you the respect of an advisor,” Feng Xi lifted his cup close to his nose. His eyes narrowed slightly as he took in the fragrance of the wine. “Besides, jade silk paper is only used by the royal family. Can ordinary people afford to use it to send a letter?”
“Ha ha, Young Master Feng is very observant,” Yu Wu Yuan remarked with a smile as he gazed at Feng Xi. Momentarily, this man who was alway gentle like the spring breeze gave off a chill that was comparable to the autumn wind. But it was only for a brief moment. Very quickly, with the blink of an eye, he was back to being as gentle as water, relaxed and at ease, the Young Master Yu that’s withdrawn from worldly affairs. “In the letter, Huang shizi mentioned two good news and one bad.”
“The good news should be the Xuan Zun Seal, the bad news…..” Feng Xi’s eyes fell slightly as if he was studying the white porcelain cup in his hand as he faintly said, “The bad news should be that General Fierce Wind died on Mt. Xuan?”
“Indeed.” Yu Wu Yuan did not find it surprising that Feng Xi knew this. He stretched his hand out the window and poured the wine in his cup into the Wuyun River. He faintly said, “Yingzhou has departed first. Tomorrow, perhaps it will be me next.”
“I wonder what the other good news is?” asked Feng Xi.
“Bai Feng Xi,” Yu Wu Yuan calmly replied. When he said this name, his calm eyes suddenly rippled ever so slightly.
“Bai Feng Xi?” Feng Xi repeated as the hand holding the wine cup nearly shook.
“Hmm, he said that in Nan Kingdom he came across Bai Feng Xi, a woman of exceptional bearing,” Yu Wu Yuan said with a faint sigh as his eyes slightly swept over Feng Qi Wu.
“How can meeting that woman be considered good news.” The elegant expression on Feng Xi’s face became slightly distorted. Whether there was a flash of disappointment or expectation, it was uncertain.
“To meet the female hero Feng who’s renowned along with Young Master Feng as ‘BaiWhite Feng HeiBlack Xi’, Wu Yuan would also feel that it’s a rare fortune.” Yu Wu Yuan disregarded Feng Xi’s words and spoke as if he greatly admired Bai Feng Xi.
“Aii(sigh)….. In my opinion, meeting that woman is the unluckiest thing in the world!” Feng Xi stated as he placed the wine cup down. He was no longer interested in drinking but there was still a light smile on his face.
“Well, whether it’s good or bad, it’s different from person to person,” Yu Wu Yuan persisted as he looked at Feng Xi with a shallow, inexplicable smile.
“Shh!” Suddenly there was the sound of a short shrill of a flute by the river.
Hearing this, Feng Xi’s eyes flashed. He stood and bowed to Yu Wu Yuan. “I have something I need to take care of, I hope that I will get the chance to have a drink with Young Master Yu another day.”
Yu Wu Yuan also stood and returned the bow. He did not ask him to stay and said with a light smile, “Since Young Master Feng has something to take care of, I will not hold you back. If we’re fated to meet, Wu Yuan shall invite you to a drink next time.”
“Very well,” Feng Xi nodded and turned towards Feng Qi Wu.
“I’ll go with you!” Feng Qi Wu blurted out. For a moment, she seemingly saw fate nodding in satisfaction that she had succumbed to its arrangements. At the same time, she felt Young Master Yu’s eyes on her and could seemingly hear the silent sigh in his heart.
She could only smile helplessly.
This was her calamity and she willingly accepted it.
“Oh?” Feng Xi lifted a brow and asked, “You’ve already decided?”
“Yes, I’ve made up my mind and I’ll never go back on it!” Feng Qi Wu’s voice was so low that she thought only she could hear it. But all four people in the room could hear her clearly. Zhong Li and Zhong Yuan exchanged glances and sighed at the same time.
“Then let’s go.” Feng Xi said with a light smile and headed for the door.
Feng Qi Wu hugged the pipa in her arms, it was the only thing she truly possessed. Looking back at Yu Wu Yuan, she nodded slightly to bid her farewell, thanking him for understanding her heart’s desire in the blink of an eye. Though she never told him, nor did she have the courage to, at the very least he still understood!
She then lifted her head and followed after that man’s footsteps. Within Sunset Tower, countless eyes sent her off and no one came to stop her.
On the wooden bridge, the attendant caught up to her and handed her a bundle. “Miss Feng, the owner asked me to hand this to you. He said it belonged to you.”
Feng Qi Wu took the bundle and her eyes flashed with a shallow light. She then raised her head, her face still carrying a cold expression, she said, “Thank the owner on my behalf for his care over the past years.”
“Alright!” The attendant nodded, “Miss Feng, take care of yourself.”
“Hmm.” Feng Qi Wu nodded and headed towards the black ship, towards fate’s beckoning….….what would be the ending?
At the top of the tower, Yu Wu Yuan watched as the ship set sail. He poured the rest of the wine into the cup and downed it in one breath.
“So Hei Feng Xi is actually this kind of person.”
Whether he was praising or sighing it was uncertain.
“This move, even Huang Chao dare not make.”
Thinking of that Miss Feng Qi Wu before she left, he let out another sigh. She clearly knew that the road ahead was fraught with thorns yet she still insisted on taking that path. He really didn’t know whether to call her foolish or praise her for her courage.
He then looked down at his own palm. Tracing his fingers over the lines on his palm, he smiled wryly with a feeling of emptiness as if he was all alone in the vast mountains.
“I wonder what kind of person that Bai Feng Xi is like?” he muttered to himself, his voice tinged with a touch of sorrow.
t/n I wonder if its just a coincidence that the chapter ends with Yu Wu Yuan gazing out the window alone just like the wanderer in the poem he recited. Also it makes me wonder if he is actually the owner of the restaurant.