Edited by : Otwentyfirst
A moment later, a total of thirty red lanterns made of muslin were assembled in a straight line, stretching ten feet in length. The candles inside were burning vibrantly.
Huangfu Wu Shuang positioned the arrow and pulled back the string, slightly constricting his eyes as he aimed at the lanterns. With each twanged release of the string, the lanterns began to drop one by one.
Kang Wang Huangfu Wu Shang watched Huangfu Wu Shuang with wide eyes. His face was slightly pale, revealing a nervous and timid expression, yet his movements were by no means stiff. As soon as he picked up his bow, it seemed as though he was immersed in his own universe. His eyes were focused as he began to shoot, each time with three arrows firing straight forward.
Before the time it took to finish a full cup of tea, the thirty lanterns had all been shot down by the two people.
Because they employed different arrows, they waited for the guards to finish collecting the lanterns and announce the result. After a moment, the guards returned to announce that Huangfu Wu Shuang had shot down 14 lanterns while Huangfu Wu Shang had shot down 16.
Having heard the results, the Emperor knitted his brows as he glanced over at Huangfu Wu Shuang with a cold countenance. It seemed tonight the Emperor was extremely disappointed in Huangfu Wu Shuang.
Hua Zhu Yu, who was watching beside Xiao Yin, didn’t expect Huangfu Wu Shang’s archery skills to be so high.
“If he hadn’t practiced for at least 2 years, Kang Wang’s archery skills wouldn’t be that developed!” Xiao Yin leaned in and informed Hua Zhu Yu. “On the surface, Southern Kingdom appears as calm as water, but the turbulent undercurrent is surging. You cannot continue to remain here.”
Hua Zhu Yu knew Xiao Yin was concerned for her but she still replied with resolution, “Be it mountains of daggers or seas of flames, I cannot leave this place!”
Dejected, Xiao Yin shifted his gaze elsewhere as his face returned to its previous ice cold bearing. He let out a sigh as his eyes revealed traces of helplessness.
Utterly flabbergasted, Huangfu Wu Shuang originally assumed those games caught by Huangfu Wu Shuang were hunted by the Imperial guards. He had not anticipated Huangfu Wu Shang’s archery skills to be this great. Tonight, Huangfu Wu Shuang was thoroughly defeated and his beautiful face was soon enshrouded by dark clouds as he gloomily withdrew.
However, the Emperor did not scold him this time and just lightly waved his hand and said, “Alright, you may step down, the match shall end here tonight.”
Once the Emperor finished speaking, he appeared calm and collected and did not continue to speak any further.
Ji Feng Li took a step forward, paid his respects and said, “Your Majesty, I heard that the people of Northern Kingdom enjoy singing and dancing in front of the campfire. Since Crown Prince Xiao learned our kingdom’s sword dance yesterday, why don’t we broaden our knowledge and learn their heroic dance tonight considering that the campfire is already set up!”
The Emperor’s complexion relaxed a bit upon hearing this and he said with a smile, “Crown Prince Xiao, don’t know if it’s possible for you to perform a dance and broaden our knowledge.”
Xiao Yin accepted the request and instructed Hui Xue to bring the hu qin forward. He had brought it along even to a place like this. Hua Zhu Yu had seen Xiao Yin play the hu qin once before so she recognized it immediately. The instrument was black in color and it was evident that Xiao Yin played it often from its glossy appearance. Crafted at the head of the bow was a dragon head, which from a glance, made it appear quite imposing. Settling on the grass, with one hand on the body of the qin and the other on the bow, Hui Xue began to play the instrument.
A deep, low tone rose, like the passing breeze of the grassland, it was coarse and wild as well as bold and unrestrained. While playing the qin, Hui Xue began to sing, “I yearn to see your smiling face, to hear your voice, and reside within your home, to lift your wine cup…. and welcome the sunshine of incoming spring, to witness your sincere smile, to listen to your moving voice, and stay in the warmth of your home, I pray in silence for you for I have fallen deeply for your soul…”
This was a Northern Kingdom’s love song.
It was very bold and unrestrained. The sanguine melody was exciting as well as stirring. Adorned in a tight-fitted purple gown, Xiao Yin’s figure appeared quite strong and vigorous. Together with the three guards, he began to dance to the rhythm of the beat, inching closer to the source of the music. His movements were free and easy as his footsteps powerfully struck the ground. His pitch black hair fluttered across his forehead while the band at his waist continued to swing along with the music. His strong build appeared proud as an eagle soaring in the skies as he performed the vibrant and powerful dance, leaving all who watched, blown away.
Actually, when Hua Zhu Yu was still in Western Jiang, she had also learned of this type of dance. Often when they were victorious on the battlefield, they would drink to celebrate. At such times there would inevitably be entertainment, like this kind of dance, which had some influence from Western Jiang.
Although Hua Zhu Yu thought the dancers back then appeared energetic and happy, she hadn’t felt that the dance itself was very beautiful. Tonight was different though. Tonight Hua Zhu Yu suddenly felt the invigorating dance was quite charming. It seemed the one dancing truly influenced the mood!
She didn’t think she could ever dance with the same unrestrained passion and vigor as Xiao Yin.
Under the flickering light of the blazing campfire, he appeared exceptionally handsome and those pair of deep purple eyes exuded an indescribable charm.