The Yun Zhan Kingdom had sent over two envoys that aren’t shocking in appearance this time, completely losing the extravagant bearings from past years. The people in the palace’s opinion about this is: Yun Zhan has just gotten a new ruler, afraid that the nation’s affairs are still unstable right now, nor is the emperor’s authority set in stone, should one be able to get their hands on so much money, shabbiness is inevitable.
Towards this, I think otherwise, what Yun Zhan had been sending in previous years were none other than vulgar things, to come so clean this year, could it be that they’ve really brought some treasures?
The answer to this is unknown, the mystery can only be uncovered in three days’ time, at the birthday banquet.
At a time when everyone in the palace are utterly busied with preparing Father Emperor’s fiftieth birthday, I and the lass of the Meng family have both idly found a small pond to fish in. The fishes raised in this small pond are all noble varieties of goldfishes, but what does it matter? Fishes, are to be fished.
Ying Lu rests her chin in hand as she blankly stare into the pond, suddenly saying: “Ah-Lan, exactly how long have we been here, how come we still haven’t caught anything?”
I hold the fishing rod, unmoving, coldly saying: “Since the moment we sat down here, you have already asked this three times.” The two of us have been sitting here for no more than around fifteen minutes.
Ying Lu furrows her willow-like brows, “Ah? I’ve already asked that three times, and it still hasn’t caught the hook, what kind of fishes are these ah, don’t tell me it doesn’t eat earthworms?”
I glance at her, “You’ve been seeing wrong, in fact, they’re not fishes, they’re crabs.”
“Ah?” Ying Lu is dumbfounded, “Crabs?”
“Crabs don’t eat earthworms.”
I slowly say: “Ying Lu, since you wish to catch it, then you need only keep one word in mind.”
Ying Lu curiously budges over towards me, “What word?”
Ying Lu pauses upon hearing this, then says: “I got it, I got it, patience, that’s all I have.” She turns her head and stays quiet for no longer than three minutes before speaking to me again: “Ah-Lan, why do you act dumb?”
I find this question rather hard to answer, why I act dumb? Does there have to be a reason to act dumb? In the end, I lazily speak up, “Lazy.”
Ying Lu drops the fishing rod, “Lazy?”
I nod, “En.”
She hooks up her red lips into a dazzling smile, beautiful eyes glimmering, “This reason of yours sure isn’t bad at all, wait till tomorrow and I shall give it a try too.”
I roll my eyes at her, “When that time comes, you’ll be happy, but you’re brother and little uncle might get frightened to death by you.”
Ying Lu waves one hand, “I should give them two a little scare, who told them to treat Liu Ru Xu like a valuable treasure, so annoying to look at.”
“Buddha says: what the eyes don’t see is regarded as clean.” I say with extreme calmness.
Ying Lu reaches over to poke me, “Ah-Lan, say, why does my brother and little uncle treat Liu Ru Xu so nice, it couldn’t be that she’s actually the one biologically related to them, right?”
I think to myself, how can they not? Liu Ru Xu is but Yun Ze’s future matron. If I were Meng Shao Jue, I’d want nothing more but to pick the moon from the skies and gift it to her to use as a lightbulb, and also succeed in one try. I tilt my head, looking at Ying Lu, “Ying Lu, why have I never heard you speak of your father and mother?”
Ying Lu’s expression becomes a little dejected, “My father and mother ah, they’re both not here anymore.”
I find her response a little strange, reasonably speaking, should one’s parents have passed away then it should be sorrowful, but why does her emotions appear to only have loss and dejection?
Ying Lu had presumably noticed my curiosity, sighing, she says: “I once fell when I was nine-years-old, forgetting everything that had happened before the age of nine, including my father and mother.”
I cannot deny that I had originally thought of getting some information from Ying Lu, but in this moment, I instead feel a little dull. What is the need? Ying Lu simply doesn’t know of Meng Shao Jue’s matters, or else she wouldn’t still be coming into the palace to find me like before. Ying Lu is just Ying Lu, the charming and naïve lass I know of, that also has her own dispiriting troubles.
I suddenly pull up the fishing rod, point at the jumping fish at the end of the fishing line, proudly smiling at her as I say: “Learn from this, this is called patience.”
Ying Lu instantly puffs her cheeks, stomping back to her own spot and taking the fishing rod, “Patience patience, Young Lady – I – does not lack in patience the most.”
Following on, after I caught n number of little fishes and Ying Lu had yet to catch even one, Imperial Sister elegantly walks up to our side and asks, “What are you two doing?”
Ying Lu remains unmoving, answering: “Fishing.”
Imperial Sister takes a look at the empty bucket next Ying Lu, asking in puzzlement: “Eh, where’s the fish?”
I ignore Ying Lu’s pretty face that had been twitching all along, pointing at the pond, she happily says to Imperial Sister: “All in there.”
“I’m guessing the most idle one in this palace is just you alone.” Imperial Sister lifts her skirt and comes up to look at the pond, “Eldest Cousin and Seventh Cousin have been so busy and out of sight these few days.”
I think to myself, well isn’t that right? Those two are both very busy people, of course, Imperial Sister definitely isn’t an idle one either. “Imperial Sister, what are you performing this time?”
Imperial Sister turns around and sighs, “What else can it be? Ni shang dance.”
“Ni shang dance? What’s a ni shang dance?” Ying Lu lass curiously interrupts.
I contemplate how to describe it, “En, ni shang dance is, is, a very beautiful, very beautiful dance.”
“Then what is a very beautiful, very beautiful dance like?” Ying Lu’s eyes are practically about to drip out stars.
I think again for a while, “A very beautiful, very beautiful dance is a ni shang dance.”
Imperial Sister laughs out loud, “Ying Lu, you really want to know what’s a ni shang dance?”
Ying Lu hurriedly nods, an expression of craving for knowledge.
Imperial Sister hooks up her pretty lips, half squinted watery eyes looking exceedingly charming, “Then, how about I dance for you to see?”
Ying Lu responds without any hesitance, “Sure!”
I look at my soaked clothing, raising my head to say: “Imperial Sister, I’m going to get changed.”
And so leaving Ying Lu at the pond side to admire Imperial Sister’s stunningly beautiful dancing, I slowly return to my palace hall and change into a different outfit, then prepare to head back to the pond again. Just that when I head back, I find that other than Ying Lu, there is another person admiring Imperial Sister’s dancing. And, that person is a man.
That man has a slightly bigger built compared to the average men, his back is facing me as he watches Imperial Sister’s beautiful dancing, in the shadows of a big tree, I see him not make a single move as though fallen into a trance. I observe him for a long while as I stoke my chin, finally, lightly pacing to his side as I blankly ask, “What are you looking at?”
That man turns to look at me, his expression looking a little panicked, but those faintly golden eyes are deep and unshaken, “I have long heard people speak of the stunningly beautiful women in the Yun Mi Kingdom, witnessing it today, it is indeed no lie.”
I blink, “Are you watching my Imperial Sister dance?”
“Imperial Sister?” The man looks extremely ordinary, yet his eyes are set ablaze with dominance contained within, “Could Lady be……Fifth Princess?”
I’m a little surprised, oh ho, my name has already spread far and wide? I sweetly smile at him, “I’m Ah-Lan.”
The man’s eyes pulls back, voice deep and mellow, “So it is Fifth Princess……indeed, also befitting of the reputation.”
I think befitting of what reputation? Fool reputation?
“Then, may Fifth Princess give me directions?” The man smiles at me, even his ordinary appearance has given rise to a few points of boldness, “I am Yun Zhan’s envoy, Yun Mi’s palace is simply too big, one slip of focus and I have gotten lost……”
Deep inside, I raise my brows, give directions? Very well ah, this I can do. “Where do you need to go?” I ask extremely seriously.
“Zhao Yang Hall.” He lightly says.
I clap my little hands, “Zhao Yang Hall ah, simple, head this way.” I point to the opposite direction without the slightest of hesitation as I say this.
The word “thank” stops before it leaves the man’s lips, the foot that had originally been raised also stops, his expression slightly stiffened, “Princess, I’m going to Zhao Yang Hall.”
I smilingly say: “That’s right ah, this is the path to Zhao Yang Hall.”
“Princess is certain this is the way to Zhao Yang Hall?” The man once again asks.
I nod my head with extreme sincerity, “It’s this way alright.”
The man falls silent then says again: “Princess, I seem to remember now, shouldn’t Zhao Yang Hall be that way?”
“No.” Even if the path he points to is correct, in my eyes, that is still wrong, “Zhao Yang Hall is this way.”
The man’s lips twitches, “But I feel that this way seems more familiar……”
I feel a little frustrated, “Zhao Yang Hall really is along the path I point to.”
The corner of the man’s eyes doubtfully twitches, “Princess, I truly feel that direction I’m pointing in is the correct one.”
“Ai~” I loudly sigh, looking at him helplessly: “Fine fine, whatever you say.”
The man chokes, “Zhao Yang Hall is indeed down this path……”
“It’s there, it’s there.” I wave my arms around, “That way, that way.”
“No.” The man is a little unsettled, “It’s originally this way……”
“That’s right, that’s right.” I nod a few times, “It’s originally this way, originally this way, is that fine now?”
The golden colour in the man’s eyes deepens, “It’s originally this way!”
I fall silent, then suspiciously look at him, “I’ve already said Zhao Yang Hall is this way, are you still not satisfied ah?”
The man takes a deep, deep breath, a popping vein on his forehead vaguely twitching, “Many thanks for Princess’ directions, I shall leave now.”
Having said that, he leaves with hurried and heavy steps, causing me to laugh at the thought of it.
Yun Zhan’s envoy is ordinary in appearance, but that pair of eyes are instead dominant and not average.
I pick a leaf from the tree and casually play with it, Father Emperor ah, Father Emperor, your birthday banquet this time, will be quite the commotion.
After the arrival of Yun Zhan’s envoys, Yun Ze and other little kingdoms’ envoys also arrives one after another, the birthday banquet is readied amongst the wildly beating gongs and drums, the atmosphere in the imperial palace getting livelier day after day, yet in the shadows, everyone’s alertness is growing increasingly deep.
Night once again falls, I have no power to prevent the flowing of time so I can only float along to the currents. I blow out the candle, ready to go to bed, but my sleepiness was chased away by an uninvited guest.
With one hand on hip, I powerlessly look at the happily smiling handsome man, “Young Master Meng, can you not come and go so freely like this?”
Meng Shao Jue even manages to look elegant like jade in a body of black, he squints his phoenix eyes as he smiles enticingly: “Kitten, I missed you.”
I dryly laugh a few sounds, pointing to my stomach, saying: “You miss this bug inside my stomach?”
“Look at what you’re saying, it is not a bug, it is my precious one.” He walks up to my side, gently caressing my cheek as he says: “Now that you’ve eaten my precious one, that also mean, you must replace it in becoming my precious one.”
I take a step back, “Evil Little Spy Meng, if you have anything to say then quickly say it, I need to sleep.”
Meng Shao Jue lazily looks at me, taking out a little bottle from his sleeve and hands it to me, “Take this, for replenishing blood.”
I take the rattling bottle, “Wuji Baifeng Pills ah.” (A herbal supplement used by women in China)
“What?” He raises his brows.
“Nothing.” I toss the bottle onto the bed, “Nothing else? If not then quickly go now.”
Meng Shao Jue hooks up his thin lips upon hearing this, narrowing his phoenix eyes as he says: “Ah-Lan, are you really not worried about what will happen tomorrow?”
I plainly smile as I look at him, “Will worrying be able to stop you all?”
Meng Shao Jue pulls me in front of him, a smile spread across his handsome face, “Ah-Lan, you truly are an intelligent girl. Continue like this and I’ll be afraid that I can’t bear to let go ah……” A bright shine flashes across his long and narrow phoenix eyes, the ink stained eyes looking deep and black, “Ah-Lan, should Yun Mi be extinguished, will you be willing to leave with me?”
I look him dead in the eye, word by word saying: “Meng Shao Jue, do you believe, even if I do nothing, you would not be able to win against Yuwen Rui?”
The smile in Meng Shao Jue’s eyes gradually fades, that handsome face giving rise to wickedness, he lightly clamps onto my chin, voice low and compelling, “Ah-Lan, I shall wait and see.”
After Meng Shao Jue says this, he leaves, I watch his back figure, my heart suddenly feeling unsettled.
Tomorrow, what will happen?