Every year, on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Lunar Calendar, it is the Qi Qiao Festival, also called the Seventh-Seventh Festival.
Amongst the commoners, the legend behind the Qi Qiao Festival tells of the unfaltering and sorrowful love between Cowherd and Weaver Girl. On this night, the magpies will elatedly form a bridge for them to meet, the affection between Cowherd and Weaver Girl going on for eternity. And in the mortal realm, the people will all gather together for a grandly bustling scene, men hoping to find a woman of their liking, whilst women pray for Weaver Girl to give them wisdom and craftsmanship, in order to attract the fated person they can entrust the rest of their life to. (Read here for full story of the legend: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/835790-the-cowherd-and-the-weaver-girl/)
All in all, this is an extremely romantic day.
But this thing called romantic, since when did it ever match up with Yuwen Rui?
I have been pondering over this question whilst dressing up, of course, to no results. And so, I can only leave him to make me become a not bad looking young woman, pulling my hand along as we leisurely walk towards the bustling streets.
The night skies have already darkened, but everything seems to have only just begun.
The streams of people on the street endlessly flows on, young and old, male and female, coming back and forth. Yuwen Rui just holds my hand like this, following the flow of a huge army of people which leads into the busiest area, and allow the festive atmosphere to overwhelm us.
I turn my head to look at him, long and blue brocade robes, plus a white jade hairpin, paired with his fair and clear face, sure makes it hard for one to look away. I lower my head to take a look at myself, an oriole-yellow dress and a simple hairstyle for young women, compared to him, I truly am missing that refined quality. I look at him again, a tall and slender body, upright like bamboo, entire body giving off a type of elegant air. I once again glance at myself, stunning beauty and demeanour holds not the slightest relation with me.
I secretly pout, we’re all human, how could the difference be so big?
“Candied gourd, candied gourd, big and sweet candied gourd! This little sister, come, I’ll give you the biggest skewer of it!”
“May all the ladies come and take a look, check it out, top quality rouge and perfume! All are the newest arrivals from the Capital’s fragrant house! Favourites of the noble ladies!”
“Scented pouches with top quality embroidery! Ten coins for one! Cheap and pretty!”
“Solve riddles, solve riddles, prizes for those that solve a riddle! May all talented men and pretty ladies come and take a look! A top quality white-jade bangle for whoever solves the riddle!”
I’m a little surprised, didn’t think that it would be so lively out here, the pedestrians all have faces filled with sincere smiles, unlike the pretentious and flattering ones of the people in the palace. Within such an atmosphere, I too, cannot help but smile, I sweep a glance at Yuwen Rui from the corner of my eye, seeing that although his face appears cold and indifferent, there is a rare hint of smile in his eyes.
The people on the streets increases, everyone starting to crowd together. Yuwen Rui wraps an arm around my waist in protection, lowering down to my ear side as he says: “What do you want to go and see?”
The warm breath on my ear makes me feel a little ticklish, I move my head back a bit, pointing to a rouge stall at the side of the road, saying: “Let’s take a look at the rouge.”
Yuwen Rui lightly looks at me, then leads me over to that side, just that before we even reached the rouge stall, a young woman in pink crashes into his chest, and a burst of faint fragrance instantly spreads into the air. That young woman frantically raises her head and takes a step back, upon seeing Yuwen Rui’s face, she immediately reddens, soft voice sheepishly saying: “Gentleman, truly sorry, I, I didn’t mean to bump into you……”
Yuwen Rui shows no expression, “It’s fine.” Having said that, he pulls me along, preparing to leave.
Just that, the young woman clearly does not want to let him leave, grabbing his sleeve to bring his steps to a stop, and she too, immediately realises her own rudeness, face flushed red as she says: “Ap-, apologies, Gentleman isn’t from here?”
Yuwen Rui slightly nods, “En.”
“Then, then how about I show you around?” After the young woman says this, annoyance and regrets once again flashes past her face, seeming to be in disbelief of her lack of composure.
Upon hearing this, I feel that this world sure is bleak, I may not be some top-class little fellow, but I can’t be regarded as someone who can be easily ignored either ah?
A cold light flitter past Yuwen Rui’s eyes, as he courteously says: “Many thanks for Lady’s good intention, my cousin and I are fine with casually looking around ourselves.”
That young woman appears a little disappointed and embarrassed, “Then, then……”
“We’ll be leaving first.” Yuwen Rui does not spare another look at the young woman’s face, pulling me along as he directly leaves. I deeply think to myself, Qi Qiao is indeed a day for sinning, on this day, even a lady would become in particularly daring, could it be that they truly think that the gentleman they encounter on this day is their fated one?
Che~, rather than fated ones, I instead see a lot of wolves. (play on words – fated one = liáng rén / 良人, wolves = láng rén / 狼人)
There were also a lot of ladies gathered in front of the rouge stall, upon seeing Yuwen Rui, each and every one of them falls into a trance, what followed was a scene of bashfulness. Yet the one who caused such abashment is looking handsomely indifferent, not giving them the slightest of response. He lowers down and picks up a blue box of powder for me, “How’s this one?”
I scrunch up my nose, “Doesn’t smell nice.”
“I’m asking you how the box is?”
He places the blue box of rouge down and picks up a pink one, raising his brows as he says to me: “This smell sure is like the smell from that black pig’s body.” Having said that, he casually tosses it back onto the stall, that little hawker was originally a little angry, but upon seeing the one that tossed the rouge is such a noble gentleman, they put on a smiling face, warmly starting to introduce the products.
I also pick up the pink box and give it a sniff, en, the smell of Xiao Hei? The author is so heartless, to have not mentioned it for so long, I’ve almost forgotten what it smells like. (A/N: =.= what smell can it be? The smell of pork!)
I bend down and take a good look at the powder, didn’t think they’d actually be quite exquisite, just that the scent isn’t particularly special. I suddenly think of that sort of clean fragrant from Yuwen Rui’s body, exactly what kind of fragrance is that? I look at him in dissatisfaction, seriously this person, why must he be so tight-lipped in refusing to tell me?
Yuwen Rui seems to have detected my eyes, turning to look at me and say: “Wait here for a moment.”
I nod, watching his tall and slender figure disappear amongst the crowd.
The amount of people in front of the stall increases, and I, this person that is only looking and not buying, receives deep discrimination, with one careless moment, I was squeezed out by all of them. I then stand beside the stall to wait, but vaguely notice my skirt being shaken by something. When I lower my head to take a look, I only see a snow-white little dog currently biting onto my skirt as it tugs at me, I pull my skirt away from it and send it a glare, yet that dog seems to be retaliating as it directly bites my skirt, causing a rip.
Oh ho, how daring.
I bend down, wanting to catch it, just that this little fellow is extremely smart, with one sway of its butt, it starts running off, after running a few steps ahead, it even looks back to deliberately provoke me, seeming to say, ‘Come if you dare, why aren’t you coming ah?’ I deeply find it funny, narrowing my eyes as I set my mind on catching this fellow, then teach it a good lesson ––– the eyes of a dog must never look down on humans.
I follow the little fellow in running through the crowd with difficulty, not long after, there’s actually less and less people, in the end, I finally realised that I have followed it up to the side of a pond. Checking the surroundings to see that no one will take notice of me, I lift up my sleeves and charge towards the little fellow, then grab onto the back of its soft neck without failure, I bare my teeth at it, “See if I don’t eat you.”
The little fellow widens its big and innocent eyes, quietly sounding a few whimpers, and even uses its tongue to lick at my hand, sure showing the means of pleasing.
I don’t know why I think of Xiao Hei, back then, that brat was such a typical type of bullying the weak and fear the strong, sharing a slight similarity with this Xiao Bai in my hand (Xiao Hei = little black, Xiao Bai = little white). In this moment, a young woman comes running up to me, panting as she says: “La-, Lady, did our family’s Bao Er perhaps bite your skirt again? I’m truly sorry! May Lady graciously let it go!”
Dare I say this little dog is also a habitual offender?
I don’t say much more either, passing the little dog to her: “It’s fine.”
The young woman holds the dog and reprimands it, then says to me: “Our family’s Bao Er is just so naughty, Lady’s skirt is all ruined now, how about I pay you back with a new one?”
I smile, “It’s alright.”
Only then, does the young woman leave with Bao Er in her arms, and I immediately become aware of a problem.
I have gotten lost.
Having no sense of direction, truly isn’t my fault.
Rather than throwing myself into greater confusion, I simply stand beside the pond, looking around at the trees by the pond ah, admiring the fishes in the water ah, counting the stars in the sky ah, all whilst waiting for Yuwen Rui to come find me.
Approximately a quarter of an hour later, Yuwen Rui’s figure appears within my line of sight, I was just wanting to send him a smile but sees his handsome face with no expression, nor are there any hint of a smile in his eyes. I could not refrain from taking a little step back, eh, this expression of his……signifies that he is already furious, but what have I done to make him so furious now?
Yuwen Rui walks up to me, a faint smile suddenly surfacing on his handsome face, yet his lips spits out word by word: “Why didn’t you wait for me?”
I was just about to open my mouth to say my excuse, but was blocked by his lips fiercely crashing onto mine, he rashly kisses me, then his tongue also drives straight in and entangles with mine. His hold on my waist is so tight, tight to the point I could completely feel his anger.
He slowly pulls away, pressing his forehead against mine as he lowly asks: “An Ke Lan, until when will you not go ahead and leave me behind?”