The Banquet (6)
The awkwardness in air is soon diffused by the joyful music.
As wine cups clank around, Xi Yan raise her head and realizes that the bridge they are at is not at all small.
Other than the side they are sitting at, there is also a viewing platform. And next to the platform is an elegant pavilion.
All the curtains surrounding the structure are put down at the moment, blowing gently with the wind. She can see officials sitting unmoving on their seats on the lower bridge below.
In this farewell banquet, they are nothing but accessories, just like the songs being played by the musicians. The focus of the banquet is the four people on the upper bridge.
When the banquet starts, a group of palace maids enter while bowing their body, carrying precious delicacies. The maid in front of Xi Yan carries a jade jug and pours an amber-colored liquid that glitters into her cup. Xuan Yuan Yu who is sitting next to her is already toasting Bai Li Nan and Mu Yan in courtesy.
Bai Li Nan replies courteously. Xi Yan cannot see Mu Yan’s expression from behind her red beads. But, from the way her hand shakes as she holds the glass cup, Xi Yan knows her heart is in a mess.
Mu Yan finishes the drink in one go.
As Xi Yan brings her cup inside her veil and takes a sip, she realizes that it is not wine. It is only tea.
She only uses it to wet her lips before putting it down. Seeing her action, the maid behind her step forward and whisper to her ears, “Your Ladyship, you cannot drink wine during your vegetarian period.”
The maid’s voice is very light; only Xi Yan can hear her. Xi Yan smiles softly before lifting the cup again and draining the tea inside.
A burst of bitterness can be tasted inside her mouth, before replaced by a tinge of sweetness. She likes sweet things. Even if she is forced to live the rest of her life in bitterness, as long as she can feel momentary sweetness, everything will feel bearable.
Mu Yan speaks as she puts down her cup, “Thanking the emperor for bestowing the wine. Mu Yan is willing to play a song to express her gratitude.”
Her voice is very light, yet it is enough to make Xi Yan’s heart race.
Having known Mu Yan for so many years, she understands what she means. She is expressing her gratitude as well as her heart.
Mu Yan is very proficient in playing musical instruments, especially pipa. She is especially famous for the song, ‘Feng Huai Xin’.
Xi Yan trains her eyes on Mu Yan, only to find her smiling poignantly at her.
Bai Li Nan suddenly speaks up, “Yu, zhen heard about a song called ‘Feng Huai Xin’ that overwhelms every other song. Zhen wonders if zhen will have the fortune of hearing the song, today.”
The song is very famous outside. But, people are not aware of the existence of a dance that was created to complement that song. ‘Xi Wu.’
The name of the dance is derived from Xi Yan’s ‘xi’. She is the one who comes up with that dance just like how Mu Yan comes up with ‘Feng Huai Xin’.
The only difference is, a lot of people have heard of the song ‘Feng Huai Xin’, that is why it is very popular. The only person who has seen ‘Xi Wu’ is Mu Yan. Because of that, a lot of people knows ‘Feng Xin Huai’ but not the dance that complements it.
From today onwards, it will be hard for the song and the dance to be paired again. She wants to perform it for the last time. For Mu Yan. And for herself. That song and that dance were created based on their most beautiful dream for the future.
“Your Majesty, chenqie is willing to dance to Princess Feng Xiang’s song.” After saying that, Xi Yan lowers her eyes. She clearly lost conduct. But, she really wants to dance.