The Banquet (9)
“Seems like princess is reluctant to leave your birthland. If you are unwilling to go to Ye Kingdom, zhen will not force you.” Bai Li Nan’s eyes are like the calmest of spring when he says that. Mu Yan is shocked when she hears that.
He is willing to set her free?
But, other than him, no one can stop this marriage arrangement.
Can she afford to break this?
No, she cannot.
Even though she has failed to fulfil her parents’ initial wish that is to have her stay in Xun Kingdom’s harem, marrying off to Ye Kingdom is something they can also look forward to.
Her father wields the power over three departments in the ministry. She knows, the better her marriage prospect is, the better and safer it will be for her father in court.
After all, the court and the harem are interconnected. That’s why she has been firm with herself ever since she was young. She was so firm with herself that, other than her position as her father’s daughter, she also becomes the most enviable figure in the capital. She has become so famous that her name transcends the kingdoms’ borders. She is not inferior to any girl who was born in the noble clans.
She thought that with all that, she would not only become her father’s pride and joy, she would also receive the glory that no other woman can, once she enters the palace.
Unfortunately, not everything happens according to one’s expectation.
On the night of the lantern’s festival, she lost her heart.
On the night of the lantern’s festival, she fell in love with the wrong person.
On the selection day, she was actually made to replace Xi Yan only because he thought she was her and she didn’t know he was him.
Now, she can no longer look back.
Even if she decides to stay in Xun Kingdom, her reputation will no longer be spotless.
At the moment, the ambiguous sound from the pavilion has stopped, but deep inside, she can guess what is currently happening between the two.
She acknowledge how attractive Xi Yan was when she was dancing earlier. When she stopped, one’s heart became lost.
The weather is hot and Xi Yan is exuding her own fragrance. The way she smell is enough to make one’s heart jumps.
And now, Xuan Yuan Yu is no longer that masked man who was roaming amongst the common people. His real identity is that of Xun Kingdom’s emperor. An emperor can afford to lose his control when he sees beauties.
She loosens her hold on her pipa and hands it over to the palace maid beside her. She hides her injured figure inside her wide sleeve. She slowly lifts the red beads that are covering her face, showing her exceptionally beautiful face. As she looks at Bai Li Nan, she gives him a smile so beautiful and elegant; one that belongs to the number one maiden of the capital, Mu Yan.
“Mu Yan only wish to play pipa for Your Majesty.” Such simple words are uttered so gently, but only she knows how hard it is for her to say that.
The corner of Bai Li Nan’s lips is slowly curved. He hands Mu Yan a light blue handkerchief.
“Do not use yijia. Even though it can make the music sounds even more exquisite, it tends to hurt your fingers.”
Mu Yan gives him a gorgeous smile as she puts her injured finger towards him. The curl at the corner of his lips becomes even more apparent. He raises his sleeves and holds Mu Yan’s hand before gently dabbing the injured part of her finger with his handkerchief.
She plays really well, but a performance that contains too much personal emotions tend to be marred with imperfections.
He only played the flute earlier on, as the last resort, to untie the knot in her heart. He knows, if he didn’t do anything, the one dancing would have never stopped.
And he has never seen a woman who is willing to do everything she can to stay true to a song.
Was Xuan Yuan Yu worried about that girl or did he enter the pavilion for a completely different reason.
Traces of smile can be seen on his eyes as his blue handkerchief is marred by droplets of blood.
Inside the pavilion, other than the sound that can make one blush, no traces of movement can be detected. But, if one can overlook pass the folding screen, the locked door of the changing room in the pavilion, and the layers of golden curtain, one can see a jade-white back in full view. She is lying on the ground, her hair loose. Her waterfall-like hair is entangled with a man’s hair.
Their bodies are intertwined with each other.
The scene is ambiguous yet romantic. It is a magnificent scene that no one else will get to see.