Pei Shu, who had invited Chu Yu here, was conversing with several handsome men when he noticed Chu Yu abruptly. He apologized to the people he was talking with and left them, walking over and smiling: “Brother Zichu really is trustworthy.” Then his gaze landed on the other three people beside Chu Yu, and asked curiously: “Excuse me, but they are–”
Chu Yu picked up his protracted tone, and answered, “These two are my family. This is Yu Ziyuan, and this is Yu Liusang. Ziyuan’s talent and learning are far better than mine, I thought he would be more fit to participate in the poetry banquet, so I brought them here.” With an open and close of her lips, Chu Yu deftly changed Huan Yuan and Liusang’s names. After introducing them, Chu Yu then pointed at Yue Jiefei, “This is my good friend, surname Yue. When he heard about the situation I got into last time, he specially accompanied me here.”
Yue Jiefei also knew that him standing there was very out-of-place, so he nodded gently and excused himself, backing away into an inconspicuous corner. He would guard Chu Yu’s safety from there.
After that, Pei Shu took Chu Yu on a walk around the mountain top, introducing those handsome men to her, and introducing Chu Yu to them at the same time. They only told their names, and no one spoke about their backgrounds.
Every time Pei Shu introduced a person, Chu Yu would smile and nod at him; her heart was calm and her expression was elegant, that no matter who Pei Shu introduced to her, she still held the same expression throughout, making Pei Shu think even higher of her.
Actually, the reason Chu Yu didn’t have any reaction was mostly because just by hearing the names, she had no idea about these people’s backgrounds. To her, these names were just abstract symbols that didn’t contain any deeper level of meaning. But as Huan Yuan listened on aside, waves of emotion surged in his heart.
There were about twenty to thirty people here; judging from their last names and their attitudes toward each other, and the information Huan Yuan knew, they were probably the successors to almost half of the most prominent families in the upper class of the Southern Dynasties. To put it in other words, if no big political upheaval occurred, these people will grow to become the next generation’s power holders.
But Chu Yu didn’t notice the emotions surging in Huan Yuan’s heart at all. As she cast glances at Pei Shu from time to time, her attention was attracted by something else: she didn’t know if it was her illusion or not, but she kept feeling that Pei Shu’s appearance today was much more good-looking than three days ago. His skin had a fairer tone, and it seemed to be a lot smoother, almost like going up an entire level.
Although she told herself it was probably an illusion, Chu Yu still suspected more and more. If not for there was no plastic surgery in ancient times, she’d even think he went to pale his skin. Also, light fragrance floated off from Pei Shu time to time, making Chu Yu wonder if she’d met a second Mo Xiang? But just a few days ago when she met Pei Shu, he didn’t have this type of fragrance?
Noticing Chu Yu’s a little overly curious gaze, Pei Shu first blanked, them immediately understood, and smiled, “Brother Zichu, can you tell that I applied powder today?”
“Applied powder?” Faced with these completely unrelated person and word, Chu Yu thought she hallucinated, and almost involuntarily repeated it.
In the world views of her twenty-some years of life in her before life, the words applying powder, seemed to have been created just for women. She even remembered this one advertisement for this one makeup brand, where a woman with fair and tender skin pointed at her own face, and giggled on the screen, saying, “Take a guess, did I apply powder today?” At that time, Chu Yu was following a TV series, so she had to put up with this ad in the middle of the drama everyday, and therefore had a very deep impression of it. And today, with this one sentence of Pei Shu’s, she recalled this memory of hers from years ago.
“Yes.” Pei Shu’s expression was a little proud, as he pointed at his own face, “I applied this peach blossom powder I specially bought from Pleasing Orchid Workshop. This type of powder is very fine; applying it is not much different from not applying any powder, and it doesn’t fall easily either. See for yourself!” Today was a special day, so of course he was going to seriously dress up.
But Chu Yu’s mind was still stuck in her astonishment: this Pei Shu looked like a normal human being from every angle, but why did he have this depressing habit? And the people around him, hearing him say these, seemed not surprised at all, as if doing so was as normal as could be.
Suddenly thinking of a possibility, Chu Yu glanced around herself, then abruptly turned back at Pei Shu, “Please don’t tell me that these people all have powder on?” Once she thought about how she could be in the middle of a bunch of men that applies powder, Chu Yu couldn’t help feeling chills run down her spine.
“Not really.” Pei Shu’s words relaxed Chu Yu’s tensed nerves, and she told herself, good. But his next words made her depressed again: “About half and half.”
Seeing that Chu Yu seemed to be very uneducated and surprised by the current fashion trends, Pei Shu very good-heartedly taught her about them, helping Chu Yu learn what was popular at the time. At this time period, men applying powder was fashionable, and as normal as putting on clothes. Of course there are also those who were born with good skin or liked to be close to nature; those people wouldn’t do so.
If she were to draft a slogan for the powder squad’s fashion, it would probably be: More fair! More tender! More brilliant!
Chu Yu sighed in her heart, telling herself that at least there were some relatively more normal people here, or else she’d really want to run away immediately.
Chu Yu looked at Pei Shu with pity: such a handsome man (a little stretch but kinda), why was his aesthetics distorted to such an extent?
Looking at Chu Yu, Pei Shu also thought to himself, not even knowing what applying powder was, just how strictly was this kid controlled or even confined by his family?
Most of those that came to attend this poetry banquet seemed very good at making conversation. They grouped together in severals and discussed life and philosophy, the skies and the earth and reason; the ambience was very enthusiastic. Pei Shu led Chu Yu around, talking the whole way. When they passed by the pavilion at the edge of the cliff, Pei Shu excused himself: “Please wait for a moment, while I touch-up my powder.” As he said this, he very normally fished out a powder box from his sleeve, and used a small piece of soft flannel to dab it onto his face.
Chills ran down Chu Yu’s spine again. But seeing Pei Shu’s completely natural expression, she couldn’t make it too obvious either, so persuaded herself that from today on she should just see him as a sister. But after all, this scene has some impact on her, so she simply pretended to glance around and turned her head away. And then she saw a youth dressed in blue garments sitting in the pavilion.
A moment ago, when she was in a distance, several conversing handsome men stood between this youth and Chu Yu, so Chu Yu only noticed him now.
A Chinese zither was placed on the table before the youth; his two hands rested in his wide sleeves as he gazed down at the strings on the zither, while his handsome features were tense, as if covered in a layer of icy frost. But his downwardly gazing irises made him seem a little sad.
There seemed to be a layer of deliberately separating air surrounding him, as if things going on around him had nothing to with him. He didn’t want to go pay attention to others, and didn’t wish for others to come notice him either. Chu Yu was just about to ask Pei Shu, who had just finished his touch-up, who this was, when she suddenly realized that there was some commotion going on among the people around her. Many took several steps toward a same direction.
What happened? With a curious heart, Chu Yu also gazed over.