At this time, even the others also felt that things were weird. No matter how coincidental things might be, this can almost never happen. Three times in a row, when the music stopped, the wine cup flowed to before the same person.
Since when were there coincidences like this?!
Pei Shu involuntarily looked towards the youth clad in blue, wanting to speak, but stopping: “Brother Xiao……”
The youth only continued to gaze at the zither strings, not looking at anything else, nor noticing Pei Shu.
Chu Yu suddenly laughed. She reached out and picked up the wine cup from the cold stream, then turned towards the youth in blue and smiled: “How coincidental.” Then lifted her head and swallowed down the wine.
To others, Chu Yu seemed to want to peacefully conclude this, and not look into it more. But Chu Yu knew herself, that she had a deeper meaning in her words.
She was probing.
These words, were said for that youth in blue to hear.
Although Chu Yu kind of knew who the Princess of Shanyin was, or what important things she’s done, this was only the Princess of Shanyin in history. What about the Princess of Shanyin as a person? What kind of person was she? How were her relatives like? What has she been through? Was her love for handsome men born-with or did it develop later in life? Did she have someone she loved deeply or cared for deeply? What did she like and what did she hate? And, who has she met before, who did she know, or…… who knew her.
Although Chu Yu had tried to fish out information from You Lan, that was only You Lan’s view of others, and regarding herself, she avoided all questions after asking about her identity, because she didn’t want to make more people suspicious. Therefore, even though she has been here for so many days already, and has inherited this identity, she still knew almost nothing about the past of this identity she was using.
She knew the Princess of Shanyin as a historical figure, but didn’t know Liu Chuyu as a live person.
Or, she was actually subconsciously avoiding this question. If she knew too much, the Princess of Shanyin will really become alive in her mind, and she will feel uncomfortable taking over this body.
The ethereal feeling of the telling of words and the details in real life, at this time, finally had a merging point even though they were so different.
Although she didn’t know why the youth in blue would make things difficult for her, she guessed that this youth probably knew the Princess of Shanyin, so he did this on purpose.
This guess must be at least seven or eight out of ten correct.
So Chu Yu used words to further probe the situation.
After she spoke, while drinking the wine, Chu Yu didn’t forget to divert her attention to observe the reaction of the youth in blue. Not seeing him change his expression, she couldn’t help but be a little disappointed; but when she remembered prince consort He’s astonishing acting skills, she relaxed again.
No one brought up a table or paper or brush pens, because those put in front of Huan Yuan from last time weren’t removed. The servant boy serving them took a little break for himself.
This time, not needing for Chu Yu to open her mouth, Huan Yuan’s hand voluntarily reached toward the brush pen and ink.
He had been suppressed for too long, he needed this chance to vent out everything. The depression from these two years, the tolerance of these two years, had oppressed his heart and soul to an extreme; as an unfree bird in a cage, his only way to vent out, was this paper and pen before him.
Two more poems were sent up. Now, not just Pei Shu, but the gazes of almost everyone present were focused on Huan Yuan.
When the fourth melody sounded, many directed their gazes towards Chu Yu; and that youth in blue didn’t disappoint them. When the wine cup flowed to before Chu Yu, the music stopped, and Chu Yu raised the wine cup with a smile, toasted it to the youth in blue, and drank it all down.
Martially, she had her guard Yue Jiefei; scholarly, she could cheat with Huan Yuan; even if that youth really had some grudge against the Princess of Shanyin, she still had nothing to fear. If soldiers come, she’ll block with generals; if floods come, she’ll fill it with soil1 . She was going to see what he was really up to.
“The preciousness of Huan Yuan is due to him not having been carved intentionally to become something. Look at him now; he’s maybe just a rock with a relatively more attractive shape. But really, under this surface, the true beautiful jade is buried.” It was very quiet among the bamboos, quiet enough that only the sound of wind blowing across the leaves and Rong Zhi speaking could be heard, “But this piece of beautiful jade isn’t so easy to acquire. It is scholarly because so few people have touched it; but because of this, plus his identity as the descendant of the Huan family, he has arrogance in his bones, and is impossible to submit to anyone easily.”
Mo Xiang looked at the situation on the go board. His white go pieces were already very precarious, and the originally balanced situation was now greatly leaning towards one side.
“I am going to suppress Huan Yuan’s character.” Rong Zhi gazed at the two colors of go pieces, and after carefully considering his next steps, continued, “He hasn’t been wronged enough yet. I will slowly grind off all his arrogance from being a descendant of the Huan family, and make him forget the glories of his ancestors. I have lots of time to do so. And then, at the right time, when everyone has betrayed and forsook him, I will reach out a helping hand.” He needed to make Huan Yuan think that everyone had deserted him, including his family.
The drowning person, when flooded by despair, even if it’s just a piece of straw, they will still grab onto it and never let go.
He smiled gently, his smile a little delighted, and his slender fingers picked up a smooth black go piece and placed it at the eye of the chess pattern: “And then, he will be mine.”
That moment will definitely be very delightful.
Two, four, six, eight, ten……
When Huan Yuan wrote down his twentieth poem, the people were looking at him like he was some unearthly being.
Some had been suspicious that Huan Yuan wrote many poems long ago and saved them, so demanded for him to compose poetry then and there on given topics. So Huan Yuan did, taking up the brush pen right after listening to the topic, not even leaving the time for seven steps in between2 .
But even though he was mass producing poetry like this, none of them were dry or boring, nor even being similar; the language was even more wonderful and gracious, making people truly admire. Except the youth in blue, Wang Yizhi, Xie Yinzhi, and Chu Yu, who could hold themselves relatively more calm, everyone else’s emotions were boiling with enthusiasm and idolatry.
This was not one or two poems, but continuously composing dozens of poems; as scholars, many present have been through the time when they couldn’t think of a next line, when they thought so hard but still couldn’t find the right words. Since when have they seen such literary talent, pouring out like a waterfall?
Since ancient times, people had said that there has never been a number one in literary studies, nor has there ever been a number two in martial arts. But this first half of the sentence was only true when two people were put under similar conditions. Huan Yuan had been suppressed for two years, and now everything was pouring out, so everyone else was dull under his comparison, and had to completely acknowledge Huan Yuan’s superior talent over them.
Compared to Huan Yuan’s glorious time, Chu Yu was legitly forgotten. Now her only value was to drink the wine.
Several cups were bearable, but too much still wouldn’t do. And although the specially made wine cup couldn’t hold too much liquid, after many cups, it was still a significant amount. After drinking the tenth cup, although Chu Yu wasn’t drunk yet, she already started intentionally controlling her alcohol intake: when she picked up the wine cup from the water, she kept seemingly unintentionally flick her wrist, pouring out the majority of the wine, and later even pouring the whole cup into the stream.
But at this time no one cared whether she drank the wine or not anymore, because almost everyone was waiting for Huan Yuan’s next poem with a nearly crazy attitude.
Twenty, twenty-two, twenty-four, twenty-six…… Each word was brilliant, each line was elaborate.
When they reached the thirtieth poem, even the youth in blue couldn’t resist looking up and glancing at Huan Yuan.
At this poetry banquet that Chu Yu decided to attend in the spur of a moment, the person that got the center of attention was not the uninhibited Wang Yizhi, not the calm and profound Xie Yinzhi, not the Master Thousand-Gold that Chu Yu didn’t even know whether he came or not or who he was, but Huan Yuan, the person used for cheating, the person originally only seen as a tag-along of Chu Yu.
The wine cup was placed into the flowing water again for the sixteenth time, but the music did not sound. The youth in blue picked up his zither and slowly walked out the pavilion, then came to before Huan Yuan; glancing at him, he said icily: “Thou was originally an excellent person.”
And then left without looking back, not pausing no matter how Pei Shu called him.
1. If soldiers come, she’ll block with generals; if floods come, she’ll fill it with soil: 兵来将挡，水来土淹. Chinese idiom meaning everything will resolve itself at its moment.↩
2. The time for seven steps: b/c in Chinese history there was a superbly famous poem composed in seven steps; this person who came into power forced his brother to compose a poem within seven steps or else he’d have him killed ↩