Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
At that moment, even the rest thought something was off. No matter how coincidental that was, it was rare for the wine vessel to arrive before the same person for three consecutive songs.
How was such a chance possible?!
Pei Shu looked at the young man in blue and hesitated to speak, "Brother Xiao…"
The young man in blue continued to stare at the strings on his musical instrument and ignored the rest, snubbing Pei Shu altogether.
Chu Yu smiled out of nowhere as she extended her hand to pick up the wine vessel from the chilly spring water. She then turned around and beamed widely at the young man in blue. "What a coincidence." She lifted her head and downed the wine upon saying that.
To the rest, Chu Yu seemed to be moving on instead of finding out exactly what happened. However, she was implying something else when she said that. In actuality, she was saying those words to the young man to test him.
Although she knew what kind of person Princess Shan Yin was and the things she had done as a result of all the information from historical data, what about Princess Shan Yin as a person?
What kind of person was she? Who was her family? What kind of things had she gone through? Was she born with promiscuity or did it develop later on? Did she have someone she was deeply in love with? What did she like and hate? Also, what kind of people did she meet? Who did she know or… who knew her?
Although Chu Yu tried finding out more from You Lan, all she got was personal judgment towards others. She intentionally avoided asking about her identity and Princess Shan Yin's personal things so that she would not leave too many loopholes for people to suspect her. Therefore, she knew nothing much about her past since she had inherited her identity.
She knew about Princess Shan Yin as a historical person but knew nothing about Liu Chu Yu as a person.
Or rather, she was avoiding this in her subconscious mind. If she knew too much, Princess Shan Yin might live in her head for the rest of her life. She might even lose her sense of balance after invading this body.
The abstract and empty words of description, as well as the experience of truth, contrasted magically at that very moment. They finally connected.
Although she had no idea why the young man in blue was getting her into trouble, she speculated this young man might have known the old Princess Shan Yin. That was probably the reason why he was doing this to her.
Her speculation might be 70 to 80 percent accurate. Thus, Chu Yu was testing him.
As Chu Yu sipped the wine after she spoke, she locked eyes with the young man in blue, hoping to get a reaction. However, he did not seem to be affected by what she said. Hence, she could not help but feel a little disappointed but was instantly relieved as soon as she recalled the Prince Consort's stunning acting skills.
Nobody sent the low table with the nib and paper this time as the one that had been placed before Huan Yuan was still there. At least, the servant boy who was attending could rest a little.
This time, Huan Yuan picked up the nib on his own without having Chu Yu to remind him.
He had been suppressing himself for too long and desperately needed an opportunity to release his frustration. The two years of depression and toleration had pushed his will to the edge. Like a bird in a cage who had lost its freedom, the only way to release himself was through the nib and paper before him.
Another two poems were handed over. This time, besides Pei Shu, most of the people present had their eyes trained on Huan Yuan.
When the fourth song was played, many of them stared directly at Chu Yu. Meanwhile, the young man in blue did not disappoint their expectation. The music stopped when the wine vessel sailed before Chu Yu. As she picked the wine vessel up with a smile, she then raised the glass at the young man and drank every single drop of the wine.
She had her guard, Yue Jiefei, for physical help and her substitute, Huan Yuan, for literary help. She was fearless even if the young man had been in rivalry with Princess Shan Yin in the past. She would be defended if she was attacked and her problems would be solved for her even if a flood came. Nevertheless, she was curious to know what was up with that young man.
"The precious thing about Huan Yuan is that he wasn't polished intentionally. Look at him now. He might only look like a rather pretty-shaped rock, but there's a jade hiding beneath the shell." The bamboo forest was so quiet that there was only the rustling of leaves brushing in the wind and Rong Zhi's voice. "But this jade's a difficult one. Although he's immature because he doesn't have the opportunity to socialize, and he holds the identity as a descendant of the Huan Clan, he has an arrogance in his very core that makes it impossible for him to bow to anyone."
Mo Xiang looked at the situation on the board and realized that his white pieces had come to a checkmate. They were playing an equal match initially, but it was one-sided now.
"I want to suppress Huan Yuan's character." Rong Zhi stared at the black and white pieces and said after he came up with a careful strategy, "He hasn't been wronged enough just yet. I want his arrogance as a descendant of the Huan Clan to wear off, and I want him to forget about his ancestor's glory. I've got the time to do that. I'll reach out to him when the time is right when everyone has left him."
He wanted to make Huan Yuan think that everyone had abandoned him, including his family.
A drowning person in despair would hold on tightly even if he was just grasping at a straw.
Rong Zhi smirked lightly as if there was the slightest joy in his expression. He then picked up a slippery black piece with his long fingers and placed it on the board. "Then, he'll be mine."
He would be overjoyed when that moment came.
Two, four, six, eight, ten…
When Huan Yuan wrote his 20th poem, everyone gaped at him like they were looking at a god.
Some of them suspected that he had written those poems beforehand, so they got the organizer to come up with topics according to the poems that he had written. However, Huan Yuan began scrawling right after he heard the topic, so there was not even enough time for one to take seven steps in between.
Such amount of production did not cause the quality of poems to deteriorate and there was no repetition among those that he had written. His words were beautiful and admirable. Apart from the young man in blue, Wang Yizhi, Xie Yinzhi, and Chu Yu who managed to keep their cool, the rest were in awe that was close to fanaticism.
Huan Yuan did not just write one or two poems but tens of poems consecutively. As intellectuals themselves, many of those present had experienced writer's block when they composed. They would crack their heads just to come up with a sentence. When had they ever encountered someone who had the talent to write like flowing water?
The precondition of the first sentence of the saying, 'There is no best writer, nor is there a second-best fighter,' was to compare two writers who had similar skills. Huan Yuan had been suppressing himself for two years, causing him to write like an erupting volcano at the moment. The people were in wonder of his skill and had total admiration for him.
Compared to Huan Yuan who was shining now, Chu Yu was like a forgotten person who seemed to be kicked far away into the sky. Her only value now was to drink on behalf of Huan Yuan.
She could take a couple of glasses of wine but not too much. Although the custom-made wine vessel contained a limited amount of wine, the accumulation of wine was terrifying. Although she was not drunk after downing the tenth glass of wine, she began to intentionally control the amount that she was drinking. She would tilt her wrist so that half of the wine would spill like it was an accident when she picked the wine glass up. Eventually, she even poured the entire glass of wine into the spring water.
However, nobody cared if she was drinking by then as most of them were in a frenzy over the poems that Huan Yuan was going to write next.
20, 22, 24, 26… Each word was gold and each sentence was beautiful.
When he was done with his 30th poem, even the young man in blue could not help but lift his head to glance at Huan Yuan.
The person who took the limelight in this poetry recital that Chu Yu decided to join at the last minute was not the wild Wang Yizhi, the composed Xie Yinzhi or the Young Master, who Chu Yu had no idea would come. The limelight was stolen by the substitute of the person who everyone assumed to be merely a companion of Chu Yu, Huan Yuan.
When the wine vessel was placed in the flowing water for the sixteenth time, the music stopped. The young man in blue carried the guqin and walked out of the pavilion slowly. He arrived before Huan Yuan, glanced at him and declared coldly, "Once a talent."
He then left without even looking back and did not stop no matter how many times Pei Shu called out to him.
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