Chapter 36: The Whole Stage Filled With The Scent Of Peonies
Editors: Snowy, Divine
She held the guqin in one hand, twirled it with her other hand and beautiful music came out.
When she put the guqin down on the table and played with her two hands, the music suddenly sounded more complex and more beautiful.
She was wearing the peony dress that His Highness Anling gave to her. White pear flowers color the base, embroidered with peony blossoms, some in bloom and some in buds, all in different flower postures. The dress fluttered with the wind, and the peonies on her dress fluttered with her too, making her look beautiful and elegant.
She had white skin and looked absolutely beautiful. She was the woman with the fur coat in the Shangyuan Festival in Tianmen street with His Highness Anling.
At the Shangyuan Festival, Su Wanxiang was dressed up looking handsome but today she changed to a woman’s dress. Although she appeared cold, there was a certain degree of softness. However, she was a little thin and as she stood on the platform, it seemed like she would be blown away by the wind anytime. Her face was also slightly sharp, not rounded, but looked quite delicate.
She sat on the stool, her ten fingers flying, and the sound of the guqin became louder, like a river running to the sea. The music made the listener feel like their heart was sitting on a narrow boat, drifting up and down with the music.
Durian couldn’t help but doubt when he saw Su Wanxiang, “Wasn’t this the man that His Highness Anling liked?” Then he realized, “Oh, so she was Miss Su. She’s charming when wearing a woman’s dress.”
Qin Jiu smiled but didn’t say anything. She took out a silver bar and began to trim her nails carefully. After a while, she raised her hand and asked Yellow Hair, “Yellow Hair, are my fingernails pretty?”
Yellow Hair flew up to Qin Jiu’s shoulders, tilting his head to examine her nails, and finally flapped his wings and said, “Not beautiful enough! Trim some more!”
The others were all listening to music while Qin Jiu and Yellow Hair were asking and answering each other. This of course affected the people’s listening, and Durian carefully reminded: “Yellow Hair, keep your voice down, everyone is listening to the guqin!”
Yellow Hair was not happy, “I just want to talk!”
Qin Jiu heard Durian’s words, she smiled softly and said, “It seems that Durian likes Miss Su very much. How about I send you over to her? I’m sure Miss Su will treat you nicely.”
It was Durian’s dream to leave this evil woman. Though he knew she was teasing him, when he heard Qin Jiu say she would send him away, he still felt somewhat uncomfortable.
He griped, “I’m afraid I don’t deserve to serve the fairy-like Miss Su.”
Qin Jiu narrowed her eyes and questioned, “So you mean you only deserve to serve me, an evil woman?”
Durian knew that he said the wrong thing, so he waved his hands, “No! No! Great Lord Jiu is not a demon! Great Lord Jiu is a beautiful fairy and I am willing to serve wholeheartedly!”
Qin Jiu smiled with satisfaction and held her fingers in front of her eyes, examining the nails painted with nail polish. In the end, she felt they were still not perfect enough so began to trim some more.
On the high platform, the music streamed from surging to light again.
At this time, Qin Jiu clearly heard Su Wanxiang play a wrong note.
Durian tapped his feet and sighed: “How could it be, how could it be like this? How could she have played a wrong note?”
Qin Jiu followed Su Wanxiang’s eyes, of course she understood what had happened.
A dozen women in peony dresses mixed in with the crowd, but it wasn’t to see from inside the crowd. However, if you were on a high platform, you could easily notice it with a casual glance.
Su Wanxiang must’ve seen many women wearing the same dress as hers, and it was bound to be difficult to avoid disturbance, so she played a wrong note. However, she recovered her composure, and her music began to return to normal.
Finally, when she finished playing, she covered her mouth and coughed. Two maids walked to the platform quickly and wrapped her with a white fur edge cloak.
As soon as the sound of the guqin disappeared, the audience under the high platform shouted and applauded. There were not many who really understood music.
Yan Min took a sip of wine and sighed, “Miss Su is really outstanding. This year her music is even better than last year’s! Compared to Bai…” He stopped suddenly and said, “No wonder last year, just after one piece, she became one of the world’s greatest four musicians.”
Among the four musicians, two of them were from DaYu, distinguished by different instruments. The first one was Xiao Lebai, the musician who served the Emperor in the Imperial Palace. He was famous for the harp. The other one was Bai Suxuan, famous for the guqin. And now, Bai Suxuan passed away, so Su Wanxiang replaced her position.
Qin Jiu smiled and manicured her nails as she said, “Miss Su is indeed good at playing the guqin. However, if she wants to be one of the top four players, she is definitely not qualified. As far as I know, there is still one person who is better than her.”
His Highness Kangyang was surprised and asked, “Really, who?”
Qin Jiu glanced at Durian who was staring straight at the platform and smiled without a word.
While they were talking, they heard a noise outside.
Qin Jiu raised her eyebrows in surprise and looked towards the platform.
Yan Yu walked towards Su Wanxiang on the platform.
He wore a dazzling black satin robe, embroidered with intricate red patterns as gorgeous as the sunset. His black hair was combed into a bun and held in place by a white hairpin.
His mien shone with elegant calm. His long and narrow black eyes ignored everything, and his thin lips held a shallow charm.
He walked towards Su Wanxiang and held a flower pot. Behind him were six servants, also carrying a pot in their hands. Every pot had the same flower–peony.
Peonies originally bloomed only in April or May, so there should’ve been no blooming peonies at this time. However, they were truly holding peonies in their hands, and they were blooming brilliantly.
There were seven pots of peonies of different varieties and colors, pure and clean. ‘Luminous white’, reddish ‘scholar red’, gold like a crown ‘yao huang’, ink like night ‘blue dragon’, purple noble ‘gejin’, jade green ‘green fragrant ball’, pink and white ‘child face’.
Qin Jiu recognized the purple peony, which was the one Yan Yu stole from Princes Zhaoping’s Palace. Qin Jiu handed the pot to Yan Yu herself.
She didn’t expect that Yan Yu wanted to give this to Su Wanxiang.
Qin Jiu finally knew why Yan Yu appeared in Zhaoping’s Palace that night. It turned out he wanted to steal the peony. If he asked Zhaoping and she knew he was giving it to Su Wanxiang, she would definitely have refused.