Chapter 42: Xiao Lebai
Editors: Snowy, Divine
Everything seemed to slow down, sinking into emptiness. Only the sound of music was real, with soothing joy, with cleansing purity.
All this was brought by the music.
Durian finished playing, but no one was aware that the music had stopped. People were still deeply immersed. They had never quite heard music like this before, that which infiltrated such emotions to the heart.
Durian stood up and bowed to the crowd under the platform, then he turned and bowed to Xiao Lebai at the side of the platform. Finally, he stepped down from the platform.
Applause broke out behind him.
And then, someone began to whisper, “Who was that teenager? He was originally standing in front of His Highness Yan’s shelter, so is he with His Highness Yan? When did His Highness Yan get such a pure-hearted servant?”
Xiao Lebai was sitting on the unnoticeable side of the platform. He was dressed in snow-colored clothes with silver patterns embroidered on his collar and cuffs and a jade on his waist. The wind blew on the high platform, and his snow-colored clothes danced like clouds.
He was a “good-looking man”, but it didn’t refer to his appearance. His appearance was very normal: long eyebrows, a straight nose, wide mouth, barely average, not stunning, not annoying.
This “good-looking man” referred to his temperament: he was proud, warm, pure as the moon, elegant as the wind.
In his long and narrow eyes, there was always a gentle smile.
However, this kind of Xiao Lebai referred to his awake status, which people rarely saw. Because he was a drinker, and he was always drunk.
Where there was wine, there was not necessarily a Xiao Lebai, but where there was Xiao Lebai, there must be good wine.
He always kept a bottle with him, and there was always good wine in the bottle. When he was drunk he didn’t go mad–he composed music, played music, and wrote poetry.
His most popular songs were all composed when he was drunk.
Dayu’s people enjoyed good music, and the Emperor liked music too. The Emperor didn’t care about his loneliness and purity, and he didn’t care about his addiction to alcohol either. Instead, he was favored by the Emperor.
At present, Tai Chang was in charge of the palace’s music. It had two departments: instruments and dancing. There were 1,500 musicians in the music department.
Xiao Lebai was the master of the instruments department, ranked number four in the palace.
At this time, he was holding a delicate wine bottle, squinting at Durian, who was walking off the stage. He finished the wine, and his clear eyes were a bit drunken. The gentle temperament was no longer there, more arrogance and pride instead.
He followed Durian and saw a shadow of a person sitting in His Highness Yan’s shelter.
She was dressed in a sky-red dress, like the unexpected splendour of the sky, more beautiful than the blooming rouge of plum on the branches. Xiao Lebai’s eyes were stopped in the shadows for a moment, then he slowly took the bottle and drank.
“Good wine!” he said slowly.
“Master, please consult with the musicians about the winner.” Meng Huai requested.
Meng Huai thought that Xiao Lebai was one who played nonsense music to please the Emperor, yet the Emperor liked him a lot. However, he was the one who truly knew what the Emperor liked.
At present, there were three people who had a chance to win. One was Su Wanxiang, another one was Zhaoping, and also the one from His Highness Yan’s shelter, that young man with real skills.
Who would win in the end? Meng Huai felt so lucky that the problem had nothing to do with him.
Xiao Lebai held the wine bottle and pointed at the musicians behind him. He was a bit drunk and said, “Miss Su has superb skills; Princess Zhaoping’s flute sounds were moving; but all are not as good as the young musician’s touch of the soul; good music should be like this.” He was drunk, but his words were clear. There was no doubt that he pointed out Durian as the best.
The rest of the musicians all followed his decision.
Now, the annual Snow Festival had come to an end and the winner was Durian, the unknown silent young man.
At this moment, people had learned that Durian was Qin Jiu’s servant. The servant was already like this, how good would his master be? It was a pity that no one had heard about her.
Although Yan Yu knew that if Durian didn’t have any real talent, Qin Jiu would not have put him in front of the people, but he really didn’t expect that this boy was so good that the top four musicians would soon change their names.
He raised his eyebrows in surprise without any trace of anger, and even the smile on the corner of his lips deepened.
“No wonder he is Miss Qin’s attendant, he played wonderfully. I always wondered why Miss Qin wants a boy without any power to be her servant, but turns out he’s very useful. No wonder Miss Qin likes him so much.”
Durian won. But if Qin Jiu didn’t order him to win, he had no intention to win.
Now he felt guilty and felt sorry for Miss Su and Princess Zhaoping. After he heard what Yan Yu said, he felt he almost became Qin Jiu’s male pet. He was unhappy and said in a low voice, “I do not belong to her.”
Yan Yu said calmly, “I think Miss Qin is even better.”
“This time you are wrong. I only know how to listen, not play.” Qin Jiu said quietly, “Aren’t you angry? My servant competed with the one you loved.”
Yan Yu smiled, his pair of drunk eyes had bright waves in them: “Miss Su is a calm person, whether she wins or not, she won’t care and won’t be angry, and neither will I.” He squinted and said with his thin lips curling into a charming smile.
“I see. Your Highness and Miss Su really are of the same mind. In that case, you should really take my words into consideration. You and Miss Su are a perfect match. I have been disturbing Your Highness for a long time, so I’ll leave now.” Qin Jiu smiled and stood up to leave.
After Qin Jiu stood up, Yan Yu stretched his arms to the back of his head, raised his eyelashes and looked at Qin Jiu’s back, a graceful smile on the corner of his lips. However, there was a trace of coldness in his eyes, “Goodbye, Miss Qin! I actually think we are a perfect match instead. Please consider it carefully.”
Qin Jiu turned around and smiled, “I’ll certainly consider, please consider my suggestion too.”
She slowly walked out of the shelter; she knew that she would see Yan Yu again sooner or later.