Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 126: Scare You to Death (Part 2)
She waved and instructed the maid to tie the black cloth across her eyes. Just as the maid was about to move, one saw Prince Rui pick up the black cloth on the maid’s tray and played with it. Everyone looked at him with surprise, as Prince Rui walked to Shen Miao’s back and reached out from behind to hold her chin to raise her head up slightly, as his other hand wound the black cloth across Shen Miao’s eyes.
Luo Tan stared wide-eyed and pulled Feng An Ning, “What… What is the meaning of this?”
Luo Tan was not the only one curious about this action of Prince Rui’s. Even Emperor Wen Hui, who was sitting at the highest seat, frowned and Princess Ming An looked at Shen Miao with jealousy and eyes filled with killing intent.
Shen Miao’s line of sight was blocked, thus she was unable to see anything and could only feel that the actions of the person behind were gentle but the fingertips were cold, and they inadvertently touched Shen Miao’s cheeks, just like snow kissing one’s clothes, there was a light coolness feeling. But one did not know why the places that were touched started to warm up.
Shen Miao waited till there was no actions from the person behind, before facing towards Princess Ming An and pulled the bow with an arrow.
Everyone were holding their breath as they watched her actions, and could not help but feel nervous in their hearts. Some people secretly complained why did Shen Miao made it as such, and let Princess Ming An bit the apple in her mouth, as this would humiliate Princess Ming An. This also meant that if Shen Miao was not careful, she would harm Princess Ming An and even lose her life. If the the Qin country’s Princess loses her life in the Ming Qi, the Qin country would not let it go and even if Shen Miao paid it with her life, it would not be enough, and it would also implicate the entire Ming Qi. In order to ensure that Princess Ming An was safe and sound, one would need to deliberately shoot aside but like that, the Ming Qi would be embarrassed.
It was assumed that unless Shen Miao shot the apple in Princess Ming An’s mouth, then it would be a clean and wonderful win. But this was an almost impossible thing.
HuangFu Hao stared at Shen Miao. Others were not clear of it, but Princess Ming An was his younger sister, thus he naturally knew clearly how heavy Princess Ming An’s bow was. An ordinary female would not be able to pull that bow apart, and even those with some martial arts skills, disregarding females, even males would have to break in the bow for a period of time before it was possible. But just now Shen Miao deliberately pulled the bow a little. That skilled and familiar gestures and calm expression, made others suspicious that she had touched this bow countless number of times, as she could handle it with ease.
But this was simply impossible. This was Princess Ming An’s first time to the Ming Qi and it was also Shen Miao’s first time touching this bow. HuangFu Hao’s heart suddenly became interested as though as he had seen a new toy in Shen Miao, and his gaze became deeper.
Shen Miao was totally unaware of this, as she closed her eyes and her hands gently stroked the flower patterns and every subtle scratches on the heavy bow.
Exactly the same as the previous lifetime.
She had touched this bow countless number of times. When Princess Ming An had shoot at her till she was in a sorry state, she would always then magnanimously pass the bow to her, “It is your turn.” Actually Shen Miao had secretly practiced numerous times, and she could make a hit but every time, she would still deliberately shot slightly away, and those Princes and Princess of Qin country would laugh so much, that they could not lift their heads.
This was because she was a hostage and should be compromising, since she was living under another person’s roof, one could not be arrogant or despotic. Even if she could win, she had to lose and lose in a way that Princess Ming An would be happy about, so that there would be a chance for her to return alive to see Fu Ming and Wan Yu.
Those were the most difficult years and this bow, with the same simple flower patterns, was engraved on the bottom of her heart. The silent endurance that she had done since the last lifetime till now, finally could be played out officially. She was not the Empress of Ming Qi, and could freely make things difficult for Princess Ming An without qualms, just like how Princess Ming An did to her.
She said, “Will bother Your Princess Highness to please not dodge.”
Finishing, her hand loosened and the almost fully bent bow gave a ‘Beng’ sound, and the arrow fiercely shot towards Princess Ming An like a meteor!
Princess Ming An was so scared that her eyes flashed. That arrow came so fast and even though she wanted to avoid it, she simply just could not do it on time before she felt a burst of pain at her mouth. That arrow suddenly appeared so near in front of her eyes. She wanted to scream but was unable since she was biting the apple, then her body weakened and she collapsed.
The palace maid behind her quickly held her, as HuangFu Hao stood up suddenly with a darkened expression. Sighs of wonderment sounded everywhere in the Great Hall, but Shen Miao just calmly removed the black cloth that was strapped across her eyes, and walked in front of the fainted Princess Ming An and picked up the apple on Princess Ming An’s mouth.
On top of the red apple, the head of the arrow was buried halfway, leaving most of the arrow outside. It would not pierce Princess Ming An’s throat but made everyone see clearly.
It is a hit!
“Seemed that this official’s daughter’s luck is good. Fortunately, it was a hit.” She smiled.
With a ‘hua’ sound, the entire hall suddenly sighed in wonderment. The officials of Ming Qi were first stunned, before being so happy that their faces were all red, and begun to clap with their hands. There was someone who said, “The father is a lion, the daughter cannot be a dog!”
It was Princess Ming An who came out with this archery competition, and Shen Miao had no way out and could only accept it. But at the end it was Princess Ming An who did not hit the target while Shen Miao shot the target, and Princess Ming An was so scared that she fainted. With one look, one would know who was strong or weak. Even if Emperor Wen Hui was suspicious of the Shen family, now that Shen Miao had won face for him this time, and made the Qin country people bear their stifle, Emperor Wen Hui was currently very pleased. He looked at Shen Xin, “General Shen, you have raised a good daughter!”
Shen Xin cupped his hands and dare not accept the praise.
Shen Miao stood at the middle of the hall, as a slight wind blew and blow her skirt slightly up, like blooming flowers. She quietly stared as the maids supported Princess Ming An down, and had lots of emotions in her eyes but when she turned her head, her eyes met with Prince Rui’s eyes.
Unable to see what kind of expression there was under the mask, the male’s gaze was warm yet cool and it made others somewhat confused. One did not know if he smiled or not, as he glanced at Shen Miao before sitting down at the noble guests’ area.
HuangFu Hao was conscientious that he had lost face on the matter, but did not know how to restore it. This incident was sudden and it started from Princess Ming An, but now for it to progress to such a state, Shen Miao could not resolve her involvement. Looking at Shen Miao, HuangFu Hao coldly snorted, “Did not think that Young Lady Shen have such skills.”
Shen Miao lowered her head and returned back to her seat.
She was always gentle and harmless, but she obviously was not lenient during archery and was overflowing with viciousness, and now she had a dignified attitude, as if those wordplay matters were not related to her. She was so noble and majestic that if she were to say some exasperated words in such an attitude, the reasoning would be at her side, and others would not be able to say anything.
“Shen Miao, just now you are really…” Feng An Ning pulled her hands, “If you were a male, I would marry you.”
“It is sure delightful to requite injury with injury and avenge a grievance.” Luo Tan also said, “Biao Youngest Sister, I knew that you are one that would not let others bully you freely.” When in the Xiao Chun City, the Luo family’s people knew what kind of temper Shen Miao had. The weak could be bullied? Only the blind would think so.
Shen Miao’s eyes hanged down. Everyone thought she held a grudge because Princess Ming An kept pressuring, so she retaliated. Little had others imagined that the arrow of hers, had the hatred that she held in her last lifetime. Facing people who had deep thoughts like Fu Xiu Yi, naturally one need to plan and scheme each and every step. As for people like Princess Ming An, if one did not return the humiliation suffered in her past life, one would be sorry for the rebirth in this lifetime.
There were people that one need to endure, and some people that one need not endure would also come knocking. She had to act carefully, but some things would always be consistent. With family protecting, with the bargaining chips in her hands, why would one not dare to go against Princess Ming An? Otherwise, it would be her face that would be slapped!
Luo Ling handing a cup of hot tea over warmly asked, “Is Biao Youngest Sister alright?”
“It is nothing.” She answered with a small smile. She perceived that there was a pair of eyes that fell onto her, she then looked around but did not see that anyone was looking over, and thus thought it was her imagination.
At the noble guests’ area, the youth with a mask flexed his fingers and played with the wine cup in front of him. The white jade thumb ring was slightly glowing.
No one expected that in the midway of a perfectly fine banquet, there would be such an incident. But at the very beginning it was Princess Ming An that started everything. Moreover, Shen Xin had just returned back to the capital to be reinstated in his position, and with that unyielding attitude and Shen Miao’s beautiful win with that one arrow, they were the limelight in this Ming Qi’s tribute banquet. No matter what the ending was, Shen Xin’s high profile made one feel some fear.
At the Princes’ area of the banquet, Fu Xiu Yi’s expression had been calm from the very beginning, but at the end he became quiet and would look towards Shen Xin from time to time. He also occasionally looked pass Shen Xin to stop at the quiet young lady clad in purple.
It was not just her. There were a lot of eyes that were sizing Shen Miao up. There were talented youths who felt that Shen Miao was attractive, and naturally there were people like HuangFu Hao who made one feel uncomfortable. Later, even a careless person like Luo Tan also noticed this and said, “Why is everyone looking at Biao Youngest Sister? Do not even let the other eat?”
Luo Ling smiled and said to Shen Miao, “Biao Younger Sister, change seats with me.”
Luo Ling’s seating position was slightly inside and when Shen Miao changed position with him, since Luo Ling had a tall stature he could block her, and also block some of the enquiring eyes, making one feel much more comfortable.
Till the end of the tribute banquet, nothing else happened.
HuangFu Hao left halfway, and said that he would be going to take a look at Princess Ming An who fainted in fright. Naturally no one stopped him but everybody were well aware that after a few days, Princess Ming An would hate Shen Miao. Even though Shen Miao had Shen Xin’s protection, it would be easy for Princess Ming An to find a reason to make things difficult for Shen Miao. Everyone who was gazing at Shen Miao, unconsciously had a trace of sympathy.
Only Shen Yue and entourage felt more comforted when looking at Shen Miao. Most likely, Shen Wan wanted to get closer to Shen Xin, since he was reinstated and was ‘invited’ back by Emperor Wen Hui, thus it would not be good for the relationship between brothers to be in a deadlock. Regrettably, this time Shen Xin had his mind set and did not even preserve a cordial attitude to Shen Wan, and had no intention to even greet. When everyone saw this, their hearts understood.
Previously, when Shen Xin was forced to leave the capital, the news about separating from the Shen family was known to the entire capital city. One only knew about adding flowers on brocade and sending charcoal on snowy weather, now that Shen Xin made a comeback, Shen Wan come over to greet, any other hot-blooded male would also ignore. In the matter of cleaning things up, Shen Xin had the first chance to set it straight.
Shen Wan was not affectionate and since Shen Xin did not acknowledge, he did not go up to mingle. The two brothers seemed to be like strangers.
After the banquet, some of Shen Xin’s old colleagues came over to greet, while Luo Xue Yan brought Shen Miao out to wait for the horse carriage to come over first.
Luo Tan bounced around as she walked in front, Feng An Ning had already followed Feng Furen back earlier on, while Luo Ling and Shen Qiu walked at the back. After crossing an official gate, the horse carriage that Shen Xin arranged was at the side. Shen Miao turned her head and saw that in front of the long Palace corridor, a slender figure was slowly approaching.
Before one could see clearly the appearance of that person, with the lights of the lanterns, one was able to see a silver mask. The ends of the robes that were embroidered with gold threads were particularly clear at night. Even though one was unable to see what the pattern was in such a short amount of time, one felt it was extraordinarily gorgeous.
Shen Miao carefully looked as that youth walked to some distance away from Shen Miao, before stopping and slightly turning his head. One was not sure if he was looking over.
Shen Miao quietly looked at him.
In the night, the long corridor of the Palace looked dark and hidden away, but this person was filled with the brilliance of the moon, as he stepped into the shadow of the swaying tree. One did not know what expression he had on, but it was as bewitching as a painting. He slowly extended his hands and slightly flexed his fingers, before tapping three times on the pillar of the Palace gates.
Shen Qiu and Luo Ling discovered that Shen Miao did now follow along. Shen Qiu walked over to Shen Miao’s front and asked, “Younger Sister, what are you looking at?”
“Nothing.” Shen Miao recovered from her senses and spoke.
“Go and wait in the horse carriage first. The winds outside is big, lest catch a cold.” Luo Ling gently and warmly said.
Shen Miao nodded her head and lifted her leg to head over to the horse carriage. But she suddenly stopped and turned around to look at that long corridor.
The moonlight at the corridor was like water, and the spray of flowers on the floor was intoxicating as wind blew, which made the flower branches tremble. There was no silhouette in the empty long corridor. As if everything just now was just an illusion.
Luo Tan soft urging voice sounded, and Shen Miao turned around and raised her skirt to enter the carriage.