Once again, it is difficult to express the song in its elegant flair that it was composed in and there are many layers of meanings and understanding as the original form is like poetry. I have put in the actual Chinese words and if there is a better translation for them, please tell me so I can amend and credit it 🙂
Chapter 211: Cool Moon (Part 1)
The Jiao Wei Qin’s sounds were heavy and were not as clear as ordinary Qin and it was more difficult for one to move another’s heart when plucked but her every move was long and delicate.
It was distinctively an indescribable sound but it made another excited. From the first plucking sound, the entire hall fell silent.
She slowly opened her mouth and sang.
“Cang Jiang River flows from the West, the clouds and mountains on the reflection of the water, the terrace that is built on mountain. As the mountain and water connects, the terrace resisted, as arranged by Heavens.”
“As one supports the moon’s travels, one walk scattered like the stars. Being alone eating cold food and recalling the autumn scenery of one’s hometown, one worries when one’s head is on the pillow, anxious when on horseback, only resting after one’s death.
Her voice was amiable normally, as clear as water, but at this moment there was a painful emotion in it that made one’s eyes turn red upon listening and one’s heart sour. With her lyrics and her tune, it seemed that everyone could see that young Princess that was fair and adorable but was forced to wear the phoenix crown and sitting bittering in a corner of the Palace. That Palace hall had a serious and heavy atmosphere. She was at a young and innocent age but had to encounter a difficult fate.
She got up the carriage, bid goodbye to the Empress. The Emperor was unfeeling and sacrificed one’s daughter for his thousands of autumns. As a Princess of an Imperial family, what was ushered in was a marriage that she could not make the decision for.
The journey from the capital was far away and as she parted the curtains, she could see the flying eagles in the skies, the fishes swimming in the water. She also saw the wind, the rain and the clouds and every single thing had more freedom then her.
“In the close but far location, there was no shortage of flowers fluttering through one’s hands for many moons as one eyes filled with tears of farewell. The words of care and goodbyes were just spoken and made one reluctant to part.”
Shen Miao’s tears slowly flowed down.
She has a delicate and dignified appearance with complexion as fair as jade. Under the lanterns, her hands continued to pluck the Qin but one could see the tear stains. It was clearly a cold look but seemed to have endless suffering that one could not speak of, could not sing out. The pair of eyes was obviously clear but became dark with pain but it made one look like a flower twitching in the rain, making one could not help but want to care for.
Everyone in the packed hall was silent as she sang and their eyes became red. They only felt that their heart was blocked and there was no more joy from when Ye Mei danced.
However the strings suddenly changed and the Qin sounds were played hastily and her lyrics became sharp.
“The erred Monarch, the crafty and covetous officials, when the river opens it is the root of the disaster. Laws are excessive, punishments are heavy, creating resentment among the commoner. Have one seen people eating people? Thieves become officials, officials become thieves. Cheats are passed on as the virtuous, the mourners are pitiful.”
“It would be better to see the collapse of this building. When it becomes rubbles, the rise and fall would only be fifty years before one would look at it with cold eyes.”
Her brows and eyes were cold and her voice was bleeding blood, like she was sobbing and complaining, like she was talking about past experience. Then there was a murderous gaze in her eyes and it was fill with resentment and each traces of it were all directed towards the seated Ye Mei and brother.
At the end Wan Yu was unable to play the complete song for Fu Xiu Yi and the remaining part was filled by Shen Miao. In the Cold Palace, she had played it on a broken Qin. The first part was Wan Yu’s plead and the latter half was her complaint. There were ears at night but those people could not hear.
Now here, are you listening to this song? Did you feel a sense of familiarity? Was there a chilling sense?
Xie Jing Xing put down the cup and his gaze was as sharp as a knife.
Ye Mei felt somewhat chilly. What did these lyrics had to do with her? But why did it seem that it was directed to her that it made her heart feel restless?
When the singing ended, the faint sound of the Qin was not resting when Shen Miao suddenly stop and lifted her hands.
There were no words spoken in the hall for a long time.
Who dared to say that Rui WangFei was rude and hoarse and did not know Qin and chess? It was a skill to be able to play till the entire hall of people fall into silence.
However one could even make one’s heart feel heavy, as if after listening to that sad story, they would not be able to feel happy at all.
Shen Miao spoke amiably, “This piece is not festive and should not be played in a birthday celebration but Young Lady Ye wanted to listen so one had played it especially for Young Lady Ye.” She looked at Ye Mei, “Is Young Lady Ye satisfied?”
Everyone’s gaze landed on Ye Mei in an instant.
Ye Mei was somewhat restless. The words seemed to indicate that it her that forced Shen Miao to play the Qin and make a fool of herself but she had to admit that Shen Miao was not coarse at all. It was not difficult to play the Qin but what was difficult was moving another’s heart. Her Qin was able to move everyone in the hall and if one were to go back on one conscience and say that it was not good, one would be at a disadvantage.
“WangFei is indeed an unparalleled talent like the rumours.” Ye Mei smiled, “This piece ‘Blood Call’ is admirable but…” She was somewhat doubtful, “Why is there different atmosphere between the first and latter half of the ‘Blood Call’? The music score of latter half seemed to changed.”
The latter half was fierce, resentful and desperate, just like the last cry of a beast and it made one shudder.
Shen Miao moved her fingers. Of course the front and the latter were different. The front portion was created by Wan Yu to move Fu Xiu Yi but the latter portion was arranged when she lost her children and was thrown into the Cold Palace by the poisonous pair.
Shen Miao smiled gently, “The first half was the feelings of the Little Princess that was forced to marry but the latter half was from the Little Princess’s birth mother, the despair and anger of that Empress after losing her daughter.”
“So it was as such.” Everyone then understood and someone asked, “This piece is really touching. How does WangFei know of this story? It really makes one sigh upon hearing it.
“It is only sung by a travelling storyteller.” Shen Miao smiled, “It is just that one felt that this story was too serious that one remembered it.”
“Oh?” A young lady could not help but ask, “Since it is a story, then what is the ending of it? What kind of ending did that Princess have?”
Shen Miao said blandly, “The ending of the story is that Princess died during the journey of the alliance marriage and that Empress was banished to the Cold Palace and soon given the white silk and died.”
Everyone sighed and said that this story was just too tragic.
Ye Furen was however somewhat upset. Shen Miao’s song was actually comparable to Ye Mei’s. Ye Mei was charming and her dance enticed everyone but Shen Miao only sat down quietly and played the Qin and sang a couple of sentences and was able to attract everyone’s attention. Moreover she also told a story and snatched Ye Mei’s limelight. Like this, Ye Mei’s water sleeved dance became inferior.
Everyone’s gazes towards Shen Miao slightly changed.
Females were always emotional so when Shen Miao spoke of such a pitiful story and the Qin was able to hold one’s heart, everyone felt much closer to Shen Miao.
Ye Furen said, “It is really sorrowful on such a festive day.”
Shen Miao smiled too, “One had disturbed everyone’s interest. It is my fault.” She walked to the middle area and picked up a wine bowl. Wine bowls were used by males to drink and she poured herself a bowl full of yellow wine which reflects her youthful face.
“One will toast a bowl for apologies.” She knocked her head back to drink it all down.
Xie Jing Xing’s gaze became serious and he seemed to get up but had no choice but to sit back down.
Shen Miao’s chin was lifted as she drank the bowl of wine with urgency. There were some wine that was not swallowed in time that dribble down her neck and damped a small part of her clothes. However it was a pretty sight that made one look charming.
Her eyelashes were long and her expression was clear. Finishing, she placed the wine bowl on the table and elegantly and proudly said, “One had bottoms up first.”
She had drunk it cleanly and those fellow officials’ heroic spirits were lit and they all picked up the wine bowl and laughed, “WangFei is good at drinking, One will toast to you.”
Shen Miao smiled slightly and this smile looked somewhat unfamiliar with others. She glanced at Ye Mei and brother and they were staring at her. She then looked outside.
This bowl of wine seemed to have ignited the atmosphere of the Bi Xiao Luo. As the mood was at the peak, Shen Miao stood up and said to the female guest, “One will go out for some fresh air.”
She then left alone.
Ba Jiao and Hui Xiang were waiting for her outside to head over to the pavilion not far away. Shen Miao’s throat felt hot as the wine was served was strongest but she did not feel drunk. It was just that the corners of her eyes were hot and teary.
That cup of wine was for her little daughter, the little Princess that died on the journey for a marriage alliance. Those people who just listened felt miserable then how about her? How about Wan Yu? When she was alone with her entourage, did she felt desperate like her body was in fire but could not do anything about it?
She thought that she could hold it in but at the end she could not do it. As a mother, she would rather die a thousand times then be willing to let Wan Yu and Fu Ming suffer those hardships.
As she took each step, the moonlight was as cool as water but it could not blow away the overgrown feelings in her heart.
Drinks and a food basket was already placed in the pavilion as Ba Jiao said, “Furen, the fireworks have been bought.”
Shen Miao complied.
Speak of it then. After speaking, one would be relieve. No matter how Xie Jing Xing looked at her in the future or what she had to face, she could bear it all. There was nothing worse than her previous lifetime. She had endured all those things of not being understood, being isolated and be looked upon like an animal, so what would it still matter?
Just as she was thinking, she heard a voice behind her, “You are waiting for the Prince?”
Upon turning around, she saw Pei Lang.
Pei Lang took a glance at the things that was arranged on the pavilion and smiled, “One did not expect that you will do such things.”
Shen Miao asked him, “Why are you out?”
“One is not used to that kind of place.” Pei Lang said, “Moreover one cannot drink so one planned to return first. Did not expect to see you preparing these things.” He said, “Planning to reconcile with the Prince?”
Shen Miao nodded her head.
“Previously one used to think that most likely there would not be anyone that you will give in too but now one know that it is the Prince.” Pei Lang’s smile had an unnoticeable hint of sadness but he looked back at Shen Miao, it became lighthearted, “Even though it is somewhat surprising, it is not unexpected.”
Shen Miao smiled gently.
At the same time, Xie Jing Xing who was in Bi Xiao Luo looked at Tie Yi and was about to get up to leave.
Ji Yu Shu grabbed onto his clothes, “Today you are the star so how could one escape first?”
“Let go.” Xie Jing Xing glared at him.
Ji Yu Shu obediently let go, “What are you going to do? So mysterious.”
Gao Yang said, “Why do you care what he is doing?”
Xie Jing Xing took a slight glance and saw that Ye Furen was speaking to Ye Mei and brother and his gaze could not help but darken.
Shen Miao’s attitude towards this pair of siblings was just too strange. It seemed to have gone beyond her reasoning and it was like she had become another person. The Ye siblings seemed not to be simple. Even though Mo Yun Army was unable to find anything wrong, but because of that, it was even more suspicious.
He suddenly remembered the letter that Tie Yi stuffed into his sleeves.
That was a letter that Shen Miao wrote to him.
It did not mention about apologising and only said that she had something to say to him at a pavilion near the Bi Xiao Luo, where the birthday celebration was held.
With regards to Shen Miao, it was a big concession to do away with everyone and meet him, no matter it was an apology or not. Xie Jing Xing appeared to be tough outwardly but was very week in essence towards Shen Miao thus he was easily coaxed. The cold expression was just put up as his heart was actually happy.
He had thought that come knocking for three days and let her be, and indeed she became sensible. However she was reluctant to let her be upset but just now in the hall, she wore overly gorgeous and when she was playing the Qin, those admiring eyes that those males gave her… Made him somewhat unhappy.
In the pavilion, Pei Lang had finish chatting with Shen Miao and was planning to leave. Just as he step down, he bumped onto a young boy and Pei Lang fell. Ba Jiao and Hui Xiang was bringing Xie Jing Xing over at the other end. Shen Miao was thinking that in such a late night, could it be that a young master of some official family in Bi Xiao Luo that ran out to play. Upon hearing Pei Lang low groan, it seemed that it was not a light fall and intended to go over to take a look.
Upon walking over to Pei Lang, one saw that the child was squatting down and one did not know why but Pei Lang was coaxing him. Shen Miao crochet down and was about to speak when the child raised his head up violently with a fierce gaze.
Shen Miao was caught off guard when she saw a silver light heading towards him. It was too late to hide but she saw Pei Lang grabbing her and turning her over so that he could protect her.
Afterwards there was a groan of pain.
However he did not let go and protected Shen Miao closely. The child did not care and kicked Pei Lang away and turned the knife over to stab Shen Miao.
Sound came from a far and the child paused his action before looking at Shen Miao and like Pei Lang, stab the knife into the abdomen.
Xie Jing Xing was walking over this side with Hui Xiang and Ba Jiao.
Hui Xiang said, “Furen have been waiting for you for a while. Fearing that you are still angry, she had been waiting patiently. When you see Furen, one must be considerate of her.”
Xie Jing Xing was expressionless but there was a trace of a smile in his eyes.
After bypassing the small alleys, one saw the pavilion but before they reached nearer, there was a bloody scent.
Xie Jing Xing paused in his steps.
Ba Jiao and Hui Xiang was also startled.
The moonlight was as bright as a lantern that shone everything on the ground clearly. It should have been a breezy and elegant scene with the moon and wind but at this moment it made one feel a cold feeling from the bottom of their hearts.
Large patches of blood. And there were familiar people.