Chapter 213: Previous Lifetime I (Part 2)
The music threw one’s mind into disorder. This Palace banquet was extraordinarily lively.
Fu Xiu Yi had never been this happy and his normally cold look became much softer with his smile becoming exceptionally happier. Shen Miao looked coldly as Fu Chen came over to toast him. Both Father and Son looked happy but her heart was somewhat chilled.
Fu Ming sat properly at the side and Wan Yu also sat in exactitude. Those officials would often praise the Crown Prince and the Princess for being sensible at such a young age that there was some adult air. But this kind of dignified air was not something that everyone could have. Even though they were all polite words, it was not far from the truth. However one did not think that how would one be so sensible? These sensibilities were all forced out.
Wan Yu and Fu Ming also tried their best to be close with Fu Xiu Yi but children’s minds were simple and could feel Fu Xiu Yi’s coldness thus they gradually become polite and well mannered.
Shen Miao sat by Fu Xiu Yi’s side but would see Fu Xiu Yi exchanging glances with Mei Furen from time to time. Mei Furen would smile and it was sure affectionate and Fu Xiu Yi would also smile gently back.
Shen Miao had thought that both of them were really happy.
But how about the main star of this banquet?
Shen Miao could not help but look at the male at the left side of the banquet.
That male looked beautiful and handsome and had a lazy posture. He sat diagonally and his dark purple robes were somewhat wide but did not cover his aura. The corner of his lips were hooked up in a smile as he slowly drank the wine like the banquet had nothing to do with him and the enthusiasm did not impact him.
Shen Miao’s heart was laughing as she felt that this Little Marquis from the residence of the Marquis of Lin An was a little like her. The entire banquet was filled with fun and joy but one’s heart is not happy. Xie Jing Xing would be walking on a path of life and death that was filled with blood and she did not know what kind of ending she would have.
There were enemies behind one back, surrounded by all sides and every single one were life-threatening.
She picked up the wine cup and poured herself a drink. Each sip that she drank was extremely restrained.
An Empress always have to be dignified and would not be like a favoured consort that could drink delicately and charmingly that would make one’s heart intoxicated.
When the banquet ended, people were leaving in twos and threes. She sat in the main position and heard Mei Furen saying, “Your Majesty, ChenQie had prepared good wine tonight so Your Majesty can watch the fireworks with ChenQie. Chen-er even mentioned that he wanted to compete with Your Majesty in chess.”
Fu Xiu Yi laughed and touched Mei Furen’s nose, “Such a competitive temperament. It is exactly like you.”
Shen Miao’s sentence of ‘At the end of the year, Wan Yu and the Crown Prince also want to accompany the Emperor’ was swallowed down.
Looking back, the sorrow in the children’s eyes made her heart ache.
But she endured the pain and had an indifferent expression on.
But in this New Year, one could not sleep at all.
She coax both children to sleep and felt that both children were not very enthusiastic about the arrival of the New Year. The sounds of fireworks was heard at the Palace walls. It was late at night and in such a night, the fireworks at Mei Furen’s palace would look the best place to watch it. Presumably, the three of them were enjoying it.
Shen Miao draped her clothes on and instructed Bai Lu to bring a jar of wine and a bowl before she sent to the garden herself.
One can see the fireworks from a corner of the garden. Only a small part of the fireworks could be seen but even the small part was extremely gorgeous. It almost light up the entire skies and one could only imagine if one was standing at the other end, what a good scene it would be to see everything.
She took out a bowl. Bai Lu looked in a somewhat heartache but Shen Miao waved her hands and did not let her speak.
“This fireworks is really beautiful.” Shen Miao’s voice was low and was somewhat intoxicated., “When can one see the complete scene of it?”
She suddenly laughed, “Most likely not possible.”
Just as she was speaking, one heard footsteps coming from behind. As the boots stepped on the snow, there would be squeaky sounds.
Bai Lu jumped in shock, “You all…”
Shen Miao turn around and saw someone walking out from the thick tree shadows.
A person clad in a guard attire was at the back and the person standing had a tall stature, wearing a purple robes and the pair of peach blossoms eyes reflected the fireworks at night, making one exceptionally moving and beautiful.
“The residence of the Marquis of Lin An’s… Marquis Xie?” Shen Miao squinted her eyes to look at him.
That person also seemed to be surprised and click his tongue, “So Fu Xiu Yi’s Empress is an alcoholic.”
The guard behind him said, “Master, we should leave.”
Bai Lu was also somewhat nervous as she did not know why was Xie Jing Xing was still in the Palace. But if one saw an Empress and an official standing together, it might be a big matter, especially when Shen Miao had been living with great difficulty these days. Once others had an excuse, they would hesitate to pour dirty water upon her. At such a time, it was naturally good to stay as far from this heir of the residence of the Marquis of Lin An as possible.”
Bai Lu dared not alert others and as this garden was remote, she said softly, “Lord Heir, Her Majesty the Empress is somewhat drunk and this servant was about to help her back. One request for Lord Heir to treat it as nothing was seen.”
Xie Jing Xing glanced at Shen Miao and smiled, like he was not interested at all and turned around to leave.
“Wait.” Shen Miao however called him.
Bai Lu was stunned and hated that she could not cover Shen Miao’s mouth. Shen Miao stared at Xie Jing Xing. She was somewhat drunk this time. Ever since she headed to Qin country till now, she had never drank unbridledly and the saying of alcohol dissipate worries of a thousand autumns was not false. When one was drunk, they will fell relaxed and would do many things that they would not have done normally.
She said, “BenGong heard that you are going to Northern Jiang?”
Xie Jing Xing folded his arms in front of him and said in a smile but not a smiled, “Does Your Ladyship the Empress have anything to instruct?”
Tie Yi and Bai Lu stared at Shen Miao. Shen Miao smiled and picked up the bowl, that she just drank from, from the table and poured an entire bowl of wine from the wine jar and gestured to Xie Jing Xing, “A highly talented youth, a character through the ages, unparalleled talent, peerless in the world.”
Xie Jing Xing’s eyebrows raised and Bai Lu was so embarrassed that she hated that she could not drag Shen Miao away. There wasn’t anyone would would praise them like that.
“Northern Jiang is a very bad place.” Shen Miao patted his shoulders. She was petite and when she patted another’s should, she had to tiptoe to do it. She then looked at Xie Jing and said half serious half intoxicated, “One heard Father speaking that grass do not grow there, the terrain is treacherous and there are many poisonous snakes, bugs and ants. It is easy to fall into traps. It is dangerous for you to go there.”
“This official thank Your Ladyship for being troubled.” Xie Jing Xing casually said.
“There would not be any name written in the annals when one’s heart is reported to the Heavenly one.” Her mouth spoke without thinking as she waved the bowl of wine at Xie Jing Xing and drank all of it in a breath.
Bai Lu and Tie Yi jumped in shock. The former did not expect that Shen Miao would drink like she had said and the latter was astonished that the Empress was so bold and uninhibited.
Shen Miao wiped her mouth and hiccuped, “This is the bowl of wine that BenGong toast to you. Must return in triumphant.”
Xie Jing Xing stared at her. There was still smile wine by her lips that were not wiped away. It was sparkling like crystals hanging on her lips and it looked very good. Under the moonlight, her features displayed a delicateness that could not be seen during the day. Without the shackles of a Empress, she was actually a very beautiful and delicate female.
His lips hooked up and his smile was a little evil as he said slowly, “It seemed that the Emperor is treating the Empress coldly.”
Bai Lu’s eyes widen. Xie Jing Xing’s words were just too impudent but she dared not drag Shen Miao away directly, lest Shen Miao made some noise which would alert another and one would not be able to speak about it clearly.
After Shen Miao finish drinking, she swayed as she picked up the jar and pour a large bowl before handling it over to Xie Jing Xing, “You also drink.”
“Why should I drink?” Xie Jing Xing was unable to make heads or tails of it.
“You and BenGong are fellow sufferers that empathise with each other.” Shen Miao said.
“Who are fellow sufferers?” Xie Jing Jing felt that it was laughable but Shen Miao lifted the bowl of wine to his lips.
Bai Lu was so shock that her face became pale as this was too shady already. Tie Yi was also extremely shock but Xie Jing Xing did not speak
Xie Jing Xing was cause unaware by the bowl of wine and when he pushed Shen Miao away, a lot of wine were spilt onto his clothes but upon looking at Shen Miao, she smile in satisfaction. She said, “We have a bowl of wine relation and when you return in triumphant, then come and watch the fireworks with BenGong.”
Xie Jing Xing felt unfathomable today. So when females were drunk, they would be irrational and even the dignified Empress was really another person.
“It is better for Your Ladyship the Empress to watch with the Emperor.” He tidied his clothes.
Shen Miao said dimly, “BenGong had never watch the fireworks with him.”
Xie Jing Xing stared at the female opposite him. Her head was slightly tilted, her lips were raised but there were some bitterness in her gaze and his heart inexplicably soften, “Alright, this official promise you.”
Shen Miao’s eyes brighten and she looked at him, “Then it is promised.”
Xie Jing Xing nodded his head.
Shen Miao thought about ti and shook her head, “An oral agreement is not binding. There must be a token.” She then started to touch her hair for her accessories.
Bai Lu was startled and did not feel good in her heart. If the Empress’s things was found on Xie Jing Xing, then it would be a crime of adultery. Hearing that Shen Miao would give a handkerchief or hairpin to the other, she suddenly saw the red string at Shen Miao’s wrist and smarten, “Your Ladyship, that red string of your is good.”
Shen Miao’s gaze fell onto the red robe and her heart moved as she quickly untied it and took Xie Jing Xing’s hand over and tie it up with all seriousness.
When Xie Jing Xing’s gaze landed on her slightly curled eyelashes, it was dewy, like it was mingled in the cold winter, making one’s heart feel inexplicably itchy.
After Shen Miao finish tying, she smiled at him, “This is the token BenGong give to you. This would be the promise as one wait for you to return in triumph.”
“Many thanks to Your Ladyship’s bestowment.” Xie Jing Xing smiled carelessly, “But this official do not have any object to give to Your Ladyship. Why not one give Your Ladyship a wish instead?”
“Wish?” Shen Miao looked at him.
“Upon one’s triumphant return, this official can give Your Ladyship a wish. As long as this official can do, one would do one’s best to fulfil Your Ladyship’s wish.”
Shen Miao said, “It is a deal.”
“It is a deal.”
A boom was heard and the corner of the skies was once again illuminated by the smouldering fireworks. Both of them looked over in silence but there seem to be a tactic understanding between them.
Bai Lu was also stunned.
The fireworks were fleeting but there were some things that would not disappear, just like this night.
When Shen Miao woke up, she only felt a splitting headache and as she held her forehead, she stood up and headed towards the table, “One actually slept for such a long time.”
Bai Lu brought a bowl of hot soup over, “Your Ladyship had drank too much yesterday. It is better to drink this to sober up.”
“Drink too much?” Shen Miao’s action paused, “But one did not drink that much at the banquet.”
Bai Lu had a guilty conscience as she said, “Most likely the wine in the banquet has high alcohol content.”
Shen Miao nodded her head and sighed, “BenGong’s habit of not remembering anything when one is drunk has not change for so many years. But one had not been drunk for a long time.”
Bai Lu nodded her head and heard Shen Miao saying as she looked at her empty wrist, “How did the red string disappear?”
Bai Lu said softly, “It is most likely… Lost.”
Shen Miao sighed, “It indeed is not long-lasting.”
The sun was shinning as the procession of troops that was about to set of was at the city gates.
It was headed by a young male with an arrogant horse. It was clearly a lazy smile but one’s gaze was so cold that one did not dare to look up.
“Master, everything is prepared.” Tie Yi said.
Xie Jing Xing took a glance back. After exiting this city gates, the future in Northern Jiang would be a clean break from the past. There would not be any more implication.
One after all had to leave.
“There is nothing worthy of nostalgia here.” The white clad male shook his fan and said, “And nothing is related to you.”
“Maybe one hoped that Third Older Brother would not be able to return.” The gentleman clade in pine-green robes smiled as he looked ahead, “No matter what, one have to return home.”
Both of them looked at that purple clad male together.
Xie Jing Xing’s head was bowed and his gaze landed on his wrist. There was a red string and it’s ends were carefully and tidily knotted, seemingly one would not be able to loosen it at all.
“Isn’t that what a female wears?” Ji Yu Shu asked, “Why are you wearing that?”
“Drank someone’s farewell drink and owed a wish to someone.” Xie Jing Xing said, “Will return upon one’s return.
His withdraw his gaze and raised his whip, “Set off.”