A battle of tongues in this chapter. He Heng displays his love. Little Student Ming is still very pitiful… …
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Chapter Seventy One
Music produced by females were usually gentle and touching. Qu Qing Ju leaned back against the cushion, her index finger slowly caressing the rim of her tea cup. She watched the flower petals fall on Qu Yue Su’s hair. The wind blew and the petals all fell down, displaying a special kind of charm.
Due to the influence of her profession in the previous life, she liked admiring beauties of all types. A plainly dressed beauty, hair flying in the midst of a rain of flower petals, it was a beautiful scene. Even more so when the beauty’s music was also pleasing to the ear. .
“The drizzling rains are moisturizing the streets of the capital, the color of grass can be seen far yet not near, it is the best attribute of summer, and definitely wins over the colors of the capital.” Qu Yue Su’s voice was light as she recited a poem describing the spring. Her fingers stopped moving, leaving behind the perfect ending for the song.
The surrounding people woke up from the music. Some clapped while others gasped. But there wasn’t anyone who dared to dampen the spirits by mentioning that this qie was a daughter of a duke.
“Beautiful person, beautiful song,” He Heng played with the wine cup and praised insincerely, “Good.”
“To receive a compliment from er ge, that’s her good fortune. Qu shi may only be ben wang’s cefei, but she is also er sao’s meimei. So she can call er ge brother.” He Yuan smiled as he raised a cup to He Heng, “The person is beautiful, the wine even more so. Let’s have another cup.”
Sitting on the right hand side of He Heng, He Ming heard the words and felt that they were strange. He looked at the qie sitting by the qin, and then at er ge, his brow furrowing. Was san ge purposefully trying to humiliate er ge?
“San di is joking,” He Heng didn’t get angry and smiled instead. He gave a disinterested look at Qu Yue Su, “San di is gracious enough to have your beloved qie to play a song for us, and allow us to see what is meant by the person is beautiful, the song even more so. So it should be er ge toasting you.” This Que Yue Su might have been a noble lady of a gong fu but now she was in your Rui Wang Fu. You let your woman come out and display herself, it didn’t have anything to do with him. If you don’t find that embarrassing, what could he be afraid of?
When he finished talking, He Heng turned to look at He Ming and asked: “Si di, don’t you think we should toast lao san?”
He Ming showed a confused expression as he raised his cup and smiled sincerely: “Yu di toasts san ge and thanks san ge for being so welcoming.”
“There’s no need to be so polite. Just a qie, she’s nothing worth treasuring.” He Yuan gritted his teeth as he drank down the cup of wine, the fire roaring inside.
“Haha, san di is very right. Let’s drink, let’s drink.” He Heng laughed as he raised the cup and called for the people seated nearby to drink as well.
Under the pear tree, Qu Yue Su’s fingernails pierced her palm. A drop of vibrantly crimson blood fell on the Jiao Wei zither. Her jade-like fingertip roughly wiped away the drop. The index finger swiped at the strings and a harsh “Ambush From Ten Sides” was played.
“ ‘Ambush from Ten Sides’, the murderous intent from all sides, the danger from all sides. Your fu’s ce fei has done a good performance,” He Gui Nian took a drink of tea and smiled as she looked at the woman playing, “This guniang has brilliant talent and is as beautiful as a flower, and plays such a good zither. No wonder san di desperately wanted to take her into the fu.”
What did having so many skills do for her? Wasn’t she still shameless for becoming someone else’s qie? Qin Bai Lu smiled insincerely at He Gui Nian before her gaze fell onto Qu Qing Ju, “That isn’t all. It’s not just wang ye, even I usually like listening to her songs. Er sao’s meimei is a very rare kind of female.”
Hearing this, Qu Qing Ju sighed: “It’s san shu and san dimei who have the good fortune. Before I’d married, san mei lived with my stepmother. We rarely saw each other, much less admire san mei’s musical talents. It’s only at dimei’s fu that I have the good fortune. No matter what, I have to thank san dimei. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had many chances to hear san mei’s songs in this lifetime.” She smiled, looking deeply moved, “It’s san dimei who has good fortune, to have such a good assistant in helping to take care of san shu.”
He Gui Nian couldn’t help but feel awe after hearing Qu Qing Ju’s words. She was really worthy of being er dimei. She was a perfect match in heaven with er di. Even the way she spoke was the same method of killing without seeing blood.
She turned her head to look. As expected, Qin Bai Lu’s expression had changed. Any woman, after hearing such words, wouldn’t feel comfortable. What woman was willing to share her husband with a talented and beautiful qie?
“Thanks er sao, I hope er sao will have the same good fortune in the future,” Qin Bai Lu raised a teacup and took a drink, trying her best to make the smile on her face appear natural.
“Not everyone could have this kind of good fortune, I won’t try to hope,” Qu Qing Ju gave a wide smile as she continued, “Just listening isn’t very interesting. San dimei, why don’t you call some beauties for a dance? That would be enjoyable.”
Qin Bai Lu forced out a small smile: “The dancers have already been prepared. Since er sao wishes to admire the dances of beautiful women, di mei will have the servants prepare.”
Did she think that Rui Wang Fu was a playhouse, that she could order whatever? Qin Bai Lu indicated for the already prepared program to continue. Very quickly, dancers in white dresses with green girdles appeared in the garden. There were also musicians accompanying them from the side. The entire garden was filled with noise.
As the atmosphere became busier, Qu Qing Ju’s gaze swept across the male guests opposite her. These men were either drinking, changing cups, or using the silver chopsticks to tap along with the music. For some reason, she thought of the “Song of the Pipa Player” by Bai Ju Yi. Written in it was “The hairpins and silver combs broke as they were used to tap the beat, the red dress was dirtied by spilled wine, this year’s cheer repeats next year, the autumn moon and spring winds pass in leisure.” This was almost the entire truth. Luxury would disappear. Men were greedy for fresh and beautiful but a woman’s youth was so short. After the best times had passed, where is the man’s heart?
After watching half of the dancing, He Yuan pointed at the dancer leading the troupe, “Er ge, what do you think of that one?”
He Heng smiled as He looked at He Yuan. He slowly drawled: “Her beauty is above average, but not my type.”
He Yuan had been waiting for the other’s compliment so he could give his brother a beautiful woman. He hadn’t thought that He Heng would reply with such words. He stilled for a moment before asking: “What is er ge’s preference?”
“With one look, the heart feels pleased, that is my preference,” He Heng put down the wine cup in his hand. Taking the stance of the elder brother, he lectured seriously, “San di, no matter how many beautiful women there are, it’s just flowers on the gold. A man shouldn’t be too lustful. The so-called houses of beauty and happy dens are the easiest ways to wear down the drive of men. We are all young, we should put more attention on state affairs and try to lessen the burden for fuhuang.”
He Yuan didn’t manage to give out the woman and got lectured in return, causing him to almost lose the smile on his face. He put his wine cup on the table, “Er ge is right to scold me. These people are just for pleasure, and cannot be taken seriously. I made er ge worry, it’s didi’s fault.”
“I know you are usually mature, I just said a few words,” He smiled as he raised the wine cup, “Come, drink.”
He Ming widened his eyes as he watched er ge push away the beauty like this, and managed to scold san ge as well. He instantly felt awe rise for er ge.
The story of Rui Wang appreciating the dancing and wanting to give Duan Wang a woman passed into Qu Qing Ju’s ears only when they had started the noon meal. She didn’t change expression and blankly stated, “To receive a beautiful woman as a gift, that’s a good thing.”
“Such a pity you won’t be bringing that beauty home,” He Gui Nian smiled as she wiped her hands dry. She looked at Qu Qing Ju as she grinned, “My er di has said, no matter how beautiful the woman, it’s still just flowers on the gold. It’s enough to have only one who pleases the heart. He also said that men should pay more attention on state affairs.”
The bunch of womenfolk on the side admired Qu Qing Ju’s good fortune. One said that Rui Wang’s conduct was of good taste, another said Duan Wang was illustrious. Both families were complimented, and even He Gui Nian was praised for having two good brothers.
Qu Qing Ju heard these people’s words and couldn’t help but think, the pitiful Little Fourth He, he had been forgotten by these womenfolk again.
Qin Bai Lu looked at the happy smile on Qu Qing Ju’s face. The sourness in her heart seemed to have reached her throat. She was the one with higher birth than Qu Qing Ju, and she was the more talented. Her husband was more favoured by fuhuang but why was it that the other was better than her in every aspect, her popo was warm to her, her husband loved her, and even her clothing and jewellery were more sumptuous than her?
She was the one who should be more proud, right? Except for the fact that Qu Qing Ju was more beautiful, where else could she win?
The Heavens weren’t fair. This type of vulgar woman could have such a good life. But why could she not receive the love of her husband, the satisfaction of her popo and she had to compete for a man with those shiqie who couldn’t even be seen out in public.
“Those ordinary rouge and common powders cannot compare to er sao’s beauty,” Qin Bai Lu opined, “It’s no surprise that Duan Wang doesn’t have an interest in those dancers.”
These words seemed to be complimenting her but why did it not sound right? Qu Qing Ju smiled as she looked at Qin Bai Lu, “San dimei’s words are really making me embarrassed. Da jie had mocked me already and now you’ve come to take a go. Us women’s youth is only these short few years. Whatever beauty that exists, it becomes nothing.”
Many of the womenfolk had been married for a long time. After hearing Qu Qing Ju’s words, they couldn’t help but agree. Duan Wang Fei’s words were very truthful. Who hadn’t been young once? But out of the people present, some always had the love and respect of their husbands, and some had nothing to say to their husbands. So the thing that is beauty, it can only be for a short time, whose beauty lasts for eternity?
In Xi Ce Yuan, Qu Yue Su calmly watched as Yao Xi cleaned her wounds. Hearing the chatter and laughter outside, she smiled bitterly: “Today, I’ve lost all my honor.” Now, she was regretful but it was too late.
“Xiao jie!” Yao Xi comforted with red eyes, “Xiao jie, don’t think too much. You still have many days ahead of you.”
“Yes, long days.” Qu Yue Su stared dazedly at the half-open door. She remembered the conversation between Duan Wang and wang ye. So she was nothing but an amusement.
Amusement … …