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I presented you chapter 5 shortly after like what I have promised before. Enjoy~
I found some sentence which hard for me to decipher the meaning. I just hope that I translate it accurately or not the "lost in translation"case.
And...... yeeeeessss!!! This chapter has the first encounter of Ah Luo and umm... a ML?? Who is he??
I know, their encounter is kind typical, but still, I was giggling when I translated their part. I'm curious too with their next interaction fufufufu
I hope you enjoy it too~~ Happy reading!!
Man Man Qing Luo
The Peach Blossom Banquet was the grandest Spring Banquet in Feng City. Princess Hu Guo was originally the younger sister of one of Ning Country’s Prince. Later, she was married to General Chen, which was widowed shortly after. This Peach Blossom Banquet was her boudoir private party which held at the garden of her Shicui Manor House when spring came. Every time the flower bloomed, she would open her manor door and invited her inner circle people – all imperial family and ministers of royal court to attend and enjoy her Peach Blossom Banquet. This invitation, which later indirectly inspired some high-class bachelors to attend. Along the way, this banquet became a high-grade match-making feast.
In Feng Country, there were five most eligible sons of nobility. They were Liu Jian the Crown Prince of Ning Country, Liu Fei the Fourth Prince, Liu Jue son of Prince An Qing, the new top scorer of imperial examination Cheng Si Yue, and the son of Left Minister, Gu Tian Xiang. These five most eligible bachelors were all famous with their handsomeness in their twenties. That's no wonder if most of maiden girls in Feng City always talked about these five bachelors with excitement as if they were the stars of their eyes.
Li Father looked at his three daughters. Li Qing Lei was reserved and steady, Li Qing Fei was bright and lively, Li Qing Luo was delicate and beautiful. Chun Lan and Qiu Ju was in fact a good children (春兰秋菊各擅扬长, t.n : a proverb? or their nickname?). Even though, Ah Luo seemed to have no extraordinary skills, he was rather indifferent with her but deeply proud and satisfied with his other two daughters.
He had heard that the five most eligible bachelors had to participate in the Peach Blossom Banquet. Three from those five bachelors were sons of royal families, all of them were not tied in marriage yet. A few days ago, the Crown Prince of Ning Country had hinted that he took a fancy to his eldest daughter, Qing Lei. If there was no unexpected mishap, she would be a candidate for the Crown Princess. Until then, Li Father shed his tears of gratitude (feeling grateful).
Later, there was a news that the Empress quite interested with her own niece. So her niece, Yan Hui, was returned to Empress’ side. Reportedly, Yan Hui was known to be outstanding at strategy (chess) and highly intelligent young miss. Even though her appearance wasn’t as beautiful as the jewel of heaven, Li Qing Lei, she actually could be counted as an elegant young miss among her peers. Even, her family background was more unspeakable powerful, no one dare to underestimate her.
Since these three eligible bachelor in Ning Country were going to assemble together and establish their relationship with Princess Hu Guo’ whom was the host of Peach Blossom Banquet, it was a good opportunity for his three daughters to debut ahead. That's it, there was an open competition and even though the Crown Prince had always been an eyesore prince in public, there was an intention to serve Crown Prince and affiliated with the imperial family. Therefore, the Peach Blossom Banquet had an underlying purpose behind it, that was watching his three pretty girls competed to seize their future husband.
After thinking till this point, Li Father was still uncertain that he walked back and forth anxiously in his study room. The Great Madam saw his nervousness, smiled and gently said: “Master, why don't you let all three daughters go to the banquet? Aren't all the five most eligible bachelors going to attend the banquet?”
Great Madam had reminded Master Li in one sentence. If one could not become the main wife of Crown Prince, then it was unavoidable to become a ce fei (side wive). Moreover, if your two daughters could get a favor from one of these five most eligible bachelors in Feng City, it can be considered a good prospect. After thinking like this, Master Li stroke his beard and smiled, “True, your vision is still sharp!”
When Seventh Madam heard that Ah Luo had to go to the Peach Blossom Banquet, her eyes gave out a hint of merry light. She then went to Crabapple Courtyard and hugged Ah Luo : “Ah Luo, although you are only twelve years old now, but you don't lose to your sisters. Almost all of noble child in Ning Country were invited by the Princess. You have to be attentive with your surrounding later and began your plan for your future.”
Ah Luo was shocked: “Mother, I am only twelve years old!”
Seventh Madam smiled and said: “Women in Ning Country can marry a husband after she has reached 13 years old. And when she has reached sixteen years old, she can consummate the marriage. My dear Ah Luo, you can betrothed to a good candidate, and when you grow up, you can marry him!”
Ah Luo lamented: “I don’t want to be a Madam yet, can we not planned this early?”
Seventh Madam forlornly said: “Mother also can't bear to let you separated away from me, but you can't stay with mother for your entire life. If you can meet a good one, it's better for you to marry one for the sake of your future. Mother only wants you to look carefully at the party. Who knows, you will meet a good candidate for your future.”
On the seventh day of third month, the spring breeze whisked around the city, the sun was shining, it was a bright and beautiful. Such a great weather. Great Madam took her three daughters to the Peach Blossom Banquet. By merely existing in there, she could stand proudly with Ning Country’s people. It was also the most satisfying position for the Great Madam. Today, she deliberately combed her hair in to chao tian bun-style, she wore a dark gold-embroidered skirt. Her hair was inserted with a golden peony flowers. As she walked, the beads were dangling and the ring that she wore were jingling. Her plump body that was hidden behind in those hair accessories and clothes showed the dignity rich lady in Ning Country.
Ah Luo looked at Li Qing Lei. A
light blue top and a white tunic skirt which embroidered with a silver thread
in mei qi jiu knot (t.n : I assumed it was one of embroidered
method). Her clothes filled with flower buds, it created a graceful jade effect
on her. Her oval face was calm and collected, she was incomparably elegant and
cool. And then, Ah Luo once again looked at Li Qing Fei, the red-colored gauze
on top of the jade-colored chest cover, and her skirt cuffs were embroidered
with dark silk thread in to a mass of flower blossoms. Her figure was the
tallest among of the three sisters. At the age of fourteen, her height was one
point six or seven meters. As the wind blew. The gauze on her body was raised
Ah Luo looked at herself. She was wearing a cyan blue single-jacket and dark blue skirt. Her hair was styled in two small buns, her bangs that was hanging down till half of her face was cut by Xiao Yu. Two silver hairpins were inserted on her hair.
Ah Luo stood beside Qing Lei and Qing Fei. It can be seen that she was a head shorter than her two elder sisters. She really looked like a little girl they had brought along. Qing Lei and Qing Fei took a look at Ah Luo and snorted a laugh. Even Great Madam frowned and thought that Ah Luo was still too young. Today should be the day for eldest and second child.
Ah Luo hurriedly fawning over them with her sweet voice: “Eldest sister and second sister are so beautiful today, Ah Lu will be your proper little girl, and carefully help my sisters to pick a good one.”
Qing Lei and Qing Fei immediately blushed and sputtered at her face: “little girl when do you become a shrew!”
Ah Luo only smiled and did not answer.
This was the first time, after she came to this world, that she could come out from her home gate. She couldn't help but lifted open the carriage curtain and looked outside for the carriage window. Great Madam coughed twice: “Ah Luo, when your father allowed you to go out, there is a lesson says that you must pay attention to your identity as a girl from noble family. You must not allow any man, a chance of humiliation today, otherwise you family have to deal with the law. Now, look at Ah Lei and Ah Fei, and then look at yourself. It’s true that Seventh Madam really can't change your temper and teach her daughter!”
Ah Luo’s heart burst in anger after hearing her contempt, but then she withdrew her curious eyes. She obediently sat down. She really wish that one day, if she had the ability to protect herself, then she must took her beautiful mother to move out from that Li House!
The carriage went out to the east for two hours before stopping. Under Great Madam’s strict supervision, the three children sat in a proper manner. Qing Luo wished that she could practice yoga. When there was a moment for to unblock her leg blood vessel, she would she got off the carriage. She really doesn’t know know how Qing Lei and Qing Fei maintained their posture in this kind of situation, they looked like graceful butterfly that seemed to fall gently in a horse carriage.
Ah Luo got out from the horse carriage and saw wide sky in all direction unlike her suffocated home. At this time, her eyes were wide awake looking at her surrounding. Ah Luo thought how she wished for her freedom, and that day when she has the capacity to leisurely traveling to other place!
Manor House of Princess Hu Guo was built according to the mountain geography, one could vaguely see an exposed whitewash cornice wall in the corner of the forest’s slope (隐约能看到坡上树林子里挑出的一角飞檐露出一抹粉墙 t.n. : don’t know if I accurately translate this description). Ah Luo couldn’t help but sigh, only wealthy people who could live in this villa.
Walking into the gate, there was a flexible bridge (rope bridge) where one had to get through to reach the place. After half an hour, before one’s eyes appeared a beautiful lady with pink make up whom came out from the valley.
The terrain was smooth, river creek was clear and shallow, and the semi-artificial-semi-natural peach blossom forest was rustling by the wind. From time to time, the petals float on to the water, bringing an intoxicating floral fragrance. Ah Luo breathed out, such a pollution-free paradise!
Aware with their presence, Princess Hu Guo smiled and stood up to greet, and then listening to the what Great Madam said. After they done giving their courtesy to each other, they sat down.
Ah Luo heard Princess Hu Guo asked Great Madam: “I have heard that Li Father has two talented children” She then took a glance at the two girls beside Great Madam. “They really look like beautiful immortal woman. Come, let me see.”
Then, Great Madam hurriedly called Qing Lei and Qing Fei forward.
Qing Luo quietly watched over Princess Hu Guo. She was dignified and beautiful woman around 30 years old. Her gestures were magnanimous and noble. Her temperament seemed gained since her childhood.
Ah Luo looked around her, there was two small gazebo (arbor) in the empty space which was surrounded by veil for guest to use, but the veil was especially put down in women’s gazebo. There were many madams and young miss sitting in disorderly places (strewn around). They were dressed in exquisite and beautiful clothes before they came here.
Qing Luo sniggered. Unfortunately, today, there was wind blowing the veil, the appearance of the women was undoubtedly exposed, and those youths were sitting with their neck stretch out and their eyes cast a glance back and forward.
After a while, Great Madam returned to the gazebo with two daughters. Qing Luo was very curious, she wound around Qing Fei and asked what the Princess Hu Guo had said.
Qing Fei looked embarrassed. Great Madam chimed in and said: “The princess fond of Qing Fei and Qing Lei, she said they have to wait for the Crown Prince and other four respectable bachelors to select flowers (pretty young miss).”
She then pointed to the opposite gazebo with her finger and said: “That is the Crown Prince porch. The next is the four eligible bachelors.” And with soft voice she added, “We were on the left side of Gu Family's gazebo, the right side is Wang Family of military officer. And I heard that Miss Yan Hui has arrived.”
After listening to what Great Madam had said, Qing Lei and Qing Fei could not help but look at the opposite side. There was no one in their gazebo except them. Then they looked to the right and left side, those gazebo was covered with veil but one could see faintly women figure inside the gazebo. Qing Fei and Qing Lei felt disappointed and anxious as they couldn’t see to the people face to face.
Qing Luo smirked: “Madam, Ah Luo wants to go out to look around, can I?”
Great Madam hesitated: “What if you were collided with some problems later? You are the daughter of Li’s Family.”
Qing Luo smiled as she persuaded her: “Madam, no one knows that I am Third Daughter from Li’s House. Everyone's eyes are focused on the Eldest and Second sister. Let’s just say that I am the servant from the Li’s House. Look at me, there’s no difference between me and servant.”
Great Madam’s eyes shone with delight and smiled: “This is a good idea. Today, no one knows that Third Miss has came to join. It’s hard to say that other household aware with third daughter’s presence, right? You two go and see, then listened to others has said.” And then she commanded to the girl, Juan er, who was waiting beside her: “You and Third Miss must not cause any trouble.”
Juan er hurriedly nodded. Ah Luo smiled widely at her two sister and said softly: “Sisters, don’t worry, Ah Luo will go back here right away”
Together with Juan er, they walked out from the gazebo. They took a basket and went to the nearest flower forest. Because this was Princess’ Peach Blossom Banquet, she had allowed guests to pick some flowers at their will. If you had someone you like, you could add a poem to the bouquet and gift it them. If you didn’t have someone dear, you could bring a bouquet to your gazebo, so you wouldn’t encounter an embarrassment for not having someone you can gift the bouquet to. In addition to that, the women could give the bouquet to each other to show their good manners.
In the name of Great Madam of Li’s Family, Ah Luo sneaked into Gu Family and Wang Family gazebo. And of course, they would go to men’s gazebo to look at them.
Walking into the flower forest, Ah Luo felt like she returned to the nature to relax. Looking to the dark red scenery at the grass under her feet and inhaling the fragrance. She laughed at Juan er and exclaimed: “It's so beautiful!”
Juan er was only thirteen or four years old. It was the right age for her to be more playful. So, she followed Ah Luo to look at the scenery and enjoy the flowers. Slowly, they moved away from the rest of people. Until, she realized how long they had been in the forest and looked at her surroundings. The sights were all flower trees. Since she couldn't see the gazebo, she couldn't help but panic: “Miss... Miss..., are we lost?”
Ah Luo, which was in cheerful mood, stared blankly at her, she turned around to look only to find out that all the trees looked the same. Was the gazebo in that direction?? She said anxiously: “Oh disaster!! Juan er, I can’t go back late, madam will scold me. What direction do we come from?”
Juan er couldn’t answer her question. Ah Luo then look at the sun’s shadow, she recalled back the scene around gazebo. She took Juan er to the northwest direction. After walking for a while, Qing Luo rejoiced: “Hey, you see, that is the resting place!”
The two rushed to direction of the white veil. She felt relieved thinking that she could go back for a while. But then, there was a wide river creek. Ah Luo picked up a branch and plunged it into the water. She saw that the river’s depths did not reach the thighs. Once again, she looked to alternate ways, only she was afraid that she was already late. So, Ah Luo looked around, the place was quite deserted but she could hear the laughter from the gazebo on the other side. She decisively began to remove the shoes and socks and plunged her legs: “Hurry up, Juan er!! there’s no one here. Now.. Before someone saw us and we will be in trouble.”
Juan er cried anxiously, seeing that Ah Luo had already got into the water. She stretched out her hand to hold her. As soon as she came to the shore, Juan er accidentally stepped on the stone. As lowered to rub her feet, the basket that had flowers, shoes and stockings in it fell into the water. She couldn’t help but shouted:”Basket!!!”
Ah Luo released Juan er hand to reach the basket, but she lost balance. And when she was about to fall into the water, unknowingly there flew a figure whom caught and brought Ah Luo out of the water.
Qing Luo screamed in silence. The next moment, her feet were already on the shore. Ah Luo was panicked and still confused, her big eyes widened stared at the person in front of her. She saw a tall young man smiling at her. Qing Luo's face turned red and when she saw that he was looking at her bare feet and thighs, the fire in her heart began to rise: “Turn around! this young miss wants to wear shoes.”
That’s when the man had found out that he had lost his manner. Qing Luo saw his back shaking. She knew that he was laughing, she threw some curses onto him. At this moment, Juan er had walked to the shore and they hurriedly tidied themselves.
Qing Luo slowly said to that man: “Thank you very much. Right now, you don’t have to look back, we aren’t dressed properly yet”. It was supposed to be a proper thank you, but then Qing Luo snapped: “Who told you to have perverted eyes?!”
As soon as her voice dropped, Ah Luo made a move. The man didn’t think that the girl who almost fell in to the water could do Kung Fu, her hand’s movement was also sturdy. His figure almost went down to the water stream, as he turned several times in the air and his palm fluttered against the water brook. Half his sleeves was wet, but he managed to not falling into the water completely and then jumped to the other side.
Qing Luo was shocked, this person had the legendary martial arts! She pulled Juan er’s hand and flee as she didn’t dare to make a move towards him again.
After the man stabilized his body, he looked back. He saw two people was carrying the basket and running away. He couldn’t help but laugh. He swung his sleeves again.
Humph... Naughty girl which residence are you raised! As long as you are still in this banquet, don’t that mean I can still find you?
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