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Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 108.2 out of 171
After three rounds of wine, Wan Qi Zhen raised a wine cup to Emperor Chong Zhen and said, "People say that there are three good things about the Central Plains (another name for Da Liang). The wine is good, the people are good, and the scenery is good. After coming to Da Liang, these three areas were outstanding as expected. However, this prince has only appreciated wine and the scenery. I haven't seen the "people" yet."
There was an accent when he said these words in Central Plains language and he also stressed the word "people". Even if people didn’t want to overthink his words, it was difficult to do so.
Wu Rong's fourth prince had an unruly personality. He was good at plotting and schemes. He was regarded highly as Wu Rong's clever and insightful prince. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been brought along to the Central Plains this visit. It was said that his ability was outstanding and his military achievements were excellent. He was also Wu Rong's best warrior and the lover that all of the young women in Wu Rong dreamed about. However, he was fickle in love and promiscuous. Starting from when he was fourteen years old, he had ten concubines in his home and an unknown number of outside mistresses.
Now, as soon as he mentioned women, while the court officials didn't outwardly show their feelings on their faces, they were internally frowning.
This fourth prince, he spoke these words without looking at the current situation.
Fortunately, Emperor Chong Zhen didn't lower himself to Wan Qi Zhen's level. He laughed and said, "Fourth prince's words made this emperor think of an idiom."
Wan Qi Zhen raised an eyebrow and replied, "Your Majesty, please tell."
Having another meaning, Emperor Chong Zhen said, "A wine-lover's heart is not in the cup*."
*(T/N: I translated the literal meaning of those words. This idiom is used to say that the other person has an ulterior motive.)
Wan Qi Zhen quietly laughed and decline to comment.
Sitting across from Wan Qi Zhen, Zhao Jie's expression didn't change. He lowered his eyes and fiddled with a xi jiao cup carved with lotus flowers and a dragon and phoenix. His lips curved into a trace of a fake smile.
(T/N: Below is a picture of a xi jiao cup carved with only leaves.)
Emperor Chong Zhen didn't continue to speak. He clapped his hands to signal for the dancers to come out.
Shortly after, one after another, lithe dancers wearing red robes embroidered with butterflies came into the hall. There were golden palace belts around their waists and sashes hooked at their elbows. Their hair was arranged into shuang huan wan xian hairstyles. They had slender waists with figures like willow trees. At the center of the large hall, the dancers swayed their waists and hands. They gracefully started to dance to sound of the lutes and Chinese harps.
(Below is a picture of shuang huan wan xian hairstyle.)
Women from Da Liang weren't the same as women from Wu Rong. Wu Rong's people grew up in the grasslands. They had bold and unconstrained personalities and comparatively tall figures. Because the women were exposed to strong sunlight all year round, most of the women had skin that was a deep wheat color. There would occasionally be a few women with wheat color skin and their skin was considered pale. They couldn't be compared to the women from Da Liang.
Da Liang's delicate and charming women had dainty figures. In addition, they spent most of their time indoors in boudoirs, so they had exquisite skin and lovely coquettish personalities. Their movements and voices had implicit charm.
Wan Qi Zhen hadn't played around with women from Da Liang. Although he didn't know how it would feel exactly, he was sure it would be ecstasy that melted bones.
He supported his chin in his hand and looked at the women in front of him with great interest. While his mind was thinking about these charming thoughts about women, his face showed a pure-hearted smile.
Two emperors from two different countries were gathered together. Other than discussing the founding of their countries, they could also make invidious comparisons. They compared their countries' territory, citizens, and court officials... Of course, they would also compare their sons.
Wan Qi Yu praised his son for being remarkable and outstanding. No one could match his son. Emperor Chong Zhen laughed in disagreement. One of the court officials couldn't help standing up and saying, "Our Da Liang's second and fifth princes are also giants among men. They are strong, healthy, and talented. They definitely wouldn't lose to Wu Rong's princes."
Hearing these words, Wan Qi Zhen looked across the hall and without even paying any attention to Zhao Zhang, he stared at Zhao Jie without look away.
Wu Rong's emperor had a very complicated feeling towards Zhao Jie. He both feared him and was unable to accept him as the winner. Several years had passed, was there really no one in Wu Rong that could be compared to Zhao Jie? If Wu Rong could win one match, he wouldn't have a psychological shadow in his heart the next time that he saw Zhao Jie in the future. At the thought of this, Wu Rong's emperor suggested to Emperor Chong Zhen, "This being the case, how about letting them compete? Whether it’s archery or horsemanship, it would be nothing difficult for this emperor's son.”
Since Wu Rong's emperor had said these words, Emperor Chong Zhen naturally didn't have any reason to refuse. In addition, he felt confident of his two sons and wanted them to win an honor for him. After he thought for a moment, he nodded and said, "In that case, this emperor will conduct an archery and equestrian contest the day after tomorrow and we'll see who the winner is. How does that sound?"
Without even thinking, Wan Qi Yu nodded and agreed.
From the beginning to now, Zhao Jie hadn't said a word. It was only after Emperor Chong Zhen had said his plan that he said, "Your imperial son will listen and obey to imperial father's arrangements." His words were calm in the face of this uncertain situation.
Zhao Zhang also stood up and declared his position.
Looking at the two of them, Emperor Chong Zhen nodded his head in satisfaction.
The palace banquet was carried out smoothly. The atmosphere was harmonious as the people at the banquet toasted each and continued drinking. Without noticing, two hours had passed.
Zhao Jie didn't have much interest towards this type of situation. Towards the dancers moving their bodies, he only glanced at them a few times. During the entire banquet, he seemed preoccupied his thoughts. What could he be thinking about? Of course, it was about the young girl in the side chamber next to this room.
He hadn't seen her in many days. Later, he definitely couldn't let her leave first.
As he was thinking about this, a palace servant wearing a deep blue-green robe walked over to him and quietly whispered into his ear a few words. In reaction to those words, Zhao Jie furrowed his eyebrows and gripped a teacup tighter. Shortly after the palace servant left, he stood up and bid Emperor Chong Zhen farewell, "Your imperial son must leave for a brief of period of time."
Emperor Chong Zhen thought he had some urgent need, so he didn't ask any question before letting him leave.
However, Wan Qi Zhen raised his eyes to glance at Zhao Jie.
After leaving Rong Hua Hall, in large strides, Zhao Jie reached Xin Yan, which was next to the western pond.
Underneath the dim moonlight, there was a young girl wearing a gauzy yellow short top and a pomegranate skirt. It was slightly cooler in the evening, so she also had on a pink silk cloak embroidered with scattered golden peonies. When she looked up, she was still covering her mouth. There wasn't anyone at her side. He didn't know why, but he thought she looked slightly pitiful.
Wei Luo's eyelashes fluttered. Even when he walked to her side, she didn't show any reaction other than silently turning her eyes to look at him. It was only at this moment that Zhao Jie noticed her strangeness. He lifted his hand to move her hand away from her mouth. "Why are you covering your mouth? Toothache?"
Then, using the faint lamplight in front of Xin Yan, he clearly looked at her face and his face suddenly stiffened.
It turned out that Wei Luo wasn't trying to cover her mouth. It was her nose! She had a bloody nose and it was still bleeding. Half of her small face was covered in a mess of blood. It was rather frightening. Zhao Jie's pupils' narrowed. He hurriedly took out his handkerchief to help her wipe the blood away. "What happened? Why is your nose bleeding?"
Wei Luo was also very depressed. In a helpless and grieved tone of voice, she murmured, "Liuli said my energy and blood was lacking. She forced me to drink a nourishing bowl of red date and longan soup.”
(T/N: Below is a bowl of red date and longan soup.)
This hadn't happened to her before. She didn't know if that soup was too replenishing. A short time after she had drank it, her nose started to bleed. Scared, Zhao Liuli wanted to have an imperial physician come look at her, but Wei Luo stopped her. Wei Luo originally though this was only a small matter and would past after a short period of time. Unexpectedly, her nose still kept bleeding after a long time. She could only have Jin Lu go to Zhao Liuli to request an imperial physician to come over.
Zhao Jie wiped away the blood. Just as he finished wiping away the blood, blood dripped down from her nose again as if it would never stop. She couldn't continue losing blood like this. He had to get an imperial physician to come look at her.
How much nourishing soup did she drink?
How much blood could be in her small body? It couldn't be that she would soon run out of blood, right?
His forehead twitched. In a cold tone, he ordered the hidden Zhu Geng, "Go and see where the imperial physician is. Why isn't he here yet?"
Hidden in the shadows, Zhu Geng made a sound of acknowledgment. There was a rustling sound before he disappeared.
Zhao Jie cleaned the blood from her small face again and carried her to an eight-treasure style couch. He had heard that putting icy water on a wound would staunch bleeding. At the moment, there wasn't any icy water nearby. It was late autumn and the water in the western pond was barely cold. He took out a handkerchief and said to Wei Luo, "Ah Luo, be good. Wait here for me. Properly lie down and don't move."
Wei Luo obediently nodded.
Zhao Jie looked at her for moment before turning around and leaving.
Wei Luo listlessly lied on the couch. In her heart, she thought that she would never eat longan again... She had been perfectly fine before. It was only after being forced to drink a bowl of red date and longan soup by Zhao Liuli that she became unwell. She had lost too much blood and she felt dizzy. The scene in front of her felt blurry, so she stopped looking and just waited for Zhao Jie to return.
She had only closed her eyes for a moment before hearing steady footsteps in front of her that sounded like Zhao Jie's
Wei Luo thought that Zhao Jie had returned. She opened her eyes, sat up, and in a pitiful tone, she said, "Big brother, I feel dizzy..."
Startled, she immediately stopped talking.
The person in front of her wasn't Zhao Jie. The person was wearing clothing from the western regions. He had deep facial features. His eyes were improperly staring at her. Wei Luo furrowed her eyebrows. Just as she was about to speak, her nose felt warm. Soon after, blood started dripping from her nose and landed on the floor.
(T/N: Just wanted to note that it’s not possible for red date and longan soup to cause nosebleeds. In Chinese herbal medicine, drinking soups with red dates and longan is even a treatment method for people who have a tendency to get nosebleeds.)