The stage was full of beautiful people. After that group was replaced, there was a burst of traditional Chinese music. The music became cheerful and lighthearted. Two crab demons performed a sword dance.
Miao Miao was behind the stage. Seven or eight young servants had previously grabbed her. Her hair was filled with gemstone hairpins. She was dressed in a beautiful set of blue clothes. The dress had a plunging neckline. The blue dress was covered with thin gauze decorated with crystals. She also wore an eight-treasured coral chain and embroidered shoes that had two thumb-sized night pearls. Every step, the precious stones sparkled. Every step, it attracted people’s gaze.
“Ready?” Ao Yun carelessly opened the back stage’s curtains. His gazed stopped at me and he looked at me dazedly for a long time. Then he turned his head towards the young servants to command, “She’s not allowed to wear such low-cut dress. Change what she’s wearing to a high-neckline dress!”
The confused servant girl asked, “Third prince, don’t you like low-cut dresses?
Ao Yun quickly replied, “I like high-necklines dresses now!” He angrily looked at the young servants. They quickly brought me behind the curtains. They changed my clothes to a yellow embroidered high-neckline dress. After I was securely wrapped up, Ao Yun nodded his head in satisfaction and left.
I looked at how I was dressed. I felt a little distressed because the dancing girls in those books wore very little clothing. I wore so many layers of clothing… I wouldn’t be able to reveal my thighs or belly. Were these clothes useful?
Maybe, it doesn’t matter what clothes I wear. As I comforted myself, the master of ceremonies turned his head to tell me to prepare to go onto the stage.
I walked with dignified cat-like steps. I carried the bamboo pole that I had previously requested and met the smiling crowd as I walked to the stage. In front of everyone’s cheering and praise, I firmly stuck the bamboo pole into the floor. The sound traveled through the stage to the ocean floor’s foundations. As a result, the cheers turned into screams, but I had successfully attracted the entire audience’s attention.
The master of ceremonies regained his calmness. He announced, “Requesting Miss Hua Miao Miao to perform ‘One by one official’ dance.”
What’s ‘One by one official’ dance?
When did I report that I would perform that dance?
He’s wrong, right?
I cautiously looked at the master of ceremonies. In his hands, he held the paper that I had written down the name of my dance.
Eh… it seems as if I had written the word ‘bamboo’ too far apart and the word ‘pole’ was written completely wrong. But, its okay! This is only a small problem. It doesn’t matter what the dance is called. Only strength mattered.
(T/N: This is what Miao Miao intended to write 竹管. This is what her words looked like 个个官.)
The music began. I confidently began to perform…
First, grab onto the bamboo pole, and then lift up my leg. Because I was a bit nervous, I used too much of my strength when grabbing. Unexpectedly, the bamboo was of poor quality. After a “pop” sound, it broke.
I was stunned. The audience below the stage was also quiet.
Master of ceremonies quickly tried to save the show, “In addition to being highly skilled at dancing, Miss Hua Miao Miao is also highly skilled in martial arts. To show her martial arts skill, she wanted to assimilate her martial arts skill into her dance. That’s why she split the bamboo pole in half.”
The master of ceremonies spoke well. He recovered my reputation. But, how do I continue my performance? I pulled out the bamboo pole from the ground to try to put it back together. But, unexpectedly, I broke the bamboo further.
I became more anxious. I picked up the bamboo pole. Then I lowered the broken bamboo pole and started to perform. I tried my best to lift up my legs, sway my hips, and twirl around. But my clothes were exceptionally secure and this didn’t have the desired effect.
The audience below was stunned. No one cheered.
What should I do? The more scared I became, the more mistakes I made.
With a sweating face, the master of ceremonies came onto the stage to try to save the show again.
The bamboo pole in my hand had started to slip. It started to fall directly in his direction. It was going to strike the weak water serpent demon.
Ao Yun hurriedly flew onto the stage. He drew out his spear to save the unfortunate master of ceremonies.
The master of ceremonies staggered off the stage.
This translation belongs to fuyuneko. Mew. Please don’t post this translation somewhere else.
With an unhappy face, Ao Yun looked at me. He whispered, “Is your performance suppose to be martial art or dance?”
“Martial art,” I blushed. I was ashamed to say the truth.
The audience was still silent. Ao Yun started sweating. He hesitated for a moment. Then he suddenly thrust his spear at me and said, “Miao Miao guard against the spear.”
I didn’t understand what he was doing. I could only stop his attack with Breaking Heaven Claws. I didn’t expect that Ao Yun would continue to attack. I could only continue warding off his attack. I had a moment of epiphany. I understood what he was doing. Wasn’t this like the street performances I had done in the past? It was like play fighting with Shao Zhong.
As we fought, the stage was filled with flying dust and stone. All of the participating beauties were hiding in a corner. They didn’t dare come out. The braver audience members started cheering. Hearing this, Ao Yun stopped his attacks. After bowing, he left the stage.
I thought I could be considered as having completed performing my talent. As I hurriedly stepped down to leave, the master of ceremonies stopped me. He said I had to stay here to accept everyone’s gifts.
The judges whispered, “What kind of performance was this?”
“Too ridiculous. Too absurd.”
Ao Yun walked to the judges. His golden eyes icily stared at those demons, and then he left without a word. After walking a few steps away, he turned around to grimly smile at the judges.
The judges changed their face. They quickly applauded together. They said that my martial art was incomparable and praised me as a model for other demons.
After being terribly frightened recently, the audience members who came up to give me pearls were very few.
Ao Yun lowered his head to whisper a few words to his attendants. As a result, box after box of pearls landed onto the stage. The stage became completely packed. I almost had no room to stand.
I helplessly looked at the master of ceremonies. He wiped away his sweat. He nodded at me to indicate that I could leave. Thus, I quickly left this unable for me to comprehend place. I walked towards Ao Yun.
Ao Yun smiled at me and said, “Your performance was awesome. You’ll definitely be able to win the prize.”
“Really?” I didn’t have any confidence.
“You have to believe in my foresight.”
I didn’t understand what Ao Yun was saying. The attendants that were near him secretly smiled a bit. I was too hungry to listen to him. Without regard for politeness, I sat down to sweep all of the food I liked on the table into my stomach. I quietly say there waiting for the award ceremony. I planned to leave as soon as I received the thorny skatefish.
Ao Yun was next to me. Leaning on my chair, he played with my hair. He would coil and uncoil my hair around his hand.
Time slowly passed. I waited until my heart felt impatient. They finally announced the coral beauty pageant results. First place was Pi Ling, a female mussel. Second place was Hua Rong. Third place was me.
Ao Yun didn’t seemed satisfied with these results.
A judge came by to quietly apologize, “The coral beauty pageant is this sea event of the year. All eyes were watching who wins the beauty pageant. If third prince practices favoritism, it’ll be hard for us to explain. Also, Miss Pi Ling is the eldest prince’s person. Miss Hua Rong is very popular among the common people. So…”
“Cease talking. It doesn’t matter,” Ao Yun waved his hand to tell the judge to leave.
“Thank you third prince.” After receiving Ao Yun’s forgiveness, the judge quickly left.
I happily pulled on Ao Yun’s sleeve to ask, “Did I get the thorny skatefish?”
“You’ll have it,” he gently consoled me. (T/N: Does Miao Miao really need consoling?)
But when the judge had me go onto the stage to receive the prize, I only received a pink coral crown and a big gemstone. There wasn’t even a shadow of my thorny skatefish. With doubts, I left the stage. But, then I saw Ao Yun smiling at me while holding a large basket of fish. My heart was satisfied and relieved. And I was ready to go home.
The master of ceremonies unexpectedly said, “The winners of the beauty pageant must stay in the ocean floor for seven days as part of the parade and also enter the Dragon Palace to perform their arts.”
I don’t have time.
How could I stay here to continue performing?
What’s going on?
I looked at Ao Yun with dissatisfaction. He shrugged helplessly with an innocent face.
Thus, I decided to grab the fish and run away! I don’t care about understanding him anymore.