The Banquet (7)
Xuan Yu grants Xi Yan’s request despite her lost of conduct.
He watches as the petite maiden in front gets up.
He watches as Mu Yan clutches a pipa on top of the raised platform.
One is red while the other is white. Such distinctive colors; it is as though the most vivid of spring flowers has just bloomed in front of him. He finds it hard to look away.
Bai Li Nan too, naturally finds it hard to look away.
His eyes are trained more on Xi Yan. His eyes are slightly narrowed while his lips carry traces of smiles. He looked lazy but playful at the same time.
An emperor’s heart is like a vast ocean.
A concubine’s heart on the other hand, is no more than a small spot in that ocean.
Mu Yan’s eyes are like water. She smiles lightly as she looks at Xi Yan. With the pluck of a string, she begins playing, ‘Feng Huai Xin’; overlooking water in the middle of the cold winter.
The view is spectacular and so are the people. The song, even more so.
The song is gentle and melancholic, lamenting over the obstacles in one’s life.
She does not use yijia and used zhenxian instead, unyieldingly playing the sound without any mistake. It is shocking to the heart.
Who would have known that the famed ‘Feng Huai Xin’ came from her fingertips?
And who would have thought that the mistake that started in the Lantern Festival would be so cruel and heartless?
This is her first time playing this music for that person; to fulfil her promise from that time. This will also be the last time.
Because of everything that happened, their promises to each other become meaningless.
The most complex of sounds comes from the tips of her jade-like fingers. In one hand, she plucks the qinxian string while her other hand plays with the wuxian string. The tone is low from beginning till the end.
She has accepted everything but she still cannot bring herself to look up.
She is afraid. She is afraid to look at him. She is scared that everything she pent up within her will be seen by him.
Everything is already too late for them.
She was once so close to happiness. So, so close. But everything has gone to waste.
She closes her eyes, her heart filled with desolateness.
As the music flows out of her fingertips, she hopes that man will understand her heart, but at the same time, she wish he will not.
At this moment, Xi Yan’s jade-like arms become relaxed as she made a small spin. Her movement is so gentle as though she is a snowflake falling from the sky.
Her dance is beautiful, enough to make one’s heart flies.
Her dancing and the wistful song from Mu Yan complements each other really well.
The heart is based on the music and the hands are moving based on the heart. She turns left and right tirelessly.
The low sound of pipa suddenly turns faster.
The atmosphere changes.
She seamlessly follows the change in tempo. Although she is used to the entire song of ‘Feng Huai Xin’, the transition this time is particularly tense.
As a dancer, Xi Yan’s dance must be in sync with the rhythm, so because of that, the 28 rotation of her dance is done rapidly, almost resembling the shape of a Xi Yan flower. Regular dancers can only do around 10 at most. The essence of this dance on the other hand, lies on the way she spins. Only with the proper way of spinning will she resemble a blooming Xi Yan flower.
However, Mu Yan’s change of rhythm tampers with the timing of her dancing.
The tip of Xi Yan’s toes froze for a moment before she casually follows the rhythm of the song.
She has only recovered from her illness, so at around the fifteenth spin, she already feels a little powerless. Mu Yan’s song does not slow down; instead, it becomes even faster.
Mu Yan’s palms are sweaty. A string suddenly broke and Mu Yan’s heart falls. Her fingers however does not stop.
At that very moment, the sound of flute can be heard from far away. It gently slithers into the fast song. It sounds like a light drizzle of rain, moving the most tender part of one’s heart.
The warm and honest sound of the flute makes people’s heart blooms, as though they are in warm spring.
With the sound of the flute, tears are finally formed in Mu Yan’s eyes. The song she plays gradually slow down before coming to a stop.
As for Xi Yan, at her 35th spin, her toes gradually turn weak. She struggles to maintain the blooming flower posture but fails as her body starts to slant to one side.
She did not get to make a full jump.
Even though Mu Yan’s song faces a little bit of trouble mid-way, she manages to finish it with the help of the flute.
What about her?
She shouldn’t have taken that risk and go for the 35 rotation routine. For some reason, she had wanted to give them a perfect dance.
She does not fall into the ground and instead falls into a warm embrace. A very, very warm embrace.