The Indifferent Beauty
Nan Lou Kingdom’s 130 year, Yong Gu’s 47th year,
During autumn in the eight month, the weather in Nan Luo Kingdom is warm because of it’s position in the south. This is the most ideal weather throughout the entire year.
A simple and old courtyard is situated amidst green trees and forest.
The red walls and green tiles, pavilion and green trees blends in naturally with each other. The sound of birds chirping can be heard from the trees, echoing pleasantly in the ears. The fresh air and the comfortable courtyard allows people to be at their most contented state.
In the flower garden inside the courtyard, countless of sweet-scented osmanthus trees are planted. It’s scent floats throughout the entire garden, it truly is refreshing!
The osmanthus trees are surrounding an octagonal pavilion that is covered by thin muslin curtain. The curtains sways when the wind blows, creating an ethereal sight.
On a stone table in the pavilion, two hot cups of teas are placed. Sitting on two seats across the table are an old man wearing a black robe and a girl wearing blue robes. The girl looks like she has just come of age. Both the young and old are concentrating on the chess sets on the table.
The old man’s expression looks difficult as he ponders in concentration.
The girl looks relaxed. In fact, her youthful face possessed calmness and indifference that does not match her age.
A boy of ten years of age sits on the side seat, quietly watching them play. His looks and appearance are exquisite
His obsidian black pupils are flashing with questions, but he suppressed it really well. Never did he speak up and disturb the game. From that, one can tell that even though he is young, he has really high upbringing.
“Yu Jian.” A very gentle voice can be heard.
The boy looks surprised upon hearing that voice. He turns to look at the direction of the voice with a delighted expression.
A man wearing a white jade headgear and a pale blue robe walk towards them. His hands are placed on his back while his long dark hair and long sleeves are blown by the wind. His white boots steps on the fallen osmanthus flowers on the ground resembling a celestial walking on the clouds. Those thousands of flower only serves as a background to him, allowing him to shine even more.
As he enters the pavilion, his celestial-like features enters Yu Jian’s eyes. His noble and distinguished features make the flowers in the garden pale in comparison.
He is the living interpretation of ‘the young master is unparalleled and unmatched.’
“Older brother Sang Mo, you have arrived! Hurry and explain everything about this game to me. I can’t understand a single thing!” Yu Jian’s eyes carry apparent admiration, his voice slightly pleading.
Gong Sang Mo’s lips slightly curl, carrying a gentle and warm smile. His phoenix eyes that are like the night sky filled with thousands of stars are slightly narrowed, “Why? You are having a hard time over your Qian Yu Jiejie’s game of chess again?”
Yu Jian pouts, a little dejected.
“Older brother Sang Mo, my sister is only five years older than me, how is she so good at so many things? Just look at this chess game, imperial grandfather never wins over her these past three years.”
Three years ago, his sister is only twelve. As for him, this year he will be ten. He has been studying really hard these past three years. He was taught chess by Nan Lou Kingdom’s very own Grand Tutor, but even then, he can’t match his Qian Yu Jie Jie. He can’t understand anything about today’s game of chess, what a blow to his self-esteem.
Gong Sang Mo gives Yu Jian a gentle smile. His warm phoenix eyes moves to the slender figure on another seat.
Yun Qian Yu keeps her head down, her eyes are brilliant and bright like crystal. Her long eyelashes flutters from time to time. Her forehead is full and smooth, like fine jade. Her small and long nose is really beautiful, it makes people want to pinch them. Her lips are like cherry blossoms basking in the morning dew, red and moist.
Her hair is silky smooth. Unlike other girls that has not come of age, her hair is not arranged into two little buns. She plaited them on both sides of her head and tie them together using a blue ribbon at the back of her head. She naturally exudes a casual look. Coupled with that indifferent look on her face, it makes it hard for people to believe she is only fifteen.
Perhaps hearing the voice of Yu Jian and Sang Mo, Qian Yu looks at their direction while her long lashes flutters like butterflies. Her eyes that is like still water does not reflect her age. Nothing can leave a ripple on her.
The two people look at each other. Yun Qian Yu nods at Gong Sang Mu before naturally concentrating back on the chess board.
She is cold as always ah! Gong Sang Mo’s phoenix like eyes flashes as he glance at the chess set on the table before he turns to Yu Jian, “Let us wait until they finish playing first.”
A true gentleman knows to keep quiet while watching a chess game, Yu Jian understand that. He obediently nods.
Gong Sang Mo sits in one of the side seats. The servants immediately serve him a cup of fragrant tea.
The old man is too invested in the game that he didn’t notice his presence.
Gong Sang Mo too didn’t speak up and interrupt him, his slender hands lifting the tea cup with elegance as he takes a light sip, his eyes glancing at Yun Qian Yu.
Time flies very fast in that calm atmosphere, two hours passes by in the blink of an eye.
The old man finally raises his head, sighing before saying, “I lost again! This is girl is really, why is your head so long?” After he said that, he finally realizes the presence of Gong Sang Mo who is drinking tea.
“Sang Mo, when did you arrive?” there isn’t the slightest disappointment in the old man’s face for losing the game, in fact he looks pleasant as he asks that.
“I have been here for a while. Your Majesty was too immersed in the chess game so I did not speak up,” Gong Sang Mo puts down the tea cup as he lightly smiles.
Murong Cang looks at the chess board, “This girl is as cunning as a fox, so capable! She does not hold back!”
He strokes his beard as he glances at Yun Qian Yu, “Girl, why don’t we play another set? I will definitely win over you.” The manner he speak with has no traces of a ruler at all, he sounds very casual and free.
Yun Qian Yu raise her head gently, her face resembles that of a porcelain doll. “I’m afraid today won’t do, grandfather.”
“Why?” Murong Cang strokes his beard as he asks.
Before Yun Qian Yu gets the chance to answer, a girl in pink clothes hastily make her way towards Yun Qian Yu.
She first pay her respect to Murong Cang, Gong Sang Mo and Yu Jian before she says, “Mistress, the succession ceremony for Situ Han Yi to become Mount Fengyun’s manor’s master has finished. He dispatched people to invite mistress to Fengyun Hall.”
Yun Qian Yu’s expressionless face finally shows a slight change.
“It’s finally ends!” After she said that, she gets up and picks up a blue muslin face veil and puts it on her face.
“Chen Xiang, let’s go and see how Situ Han Yi will break our pledge of marriage.”
The girl in pink clothes pouts. Mistress, please, you are the one who is getting your marriage prospect broken off alright? Can she not be so calm at times like this? Shouldn’t she be upset? Shouldn’t she be all ‘I might as well die’? Why does she looks like she is going out to watch other people’s fanfare?
Deep down inside, she knows that seeing her mistress heartbroken is harder than seeing the sun rising from the west. She has served her mistress for so many years yet she had never seen a second expression on her face. Will there be a person to move her heart one day? If there is, Chen Xiang will consider him a deity.
Gong Sang Mo’s phoenix eyes blinks as he follows the retreating back. Her slender back profile makes her look like a flower sprite. The hand holding the tea cup tightens.
“Grandfather, Yu Jian, Xian Wang (King Xian), Qian Yu is leaving first. The following play will not be complete without Qian Yu, Situ Han Yi will not be able to do it alone.” The person has left, but the sound of her voice remains with him.
Yu Jian scratches his head, looking at his grandfather and Gong Sang Mo before asking, “Qian Yu Jiejie’s marriage agreement is getting cancelled?”
Murong Cang waves his hand away with an indifferent expression, “It is good if they’re cancelling. Your Qian Yu Jiejie is such a wondrous woman, how is Situ Han Yi good enough for her?”
Yu Jian excitedly stands up. He balls his fist and place them on his chest, before saying with a delighted expression, “That’s great then! Imperial grandfather, does this means that Yu Jian can marry Qian Yu Jiejie once I get older?”
Before Murong Cang even gets the chance to answer, Gong Sang Mo pours him a startlingly cold water, “Your sister will already have a child or two by the time you little thing grows up!”
Yu Jian pouts before he whispers, “No way. I am only younger by five years. I will not mind Qian Yu Jiejie being older than me.”
“Your Qian Yu Jiejie is the one who minds you being young.” Gong Sang Mo continues to strike.
Yu Jian suddenly withers, the previous excitement is gone without a trace. He dejectedly sits down and plays with a teacup.
Murong Cang stares at Gong Sang Mo who is lifting his teacup.
He retrieves back his eyes, “Sang Mo, you have been traveling outside for three years. When will you return to the capital?”
When Gong Sang Mo did not answer, Murong Cang adds, “Zhen does not have much time left. This trip should be my last one.”
Gong Sang Mo’s phoenix eyes hardens, “These past 100 years, the Xian Wang residence only acts when the country is being attacked by foreign forces or by rebellions. We will not get involved in the power struggle between the imperial families over the throne.”
“Zhen understand, but Yu Jian is still so young. Rui Qinwang has been eyeing zhen like a tiger. Once zhen leaves, who should zhen leave Yu Jian to in order to leave in peace?”
Murong Cang’s face twists. He could not protect even one of his children. His only grandchild is so young, he is powerless. What should he do? He helplessly and reluctantly glances at Yu Jian.
Yu Jian immediately gets up and walks over to Murong Cang, clutching on his sleeves with watery obsidian-like eyes. “Don’t leave Yu Jian, imperial grandfather.”
Murong Cang embraces Murong Yu Jian affectionately, comforting him by patting him on the back.
Gong Sang Mo stares at the pair of young and old in front, pondering for a while before saying, “There is someone who is competent enough out there, but don’t know if Your Majesty is willing?”
“Who?” the old man’s face is suddenly hopeful.