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Chapter 86 part 1: To Whom will the Engagement Jade Hairpin be Given to

    The people present were all struck dumb with awe, then an enthusiastic cheer chorused loudly. They all looked at Chu Fei Yang and Jiang Mu Chen respectfully and admiringly.

    Only the face of Jiang Mu Chen was dark all throughout. As he looked at the white dart that cut his red dart in half, his dark eyes slightly flickered and a trace of annoyance flashed over his eyes. His lips tightly closed repressing the fury that was threatening to burst.

    Chu Fei Yang, in the meanwhile, was nodding to the audience while smiling. He opened his hand to look at the jade hairpin that carved into the shape of an orchid, and showed a joyous smile on his face.

    That shopkeeper of the Fu Yuan Lou never thought that someone could possibly win the top prize.

    He originally wanted to go down to shamelessly get the jade hairpin back, but when he looked carefully at the two, one was Chen wang and the other was Chu xiang. Both were important officials of the Imperial Court, and both were big shots he did not dare to offend. He beat his chest and stamped his foot. He could only grab the young attendant beside him and beat him up instead to alleviate the feeling of distress about losing the jade hairpin that cost him two hundred liang silver.

    Witnessing the elegant skills of the two, Yun Qian Meng could not help cheering for them in her heart. Their martial arts were really great otherwise, they would not  have been able to easily shoot the top prize.

    "Jiejie, wangye and xiangye are really amazing! They could even shoot a target that is so high. If one could marry a husband like them, I will surely be at ease!" Yun Yi Yi had suddenly approached Yun Qian Meng with her servant. Her eyes were intently staring at the two high ranked gentlemen with high ranks in the middle of the crowd, as she emitted a look full of determination to win them over.

    Yun Qian Meng shifted her gaze from the top of the pole to Yun Yi Yi's wild and ambitious face from the corner of her eyes. Her lips bloomed with an unnoticeable smile as she said softly with a teasing voice, "Has our Yi Yi had her heart stolen? This is a good thing, zumu will surely be happy."

    Yun Yi Yi's words had been a test to know Yun Qian Meng's feelings towards Chen wang and Chu Fei Yang, but when she heard that Yun Qian Meng's voice did not show any jealousy, she felt that she had worried too much. She smiled with relief and said, "What is Jiejie talking about? Yi Yi hasn't even reached the marriageable age of 15 yet. It's too early to speak of engagements and marriages. Moreover, there are still three sisters older than Yi Yi. Jiejies hasn't even married, so how could it be Yi Yi's turn?"

    "Hmph! It seems like you have some self-consciousness after all! So what if you're legitimate born? Uncle does not have any scholarly honor or official rank, so if you intend to cling onto Chen wangfu and Chu wangfu, I'm afraid you're overestimating your capabilities. I'm afraid that some people have ambitions higher than the sky but lives thinner than paper. If the time comes that you cannot manage to bear so much good fortune, it will cost you your life," Yun Ruo Xue, who had walked over from the other side spoke viciously and sarcastically.

    The Su Family siblings stood not too far away from Yun Ruo Xue who knew this when she came over to intentionally argue with her and Yun Yi Yi. And after the dispute a while ago, the siblings from the Su Family had already hated Yun Qian Meng from the bottom of their hearts, so they were currently staring at her coldly.

    "But, speaking of good life, of course jiejie's life is the most precious among all." Yun Ruo Xue had not given notice to Yun Yi Yi's furious look, and had looked straight at Yun Qian Meng with a venomous smile on her face, "There are so many young ladies from the big families here, but Chen wang and Chu xiang only talked to jiejie. It seems like jiejie's charm is so extraordinary that meimei is rather envious of you now. What did wangye and xiangye talk to jiejie about a while ago? Why would they start this kind of game?"

    Unable to stand Yun Qian Meng relaxed on the side, as well as to turn away Yun Yi Yi's focus, Yun Ruo Xue had asked with great curiosity.

    Actually, when she had seen Chen wang and Chu Fei Yang walk to Yun Qian Meng, and both had voluntarily spoken to her, Yun Ruo Xue could only feel that she was burning in flames. There had been too many people in between them, so she was unable to immediately run over. Now that she was with Yun Qian Meng, she naturally needed to figure out what the three of them were talking about a while ago.

    With the discord fomented by Yun Ruo Xue, Yun Yi Yi naturally turned all her focus to Yun Qian Meng whille secretly cursing Yun Qian Meng's skills in acting. Yun Qian Meng really had feelings for then, but still acted like she had nothing to do with them in front of her. No wonder the men were hooked and throwing themselves at her.

    Yun Qian Meng's eyes swept across the expressions of the two, and coldly laughed inside. She raised her hand to massage her temples, and said with some embarrassment, "Jiejie suddenly can't remember. If meimei is curious, why don't you go ask Chen wang and Chu xiang directly?"

    Yun Qian Meng was playing the fool to avoid saying anything about the conversation a while ago, which made Yun Ruo Xue secretly stamp her foot but she coldly smiled instead. "Why does jiejie need to hide it from us? Could it be that jiejie is afraid that meimei will fight your for them?"

    "She is right. Jiejie, what matter is this that you need to hide it even from your sisters?" Yun Yi Yi and Yun Ruo Xue were now speaking in agreement, and the two directed acidic remarks one after another at Yun Qian Meng.

    But Yun Qian Meng was indifferent and maintained a smiling expression, though her eyes were now looking at Chu Fei Yang in the middle of the commotion. As he was walking in her direction, she calmly said, "It seems like Chu xiang wants to give that jade hairpin to one of the xiaojies here. If meimei have time to ask unimportant questions, why don't you think of ways to catch Chu xiang's attention to get that hairpin instead? Perhaps the next Chu wangfei will be one among you."

    The casual suggestions Yun Qian Meng mentioned suddenly triggered Yun Yi Yi and Yun Ruo Xue, causing them to glower at each other. Their alliance suddenly broke and they became rivals once more. They lowered their heads and arranged their elegant and complicated outfits, and at the same time, the yatou behind them brought out small copper mirrors from their bags to raise in front of their charges so they were able to better fix their appearances.

    Yun Ruo Xue and Yun Yi Yi were not the only ones who had this idea. Among all the xiaojie present who knew of Chu Fei Yang's identity, none were not looking at Chu Fei Yang, who was walking towards someone. All their eyes glimmered with admiration and their determination to win him over. There were suddenly so much sounds of people arranging their clothing that Yun Yi Yi and Yun Ruo Xue's resentful gazes were insufficient to dissuade them.

    But, to the disappointment of everyone, Chu Fei Yang only walked over to Chen wang. The two stood at the middle of the venue, their equally strong existences caused the xiaojie of the various families to almost faint from shouting.

    They only saw Chu Fei Yang's hand that held the jade hairpin being presented to Chen wang. Chu Fei Yang humbly said, "It seemed like wangye wanted to let me win awhile ago, else benxiang probably wouldn't have been able to shoot this jade hairpin. I'll give this to wangye instead, in return for wangye giving way to me."

    Jiang Mu Chen was already alert when Chu Fei Yang started walking towards his direction. He thought that Chu Fei Yang was going give it to Yun Qian Meng who stood behind him. He never would have thought that Chu Fei Yang would give this hairpin used by ladies to him in public.

    The faces of the ladies who were bustling for a long while all turned pale. They did not know why Chu Fei Yang gave the hairpin to Chen wang. Aside from being extremely curious, they also felt rather disappointed.

    But, compared to giving it to other ladies aside from themselves, they prefered that it had been given to Chen wang to avoid letting others win it and lose the first chance for themselves.

    Jiang Mu Chen's face suddenly darkened and his eyes emitted dangerous rays as he coldly said, "Chu xiang is being too polite. Since this jade hairpin was shot by Chu xiang, then it must be Chu xiang's property. Why do you need to give it to benwang?"

    "Why does wangye need to make excuses? Could it be that wangye can't stand to lose, so you won't accept this jade hairpin? Although benxiang knows that Chen wangfu is surely not short of this kind of old hairpin, nevertheless, this is still something that symbolizes benxiang's good intentions. How does wangye have the heart to reject?" Chu Fei Yang's bright eyes suddenly lot their color. His fingers slowly swirling the hairpin and was looking rather helpless.

    Yun Qian Meng's heart shivered at the thought that Chu Fei Yang really was not scared of anything. He even dared to copy the manners and actions of a lady while talking to Chen wang who was cold like ice.

    Chu Fei Yang was really too cunning. He not only caused Chen wang to bear the title of sore loser, but he also intentionally painted Chen wangfu as a place that was so rich it had gold scattered all over it.

    Jiang Mu Chen was aware of Chu Fei Yang intentionally making things difficult for him, and felt the glances of complaints from the public. He unprecedentedly smiled but immediately resumed his usual cold face, but he accepted the jade hairpin, and said coldly, "Since this is Chu xiang's kindness, then benwang will accept it!"

    Jiang Mu Chen quickly turned around and walked to Yun Qian Meng in a few steps. His thin and long fingers held the end of the hairpin and threw it with a force that was not too strong nor too light. The hairpin lightly fell on Yun Qian Meng's bun, causing the wings of her gold butterfly hairpin to slightly tremble.

    Yun Qian Meng had wanted to move away as soon as Chen wang had turned, but she did not expect Chen wang to be a step faster. Suddenly, Yun Qian Meng felt that she become the target of the public's attention. Her calm and beautiful eyes glared at Chen wang with some coldness.

    At Jiang Mu Chen's actions, Chu Fei Yang's originally smiling eyes suddenly froze. He emitted an intense solemness, but the smile on his face became even deeper. Just as he was about to speak, he saw Yun Qian Meng calmly raising her hand to remove the hairpin and handed it back to Chen wang. Her calm voice slowly sounded, "Such a precious jade hairpin, I request wangye to please keep this and not to throw it away next time; otherwise, you will not have good luck like today to have someone like chennu to catch it. If it had broken into pieces, it would really waste Chu xiang's kindness."

    When Jiang Mu Chen had first seen the hairpin, he felt that it would match Yun Qian Meng's outfit  very much. Furthermore, because of Chu Fei Yang's aggressiveness a while ago, he had intentionally presented it to her.

    But when he saw the softly glowing jade hairpin shining between Yun Qian Meng's hair and how it set off the white and rosy color of her face that made her all the more refined and elegant, he unexpectedly felt that he had made a good decision. His eyes became like the snow from the high mountains and he had a hint of smile slightly glowing.

    Though Yun Qian Meng's actions afterwards immediately washed away the smile from his eyes. Looking at the hairpin Yun Qian Meng raised into the air, Chen wang's face turned scarily dark, but he did not take the hairpin back even after a while. His eyes that showed fierce glints stared at Yun Qian Meng nonstop.

    It was only after a while that Chen wang coldly questioned, "You think benwang is that kind of senseless person?"

    At that, both Yun Yi Yi and Yun Ruo Xue, who were behind Yun Qian Meng, suddenly turned pale in fear that Chen wang might vent his anger on them because of Yun Qian Meng. They moved away a little, seamlessly increasing their distance from Yun Qian Meng.

    But Yun Qian Meng just smiled, her pink lips made a perfect curve on her face as she calmly spoke, "Chennu naturally doesn't dare to regard wangye as such. It's just that since ancient times, it's always said that one shouldn't get a reward that is undeserved. Chennu did not do anything that can be commended, so I cannot accept this jade hairpin for no reason. Wangye, please award this to someone more worthy."

    Yun Qian Meng's words were very clever and ingenious. She not only helped Jian Mu Chen regain some face value, but also did not offend any of the other ladies who were present.

    If Yun Qian Meng had only said to give it to another, perhaps those who were oversensitive would think that Yun Qian Meng was looking down on them; that they would only receive something that Yun Qian Meng did not want. It would not only gain hatred, but also increase her enemies. She chose instead to increase her reach by keeping everyone happy.

    Jian Mu Chen thought Yun Qian Meng's statement to be rather appealing, but in between her words, she made it clear that she would not accept his gift. A sense of anger suddenly rose to his heart. He originally wanted to order Yun Qian Meng, forcing her to accept it, but the glare as cold as ice and as sharp as dagger from behind reminded him not to give Chu Fei Yang any amusement from watching him. In the end, he took the jade hairpin back with a cold face, and said expressionlessly, "Since this is so, then I'll do as Yun xiaojie wishes."

    Afterwards, he held the jade hairpin tightly in his hand.

    Yun Qian Meng clearly heard the sound of something cracking. Presumably, the hairpin was already broken into pieces.

    Yun Qian Meng only showed a smile, and slightly bowed to Jiang Mu Chen, speaking softly, "Chennu will now take my leave."

    She left with Mu Chun and the two others without waiting for Chen wang's response.

    "I didn't expect that wangye also has a love for beauty. One side may be willing, but the other is indifferent. What a waste of wangye's good intentions." After Yun Qian Meng left, the people saw that the top prize had already been taken and felt that there was nothing worth watching anymore; thus, they all left the place. Chu Fei Yang approached Jiang Mu Chen from behind and had spoken in a teasing voice, causing Chen wang's expression to become gloomy again.

    "Maybe Chu xiang is upset because you didn't think of this." Turning back, Chen wang replied sharply, his eyes stared coldly into Chu Fei Yang's eyes.

    Chu Fei Yang smiled but did not say anything. After a while, he relaxingly said, "The taste of being rejected in public should presumably have wangye savoring it for a long while."

    Afterwards, Chu Fei Yang walked past Jiang Mu Chen and left the area in front of Fu Yuan Lou, leaving Chen wang standing there all alone. His hands tightly held the jade hairpin that had already been crushed into small pieces.

    "Meng'er!" Currently, the flow of people was slowly pouring over to the other end. While being pushed forward by the crowd, Yun Qian Meng suddenly heard a shout from far away. She lifted her head and looked around to see Qu Fei Qing standing at the riverside at the very end of the long street. She was now raising her arms high and waving the fan in her hand in the direction of Yun Qian Meng, afraid that Yun Qian Meng would not be able to notice her.

    Yun Qian Meng smiled, then exited the long street with the crowd. Arriving at the river, she felt the heat from a while ago disperse. The fresh air of the countryside let a person regain energy and liveliness, especially since both sides of the river had lanterns with different shapes and colors, lighting up the entire river brightly.

    There were already quite a lot of young ladies gathering in the grass beside the river. They were all holding different shapes of river lanterns, perhaps using it to make a wish later when they let the lanterns drift along the river.

    Yun Qian Meng approached Qu Fei Qing, who was also holding a delicate lotus lantern. The lampwick was a pink candle, which added to the realness and beauty of the lantern. Yun Qian Meng could not help but take a closer look, then smiled and said, "Biaojie's lamp is really exquisite."

    Qu Fei Qing smiled, her eyes showing some hint of shyness as she slightly turned her head. Her yatou immediately brought out a purple lotus lantern. "I'm afraid that your dad would not think about you, and gumu is also not here anymore. Mother had craftsmen make two lanterns, one for each of us."

    Yun Qian Meng accepted one, looking over the purple lantern. The petals had a deep color from pinkish purple to dark violet that went from bottom to top, each of the paper petals were lined with thin golden threads, making the lotus look not only refined, but also extraordinarily elegant. The moment Yun Qian Meng got the lantern, she took fancy to it and would not let go. She smiled and said, "When biaojie gets home, please thank jiumu for me for her attentiveness; otherwise, I would only be cast covetous eyes at others setting off their lanterns."

    Yun Qian Meng, who was usually sedate, was acting like a child so Qu Fei Qing smiled with her, then said seriously, "We are a family, you don't have to be so polite. Look, there are so many xiaojie here today. We should take the opportunity while there's not too many people here yet and pick a good location to avoid squeezing with the crowd later on."

    She handed the lotus lantern to the yatou behind her and pulled Yun Qian Meng towards the riverside.

    Since morning, the sun had already been blazing in the sky; at night, the sky was also filled with stars, and the bright moon was also hanging in the sky, making the ink-black night sky seem darker and deeper.

    The glowing moonlight shone over the land, brightening each and every piece of land in the darkness, like covering them with a layer of silver chiffon, making the place so pretty that people could not see enough of it. Those ladies, who were all beautiful in their own way, were all reserved but joyously chatting at the riverside, filling the river with laughter that freed people from worries, adding a touching scene to this silent night.

    "What is biaojie going to wish for?" Qu Fei Qing had already ordered the yatou to light the candle in the lotus lanterns. Yun Qian Meng had been looking at the candle light moving in Qu Fei Qing's gentle eyes as she spoke with a teasing voice.

    Unexpectedly, when Qu Fei Qing heard her question, her face slightly blushed, then she slightly coughed, "I naturally wish that Fu Guo Gong Fu will remain peaceful and away from troubles forever and that father would get well soon."

    While the antidote had yet to been made, the only thing Qu Fei Qing could do was to take the opportunity of Qi Qiao Festival to make this wish, hoping that God would hear her heartfelt wishes.

    Yun Qian Meng nodded then said, "Don't worry, jiujiu will definitely be fine."

    But following that, Yun Qian Meng asked back while changing her tone, "Today is the Qi Qiao Festival. Doesn't biaojie have other wishes? Like finding a husband for Meng'er."

    Yun Qian Meng then opened her fan to cover her mouth as she laughed, causing Qu Fei Qing to blush, and glare at her. She imitated Yun Qian Meng's tone a while ago and asked, "Does Meng'er have someone in her heart now? Recently, Chu wangfu and Rong wangfu have been showing their intentions in various ways, especially Chu xiang. He even cleared the injustice brother was accused of. What does Meng'er think of this kind of person with courage and intelligence?"

    In the eyes of Qu Fei Qing, Chu Fei Yang was already a benefactor of Fu Guo Gong Fu, and Yun Qian Meng, who was already regarded as family, actively searching for a cure for Qu Ling Ao. Qu Fei Qing came to the decision that the two were really well matched.

    Yun Qian Meng only smiled lightly, and under the candle light, her face was as smooth as white jade. Her slightly curved lips had the beauty that could entice people to fall for her, causing Qu Fei Qing to stare at her blankly for a while. Suddenly, she heard Yun Qian Meng's voice that contained no interest, "How can marriage be demanded so insistently? Only people who are destined by fate can be together forever."

    It was not that Yun Qian Meng had any opinions regarding Chu Fei Yang, but this past half year since she had arrived in this ancient time period, she had seen with her own eyes of men having a lot of wives and concubines. She beared a grudge in her heart and wanted to live on her own instead of sharing her husband with someone else; thus, she chose to relax and did not insist on something nor think of things that were unrealistic.

    Hearing her words, Qu Fei Qing's heart sank. How could they, ladies who are kept in the houses, easily meet the person destined for them? That was only an extravagant hope of ladies. For things regarding marriage, who among the elders of the clan and relatives of the family were not planning for the benefit of the entire clan? There was nothing that young ladies could decide alone in these matters.

    Today, they were setting off the river lanterns, customary to the occasion.

    "Nevermind, let's not talk about this. We should hurry up and set off our lanterns. Look, those who came later than us have already made their wishes, but we are still talking nonstop." Qu Fei Qing took the lotus lantern and slowly bent her body, her long and thin hands carefully holding the lantern that represented all her hopes, and slowly placed it on the river. It lightly touched the water and Qu Fei Qing pushed the lit lotus lantern away.

    Yun Qian Meng also took her purple lotus lantern from Mu Chun and slowly placed it on the river. Her eyes closely stared at the candlelight in the lantern and was unaware of the person staring at her from the other side of the river.

    Suddenly, the lanterns that had already flowed to the center of the river was being pushed by a large force, causing them to drift away to the sides of the river. People only felt baffled and surprised. They all stood up and raised their heads to look at the center of the river. An exquisite and gorgeously designed boat was sailing from one end of the river. The ladies all glared at the boat as it had pushed their river lanterns back to the riverside. The boat was covered by thin veils of light pink cloth, the the light wind and the boat's movement was caressing the veils lightly, lifting the veils only slightly enough for people to start coming up with infinite imaginations.

    As the people were all guessing who the person in the boat was, the melodious sound of a guqin could be heard from the boat . The silent riverside was not filled with the fine sound of string music-this was a scene that was like what one would see in dreams and paintings.
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