Chapter 23: And Together With The Ice Lord at the Qi Xi Festival (part 4)

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A woman dressed in a light purple silk dress engraved with mandarin ducks and crescent moons, a pink silk skirt decorated with hundreds of butterflies, a pair of bright pink embroidered shoes, a flying moon bun1 with a brilliant peacock hairpin walked over smiling.

“Second imperial older sister, why have you suddenly come to my Zi Xia Hall?” Ye Zi Yu instantly let go of Bai Xi, quickly tidying herself. Her expression was restrained, but her eyes betrayed her surprise.

“Does Zi Yu dislike second imperial older sister coming to Zi Xia Hall?” Ye Zi Ning2 entered the audience hall and immediately sat in the chair opposite to Ye Zi Yu. She didn’t even glance at Bai Xi. Bai Xi did the same, faintly smiling as she looked at the glittering peacock hairpin in Ye Zi Ning’s hair.

“I only wondered why second imperial older sister would come to my Zi Xia Hall now.” Ye Zi Yu whispered, but everyone in the hall could hear her.

“That is because imperial older sister moved the Qi Qiao celebrations to Zi Yu’s Zi Xia Hall, so imperial older sister felt it was natural to come here.” After saying that, footsteps echoed through the hall as someone approached. Around 7 to 8 graceful women wearing Chinese dresses3 entered.

Ye Zi Yu did not have the time to digest Ye Zi Ning’s words before seeing those familiar faces at the door. Even if she was confused, she already understood the visit. Why would second imperial older sister want to come to her Zi Xia Hall for the Qi Qiao celebrations? In previous years, second imperial older sister would spend the festivities at Lan Lin4 Hall.

“Paying respects to the second princess, third princess!” These women’s appearances were no less inferior to Ye Zi Yu and Ye Zi Ning. Among the enchanting and gorgeous women, Bai Xi was a lofty person. However, this time, she was calm and composed, just appreciating the women in front of her.

“Younger sister Yu, this second princess also knows that younger sister Yu went to Fo Yin Temple to express a failed confession to Master Feng. So, this second princess decided to have the Qi Qiao festivities held at Zi Xia Hall. This second princess also wishes that younger sister Yu is happy.” The entire time the woman was talking, she had a smile on her face. But, if one looked carefully, the depths of her eyes concealed her ridicule.

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“Yeah, what princess5 Min Min6 said is correct. Second princess really cares for the third princess,” the women said together to look as if they cared about their words.

“Who says that this princess’ confession failed?” Ye Zi Yu fiercely stood, an abrupt change from her previous cute image. She was angry, but upon seeing Ye Zi Ning, the anger turned to a feeble look. “This princess did not meet Prime Minister Feng and could not confess. This princess is clear that Prime Minister Feng does not like this princess, and also does not like you because Prime Minister Feng likes older sister Xi. Hmph!” That day, she did not approach Prime Minister Feng’s courtyard. She was afraid and left, so she didn’t confess to Prime Minister Feng.

But her words suddenly pushed Bai Xi into the limelight. Everyone looked at Bai Xi, their expressions full of hostility. Even if Ye Zi Yu did not say that, the rumours about Bai Xi had already spread and she was viewed as a thorn in the side.

“Oh, so this is second young miss Bai, huh? It is not quite the same as the rumours,” Princess Min Min implied mockingly as she smiled. This Bai Xi was indeed ugly. It appeared the rumours that this person said about Master Feng liking this ugly woman were fake. Hehe, her appearance was not equal to Master Feng, so how was it possible for him to like this ugly woman?

“What Princess Ming Ming7 said is right. Sometimes the rumours vary from the truth,” those women added.

“Without a doubt, older sister Xi is not like the rumours. Those people were merely talking nonsense.” In her opinion, older sister Xi was not ugly. She liked to be close to older sister Xi, but Ye Zi Yu knew those women had another meaning to their words.

Next to Bai Xi was Mu Qiu, who clenched her fists. Her eyes hung low and were filled with indignation. How could she not hear those people insulter her young miss? No, she said she wanted to protect the young miss. She absolutely could not allow the young miss to be insulted.

“Zi Yu, you originally invited second young miss Bai to go to the imperial palace. Why didn’t you say something to second imperial older sister so that second imperial older sister could make proper preparations?” Ye Zi Ning never stopped smiling, particularly when those women secretly ridiculed Bai Xi. Her smiled was not even concealed.

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Ye Zi Yu was about to open her mouth when Bai Xi had taken the initiative to say with a smile, “Perhaps second princess’ preparations would give the third princess additional trouble.”

Ye Zi Ning’s smile froze on her face at those words as her face darkened and her thoughts were filled with ill intent. Quickly, those feelings were all hidden and she restored her former faint smile. The women of Princess Min Min smiled at the scene. Ye Zi Yu appeared nervous. Mu Qiu’s mouth twitched with worry for her family’s second young miss.

“Second young miss Bai said that this princess would make Zi Yu upset?”

“Mm, what third princess said is absolutely correct. However, it is not exactly like that.” Bai Xi sighed. “I believed I would be talking to someone intelligent, but…”

The anger that Ye Zi Ning had concealed was starting to show and one could hear her gnashing her teeth as she spat out, “Second young miss Bai can just be direct. There is no need to beat around the bush8.”

The expressions on Princess Min Min’s and the others faces were worse. They felt that this second young miss Bai was as ugly and stupid as the rumours said. She unexpectedly dared to secretly ridicule the second princess. It seemed she was not far from death.

Ye Zi Yu knew very well that her second imperial older sister was enraged. She absolutely could not leave older sister Xi alone in this predicament. “Second imperial older sister, older sister Xi is just…”

“Zi Yu is right. What I said is indeed a fact.” Bai Xi stood and walked over to Ye Zi Yu, patting Ye Zi Yu’s shoulder as she smiled.

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“Older sister Xi…”

“Second princess, do you know why the third princess invited me to the imperial palace?” According to what she had observed, she could tell that the relationship between Zi Yu and this second princess was not deep, unlike what outsiders said. It seemed that Zi Yu was even scared of this second princess.

“Today is the Qi Qiao Festival. Isn’t it because second young miss Bai accepted the third princess’ invitation to come to the imperial palace?” Ye Zi Ning looked at the Lancome9 on her fingers before sweeping her eyes over Bai Xi.

“Yeah, today is indeed the Qi Qiao Festival. But, the second princess has forgotten that it is July, the month also known as Ghost Month. In a few days will be the Ghost Festival, the day when the ghost door is open.” After Bai Xi answered, she pulled Ye Zi Yu back and sat down as she smiled at everyone.

Ye Zi Ning’s pupil’s shrunk and her hands trembled. She stared straight at Bai Xi’s smiling face while the servants of Princess Min Min paled and stayed where they were, afraid to move.

“Audacious! You dare to say these frightening things with no rhyme or reason? Messenger, drag this person out and beat her to death!”

Before she had finished speaking, Bai Xi smirked and quickly took a butterfly hairpin from Ye Zi Yu’s hair. The butterfly hairpin accurately flew through the air like an arrow towards Ye Zi Ning.

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1.(梳著飛月髻) – I think this is a hairstyle? Sorry, not too sure.

2.(夜紫凝) – Ye Zi Ning, the Ning can be translated into many things. My dictionary says ‘congeal, coagulate, condense’, or ‘attentive’. I believe it’s probably supposed to be attentive since the others sound like they would be terrible names.

3.(華服) – a style of dress, I think.

4.(蘭林) – Lan means orchid and lin means forest. So, orchid forest hall.

5.(郡主) – jun zhu also means princess, but different from (公主) gong zhu.

6.(敏敏) – min means quick or smart. This is probably a title given to the princess.

7.(明明) – ming means bright. Again, this is probably a title given to the princess.

8.(不必拐彎抹角) – a Chinese idiom which translates to something like ‘there is no need to turn around corners’, so no need to talk in circles.

9.(蘭蔻) – This just translates to Lancôme, the French cosmetics company. I have no idea what this is supposed to be.

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