Chapter 60: Drawing Attention
Chapter 60: Drawing Attention
Chen Rong took a few steps before seeing herself among a group of beautiful women. No one was particularly paying attention to her, and a thought flashed across her mind.
She slowed down and stepped backward as if nothing was happening.
At this time, all the women had assembled and nobody noticed her leaving. Moreover, she had only entered and was therefore only a few steps from the door.
Chen Rong retreated outside.
There, the two waiting-maids were startled by her reappearance. They hastened after her and reached out to pull her sleeve.
Chen Rong bade in a low voice: “Bring my zither here.”
When this was said, she did not turn around, her face smiling.
The pair of maids exchanged glances. The younger one frowned and admonished her: “Miss, stop causing trouble!” Impatience was already detected from her voice.
The older one also iced up as she tiredly asked, “Where do you think we are? Why would you need the zither?”
Chen Rong slowly turned around, staring at the two of them.
They gave a start and involuntarily faltered back.
Chen Rong lifted her soles and joined the beautiful women, again gliding forward.
Only then did the maids exhale in relief.
Chen Rong walked as she looked around, but in the large hall, besides a large number of musicians and beautiful women, there was only a handful of men sitting in the main seats. It seemed these were prince’s favorite subordinates.
Chen Rong carefully observed her surroundings, her hands wringing under her sleeves.
At this time, the beautiful women entering ahead of Chen Rong had each found a place to sit.
The women’s seats were altogether different from the men’s. They were blocks of jade shaped like a stool. Each of these translucent jade was extremely valuable, and yet they had actually been carved into chairs for the women to sit on.
To thus preserve these jade, as well as to enhance their beauty, the women only half-sat on the jade blocks and made sure to straighten their postures.
Chen Rong also sat down on such a jade.
She had scarcely sat down when she heard the Nan’yang Prince order: “Open the main gate.”
Answers from all sides rang out to the appearance of four handsome lads. They went to the entrance and opened the east and west doors.
This translation belongs to hamster428.wordpress.com
A blast of cold current instantaneously rolled in. When this wind rushed into the hall, it swayed the candlelight and blew the women’s long skirts, making them float like lotus leaves. Immediately, tens of hundreds of beautiful women and tens of hundreds of colorful dresses were swaying and blossoming in the wind, the scents of rouge and perfume permeating in the air. It was a scene straight from a painting!
The Nan’yang Prince laughed, clapping his hands as he said to the crowd at large: “Gentlemen, even immortality does not compare to the pleasure we have here.”
All the men followed along to laugh with him.
Meanwhile, Advisor Xu squinted his eyes and leered at these women from head to toe. Soon, he pointed toward a few inside and said, “Your Highness, even though beautiful women are like the clouds, there are five that particularly resemble the moonlight protected by encircling stars, a red flower surrounded by green leaves. One glance and I cannot move my eyes away.”
The prince also narrowed his puffy eyes to stare with interest in the direction his advisor was pointing to. Soon, his eyes fell upon Chen Rong.
Watching her slightly bowed head, full bosoms, round buttocks on the jade block, and thin, slender waist, all culminating in a most beguiling figure, the prince licked his plump lips and croaked: “You’re absolutely right.”
He hooked a finger toward Chen Rong and bade, “Pretty one, come here.”
Dozens of eyes at once turned to Chen Rong.
She slowly looked up to meet his eyes.
The Prince of Nan’yang apparently didn’t expect it to be her. He first widened his eyes, then laughed, “So it’s this young lady? You look so beautiful tonight, my dear, that you’ve made me very pleased. Come, come.”
His tone was disrespectful, his smile odious. He was really treating Chen Rong like a part of his harem.
Chen Rong slowly rose to her feet.
She very slowly straightened her back and walked toward him.
In the large open hall, cool wind swirled her dress like a lotus flower in full bloom, outlining her small waist even more distinctly.
The prince’s eyes were glued to her body, unable to move away come what may.
There was a reticence in Chen Rong’s expression. Under her wide sleeves, her right hand slightly moved and in an instant a golden hairpin had fallen into her palm.
The prince squinted his eyes as he admired her swaying figure, smiling to the crowd at large: “This young lady comes on waves and steps on silks…”
His eyes shifted to her feet. He stroked his short graying beard and pleasantly said, “Next, I will send her to go barefoot on the gravel path. She’ll certainly sway side to side like a rose in the wind.”
They all unanimously praised him. “How extraordinary Your Royal Highness’s literary talent is. Every word you speak becomes poetry.”
“’Swaying side to side like a rose in the wind,’ even Zuo Si’s Odes to the Three Capitals pale in comparison to this line.” (1)
Zuo Si is a poet in the Western Jin period, his Three Capital Odes include ‘Ode to the Capital of Shu’, ‘Ode to the Capital of Wu’, and ‘Ode to the Capital of Wei’.
“Precisely so; such beautiful words would overshadow even Cao Zijian’s ‘Ode to Luoyang’.” (2)
Cao Zijian is better known as Cao Zhi, prince and son of Cao Cao in the Three Kingdoms period.
The Prince of Nan’yang appeared to enjoy the flattery heaped upon him; he raised his head, stroked his short beard, and nodded his head in pleasure.
In the noisy merry-making, powerful footsteps thumped, thumped, thumped across the ground.
A guard came within ten steps of the front hall, clasped his hands, and said, “Your Highness, General Wen requests an audience.”
The prince scowled, waved his hand and barked: “I don’t want to see him. Really, what is he seeking audience at this time for? Cursed!”
“Aye,” the guard answered and then turned around to go.
With the guard gone, Advisor Xu saw Ah Rong pausing and not taking another step. He said, “Miss, what are you still standing there for? Hurry over here.”
The Prince of Nan’yang also turned his head to look at her, smiling pleasantly. “Pretty one, don’t be afraid. There are two things I’m good at in my life, wherein the first is that I treasure beautiful women like jade and gems, hahaha.” The crowd followed suit in laughing with him.
Chen Rong slowly looked up, lifted her soles, and started in the direction of the musicians.
She had barely taken a step by the time the sound of other footfalls arrived. Forthwith, a guard raised his voice to report: “Your Highness, General Sun Yan requests an audience!”