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The next day, ZhuYu drove a horse carriage over to pick up Hua Jinglan. He said that Chunyu Yan invited her to attend a banquet.
Hua Jinglan thought about it and decided to go mainly because she wanted that Hongyan tribute wine. It was said that in the whole Yue Empire, there was only ten jars. The Emperor was strangely stingy about them. He wouldn’t take the wine out unless someone died or married. Chunyu Yan was granted the “Wangye” title a year ago. He refused silver and gold and only requested a jar of wine. Of course, in the end, the Emperor reluctantly parted with his treasure.
The horse carriage stopped in front of Xiaoyao Wang fu [residence]. ZhuYu stretched an arm to help Hua Jinglan alight. She was shocked. Looking at the vermilion surrounding the lintel of the door and the two huge stone lions with two big, red flowers tied to them, she said lightly, “Is there a line of people to welcome me?”
ZhuYu was startled. He thought about why she would think so. But Wangye obviously wanted to give her a surprise, so he compromised, “Maybe, maybe not.”
Hua Jinglan jumped out of the horse carriage. Jiaoyue followed behind. As soon as she stepped on the steps, the gate opened. Chunyu Yan stood at the end of a group of young women. They were dressed in red and better-looking than normal concubines.
So her first sentence when she stepped through the gate was, “Chunyu Yan, you went after them?”
The concubines’ faces turned red and white. Chunyu Yan loudly laughed with flowery charm.
“Benwang [how Wangyes refer to themselves] never accepts what he gives out.” Chunyu Yan took out the handkerchief and handed it to Hua Jinglan.
A handsome man and beautiful woman stood under the willow tree. The man had soft, affectionate eyes. A pinch of them would bring tears. Everyone could tell the seeds of infatuation had been sown. It seemed like she was the only one in his world.