On the fourteenth day of the first lunar month, guests arrived at Feihong Garden one after another.
Although the official feast of the Feihong banquet would occur the next day, the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, there was going to be a reception banquet tonight, which was an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and prepare for tomorrow’s grand event.
This time, Taiping Gongzhu invited the aristocracy and spent extravagantly, hoping to make the Feihong banquet surpass the palace banquet.
Feihong Garden was bustling with activity.
Talented men and women participated in lantern riddle guessing games and poetry competitions and the noble sons who couldn’t put up with these academic activities did archery and hunted.
Those who were incapable of both academics and martial arts played chess and threw arrows into a pot.
There was a way for anyone to have fun.
Except for a salted fish like Ming Huashang who didn’t want to go out or socialize.
Ming Huashang moved into her guest room at noon.
Zhaocai and Ruyi were arranging their valuables.
Ming Huashang sat on the couch and watched them busy about.
If it wasn’t for Zhaocai’s reminder, Ming Huashang could even sleep on the couch.
Just now Zhaocai heard the door of the next room open; presumably, the miss from Pingnan Marquis manor had gone out.
She looked at her miss again, who was drowsy and yawning continuously, and was disappointed that iron does not turn into steel, “Miss, many young masters of prestigious families will attend today, which is a great time to choose a husband.
Such a good opportunity, how can you sleep?”
“Exactly.” Ruyi also persuaded, “Miss, even if it’s not for marriage, but at least for the Duke’s manor, you should make more connections.”
Ming Huashang knew that she had to go out now, so she stood up reluctantly, “I know, but it’s already the afternoon, and I haven’t eaten yet.”
Zhaocai wanted to shake her Miss’ head vigorously to throw eating and sleeping out of her mind, “Miss, Taiping Gongzhu is a member of the imperial family, so there must be food at the banquet.
You can just eat at the banquet.”
Seeing that Ming Huashang was still dressed in the same outfit she wore on the road this morning, Ruyi hurriedly said, “Miss, the first impression is the most important when meeting others.
How can you go out in this outfit? Zhaocai, the clothes you brought from the Duke’s manor, quickly take them out and change Miss’ clothes.”
“No need.” Ming Huashang stopped the overly excited maids, stretched out her arm to look at the dress on her body, and said, “Who knows of Shendu’s Ming Huashang, everyone only knows that Ming Huazhang has a twin sister.
This bolt of dragon and phoenix patterned brocade was given by my grandmother.
It is festive and solemn, and with one glance one can tell it’s a match with second elder brother’s clothes, which is suitable for today’s occasion.
Don’t worry about it, I think this outfit is very good.”
What Ming Huashang said was also reasonable, but Zhaocai could not be outdone.
She re-did Ming Huashang’s buns and carefully matched them with filigree gold and silver hairpins.
Ming Huashang was unlike Ming Huazhang’s cold and noble appearance.
Her cheeks were smooth and soft, her eyes were big and round, her red lips are full and shiny, and she looked like she was smiling even before speaking.
She was exquisite and beautiful like the Guanyin little girl in the painting.
After her hair was combed into buns, her superior forehead was undoubtedly revealed, fully round, it was very pleasing to look at.
Zhaocai carefully adjusted the position of the hairpins and was finally satisfied, “Done.
Miss is so beautiful; she will definitely amaze everyone at the banquet and find a good husband.”
Ming Huashang smiled perfunctorily.
It got dark sooner in winter, so by the time Ming Huashang finally went out, the sky outside had already turned dark.
Ming Huashang wrapped herself with a cloak and headed for the banquet with a lantern in her hand.
When she arrived, the banquet hall was already full of people.
It was lively like a big drinking feast.
Taiping Gongzhu was born the noblest princess.
She was accustomed to extravagance and pleasure, loved to play, and knew how to play.
Her banquet this time was not held inside the hall but had a semi-open style.
The reception pavilion connected to the verandahs and other pavilions, and not far away were snow fields and the mountain forest, making for an elegant yet wild backdrop.
Servant girls holding gold plates filed through the corridors, luxuriously dressed men and women chatted together in groups, poets and painters improvised, floating lanterns covered the snow-capped mountains and jade halls, and clusters of jewel-adorned buns stood out.
The atmosphere of a prosperous period engulfed her.
After Ming Huashang came in, she found Ming Huazhang easily.
For no other reason than that even in a banquet full of talents, Ming Huazhang’s demeanor was too outstanding.
Standing with the snow-covered pine forest behind him, he didn’t need decorations, and the room filled with brocade clothes and mink fur suddenly became his foil.
Temperament was hard to put into words, but when a group of people stood together, even if others beside him were dressed up and carefully crafted, they couldn’t be more eye-catching than him with his hair done up with a simple jade hairpin.
Ming Huazhang was tall, he felt someone approaching, and when he turned around, he saw Ming Huashang.
Xie Jichuan followed Ming Huazhang’s line of sight and said with a smile, “Yo, second younger sister has arrived.”
The young masters standing on both sides saw that Ming Huashang and Ming Huazhang were wearing the exact same clothes and asked, “This is…”
Ming Huazhang was a little surprised that Ming Huashang actually came.
He motioned for Ming Huashang to stand beside him, and introduced her to the others, “This is my twin sister, second miss.”
Ming Huashang saluted with crossed hands, “Greetings, young masters.”
The young masters didn’t have much impression of the second miss from Zhen Duke manor, but once it was mentioned that she was Ming Huazhang’s twin sister, they understood.
Their faces showed their understanding, their eyes glanced at Ming Huashang, and they were very surprised, “The second miss is really mysterious, why haven’t I met her before?”
In front of Ming Huazhang, it was difficult for them to comment on Ming Huashang’s appearance, but it was clear that Ming Huashang’s appearance was far beyond their imagination.
The pair of dragon and phoenix twins from the Zhen Duke manor was very famous in the capital.
Before, they could only see the dragon but not the phoenix, so they assumed Ming Huashang was ugly, that’s why she was embarrassed to go out.
They didn’t expect her to be very delicate and lovely.
Ming Huashang was embarrassed to say that she was too lazy to go out because she didn’t want to push herself, so she tried to find a decent way to explain, “I have a quiet temperament that’s why I rarely go out and about.
I’ve made everyone laugh.”
Facing such a sweet and lovely girl, who could bear to blame her? The young men immediately expressed that being gentle and quiet was good.
One of them wanted to probe whether Ming Huashang was engaged, and joked, “Jing Zhan, you really are stingy.
You have such a cute younger sister, yet you are hiding her at home, and didn’t even let us know.”
Ming Huazhang didn’t even move his eyebrows and eyes.
He was surrounded by the hustle and bustle, but his eyes were pitch-black and cold.
His slender double-eyelids were like distant mountains drawn out by ink, the inner corners hooked and outer curled, and the tails of his eyes were straight and slightly provocative.
When he didn’t speak, an atmosphere of condescending coldness surrounded him.
He had a fair complexion and was wearing red clothes, making him look even more cold and beautiful.
Ming Huazhang didn’t pay attention to the jokes made by the people around him at all.
He lowered his eyes and said to Ming Huashang, “You just came, you haven’t met the host yet, right? I’ll accompany you to meet Her Highness Taiping Gongzhu.”
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