Pei Anru flattened her previously pointed toes before asking, "Prince Hao, are you so sure that this official's daughter's dance isn't as great as the one you have seen in Nanzhao?"


"The performances of Jinghong Dance and Bending Branch Dance can match up to Nanzhao's previous Eldest Imperial Princess. Even if the people present haven’t seen her dance before, you all must have heard of it." Pei Qianhao's voice was low but resonant.


One of the ministers of the six ministries shook their head. "I heard that such a dance could only be seen in heaven, and only a few times on earth."


Pei Anru pursed her lips together and stared at Pei Qianhao with her large eyes. They all said that Prince Hao is a tough nut to crack, and what I’ve seen today has only confirmed that. But I can’t retreat. The tougher Prince Hao is, the more I must push on!


Hence, Pei Anru smiled. "Since this official's daughter can't compete with her dance, why don't I sing a ditty instead?"


Situ Lin instantly clapped his hands in agreement. "A ditty!"


However, Situ Lin then received Pei Qianhao’s piercing cold stare and recoiled in fear. Is Imperial Uncle angry again?


Pei Qianhao looked at Situ Lin and slowly admonished, "Your Majesty, you should always control your expression and not reflect your emotions. This Prince has only been gone for a while, but you have already forgotten?"


"You are right, Imperial Uncle; this Emperor will surely keep this in mind." Situ Lin nodded and turned his gaze onto Pei Anru. I don't think I will get to hear the ditty now.


However, Pei Yaran had brought Pei Anru in after all. Prince Hao not showing any face to Pei Anru was like a slap to Pei Yaran's face.


Hence, Pei Yaran gestured for Pei Anru to sing the ditty. "Anru has a sweet and crisp voice; why don't we hear her sing?"


Xie Yun swirled the wine in his cup and looked at Pei Qianhao. "Prince Hao, why don't we hear a tune? Who knows if it might surprise us?" He then slowly sipped the wine in his cup.


Pei Qianhao kept quiet, indicating his consent with his silence.


As such, Pei Anru felt relieved of the boulder that had been weighing in her heart and started to sing her best ditty ー ‘Shuidiao Getou’. [1]


Her crisp and clear voice reverberated in the gardens. The melody filled with occasional high and low notes was indeed sweet and soothing to the ears.


Situ Lin enjoyed it very much, with both his eyes closed together as he listened. His young and child-like innocence showed none of the disposition of a ruler.


At the end of the ditty, Pei Anru curtsied to everyone.


Situ Lin was the first to applaud. "Not bad, your voice is more soothing than that of an oriole." 


Consort Dowager Guo took a brief glance at Pei Anru before diverting her gaze.


"Prince Hao, how is this official's daughter's ditty?" Pei Anru's eyes shone brightly as she looked at Pei Qianhao.


Pei Yaran noticed Pei Qianhao's dark expression and immediately responded in his place. "Prince Hao would definitely find that Anru has a good voice."


Just as the words had left her lips, Pei Qianhao replied icily, "Since she is the Empress Dowager's niece, and also a member of the Pei Family, this Prince undoubtedly finds her singing good. Wouldn’t you agree, Lord Pei?"


Pei Zheng, having been called upon, immediately stood up from the lower seat. "This old official thanks Prince Hao for your compliments on Anru’s behalf. Anru has a pure and innocent personality, much to the liking of the Empress Dowager, prompting her to keep Anru in the palace as a companion. Prince Hao for often heading to Compassionate Peace Palace in this old official's stead after settling state affairs, I would like to offer a toast to express my gratitude."


Pei Zheng then cupped his hands together before lifting his wine cup, downing its contents and sitting back down.

A cold glint flashed across Pei Yaran's eyes. I didn't even agree to let Pei Anru stay in the palace, and yet Father has taken the liberty to make the decision! If I reject him in front of everyone, I would be disgracing the Pei family, and also myself as the Empress Dowager! I will remember this!

1. Here’s a Wikipedia page for your reference.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Cosy

TLC: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

*Sigh* all these noble families making use of their daughters :/