Chapter 252: Coincidence
Taken aback at the scene, Huzi whispered, “What a set up!”
Steward Zhong felt an inexplicable sense of pride. “Naturally.”
The miss was someone who normally didn’t make a fuss, but she stunned and amazed when she did decide do something. Now that she was a holy girl, she would be the best of holy girls.
“The hour has arrived!” Someone sang out, prompting ceremonial music to start.
As the rain drizzled on, a Qin Yining clad in snow-white chiffon slowly strode out from the inner hall, surrounded by eight nuns wearing gray. She was followed by the young emperor wearing golden robes with dragons soaring on them.
The people knelt at the sight and called out loudly, “Greetings to the emperor! May the emperor live ten thousand years! Long live the emperor!”
Heroism blossomed in Weichi Yan’s heart and he had the urge to pen an intrepid, dauntless poem for the nation. He raised a hand and looked down at Qin Yining.
The girl was already standing in front of the brazier. She lit three sticks of incense and placed them within the brazier, making mystical finger gestures that she’d just learned from a Taoist. Her slender, white fingers flew adroitly through them, deepening the sense of spirituality.
What was most remarkable was that the sticks of incense burned at a speed visible to the naked eye. They were consumed in a quick moment.
“Disciple née Qin greets the gods above and respectfully requests that the gods point out the true way!”
Low chants of scripture from a hundred nuns started in unison after these words, rippling out in waves and imbuing further piousness to the occasion.
Huzi, Steward Zhong, and Mu Jinghu saw a white-clad Qin Yining step forward and dance in mesmerizing unison with the eight nuns behind her. They brandished wide sleeves and shifted through outlandish moves, raising their arms in the same arcs, turning and stepping in time. Qin Yining’s skirts flew in the wind. She actually seemed like she might go flying away on the breeze.
They honored the heavens and then the earth. The scene was so very strange, but also reverently beautiful.
Huzi silently clucked his tongue. The future princess consort knows how to dance for the gods?
And naturally, the people’s high regard of their holy girl deepened even further. After seeing the quick burning of the incense and a beatific dance honoring the heavens, those in the crowd put their palms together and prayed.
Afflicted by nerves, Qin Yining almost made the wrong steps a few times. Thankfully, she had a photographic memory, so she retained all of the moves, even though she’d just learned the dance. Though stiff and unpracticed, none of the people knew any better, so her dance was still passable.
She finally stumbled to the ending beats and the nine women touched their foreheads to the ground at the same time, kowtowing to the altar.
Another nun off to the side lit a piece of paper with symbols scribbled on it, chanting an incantation as he did so.
In the small drizzle, the paper burned more hotly than usual. Halfway through, a gust of wind swirled the rest upwards to finish reducing into ashes in the air. The scene seemed to indicate that the gods had indeed felt the people’s sincerity.
With a murmured reminder from a nun, Qin Yining rose and bowed. “Many thanks for the heavenly pointers. This disciple is overcome with gratitude.”
Sighs of relief filtered through the crowd. The people turned hopeful eyes to the altar.
Having observed the entire process, images of Qin Yining’s slender waist and dancing skirts still filled Weichi Yan’s eyes. His heart was afire with passion.
When Qin Yining rose, the hundred nuns parted to the sides, opening a walkway for the emperor. Weichi Yan strode down the red carpet, his eyes only on the girl.
The people only saw the elegant poise of their young emperor in hushed conversation with the holy girl. The son of heaven was wreathed in smiles and the holy girl responding respectfully with lowered eyes. It was such a wondrous sight for sore eyes.
Whispered conversations flared up. “The emperor is so handsome. He and the holy girl form such a perfect couple.”
“If it wasn’t for us and the safety of the nation, the emperor would’ve married the holy girl already.”
“And isn’t that right. The holy girl was supposed to be the empress and can only spend the rest of her days in a temple because of us.” Opinions flew every which way. Everyone was immensely grateful to the emperor and holy girl and felt that they made a perfect couple.
Steward Zhong basked in shared glory. His boss had more than enough talent to be the empress! Good on them for recognizing true value when they see it!
Huzi however, was almost apoplectic with indignation.
How can that moron compare with my master? And only Qin Yining is worthy of my master’s knowledge and martial skill. He’s a hero of the ages! Are these people blind or dumb?? They must be saying this because they’ve never seen my master before!
A cowardly, stupid emperor was enough to overawe them. If they saw Pang Xiao, wouldn’t they fall to their knees to worship a god??
Weichi Yan and Qin Yining were actually just chit-chatting.
“You dance very prettily. We didn’t know you even knew how to dance.” Weichi Yan’s volume was as loud as a mosquito’s.
Qin Yining breathed back, “In response to Your Majesty, that wasn’t a dance. I don’t know how to dance and was forced to do this by the circumstances.”
“Why did the incense burn so quickly?”
“That’s special incense we bought from jianghu conmen. It’s supposed to burn that quickly and is perfect for special occasions like these.”
Just as the two spoke, the drizzle that’d precipitated for an hour slowly halted. The sky cleared up as breezy winds shifted the thunderclouds away, and even a rainbow arched through the firmament.
Qin Yining and Weichi Yan raised their heads to look blankly at the rainbow.
Qin Yining: This rainbow has some really good timing!
Weichi Yan: It looks like Qin Yining really can protect the nation’s fortunes. Everything she takes cares of is handled smoothly. The rainbow in the sky is a sign that the heavens show her favor.
Everyone in the crowd was beaming happily. What was a most natural phenomenon after the rain glowed and glittered in the people’s eyes.
Qin Yining took a few steps back and stood next to the nuns. This was Weichi Yan’s cue to start his part of the show.
He called out, “My people. Master Xuan Su has already told Us of what the heavens have said. We will take action according to the heavenly words and will resolve the issue of food for everyone!”
Joy seized the crowd and some even cried with emotion. Foreheads touched the ground. “Long live the emperor!”
Weichi Yan returned to the hall as the imperial guards and bodyguards directed traffic out of the temple.
Having found new hope, the people left happily. A coincidental rainbow after the rain pushed the altar ceremony to new heights of sanctity.
As soon as they exited the temple, Mu Jinghu announced, “I won’t be going back with you. I’m going to keep my promise. That emperor is still very infatuated with the fox’s wife, so be careful.”
Huzi raised a cupped fist salute to Mu Jinghu. “Many thanks to Sir Mu.”
Mu Jinghu responded in kind and vanished into the crowd.
Steward Zhong and Huzi left together, and the bustling square slowly returned to a peaceful quiet.
Meanwhile, Li Yanyan, an observer of the entire situation, stopped with a deep frown and balled up fists. She didn’t even noticed when her nails dug into her hand.
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