TOMAS Chapter 18

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Chapter 18 Wind Crane: Admitting Defeat

Just as Linglong was about to instruct her handmaiden to hand over Wind Crane, someone spoke up again. “Stop. Who said Miss Linglong had lost to her? Look at that hourglass – the time has already passed. Or look at the sky outside, if you will. It’s obvious to anyone that the time is already way pass three in the afternoon. Since Feng Luodi had not finished her piece by the end of the agreed time, her performance is void.” It was the purple-robed man again, the 7th Prince of the Xuan Dynasty, Liu Du.

The judges looked at each other, but remained silent.

Liu Du continued with a smug smile on his face, “Although,” He paused for a second, a look of disdain apparent on his face, “Feng Luodi’s performance is of a barely acceptable standard, rules are rules, and nobody should be allowed to break them. If these rules are broken so simply, how would it reflect on this gathering?”

He looked around the hall , and was about to continue his speech when Feng Luodi cut him off abruptly. “I understand, I have lost to Miss Linglong,” She paused, then added, “because I did not abide by the rules.” By now, Linglong looked upset with his intervention, but Liu Du failed to see this in his eagerness to help Linglong. He took a few steps towards Feng Luodi.

“Feng Luodi, merely a daughter of the Chamberlain of Justice. Neither your looks nor your status are befitting of a person like me. Was Mother joking when she said I was to marry you? How laughable.” He scoffed. His words would definitely spread like wildfire through the city, and would have evolved into something much more malicious: the daughter of the Chamberlain of Justice has been rejected publicly by the 7th Prince.

The audience began to whisper amongst themselves.

Feng Luodi looked up at him, her face expressionless.

“Why? Am I not right?” The 7th Prince looked at her haughtily.

Feng Luodi smiled, and retrieved the flask of osmanthus wine on the table. She slowly uncapped the flask, and looked straight at the 7th Prince. “No, you are completely right, save for one thing. I am the one who refused to marry you, 7th Prince.” She spat out the last few words, and as the crowd looked on in surprise, sloshed the entire goblet of wine onto the prince.

For a brief moment, the 7th Prince was stunned. He was drenched from his neck down, his expensive purple-robe now clinging to his skin. When he finally realised what happened, he was enraged. He stepped forward to slap Feng Luodi, but she was quicker and darted out of his range. Before he could give chase, his servants quickly rushed forward to stop him. Although his status seemed to be very distinguished amongst the audience in the hall, there was someone of higher position than him. Right at the table beside Feng Luodi sat the Duke of Anping, Situ Muye, and it would be out of place for a prince whom has fallen out of favour, to cause a commotion right now. Glaring at Feng Luodi, the prince loudly grunted and angrily returned to his seat.

Feng Luodi returned to her seat as well. To the onlookers, it’d probably looked like she was venting her anger at the prince’s remarks about her birth and looks, but she was more upset about the that she had lost her best chance of obtaining Wind Crane. She took everything into account, but she had forgotten about the time limit, and the possibility of the 7th Prince intervening on Linglong’s behalf.

Qi Jianqiu leaned over immediately. “Luodi! Why did you do that to the 7th Prince! He’ll definitely make things difficult for you from now on.”

Seeing Qi Jianqiu’s worried expression, Feng Luodi decided to tease her a little. “Won’t the beautiful Jianqiu protect me from him? I’ll be upset if you dont…”

“Don’t be sad of course I will help!” Now Qi Jianqiu was worried Feng Luodi got the wrong impression of her, and quickly clarified. Only when she saw the cheeky smile on Feng Luodi’s face did she realise Feng Luodi was merely joking, and slapped her arm in retaliation.

Feng Luodi finished the wine left in her cup, and looked at the stain she left on the floor from when she sloshed the wine at the prince. “Argh,” She voice aloud her thoughts, “what a waste of good wine.”

Just as she said that, a hand reached over with a fully filled flask of wine. From the smell of it, she could tell it was the osmanthus wine she was just enjoying. Turning her head, she saw Jiang Moyin stretching to place the flask on her table with a light nod to her. Beside him, Gan Qingjia smiled brightly at her, Xue Yiqi looked as red as ever, and Situ Muye continued drinking as if nothing had happened.

“Thank you. I really appreciate everything you’ve done.” She thanked him from the bottom of her heart. Although there are scoundrels in this world, she thought quietly to herself, there are many more kind and helpful people.

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