Come, This Imperial Daughter Will Dance a Dance for You
Xuan Tian Ge froze. Feng Yu Heng wanted to dance? Why did she suddenly have this sort of thought? The question was… “Do you know how?”
Feng Yu Heng shrugged, “Where is there any matter of knowing or not. If I can’t dance well, could it mean that I can’t dance poorly?” After she finished speaking, she stood up and looked forward.
The people saw her stand up and stopped talking in an instant. They also stopped moving. Even the Empress and the imperial concubines were a little surprised. The majority of the imperial concubines were just wanting to watch something interesting, but the Empress was feeling apologetic, “That, uh… A-Heng, everyone was just joking. There’s no need to take it seriously.” Imperial Daughter Ji An did not know how to dance. Although she did not know this very clearly, Feng Yu Heng had never participated in an arts competition before. Thinking about it, she must not be proficient in these things.
The Empress speaking up was to smooth things over for Feng Yu Heng, giving her a way out, but there would always be some people that refused to step down. They then heard the seventh princess of Gu Shu say: “It was indeed a joke, but Imperial Daughter Ji An has already stood up. This means that Imperial Daughter has that desire. We can’t just brush her off.”
The Empress’ expression sank. The princess of Gu Shu coming without an invitation was already annoying enough. Now, she was openly opposing Feng Yu Heng during this banquet. What exactly was she wanting to do?
While she was preparing to speak up to stop things, she heard Feng Yu Heng say: “That’s right! What Princess said is correct. You can’t brush me off, thus this imperial daughter cannot brush everyone else off. Dance? Alright.” After she spoke, she bowed to the Empress: “A-Heng thanks Your Highness for your understanding. Today is the Mid-Autumn Festival. It’s good for things to be a little livelier. Please allow A-Heng to prepare for a moment.”
Upon seeing that the situation could no longer be salvaged, the Empress could only nod and allow Feng Yu Heng to head to the stage.
When Feng Yu Heng departed, the people began to discuss once more. Imperial Daughter Ji An was about to participate in a dance. This could be considered something big! These people hated that they could not call the men from the front of the palace over to the garden. Unfortunately, they could only think about this. In the end, this side was reserved for the womenfolk to enjoy a banquet. Officials would not be permitted to enter.
Feng Yu Heng did not spend much time preparing. Very quickly, the music started, and dancers in colorful clothes appeared. The people stared wide-eyed toward the back while waiting for the important person to appear. But after waiting, their necks grew longer from craning them. They stared straight ahead but did not see even a sliver of Feng Yu Heng’s shadow!
Someone said: “Perhaps this is not the dance. Imperial Daughter Ji An might still need to prepare for a little while longer, and this is just to fill the time.”
The people were all nodding in agreement with this, “That’s right! Let’s just wait a bit. Perhaps the next one will be it. Or perhaps the one after that will be imperial daughter’s performance.”
But there were also some people that expressed their doubts: “Huh? Look, why does there look like there’s someone familiar in the middle of the dancers?”
Once this was spoken, everyone’s attention was immediately captured, as they saw a young miss point toward the group of dancers and say: “That one, the one in the middle, the one that seems to be a little unable to keep up with the beat! Even when performing a spin, she turns the wrong way.”
Very quickly, someone recognized the “offbeat girl.” Just looking was fine, but the people were nearly fuming with anger. How could this be considered just a little unable to keep up with the beat. She clearly had no sense for the beat, she had no care for the music, and she cared even less about how the dancers at her side were dancing. From time to time, she would swing her sleeves, kick her legs, bend over at the waist then follow the dancers a few steps to the left and a few steps to the right. How could this be considered dancing. This was clearly just going with the flow while occasionally bumping into the other dancers. She would even step on her own feet by accident. A perfectly good dance became disordered because of her stumbling. By the end, the two people at the girl’s side simply supported her and guided her, telling whether she should move her left foot or her right foot. Like this, the scene finally stabilized.
The people were finally able to recognize the “offbeat” person, “Isn’t that Imperial Daughter Ji An?”
“That’s right. It’s her.”
“What is she doing?”
“In her own words, this is dancing.”
“How can this be called a dance?”
The people fell silent, as everyone was waiting for the first person to provoke and mock Imperial Daughter Ji An’s dancing, but nobody said it. Even the seventh princess of Gu Shu had fallen silent.
Fan Tian Man admired this! This Imperial Daughter Ji An really was stubborn. Even like this, she came out to dance? Dance with this sort of shabby appearance? She was not embarrassed? But she really was not embarrassed. Not only was she not embarrassed, looking at her appearance, she was quite happy! Fan Tian Man thought that this sort of matter, not to mention a dignified imperial daughter, but even a normal young miss from a large family would not dare do this sort of thing, right? But why did Imperial Daughter Ji An’s face not turn red? Just how good must her mental fortitude be?
Feng Yu Heng’s disastrous dance left everyone watching feeling something different. The madams and young misses waited for a bit and saw that nobody mocked her. Just as someone was about to kick things off, the sister at her side tugged at her and quietly said: “Are you stupid! Nobody else is speaking, so what are you causing trouble for?”
That young miss also felt that she had justice on her side: “What is it, with her dancing like this, are we not allowed to speak?”
The sister at her side continued: “You can speak, but you need to take the feelings of those around us.” While speaking, she pointed up with her chin, “Do you see that? Her Highness the Empress is smiling! Do you think that is a mocking smile? That’s a kind smile and a loving smile. This sort of smile means that Her Highness is not just forgiving her, she is allowing it!”
Once this analysis came out, the young miss from earlier did not dare say anything else. In all of the world, the Emperor and the Empress were the most powerful.
This sort of analysis was not something that ended here. The Empress’ expression was something that everyone could see, thus it spread all over. Everyone took notice of this and held their tongues. They quietly endured the mounting pressure, as they forced themselves to finish watching this dance.
Some people began to suspect, could Imperial Daughter Ji An be doing this deliberately? How could her dance be like this? In the time that she could perform one dance, others had already finished three. Others could ask for money when dancing, but Feng Yu Heng’s dance was too much! They were on the verge of ending up with internal injuries from watching. They did not dare laugh, and they could not insult it. What exactly could they do?
Finally, Feng Yu Heng finished her dance, and everyone let out a long sigh of relief, thinking to themselves that this weird dance had finally concluded. Imperial Daughter Ji An had granted them a grace! Some people were so emotional that they hated that they could not kowtow to Feng Yu Heng.
But when all of the dancers retreated, the people were dazed. What was Imperial Daughter Ji An doing? Why did she not also go to get changed? What was she standing in the middle of the stage for?
Just as everyone was speculating, Feng Yu Heng spoke up: “Just now, that was a group dance. I wonder if it was to everyone’s liking. Your Highness, what did you think?”
The Empress was practically on the verge of laughing. With a loving look, she looked down: “Anything that A-Heng does is good.”
Everyone that heard this felt uncomfortable. Your Highness, can you not tell the truth?
But the Empress believed that what she had said was the truth. This was Feng Yu Heng’s true disposition. Who told you guys to force her to dance. If she did not dance, you would cause trouble. If she did dance, you would not like it. Do all dances need to be to your liking? You really are optimistic.
Just as the Empress was complaining internally, Feng Yu Heng spoke up once more. First, she thanked the Empress for her praise. She then turned back and asked everyone something that caused them to want to collapse: “Just now, that was a group dance. It might not have been to everyone’s liking. How about I perform a solo dance for everyone next!”
“No need, no need, no need!” Practically everyone spoke in unison: “Imperial Daughter has worked hard. Would Imperial Daughter please rest.”
Feng Yu Heng acted surprised: “You won’t watch? This imperial daughter’s dance is something that happens very rarely. If you miss this one chance, perhaps another will never come around! Are you sure that you won’t watch?”
“We won’t.” Everyone waved their hands, “We really won’t.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, ‘That’s fine. That’s something that you guys said. Oh right, since you don’t want to watch a dance, how about this imperial daughter sings you a song? Or perhaps plays a song?”
“No need, no need!” Everyone wanted to cry. They thought to themselves, your performance nearly cost us our lives. Who would dare to listen to your song!
Thus Feng Yu Heng left the stage and finished changing her clothes. She then sat back down at Xuan Tian Ge’s side.
Xuan Tian Ge had a smile that could not be hidden. Raising her cup, she said to her: “There really are people like you. Come, to your unique dance, cheers!”
The two downed their small cups of wine, and Feng Yu Heng was puzzled and asked Xuan Tian Ge: “What is it? Was my dance not good?”
Xuan Tian Ge stared wide-eyed, “It can’t be, right? Feng Yu Heng, are you serious? Do you really not know what your dance was like?”
Feng Yu Heng also laughed, “Of course, I know. Why else would I mess with them. In the future, no matter what banquet, would this not stop them from wanting to see me perform?”
Xuan Tian Ge nodded, “That’s right. Those people want to watch shows but aren’t afraid of things getting out of hand. They just want to watch other people fall short. It’s as though they will be able to assume the position of imperial daughter if you aren’t able to keep it. They really are irrational.”
“Not being rational is fine.” Feng Yu Heng said, “Look, these people came from all over to gather in the capital. If there are no small disturbances, how can they go home while feeling at ease. Just think about the madam of Lan Zhou’s prefect and the young miss of the first wife of Luo Province’s prefect. None of them are kind people. I hope that they do not cause any big problems. Daughters kicking up a fuss in the inner palace is fine. As long as the front of the palace is peaceful, even if it was superficial, it’s fine.”
How could Xuan Tian Ge not understand this reasoning, as she just sighed: “I just hope that’s the case. My imperial father said that although the world looks to be at peace, Da Shun’s peace has lasted for too long. This tranquility will bring about trouble. Perhaps it’s this generation that this superficial peace will finally break. A-Heng, you need to prepare yourself. Although Uncle Emperor is favoring ninth brother, my other brothers are not people that are easy to deal with.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “I know. Let’s just take it one step at a time. There are some things that cannot be defended against even with preparation.”
Xuan Tian Ge was just giving her a reminder. Knowing that she was prepared was enough, thus she changed the topic and asked: “Now they’ve had you perform a dance, they have become comfortable. We can’t have you dance for nothing, right?”
Feng Yu Heng smiled, “Naturally, I played along with them. Thus, they must now play along with me!”
As she spoke, it happened to be a gap between songs. The people watched in horror, as Imperial Daughter Ji An stood up once more…