The entered a restaurant called Hao Chi Restaurant. The name itself will make you expect that they really have yummy foods. They were led in a private room on the second floor where you can see their lotus pond at the center garden. It has a big round table. The building was designed where the private rooms encircle an indoor garden. It has a lotus pond in the center with a floating pavilion covered with beaded curtains. Right now there is a lady playing a zither. Her music is soothing. The crowd can't help but be mesmerized aside from Xulian's group.
Xulian never learned to play any instrument and never had an interest towards it. Rui never paid attention to the performance. The Xiao sisters never had an interest in girly arts. They grew up fighting and hunting after all since they wanted to enter the mercenary.
"Did you know that the lady in the pavilion is the eldest granddaughter of the Right Prime Minister!" They heard an excited voice in the neighboring private room. They were men apparently discussing about the lady in the pavilion.
"You mean lady Han Yimei?! They said she is the number one beauty in the capital and the emperor's childhood sweetheart. I've never seen her before. I wonder if we could be lucky to meet her." Another man dreamily said.
"Everyone thought that she would be the next empress but suddenly the emperor announced that he brought in a woman from the mountain. I heard she's from a barbaric clan. Our empire will be doomed. I prefer lady Han."
"Me too. She is talented and famous in the other arts. She could also paint, make poetry and sing. She would be a great mother of the nation."
Hearing the conversation at the other room, Rui and the Xiao sisters looked at Xulian's reaction. But their worry was futile since Xulian didn't even seemed to hear them. Xulian is too engrossed with the menu. She's currently contemplating if she should add more desserts. Everything sounds delectable she had hard time to choose.
The sound of zither then stopped. Han Yimei stepped out the beaded curtain and gave a courteous lady like bow paired with a sweet smile. Everyone went to an uproar and clapped. Han Yimei then lifted her gaze to a private room in the second floor. She realized that everyone is admiring her except for the people in that room. She then saw a woman in red robes and red veil. She knew every young lady in the capital so she made a wild guess who this young woman is. Her eyes narrowed slightly making sure no one noticed it. She then sweetly smiled and called.
"Young miss Lin, welcome to the capital. It is great to finally meet you."
The crowd went to another uproar. The people in the neighboring room paled and tried to hide behind the wall. They just hope that their voice wasn't too loud. They are really afraid now.
Hearing her name being called out, Xulian subconsciously whipped her head towards the voice. She was greeted by the sight of a young lady about 18 years old. She is pretty and pure looking in her while robes with silver threaded cloud embroidery that seems to float with her every move. But her voice made Xulian cringe, it was too sweet like a sticky rice cake. It made her uncomfortable for some reason. "You are too polite. But thank you lady…?"
Seeing that Xulian didn't even recognize her, she was offended but still introduce herself full of smile "This young lady is named Han Yimei. Eledest granddaughter of the Right Prime Minister."
"Oh." Hearing Xulian's nonchalant response, Han Yimei is furious. But she took a deep breath to maintain her calm façade.
"Young miss Lin, we are very pleased to finally have the honor to meet you. If you don't mind can you play some music for us. This place have different kinds of instrument."
"I don't know how to play." Yimei coldly smiled. She was about to insist when Xulian beat her to it. "But I can dance. Tianshi you play the drums."
"Oh! You mean that dance miss?! I'm up for it." Xiao Tianshi excitedly went down to get the drums.
Xulian also went down towards the pavilion but not before she took a sword from a guard's hip. The guard didn't even had a time to refute.
Seeing Xulian coming towards her with a sword in hand, Yimei subconsciously stepped back. Realizing her show of fear, she tried to regain her confidence and smiled. She then retreated to the side and watch what this Lin Xulian was up to. She can't accept that someone from the mountain is more suited than her to be the empress and Feng Jun Yi's main wife. That position should be hers!
The servants lifted the curtains for the audience to have a better view. Xulian stood in the center of the pavilion with a sword in hand. With a forceful blow of the drum, Xulian suddenly swing her sword. The crowd was startled. Then the sound of the drum changed rhythm. It sounded heroic that could make ones blood boil. Xulian's movement followed the rhythm. Her body is so flexible. She swings her sword while jumping, almost flying around. She looks valiant and elegant. She was doing a fighting dance but the crowd can't help but be mesmerized. They felt giddy and can't sit still.
By the end of the performance, the sound of the drum suddenly stopped and Xulian end it while half kneeling supporting herself on the sword. Just like a warrior who survived a war and heroically won. The crowd stood up and clapped. Some even shouted and cheered. Their heroic hearts were ignited. Han Yimei's expression turned ugly. She can't accept the result. She was supposed to humiliate her! She clenched her fist under her sleeves and tried to compose herself. 'I'm not done yet! I'll show everyone that I deserve to be the empress and not this mountain woman!'