Chapter 57: Xiao Shao Makes His Appearance

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Translated by : shl

Edited by : Ely

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The people on Ling Long Boat were all young ladies of noble families. On seeing these two remarkably talented and handsome young men[1]board Qing Song Boat, all of the young ladies blushed and chattered away furiously.

[1] Ren zhong zhi long ( 人中之龙 ) - lit., they are dragons among men.

"How is it that Eighth Prince and Jinying Wang are here this year?" Zhao Jin's suspicion-tinged voice was heard.

While there were princes and noblemen aplenty on Qing Song Boat during the annual Lantern Festival, Eighth Prince and Jinying Wang had never attended the festival before. Firstly, there had never been talk about these two looking for a wife or concubine. Secondly, neither of them had expressed any interest in relationships with the opposite sex.

From the time she had glimpsed the two men, Jiang Ruan's brows had been deeply furrowed. It was bad enough that seeing Eighth Prince had stirred up a complex net of thoughts and emotions which were difficult to describe; discovering the identity of the black-clad youth had left her reeling in shock.

When the music of the pipes plays nine times, the legendary phoenix will appear[2]. The current Jinying Wang, Xiao Shao, had an extraordinary existence in the Great Jin Dynasty.

[2] Xiao shao jiu cheng, feng huang lai yi ( 萧(箫)韶九成,凤皇来仪 ) - either the author has made a mistake, or has deliberately substituted 萧 (the black-clad youth's surname) for 箫 (an ancient Chinese instrument, similar to the panpipes). The original quote comes from 尚书·益稷 (a reference book used by the ministers for the rites and such) and refers to the beauty of the music, which reaches such heights that the phoenix - a legendary bird, and auspicious symbol - appears. It seems that Jiang Ruan is thinking about the mysterious black-clad youth. She views the fact that he has appeared before her several times as an auspicious omen. There is a possible pun (or author error) as 箫韶 (music of the pipes) has become 萧韶 (the youth's name).

He was born into an aristocratic Wang Jue[3]family. His father had once led his troops in a rebellion, which had been put down, but the Emperor had surprisingly not said anything about it. When Xiao Shao was ten years old, the previous Jinying Wang had led a military force to attack the Xirong[4]. He had taken it upon himself to spy for the expedition and died in the battle. Xiao Shao's mother had hanged herself in order to follow him in death. Thus presently, the only member of the family remaining in the huge fu of the Jinying Wang was Xiao Shao.

[3] Wang jue ( 王爵 ) - appears to be a noble title granted by the Emperor, which can apparently be passed down to future generations. This title is just below the Emperor himself in status/ rank.

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