It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager
Chapter 24 Bonfire
Narentuoya was so provoked that she immediately became angry. She widened her eyes and asked fiercely, “Okay, well, what do you want to compete on?”
“Anything.” Tang Shishi said, “You decide. Anything that the princess is good at, we’ll compete on that.”
“Arrogant!” Narentuoya furiously said, “Are you looking down on me?”
Tang Shishi spread her hands, “I’m just telling the truth. That’s all.”
Narentuoya has been spoiled since she was a child and could not bear any grievance. How could she tolerate this kind of contempt? She immediately said loudly, “Bring the guqin.”
Beiting’s guqin was different from the Central Plains’ guqin. Their guqin was shaped like a pipa with a straight neck and a little thinner and transliterated as amber woods. After Narentuoya got the guqin, she gave Tang Shishi a provocative look and sat on the guqin stool, playing, and singing skillfully.
Amber woods was like a pipa, but the timbre was more vigorous with a strong prairie style. Narentuoya could play and sing without any preparation, which shows that her talent was really good.
At the end of the song, Narentuoya looked at Tang Shishi provocatively. Tang Shishi smiled and turned to the Beiting attendant beside her, “You should have brought some musical instruments over. Please help me get a pipa.”
Jing Wang disliked cumbersomeness and did not even want to bring any womenfolk along, let alone any musical instruments. When Tang Shishi went on the stage, she had to borrow a musical instrument from her opponent temporarily.
The Beiting attendant looked at Tang Shishi in surprise. Narentuoya snorted and said in a proud voice, “Go get it. I want to see what trick she can do.”
The attendant of Beiting came back holding Pipa in his arms quickly. Tang Shishi thanked him, took the pipa, tried the scale casually, and sat on the high stool with the pipa in her arms.
Because of the commotions here, many people gathered around to look at what was going on, and even people from afar kept looking at the stage. After Tang Shishi tuned the strings, she made a high-pitched sound suddenly. Soon after, the musical sound of pipa poured in, sometimes the atmosphere sounded majestic, sometimes the atmosphere sounded low and mellow, anxious but not upheaval. All in all, her sound of music was soul-stirring.
In the hands of Tang Shishi, the pipa was a very murderous musical instrument, it was like having a thousand troops with great momentum.
Amber woods was like a pipa, but the scale was not as broad. In terms of the structure, the pipa was bigger. Tang Shishi’s choice of pipa was also very obvious. It was the foreigner her, in the end, it was not her.
At the end of the song, the scene was quiet, and no one spoke. Narentuoya had never been defeated. She refused to admit defeat and said in a loud voice, “Take the drum!”
Narentuoya’s drum was small and exquisite, with gorgeous ornaments inlaid on it. After Narentuoya got the drum, she hit it on the spot, and the drumbeats were fast and anxious. Tang Shishi just used an eagerly killing song, and Narentuoya deliberately found a replacement and chose a drum.
Zhao Zixun stood not far away and sighed inwardly. Narentuoya was really good at singing and dancing. In such a short time, she did not show her timidity and she could even play two kinds of musical instruments. At that time, he was afraid Tang Shishi could not be able to do so.
In fact, Zhao Zixun was very surprised that Tang Shishi could play the pipa. He always thought that Tang Shishi was just a brainless beautiful woman.
Previously, when he was in Jing Wang’s study room, Tang Shishi rushed to say that she was the first, but Zhao Zixun did not think so. Zhao Zixun had thought that it was only Empress Dowager Yao’s intention to disgust Jing Wang that makes Tang Shishi the number one. In terms of real talent and learning, how could Tang Shishi, a merchant’s daughter, compare with Zhou Shunhua, a daughter from a respectable family?
Tang Shishi was so eager for quick success and instant benefit that her desire for fame and fortune was almost written on her face. The type of woman whom Zhao Zixun admired should be like Zhou Shunhua type, simple and elegant as chrysanthemum with no fighting or grabbing.
Today, however, Narentuoya uttered wild words, and Zhou Shunhua stood aside, but Tang Shishi stepped forward to counter back. When Tang Shishi picked up the pipa, Zhao Zixun was very surprised. He did not even expect that Tang Shishi could not only play the pipa, but her skills were also very good.
Zhao Zixun felt quite impressed, probably because of his low expectation. If Tang Shishi did a little bit, the effect would be amazing. It was a pity that Tang Shishi was still a little behind. Narentuoya was a princess after all, with a distinguished background and well-educated. Narentuoya not only played the guqin but even the drum.
Amber woods and pipa were both stringed instruments. Tang Shishi could surpass Narentuoya in stringed instruments but might not be able to in other aspects. Zhao Zixun felt the competition was almost coming to an end. As he was about to step forward to speak, he was stopped by a person behind him.
“Don’t have to move.” Zhao Chengjun suddenly appeared out of nowhere. He looked forward and said to Zhao Zixun casually, “Let her do.”
Narentuoya changed her instrument and gave a provocative look. Tang Shishi still sat in place, changed her posture, “I don’t know many musical instruments, I’m only proficient in the pipa. I can’t compare with the luxury of a princess, so let’s continue with this pipa.”
“Use the pipa?” Narentuoya was very suspicious, “Do you understand music theory? How can you compare a pipa with a drum?”
“Why not?” Tang Shishi fingertips plucked the strings, and the music suddenly became brisk, “Whether it works or not, I’ll just give it a try and you’ll know.”
Tang Shishi’s fingertips were flexible as if dancing and quickly swept across the strings. At the place where the music was intense, she suddenly let go of the strings, hitting the pipa with the beat and hitting the pipa with her palms to make a thumping sound, which perfectly blended with the beat. The music was full of strong exotic foreign flavor.
The rhythm of the drum was lively. Narentuoya replaced hers with prairie drum and Tang Shishi used what she was best at to defeat Narentuoya head-on. Moreover, Narentuoya changed her musical instrument, but Tang Shishi did not. No matter from which point of view, it was Tang Shishi’s victory.
Tang Shishi’s desire to win was very strong, no matter where she was, no one could be more popular than her.
No one thought that the pipa could still be played like this, and the scene was extremely quiet for a while.
Tang Shishi stood up and handed the pipa back to the attendant of Beiting, with clear and firm words, “Pipa is also a foreign musical instrument, but when it enters the Central Plains, it will be the Central Plains’ culture. We Han people pay attention to eclecticism, harmony, but not sameness. Yan Dynasty opens its door to all directions and welcomes visitors from all over the world. Whether it is the pipa, guqin, or the drums in the hands of Princess, they will eventually be integrated into the Central Plains’ culture and become an inseparable part of Central Plains.”
When Tang Shishi finished, there was a burst of applause behind her. She was surprised, turned around, and found Zhao Chengjun was standing in the shadow of the campfire, slowly clapping his hands, “Well said.”
Everyone was stunned. They did not even know when Jing Wang arrived. Tang Shishi did not expect Zhao Chengjun to be here, so she saluted quickly, “Wangye, I didn’t know Wangye had arrived. I was impolite… “
Zhao Chengjun raised his hand and stopped Tang Shishi’s words. He approached slowly and gradually walked from the shadows to the light of the fire, “The focus of skill is to learn from each other. The Yan Dynasty and Beiting are all together. Pipa, amber woods, and drums are all instruments of our Dynasty. You are just learning from your family. What can you be nervous about?”
Tang Shishi breathed a sigh of relief and slowly got up. Zhao Chengjun came, and Anji Timur appeared soon. When Anji Timur heard what Zhao Chengjun said, he did not express his position, and said with a smile, “Jing Wang, you are finally here. Let’s start the banquet.”
Zhao Chengjun nodded at Anji Timur, “Please.”
The two greeted each other and walked away. Everyone dared not mention the matter again, and carefully followed Jing Wang and Anji Timur away. Narentuoya was still standing in the same place. She had never been wronged before, especially in the presence of so many people, and was humiliated by a Han woman. Narentuoya was so angry, and shouted, “Hey, did I let you go?”
Tang Shishi rolled her eyes secretly and did not bother to pay attention to her. She did not expect that Narentuoya was so angry that she did not care and took off her whip from behind her waist. Without thinking about it, she directly attacked Tang Shishi.
When Tang Shishi heard the cracking sound coming from behind, she did not have time to turn around and rushed to the side to hide. She dodged the first move, but amid rush and confusion, she lost her footing and accidentally sprained her right foot. Tang Shishi was in pain and before she had time to react, the second whip came without warning.
Tang Shishi watched the whip approaching helplessly. When the tail of the whip was about to hit her body, she was suddenly grasped by an arm and pulled to the back. Then a sword came in front of Tang Shishi, blocking the sweeping whip.
Zhao Chengjun held the sword, and the light from the fire flickered from time to time, which made his expression seem very cold. Narentuoya’s whip rolled on the sword and she wanted to withdraw her whip, but Zhao Chengjun’s hand was stronger, so Narentuoya staggered forward two steps and lost the whip handle.
Zhao Chengjun threw Narentuoya’s whip away and made no secret of disgust on his face. He looked back at Anji Timur coldly and asked, “This is how Zhongshun Wang taught his children?”
Anji Timur was embarrassed and quickly scolded Narentuoya, “Naya, don’t be rude and quickly apologize to Jing Wang?”
Narentuoya was reluctant, but in front of Jing Wang, she dared not to be willful and said with a stinky face, “Jing Wang, I’m sorry.”
Zhao Chengjun did not appreciate it at all, “The person you offended is not me. How can you apologize to me?”
Narentuoya’s complexion changed. She looked at Zhao Chengjun and looked at her father in disbelief. Anji Timur shook his head slightly. Narentuoya was extremely wronged. She held it for a long time and quickly said, “I’m sorry.”
After speaking, Narentuoya covered her face and ran away quickly.
“Naya!” Temur yelled to Narentuoya and hurried to chase after her. Anji Timur could not stop his children even after yelling at them twice and sighed deeply. But Zhao Chengjun turned a blind eye to all this. He lowered his eyes, seeing Tang Shishi’s unhappy look, and said in a low voice, “Don’t worry, your face is fine.”
Tang Shishi could see with her eyes clearly and was relieved. Tang Shishi knew that her face was fine, then only she had the mood to pay attention to other things. She found that Narentuoya apologized just now without saying her name.
Tang Shishi could not help murmuring, “It’s too insincere. I haven’t forgiven her yet.”
With that, there was silence all around. Tang Shishi was embarrassed and immediately showed dedication to Zhao Chengjun, “Of course, it has nothing to do with Wangye. Thank you for saving me.”
Zhao Chengjun did not make a statement and walked forward quickly. The attendants surrounded him and naturally separated Tang Shishi and him.
At any rate, Tang Shishi knew that she had offended Zhongshun Wang’s daughter. The banquet was very quiet, and she sat down as a decoration. Unexpectedly, halfway through the banquet, Narentuoya returned.
Narentuoya seemed to have been coaxed and did not cry when she came back, but she looked at Tang Shishi wickedly. When Tang Shishi saw Narentuoya, she knew something was not right. Sure enough, she came directly to Tang Shishi and slapped her hand on the table, “I can’t beat you with the instrument, but I still don’t think you are better than me. Dare to drink to prove it?”
Tang Shishi looked at the wine pot in Narentuoya’s hand and then quietly glanced at Zhou Shunhua. She did not read the plot yet and did not know what Zhou Shunhua would do in the original book. But if Zhou Shunhua was the one who defeated Narentuoya in the plot, with the style of this little princess, Zhou Shunhua would definitely not be spared.
In other words, from talent to drinking, Tang Shishi would have to defeat Narentuoya in an all-around way?
Tang Shishi thought for a while and felt that she was right. Tang Shishi immediately calm down, and raised her eyebrows at Narentuoya, “Good. I’ll stay with you till the end.”
Narentuoya could not accept provocation. She immediately sneered and began drinking with Tang Shishi. Tang Shishi was the daughter of a merchant, and dared not say that her good drinking capacity passed down from her ancestors. When they did not agree with each other, they jumped on the bar. When others saw it, they thought it was not right. However, judging from their conduct, it was not easy to come forward to stop them.
Tang Shishi and Narentuoya drank the whole night. In the end, Tang Shishi succeeded in defeating Narentuoya because her drinking capacity was excellent. Tang Shishi went back to her tent with a dizzy head. After she got back to her tent, she did not even bother to drink water. The first thing she did was read the book.
When she saw that “Zhou Shunhua was too drunk and left in advance”, she was fully dumbfounded.
The original and correct operation was to get drunk quickly, then leave the banquet to sober up, and finally successfully activate the plot of meeting Shizi by chance to watch the stars and the moon?
While Tang Shishi and Narentuoya had been drinking for the whole night.
Tang Shishi was stupid. Was this why she could not become the female lead?