Chapter 46: Betting with Life
The words ‘now it’s my turn’ were said lightly by Shen Miao but had an inexplicable chill in them. As it the sound was from the highest of heavens and hit Cai Lin heavily.
Cold sweat that was formed on Cai Lin’s forehead rolled down as he stared at Shen Miao, who was in front of him.
Shen Miao took a few steps forward and bend down to pick the longbow from the ground. Everyone in the arena watched her every move as their eyes were reluctant to even turn away.
This was an unexpected scenario. One had originally thought that Shen Miao would have fainted due to the scare or would have forgotten about her appearance, but she did not do any of it. It was however Cai Lin who was soaking in cold sweat and cannot even shoot any of the three arrows properly.
After a brief silence, the audience below the stage started discussing.
“It was true that with a father as a lion, the daughter could not be a dog! This Young Lady Shen is really bold!” The person who spoke had a not bad relationship with Shen Xin. Previously when he heard the rumours that Shen Miao was an idiot and a fool, he was suspicious but with a look today, he knew that these words were groundless. To have such guts and boldness, how would one be a fool? It was obvious that it was someone’s deliberate act to purposely discredit the little young lady’s reputation.
“Indeed not bad. Did you see that just now she did not even blinked. If that arrow was slanted a little bit more, it would have injured her cheek. This young lady does really have the air of a general. Even if it was us up there, we would have jumped in shock.”
“You also did not realise which family she is from? How would General Shen’s young lady be bad? It seems that those words were just rumours and are not credible. Ai… No wonder one would deliberately discredit her. Wind damages the flourishing trees in the forest (destruction pursues the great), to be this outstanding at such a young age, no wonder it would arouse jealousy.”
Most of the attitude of the people in the official circles of Shen Xin was rather good, after all, there were many interlocking interests. Moreover they were always working in the court and would not be as cautious as the womenfolk and also see things differently. In the past it was because of Shen Miao’s young age but now after growing up, she could naturally show her outstanding skills.
Prince Zhou and Prince Jing exchanged a look before Prince Jing shook his head and sighed, “Seems like both of us were wrong. She really is an audacious person.”
“Number Nine is regretting it now?” Prince Zhou turned towards Fu Xiu Yi and smiled, “Such a unique female, how could one refuse initially?”
“A person would not change to be like this overnight. It should be that Fifth Young Lady Shen meet with some expert or else it would be that she deliberately pretended to be a fool in the first place. No matter which one is, Number Nine, you would still be in a loss.” Prince Jing said.
Fu Xiu Yi smiled as he said, “A gentle and graceful young lady, unfortunately not the person I am delighted with.” Regret it? Fu Xiu Yi did not realise it but it was Shen Miao’s calm and quiet look that fell into his eyes and it seemed to be a bit dazzling. He also did not believed that a person would become so different overnight. Was it possible that her previous self was a pretence? But why pretend to be a fool? Was it deliberately done to make him dislike her?
Pei Lang placed the teacup he was holding down. He did not know why but just now he was worried for Shen Miao but she had unexpectedly held on. Not only did she held on, she scared Cai Lin so much that he could not pull his bow properly.
Shen Miao was actually this powerful?
“Indeed an exquisite person.” Prince Yu smiled satisfied as he stared at Shen Miao’s body fixedly, “I do not know… What kind of taste would it be?”
Pei Lang frowned. With Prince Yu’s words, he was most likely thinking about some dirty and shameful stuff. Unfortunately, Pei Lang’s words were of the lowly and carry little weight and could not do a thing.
“You have lost.” In the pavilion, Xie Jing Xing leaned against the window and said lazily.
“It has actually ended up like this!” Su Ming Feng’s eyes could almost pop out. He looked at Xie Jing Xing and then looked at the far away stage before asking, “Did you already know about this early on?”
“When one agree to the bet, one must accept to lose.” Xie Jing Xing stood up and pat the dust away from his body.
“Alright then, I concede. What is the penalty?” Su Ming Feng answered balmy.
“How about the penalty is for you to treat the buried twenty-years Nuerhong for my celebration after the challenge?”
“You are truly black hearted.” Su Ming Feng cursed before realising something and asked puzzled, “But then, what’s the celebration? Are there things that are worth celebrating?”
“Now there isn’t but there would soon be.” Xie Jing Xing brows were pricked, “Something that is worth celebrating.”
Up on stage, Shen Miao passed the fruit to Cai Lin.
When Cai Lin’s hands took the fruit they were trembling as he asked, “Shen Miao, do you have knowledge of archery?”
“No knowledge.” Shen Miao slightly smiled as she looked at him, “Today is the first time I have touched a bow but since there are three arrows to shoot, if one does not understand during the first arrow, there is another arrow to always learn.”
Cai Lin shuddered in cold sweat and looked at Shen Miao incredulous, “Are you not speaking nonsense?”
Just now Shen Miao’s performance was calm and steady as if she had often done it with others. Thus he thought that Shen Miao would be skilled, after all Shen Xin is a formidable general and it was possible for him to personally teach his own daughter archery. But now Shen Miao actually said that it was her first time touching a bow?
How would she dare!
He said, “You do not know anything, how can you shoot? It is obvious that the fruit will not be shot and I would die in vain?”
“Gentleman Cai is being too ridiculous.” Shen Miao serenely opened her mouth. Her voice was not high nor low and when she spoke, it was enough for the entire arena of people to hear her. Everyone’s brows lowered as they looked at that purple clad female who has an aggressive air.
“Just now when Gentleman Cai challenged me, why did you not asked if I had any knowledge in archery? Just now when arrows were shot at me, why did you not ask if I would be dying? Why is it when it is my turn to shoot, you only ask if I have the knowledge and ability?”
These words rendered Cai Lin speechless. Indeed, he only did it to vent it out for Shen Yue and deliberately chose archery that Shen Miao had no knowledge. But now it seemed that he had crushed his own foot while trying to manoeuvre a rock.
“Young Lady Shen, this canine son is naughty and mischievous, this official will represent him to apologise to you. You must not be calculative. It is just that since you do not have any knowledge of archery, this would inevitably cause an accident and it would be difficult for you to hold responsibility.” Cai Daren finally could not take it and suddenly opened his mouth to speak after his Furen’s constant stares. After he spoke, his face turned red but he had no other way. Although it was shameful, it was better than letting his own son lose his life.
He even used ‘this official’ to threaten Shen Miao. Even though it was not good to bully a little young lady like this, Cai Daren somewhat blamed Shen Miao for not knowing how to be flexible and his tone of voice could not help but be imposing.
But how would Shen Miao be intimidated by an official? She had dealt with the Xiong Nu, the Qin Imperial family and the Ming Qi’s Emperor. She really did not attach any importance to an official.
Thus everyone intently watched Shen Miao slightly raising her head as Cai Daren stood at the bottom of the stage. Even though it was far away, it looked like he was prostrating at Shen Miao’s feet like a courtier. Moreover, Shen Miao’s next words left everyone stunned.
She said, “Cai Daren, just now I bet my own life and now it is Cai Lin’s turn to bet his life. The life and death agreement has been established. The white paper and black words states it very clearly, even if I shoot him to death today, there would not be any relations. When one agree to the bet, one must accept to lose.”
Not waiting for Cai Daren to speak, she continued speaking, “One would not have trust if one does not follow what was established. These rules were set by Cai Lin and for you to now object, does it mean that Cai Daren is also like this in the official circles? Once the situation looks wrong, you will immediately change the rules?”