When they returned from hunting, it was already dusk. The shallow red sun pressed into the horizon, slowly descending, and the shattered golden-red light burst open, dyeing the horizon red.
The sun completely disappeared into the mountains, and the last bit of light was extinguished, leaving only the dark green trees and a faint mist lingering among them.
A bonfire had already been lit in the camp, and the firewood crackled and popped in the orange-yellow flames. Everyone sat around the fire, their faces reflecting the jumping flames.
The men and women sat separately, each with a small square table in front of them, arranged according to their rank. In the middle was the prey they had caught today. The prey was coated with sweet honey and roasted over the fire, with shiny oil seeping out, accompanied by a rich aroma unique to food, making people unable to help but salivate.
Fragrant! So fragrant.
Shen Fengyue’s little rabbit was also roasting inside. When he saw the bloodstains on the little white rabbit’s body, he felt a little heartache and asked Chu Xi how he could be so heavy-handed. How could you eat such a cute little rabbit?
But when the rabbit meat was roasted and put on his plate, he took a bite, and the tender and sweet meat of the rabbit burst into his mouth, and he instantly felt that everything was not a big deal. If the rabbit is so cute, it should be roasted and eaten!
When eating meat, one must have wine. Chu Xi ordered someone to bring out the fine wine. The transparent liquor was poured into the glass, and since it was a glass cup, it was crystal clear and shining. When the wine glass was shaken, the liquor swayed inside, reflecting the firelight and flashing dazzling light.
Indeed, it was the night-luminous cup of fine grape wine. 1The phrase “Indeed, it is the night-luminous cup of fine grape wine” is a poetic expression that highlights the beauty and allure of the wine being served. It suggests that the wine is of exceptional quality, and the way it shimmers and glows in the glass resembles a cup that emits its own enchanting light in the darkness of night.
They toasted and talked happily. Since they were not in the palace and there were no professional singers and dancers, they decided to play drinking games. The women were more reserved, being all young ladies, but the men were wild, clinking glasses and exchanging cups. In a short while, many people’s eyes were intoxicated, their cheeks were red, and their voices became louder and more noisy.
The lively atmosphere over there made this side seem much quieter. At this moment, Shen Fengyue really wished he could immediately take off his luxurious clothes and restore his male identity to join them in the fun.
He had no interest in the topics the girls were talking about! It was so boring!
Who could save him!
His gaze drifted away, seemingly lost in thought, and the people below didn’t dare to disturb him. They all spoke softly, and the soft voices of women surrounded his ears.
Suddenly, a strong male voice broke through the soft female voices and flew into Shen Fengyue’s ears.
“Since I lost, I’ll sing a song to liven up the atmosphere for everyone.” Lord Shen spontaneously filled his wine glass and raised it to toast the others.
As soon as he spoke, everyone else joined in.
The women secretly kept an eye on the men’s table. Perhaps Lord Shen’s actions were too loud, and the women openly turned their heads to stare at that side.
Shen Fengyue was also attracted and propped his chin with his hand, slightly tilting his head.
He saw Lord Shen drink the fine wine in his cup in one gulp. He drank too boldly, causing some of the liquor to flow down his lips, trickle down his slender and straight neck, and then disappear into the shadows of his black clothes.
That black area emitted a seductive aura, making people unable to resist exploring it. Shen Fengyue couldn’t take his eyes off it.
Lord Shen put down his glass and clapped his hands on the small square table in front of him, tapping the beat while singing,
‘O friend, come back, for you have gone too far. Together we drove the two horses, may I express my delight?’
‘O friend, come back, for you have gone too far. Together we drove the two oxen, may I express my happiness?’
This is the “Huan” from the Book of Songs, which talks about the beautiful friendship between two men who appreciate each other while hunting.
All literate people can sing it, and a small group of people followed him in clapping the table and humming softly, with high and low tones, but it was still harmonious.
‘O friend, come back, for you have gone too far. Together we drove the two wolves, may I express my admiration?’
He was obviously drunk. Shen Fengyue didn’t know how much he had drunk, but it must have been a lot. At this moment, Lord Shen’s cheeks were flushed with alcohol, and his right hand was rhythmically tapping on the table. His slender fingers matched the wooden tabletop, creating a clear and plain yet unexpectedly charming sound.
The fire flickered, and the orange-yellow light leaped on his face. He happened to be sitting directly opposite the bonfire, with Shen Fengyue right behind him. Therefore, his usually deep eyes were illuminated with a fascinating glassy color, shimmering with indescribable emotions. It seemed like he was drunk, but also seemed to be sober, making it difficult for people to discern.
His voice was magnetic, and he sang the poem from the Book of Songs in a repetitive loop, which was very moving. After singing it twice, he suddenly stopped his hand movements and said, ‘I have made a fool of myself.’
He was greeted with thunderous applause, and even Shen Fengyue couldn’t help but applaud, his hands turning red. It was only when he put his hands down that he realized that his palms were red and hot.”
After a full meal and plenty of drinks, a designated person sent everyone back to their respective tents. Shen Fengyue was very tired today and wanted to sleep early. The bedding had been tidied up for him, and as soon as he took off his outer garment and removed his hair accessory, he felt a gust of wind behind him, carrying a strong smell of alcohol.
Uh oh, someone’s here!
The person moved very quickly, and a strong arm reached forward to grab his waist and pull him back into their embrace, holding him tightly. Shen Fengyue was about to scream for help when a hand covered his mouth.
Then, a furry head buried itself in his neck, and when he shook his head, the person whispered in his ear, “Shh…it’s me, your humble servant.”
The words were slurred with drunkenness, and the strong smell of alcohol sprayed onto his ear, making it tingle and feel as if he too had become drunk.
“Presumptuous,” he whispered, scolding the person softly.
- 1The phrase “Indeed, it is the night-luminous cup of fine grape wine” is a poetic expression that highlights the beauty and allure of the wine being served. It suggests that the wine is of exceptional quality, and the way it shimmers and glows in the glass resembles a cup that emits its own enchanting light in the darkness of night.