Chapter 39 – Green bean cake

“Please welcome Miss Pan’er!”

After Guan Yaoyuan finished speaking, a woman dressed in a pink skirt and red clothes walked out. Many men held their breath, while many women showed envy.

Fang Yun originally had high hopes, but he couldn’t help comparing her to Yang Yuhuan. Then, there was nothing else.

Fang Yun lowered his head and drank tea, thinking that she was an okay woman. Although she tried to conceal it, the smell of dust was too strong, and she was too exaggerated. He was too lazy to remember what she looked like. Even if he remembered, he would forget once he saw Yang Yuhuan at home.

Including many men, including Guan Yaoyuan, were all watching Pan’er, but Fang Yun lowered his head to drink tea and then picked up his chopsticks to eat a piece of green bean cake leisurely.

Pan’er smiled like the moon surrounded by stars, raised her chin, swept the audience, and her expression remained the same, unaffected by anyone, even the person eating green bean cake.

Those scholars began to flatter Pan’er endlessly.

He Yunong, who was sitting next to Fang Yun, asked in a low voice, “What, you don’t like this kind of woman? What kind of woman do you like? Tell me, I will help you find a satisfactory one.” He then showed a slightly obscene smile.

“Can she really make twenty-two thousand taels of silver a month?”

He Yunong suddenly realized, “No wonder you doubt it. Based on her appearance alone, she can’t earn that much money. She’s not selling her looks, she’s selling her talent. There are rumors that her grandfather was a Hanlin scholar, and she can write poetry and articles. Some people even praise her as a ‘female talented scholar,’ which is why she became famous. Others believe it, but we all know in our hearts that it’s just a means for Mingyulou to promote her.”

Fang Yun glanced at Pan’er and asked, “Hasn’t she embarrassed some famous scholars and spread it widely?”

“It’s true. She’s not from a good family and just plays around. She can climb up on other scholars to get ahead, and she can use you as a stepping stone. It seems like you’ve seen through her.” He Yunong looked at Fang Yun curiously, thinking that he deserved to be a child scholar before the sage. Compared to him, those who were deceived were still alive.

Fang Yun continued to eat lunch.

Pan’er slowly went downstairs, and Le Ji, who was on the low platform, left. The maids of Mingyulou walked in front of Pan’er, throwing flower petals along the way and leaving a fragrant path.

The organizer of the poetry event, Guan Yaoyuan, and some scholars surrounded Pan’er and walked to the high platform, standing behind a table with the four treasures of the study on it.

Guan Yaoyuan smiled and asked, “Who will come up to write poetry first?”

“I’ll go!” More than ten scholars stood up, wishing they could crawl into Pan’er’s skirt.

Pan’er immediately covered her mouth and laughed lightly, and many people stared at her.

Guan Yaoyuan said, “Then please let Lai Yong Lai brother go first. He was ranked in the top ten among the talented scholars of the Dayuan Prefecture and has been to Book Mountain. He can help with today’s poetry event.”

The others immediately sat down, obviously Guan Yaoyuan was helping Lai Yong. If they continued to argue, it would be equivalent to not giving Guan Yaoyuan face.

“Thank you all for your kindness.” Lai Yong politely walked to the table and greeted Pan’er before pondering for a moment and saying, “With the flower master Pan’er here, I will choose the ‘Dian Jiang Chun’ poetry style. Although I can’t personally apply the red lips for Pan’er, I can think about it in my heart.”Everyone laughed, and Pan Er’s pretty face blushed slightly. She glared at Lai Yong with a mix of joy and anger, which made many people itch.

Lai Yong pondered for a long time before he started writing with a brush in hand, “In spring, the fragrance of the heart leans towards dusk. The jade skin is so cold, adding to the thinness of death. The shadow falls on the lake, and the moon fades after people leave. Do you know? The first branch to bloom should be played for the Eastern Lord.”

After Lai Yong finished writing, everyone praised him.

“The use of the word ‘dou’ is brilliant, making inanimate objects come to life.”

“The sentence ‘the first branch to bloom’ is beautiful!”

“Lai brother is so talented, he will surely be in the top three!”

Fang Yun nodded. This poem was really good and had the potential to reach the level of being published in a county. It was a shame to use it to please a woman.

As everyone cheered, Lai Yong left the low platform and returned to the drinking table. The quality of his first poem was so high that it dissuaded many people who had been eager to try. Otherwise, they would be sacrificing themselves to make Lai Yong look good, and for a while, no one else stepped forward.

“Is no one going to write another poem?” Guan Yaoyuan asked loudly.

No one responded.

Suddenly, the courtesan Pan Er spoke up, “Who is Fang Shuangjia? Pan Er dares to ask Fang Shuangjia for a poem. I wonder if Pan Er is lucky enough to have this honor?”

Everyone looked towards Fang Yun with envy for his treatment.

Fang Yun remained calm.

“Oh, you are the one who was eating green bean cake?” Pan Er said in a very innocent tone.

Guan Yaoyuan asked curiously, “What does that mean?”

With a pitiful look, Pan Er looked at Fang Yun and said, “When I came downstairs earlier, everyone was looking at me, but Fang Shuangjia was the only one drinking tea and eating green bean cake. It seems that my beauty does not catch Fang Shuangjia’s eye.”

A few people were provoked by Pan Er’s words and looked at Fang Yun with a hint of hostility, thinking that he was using this method to deliberately attract Pan Er.

Guan Yaoyuan laughed heartily and said, “Pan Er, you don’t know. Even the top courtesans in the capital are not in his eyes.”

“Really?” Pan Er asked.

“Of course. Fang Shuangjia’s child bride in Jixian County is the famous Xi Shi of Jiangzhou. Even Liu Zicheng, the son of the Liu family, was amazed by her beauty. As a result, Fang Yun misunderstood and thought that Liu Zicheng wanted to take her away, so he asked the county magistrate to force Liu Zicheng to leave. But it’s not Fang Yun’s fault. Who asked Liu Zicheng to speak so frivolously? Fang Yun raised her, and he loves her deeply. Naturally, he cannot tolerate any disrespect towards her. Fang Yun, your talent is famous throughout the ten nations. Why don’t you write the second poem and win Pan Er’s heart directly, and then take her to the bridal chamber?” Guan Yaoyuan said.

“Annoying!” Pan Er blushed and turned around, covering her red face with her hand.

Everyone urged Fang Yun to write a poem. Fang Yun stood up slowly and smiled, “Liu Zicheng brought four servants to my doorstep and wrote ‘Yi River Song’ to kill me and take my sister Yu Huan. Fortunately, the Lip and Tongue War of the Catcher and the County Magistrate came in time and killed one of the servants. How did it become Lai Yong’s fault and not Liu Zicheng’s? Are you going to go to the capital tomorrow and file a petition to clear Liu Zicheng’s name and seek justice for the dead servant?”The crows and sparrows in the Bright Moon Tower were silent, and no one expected Fang Yun to be so direct.

Guan Yaoyuan immediately showed a look of grievance and said, “Fang Shuangjia, you have misunderstood me. I really didn’t know the truth. I just heard about it. I apologize to you. I shouldn’t have only listened to one side of the story. However, you can’t believe everything you hear, or else I would still be listening to one side of the story. Today is the Summer Begins poetry gathering, let’s just talk about love and beauty and not bring up anything else. Fang Shuangjia, please write a poem for us on behalf of the dozens of talented scholars here.”

Fang Yun sneered, “No one here is a fool, but you are pitifully foolish. You want to kidnap me and isolate me, thinking that these talented scholars are your tools? You and Liu Zicheng have used all your tricks to deal with me!”

He Yunong, who was beside Fang Yun, secretly thought to himself, “What a talented scholar. Although his actions are too rough, he has taken the initiative to clarify the situation. Those who were originally neutral will not help Guan Yaoyuan.”

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