In actuality, Fang Chengyu's appearance was not stunning enough to truly take everyone's breath away.
It was just lucky timing with the lantern lights. As the carriage galloped past the illumination, he returned to his normal appearance as the lanterns flickered. Everybody came to their senses and saw the not particularly special youth.
But that vision was just too shocking. More people filled the crowd.
Yells of "Young Master Fang!" erupted unceasingly.
Old Lady Fang and the others were always watching behind them carefully. When Fang Chengyu pulled open the carriage curtains, they were extremely nervous. They waited on bated breath until Fang Chengyu calmly faced the crowds while their hearts filled with a bitter taste.
This year's lanterns were especially splendid and beautiful, but it made them feel a deep-rooted misery.
Everyone in the Fang Family progressed forward with the throngs on either side.
This year, the lantern festival was not for viewing the lanterns but for viewing a person, someone who had never gone outside, someone who was about to die.
Just like the night cactus that blooms only once, like the most dazzling of fireworks.
But that didn't matter. At least now people saw him as someone viewing the lanterns, instead of a decorated bridegroom used as a foil to that woman.
His only wish was to pass alone, to stop the humiliation of others.
Fang Chengyu looked over the many lanterns hanging on the street and listened to the shouts and laughter.
"It is truly beautiful," he murmured, unable to stop himself from turning and looking around.
The crowds swelled even more, and he caught sight of that girl just arriving at the lantern framework.
Did that girl somehow ended up at the back, or did she not want to be seen with them and deliberately walked far away?
Perhaps it was because everyone was following the Fang Family's carriage that the space around that girl was empty.
She stood in front of the lantern frameworks, studying the lanterns. As the light of the lanterns bathed her figure, she appeared exquisite yet lonely.
But in a blink, the masses had cut off his vision.
Liu'er looked away from the lanterns, stuffing a melon seed into her mouth and crunching loudly.
"Young Miss, they have already walked far away. Are we not going with them?" she asked in a muffled voice.
Miss Jun looked at the busy street in front of her.
"The Fire Temple is also decorated with lanterns. We should go there to take a look," she suggested.
Liu'er happily threw away the melon seeds in her hands.
"Okay, okay! There's no way we can see anything here. And no one's here to see lanterns but a monkey playing tricks. How humiliating," she said.
"Not humiliating," said Miss Jun. "It's quite good."
Liu'er stuck out her tongue and neared Miss Jun.
"Young Miss, they are already far away. They won't hear us. You don't need to say nice things to deceive them." She giggled quietly.
Miss Jun smiled and rubbed her head.
"Let's go," she said. "Everyone seeks something. I should go and seek what I want."
Not too long after they departed, someone squeezed their way out of the crowd. He stood behind the lantern framework, carrying his shoes. The shadows cast by his bent figure obscured his appearance.
"These Yangcheng people have defects. I thought they were going to see some beautiful woman, but it was a f*cking man. I can't make heads or tails out of it. And they even damaged this daddy's shoe," came the mutters from the shadows. The person's silhouette then left, leaving the lantern framework in complete silence.
The Fire Temple Street was illuminated splendidly. These days, the weather was clear and the moon was bright, connecting heaven and earth.
The crowds surged through the streets, but that wasn't because they were viewing the lanterns.
"Hurry up, the Fang Family's cripple came out!" shouted someone in the streets, causing the subsequent rush.
Some young men were ran into, causing them to sway unsteadily.
"What are you running for. That cripple is not going to die right now," said one of the young men, frowning.
Another young man patted his shoulder.
"Brother Wenming, don't be so harsh," he said.
The young man called Wenming snorted.
"I'm harsh?" he said, turning to look at the person behind him. "Yunzhao, was I harsh?"
Behind him stood a young man wearing a sapphire blue cloak and hood. At the moment, he was picking up the books that had scattered on the ground.
"You don't have anything to do with him," he said, straightening up. The light from the lanterns illuminated half of his face. This was Ning Yunzhao.
He was obviously talking about the young master of the Fang Family.
The young man who had spoken laughed and put a hand on his shoulder.
"And he does with you?" he insinuated.
That cripple was from the Fang Family. He had attracted all of the city to go see him. Of course, that cripple hadn't wanted this. This matter was unrelated to him.
And the Fang Family had a person who caused everyone in the city to joke about how much he was worth.
Ning Yunzhao gave him a look.
"What's it have to do with me?" he asked with a smile.
If others laugh or talk about me, what does it have to do with me.
The other young men laughed heartily.
"Your family definitely didn't think that you would come to Yangcheng to see the lanterns, they thought you would even avoid it."
"Indeed that is so. But what does what other people say have to do with me. We should just do what we want without thinking of that."
Everyone laughed and chatted as they continued walking forward.
"This is better," said one young man, clapping. "Before, Fire Temple had been so full not even a drop of water could trickle through. Today, Young Master Fang is a great blessing. We can go through here so comfortably."
Because Young master Fang was viewing lanterns on another street, and everybody wanted to see Young Master Fang, the people had poured away. Fire Temple Street was obviously much calmer.
Right now, they were passing through a street performance. In order to attract an audience, they decorated the place with lanterns. There were also two young ladies holding lanterns and twirling atop buckets. A very splendid display.
It was just a pity that there were much less people than before, not many cheers.
Ning Yunzhao and his friends stood there and applauded, each throwing some change into the basket. The leader even bowed to them in thanks.
The group continued walking leisurely. Soon they happened upon the lantern riddles. This place was somewhat livelier.
The lantern riddles required brainpower to muddle through them. Ordinary people did not enjoy them, so more people here were educated. These people had to uphold their dignity, so they did not go with the crowds to see the Fang Family's young master. Instead, more people had avoided that area and come here.
Ning Yunzhao and his friends also liked this place.
"Let's see who will win more today," said one of the young men.
If they guessed correctly, they would get the lanterns. Hoisting a string of lanterns was a very flashy and popular custom.
They laughed as they went along. Very soon their hands were filled with all kinds of lanterns, which attracted not just a few people to watch them solve riddles.
Ning Yunzhao's hands were empty. He only stood to the side and watched, very rarely solving riddles.
"If you're like this, you make us very awkward," said one of the young men, dissatisfied.
The people following them looked at Ning Yunzhao, who was still wearing his hood and hiding his face. In the dazzling streets, no one could recognize him.
But just seeing his ramrod straight posture gave them a favorable impression of him.
"There are many people not guessing." Some of the crowd could not help but put in a good word for him.
"It's not that he can't guess. He's just pretending," said the young men with a laugh. "Don't think that we don't know. If we can solve them, he definitely can. He's just not saying it."
Ning Yunzhao smiled. While they were speaking, he walked over to a lantern riddle, then started writing on it.
The people who had gone over with him hadn't even finished reading it yet.
"You see, you see. I wasn't lying," said one of the young men.
Ning Yunzhao smiled and wordlessly accepted the stall owner's lantern.
This was a lamp with Chang'e flying to the moon. The artwork was exquisite and very lifelike.
Ning Yunzhao saw a girl standing off to the side.
"I present the Buddha with borrowed flowers . Take it," he said.
The girl was seventeen or eighteen years old. Her head was wrapped in a scarf and her sleeves were pushed back. She was obviously helping out at the vendor's booth.
Because of the appearance of these young sons of noble families with unordinary attitudes, she couldn't help but stand up to take a better look. She didn't think that she would be given a lantern. Immediately, her face turned red, and she waved her hands flusteredly.
"It's a celebration so just take it," said Ning Yunzhao with a smile.
Xibei had always been one for folk customs, and they had picked up the Lantern Festival. Everyone around them was encouraging and cajoling.
The girl accepted the lantern, red-faced. She thanked him very politely. Ning Yunzhao left before receiving a return gift.
That girl was immediately crowded around by her sisters. Amongst the laughter, the girl watched Ning Yunzhao's retreating back with bright eyes.
For someone like her, these emotions and scenery might never be forgotten for her entire life. Moreover, it would become a very warm memory, illuminating the rest of her life.
 Present the Buddha with borrowed flowers: to make a gift of other people's things