Lost You Forever Chapter 14: This Feeling Has No Strategy to Remove

This chapter is a very Jing-Xiao Yao centric chapter of Lost You Forever after a very Xiang Liu heavy last chapter. The male leads page time alternates a lot in this novel and all of this will continue to fuel the shipping wars and mess with Xiao Yao’s heart. Thankfully she’s really not a girly girl even if she does blush and sometimes gives into her girly side. What I mean with her not being really girly deep down inside is that she’s completely lost the sense of optimism. One reason she was so good to the prostitute Xan Tian Er was because Xiao Yao has also seen all the ugly and the painful aspects of life and no longer believes in rainbows and unicorns and happily ever afters. She just wants an okay boring simple life, and that is enough to make her happy. Jing wants the exact same thing so I’m glad they have found each other and made a promise to try and be together. Jing is really such a sweetheart but so so dense sometimes and that denseness frustrates Xiao Yao and her reactions are super adorable. LOL, I can see Xiao Yao running circles around him but him letting her and them enjoying a lifetime like that together. Jing really sees Xiao Yao as his one and only, whereas we don’t know what Xiang Liu thinks (yet) and Zhuan Xu definitely has a destiny to fulfill that takes precedence over romance. If the story ended right now with Jing breaking off his engagement, then he’s the right guy for her and the two of them would be little precious puppies living the most ordinary yet meaningful life together. I can live with that, but sadly the characters don’t have the luxury of that type of fast escape ending. More adventure is awaiting all of them, so with that in mind I’m pleased a few of my darlings gets to steal some happy time together.

Chapter 14 – This Feeling Has No Strategy to Remove:

Xiao Yao didn’t know how much time had passed when she finally touched something solid. She grabbed onto it tightly and opened her eyes. It was a rock and her entire body collapsed on the rock. She could see in the distance a dark figure standing alone on another rock.

The sun was rising and the dawn was cold and misty. The figure seemed to blend into the rock, standing in the distance, appearing to wait forever more.

Xiao Yao didn’t know if she was too tired, or happy, but her voice was gone and she couldn’t call out. She weakly raised her hand to wave but nothing moved. Finally the figure saw her and didn’t even bother to walk along the shoreline and instead dove into the ocean and swam to Xiao Yao. Jing held her up and the two of them were treading water. Xiao Yao was so exhausted she was shivering, and for whatever reason, Jing was also shivering.

Xiao Yao said “Don’t….don’t….in the water.” After a night in the water, she didn’t want to be here anymore.

Jing carried her on shore but after taking a few steps his foot slipped and he fell back. He was afraid she would be hurt so turned to land on his back with a loud thud.

Xiao Yao laughed “You…..you……nine….fox…..stupid…..”

They finally reached shore and Jing carried Xiao Yao to rest under a cliff outcropping. Xiao Yao’s face was white and her lips were black with cold. Jing put one hand on her back and the other on her palm and transferred power into her. Gradually it moved through her body and she stopped shivering.

It was bright sun outside by now but under the outcropping they were in the shade.

Jing saw that Xiao Yao was warm and took back the hand that was on her back, and was going to release the hand on her palm. But he didn’t bear to so his hand released and then tightened. Xiao Yao teased him “You were much bolder back then, when did you lose your courage?”

Jing released her hand “Now is not the same as before.”

“What’s changed?”

Jing looked at her and then swiftly lowered his eyes.

Xiao Yao touched her wild and wet hair and the patted her cheeks. Her face was likely no better off and equally a mess. She decided when she got back she was going to teach that Ah Nian a damn painful lesson. Xiao Yao stood up “I’m going back.”

Jing hurriedly stood up and grabbed her arm, but then released it like he was shocked by electricity, his face blushing red. Gao Xing’s clothes were light and airy, so after it got wet the robe was plastered to Xiao Yao. It wasn’t as noticeable earlier since she was sitting down, but now that she stood up, from her trim waist to her full bosom, it was all on display.

Xiao Yao noticed Jing’s expression and glanced down at herself before immediately squatting into a ball and wrapping her arms around her knees.

Jing sat down across from her and said softly “Can you stay for a bit before going back? Just a little bit.”

Xiao Yao said nothing.

“I waited for you all night and thought you weren’t coming.”

Xiao Yao said angrily “If you thought I wasn’t coming, then why keep waiting?”

Jing didn’t know how to answer. If she didn’t come, then he didn’t know where else to go. In this dark deep place, he once experienced the sweetest happiness, but the one who gave him the happiness was Xiao Liu. It wasn’t this girl before him now. If she took back her promise, he would completely understand.

Xiao Yao got on her knees and faced him, her eyes reflecting her anger “Do you think waiting all night was hard? You have a fiancee! You step out with her all the time together, and then you find any opportunity to remind me of my promise to you. If you don’t trust me, then why ask me to promise? Let me tell you, last night I tried to keep the promise and almost died!”

Xiao Yao shoved Jing hard “I don’t want to play anymore. I take back my promise! You scram back to Qing Qiu and go marry Fang Feng Yi Yang!”

Jing didn’t dare do anything back to her but he also didn’t budge “I won’t marry her. She doesn’t like me so she likely doesn’t want to marry me either.”

Xiao Yao stopped shoving “I don’t believe it! Why reason does she have to not like you?”

“I’m a cripple and I can tell she’s shocked and dismayed. One time she saw the scars on my body and was shocked…..” To say “shocked” was an understatement, Yi Yang’s face was stark white and she was petrified, not daring to look at him in that moment. Since then, when they were alone together, she would purposely keep her distance from him.

Xiao Yao felt terrible, she knew Jing had a crippled leg and his scars were truly scary, but that shouldn’t be a reason to dislike him. Xiao Yao said “You guys have been engaged for tens of years, shouldn’t she not care about such external trappings?”

“In truth, before I saw her in Qing Shui Town, I didn’t even know what she looked like. We never met before and she was chosen by my mother. By then my mother was very sick and I didn’t want her to fret over my marriage so I agreed immediately. I took care of my mother and ran the businesses so I was so busy I didn’t care much about this. It was my brother who went off to meet her and came back with a smile and told me “congrats, she’s beautiful and smart”. After mother died, I had to take care of my despondent brother so was in no mood for romance. After my grandmother revealed my brother’s birth, I was even less inclined to think about this. Then my grandmother wanted to set the wedding date and that was when I remembered I had a fiancee. My grandmother is elderly and my sister-in-law is of no use so the Tu Shan clan needs a lady of the house to help my grandmother with her worries. After my grandmother discussed with the clan elders, they set a wedding date but before it arrived, I was already captured by my brother.”

So Qing Shui Town was their first meeting, no wonder Fang Feng Yi Yang was disappointed…..Xiao Yao’s feelings were so conflicted, she felt angry and upset, but also somewhat happy. She really didn’t know what she was thinking.

After a moment, Xiao Yao said coolly “Miss Fang Feng is definitely very beautiful and she’s quite capable. If she’s got high standards that’s normal, don’t feel too bad about it.”

“You. Are the most beautiful.” Jing said that and then lowered his head.

“Even now?”

“Yes.”

Xiao Yao burst out laughing “Now I know why the young girls are putty in Zhuan Xu’s hands with his honeyed words. Even though I know you’re not telling the truth, I still like hearing it.”

“I’m telling the truth, Xiao Yao. I never imagined you would look like this. If I had known you were like this…..even in the dark prison I would have never dared to reveal my greatest wish….” Jing’s back was straight but his head was still lowered, like a tree growing in darkness. “My body, my voice….do you know why I never got my crippled leg healed even knowing I can? Because I know that even when I’m healed, the real injury is inside that no medicine can heal. I can wear clothes to cover up my hideous scars, I can use rare medicine to cure my crippled leg, I can talk less to conceal my voice, I can lie to everyone that I can still the dashing Young Master of Qing Qiu, but I can’t lie to myself……Xiao Yao, I’m not good enough for you! This time, there will be many handsome, smart, physically whole young men…..”

“Jing, raise your head! Tu Shan Jing, raise you head.”

Jing slowly raised his head and Xiao Yao put her face right in front of his and murmured “Last night, a man forced me to kiss him, but right now all I want to do is kiss you.” Her lips softly landed on his lips and Jing’s body shook and he darted backwards “No….Xiao Yao.”

Xiao Yao closed her eyes and raised her face, her cheeks bright red as her body softly shivered “Jing…..Jing…..”

Xiao Yao’s soft voice was so low he almost could hear what she was saying, but Jing was shaking as his lips touched the peach blossom birthmark on her forehead and it felt like a fire burned from Xiao Yao straight to his head. His cold heart warned up, with the hope that one day those scars concealed deep within his heart would also heal.

Jing tightly embraced Xiao Yao and buried his face in her neck, this joy like a dream where he just wanted to hold Xiao Yao forever and never let go.

Xiao Yao murmured “You’re suffocating me.”

Jing immediately released her with his face bright red. Xiao Yao chuckled and rested her head on his arm and looked at him. Jing was embarrassed so turned his head slightly “You said just now that you almost died last night, and also said…..”

Xiao Yao waved her hand casually “It’s nonsense, I just said it to scare you.”

Jing looked at Xiao Yao with doubt in his eyes, but he knew she didn’t want to discuss it anymore.

Xiao Yao laughed and pointed to her lips “Why not here?”

Jing said in a low voice “Now’s not the time yet.”

“What time then….” Xiao Yao lowered her eyes and used her hands to cover her face and her embarrassment.

Jing couldn’t answer because the choice was with Xiao Yao and not with him. It wasn’t that he didn’t desire her, but what he wanted was her love. He didn’t want her pity and care for him, she already gave him too much, he didn’t want to continue using her kindess.

Xiao Yao peeked at him through her fingers “I thought you men when you see a girl all want to push her down on the pallet and rip their clothes off….” Xiao Yao couldn’t continue, ever since she returned to being a girl, she couldn’t be as shameless as Xiao Liu anymore. Especially now, she was dying to take what she just said back.

Jing may have been very proper, but he was still the clan leader and would often go to places of pleasure to discuss business. Plus the scions of the powerful families were all experienced in the male-female relations, and Jing as a man clearly knew enough. In discussing business, he saw more and heard more explicit things then this and was always just fine with it. But facing Xiao Yao, he felt this fire burning through him and he tried to explain “I am not like that.”

The two were silent, their shyness conveyed in their awkwardness, mixed with the tender stirrings of happiness.

“Xiao Yao…..Xiao Yao…..” Zhuan Xu’s voice reached them.

The two jumped apart like thieves caught in the act, with Xiao Yao making a shushing gesture for Jing to go hide. Xiao Yao smoothed her hair and walked over to a rock to wave at Zhuan Xu “I’m here!”

Zhuan Xu ran over “How come you look so utterly pathetic?” He immediately took off his outer robe and wrapped her up in it.

Xiao Yao said “How did I end up looking so pathetic? It’s your little sister, I’m going to deal with Ah Nian when I get back.”

Zhuan Xu summoned a cloud carriage and helped Xiao Yao inside “I thought you were going to keep on enduring.”

Xiao Yao glanced at the rocks and got in “If I don’t teach her a lesson, I’m worried the next thing she does will make you and daddy heartbroken.”

“What did she do?”

Xiao Yao smiled mysteriously “That’s between us sisters and you don’t need to get involved.” If Zhuan Xu knew that Ah Nian worked with Xiang Liu to scheme against her, he would literally blow a gasket on her.

Zhuan Xu asked “Did you see Jing?”

“I did.”

“What did you two….talk about?”

“We just chatted, he said a bit about him and Fang Feng Yi Yang…and other stuff.”

Zhuan Xu asked in half seriousness half casual laughter “Just chatting and you spent the entire night out of the Palace?”

Xiao Yao huffed back in righteousness “Do I look like someone who happily played all night? If it wasn’t for your good little sister, I would have long been back to the Palace and sleeping.”

Zhuan Xu picked up her hair and saw seaweed and sand in it and shook his head with a smile “You definitely look like you got worked over. You finally got taken advantage of by Ah Nian, and you really need to stop calling her my little sister. Based on family, she’s your little sister!”

Xiao Yao scrunched her face up and then suddenly remembered something and asked “That Tu Shan Hou, what do you think about him?’

“Not bad.”

Xiao Yao appeared curious so Zhuan Xu went into more detail “He’s very talented and compared to Jing he has even more commanding aura. During the years Jing went missing, he handled all the Tu Shan clan affairs and did a good job. Once Jing came back, he had to step aside. I find it strange since they are twins and Hou is the older one, and he’s talented in a way equal to Jing, he ought to be the clan leader. But the clan favors Jing and even Feng Long’s group doesn’t seem to take Hou seriously. Especially Feng Long, who is always polite to Hou, but it feels fake compared to his attitude towards Jing. In the powerful families, you can tell the importance of a person based on how the others treat him. Hou has been accepted because of his Tu Shan last name but it’s clear Feng Long doesn’t truly see him as an equal. But I have a feeling Hou isn’t content to be number 2, he’s just biding his time and I can see the ambition in his eyes.”

Xiao Yao nodded “Looks like you have a good impression of him.”

Zhuan Xu laughed in mockery “That’s because he’s a lot like me, we are both waiting patiently for the right time to take the opponent out. We also want to prove ourselves to others.”

Xiao Yao’s expression turned grim but Zhuan Xu quickly said “Don’t worry, if Jing wasn’t so capable the Feng Long won’t respect him this much. If Jing wanted to, he could easily strike first and take out Hou. But I don’t know what he’s thinking by not doing anything.”

Zhuan Xu patted her shoulder “Seeing that you saved Jing’s life, as long as Jing doesn’t piss you off, then I’ll keep an eye on Hou. But I have my suspicion…..that Hou is in cahoots with our royal uncle.”

Xiao Yao relaxed “Is the Fang Feng family also in royal uncle’s pocket?”

“Seeing Fang Feng Yi Yang’s actions, probably yes. Otherwise she would not dare to try and assassinate me time and again. The only ones who want me dead desperately are our elder relatives, yes?”

Xiao Yao sighed “I’m so impressed, all you guys looking to take each other out, you can all hang out in laughter and spend time together.”

Zhuan Xu smiled “Don’t you think this is a form of entertainment?”

Xiao Yao laughed out loud “Definitely!”

The cloud carriage stopped and Xiao Yao jumped off and called to a maid “Find me a tattered outfit.”

The maid ran in and brought out an outfit that Ah Nian ruined. Xiao Yao handed Zhuan Xu’s robe back, put on the outfit, and walked off.

Zhuan Xu called out “Don’t you want to change before going to deal with Ah Nian?”

Xiao Yao turned around and flipped her seaweed and sand encrusted hair “I want this imposing presence!”

Zhuan Xu smiled “Then I’m not going to get involved, I’ll go find Feng Long and Xing Yue since they are leaving tomorrow.”

Xiao Yao waved “You go find your fun, I’m going to find my fun.”

Xiao Yao kicked open the door to Ah Nian’s residence and walked in. Clearly last night Ah Nian was worried about what she had done and didn’t sleep well and she immediately stood up.

The maids came to stop her “Eldest Princess, the Second Princess hasn’t risen yet. If you have something…..”

Xiao Yao shoved them all aside and then faced Hai Tang blocking her way “What? Are you going to fight with me?”

Hai Tang kneeled down “You servant I wouldn’t dare” but she didn’t move aside.

Xiao Yao hollered “Ah Nian, if you have the guts to do it, then have the guts to admit it! Hiding behind your maids? You’re a pathetic coward!”

Ah Nian yanked her door open and said to Hai Tang “Move aside, I want to see what she dares do. If she has the guts, then she should kill me today and then I’ll accept her!”

The maids fretted “Eldest Princess, Second Princess, you….”

Xiao Yao and Ah Nian both yelled simultaneously “Scram!”

The maids scurried to the side and Xiao Yao said “If you have the guts then invite me in to see what I’ll do to you.”

Ah Nian scoffed and moved aside. Xiao Yao walked in and locked the door and pointed at herself “You got together with someone else and did this to me. Are you happy now?”

Ah Nian sat down and poured herself a glass of water “Not bad.”

Xiao Yao dumped the entire pitcher of water in her face “You idiot without a brain!”

Ah Nian jumped up “You….You…..if I don’t beat you half to death today, then I’m not Gao Xing Yi!” She waved her hand and discovered her powers were gone and she couldn’t summon any water or ice.

Xiao Yao said “Let’s see you try!”

Ah Nian picked up a jade stick and tossed it at Xiao Yao, who picked up a zither to block it. The stick broke and Ah Nian picked up a mirror and lobbed it at Xiao Yao and destroyed the zither.

Xiao Yao grabbed boxes of make up and threw it at Ah Nian “You’re like a bull cow, you actually have some arm strength.”

Xiao Yao jumped onto the table and Ah Nian smashed the entire table. Xiao Yao ducked next to a shelf and grabbed some books to throw at Ah Nian. She blocked with a mirror and then destroyed the entire shelf.

Xiao Yao back towards the pallet and Ah Nian pressed close “Let’s see where you can hide now.”

Ah Nian tossed her mirror at Xiao Yao with all her strength, wanting this person to disappear forever. Xiao Yao jumped up like a monkey and avoided the strike, as she landed she grabbed the veil bed curtains and pulled it over Ah Nian. The curtains were impenetrable by sword or fire so Ah Nian’s struggles only made herself even more tightly bound.

Xiao Yao viciously kicked Ah Nian who fell over and her head hit the floor hard, so painful her face turned blue. Xiao Yao sat on Ah Nian “Gao Xing Yi, this is you! Once you lose your powers, you can’t do anything! Without your identity, you are nothing!”

Ah Nian started crying “You think you’re better than me? If your mom wasn’t the Xuan Yuan Princess then Zhuan Xu won’t care about you. If you’re not the granddaughter of the Yellow Emperor, no one will think you’re better than me. Other than your bloodline being more royal than me, there is nothing about you that is better than me. I trained my own powers and it’s stronger than you. You’re the disciple of the Royal Mother but you have barely any powers and can’t even beat a lowly demon. If it wasn’t for all your lofty backgrounds, then daddy wouldn’t have held a lavish ceremony for you. You think everyone showed up for you? No! They came because your dad is the Grand Emperor, your mom was the Xuan Yuan Princess, your grandfather is the Yellow Emperor, and your master is the Royal Mother! Other than those connections, you’re even less capable than me!”

So this was what was bothering Ah Nian, her insecurity. Xiao Yao thought and said “You are actually insecure that your mother’s birth was too low.”

Ah Nian screamed like a crazed animal “I’m not! I didn’t! My mom is the best in the entire world, don’t you dare speak of my mom like that…..”

Ah Nian tried to struggle up but Xiao Yao punched her in the nose and more tears and snot came out but she stopped struggling. Xiao Yao sat on her and said “You dare to deny it? Aren’t you angry because of your mom? You’re better than me at everything but because your mom was of low birth, and mute and deaf, so you’re not as revered as me. Don’t you think that if the Royal Mother was your master, you would be incredibly powerful. Don’t you think that if the Yellow Emperor was your grandfather, you wouldn’t be as useless as me.”

Ah Nian cried pitifully and Xiao Yao patted her cheeks “Can you swear you never thought these things before?”

Ah Nian’s cries grew louder. She never would admit that she blamed her mom but she did think it before. She wasn’t any less capable than Xiao Yao but everyone put her first. Wasn’t it because of Xiao Yao’s mom? If her mom wasn’t the Xuan Yuan Princess, if her mom was of the same low birth as Ah Nian’s mom, then everyone would treat Xiao Yao differently. She wouldn’t be able to influence the entire vast wilderness.

Ah Nian was stunned and wondered if she really did think poorly of her own mom.

No, no it cannot be. She was so gentle and so sad, she and her dad was all her mom had. She would never look down on her mom’s birth!

Xiao Yao hollered “If you have the guts to think it, then have the guts to admit it. Other than crying, what else can you do?”

Ah Nian kept crying so Xiao Liu took out some powder and spread it on the veil curtain. The impenetrable curtain actually burned a hole with the powder. She held the powder and said to Ah Nian “If you keep crying, I’ll blow this on your face.”

Ah Nian immediately tightly shut her lips and stared in fear at Xiao Yao, but she stopped sobbing out loud despite the tears streaming down her face.

Xiao Yao put the powder away “Now this is better for talking! Since I know your secret, I’ll tell you my secret. Your mom’s birth isn’t a big deal, it’s me who hates my mom’s birth. Don’t believe me? Our dad is truly capable and brilliant, all these years and no one ever slipped in front of you. I’ll tell you the secret – do you know why no one in Five Gods Mountain dares to mention my mom? Because she divorced our dad!:

Ah Nian forgot to cry and stared at Xiao Yao. There was a woman in the entire world who discarded the Grand Emperor?

“My mom divorced our dad and took me to Cao Yun Peak at Xuan Yuan Mountain. If that was it, then so be it, but for nation and country, she ran off to lead an army into battle so she stashed me with the Royal Mother at Jade Mountain. She lied that I was going there to play and would pick me up. But….she left and never came back. She died in battle! That horrible place Jade Mountain is not where a normal person can live. The maids act like they are deaf and mute, if the Royal Mother said ten sentences in a month she was being extra talkative. I prayed daily for my mom to come pick me up and I waited 70 years….but she….” Xiao Yao laughed coldly.

Xiao Yao leaned down and sincerely said to Ah Nian “Honestly, if the Heavens let me pick a mom, I want yours. She’s gentle and loving, very understanding of her place in life as she sees our dad as her entire world and follows him to the ends of the world. She may be a weak woman who can’t do anything, can’t talk about grand and powerful goals, but she can be with her daughter as she grows up. No matter when, if you miss her, she’s right there waiting for you. Even if the entire world abandoned you, she would still be by your side.”

Ah Nian was in a daze and Xiao Yao patted her cheek “Want to change moms with me?”

Ah Nian screamed “No! Never! My mom is mine!” as if Xiao Yao was going to steal her mom away.

Xiao Yao got off her and released her from the veil curtain “No matter if you want to or not, I’m part of your world. So going forward you have two paths to choose from.”

Xiao Yao didn’t fully release Ah Nian and just let her head out. She poked Ah Nian hard to make her sit up “The first path is this path, we don’t get along and you keep trying to hurt me, even getting help from others to do it. Do you know what the result of this path is?”

Ah Nian said nothing so Xiao Yao said “You’ll make our dad devastated, and you’ll lose Zhuan Xu.”

Ah Nian glared at Xiao Yao as Xiao Yao continued “To our dad, you and I are like his palm and the back of his hand. It’s both his flesh, and whether you or I hurt more, he will hurt equally. If he hurts, then your mother’s entire world will hurt as well. If your parents both hurt, I don’t believe you’ll be happy! As for Zhuan Xu, you refuse to admit it but you know the reality. I’m not going to shy away from being blunt – Zhuan Xu and I are blood relatives. In danger, we are each other’s support, and in fact we are each other’s only support in this entire world. If you really hurt me, Zhuan Xu will never forgive you!”

Xiao Yao added “The second road is very different – we exist peacefully. Stop glaring at me, I said peacefully not lovingly! Peacefully means we don’t bother each other, the Palace is so large and we can avoid each other easily. Think about this road – dad will be relieved and Zhuan Xu will still be very caring towards you, and your mom can live in peace.”

Ah Nian coldly scoffed “Just two paths?”

Xiao Yao laughed “There is a third one – we love each other and get along well. From then on, you don’t just have a dad and older brother who love you, you also have an older sister that dotes on you as well.”

“Ha! Dream on!”

Xiao Yao shrugged “I know it’s a dream which is why I didn’t even bother to mention it.”

Ah Nian lowered her head and contemplated so Xiao Yao didn’t push her anymore.

It was quiet inside so the noises from outside got loud all of a sudden. The maids were sobbing and pleading “Princesses, please stop fighting! We beg of you….. Wasn’t His majesty told about this, why hasn’t he sent someone here yet?”

After a few moments, Xiao Yao saw Ah Nian had calmed down and released her upper body from the veil curtain. Ah Nian immediately slapped Xiao Yao across the face and Xiao Yao pushed her back down on the ground hard and raised her fist “You want to keep fighting? Then let’s continue!”

Ah Nian raged “You kicked me in the stomach and punched me in the face. I slapped you back, now we’re even. From now on, we have nothing to do with each other!”

Xiao Yao said “Fine!”

Xiao Yao stood up and headed for the door “What you did with Xiang Liu, only you and I know. I won’t tell Zhuan Xu so you better never speak of it again either.”

Xiao Yao walked outside and all the maids gaped at her. When she returned to Ming Se Court, all her maids stared at her, too. “Princess….who….who beat you up?”

Xiao Yao walked to the mirror and saw a red palm print on her cheek, and then she thought about Ah Nian’s face all black and blue and laughed “In this Palace, other than the other Princess, who dares to hit me? Don’t worry, I didn’t let her get away with it. If you want to see how she ended up, run off to check it out.”

The maids remain rooted in place so Xiao Yao said “If you’re not going to go check it out, then draw me a hot bath. I want to wash off the stench of the ocean.”

The maids snapped out of it and ran off to prepare the bath and get her some medicine. Xiao Yao finished her bath and applied some medicine then had a meal before telling the maids “I’m going to sleep for two hours, remember to wake me up then.”

Xiao Yao slept peacefully for two hours and then the maids helped her dress to go out. Xiao Yao said “Something comfortable” and then added “And pretty. Something comfortable and pretty.:

The maids smiled under their heads and one brought out a yellow dress “This one needs to cinch the waist but it’s not as tight as formal wear. It’s quite comfortable actually.”

Xiao Yao smiled and chose this outfit. After getting dressed, she looked at herself in the mirror and sighed. With Ah Nian’s palm print still visible, she might as well have not put any powder on.

She put on a hat cover and accessories before taking a cloud carriage out of the Palace. Zhuan Xu said Feng Long was leaving tomorrow which meant Jing was also leaving tomorrow. With this parting, it wasn’t clear when they would see each other again so she wanted to see him one more time before he left.

She arrived at the Tu Shan residence in Ying Province but heard from the guard outside “Master Jing went shopping likely to buy local products to take home for the family.”

Xiao Yao thought Jing would rest but he went out with the others likely to not let people know he was out all night. Remembering his two fox tail dolls, if he wanted to conceal his whereabouts, it would be hard for the world to find out what he was up to.

With Jing not around, Xiao Yao was bored and didn’t want to go right back so decided to walk around town. The last time she was here she was still a kid. Back then only low powered Gods lived here, it was lovely but not very lively. Now there were many humans living here, and even demons, and everyone mixed together made the entire town bustling. Everyone appeared to coexist as equals and were mannered and polite.

Xiao Yao felt so proud of her dad. Since she came back, she could tell her dad wasn’t happy, and he said he used everything he had to exchange for this, so this was likely what her dad wanted!

Xiao Yao saw a set of coral boxes inlaid within each other. The larger ones could hold accessories while the smaller could be used for make up. Xiao Yao wanted to buy it for her maid and asked “How much?’

A girl’s voice rang out “I want this, wrap it up.”

Xiao Yao didn’t have to buy it but felt the other girl was so rude so said to the shop owner “I saw this first and asked the price first. If I didn’t pass on it, then you can’t sell it to someone else.”

The shop owner apologized to the other girl “She’s correct, this is the etiquette of shopping.”

The girl said “Whatever the price, I’ll pay double.”

Another girl said “The detail is passable but the coral isn’t very good. If little sister wants it, I’ll order my master artisans to craft a coral set just for you.”

Xiao Yao felt their voices were familiar and turned around to see it was Xing Yue and Yi Yang.

Feng Long and Zhuan Xu was walking over with a few servants trailing them. Xing Yue said to a servant “Pack up this coral box” and then glanced at Xiao Yao before turning to Yi Yang “I’m not someone who hasn’t seen nice things, this is hardly worth my time. I just think it’s interesting so want to buy it as a reward for my maids.”

Xiao Yao wasn’t accustomed to using words to match wits with someone like Xing Yue, and actually wished Ah Nian or Hai Tang were around right now. She remembered the way Hai Tang asked Xing Yue’s had for a stack of rare wood and started laughing and said “If the lady likes it, then she can have it.”

Zhuan Xu called out “Xiao Yao! It’s really you! How come you’re out shopping?”

Xiao Yao said “I was bored so came out for a stroll.” She glanced towards Jing and saw quiet joy in his sleep deprived eyes and Xiao Yao couldn’t help but mask her small smile.

Despite it being casual conversation, it was clear Zhuan Xu and Xiao Yao were very close. Xing Yue warily looked at Xiao Yao and then said to Zhuan Xu “Your lady friends are so many, randomly bumping into one while shopping on the street.”

Feng Long and Hou both laughed while Zhuan Xu cleared his throat and made introductions “Didn’t you guys all want to meet my cousin last night? This is my cousin.”

Feng Long stopped laughing and everyone got serious and respectfully greeted Xiao Yao. When Feng Long raised his head, he carefully looked at her but her face was covered in a veiled hat so he couldn’t see her features.

Xiao Yao greeted everyone back and glanced at Tu Shan Hou. She thought even if he was handsome, he likely looked rather beastly, but who knew he was unexpectedly dashing. He looked very similar to Jing, but harder, fiercer, and he had a small scar on the corner of his lips which gave off the aura of intensity even when he smiled.

Xing Yue handed the coral box to Xiao Yao with a laugh “I’m so sorry, because we’re leaving tomorrow and chanced upon this unique present, I got anxious and wanted to buy it. Please accept it as an apology.”

Xiao Yao was impressed, undoubtedly a child raised by one of the two largest noble clans so she had finesse. She looked at Zhuan Xu and he nodded so she accepted with a smile “Thank you.”

Xing Yue was ecstatic “It’s more fun to shop with more people, please come with us!”

“Sure!” Xiao Yao agreed.

Everyone shopped and talked but Xiao Yao didn’t say much though everyone was very solicitous of her and the entire outing was very pleasant.

Xing Yue and Feng Long bought a lot and their servants had their hands full in boxes and bags. Xing Yue apologized “Don’t laugh at us, both our parents sides are large families and if we visit Five Gods Mountain and don’t bring presents home, it’s rude. And if we give something to one side, we have to give to the other.”

Hou said “We won’t laugh, we’re all just envious.”

Xing Yue smiled.

Xiao Yao thought that Xing Yue was very nice to Hou, and treated him the same as she treated Jing.

Xing Yue said “I can’t shop anymore, let’s find a place to rest.”

Zhuan Xu said “I knew you were tired out. There is a restaurant over there that has good food. It’s almost dinner time, why don’t we have dinner there and it’ll be my farewell treat.”

Zhuan Xu led everyone to the restaurant and the owner came out and greeted them before leading them to a private rooftop area. It was surrounded by two sides as tall as buildings and lots of flowers and vines were growing along the sides, giving off the mood of dining in the mountains.

Xing Yue complimented to Zhuan Xu “This place is lovely.”

The owner led them to a square table with two seats at each side. Xiao Yao glanced at Zhuan Xu before sitting but before she could choose, Xing Yue placed her next to Feng Long, then took the seat to her left beside Zhuan Xu, that left Yi Yang and Jing across from Xiao Yao and Feng Long, and Hou took the solo seat on the final side.

The owner brought various types of wines, some were fierce and strong, others light and sweet like honey. He then placed several plates of fruits and appetizers on the table to start.

He saw Zhuan Xu nod in approval and then excused himself.

Feng Long laughed “You don’t seem like a customer and more like the owner.”

Zhuan Xu chucked “I’m not going to lie to you guys, I am the owner here. I like making wine and it’s no fun to drink alone so I opened a few stores.”

Xing Yue was interested so continued the conversation, with Yi Yang and Hou also joining in so the talk was flowing.

Feng Long used a clean chopstick and picked up some vegetables for Xiao Yao and placed it on her plate “I saw you ate this first but then didn’t take anymore. You must like it but if it’s too far to reach, I can get you some.”

Xiao Yao glanced at Jing and then ate a piece before saying “Thank you.”

Feng Long had tried all the wines and poured a sweet fruit wine for Xiao Yao “Try this.”

Xiao Yao accepted it and said “You chat with them, no need to take care of me.”

Xing Yue heard and interjected “My Gege isn’t like this normally, usually people take care of him and he never takes care of others. He’s definitely different today, and I’ve never seen him so solicitous of even me.”

Feng Long chastised her “Nonsense!”

Xing Yue made a face back and turned to Jing “Jing gege, you’re close with my brother, am I talking nonsense?”

Jing smiled “No, it’s not nonsense.”

Feng Long was not happy and pointed at Jing before saying to Yi Yang “Sister-in-law, please help shut him up for me.”

Yi Yang’s face was red with embarrassment and she glanced at Hou before saying “Stop it!” before swiftly putting some food on Jing’s plate and pouring him a cup of wine.

Feng Long shook his head “This doesn’t count as shutting his lips up.”

Feng Long and Xing Yue were playfully cheering her on so Yi Yang didn’t mind and picked up a cup of wine and placed it under Jing’s lips and said “Please enjoy.”

Jing sat there stiffly and didn’t move, a very awkward smile on his face.

Folks were cheering and Feng Long wondered “Eh? You’re not awkward normally, how come you’re so proper today?”

Jing lowered his eyes and drank the cup of wine from Yi Yang’s hand. Zhuan Xu and Feng Long clapped and Feng Long said “Good for sister-in-law!”

Hou also laughed and Yi Yang glanced at him before breaking into a smile.

Xiao Yao felt her heart tighten and ate all the vegetables on her plate and Feng Long got her another serving.

Yi Yang said “Xiao Yao, there are no other people here, why don’t you take off your hat and be more comfortable.”

Xing Yue concurred “Yes, yes.”

Xiao Yao apologized “It’s not that I don’t want to, but I must have eaten something and I have pimples on my face and it’s not suitable to show it to folks.”

Yi Yang and Xing Yue both sighed and Xing Yue turned to Feng Long “Don’t say your sister didn’t try to help you, it’s the Heavens not helping you.”

Waiters came back and set down piping hot plates of food and a few more jugs of wine. Xing Yue tried a bite and turned to Zhuan Xu “It’s delicious.”

Zhuan Xu laughed “With your compliment, I’ll have to reward the chef when I get back.”

Talk turned to the various families in the vast wilderness, which capable descendants have risen up the ranks, what folks liked, conversation was easy going but within it held lots of important details.

Jing silently drank his wine and his friends appeared to be used to him so didn’t think it weird. He seemed zone out but whenever Feng Long or Zhuan Xu asked him something, he was always able to respond, clearly aware of everything said around him.

Xiao Yao grabbed the strongest wine and started downing it, gradually her bones grew soft and she curled up like a cat, with her one hand propping up her head and the other holding a wine cup.

Feng Long didn’t seem to find it strange and kept pouring her more as he poured himself more, as if they were having a drinking game. Zhuan Xu noticed and said “Feng Long, don’t get my little sister drunk.”

Feng Long sighed “Who gets who drunk is not clear yet.”

Zhuan Xu knew Xiao Yao’s tolerance so said nothing, and lo and behold Feng Long got drunk first. Everyone else was all tipsy and it wasn’t clear who suggested heading out to sea and no one objected.

They headed to a nearby port where Zhuan Xu had a boat ready and they all boarded and headed out to sea.

On the boat and with the cold sea air blowing, everyone’s drunkenness dissipated somewhat. Perhaps because they were all still so young, or maybe tomorrow was farewell, but everyone was in the mood to keep making merry so the wine continued to flow.

Yi Yang got drunk and pulled Xing Yue to dance on the deck. Feng Long saw a giant fish swim by and said he was going to catch it and with a plop he jumped overboard. Zhuan Xu freaked out but Xing Yue laughed “Don’t worry! He’s the son of the Chi Sui clan, he goes crazy around water! Anyone can drown except him!”

Zhuan Xu wasn’t sure and wanted a servant to go with him but they only brought one servant to steer the boat. Hou put down his drink “I’ll go keep him company” and then with a plop he was in the water as well.

Zhuan Xu stood at the bow and stared out into the ocean and Yi Yang said with a smile “Don’t worry, he’s caught plenty of sea monsters and creatures since he was a kid. We might need to worry more that he’ll bring some crazy seafood back soon.”

Zhuan Xu felt the wine getting to his head and it started hurting.

Yi Yang turned to Xing Yue with a smile “I’m going to catch the moon, wanna come?” Xing Yue shook her head and pointed back at Yi Yang “You’re really drunk.” Plop, Yi Yang swanned into the water.

Xing Yue laughed while Zhuan Xu said wearily “Should I continue to not worry?”

Xing Yue laughed “I don’t know her water power talents, but we’ll know if we go in the water too.” She pulled Zhuan Xu who said “I can’t swim, you know that.”

Xing Yue’s eyes glittered like seductive stars “I know you can’t swim. But jump down with me!”

Zhuan Xu said nothing and looked at Xing Yue while she laughed with a fire burning in her eyes “Do you dare put your life in my hands?” She walked backwards still staring at Zhuan Xu before she fell overboard with her back arching.

Zhuan Xu smiled and walked over and vaulted into the water.

Xiao Yao laughed as she drank her wine and sprawled on the boat thinking to herself that if it wasn’t for Xiang Liu that bastard demon tormenting her last night, she would have jumped in right now.

Jing silently walked behind her and she turned and sat down on the deck and scoffed “Now you dare get close to me?”

Jing said nothing and Xiao Yao raised her empty cup. Jing poured her another cup and she handed the cup to him. He thought she wanted him to drink and was about to when she lifted her veil and pointed to her lips.

Jing placed the cup of wine under her lips and she grabbed his hand to drink it slowly.

The alcohol rushed up and her head was splitting in pain as her stomach roiled. She knew she was really drunk this time so she pushed Jing aside and leaned against the ship to wait for the nausea to pass.

Jing took a few pills and placed it under Xiao Yao’s nose for her to sniff. She said “You haven’t forgotten what I taught you.”

“I will never forget.”

“Seeing Feng Long so nice to me, does your heart hurt?”

“It hurts.” Jing paused and said slowly “It hurts a lot.”

Xiao Yao laughed “Seeing you hurt, now I feel better.”

Jing’s hand brushed her face “Who hit you?”

Xiao Yao said “Ah Nian, I kicked her a few times and punched her in the face. We’re even.”

Jing’s hand accumulated his power and he was lightly rubbing her cheek to make the swelling go down but she pushed his hand away “Your mom picked well. Fang Feng Yi Yang is a good wife to have, you two are very suited for each other.”

All the blood color in Jing’s face disappeared and he lowered his head “I knew this morning felt like a dream. I was happy all day, and when I saw you shopping I thought you came to see me, and I was even happier….”

Xiao Yao silently sat on desk and said nothing.

Xiao Yao remembered when she saved Shi Qi, he would silently lay there and accept whatever Xiao Yao did to him. He didn’t express pain, or hunger, or thirst, and many times she thought Shi Qi was dead and touched his pulse to confirm he was still alive.

Xiao Yao felt her heart hurt and then she felt her stomach coming up so she leaned over the railing and threw up.

Jing patted her back until she was done, then handed her water to rinse her mouth. Xiao Yao’s head hurt and feet were like lead. Jing held her and gently helped her sit down.

Jing smoothed her hair back from her face when Xiao Yao suddenly grabbed him around the waist and murmured “I did go see you this afternoon, if you don’t believe me go ask your guard. I couldn’t find you so I went shopping.”

Jing held Xiao Yao and rested his cheek on her head. It was just a short time, he sunk to the depths of despair and now vaulted back up to the clouds of happiness.

He felt Xiao Yao’s body sinking and looked down to see that she was fast asleep. He smiled and adjusted their positions so that she was sleeping in his arms.

The sea breeze was gently blowing as the boat was rocked by the waves. He looked up at the moon and wanted to spend this night like this.

Jing looked at the jug of wine beside him and placed his hand on it and a white mist rose from the jug and enveloped the entire boat in thick white fog. It was like the entire boat had been consumed by the sea and nothing was left from the outside.

Jing lowered his head to look at the sleeping Xiao Yao and his fingers gently traced her face, over and over, until even if he lost his sight one day, he would still be able to see her face.

After an hour, Xiao Yao stirred and called out “Shi Qi” before opening her eyes. Jing smiled at her and she said “I think I fell asleep.”

“Yes.”

“They are not back yet?”

“No.”

Xiao Yao sighed “Normally one is more serious than the other, who knew they were all a bunch of lunatics.”

Jing said “I’m not interested in Yi Yang and she’s not interested in me. This time when I go back, I’ll tell my grandmother to end the engagement.”

“Hhmmm, huh?” Xiao Yao’s mind was still fuzzy so it told her a moment to process it “How do you know? She’s so nice to you…..”

Jing cut her off “Xiao Yao, I’ve met plenty of women interested in me, I know how a woman looks at a man she wants. No matter how nice she is to me, she’s never looked at me like that. And now…..” Jing stroked her hair “Now I know what it feels like to want someone, I’m not wrong!”

Xiao Yao released a sigh “Okay.”

Jing actually felt worse because Xiao Yao didn’t see that when he was alone with Yi Yang, the way she looked at him. Xiao Yao never thought of him as crippled so thought Yi Yang would feel the same, she thought others saw him the way she saw him.

Xiao Yao suddenly thought of something and sat up excitedly “If she doesn’t want you, then come back to be my Shi Qi!” Her eyes lit up “You worried back then that Tu Shan Hou that lunatic would harm Lao Mu and me so you went back to being Tu Shan Jing. But Wen Xiao Liu is gone now and I’m the Gao Xing Princess. Tu Shan Hou can’t harm me, you can come back to be Shi Qi.”

Jing stared at Xiao Yao, saying nothing but the sadness was evident in his eyes.

Xiao Yao calmed down and mocked herself “Did I just talk nonsense?” Jing disappeared once already, if it happened again, forget Tu Shan Hou, his grandmother wouldn’t accept his death until she saw his corpse with her own eyes.

Jing said in a low voice “It’s not nonsense, bu things have changed. After going back, I realized my brother has been leading the clan into danger. If I leave, I worry he will destroy the family. Xiao Yao, give me some time, okay? I’ll take care of everything.” It actually wasn’t just his family, if Xiao Yao was Wen Xiao Liu then he would be Ye Shi Qi with her in some remote mountain for the rest of their lives. But she was the Gao Xing Princess, and seeing her at the massive royal ceremony, he knew that neither of them could go back. A man who deserved to be with Xiao Yao couldn’t be a coward, if he wanted to be with her, then he needed to end the engagement. He needed to be Tu Shan Jing and openly walk to be with Xiao Yao.

Xiao Yao smiled “You have fifteen years, Jing. What are you planning to do?”

“I don’t know, but I know I will come back to you. I’ve promised to listen to you for the rest of my life…..” Jing’s forehead rested on Xiao Yao’s forehead and he prayed “Please keep your heart for me.”

Xiao Yao’s hands sank into his hair and she grabbed it “I can tell you’re a sneaky one, even if I want to forget it, you’ll find ways to keep reminding. You say you don’t dare hope, but then you don’t let go either.”

Jing’s voice conveyed his torment “I….I just cannot…..I know you deserve better, but I cannot…..I’m sorry…..”

Xiao Yao quickly said “I understand, I understand.”

Jing said in a low voice “You don’t understand.”

Xiao Yao was honest “I don’t understand, but I have to try and reassure you.”

Jing laughed and then sighed “They are coming back.”

Xiao Yao looked up “It’s almost sunrise, they ought to be back.”

Jing looked at Xiao Yao and wanted to put the hat on her but she held his hand and wouldn’t let him. She bit her lips and closed her eyes. Jing tenderly kissed her on the forehead, until the very last minute when he lifted his head and put the hat on her.

Xiao Yao ran to the back of the boat to fix her clothes and hair. She heard Xing Yue, Zhuan Xu, and Feng Long talking. She looked up and saw Jing’s hair was a mess from her raking her fingers through it. It was too late to tell him and her face darkened with worry. Then she saw Jing stand up and release the band tying his hair up and sent his hair flying in the sea breeze. He leaned against the railing and looked up at the sunrise.

Xiao Yao’s heart leaped to her chest like a little deer lost. Zhuan Xu had to call her a few times to get her attention. He pushed her softly “What are you thinking?”

Xiao Yao quickly said “Oh, you guys are back.” Her face was bright red but thankfully it was covered by the veil so no one could see it. Zhuan Xu seemed to understand something and concern flitted across his eyes.

Xing Yue complained about how they forgot where the boat was so swam for a long time before finding it, and how they didn’t run into Yi Yang and Hou and hoped they were alright.

Yi Yang swam towards the boat and Xing Yue ran over to pull her up “Did you guys also can’t find the boat?”

Yi Yang paused and then smiled “Yeah.”

Zhuan Xu said “There is breakfast inside the cabin, if you guys are hungry go ahead and eat.” Those who swam all night went in and Xiao Yao and Jing followed.

Feng Long asked Xiao Yao “Want some breakfast?”

Xiao Yao said “I can get it myself, you enjoy.”

Zhuan Xu glanced at her with a smirk and she glared back: how dare you tease me?

Everyone seemed tired so there wasn’t a lot of talk, and even when breakfast was done Hou was still not back.

Xing Yue worriedly asked “Is Hou gege alright?”

Jing said “With his ability, he should be fine. I’ll have little fox go find him.” He took out a little astral nine-tailed fox from his sleeve but it went nowhere and instead yipped in one direction before running back into Jing’s sleeve.

Jing said “Hou is back.”

In a few minutes, Hou was visible in the distance. He was riding a giant fierce monster fish and was shirtless as he ripped his robe into cloth strips to create a harness to control the fish’s head and he held on and rode it like a horse in the water. His body rose and fell with the waves, glistening bronzed in the sun exuding all the manly allure of a young strapping man in his prime.

Xing Yue and Yi Yang averted their eyes to be polite but Xiao Yao stared in appreciation and called out “Does it listen to you?” Hou smiled and said nothing but rode the fish around the boat a few more times. Xiao Yao clapped “This is so fun. I wanted a ride like this so I don’t need to swim anymore.”

Zhuan Xu mocked her “Dream on, with your powers you can to subdue a monster fish like this? It’s easier to make it your snack.”

Xiao Yao sighed, he was right.

Hou held onto the fish and used his other hand to strike its belly and pulled out a red ruby stone the size of an egg. He rinsed it in the ocean and then jumped on the boat.

The red ruby was crystal clear and glittered in the sun. Xing Yue said “Hou gege, can you give that to me?”

Normally Hou would give it to her but he smiled in apology “This fish ruby I need, next time I’ll have someone get you another.”

Xing Yue sad nothing and walked over to Yi Yang and then two girls stared out over the ocean. With everyone back, Zhuan Xu ordered the boat back to the port.

Hou went inside to change and Xiao Yao asked Feng Long “What kind of stone is that?”

Feng Long smiled “There is another Tu Shan son here, I’m not the one to talk about precious gems” He called Jing over “Xiao Yao wants to know what kind of gem is the fish ruby.”

Jing walked over to Xiao Yao “Actually it’s the inner power source of the demon fish of the deep seas. It comes in different colors but the red fish ruby is the most common, though one as crystal clear as that is very rare. It can be used as a jewel or accessory, or into medicine, or a top quality one can even be made into a magical object that can help a person breath underwater if it’s place in the mouth.”

When Jing was talking, Xiao Yao was zoning out until the last thing he said and she got interested “What’s considered top quality? Was that piece?”

“The more clear the color, the higher the quality. That piece was one of the best fish rubies.”

Feng Long said to Xiao Yao “This cannot be sought and can only be found by chance. If you want one, I’ll go ask my grandfather.”

Xiao Yao quickly said “I just found it pretty and was asking for fun.”

The ocean under the morning sun glittered like gold dust was sprinkled on it. A pack of sea birds flew over head and everyone looked out over the ocean to enjoy the view. Xiao Yao snuck a peek at Jing from under her veil. Jing sensed it and he lowered his eyes and smiled. Xiao Yao also smiled, even if she couldn’t talk to him or stand too close, but their hearts were aligned together and felt very close.

The boat reached shore and everyone got off. Feng Long’s servants already had their belongings all packed so they just needed to get back on the Chi Sui ship to head back to the Middle Plains.

Zhuan Xu led Xiao Yao to say their farewells, and with the talkative and smooth Zhuan Xu around, Xiao Yao only needed to bow and say a few words. Xing Yue’s eyes were slightly red and she stood on the ship with her brother but kept looking back at Zhuan Xu.

Jing got on the ship and stood by the railing to stare at Xiao Yao. The ships left and Zhuan Xu waved to them but Xiao Yao stood there silently. The wind blew the veil on her face and outline her features as she stood there tall in her yellow robe, like a flower blooming in the sunlight.

Jing stared until she was gone from sight and he closed his eyes. Xiao Yao, Xiao Yao…..

Zhuan Xu and Xiao Yao returned to Cheng En Palace and he pulled her hat off and sighed “You got slapped by Ah Nian? I need to go see what number you did on her.”

Xiao Yao said “She and I resolved our issues, and what happens in the future, only fate will determine.”

Zhuan Xu said with a smile “When I got back on the boat and asked the servant, he said he fell asleep last night. Did you and Jing have a good time?”

Xiao Yao smirked back at him “Someone jumped in the ocean without fear for his life. Did you have fun?”

Zhuan Xu casually said “If she wants to play for real, then we’ll just have to wait and see!”

Xiao Yao asked in confusion “How do you guys know when a girl is for real? Even if she’s for real, what kind of real is it? Some real may handle eighty partings, but not the eighty-first. Some real can handle poverty, others can only handle wealthy. Some real can be good in safety, but in tragedy goes their separate ways. Some couples grow old together but it’s not real between them, yet they manage to make it work because they were never faced with any test.”

Zhuan Xu laughed “Your questions are giving me a headache. If you ask how I know, I don’t know other than I can feel it. One cold heart, one clear set of eyes, I’ve experienced a lot so I can see very clearly.”

Xiao Yao asked “What if you see wrong?”

Zhuan Xu softly said “The only way to guarantee not being wrong is to have a cold heart.”

Xiao Yao scrunched up her face “I thought you had a better idea!”

“I don’t. I think even the grandfather of ours that is so ruthless and brilliant that he strikes fear in everyone, even he can’t see genuinely through a person’s heart.”

Xiao Yao chuckled wearily “The Xuan Yuan Yellow Emperor!”

Zhuan Xu said “Grandmother, Mom and Dad, Auntie, and Eldest Uncle and Second Uncle….their graves have been unattended for too many years. Next year at Auntie’s remembrance day, I vow I will be standing on Cao Yun Peak in Xuan Yuan Montain.”

Xiao Yao’s eyes misted with tears and she nodded “Yes!”

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Comments

Lost You Forever Chapter 14: This Feeling Has No Strategy to Remove — 110 Comments

  1. I think this book is really Tong Hua best yet. Truely. I read and reread the chapters, the story and characters are really well thought out. I get more with every reread and was/is repeatedly moved to tears each time. I can see how Tong hua has structured and wants to go with the story she wants to tell. She really tries to do justice to all her wonderful amazing characters. I dare say this is simply the most memorable book I have come across in my life. Thank you.

  2. I want to say something about Xiao Yao. I really really like this girl. Shes sassy, shes funky. Shes vulnerable, but brave and fiercely loyal to those that matters to her. She may be pessimistic and insecure but shes real and upfront about it. She also have a great sense of humor. Above all, I love her for understanding and seeing everyone around her for who they are with no judgements.

    • The way she dealt with Ah Nian was just magnificent. Loved it. She gave Ah Nian two choices, not sharing what the third choice was right off the bat since she figured there was no way Ah Nian would ever choose that. Which just means the future for these two sisters is clearly pointing in that direction.

      • Xiao Yao has impressed me again and again with her wit, bravery and loyalty. She never cares for playing games like pretty much the rest of the other female characters in the story for whatever justified reason. Theres so much things I love about this book. Its hard to explain. Xiao Yao is so amazing yet unassuming. She appreciates the goodness in her life. Yet doesnt habour any illusion that it will be anything more then what it is. She understands that life is transient and all you can have is now. She love life, appreciate life and live as best as she can and give her all to those that matters to her. It really is a moving story about life, love, family and loyalty… Its quite embarrassing to say, but Xiao Yao makes me want be better person, her philosophy of life is a reminder of what matters.

  3. Jing!!! why didn’t you kiss XY when she clearly wanted it?! Urgh, such a gentleman T_T makes it difficult for us fans πŸ™

    Thanks Ms. K!! It’s such a lovely chapter!

    • I wanted Xiao Yao to kiss him in that moment! I want her to be Xiao Liu in that moment and take what she wanted! LOL, she’s so cute when she’s unexpectedly coy.

  4. Maybe I’m just ΓΌber-sensitive, but I don’t see how anyone could have missed this: Fang Feng Yi Ying and Hou TOTALLY have an affair going on. Glances, staying out late “swimming”, I don’t know why the clever Xiao Yao didn’t instantly pick up on it, because it’d be the perfect way to break off Jing’s engagement with Yi Ying. Perhaps it’s her insecurity that’s preventing her from seeing it? Or she loves Jing so much that she just can’t fathom how anyone would prefer Hou over Jing.

    And for all that Jing behaves like someone with a self-confidence level of 0, the man is truly sneaky. Saying that he doesn’t deserve XY, but then doing little things to keep reminding her of her 15-year promise. There’s no doubt he’s the descendant of the nine-tailed fox.

    • lol I wrote the same thing, sorry didn’t see this comment.

      Yup I’m totally with you. They are both in cahoots with that royal uncle too. Hmmm I think YY can’t marry Hou, as everyone looks down on him and she is like super VIP in terms of marriage material so her family probably wouldn’t let her marry HOU, so she is staying as Jing’s fiancee to stay near Hou, meanwhile Hou probably is trying to kill Jing.

    • I knew that they had a thing too! So obvious ahaha. Made me wonder if Hou had sent Jing away because of jealousy that he had his girl as his fiancee. I think that would be too childish though?

      And maybe Yiyang stayed as Jing’s fiancee because of Hou!

      • Yeah definitely. Huo was the one who went to see the bride and he came back saying she is beautiful and smart. And right before their wedding Jing is kidnapped. Co -incidence? And then Yi Yang begs to stay at the Tu Shan Household. Hua and Yi Yang are obviously up to something which I think is disgraceful as Huo is already married too.

      • No I don’t think that’s childish, I THINK that’s why Jing’s tortures were so cruerly and demeaning. Is like Jing said they were trying to kill him from the inside out too. Hou is not only angry at the fact that he is Jings shadow (no matter what he does) but also at the fact that he can’t have the woman he wants! That’s what I THINK and might be totally wrong ( most probably) ;(

  5. I absolutely adore Jing and Xiao Yao, every longing glance, every unspoken word, and all that tingly awkwardness. They remind me fondly of Yun Ge and Ling gege. Both of these couples are “for real.” And Zhuan Xu, Xiao Yao would do anything to help him stand on top of Xuan Yuan Mountain, the whole world for that matter. Many thanks to Ms. K for translating!

    • Oh noooooooo. Jing is much much more Meng Jue and Xiang Liu is Liu Fu Ling in both thought process and connection with Xiao Yao/Yun Ge. It’s not obvious yet but will be as the novel keeps going. In fact, I’m pretty impressed Tong Hua managed to turn her two equal leading me in YZG into her two equal leading men in LFY but literally with their personalities switched.

      Jue and Jing are shrewd, calculating men – businessman above all else. Their love and connection with the leading lady is built on shared experiences, on the stirrings of love from affection, on spending time together. The difference is merely that Jing never uses Xiao Yao while Jue used Yun Ge.

      Ling gege and Xiang Liu are men who keep everything inside, men who would go to the grave with a secret rather than burden those who live with the truth because its too painful, a guy who puts the greater good above individual feelings. Their connection with the girl comes from innate understanding, not from shared experiences but from being kindred spirits.

      But the twist is that Yun Ge and Xiao Yao are completely diametrically different leading ladies. It’s fascinating watching how they deal with the really huge pickle of loving two guys but only being able to pick one. Yun Ge had the choice taken out of her hands, but Xiao Yao…..all I want is for her to know everything to make her choice. She’s a leading lady that I feel knows exactly what she needs even if what she wants butts up against it.

      • For her to know everything to make her choice? What do you mean, Koalaaa? What doesn’t she know???

      • Read the book already & gotta say – my sentiments exactly…quite upset she remained unaware later xc

      • Absolutely! Spot on! Even though the story structure such that it seems xiao yao fell into the flow of the story . She did indeed knows always knows exactly what she wants and needs! Im TRYING TO BITE MY Tongue and not write any spoilers. Thats why I love this spunky lady so much more. She has stay so true to herself and to her who care for her. THis is one of my favorite chapters!

      • Gentle Jing not the same as gentle Ling gege? Now that’s what I call reading between the lines. I can see it now that you’ve explained it. Even Xiao Yao said Jing’s a sneaky one..hehe. Reading the translation is fun but reading your assessment is just as fun. Thank you!…btw I was already shipping Xiang Liu and now that you’ve linked him to to LFL – gah.just.gah

      • I actually dont think she’s unaware. How I felt was actually the opposite. She does knows and therefore her various gestures… However, she has also always been a realist and knows what ultimately matters.

      • Good points Ms. K! But here are my thoughts. Jing is truly a little clever fox. He certainly realizes that there are others out there whom Xiao Yao can love and will love Xiao Yao just as much as he can, hence the 15 years promise (and another cute parallel tidbit: Yun Ge also made a promise with Liu Fu Ling! *squee*). I feel that Jing has always been honest with his feelings for Xiao Yao and openly tells her and shows her just that, just like Ling gege’s feelings for Yun Ge and how he expressed them to her in words and actions. Both couples desire a simple, devoted, peaceful but eternal love faraway from all that is ugly in the world. Other characteristics that both Jing and Ling gege share are inner strength, quiet contemplation, and forgiveness. Zhuan Xu himself said that if Jing wanted to, he could totally take out Hou. However, Jing would never do that (or else he would have already) because revenge would change nothing and it would make him no different than Hou. He won’t bring himself down to that level. Ling gege could have killed Liu Xun for poisoning him, but he didn’t because nothing good can come of that. I think it takes a lot of nobility to say, β€œI can kill you, but it’s not gonna make me feel any better.”
        As for Xiang Liu, I really do think he loves Xiao Yao just as much as Jing. However, perhaps due to the circumstances, he hasn’t been able to openly express it to Xiao Yao yet. Maybe he will in future chapters? Meng Jue loves Yun Ge as well, but he never explicitly declared himself to her. How can the girls know? Both Xiang Liu and Meng Jue are tortured and complicated souls. It is as if they could never reveal their true intentions because there are so many things at stake. Xiang Liu with his loyalty to Shen Nong and Meng Jue with his hidden agenda and revenge. I remember reading the heartbreaking scene where Meng Jue played Liu Fu Ling’s flute in order to save Yun Ge. She never knew all of the things he did for her, and he didn’t tell her.
        Lastly, I agree completely that Xiao Yao and Yun Ge are very different. Xiao Yao is absolutely amazing!

      • @ Fuchan,

        You are pulling superficial similarities between Meng Jue/Xiang Liu and Liu Fu Ling/Jing. I’ll say these four male leads are their own characters, and Tong Hua is NOT trying to duplicate them. But if there was similarities, then the fundamentals show that Xiang Liu is the Liu Fu Ling of this story in both connection with the leading lady and decision making while Jing is more like Meng Jue. Tong Hua said so herself but she was quite surprised that the reaction to the two guys were so drastically different in her readers this time around. Goes to show that a new story really can impact differently.

      • I have mixed feelings about Shi Qi being like Meng Jue. On one hand, I’m happy as they are my fave characters in their respective novels but that doesn’t bode well for Shi Qi. I don’t think I can stomach Shi Qi ending up the same way like Meng Jue. It would be horrible!

      • @Koala so Zhuang Xu is out of the picture? I thought she chooses between the three but you only mentioned 2? So he isn’t in the running?

      • Wow u guys r so smart! I never noticed the simarities between the characters! tong hua incorporate the characteristics from characters in her earlier works yet she still manages to make them each unique and special.

  6. This was a wonderful chapter πŸ™‚ Thank you. I would have never been able to read such a wonderful story and get to know such an awesome heroine if it wasn’t for your hard work!

    BUT, holy cow, I don’t know who to ship any more!

  7. Jing said Yi Yang doesn’t like him. Gah, why does everything have to be some complicated? Why can’t two people who love each be with each other??

    “I don’t know, but I know I will come back to you. I promised to listen to you for rest of my life…” hahhh it’s just your melt your heart, doesn’t it? This sentence kind of sum it up.
    I’m really glad that Xiang Liu and Zhuan Xu haven’t tell XY they love her before Jing does or else, Jing would have an even harder time. Right now, I’m very much enjoying my ship journey. Although it’s not smooth sailing, I’m really enjoying the view of JingxXY being all lovey-dovey…oh yeah! haha

    • Thank you, Koala! You’re Kaola-kastic!
      You have no idea how ridiculously happy it makes me to read your chapter translation! It’s not beyond words…I would come home tired and worn out, but I’m after reading your chapter, it left me grinning like a buffoon haha. I’m not kidding! That’s how it is every single time like clockwork. Well, unless it’s sad chapter then…that’s a different story haha.

    • I think Yi Yang will realize too late that Jing is great guy and better than Hou. She seems to be more concerned about how one looks rather than the heart. Sucks for her but Jing already has someone way better than her in his heart. Someone who loves him inspite of all the physical and emotional scars he has. Someone who has seen him at his best and at his worst. Someone with no ulterior motives and doesn’t care about one’s social status or money. And that person is Xiao Yao!

      My Shi Qi-Xiao Yao feels are through the roof! And he really does love her. He will risk his life for her no matter what. And she will do the same for him.

  8. Ohhhhhh Does anyone else think that something is going on with Hou and ying Yang ? I think they are together and the reason why Ying Yang stayed at the Tu Shan residence was his brother HOU, not for JING. Hou and Ying Yang could be in cahoots with XY and ZX older “royal Uncle”, by the way who is this uncle?????????

    Anyways just my suspicions

    Thank you thank you Koala Unni

    • Haha I think there’s something on going between Hou and Yi Yang too, they seem so suspicious with all the convenient disappearances and sneaky glances. Oh well. I’m not too sure about Hou, but since Yi Yang seems to be the one who tried to kill ZX back at Qing Shui Town, I do think that Yi Yang is in cahoots with the uncle.

      This “uncle” of XY and ZX is just another son of the Yellow Emperor, which is why he keeps sending people to kill ZX because they’re both competing for the succession of the Xuan Yuan throne.

  9. There is something fishy going on between yi ying and hou…for sure. Oh jing and Xy you guys are just so cute together. I have a feeling that Zhuan xu is gonna make use of xing yue’s affection for him in the future…I may be wrong but I dread Zhuan xu is going to be too cold too harsh for his own good….
    P.s. Thank u for the chapter

  10. my ship my SHIP… the whole chapter. i know now who’s ship captain sailed on.. darlingz. hehehehe!
    and i was right that jing was waiting for xiao yao and help her after that exhausting swim. swoooonn!
    see, it was because of that promise that xiao yao would rather die than kiss xiang demon. Many shippers ship xiang liu~xiao yao because of their dysfunctional relationship but then even if they end up together the dysfunctioness wouldn’t end coz if it ends the sparks ends too. that means our heroine will always be in some way violently treated and mistreated in a romantic notion. hmmm i dont really see that workable for a long time. whereas jing romance strategy is seen as every womans dreams. A man who listens and dotes on her woman . In reality that kind of man is hard to find. Handsome , rich , etch and the best is his world is your world. aaahhh fantasy. I really hope he breaks that engagement but I know it wouldnt be that easy coz if it is then LYF wouldnt be that good as now. conflicts spice up our imagination and consequently thugs the heart.

    • In reality, I dont think theres any men like Jing, Xiang Liu or Xuan. Fulls Stop. haha! Thats why books like this is such a gem! We get transported into a world where we can feel that its real and simply get to experience it from a far even for that moment.

    • I can’t speak for all XLXY shippers, but I wouldn’t say that being on this ship is due to their dysfunctional relationship. It can be part of the desire to ship them, but their relationship is so much more than meets the eye. She enjoys making poison for him, he seeks her company and takes her on a stroll at the bottom of the ocean, they even had a heart to heart talk too lol & among other things. It’s not just the angst that makes me like this ship. The little things that they do and say to one another, I feel shows how they genuinely care for each other but don’t dare intrude to that territory. But Jing is indeed a great man, someone that Xiao Yao wants because of his pledged loyalty to be with her forever and marry her. I just hope he can call off the engagement, but we all know it’s probably not that simple.

      • I agree with you that I ship Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao together not because of their dysfunctional relationship but because of their honesty to each other. Like the saying goes, “The truth is a lot painful than the lies.” So no matter how a situation can be, they tell each other straight out how they feel. For example, him making Xiao Yao swim back on her own. He could dote on her and take her back, but she enjoys the ocean and feels more alive as she strives to survive. So he’s basically taking care of Xiao Yao in his own way where he’s trying to make sure she can take care of herself rather than always needing someone to cover for her. That is why I appreciate Xiang Liu so much and adore every moment he can have with Xiao Yao.

      • Same here. Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao dyfunctionality arises due to their circumstances and who they really are. However they have this connection, this spark which is simmering underneath all that banter. I love Xiang Liu not because he is violent but because whatever he say and does has so many interpretations. I love trying to read between the lines and trying to decipher the really meaning between Xiao Yao and Xiang Liu’s interaction. Don’t you think it’s strange that even though Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao have spent so little time together and yet they have this innate understanding of each other’s personality?

      • @Yuyi okay, not starting any fanwar here but I don’t think leaving a girl in the middle of sea at night, on her own, is for her good. Just looking at how exhausted she was after swimming all night, almost lost conscious. Nope it doesn’t sound right to me no matter what. maybe it’s me who can’t see through XL’s intentions. He was mad at her but that doesn’t justify his actions. I’m gonna wait for XL to show more of his persona. But atm, if I were XY I’d naturally fall for Jing, who’d dive right into the ocean without second thought to me, stupidly took the fall for me. I think XY needs someone like that, who will put her above everything. She can’t take another person she loves abandoning her again.. Jing once left when his identity was outed so she put him through that test, and he proved her that yes he’d do anything for her. To me they’ve always been honest to each other. He told her his story in prison and he knew she’s logical and practical but he’s willing to wait until she’s willing to. Now they understand why they can’t be together yet. Jing doesn’t have confidence but won’t give up on XY no matter what. in return XY is willing to keep their promise and wait for him, for the moment anyway.

  11. I’m firmly on the JingYao ship even though XiangLiu owns my heart. In any other story Jing would be the typical utterly devoted second lead, but he’s also steely underneath and is more clever than anybody gives me credit for. I love that he can never say no to Xiao Yao though, what girl wouldn’t fall for that.

  12. Thanks, Ms. Koala for the new chapter~~~I’ve been refreshing the page almost every hour ~~~ Although how much I love Jing with Xiao Yao, I’m still rooting for Xiang Liu because I always prefer the bad boy type~~~ πŸ™‚

  13. Ya, that yi yang and hou ,the affair is definitely on!
    Xiao yao is adorable, when she made jing feed her the wine, like yi yang did to jing. Hah. Adorable.
    Then when she felt asleep and he adjusted to let her sleep in his arms, it’s simply sweet. Tong Hua really does know how to make small moment shine and dug our hearts. The story line may have big changes and epic wars and all.. But moment such as this, outshines all. πŸ™‚
    Thankyou koala, for giving such a beautiful translation.

  14. I just love this story. It gets better and better with each chapter. I wish Jing and Xiao Yao’s time together was longer. It is just too sweet.
    What I love about Jing is that he always treats Xiao Yao with such gentleness and with much respect. He always treats her like a lady.
    He seems to be a man with incredible amount of self-control, yet he has both inner strength and insecurity. I really hope he won’t be plagued by insecurity to a point of losing Xiao Yao.

    Xiao Yao clearly loves Jing. She knows that he will always give her that same devotion. Because she is so loyal, unless something major happens I don’t see how she would have romantic feelings for the other two men in her life. Even if there is something festering (for Xiang Liu) underneath I think she is making effort not to see/feel it.

    I hope there will be more Jing/Xiao Yao interaction coming up.

    Thank you Koala. This book is a real treat for me.

    • The festering for xiang liu is there. To be forecfully put, its been there the first few moments they met. The mutual attraction. The raw attraction. Whether its between a god, demon or human. Its very raw. I think both parties felt it. It may also be the intention of Tong Hua to draw the distinction, of physical attraction vs soulmate. I dont know if it makes sense. I think its easy to live a life of rational thought where you can be with someone you care/love for vs someone who makes you burns. Which will you chose……

  15. thanks Koala. you’re our hero.
    2 more chapter until the first book finish. I really really hope you can translate this book until book 3.
    XY character can’t be more complex than this. she’s loveable.
    And the guys, you can’t ask for more. they truly awesome with their own personality. Each has their own flaw and strenght. they’re very different but one thing i can say for sure is you can’t really hate or love one guy perfectly (at least that’s what i feel after reading this novel until finish).
    you might be shipping one guy, but you love the other guy too.
    maybe you want XY end with one guy, but your heart broke and cry all night long for the other guy.
    sigh,,,, Tong hua really know how to make my heart ache.

    • Heh heh, I never said the guy above was Shi Qi. That illustration definitely is how I picture that upcoming character, yes.

      • Can I hope it’s Xiang Liu’s secondary character? I remember reading everyone has 2 identities and so far Xiao Yao/Xiao Liu, Shi Qi/Jing and Xuan/Zhuan Xu but Xiang Liu remains Xiang Liu. I’m curious lol

      • @Leah
        I hope you’re right. We need more Xiang Liu and XY loving. I wonder what form/identity will he take on as his current for is pretty kick ass.

        Or maybe perhaps its Zhuan Xu who has finally upped his game.

  16. I guess, the novel shows how a woman will choose the man she really wants to share her life wt. Jing for dependability, ZX for power or Xiang Liu for reckless passion. The only thing lacking ( or rather hard to find ) in today’s men is devotion and loyalty. *sigh*

  17. So far, this is one my favorite chapter.
    I don’t know if this enough from my previous comment, but
    Xiao Yao is awesome! One of the best female lead I read or watch. And her interaction with Jing is soooo sweet, nothing big but somewhat serene and full af peace.

    I just hope this little happiness can survive in usually tragic story by Tong Hua. Please, please, let Xiao Yao meet her ultimate happiness after this book end

  18. So in this world they call it “swimming” :-))

    Anyway, I’m glad for a happy episode.
    Though there is a foreshadowing of future complications.
    I’m afraid 15years will not be enough to solve the family problems.
    Shan Hou doesn’t look like an easy opponent and with Yi Yang’s clear feelings for him I’m worried for Jing.

    And somehow I’m getting the feeling that Xiao Yao would lead the easiest/happiest life in the camp of Xiang Liu. Straightforward soldiers, clear dangers, clear fights… no manners needed… and lot of “blood sucking” ;–)

    Thanks for the translating.

  19. Am I ready to jump ships yet again? No I won’t do this to my Xiang Liu.
    Jing in this chapter was awesome. Him and Xiao Yao are so cute together. I can understand how Xiao Yao feels for Jing what she does, as he really treats her like a lady. Which girl wouldn’t fall for that? The quiet glances and the secret smiles are heart melting and it reminds me of highschool, when you slowly fall in love and you are bursting with happiness but can’t really show it yet. I was grinning from the honeyed sweetness that were Xiao Yao and Jing.

    I think I did post it somewhere, that on the surface Jing may seem like a second lead but on the contrary he has been proactive in pursuing the girl and all their scenes together point towards their HEA. However, it leaves me wondering if his baggage will be too much to bear. Xiao Yao wants him back as Shi Qi and perhaps what she feels for him is reminisce of what Xiao Lu and Shi Qi shared. It was really sweet that she wanted to kiss Jing and refused Xiang Liu.(Xiang Liu, please try a different tactic next time!)

    I think at this point I may be having a girl crush on Xiao Yao. She is the 7 shades of awesomeness, practical and logical in her approach, which puts all my calculations into a bucket. I have never read a heroine such as Xiao Yao and that puts this story in strange dynamics. I have to say I’m so used to reading romances where I know whom the girl will end up with that LYF has got me flabbergasted as I truly cannot predict who Xiao will end up with.

    Yi Yang obviously is having an affair with Huo. He was the one who went to see her when the engagement was arranged and then Jing as kidnapped soon after the engagement is to take place. Yi Yong is may be working for Sheng Nong as her best mate is Xing Fue and she is a Sheng Nong princess. Perhaps Yi Yong is working for the Xuan Yuan Uncle too. Feng Long may be attentive to Xiao Yao but I remember him staring at Ah Nian when they first met. Xing Fue obviously has feeling for Zhuan Xu and I’m sure he will play her like a flute for his own goals soon.

    After my lengthy essay, I wanted to say that no one on Team Xiang Liu seemed to notice Xiao Yao’s inquisitiveness over the red ruby which will help you breathe under water? To me it was clear she wants one so that she can see Xiang Liu without having to kiss him each time.

      • It just that everybody is so swept away in Jing and Xiao Yao that I felt my Xiang Liu was being ignored.
        The fact that she wants the ruby when she is going to see Xiang Liu, just hones that even if she does want to keep seeing him their relationship will never be the same again. She cannot go get air from Xiang Liu any more like Xiao Lu used to πŸ™ I suppose now she is more aware of the men in her life now that she is a girl.

      • I love the fact that even though he doesn’t show up in all the chapters (so far) XY still thinks of him and is always finding little thing to share with him πŸ™‚

      • Samina, I’m on that ship with you, don’t worry :–)
        I squeed when Xiao Yao was asking about the ruby (and also when she looked at the mirror for the memories).

        I do think that Shi Qui is sweet and loves Xiao Yao deeply and I wouldn’t mind if they end up together. However, Xiang Liu is my number 1. I feel that Xiao Yao can be her true self when she is with him.
        Plus he is a hot sexy beast :–)))))

    • shes gonna need it since xiang liu’s condition is for her to continue making poisons for him and there’s no other way to meet and give it to him but in the depths of the ocean. meaning our xiao yao doesnt want to have romantic ties with our demon for now. works good for jing shippers like me. gr

    • Over in the C-forums Xiang Liu is by FAR the most popular male lead in Lost You Forever. The shipping wars were very intense since all three male leads are wonderful in their own way, but in terms of numbers it was Xiang Liu fans by a landslide. It’s the opposite of him being ignored, I think Shi Qi fans tend to feel like the minority.

      • I feel that since the last few days, there has been more Shi Qi fans and less Xiang Liu’s. Even if the last chapter was more Xiang Liu heavy, Xiao Yao has done more loving with Jing in the lst 4 chapters. My Xiang Liu was infact MIA for so long. All the Jing – Xiao Yao moments are cute but I can’t help but want more scenes of my evil, smexy and mean demon. I mean look at this chapter, 90 comments already and most of then on Team Jing. We Xiang Liu shippers have to be louder or else this Shi Qi love will take over.

      • Hi ms k
        Thank you very much for you hard work translating this beautiful novel for us who are banana.lol!I’m your silent reader for many years. This is my 1st to write a comment.i love all the novels you translated. Well I see many of your commenters are Jing and Xiiang Lui shipper but I m a Zhuan Xue shipper. Any Zhuan shipper here?

    • Omg that was my first thought though when she asked about the ruby. If she had the ruby I think she would brag to XL about it lol who knows she might even ask him get her one ^^
      But Koala I think here on your playground the majority are Shi Qi shippers πŸ™‚ who knows maybe later on some might even jump ships here and there.

    • I totally agree with your observations about YY and Huo relationship and Xiao Yao’s character. Gosh, I just love her sincerity and that “chick fight,” was for the ages! hee hee.

      As for Tong Hua’s use of an ordinary object, a wine jug to give the Jing couple their privacy, clever.

    • No…don’t jump ship haha. It’s ok, even though we’re the minority here, the important thing is we love XL. Everyone has their own preferences, it’s interesting. The novel is still long, we only have the fundamental of these characters, who knows what will happen.

      • Lol, I was tipping here and there but I was leaning towards XL since he appeared. I do enjoy the sweet encounters between Jing and XY but XL has this ‘presence’ which cannot be denied. We have already had a few discussions over who is better XL and JIng over here.

        I read a lot of books (book blogger here, but only English books) and never have I been so confused about the characters as I have been with LYF. I usually know from the start as to who the OTP is but this time I’m clueless. This book is better than any drama I had been watching for a long time.

  20. Thank you mrs Koala!! I was so excited today at work when I saw this new chapter was posted!! Keep up the hard work!! πŸ™‚

    I loved this chapter and I loved the moments Xiao Yao shares with Jing. I loved that she said the reason she was willing to drown rather than kiss Xiang Liu was so as not to break her promise to Jing. I also was quite warmed by this pairs scenes on the boat and I like the way Jing’s emotions are described as soaring and plunging all the time only dependent on whatever Xiao Yao says. I also like that he is a typical kind quiet second lead in so many ways and yet he is strong with hidden depths, also refusing to let Xiao Yao go even though its clear he is terrified he isn’t good enough for her considering her position and the way she looks. I adore that the reason he loves her is because of who she is inside and how she makes him feel about himself. And I loved the way Xiao Yao was swooning on the boat when Jing’s hair comes undone and also the moment he looks down and smiles because he feels her eyes on him. Xiao Yao is such a fascinating heroine, I really adore her!!! Oh gosh I am so excited for the next chapter!!

    • yea I love love how Jing’s mood swings totally depend on XY. and I agree about how he seems to be the usual 2nd lead but at the same not quiet. He’s straight forwards about his feelings, though now much now after seeing her face, sneaky too but totally harmless. XY could refuse all of his ‘advances’ if she wanted to ^^ Even with less confidence now, he wouldn’t give her up cause he just couldn’t. damnit I just love him. And I love XY even more for her reactions to Jing, clear as daylight she has feeling for him too. I literally pulled my hair out when he didn’t kiss her properly! heck chances like that don’t come twice. it’s like foreshadowing to me, someone gotta get that kiss from XY later.

  21. Thanks so much Koala! This was such a wonderful chapter that I found myself smiling and the letting out a few squeaks. I am firmly on the Jing + XY ship and I will go down with it if need be. Jing may not be as outwardly as both Zhuan Yu and Xiang Liu, but he’s a quiet observer and reacts to situations accordingly. Their relationship may not have great gestures like XL’s and XY’s but the silent lingering looks, the quiet smiles and just their awareness of each other…oh the poignancy slays me! The part where Xiao Yao messes with Jing’s hair…too cute!

    My other favourite scene is Ah Nian and Xiao Yao’s fight. I actually laughed out loud at their physical fighting. I’m picturing two dainty, beautiful princesses throwing punches, and XY sitting on top of AN. I can see AN slowly opening up to XY and they becoming devoted sisters (or so I hope). AN may be an annoying brat, but it’s due to all the doting she’s received from the Emperor and from Zhuan Yu. She’s not so bad as the story moves along.

    Also, Hou and Yi Yang are SO obviously having an affair. It breaks my heart that she looks at Jing in disguised disgust. Good on our heroine for being such an open-minded, logical, but warmhearted (beneath her exterior). I just love Xiao Yao so so so much.

  22. On another note, I have read each chapter approximately three times. The first time when you first update, so I read through it as fast as I can and then I read all the comments. The second time around, I read it slowly and absorb all the goodness. The third time is while I wait for you to update. LYF is quickly becoming on of my favourite Tong Hua novel of ALL TIME. Again, thanks so much for translating πŸ˜€

      • Yeah me too,
        I read the chapter first and read the comments. Then few hours later, I reread the chapter and the comments and so on. I love rereading my favourite scenes (the ones with Xiang Liu) and I’m amazed how well Tong Hua writes each time as I manage to gather more and more with each read. The wait between the chapter is agonising.
        I doesn’t help that I have had the week off so all I could do was wait and refresh this page. It was driving me nuts. Moreover sometimes I’m a little late in the discussions as I don’t live in the States, so when I see the new chapter in the morning, most of the discussion is over πŸ™

        Hopefully, going back to work will take my mind off LYF.

  23. This is my favorite chapter along with the chapter when Xiao Liu treated the wounded ShiQi…so beautifully written and satisfying. Koala is right that Jing is the calculating business man. He can actually get rid of hou easily, leading the entire tu shan clan business and make it the best out of the other 4 clans. But what his heart really want is only one thing. To be able to spend the rest of his life with Xiao Yao. Being Shi Qi. A ShiQi that YiYang looked down on..but treasured by XiaoYao. How I love XY for being such an incredible leading lady!

  24. Thank you so much for the awesome translation. Im so glad that Xiao Yao finally has her real face back and that she’s able to enjoy her time as a princess =) Full of awesomeness.

  25. Thanks for another chapter!!

    – I’m kind of annoyed at Ah Nian, but at the same time I like her relationship wish Xiao Yao, and I looking forward to how it’s going to develop.

    – Hou and Yi Yang definitely have something going on in my opinion. And maybe it has something to do with why Hou tortured Jing.

  26. Ahh~ I’m totally on the Jing-ship yes, but can’t help noticing that a lot of the chapters have ended with Zhuan Xu…which makes sense that she spends the most time with him @ home, but…. all her interactions with Jing and even Xiang have been ‘off book’, that is. She’s spent 6 years with Shi Qi, but it doesn’t go into all the details as the past week/month/life with Zhuan Xu. Just my feeling =(. I just want Xiao Yao to be happy with her spunky sassy self, but her lineage and family issues of Jing and Zhuan Xu are starting to interfere with her common-ordinary-not-exciting-not-boring life.

    Reading with trepidation now…>__< but thank you for translating! I would never have known this beautiful world without your help, Koala sshi!

    Also LOVE LOVE LOVE that description "the ocean under the morning sun glittered like gold dust." how poetic and beautiful!

  27. Finally.. some Jing and Xiao Yao moment ;).. hope to see more of them in the future. Thx koala 4 ur hardwork,, can’t wait 4 another chapter \‒●‒/

  28. I was smiling like a fool while reading this chapter. I’m beyond thrilled with the Shi Qi-Xiao Yao moments.I’m thrilled she wanted to kiss Jing out of her own free will and I’m disappointed he chickened out, lol. But the forehead kisses have been hot! So happy that Jing covered the boat with mist so that the others couldn’t find it. It’s so sweet! And I loved their secret stares, smiles and jealousies. This is my favorite chapter so far.

    • I have to say the Ah Nian-Xiao Yao princess fight cracked me up although I’m disappointed Ah Nian didnt choose option 3.

      I really like Xiao Yao, she is awesome and I love how practical she is. However, I feel sad for her as she clearly still misses her mother and resents her for leaving her alone. I like how she doesn’t place value on family background and treats everyone the same.

      Yi Yang and Hou are definitely having an affair. Jing better watch his back because those two are probably working together to usurp his position as the clan heir. It’s ironic that he doesn’t even want the position and would resign immediately and leave the leadership to his brother if Hou had good intentions.

  29. Jing is so sweet and I hope he overcomes his brother’s brutality that has stripped him of some self-worth…much like what that creature that caught and tortured XY for years did. She’s very enterprising character who can endure torture. Last chapter she was engulfed in a sea of blackness with Xiang, and in this chapter a cloudy ocean mist with Jing. I’m still not on any ship but I did enjoy these last two chapters.

    Since she knows Xiang will come looking for her wanting…poisons, I hope she gets her hands on that ruby that will allow her to breathe underwater. I hope his feelings will not get hurt when she uses it.

    I also enjoyed the smackdown between sisters. Zhuan knows how to butt out.

    Thanks!

  30. Despite being on the Xiang Liu ship, this chapter of the Jing-XiaoYao relationship is quite adorable and got me smiling throughout. But I couldn’t help but snicker when XiaoYao truthfully told Jing that some other man forced her to kiss him last night :3 Huehue Jing did say no to her kiss, either first and foremost he is officially engaged with FFYY or that he believed XiangLiu and Xiao Yao did actually kiss. So I give him my respects πŸ™‚ I love reading everyone’s comments especially about the red ruby, I never thought she’d want it to see XiangLiu. But hey, I like that interpretation, time to get more drunk on my ship! Honestly, I’ve read through this novel once already, and now I’m reading through it again, but slower to try and catch the little things I missed. Many thanks to everyone and Koala’s analyses I can get a deeper understanding <3

    Side note, the Xiang Liu-XiaoYao/Liu semi 'forced' kiss reminds me to RuoXi & SiYe's kiss! You know that first kisses are always the hardest to forget πŸ˜‰

  31. Btw, Koala can you link me to this forum that you speak of :3 I’d love to see this XiangLiu ship ! Also where are these illustrations from! I can’t find them anywhere online.

  32. Thank you Captain K! My superhero of the day! With each chapter it gets better and better. I had a big smile while reading through this chapter. I can’t honestly say I’ve shipped XY with any of the male leads yet. I see sparks between Xiang Liang and Jing but I see nothing with Zhuan.

    As for the ruby I think XY is interested in getting a hold of one maybe to see our bad boy XL when she is bored out of mind.

  33. This chapter reveals a lot more and XY-Jing interactions are cute and I was aww~~ing through and through.

    Can’t wait for more chapters and for my XL to appear. Though I love him, I am fine with whomever XY eventually will choose. It’s just any XL scenes make me happy since I get to know more about him and also read his words and actions. It’s more than romance, it’s his essence that captivates me. What’s hidden in that soul <3

  34. im just wondering, to what extent is the lovers bug between xiang yao and xiang liu? does it includes emotional feelings or just the physical pain and tpuch. so when xiao yao’s lips touches jing, did xiang liu feels that, alsp the forehead kisses given by jing to xiao yao, did he feel that as well and more physical comfort and uncomfort that xiao yao feels like the shivering and jingwarming her back. all those, does xiang liu also feel those?

  35. Thank a million for recapping lost u for ever without u I won’t be aware of such interesting book in asian language let alone be able to read it. U are wonderful and I deeply appreciate all the chinese novel u recap especially DMY lost u forever heroine is as interesting as DMY . This my little cent. Am shipping for xl and xu bcos theirs is an intense relationship for we all know that demon and gods don’t mix . Did any one notice that XL want Xu to pass the bug to him and when it happen how both of their heart beat and response . XU is the only woman for XL and theirs is not a dysfunction relationships bcos she can take all he give to her .And for both of them to be aware of the need to guide their heart show that they are aware of each other and that what made XL smile

  36. DL can feel the emotional feeling of XL for when d bug was in ZX he felt her arouses with XL when he was sucking and kissing her neck Though I wonder how he will react to all this .

  37. I think I’m in the group that doesn’t care who Xiao Yao belongs to simply because I love them all. I enjoy the unbearably sweet interaction b/w Jing and Xiao Yao, at the same, I am a bit wary of Jing’s fragility, because I feel like he’s too dependent on Xiao Yao with his heart. I mean he did entrusted her with his heart. So I find it ironic how Xiao Yao held so much doubts toward him, which I don’t think it’s fair. At the same time, there is that badass demon sex god, who’s just around the corner waiting to steal the spotlight from Jing (or from anyone that is). He doesn’t even have to wait, he can just snatch Xiao Yao away whenever he wants and doesn’t give a shit.
    I’m into Lana Del Rey these days, and there’s a song by her calls “Gods & Monsters” which find it comically fits the frame of Xiao Yao and Xiang Liu relationship. I jest.

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