Lost You Forever Chapter 18: Green Plum Collects Longing

This chapter starts the second volume of the novel Lost You Forever. This volume has the English title Love You Forever and really does spend a lot of time on that pesky feeling called love. I think it’s safe now to reveal my personal preferences in this novel, I kept it close to the vest so I don’t influence readers and everyone can form their own first impressions of the characters and this magical expansive world they inhabit. My favorite character in the novel is Xiang Liu. By far. Xiao Yao is easily my second favorite character, and might even be equal to how much I adore Xiang Liu’s complexity and depth but for the way her character kinda faltered for me in the third volume. It’s really just grasping at tiny differences in straws because ultimately I love all the leads so so much for their vivid and unique characters. Zhuan Xu is totally my boo and I’ll be the first to defend all his actions because boy has had it rough and to survive and rule the world in the end isn’t an easy road to walk down. Even though I’m crazy in love with Xiang Liu, shipping him with Xiao Yao is like a recipe for combustible disaster. All signs point to Jing being the best choice for the girl in the end, and really his sweetness and perseverance is incredibly swoon worthy.

Who doesn’t want a man who does whatever you want and you actually believe him when he says that he will give up everything for you. I tend to find Jing mostly dull as beans to read in the novel but that doesn’t lessen my love for him. Compared to the other two male leads, he is mostly lacking in sparks with Xiao Yao but what they share it a desire to live a long long life together, and I root for the maturity in knowing that romance may burn out and passion is fleeting but a lifetime dedication is precious indeed. The problem with this novel is that the three guys in Xiao Yao’s life love her in their own way, and it’s hard not to wish there was three of her so each one gets a Xiao Yao and everyone gets a happy ending. If folks can put their personal character preferences aside in deciding whether or not to keep reading this novel, I guarantee the journey truly is rewarding and the wondrous world Tong Hua created unforgettable. Chapter 18 takes all the characters from Xuan Yuan Mountain over to the Middle Plains and the legendary Sheng Nong Mountain. This chapter also is the first real scene where Xiao Yao is in the same place as all three of her guys and we also get to see Xiao Yao spend quality time with each male lead. I honestly can watch her hanging out with such amazing guys forever.

Chapter 18 – Green Plum Collects Longing:

Sheng Nong Mountain was located in the center of the Middle Plains. The vistas were beautiful and awe-inspiring, with twenty-eight peaks in total. The North was connected to the center of the military outpost in Zhe Province, the South linked to the rich lands of the Yen Province, the East was protected by the Dan River, and the West was the famous Zhi Yi Castle.

Zhi Yi was once the capital of the Sheng Nong Kingdom and was severely damaged in the battle between Sheng Nong and Xuan Yuan. The riches faded and the people suffered. A hundred years ago, Sheng Nong tribe’s Little Zhu Rong was tasked with becoming the castle warden of Zhi Yi Castle and running the entire Middle Plains. He convinced the Qing Qiu Tu Shan clan’s Grand Madam to make Zhi Yi the center of the Tu Shan businesses again. Little Zhu Rong’s wife was the daughter of the Chi Sui clan leader, and the Chi Sui clan was the head of the Four Great Clans, so with the support of the Chi Sui and Tu Shan clans within a short time Zhi Yi Castle was once again the most prosperous bustling place in all of the Middle Plains.

Xiao Yao and Zhuan Xu arrived in the Middle Plains a month ago and he ought to have gone straight to Sheng Nong Mountain to do his official duty, but instead he stayed in Zhi Yi Castle and wined and dined every day and night. This news traveled back to Cang Lin and Yu Yang and they felt even more relieved.

It wasn’t until the Yellow Emperor sent an envoy to chastise Zhuan Xu did he reluctantly decamp to Sheng Nong Mountain.

Sheng Nong Mountain’s Zhi Jin Summit had Zhi Jin Palace, the residence of each Flame Emperor. It was the symbol of the entire Middle Plains so the guards stationed there were very careful and the Palace remained in good condition. Zhuan Xu and Xiao Yao lived in Zhi Jin Palace and to give respect to the Flame Emperors of the past, neither wanted to live in the residences where the Flame Emperor or Flame Empress used to live. They picked two small courts to the side, reportedly where the Sheng Nong Princess and Prince once lived.

Despite being sent by the Yellow Emperor, Zhuan Xu arrived in Sheng Nong Mountain and was still nonchalant and goofing off. He had two beautiful personal maids, one refined and the other seductive, both were world class beauties.

Every night Zhuan Xu would party with his maids leaving him without any energy during the day. Sometimes he would fall asleep in the middle of talking. Thank god when Zhuan Xu left Xuan Yuan Castle, the Yellow Emperor sent along officials that understood architecture so they handled all the renovation details and went to Zhuan Xu for the final yes or no.

No one dared touch Zhi Jin Palace so after much discussion it was decided to start from the side courts first. All Zhuan Xu needed to do was tour the renovation sites and offer casual comments.

During the entire Palace renovation, the workers and the materials were the two main necessities. The Tu Shan clan provided all the best quality materials at a reasonable price and the officials conferred and urged Zhuan Xu to buy everything from them. The quality was guaranteed and later on if something happened, they could go ask the Tu Shan clan to deal with it.

Zhaun Xu heard this and drowsily said sure.

Everyone thought Zhuan Xu was whoring all night so he had no energy during the day, but in reality Xiao Yao was helping him detox from the drug addiction.

The two beautiful maids serving Zhuan Xu, the refined one was Jin Xuan, the seductive one was Xiao Xiao. The first time Xiao Yao saw Jin Xuan, she recognized her as a true beauty, but the once ordinary looking Xiao Xuao turned out to be an incomparable beauty as well once she washed off her disguise makeup.

Jin Xuan was Zhuan Xu’s information collector and her skill was gathering data. The seductive Xiao Xiao was one of the personal guards that Zhuan Xu trained and one of his best. Xiao Yao sighed, one really can’t judge another on looks. Xiao Xiao was unwavering in her loyalty to Zhuan Xu, if he handed her a knife she would slit her throat immediately at his one nod. As for Jin Xuan, Xiao Yao didn’t know what Zhuan Xu was thinking. She wasn’t as trusting of people as Zhuan Xu, but if he chose to keep Jin Xuan beside him, then she chose to trust Jin Xuan for now as well.

Every night, Zhuan Xu would be locked in a sealed safe room to endure indescribable agony. He thought he was mentally strong enough to control it, but the drug addiction was greater than even he anticipated. It controlled his mind and when the addiction flared up, he would howl in a screaming raw voice that shredded his throat, ripping at his own flesh, even slamming into the wall to harm himself.

Zhuan Xu allowed no one to see this most deplorable side of him except for Xiao Yao.

An addict in detox usually chose to tie himself up, but Xiao Yao knew Zhuan Xu didn’t want to tie himself up. If he didn’t use his own will power to detox from the addiction, then he would come to doubt whether his choice to go down this path was correct. So when Jin Xuan handed her a dragon tendon rope, Xiao Yao turned her down “He doesn’t need it. The only rope that can tie him is his own willpower.”

Every night, Xiao Yao and Zhuan Xu would hide in the sealed safe room together. Xiao Yao would talk to him, telling him all sorts of things, or asking Zhuan Xu to tell her stories, anything to divert his attention. When he couldn’t control himself, she would use her body to press down on him and it would usually make him more alert.

During the most painful nights, Zhuan Xu would hurt Xiao Yao during his attacks. But the moment Xiao Yao bled, Zhuan Xu would quickly regain consciousness. He laid on the ground with his arms wrapped around his knees and curled into a ball shaking. All of his strength was used to combat the drug addiction and he was as weak as an infant.

Xiao Yao held him and for whatever reason, she started to hum their childhood lullabies. Some her mom sang to her, others her aunt sang to Zhuan Xu. Many lyrics she had forgotten so she hummed it.

Hearing her singing, Zhuan Xu would survive another attack and gradually calm down until he fell asleep.

As he dreamed, there were tears in the corner of his eyes and Xiao Yao felt hers were wet as well.

Inside this sealed room, Zhuan Xu seemed so weak. She was as well. They were once the most precious treasures in their moms arms. Carefully protected and loved. If their moms knew what their precious babies were enduring, would they regret abandoning them?

Every night Zhuan Xu battled the drug addiction, and every day he had to handle official matters.

Whatever information Jin Xuan collected, he would review it all and then give instructions to Xiao Xiao. She would spread the information through their network of trusted guards.

Jin Xuan could tell Zhuan Xu was sending orders to his secret guards for something. He seemed on the surface really unreliable, letting his subordinates run the entire Palace renovation, but in truth Jin Xuan knew that he had carefully inspected each and every court and residence in the Palace and used his shaking hands to take personal notes.

Jin Xuan saw former drug addicts, no matter how strong, all became destroyed by the addiction. But Zhuan Xu continued to battle the addiction and still handle official matters. Jin Xuan finally understood what Xiao Yao said: the only rope in this world that could bind Zhuan Xu was his willpower.

After surviving the hardest few days, Zhuan Xu used his incredible willpower to control even the pain. He never showed any weakness in front of Xiao Yao again, and even if the addition came, he would put his arm in his mouth and viciously bite down to stifle the pain.

Drops of blood trickled down but Xiao Yao appeared not to notice and continued talking. After the pain passed and Zhuan Xu laid spent on the ground, then Xiao Yao would walk over and apply medicine for him.

Night after night, Zhuan Xu’s pain lessened until he would have no expression whatsoever. He would sit there and quietly listen to Xiao Yao talk or sing and that was enough for him to deal with the pain.

Two months later, Zhuan Xu successfully detoxed from the addiction.

It wasn’t until even the remnants of the drugs in his system were completely flushed did Xiao Yao relax at last.

Zhuan Xu continued his former life, playing with the maids at night and sleeping during the day, only Xiao Yao, Jin Xuan, and Xiao Xiao knew what he went though.

Jin Xuan once promised Zhu Yu that she would treat Zhuan Xu as her master. She admired him for being handsome, capable, and talented, but now she grew to respect him and was in awe.

A few boxes were placed before Xiao Yao and Zhuan Xu said “That Tu Shan Jing has gone crazy!”

He opened the boxes and inside contained one hundred and five bottles of wine. From when she and Zhuan Xu arrived in the Middle Plains, it had been exactly one hundred and five days.

The first day they arrived, Jing asked to see her. But Xiao Yao needed to helped Zhuan Xu detox so she declined until she had time to see him.

Jing was very obedient and never asked to see her again. Only every fifteen days, he would send a box of plum wine exactly in the amount of the days that passed.

In the past, Xiao Yao could drink all this wine. But she was helping Zhuan Xu detox so she didn’t dare drink. She put it all away and now the wine cellar had hundred of bottles.

Zhuan Xu took out a bottle “What kind of promise involves fifteen between you two? I notice Jing likes to play with fifteen as if reminding you of something.”

Xiao Yao opened a bottle and gulped it “A few months of no wine, I sure miss it.”

Zhuan Xu played with the bottle in his hand and casually said “Missing wine is fine, don’t miss the person.”

Xiao Yao made a face at him “Send word for me that I can see him now.”

Zhuan Xu stared at the bottle in his hand and his lips were pressed in a tight line.

Xiao Yao called “Zhuan Xu?”

Zhuan Xu appeared to snap out of it and opened his bottle and drank it before saying with a smile “Sure.”

That night Xiao Yao was sleeping when she opened her eyes and saw a astral projection of a little nine-tailed fox sitting next to her pillow staring intently at her.

Xiao Yao laughed and put on her clothes as she got up “Where is your master?”

The fox passed through the wall and Xiao Yao opened the door and ran after it.

There were many courts in Zhi Jin Palace and it had been hundreds of years since any were lived it so it appeared desolate. The little white fox jumped and lead Xiao Yao down a quiet path until it reached a forest where a white crane was elegantly waiting for her.

Xiao Yao recognized it as Jing’s winged ride named Li Li.

Xiao Yao smiled and greeted Li Li before vaulting on its back.

The Sheng Nong air space was controlled by a spiritual power grid that prevented people from entering, but within the mountain as long as it was at low altitude and avoided the guards, then it was safe.

Li Li took Xiao Yao to one of its peaks shrouded in clouds. There was a waterfall that ended in a large pool, and not far from there was a wooden hut which was a few yards from the edge of a sharp cliff drop.

Jing stood there wearing a green robe staring at the sky. Standing still and silent under the moonlight, he appeared just like a stalk of bamboo, elegant and true.

The white crane descended and the little white fox ran into Jing’s sleeve and disappeared.

Xiao Yao jumped down “I asked Zhuan Xu to send word this morning, wasn’t expecting to see you for a few days.”

Jing stared at Xiao Yao and couldn’t speak. Since their Xuan Yuan Castle parting, it had been seventeen months since he last saw her. The first months he was prepared since he knew Zhuan Xu needed to plan how to come to the Middle Plains, but these last three months had been sheer torture. He knew Xiao Yao had things to do and couldn’t see him, but his heart worried that she didn’t want to see him because she no longer missed him.

Xiao Yao asked “Hey, why are you not talking?”

Jing replied “You said last time….you wanted to wash my hair. The tree leaves are grown now.”

Xiao Yao smiled “Okay, let’s find a sunny day and go pick leaves.”

Jing finally relaxed and smiled.

Xiao Yao asked “Was it hard to come see me?”

“Sheng Nong Mountain has tight barriers to the outside but lax within. Tu Shan clan can enter easily now and walk around the whole mountain. Only Zhi Jin Palace where you and Zhuan Xu live is tightly guarded. I don’t want to alert the guards so had little fox go get you.”

Xiao Yao suddenly realized “You have been close by this whole time?” Only being close to Sheng Nong Mountain could he receive word in the morning and get here by nighttime.

“Yes, I came a few times already to inspect the Palace renovation and looked around all the peaks. I chanced upon this place and saw it was very remote and quiet and really liked it.”

Xiao Yao looked around “This place is nice, ringed by cliffs on three sides and only one path down the mountain which is secluded and hidden. But who on Sheng Nong Mountain would live in a wooden hut?”

“I asked the guards and no one knows. All they know is that this peak is called Cao Ao Crest and is a Sheng Nong forbidden area.”

Xiao Yao’s face changed and she rushed into the hut while Jing walked on the outside of her to shield her from the cliff side.

She opened the door and inside looked untouched. A rug was on the pallet, there was fresh fruit on plates on the table, two vases sat on the windows with fresh flowers in it. The hut was very simply decorated and warm, like it’s owner merely went out for the day.

Jing said “When I found this place, I tidied it up a little but it wasn’t dirty before. The owner must be a truly powerful being with great spiritual powers. Even after thousands of years, the spiritual essence gathered here is still strong so this hut hasn’t aged at all. It’s hard to believe there would be someone with powers so strong.”

Xiao Yao glanced around – everything was the most simple, revealing the owner didn’t like luxury and only wanted to live easily.

Xiao Yao sat on the pallet “Do you know who the owner of the hut is?”

Jing could tell Xiao Yao knew “Who?”

“That most infamous, vicious, brutal devil monster in the entire vast wilderness. I flipped through the books in the Sheng Nong library and read that the Sheng Nong Flame Emperor deemed Cao Ao Crest a forbidden area because of him.”

There were a lot of demons, beasts, and monsters in the vast wilderness that were called brutal and vicious, but to earn the “most infamous” moniker there was ever only one such person “Qi Yo?”

Xiao Yao nodded with a smile “Everyone thought he craved power and wealth but who would have known his residence in Sheng Nong Mountain is so simple.”

Jing knew Xiao Yao’s mother died in battle with Qi Yo and apologized “I didn’t know this was his residence. Let’s leave!”

Xiao Yao shook her head “Why make it difficult for oneself over someone who has been dead for hundreds of years. You like this place, I like this place, let’s treat this place as our….home. We can meet here.”

Jing was a bit red-faced since he did have the same idea in mind when he was cleaning the place up.

Xiao Yao walked to the window and looked at the vases of flowers “Did you pick these?”

“Yes.”

Xiao Yao smiled “Have you been well? Did you find the spy?”

“I did, your idea was great, it was Lan Xiang.”

These personal maids were with Jing since he was small so there was a lot of affection so Xiao Yao said “Did you decide to forgive her?”

“She wouldn’t reveal who she betrayed me for so I don’t want to kill her but can’t keep her. I had Jing Ye take her away but Jing Ye grew up with her since they were small so she was so angry and must’ve have said something to her. Lan Xiang committed suicide.” Jing looked sad “Actually I know who she betrayed me for. I had Jing Ye send her away to end her value to the person using her, and if my brother had no use for her and didn’t contact her, then she would forget my brother.”

Xiao Yao remembered that monster fish and the man riding in on the waves with the sun shining on him, his manly power was very different from Jing’s quiet stillness, and it was even more attractive to a woman.

Xiao Yao asked “You don’t want to kill Hou?”

“Even though mother was always unfair, but since birth he never treated me poorly. We had no dad and he got no love from mother, so he placed all the familial love he craved on me. He was my age but acted like an older brother and dad surrogate, always taking care of me. When I got complimented he would beam with pride. I once asked him why and he said that even if he hurt, I was his beloved younger brother and he was proud of me. We were loving brothers that were the envy of all. He really was an exceptional older brother for four hundred years. Xiao Yao, I can’t kill him!” Jing’s voice conveyed his sadness and regret and guilt, because he knew his choice would bind him and bind Xiao Yao.

Xiao Yao walked over and put her head on his shoulder “I complain that you’re too soft-hearted, but actually….I would rather you be soft-hearted.” She was surrounded by too many cold-hearted people – her grandfather, her dad, Zhuan Xu, two maternal side uncles, all those cousins, even herself. They were all ruthless, which is why Jing’s soft-hearted nature made her feel safe and she liked it.

Jing embraced Xiao Yao and she kept her head on his shoulder and they stood there.

“Xiao Yao, what is it?”

“Zhuan Xu had matters that needed my help so I’ve been so busy and so tired lately. Not my body tired, more like my spirit is tired. I worried about making a mistake and always busy but it made me think a lot of the past. It’s unbelievable that Zhuan Xu and I didn’t have parents, and yet here we are, both of us grew up.”

Jing held her “If I knew you were tired, I wouldn’t have come see you tonight!”

Xiao Yao laughed “The heart being tired isn’t cured by sleep.” She looked out at the pool and took his hand “Go play in the water with me.”

It was Summer so the water wasn’t cold as Xiao Yao jumped right in. She swam one circle and dove underwater thinking it wasn’t too deep but it was much deeper than she thought so before she hit bottom she needed to come up for air.

Jing sat on a rock smiling at her.

Xiao Yao rapped her head “I’m so stupid!” She took out the fish amethyst from her robe “I forgot you got me this treasure.”

Xiao Yao sprawled on a rock splashing water with her feet “Let’s go play in the ocean next time. It’s so beautiful in the bottom of the ocean and even playing all night it doesn’t get boring.”

“Sure.”

Xiao Yao thought about Xiang Liu and buried her face in her arms and went silent. She didn’t know if he was Xiang Liu or Fang Feng Bei right now. Suddenly she grabbed Jing’s arm and pulled him into the water “Go to the bottom with me.”

She didn’t wait for Jing to answer before putting the fish amethyst in her mouth and diving down with Jing.

She pulled Jing down with her but the pool was so deep there was no bottom in sight. Even those with strong powers couldn’t stand too long underwater so Jing grabbed her hand and pointed to the top indicating he was going up.

Xiao Yao shook her head and wouldn’t let him. She wanted him with her.

Jing’s face was changing color but he allowed Xiao Yao to continue to pull him down. She wrapped her arms around his neck and put her lips on his to pass him air. Jing’s body stiffened and he was so shocked he started choking.

Xiao Yao quickly gave him another breath of air.

Jing’s entire body was stiff but he descended with her until they hit bottom. It was dark and nothing was there so Xiao Yao pulled Jing up. He seemed to snap out of it and used his strength to swim up with her. She pointed to her lips indicating for him to get another breath of air but he didn’t. Jing used his one breath and made it to the surface but he was in pain and gasping on the rock.

Xiao Yao asked angrily “Why?”

Jing stared in the distance and said in a low voice “Because you didn’t have me in your eyes back there.”

Xiao Yao said nothing and walked towards the hut. She didn’t have much power so she took her off wet clothes and dried herself before huddling in the blanket. “You can come in now.”

Jing sat down on the pallet and took a towel to dry her hair and then a comb to brush it. Years ago, Xiao Liu took care of Shi Qi like this, and Shi Qi used to take care of Xiao Liu like this. Gradually the mood warmed up between them and both smiled.

Xiao Yao sighed “In the past we saw each other every day, not once every few years. Sometimes when I want to talk to people now, I can’t find them.”

Jing said “In the future Tu Shan clan can often come to Sheng Nong Mountain so its easy for me to come see you. Qing Qiu is also close to Sheng Nong Mountain so it’s easy for you to come to Qing Qiu.”

“The Heavens seem to be helping us. Zhuan Xu wanted to come to the Middle Plains and there was a Palace here that needed to be renovated. Zhuan Xu and I moved in and the Palace restoration needs big businesses like you guys so the Tu Shan clan becomes the supplier choice making it easy for you to come and go.” Xiao Yao glanced over “Did Feng Long and Zhuan Xu con you onto doing all this?”

Jing replied “No, it wasn’t them, I wanted to do all this.”

Xiao Yao smiled “I’m not blaming you since the Palace needs to be renovated so rather than give money to others why not to the Tu Shan clan. With your connection with my Gege, if only you help him it’s not a good thing but now he can return the favor so it is a relief for him.”

This was actually exactly what Jing thought. Feng Long had grand ambitions and wanted to work with Zhuan Xu to build an empire. But what he wanted was simply to be close to Xiao Yao. But if he said it no one would believe him. So let others think he wants more money and now Zhuan Xu steered some money his way, he feels more relieved and this relationship could continue growing.

Jing looked at Xiao Yao and smiled.

Xiao Yao angrily grabbed his hand and bit it hard “Am I in your eyes?”

Jing hurt in his hand but was happy in his heart “Yes.”

______________________________

The second day, Zhuan Xu was already up when Xiao Yao came back.

He was having breakfast when Xiao Yao sat down and silently started to eat.

He asked coolly “Went to see Jing?”

Xiao Yao grinned “Yup.”

Zhuan Xu said “I know he means more to you but he’s not Ye Shi Qi anymore, he’s Tu Shan Jing. I received news that the Grand Madam is ill and wants Jing to quickly assume the clan leader mantle. He carries the weight of his entire clan on his back and can’t do whatever he wants. Jing and Fang Feng Yi Yang is engaged and the Fang Feng family won’t give up a chance to marry with the Tu Shan clan. Jing can’t end this engagement easily! Stop tossing yourself in head first!”

Xiao Yao’s smile faded and she mumbled “I know.”

Zhuan Xu said nothing more when he saw the way she was.

After dinner, Xiao Yao took out a box “For you!”

Zhuan Xu opened it and it was a furry doll that was a spiritual object made with the tail of a Nine-tailed fox. He tossed it back “I don’t want it!”

“Gege, you have to take it! I asked Jing to make this for you. It combined spiritual power and this doll can only transform into you. You need to use it to create a substitute, and one so real even Jin Xuan and Xiao Xiao can’t tell the difference immediately. I know you are angry at the Nine-tailed fox who hurt me, but that just means you need to use it to protect yourself now. If you are protected, I can worry less!”

Actually, Zhuan Xi didn’t want it not just because it was from the Nine-tailed fox, but more because another man made it for Xiao Yao. But he saw how serious she was and his heart softened. No matter who made the doll and what it was made from, inside contained all the care she had for him. He had to survive so that he could continue to take care of her. Zhuan Xu reached out his hand.

Xiao Yao put the doll in his hand and he gripped it “I have something for you too.”

Zhuan Xu handed a scroll to her “This contains all the background information on Fang Feng Bei.”

Xiao Yao was stunned for a moment before taking it. She spent the entire day poring over the background report.

The report started from the moment Fang Feng Bei was born.

Fang Feng Bei’s life was exactly that of a second son in a large family, living an ordinary life. He was good at learning the spiritual powers, but because his brother and sister were even better and they were born of the first wife, no matter how hard he worked his brother and sister were always more prominent. Because he was so bitter, he ended up with a gambling addiction.

Around four hundred and eighty years ago, the teenage Fang Feng Bei ran away from home to earn money to repay his gambling debts. He went to the North Pole to look for ice crystals. He was gone for almost fifty years, which wasn’t a very long time to be away from home for the Gods, but because he went to a place that was dangerous beyond comprehension, his family assumed he died there. Who could have expected he would suddenly return home with lots of ice crystals. One would call it returning in glory.

Xiao Yao felt those nearly fifty years was very suspicious. During that length of time missing, even if Fang Feng Bei returned changed people would assume he had endured great hardship in the North Pole and accept his growing up. But what made him accepted as the same guy was that he spent the next four years diligently taking care of his sick mother to the degree that was astounding, from feeding her every meal and medicine to sitting beside her every day. Even now four hundred years later, if people in the know were asked about Fang Feng Bei, they would still say very proudly “Bei is very filial.”

After his mom died shortly after he returned, in those four hundred years since he lived the perfect life of a rich family spare son and dissolute playboy. He wasn’t greatly used by the family and he also didn’t have a lot of money, but he was very easygoing and loved to spend money, so he would do all sorts of random things to earn his keep. He would disappear for chunks of time from months to even years, and his friends and family all got used to it.

Because Fang Feng Bei’s personality was very relaxed and didn’t like to fight for anything, his relationship with his brother Fang Feng Zheng and his sister Fang Feng Yi Yang was very cordial.

Xiao Yao sighed. If what she suspected was true, the real Fang Feng Bei died over four hundred years ago and no one knows the current one is fake. Because Xiang Liu had been living as Fang Feng Bei for over four hundred years, even if he was fake initially over time he was accepted as the real one – so the Fang Feng Bei everyone has known in his entire adult life has always been Xiang Liu.

But why? What was Xiang Liu trying to get out of it? Fang Feng family was prominent enough but he could have impersonated a son from an even more powerful family. Plus Fang Feng Bei was concubine born so he had no influence in the Fang Feng family. If Xiang Liu wanted anything, he would have chosen better.

Xiao Yao mulled it over for a long time but couldn’t figure out Xiang Liu’s reason for doing it. This was a pretense that wasn’t just for a year or two, he was already Fang Feng Bei before she was even born. Xiao Yao gave up trying to figure it out.

In the middle of Summer, Zhuan Xu received an invitation from Xing Yue and Feng Long inviting him and Xiao Yao to Little Zhu Rong’s residence for their upcoming birthday celebration.

The Gods had a long life span so birthdays were not a big deal and usually only celebrated on whole numbers like hundreds or thousands. Actually, they lived so long the Gods would long forget how old they were. Only in the powerful families that really catered to their kids did birthdays get celebrated more often.

Feng Long and Xing Yue were twins so they celebrated birthdays together by inviting friends and having a small getogether.

Xiao Yao arrived to discover it wasn’t a small getogether, Feng Long and Xing Yue were very popular in the vast wilderness, which made sense since both were single, wealthy, scions of the most powerful of families, good looking, they were probably the most eligible kids in the vast wilderness.

The maid went to announce them and Feng Long and Xing Yue came out personally to bring them in. Xing Yue was very warm and immediately linked arms with Xiao Yao “You never attend any banquets so my brother and I were worried you wouldn’t come today either.”

Xiao Yao smiled “I’m really lazy so I turn down all invitations, but since this banquet invitation came from you and Feng Long, I had to come.”

Even if what she said was merely a polite excuse, Xing Yue was still happy to hear it.

Xing Yue and Feng Long led them into a large garden that had fake rock mountains, innumerable strange and exotic plants, and a stream winding through it until it became a waterfall descending into a small pond. The garden helped to dissipate the Summer heat.

Xing Yue pointed to the rock mountain “It looks just like a fake rock mountain but is actually a spiritual maze. My brother and I were wild as kids so our dad created this maze and we could get lost in it for an entire day. Today there is a crowd so if you like some peace and quiet, we can go explore it later.”

Because it was so hot, a lot of people were wearing wooden sandals and under the tree awning two young girls took off their sandals and played in the water by the pool.

Xing Yue laughed “That is the Tan family and the Shen family daughters. They are cousins, and my maternal grandmother is the daughter of the Shen family so I am also their extended cousin. Most of the relatives are gathered in this courtyard.”

Xiao Yao said “But I’m not.”

Xing Yue laughed “How can you not be? Your maternal grandmother Empress Lei Zhu was the daughter of the Xi Ling clan, one of the Four Great Clans. You maternal grandmother is actually the cousin of my paternal grandmother, so that makes us extended cousins as well. Plus the current Xi Ling clan leader married the Kang family daughter who is cousins with the Shen family….which means we’re related that way as well.”

As Xing Yue talked and walked Xiao Yao’s mouth was open “I’m totally dizzy from all that relating.”

Xing Yue laughed “I heard from my grandmother that the Xi Ling clan is also related to the Tu Shan clan through marriage a few generations ago as well. If we go down our relations, not sure if we’re cousins, or aunts, or grand-aunts.”

They had walked into a room by then and everyone laughed to hear that. Xiao Yao sighed and realized why the Yellow Emperor saw the Middle Plains as a challenge. All the bloodlines were connected and even if the clans and families were rivals, when push come to shove they would all unite against an outsider enemy. Even more surprising was to hear how powerful the Xi Ling clan and her maternal grandmother was. Everyone wanted to be related to the Xi Ling clan and Lei Zhu, and in comparison the bloodline of the Xuan Yuan Yellow Emperor was less influential here.

Xing Yue grabbed Xiao Yao’s veil “Xiao Yao, everyone here are close friends so take off your veil.” It was a large rest area and Yi Yang walked in from another door and added “Yes, we never got to see you last time, you can’t keep hiding.”

Xiao Yao never intended to be different and saw all the other girls were not wearing veils so she took hers off.

Xing Yue stared at her intently and then sighed “I don’t know who will have the honor of winning your hand.” She pulled Feng Long over to Xiao Yao and teasingly said “I’m not trying to toot my brother’s horn, but in the vast wilderness there really is no one who can mach up to him.”

Yi Yang laughed “You’re shameless!”

Xing Yue grew up in Xuan Yuan Castle so she had the Xuan Yuan woman’s open attitude “Marriage between eligible partners is a totally fine thing to discuss openly. What’s for shame about it?”

Feng Long grew up in the Middle Plains and he felt awkward so said to Zhuan Xu “Let’s go see what Jing is doing” before heading into another room with Zhuan Xu.

Xing Yue ordered the maid to pull open the curtains dividing the two rooms and the curtains opened to reveal three people into the adjoining room. Fang Feng Bei and Tu Shan Hou were laying on the pallet drinking and chatting while Jing sat beside the window looking out the window. Feng Long and Zhuan Xu walked over to join him.

Xiao Yao was stunned, she was expecting Jing but she was shocked to see Fang Feng Bei was also here!

Yi Yang pulled Xiao Yao in “Second brother, look who is here.” Yi Yang’s gesture was clearly to show that Xiao Yao and Bei had a special relationship for everyone else to see.

Fang Feng Bei turned to look at Xiao Yao and broke into a slow smile “You came as well.”

Tu Shan Hou stood up to greet Xiao Yao and she politely returned the greeting while thinking with “what do you mean you came as well”?

Fang Feng Yi Yang winked at Fang Feng Bei “Second Brother, you take good care of Xiao Yao, I’m headed out to play.”

The garden was huge so in a moment Fang Feng Yi Yang disappeared into the fake mountains.

Xiao Yao said in a low voice to Bei “You come with me!”

She walked ahead, he walked behind, the two of them entered the garden and disappeared behind the fake mountains as well.

Standing by the window, Jing, Zhuan Xu, Feng Long, and Xing Yue all saw it clearly. Xing Yue nudged her brother “Gege, you are so stupid! If you don’t work harder Xiao Yao will be stolen.” She wanted to complain about Yi Yang daring to push her brother towards Xiao Yao, but with Jing standing there she held it in.

Xing Yue said to Zhuan Xu “My brother is normally smart but around Xiao Yao he turns stupid. You’re close with my brother, you have to help him.”

Feng Long was too embarrassed to say anything but bowed to Zhuan Xu which said all.

Zhuan Xu smiled “I can only help you create opportunities, as for what Xiao Yao thinks, I can’t decide for her.”

Xing Yue smiled “That’s more than enough.”

She thought about it and suggested “Let’s go play outside as well and look for them. Jing gege, it’s boring in here so come with us!”

The four of them walked out together and traveled through the fake mountain paths. Because it was a spiritual maze, the roads shifted and the scenery would change. Plus they would run into friends and stop to chat, so soon the group split up until only Xing Yue and Zhuan Xu were together.

When Xing Yue was with Zhuan Xu in public, she was bold and playful, but when it was just the two of them, she was quiet and demure. She knew he had two beautiful maids beside him and it bothered her. Her brother said that if she wanted a man who loved only her, then not to pick Zhuan Xu. If she wanted Zhuan Xu, then she can’t expect him to have only her, and had to have the capacity to accept the other women in his life. Xing Yue claimed to understand but it still hurt a lot.

She was in her own world and ran into a rock when the scenery changed and bumped her head. She yowled and rubbed it while Zhuan Xu leaned down to ask “Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

Xing Yue didn’t feel much pain but for some reason she started to cry.

Zhuan Xu comforted her like he would a small child “It’s just a little red, you didn’t break skin, some ice will make it fine.”

Xing Yue rushed into his arms and started sobbing loudly. Zhuan Xu was stunned and his arms remained rigid next to his body.

Xing Yue didn’t realize that and her arms were tightly hugging his waist, like this was her only way to grab onto him and put her in the most important spot in his heart against the other women.

After a few moments, Zhuan Xu reached for Xing Yue to continue comforting her. Xing Yue smelled his manly scent and felt dizzying with need and stepped on her tip toes to pull Zhuan Xu in for a kiss.

____________________________

Xiao Yao led Fang Feng Bei into the maze but had no idea where to go and got lost everywhere until she reached an area dense with trees. It was a good place to talk privately so Xiao Yao stopped.

She whipped around and couldn’t control herself anymore and shouted “Are you insane! This is Little Zhu Rong’s residence, if you’re discovered this time I can’t save you again!”

Fang Feng Bei smiled “This isn’t Xuan Yuan Castle, this is the Middle Plains.”

Xiao Yao was taken aback. Yes, he’s right! This was the Middle Plains, Sheng Nong Kingdom’s original territory. Even though the Yellow Emperor took over rule of the Middle Plains, but the people still respected General Gong Gong and his loyalty to Sheng Nong in refusing to surrender to Xuan Yuan. Even Little Zhu Rong, he was a descendant of Sheng Nong royalty and was likely secretly loyal to the resistance army. The Gods of the Middle Plains might not openly support the resistance army against the Yellow Emperor, but they also wouldn’t help the Yellow Emperor to catch the resistance army.

“Fine! Consider me worried for nothing!” Xiao Yao turned to storm off.

Fang Feng Bei reached out his hand to lean on the tree and block Xiao Yao’s path “How’s archery practice coming along?”

“I keep up with my practice, my grandfather got a master archer to teach me but his method isn’t suitable for me. His method requires strong powers and he thought I was lazy and insisted I build up my powers first. I learned from him a few times and then fired him.”

Fang Feng Bei said “Then I’ll keep teaching you!”

Xiao Yao stared at him slack jawed – Xiang Liu wanted to teach her archery? It was absurd.

Fang Feng Bei laughed “You scared? Where did the courage to go taunt a demon snake go?”

Xiao Yao also laughed “Fine, I’ll learn from you.” She needed to learn and who taught her made no difference. Let it be Xiang Liu then!

Xiao Yao checked him out from top to bottom and used her finger to poke his arm “Did you already die in the North Pole?”

Others would have no clue what she said but Fang Feng Bei casually replied “Yes.”

“Why pick him?”

“I didn’t pick him, he picked me. He was on the verge of death but could not die in peace because of his worry for his mother. So he chose to give me his entire life force and spiritual powers asking only that I be his substitute and take care of his mother. It’s rare to encounter a God who willingly lets a demon devour him, and his request wasn’t hard for me to do so I didn’t turn him down.”

Whether a God willingly was devoured made a huge difference. If a God wasn’t willing and was eaten by a demon, the demon would at most be like ingesting good medicine and could strengthen the body a bit. If a God was willing to be eaten, the demon could absorb all the spiritual power the God had trained hard to develop and the demon powers would multiply greatly.

Xiao Yao once waiting bitterly for her mother to come back for her and understood the agony of waiting. She was a bit envious of Fang Feng Bei’s mother and she gently asked “When you got back, did you see the mother?”

Fang Feng Bei lowered his eyes “I saw her. She was very weak and alone and brokenhearted without anyone by her side. Because I brought back a lot of ice crystals, the Fang Feng family then moved her to a nicer residence and gave her a maid. I stayed with her for another four years before she died in peace and contentment.”

Xiao Yao sighed, Fang Feng Bei and Xiang Liu’s deal had a happy ending. But it was hard to imagine Xiang Liu would carefully take care of an old woman for four years. This was likely why no one doubted that he was Fang Feng Bei! Even someone as calculating as Zhuan Xu saw no reason to be suspicious of him.

Xiao Yao asked “You’ve fulfilled your promise so why continued to be Fang Feng Bei?”

Fang Feng Bei smiled coldly with scorn “To fulfill my promise I put on a show for four years. But in the four hundred years since, I’ve just been myself. Which one of your eyes saw me continuing to pretend to be Fang Feng Bei? Regardless of whether it’s Fang Feng Bei, or Xiang Liu, or Nine-lives, it’s just a name.”

He’s right! The adolescent Fang Feng Bei was vastly different than the adult Fang Feng Bei, but with so long passed everyone had long forgotten what Fang Feng Bei used to be like. Xiao Yao thought back and realized that Fang Feng Bei appeared different than Xiang Liu only on the surface, but the way he didn’t give a damn about anything and didn’t want for anything was the same attitude. The only difference was Xiang Liu appeared to be him when wearing a battle armor and heading to war in the battlefield, while Fang Feng Bei was him who shed the armor and was enjoying exploring the world.

Fang Feng Bei mocked her “You’ve changed identities way more than me. Are all of them play-acting for you?”

Xiao Yao shook her head “No matter how I change, I am still me. Except I’m not as able to let things go like you are, and some things still matter to me.”

Xiao Yao stared at Xiang Liu and gingerly asked “Is this….your real face?”

“Who has the patience to wear a fake face for four hundred years. And every time I change I’ll need to worry about changing back wrong.”

“You look like Fang Feng Bei?”

“No, we don’t look alike. But when Fang Feng Bei ran away from home he was still an adolescent and his looks wasn’t full matured. Plus he was injured in the North Pole and his face required a doctor to fix up after he got home.”

Xiao Yao suddenly felt her heart set down a burden and she smiled “They all say you have nine faces and eighty-one forms, is that true?”

Fang Feng Bei glanced at the forest and furrowed his brow before crooking his finger at Xiao Yao. She was scared and shocked and put her hand on her neck “I didn’t say anything mean about you! I was just curious.”

Fang Feng Bei narrowed his eyes and asked “You want to come over, or shall I go over?”

Xiao Yao stop delaying and slowly inched closer to him. Fang Feng Bei lowered his head and Xiao Yao scrunched her neck and used both hands to wrap around it and pleaded “If you want to bite, bite my arm!”

Fang Feng Bei whispered right against her ear “Someone is hiding there spying on us.”

Xiao Yao was furious at the spy and asked “And you didn’t stop it?”

Fang Feng Bei smiled “Just reminding you that I’m the spare son so I shouldn’t make a scene.” Fang Feng Bei put an ice arrow in Xiao Yao’s hand “Princess, show me how your archery skill has improved.”

Xiao Yao asked “Where is the person?”

Fang Feng Bei held Xiao Yao’s hand and directed it “Over there.”

Xiao Yao concentrated and threw the arrow from her hand. A shadow moved and a person stepped out from behind the tree.

It was Jing!

Xiao Yao hurriedly asked “Did it hit you? I didn’t know it was you.”

“No.”

Jing handed the arrow to Fang Feng Bei who accepted it and said teasingly “How come it’s just you alone, didn’t you accompany my sister to play?”

Xiao Yao knew she had been toyed with by Fang Feng Bei and angrily yelled “Fang Feng Bei!”

Fang Feng Bei turned to her with a twinkle in his eye and a smile “Yes? You called me?”

Xiao Yao was utterly speechless – she felt right now he was being so manipulative and unreasonable and totally devious, like all the flaws in both Xiang Liu and Fang Feng Bei were combined together into one person. What could she do? She could only hope the next time he was injured he wouldn’t come looking for her!

Xiao Yao turned to leave, fairly leaping and jumping out of there, she couldn’t wait to get away from that damn demon!

Jing moved to follow her and took two steps before Fang Feng Bei caught up with a smile and tapped his shoulder before pointing in the other direction “I think I just saw my sister over there looking for you.”

Jing had no choice but to stop and watch Fang Feng Bei and Xiao Yao disappear into the forest.

Xiao Yao turned to glare at Fang Feng Bei and snarked “Was that fun, toying someone so straightforward?”

Tu Shan Jing straightforward? Fang Feng Bei’s eyebrows raised at that and he snarked back “Not as fun as toying with you.”

Xiao Yao refused to concede defeat “The days ahead are long, between the two of us, who toys with whom, who torments whom, who is mean to whom, that is still unclear so you watch it!”

Fang Feng Bei grinned “Not bad, being a Princess definitely gave you some guts.”

Xiao Yao stopped and looked around, this maze really was amazing, no wonder it could trap Feng Long and Xing Yue for an entire day.

Xiao Yao looked at Fang Feng Bei “How to get out?”

Fang Feng Bei smiled “This maze has many interesting areas, you don’t want to go check it out?”

“No!”

Fang Feng Bei led Xiao Yao to the exit “Don’t regret it in the future.”

Xiao Yao coldly huffed.

__________________________

Outside the maze lots of people were drinking and making merry.

Following the curving stream, some sat under the trees, other on rocks, some leaned against the railing, others were in conversation…..Maids placed drinks on a platter to flow downstream and people would grab it when it stopped and required to entertain. The zither was playing, poems were recited, and even magic tricks were being performed for entertainment.

Xiao Yao observed and laughed “That Xing Yue sure knows how to throw a party.”

The music stopped and the platter floated to where Xiao Yao and Fang Feng Bei were standing.

Xiao Yao shrunk behind Fang Feng Bei and whispered “Other than making poisons I don’t know how to do anything else.”

Fang Feng Bei smiled, picked up the wine and downed it, then lazily bowed to everyone “I’ll do some magic!”

Fang Feng Bei pointed to Xiao Yao “Go stand over there.”

With everyone’s eyes on her, Xiao Yao stiffly walked over.

Fang Feng Bei picked a white flower and waved the flower dew on Xiao Yao who made an annoyed face at him and whispered “If you dare toy with me, I’ll get you back for this!”

The moment she said that, the white flower dew spread like a dye on her robe and turned it from a yellow robe into a white one.

A girl laughed “Another color?”

Fang Feng Bei asked “What color?”

The girl picked a purple flower and sent it to Fang Feng Bei who ripped the petals and tossed the dew on Xiao Yao’s robe. The purple flower dew turned into a dye and gradually spread over the robe and turning it into a purple color.

Everyone was amused especially the girls who loved to be pretty so by now Xing Yue, Zhuan Xu, Feng Long, Jing, Hou, and Yi Yang were all standing by the river and clapping along.

Fang Feng Bei used a green flower to transform Xiao Yao’s robe into a green one. He could see Xiao Yao’s hand was clenched into a fist with her impatience so he turned to the audience with a smile “That’s it for today.”

Feng Long tossed a red flower over to Bei “Make one more, a red one!” All the outfits were beautiful on Xiao Yao but perhaps his first time seeing her was so impactful as she wore the red ceremonial dress but she didn’t seem to like red and never wore that color again after the ceremony.

Fang Feng Bei smiled “The birthday boy’s request” and made one more outfit as he splashed the red flower dew on Xiao Yao and her robe gradually changed into red.

Xiao Yao’s patience was at its end and she didn’t have any hint of a smile but forced herself to take a bow so she opened her arms and twirled once in a circle before curtsying to Feng Long, indicating the game was ended. She turned to leave.

A sharp loud scream cut through the air and a young girl had her hands clapped over her mouth as she stared with her face stark white at Xiao Yao. A young man sitting under the tree slowly stood up and glared balefully at Xiao Yao.

Back then, they were both so small, but that nightmare scenario they would never forget. That devil who destroyed their entire tribe also wore a red robe, and he also had eyes that didn’t seem to care about anything or anyone. Faced with the pleading of their fathers and brothers, he only coldly looked towards the distance.

Xiao Yao glanced at the girl who screamed and the girl lowered her head to avoid Xiao Yao’s stare but her body was shaking uncontrollably but it wasn’t visible since she was behind a flower stalk.

Xiao Yao and Fang Feng Bei returned to the guest rest chambers and Feng Long and Zhuan Xu walked in behind them.

Xing Yue and Yi Yang sidled up to Fang Feng Bei wheedled “Dear second brother, teach us your trick!”

Fang Feng Bei laughed and pointed to Xiao Yao “It’s temporary so of no use to learn.”

Xiao Yao’s red robe was gradually fading in color to reveal the original yellow robe. Xing Yue and Yi Yang sighed, it really was useless to learn this trick.

A maid brought in some snacks and Xiao Yao was hungry so grabbed some. Feng Long and Zhuan Xu sat down to play chess. Xing Yue stood beside Feng Long while Xiao Yao walked over to stand behind Zhuan Xu and watch while munching on snacks.

Yi Yang came over to watch as well and sat down next o Xing Yue. Jing limped over to sit next to Yi Yang and was next to Xiao Yao.

Yi Yang glanced at Jing and her eyes flashed complete and utterly loathing, disappearing in a split second. No one noticed other than Xiao Yao, and in that second she felt worse than if she was the one being despised.

Yi Yang appeared to be repulsed by even sitting next to Jing so she stood up and went to grab wine. She leaned on the pallet and started chatting with Fang Feng Bei and Hou.

Xiao Yao handed her plate of snacks to Jing and said with a smile “It’s very delicious.”

Jing didn’t know why Xiao Yao was suddenly so nice to him but he was genuinely happy and accepted it with a smile.

Xiao Yao suddenly felt very uncomfortable like a poisonous snake was staring at her. She lifted her head and saw a young man staring at her. The moment he noticed her looking, he smiled and nodded his head before walking away.

Xiao Yao asked “Who was that just staring at me?”

A young man staring at a beautiful young woman was nothing strange so everyone laughed and Xing Yue said “That is one of my Mu family cousins. The Mu family was once a very prominent family but due to a dispute with Qi Yo, he destroyed the entire tribe and the only one to survive was him.”

Feng Long added “The entire families Qi Yo wiped out wasn’t just the Mu family, plenty of families in the Middle Plains hate Qi Yo. Even though Qi Yo was a Great General of the Sheng Nong Kingdom, his death was celebrated by almost every tribe in the Middle Plains.”

Xing Yue said “No wonder so many hate him, Qi Yo that big devil killed too many people!”

Fang Feng Bei suddenly interrupted “The entire world can curse and hate Qi Yo, but no member of the Sheng Nong family can ever berate him.”

Xing Yue was very unhappy to be chastised and glared at Bei who just leaned back lazily on the pallet and calmly said “If you don’t believe me, go ask your dad.”

It wasn’t a big deal but Xing Yue was angry because she felt like she was embarrassed in front of Zhuan Xu so she picked a fight “Miss Fang Feng, you ought to manage your brother better, he needs to watch his place before speaking out of turn.”

Yi Yang was furious Xing Yue was looking down on the Fang Feng family so even if the smile was plastered on her face she nailed one back “I’ve been living in Qing Qiu for the last ten years and helping my grandmother, who has time to deal with the Fang Feng family affairs. If you care so much, you deal with it!”

Xing Yue was so angry she snit back “You haven’t even married into the family yet, stop talking like you are already the wife of the Tu Shan clan leader. Even if you…..”

“Xing Yue!” Jing softly but firmly cut her off.

Xiao Yao quickly handed snacks to Xing Yue “This is so sweet, try it.”

Xing Yue was still pissed so didn’t accept it.

Zhuan Xu said to her “Try it and if it’s good then get me and Feng Long some.” Xing Yue’s pissy face went away and she took the snacks before heading out with the maids to get more.

Feng Long stood up and bowed to Yi Yang in apology “Please don’t take it seriously, Xing Yue has been spoiled by our mother.”

Yi Yang was so pissed, there wasn’t anything she was not as good as Xing Yue at. But because Xing Yue’s last name as Sheng Nong, she had to constantly endure her. Even Feng Long’s apology wasn’t meant for her, it was really meant for Jing. What was so good about Tu Shan Jing? He was just a weak cripple! Other than he was the future clan leader so everyone respected him. It all came down to position!

Yi Yang softly murmured “It’s not Xing Yue’s fault, I was out of line.”

Feng Long could see Yi Yang was still angry so he bowed again.

He was the future Chi Sui clan leader and he was already doing so much so Yi Yang stood up and bowed back “She and I are like sisters, so it’s just some words and that’s normal. Even if I’m petty this isn’t anything to keep in mind.”

When Xing Yue returned with more snacks, she and Yi Yang were back talking like nothing had happened.

Feng Long and Zhuan Xu’s chess match went on until dinnertime.

Zhuan Xu pulled Xiao Yao aside to whisper “I need to discuss something with Feng Long in a bit so you stay with Xing Yue and don’t run around. When I’m done I’ll send someone to get you.”

Xiao Yao nodded and stuck by Xing Yue’s side. When they were done with dinner, Zhuan Xu was finished with his business. Xing Yue walked them out to the cloud carriage and bid them farewell.

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Comments

Lost You Forever Chapter 18: Green Plum Collects Longing — 126 Comments

  1. Thank you so much! I’ve been stalking your site constantly. Please pace yourself Ms K and don’t burn out. We really appreciate your hard work in bringing this novel to us.

  2. Thanks for the translation… and I am glad that LX is your favorite cos he is mine as well… when u mentioned that Jing is dull.. i have to agree… but his devotion and willingness to give up everything to be with XY… it’s so charming and lovely… and he probably most situation for XY. All 3 men love XY in their own way… but to me… LX… being a big demon… it’s most fasinating to me from the way he loves or choose to love XY… he has my heart.

    Thanks again for translating a wondering chapter from Book 2.. can’t wait for more.

  3. Thank you Ms. OcKoala for another wonderful chapter.

    I do not understand this girl Ying Yang. Why would she choose to stay with Jing if she doesn’t like him. And why would she stay with his grandmother when he disappeared before wedding! Really suspicious! Poor Jing.

    There are few occasion I could not comprehend. Firstly, i was under impression that she wore black dress on her welcoming ceremony. Secondly, I did not get the betrayal part.

    Perhaps I need to get back previous chapters and read again.

    • Tu Shan Jing is heir to one of the richness and most powerful clans in Middle Plains! I think I can see some of her motivations…. 🙁 Poor Jing.

    • She wore white with red accents because the royal family wears white. She was supposed to eear white with green accents. Her dad keeps her from red because she looks so much like Chi You in red.

      What betrayl part?

    • Ying Yang is staying with Jing because of the prestige that comes with the TS clan and the money too. You see how she feels inferior to Xing Yue because of her lineage. The grandma is the power behind Jing’s family so she’s trying to earn points that way. She also likes Hou who is macho and not incacacitated and wants to marry him but he needs to be the heir first.

    • Thank you so much guys for sharing your opinion.

      I start to understand how Yi Yang could be obsessed about power. She saw Hou first when he represented Tu Shan clan. She was probably thinking that Her future fiancée came with the whole package: handsome, wealthy, and influential. And Her hope was dashed seeing Jing’s crippled leg.

      But come on girl, Jing is still handsome, wealthy, and influential. It is an insult to see her scorned over his leg. Must she have everything when she is already a beautiful girl with great talent? I could understand if she is upset over Jing’s heart being taken by other women when she is already sacrificed her future waiting for his return.

      Darn, she was probably calculated back then, when Jing disappeared, perhaps she was thinking that being close to grandma, eventually she would be marry off to Hou. Now I even doubt her sincerity when she commented about living in peace while drinking wine in ZX restaurant before XY’s ceremony.

      Lol I felt such rage about her behaviour when Jing was nothing but being cordial and considerate with her feeling.

      On another note, I did not get the personal maid’s betrayal comment. Did Jing ever discuss this in previous chapter?

  4. Thanks Ms. K for another amazing chapter. I feel a bit nervous just thinking about the Mu family guy staring sharply at XY having similiarities with Qi Yo when the color of her robe changed to red. Would this be a hint that in the coming chapters she would discover that Qi Yo is her real father and not the Grand Emperor?

    • I really hope that the Grand Emperor knows it, but because he loved her mother so much (see how he married someone who resembled her mother), the love extended to Xiao Yao as well. The poor girl needs some genuine loving (beyond the blood ties, but because she is her),

    • i think this is not a spoiler, captain says we can write anything about the once promised book. while waiting for the LYF chapters , i stumble on OP stories, just snippets of trans. it says there, Qi yo loves to wear red robes. and when ah heng was sacrifice in the human altar, Qi yo thought she died and thus kill all the human tribe responsible for her death by growing lots and lots of vegetation covering the entire village. So i think seeing xiao yao in red reminds them of Qi yo and thus loathe her. for this reason i hold xiang liu responsible if there’s any harm that will happen to xiayao. coz if he didnt play with her gown colors ( which obviously xy didnt like it the least) then no one would shriek like that girl.

      • I think it’s unfair to put the blame on Xiang Liu. Atm we don’t even know if he knows she’s Qi Yo’s daughter. Without wearing red her father and grandfather could tell she resembled Qi Yo. Plus it was just for entertainment it’s not like he did it to harm her intentionally. Feng Long wanted him to change her dress color into red, should he be held accountable too then?

  5. From the beginning I already chose Jing for Xiao Yao and Xiang Liu for me.

    NOBODY CAN LIKE HIM! HE’S MINE!
    (jk. I can share him. Ya’ll can be his concubine while I’ll be his empress. We’ll build our kingdom 😀 )

    • I think Xiang Liu is a one-woman kinda demon guy. I doubt he’ll take a harem.

      I like to think that even his winged ride and Xiao Yao’s winged ride is meant to be in the love-hate sorta way. There is this adorable fanfiction snippet of them that makes me think that no matter how the novel ends with which ship, at least fat adorable innocent Yuan Yuan and surly impatient Furball get together, LOL.

      毛球几天来心情焦急,每天就在小夭寝殿外来来去去,对圆圆越看越厌,在毛球眼里,圆圆这样的肥鸟居然还能当神族的坐骑,简直滑稽,看起来就是一顿美味!但圆圆的主人是小夭,毛球又不敢太过挑衅,克制着每次见到圆圆都想开动大餐的欲念,顶多上去啄两下,拍打一顿,但圆圆长年在五神山上生活寂寞又缺乏玩伴,把毛球苦苦抑制的不爽当作了小伙伴们友谊的嬉戏,于是经常上演一个退,一个追的局面,毛球叫天不应,叫地不灵,又等着小夭带他去见主人不敢彻底甩开圆圆离开,痛苦不堪。烈阳来送小夭,看到这一幕都不禁感叹,同为琅鸟,圆圆真是天真无邪的令人发指。

      Furball was so anxious these past few days, and every day he would saunter back and forth outside Xiao Yao’s chamber. The more he saw of Yuan Yuan the more he disliked her. In Furball’s eyes, how such a fat bird like Yuan Yuan could actually be the winged ride of a Goddess was such as a ridiculously amusing thing. She looked more like a plump delicious meal! But Yuan Yuan’s master was Xiao Yao so Furball had to control his itch to be mean to her, and each time he saw Yuan Yuan he had to tamp down his urge to make a meal out of her. At most he ran up to peck her twice and slap her around a few times with his wing. But Yuan Yuan grew up all alone on Five Gods Mountain and had no playmates and was so lonely, so she saw Furball’s annoyance as a form of playing between friends so she played right back. So the two of them would constantly put on a show of one chasing, the other running away. Furball felt like he called to the Heavens and the Heavens wouldn’t answer, and he called down to the Earth and the Earth wouldn’t answer. And he had to wait for Xiao Yao to bring him to see his master so he couldn’t just kick Yuan Yuan to the side and leave forever, so he was totally living in agony. Lie Yang came to send Xiao Yao off and saw this scene and sighed, Yuan Yuan was a sparrow demon like him, but Yuan Yuan was so innocent and playful she made one’s hair stand on its roots with the impossibility of dealing with her.

      * LOL, I can imagine how Furball literally has to deal with Yuan Yuan aegyoing him until he capitulates and plays with her back. But even Furball is no match for Qi Yo’s winged ride the nine-skies eagle demon. Actually, if Xiang Liu and Furball ever met daddy Qi Yo and his winged ride the freaking lunatic wild thing Xiao Yao (pronounced differently than our leading lady Xiao Yao), then the suitor to be would definitely lose some of his cool in the face of an even more imposing powerful fatherly presence.

      • defenitely one-woman kinda guy Xiang Liu is, just like the godly beast Chi You. 🙂 That’s what we call ’em 死心眼, I think it was also described in Once Promised about such demon’s character.

      • @ockoala I know that part of him that’s why I made myself his empress and others as concubines in names only *runs from raging fangirls* 😀

        Awe, Furball and Yuan Yuan are so cute! But I don’t think Yuan Yuan would try to get close to Furball. She might be lonely, but there are still people around to, although not play, takes care of her(Does the Emperor plays with her? Zhuan Xu? heh..)

      • I agree! Qi Yo has the coolest ride ever! I thought of Carefree (so as not to confuse his Xiao Yao with the name our leading lady) sometimes when I was reading LYF. Furball somehow reminded me of him but none of the rides in both books could match his majesty, speed and velour. When I read about Jing’s ride, it would remind me of Shao Hao’s ride. Could be because both are cranes but I just felt a similarity. Still, Carefree is the best!!

  6. I actually visited your webby a few times today hoping to see a new chapter of 长相思 😛 thank you so much for the hard work in translating the book! You are so fast and accurate! I’ve read all three books in Chinese but rereading it through your translations allow me to better appreciate some of the nuances of the story! It took me a few reads of the novel before I finally came to appreciate all 3 male leads. After my 1st read, I was entirely on team XL. He’s such a strong character with never bending loyalty to Gong Gong and selflessly sacrificing to XY’s happiness.

  7. Is it just in this series or does Tong Hua make her secondary female characters petty, vain, and plain stupid? Over all, the male characters are rational actors but the secondary female characters are immature.

    • Haha to be honest I think it’s one of her series where the secondary female characters seem more petty, immature and inconsequential (in that they don’t leave a deep impression on me). I think in her other series she seems to have better fleshing out of the secondary characters – like in Once Promised there is the awesome Lei Zu, Chang Pu (Zhuan Xu’s mum) and the Shen Nong princess, and in Bu Bu Jing Xin there is Ming Hui and Yu Tan, so yes I do think it’s just this series. But at least in exchange the male characters are really awesome?

    • I like Ah Nian as well here. But compared to TH’s other novels, LSF is definitely lacking in other strong female leads. I found Once Promised probably the richest book in strong female characters aside from the female lead.

  8. I SHIP ZHUAN XU!!!

    Okay, I just had to get that off my chest and out there. 🙂

    To be honest, I was actually kind of indifferent/neutral towards ZX, until I read Volume 3. I really think Volume 3 is ZX’s book; his love for XY is so repressed, that when it spills out, it’s explosive. Too bad he never even had a chance, unlike Jing or Xiang Liu. Sigh.

    I also read a really great theory about how the Chinese title 长相思/”Eternally Thinking of You” might be a reference to ZX’s feelings, which would make ZX the “true” male lead of Lost You Forever. I’m not sure, but I think I also read that Tong Hua said somewhere that in her opinion, ZX is the male lead of LYF, even though he doesn’t get the girl. If that’s the case, that’s a small bit of consolation for my poor ZX shipper heart; my boat never even left harbor, so I need all the consolation I can get. XD

    • I’m quite superficial, so I love Xuan and not Zhuan Xu 😛 I like the name!!!!! But yes, the character is interesting too.. Reading your comment, I cannot wait till I get to Vol 3!

    • I think this book is really about XY and ZX. They’re the only 2 characters where we get their inner monologues. 🙂

      • No, there are bits and pieces of Jing internal monologues as well. Xiang Liu is the only male lead without ever one tiny thought process or internal monologue in the novel proper.

    • I like Zhuan Xu the best too. Even though I haven’t read volume 3 but the little dropped hints of his frivolous front and stormy interior… I guess I just love repressed 🙂

      A repressed person like Zhuan Xu makes me wonder what kind of person he really is beneath the facade. He vacillates between alpha male expansionist and disguise of frivolous wastrel, what is he really? Pure lover, great passion, tenderness, despair, hurt, fighting spirit?

      He is really not suited to Xiao Yao. I feel that Xiao Yao is not the right girl for him because she has failed to recognize his merits, at least to date. Xiao Yao also values doing what you feel like doing and Zhuan Xu is stealth. I think in ancient China culture it is ok to have romantic feelings and marry your distant cousin or senior disciple, call him affectionately Gege (brother) or Biaoge (cousin).

    • ZX’s inner thought was the perfect material for angst. I was Jing-shipper the entire way, even the sexy bad boy Xiang Liu could not make me sway. But poor poor ZX in volume 3 made me wish for a moment that Xiao Yao was with him instead.
      I do agree with you that reading the 3rd volume make me feel that ZX is the male lead instead. For Xiang Liu and Jing, anything that got to do with them is usually tied to Xiao Yao and how they are with her. But only for ZX that I feel that he has a bigger purpose beside Xiao Yao. And the biggest irony for me is that ZX is the character that receive the most and the least of Xiao Yao’s love, if that make sense 🙂

  9. Oh koala unni, thank you sooooo much. I love you!!!

    Of course, we’ll read the entire book, don’t think I’m ever gonna get bored or tired. In fact, i go on just to see how it ends and who xiao yao ends up with. Xiang liu keeps getting more interesting and jing keeps being amazing, dull at times bt amazing. And zhuan xu, i want to see how his feelings(romantic) for xiao yao will be expressed.

    Book two, here I come!!!

  10. After being introduced to this amazing novel, I went ahead and started reading the Chinese version. Am at Chapter 8 of the second book now, and while Jing remains my ship for his mere devotion and his beautiful name (I like his name best of all the characters!), I’m increasingly convinced that Xiang Liu’s the one who can bring Xiao Yao excitement in life and show her brand new worlds…I like how their eccentric minds interact and challenge each other’s beliefs.

    At this point of the novel, I haven’t sensed romantic love from Zhuan Xu to Xiao Yao…it’s more of love for a sibling, his last kin on earth? Waiting for him to show me something more, but perhaps he’s not capable of grand romance?

    Thanks for introducing this book! I’ve read lots of positive comments about this book back during BBJX days, but it’s only after reading your translations and reviews that made me really want to dive into the story!

  11. Is this a hint of the fallout to come…and Jing’s position being the only thing Yi Yang wants is going to make it tougher for him to break the engagement

    XL…you are a slick one…tormenting Xiao Yao AND Jing all at the same time just because they chose each other but cannot be currently

  12. First thing first. Thank you!!!
    My favorite character is XL too because everything he does is entertaining & exciting. After I read the whole chapter I always keep rereading his part of the story because he just pop and makes me smile:)
    I wonder if XL knows who XY real father is…
    When ZY was detoxing & was attacking XY, ZL must be wondering what’s going on but he knows she’s okay & not in danger. Poor Jing. That swimming thing…”I’m not in your eyes”…

    • yeah,my hear bleeds for jing, he’s my ship u know. the water romance is solely for xl especially the passing of air. xl ~xy had done that many times.so i understand! bad xy! 🙁

  13. Koalaaaa, thank you so much (>o<) I want to koala hug you for keep translating this book.

    Chapter 18 start to give a little hint about Xuan feeling to Xiao Yao and how Yi Yang true feeling to Jing.

    Poor Jing, and I feel like he's actually know that Xiao Yao have some feeling for Xiang Liu. Its sad when he said its not him in Xiao Yao eyes when they're diving together.

    But Xiang Liu too, is a great contender for Xiao Yao love. Sometimes I just hope that Tong Hua can spit another Xiao Yao so all of them can have thier own happy ending.

  14. In any book or any movie or drama there is always a main or secondary character that I would despise or care nothing for, whether because of the storyline or just for no reason. Only a few Anime that I had watched when I was younger did I love all the characters.

    Now I can add Lost You Forever and Onced Promised to my short list.

    Though Zhuan Xu was last on my list of favorites but he has been bumped many levels. I feel his pain and understand his struggles and the sacrifices I can already guess since he’s on the emperor’s path. The kingdom or the girl, *sighs*, and I can feel Zhuan Xu’s jealousy in this chapter when Xiao Yao came back from her date. It made me think of his situation of being brother-zoned by Xiao Yao without her knowing/feeling anything because of their close bond.

    I don’t like “public’e eye” Tu Shan Jing, but I like Ye Shi Qi and Xiao Yao’s Jing. I crave for any info of Xiang Liu but I understand Xiao Yao’s state of mind now as all she wants is the simple/boring life and her moments with Jing are just so sweet and relaxing. When Xiao Yao realize how Yi Yang was disgusted by Jing made me realize as well what he has to struggle through daily. Even if you are beautiful in your own way, if people constantly tell or look at you with disgust, you will be affected and I feel the reason why Jing is so insecure of Xiao Yao’s feelings for him is because of being put down/shamed for so long. People change with the blink of an eye so why should Xiao Yao stick with an ugly him. This made me see Jing in a whole new light and aches for him. And his sneakiness of making her remembers fifteen just makes me laugh now. Before I would think this is an underhanded trick but to see awkward/silent/”dull” Jing actually be cunning makes me happy that at least he’s trying.

    Then Xiang Liu, oh Xiang Liu…*sighs* what more can I say about him. I’m just glad there is a lot of people that loves him as much as I do. The comments from the last chapter about his brutality was a heated one that I avoided because all are entitled to one’s opinion. I love him because of his straightforwardness and realism. It probably began when Xiao Liu was taken hostage because of the medicine and him drilling his soldiers. Though he doesn’t need to, but he was willing to fight for a cause that was already hopeless. I call him stupid but he has my respects.

    All in all, I hate Tong Hua because she writes too many compelling characters that I can’t let go of. Though she does gets them from history and texts but she puts so much life into them that they are engraved in my hearts. Now I pray just for more happy moments than gut wrenching ones because I’m just happy to be apart of their journeys and wish them all happiness

  15. I don’t have a problem with my ship (XL) not sailing.
    Jing is a good choice as well and I may still warm up to Zhuan Xu.

    What I’m afraid is that my darling Xiang Liu dies. And that is the only reason I’m hesitating to continue reading.
    Only the thought already makes my eyes well up with tears.
    Please, let him live at the end of the novel, still wild and challenging and yet caring… and utterly smexy… ;–)

  16. If I ever need to have someone do something, I will definitely want it to be Xiang Liu! He follows through with his words.

    • I agree with you. I think Jing actually has a lot of sparks with Xiao Yao, and through her interactions with him we see a part of Xiao Yao’s softer, perhaps even “girly,” side. They complement each other in a yin and yang kind of way. She is something he is not and he is something she is not, and that makes their relationship interesting in a different manner compared to Xiao Yao’s relationship with Xiang Liu or Zhuan Xu.

      • Yeap. Jing-XY shipper. I am so glad that from the moment I read the novel until finished. I never root for any other pairing. Always Jing and Xiao Yao. Jing is the kinda guy I will be attracted to..the quiet,calm,get things done,the brain kinda guy,plus all his flaws bcoz of his past just made him perfect. For me, he is the one with most character development out of 3leading men. I keep reading comments on how Xiao Yao chose Jing bcoz he will give her a life she always wanted..a peaceful boring life. I have to disagree a lil bit. Esp. After reading all the book. Xiao Yao loves Jing because she loves him. Even if Jing dies, she still won’t choose the other two.

  17. eeee! I’m so excited I share Koala’s ship, and I know it’s highly irrational. eeee!!

    I wonder if us siding with different male characters reveal something about each camp of us here at Koala land.

    17= quiet comforts and simple pleasures
    XL= adventurous and passionate
    ZX= fortune and charisma

    Oh who am I trying to fool, I want ALL the men! all!!

    • This is how my shipping goes down:

      Xiao Liu with Shi Qi. A lifetime of love and companionship.

      Xiao Yao with Zhuan Xu. He had her first, she would totally be his if she never left his side.

      Gao Xing Jiu Yao with Xiang Liu. If Xiao Yao had Ah Nian’s innocence in love instead of being so scarred that all she wants is a lifetime commit over passion, then she would dare love Xiang Liu back and then he would actually do something about it. Perhaps they’ll go down in flames like her mother Ah Heng and her father Qi Yo, yet another Princess falls in love with an infamous demon/beast tragedy.

      • I thought the same… If xy loved XL back… Then it’s like history repeat itself… Like mother like daughter …

      • Like the scene where he asked her who does she want him to be. I think if she did give him an identity he would fight for her love.

      • But it’s because of the experience that xiao Yao had that caused her to lose her innocence in love. And her reluctance to trust and love is what attracts them together. Sigh. Love Xiang Liu to bits!!! How can someone be so giving? Probably the first in Tong Hua book who doesn’t ask for anything in return. Though it is possibly due to him knowing that it’s impossible to ask for anything but still… The best best best male lead EVER.

      • Would Xiang Liu do something about it if Xiao Yao had expressed interest?

        This is a very thought-provoking question that I still don’t know the right or most likely the right answer. Even if Xiao Yao expressed some kind of interest, Xiang Liu would still be responsible for the Sheng Nong soldiers.

        I think the only reason that Xiang Liu doesn’t express his love for her is because he knows his duties to the Sheng Nong soldiers will cause her pain one day because let’s be honest, their end is pretty evident even at this point.

        IF Xiang Liu weren’t the general of the rebel army, he would pursue Xiao Yao even if she doesn’t think he should “appear in her dreams.” So it is possible that he might not do anything even if Xiao Yao is willing.

        BUT Xiang Liu also has this wild and passionate side so maybe he will do something about it, maybe not much but at least express it in a more obvious way?

        This is why I love multilayered characters with depth and complexity. Even when you know all about the book and the circumstances, you still can’t perfectly predict their decisions.

      • @Maira I have thought about the question “would Xiang Liu had done something if Xiaoyao had expressed interest?” and likewise, “would Xiao Yao’s heart be swayed if Xiang Liu lead her on something more than now?”

        I think both had expressed interest a couple of times, if not rather subtlely for example, the moonlight walk, the under-the-sea stroll, the poison, the blood sucking etc). There will be more in future chapters. However, both have held back– especially Xiang Liu, in not leting Xiao Yao know the things he did for her, and these really frustrate us shippers at times, but it’s also beautiful, because we understand where they come from. We feel sorry for Xiang Liu because he is chained to this huge burden that he cannot let go of even if he really really loves Xiao Yao (Zhuan Xu is in a similar situation). Xiang Liu is what we’ll call a single-tracked guy who stays true to the end. Much like Qi Yo (Chi You) although Qi Yo is more reckless I’d say. Once they have been exposed to a certain belief, they stick to it no matter what, never letting go. Xiang Liu understand the nature of Xiao Yao, and he cannot bear to destroy/disrupt her needs and desire (a carefree and worry-less life). He may be wild and passionate, that’s why he enjoys being FFB. However he cannot allow himself more than that. Only in our dreams. That’s why in many cases, I have more respect for Xiang Liu than Qi Yo. Sorry.

        As for Xiao Yao… I afraid I can’t say much for her because I will be doing spoilers. All I can say is it’s truly a too-bad situation. And that’s why our hearts hurt with every decision the characters make.

    • @nekoi,

      Your interpretation of Xiang Liu is similar as to how I feel his character. As for a comparison, I feel Xiang Liu is able to control his own emotions, as oppose to Qi Yo. I guess he does have nine heads, so he acts more appropriately in regards to their circumstances. Things might have progress if she had been Wen Xiao Liu but because she’s the Gao Xing princess, I think both of them are afraid to act upon their emotions.

      I been following this novel thanks to ms koala and absolutely adore it. Everything is written so beautifully. Thanks again for your translation

      • @fanx

        Always my pleasure to find a similar thinking friend! However, I really find it funny that having nine heads literally means having more brains to think. Hehehehe. Not so morbid I guess?

        Many a time, I feel XinagLiu-XiaoYao is like an advanced version of Qiyo-AhHeng. They (ok, the writer wrote them such) are so determined not to end up like the older generation. Really entertaining.

      • Makes me remember that scene in Chapter 3, one of my favorite Xiang Liu scenes: Since you have nine heads, even what you say is deep. LOL hahahahaha. It’s a compliment, but if it had come from someone else, Xiang Liu probably had eaten that person like he said he would, but since it’s from Xiao Yao, we get this super cute and adorable scene.

        Questions987 edited this into English: http://s1094.photobucket.com/user/Vina_Le/media/XiangLiuScroll.jpg.html

        This gets me thinking. If Lost You Forever is adapted into a drama, Xiang Liu has to be played by a SUPER talented actor, who can convey all these things at once: charming, wild, passionate, but also restrained and level-headed, has tenderness hidden behind the outside thorns. He has to express Xiang Liu’s love for her even when all the things Xiang Liu said are completely different. If not handled well, it would just come off as typical violent bad boy stuff when Xiang Liu is anything but typical.

    • Besides personal preference, it may also has something to do experience in life and love, like how Xiao Yao’s experience impacted her preference so much.

      IF Xiao Yao hadn’t experienced all those crazy shit, I would like to think that it would have been very different.

      Personally, I confess to not having been in a relationship, so I am very much still like a girl who dreams a bit sometimes. Xiang Liu appeals to my longing for meeting the one, the one person who is meant just for me.

      A few people have mentioned this before. If circumstancs have been different, Zhuan Xu and Jing would not have come to love Xiao Yao. Their love for Xiao Yao come from mutual history and understanding, while I believe that no matter the circumstance, Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao would still fall for each other. Two peas in a pod.

      • Really? But I think XL and XY bond deepened because of their similar life experiences. Both had tortured pasts and – XL overcoming the slave death ring, XY defeating the nine tailed fox. Both are independent yet very lonely souls.

  18. Love all 3 characters!!! Thank you soooo much for your hard work in translating this novel koala!

    It’s hard not to love XL, and we know that Xiao Yao feels the same. I’m sure her heart beats faster and beats with joy when she sees XL, the kind of feeling you get when you see someone you just like/love hanging out with and be with all the time.

    Being a super practical person myself though, I’ll totally choose to marry Jing as a life-long partner. I know he’ll give up anything and everything to be with me, that’s what a life-long relationship is about!

    I have a question for those who have read Once Promised. What exactly is Qi Yo’s story? Sounds like he was the great general of the Sheng Nong Kingdom, but why does he kills all these tribes from the middle plain? He’s obviously not all bad if he’s Xiao Yao’s father, but why is he so hated by everyone? The fact that he has a small hut near the palace, does that mean the flame emperor likes him?

    Really would like to know a little bit more about Qi Yo, can someone tell me a little bit more about him?

  19. Thanks for the new chapter! (:

    I am also curious on Qi Yo! Anyone able to share some background on XY’s parents?

    • @frappymint What do you want to know about them? It’s really a long story. I’ll tell you about their cute first meeting. Ah Heng met Qi Yo while strolling around town, trying to diminish the fire in that town. What she didn’t know was, Qi Yo actually saw her many hundreds years earlier in a pool. It was that stolen glance that made him awake as a human-beast instead of just staying as a godly beast in form.

      When Ah Heng met Qi Yo in town, he recognised his first love immediately, and took to being the frivolous guy who enjoyed making harmless fun of and bullying her, yet secretly protecting her from her somewhat dangerous fire-extinguishing journey. She also didn’t know who he is and how powerful he is, because Qi Yo has already gained a huge notorious name in the world by then, plus he’s also the beloved disciple of the Flame Emperor (Sheng Nong).

      Unfortunately, he also didn’t know she is the only daughter of the famous Yellow Emperor (Xuan Yuan), and the engaged fiancee of the first son of the Grand Emperor (Gao Xing). When they finally know of each other’s identities, that’s when troubles really start, because Ah Heng is already in love with Qi Yo before she knows it.

    • Ok, long story short, Ah Heng married Shao Hao, but that was in name only. Both of them put up a good lovey dovey show for their elders to see and to fool them into thinking everything’s safe with the alliance of Gao Xing-Xuan Yuan. Because these 2 countries are scared of the unstable Sheng Nong, and they hope to eliminate Sheng Nong altogether. Because of the great acting, Qi Yo also fell into their lie, and began to grow wary of Ah Heng. This caused a great misunderstanding by the end of Book 1 (there are 2 books in total), and Ah Heng eventually died from the secret fatal attack by Zhu Rong who actually was aiming for Qi Yo. Ah Heng shielded Qi Yo even though she was anguished by the fact that her beloved actually think of the worst of her(Qi Yo thought she gave up her body to sleep with him just for a stupid secret manual!!!) I lost my heart together with Ah Heng by then.

      • @nekoi: The background info that you provided is more than enough! thank you (:

  20. A person like Tu Shan Jing is not dull at all.

    He is known as an astute businessman. This shows that he is not dull and understands the ways of the world.

    He admits he racks his brains to conjure a long shot plan, which benefits other parties and allows Xiao Yao indirectly to be drawn to Middle Plains where he can meet more easily with her. In order to bring to fruition his plan he has to bring together several elements e.g. Zhuan Xu, Feng Long, etc which he successfully motivates from a back end position.

    On a few occasions Xiao Yao glimpses his brilliance planning and she gasps that he looks the most pure but is the most sneaky one! Even in his handling of Xiao Yao, I am not surprised if he truly ends up with the girl, for all his patience and meticulousness:

    He confesses to Xiao Yao ahead of Xiang Liu and Zhuan Xu, thus sealing her first devotion or loyalty to him. Like an expert angler he reels her in and let’s her go at the right moments so as to land the final catch. For e.g. He holds back from kissing her repeatedly, knowing that it wasn’t the right moment to kiss her as her heart was not his. Even when she demands it, he resists her. When she is angry with him or she needs her time alone, he stands apart from her but never far away, and his gifts to her show her his devotion. For e.g. He sends her a bottle of plum wine for each day he missed her.

    Tu Shan Jing is an astute one but his over thinking works because his intentions are pure and his love for Xiao Yao is true. Faced with someone who loves her truly, waits for her forever and understands her, even though her initial love is not him, I don’t mind if he gets the girl in the end as reward for his hard work.

    • I agree with you. I do not think Jing is dull at all neither is he a push over that does everything Xiao Yao requests. If that was the case, he would have left his household a long time ago or he would have kissed her when she asked him for a kiss.

      I think Jing is that rare mixture of someone who is extremely intelligent and kind. I actually enjoyed him as a romantic lead. It’s rare in Tong Hua’s book where the romantic lead is such a beta male. If we talk about physical prowess, he is the weakest of the three male leads. If we talk about intelligence, I believe he is the most cunning. In war, he would be the strategist. If Xiao Yao picks Jing, it is not because she is settling or because he is the logical choice. She loves him. It is not the passionate kind of love, but it not any less deep or profound.

      I want everyone of the leads to be happy. They all experience such pain and difficulties in their life, that all I want for them is to be happy. I don’t think it is a matter of who deserves Xiao Yao more or who loves her most or who she loves most. It is who she choose to be with in the end.

  21. Xiang Liu

    What can I say? Fang Feng Bei

    Our fascinating boy, free spirited, most direct, valiant, brave hearted yet cynical character who understands the world and all its disguises

    His passion with Xiao Yao is explosive. He gives her no excuses for who she is or what she tries to pull. He is a fascinating character and even though I don’t understand him very well yet, I am drawn in by him. Each encounter between Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao aggravates yet remains indelible.

  22. Zhuan Xu

    My personal favorite outside the novel. I simply like the way he is. I understand how other girls can be attracted to him.

    He and Xiao Yao cannot be together. They are too close as brother and sister and he is too late. Jing has won her devotion and Xiang Liu has taken her passion by the time Zhuan Xu is just starting his passion for her. Besides at this stage there are no signs that Xiao Yao is attracted to him as a man, unlike Ah Nian and Xing Yue.

    But outside of the novel I think I like Zhuan Xu best because he is the right balance of everything. I like that he has Xiang Liu’s external velocity and Jing’s internal retrospection and a whole lot of other things too.

  23. I have immersed myself so deep into this whole shipping ordeal that I have forgotten to just really enjoy the book. When Xiang Liu didn’t appear or interact with Xiao Yao I would become whiny and not really want to read. But reading this chapter allowed me to take a step back and realize that all 3 male leads are great contenders for Xiao Yao’s heart.

    I forget that soft spoken and calm Jing has a crippled leg. In my head I keep picturing him as this perfect guy from head to toe, until Yi Yang gives him such a loathsome look that I recall this incident. It’s sad to know that at one point Hou actually loved and doted on Jing despite being rejected by Jing’s mother continously. Had she not been so cruel to a child who had no fault of being born, their relationship would have not turned out like this.
    I like the way Zhuan Shu and Xiao Yao are exactly right now. Where they understand each other and are exposed to each other’s vulnerabilities and it’s perfectly okay. I know that Zhuan Shu harbors romantic feelings for Xiao Yao of some sort, but can’t do anything until he can give her a world where she will be forever safe; I just don’t want their relationship to change or gear into romantic love 🙁
    & As for Xiang Liu I think I’ve made myself pretty obvious how I feel about him. He is my favorite character 🙂 Everything about him is so mysterious and intriguing. He’s so cruel and distant, yet so warm hearted at the same time. Even if he doesn’t end up with Xiao Yao I would be okay (not entirely lol) because he’s already such a great character.<3 I enjoyed their little moments in this chapter too! Xiao Yao do you possibly have Xiang Liu in your eyes? Keke.
    I do wonder though, if Xiang Liu knew or had any relation to Qi Yo since he defended him against everyone else. Maybe it was the General side of him kicking in?
    There's so many things I want to ramble about, but I will stop here 🙂 & to Koala, thank you x1000 for another great chapter!! You're really awesome. I thought I would suffocate if I didn't see a chapter today lol Please take care of yourself!! Looking forward to the next chaoter 🙂

    • i. think it’s a good thing jing didnt fix his broken leg, so that everytime hou sees jing limp , that. bad brother huo would be reminded of how evil he is. he cause that limp.

      • I like it that he didn’t get it fixed either. I think it is one of the reasons that makes him Xiao Yao’s Shi Qi and not Tu shan Jing. Also I think he has come to accept the way he is because even if people are disgusted or loathe the way he looks now it does not matter because Xiao Yao loves him for who he is unconditionally and that’s the only acceptance he needs. 🙂 I like that we have this trait of Jing. It shows that when you love someone everything about them is beautiful even their flaws.

  24. Thanks for translating and introducing this wonderful wonderful novel! I resist posting my comments until you revealed your fav.
    I love all the leads BUT my heart belongs to Xian Liu. Agree with you on his complexity in so many different levels. Just love love him.
    Thank you again for bringing this amazing novel to your block.

  25. Ms Koala, I am surprised but happy with your choice as I thought you will choose Jing based on previous commentary..haha. Though Jing is a nice guy, he is indecisive at times which end up hurting XY. XL share a kindred spirit with XY and the epilogue in Vol.3 had me tearing.

  26. Thank you, Koala, for your hard work! Jing is my favorite although XL is becoming more appealing through time. I went back I reread from the beginning and I find XL was so cruel to XY . He sucked her blood like a vampirer, so scary…

    • Me too! But I think Xiang Liu gets more fleshed out in the later chapters, but he really isn’t all that bad…Though I hope further down there’ll be more about him because currently I’m having a hard time reconciling the Xiang Liu outside of Qing Shui Town and the Xiang Liu who was traumatising Xiao Yao in Qing Shui Town. Maybe it’s due to a lack of monologue on his end, so we only see him from Xiao Yao’s coloured perspective.

  27. I must admit… I’ve been a lurker since yesteryears and this is the only time I really felt like coming out of hiding to give my thanks to koala for doing such an amazing job with recaps and translations.

    And *sigh. I myself am a crazy XL fan. I feel like I’m watching nine different conversations whenever he comes into the scene. The layers… it’s so bad but good. I suppose it depends on what ship you’re on but I feel the book is really about XL.

    I’m on a ship that’s bound to sink but I can’t stop myself. I wonder if tong hua will ever consider writing a book about XY and XL meeting in another lifetime. *sniff

    Anyway, great job so far koala! Please keep up with the translations… within reasonable and healthy time frames. I wish I knew how to read the character. *camping until the next chapter*

    • I feel like you too. Like how Yun Zhong Ge was about Meng Jue for me, Lost You Forever is all about Xiang Liu for me. As Koala mentioned, he is the only character that we don’t get a inner monologue from. I think this is deliberate because Tong Hua wants us to examine his character in layers.

      Like in the beginning, most of us thought he was a mean kind of guy, what’s with all the violence, but when we evaluate his behaviors on a deeper level like naming his winged ride Furball, taking Xiao Yao on a moon stroll under the moonlight, that’s when we can see the tenderness, the true Xiang Liu if he weren’t bounded by the rebel army.

      I have this theory that Tong Hua envisioned the story of Lost You Forever to be about Xiang Liu’s unrequited (?) or at least unexpressed love but because she’s such a great writer, we get the other 2 male characters too. I know people will disagree with me, but this is how I feel! Does anyone also agree with me or am I crazy?

      • Not crazy! I’m on the Jing ship, but slowlyyyyy Xiang Liu is creeping up behind me. I love how he challenges Xiao Yao’s beliefs and thoughts. Am reading a later chapter where he turned her words around and showed her another perspective to her beliefs. That was the point where I really felt Xiang Liu may actually be the correct guy for her!

  28. The Chinese subtitle of Lost You Forever is a poem by Ouyang Xiu.

    A Recital of a True Heart

    Raising of the curtains in the morning as light frost lifted away,
    I warmed my hands to try on her plum make-up.
    Feeling surrounded in the sorrows of parting,
    The brows I drew were long like mountain ranges.

    Recollecting bygones and bemoaning loss of time predispose me to suffer pain.
    To that song from the past, her smile not the same as her brows remain closed,
    Most heart-rending is when I retrace them.

    I love the imagery of the eyebrows, and how the man used her make-up to remember her.

    In ancient times, the male partner usually helps the woman to draw the eyebrows. It’s often used on TVs to show the intimacy between husband and wife. It’s an everyday, simple task, really; but it’s the simplicity, just drawing her eyebrows everyday, that makes this poem so powerful.

    The man misses the woman so much, he uses her make up to re-traces her eyebrows, trying to imagine her smile while singing the song that used to make her smile, but of course the brows remain closed. The drawing is not the real thing, and that’s what so heart-rending.

    Actually, Tong Hua Song Dynasty poetry titles in Book 1 often times are from poems that use the eyebrows imagery like in Book 1 Chapter 9 poem and Chapter 17.

    Chapter 9’s poem is one of my favorites:

    Yu Jie Xing by Fan Zhongyan.

    My heart has been broken, and I have no way of drowning my sorrows; before the wine has reached my lips it turns to bitter tears. The broken lamp winks out light, and I recline crooked on the pillow. I know too well what it is like to sleep alone. This manifests itself in the contortions of my heart, and the furrowing of my brow; I know that I have no way of escaping it.

    • I prefer the Li Bai written poem for Chang Xiang Si, especially after encountering it in Zhen Huan Zhuan.

      长相思,在长安。 络纬秋啼金井阑,微霜凄凄簟色寒。 孤灯不明思欲绝,卷帷望月空长叹。 美人如花隔云端。 上有青冥之长天,下有渌水之波澜。 天长地远魂飞苦,梦魂不到关山难。 长相思,摧心肝。   

      The last line: Endless longing, crushes the heart. (T__T)

      I’m going off topic, but Zhen Huan Zhuan really introduced me to a lot of beautiful poems. My favourite now must be this line from Zhuo Wen Jun’s Bai Tou Yin: 愿得一心人,白头不相离. It’s such a simple line but packed with backstory about how the person reciting it yearns for something so simple yet perhaps never easily attainable for him/her back during the ancient times.

      Another notable one would be Chang Hen Ge by Bai Ju Yi:。天长地久有时尽,此恨绵绵无绝期。Such a painful line, which I think may suit Lost You Forever’s gods and goddesses, since they live such long lives. To think that even their lives would end one day, many many years down the road, yet their regret will continue on long after their time has passed. So impactful!

      • I love that poem too, especially the first 2 and last 2 lines.

        I endlessly yearn
        In Chang An (Endless Peace).
        This endless yearning
        Breaks my heart

        Another Li Bai’s poem appears in Book 2 Chapter 8’s title, and I think there is a significance to that because Tong Hua is very thoughtful and deliberate in these chapter titles. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find an english translation of that poem.

        Also correction to my last post: the eyebrows imagery appear in chapters 9 and 15, not 17, even though chapter 17’s title is also from a poem (interestingly it’s the continuation of chapter 12’s title)

        Actually, I made a wikia page for the English readers with a list of all the poetry titles and the poems in all 3 books. No spoiler! It’s not completed yet but I’m 90% there.

        http://lostyouforever.wikia.com/wiki/Origins_and_Explanations_of_the_Poetry_Titles_and_Poems_Used_by_Tong_Hua

        I think reading the whole poems and understanding their meaning and origins really elevate the whole reading experience.

        Like an upcoming chapter title will use a poem line from the Seven Step Verse, and understanding that poem and its origin lend a whole another level of meaning to the chapter. That poem also fits what happens in that chapter so much.

        Sometimes, the line and poem describe a character. A poetic chapter title in Book 3 describes Zhuan Xu so much. It was like HIS chapter and HIS chapter title. A few short words that sum up everything about his feelings about Xiao Yao.

        Wish I’d done this back when I was reading Yun Zhong Ge. I remember Book 3 of that novel was PACKED with Han proses and poems. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the skills to investigate back then.

      • Gosh, Chang Hen Ge (loosely translated as ‘song of eternal hatred’) remains one of my favourite poem. It’s so epic (and long) it’s painful. It’s about the tragic love of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang & famous Yang Guifei. Parts of it kinda describes Zhuan Xu except they ended up differently.

      • @ Maira – I’m not sure if it’s in Chapter 8 (“多情却似总无情”) of Volume 8 that this takes place, but one character’s internal monologue regarding Zhuan Xu really, really struck me:

        (Paraphrased, very very badly) “Some people thought he was a man of ‘many feelings’ [多情, which implies that he is flirtatious/loves many women]. Other people thought he was a man of ‘no feelings’ [无情, which means that he is cold-hearted/loves no woman]. But the truth was, all of his feelings were directed toward one woman only – Xiao Yao.”

        How could I not ship ZX?

        The thing is, despite shipping him, I don’t necessarily want him and XY together romantically in this story. ZX can’t give XY what she wants, which is to put her above all else, yet as emperor, he would have to put his country and people first always. Plus, ZX has a bevy of beautiful women constantly swirling about him. Really, I just want XY to be ZX’s constant companion; they don’t even need to be lovers, as long as ZX has someone by his side to lessen his burden of ruling the world.

      • @Maira: Omg..I didn’t see it that way. 在长安 – I read it literally as “In Chang’an”, but yes, for it to also mean “In Endless Peace” is beautiful too. Despite living in eternal peace, emotionally, the person is broken.

        Actually, I skipped the titles and dived into the narrative directly. Thanks for bringing this up and adding a whole new layer of meaning to each chapter!

        Chapter 8 of Book 2 “忽闻悲风调” broke my heart and stabbed a digger into the sails of my ship.

        Here’s my very amateurish translation of the poem:

        闲夜坐明月
        幽人弹素琴
        忽闻悲风调
        宛若寒松吟
        白雪乱纤手
        绿水清虚心
        钟期久已没
        世上无知音

        Sitting under the moonlight
        I listen to the sounds of the recluse’s zither
        The sudden melody of “Sorrowful Wind”
        Resembles the sounds of “Frozen Pines”
        A lady’s gentle fingers pluck furiously to “White Snow”
        “Clear Water” cleanses off vain thoughts
        Zhong Qi has long passed on
        There will never be another confidant.

        The 4 titles in the poem are famous ancient tunes and reflects that the recluse is skilled at the zither. But like Bo Ya, his sole confidant has passed on and no one can understand his tunes as well anymore. 🙁

        I’m gonna pay more attention to the titles from now on!

      • @ M
        It was something similar to that! I can’t remember where that phrase is but the title was something like that.

        It was in Book 3 Chapter 8: 多情却似总无情, a line from the poem Parting II by Du Mu.

        Various translations of the line:

        Much feeling but seem all without feeling[1]
        My heart enslaved, yet heartless I appear.[2]
        With much love
        You act
        As if you care not much.[3]

        Which ALL fits Zhuan Xu it hurts.

        Tong Hua uses a lot of poems about parting.

        @ Karened

        Thanks for the great translation! This will help me in editing the wikia for this chapter. I love analyzing these titles so much.

    • Thank you Miss Koala for this beautiful translation of this book that I would have never been able to experience! <3

  29. XL ftw!

    Am i d only one to feel d heat of that scene of almost bite?

    @Maira: insightful comments, great to know that there are readers of koala’s as skilled as yourself! Xp

  30. For me, Jing is the male lead. What happened at the start of book 2 was the result of Jing’s manipulations. He is the silent, manly, strong and clever type lead from all dramas combined. He is also a one-woman man since after knowing XY he remain focus on her. The fact that he discovered the secret place of XY’s parents point to a similar fate for him and XY (secretive, clandestine but true love).

    Xiang Liu is the typical bad boy lead that all female gender fantasize but in reality find hard to handle. I, for one, will find it stressful second guessing all his moves. Constantly doubting his feelings for me. Like what the Yellow Emperor implied, to love an enemy is hard. You will never know for sure if he loves the You or if he loves you because he can benefit from you. All females like passion and excitement, but after years will past and problems kicking in, the passion and excitement will turn into indifference and sometimes even disgust. So yeah, XY must enjoy the ride with XL, to keep Jing alert at all times in not losing the girl.

    Zhuan Shu, for me, is the typical second lead. Always reliable, always there and in a one-sided romantic love. He might even sacrifice something but not everything since he will realize in the end that he can’t get the girl no matter what he will do. Besides, he wants to claim his birth rights, and if he succeed, he can’t do whatever he wants because there are protocols to follow. Just like Jing have to follow protocols. If he fails, he will be too broken down to pursue the girl.

    • Oh, hoho. You will find out more about Xiang Liu soon. And I hope you will form a different opinion of him afterwards. 🙂
      Though I have to agree, not many girls have the heart and energy to keep on double guessing a guy’s motives. Bad Xiang Liu, bad!

      • I happen to find that intriguing. I love to THINK about intentions! The more puzzling I find it, the more I feel drawn to it. Hee 😉

      • @Maira I guess it’s easy for us to say because as onlookers, we know exactly what is going on, and how much of a sacrifice that person makes. But our poor clueless protagonist does not know the intentions and was never told. That’s why we can only stab our hearts on her behalf. It also doesn’t help that the boy doesn’t make things easier on himself.

      • Lol… That pretty sum up the reason I am not on XL’s ship. Tong Hua did not flesh out his inner monologue except dropping hint here and there. We are pretty much need to read between the line. And I am pretty dense girl, keep asking what the heck does this guy want with XY? I do not like to guess… Please give me a straightforward motive. Lol.

        I started to understand him when I read the part where Both of them could feel each other feeling on the night where XL met XY the first time she was in the girl form.

        Well.. By that time I was already sailed on jing’s ship. Even though, the more XY spent time with XL in FFB’s form, I could see his awesomeness, I am still rooting for Jing. Jing is honest with XY, did not hide any motive. When he was sad and afraid he felt inferior to XY, he still discussed with XY. Well, communication is the best formula for good marriage anyway.

        Yeah, Jia you Jing!!

      • I don’t think that Tong Hua didn’t “flesh” it out, as in Xiang Liu wasn’t a fleshed out character, but more like she chose not to inlude his inner monologue until the very end because that actually adds on to his complexity.

        Seriously, we won’t get even a hint of confirmation until very end. This is Tong Hua’s deliberate decision because wants us to examine Xiang Liu on multiple levels.

      • @Maira @Rin I think what Tong Hua wanted for Xiang Liu is to have us 后知后觉。 This is another way of fleshing out a character because he has different layers that we need to discover ourselves. However, I think that many readers are adept at reading between lines when they first chance upon this series, else there wouldn’t have been so many avid Xiang Liu fans.

        Usually readers are fans of character developments, not saying other characters other than Xiang Liu do not have (heck, even Furball has developed by the end of the books). In the case of Xiang Liu, the writer makes people realise it too late that’s why it hurts our heart so at the end, even though this series is considered a ‘happy ending’. 🙂

  31. Thank you for the translation! =) Ekk.. I’m getting nervous because I now understand why the Grand Emperor and the Yellow Emperor are so worried that their influence might not be enough to protect Xiao Yao. Looks like Qi Yo has a lot of enemies! I fear for her life since she doesn’t have strong spiritual powers and these gods can be powerful and sneaky. And this is a blood feud so these descendants probably wouldn’t care about her bloodline.

    • Damn people should kill the yellow emperor instead. Though then again he sacrificed only his family members to win the war against Sheng Nong.

  32. man! sometimes it’s frustrating to read how great xl or selfless he is. clearly fellow commentators here who can read chinese and had read all three volumes has the edge over us who cannot.

    anyway if xl has his … who do you want me to be
    then my jing will have his two words ‘ I LISTEN”

    isn’t it all or most womem wants their partners to listen to them,
    i want you to be who u are so dont ask me or dictate who u gonna be coz if ur not, down the road you’ll be exasperated and leave.
    many relationships failed because d women tries to change the other person.
    so. as a woman who’ll chose a partner i prefer someone who listens to me and understands me, my bad and good side all into one.

    • I read the Chinese text (though I’m only at chapter 10 of book 2), but I’m still firmly on Jing’s ship (despite the other two leads being VERY attractive). His name wins hands down. I love his Chinese character!

  33. Xiang Liu is by far my favorite character in this novel too!

    Not really sure what specifically draws me into him… XL’s character, compared to the rest, seems to be shrouded in mystery. Suffice it to say that for me XL is a very complex and intriguing character.

    Zhuan Xu is a very interesting character too. His path to becoming an emperor is all kinds of fascinating.

    A lot of people seem to think that (1) XL and ZX made their own choices in life, and that (2) XL and ZX could have chosen differently. While (1) is very true, (2) is an otherwise gray area – how could XL and ZX have chosen differently when their very choices define who they really are?

    Jing and Xiao Yao’s romance… Jing having a fiancee being Fang Feng Yi Ying ruins it for me.

    Anyway, would XY’s story trajectory in later chapters be more about herself and not just her relationship with the three male lead guys?

    • I agree with Jing having a fiancee (although it was not his decision) I just think it has to do largely with him being Jing too and just not Shi Qi. I hate it how he has to neglect her in front of others, but as soon as they disappear he shows concern and affection, which obviously leads back to him having a fiancee. The whole sneaking around to cuddle and date is just not cutting it with me, it’s as if they’re having an affair xD. I suppose Yi Yang and Hou are doing the same and Jing knows Yi Yang is not in love with him so he doesn’t care too much just that in front of others he has to put up a front.

  34. I am all for Xiao Yao to have a lifetime of love and companionship with her Jing. It is a blessing to be able to have that – what else does a girl want?

    • To your first question, I don’t know because I think I will never read the first book. Also to your 2nd question, maybe because how the little girl reacted and the orphan boy from the Mu? family is a dead giveaway that she definitely look like her father in red. Even the Grand Emperor say she have his real dad’s eyes.

  35. Dear Koala,
    Have I told you how much I appreciate you yet? Because if I haven’t, you need to hear some more! THANK YOU SO Much for translating this. I don’t know what I would do without you! T^T But do make sure you don’t burnout yourself. Let me send you a virtual cookies and milk for you to energize! 😀

    .-””’-.
    |’—–‘|
    |-…..-|
    | |
    | |
    _,._ | |
    __.o` o`”-. | |
    .-O o `”-.o O )_,._ | |
    ( o O o )–.-“`O o”-.`’—–‘`
    ‘——–‘ ( o O o)
    `———-`

    Let me add an ice cream with it because it’s been so hot these days where I live.

    .-“`'”-.
    / \
    | |
    /’—‘–`\
    | |
    \_.–._.-._/
    \=-=-=-/
    \=-=-/
    \=-/
    \/

    Hope you enjoy my virtual food. 🙂

    • Aww the site mess up with my virtual cooking 🙁
      But don’t worry I fixed it! I hope.

      ……………………………….-””’-.
      ………………………………|’—–‘|
      ………………………………|-…..-|
      ………………………………|…….|
      ………………………………|…….|
      ………………._,._………….|…….|
      …………..__.o`…o`”-……….|…….|
      …………-O.o.`”-.o…O )_,._….|…….|
      ……….( o…O..o )–.-“`O…o”-.`’—–‘`
      ………..’——–‘..(…o..O….o)
      ……………………`———-`

    • Anyways I really like this new start of the 2nd chapter! It help created a faster pace of the plot line, but after looking at this chapter, we can really see how Xiao Yao treat and see in each of them. Anyways, I thought I had a ship, but now… I don’t know anymore~ 🙁 All of them are soo great and so complex I can’t just ship one person to Xiao Yao! I wish there were three parallel world with Xiao Yao in each of them one male lead in each of the world and have different happy ending for them yeah? Just a thinking but that sounds like a good plan. 😀

  36. Yeah.. I still can’t ship the characters! Haha. Maybe that’s me protecting my own heart because I don’t want my ship to sink. However if I do ship, it’s more based on the characters (in this case from Xiao Yao’s interest) rather than from what I want because it’s so hard to ship what I want because it’ll probably sink! I’ll probably cry a river if I invest too much in it. Haha.

    I do like Zhuan Xu, but he seems like everything Xiao Yao doesn’t want as a mate. Though she loves him dearly and understands him so much, she doesn’t want a complicated life and his life is way too complicated. The poor guy has too much burden to carry. =( And so far, Xiao Yao hasn’t shown any romantic interest in him. She hurts when he hurts, but I don’t really remember any part where she will just “miss” him like she does with Jing and Xiang Liu. But that’s probably because she basically lives with Zhuan Xu and knows that she will return to him. =P

    Jing is definitely the simplest of the 3 in his devotion and actions. But at times I think he’s too nice and passive which can drive Xiao Yao crazy. But it’s also his simple mind that makes her trust him and choose him. I just wish that he would be more firm and discerning in how to handle the whole Fang Feng Yi Yang situation. Sometimes I wonder if Jing just tells his grandmother the whole truth about what happened to him and that his heart was pretty much dead, but Xiao Yao saved him physically and emotionally, then maybe it would be easier for him to end the engagement. I don’t know. He’s just so slow in doing things that drives me crazy. Haha.

    I really like Xiang Liu, and I cannot really put his relationship with Xiao Yao into words. Xiao Yao understands but doesn’t understand him. They have this strange push and pull relationship where they can just be themselves; they can play, bicker, get mad at each other, but at the end of the day, they just enjoy each other. However, he also shoulders a huge responsibility and is an enemy of all of her kin. That makes their relationship too complicated. She’s pretty much hiding their friendship from everyone (And here I’m talking about Xiang Liu and not Fang Feng Bei).

    • @xiaoyi I like that you don’t have a ship, and don’t worry for not having one. I’m sure you’ll still enjoy this series as the rest of many of us. 🙂 Yes, Xiao Yao hides her relationship with Xiang Liu from everyone else. Have you thought about why she does that? Is it because she is ashamed of him? Of coz not. She is protecting him! Even though she knows he is the much sought after, most dreaded, most dangerous demon a person could come across. She is scared of him, yet she makes no real effort to run away from him. One secret part of Xiao Yao (heart) craves for adventure and passion, yet she lives out the rest of her actions via her logical mind. We can say, Xiang Liu is her vice, and she is not about to share him with anyone else. She even chuckles and smiles when thinking of / doing something for him. Hehe.

    • There are three books with 17 chapters each I think, plus an extra heartbreaking epilogue. Koala is doing an amazing job translating the chapters at such speed!

  37. Xiang Liu owns my heart as well!!
    I can accept that Jing is probably the best choice for Xiao Yao, and he’s definitely the one that wants her the most and willing to give up everything to be with her. He might seem dull on the surface, but he’s such a genius and can be more manipulative than people give him credit for. It’s just that what he wants is something no one would imagine – he just wants to be with Xiao Yao, pure and simple.

    As for Zhuan Xu, I feel like his mommy issue and insecurity is what made him hesitant to hold onto Xiao Yao. If he told Xiao Yao how he feels before she completely fell for Jing then I’m sure Xiao Yao will never leave him. Instead he feels like he has to have the whole world under his control first for him to “deserve” being with Xiao Yao.

    Xiang Liu for me is such an unforgettable character. This is the first time I’ve ever actively searched for fanfiction because I desperately need my boy to be happy.

  38. Thing is I have sensed from the beginning of the novel that Xiang Liu might be yours and everyone else’s favourite character and that is why besides being smitten by the quintessential embodiment of the perfect 2nd male lead that is Jing, I kept on the lookout for Xiang Liu and Xiao Yao’s interactions to prepare myself to change ship. I love sparks like everyone else but for me half the time Xiang Liu’s actions confuse the hell out of the girl that I can only conclude that I am as simple minded as they come. I was prepared to ship him more but found that I couldn’t…in the end I would come to respect him. His choices. His life. His way of loving XiaoYao. He as XiaoYao’s soulmate.

    While you might find Jing dull to read, I am forever squealing whenever I read scenes of them together. I was marking pages of their scenes as I read so I could come back to devour the scenes again later…However I have to acknowledge his “burdens” was less than ZhuanXu or XiangLiu in this epic world of TongHua. His background may be as sad but it doesn’t have the powerful impact like that of ZhuanXu and XiangLiu. Relatively speaking he was blessed in his childhood unlike those two. And perhaps to compensate, TongHua made him suffer in his adulthood, adding physical disfigurement to place on par in suffering with the other leads.

    I think perhaps our preferences stem from our idea and perception of love. I am both a romantic and a pragmatist which might influence how I tend to choose my shipping. And probably the fact that I read Ah Heng and Qiyou’s story.

    For sure like you I think ZhuanXu is an honorable man…I understand where he is coming from and would defend his actions as well. The only reason he is lacking behind the 2 other leads is because he is slowest in realizing his true feelings and what he ultimately wants. I will leave my thoughts of him for later in the book when his story takes center stage.

    This is a lovely story and regardless of who you ship Xiaoyao with, there is enough sweetness and heartbreaks to go around in the chapters to come.

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