I can’t believe the end of volume 2 of Lost You Forever is finally translated! I’m letting out a major sigh of relief and accomplishment despite knowing the journey is hardly at its end since volume 3 with many more chapters looms on the horizon. Chapter 33 wraps up the much more action and romance packed volume 2 of this epic novel. Volume 1 was simply titled 长相思 which means “Eternally Missing You” but the English translation was the more melancholy “Lost You Forever”, which I guess is the same end result. Volume 2 was called 长相思:诉衷情 and the added phrase means to lament sadness but the English title was “Love You Forever”. This volume really was a lot about love and we saw how three different men loved Xiao Yao and how she loved them back. Beware of volume 3 called 长相思:思无涯 which translates literally as missing with an endless cliff and the English title is “Missing You Forever”. You’ve all been forewarned, but then I did also say this novel has a happy ending so also be prepared to feel all conflicted and twisty. So much happened in volume 2 as the action moved to the vast Middle Plains and Sheng Nong Mountain.
Xiao Yao died and was resurrected after spending 37 years in a clam shell with her same heartbeat demon soulmate Xiang Liu. She was all ready to live happily ever after with nice guy Jing when he went and might’ve knocked up calculating Yi Yang and then had to marry her. Xiao Yao’s broken heart took a backseat to helping Zhuan Xu win the Xuan Yuan throne and after that was said and done she nearly fell apart until she realized medicine was more meaningful than pining over broken promises. She almost married dull as beans Feng Long, who may or may not have a man-crush on Zhuan Xu, but got a last minute reprieve in a super dramatic awesome Fang Feng Bei wedding crashing sequence. Everything culminates in this ending chapter to volume 2 where Xiao Yao is going to confront Jing and finally the two of them are going to hash things out rather than pretend all is swell. I may love Xiang Liu to the Heavens and back but its impossible to deny that he’s got no future with Xiao Yao unless he gives up the single most honorable thing in his life, and if he did that he wouldn’t be Xiang Liu. That makes Jing still the only guy who has a chance with Xiao Yao, and maybe he’ll finally man up and do something about his dysfunctional family that keeps trying to kill him and in the process actually rekindle things with Xiao Yao.
Chapter 33 – The Wind is Moving, The Person is Still:
Xiao Yao arrived at Qing Qiu two days later.
Yu Shin told her “My position cannot ask to see the clan leader directly, luckily I have a connection with his maid Jing Ye so we can ask to see her first.”
Xiao Yao nodded “If I may bother you on this.”
Yu Shin asked to see Jing Ye and she had a small level of gratitude to him for helping her find the lost Jing so when she heard he was asking to see her, she quickly came out.
Yu Shin explained everything to her but Jing Ye thought it sounded absurd. Someone wanted to see the clan leader so he brought her here? Yu Shin carefully explained “I know it’s crazy but that girl really is very unique, even for me who has seen many kinds of people…..”
Jing Ye asked “What is her name?” It couldn’t be that Princess who eloped with another man on her wedding day, could it? The Yellow Emperor, the Black Emperor, the Grand Emperor, the entire vast wilderness was abuzz looking for her but she suddenly vanished without a trace.
“I don’t know, she won’t tell me anything. She just said the clan leader would see her. Oh right, she has a red peach blossom birthmark on her forehead.”
Jing Ye immediately said “Hurry, hurry and bring me to see her.”
Yu Shin noticed her reaction and knew he did the right thing. He let out a sigh of relief and knew what to do next “I worried Miss would want to see her so I have her waiting outside in the carriage!”
Jing Ye said to Yu Shin “Go outside and quietly bring the carriage in. Remember, quietly!”
Yu Shin nodded.
The carriage quietly entered the Tu Shan clan residence and Jing Ye saw Xiao Yao step off the carriage. She sighed in relief but also worry. The entire world was looking for her but she came to Qing Qiu. What was she thinking?
Jing Ye walked up to bow “Please….my lady will you please wash up and change. Rest a bit and I will go report to the clan leader.”
Xiao Yao felt dirty and tired so she nodded and followed two maids to wash up.
When Xiao Yao left Qing Shui Town, she was furious and wanted to demand to know why Jing paid Xiang Liu to stop her wedding. She wanted to know why he would shame her like that. But the cloud carriage winged horses were not the best so the trip took over two days, and by then Xiao Yao’s anger had dissipated and now she felt resigned. What could she do even after she found out why? Even if Jing did it, what could she do to him? She couldn’t kill him.
Xiao Yao started to regret this trip. She really had her brain fried in anger by Xiang Liu. How could she just storm here to Qing Qiu like this?
Xiao Yao hid in the bath and wouldn’t go out. The maids didn’t rush her and would occasionally call out to make sure she didn’t faint in there.
Xiao Yao bathed for two hours and she decided in the end that she couldn’t hide forever. She toweled off and changed into fresh clothes and walked outside to find Jing waiting for her in the room. People here had powers so could dispel the cold but Xiao Yao’s powers were weak so the room had a lot of braziers placed around it in case Xiao Yao was cold.
The room felt muggy so when Xiao Yao walked in Jing immediately stood up but she ignored him and went to open the window. Jing quickly said “Your hair is not dry yet, you’ll catch a cold.”
Jing wanted to close the window but Xiao Yao yelled “Don’t you dare!”
Jing quickly pulled the window so that only a small slit was open. Xiao Yao wanted to lose her temper but found that she couldn’t. Jing placed a brazier right behind Xiao Yao and then handed her a cup of magnolia flower tea for her to sip. After she drank the tea she asked “You’re not going to ask me where I went for for the past month and more with Fang Feng Bei?”
Jing said “I know Fang Feng Bei is Xiang Liu, he ought to have taken you to the Sheng Nong resistance army base in the mountains.”
“I’m Zhuan Xu’s little sister, he would take me to the Sheng Nong resistance army base? You think he’s an idiot?” Xiao Yao angrily yelled “I was in Qing Shui Town this entire time, right next door to Hui Chun Clinic.”
Jing was taken aback, Qing Shui Town was filled with all sorts of people. How could Xiao Yao have stayed there for over a month and no one spotted her?
Xiao Yao said “I never left the house, it wasn’t until the last day that I discovered I was living next door to Hui Chun Clinic.”
Jing asked “You saw Xan Tian Er?”
Xiao Yao was shocked, Jing’s question meant he knew only Tian Er was still alive. Xiao Yao said “I saw her.”
Jing said “Don’t be sad, Lao Mu and them all passed in peace.”
“You…..you always kept an eye on them?”
Jing nodded “When Lao Mu was on his death bed, I went to see him and told him that Xiao Liu was fine and for him not to worry.”
The final bit of anger inside Xiao Yao vanished and she stared at the cup of tea in her hand in a daze until she finally calmly spoke “Xiang Liu said that you gave him a lot of money to hire him to prevent me from marrying Feng Long.”
“I did do it, but I never could have imagined that Xiang Liu was so extreme in how he did things.”
“Why did you do it?”
“That day, on the streets of Qing Qiu, you told me you were getting married but there wasn’t a hint of happiness in your eyes. No one forced you so why are you forcing yourself to marry Feng Long. I….I couldn’t let you marry Feng Long like that. I begged him to cancel the wedding but he said no. I wanted to find you but I knew I was pouring oil on the flame. Right when I was at wits end, I ran into Fang Feng Bei. I remembered that you promised to do one thing for Xiang Liu as the price for breaking the voodoo bug in Zhuan Xu. Since Zhuan Xu became Emperor, the provisions have been scarce in the army base so I discussed a deal with Xiang Liu to buy the promise you made to him. I asked him to beg you to cancel the wedding. But I couldn’t have imagined that he would show up at the actual wedding ceremony to ask you to fulfill your promise. It was my fault, Xiao Yao I’m sorry!”
Xiao Yao coolly said “Nothing to be sorry about, it was a willing transaction between us all. My deal with Xiang Liu was fair and willing, your deal with Xiang Liu is also fair and willing. But I hope that you will never get involved in my life again! Whether I’m happy or not has nothing to do with you!”
Xiao Yao felt her coming to Qing Qiu was ridiculous but now that she said her piece, she had nothing else left to stay for so she stood up to say her farewell to leave. Jing jumped up and blocked the door while calling “Xiao Yao…..” while his body shook like he was about to keel over.
Xiao Yao quickly assisted him and took a look at his ill visage and wanted to take his pulse.
Jing pushed her hand aside “I’m fine! It’s dark now so please stay one night, you can leave in the morning. If you don’t want to see me, I’ll leave immediately.” Jing’s face was stark white which made his eyes even darker, there appeared a million things he wanted to say but couldn’t and it all turned to despair.
Xiao Yao remembered what Xan Tian Er said and sighed before sitting down “I’ll leave tomorrow.”
Jing stared at Xiao Yao for a moment and then sadly said “I’m leaving, you rest well and Jing Ye will keep watch outside. If you need anything let her know.”
Jing walked to the door when Xiao Yao suddenly said “I have something to say to you.”
Jing turned and quietly waited.
Xiao Yao pointed to the pallet “Please sit.”
Jing sat down across from Xiao Yao as she stared at the smoke wafting from the brazier and didn’t say anything for a few moments.
Jing quietly watched Xiao Yao and wished this moment could go on forever.
Xiao Yao said “All these years, I’ve not slept well and constantly think about the past.”
Jing was shocked, he hadn’t slept one night well all these years either and constantly thought about the past. But Xiao Yao appeared fine so Jing thought she had totally gotten over him.
Xiao Yao said “Fang Feng Yi Yang is underhanded but you also gave her the chance. In the beginning I said it was fine and I didn’t care, but I hated you and resented you deep down. So at each occasion, I would either avoid you or act like I was fine. I never let you see that I was still affected by you, but I always took note of your reactions.”
Jing said “I know, I was wrong.” Back then he thought Fang Feng Yi Yang was innocent and it was the Tu Shan clan that wronged her. He didn’t want to hurt her but then he forgot that by doing so then he ended up hurting Xiao Yao.
Xiao Yao said “You were wrong but it wasn’t only your fault. All these years I’ve been diligently learning medicine and my attitude has changed a lot and the way I see things. I discovered that it wasn’t right for me to blame it all on you.”
“No, you were always good to me….”
Xiao Yao gestured for Jing to be silent and let her finish “Xan Tian Er said that a person’s life was liking walking a mountain road with no clue what to expect. People want a partner for the walk to assist and help. I promised to walk the road with you but I was always pessimistically waiting. It was like if we went to climb a mountain and agreed to do it together, but when I saw you heading down the wrong path, I didn’t stop you and let you continue the wrong way. So I saw a drop and didn’t help you from falling and instead stood to the side watching coldly.”
Xiao Yao asked Jing “Did you know that Fang Feng Yi Yang tried many times to kill Zhuan Xu? One time she even shot an arrow into his chest.”
“What?” Jing looked shocked.
Xiao Yao said “Fang Feng Yi Yang was always polite and well-mannered in front of you, gentle and sweet, but I knew from the very beginning that she was calculating and deadly. I also knew you were soft-hearted and felt apologetic to her. Fang Feng Yi Yang was sure to use your personality and your regret against you. But I did nothing, I didn’t even warn you. I stood to the side and watched. My childhood made me pessimistic about human emotions, I feel like nothing will last forever and no one can be relied on. I never truly believed in you and I didn’t want to make the effort first. So when what I expected happened, I felt like it was exactly as I predicted! I know people can’t be trusted! But I didn’t know that what we put in is what we get back. We need to make the effort to achieve the ending we want. Xan Tian Er said that I never planted the seeds and tilled the field, how can I expect to reap the crop in the end?”
There were tears in Xiao Yao’s eyes “Every night I think about the fault and knew that I was wrong. My own pessimistic personality and attitude, my own distrust of others, it caused me to lose the man I like. If I made a bit more effort, said more or did more, perhaps the result would be completely different. Zhuan Xu thought I couldn’t get over it because I hated you, but in truth it’s because I can’t forgive myself. Jing, you shouldn’t feel guilty anymore. The world thinks we’re both very smart and calculating but when it came to our feelings and relationship, we both made mistakes. A person can make mistakes that can fixed, other times it can never be fixed…….”
Every night when she woke up from her dreams, she knew she was wrong but it was too late to fix. That pain was like a saw cutting through her bones. But it was all too late……..
Xiao Yao’s tears fell and she turned around to use her sleeve to wipe her tears but it fell more and more.
Jing was so anxious he grabbed her “Xiao Yao, Xiao Yao….don’t cry! You did nothing wrong, I promised to make the effort and to have faith in you and to protect you, but I didn’t do it.”
Xiao Yao leaned her head on his shoulder and cried soundlessly. In the thousands of nights in the dark, she hated Fang Feng Yi Yang, hated Jing, and in the end, hated herself.
Jing felt like a knife was cutting his heart when he heard Xiao Yao crying. This was the first time she ever cried for him. When she heard Yi Yang was pregnant, she smiled at him. If he could choose again, he would rather that she act like she didn’t care, he would rather that she really forgot him. He didn’t want Xiao Yao to be as pained and tormented as him.
Jing softly stroked her back “Xiao Yao, Xiao Yao, Xiao Yao…..” He kept murmuring her name over and over, like him calling her every night as he missed her and thought of her but could never touch her.
Xiao Yao hit Jing hard and cried “Why didn’t you let me get married? Why can’t you let me act like I’m fine and keep walking forward with a smile?”
Jing couldn’t answer. Why? Perhaps it was Xiao Yao’s look of sadness as she stood on the streets of Qing Qiu. He didn’t want her entire life to be like that. Perhaps he loved her too deeply and couldn’t let her marry another man. Perhaps deep inside his heart was a sliver of undying hope.
Jing said “I apologized earlier but I take it back now. I don’t regret it at all, even Xiang Liu using such an extreme means that caused the entire vast wilderness to descend into chaos, I’m still very happy that you didn’t marry Feng Long.”
“You…..you bastard!” Xiao Yao cried as she kept hitting him.
Jing smiled “I always was a bastard!”
Xiao Yao cried until she let out all the years of tamped down anguish and gradually regained her clarity. She realized she was in Jing’s arm and forcefully pushed him away.
Jing didn’t force her and got up to bring her another cup of hot tea “Drink some water.”
Xiao Yao took the cup and felt so embarrassed and shy, not able to look Jing in the eyes. What did she just say? She was the one who said they were now strangers, yet she just cried buckets of tears in his arms.
Xiao Yao’s attitude turned cool and she said “I said what I wanted to say so you can go now. Tomorrow I’ll go back to Sheng Nong Mountain and you don’t need to see me off.”
Jing stared at Xiao Yao and said nothing. It took ten years for Xiao Yao to finally lose her composure and the tears were still in the corner of her eyes but she was once again calm and rational. This time she said the final things she needed to say, after this parting he likely would never see her again.
Xiao Yao smiled “Wrong is wrong, even regret can’t change things. I will try hard to forget and keep on walking forward for your sake and for mine. Let’s not see each other ever again!”
Because he correctly guessed what Xiao Yao would say, Jing actually smiled and said “Have dinner first and afterwards I have something to say to you.”
Xiao Yao was about to turn him down when Jing added “I listened to what you had to say, you ought to listen to me as well. That’s only fair.”
Xiao Yao neither said yes nor said no.
Jing Ye brought porridge and served Xiao Yao a bowl and then served Jing a bowl.
Xiao Yao hadn’t eaten properly these past few days so smelling the delicious food she was genuinely starved and focused on eating.
Jing also lowered his head to eat, all these years he never had an appetite to taste good food but right now he felt the porridge was delicious and had two bowls with Xiao Yao.
Jing Ye saw the entire pot was eaten and sighed internally, feeling both happy and said. She collected the dishes and retreated from the room.
After Jing Ye left, Xiao Yao asked “What did you want to talk to me about?”
Jing said “Promise me that whatever I say, you’ll have the patience to hear me out. Don’t leave in a huff.”
“I promise, so say it!” Xiao Yao decided that after tomorrow she would never see Jing again and since this was their last night in each other’s presence, whatever Jing had to say then she would listen to it.
Jing said “Since Yi Yang and I…..had that happen, I always felt dejectedly dazed. I let my grandmother arranged everything and the only demand I had was that I would never see Yi Yang. But with the wedding done and she was pregnant, Yi Yang didn’t care either. It wasn’t until my sister-in-law died that I snapped out of it and started to see what was going on.”
Xiao Yao was perplexed, she remembered that quiet woman who allegedly killed herself because Hou had an affair with another woman. What did that have to do with Jing?
“My sister-in-law and Jing Ye, Lan Xiang, they all entered the residence at the same time. Because she was very gentle, my grandmother had her assigned to serve my brother. I’ve known her also since we were small. She might be very reticent but she loved to smile and was very generous with others. Jing Ye and Lan Xiang were both good friends with her. My mother married her to my brother and she became more and more quiet and withdrawn until I never saw her smile again. I knew my brother was cold towards her but I could do nothing other than secretly take care of her a bit. When Jing Ye had free time, I had her go visit my sister-in-law. She rarely spoke to me likely knowing it would upset my brother. But every Spring, if I’m in the residence, would she would hand a silver blossom to Jing Ye to place in my study. The flower is beautiful and grows on Qing Qiu hill. I remember going with my brother and the maids to see it when we were all little. My sister-in-law appeared slow but actually she knew everything. She gave me the flower likely to thank me and also to beg me not to forget my childhood affection for my brother and to forgive him…..” Jing grew silent “My sister-in-law didn’t kill herself by ingesting poison, she was murdered.”
“What? Who killed your sister-in-law?” Xiao Yao couldn’t believe it. Regardless of her low birth, she was still the first wife of the Tu Shan clan son, who dared to do that to her?
“Fang Feng Yi Yang.”
Xiao Yao was so shocked she was speechless. She was confused but believed that Fang Feng Yi Yang could do something like that.
“After my sister-in-law died, I started to really take a look at my situation with Fang Feng Yi Yang. I tried to recollect that night and even used a highly powered fox demon to hypnotize me and bring forth my hidden memories. But I could never remember that night. All my memory was being in a daze and mistaking Yi Yang for you and you took off your clothes and embraced me and wanted to make love, but I tried hard to push you away………and then I remembered nothing.”
When Jing spoke he kept watching Xiao Yao, afraid she would leave in anger but luckily she kept her promise and remained silently listening.
Jing said “My powers may not be as high as Xiang Liu, Feng Long and those top warriors in the vast wilderness, but I’m still the descendant of the nine-tailed fox. I learned my powers from childhood so it’s not low. A love potion can’t work on people like us, all it does is increase an existing urge but it wouldn’t be able to render me unable to control my urges.”
Xiao Yao nodded, it was true. To the Gods, forget Jing, even giving a love potion to those sleazebags like Cui Liang, they won’t be rendered unable to control themselves. A bucket of water could break the spell, they simply didn’t want to control themselves.
Jing saw that Xiao Yao agreed with his conclusion and continued “Yi Yang must know that so she knew the love potion couldn’t make me….sleep with her. So she had my grandmother put a mystifying spell on me so that I mistook her for you. But Yi Yang doesn’t know how much you mean to me. Because that person is you, I would never ever sleep with you under those circumstances.”
Xiao Yao asked “Even if I threw myself at you and you still wouldn’t?”
Jing said “If you threw yourself at me, I would control myself even more. If you are willing it means you trust me, so I will try even harder not to let you down and give you everything you deserve. Xiao Yao, back then Yi Yang tried to kill herself and I went to see her, but that was another woman’s room and another woman’s bed. I want to be with you openly and legitimately, how could I have slept with you just like that on another woman’s bed? That would be shaming and hurting you! No matter how confused I was, I firmly believe I would never betray my deepest convictions.”
Xiao Yao said nothing. She experienced Zhuan Xu detoxing from the drugs and he was in such pain he wanted to ram a wall. But the moment he hurt her then Zhuan Xu would immediately retreat.
Xiao Yao knew medicines and the spell could only arouse what was deep inside, but she also believed Jing deeply respected her and would never sleep with her on another woman’s bed.
Xiao Yao asked “So you deduced that the situation is suspect, but I heard from my Xi Ling clan leader uncle that your son looks a lot like you and also like his grandfather.”
Jing said “If he looks like his grandfather, then he will of course look like me.”
Xiao Yao didn’t get it right away and couldn’t understand the difference between what she said and what Jing just said.”
Jing said “My grandmother said that both my brother and I look like our dad. Especially my brother, he closely resembles our dad.”
An understanding thundered through Xiao Yao’s brain and she was rendered speechless. Many moments later, Xiao Yao slowly asked “Are you saying Yi Yang’s son doesn’t look like you, he looks like Hou?”
“My brother and the maid who served my sister-in-law said that she killed herself after confronting my brother about his affair and he slapped her. That year when my mom forced my brother to marry her, my grandmother didn’t object but also gave him a lot of concubines. My sister-in-law accepted and endured all that, why would she have a fight with my brother over a woman he had outside? Even if she wanted to raise a fuss, with her personality she would ask to see me as clan leader and ask me to rationally take her side. I know her death is suspect because before she died she wanted to see me. But I wasn’t home at that time and by the time I rushed back, she was dead and my brother took care of everything. I couldn’t find any clues in my investigation. In the years before my grandmother died, I didn’t get to speak with my sister-in-law a lot despite seeing her often since my brother or Yi Yang would always be there. The one time is the day before my grandmother died, I brought Zhen Er to my grandmother’s room and saw my sister-in-law there. As I was leaving, she leaned close and said “Zhen Er looks so much like his grandfather.” My grandmother and all the elders constantly noted that so I didn’t pay attention. But after she died I realized what she said was odd. It wasn’t weird for my grandmother to say it, but when my sister-in-law arrived in the residence my dad already died. She never saw my dad before, how could she say the boy looks like his grandfather?”
Xiao Yao said “If your sister-in-law really was killed because she knew something, then she was already being spied on at that time so she could only hint at you by saying that.”
Jing said “I’ve been looking for clues all these years but have found nothing. I’m blood brothers with my brother so even if the son is his, it’s the same bloodline and even a mystical object cannot tell the difference.”
Xiao Yao’s mind was all jumbled……
Back then Hou battled for the clan leader position nearly to the death with Jing, and even threw his support behind Yu Yang and Cang Lin and opposed Zhuan Xu. But then he gave up just like that and even swore a blood oath not to hurt Jing. If Yi Yang’s child was Hou’s, then it all made sense. Who cares if Jing became clan leader, in the end the position would fall to Hou’s own son.
Hou swore a blood oath not to hurt Jing but Yi Yang didn’t. If they wanted to, Yi Yang could try and kill Jing anytime…..
This plot must have been plotted for a long time by Hou and Yi Yang and pushed forward with the Grand Madam’s illness. They were seamless and until they killed Jing, they would never meet alone and even acted like they couldn’t stand each other so the world would never discover this secret.
Xiao Yao shuddered, if it wasn’t for the last few years with the Yellow Emperor abdicating, Zhuan Xu taking the throne, Xuan Yuan moving capitals, so much happening all at once, would Yi Yang have already attempted to kill Jing?
That timid thoughtful kind generous girl, she must have known about their plot and couldn’t keep silent any longer and wanted to warn Jing so she was killed by Hou and Yi Yang.
Jing said “All these years I’ve done nothing but have secretly kept an eye on them. But they are too calculating and Yi Yang publicly opposes my giving power to Hou and Hou would also complain about Yi Yang having too much power to the elders. Everyone thinks they don’t get along so to say they are having an affair would be like the sun rising from the West. I can’t give you proof of my suspicions right now but I’ll continue to look for evidence and clear my name.”
Xiao Yao said “Remember that big assassination attempt on you years ago?”
“When the assassins attacked my body double?”
“Yes! Back then both you and Feng Long noted that it wasn’t like Hou’s personality to do that, Feng Long said it appeared to be the actions of a really pissed off woman yet Hou admitted he did it.”
“I thought about that, right before the assassination was when I told Yi Yang that I liked someone else and asked her to end the engagement. Likely that pissed her off and she probably ordered the assassination on her own. Hou was afraid I would investigate and lead to her so openly admitted that he did it.”
Xiao Yao said “Even without definitive proof, there are so many suspicious hints that I actually believe you.”
Jing’s impassive face broke into an open smile, the kind that was like a dying person getting another chance at life but was hard pressed to be truly happy in the face of enduring so much.
Xiao Yao said “Don’t be rash now, if they suspect you cottoned onto them, then likely you’ll never be able to get proof. If you act, then you have to strike dead center. But you must be careful!” Xiao Yao thanked Jing’s sister-in-law in her heart, if it wasn’t for her then Jing would have likely been killed already.
Jing said “After my sister-in-law died, I’ve been exceedingly on guard towards my brother and Yi Yang, don’t worry.”
Xiao Yao’s heart hurt, how did Jing live all these years. With so much turmoil in the vast wilderness, as clan leader he needed to take each step carefully and needed the support of his family the most, yet his brother and his wife both wanted him dead.
Xiao Yao asked “After your sister-in-law died and you became suspicious, how come you didn’t tell me?”
“Without evidence, if you’ve already moved on then why do I need to involve you anymore. Knowing after tonight that you still…..I thought things can’t possibly get worse so decided to just tell you!”
Jing Ye knocked and brought in a plate “Master, please take your medicine.”
Jing crushed the pills and took the medicine with warm water.
Xiao Yao couldn’t help but ask “What is your illness?”
“Not a big illness, just managing my health.”
Jing Ye interrupted “Master almost died ten years ago of heart break. And all these years, because of Princess, he can’t sleep and can’t eat, it’s all in his heart. Three months ago Princess came to Qing Qiu to deliver a wedding announcement and invited Master to the wedding. It caused him to fall ill and he hasn’t gotten better…….”
“Jing Ye!” Jing’s voice was filled with censure.
Jing Ye had tears in her eyes and glared at Xiao Yao before leaving.
Xiao Yao watched Jing who said “It’s not as serious as Jing Ye claims.”
“Give me your hand.”
Jing didn’t move so Xiao Yao stared until he finally moved his hand over.
Xiao Yao placed a finger on his wrist and after a moment her face fell and she pulled her hand back without saying a word. She had no many thoughts in her mind but in the face of death nothing else mattered.
Likely Jing already heard from Hu Zhen his real condition so he didn’t need to hear from Xiao Yao and smiled “It’s nothing, it’ll get better slowly.”
Xiao Yao’s spirit was low but she forced a smile “It’s nothing, yes.”
Jing asked “How’s your health all these years?”
“I’m okay, I don’t sleep well at night but it’s not as bad as you. You have many things to worry about during the day. I’ve nothing to worry about since Zhuan Xu took the throne and can stay in bed for as late as I want. And no one will come bug me every few days to annoy me.”
Jing couldn’t help but laugh “If I hurt and you feel better, I actually feel better as well.” It didn’t matter if it was hate or anger, at least she still cared.
Xiao Yao said “You don’t know that I felt better then.”
“At least it’s not too late that I know now.”
Xiao Yao said nothing, even believing nothing happened between Jing and Yi Yang, and the child was Hou’s, did that mean she could start over again with Jing?
Jing didn’t dare to hope and he was already thrilled that Xiao Yao believed him. Before he resolved his mess, he didn’t dare say anything or hope for anything.
Xiao Yao asked “Feng Long….is he alright?”
“He appears fine but he’s proud and always gets his way so this was his greatest failure in his entire life. He’s forcing himself to be fine and I worried that if he couldn’t find Fang Feng Bei then he would take it out on the Fang Feng family. So I told him that I ordered Fang Feng Bei to ruin the wedding.”
“What?” Xiao Yao nervously stared at Jing “You guys….fought again?”
“It’s not fighting this time, he really wanted to kill me. My guards held him back but he’s currently severed our friendship.”
“Why did you admit to it? The Tu Shan clan will protect the Fang Feng family no matter what anyways.”
“Feng Long is my brother, and because my thoughtlessness caused Xiang Liu to create a scene, I feel guilt towards him. I can’t also continue to keep the truth from him so that he ends up hating the wrong person.”
Xiao Yao said “To Feng Long, a woman is just like his clothes and can be changed. You’ve been friends with him since childhood, after some time he’ll forgive you. But towards me, he’s likely forever going to hate.”
“Don’t worry, this is just one embarrassment and even if he can’t let it go in a few months, but after a few years and with his open-natured personality, he’ll get over it.”
Xiao Yao sighed, no matter what she did now Feng Long won’t accept it so there was nothing else for her to do now.
The two of them silently stared at each other, like there was more to say but what they wanted to say had all been said.
Jing stood up “It’s late, you get some rest!”
That night Xiao Yao didn’t know if Jing slept well but she couldn’t sleep. The thought about Jing’s health, Yi Yang and Hou, about what to do from now on……
At dawn Xiao Yao rose to wash.
Jing arrived shortly thereafter and after they breakfasted, Xiao Yao didn’t say she was leaving but Jing knew that her time here was coming to an end.
Xiao Yao said to Jing “I want to take a good look at your health today. I’ve been learning medicine carefully these past few years and yesterday when I took your pulse, I discovered something troubling about your health. Luckily there is still time so don’t worry……”
Jing casually said “I was never worried, if you don’t want to heal me then I don’t care if I live or die. I know I’ll get better now.”
Xiao Yao calmed herself and asked “Is Hu Zhen still your doctor? Have him join us!”
Hu Zhun arrived and Xiao Yao took Jing’s pulse and asked about his daily routine and food intake. Some questions Jing answered and others he needed to ask Jing Ye and Hu Zhen.
Xiao Yao asked what medicine Hu Zhen was currently prescribing and then discussed it with Hu Zhen.
Hu Zhen listened to Xiao Yao’s suggestions and changed some medicinal ingredients and decreased the dosage but increased the frequency.
Hu Zhen solemnly said “The clan leader’s illness from forty years ago never was properly treated and now it’s gotten much worse. Princess your idea is great but requires long term care for about ten to twenty years. Princess you really suggest this?”
Xiao Yao didn’t respond.
Jing said to Hu Zhen “Everything according to Xiao Yao’s suggestion.”
Hu Zhen bowed “Yes!”
Xiao Yao said to Jing “Another matter, I want to see your closest servants.”
Jing said to Jing Ye “Bring Hu Ya and Ling here.”
Both were startled and then Jing Ye softly replied “Yes!”
Xiao Yao had seen Hu Ya before but it was her first time meeting Ling, she was a very ephemeral girl, her visage like a shadow and her face impossible to see clearly.
Jing Ye explained “Ling is a very powerful fox demon and the head of the clan leader personal guards. She never sees anyone.”
Xiao Yao smiled at Jing “I want to speak privately with them, can I?”
Jing placed a spell around Xiao Yao and walked aside.
Xiao Yao bowed to Hu Ya, Jing Ye, Hu Ya, and Ling. Hu Ya, Hu Zhen, and Jing Ye bowed back but Ling avoided Xiao Yao’s bow and also didn’t bow back.”
Xiao Yao said “What I’m about to say is odd but please remember it.”
Jing Ye said “Princess please speak.”
“Fang Feng Yi Yang will likely try to kill Jing.”
All four stared at Xiao Yao who continued “You are all Jing’s personal servants so you know his relationship with Yi Yang. If anything happened to Jing, then Yi Yang’s son will become the next clan leader and at his young age, Yi Yang would effectively be ruling the Tu Shan clan.”
The four gaped and Jing Ye said “What else does the Princess know?”
“I don’t know when she’ll try to kill Jing or how she’ll attempt it but I am positive she will do it. You must protect Jing well at that time.”
Hu Ya said “Princess, that is our job.”
Xiao Yao said “And Tu Shan Hou, you also know about him and have been on guard against him but it’s not enough! You must all be on guard even more, likely Fang Feng Yi Yang and Tu Shan Hou will work together to kill Jing.”
Jing Ye was shocked “That can’t be, the Madam and the Eldest Master hate each other.”
Xiao Yao said “I know it’s hard to believe but there is no harm to be more careful! The worst is when the unexpected happens! You must all be alert and on guard.”
Hu Ya said “Princess don’t worry, we will remember it.”
“Please do so!” Xiao Yao bowed to all four of them again.
This time all four bowed back and Jing Ye said “Thank you Princess for the warning.”
Xiao Yao said to Jing “I’m done.”
Jing was standing with his back to them so Xiao Yao walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. Jing turned around “Done?”
The four all stepped aside.
Xiao Yao said to Jing “I told them all to be careful about Fang Feng Yi Yang.” She didn’t want to say it in front of Jing not to keep it from him but so he didn’t feel even worse.”
Xiao Yao reminded Jing “You also need to be more on guard, normal poisons can’t harm you and the poisons that can harm a God must be ingested to hit all the vital organs so don’t eat or drink anything you don’t know where it came from.”
Jing smiled “I got it!”
Jing Ye knocked on the door “The Black Emperor sent a messenger asking of the clan leader has news about the Princess.”
Jing sighed, in just one night and half a day, Zhuan Xu was already aware.
Xiao Yao knew Zhuan Xu would have someone watching the Tu Shan clan and Yu Shin’s actions were odd so it was normal Zhuan Xu would follow up.
Xiao Yao said to Jing Ye “Have them wait a bit.”
Xiao Yao said to Jing “I need to go.”
Jing felt reluctant but knew he had no right to keep her.
Xiao Yao walked out and said “You are kind and loving and it’s not a personality flaw but faced with Yi Yang and Hou then it becomes a weakness.”
Jing said “I understand, it all stops now and I won’t retreat anymore.”
Xiao Yao nodded “That’s more like it.”
Jing walked her to the front door and Xiao Yao said “No need to send me off, Jing Ye will lead me out.”
“Wait!” Jing stopped Xiao Yao and took out the fish amethyst from his waist and handed it to her.
Xiao Yao didn’t accept it nor did she reject it.
Jing said “This is my payment for the medical consult, will the Princess please accept.”
Xiao Yao thought and said “If I accept then I have to fully cure your illness.”
Jing said “I will do as the doctor says and take care of myself. After some time I will go to Zhi Yi castle and ask the Princess to continue to treat me.”
Xiao Yao took the fish amethyst and walked away without saying a word.
Jing let out a pent up breath, as long as she was willing to see him even if just as a patient then he was happy.
On the way back to Shen Nong Mountain, Xiao Yao kept thinking of how Zhuan Xu will deal with her.
Furious? Definitely. Angry? Absolutely.
She tossed such a mess to Zhuan Xu and it would be shocking if he wasn’t furious and angry! But if was over a month ago and his initial rage was likely calmed by now and he was left with hassles that were annoying and tedious to deal with.
The cloud carriage landed on Xiao Yue Summit and Xiao Yao saw Zhuan Xu immediately as she got off.
Zhuan Xu appeared very calm but Xiao Yao didn’t dare press her luck so she put on a big smile and walked toward him while sweetly calling “Gege.”
Zhuan Xu glared at her for a second before coolly said “Let’s go.”
Xiao Yao followed behind him and snuck looks at him but it wasn’t clear what Zhuan Xu was thinking. It was impossible to tell his mood and Xiao Yao once again was reminded that the Zhuan Xu now was the Black Emperor who owned half the world.
There were lots of snow collected in the canyons and because few passed through there were no marks on the snow. It was a clear and pristine blanket of white and gave one the urge to leave an imprint on it.
Xiao Yao would periodically kneel down to leave her hand prints quickly in the snow and Zhuan Xu continued to ignore her but his footsteps slowed.
After passing through another white snowy area, Xiao Yao bent down and used her hands to pat the snow and creates tens of interlocking hand prints. She then drew a long line down the middle so it looked like a tree branch.
Xiao Yao looked up at Zhuan Xu “Gege.”
Zhuan Xu bent down and left tens of hand prints next to Xiao Yao’s and added a few lines, creating a mulberry tree on the snow. When they were small they often drew in the snow and using their hand prints to create a mulberry tree was something Zhuan Xu taught Xiao Yao.
Xiao Yao smiled and put her face right next to his “Still angry?”
Zhuan Xu coolly said “I’m not angry.” On the day Xiao Yao was supposed to get married, he sat alone in the phoenix tree forest surrounded by silence and desolation. When he heard Xiao Yao ran away from her wedding, his eyes lighted up in uncontrollable joy.
Zhuan Xu said “I’m here so you don’t need to worry about him! From now on, just think of him as someone with no connection to you.”
“I feel like I wronged him.”
“No need, I already compensated him and all he’ll have to endure is a few months of gossip. It’s hard to endure now but when he’s in possession of great power and his beauties in his arm, the world will forget that joke of a wedding.”
Xiao Yao quizzically stared “I left you with such a mess to clean up and I thought you would be furious with me!” In the past when she left to play with Fang Feng Bei for a few days time, Zhuan Xu would be pissed at her for days afterwards.
Zhuan Xu grabbed Xiao Yao’s hand and pulled her up from the snow and used his hand to warm hers “Do you want me to punish you?”
Xiao Yao shook her head, grateful that Zhuan Xu was being lenient and she had no desire to bring trouble on herself.
Zhuan Xu said “Let’s hurry, don’t catch a chill.”
Zhuan Xu pulled Xiao Yao behind him and quickly walked but then Xiao Yao started laughing and ran ahead to pull Zhuan Xu behind her as she ran.
The two laughed as they ran until they arrived in the bamboo hut and Xiao Yao quickly took off her boots and jumped inside to call out “I’m home!”
Zhuan Xu smiled as he languidly took off his shoes and stepped inside.
The Yellow Emperor walked out and Xiao Yao immediately stopped smiling and nervously ducked behind Zhuan Xu. The world was afraid of the Yellow Emperor but she never was, until now because this time she did something wrong so she actually was a little bit afraid of him.
Zhuan Xu smiled but liking this very much so he just bowed to the Yellow Emperor and dragged Xiao Yao to sit down. He shoved a hand warmer in her lap for her to hold.
The Yellow Emperor stared at Xiao Yao with his brows furrowed.
Xiao Yao slowly scooted behind Zhuan Xu, desperately wanting to completely disappear behind his back.
The Yellow Emperor said “You have the guts to run away from your wedding in front of the entire world, I thought you would be afraid of nothing.”
Xiao Yao lowered her head and said nothing.
The Yellow Emperor said “Actually, because you are a Princess, it’s even harder to find a good man. A man with talent will be arrogant and might not want your power. A man who wants your position is someone you will never like. Feng Long matched you in every way, he is talented but doesn’t need your position. Giving him up is a regret for you.”
Xiao Yao murmured “I know.”
The Yellow Emperor sighed “If you want to get married to a good man later it’s going to be hard!” He wanted Xiao Yao to grab this last opportunity and settle down, who knew she didn’t manage to settle down and even destroyed her own reputation instead.
Xiao Yao said “I know.”
The Yellow Emperor asked “What’s up with you and Fang Feng Bei? He wants to marry you but doesn’t have the courage to come see us?”
Xiao Yao glanced guiltily at the Yellow Emperor and then Zhuan Xu and then ducked behind Zhuan Xu again. He patted her back to indicate that no matter what he would cover for her. Xiao Yao said “Fang Feng Bei, he…..he’s dead.”
Both the Yellow Emperor and Zhuan Xu stared at Xiao Yao in shock and she said “Don’t ask me, I don’t want to talk about it. He’s dead and won’t show up ever again!”
“Did you kill him?”
“I…..just think of it as he died because of me. What happened between him and me I don’t want to discuss!”
The Yellow Emperor saw that Xiao Yao looked devastated and didn’t want to probe further into romantic entanglements. He said to Zhuan Xu “The entire world saw Xiao Yao leave with Fang Feng Bei. She came back but he’s dead, an answer must be given to the Fang Feng family.”
Zhuan Xu coolly said “I sent guards to bring Xiao Yao back and Fang Feng Bei wouldn’t let her go so the guards kill him in their haste to bring the Princess back. This will give the Chi Sui clan and the entire world an answer as well. Feng Long’s temper will calm down now and the Fang Feng family won’t ask for anything for their second son.”
The Yellow Emperor nodded.
Xiao Yao sadly thought about what Xiang Liu would think once he hears that this is how Fang Feng Bei ended up.
The Yellow Emperor sighed “Xiao Yao, what will you do from now on?”
“What will I do?” Xiao Yao looked at Zhuan Xu “Can’t I go back to the way it was? No matter how the world sees me, at least my Dad and my Gege won’t not want me.”
Zhuan Xu said “Of course!”
The Yellow Emperor looked at Zhuan Xu and sighed again.
Xiao Yao giggled “Grandfather, you are full of sighs today! Not like the smart brave Yellow Emperor!”
The Yellow Emperor sighed “Right now I’m just an old fool worried about my grandson and granddaughter!”
Xiao Yao made face at Zhuan Xu since she was likely the only person in the world who could make the Yellow Emperor sigh left and sigh right.
The sun set early in the Winter so dinner was also early. After dinner, Xiao Yao grabbed Zhuan Xu’s sleeve and indicated for him to go to her room with her. Miao Pu made the room toasty warm and left wine for Xiao Yao.
Xiao Yoa and Zhuan Xu settled on the pallet and Zhuan Xu held a cup of wine and kept smiling at Xiao Yao, his eyes reflected his contentment and happiness.
Xiao Yao said “Tomorrow I’m going to Five Gods Mountain. Aish, this time I really wiped the floor with my dad’s face!”
Zhuan Xu smiled “I’ll have Xiao Xiao accompany you to Five Gods Mountain.”
Xiao Yao said “Fine.”
Zhuan Xu asked “How long will you stay there?”
Xiao Yao said “When I was in Qing Shui Town, my mind was a mess and didn’t want to think or do anything. I didn’t even step foot out of the house. So your guards would have never noticed me. Later I wanted to go back but didn’t know how to contact you or dad so went to find Yu Shin and had him deliver me to Qing Qiu.”
Zhuan Xu said “So you ran off from a wedding. It’s no big deal! Are you afraid you won’t be able to get married in the future?”
Xiao Yao stuck her tongue out at him “I’m not worried, but I’m afraid you and dad will be worried.”
Zhuan Xu stared at Xiao Yao “If you can’t get married for your entire life, then I’ll take care of you for your entire life.”
Xiao Yao said “If you take care of me for long, you’ll get annoyed whenever you see me.”
Zhuan Xu held the wine cup in one hand and his other hand picked up a lock of Xiao Yao’s hair and twined it around his hand as he casually drawled “Xiao Yao, if no man wants to marry you, actually living with me for an entire life isn’t bad, right?”
Xiao Yao thought of Jing, and thought of that painful period when it was Zhuan Xu who accompanied her every night and said “If no one is willing to marry me, then I guess you’ll have to keep me company.”
Zhuan Xu smiled and his hand gripped Xiao Yao’s lock of hair even tighter.
Under Xiao Xiao and Miao Pu’s accompaniment, Xiao Yao returned to Five Gods Mountain.
For her runaway bride routine, the Grand Emperor didn’t even care and even smiled “I never wanted you to marry Chi Sui Feng Long so you running away was exactly the ending I wanted.”
Xiao Yao asked “Did I leave you a mess to clean up?”
The Grand Emperor said “Did you forget what I told you before? You can do whatever you want because your dad is a powerful ruler. I have the power to let my daughters do whatever they want.”
Xiao Yao saw the Grand Emperor like this and felt even more apologetic. She felt guilty to her dad but also grateful that her dad coddled her this much.
Ah Nian reveled in how Xiao Yao was so well behaved usually so when she did mess up it was in a way to shock the entire world.
Xiao Yao snarked “So you better not learn from me, you hear.”
Ah Nian said “No matter how much I try I will never beat you on this. And with you as a comparison, now the entire court and citizens of Gao Xing think I’m the best Princess ever!”
Xiao Yao smiled wanly. She heard already that the officials wanted her dad to punish her but her dad remained firm in protecting his daughter and nothing would sway him.
Knowing that Hou and Yi Yang was planning to kill Jing, Xiao Yao wanted to make medicines for him to carry that could save his life in an emergency. But such medicines was very rare and hard to made. Luckily her study of the Sheng Nong Herb Manual all these years plus the holy waters in Gao Xing along with the heavenly mulberry trees, she had on hand all the rarest of ingredients to make it.
Xiao Yao thought and used all the ingredients and added her own blood and after toiling away for a hundred days, she finally produced one pill.
Xiao Yao fell deathly ill because she used her blood to make the pill, leaving her so weak she couldn’t even get out of bed.
After she fully recovered, she had lived on Five Gods Mountain for four months and Xiao Xiao reminded Xiao Yao it was time to go back to Sheng Nong Mountain. Xiao Yao was also worried about Jing’s health so went to say her farewells to her dad.
On the day before she was leaving, the Grand Emperor left court early and took Xiao Yao and Ah Nian out to sea. The three fished, cooked the fish, and happily spent time together.
Xiao Yao knew Ah Nian loved crab so purposely dove into the deep waters to catch two big ones for her. Ah Nian believed more and more that having an older sister like Xiao Yao was great. In the past she was jealous of Xiao Yao stealing her thunder but now compared to Xiao Yao everything she did seemed more proper. She could even have Xiao Yao do all the work while she just enjoyed the treats afterwards, who said Xiao Yao had to be the older sister. It’s all Xiao Yao’s lot in life that she had to take care of Ah Nian!
The father and daughters played until it was completely dark out before they went back. The Grand Emperor watched his two daughters beside him chatting in their sweet voices and his usual cold visage melted like warm water.
That night Xiao Yao bathed and was ready to sleep when Ah Nian came and took over Xiao Yao’s pallet “Tonight I’ll sleep with you.”
Xiao Yao was startled and then smiled “Sure!”
The two girls laid down in the darkness and Ah Nian grabbed Xiao Yao’s arm and shook it “Jiejie, why did you run away from your wedding?”
Xiao Yao understood for the first time what nighttime girl talk was and said “I thought you came to ask about Zhuan Xu! Why the interest in my matters?”
Ah Nian scoffed “I write regularly with Zhuan Xu gege, plus he’s the ruler so his actions are watched by everyone. I often go to talk with Ru So about Zhuan Xu. I probably know more about his life than you do. Jiejie, did you run away from your wedding because you don’t like the Chi Sui clan leader?”
Xiao Yao thought “Yeah, I guess so!” Even though running away was forced by Xiang Liu, but the truth was that she didn’t love Feng Long.
Ah Nian excitedly said “Then what is your relationship with that Fang Feng Bei who stormed the wedding so dramatically? Everyone said you two already got it on before, when you guys were in Xuan Yuan Castle there was all this flirting and you guys hooked up then.”
Xiao Yao looked out the window at the silver moon shining down and smiled sadly but said nothing.
Ah Nian got even more into it “The maids all say that the Xuan Yuan guards killed Fang Feng Bei and you were so devastated that you fought with the Black Emperor and ran back to Five Gods Mountain. They all say you collected all the rare ingredients and worked so hard to make a pill to bring him back to life and save Fang Feng Bei. They all say that Fang Feng Bei’s body was never found because you hid it…..”
Xiao Yao’s mouth dropped open “That’s the rumor going around?”
Ah Nian excitedly said “Yes! Yes!”
“Do you believe it?”
“Not one whit!”
“Then why did you come ask me?”
“I want to know why you ran away from the wedding. Good Jiejie, tell me!”
“My running away from the wedding impacted a lot of people but actually the fundamental reason is that I don’t love Feng Long. You know that liking someone is something that can’t stop you, and not liking someone gives you any reason to end it.”
Ah Nian sighed “I know!”
Xiao Yao’s words got Ah Nian to start chattering about her own situation and the two sisters talked until they drowsily fell asleep.
The second day, Xiao Yao got on the cloud carriage and kept yawning.
The Grand Emperor and Ah Nian came to send her off and Ah Nian said “Jiejie, you’re afraid of the cold so come back in the Winter where it’s warmer her and we can go back out to sea.”
Xiao Yao said “Sure! In the Winter when I come back, I’ll teach you to swim.”
The Grand Emperor looked at his two sleep deprived daughters and secretly smiled inside.
Xiao Yao closed her eyes and her fingers touched the fish amethyst until her smile disappeared.
Hou and Yi Yang were not compassionate people, and with their personalities, their patience was at an end. So every day Jing was living under the specter of death and even if he was very careful, as time went on people got careless and Hou and Yi Yang would have a chance to strike. The best solution was to eliminate the danger once and for all.
Killing Hou and Yi Yang wasn’t hard but Jing wanted the truth.
Otherwise with Hou and Yi Yang dead then Jing still wouldn’t be able to face that child Tu Shan Zhen.
To get the truth both Hou and Yi Yang had to remain alive. But if they remained alive then Jing would be in danger.
Xiao Yao furrowed her brows, this really was a conundrum!
But she needed to resolve it because she also wanted to know the truth!