“Dida”sound of the water in the stone cave.
“Where is this…,”I kept sobbing while sitting on a rock. Zihui squatted in front of me and gave me a towel.
“You can say that it’s my home. A Xiang, don’t cry anymore.”
I took the towel and wiped my face, while choking: “Although I’m stupid, but I still remember that father and mother was very good to me. Shifu, shifu was obviously also very good to me…But why did he kill my parents? Why did he lie to me?”
Zihui was silent for a moment before he said: “A Xiang, now you can’t return to Shengling sect anymore. What are you going to do next?”
“I…haven’t thought about it yet.”
I shook my head: “I hit shifu. Shifu wouldn’t want me anymore. I also don’t want to go back to Shengling sect. Home…I also can’t go back home. I…don’t know.”
Zihui grabbed my hand and quietly looked at me. In the darkness of his eyes, I saw a hint of purple flew across.
“From now on, a Xiang, let’s live together, alright?”
He stretched out his hand and touched my face. I inexplicable felt that this isn’t right. I wanted to hide, but his hand left as quickly as it had come.
“You can be my wife. I’ll treat you better than your shifu. I’ll not lie to you and I’ll not abandon you.”
I looked at him for a moment: “But, shifu still hasn’t agreed…..”
Zihui was stunned for a moment and then said laughingly: “Shifu? Silly girl, he slaughtered your whole family, you still see him as your shifu?”
The tears fell down again: “Can’t I see him as shifu anymore?”
After all, shifu was really good to me.
“Right, you can no longer have the bond of disciple and master after this blood feud.”
Zihui hold my hand tightly, like a temptation he said: “I’ll marry you and take care of you in the stead of your shifu. Are you willing?”
I looked at how my tears fell onto his hand. Then I nodded. Zihui laughed, stood up and touched my head.
“A Xiang, this is nice. In my family, there’s a tradition that whoever marrying into my family will need to drink a bowl of this medicine. It makes the body more fit to live with me. A Xiang, do you want to drink it?”
I nodded mechanically. Zihui left my sight. Soon he came back holding a bowl of red medicine. I didn’t have any suspicion and swallowed it. A fishy sweet and warm feeling, like drinking a mouthful of blood, making my chest felt stuffy.
Zihui patted my head with a face full of happiness. He pointed at the stone bed and said: “These two days must have tired you out. Go take a rest.”
In fact, I don’t want to sleep. But I don’t know why after listening to his words, my feet moved on their own to the bed and obediently lay down. I closed my eyes. My world turned into darkness. My brain was filled of Shengling sect and Fengxueshan manor and, and shifu’s one moment laughing face and one moment angry face…
I thought that I’ll never see that kind of shifu anymore. After becoming Zihui’s bride, I’ll settle down in this stone cave.
I didn’t want to step out of this cave. I always think that there are monsters outside, who wants to eat me. I became really lazy. Here, no one lets me do the laundry and make the bed. Nobody likes to let me fan him and turn the page of his books.
Zihui was often absent. I sit all day long on the stone bed and didn’t know what time or day it is. I live with the nature. But I didn’t think that these days are relaxed. They’re like a block of stone, putting pressure on my heart, making it hard to breathe.
Today, Zihui came back. I was complaining about the bad air in this cave, making people’s hearts feel stuffy. Zihui smiled distractedly and said: “Excuse me, I lack a heart. I don’t know what a stuffy heart feels like.”
I didn’t understand.
“But everyone has one ah. It’s here.”
I pointed at my heart. This is also one of those things shifu taught me. Thinking about it made me feel melancholy.
“En, I know,” Zihui was still smiling. He seems like in trance. “I’ve also had one, but I didn’t cherish it and gave it to someone else.”
“Can you give a heart to others?”
“Ordinary people can’t, but it’s possible for demons and gods.”
Zihui’s lips straightened. It’s sensual with some coldness.
“The heart can be made into an excellent elixir.”
I was shocked: “Someone else made elixir with your heart?”
Zihui was silent for a while and then laughed coldly: “No, I pulled it out myself, made an elixir out of it and gave it to someone else.”
He said it so lightly. I curiously approached him and poked is chest.
“In here it’s empty? Does it hurt? Does it feel cold?”
After waiting for a long time and still didn’t hear Zihui’s answer, I lifted my head to look at him. I saw him staring at me. After a really long time did he touch my head and said with a wry smile: “Silly girl.”
Suddenly Zihui rolled his eyes. His smile changed. It was like that day. He took me to the bed and sat down. He patted my head lightly with his hand and said: “Rest.”
He only said this one word, I felt how my eyes turned black and I lost the five senses.
I didn’t know how much time has passed, but strangely my eyes can see again. It’s still this cave. I sat still on the stone bed. Zihui was standing next to me. There was one more man in front. Seeing him, I shivered. Intuitively, I wanted to run to him. But I don’t know why, I couldn’t even move the slightest bit. I was afraid and wanted to speak. But even my lips wouldn’t open. My body was like the dead.
“I waited for celestial star, Chu Kong, for a long time.”
“What have you done to her,” shifu stared at me, frowning.
“Celestial star, don’t worry. I temporarily closed the five senses. She only can’t feel the outside world.”
Shifu’s eyes turned away from me and he coldly said: “You used so many efforts to seduce my stupid disciple. In the end what do you want?”
“The heart of a demigod.”
I was startled. Zihui, he…he wanted shifu’s heart!
“Oh, little demon’s ambition is not small.”
Shifu’s gaze faintly swept over me.
“Why are you so assured that I’ll give it to you?”
“I’m not assured, I was just playing with luck. I guessed that coming to the human world is just an experience to the gods. To celestial star, Chu Kong’s eyes, this lifetime is only a road to another beginning. Your body of this lifetime is only a temporary shell. Gods are always cold toward life and death, but celestial star treat this silly girl really special. So I made a bet. Since I only have one month left to live, I’m not afraid to offend you. Sure enough, even with how a Xiang treated you, you still helplessly chased after us.”
Shifu’s eyes squinted slightly. His hand tightened around the whip.
“Oh, do you really think that I value this stupid disciple? You love to kill her, then kill her. You love to eat her, then eat her. I’ve come because I want to destroy you, an outrageous stone demon. You dare to calculate xiaoye, even if I scatter your soul, it wouldn’t be enough to pay me back.”
My mind is inexplicable at peace, but a cold overwhelmed me. It felt as if a snake was wrapped around me. I was at loss when Zihui smiled: “My power isn’t a match for the magical powers of a celestial star. If celestial star wants to kill me, then kill. I’m helpless. It’s just that I and a Xiang have married. My blood flows in her blood. She and I are connected with the same soul. Our life and death are connected with each other. If celestial star doesn’t care about this stupid disciple, then you can scatter my and her soul.”
“Married, soul connected….you….”
Shifu gritted his teeth. The hand holding the whip trembled a little.
I felt Zihui’s hand from behind. He grabbed my shoulder and sat down beside me. He said: “Celestial star, see, do you want to settle it today or do you want to see me and a Xiang’s soul cease to exist after a month? Never being reincarnated again. Will that lessen the resentment of celestial star?”
Shifu turned silent. His eyes were quietly cold, the color dark as the night. Suddenly, he waved and fiercely smacked Zihui’s face. And I felt an inexplicable pain. My face was burning with pain. My cheek became sticky with blood.
“This whip, celestial star didn’t use full force. If celestial start doesn’t believe me, you can kill me and test it,”Zihui said laughingly.
“I’m a clean stone demon and can’t do sinister things. No matter if it’s becoming my wife or giving me a heart, it must be done willingly. Because if even the slightest force is used, the effectiveness will be gone and it’ll cause great harm. The heart of a demigod can help me get back the power I had lost. I can change back to an immortal demon. A Xiang can also live on for a long time. To save or to kill is all in celestial star’s hand.”
I stared at shifu. My heart is bursting with horror. Suddenly shifu smiled and my breath stifled. I heard him say: “Very well, this way, xiaoye will settle it with you.”
Shifu pulled out a knife, like the one the cook used, a ten inch long knife. He stabbed the knife into his own chest. Shifu complexion turned white. Like he doesn’t feel pain, he guided the knife down his chest. I could hear the sound of flesh tearing apart.
I was so startled that I nearly went mad. The hand on my shoulder stiffened slightly. It seems like he also didn’t expect this.
Shifu said with a carefree voice: “Stone demon, do you think that xiaoye, I, fell into your trap?”
His wrist turned. His complexion whitened a little more, but his expression didn’t change. There were some sweats on his forehead.
“It’s only because your luck is good and happened to encounter xiaoye’s weak days. If you let me encounter you in the future…. I’ll let you feel that living is more painful than death.”
But future….what future?
My mind felt like an earthquake just happened. I struggled to shout out loud, but I couldn’t move even the slightest.
Shifu twisted the knife. Immediately his clothes soaked in blood. I can hear the beating of his heart lying in his body like the times I had nightmares and went to shifu’s bed. He will say: “I’m here; no one will dare to bully you.”
At that time I can hear his warm and calm voice, while I was lying in his arms. It cut all my uneasiness.
Shifu turned around and bent a little. I hear a sound that couldn’t be smothered. Red splatter of blood dropped on the ground. Shifu tossed the red thing in his hand randomly, like tossing a worthless stone.
“Here…well, this is xiaoye’s reward for you.”
The hand on my shoulder, left. My eyes couldn’t move. I could only stare blankly at shifu. Shifu was also staring at me. He was white as a sheet. Gently he moved his lips: “You’re not allowed to tell her about today. You’re not allowed to tell her about me. This girl is extremely stupid. If you lie to her for a few times, she’ll forget.”
“For a silly girl you give up a life and you don’t want her to remember your good. Don’t you feel disadvantageous?”
“Hmpf…none of your business, just….”
Shifu grabbed his chest and coldly laughed: “If you don’t let her live a long and good life, what I have is many opportunities to let you suffer.”
After those words he turned his body. Leaning on the cave, straightening his spine, difficult but yet relaxed he walked away.
My chest’s heat seemed also to have been emptied. I couldn’t think of anything. I only felt that I should stay at shifu’s side. No matter what was done, no matter how deep our blood feud is, I should be by his side like before: turning the pages of his book, fanning him, making his bed and doing laundry.
I didn’t know how long shifu has left. My head felt warm. Zihui was patting my head and said the word “free”. I felt loose like someone has pumped my bones. My whole body felt soft. Trembling, it came to life. I looked at the pool of blood on the floor. My nose felt sour, tears fell down.
Zihui was actually a little surprised.
He nodded like he understood.
“You were with him for so long. You must learn some tricks. No wonder you can break the seal.”
Zihui stretched his hand and pulled me.
“Don’t be too persistent about this life. You’re shifu is not a normal person…”
I shoved him and grabbed his hand. I bit really hard on it. I really want to crush his bones.
“Give shifu his heart back! Give it back to him!”
I kept repeating those words. My mouth tasted Zihui’s blood and my own tears.
Zihui didn’t push me away. He only said gently: “He shouldn’t be able to go far. After a while we can go together and bury him.”
His warm blood rolled down my throat. These days lazy body suddenly relaxed.
Shifu, shifu…I can’t figure out Zihui. What demigod’s heart, what blood feud. I only know that shifu must be very sad now. He’s alone with and empty chest. So much blood has been shed and nobody is taking care of him.
I no longer cared about Zihui and stood up. I ran out of the cave.
Having not moved for many days, I felt a little dizzy. Out of the cave did I see that this is actually a stone hill surrounded by cliffs. There’s only a path to the top of the hill. On the road, there’s bright red blood. I followed the blood trail and called out: “Shifu, shifu.”
Desolate wind was blowing. I turned around a corner and climbed on top of the hill. Shifu was lying there. His blood dripped all over the floor. I felt my heart tightening and not opening again. My throat seemed to be blocked and I couldn’t make the slightest sound. I knelt in front of him and whimpered: “Shifu….”
I picked up his head. My fingertip felt cold. He’s so powerful like a hero who can conquer everything. Why is he so pale and frail at this time?
Shifu’s closed eyes suddenly moved an opened. In his eyes flashed a panic I don’t understand. Then he sighed and his lips moved: “Stupid…”
I busily kept saying: “All is because of me…because of me.”
“Stupid disciple, snort dripping on my face….dirty and ugly.”
Shifu’s hand rose halfway, but he didn’t have energy and put it down. I hold his hand, buried my head against it and cried. Shifu sighed: “Ten years ago, slaughtering Yang family was not my intention. But the lives of more than thirty people are indeed buried by Shengling sect’s hands. If you want to blame me, then blame.”
“I don’t blame you.”
I shook my head.
“I don’t blame. I’ll go back with shifu to Fengxueshan manor. I’ll also fan and turn the page of the book for you. Also massaging your leg and back for you! I…I’ll never want a husband again. I only want shifu. Let’s go back. Let’s go back together.”
Shifu looked relaxed as if he can look through the sky. His voice was weak and small: “I didn’t fall into the demon’s trap and I also didn’t lose to you….”
Shifu gritted his teeth really hard.
“I just didn’t win against destiny.”
“Can’t win….forget it. You saved me, I saved you. Previous lifetime…this lifetime, we…”
Shifu was really tired and he slowly closed his eyes.
“Let’s go back, let’s go back…”
Beside those words, I couldn’t say anything else. The wind whistled around us. Not only shifu, but it also seemed that my heart has also been cut out. It felt really empty.
I didn’t know for how long I sat there, holding shifu. Suddenly I heard a loud call. It’s Zihui. He stood two steps away from me and said in a whisper: “I’ll follow his wishes. In the future, I’ll take care of you in your shifu stead. I’ll treat you the same as he treated you. Don’t be so sad anymore.”
I looked at him in trance. I touched shifu’s empty chest. Confused I thought: Shifu isn’t a good man, but he was good to me. In this world no one can compare. There’s no one who can be my shifu anymore. There’s no one to hold my hand and take me back to Fengxueshan manor anymore. I can’t go back anymore….
I hold onto shifu’s body tightly and took few steps back. The mountain wind whistled in my ears. The sky is getting further away from me. Everything is so blurred, only shifu’s cold body is still beside me. I’ll wait for him, always wait for him. Until one day in the future, in a sunny afternoon, through the curls of the incense, I could hear him call me softly: “Xiao Xiang Zi, come here.”
I closed my eyes. The world was silent.
The soul collectors put a shackling on me. Step by step I walked on the road to the netherworld. With every step more memories came back. Heaven, the netherworld, Yue Lao temple, the bridge, soup of oblivion….
Heheheh he he……
Chu Kong, you’ve really done it! You’ve really done it!
Can’t believe that I actually cried while translating.
This is the end of the second lifetime. From here on they know about their feelings and we won’t be having those frustrating moments anymore. After this lifetime, they’ll be animals in the third lifetime. The fourth lifetime is the lifetime where XXZ finally admits that she likes Chu Kong.
Actually, I don’t blame Zihui. He needed to choose between life or death. He knows that Chu Kong won’t really die, so he asked for Chu Kong’s heart. I probably would’ve done the same if I was him. It won’t hurt Chu Kong and it’ll save him.
For those who are wondering about the murdering of the Yang family; Chu Kong didn’t murder them. He wasn’t there. When he arrived, they’ve already been murdered by Shengling sect.
The scene were Zihui was surprised because XXZ broke the seal. The seal that she broke is the seal that sealed her memories away not the seal that closed her five senses.
The scene about XXZ taking a few steps back, meant that she jumped off the cliff with Cu Kong’s body.