Monday, 9 June 2014

Fiction: Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission (Chapter 5)



   This marks the end of the first arc! So, does Little Moon succeed in marrying Hsiao off to his first fated lady? :)

   Personally, this was my favourite chapter in the first arc. Enjoy!


Chapter 5: Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder

Little Moon/Yue

(i)

  Master Qian Yun grandly announced that General Yang, Gentleman Hsiao and Gentleman Yun Feng would move on to the final round. All along Master Qian Yun was clearly favouring General Yang as his future son-in-law and generally giving a mild look of disdain to Gentleman Yun Feng, but now he was carefully examining Gentleman Hsiao --- someone who had appeared out of the blue, but clearly was not ordinary from his aura and abilities. I saw his expression soften, perhaps the past fate in which he was supposed to be Gentleman Hsiao’s father-in-law had not entirely disappeared?

  The other seven gentlemen dejectedly left the Cloud Manor, inwardly and outwardly sighing that heaven did not look kindly on them. Indeed! Heaven, or at least a small probationary Moon Maiden, was looking kindly on Hsiao.

  The rest of us returned to the Grand Hall of the Cloud Manor, with Mei Yun looking particularly pleased.

  When we arrived at the Grand Hall, we saw that there were three wooden tables already set up, with a scroll of white paper, inks, a slabstone and various brushes. It was gradually becoming clear what would be the final round.

  The three gentleman naturally each sat at a wooden table. Master Qian Yun and Mei Yun went up the raised platform, and the rest of us, small side characters, moved aside.

   Master Qian Yun nodded slightly helplessly to his daughter, with a look of strong doting and pride.

  Mei Yun smiled and began, “For the final round, I ask each of you distinguished gentleman to paint your vision of me. I would like to see how I appear to you in your eyes, from there, I will pick my husband.”

   Upon hearing that, General Yang scowled and glared at Gentleman Yun Feng. I also gave a small frown, this round was incredibly subjective and we all knew where Mei Yun’s heart leaned towards…… but could I, could I use hypnosis to temporarily change Mei Yun’s mind? Could my heart allow me to do so?

  As I fell into deep thought, the three gentlemen started to paint with Mei Yun sitting on the stage, her gaze falling towards Gentleman Yun Feng every now and then. Her cheeks slowly started to gain a rosy tint; it was like watching a flower blossom.

  I turned to look at Hsiao. Thankfully, he actually seemed to be concentrating and was painting carefully. I let out a sigh of relief, no quick one tea cup job this time.

  General Yang appeared to be slightly struggling, his brush strokes appeared thick and rough and one wondered if he was battling the paper instead of painting.

  But, Gentleman Yun Feng, ah, every now and then a smile played at his lips, he did appear to be painting like the paper was his lover. 

   After the burning of one incense stick, all three gentlemen appeared to have finished. Nervously my hands clutched each other, but this was no match for Mei Yun’s own tight grasp of her handkerchief – as if the nearer the end goal appeared, the fiercer her heart beat.

  General Yang went up first. He unrolled his painting before us… four bold Chinese characters practically declared itself from the scroll, “第一美人” (the number one beauty in the land). He turned to Mei Yun, “This is you in my heart, the most beautiful woman in the land, as your husband, I will ensure your beauty will always remain, I will fight for you, protect you, and then make you the happiest woman in the lands.”

  Mei Yun took the scroll from General Yang and nodded, but she did not say anything.

  Gentleman Yun Feng went up next, slowly, he unraveled his painting, so tender was his actions it was as if he was unveiling his bride.




  There was a gasp of surprise, because Gentleman Yun Feng had painted one stalk of blue hyacinths. Just like the rows and rows of blue hyacinths in the garden outside Mei Yun’s residence.




  Gentleman Yun Feng smiled, “One promise, one lifetime, only one woman.”

  A tear slowly fell down Mei Yun’s cheeks, “ My love will remain even after the last blue hyacinths fall…”

  Suddenly, everyone else in the room felt like an outsider. The world had shrunk and contained only those two, everyone else had no breathing room.

    Hsiao smoothly went up the stage, he nodded appreciatively at Gentleman Yun Feng’s painting, “In the language of flowers, hyacinths represent constancy and blue hyacinths denote sincerity. You have a faithful gentleman, Lady Mei Yun.”

  Mei Yun blushed. Not even waiting for Mei Yun’s response, Hsiao started to unroll his own scroll. I held my breath, well maybe if Hsiao painted a beautiful portrait of Mei Yun, she would choose him? Maybe?

  Everyone fell in shocked silence as Hsiao unrolled an empty sheet of paper. So white, one wondered if he had been painting it white throughout the burning of the incense stick.

  “Lady Mei Yun asked us to paint you as you appeared before our eyes, but my humble interpretation was that Lady Mei Yun wanted to know her weight in our hearts. To not fail Lady Mei Yun’s intentions, I sincerely asked my heart what was Lady Mei Yun. My answer was, “有缘无份”, we have fate but no affinity. You are the beautiful cloud that will pass me by, in our hearts, there is only nothingness,” Hsiao said, and respectfully gave a bow towards Mei Yun.

  Mei Yun gazed at Hsiao, as Hsiao lifted his head, their eyes met – there seemed to be a spark. No matter how much you changed fate, the people remained who they were --- soulmates of the mind will always be soulmates of the mind. But, I watched as there laid indeed nothingness, not even a pink thread to connect their hearts.

  Mei Yun smiled widely, “If I had to say who understood the final round best, it is you, Gentleman Hsiao. But, precisely because we understand best, we also know why you are not the answer.”

  Mei Yun turned to her father, “My answer is Gentleman Yun Feng.”

  Master Qian Yun and General Yang appeared to be wanting to say something when Hsiao spoke, “I pay my congratulations to Master Qian Yun for gaining such a truly worthy son-in-law, Gentleman Yun Feng is of brilliant mind and constant heart, he will be sure to rise high with your support at the Imperial Examinations.”

  Master Qian Yun paused for a moment, he observed Hsiao’s determined gaze and his mouth broke out in a wide grin, “Indeed, indeed. I cannot think of a better match for my daughter.”

  And so, I watched as that trace of tragedy in Gentleman Yun Feng and Mei Yun’s red thread lightened… only to have the most beautiful red rose of a red thread, like a love in its prime, a love in full bloom, a love that has finally reached its time to blossom.

  I watched as just as their thread lightened, one red dot on my right palm turned black. But, I smiled.




(ii)

 
  Hsiao turned to looked at me as we walked out of Cloud Manor. He had declined to stay for the wedding ceremony of Gentleman Yun Feng and Lady Mei Yun, and I had informed the twins that I had to leave to go to my real master (I think they always thought I was rather suspicious and were too happy for their mistress to care).

 “Are you disappointed that I failed to gain Lady Mei Yun’s hand in marriage?” Hsiao asked, his eyes a mysterious black.

  I shrugged, “I can’t say I am not disappointed. I am both happy for the couple who are very much in love, but sad that Hsiao has lost his fated beauty.”

  Hsiao’s eyes twinkled at that as we strolled down the street.

  “Speaking of which, what were you painting then in the one hour? I thought I saw you painting a woman’s face,” I asked curiously.

  Hsiao laughed, “Not exactly a woman.” He took out another scroll from the sleeves of his robes.

  I eagerly unrolled it…… a young girl in white robes, her slightly curved face like the young beginnings of a full moon, twinkling eyes like a star running through the River of Stars, why… that was me.



“It’s not every day I see a man dressed up as a young girl, I thought I should capture it,” Hsiao said.

  Furious, I whacked Hsiao’s back with my hand, but couldn’t bear to use the scroll to hit him. I rolled the scroll back and tightened the ribbon around it, “Well, I’m keeping this.”

  Hsiao leaned his head sideways and stared at me. It was a deep stare… one that I could not turn away from. But, the two of us also had a fate that we could not turn away from.

  “I saved your life once, so you owe me a debt, right?” I asked.

  Hsiao nodded.

  “Come with me to the snowy mountains of Xue,” I said, “Come with me and we will no longer owe anything to each other.”

  Hsiao’s eyes glistened with mild surprise, but he nodded.

   You don’t know it yet, Hsiao, but there in the snowy mountains of Xue lies your second wife. A beautiful warrior princess who saved your life, and whose warriors protected your life forever more. There, Hsiao, lies both our salvation.
  


Little Moon's Matchmaking Mission!

Chapters: Prologue + 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
COMPLETED Author's Note 
Epilogues: An Chi Hsiao&Yue Xi Yang The Moon God

30 comments:

  1. I'm loving your story.
    Will Yue get a bride for him? It seems difficult. What fate awaits them now? *-*

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    1. Thank you Yasmin! Haha, yes tricky situation when the matchmaker starts to get feelings for the person she is supposed to matchmake haha.

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  2. Good morning, decembi! You released this chapter quite early! :D

    I love how he described Mei Yun as 'You are the beautiful cloud that will pass me by, in our hearts, there is only nothingness'. That's so telling that she has no place in his heart.

    I also love that Hsiao drew Yue Er during the exam. It seems that he is noticing Yue Er more and more. I just hope that he made a copy since Yue Er is keeping the painting. :)

    Btw, you said, 'Hsiao laughed, “Not exactly a woman.” He took out another stroll from the sleeves of his robes.'. I believe it's 'another scroll'.

    Can't wait what's gonna happen at the mountain. Thank you for the chapter, decembi and take care! :D

    -hh-

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    1. Btw, decembi. Just wondering.. where did you get the image for Yue Er? It's so beautiful. I thought I'm seeing the arts for Hua Xu Yin!

      -hh-

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    2. Dear hh,

      Teehee, I scheduled it to be released at 7 am today, so technically I was still asleep when it was published. Haha.

      I'm glad you liked that line! I wrote it to match the poem Hsiao wrote in the first round haha.

      Ooh good spot. I shall go edit that part. Haha. I feel very happy to have shared the first arc completely with everyone. The second arc will delve into some issues further...

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    3. Oh I collected a lot of images I thought was suitable while looking at some chinese blogs hahaha. I don't actually know the series it comes from, but I thought OOOH this really looks like Little Moon when I saw it.

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  3. I like where you are taking the three arcs and think it will form an interesting backbone for the tale. The humour and main lead is a little reminicent of Hua Xu Yin, and if that book can be popular, I think you can keep in mind to translate into chinese when done then you will be famous : )

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    1. Hahaha, Moonblossom, you are too kind. Actually, I doubt my chinese will be good enough to translate this to chinese. I have only read the Shen An Sheng Ning arc from HXY from hui'er's translation hahaha but wow I think this is praise beyond me.

      I'm really excited to share with you the 2nd arc soon :)

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  4. "Indeed! Heaven, or at least a small probationary Moon Maiden, was looking kindly on Hsiao." - lol @ Yue Er sense of humor.

    And his painting of her well lets just say there are some signs of interest being thrown out.

    Can't wait to meet Hsiao next fated women and what are their fate after Yue Er messed up their 'gold threads'.

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    1. Hahaha Sutekii, you have a knack for picking out my little jokes. Hahahah! Really happy you liked that line.

      My husband personally likes the second women character a lot. Haha.

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  5. ouch...one dot has turned black...what will become of Yue's fate...it seems like fate has changed from its original course...will Hsiao still be the emperor of Yan kingdom now that he lost his one of support to become emperor.

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    1. Hahaha, I love your ominous beats! Can't wait to share with you the second arc :)

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  6. what if Hsiao really falls for Little Moon???

    ==MissyMay+=

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    1. There's a spoiler in the chapter 3 comments if you want to be spoiled :)

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  7. decembi, thanks for the speedy updates... I love all the pictures that you have posted so far..they are all so lovely :)

    I love this statement for this chapter: "Hsiao leaned his head sideways and stared at me. It was a deep stare…" - as we dont have a POV from hsiao, we never know what he is thinking while he is staring at Yue.

    At this point, I think Hsiao dont really care who are the other 2 girls that Yue supposedly said he should married. He just going along with "him" because he wants to spend time with "him".

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    1. Hello fangorn,

      Some of the pictures Hui'er sent me (though I can't remember which), she would go - your little moon! Hahaha.

      Aww, thank you. Hahaha. I'm really happy :)

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  8. decembi, thank you...
    i'm happy the first girl end up with her love, but i'm afraid about yue. One of the dot turns to black :( So, there isn't red thread between the first girl and hsiao right?
    hiihiii, i have a wide grin when hsiao show his paint :D but i really hope he keeps that picture for him self.
    the second girl sounds interesting coz hsiao is definitely not a weak man but yue mention that the girl was warrior who protect his life!

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    1. Redhazel,

      Mei Yun and Hsiao were soulmates of the mind, never lovers. :) In this fate and the previous fate.

      I intentionally avoid describing how Yue looks, and only let readers see how Yue looks through Hsiao's eyes :)

      I'm quite excited for the second arc, though I don't know if my skills managed to conveyed what I had in mind. <3

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  9. Hsaio's surprised response to Yue Er regarding going to the snow mountain and not owing anything afterwards must have made him felt a little sad but he didn't show it. Would he still go with Yue Er for her third mission once Hsaio owes her nothing? Since she failed with the first task, what is in store for her? I was thinking if her retribution would be to live as a mortal so they can be together. I'm getting ahead of the story because of my excitement. Thanks again Decembi!
    By the way, you might want to check Wattpad. I sometimes have a read there and realized that writers on that site are actually newbies. Most stories are on-going and gets updated as per writer's decision. I think your story is amazing and it would be awesome if so many readers would be able to reach it. Your project is totally different from teen stories I have seen there as most of it has a modern take although I have encountered one fantasy story too. I think you book project will definitely shine there and it will be a good platform to introduce other readers to c-novels.

    Peachie

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    1. Peachie,

      What you said about what Hsiao must have felt is very interesting. :) I purposely left it ambiguous, and I feel really happy that even though Hsiao and Yue have only interacted for five chapters, people are rooting them to be together :)

      Thank you for your excitement! It's a huge motivation for me.

      I followed your suggestion and checked out Wattpad. Wow, it looks amazing, though i'm quite the IT idiot and all the functions confused me haha. My username is decembi as well. I'm not really sure how it all works though. Chapters are uploaded like word documents? It looks very interesting. Maybe I will update my story there when I finish the second arc.

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  10. Hey Decembi,

    I'm replying the comment in Chapter 4 here :)

    Yes the last paragraphs of Chapter 4 is probably a little cheesy and cliched but it is nice to have such scenes sprinkled here and there like garnish on top of a delectable meal. (Haha I sound so cheesy)
    I totally agree that if this was a drama, you would be able to see it unfold before your eyes (Tang Xinderella and Zhan Feng?? :D)

    Oooo I really can't wait for Prince Sun's appearance! Would he be appearing soon? It is ok if he appear arrogant - maybe it is all in the eyes of the beholder? (Like how Jin Mi views Phoenix as a mercurial bird because she couldn't read feelings well)

    "And so, I watched as that trace of tragedy in Gentleman Yun Feng and Mei Yun’s red thread lightened… only to have the most beautiful red rose of a red thread, like a love in its prime, a love in full bloom, a love that has finally reached its time to blossom."

    I really love how you use the "red threads"in the story. It is quite refreshing and interesting (haven't read this in any C-novel). Wonder if the gods and goddesses have such threads or is it only for humans? So Yue is unable to see any threads forming between herself and Hsiao?

    For someone who is supposed to bring about unions, Yue seems to be quite oblivious to the stirrings of love and recognizing signs of it too. But maybe as Moon Maidens, it is best that they are immune to falling in love? However things are slowly changing. I wonder how the second arc would change their interactions with each other.

    Agree with Moonblossom - if you can translate this into Chinese, maybe you will have found yourself another career? :)

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    1. Hello lemonsalt,

      Heehee, I'm a total fluff girl <3. Teehee, there are only 3 arcs :) so the chances that he will appear soon is...... aww, I really like that Prince Sun might have fans. I never ever considered if he would be well liked haha.

      I love the red threads idea! There are some beautiful chinese lines about how someone's fate is like a red thread between our fingers. I just love the idea. Threads between gods and goddesses are still a secret, but a human and goddess cannot have a thread.

      Yue is a probationary moon maiden! She got sent down on her first mission on her first day on the job! She's like this bundle of idealistic energy that has only ever understood love on an abstract level haha.

      There are certain parts where it actually starts in my head in chinese, then I translate it to english. But, it would be impossible for me to write a completely chinese novel! It would be a very simplistic one haha.

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  11. Heys decembi, deviantart has some nice pics for ancient stories too! You can check them out :)

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    1. Oooh cool! I haven't had time to find pictures lately :(

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    2. hi decembi, i can email you some pics if you're interested :) not specific to this story, you can use them for the others too.

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    3. Oooh that will be awesome! Thank you <3

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  12. GalaxyAngel0079 June 2014 at 23:03

    Wooo..... we're now moving on to thw second wife. I have a guess on whay will be Yue's punishment if she failed to make Hsiao marry the three girls he was fated with. Muhahahahaha >:))

    Thank you again for your update. Your story made my day. ♡♡♡

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    1. Heehee! I love your laughter. Thanks for your support and hearts <3 makes me very happy :)

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  13. I honestly did not see that coming. I thought he was going to marry her and that's why I was feeling conflicted. She totally changed his fate. It's interesting.

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    1. Hahaha! I hope the story continues to surprise you. I like to play with conventional tropes and stereotypes. :)

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