Since I was asked which actress I would cast as Wang Huan, I thought I would share someone that crossed my mind when I created Wang Huan - the actress, Jiang Xin. I was also a bit surprised when some readers thought Wang Huan might not be pretty or looked like a man, because she was described as looking like her father and "more handsome than pretty" by Xi Yang. Haha. Guys, it's Xi Yang! I don't think he has ever described anyone as pretty, and only when Yue got married, did he concede in his heart a little that she has grown into a beautiful woman.
Wang Huan's father, the Dark Lord, is very good looking and Wang Huan has inherited his strong features. She's not a soft or gentle beauty, and she has a striking face that would be more in the mode of warrior princess Bai Ying, except ironically she has very low divine powers of her own (haha).
Chapter 2: The Strangest Princess
“Xiao Mi! Xiao Mi!” Wang Huan called and Xiao Mi ran into the courtyard. Xiao Mi gave a look of surprise at Xi Yang’s presence.
Wang Huan picked up the metal axe and placed it in Xiao Mi’s hands, “Keep this metal axe with you and show it to the Dark Lord if he comes. I will be heading off now and will be back in three months before the official ceremony.”
Xiao Mi first gasped in surprise at the metallic touch of the metal axe that was placed in her palms and then quickly gave a cry of alarm, “Princess, are you going to head off with this stranger?!”
Wang Huan gave Xiao Mi a reassured nod, “If I don’t leave now, who knows if I will ever be able to leave? Don’t worry, if you give the Dark Lord this metal axe, I guarantee he will only laugh and not harm you.”
With that, Wang Huan turned to Xi Yang, “Let’s go.”
Xi Yang paused for a moment at Wang Huan’s bare hands and then asked extremely unwillingly, “You are not going to bring anything with you?”
Wang Huan looked confused for a moment before her eyes lit up in understanding, “Ah, don’t worry.” She patted her robes, “I brought money.”
Xi Yang decided that of all the princesses in the Dark Realms that could be chosen to be his wife, his father must have chosen the strangest. Before he arrived, he had thought Princess Wang Huan would be in the same mould of her half sister, Princess Mei Yan (美艳 – dazzling beauty). The first time he saw Princess Mei Yan, he felt goosepimples pop out of his skin. Although Princess Mei Yan was often praised as a beauty, just thinking of how she had slithered and cooed towards him gave Xi Yang shivers all over his body. To Xi Yang, Princess Mei Yan was more snake than woman.
In comparison, Princess Wang Huan dressed so simply that he had first mistook her for a servant. She wore no make-up, no perfume and Xi Yang was quite certain, possessed no feminine wiles. In fact, Xi Yang himself would have doubted if she was indeed the Princess Wang Huan he was engaged to if not for her aristocratic bone structure that resembled her father.
“Where would you like to head to first?” Xi Yang finally asked.
Wang Huan took out a brown-coloured slightly tattered book from her robes. She flipped a few pages and asked, “Do you know where is the Zi Town? It’s said to be one of the richest towns in the Yan Kingdom.”
“Take my hand,” Xi Yang said.
Almost instinctively, Wang Huan took Xi Yang’s out-stretched hand, and before she could even speak, both of them were already on a traveling cloud. Before she could even react to her suddenly changed surroundings, Xi Yang shrugged off her hand and Wang Huan fell backwards into the puff of cloud.
Thankfully, she did not fall through the cloud. But, Wang Huan could not help giving a small dirty look to Xi Yang as he guided the traveling cloud forward and ignored her.
Well, I’m only hiring him as a bodyguard, not actually for his company. Wang Huan thought to herself as she carefully kept the brown book back into her robes.
Poor Xiao Mi was left thunderstruck alone in the courtyard from the disappearance of the Princess with an unknown man! While Xiao Mi was worried for the safety of the Princess, Wang Huan had no such concerns. Since her mother passed away at a young age, there was no one to guide her in feminine etiquette. Furthermore, the thing most often said to Wang Huan since young was how much she resembled her father, so while Wang Huan actually possessed what could be considered as a striking womanly beauty, she had grown up not thinking of herself as feminine. After all, what could be less feminine than the Dark Lord? And, who could be considered beautiful next to An Hun?
That was Wang Huan’s belief, so it never occurred to her that she was a young woman, what more a beautiful young woman traveling alone with a foreign dangerous man.
But if Wang Huan had a chance to console Xiao Mi, she would actually tell Xiao Mi that Ri was not dangerous at all. Even though Wang Huan had little divine powers, she had keen insight to the dark energies of the immortals in the Dark Realms. She could see the dark emotions that clouded one’s heart. That was why sometimes she was afraid of An Hun, whose heart had become so dark, even she could no longer see.
But, this mercenary called Ri - his eyes shone like the sun and his soul appeared as clean and fresh like a new day. There seemed to be nothing impure or dark that could taint him. Wang Huan guessed that he must have come from the Heavenly Realms, perhaps a scout sent by Crown Prince Sun?
Wang Huan yawned and decided that she did not need to think further. As long as he wanted something from her, and she wanted something from him, they would be fine.
I watched as Wang Huan finished her third pot of blue hydrangea tea and ordered another round of tea cakes to go with the tea.
“Are you a bottomless pit?” I asked, even I felt nauseous at the thought of more food.
Wang Huan paused for a moment as if to consider the idea and then smiled, “Yes, I probably am.”
I tried to decline but she poured me another cup of tea, “Zi Town is famous for their blue hydrangeas and the tea is very good for the kidney.”
Ever since we reached the Zi Town, Wang Huan had immediately headed to a purportedly famous inn to order food. With every bite or sip, she would then scribble furiously into that dirty muddy looking book of hers.
The thought of three months of this made my stomach churn. Who knew that Princess Wang Huan was a food nut? I paused because I vaguely remembered that her one skill was being a glutton.
A pig! My fiancée is a pig. I could not wait to show this to my father and let him watch her eat the Heavenly Realms clean.
As if sensing my unkind thoughts towards her, Wang Huan paused in her scribbling and raised a brow at me. There was something sharp about the raise of her brow such that even I paused, but quickly she chuckled, “Well, I can’t expect you to understand my passion.”
As the shop attendants served up a few new dishes, she happily clapped her hands and started to savour them. “My dream may be small,” She said while eating a bun, “No great ambition to conquer a tribe or rule my own kingdom, only to discover all the delicacies in the Mortal Realms. My dream may be small, but it is still a dream.”
“It’s hard to take your words seriously when you speak in between bun bites,” I said dryly.
As Wang Huan started to order another round of food, I was about to protest when Wang Huan instructed the shop attendant to pack the food to go.
I stared at Wang Huan, “Are you going to eat while we walk?”
Wang Huan laughed and said nothing. However, Wang Huan did not actually eat the food as we walked out of the inn.
She smiled at a local and asked, “Where’s the poorer part of Zi Town?”
Zi Town was the hometown of Master Qian Yun, who was considered one of the richest man in the Yan Kingdom. Naturally, Zi Town was one of the more prosperous towns.
I arched my brow slightly but said nothing as I followed Wang Huan down the darker alleyways. Along the way, whenever Wang Huan met little children or old folks, she would offer one of her treats.
Surprisingly, all of them accepted.
Wang Huan chuckled when she saw my face, “Immortals of the greed tribe can recognize desire better than anyone.” She paused, “Or hunger… or the feeling of wanting something you shouldn’t have.”
We reached the outskirts of Zi Town and there were a few simple huts along the outer pavement facing a small stream. They appeared almost deserted. Wang Huan placed a small bag each outside the huts and turned to leave.
“It’s not like they would be grateful,” I pointed out as we turned to leave.
“Little treats and small kindnesses,” Wang Huan said as she watched the stream, “That’s how I grew up.”
She turned to give a mocking smile at me, “Has anyone told you that you are awfully pessimistic?”
Wang Huan started to sniff the air as if sensing something, “Let’s go that way.”
We turned inwards back towards the centre of Zi Town. As we cut through several small streets, Wang Huan suddenly stopped in front of a large manor.
I tried to sniff the air but I smelled nothing. Wang Huan gave several hard knocks to the main door.
Was this princess so hungry that she was going to barge into people’s homes to eat?!
The main door opened and a reluctant head peered out, “We are not accepting visitors at the moment.”
“Someone has been poisoned right?” Wang Huan asked then declared, “I can save that person.”
The person immediately opened the door wide and looked Wang Huan from her head to toe. I felt a mild sense of displeasure by his rudeness.
“How do you know this?” He asked.
Wang Huan sniffed the air, “I don’t think there’s time for us to discuss the details. Quick, bring me to the person.”
The person hesitated but decided in the end to lead Wang Huan and I in.
“Aren’t we going in the wrong direction?” Wang Huan asked as the person brought us to the main hall. Wang Huan pointed to the left side, “The person should be residing around there.”
At this point, a grandly dressed middle-aged man with a grey-robed elder carrying a medicinal chest walked to the main hall. The elder shook his head at the man, “I’m afraid there is nothing I can do for Madam Xi. The poison has gone too deep into the bloodstream…”
“I will give you 10 gold taels,” The man declared as he tried to pull the elder’s arm back, but the elder shook his head to go.
“Wait, don’t go yet,” Wang Huan held onto the sleeves of the elder, “I will save Madam Xi but I need a bit of your assistance. You can have the 10 gold taels as well.”
“You are?” Both of the men looked at Wang Huan in confusion.
“Less talk, more action,” Wang Huan said as he pulled the elder’s sleeve and walked towards a direction only her nose knew.
I sighed to myself as I followed them from behind. I guessed this was where I stepped in to prevent her from being killed.
I followed the scent into a big bedroom chamber. The scent was at its peak, an intoxicating whirl of senses – there was a tinge of ginger, lemongrass, and hmm… cinnamon?
Maids surrounded the bedroom chamber and I quickly directed them away from the bed. I guessed that the woman on the bed was the said Madam Xi… her face had a sickly tinge of yellow and she was especially gaunt.
“Lady, please show respect to the sick,” The grey-robed doctor I had pulled back into the chamber cried.
“I need you to take out this much of Madam Xi’s blood,” I indicated a tiny width of space in between my thumb and second finger.
The doctor turned to the grandly dressed man for instructions. I exchanged glances with him as if to say, do you want to save her or not?
The man nodded and the doctor took out a needle… the doctor passed me a small plate with the tiny drips of purplish, almost black blood.
I turned my head and gulped down the blood. The familiar burning tinge tingled my tongue and I nodded, “Top grade poison – used to kill a fetus.”
I ignored the white face of the grandly dressed man, and turned to the grey-robed doctor with my left arm, “Take about three times the blood from me to feed to Madam Xi.”
I could see black dots hover over the grey-robed doctor, signs of being displeased by my actions and show of arrogance, and then I saw a silverish tinge of greed at the thought of the possible gold. I moved closer to the doctor and intoned with my eyes into his, “Take about three times the blood from me to feed to Madam Xi.”
As if in a trance, the doctor started to take out his needle set again to begin his work.
I let out a small sigh of relief. The main source of the dark immortals’ power is the ability to control or make use of the weaknesses of the mortals for their own benefit. However, besides the fact that my divine powers were naturally low, I never had the chance to go to the Mortal Realms before.
I saw Ri glance over at my left arm. His eyes flickered over some of my old needle pin-prick scars.
Very quickly, the doctor finished taking out the required volume of my blood and quickly fed it to Madam Xi.
In a moment, Madam Xi’s face lost its sickly yellow pallor and was flushed with a healthy tinge of pink. She gave a huge gasp, as if finally being able to breathe. The doctor quickly took Madam Xi’s pulse and look in amazement at the grandly dressed man, “It seems Madam Xi has recovered…but…”
I waved my hand as if it’s nothing, “My blood naturally makes antibodies to any poison that comes within my system.”
The grandly dressed man grabbed my hand in gratitude, “Saviour! You must stay at our manor and be our honoured guest.”
I turned to Ri, “Should we stay here for a night or head to the next destination?”
Ri arched his brow at me, “I’m not tired.”
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at Ri – he always refused to answer my questions straight.
“There is no need,” I shook my head as I looked carefully at the grandly dressed man, “I don’t know how many concubines you have, but you might want to have less if you want to have children.”
With that, I started to head out from the manor with Ri.
Ri appeared to be deep in thought. I waved my hand in front of him. I was thinking that we could head to Zui Town next door for their famous drunken chicken.
He caught my left hand and looked at the needle prick, “So you even eat poison too?”
I tried to retract my hand from his hand but his grip was too tight.
“Wang Huan, I must say, you have surprised me. I don’t often change my first impression of a person,” Ri said eyeing the needle prick, “Now, I no longer think you are a pig.”
I glared at Ri as he smiled, “You are a medicinal pig.”
For a small moment, a very small moment, the anger in Wang Huan's eyes flashed a pang of sadness. My slight surprise caused my grip to loosen and Wang Huan seized the opportunity to take back her hand.
This princess had too many secrets. I wanted to goad her into saying something, but she merely smiled instead, "Can you call your travelling cloud? I want to head to Zui （醉 - drunk) Town next door for the famous drunken chicken."
I reached out my palm again, and Wang Huan very reluctantly took it. I had decided, before the end of this journey, I will find out all your secrets, Wang Huan.
Comment: Unlike Little Moon which probably started flying out the gate, the Sun's Dark Love needs more of a built up at the start. But, slowly but surely, things will heat up.