Dear readers, thank you so much for your patience and well wishes. Honestly, having all the sweet advice and prayers for my health really warmed up my heart! Thank you.
I'm not yet fully well, but well enough to share this SUPER AWESOME (not being modest here) chapter with who else but THE GREAT ONE PHOENIX. Please read this while sitting down, because I will not be responsible for fainting spells.
Chapter 21: The Male Phoenix and the Female Phoenix (Part 2 of 5)
After the Head Flower Leader left, Night and I silently faced each other as we drank finished a pot of tea. As I was about to rise to go apply medicine on my body, I heard Night asked, in a tone neither heavy nor light, "He has revived?"
My feet paused and I turned around suddenly.
Night's eyes were downcast as he seriously surveyed the tea leaves in his tea cup. The steam from the tea covered his face and I could not see his expression clearly. Suddenly, he lightly smiled and after a long while, he continued, "Although he has revived, he has descended and joined the ranks of the demons." He lifted his head and looked up at me, "He has already been revived for half a year. Half a year is such a long time but he had hid very well. It was only today that the Heavenly Realms received news of this......"
I did not know why but my heart gave out a comfortable sigh.
"Presently, everyone in the demon realms calls him one name, 'The Great One'*." He puckered his lips lightly, as if what he spoke of was a light matter, "In half a year, all the ten great kings of hell have fallen under his command."
Lightly, he circled the green porcelain tea cup in his hand, the light swirling sound it made accompanied the slow circling of his words, "Jin Er, how did your feet get injured?"
My back stiffened as I replied, "You already know why. It was hurt by the waters of the River of Forgetfulness."
"Ah," He looked at me, I saw a glimpse of broken light flash through his eyes.
I turned around, suddenly feeling upset, and hurriedly said, "I am going to apply my medicine."
"Jin Er, you must remember that it's three parts medicine and seven parts rest, your feet are still not fully recovered and need more quiet rest." He reminded me gently from behind and my feet paused again. Before I exited, I turned around and my eyes met his own clear gaze. I suddenly had a feeling - if you can't see the sand and stones in the pond water, it may not be because the pond is clear and shallow, it may be that the pond is too deep too deep, that there is no bottom... a pond where you can't see the bottom, how would you know if it had any stones or sand?**
On the second day, I took advantage of Night being busy with state affairs to escape the Heavenly Realms. The Nightmare Beast happily bounced after me and no matter how much I coaxed or threatened it, it would only blink its big watery eyes and innocently gaze at me. When I turned around, it would happily follow after me. Since there was no way of escaping it, I let it follow me.
As I just exited the Southern Heavenly Gate, I was suddenly surprised by a round oily green thing on the road. When I turned to scrutinise it, I realised that it was a snake that had coiled up. I could not help but close my eyes and silently chant, "Lucky I did not step on it! Lucky I did not step on it!"
The snake shook its tail and suddenly transformed. As I saw what the snake transformed into, I suddenly remembered something - I forgot to check the Yellow Calendar before I left the house, I had definitely left at the wrong time and met the wrong person. Alas, alas.
"Beauty, I have finally caught you!" Although Master Pu Chi was not as round as Old Carrot Immortal, he was considered quite a tall male sprite. Since he was standing in the middle of the road, my aura was quite diminished and I was being blocked from going forward.
I steadily moved back two steps and heard Master Pu Chi continue to nag, "It has only been a few years. Why has Beauty become so much slimmer? Indeed, you have inherited the beauty of the Flower Goddess and the Water God. I've decided to re-write the <The Grand Appreciation Tome of the Beauties in the Six Realm>. Right now, Jin Er's beauty can be considered supreme in all the six realms."
I lifted up my hand to signal disagreement, "I'm only ordinary, ordinarily coquettish (Master Pu Chi uses the chinese term, 风骚 (feng sao) which can indicate beauty or a more sultry coquettishness and Jin Mi uses the latter sense). Actually, Master Pu Chi, you are very coquettish."
Master Pu Chi happily lifted up one of his brows and responded, "Coquettishness is a virtue."
I seriously nodded my head to satisfy him. I then lifted my head to see the sun and said, "Actually, to be blunt is also a virtue, what other matters does Master Pu Chi have?"
Master Pu Chi suddenly lowered his head and said in a pure tone, "Actually, there is no real matter. I only wanted to see if Beauty is alright after the death of your father and your great illness?" Then his face suddenly changed into a furious expresion, "But the despicable heavenly soldiers refused to let me in, saying that I need permission from the Heavenly Emperor, I know..." Master Pu Chi had a look of sudden realisation as he nodded his chin and looked at me, "It must be that Night is jealous of my looks and coquettish soul! He must be scared that if I appear, your heart will go to me! It must be so!" He clenched his fist.
I could not help but admire Master Pu Chi's ability to change any conversation into a topic of feelings and love.
Master Pu Chi suddenly grabbed my hand and solemnly said, "Instead of choosing a day, we might as well use this day that we met! Beauty, let's elope today!"
I lifted my head up again to see the sun on top of my head. I waved my hand, "Another day. Let's elope another day. I have something to do today."
As I finally managed to throw off this stumbling block Master Pu Chi and go forward, I suddenly heard Master Pu Chi say from behind me, "I heard that the bird had revived and fallen to the Demon Realms to become a Great Demon King. He reigns supreme there, everyone and everything is at his beck and call. Beauty, don't tell me you are heading to see him?" My feet stopped, I felt like my feelings were stripped bare for all to see.
"Beauty! I advise you not to go, that bird is not the same bird as last time. Of course, last time, he was also not good, so proud and hateful that I wanted to strangle him. But, today he cannot be only described as proud... do you think the ten kings of hell are so easy to subdue? To become the Great Demon King, the bird has used all kinds of tactics... recently, he has also caused a blood bath in the Demon Realms - exterminating all rival forces. Right now, no one in the Demon Realms dare to oppose him. All ten kings of hell will respectfully call him, 'The Great One'. What's more he had died under your blade... if he sees you..."
I bit my lip, "I want to see him, to see him from far away..."
Master Pu Chi suddenly carefully looked at me, his expression had a shade of pity, "Beauty, did someone tie the wrong red thread and you have fallen for him?"
My face became icy cold but my heart slowly started to recoil in pain. The voodoo spell must be activating again. I turned around to leave behind the nonsensical Master Pu Chi, rode a cloud and quickly flew off.
I immediately landed on the shore next to the River of Forgetfulness. I passed the boat fare to the old grandfather who steers the boat. As I stepped into the boat, the Nightmare Beast jumped after me and I felt the boat shook. Someone laughingly cried, "Old Officer, please also carry me across."
It was then I realised that Master Pu Chi had also followed after me. My face darkened. The old grandfather's eyes were sharp and seeing my darkened expression immediately knew that I did not want Master Pu Chi to follow. The old grandfather pleasantly told Master Pu Chi, "Gentleman, my boat is small, it's too dangerous for me to carry another person."
Master Pu Chi's expression fell and he seriously asked, "Are you calling me fat?" As he spoke, he angrily lifted up his arms and pushed out his stomach, "You can squeeze my strong arms and touch my firm stomach, in what way am I fat? Old Officer, you clearly have insulted my deep pride as a beautiful man. Of course, a beautiful man will not be calculative with you, if you carry me across, I will not even charge you anything."
The old grandfather was shocked and actually carried Master Pu Chi, the Nightmare Beast and me across the river. I sighed, it was troublesome enough to have a tail following me, but now I have another tail, what should I do? What's more these are two ostentatious tails! The Nightmare Beast was covered in elegant plum blossom patterns, it was obvious that it came from the Heavenly Realms. For Master Pu Chi, it was even more obvious - nowhere else in the six realms would you be able to find someone's taste to be so unique as to dress up from head to toe in green.
As I was worrying, Master Pu Chi suddenly transformed into a sultry looking female demon and he changed the Nightmare Beast into a dog. The Nightmare Beast looked at its reflection in the water and was incredibly shocked.
I took out a pair of rabbit ears*** from my sleeves. These rabbit ears actually came from the Demon Realms and had demonic aura that would cover up my goddess aura. As I wore the ears, I became a rabbit. The Nightmare Beast looked at my appearance as a rabbit and suddenly felt better.
I ignored both of them and summoned a cloud to fly over. I only heard Master Pu Chi crying after me, "Beauty, go slower! Do you even know where he stays?"
Phoenix, must have chinese parasol tree or he will not rest, must have the fruit of bamboo or he will not eat, must have clean spring water or he will not drink.
He is very picky. As his book boy for a hundred years, I knew his tastes best - where was the cleanest spring water, where were the most luxuriant chinese parasol trees, where were the most simple Phoenix Goddess flowers, that will be where he stays.
After I discerned the aura of the surrounding water, flower and wood, I found a grand looking residence. On the door there was a huge sign which had no words.
I stood on the pavement and looked at the wordless sign. The pavement was filled with throngs of demons and sprites of all shapes and sizes. Suddenly, a small demon jumped out and cried, "It's noon! The Great One is leaving the residence!"
In one moment, all the demons and sprites on the pavement stopped moving and naturally all moved to one side. All of them had an expression full of respect and admiration. I was stunned for a moment and was one step slower in moving to the side. The big road that was full of people suddenly only left a lone rabbit in the middle of the road.
At that moment, Master Pu Chi pantingly bent down his waist and carried me into his embrace and quickly stepped into the crowd of demons at the side.
Just as he stepped into the crowd, I heard the great doors suddenly open. Master Pu Chi cried, "So close, so close! Luckily, I was fast enough!"
I lifted up my head above Master Pu Chi's sleeve to have a look. I only saw extremely curvaceous and sexy demonesses carrying flowers and fishes strung up in a row, coming out in two rows of fourteen each. The surrounding demons all salivated. Following the demonesses were two rows of male demons, compared to the demonesses they were sort of shapes and sizes, so ugly that I did not dare to take a second look.
I realised that in the Demon Realms - the males were very ugly and the females were very beautiful.
Suddenly, the sky darkened and a black cloud with gold bits descended, arrogantly blocking the afternoon sun. The grand sound of a carriage landing travelled across and I felt my heart beat faster, so fast that I thought my heart must have risen to my throat.
Very quickly, four large ferocious beasts carried the black huge carriage down. The dark cloud vanished and the ground shook.
The blood crystal shade lightly shook and in the gap, one could see a person half leaning half sitting inside the carriage. That person had an extraordinary appearance, very cold eyes, dressed in dark black robes with no accessories, but his aura was so outstanding that no one could look straight at him. In the carriage, one could see the Sixth King of Hell respectfully reporting to him on affairs. All the surrounding people respectfully bowed down their heads. For demons to open a path for him, for creatures to pull the carriage, for the Sixth King of Hell to respectfully report matters, all these seemed like it was natural.
I looked at him, my furiously beating heart suddenly stopped, as if frightened that any tiny jump would cause him to hear and discover me. I carefully looked at his long phoenix eyes, and suddenly had a strange and ridiculous desire, wishing that he would look at me. Even if it was only for a moment.
*The term is actually "尊上" which is a greeting that denotes honour, seniority and reverence. I also considered using "Almighty" as well.
** I really love this analogy of Jin Mi. Often during the novel, Night's gaze is described as very clear and clean - like the rivers, the waterfall, a clean serene pond. But, Jin Mi is slowly realising that what Night says and does is very different from what is in his heart. His eyes may appear clear not because they are clear, but because his real feelings are too well hidden... too deep, that they can never see light.
*** If you see the summary here, you will realise that Phoenix bought Jin Mi the rabbit ears when they first visited the Demon Realm! :)
Comments: Oh my so exciting!!!!!! My heart was beating faster (probably due to my illness as well haha) as I translated this. I think Phoenix seems even more extraordinary after he was revived, and what will Jin Mi choose to do? Hop away or into the arms of the Great One? Will they be welcoming or murderous arms?