I'm back! Here's a beautiful long update for Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost ;). This is one of my absolute favourites and the point where I completely know that Jin Mi's happiness is what I root for at the end of the day.
Chapter 22: Love and Hate Changes in an Instant (Part 3 of 4)
Frantically running, I finally landed in a thick growth of grass.
When I woke up again, I was leaning against a cold stone tablet. I lifted up my head and saw my father's grave. There was not a speck of dust, just like his robes when he was alive. It turned out that I had fallen back into the Water Boundary last night.
I knelt before father's grave in silence until the sun's shadow was as high as the third wooden beam in the window sill.
"Grape?" A bright red colour jumped into my sight. I looked up and saw Old Carrot Immortal rubbing his fat belly and using effort to lean down to catch sight of me. When he saw my face, he was in shock, "Grape, what happened to you? You... you... are you crying?"
He reached out his hand to catch the tears falling off my face. He placed these droplets under his eyes and scrutinised it carefully. He spoke with glee, "How lucky that I came to pay my respect to the Water God today! If not, I would never have been able to see the rarest of the rarest tears!" He paused to think for a moment and then suddenly looked up in shock, "Oh no! Oh no! I must quickly go back and pack my stuff. For Grape to cry, the Flower World is going to collapse!"
"Hong Hong, you should also quickly leave! Return to your Heavenly Realms. What grudge can you have when the current Heavenly Emperor is also your nephew? I'm afraid one can no longer stay in the Flower World," Old Carrot Immortal turned around and pushed the young lad in red robes.
"Hmph!" The lad huffed in disdain, "How unlucky! To see the most ungrateful person in all the lands today, even if you don't push me, I will leave!" After he finished speaking, he swished his robe sleeves angrily and glared at me. I realised it was the Moon God who had left the Heavenly Realms for twelve years.
I lowered my head.
Old Carrot Immortal was walking away when he suddenly turned back. He bent down with some effort again to look at me and asked sternly, "Grape, did someone steal your divine essence?"
I was silent.
His expression darkened, "Does the Heavenly Emperor not let you be a goddess?"
I remained silent.
Old Carrot Immortal's face turned ashen white, "Don't tell me that the Heavenly Emperor is going to lose his throne and you have lost your backing? Ah ah ah! If that is true, you are in deep trouble! You may not know but Phoenix is currently ruling the Demon Realms... if you lose your backing, he will definitely drag you to hell! There are eighteen levels of hell... even before you are placed in boiling oil, you will definitely be scared to death by the ugliness of the ghouls! I wonder how did Hong Hong's handsome nephew even make friends with them......"
"You are not allowed to speak badly of my Phoenix!" The Moon God angrily cut Old Carrot Immortal off.
"Actually, you don't have to be so protective of that bird. From what I can see, the little dragon Heavenly Emperor is vastly better than the bird..."
"You are full of nonsense! I'm going to invite the Jade Rabbit tomorrow!"
Phoenix, Phoenix, I mumbled inside of me. My heart was empty, and all I could see was bottomless despair.
"Grape, are you bleeding?" Old Carrot Immortal took my hand and opened my tight grip finger by finger. Each of my palms showed ten pathways of blood so deep you could see my bones. "Grape, what happened to you?"
I looked at the blood and suddenly felt even more helpless, and then a deep sense of self hatred, "Old Carrot Immortal, I've fallen in love with him, I have fallen in love with my father's murderer."
Old Carrot Immortal dropped my hands in shock and fell back two steps as if he saw a ghost, "That is impossible! You are Grape, it's impossible for you to love someone!"
"You love Phoenix? What a joke? If you had even a trace of feeling in your heart for him, how could you so cruelly kill him? You betrayed his refusal to listen to the Heavenly Empress to marry Sui He, you betrayed his secret planning of three years to battle Night for you, how he finally caught Night's weakness and planned to fight it all on the day of the wedding. He so wholeheartedly believed in you, loved you, but who would have thought that you would plunge a knife in him and kill him? Even if the Water God was really killed by Phoenix... if you loved him, how could you not show mercy? What's more I definitely do not believe Phoenix will hurt the Water God, what more kill him!" The Moon God glared at me as if even if he had scolded me a thousand times, it would still not be enough.
"I personally saw it... I personally heard it... I don't know... I'm so miserable," I wept in a low voice and could hardly speak. I did not know why my heart did not soften, I did not know how I could plunge the knife...?
"Phoenix was crazy to fall in love with you. Now that I heard he is engaged to Sui He, I am so happy. How I had wasted efforts in trying to matchmake the two of you together! I never thought that you would harm him!"
"It's impossible. How could you fall for him? You ate the Unfeeling Pill!" The Old Carrot Immortal spat out in a confused and frightened daze.
"Unfeeling pill? What unfeeling pill?" The Moon God asked confusedly.
Suddenly, I had an ominous feeling.
"No..nothing... I never said anything... Hong Hong, you are old and your ear is faulty," The Old Carrot Immortal spoke while avoiding eye contact.
"From the volume which you spoke, I could hear it clearly even if I was deaf. What is the unfeeling pill?" The Moon God stepped menacingly towards the Old Carrot Immortal.
The Old Carrot Immortal fell back, he hugged his stomach and tried to run off.
I knelt before the grave, emptily glancing towards the far distance and spoke in a low voice, "It's a pearl of sandalwood... the size of a buddhist praying bead..."
"You... you knew?" Old Carrot Immortal froze and turned around, looking at me in disbelief, "Which Flower Leader told you?"
I lowered my head in anguish and smiled, so it turned out......
"I saw it, I personally spat it out. He was dead, my heart was lost, what else could I not spit out..."
"What cruel fate!" Old Carrot Immortal thumped his chest, "All of Flower Goddess' efforts has gone to waste!"
"Quick tell me what it is about! Or I will let loose the rabbit and kill you!" The Moon God hurriedly threatened Old Carrot Immortal.
"Fine, fine, I will speak. But, I was only eavesdropping..." The Old Carrot Immortal tried to shirk away but seeing my swollen red eyes, he knew he could not hide it anymore so he spoke hesitantly, "Since Grape has already seen it... actually, the Twenty Four Flower Leaders all knew about this but they had sworn using their lives that they will never reveal it."
Old Carrot Immortal shook his head despondently, "That year, the Flower Goddess had fallen in love with the Heavenly Emperor but she saw with her own eyes how he hugged other goddesses. Later, the Flower Goddess fell for the Water God and wanted to dedicate the rest of her life to him, but who knew the Water God would be commanded to marry the Wind Goddess. On the night of their wedding, the Flower Goddess gave birth to Grape. At the same time that there was celebration in the Heavenly Realms, the Flower Realms was in a state of chaotic wind and rain. The Flower Goddess believed that feelings could not be trusted and to fall in love was as good as hell... furthermore, a girl's appearance should not be overly attractive, or disaster was sure to follow. So, she fed the Unfeeling Pill to Grape."
"The Flower Goddess once said that the person who consumes the Unfeeling Pill will destroy all feelings of emotion and love. She was not willing for Grape to follow her path and wanted Grape to be unfeeling and strong.. carefree to lead the rest of her life. She also ordered the twenty four Flower Leaders to trap you within the Water Boundary for ten thousand years to avoid danger. Who knew... who knew that even the Unfeeling Pill could not withstand the thousand poisons of the emotional thread, could not withstand the tremors of a moved heart. Grape, you still fell in love with him, so in love that you even spat out the Unfeeling Pill... everyone has their own destiny, even gods... it is all fated..."
So it turns out... I laughed, then laughed some more.
What use is knowing this now? He killed my father, I killed him. He died, I spat out the Unfeeling Pill and realised that I loved him. He revived but no longer loves me. In fact, he hates me so much that he wants to suck my blood and crunch on my bones. Now, he loves Sui He, and Sui He loves him.
It is only me - unable to love, unable to hate, stuck between the two, and becoming nothing......
"Unfeeling Pill? I governed the matrimonial fate and affairs of the heart for hundred thousand of years and never heard of such a pill," The Moon God looked thunderstruck and kept shaking his head in disbelief.
I climbed up and clumsily started to walk away.
"Grape! Where are you going?" Old Carrot Immortal cried in shock from behind.
Where? Where else could I go? I could no longer face my father's grave.
The six realms may be wide, but there was only the Heavenly Realms I could return to......
That day, a messenger sent a beautiful invitation to me. It was bright red with beautiful birds surrounding trees entwined with each other*. Two names written in gold shone out. The fifteenth of next month? How hurried... I used my finger to trace the name of Phoenix. I lifted up my finger and there was golden dust at my finger tip - I rubbed it lightly and it disappeared in the wind.
The next day, Night fetched me from the milky river. I had watched the stars the whole night. He hugged me and sighed, his brows furrowed. After a long while, he said, "Jin Er, you still have me. Do I still have a chance to exchange your heart with mine?" His voice was so light that I almost did not hear it.
I lifted up my head to gaze at Night, I suddenly felt a little sad... although he appeared gentle in appearance, he was actually very stubborn. He stubbornly stood at the side and stood for very long, but he was still unwilling to turn back.
"Jin Er, the snow has almost all melted in the mortal realms. Let's marry in spring next year, shall we?"
His breath suddenly stopped and hugged me even tightly.
The flower has blossomed, the window has opened, but why can't I see you?
Seeing you, hearing you, but not being able to say I love you.
* Entwined trees represents the everlasting love between a husband and wife.
Comment: Absolutely love love love this chapter so much and can't think of a better ending. I'm so proud of Jin Mi in her lovely moment of self realisation that I'm going to call her 'my Jin Mi'.