Chapter 5 The Naga of Nanyi
“Xu Linghe, you must not abandon me when I become ugly.”
Xu Linghe caressed the little woman.
“I love your eyes, even when they are old and can’t see clearly.”
His large hands moved downwards until it reached her soft petal-like lips.
“I love your lips even if you lose your front teeth.”
“Xu Linghe, shall we stay together even when we get old?”
Wuyou’s eyes were filled with stars. Xu Linghe caressed the little woman’s hair with love.
“The skin will eventually grow old. Your husband loves your coldness. Even if you are no longer beautiful, the love I have for you will be placed here. Understand? Even if one day, you hurt me, I will not hate you. Because you are my heart. How can I dig out my own heart?”
“Linghe, I love you.”
Tears rolled down Wuyou’s face as she hugged the man before her tightly. Right now, she only wanted to love this man. No matter what happened in the future, she and Xu Linghe would be able to continue forth. Even if the future path was filled with thorns, so what? She wanted this man, and her heart hurt when she thought of how it’d be like without him.
“Little woman, shall I marry you one year from today in a lavish ceremony?”
“Yes. One year from today. Wuyou will wait for you here. Husband, you have to come early.”
The large hand clutched the little hand tightly. At this moment, they only wanted to integrate each other into their blood.
When they returned, it was already noon. The man entered the little stone house through the yard. Wuyou thought of the divine instruments on the altar. There was a little garden separating where she was from the altar. She remembered that it was not far away. She glanced at the stone house. The man had long disappeared.
She walked around the stone house and pushed lightly at the little door at the side. She jogged toward the path led to the altar.
The reincarnation mirror was placed on a wooden shelf. Wuyou spread her Spirit Power and injected it into the reincarnation mirror. A ray of light floated and when the mirror was tightly surrounded by the Spirit Power, the image in the mirror could be seen clearly. Wuyou saw the moving souls. Her Uncle Jiefei had been suppressed by someone in the heart of the light.
There was a suction force when Wuyou wanted to take a closer look, and her sight turned black. Wuyou only knew then that the reincarnation mirror wanted to suck her soul. But it was already too late. A flash of Spirit Power shone and the reincarnation mirror turned calm again. Wuyou landed in a warm embrace. The man’s body was shaking.
“Little woman, don’t activate the reincarnation mirror on your own. You almost lost your life just now! You need a magic chant for this divine instrument, or you’ll be swallowed by it.”
“Linghe, I was just curious.”
Wuyou did not dare to tell him the truth, and she dared not let Xu Linghe know that she was a demoness. She would just have to go to Wind City to ask Phantom about Jiefei’s soul. After all, she was the soul messenger of the Three Realms.
“You have to use the Kunlun Spirit to activate such a divine instrument. I’ll find you any soul you want.”
What Xu Linghe thought that at the moment was a portrait of Minster Han’s wife. The little woman in front of him looked very similar to the lady in the portrait. He wondered if the Minister’s deceased wife was related to the little woman.
“If you want this thing, you just have to marry me.”
“Is that true?”
“You should be punished for not believing in your husband.”
Xu Linghe approached, and her pink lips were kissed lightly by the man. Xu Linghe felt even more dazed when he looked at the redness at the tips of her brows. Jiang Wuyou and Xu Linghe embraced tightly under the warm sun of March.
A few wisps of moonlight entered, and when they passed through the walls, Wuyou saw a portrait. It was a portrait of a woman, its color had faded. The woman in the portrait was extremely beautiful. Her brow bones were high, and she had almond eyes, a tall and straight small nose. Her lips were tightly pursed and she had the feel of a woman from the western lands. But when she looked carefully, she found there was a hint of sorrow in her eyes that belonged to women of Jiangnan. “Could this woman be Xu Linghe’s mother?” she thought.
“Is the woman in the portrait...”
“Yes, it is my mother. I drew this for her when I was little.”
Xu Linghe was not willing to talk about his mother. It was a wound on his heart and would hurt terribly if it tore.
“Have you ever dreamed of her?”
“When I was little. I don’t remember after I grew up.”
Xu Linghe stared at the portrait. Wuyou knew that the man loved his mother. His mother had passed away. The pain was indelible. His mother was like a goddess, and no matter how much time had passed, she would flow in the man’s blood. At this moment, Wuyou only wanted to accompany Xu Linghe silently.
Wuyou hugged Xu Linghe tightly. She hoped to become someone the man could depend on. Even if the path was thorny, they would be able to trudge on.
“Little woman, do you know? When my mother died, my world collapsed. I thought I had forgotten her, but only I know that she has always been in my heart.”
“I know... I know everything. The pain of losing one’s kin is worse than death.”
“My mother was the princess of the fairy kingdom.”
Xu Linghe wanted the little woman to know more about his past. He had long thought of her as his wife, and was like his mother, someone he could not leave behind.
When Xu Linghe talked about his mother, the questions Wuyou’s had was finally solved. His mother was the princess of the fairy kingdom. He was not mortal. Wuyou knew that he was no ordinary mortal the last time he fought with the Wolf King, but she had not imagined that his mother was the fairy princess.
“My mother was the Second Princess of the fairy kingdom. One year, when she was traveling, an epidemic happened in the human realm. My mother felt pity for the people and often dispensed medicine for the villagers. My father had just started out as a supervisor. One day, when he went to the market, he saw a woman in white. Back then, my father would always watch from afar. In my father’s heart, my mother was a kind woman. But who knew that the epidemic would spread in just a few days. The entire Qi Kingdom was plunged into a panic. My mother returned to the fairy kingdom and took the sacred medicine. My grandfather was enraged and gave chase. My mother activated the Cloud Pill to save the Qi Kingdom.”
“What happened to auntie after that?”
“My mother was severely wounded in the market by my uncle, and when my father found her, she was already dying. Mother said that when my father carried her on his back, she decided then to marry the mortal man. My mother gave up everything to marry my father. In his anger, my grandfather took away my mother’s status as a princess. My mother gave birth to me less than a year later. Two years later, when my mother arrived at Xu’s Mansion, she realized that my father already had concubines. Because of the arrival of my mother, my father’s concubines fought. My mother only cared about loving father and did not know of the concubines’ methods. Then, one day the emperor besieged the mansion and said that my mother was a spy from the fairy kingdom.”
“Who spread the rumors?”
“Someone who wanted my mother to die.”
“Rumors end at those with wits. But who knew that the Qi Emperor had planned to get my mother’s spirit pill. He took me hostage in the palace. My father abandoned my mother for the sake of the family. That day, I knelt before in the palace and watched my mother, but I could not do anything. My mother missed my father very much before she died, but my father tricked my mother into giving up her inner elixir. This was the love that my mother sacrificed her life for. In the end, her soul dispersed.”
“Wuyou will not let you down.”
“Silly. Our love is eternal. How can you not be there?”
The dishes on the table were rarely seen in Teal Hill. Every one was exquisitely done, but Wuyou dared not try them.
“Husband, I like flower honey the best.”
Xu Linghe liked her little actions a lot. The little woman’s coldness faded away little by little. He could sense the change in the little woman. Xu Linghe liked the little woman who was innocent, with a hint of pride. He hoped that the day would arrive soon.
“It looks tempting, but...”
Foxes ate wild fruits. Wuyou had once stolen Jiefei’s wine when she was little. In her memory, the wine was sweet. The dishes on the stone table looked tasty, but the chopsticks in her hands did not follow her instructions. The food that she picked up slipped away. Xu Linghe felt confused. The little woman was so clumsy. Xu Linghe watched her in surprise. The food in the little dishes was scattered all over the table, and the shaking chopsticks grew more and more disorderly. Wuyou’s little face grew hot and she lowered her head awkwardly, afraid that Xu Linghe would see through her. It was really difficult to be a human woman. Xu Linghe picked up a peanut for Wuyou. She slowly savored it, biting it lightly with her teeth. A sweet fragrance filled her mouth. The peanut was crispy and paired with a small cup of pear blossom wine, it was truly a delicacy. Wuyou thought of Uncle Jiefei when she drank the fragrant pear blossom wine.
Xu Linghe did not eat much and accompanied the little woman silently. They ate until late in the afternoon.
When Wuyou woke up, Xu Linghe was still asleep. She pushed open the door. The sunlight of early spring scattered through the branches and filled the yard. The pear trees had turned white overnight. Pure white blossoms bloomed on the branches. The birds sang happily. Little Lingchong flew onto a branch and startled the birds. It flung itself at its mistress while she was unaware.
“Little Lingchong, you’re seeking death.”
Wuyou pulled Little Lingchong up and hung it on a branch. The birds saw their prey and flew over, leading the flock was a male bird. They flapped their wings as they approached. Wuyou saw that Little Lingchong was about to become the birds’ meal. She flicked her spiritual finger, and a mist appeared. The birds were scared and scattered. Little Lingchong flopped onto the ground, terrified. Wuyou comforted it by caressing it.
She thought of the waterfall at the back of the mountain. One had to follow a path to get there. There was a patch of wildflowers by the path. Wuyou picked the little flowers and weaved them into garlands. She remembered that her mother had weaved them for her before. Back then, she was still young and innocent. She held her mother’s hand and they strolled on the streets of Teal Hill. Her beautiful mother was always icy-cold. Wuyou had never seen her mother smile. She had once, like every other child, wished that her mother would be truly happy. But that wish had never come true.
The steep path was difficult to walk on. Little Lingchong flapped its wings. Wuyou, who was now in human form, was exhausted. Many parts of the skin on her feet had tore. Little Lingchong was extraordinarily excited.
When she saw the magnificent rapids, Wuyou was entranced by the waterfall in front of her. The odd mountain stone was smooth due to the years of erosion. From afar, it looked like a moving screen. The urgent rapids fell into the pond calmly without any ripples. Wuyou walked along the pond, wanting to examine it.
Little Lingchong, whom she carried, flew away, splashing into the water. Wuyou was taken aback. Little Lingchong spat out bubbles that enveloped it. Throughout the journey, Wuyou avoided the water and followed Little Lingchong. The water channel was narrow and twisted. Little Lingchong followed the soul in the water.
The pool of water blocked the sunlight. Looking at the dark bottom of the pond, Wuyou flicked her spiritual finger. The bottom of the pond was suddenly white, and she discovered a secret door at the corner. The doorknob was shackled with a cold chain. It was a metal chain that had been spelled. When Wuyou cast her Spirit Power on it, the cold chain turned into a pool of molten metal. Following that was a loud bang. The door was pushed open. Deep in the pond was a naked woman lying on her back and there was a diamond chain on her beautiful neck. Long blond hair obscured her full breasts. Wuyou could only see her slender waist. Her scale-covered tail splashed at the water, and her angry blue eyes were filled with tears. Drop by drop, the golden pearls shone brightly. Golden naga pearls were rare. “Could she be from the Nanyi royal family?” These naga pearls were sent onto the silver plate by the fishtail. Wuyou’s finger fluttered, and a purple spirit entered the naga’s body. The weakened naga landed in Wuyou’s embrace. Wuyou obtained information from the naga using her Spirit Power. The naga was indeed the Princess of Nanyi.
“Nanyi naga, who imprisoned you here?”
“It’s the Queen of Wind City, Phantom.”
“Is that true?”
“Phantom imprisoned me here for soul-soothing naga pearls. She took my naga pearls forcibly.”
The naga looked at Wuyou, the naga pearls in her eyes rolled. Looking at the deep lacerations on the naga’s neck, Wuyou felt pity for the woman. Her Spirit Power rolled over gently, and the diamond chain softened. The naga moved her neck, surprised and in joy. She looked at the woman in purple clothes and waved her fishtail. The silver plate on the platform landed in the naga’s hands.
What Wuyou saw was the rolling naga tears. The golden beads in the plate were like the golden glow of the sunset. It was beautiful. The golden beads covered with a sheen of water looked life-like and beautiful. It was then when Wuyou understood why Phantom would imprison the naga. The naga’s tears were beautiful and soul-stirring. There was a touch of blue in the depths of her round wet eyes. They were like the stars in the sky, dazzling and gorgeous. She picked up a bead and rolled it around gently. The beauty was like an illusion hidden in the golden color. All the beauty in the life of a naga was condensed in these beads of tears. The weakness of the Nanyi people made them have no power to fight back when they were attacked. This was the sadness of the nagas.
Wuyou brought the naga to the shore. Little Lingchong shook off the beads of water and crawled into her sleeves. The naga curled up on the ground. It was rather inappropriate for the naga to be naked by the pond. Wuyou opened her satin bag and covered the naga with it.
“Are you willing to be called Ming Zhu in the future?”
“Thank you, benefactor.”
Ming Zhu knelt and did not dare to lift her head. The humble mermaid princess had encountered such misery. “Could it be that Nanyi had fallen?” Wuyou thought. Phantom was only a soul-easing messenger. Jiefei had mentioned this woman before. After that, she heard that the Wolf King had fallen in love with the Phantom. Uncle Jiefei had drunk for three whole days because of this. Now that she thought about it, she guessed that the person Uncle Jiefei loved must be Phantom. This must have something to do with the wolves destroying Teal Hill.
“If mistress wishes, Ming Zhu is willing to show you the way.”
Wuyou lifted Ming Zhu’s little face to see if she was lying. Her Spirit Power was no match for the Wolf King, so she had better be more vigilant. She hoped that Ming Zhu was not a trap. She had to go to Wind City to meet the soul messenger. After all, she was someone her uncle had loved. If she found Jiefei’s soul, she hoped that the reincarnation mirror would be able to help Uncle Jiefei be born again. However, Wuyou still did not know that if one’s body was destroyed, they would never be able to be reborn, unless Wuyou invoked God’s will, allowing all things to be born again. However, this would cause God to self-destruct. Her Spirit Power was weak, and she could not bear huge responsibilities. The Teal Hill needed Uncle Jiefei.
“Ming Zhu, if you lie to me, I will make sure your spirit can never be reconciled.”
“Ming Zhu has been to Wind City. I would never dare to lie to my mistress.”
Wuyou looked at Ming Zhu. The naga must be afraid of her, for she was lying prostrate and shaking. Wuyou wanted to see the woman who had beguiled the Three Realms and see if she was really as scary as the rumors said.
Ming Zhu retracted her tail and turned into a human. They walked down the mountain quickly. Ming Zhu twisted her waist and walked slowly. Little Lingchong saw the naga and laughed loudly. Wuyou stopped and waited for Ming Zhu. From afar, the naga had a really stunning body. The light satin wrapped around her full body, and she was a natural beauty. Wuyou looked at her own small bust and felt a little disappointed. Little Lingchong looked at its mistress and thought to itself scornfully, “Women are so quick to get jealous.” Suddenly, a black shadow appeared above them. Little Lingchong was tossed several feet away by its mistress. “Oh! All women in the world are tigresses. I’d better stay far away from my mistress.”
It was already noon when Xu Linghe woke up. The yard was silent and the furnace on the stone table emitted burning embers. The boiling kettle bubbled. Xu Linghe washed the tea set and took out some tea-leaves from a tin can and placed it into a tea bowl. The brewing of tea pekoe was extremely particular. Xu Linghe tested the water temperature in the pot, and when it was at the proper temperature, he made a cup for himself.
They were in such a barren place, and Xu Linghe was somewhat worried. He wondered where the little woman went. He went out of the courtyard and followed the path up. There was a black spot in the distance. Xu Linghe approached speedily. The little woman was resting. She must have blisters from the mountainous terrain. Xu Linghe picked up the little woman and walked back. Wuyou screamed and hid in the man’s embrace, not daring to show her face. Ming Zhu was stunned by the man who had arrived like the wind.
The sorrow of parting enshrouded them. While the man was busy, Wuyou accompanied him by his side. Such a parting might have disappointed Xu Linghe. But Wuyou had to face her own life. She wanted to become a true deity and to bear burdens, so she would not compromise with fate. She could only hope that she would be able to provide support for her people.
Ming Zhu’s arrival made Wuyou feel suspicious. The naga was extremely enthusiastic towards Xu Linghe. But in the days that followed, Xu Linghe had always forgotten about the existence of Ming Zhu. On the day of their parting, Xu Linghe woke up early and made food that Wuyou liked. He made spring rolls that were crispy and sweet, but not cloying. The delicious food was tinged with the bitterness of parting. Wuyou observed the man silently, bitterness flowed in her heart. “When will I be able to meet Linghe again?” she thought.
Xu Linghe hoped that his woman could come back safely. He could not bear to part with Wuyou, but he knew that he could not be selfish and force her to stay.
“Chengyi, Senior Brother has something to ask of you.”
“Senior Brother, what is it that you have to disturb me so early in the morning?”
“Your sister-in-law is going to Wind City. The journey is dangerous. Please take care of her.”
“Senior Brother, when did you marry? How come I don’t know?”
“You nosy prick, will you go or not?”
“Senior Brother, it seems that I have to go. If I annoy you, I’ll be turned into a cat or maybe a dog.”
“I will protect sister-in-law. Senior Brother, be careful on your journey to the capital.”
“Your sister-in-law hasn’t been in the human world for too long. She’s simple and innocent. Junior Brother, please take good care of her.”
“Senior Brother, you can’t forget about your Junior Brother once you have my sister-in-law.”
“Set off quickly. Your sister-in-law is my life. You have to follow her at all times.”
Chengyi flew past his Senior Brother and into the sky, hoping to catch up with his sister-in-law.
After leaving the courtyard, Xu Linghe left for the capital. He would have to face something in the future. If his father forced him, he would never bow to his father’s will. He already had a countermeasure against the richest man, Han Qianyi, in Jiangnan. The man loved his late wife. “Why not do something he likes and mold his wife to hold him hostage? Even though I am taking advantage of Uncle Han’s devotion, it is because I was forced by my father.” he thought.
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter