The Royal Residence of Dong Lin.
“Good news! Good news, my King!”
The Senior Official Chu Zairan was holding an army report and was practically running into the Royal Residence. His excited shouts were heard before he even entered the room.
The King of Dong Lin had been ill for several days and constantly felt groggy. The Queen was by the bed, personally attending the King of Dong Lin. She heard the shouts and happened to turn to see Chu Zairan stumble inside. “What good news?”
“Madam, the Duke of Zhen-Bei has withdrawn the army. The final battle did not start.”
The Queen was stunned by this. She hesitated for the longest time before asking in utter disbelief, “The Duke of Zhen-Bei didn’t go to war with the army of Yun Chang?”
Chu Zairan’s hand that held the army report shook and quivered constantly with excitement. “Nearly. I heard, when the two armies were ready to confront each other, the Princess of Yun Chang suddenly appeared and convinced the Duke of Zhen-Bei to withdraw. Madam, several hundred thousands of lives of Dong Lin’s sons have been saved!”
“Repeat what you just said,” said a man’s frail voice from the bed.
“Ah, King! Are you awake?” The Queen was taken aback and hurriedly supported the struggling King of Dong Lin to sit up. “Be careful, King. The physician said you must heal in peace.”
The King of Dong Lin’s hand feebly waved a hand to dismiss the idea. He turned his gaze towards Chu Zairan. “Senior Official, please say that again. What did the Duke of Zhen-Bei do?”
“Replying to King, the Duke of Zhen-Bei has withdrawn the army. The army and Yun Chang did not begin the deciding battle.” Although Chu Zairan was very old, he had a lot of vigour to spare.
“Oh?” The King of Dong Lin chewed on Chu Zairan’s words as if still unable to accept this incredible news. His eyes were a little yellow from his sickness, giving a different quality to his eyes which then blended into his excited expression. Hand resting on the shoulder of the Queen, he peered forwards asking, “Where is the report? Hurry, let me see.”
Chu Zairan hurriedly passed over the report with both hands.
The Queen was incredibly worried about the King of Dong Lin overexerting himself. She personally helped him open the report. The King read it while leaning against a pillow.
The King of Dong Lin read the report twice before sighing in relief. He thought his body felt breezy, the sour pain and stuffiness felt in the previous days seemed to have flown off. He passed it over to the Queen, who closed the report, before smiling. “I know what Brother, Brother still thinks about the overall situation…cough cough cough…cough…” He suddenly began to continuously cough.
The Queen hurriedly massaged his back to increase airflow. She softened her voice, “You must be more aware of your body, King. The war is over, and the Duke of Zhen-Bei has stopped his craze. As long as King’s body gets better, then it is truly a blessing for all peasants of Dong Lin.”
The King of Dong Lin struggled to bit back his pain. He took a few deep breaths before asking, “Where is the army right now?”
“They are currently on the way back. The Duke of Zhen-Bei has given his order that when they get to the border, all are to disband and to immediately go back to their original stations.”
The King of Dong Lin considered this for a moment, before commanding, “Write a letter, Senior Official, and send it to the Duke of Zhen-Bei with a fast horse. Tell him that the previous letters I sent him were all words written in a fit of anger. The Royal House of Dong Lin only has us two brothers, and I still have a lot of hope for him. Tell him to come back as soon as possible and to never leave the capital again.”
Chu Zairan hesitated before stepping forward to report in a whisper, “King, the Duke of Zhen-Bei is no longer with the army. The army is currently led by Official Chen-Mu.”
The King and the Queen of Dong Lin were slightly surprised.
“No longer with the army?” The King of Dong Lin’s eyebrows that had just begun to relax, screwed up tightly again. He barely managed to sit up. “What’s this all about?”
“The general who passed on the messenger said that after the Duke of Zhen-Bei sent the order to withdraw, he passed the flag of command to Chen Mu. He then rode off alone, and his whereabouts are currently unknown.”
The clear skies that had just come out were suddenly covered up by rain clouds again. The King of Dong Lin sighed, flopped backwards and lethargically leaned on the head of the bed.
“Any news of Bai Pingting?” The Queen interrupted with a question.
“Bai Pingting’s whereabouts are currently unknown. There’s something else though…” Chu Zairan raised his eyes to study the King of Dong Lin’s expression and stopped.
“Go ahead and speak, Senior Official.”
“This…this is just a rumour, not confirmed.” Chu Zairan hunched over as he carefully proceeded, “It seems that when Bai Pingting was taken away by He Xia, she was already…”
The Queen was secretly alarmed by this and she hurriedly asked, “Already what?”
“…Already with the Duke of Zhen-Bei’s flesh and blood.”
When this came out, not only was the Queen but also the King was shocked. “Is this true?”
“King, this is just a rumour…”
“The blood of my Royal House of Dong Lin was sent into He Xia’s hands?” The King of Dong Lin’s eyes were wide in anger. His breath suddenly got caught in his throat, sending him off with another fit of coughing.
The Queen’s heart felt completely frozen into blocks of ice. She clumsily helped to clear the King of Dong Lin’s airflow, tears already beginning to fall. Seeing the King of Dong Lin had stopped coughing, she stood up and slumped to her knees, crying, “King, it’s all my fault! This is a result of my sins.”
The King of Dong Lin was stiff for a long time. He heaved a sigh. “Queen is not at fault; it is mine. This is such a joke from the gods, my House of Dong Lin has finally had a seedling yet…Senior Official.”
“Immediately write an Order and send people to find Bai Pingting. She must be protected and the child in her belly.” The King of Dong Lin then slowly added, “When she is found, tell her that as long as she gives birth to Brother’s son, then I shall bestow her the title, Duchess of Zhen-Bei.”
His body was not like before. After Dong Lin lost their two princes, the only people eligible to inherit the throne were the Duke of Zhen-Bei and his heirs.
The Songsen Mountains continuously ran for several hundred miles. Winter withered things, but luckily pine trees were not afraid of the cold. Zuiju had been collecting pine needles to use for acupuncture for Pingting while travelling. The treatment barely allowed Pingting to summon enough energy to continue on their journey.
The two people knew their prayers to the skies were unanswered. Prayers to the earth were ineffective. They could only use their own effort to pave their wave to survival. Although it was hard, they had swallowed it all back and never once said it was tiring.
Sometimes Pingting’s pulse was good, the other times bad. The gleaming white of the forest and mountains stretched on, boundless, into the horizon. The road seemed to be growing longer day by day. The two had lost their way several times in the mountain forest. They had gone around in circles until they finally found the right direction with great difficulty.
Pingting’s legs gradually grew powerless. It seemed one step was even more tiring than ten steps. She knew she couldn’t last much longer but was afraid to drag behind Zuiju, so she didn’t say anything.
On this particular afternoon, they finally reached a rocky area. The Songsen mountain rocky areas grew unique berries that could bear fruit even in winter. Although it wasn’t delicious, it was undoubtedly good food for the two.
“Please sit down Miss. I’ll go get some for us to eat.” Zuiju helped Pingting to sit down. No much later, she brought a pile of red-purple berries tied with her skirt. The branches of the berries were dense and with pricks, causing a number of fresh wounds on her hand.
They had been subjected to worse suffering along the way, so Zuiju wasn’t concerned at all. She placed the berries before Pingting, and the two took advange of the rare warm sun to fill their stomachs.
“We’ve almost crossed the Songsen Mountains right?”
“My, we’re almost at the end. When your child is born in the future, we must tell him each and every of these hardships in much detail. We have to let him know that his mother had worked very hard to…” Zuiju said this while turning to peek at Pingting.
Pingting sat cross-legged and leaned back against the rock. Her face had a very faint expression on it, causing Zuiju to suddenly feel uneasy.
“Miss?” She whispered, trying to wake her. She knelt down, “Miss Bai?”
“Hm?” Pingting moved a little, her eyes slightly opened. The corners of her mouth twitched upwards. “Zuiju…”
Zuiju began to feel very nervous. “What’s wrong, Miss Bai?” She hurriedly checked Pingting’s pulse.
Pingting struggled free and slowly shook her head.
She beckoned Zuiju to come a little closer, until her ear was almost touching, before softly whispering, “The Songsen Mountains cuts thrugh both Yun Chang and Bei Mo. If you go down here, you will soon reach within the Bei Mo borders. Yangfeng and Ze Yin’s secluded residence is on the other side of the Songsen Mountains. You go…”
“No!” Zuiju uttered a cry, staring back at the blank expression. “Miss, what are you saying? We go together. We’re nearly there, we’re so close. Look, I found some herbs and will boil some medicine for you. And…and I have needles, I’ve harvested some fresh pine needles. All of them are hard enough.”
Pingting was always calm and collected. This time, she seemed helplessly weak.
“Zuiju, I really can’t go on any more. If it hadn’t been for you, I wouldn’t’ve been able to walk for a long time.” A bitter smile played on Pingting’s lips.
Zuiju stared at her, feeling a child on her back. She turned around and studied her surroundings.
The pristine patches of white seemed particularly terrifying today.
“Miss…” Zuiju’s lips were quivering. She felt a strong sense of apprehension which seemed to drown out all of her surroundings, overwhelming her.
“I can only rely on you now. Here is a map, go find Yangfeng.” Pingting lightly bit down on her lip, trying hard to pull out the map hidden in her arms. “Ze Yin is a general. He must have warriors accustomed to mountain areas. When you see him, ask him to immediately send someone to pick me up.”
Zuiju shook her head. “If you can’t walk, I can carry you. I still have energy…”
“That will only make us die together. We don’t have enough food and I’m afraid there might not be any more rocky areas ahead. You still have energy. If you go ahead by yourself, you should be able to get down in two days. Ze Yin’s men are used to fighting in the wilderness. Perhaps they will be able to find this place in a day.”
“No, it really won’t do.”
Pingting’s two eyes stared, her voice a little louder. “If you carry me, you still won’t be able to leave this mountain in ten days.” She didn’t have much energy left. She was drained. Her chest began to hurt. She raised her head, panting continuously. She stuffed the map into Zuiju’s hands, “Take it!”
Zuiju took the map, her heart full of panic.
She knew Pingting had come to a dead end. If Pingting had even the slightest idea, she would never willingly stop her footsteps.
She just never thought the two would part.
“Go find Yangfeng and tell her to send the best men to find me. Coming back and forth will only take two days.” Pingting looked around her, “This rocky area has places to shelter me from the wind and rain, as well as berries for food. I’ll wait there.”
Zuiju clutched onto the map.
All of her body’s strength seemed to be concentrated at her hand. The wrinkled map seemed to be almost crushed by her.
“Understood.” As if separated by a century, Zuiju finally found her shattered voice. She stared deeply at Pingting, “I will hurry to Yangfeng’s and get her to tell him to send his mountaineering experts with the best gingseng. I’ll do some preparations over there, so they’ll be ready when you arrive.”
Pingting gently gazed back at her, her pale lips curved slightly. She smiled, “Yes, that’s the way.” She then raised a hand and reached out for the hairpin on her head, her arm trembling for a long time. However, it kept being a little out of each. She was unable to get it.
This left a sourness in Zuiju’s heart as she saw this. She helped her get the hairpin off her head and handed it to her.
Pingting didn’t take it back and said, “You take it. This is what Yangfeng gave me and should act as proof.”
Zuiju answered. For a long time, there was no movement from her, only two eyes studying Pingting.
Pingting knew she was still worried and coughed once. “Zuiju.”
Zuiju answered. There was a slight sob in her voice. She slowly got up, her hand clutching onto the map and the luminous jade hairpin in the other. “Miss, I will go now.” She hesitated for a long time and finally turned to leave.
Pingting watched her with open eyes, seeing her back view slowly disappear beyond the rocky area. She sighed in relief. She then considered struggling upwards to walk around and study the terrain but couldn’t find any energy at all. She then thought about resting since she no longer had to hurry their journey. Pingting closed her eyes, her head against the rocks. Not long later, Pingting opened her eyes surprisedly after hearing the sound of footsteps on hay.
“Miss,” Zuiju had returned, her hands full of berries. “I’ll give you this.” She carefully placed the berries in front of Pingting and stood up. She looked at Pingting for some time, before softly replying, “I really shall go this time.”
“Zuiju,” Pingting saw her back view, and couldn’t help saying her name.
Zuiju hurriedly turned back towards her. “What’s wrong?”
Pingting’s clear eyes stdied her for a long time, before smiling. “Nothing much, you must be careful. The sooner you get down the mountain, the sooner you can relax.”
“Hm, understood.” Zuiju nodded her head.
This time, she really went.
The imminent war had suddenly been prevented by a private conversation between the Princess of Yun Chang and Chu Beijie. All had expected to see rivers of blood flow but it was suddenly stopped. The people who thought they had miscalculated the most were the masters of the other two countries.
They were also thinking of the time when the House of Jing-An’s rise to fame, firmly grasping onto the military power as well as the King’s favour. The King of Gui Le, He Su, barely sat on the throne for a year yet immediately framed He Xia for a revolt by tricking him into the Royal Residence the day of his trumphiant return.
Under such a rich scheme, the Ducal House of over hundred years of history was ruined in a single moment.
How could He Xia forget such hate?
When hearing Chu Beijie had assembled the Dong Lin army and was about to fight against the Prince Consort for a final, decisive battle to death, the King of Gui Le anticipated the event with such great joy and delight. It was too difficult to describe his excitement in words.
The army of Gui Le had been put on standby. The moment He Xia was defeated, Gui Le would immediately join the war and break through Yun Chang’s checkpoints. Then, they would strike through to He Xia, the man who the King of Gui Le so bitterly detested, in one go.
Who knew that the Princess of Yun Chang would appear and completely destroy every single battle plan they had.
“It’s not Princess Yaotian.” The King of Gui Le got off the throne, stretching his muscles. He had already listened to army reports for half the day and finally dismissively added a few words of his own.
“King?” Le Di, an Elder Statesman, asked in surprise. “Is King saying that this report is wrong?”
“No, I’m saying that Princess Yaotian was not the one who made Chu Beijie withdraw his troops.” The King of Gui Le raised his head towards the sky to sigh heavily. His expression seemed to have an unwiling loneliness in its depths. “It was Bai Pingting.”
Le Di’s expression slightly changed. “Bai Pingting? Bai Pingting of the Jing-An Ducal Residence?”
Why did he always hear that name? She was just a maid of a Ducal Residence. She could play a few songs on the guqin, yet why was she directing the overall situation today?
Even the Queen had mentioned her name in their private conversation.
“Elder Statesman must think this in unbelievable too. Chu Beijie is a hero but launched a war for a mere woman. Then again, a mere woman stopped the battle. Now that I think about it, the fates of Yun Chang and Dong Lin, appear to rest in the hands of this one woman.”
Le Di disagreed, “King is over worrying. Women should properly stay in their homes, thinking about serving their husband and father. Chu Beijie is utterly stupid to do such things for a woman and such thinking is very misguided. He once led his troops and violated my Gui Le’s soil. Now that he is self-destructing, it is truly the greatest joy of my Gui Le.”
The King of Gui Le looked at the messenger that stood aside, not knowing what to say. The corners of his mouth suddenly rose. He may have been smiling but perhaps not. “Let me tell Elder Statesman something interesting. When Bai Pingting was taken by He Xia out of Dong Lin to Yun Chang, I sent troops to ambush them in Dong Lin, hoping to bring Bai Pingting back to Gui Le.”
“Ah?” Le Di was slightly shocked by this.
“I did not discuss this with Elder Statesman because I knew that Elder Statesman would never agree.” From the side, the King’s face revealed resolution and stubborness in the candle light. “Frankly speaking, Elder Statesman, I have often thought about a certain question these days. Bai Pingting used to be a lowly maid in the Jing-An Ducal Residence and had been under my eye for many years. He Xia and Chu Beijie are currently fighting for her, meaning that her worth is worth a hundred times more than before. If I knew this would happen, then perhaps I should have added Bai Pingting to my harem?” The conversation quite shockingly and suddenly shifted to the harem.
Le Di’s expression changed, his heart spinning like a windmill in a breeze. His own daughter was currently the Queen of Gui Le. It was because of his darling daughter, the mother of the nation, did the Le family shoot up like the sun at noon. He had naturally succeeded the military power after the defeat of the House of Jing-An.
Le Di pondered for a long time before calmly smiling. “King must be joking. Bai Pingting is very humble in origin and has the identity of a maid. I have often heard that she doesn’t look particularly pretty either. He Xia is only going so far because of their shared history, while Chu Beijie is simply shortsighted or blinded by her.”
“Joking?” The King of Dong Lin began to faintly smile. He turned to sit down, a good half of his body leaning on a handril of the throne. His words were warm, “Senior Statesman, you are wrong.”
“Bai Pingting’s beauty is not in her looks but her mind and personality. If we are to discuss this, then all of the mothers of the four countries cannot be compared to Bai Pingting. Otherwise, how could such a hero like Chu Beijie quickly withdraw his soldiers with just one letter from Bai Pingting?” Gui Le sighed for a long time before continuing, “You and I both know that that is unlike Chu Beijie.” His smile was endlessly bitter.
Le Di didn’t know what to continue with. They heard a messenger outside report, “The Queen has arrived.”
Hearing the familiar, somewhat rustling footsteps, the door of the hall was quietly pushed open, revealing the smiling face of the Queen of Gui Le.
“Oh, Madam is here.” Le Di secretly celebrated that the troublesome topic of Bai Pingting was paused there. He hurriedly stood up from his seat.
“King.” The Queen bowed at the King of Gui Le before turning to look at Le Di. “Father is here too? Please do have a seat,” she said, her voice soft. She sat down while opening the conversation breezily. “The weather these days is too unpredictable. I’m afraid Father’s leg will reapse again. I was just planning to send someone to give this medicine to Father. Although national affairs are important, you must protect your health too.” After she spoke that much, she turned to smile at the King of Dong Lin. “Will the King stay up all night again t? Did something else happen again?”
The King of Gui Le warmly smiled back at her, shaking his head. “Yun Chang and Dong Lin are no longer having a decisive battle, what else could there be? I am just talking to the Elder Statesman about Bai Pingting.”
The Queen listened to the name “Bai Pingting” and felt her heart suddenly plummet. Her face expression however did not change. “I heard that she followed He Xia to Yun Chang. I wonder how she is now.”
“Does Queen know that Chu Beijie withdrew all his troops with just a single letter from her?”
“Such thing happened?” The Queen took a deep breath and slowly whispered.
The hall was suddenly silent.
The King of Gui Le and Le Di continued to discuss national affairs. Le Di only managed to get out of the Royal Residence when the sky began to brighten. The moment he left, he got on his horse and murmured a command. “Go to the Main General Residence, hurry!”
The driver rumbled on in the dawn to the General’s Residence. General Le Zhen and his concubine had been binge drinking the past night and had yet to sleep when he heard his father’s arrival. He hurriedly climbed out of bed.
“Why are you here, Father? What’s wrong? Just send someone to pass the message on.” Le Zhen answered the gates before seeing his father’s dark expression.
Le Di didn’t say anything. He headed straight towards the office. Once he was in the office, he looked left and right before personally closing the door. He sighed in relief and lowered his voice, “The King of Dong Lin is suspicious.”
Le Zhen said “Ah” once before hurriedly asking, “What did the King say?”
“The King kept on mentioning Bai Pingting, about how he should have added her to his harem.” Le Di stared at his son and harrumphed. “That is a warning to us that the Queen’s prized throne is not very stable.”
Le Zhen replied in disdain. “A maid can be compared to our Queen? Our Le Family has produced several generations of ranking officials and our Queen was designated as the heir’s wife by the previous king.”
“Several generations of ranking officials? The House of Jing-An is an example! Not to mention, the Bai Pingting of today is not very simple. She is related not only to the Prince Consort of Yun Chang but also the Duke of Zhen-Bei of Dong Lin. She even has reliable contacts with several of Bei Mo’s generals.”
“Have you dealt with the one who sent the message to He Xia?”
Le Zhen replied, “Father, rest assured. I have already arranged for him to leave the capital as far as possible. The King will never notice him.”
“No!” The light in Le Di’s eyes dimmed. “You must get rid of the other end of the chopped root, so it will never grow back to form trouble.”
A painful expression surfaced on Le Di’s eyes. “Fei Zhaoxing is one of my rare generals. He has always been with me, very loyal…”
“Don’t say any more. Just do as I say.” Le Di replied coldly. “The King sent an ambush to He Xia, but we secretly reported the letter to him. If this news is to reach the King, it will become a treason, resulting in the complete destruction of our family. Our Le Family’s fame has only been shortlived. If the King is indeed suspicious and manages to find our tail, then what happened to the House of Jing-An will happen to us.” His voice lowered slightly, a coldness sweeping across his eyes. He gritted his teeth and muttered, “Fei Zhaoxing must die! As long as he dies, there will be no witness. Even if the King is suspicious, he cannot do anything against the Queen or to the Main General.”
Le Zhen’s expression revealed some hesitation. He thought about it for a while before finally making his heart ruthless. “I understand.”
Half of the berries that had been harvested were eaten.
The cold wind had blown all night. Pingting luckily hidherself in a rocky cave to escape the danger of being frozen. She reached a hand out from the cave. The sky was gray-white. She hoped today would be a fine day, so that the hurrying Zuiju would not come across a snowstorm until she safely reached Yangfeng’s side.
Three days weren’t long enough to say so but weren’t short enough to say so either.
Even though Pingting had made several promises to Zuiju, her heart was not empty in the slightest. The child sat quietly in her womb. She did not feel the extreme abdominal pain from the last few days. She felt particularly concerned about it even more.
My child, you’ll be fine.
She gently pressed down on her belly, hoping to feel the movement of the child inside. He was slowly growing older. On their journey, Pingting was sure she had felt him kicking his little feet inside his mother’s belly.
Zuiju said the child was still young and could not kick yet, but Pingting knew he was moving. The little life’s actions were full of vitality. Every little movement made her move to tears.
“My child, please protect Aunt Zuiju and protect Mother through this obstacle.” Pingting gently stroked her belly, gently whispering a few words.
She knew these dreamy like whispers were not useful, yet in her dream, this child had the same indomitable spirit like his father, both with the power to protect anyone.
The corners of Pingting’s mouth lifted into a bitter smile. There were still a few remaining berries Zuiju plucked by her hand. The smooth skin that rabbed the plump fruit inside seemed a little wrinkled. Their colours were not as good as the day before. She was temporarily dazed, her thoughts drifting to the Cloud Valley Route.
That person had gone through the dense forest, landing on top of the berries that grew in the valley.
She and Chu Beijie exchanged suspicious looks at each other.
Chu Beijie’s outline had been very clear in the moonlight. It was determined, full of strength and heroism.
She had bluntly said, “I was the one who ordered to stop you from reaching our command tent. Sorry for forgetting to tell you.”
Chu Beijie’s tiger-like eyes had flashed with a coldness. He stared at her for a long time. He raised his head to laugh loudly and mournfully at the sky. “Geez geez, Chu Beijie, you’re such an idiot!”
His laughter had pierced through to her bones.
Pingting suddenly recovered, falling back to earth. The berries in her hand had been crushed to pulp, completely dying her fist in its red juice.
Ah, the berries.
That time, she had plucked a few berries too. That person was angry. Even though he was a dignified general, when he was angry, he was more like a child. He didn’t care about his own injuries, pretending to be brave. He refused to let her bandage his wounds as well as to eat her berries.
Those berries were very bitter and very hard, like these ones now.
Yet, why have they still ended up together?
That man smiled at her, kissed her on the lips.
His warm breath drilled into her heart and lungs as if declaring to the world several times that Bai Pingting belonged to Chu Beijie.
He said, “I’ll wait for you in Dong Lin.”
He smiled, truly believing the future would be both simple and happy.
And then what?
It seemed that God did not allow them to be together, by creating all sorts of controversies. Pingting’s rolling tears began to drip onto her clothes. Only then did she realise her cheeks were full of tears.
No, don’t think about him any more. It will not end well. No matter how true or hard work put in until bleeding, nothing good would come out of it.
Don’t think any more, don’t re-injure my heart again.
Pingting tried hard to expel the warmth out of her heart. One night of rest had finally given her back some energy. She leaned against the wall, using it as support to help her stand. She planned to gather some more fresh berries. After taking two steps, she felt a sharp jolt of pain in her lower abdomen that then rippled through her body like a red hot knife stabbing into it.
Pingting screamed, clutching onto her belly as she fell towards the ground.
Cold sweat began to surge out.
Child, my dear child, what’s wrong?
Do you hate how bitter the berries are?
Do you hate how cold it is?
Your father is not here, so Mother will protect you.
“Ah! Ah!” Bursts of immense pain in Pingting’s lower abdomen sent her rolling to the ground. Bean-sized sweat drops began to ooze out of her forehead as her ten fingers helplessly grabbed at nothing or clawed the yellow mud leaving long scratches.
“Beijie, Beijie…” She widened her eyes, looking at the gray skies pressing closer and closer above her head. “Chu Beijie, where are you?”
Why are you not by my side?
If you appear before me right now, I swear to the skies that I will always always stay by your side and play qin and sing for you. As long as you hold my hands and say, “Pingting, I’ve found you”, then I will forget everything. I will forget the war-torn skies and forget the heartless moon on the sixth.
I will pick up each of the shattered pieces of my heart on the ground, as long as you appear right now.
I really want to see you. I want to see you.
Didn’t you say you love me?
Didn’t you say you would hurry back? I racked my brains so that I could wait for the moon of the sixth to rise, yet I never saw your figure returning home.
I want to see you, just one gaze or even your shadow.
You know, there is no word that can express my despair.
You said the we swore to the moon, to never turn against each other. Can we never turn on backs against each other?
Can we really never turn against each other?
“I hate you..”
The gray sky in Pingting’s eyes gradually became black as she felt the pain almost tear through her body. She dimly heard her voice cry out, hoarse and exhausted, “I hate you! I hate you!”
“I hate you! I hate you….”
She had used all of her energy in her cries, until she plunged into the deep darkness. She only vaguely realised that to hate someone, rather than forget them, was much easier.
- “hunched over”: The subject or official would bend over usually when speaking to royalty. It’s like a bow that shows modesty.