Other Tales 2: Chu Yuyan
It’s spring, and everything is dark. Perhaps that’s not because it’s nighttime, but because my heart is filled with darkness.
I choose to remain in the dark. I don't want to open my eyes. I don’t want to feel the world around me. I want to live in my own world. I don’t want to awaken....
I can still remember the first time I saw him in the Reliance Sect oh so long ago, but I don’t want to remember that! I don’t want to think about it.
Spring is when things are supposed to come back to life. But now, spring is gone. It's getting hot. I can hear people talking, including my Master, the incarnation of a medicinal pill.... He sighs as he spends the summer watching over me.
I don't want to think about everything that happened in the Violet Fate Sect. Why can't I forget it? Why? Why...?
It's cold now. Not the iciness of winter, but the crispness of autumn. It's raining. The world I live in is dark, without even a scrap of light. I should be able to forget everything. I can almost forget the Reliance Sect, the roc, the Violet Fate Sect. But no matter how hard I try, I can't forget what happened in the Windswept Realm.
Why is it so hard to forget...?
Everything is freezing now. I can tell that it’s snowing outside. After the snowflakes land on the ground, they’re like me, cold and unmoving. But the snowflakes eventually find their way home. Unlike them, I don’t know where to go from here.
Years pass. I've lost track. Even if I manage to forget the Windswept Realm, I won’t be able to forget what happened on Planet Vast Expanse. I can’t forget the Ninth Sect, and my Master there.
Time is passing by. I feel like I’m lost in the darkness. But then I hear a voice speaking next to me. It seems as if someone is looking at me. I can’t see that person, but I can sense the melancholy in that gaze.
I want to forget everything, but the image of Little Treasure mixes with his face, and I can’t forget him. I can’t forget Perfect....
I want to cry, but I won’t open my eyes. I feel the tears seeping down the sides of my face.
Days pass. Years. Times change, and I’m not even sure how long it’s been. Maybe a thousand years. Maybe ten thousand. Maybe even untold tens of thousands.... The voices slowly fade away until everything is quiet.
I am the only person left. I'm lonely. A part of the night. Enveloped in darkness.
Time passes. Eventually I reach the point when I think I might have forgotten everything. But then I hear someone talking, a hoarse voice speaking in my ear.
“Foolish girl, do you really think you can forget it all?”
That voice pierces into my soul, causing it to tremble. All of the memories I pretended to have forgotten suddenly erupt. It turns out I haven’t forgotten about them at all.
In fact, I remember everything even more clearly now, as if they have been engraved upon my soul.
I am Chu Yuyan!
“I... I can't forget,” she said softly. As she opened her eyes, tears streamed down her cheeks. The world was no longer dark. An old man was standing in front of her. His face was covered with wrinkles, and she didn’t recognize him. However, there was something about him that seemed familiar, as if she had known him in a previous life. It was almost as if she had been destined to eventually meet him.
“Then stop trying to forget,” the old man said, his voice so decisive it could sever nails and chop iron. “I'm called Extermination. I achieved my Dao countless epochs in the past. Ever since then, I’ve spent my life looking for answers. I still haven’t found them, so I'm going to continue my search in the depths of the Universe.
“Are you willing to become my apprentice, foolish girl?
“If you are, I can take you with me into the depths of the Universe.
“It's possible... that you might meet that certain person along the way....”
Chu Yuyan closed her eyes and lay there for a long moment. Then she opened her eyes and climbed out of the coffin.
“Greetings, Master,” she said, kneeling before him.
Extermination looked at her with warmth in his eyes.
Years ago, when he had been pursuing his own Dao, he had eventually succeeded. However, the only thing which remained was his Dao. Along the way, he had given up everything, sacrificed everything. Although he remained focused, he could never forget his destroyed homeland, his old friends and family, and everything he had lost.
During the age of Meng Hao, he had observed the lives of many people, and the only one who made an impression on him was this girl, who reminded him of a certain someone from the past.
After seeing everything that had occurred between Chu Yuyan and Meng Hao, he finally decided to come here to help her.
A long moment passed. Extermination smiled, and then waved his sleeve. A dilapidated old ship appeared up in the sky. He took a step forward, and was on the ship. Chu Yuyan looked around at the world for a moment, and then followed him.
Also on the ship was a cold-faced young man in a black robe, sitting there cross-legged. He looked over at Chu Yuyan and nodded, then closed his eyes and went back to meditating.
“Let’s go,” said Extermination. “To the depths of the Universe.”
The ship began to move forward, making not the slightest sound. It pierced through the void into the Universe, bathing in the light of the countless seed-worlds that existed there.
Chu Yuyan sat there on the ship, and after a long moment, she thought back to what her new Master had just told her, that she might encounter that very person she had been trying to forget.
“If I ever see him... what should be the first thing I say?” she thought, suddenly nervous.
Time passed differently on the ship.
One month there was like an epoch out where Meng Hao existed.
It was impossible to say exactly how much time passed. One day, Chu Yuyan suddenly heard someone talking outside the ship.
“Fellow Daoists, would you mind if my wife and I join you on your travels?”
As soon as she heard that voice, she shivered, and started to get more nervous.
“Apprentice, we have some new guests on board. Please bring out two cups of wine.”
She took a deep breath. Trying to remain calm, she bit her lip and parted the curtain. When she stepped out, she saw the shocked Meng Hao, and Xu Qing standing next to him.
“Elder Brother Fang Mu, Big Sister Xu Qing, I'm not here to cause trouble,” she said. “This is my Master’s ship, and... my Master wanted me here.”
Because she was beautiful, her smile was radiant.
Because she was nervous, it was also a bit stiff. In fact, that was why... it seemed like such an enigmatic smile.