Compared to losing Lu Hai Kong, what I had planned should have been scarier. However, after losing Lu Hai Kong, I felt an inexplicable deep fear. With fear came imagination. If Lu Hai Kong had been murdered, then it was alright. But what if he was sold to do hard work, forced to become a servant, or sold to a brothel? Those images made my head hurt.
If that was the case, even if Chu Kong went to hell, even if he would face the danger of ceasing to exist, he would let me disappear in one of the three realms (human, hell, heaven). I couldn’t go too overboard.
While walking, I shouted his name. I had never been so excited to see him appear unharmed before me. I searched the whole day without results.
When the sun disappeared, the gates on the north, south, west and east of the capital were closed. If someone had kidnapped Lu Hai Kong, he would be outside the capital by now.
With only my power, I couldn’t find Lu Hai Kong. Lu Hai Kong was the general’s son. The general, in order to search for his son, could use some of his power. With that thought, I ran back home.
When the red lights at the general’s mansion were lit, the two guards stood more rigid. I was about to rush past them, when I saw father Song with an apologetic face, coming out together with the general.
Father Song said: “It’s my fault for not teaching her well and allowing her to have the guts to cause today’s mess. Brother Lu, when I find that brat, I’ll bring her here to apologize.”
My heart made a thump sound. Did something really happen to Lu Hai Kong?
I didn’t care about how father Song will punish me and ran towards them.
“Father, general, Lu Hai Kong what… what happened to him?”
The general didn’t even get to speak; I was interrupted by my angry father. “What happened?! You still have the gall to ask what happened?! I haven’t taught you well and spoiled you too much. You don’t even know the limits of your actions anymore. Today, I’ll let you catch up on some lessons!”
Father Song dragged me back home. Even before entering, he yelled, “Lao Zhao, bring me the stick!”
Father Song had never used the stick against me. Although I was afraid of being beaten, but I still asked, “Has someone really sold Lu Hai Kong? How come he was sold in such a short period of time? How was he sold? How much did he cost?”
Father Song quivered in anger. “I’d like to sell you too.”
“Brother Song,” the general interjected. “Yun Xiang is still young. It’s normal that she doesn’t understand things. My brat was also not in a big trouble. Just let this matter slide.”
I did not let father Song answer. “Lu Hai Kong wasn’t in a big trouble? Then what small trouble did he get into?”
General Lu helplessly sighed. “He…he was caught by bad guys. Luckily, our guards arrived in time. He lost half a tooth and was a bit scared. But Yun Xiang, you really shouldn’t have taken Hai Kong outside the general’s mansion alone.”
Hearing that Lu Hai Kong was fine, I felt relieved. I didn’t bother with what the general said after that and turned to father Song. “Father, see, nothing happened. His virginity is still there; his life is still there.”
My pale-faced father Song was turned to the general when the general was persuading my father. Upon hearing my words, the general stopped and said instead, “Ten years is not very young anymore. There’s not many years left before she’ll get her hairpin ceremony. Brother Song, strengthening your way of disciplining is understandable. I’ll go back now.”
Suddenly, I realized that I may have said something wrong. I wanted to amend what I had said, but father Song grabbed my hand and dragged me. I staggered.
He sternly said, “Come here!”
Thinking about the thick stick hanging in the ancestral hall, my legs started to feel the pain. Without a God’s body, being beaten was a vexing thing. My lips trembled, and my eyes began to fill with tears.
“Father, I was wrong.”
Father Song was unmoved. “I’ve been spoiling you too much. That’s why you’ve become as you are now. Even if you cry tears of blood, you’ll still receive this beating today.”
My tears kept falling down. I looked like Lu Hai Kong when he had cried when he was still an infant.
I knelt down and hugged his thigh. With a hoarse voice and tears streaming down my face, I said, “I really know I’m wrong! I’ll never go alone with Lu Hai Kong again! In the future, I’ll obediently listen to you! I’ll obediently stay at home every day and spend my time reading books and doing embroidery.”
“Humph,” father Song sneered. “You’ve already used this tactic.”
His face darkened, and he said in a heavy voice, “Don’t cry anymore on the street. People will look at us as a joke.”
He must be really angry if he spoke in such a tone.
I knew that no matter what I say, I couldn’t escape today’s beating. Just when I was wiping my tears and was about to stand up, someone shoved the general’s mansion’s door open. A small person, who didn’t even wear a coat and had one red eye, stood at the general’s doorway.
His head was bandaged. It must’ve been from today’s injuries. Lu Hai Kong, seeing me on the ground and grabbing onto father Song’s thigh, was shocked for a moment. After all, in front of him, I had always been haughty and aloof. I let go of father Song’s thigh and just knelt on the ground. In my heart, I was wondering why Lu Hai Kong was here. I saw Lu Hai Kong’s lips tremble as tears began streaming down. I didn’t understand him. The nanny and servants behind him were busy comforting him.
Lu Hai Kong had a stubborn temper. He pushed them away. With tottering steps and wiping away his tears, he ran towards me.
He wiped his tears with one hand while he used his other hand to grab my hair.
“You don’t want me anymore! You don’t want me anymore! No matter how hard I chased, I couldn’t keep up with you!”
My mouth twitched. I came up with a reason to stall for time. “I chased after him to buy tanghulu for you…”
Lu Hai Kong stopped crying for a moment. He stared for a while with his bright, big eyes. Then tears started to stream out again.
“Huhu… It’s all my fault. It’s because I wanted to eat tanghulu. Now Yun Xiang has to be beaten… It’s all Hai Kong’s fault. Letting Yun Xiang be bullied, it’s all because Hai Kong was not good. I can’t even protect Yun Xiang. Hai Kong is stupid, even causing trouble for Yun Xiang.”
He walked slowly towards me and hugged my neck, making my neck all sticky. He was crying like the one who would be beaten was him.
I was a bit startled. I let his tears soak into my shoulders. Some also slid against my skin. It felt a little cool and a little warm. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t seem to get mad at him for soiling my clothes in the human world.
“Don’t cry anymore.”
I patted his head. It turned out that drinking the soup of oblivion and crossing that bridge had created this effect. Regardless of whom he was in the past life—man or God, no matter what love or hatred existed between us, everything had a new beginning after being reincarnated. You didn’t know me; I didn’t know you. For humans, fate lasted only a lifetime…
Lu Hai Kong held onto me and continued crying for quite a while. Father Song couldn’t stand it anymore. “Alright, alright! I won’t beat you anymore. Tonight, you need to kneel in front of the ancestral hall and reflect on what you’ve done.”
Lu Hai Kong slept with me in the ancestral hall. I slept against a pillar while he slept on my lap.
The next day when I woke up, Lu Hai Kong blinked and pulled at his sleeve. He said, “Yun Xiang, look, you drooled a lot while sleeping. I wiped it all away for you.”
I raised my eyebrows and poked his forehead. “Don’t say things that embarrass me.”
He nodded, sat up, and said, “I won’t be disgusted.”
I twitched my lips. You won’t mind now, because you’re still young. Wait till you get your memory back. Then I don’t know how you’ll look (in a bad way) at me.
Lu Hai Kong held onto my neck and smiled. “When I grow up, Yun Xiang won’t be punished anymore. No matter what you do, you won’t be punished. I’ll protect you.”
“How much skill do you have? Don’t learn a playboy’s lying words.”
Lu Hai Kong didn’t say anything and kept holding me. This quiet moment in the sun made me want to hug him and fiercely kiss him.
From that day on, the people from the general’s mansion felt that the little young master played less, woke up early, treated his homework more seriously than before, and used more strength to learn martial arts.
Did he find out that I was up to no good and was beginning to guard against me? Or… was he really determined to protect me? This was a joke! I used so much energy trying to kill this little guy, yet he still wanted to protect me? When Chu Kong hears this, he would die from laughing.
Anyway, in the future, for a very long time, every day after I woke up I would see this brat drenched in sweat. He would lay on the edge of my bed and excitedly tell me how early he woke up, how long he practiced martial arts for, and how many poems he had memorized.
Listening to him tell me every day about what he did that morning, I was distraught. If…if it went on like this, how could I still fight with you, little bastard?
Those days had lasted till Lu Hai Kong was ten, and I was fifteen. The miss from the prime minster’s mansion, Song Yun Xiang finally received her hairpin ceremony.
In that year, on a summer day in July, father Song prohibited me from being alone with Lu Hai Kong all of a sudden, a stern expression on his face. I knew that it was because of father Song’s Confucianism thoughts. I had ignored him. But in the next month, I really didn’t see Lu Hai Kong.
On the Mid-Autumn Festival, the moon was in a perfect circle, and a weird smell came to the prime minister’s mansion. I turned my head and saw that there was a wave of smoke rising from the general’s mansion. The fire burned for a long while, overshadowing the moon’s bright light.
I blinked, thinking about how stern father Song had been these past days and the missing Lu Hai Kong. Suddenly, I understood. Something had happened in court.
I wiped my mouth, which was covered in mooncake crumbs, and stood up. Father Song asked, “Where are you going?”
“To my chamber. I’m done eating.”
Father Song wrinkled his brow and gave orders to the guard. “Guard the Miss. Tonight, she isn’t allowed to go anywhere.”
I went back to my room. There was an extremely big fire next to us, but father Song didn’t even go to take a look. It must be the order of someone higher up. Otherwise, who would dare to do this at the General’s mansion? Lu Hai Kong was doomed this time. After ten years, he finally reincarnated and broke our seven lifetimes of love.
While walking to my room, we passed the ancestral hall. I suddenly thought of that day when Lu Hai Kong was in my arms, looking at me with bright eyes full of hope. He said I had drooled on his sleeves, so much that it soaked his sleeves. Humph, who would drool so much?
I couldn’t take one step further. Let…let me just help him collect his corpse. After all, we had been fighting for so many years.
Poor Lu Hai Kong. He’s still so young and need to go through this.
- 家法 (jiā fǎ, home discipline): father Song literally said bring out the home discipline. When someone did something wrong, they’ll be punished according to the rules of their homes. If they did really wrong, they’ll most likely be beaten with the stick.
- Getting the hairpin ceremony: in ancient China a girl, a woman and a wife have different hairstyles. When a girl goes from a little girl to adulthood, she’ll get a hairpin. Her hairstyle changes to a less girly hairstyle. Most likely one with a bun.
- Ancestral Hall is a place where someone can show their filial piety. A common central feature of the ancestral temples are the ancestral tablets, that embody the ancestral spirits.The ancestral tablets are typically arranged by seniority of the ancestors. Altars and other ritual objects such as incense burners are also common fixtures. Ancestors and gods can also be represented by statues