Hello, Melanie. We are actually not one reader but a group of your devoted readers who have been lurking around here as guests for a while and have been silently enjoying your excellent story. We probably won't be commenting very much, but want to let you know of our appreciation of your story and wonderful ability to draw us into your fictional world. We are not fans of any of the actors in your story, but we are certainly fans of yours and of your characters. To be honest, we prefer to read stories with no preexisting cast, but your story is so addictive that once we started reading, we couldn't stop. Besides, the actors are irrelevant, since your characters carry their own weight very well.
We have noticed that your update frequency has slowed down considerably lately and hope that you are not stopping. If there is anything we can do to help increase your speed of writing, please let us know. We are wiling to start up a fund for you to compensate you for your efforts so that you can continue writing. The price won't be an issue for us, as we all are willing to pay to read more of this story.
HG-CL - I also thought you did a good job with the poster, especially for a first attempt. I'm looking forward to more posters. *hint hint* I do think that Wallace Huo is very handsome, but in a gentle, scholarly kind of way. However, I didn't think his outfit in QSHF did the poor man justice. The weird fur collar made him look like a rockstar/gangster.
tweety - SCN and KW cannot just glare at each other because nobody wants to read about glaring. They want bloody fists, right, ladies? Ask Xaari; she's always campaigning for more butt-kicking.
xia0yuer - I find it horribly unfair that you want more kissy scenes and jealousy scenes in this story but you won't translate the hot make-out scene for me in Feng Qiu Huang.
devotedreader - Hi! I'm always to glad to have more readers! Thank you for commenting rather than just lurking! I mainly started writing this story for my favorite guy, Wallace Chung. But really, as time went on, I found that I was treating the characters as just characters and the actors casted in the roles became less important. However, the cast of characters will remain, nonetheless. If readers want to visualize the actors I have already casted, then that's fine. But if readers prefer to picture someone else in a particular role, that's perfectly fine, too! Whatever works for everyone, right?
I've never been a "speedy updater," so this is probably the speed you'll end up becoming accustomed to. I'm sorry. I do thank you all sincerely for wanting to start up a fund to compensate me for my efforts, but there is no need at this moment. Writing this and my older story is a labor of love. Even if I get promised a million dollars right now, my update frequency will probably be the same, as time is the real constraint for me. Well, maybe a million dollars might make me type faster... Hehe. Ok, just kidding. HOWEVER, if you do want to see more frequent updates, please comment as often as possible, as the real motivation for me is reader appreciation for what I am doing. Thanks!
Mel, I'm so obtuse that I don't understand what the 'hint hint' in between the t asterix mean.
Of course. I'll attempt photoshop again a few weeks later after reading detailed tutorials.
But I did say I would make more posters soon.
You can bully MJH as much as you like. I love stories that torture male characters (especially physically, but mentally is also fine).
Though granted, I didn't even know that the spoiler was fake when I gave it to her. Hehe.
Found this lovely kiss picture between Wallace and his leading lady Sun Fei Fei. It's the wrong time period for your novel, but maybe it'll give you the extra boost of energy needed to finish the next chapter.
Btw, I am also patiently meditating like HG-CL.
^ I saw the kiss scene and behind the scene NG takes. It was a super hot kiss . I was totally thinking of Mel's story and imagining Wallace and SFF in their lip locking scenes .
Shucks, I have no patience to meditate like you gals
I think of all the readers here, HG-CL is the only one who can meditate successfully. I don't hear her whining about anything, although it could all be an act. Ha.
tweety and xia0yuer - Actually, tweety, you can blame xia0yuer for the delay in updates. I'm almost done with the next chapter but I have temporarily stopped for two reasons:
1) I'm busy laughing over her translation of the very enjoyable and somewhat raunchy Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost at her translation site. I highly recommend it if you have some free time and are hurting for something to read. Also, she has a bunch of novel summaries and select scene translations that are pretty cool.
2) Xia0yuer refused to translate the hot make-out scene in one of the novels she read (Feng Qiu Huang), leaving me in a quandary regarding the recent chapter I am writing. I simply wanted to know how racy professional authors make their make-out scenes, since I don't want to go too far in my own scene for fear that I will end up offending readers' delicate sensitivities. So now, I can either tone down the scene to make it "tasteful and discreet" or get a little more descriptive and risk offending readers. So which shall it be? I'm still struggling with my decision. So blame everything on xia0yuer.
Yes, yes, blame everything on xia0yuer!
I actually did start translating the scene you requested. I got two pages in and when she started biting him I couldn't bear it anymore. It's one thing to read hot sexy scenes and quite another thing to write about them...
Ask the always calm HG-CL to summarize the scene for you. Or you can listen to it yourself here: http://www.xytsw.com/book/2301.html
Listen to EP 174-175. Feel free to disregard the sketchy ads.
I put my vote with Black Rose because I want to know how hot of a scene you originally wrote.
Will spamming your thread with Liu Shi Shi pics that I found while looking for suitable cover photos for my translation help you churn out your chapters faster?
No? Oh well, here you go.
I haven't ever drooled over a girl like this before. More BYL please.
Ok, so xia0yuer and Black Rose want some hot scenes, so here they are... Sorry, there is no LSS or HG in this chapter, but they'll be up next in the following chapter.
All right, all joking aside, there is indeed some racy material in this chapter. However, while some of you might still call my warning "false advertising," I honestly think underaged readers should avoid the end of this chapter. So consider yourself warned! I considered hiding the racier scenes under spoiler tags, but then non-members would not be able to read that portion of the story. Hence, just use your judgement when reading. If you find the material too offensive for your delicate sensitivities, then stop reading and wait for the next chapter. Ok, happy reading, everyone.
CHAPTER 13 --- WAITING FOR LOVE
Characters appearing in this chapter:
Sun Fei Fei---Fa Heung Yan a.k.a. Black Rose 花香燕
Wallace Chung Hon Leung---Sit Chung Nam 薛钟南
Wallace Huo Jian Hua---Kuk Wai 曲偉
BLUE MOON VILLAGE
FOREST OF SHIFTING ECHOES
Sit Chung Nam walked steadily for hours, carrying Yan in his arms. He didn’t want to linger too long in the unfamiliar forests surrounding North Star Town, as already he was ambushed outside Cherry Blossom Inn and had encountered Poison Snake in the forest. Who knew what other complications he would face if he stayed around any longer in this dark, dense forest, where unknown dangers could lurk? Usually, he would arrogantly brush aside any worries of peril. Even if he were to run into Poison Snake again or any other enemies, he was confident he would be able to defeat them. However, with Yan appearing exhausted, he wished to return to Floating Cloud Summit so that she could rest. Furthermore, he didn’t want her to change her mind about returning willingly with him.
The trek through the rocky, steep terrain of the forest in the dark night slowed him down marginally, but with his superior lightness kung fu, he managed to leave North Star Town and reach the Forest of Shifting Echoes before dawn. From the Forest of Shifting Echoes in Blue Moon Village, it would take another several hours before reaching the base of Floating Cloud Summit.
Chung Nam smiled fondly as he glanced down at the slumbering Yan in his arms. Initially, she had twisted and buckled wildly in his arms, indignantly insisting that she could walk despite her very obviously painful ankle. However, once she had quieted down, she immediately sank into a deep sleep, evidence of how exhausted she was. Now, she turned and shifted slightly in his arms, her brows knitted together in a frown, as if in the midst of a dream.
Reaching the oddly shaped lake in the Forest of Shifting Echoes, Chung Nam decided to stop there to rest the last few hours of the night before sunrise. He gently laid Yan down onto a soft patch of grass near the eastern border of the lake. When he tried to disentangle himself from her to get the cloak in her travel sack to cover her, Yan murmured something in her sleep and tightened her arms around his neck. Chung Nam allowed her to pull him down onto the grassy patch beside her. Immediately, Yan rolled toward him and curled her body against his, tucking her head underneath his chin.
Still dreaming, Yan mumbled sleepily against Chung Nam’s chest. “Elder Brother...”
In the middle of nuzzling the top of her head, Chung Nam froze at those two softly spoken words. Who in the world was Elder Brother? A surge of jealousy suddenly coursed through his body, so strong and violent that it felt like his opponent, this Elder Brother, had punched him in the gut. She certainly wasn’t referring to him, since she had never called him that before, nor was Elder Brother likely her biological sibling, as he knew that she only had one elder sister. So who was Elder Brother? The image of the blue-robed man with the ankle bracelet hanging from his waist sash flashed through his mind, and he somehow knew that man was Elder Brother. Despite his usual calm control, Chung Nam had an insane urge to rush off, find this Elder Brother, and kill him.
Chung Nam elevated himself on his forearms as he stared down at Yan intensely. Her frown had smoothed out and she was now muttering about fireflies. Reaching toward her face, Chung Nam caressed the smooth softness of her cheek, while Yan dreamed of another man...
Nighttime transformed the verdant rolling hills into a wide expanse of pitch black, an endless abyss of emptiness and sorrow. Yan sat on a patch of grass with her knees drawn up to her chest and stared blindly ahead, her mood like the gloomy abyss in front of her. Despite the balmy weather, she shivered and hugged herself.
A family of three squirrels scampered out of the woods behind the hills. As they passed by, they paused to stare at her with their bright eyes. The baby squirrel squeaked at her, its eyes full of curiosity. It ventured a few steps closer, and Yan reached a hand out, as if going to touch its furry head with her finger. However, at the last minute, the baby squirrel turned and scurried off when it realized its parents were already heading back toward the woods.
“Now even you are leaving me.” Yan sighed and glumly watched the furry little animal hurry off.
Her father was gone. He was really gone. She glanced up at the night sky. Perhaps he was now happily by her mother’s side in heaven, but where did that leave her? With her father’s passing, she was now truly alone in this world. Though she still had an elder sister, they had never really gotten along. When their parents were still alive, her elder sister Ling barely tolerated her. Now that their parents were both dead, Ling would probably find an excuse to drive her away from their home, Long Yat Clan. But she won’t leave, she thought to herself stubbornly. It was her home, too! Her father had put such effort into creating and building Long Yat Clan that she refused to let Ling destroy the clan with her vicious leadership. Yan sighed again, not at all anticipating the battle with her sister.
She had always been an optimistic person, forever finding the humor in situations and always laughing. However, today, she didn’t feel like laughing. She just wanted to wallow in misery. She closed her eyes and imagined herself sitting on a fluffy cloud, floating among the stars, surrounded by the beautiful colorful bursts of light.
Smiling to herself, she began softly humming a tune about the story of a Star Fairy who fell in love with the Sun God. When she was a young girl, her mother used to sing this song to her to lull her to sleep. Her mother told her about a mystical lake shaped like a crane sipping water from a crescent moon within a magical forest in a faraway place in the Central Plains. In this magical forest, the Star Fairy first met her Sun God during an encounter on earth. Her mother promised that one day she will take her to see this place. But then her mother died of illness. Her father, due to heartbreak, followed soon after.
As these unhappy thoughts intruded into her mind, Yan sighed, snapping out of her reverie. When she opened her eyes, she gasped at the scene in front of her.
The entire night sky lit up with tiny pinpoints of golden light. It was as if all the star fairies had descended to earth and now were celebrating and dancing merrily around her, attempting to cheer her up. As her face glowed as brightly as the twirling lights, she heard footsteps behind her. She swung around and saw him.
Robed in a long, simple dark blue gown, the handsome young man smiled tenderly at her. “Dreaming about your Star Fairy in that bedtime story again?”
Yan didn’t answer him but shyly asked, “Did you catch these fireflies for me?”
She reached up and tried to tap a firefly with the tip of her index finger. The glowing speck of light hovered briefly by her hand before dashing off to join the other brilliant spots of gold. As her hand slowly dropped back to her side, the young man lightly grabbed her hand and turned her toward him.
“The stars have always cheered you up.” He gently brushed his thumb over her cheek. “But I couldn’t bring the stars down for you, so I brought you the next best thing.” He paused for a second before asking, “Why did you rush off so quickly after your father’s burial today? I turned around briefly, and when I turned back, I suddenly couldn’t find you.”
Yan lowered her head to avoid Kuk Wai’s questioning eyes. “You were occupied talking to my sister, so I...so I...”
Kuk Wai sighed upon hearing this. “I wasn’t talking to your sister. She was talking at me and blocking my path, quite insistently, too. I didn’t want to rudely push her aside at the burial ceremony, out of respect for your deceased father. When I was finally able to shake her off, I could no longer find you.”
“Oh...” Yan kept her head down and stared at her bare toes.
She shifted awkwardly and wiggled her toes in the soft, damp grass. When she remained silent with her eyes down-casted, Kuk Wai took a step toward her so that their bodies were almost touching. Yan gasped with embarrassment and immediately attempted to take a step back. However, Kuk Wai kept her close by wrapping an arm around her waist.
“You are not alone in this world, Yan.” He whispered, somehow sensing her worry. He tucked a finger under her chin and lifted her head so that her eyes stared right into his. “I want to take care of you for the rest of your life, if you’ll have me.”
Blushing hotly, Yan hurriedly backed away. “My father...my father just died... I shouldn’t be thinking of such things...”
As Yan turned to dash off, Kuk Wai took two big strides forward and easily embraced her again. “I understand. Before your father passed, I had already asked for his permission for your hand in marriage.”
Yan raised her surprised eyes to look up at him.
Tightening his arms around her, he gave her a soft kiss on the forehead. “No matter how much time you need, I’ll wait for you. All right?” When Yan smiled shyly and buried her face against his chest, Kuk Wai murmured against her hair, his heart aching with love for this delicate wisp of a woman. “If you don’t say anything, then I assume your answer is a yes? Hmm?”
Yan nodded bashfully, her face still buried against his chest.
Laughing joyously, he lifted her up into the air and spun around with her. As the pair continued to twirl round and round, the fireflies encircled them in a ring of twinkling lights...
Yan felt someone crushing his lips roughly down on hers, the kiss passionate and brutal, a stark contrast to Kuk Wai’s tender kisses on the forehead in her dream. Her eyes popped open, all traces of drowsiness vanishing as the man looming above her devoured her.
“Mmmm!” Yan mumbled, pushing at Sit Chung Nam’s chest.
Chung Nam ignored her hammering fists and sank his weight down onto her body more securely. He tightened his hold on her head, preventing her from moving her head aside. No matter how hard she pushed, she could not budge him. Oddly, rather than being frightened, she fumed as he nipped roughly at her lower lip. He wasn’t hurting her, but he was acting like a wild man trying to brand her as his with his actions. Yan’s independent nature rebelled against his possessiveness.
“Mmmm mmm mmm mmmmm?!” Yan grumbled incoherently against Chung Nam’s lips.
Finally, after much effort and squirming, she managed to jerk her head to the side.
Sucking in a much needed breath of air, she huffed and puffed.
“Sit Chung Nam! Are you crazy? What do you think you’re doing?” She glared up at him.
With his brows knitted tightly together and his furious face unshaven, Chung Nam appeared like a barbaric, avenging god on the warpath. He glowered right back at her, jealousy nearly eradicating his common sense. The more times she called out for her Elder Brother in her dream, the more jealous he became. Panting from anger, Chung Nam ignored her questions and leaned down, attempting to kiss her again.
Yan immediately lifted her head off the ground and bit him hard on the shoulder, throwing him a mutinous look. Chung Nam grunted from the pain, but this did not stop his assault. He leaned down and bit Yan’s earlobe. When she yelped, he rubbed his lips back and forth against her earlobe, soothing the area. His scratchy stubble brushing against the side of her neck seemed to tickle Yan and she swallowed a giggle. She started wiggling around in his arms, tucking her chin against her chest to minimize the area Chung Nam’s stubble could access. Seeing the fight go out of her, Chung Nam also calmed down. He buried his face against the side of her neck and licked at her fragrant skin.
“Yan Yan, you’re mine. You’re mine. I won’t allow anyone to steal you away from me.” He muttered against her skin.
He nibbled at the side of her neck and then kissed it to soothe the areas he had just bitten. As his stubble continued to rub against her skin, Yan soon broke out in giggles, unable to hold in her laughter anymore.
“You’re tickling me!” She laughed and pushed away Chung Nam’s face.
Chung Nam finally lifted his head and rubbed sheepishly at the prickly stubble covering the lower half of his face. “I guess I haven’t shaved in a couple of days. If I shave, would you let me kiss you?”
He tried to nuzzle her neck again, but she shoved at him. “No!”
Yan sat up, but Chung Nam sat up also and immediately pulled her into his arms. She objected but he clamped his arms tightly around her and leaned back against a tree trunk with her.
When Yan opened her mouth in protest, Chung Nam shushed her. “Shh, go to sleep! It’ll be sunrise in a few hours. Let me hug you while I sleep.”
Yan felt slightly disgruntled at being hushed but allowed him to hug her. Nonetheless, she stiffened her body within his embrace just to be obstinate, but eventually, her back and neck started to ache. She scowled at the sleeping Chung Nam and wondered how he could just fall asleep so quickly like that. Finally, unable to withstand her achy back and neck anymore, she relented and leaned against Chung Nam’s chest. Yet, she couldn’t fall asleep, so she moved her head and stared up at the man embracing her.
When awake, Sit Chung Nam’s handsome features always presented an image of stern arrogance. That, along with his overbearing attitude and his penchant for killing ruthlessly, made him seem unapproachable and dangerous. In sleep, however, his features relaxed and he no longer appeared so menacing. Surprisingly, he looked almost boyishly handsome and yet still very masculine. Yan didn’t know if that combination was possible, and she wondered if her fatigue was making her fanciful.
Watching Sit Chung Nam sleep right now, she suddenly had a ridiculous urge to trace his full dark brows, but before she could actually do it, she stopped herself. She mentally scolded herself for softening towards this most exasperating, rude, and domineering man. She couldn’t understand why she was starting to care for him. Sit Chung Nam was the complete opposite of her Elder Brother, the only man, other than her father, she had ever loved.
Elder Brother... She sighed. Elder Brother belonged to her past; she and he could never be. Though she and Ling had never gotten along, she would never be the type to dally with another woman’s man, especially her own sister’s man. The minute Elder Brother became a family with her elder sister, no matter what the circumstances were, she and Elder Brother’s story had ended. Being alone wasn’t so bad, Yan told herself. She may be lonely once in while, but being alone was better than feeling vulnerable again.
Her gaze returned to Sit Chung Nam, and she smiled faintly. He could be such a tyrant sometimes, yet she could sometimes see flashes of gentleness in him. But she didn’t want to explore this gentleness too deeply, she told herself resolutely. If she likened falling in love with Elder Brother to floating in the soothing waves of a calm sea, then falling in love with Sit Chung Nam would be like battling to stay afloat among the crashing waves of a violent storm at sea, wishing for the safety of land, yet fatally attracted to the lure of the sea’s potent savageness. Yan shivered at that thought.
She pensively eyed the slumbering Sit Chung Nam again. Perhaps if she distanced herself from him, her interest in him would gradually fade. She lowered her head and thought that maybe she should leave right now while he was sleeping.
“What did you dream about?” Chung Nam suddenly asked.
Yan startled, as she thought he was sleeping. She glanced up to find Chung Nam wide awake and staring down at her, an unfathomable expression in his dark eyes.
She quickly avoided his eyes and lowered her head. He cupped her cheek and lifted her face so that she looked at him.
“What did you dream about, sweetheart?” Chung Nam asked again.
“How did you know I was dreaming?” Yan answered his question with another question.
Chung Nam scowled. “You were muttering in your sleep.”
“Oh...” Yan mumbled.
She stared sullenly off into the distance, the dream of Kuk Wai and his marriage proposal flooding back. She would rather not think of the past and preferred to move forward.
Chung Nam continued to stare at her, waiting to see if she would tell him about this “Elder Brother.” When she remained silent, he could not help but feel a wave of disappointment wash over him. He wanted nothing more than to pursue the topic, but he wanted Yan to tell him voluntarily.
Both gazed quietly out at the lake a few feet away.
Here in the Forest of Shifting Echoes, the stars dominated the heavens, illuminating the dark velvety blanket of night with shimmering jewels of colorful lights. Even the moon had retreated behind the thick ceiling of leaves, bowing down to the peerless iridescence of the stars. The waters of the lake rippled gently, its pristine surface a perfect mirror reflecting the tiny pinpoints of starlight from the heavens above. At the center of the lake, a large rock formation, moulded by the elements and thousands of years of erosion, rose from the water’s surface. The rock formation, if observed with a critical eye, resembled a young man sitting on a wedge, his posture proud and erect, his expression hopeful and searching as he gazed over the lake’s surface. A soft breeze swept by and wrapped itself around the granite statue of the young man, bringing with it a soft whisper, almost sounding like the distant tinkling of a tune to fanciful ears.
Yan listened to that nearly inaudible tune and smiled wistfully. She glanced up at Chung Nam, her eyes with an indescribable look of bittersweetness.
Chung Nam furrowed his brows. “What?”
“He’s calling to her again.” Yan answered sadly.
“What?” Chung Nam asked again in confusion. “Who? Who is calling to whom?”
“The Sun God. He’s calling for his Star Fairy.” Yan sighed. “But she won’t come. She won’t come.”
“The Sun God? The Star Fairy?” Chung Nam stared at Yan in confusion.
“Haven’t you heard of the story of the Star Fairy and the Sun God?” Yan looked up at Chung Nam in surprise. “Don’t you know the origin of the name of this forest and why it’s called the Forest of Shifting Echoes?”
“No,” Chung Nam answered bluntly.
“But it’s a well-known bedtime story! My mother used to tell me this story every night so I could fall asleep. There’s even a lullaby about it!” Yan appeared shocked that he had never heard of this story.
Chung Nam shrugged, pretending that he didn’t care that he never had a mother to tell him stories. “Nobody has ever told me a bedtime story before.”
“Oh...” Yan’s heart softened. “Do you want to hear it?” She asked him, glancing up at him with a gentle look in her eyes.
“Only if you promise to give me a kiss right before I fall asleep.” Chung Nam drawled, winking at her.
Yan shot him an indignant look. “Hmph!”
She scowled at him and crossed her arms across her chest. She stared off toward the lake huffily. After a while, Yan relented a bit and peeked back at Chung Nam. He grinned unabashedly back at her.
“Well, do you want to hear the bedtime story or not?” Yan asked, pouting a little.
“All right,” he answered and yanked her into his arms.
He leaned against the tree trunk behind him, pulling a protesting Yan back into a reclining position with him.
“What are you doing?” Yan struggled unsuccessfully to sit back upright.
“You’re going to tell me a bedtime story, right? I want to make myself comfortable in case I fall asleep.” Chung Nam threw Yan a deliberately innocent look.
“Just because you want to make yourself comfortable doesn’t mean you have to pull me down with you!” Yan objected, again trying to scramble up but unable to do so as Chung Nam clamped his arms more tightly around her.
“I find that I have difficulty falling asleep if I don’t hold you in my arms.” Chung Nam replied solemnly, this time all traces of humor disappearing from his demeanor.
Yan thought he was jesting and glanced up, a sarcastic reply on the tip of her tongue. However, the absolute seriousness in his expression stopped her. He seemed to be trying to tell her something with his eyes. Suddenly shy, she quickly averted her eyes, her heart thundering from confusion. She stared blindly down at her lap, a frown on her forehead.
“Are you going to tell me a story, or are you going to stare down at your lap the whole night?” Chung Nam laughed deeply.
Chung Nam’s teasing voice startled Yan out of her reverie. She jerked her eyes toward Chung Nam but blushed so hotly upon meeting his laughing eyes that she quickly darted her eyes away again.
“Oh!” Yan cleared her throat awkwardly. “Right, the story...” She mumbled. “All right.” She took a deep breath and rubbed briskly at her crimson cheeks before beginning her tale. “Once upon a time long, long ago, there lived a beautiful star fairy, named Ruby Dust, who yearned to see daylight and bask in the golden rays of the sun. Every night, she would come out and sparkle amongst her fellow stars. A brilliant shade of deep crimson that seemed to shimmer and pulsate with life and energy, the other stars hailed Ruby Dust as the most enchanting star of them all but sighed at her adventurous nature and her odd wish to see daylight.”
As Yan settled into her storytelling, she unconsciously leaned back against Chung Nam’s chest, finding him to be an extremely comfortable backrest. She gestured enthusiastically at the starry night above the lake in the Forest of Shifting Echoes, her expression animated as she told Chung Nam about her adventurous star fairy.
“Ruby Dust, being inquisitive, dreamed of seeing the world beyond nightfall. She wanted to bathe in the Sun God’s golden rays. She wanted to experience the brightness of daylight. But her dream could never be realized, for she was just a lowly evening star. With her low immortal ranking, she was not allowed to leave night behind to journey into daytime. If she dared to do so, she would be punished, banished forever from the heavenly realm. Yet, these obstacles did not keep Ruby Dust from dreaming of seeing sunlight.
“The other stars laughed at her dreams and told her to be content with her station in life. She was already the most radiant and most beautiful star of the evening. Why would she want to leave all this behind and venture into daylight, into unknown territory, and risk punishment? However, Ruby Dust didn’t want to be simply content and her optimistic nature refused to let her give up.
“Then, one evening, she overheard some cloud fairies giggling while drifting by the moon. One cloud fairy whispered how handsome the Sun God was, even though he had a rather rigid, unapproachable demeanor. The second cloud fairy asked how the first fairy managed to see him, given that they were assigned to be exclusively evening clouds and hence had never seen daylight. The first cloud fairy then confided how the Sun God liked to descend to the earth every fifteenth night of every month to relax by a certain lake shaped like a crane sipping water from a crescent moon. If any evening fairy wished to catch a glimpse of the handsome and powerful Sun God, they would descend to this lake. After overhearing this conversation, Ruby Dust clasped her hands together in glee. Perhaps if she introduced herself to the Sun God, he would shine a few golden beams on her and allow her to experience the warmth of sunlight."
“So did she meet her Sun God?” Chung Nam raised one eyebrow, slightly amused at Yan’s fanciful story.
He had never believed in fairytales, but he liked listening to Yan’s sweet voice. If it were possible, he wanted to stay here like this forever, holding her in his arms while she shared her cherished childhood bedtime story with him.
Yan nodded happily. “Yes, she did meet her Sun God!” She smiled widely before continuing her story.
"The following night, exactly the fifteenth of the month, Ruby Dust descended to earth as a shooting star. She appeared in front of the Sun God in a burst of iridescent color, captivating and stunning. Her sudden appearance by the lake disrupted his treasured peace and annoyed him. He ignored her pestering and curiosity about sunlight. Undeterred by his unfriendly attitude, she looked for him every fifteenth of each month by the lake and followed him around, chattering at him, begging him to transform night into day just once so that she could fell the warm rays of sunlight on her face. Yet, each time she begged, he would refuse, stating that changing nighttime into daylight went against nature. She didn’t know that he would also be severely punished if he were to choose to alter the natural course of nature. Unwilling to give up, she persisted. And so this continued on for over half a year.
“Every fifteenth of each month, they would see each other at the lake. Though the Sun God initially feigned reluctance, he gradually began to look forward to seeing the little gregarious star fairy. During those months, they laughed together, talked, or just sat quietly side by side. As time passed, the Sun God fell in love with Ruby Dust’s alluring combination of intelligence, sweetness, and vivaciousness. Then, one dark evening by the lake, even though she had long stopped asking, he finally promised her that, at their next meeting, he would transform the dark night into daylight so that she could realize her dream of basking in the warm sunlight. Ecstatic, she couldn’t sit still and could barely wait until the fifteenth of the following month.
“Finally, the fifteenth of the following month arrived. The Sun God waited by the lake for his beautiful star fairy, who had stolen his heart. He waited from sundown to sunrise, and yet, Ruby Dust didn’t show up. Forced to return to his responsibilities of bringing daylight to the world, the Sun God could only reluctantly leave the lake. That night, he came back to the lake to wait for his star fairy again. But again, she did not come. Night after night, the Sun God waited, full of hope at the beginning of each evening but only to be overwhelmed by disappointment once it was time for sunrise."
“What happened to the little star fairy?” Chung Nam asked.
Yan shrugged. “Nobody knew. The Sun God searched the entire heavens for her, but he could not find her. Yet, he did not give up hope, nor did he ever stop loving her. Without failure, he would come to the lake every night to wait for her, month after month, year after year. Now, ten thousand years later, he still sits at the center of the lake over there and waits for her.”
Yan gestured toward the rock formation in the shape of a man at the lake’s center. Chung Nam followed her gaze.
Chung Nam paused, his eyebrows raised incredulously. “That’s a children’s bedtime story? The story will more likely make children cry with sadness than lull them to sleep!”
Yan jerked upright, turned around, and glared at Chung Nam. “I happen to like that story!” She replied huffily. “It’s sweet and romantic. Hmph!” She jabbed a finger into his chest. “Obviously, you’re not very romantic!”
In response, Chung Nam only grunted, but as Yan continued to glower at him, he finally sighed. “All right, all right. It’s a sweet and romantic story.” His voice assumed a conciliatory tone. He jerked his head toward the rock formation at the center of the lake. “Is that the Sun God?”
Yan nodded sadly. “Do you see him looking over the lake at the reflection of the stars on the water’s surface?” Yan points at the rock statue of the Sun God. “He’s searching for his Ruby Dust among the stars, but I don’t think she’s coming back. He calls to her, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of his voice within the echoes throughout the woods. That is why this forest is called the Forest of Shifting Echoes.” Yan sighed mournfully, her thoughts drifting involuntarily to Kuk Wai. “I guess some lovers are fated to meet but never destined to be together.”
“You don’t know yet that the Sun God and his fairy are not destined to be together. She may come back one day.” Chung Nam, though too practical to be moved by a mere bedtime story, drew Yan into his arms.
“But he has already waited ten thousand years, and she hasn’t come back to him.” Yan sobbed quietly, feeling a bit silly to be so emotional over a story. Yet, she gladly buried her face against Chung Nam’s shoulder for comfort.
“Nonsense!” Chung Nam reassured her. “No one knows what has happened to her. As long as she is not dead, he still has hope. That’s why he still waits; he still hopes to be reunited with her.”
Yan remained silent for long time after hearing his words. Finally, she mumbled against Chung Nam’s shoulder. “Some say that the Heavenly Emperor discovered the Sun God’s intent to transform night into day for Ruby Dust, hence going against nature. Therefore, the Emperor deemed Ruby Dust a negative influence on one of his most loyal and trusted immortals, the Sun God. He dispatched a small contingent of the heavenly army to capture Ruby Dust, but she transformed into a shooting star and tried to evade arrest. When she didn’t show up to her meeting with the Sun God, some believed that it was because the heavenly soldiers had struck her down as she neared this forest. Her star form shattered into a three parts and fell down to earth as three fiery red stones. Legend says that if someone were to find all three stones in this forest and bury them together by the lake where the Sun God waits, Ruby Dust will be able to revive herself and finally reunite with her Sun God.”
Chung Nam smiled teasingly when he heard this. Tucking one finger under Yan’s chin, he lifted her face so that she stared right into his eyes.
“Have you tried looking for these three red stones?” He winked at her.
Yan nodded solemnly, apparently oblivious to Chung Nam’s teasing tone. “Yes, I’ve tried many times to find the stones, but I have been unsuccessful so far. Maybe if I find the stones, Ruby Dust and her Sun God can finally be together again.”
She stared blankly toward the direction of the lake, her expression melancholic. However, before Chung Nam could say anything, Yan, tired of feeling sad, inhaled deeply and then pasted a smile on her face.
“Let’s talk about something else.” She beamed at Chung Nam. “Today is my birthday. I want to have a drink!”
Surprised, Chung Nam sat up straighter. “Today is your birthday?”
“Yes!” She laughed sheepishly. “What a birthday so far! I sprained my ankle, then got chased by assassins and my elder sister, and finally, I cried over a silly bedtime story. Now I want a drink and just laugh for a while.”
Chung Nam grinned back at her. “But we don’t have any wine right now. All the diners are probably closed at this time of night.”
Yan’s eyes twinkled mischievously. “Of course, we have wine!” She rummaged through her travel sack and pulled out her water pouch and a small bag of white powder. She then sprinkled some powder into the water pouch. “This powder is obtained by grounding the roots of a plant dubbed ‘the drunken flower.‘ Just a few sprinkles will flavor the water so that it becomes wine!” She swished the water pouch gleefully in front of Chung Nam’s nose to dissolve the powder.
Chung Nam lifted one eyebrow in disbelief. “Really? Just dissolving some powder in water will give you wine?”
“Yes!” Yan nodded, pleased. She thrust the pouch at Chung Nam. “Try it!”
Chung Nam narrowed his eyes at the pouch suspiciously. Taking the ‘wine‘ from Yan, he sniffed at the clear liquid inside. Gingerly, he lifted the pouch to his mouth and took a small sip. After his first taste, his expression showed his pleasant astonishment.
Yan snatched the pouch from Chung Nam, delighted with herself. “I told you so! Not only does it taste like wine, it IS wine.”
She took a long drink. Even though she cannot hold her liquor very well, she did not feel like being cautious tonight. She did not want to think about the past or yearn for what could have been. She wished to drink as much as she pleased, if just for tonight. After all, this was her birthday celebration.
Yan scooted back and leaned against the tree trunk as she took another large swig from her pouch. Glancing up at the heavens, she sighed contentedly.
“Look at all those stars, so dazzling with their bright colors!” Her head started to buzz merrily and suddenly she felt extremely chatty. “I wonder what it would feel like to glow as radiantly as those stars!”
“You are already the shiniest star in my heart, Yan Yan.” Chung Nam murmured, smiling almost imperceptibly as he looked over at her.
However, Yan didn’t hear him at all as she closed her eyes blissfully. The pleasant buzz in her head now turned into a loud and rowdy tune as she took another gulp of wine. The rambunctious song continued in her head. It took her a few minutes before she realized she was the one singing. She popped open her eyes and met Chung Nam’s grinning expression.
“Who are you laughing at?” Yan demanded, quite indignant.
“You’re drunk, sweetheart. You get drunk pretty easily, don’t you?” Chung Nam asked, amused.
“I’m not drunk!” Yan denied forcefully. “You’re drunk!” She jabbed an accusing finger at Chung Nam.
In response, Chung Nam grabbed the hand she thrust at him and kissed it. “I think it’s time you take a nap.” He tried to take her wine pouch away from her.
“No!” Yan swatted at his hands and hugged her pouch protectively against her chest while glaring at Chung Nam. “I don’t want to go to sleep yet! You go to sleep!”
She shoved at Chung Nam combatively with one hand. When she couldn’t get him to budge, she flung her wine pouch to the side and pushed at him with both hands. Seeing her face turn an angry shade of red from frustration, Chung Nam relented and allowed her to push him down to the ground. Pleased that she got her way, Yan climbed on top of him and straddled his hips triumphantly.
“You go to sleep!” She commanded sternly.
She started to reach for her wine, only to find her pouch missing. “Where’s my wine pouch?”
She frowned as she glanced around her in confusion, completely forgetting that she had just thrown her pouch aside before shoving at Chung Nam. Immediately, she swiveled back toward Chung Nam while still stradding him and pouted.
“Did you take my wine pouch?” She pointed a finger at him as if reprimanding a recalcitrant child.
“No,” Chung Nam replied, trying to maintain a serious face, but eventually failing as he broke out into a wide, amused grin.
Refusing to believe him, Yan attacked Chung Nam and ripped open the front of his robe, expecting to find her wine pouch hidden inside his clothing. She scowled deeply when she couldn’t find anything under the robe except a bare chest. Determined to locate her wine, she jerked his robe completely off and searched his bare torso thoroughly.
“Where are you hiding my wine?” Yan muttered, slightly incoherent now.
“No, sweetheart, I didn’t take your wine pouch.” Chung Nam tried to keep himself from laughing at her drunken antics.
“You’re lying! You’re lying!” Yan accused him, though she suddenly can’t quite remember what she was accusing him of.
Beginning to throw a tantrum, she started to bounce up and down against his hips like a whiny child.
“Whoa, whoa!” Chung Nam reached his hands forward to hold Yan steady and keep her from further bouncing. No longer amused, his heart started to pound. “Time for you to go to sleep.” He stated firmly and tried to remove her from her straddling position.
“No! I don’t want to go to sleep!” Yan whined pitifully, pulling her hands out from his grasp and wiggling her rear end back and forth against Chung Nam’s pelvis.
Immediately, he groaned involuntarily from arousal.
Suddenly, Yan giggled as she felt something rigid rub against her rear end. “Something is tickling me!”
As quick as the wind and before Chung Nam could stop her, Yan reached down and grabbed at the offending object tickling her. It stiffened further in her hands, causing her to chortle even more.
“What’s this?” She babbled curiously and attempted to pull down Chung Nam’s pants to investigate further.
“No! No!” Chung Nam objected through clenched teeth and caught her nimble hands just in time.
Before Yan could do anything further, he flipped over and pinned her to the ground.
Hovering over her, he growled at her. “No more teasing, Yan Yan! I don’t like to be teased!”
Undaunted, Yan smiled sweetly but drunkenly up at him and shimmied against him, enjoying the ticklish feel of that rigid object against her abdomen.
Swearing, Chung Nam tightened his arms around her squirming body and squeezed so that she couldn’t move. “No more, Yan Yan, or I won’t hold back this time!”
Immediately, Yan teared up, frightened by his stormy expresssion. “Why are you being so mean to me?”
Seeing her forlorn face, Chung Nam sighed. He loosened his hold on her slightly and leaned down, gently knocking his forehead against hers. “I am sorry, Yan Yan. I didn’t mean to yell at you.”
He gently kissed her forehead and then trailed his lips down to her tear-stained cheeks. Finally, he settled his lips against hers. Blinking with a dazed look in her eyes, Yan encircled her arms around his shoulders and returned his kiss. Mildly surprised, he hesitated for a second before pressing his mouth firmly against hers and deepening the kiss.
Chung Nam finally lifted his head for air and panted slightly. Drowsily, Yan trailed her fingers lightly down his bare back, tracing the hard contours of his muscles and brushing over his battle scars. Her wide eyes, still slightly teary from earlier, appeared dewy and soft. Her skin seemed to glow with a comely shade of rose-pink from the wine. Her moistened lips parted slightly as she peered up at him with alluring innocence.
Chung Nam hesitantly lifted one hand and brushed aside the neckline of her gown to expose her smooth shoulders. His hand trailed down to the sash at her waist, and with one tug, her gown fell apart, revealing her soft curves barely concealed by the thin swath of pale pink silk acting as her undergarment. Chung Nam sucked in his breath as he looked at her. She was beautiful, so beautiful that he was afraid to touch such perfection and yet he had to control his urge to tear that ridiculously inadequate piece of pink fabric to shreads and devour her.
Yan, already starting to drift off from the effects of the wine, lazily wrapped her legs around Chung Nam’s waist and tightened her arms around his shoulders. The alcohol made her mind hazy and she wasn’t quite sure what she was doing. She was simply following instinct and seeking comfort from his strong, warm body. She clung to him and rubbed her body against his, causing him to moan. When she felt his mouth open against the skin of her chest and his tongue lick at her, she closed her eyes and allowed her mind to float dizzily away.
Chung Nam’s hand moved toward that flimsy pink string at her right side which held her undergarment together, but his conscience caused him to pause. He glanced at Yan’s half-closed eyes as she lay there docilely, obviously under the influence of the wine.
“Sweetheart?” He called out to her. “Yan Yan?” When she only mumbled something softly, he leaned down and whispered into her ear. “Yan Yan? If I take what you are offering right now, are you going to be angry at me tomorrow morning when you wake up?”
He waited for her response, but she had already fallen asleep. He observed her serene expression as slept and sighed with resignation.
“Yes, I thought so. You would be furious at me tomorrow.” He answered his own question.
He was still panting from arousal. A part of him didn’t want to stop, and he wouldn’t have stopped a few days ago. But now, he wanted her heart, in addition to her body. He would just have to be patient, he thought to himself wryly. Disentangling himself from the peacefully slumbering Yan, he stalked over to the lake, while cursing bad-temperedly at his sudden good conscience. Reaching the lake, he immersed himself into the cold water, closing his eyes and trying to meditate as he willed his body to calm down. Finally, after what seemed like an extremely long time, Chung Nam felt himself regaining enough control over his body to remerge from the lake.
Reaching Yan’s side, he used his robe to carelessly dry his body before tossing the garment aside. He settled himself down next Yan and just watched her sleep. Tenderly, he ran his fingers through her hair. In sleep, she rolled over toward his warmth and murmured softly. Sighing again, Chung Nam leaned against the tree trunk and stared straight ahead at the rock formation of the Sun God. If this Sun God could wait ten thousand years for his star fairy, then he, Sit Chung Nam, could certainly wait patiently for his Yan Yan to love him. Closing his eyes, he tried to get some rest before sunrise...
Last edited by Melanie; 08-03-12 at 04:48 AM.
LOL cute squirrel! And fireflies are always a staple in bringing lovers together, haha.
As for the rest...oh my delicate sensitivities, I nearly choked from laughter! I suppose even Yan does crazy things when drunk. Good thing SCN can hold his liquor, and how fortunate there's a cold lake nearby, hahahaha.