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  1. #21
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    Initially thought this was just a simple normal tale. Looks like its getting to be more interesting and better developed. Thank you Skoo 78.

  2. #22
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    Thanks skoo78

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    Thank you geraldsaw and I promise, it will get very interesting as the story develops.

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    You're welcome Anh Nam and thank you for reading.

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    CHAPTER 12: THE FALLEN MAN

    Cecilia stood in total darkness and the only source of light beamed on her from above.

    “Is anybody here?” she shouted, hoping that someone would hear her.

    There was no response and she started to get anxious. Suddenly, more lights appeared from above in front of her, shining down on people. They stood frozen in their place with their heads tilted down, making it hard for Cecilia to see who they are.

    “Hello?”

    Their heads slowly turned to her and what she saw shocked her. Each and every one of them looked dead-some looked paled white and as for others, their skins were grossly discolored. Their bodies were covered in dried blood and she could smell their rotten flesh, making her stomach churn. They recognized her and started to walk toward her with their glassy eyes glued to her.

    “I want my life back…” they said hauntingly.

    “Wh…what are you talking about?”

    Scared, she stepped backwards, watching the group of coming dead people. Then her back bumped something hard, and she turned around to see that it was another dead person standing there. Frightened, she turned around to run but it was too late. They had surrounded her with no way of escape. Their rotten hands reached for her, trying to grab her and she clapped her hands over the ears, screaming helplessly.


    Cecilia woke up screaming and sweating and tried to catch her breath. Realizing that it was only a dream, she sighed in relief. She got out of the bed and rushed into Xing Fu’s bedroom to find him but he wasn’t there. Then she remembered. Xing Fu had left with Physician Wei to go help at the clinic early this morning. Thoughts of her dream and the demon epidemic came to her mind that the place started to feel eerie. She decided to leave the residence to go to the clinic, knowing that she won’t be alone.

    ---

    On the dirt road to Mu Village, Cecilia took her time walking to clear her thoughts. Her dream of dead people and their words haunted her still. They seemed to know her and weren’t happy with her.

    Did I do something to them? she pondered, feeling confused.

    Then she remembered Physician Wei’s conversation about her special qi and Guo Jing’s identity.

    “This must be the reason why I dreamt about it then.” She scratched her head, “…But why do they look so familiar?”

    She could feel her head pounding again and started to massage her temples from her head. “Damn headaches. I need to stop thinking so much.”

    SWOOSH! A strong gust of wind blew at her side followed by clattering hoofs made by galloping horses. They startled her, making her moved out of their way before being trampled. As the horses passed by, she saw two men on them. Her eyes narrowed at these rude horsemen and clenched her fists. There was a rock on the ground so she quickly picked it up. Like a baseball pro, she threw the rock and surprisingly, it hit one of the horses’ butts. It startled the horse, threw its master off from the saddle, and the master landed hard onto the dirt ground.

    The other horseman turned his horse around and saw his partner lying on the ground. Then he shifted his attention to Cecilia. Her arms crossed in front with a smirk on her face, and he wondered who this gutsy woman was. He turned his attention back to his fallen partner and rode toward him. He got off his horse and ran to his partner’s side. The fallen man sat on the ground with his legs sprawled, brushing the excessive dirt from his silky robe.

    “Young Master, are you alright?”

    The fallen man was too upset to say anything. Then he saw the rock that she threw on the ground and picked it up. He got up, but felt a sharped pain from his ankle and fell back to the ground.

    “My ankle.”

    His partner helped lift his body up and grabbed a hold of him before he fell again. The fallen man turned his attention to Cecilia and narrowed his eyes at her. Angry, he pulled his arm away from his partner’s grip and limped toward Cecilia.

    “Young Master!”

    He ignored his partner. As the fallen man got closer to her, she noticed that he was a fine looking young man, wearing a navy robe. His long black hair was combed back, half tied into a low pony tail. Comparing to beautiful Guo Jing and Xing Fu’s slender body, this man’s facial and body structures were very masculine-broad shoulders, fine jaw line, and sharp cheek bones that defined his heart shaped face.

    Bravely, she stood her ground and was ready for his confrontation. He stopped a foot away from her and stood there, glaring at her with his cold cinnamon eyes. He wondered who this obnoxious low-life woman was that would have the nerve to hurt him.

    He showed the rock that she threw in front of her face and raised his voice, “You got the nerves to throw this at my horse!”

    She huffed upsettingly, “You guys almost ran me over so YOU DESERVE IT,” and maliciously glared at him.

    Infuriated, the fallen man clenched his fists and started huffing and puffing. “YOU!” He took another step forward but his partner grabbed a hold of his arm.

    “Young Master, forget it. Let’s go to the nearest village to get your ankle check.”

    The partner turned to her, “Miss…” She glanced at him and he continued, “I apologize on our behalf. We didn’t mean to harm you.”

    She huffed and looked the other way. The fallen man pulled his arm out of his grip again and turned to limp away from them. His partner glanced at Cecilia and shook his head, sighing. He turned around and rushed to catch up with his young master, while she stood cool, smirking at the falling man as he limped.

    The fallen man got back to his horse and quickly grabbed his sword from the saddle. He pulled the blade out of its sheath and with his internal qi, he swung his sword at the ground dirt close to her. The ground exploded in multiple places, creating clouds of dirt everywhere around her. It happened so quickly that Cecilia wasn’t ready to prepare herself. The clouded dirt traveled up into her lungs, making her cough. Seconds later, it disappeared and Cecilia was left covered in dirt from head to toe. His partner stood in dismay of what his young master just did.

    The fallen man’s right cornered lip curled up. “Ching Chen, NOW we can leave.”

    He bowed his head, “Yes.”

    The fallen man placed his sword back in its sheath and his partner helped him got up on his horse. Then they rode off, leaving Cecilia stunned and furious. She stared at her clothes and hands in disbelief of how much dirt she was covered in and dusted it off as much as she could. Then she stared at the horizon where the two horsemen began to disappear from her sight.

    Clenching her fists and breathing hard, she yelled angrily at the horsemen. “A**hole!” and kicked the dirt on the ground.

    ---

    Mu village was packed with people from all over the kingdoms. She forgot how busy it was from the first time she was there. As she walked through the crowded street mumbling cursed words, people began to stare at her, disgusted by how dirty she looked. Some pinched their noses and distanced themselves from her, thinking that she was a beggar.

    Her mind was too focus on being furious by the fallen man that she didn’t pay any attention to crowd’s behaviors. Finally she reached to the gate entrance of the clinic and looked up at the signage. She recognized the characters and easily read it. This made her happy and the image of the fallen man faded away from her memory.

    In the front courtyard, injured people lied on the ground everywhere as they patiently waited to be seen by the physicians. All were in horrible state of conditions-some lost their limbs and others have deep scratched and bite wounds on their bodies. As Cecilia made her way through the crowd, moaned cries were all she that heard from these unfortunate souls. It was painful for her to see that her eyes started to weld up with tears. No matter if demons were true or not, something was attacking these people.

    Cecilia saw two men treating the injured patients from afar and recognized them to be Xing Fu and Guo Jing. Her face lit up when she saw Xing Fu and ran toward him. Xing Fu was treating a patient’s wound when he felt a tap on the shoulder. He turned around and saw Cecilia smiling down at him. Happy to see her, he got up.

    “Xiao Xing, I can’t believe you’re here!” then he saw how dirty she looked and thought about the chicken incident. “Did you try to catch chickens again?”

    Offended, she raised her fist halfway. Xing Fu backed away a bit, knowing that she was about to punch him again, but she held back and lowered her fist to control her unknown habit.

    She huffed upsettingly, “No!” and folded her arms in front instead.

    Relieved that she didn’t punch him, he asked, “Then what happened to you this time?”

    Embarrassed of telling him about the incident, she replied, “You do not want to know…”

    Guo Jing heard her voice and a quivered of fear overcame him, making him nervous. Distracted by her presence, Guo Jing tied the cloth too tight on the injured patient that he yelped in pain. Cecilia and Xing Fu quickly turned and glanced at Guo Jing to see what happened. Guo Jing apologized to the patient and loosened the knot. Cecilia had a big smile on her face and walked toward Guo Jing, while Xing Fu trailed behind. She knelt down next to Guo Jing and it made him even more nervous that his hands began to tremble. She slightly chuckled by his paranoid behavior.

    “Physician Guo, you don’t have to be afraid of me. I will never hurt you.”

    Hearing those words made his body less tense and he let out a sigh of relief. While he applied medicine on another patient’s wound, he asked, “Why are you here?”

    “I didn’t want to be alone, so I came here.” She glanced at the wounded people and then turned back to Guo Jing. “Can I help?”

    “Do you know medicine?”

    “No.”

    “Then how can you help?”

    Xing Fu overheard their conversation and interrupted them. “Physician Guo, another helping hand will be really helpful right now.”

    Guo Jing panned the place and saw many people lying on the ground in a verge of death, crying and moaning in pain. His heart ached and tears started to weld up in his eyes. He deeply sighed and nodded.

    “Fine. You can start by helping Physician Wei inside then.”

    Happy, she thanked him and quickly went inside the clinic to find Physician Wei.

    Guo Jing turned to Xing Fu, “I guess I will have to get use to her presence then.”

    Xing Fu nudged Guo Jing on the arm and the both of them chuckled. Then they went back to work.

    ---

    Inside the medicine room, Physician Wei pounded different types of herbal medicines in the mortar, while he kept a close watch of the pots on the stone stove. Cecilia entered in and saw the hardworking Physician Wei worked up a sweat. He glanced up and saw her stood there at the doorway.

    “How’s your headache?”

    “It’s better now.” She saw the different types of herbs on the table. “Guo Jing told me to come and assist you.”

    Glad to have another set of hands, he nodded smiling. He turned his head slightly to the side, directing her to the stone stove. On top were five big pots full of hot herbal medicines.

    “The medicine should be ready now. Pour it into the bowls and give it to the patients.”

    “Ok.”

    She went to the stove and grabbed a brewing pot with a cloth. Carefully, she poured the hot medicine into each bowls. The pungent mixed of herbal medicine stung her nose and she slightly turned her head away.

    “What is this for?”

    He answered while pounding, “It’s to minimize the pain. It’s the same medicine that Xing Fu brewed for you.”

    She remembered her first time experiencing the bitter taste and shivered from the thought of it. After all bowls were filled, she picked up the tray and left to tend the patients.

    Outside, she handed a bowl to a patient. “Drink this. It will minimize the pain.” The man took it from her and drank it.

    While the man drank his medicine, Cecilia stared at the exposed flesh wound on his arm. Three distinct claw marks dug deep into the skin, revealing torn muscle tissues. It was a good thing that the physicians or Xing Fu had stopped the bleeding, otherwise he would have bled to death.

    Curious, she asked, “What happen to you?”

    The man answered in his weak tone of voice, “A demon attacked me in the forest…”

    Demon? Physician Wei’s words of demon epidemic began to haunt her again. She saw a talisman hung from his belt and became confused. Weren’t talismans supposed to protect people from demons? She got up and went to the next person. Same answer from another patient-demon attacked her and she wore a talisman also. This continued throughout the day of nonstop investigation that she became speechless and second thought of her skepticism. Are demons real then?

    Suddenly, she heard a woman’s utterly cry and turned to see what the commotion was about. A little girl lied motionless on the crying woman’s lap, rocking the child back and forth in her arms. With a feeling of instinct, she dropped the tray onto the ground, spilling the medicine everywhere and ran toward them.

    When she got there, she told the woman to move so she could check the child’s wellbeing. Cecilia placed the girl down onto the ground and placed her index and middle fingers on the girl’s tiny neck to check for a pulse. Nothing. Without hesitant, she tilted the girl’s head back and started to breathe air into her mouth. Then she placed her hands on the girl’s chest and thrust it downward a couple of times. Physician Wei, Guo Jing, and Xing Fu rushed over to the crowd and made their way to the front. They saw Cecilia working hard on blowing air and thrusting on the girl’s chest and stood there in perplexed with the crowd. They had never seen anything like this before and watched.

    The girl’s body started to transition into a male’s body right in front of her eyes. Then she heard her own voice echoing from the back of her mind, “Kai…” Frightened by what she was experiencing, she remained calm and continued to focus on the girl. As the slow transition took place, she glanced at the girl’s face and saw the child’s small chin transitioned to a man’s.

    The girl coughed and everything that she saw vanished quickly from her sight. Shocked by what she had just experienced, she pulled her hands away from the girl’s chest. The girl coughed some more and cried for her mom. The woman quickly ran to her daughter and hugged her with joyful tears. Physician Wei and Guo Jing rushed to the girl’s side to make sure she was alright while Cecilia slowly got up.

    Xing Fu came up to her. “I didn’t know that you can also raise the dead.”

    She gave him a strange look and shook her head. “I don’t think it’s like that at all…” Since there was a crowd, she didn’t want to tell Xing Fu of her experience and remained silent.

    He nudged her arm and smiled. “Well whatever you did, you’ve brought her back to life and reunited her with her mother again.”

    She agreed with him. Whatever she did, she saved the girl’s life but the haunting image of the man still lied in her mind.

    Was he the faceless man?

    Physician Wei got up and walked toward her with a pleased look on his face.

    “Is the girl ok?” she asked him.

    He nodded, “She lost a lot of blood from the wound, but she will be fine. I believe that what you just did was something that you’ve learned from your past."

    Knowing that it was something she learned was great news, but that didn’t explained what she saw.

    He stroked his beard and told Guo Jing, Xing Fu and Cecilia, “We have many patients still waiting for us, so let’s get back to work.”

    Throughout the day, she was their assistant. Whatever they needed, she grabbed it for them. When they tended the patients’ injuries, she observed carefully and learned from them. Once was a room full of patients was now an empty space. At the end of the day, they were exhausted but proud of what they had accomplished.

    “It’s been a long day. Great work everyone,” commented Physician Wei. Then he turned to Xing Fu and Cecilia, “Thank you for your help. We couldn’t have done it without the both of you.”

    “You’re welcome,” said Xing Fu.

    Cecilia looked around and saw blood everywhere. It looked as if there had been a massacre that just took place. “This place is a mess; let us help the both of you clean before we leave.”

    Guo Jing nodded, “Alright.”

    Xing Fu turned to Cecilia and pointed at her with a serious look on his face. “YOU need to be cleaned also.”

    She forgot how dirty she was because of the fallen man. Xing Fu brushed the excess dirt off from her hair and dirt fell down to the ground like a landfall. They laughed at her while she stood there with a huge grin on her face.
    Last edited by skoo78; 07-01-14 at 06:55 PM.

  6. #26
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    Author's note: To those who read ch 12 before I've posted this addition. I've decided to put ch 13 with ch 12 since it made sense with the ch 12 title.

    -----
    CHAPTER 12: THE FALLEN MAN (CONTINUANCE)

    Ching Chen hurried into the clinic with his young master. It took a while for them to get to the clinic due to the busy streets. Nevertheless, the village was like a maze. There were too many detours and open areas that led to other places. As a visitor to Mu Village, it was wise to ask for directions from a local, but that was not the case for Ching Chen and his young master. His young master was too stubborn and full of pride, that he rather had Ching Chen led the way blindly to their destination.

    “We’re finally here,” said Ching Chen relieved. The place was empty so he shouted for service.

    “HELLO. WE NEED HELP!”

    Guo Jing heard them and came out to see them stood there at the entrance. He saw the injured man stood with one leg while he wrapped his arm around his partner’s shoulder for support. Guo Jing quickly went to help Ching Chen took his young master inside the clinic.

    Both of the men helped the young master sat down on a chair. “What happened?” asked Guo Jing.

    Ching Chen explained, “Young Master fell off the horse and sprained his ankle.” He left their encounter with Cecilia out due to not wanting to humiliate his Young Master.

    Guo Jing took off the Young Master’s boot and sock carefully, revealing a swollen ankle as big as a plum. Guo Jing softly pressed the area with his fingers.

    “OW! THAT HURTS!”

    Guo Jing sighed and said, “This sprain is severe.” Both glanced at each other in dismay. Guo Jing continued, “You should be glad it is not broken. Wait here while I get the medicine prepare for your injury.”

    Guo Jing got up and left while the young master slumped back into the chair. Upset, he slammed his hands on the chair handles. “Damn low life!” and breathed heavily.

    ---

    Cecilia walked toward the clinic with a big bowl of water for her bath. She had been covered with dirt since early afternoon and her skin started get irritated. As she walked past the clinic, she saw two men inside, one was sitting and the other was standing. With their heads faced to the side, they looked familiar, but she didn’t remember where she had met them. The men felt a presence and turned their heads. Surprised, she instantly knew who they were; especially the man sitting down.

    She mumbled to herself, “The a**hole is here.”

    She held in her anger and walked toward the men with her bowl of water. The Young Master glared at her in disbelief to see the low life here and clenched his fists. To loosen the tension between his Young Master and Cecilia, Ching Chen smiled and formally greeted her.

    “It’s nice to see you again Miss.”

    The Young Master yelled at her, “Low life! Why are you here?!”

    She scoffed and gave him an attitude, “And why can’t I?”

    She stared at his swollen ankle and then back at him with a smirk on her face. “I see that you’re here because of your ankle…”

    The young master pointed at her and scolded, “IT IS BECAUSE OF YOU! YOU DID THIS!”

    She pointed at herself, “Me? How is it my fault? I guess you shouldn’t be riding a horse then if you do not know how to land correctly!” She looked away with her arms folded in front.

    Fumed by her words, the Young Master slammed his hands hard on the chair handles again and got up to confront her. He had forgotten about his sprained ankle and felt the sharped pain. He yelped and sat back down with Ching Chen’s help.

    Tired of their bickering, Ching Chen walked up to Cecilia. “Miss, please forgive Young Master. Let’s start over by introducing ourselves properly. My name is Fu Ching Chen…” then he direct his hand toward the young master, “…and this is Young Master Wu Jian. May we know the maiden’s name?”

    She glanced at Ching Chen. Comparing to his obnoxious Young Master, he was very respectful and polite. Since he was nice enough to apologize, she decided to tell them her name. “Xiao Xing.”

    Wu Jian snickered when he heard her name. “Xiao Xing? You should be called, Dirty Xing!” and laughed.

    She had enough of his insults and couldn’t control her anger anymore. SPLASH! She threw the bowl of water at Wu Jian. His eyes widened in horror to see his body drenched in water. Ching Chen blinked a couple of times and could not believe what just happened. He stood there frozen in disbelief. Satisfied, she brushed her hands together with a big grin on her face and left with the empty bowl in her hands.

    Furious, Wu Jian pointed at her, “DIRTY LOW LIFE COME BACK HERE!”

    She ignored him and continued to walk away until she disappeared from their sight. His eyes blazed with fire as he huffed and puffed. He turned to Ching Chen, “I want you to find out her background! She is going to pay severely for this.”

    Ching Chen thought this was childish of him. There were better things than spending a great amount of time to search for a pitiful woman’s identity. However, he cannot argue with his young master, so he bowed his head.

    “Yes.”

    Guo Jing came back with the herbal medicine and some cloths.

    “Sorry, it took…” He looked up and saw Wu Jian drenched. Stunned, he asked, “What happen to you?”

    Ching Chen was going to tell Guo Jing but Wu Jian raised his hand to stop him from saying anything. It was too humiliating for him to lose face if explained that a woman did it. Ching Chen shut his mouth, slightly bowed, and then moved to the side. From the way how Ching Chen behaved obediently toward his hand gesture, Guo Jing became curious of the swollen ankle man’s true identity. He had a sense that this man was more than just a rich noble. He seemed to have more power and authority.

    “Gentlemen, I haven’t formally introduced myself. My name is Guo Jing. May I know my guests’ names?”

    Wu Jian scoffed upsettingly and turned his head away. Knowing that Wu Jian was in a bad mood already, Ching Chen decided to introduce themselves to him. Guo Jing thought for a second if he had heard of their names before but nothing came to his mind.

    “Mr. Wu, since your clothes are wet, I can give you a set of dry clothes after I this.”

    Wu Jian huffed angrily, “Fine.”

    Guo Jing kneeled down and started to apply the herbs on his swollen ankle. “Are both of you traveling far?”

    Wu Jian and Ching Chen glanced at each other puzzled by his question. “Why do you ask?” asked Ching Chen.

    Guo Jing began to wrap his ankle with a cloth. He continued, “Your ankle needs to heal, so I suggest that you stay in Mu Village for the time being.”

    Wu Jian led out a big sigh of disappointment and was silent for a bit. Then he asked, “How long will we have to stay?”

    “Weeks, months…depending when you’re able to walk.” Guo Jing finished wrapping his ankle.

    Stunned, Wu Jian shook his head. “No! I cannot stay long!”

    “Sorry, unless you want to be handicap for the rest of your life.”

    Ching Chen leaned close to Wu Jian and whispered, “We cannot delay or else…” he paused and forgot that Guo Jing was still in the room. He carefully continued, “Your father will be upset.”

    Wu Jian pondered and then he asked Guo Jing, “Do you have a carriage or sedan in this village?”

    Guo Jing nodded. “There is a sedan station at the east entrance of the village, but you will have to wait for a couple of days. The last sedan left this morning to a nearby village.”

    Wu Jian nodded, “Fine. We will stay until then.”

    “Since we have some guest rooms available in the clinic, the both of you can stay. It will be convenient for me to tend your injury anyway.”

    Both of them agreed and thanked Guo Jing.

    “Let me take the both of you to the guestrooms then.” Guo Jing helped Fu Ching get Wu Jian up on his feet by using their bodies to support Wu Jian’s weight. The three slowly made their way to the guestrooms.

    During their walk, Wu Jian was curious about Cecilia and asked Guo Jing, “I saw a woman here; her name is Xiao Xing…Do you know her?”

    Guo Jing’s face lit up in surprise that he knew her name. “Are you a friend of hers?”

    He scoffed upsettingly and shook his head. “We recently met. Does she live here also?”

    Guo Jing laughed. “No. She came here to help us tend our patients this afternoon.”

    “I see…” pondered Wu Jian; then he asked, “Where does she live?”

    Guo Jing became curious of why he wanted to know so much about Cecilia. He had a bad vibe from Wu Jian and thought about Cecilia’s safety.

    He lied, “She was passing by Mu Village and saw that we needed help. Due to so many patients being sought, I did not have the chance to ask her. My apology kind sir for I do not know her residential place.”

    “She is still here so take me to her.” Wu Jian demanded.

    “Young Master, your health is more important now so let's get you rested first,” said Ching Chen.

    Guo Jing agreed and nodded. “After settling down, I can look for her to see if she is still around.”

    Wu Jian nodded. “Fine. I know she is taking a bath right now so you will find her there then.”

    He was getting worried for Cecilia and pondered, ”Who is this man that seeks for her?”

    Guo Jing faintly smiled, “I will.”

  7. #27
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    Thanks skoo78

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    CHAPTER 13: ESCAPE

    Cecilia got dressed after taking a long bath. It took her almost two hours to completely get the dirt off of her. Her scalp took the longest. Every little pebble of sand that she felt and took out, she cursed and hated Wu Jian even more. She opened the door to leave the washroom when she saw Xing Fu and the Physicians stood outside having a conversation. Guo Jing stopped talking in mid-sentence and the men glanced at her.

    “What were you guys talking about?” she asked, wanting to be in the conversation as well.

    They looked around to see if there was anyone around. Then Xing Fu lightly grabbed Cecilia by the arm.

    “Actually, we needed to speak with you.”

    He pulled her back inside the washroom with Physician Wei and Guo Jing and closed the door behind them. Xing Fu let go of her arm.

    Confused, she asked Xing Fu, “What is going on?”

    Guo Jing got straight to the point. “Miss Xiao, do you recognize the two guests that just came in?”

    “The limping man and his servant?”

    “Yes. Do you know them?”

    Her face darkened just thinking about Wu Jian and crossed her arms in front. “That A**hole!” The three men were dumbfounded of her comment. She raised her voice, “Of course I know them! I recently met them on my way to Mu Village. Why do you ask?”

    “Mr. Wu asked about you and is looking for you.”

    She didn’t say anything and only shook her head upsettingly.

    Physician Wei joined in the conversation. “Miss Xiao, you’ve seemed to be very upset at Mr. Wu. Cared to enlighten us?”

    Cecilia decided to tell them about her encounter. She raised her voice, “Do you want to know what happened to a**hole Wu Jian and why I was covered with dirt?”

    They leaned forward, interested in hearing her explanation. “Why?” asked Physician Wei.

    “As I was on my way to Mu Village, they rode passed me and I almost got trampled by their horses. I got mad and threw a rock at the A**hole’s horse and he fell. That is how he sprained his ankle. Then he took out his sword and swung at the ground…” she paused for a moment and was getting angry. She took a deep breath to calm down and continued, “…the next thing I knew, dirt came out of the ground and I was covered with it.”

    Xing Fu clenched his fists. “How dare he…I’m going to teach him a lesson!” He turned around and took a couple of steps to leave.

    “XING FU!” Physician Wei shouted.

    Xing Fu stopped and slightly turned his head to the side. Physician Wei walked toward him and placed his hand on his shoulder. “I know that you are upset of what he did to Miss Xiao. In fact, I am too.”

    Xing Fu turned around with a sullen look on his face.

    Physician Wei continued, “Just by what Miss Xiao had told us, Wu Jian is not an easy man to deal with. He seems to be an expert swordsman and you’re not. Starting trouble with him will only cost your life.”

    Guo Jing nodded, “I agree. Also, when I was observing their interaction, Mr. Wu seems to be from a powerful family…someone with huge authority.”

    “I understand,” said Xing Fu as he lowered his head.

    Cecilia jumped into the conversation and started to rant. “SO WHAT if he’s a powerful authority figure! He’s an egotistic bastard!”

    Physician Wei stroked his beard. “Miss Xiao, even though you’re not afraid to step up to him, it is best to avoid him. He may be from a royal family, a duke…regardless he is from a noble family. With his powerful family background, you will be beheaded if your behavior is irrational.” He sighed and continued, “We don’t want anything bad happening to you that is all.”

    She thought about it and understood their concern. “Alright,” and sighed.

    “Since they are staying here for a couple of days, you and Xing Fu must leave now. Brother Wei will lead the both of you to the back entrance while I go deal with Mr. Wu,” said Guo Jing.

    They nodded and all of them left the washroom. Physician Wei led Xing Fu and Cecilia to the back, while Guo Jing rushed to stop by the medicine room before he went back to Wu Jian. Afar and in hiding was Ching Chen. He had saw everything and quickly left the scene.

    ---

    Wu Jian sat down in the guestroom’s main area, thinking of options that he could do to Cecilia. He thought about beheading her, but that would be too quick of a death. Then he thought about throwing her in prison for the rest of her life until she rot, but that wouldn’t be fun for him. Suddenly, Ching Chen entered in and closed the door behind him. His thoughts of torturing Cecilia disappeared and became anxious of what Ching Chen had found.

    “So?”

    Ching Chen gathered his thoughts and then responded, “Physician Guo…he and the others…”

    Then they were interrupted by a knock on the door.

    “Who is it?” Wu Jian asked.

    “It’s me, Physician Guo Jing.”

    They stopped their conversation. “Come in.” said Wu Jian.

    Guo Jing entered in with a tray, and on top was a hot bowl of medicine. “I’ve brought herbal medicine to help minimize the pain for your ankle.”

    Wu Jian was glad that Guo Jing had made pain medicine. He was sick and tired of the pain that he was feeling. It got to the point where he started to have headaches, which annoyed him.

    “Are you sure this will help reduce it?”

    “Yes. I’ve used it all of the time for my patients.”

    Guo Jing put the tray of medicine on the table next to Wu Jian. Without hesitation, Wu Jian grabbed the hot bowl, took a spoonful of the medicine, and drank it as Guo Jing and Ching Chen watched.

    Wu Jian finished it and placed it back on the tray. Then he asked, “Were you able to find Miss Xiao?”

    Guo Jing shook his head. “No. She had already left when I got there.”

    Ching Chen stunned by his response and was about to say something to Wu Jian but held back. He didn’t want Guo Jing to know that they spied on them.

    Wu Jian got upset and slammed the small table next to him with his hand hard. The tray and the empty bowl bounced from the force, making a loud clattering sound.

    “RUBBISH!” Then he pointed at Guo Jing. “You must have hid her!”

    Guo Jing remained calm. Suddenly, Wu Jian started to yawn and then his eyes started to get droopy. He knew something was wrong with him and started to say something to- Guo Jing, but his speech slurred, making it hard to understand. Ching Chen also noticed something was wrong and glanced at the medicine bowl, then at Guo Jing. Wu Jian then slumped back of the chair and his head tilted back, snoring away.

    “Young Master!” Angry, Ching Chen pulled his sword out of his sheath and aimed the blade at Guo Jing. “YOU POISONED HIM!”

    Guo Jing folded his hands behind his back and turned to the side. “I’ve only sedated him. Your Young Master had been very belligerent lately; therefore, I felt that he needed a peaceful rest.”

    Ching Chen couldn’t agree more to what Guo Jing just said. His Young Master had focused too much on getting even with Cecilia that he had forgotten about his main mission. Ching Chen lowered his sword down and put it back in its sheath.

    “Thank you.”

    Guo Jing was surprised of his answer and turned to him with a raised brow.

    Ching Chen continued, “I’ve never seen Young Master get so worked up by someone; especially from a woman.” Flashback of Cecilia throwing water at Wu Jian came to his mind and he chuckled a bit. “Miss Xiao is a brave woman to trouble Young Master.”

    Guo Jing smiled.

    “Physician Guo, you lied and helped Miss Xiao escaped.”

    Guo Jing then knew that they had been caught and shook his head, sighing. “I guess that your Young Master told you to spy on us.”

    Ching Chen nodded. He was actually relieved that they helped her escape. He didn’t want to see her harmed by his Young Master’s wrath. Then he was curious of Guo Jing’s reasons. “Why?”

    Guo Jing walked to the table where the tray was, while Ching Chen’s eyes followed him, and started to clean up.

    “Because being angry at little things like this shouldn’t become big matters.” He picked up the tray with the empty bowl on it and turned to him. “Don’t you agree?”

    “Yes. I thought the same also.”

    “Then let bygones be bygones. Mr. Wu’s health should be his first priority and not to be stressed by someone who wronged him.” He started to walk out of the door with the tray and bowl in his hands.

    Ching Chen stopped him, “Wait.” Guo Jing stopped. He turned his head slightly to the side and looked at Ching Chen from the corner of his eyes. Ching Chen continued, “Knowing Young Master’s childish behavior and hot temper, I’m afraid that he won’t let you off easily.”

    “Do not worry. When he wakes up, he will be too happy to find trouble.”

    He left, leaving Ching Chen with a puzzled look. He wondered what Guo Jing meant by what he said. Did Physician Guo put something else in the herbal medicine?

    ---

    Xing Fu and Cecilia were at the exit gate of Mu Village when he saw a huge talisman that hung on the wall. It reminded him of theirs so he checked to make sure he had his. It hung from his belt, and then he glanced at Cecilia’s belt, but didn’t see hers.

    “Where’s your talisman?”

    She gave him a blank stare and then she began to search her clothes to find it. Nothing.

    Worried, she glanced at him. “I don’t have it.”

    Xing Fu shook his head, took off his, and handed it to her. “Here, take mine.”

    “But what about you?”

    He looked around and saw a mustached man selling talismans onto his right. He pointed at the vendor, “I’ll buy one over there.”

    They walked to the vending table and greeted the owner. As Xing Fu was busy shopping for a talisman, she saw the owner stared at her up and down, twirling his mustache. He made her felt uncomfortable.

    “Xing Fu, let’s go find another vendor.”

    His attention was more on the talismans. “This place has a lot. I’ll just buy it here.”

    The owner glanced at Xing Fu and nodded happily, “Yes and I have the best talismans in this village.” Then he glanced back at Cecilia, “You should buy one for this beautiful lady as well.”

    Xing Fu looked up at the owner and shook his head. “It will only be for me.”

    Then he gazed at Cecilia. In his eyes, she was indeed beautiful. He remembered when she first wore his sister’s yellow clothes and glowed from the sunlight, looking like a heavenly fairy. He started to blush, so he quickly looked down at the talismans and continued to browse before she noticed his red colored cheeks.

    This time the owner winked and licked his upper lip seductively at Cecilia. Disgusted by his perverted behavior, Cecilia crossed her arms in front and looked away.

    Xing Fu finally found one and picked it up to show it to her. “Look Xiao Xing!” he said happily.

    Cecilia looked at the talisman that he held in his hands and saw that it was the exact replica like theirs. Her lips tightened with a smile.

    “How much?” he asked the man.

    “Ten pieces of silver.”

    Xing Fu’s eyes widened in shocked, “WHAT? THAT MUCH?”

    “From what we are going through with these demons, of course! Just remember, there are a lot of con artists out there and their prices are even higher than mine.”

    Cecilia sneered. “So what if you’re a con artist yourself?”

    The owner got offended and his face turned bright red. Angry, he pointed at her. “Woman, how dare you!” He turned to Xing Fu, “Sir, I won’t sell anything to you.”

    He grabbed the string of the talisman that Xing Fu had in his hand and pulled, but Xing Fu’s grip was strong. He refused to give the talisman back to owner, so they started to tug the piece back and forth.

    “Sir, let go!”

    “No, I’m buying it…I…I’ll give you fifteen pieces of silver instead!”

    The man’s angry face quickly changed to a huge grin, with teeth showing and let go of the string instantly. He extended his opened palm at Xing Fu.

    “Fifteen it is.”

    Happy, Xing Fu grabbed his little money pouch from his shirt pocket and started to count the pieces. He had exactly fifteen pieces of silver and showed it to the man. Cecilia rolled her eyes and couldn’t believe that Xing Fu would desperately go through all of this. She didn’t want to say anything; it was his problem. The man took the money right away from his hand and thanked Xing Fu for business.

    Xing Fu showed her the talisman once more and then he puts it on his belt. “Let’s go,” and left first.

    Cecilia leaned close to the man and stared coldly at him.

    “You perverted bastard, if I find out that the talisman is fake, I’m coming back to find you,” she warned.

    The man saw her hazel eyes full of flames and knew she was serious. He swallowed and smiled nervously. She huffed and turned around to catch up with Xing Fu.

    --

    Along the dirt road, Cecilia and Xing Fu enjoyed each other’s company. They talked about many things; their experiences at the clinic, Guo Jing’s identity as an ex demon, her vivid image of the possible faceless man and his name ‘Kai’, and her encounter with Wu Jian which made Xing Fu upset again, but Cecilia quickly eased his thought by letting him know about her splashing water at Wu Jian. It made Xing Fu laughed hard knowing that she took action, but then at the same time, he worried for her.

    “What if he comes after you?” he asked.

    “I’ll be ready for him then.”

    “Xiao Xing, let me handle him. Even though I do not know martial arts, I am not afraid of his torture or dying. I rather have you live than be in his hands.”

    She was touched by his courageous words and thanked him.

    As minutes passed to hours, the sun’s scorching heat started to dehydrate them. Xing Fu saw a small stream to his right and pointed at it for Cecilia to see. Relieved, Xing Fu led them the way into the forest. As the running water got louder, their excitement increased and ran toward it. When they reached to the stream, they got on their knees, scooped clean water with their hands, and drank it.

    “It’s so refreshing!” he took another drink.

    Cecilia splashed water on her face to cool down from the heat. He glanced at her and saw water dripped down from her face, making her look exotic. His mouth wide opened and froze in place; he couldn’t resist gazing at her. She caught him staring and splashed some water at him.

    “Hey!” she said and laughed.

    Xing Fu jumped by the suddenness and stared down at his wet clothes. He playfully splashed some water back at her and she gave a squealed of laughter. Then both of them splashed water at each other. Her troubled mind left her for the spur moment to enjoy this special time with Xing Fu. By the time they stopped, they were drenched with water and laughed some more. Xing Fu raised his hand up toward her face. Her eyes followed his hand and wondered what he was about to do.

    Her heart pounded fast as his hand got closer to her cheek. What is this wonderful and nervous feeling that I’m having? She pondered.

    His fingers reached to her lose strands of hair that covered her face, touching her wet soft skin, as he parted it to the side. He wanted to tell his hidden feelings for her and wanted to kiss those rosy lips; but, he could not. It wasn’t the right time. She was still searching for the owner of the heart necklace and her lost memories. He took a deep breath and again, reminded himself that he was only a friend.

    Then he commented, “Now I can see your pretty face,” and put his hand down.

    What did I just say? He didn’t know that his words came out like that. Am I out of line? He asked himself again.

    Cecilia’s face started to feel hot and she blushed, looking down. Then she splashed him with water one last time and they both laughed happily.

    Since the sun was setting, they decided to stay for the night. Xing Fu made a fire to keep themselves warm. He also made a divider by using sticks and hung their wet clothes on it. He was on one side and she was on the other, wearing their undergarments while they sat and wait.

    Xing Fu stared at the red orange sky. “Xiao Xing…”

    “mmm?”

    “Doesn’t the sky look magical?”

    She stared at the sky also, and saw its beautiful color. “Yes, it is.”

    “My mother told me of a story about a forbidden love between a god and a mortal. Do you want to hear it?”

    “Sure, why not.”

    He cleared his throat to prepare for storytelling.

    “Immortal Lu Bing Wei was a god of art who had a passion in painting. When he came down to Mortal Realm to help restore it to its original state, he met a beautiful mortal woman, Cheng Da Chun who was a weaving girl, and fell in love with her. In the Celestial Realm, there were very strict laws that no Celestial gods should ever break. One law was to never fall in love and have offspring between two worlds. If Celestial Emperor and his top generals ever found out of the forbidden love, then the gods would lose immortality or worse, they have to self-sacrifice their lives by vaporizing. As for the mortals, all of their memories of the gods that they had fallen in love with would be completely be erased, and the offsprings that they carried, would be destroyed.”

    The story was getting interesting and Cecilia sat quietly as she continued to listen.

    “After Lu Bing Wei finished his weekly task of painting the Mortal Realm, he and Cheng Da Chun would secretly meet at their hidden place to be together. However, their love story became tragic when Cheng Da Chun became pregnant. They were found by Celestial Emperor. Lu Bing Wei fought for his family’s life against Celestial Emperor’s top generals, but they were too powerful for him to defeat. He was held captive while he watched them take their unborn child from Cheng Da Chun’s womb. With one wave of the top general’s hand above her stomach, the unborn child disappeared and her stomach became flatten, like she was never pregnant in the first place. At that moment, Cheng Da Chun and Lu Bing Wei helplessly grieved for their lost. Then the top general laid his hand on her head and one shot of energy came out of his palm into her. In instant, her body lied motionless for him to see. Then it was his turn. Lu Bing Wei understood that he had broken the law so for his punishment, he chose death. It was already too painful for him to lose their child and have the woman he loved to forget everything about him. Therefore, becoming a Fallen Immortal and lived a short life was more of a torture to him. They freed him for him to say his last few words to Cheng Da Chun. He whispered in her ears that whenever she looked up and saw the colorful sky; that was his love looking down to her. Then his body vaporized into nothing. After she regained conscious, she was a new person with a new life; however, every time the sun sets and she saw beautiful colors in the sky, her heart felt unknowingly longing of a lost love.”

    Xing Fu stopped talking and sighed sadly. There was silence between the two for a couple of minutes and then Xing Fu turned to the hanging clothes where it divided them.

    “Xiao Xing?”

    Cecilia had cried throughout his storytelling and wiped her tears.

    “It’s not fair…” and sniffed.

    Xing Fu could tell that the story had saddened her. “But you have to understand that love cannot exist between two different worlds.”

    “Who says so? Love should be free and not be bind by stupid laws!” She sniffed again and continued her rant. “That Celestial Emperor is heartless and a murderer. Killing an unborn child, having the mother loses her memory, and the father drives to kill himself…That is too cruel for my sake!”

    Xing Fu’s intention was to lighten the mood with the story, to show the hidden meaning that love was beyond just physical. Also, without Lu Bing Wei's contribution to Mortal Realm, the sky wouldn’t be as colorful as it was now. There wouldn’t be mountains, flowers, waterfalls, and clouds. He was the god of art, the magical painter of Mortal Realm.

    “Uh…I’m sorry Xiao Xing. I think I’ve lost the true interpretation when storytelling. I sometimes get carried away. Just forget about it. It’s only a myth that was passed for thousands of years…”

    “It’s ok. Thank you for your tragic story.” She looked at the red orange sky and took a deep breath. “Actually, a story can have many interpretations. I feel that with the story of Lu Bing Wei and Cheng Da Chun, in short, love conquers all."

    She looked down at her heart necklace and felt the diamonds. "I feel like Cheng Da Chen, my memory is lost, but I still have that unknown warmth feeling from this necklace."

    ---

    Outside of the palace gate in Wu Tribe, Jian Tao and his Chiefs walked the Elders out for their departure. Elder Tao and Elder Shi had thoroughly assessed the Black Forest and Bloody Devil Lake and found nothing unusual.

    “Are you sure you and Elder Shi do not want to stay an extra day?” asked Jian Tao jokingly.

    The Elders chuckled. “Next time,” said Elder Tao.

    Jian Tao stared at the direction where Bloody Devil Lake was. “My heart can rest now knowing that the Demon Realm’s seal is safe. It could worsen the situation even more if it was broken.”

    The Elders also turned to stare at the direction of the lake and nodded. They knew that if Demon Realm’s seal was broken, Mortal Realm would totally be destroyed. From the last battle, mortals were lucky to have the Celestials helped in defeating the Demon Lord and sealed off the Demon Realm forever. This time, it would be different. Mortals would have to defend their own realm without the help of the Celestials. It would really test their strength and endurance.

    Elder Tao sighed, “That is why our Fallen Immortal Protectors Masters have taught us to be protectors of our Realm.” Then he glanced at Jian Tao, “You will need to pass the Five Element Qi Sword soon…”

    Jian Tao closed his eyes as he sighed at the thought being old. His energy wasn’t as strong as it used to be. Over the past twenty of years of fighting demons, he had used up too much of his internal qi, especially for the Five Element Qi Sword.

    Since the sword was a god sword, its powers were beyond extraordinary. It had no side effect when a god used it, but if a mortal took ownership of it, the sword would deplete his internal qi quicker and would take longer to recuperate. Age also played a huge role-the older the mortal, the harder to regain the loss of internal qi. No matter if the mortal was a master of martial arts for more than thirty years, he could not defeat the sword’s god-like powers. Now that trapped demons had escaped, Jian Tao’s life would be at risk if he continued to be the Mortal Protector.

    Jian Tao folded his hands behind his back. “Since the encounter of the water demons, I have thought about it. It is time for my son to take my place.” He turned to Elder Tao and chuckled, “At least I have one burden off of my shoulder then.”

    Elder Tao and the others chuckled as well. “Right. Now you have more time to focus on Wu tribe and let your son protect the Mortal Realm.”

    Jian Tao nodded.

    ---

    In Bloody Devil Lake where the Demon Realm’s portal was, the seal’s hidden crack got bigger. It cracked up to the top, releasing a ray of red light out of the lake and upward to the sky. However, with the Black Forest’s seal, it remained inside forest; but it tried vigorously to escape. The Elders, Jian Tao, and the Chiefs saw the red light and knew that their fear had come true.

    Chief Li gulped nervously, “It’s happening now.”

    “Quick. To Bloody Devil Lake,” said Elder Tao.

    All five of them ran into the Black Forest with great speed. They arrived at Bloody Devil Lake and saw the huge crack. All five of them used their sealing spells to reseal the Demon Realm’s seal. The red ray was very powerful as it tried to fight off the spell. The five of them sweat profusely as they concentrate. Finally, they got it under control and the Elders quickly use their “Taoist Binding Spell” while Jian Tao and the Chiefs held it steady with their “Wu Sealing Spell”. A thick, gold transparent layer appeared on the cracked seal like glue. It covered the crack and the red ray of light disappeared. Everything was back to normal.

    Jian Tao and the Chiefs never knew that the Demon Realm’s seal was that powerful. This was their first time encountering the seal and it had taken a huge toll on their bodies. As for the Elders, they had already been prepared for this kind of event, so their qi were stronger. Exhausted and weak, the three men staggered a bit. The Elders rushed to help them.

    “Are you men alright?” asked Elder Shi.

    The three men nodded.

    “Let’s take the three of you back to the palace,” said Elder Tao. The Elders used their bodies to support the men as they walked away from area.

    ---

    Jian Tao and his Chiefs sat down, crossing their legs, while the Elders sat behind them. The Elders placed their palms inches away from their back to transfer some of their internal energy to them. After they were done transferring, the three men opened their eyes and felt revived. The Elders helped them get up.

    “Thank you Elders,” said Jian Tao.

    Worried about the Demon Realm’s seal, Jian Tao sighed. “Now that the Demon Realm’s seal is about to be broken, mortal realm is in great danger.”

    Elder Shi turned to Elder Tao, “We will have to report this to Grandmaster Huang and delay our departure. Wu tribe needs our help in detaining the Demon Realm Seal.”

    Elder Tao nodded. “Our binding spell is not made for sealing realms, so sooner or later, our internal qi will deplete as well.” Then he looked at Jian Tao. “We need to find the Mortal Protectors.”

    Jian Tao looked worried. “It’s been over twenty years. How will we find the other Mortal Protectors then?”

    The Elders looked at each other and knew that he was right. Ever since the Demon Realm’s seal was sealed by the Celestial Emperor, the five Fallen Immortal Protectors went their own ways to find their five mortals students to prepare for these future events. Out of the five Mortal Protectors, only two that they knew for sure had been found-Wen Jian Tao the disciple of goddess Wu Li Ling and Lau Guo Wei the disciple of god Yu Ze Min. Wherever the other three are, it would be a challenge to search for them.

    Elder Tao let out a sigh. “That will be hard to find them in these vast lands, but Grandmaster Huang may have some insights.” He turned to Elder Shi, “When we inform Grandmaster Huang, we will need some Taoist brothers here to help in the Binding Spell. This will help us control the seal until the other three Mortal Protectors are found.”

    “Yes.”

    Jian Tao turned to the Elders, “How long can you and your Taoist brothers hold off with the binding spell?”

    “Once every month for no more than three years,” responded Elder Tao.

    “Can we really find them within three years?” asked Chief Wen.

    The Elders sighed and Elder Shi responded, “We will have to at all cost.”

    Jian Tao and the Chiefs glanced at each other, worried for the fate of mankind. Now, they only hope that Grandmaster Huang could find a way for them to search for the three missing Mortal Protectors soon.
    Last edited by skoo78; 07-05-14 at 10:00 AM.

  9. #29
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    Thanks skoo78.

  10. #30
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    CHAPTER 14: THE ENCOUNTERS

    That night, Cecilia and Xing Fu had fallen asleep and their fire had died out. Thick fog started to appear onto the earth’s surface and blanketed them, making it invisible for anyone to notice their presence. Then a faint voice called out his name from a distant and it woke him up from his sleep. He noticed a cloudy mist above him and quickly sat up to realize it was fog. He began to feel unease from the haunting setting.

    “Xing Fu…”

    The faint voice sounded like Cecilia; however, it didn’t come from where she was sleeping. It came somewhere in the dark creepy forest.

    He asked himself, "Why is she in the forest alone? ...What if it’s a demon instead?"

    He began to have goosebumps and slowly turned his head toward their hung clothes.

    "I have to make sure if the voice that I’m hearing is a demon or Cecilia…"

    His hand reached to the draped clothes and lifted to the side. With thick fogs surrounded the area, it was hard to see if she was lying there. He began to fan the fog with his hand and as the fog moved away, Cecilia was not there. He exhaled in relieved.

    “Xing Fu…”

    He let go of the draped clothes and turned around. A hundred feet in front of him was Cecilia. She stood there with a radiant glow from the moonlight wearing only a thin red robe to reveal her bare upper shoulders, her cleavage, and slender silky legs. Her sexual appeal stunned Xing Fu and he wondered if this was a dream or reality. He pinched himself hard on his forearm and felt pain. This was indeed real. She started tp walk away from him.

    “Wait!” he shouted.

    He grabbed his talisman and put it on around his neck. Then he got up and went after her. The deeper he went inside the forest, the thicker the fog was, which made everything around him difficult to see.

    He stopped and panned around. “Xiao Xing?”

    Then the fog died down and disappeared. He scratched his head from the strange sudden occurrence but was glad. Now, he could find Cecilia with ease.

    “Xiao Xing! Where are you?!” he shouted.

    Then her giggles echoed through the forest. His eyes wandered around in search for her, but he couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. He heard her giggle again. This time it was close to his left side. Xing Fu turned and saw her stood ten feet in front of him, giving him a leering look with those big hazel eyes of hers. She began to walk slowly toward him and her bottom robe opened to reveal her bare ivory thighs as it alternated every step she made.

    He couldn’t help but gaped at her luscious body. His eyes stared down at her feet and made their way up to her legs, hips, her cleavage, and then her lips. His body started to get steamy hot and sweaty.

    He gulped his saliva, “Xiao Xing…Wh…what are you doing?”

    She didn’t answer and got closer to him. His head slightly turned to the side and he shut his eyes, not wanting to continue lusting at her. Suddenly, a strong musty fragrance stung his nose with heavenly sweetness. He couldn’t resist the strong scent and slowly turned his head back toward the front. Then he opened his eyes and saw her face up close to his; he jumped in fright, ready to scream, but she placed her index finger on top of his soft lips to calm him down.

    “Shhh…” she whispered as his eyes locked into hers.

    He stood frozen and closed his mouth. Her fingers slowly traced his lips as it made its way to his chin, then to his cheekbone to feel his soft skin. Cecilia threw herself forward to hug him tight. He felt her breasts on his chest and could feel her hot breath close to his neck. His heart began to race rapidly from the close physical contact and gulped his saliva nervously. Then she began to lick and suck his neck, which caught Xing Fu by surprise. He tried to pull her off, but her grip was too strong.

    While she continue kissing him, he politely pleaded, “Xiao Xing…please…don’t…”

    She ignored him and took off his shirt. Then she pushed him down to the ground and got on top of him. She continued her seductive behavior by sucking and licking him as she made her way down to his lower abdomen. He loved how her lips and tongue felt against his skin and enjoyed every bit of it. Then she gave him one, long lick up from his abdomen to his chin like an animal. His skin tasted deliciously against her tongue, turning her on, that she wanted him inside of her badly.

    She took off her red robe and was completely naked. He gaped at her plumped breasts and was speechless. Quickly, she grabbed both of his hands and cupped her breasts, forcing him to squeeze them to feel its firmed tenderness. She rubbed herself against his groin to arouse him even further.

    “Make love to me,” she moaned.

    His eyes widened in bewilderment.

    ---

    Back at the stream, the fog had already disappeared. Cecilia suddenly woke up with a strange feeling that something was wrong. She shouted Xing Fu’s name. Nothing. She went to check on him to make sure he was sleeping. She peered through the draped clothes and saw that he wasn’t there. Worried, she got up, quickly put on her top robe, and went to search for him.

    ---

    Feeling Cecilia’s body on top of him felt so good. Touching her soft skin on her breasts and making his way down to her hips; he wanted her. However, back in his mind, he contemplated if he should or should not. He began to think about her complicated life. Although he loved her, this wasn't the right time.

    She leaned forward to kiss him more on his chin and neck while her hand slowly slipped into his pants. He felt her fingers down there and knew what she was going to do next. He had to stop this immediately and pushed her off of him with all of his strength. Cecilia fell to the side and onto the ground. He quickly got up to fix his pants.

    “Xiao Xing, I’m sorry that I pushed you away. As much as I want this…I…I can’t. I love you too much for you to not do this.”

    Frustrated, she let out a high pitched cry and it made Xing Fu became flummoxed. Her naked body got onto all fours and suddenly shape shifted in front of his eyes as he watched in horror. Her beautiful ivory skin was torn off like nothing to reveal a thick charcoal fur. Her face extended into a bear-like beast, eyes glowed blood red, teeth transformed into huge fangs, and fingers morphed to huge sharped claws. Now, Xing Fu realized he was led into a forest by a demon beast. Too petrified to move, he let out a loud cry of terror. The demon beast mimicked his cry and roared loudly in unison with him.

    Cecilia stopped in the middle of the forest when she heard Xing Fu’s and the monstrous cries. Her heart sank to know that Xing Fu was in trouble, so she ran with great speed to the direction of the cries.

    Xing Fu frantically searched for his talisman on his neck and found it. His hand trembled as he held it in front of the demon beast to scare it away. It wasn’t affected by the talisman and leapt in the air toward him.

    BAM! A huge stick struck the demon beast across the face so hard that the stick broke in half. It flew backwards and hit a nearby tree. Xing Fu turned to look who helped him and saw that it was the real Cecilia. She saw that he was half naked with red marks all over his chest and neck area. Then she looked down at his bulging pants and was disgusted. She didn’t want to know what just happened. It wasn’t a good time to ask questions now.

    “Are you ok?”

    Still trembling from the event, he nodded. Then she turned and glared at the demon beast. It shook its head to refocus from the blow. Besides Guo Jing, from hearing all of the demon encounters, she never thought that she would see one in person; especially an ugly one.

    Still holding onto the broken stick, she stood firm, ready to fight it. It got back up onto its feet and saw her. Frightened, it quickly ran away and left her puzzled by its behavior. Then she knew why; it was because of her special qi.

    The demon beast didn’t get too far though. As it leapt to the nearby bushes, two men flew out of with their swords and slashed the demon beast in the front. It let out a painful roar and fell to the ground. The men stood a couple of feet away with their swords aimed at it, ready to fight.

    Xing Fu and Cecilia were surprised to see their unexpected presence. One was a young slender man. He had a cute baby face and big espresso eyes. His hair was up into a high bun, wearing a cleaned, midnight blue robe, and across his shoulder was a raggedy bag.

    The other man was an older man. He looked very different comparing to the cute baby face man. He wore a tan, raggedy layered outfit and on his belt was a bottle of wine and a strange ivory vase. His beard was overgrown, but it matched with his scruffy hair. Only a small portion of his hair was tied back, leaving many strands of hair to cover his hidden face. Then Cecilia saw the old man’s sword was glowing with blue flames. She had never seen anything magical like it before and was intrigued by it.

    The demon beast charged at the men with full force and swung its sharped claws at them. They swiftly dodged the claws and counter attacked with their swords. Then the old man shouted to the young man.

    “Take out the holy beads!”

    The young man stopped fighting and stuck his blade onto the ground. He searched in his sack for the beads while the old man continued to fight with the demon beast. The young man found it and wrapped it around his fingers. He started to chant and beads began to glow golden yellow. The chant was finished and he flung it in midair and the necklace expanded ten times it's width.

    Little dust particles came out flying like blood and disintegrated every time when the old man slashed deep into the demon beast’s flesh with his sword. Then he kicked the demon beast and it fell to the ground injured. The young man aimed his index and middle finger at the demon beast.

    “Capture,” he commanded the beads.

    The beads quickly flew toward the demon beast and wrapped around it. The demon beast struggled to get out, but the more it did, the tighter the beads gotten to restrain it.

    The old man stuck his blade onto the earth’s ground and pulled out the small ivory vase from his belt. He aimed the vase’s open hole at the beast and did a quick hand motion to activate it. Wind began to pick up as the vase’s open hole glowed golden yellow. It became a vacuum, sucking any supernatural beings that would be in front of it. Then with his index and middle finger, he commanded the beads.

    “Come.”

    The beads did as told, and as it got close to the vase, the demon was sucked into the hole and disappeared along with the wind. The beads came straight to his hand and he grabbed it. The golden-yellowish glow disappeared from the vase and he hung the vase back on his belt. The sword’s blue flame also disappeared and became a regular sword. He pulled it out from the ground and placed it back in its sheath.

    While Xing Fu finished putting on his shirt, Cecilia stood dumbstruck by what she had just witnessed and wondered who they might be. The men regrouped and began to walk toward Xing Fu and Cecilia. They stood a couple of feet in front of them.

    Xing Fu folded his hand in front, “Thank you for saving us heroes. My name is Yu Xing Fu,” then he guided his hand toward Cecilia to introduce her to them, “and this is Xiao Xing.”

    The young man introduced themselves. “We are the demon hunters, but everyone calls us the Wanderers of Seven Seas. My name is Cui De Ming and this is my master, Ma Guo Wei.”

    They exchanged greetings and then Guo Wei asked, “What brings the both of you here in the forest. You know that it is dangerous roaming at night.”

    Xing Fu responded, “We fell asleep and thought with our talismans, we would be safe…” Then he took off his talisman from his neck and showed it to the demon hunters. He scratched his head. “I don’t get it. It supposed to protect me, so how come it didn’t?”

    Guo Wei quickly grabbed it from his hand and threw it far into the dark forest. Cecilia and Xing Fu looked at him shocked.

    “Why did you do that for?!” he said upsettingly.

    Guo Wei huffed at him. “IT’S FAKE!”

    Cecilia was upset and scoffed. “That perverted bastard was a con artist after all,” and crossed her arms in front as she glanced at Xing Fu.

    Xing Fu blinked a couple of times in disbelief. He felt stupid from being conned by him. “I’ve lost fifteen pieces of silver…” and lowered his head.

    She felt bad for him and patted his shoulder to comfort him. “It’s ok. You didn’t know.”

    The demon hunters shook their heads, pitying Xing Fu as well.

    Then Guo Wei turned to them. “Since it is very late, we will sleep here tonight. I will put up a protection spell so no demons can harm us.”

    Xing Fu and Cecilia nodded.

    Guo Wei did some hand formations and stomped his foot onto the ground. A huge gust of internal qi came out of his body followed by a wind. The wind brushed against her body and then she felt something hot for a split second, then back to normal.

    “Why did my body feel hot?” she asked Guo Wei.

    “That was the effect of the protection spell,” he answered. Then he turned to De Ming. “Get a fire started for the night.”

    “Alright.”

    ---

    De Ming was hungry and caught a rabbit for a late midnight snack. It had been roasting on top of the fire for a while, so he pulled the stick with the meat out. He then handed it to his master, who sat next to him with a bottle of wine in his hands.

    “Here master, eat.”

    Guo Wei pulled out a leg and took a bite out of it. Then he signaled to De Ming using his head gesture.

    “Offer some food for them.”

    De Ming handed the meat to them in arm's reach, but Xing Fu and Cecilia shook their heads.

    “No thank you,” she said.

    De Ming shrugged, “Ok, more for me,” and took a bite of the meat. He started to converse with his mouth full. “You know, these types of demon used their victims’ hearts to find who they truly loved the most and shape shifted themselves into them. That was how they lured their victims.” He swallowed his meat and continued while he looked at Xing Fu, “When we saw you half naked with those red marks on your body, we knew you were the victim.”

    Feeling embarrassed, Xing Fu’s head lowered to his chest. De Ming continued, “You were lucky that you didn’t sleep with it or else it would have sucked the life force out of you. Then you would have become a dry corpse.”

    That freaked Xing Fu and Cecilia out. Xing Fu was so close to be dead, but at the same time, he was glad he resisted it.

    Cecilia turned to Xing Fu, “So who did it shape shifted to?”

    Xing Fu stared at her and then her naked body came into his mind. He blushed and turned away. The demon hunters saw his facial expression and knew who Xing Fu was thinking.

    De Ming blurted out, pointing at her. “YOU!”

    Guo Wei smacked De Ming back on the head.

    “Ow!”

    “Shut your mouth!” Guo Wei scorned.

    Stunned, Xing Fu and Cecilia’s eyes widened. Cecilia turned to Xing Fu and saw his face was red like a beet. Her heart fluttered with happiness to know it was her he loved the most. Besides the beast trying to kill Xing Fu, she was glad that his feelings were shown through it and tightened her smile. Then she thought about him being stupid to almost have sex with the demon beast and punched him on the arm.

    “Ow…” he looked at her confused.

    Guo Wei and De Ming froze with their food in their mouth. They were surprised that she had the nerve to hit him.

    De Ming turned to his master. “She reminded me of you…”

    Guo Wei got offended and raised his hand to smack his back head again, but De Ming was already prepared. He quickly scooted away from his master. Guo Wei saw what he was trying to do, so he took his sword and reached to hit him with its handle instead.

    “Ow! That hurts even more!” De Ming rubbed his back head.

    Both Cecilia and Guo Wei scorned De Ming, “You deserve it!”

    De Ming was surprised of their similar behaviors and wanted to say something, but he remained quiet. He didn’t want to get smacked again.

    She was disappointed at Xing Fu. “I can’t believe that you couldn’t tell the difference between me and the demon beast!”

    “How…how can I? You were…I mean…it was…uh…never mind!”

    Guo Wei interrupted, “Miss Xiao, you have to understand that when a man is approached by a seductive woman, it is very hard for him to control himself when being aroused.” He took a drink of his wine and continued, “You should be glad that Mr. Yu resisted. He’s a pure man. A lot of men in his situation usually cannot control their urges and die sleeping with these lustful demons.”

    He turned to Xing Fu, “Here…” he threw the wine bottle at Xing Fu and he caught it. “Drink up. You are one strong man to resist a sexy demon..." Then Guo Wei dug into his shirt pocket, took a small pouch of wine out, and drank it.

    Xing Fu gave him a slight smile and knew it was true. Then he looked at Cecilia from the corner of his eyes and saw her poking the dirt with a small stick vigrously.

    “Still, he should know the differences…” she mumbled upsettingly.

    Xing Fu's smile disappeared and took a big gulp of wine from the bottle. His face cringed from the bitter taste, but that didn’t stop him. He kept drinking so that he could forget the incident and her naked body.

    While she continued to poke the stick through the dirt, she felt violated that the demon beast shape shifted into her to arouse him. Although it wasn’t her, Xing Fu may have seen her naked body now. She looked down at her body and sighed to know she couldn't do anything about it. Then she turned to Xing Fu and saw that he was already drunk.

    He smiled at her. “…I...didn’t sleep with you…” Then he plopped onto the ground, passed out.

    “I guess he can’t handle alcohol,” commented Guo Wei and took a drink from his pouched wine.

    Guo Wei got up and went to grab his bottle of wine on the ground next to Xing Fu and walked back to his seat.

    She stared at Xing Fu and thought, "Xing Fu, you did fight the demon beast well. No matter if it tried to tempt you to have sex, you resisted..." She smiled, "You are a pure man; a man with a good heart and good intentions.Tha t was why I fell for you." Then she touched the heart necklace around her neck and felt the warm feeling.

    "If I developed these new feelings toward Xing Fu, will it change my lost love for the faceless man, Kai? If not, how will I handle it if my memories come back?"


    Not knowing what to do, she sadly sighed.

    ---

    Early the next morning, Cecilia woke up from a faint hum. She sat up and saw Xing Fu and De Ming were still asleep, but Guo Wei was nowhere to be found. The humming continued. Curious of who it maybe, she got up to follow it. As she walked through the forest, the humming got louder. She listened carefully and the humming turned to out to be a melody. The melody was sweet and full of love, like it was meant for a love couple. The weird thing was that she felt like she heard it before.

    Is this one of my lost memories? She asked herself.

    Finally she reached to the place where the melody was being hummed and saw Guo Wei sitting on a big rock. His eyes were closed and head tilted up toward the sky, humming. In his hand, he held his magical sword closed by. She stared at him and wondered what his story was to hum such a lovely tune. Nevertheless, she wanted to know if there was a connection between him and her.

    Could he be the faceless man?

    With his thick beard, she couldn’t tell from his chin. She needed to know.

    Her brows furrowed. “Kai?” she asked, interrupting him.

    Guo Wei stopped humming and turned to her. He raised a brow and looked around to see who she was addressing to. He was the only one here with her, so he pointed at himself.

    “Me? Are you talking to me?”

    “Are you Kai?” she asked again.

    He chuckled at her question and shook his head. “Miss Xiao, you have mistaken me. Have you forgotten my name already?” He got off of the rock and walked toward her. “You didn’t even drink wine last night…I’m Ma Guo Wei…”

    She guessed he wasn’t Kai. “I’m sorry. I thought you maybe someone that I know…”

    “Oh? And his name is Kai?”

    She nodded.

    He crossed his arms in front and stroked his beard. “Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not him.” Then he leaned forward and became curious. “Is he your…lover?”

    She was stunned by his question. “I…I…think I am…”

    He gave her a strange look. “Huh? It’s either you are or you aren’t. So which one is it?”

    “It’s complicated.” She turned to the side and crossed her arms in front.

    “Tell this old fellow what’s rambling in your head.”

    She turned to him and lifted a quizzical brow.

    “Ok…I guess not…”

    He shook his head and sighed. They were silent for a bit and then she asked, “The melody that you’ve just hummed, did you composed it?”

    His face lightened. “Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve been humming this melody since…I do not know when.” He stared at the blue sky, thinking deeply as he stroked his beard with one hand and the other hand placed on his waist. Then he continued, “You know…it’s always been a mystery to me.” Then he shrugged, “Oh well.”

    He reminded her of the forbidden love story of Lu Bing Wei and Chen Da Chun. She thought to herself. Whatever this drunken demon hunter’s story was, it must have been tragic to hum a lover’s melody and not know why. But surely she knew that her, Chen Da Chun, and Guo Wei had something in common; lost memories. She wondered how many people out there were like her.

    Then a white dove flew overhead. Cecilia and Guo Wei stared at it as it circled in the sky; Guo Wei knew what it was. The dove unraveled into a letter and he started to read it. Cecilia was awed by this magic and stared at the characters in the letter. After he was done reading, he had an unpleasant look of urgency.

    “What does it say?” she asked him.

    Guo Wei was surprised that she couldn’t read. “It says I need to leave to go somewhere important.”

    From what she could tell by the letter’s many characters, it was a lengthy letter. “You didn’t read to me what it really said.”

    Guo Wei waved his hand up in the sky and the letter dispersed into many particles and disappeared.

    “I summarized it.” Then he turned to her, “You do not need to know what it completely said because it wasn’t for you.”

    She had a bummed look on her face. She thought he would at least teach her some of the characters from the letter so she could read.

    “Come, let’s walk back to the site.”

    He walked ahead while she trailed behind. They got back to the site and Xing Fu and De Ming were already up. Xing Fu ran to her.

    “Where did you go? I was worried about you.”

    “Don’t worry, she was with me,” answered Guo Wei. Then he asked, “Do you two perhaps know who Chen Guo Jing is?”

    Both turned to glance at each other. Knowing that Guo Wei is a demon hunter and that Guo Jing was an ex demon, they wondered what Guo Wei wanted from him. Cecilia thought about the dove letter and pondered if it had something to do with Guo Jing.

    Curious, she nodded. “We’ll take you to him.”

    Xing Fu stared at her surprised by her answered. "Had she forgotten about Wu Jian?"
    Last edited by skoo78; 09-25-14 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Just re editing

  11. #31
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    Ahn Nam: You're welcome. Enjoy.

  12. #32
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    Thanks skoo78. Am enjoying this.

  13. #33
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    CHAPTER 15: SURPRISES

    “What are you doing? You know that Wu Jian is still at Wei Chen Clinic right?” Xing Fu whispered to Cecilia as they traveled to Mu Village.

    She shrugged her shoulders, “Oh well. I will have to face him then.”

    He lifted his brow, “R…Really?”

    Cecilia turned to Xing Fu and gave him a serious look. “Why are you so scared of that A**hole? Weren’t you the one that said you will risk your life to protect me?”

    “I did, but that doesn’t mean to get into more trouble with him.”

    Cecilia let out a sigh. “Don’t worry. I won’t do anything stupid to jeopardize everyone’s lives.”

    Guo Wei and De Ming were ahead of them and heard their conversation. They glanced at each other and shook their heads.

    “They are like a bickering old couple,” whispered De Ming.

    Guo Wei drank his wine bottle and then responded, “That is why you should not get into a relationship. Women will only give you headaches.”

    De Ming nodded, “Oh…”

    She understood Xing Fu’s concern for her, but Wu Jian was the last person for her to worry about. She had too many things that were more important than to deal with an egotistic a**hole. Her main concerned now was Guo Jing due to his hidden true identity. When she saw Guo Wei’s expression after he read the magical letter, she knew something was wrong. Her concerned heighten even more when he wanted to meet with Guo Jing. All she knew was that their identities clashed-one was a demon hunter and the other was an ex demon. Her only main concerned was that Guo Wei may harm a good ex demon like Guo Jing or worse, trapped him into his jaded vase like what he did to the demon beast.

    Guo Wei slightly turned his head to see them from the corner of his eyes. “What does Chen Guo Jing do for a living?”

    Xing Fu answered, “He’s one of the village physicians.”

    Guo Jing paused a bit. “I see…”

    Curious she asked, “What do you want from him anyway?”

    He stroked his scruffy beard, “Just…something,” and left it like that.

    Since Guo Wei didn’t want to share his reason, she would have to force it out from his student, De Ming. At least he should know something. Guo Wei raised this bottle of wine to drink, but there were no more drops left. He put it back on his belt and took out his wine pouch from his shirt pocket. He shook the pouch and heard the sound of liquid. Relieved, he drank it

    “Ah…De Ming, we will have to stop by a wine shop after our meeting.”

    “Ok.”

    “All you do is drink. How can you hunt demons without a clear mind?” she asked.

    Guo Wei burst out laughing, “My body can handle more than you think Miss Xiao. In fact, alcohol is my best friend. I cannot live without it.”

    “Don’t get my master wrong, when he’s drunk, his mind is clearer and can defeat demons like nothing.”

    Hearing De Ming’s boastful comment was impressive to Xing Fu; but as for Cecilia, she only rolled her eyes and thought it was ridiculous. She never heard alcohol could boost someone’s strength nor have a cleared mind. Usually a person would be drunk and do stupid stuff or be knocked out easily like Xing Fu..

    ---

    They finally reached to Mu Village and De Ming was excited to see a lot of people. This was his and Guo wei's opportunity to get as much clients as they could during their stay. As a wanderer, one had to make a living to survive. For De Ming and Guo Wei, they offered their services of exorcism and fortune telling. The more people in the village, the more money they make. Due to the recent demon epidemic, their needed services had tripled and their income had increased.

    “Master…”

    Guo Wei interrupted him, “I know what you are thinking and the answer is NO.”

    “But we’re low in money…”

    “We can still survive for another month.”

    Bummed, De Ming sighed sadly, “Fine…”

    Guo Wei turned to Xing Fu, “Mu Village is a maze. How can visitors expect to find their way around here?”

    “That is why they ask the locals. You see, this village was built to confuse enemies if there was ever an attack.”

    Guo Wei stroked his beard, “I see…smart…”

    As they continued walking, Xing Fu acted like their tour guide. While Xing Fu and Guo Wei walked ahead, Cecilia took the chance to ask De Ming.

    She nudged his arm, “Ey, what does your master want with Physician Guo?” she asked.

    De Ming shrugged. “I don’t know. This is my first time hearing Chen Guo Jing’s name.”

    She thought that was odd. “Shouldn’t masters tell their students everything? Even secrets?”

    He gave her a weird look. “Are you crazy? Not EVERYTHING should be shared. I do not want to know what he thinks, dreams, or even…” he whispered to her to only hear, “…does during his private times. That’s an invasion of privacy if you know what I mean…Anyway, why do you ask?”

    She looked at the ground, “Oh Uh…it’s nothing important. I’m just curious…”

    Since she couldn’t get any information from De Ming, all she could do was to wait and see. They finally reached the gate entrance to Wei Chen Clinic and walked inside. Guo Jing was outside in the front yard watering some flowers when he heard footsteps behind him.

    “I’ll be right with you.”

    “Physician Guo…”

    Guo Jing recognized Xing Fu’s voice and stopped watering the plants. He turned around and saw Xing Fu and Cecilia stood a few feet away from him with two other people.

    “Xing Fu…Miss Xiao? Why are the both of you back here again

    Then he looked briefly at De Ming and Guo Wei; he immediately noticed the sword that Guo Wei carried.

    “Ma Guo Wei?”

    Guo Wei nodded with a big smile on his face. Both thrilled to see each other and hugged.

    “It’s great to see you!” Guo Wei said happily.

    “Old friend, it has been a long time!” He stared at Guo Wei’s scruffy physical appearance. “What happened to you? You look…horrible.”

    Guo Wei looked down at himself and then back at Guo Jing.

    “Why? You don’t like it?” he laughed jokingly.

    Cecilia pointed at both of them with a puzzled face. “Y…you two…are friends?”

    Guo Jing nodded. Cecilia let out a short laugh of relief, glad to know Guo Wei wasn’t here to harm Guo Jing after all.

    ---

    In the backyard, Guo Jing and Guo Wei sat down around a stone round table. Guo Jing poured a cup of wine for Guo Wei.

    “You have to try this. It’s Mu Village’s best wine.”

    Guo Wei picked up the cup of wine and drank it. His face broke into a grin of pure pleasure. He shouted with a boisterous laugh, “This is indeed the best wine! What is it called?”

    “Ten thousand years old wine made from Plum Blossom Inn’s winery.”

    Guo Wei nodded, “It lives up to its name.”

    Guo Jing poured another cup for him.

    “It’s been twenty six years that we haven’t seen each other. I’m surprised that you found me.”

    “I’ve met Miss Xiao and Mr. Yu along the way and they guided me to your place.”

    “It’s fate that you crossed path with them or else there won’t be a reunion then.”

    Both men guffawed at the comment and drank their wine.

    “So old friend, what brings you here?

    Guo Wei shook his head as he exhaled. “I’ve just gotten an urgent news that the Demon Realm Seal has been broken, so I came to seek for your guidance.”

    Guo Jing’s smile disappeared.

    ---

    Xing Fu and Cecilia took De Ming out to explore Mu village. During their walk, De Ming stopped by the vending tables to buy small figurines and crafts. He saw a table full of jades and walked toward it amazed.

    “WOW! There are so many different types of jades here…”

    Seeing De Ming full of enthusiasm, Xing Fu and Cecilia looked at the items on the table also. There was one particular item that caught Cecilia’s attention. It was a heart made out of purest green jade and in the middle, carved an unknown character. She picked it up to get a closer look at the craftsmanship. From the corner of Xing Fu’s eyes, he saw her interested in the item.

    “Do you like it?”

    She nodded. “I’ve never seen a jade this green before. It’s pretty.” Then she showed him the jaded heart, “What does the character say?”

    “It says love.”

    She repeated the word as she traced the lines that formed the character.

    Xing Fu turned to the owner, “How much is it for this item?”

    Cecilia quickly turned to him, surprised of what he was doing.

    “Five silver pieces,” said the owner.

    Xing Fu grabbed his money pouch from his shirt pocket but Cecilia grabbed his arm to stop him.

    “Xing Fu…You do not need to buy me this jade. Save your money for something more important.”

    He gazed at her with a warm smile, “You are important.”

    She started to blush and couldn’t help but smiled happily by his comment. She let go of his arm and he pulled out the money pouch to pay for the item. After he was done, he turned to her.

    “It’s yours now.”

    “Thank you.”

    De Ming also bought a jade and turned to them, “Are you two ready?”

    “Yes,” replied Xing Fu.

    They left the vending table and went to another. Throughout the day, De Ming continued his shopping, while Xing Fu and Cecilia enjoyed each other’s presence. Then he did the unexpected. Bravely, he grabbed her hand and held it. Surprised by what he did, she quickly turned and saw his smiling face stared down at her. She felt the tingling feeling of happiness and began to move her fingers to intertwine with his, feeling his soft fingers between hers. His brows lifted in surprise by the unexpected and felt overjoyed to know her feelings toward him. They chuckled, walking and holding hands as a couple.

    Close to the end of their day, De Ming had a bag full of items that he had bought and started to have second thoughts.

    “I think I’ve gone overboard on my spending…Mast…”

    He turned around and they were far behind him. They took their sweet time walking and holding hands. He rolled his eyes and shook his head as he waited for them.

    When they finally caught up with him, he stared down at their hands and teased, “Get a room you two.” Both blushed and let go of each other’s hands.

    De Ming continued what he was about to say to them. “I think I’ve gone overboard on my spending…Master is going to kill me if he sees all of this stuff.”

    Cecilia folded her arms in front and shook her head. “You should have stopped.”

    “I can’t help it…” De Ming stared down at his bag full of items, “...These are for my small friends…”

    They gave him a quizzical look. “What do you mean small friends,” asked Cecilia.

    De Ming took out a small woven pouch that had a diamond shaped symbol sewn on it. Cecilia saw the shape and felt like she had seen it before, but couldn’t remember where. Making sure that nobody else was listening to the conversation, De Ming whispered loudly to them.

    “Inside are three little fairies that I’ve brought with me. As I being the only student that traveled with master, it gets very lonely. They were my master’s, and he gave it to me as a child to keep me company.” He puts it back in his shirt pocket.

    “Can you show it to us?” Xing Fu asked.

    “No. They are very shy around people and only a few know of its existence…It took them three years just to get comfortable with me…Anyway, they love gifts.”

    “You spoiled them too much,” she teased.

    Guo Wei had also said that to him numerous of times, but De Ming couldn’t help it. Besides Guo Wei, the fairies were the only family that De Ming has, and they meant dearly to him. He shrugged his shoulders and gave her a wide grin.

    “What can I say?”

    As they continued to walk back to the clinic, they passed a restaurant. Inside next to the window, the con artist that Xing Fu and Cecilia had encountered was eating with a couple of men; this time, he didn’t have any mustache on. The con artist happened to glanced outside and saw her. Afraid, he immediately turned his head away and covered his face with his hand. The other men looked at him confused.

    “What’s wrong?” asked the bearded man.

    The con artist directed his eyes to Cecilia’s way for the men to see. “That woman…I sold a talisman to the man next to her. She threatened me that she would find me if the talisman was fake.”

    Both men turned and saw Cecilia. They were immediately attracted to her and stared at her up and down at her body.

    “That beauty over there?” asked the other man.

    The con artist nodded.

    The bearded man stroked his bottom beard, “Since this is our last day before we leave to do business elsewhere, let’s have a little fun with her…eh?”

    All three had lustful grins and nodded.

    ---

    There was a small performance on De Ming’s side and he was interested to see what it was. He made Xing Fu and Cecilia come with him to see. As they got closer, they saw a man showing off his sword skills for the crowd to watch. His skills were swift as he twisted his sword around with his body. The crowd cheered and clapped their hands for the swordsman. As the three watched, the bearded man from the restaurant shoved in between Xing Fu and Cecilia, pretending to unnoticed them. He cheered along with the crowd, while Xing Fu and Cecilia stared at him upsettingly by his rude intrusion.

    “Hey!” she yelled at the bearded man.

    The bearded man ignored her and continued to cheer. She and Xing Fu looked at each other and decided not to cause a scene. They went back to watch the performance, then she heard a familiar male voice.

    “Talismans for sale!”

    She knew instantly who the man was and turned to the side. There stood the con artist, holding talismans up for people to buy. She noticed that this time the man didn’t have a mustache, and her blood started to boil in anger.

    Some people stopped by to take a look at his talismans. It made her anxious and worried for the people because their lives were going to be in danger because of him. She wanted to tell Xing Fu; but knowing him, he would stop her from doing anything stupid. She decided to take matters in her own hands and walked toward the con artist. The bearded man turned to see her leave and grinned; their plan worked.

    The con artist turned his head and saw Cecilia approached him in a fast walking pace. Frightened to see her, he quickly dropped what he was doing and began to run away from her. She picked up her speed and started to run after him, shouting for him to stop. As she shouted, the bearded man purposely drowned her voice by cheering loudly at the swordsman so Xing Fu and De Ming couldn’t hear. After she disappeared from their sight, the bearded man stayed a couple of more minutes and then left.

    Cecilia chased him through the village, turning corners and out of the alleys to another. The con artist was surprised that she was a fast runner and started to run with all of his energy, panting and sweating.

    Not too far in front of them, Ching Chen strolled down the street while four men followed him from behind, carrying a sedan. He was glad that finally today, they were able to leave Mu Village. Since they were already late for their mission, Wu Jian wanted to stop by a couple of shops to buy some apologetic gifts. Then Ching Chen heard a familiar female voice shouting from behind.

    “Stop right there!”

    He turned and saw the con artist ran passed him followed by Cecilia. His eyes widened in shock to see her again. He turned to the sedan and saw Wu Jian had already peered out from the cloth. His cold piercing eyes narrowed at her as she ran passed them. Ching Chen knew that there was no chance for them to leave Mu Village now since he had seen her. He became frustrated, but remained calmed, not wanting to reveal his impatience with Wu Jian..

    “That was the dirty low life.”

    Ching Chen couldn’t lie. “Yes, it was her.”

    Ching Chen knew what Wu Jian was going to say next, but he asked anyway. “Do you want us to follow her?”

    “OF COURSE!”

    He tried to find a way for Wu Jian to forget Cecilia. “But your ankle…”

    Wu Jian grabbed the crutches inside the sedan. “With these and my Lightness Skill, I can fly with ease. I am not going have my ankle stop me from chasing after her.”

    He put the crutches underneath each arm and with his internal qi, he pushed his body off the sedan with full force using the crutches and flew to the roof. The four men felt the pressure from their shoulders and dropped the sedan. The village people saw him and were struck in awed as he swiftly flew from one rooftop to another. All Ching Chen could do was sighed at the sight; he had tried his best.

    He turned to the four men, “Wait here.” Then he flew up to the roof to follow him.

    ---

    The con artist took a sharp right turn around the corner and disappeared from her. She also took that sharp turn and stopped. It was a dead end and there the con artist was, bending down as he tried to catch his breath.

    He pointed at her, “You’re…ve…very…fast…”

    She folded her arms in front and smirked. “Perverted bastard, I’ve warned you that I would find you if the talisman was fake.”

    Just then, she heard footsteps behind her. She turned around and saw two other men stood, holding their large knives, as they blocked the exit. She recognized the bearded man from the crowd and instantly knew that this was a trap. The con artist purposely lured her to a dead end, and she couldn’t believe that she felt for it.

    The con artist snickered at her. “You have nowhere to go beautiful.”

    They came toward her and she took some steps backwards until her back was against the wall. Her heart began to pound fast, knowing she was in trouble.

    “What do you want?” she asked.

    “Since my sworn brothers and I are leaving tonight, we’ve decided to enjoy ourselves…” the con artist stared at her body and licked his lips “…with you…and if you don’t cooperate…” The men showed her their knives to taunt her. He continued, “…we will make sure your pretty face and body be full of scars.”

    The con artist got close to her with his knife placed onto her face. By instinct, she grabbed his wrist and twisted his arm back hard. He yelped in pain and turned to his sworn brothers.

    “WHAT ARE YOU TWO STANDING THERE FOR! KILL THE B***H!”

    The two men charged toward her with their knives. She kicked the con artist from behind and he ran uncontrollably toward them. They moved out of the way as he fell to the ground, and continued charging at her. Their knives swung at her from every direction, but she dodged them with ease to avoid being stabbed. The bearded man thrust the knife forward to stab her but she grabbed his wrist and knocked the knife out of his hand. As the knife fell, she quickly grabbed the handle before it hit the ground and stabbed him on his right thigh. He screamed in pain as blood started to seep through; then she pulled the bloody knife out and quickly swung it around to cut deep across the bearded man’s chest. She kicked him and he flew to the ground wounded.

    Their knives clanged as it made contact. Every time they tried to stab her, she used the knife to block it as if it was a sword. The other man tried to stab her, but she dodged to the side and stabbed him on the forearm with her knife, making him dropped his knife, and he cried in pain.

    The con artist quickly came from behind her and she slightly turned to see him. She pulled out the knife from his forearm and threw it at him. It flew like dagger and struck his upper shoulder with force. He fell down onto the ground and lay on his back. She picked up the other knife and got on top of the con artist’s chest, aiming the point blade down at his face. Struck with horror, he pleaded.

    “P…Please don’t kill me…!”

    She let out an anguish roar as she forced the knife down at him. He screamed in terror and shut his eyes tightly.

    “I’M SORRY!” he cried loudly as tears streamed down his face.

    Everything became dark and there was only heavy breathing. He was still alive and slowly peeked with one eye. He saw the blade aimed at him; she had stopped in close range, about a centimeter, from his forehead. He was so scared of her that he peed in his pants. Realizing what she did, she got off of him and sat on the ground. The con artist quickly got up to join his other two wounded brothers. Too scared to continue fighting with her, they limped away out of the exit.

    In shock, Cecilia stared down at her trembling hands by the sight of blood. Hot tears streamed down her face and fell onto her bloody hands. She was in disbelief that she almost killed the three men. This wasn’t like her special qi of healing or killing demons, this time it different. She was driven to kill and felt that she had done it many times before from her past. Now, her lost memories terrified her even more than ever.

    “Who am I really?”

    She buried herself in the comfort of her own arms as she cried.

    “Get up dirty low life.”

    She stopped crying and instantly knew that the voice was Wu Jian. Her head lifted to see him staring down at her as he shook his head and sighed. Then he stared down at her bloody hands. She knew that he was looking at them and quickly hid it from his sight. He lifted one of his crutches up to the side and pointed at a huge clayed jug against the wall.

    “There’s water over there so get yourself clean up.”

    Surprised that he didn’t scold or fought her, she slowly got up. At the entrance, Ching Chen finally caught up with Wu Jian and saw them standing. On the ground, he saw the knives and then his eyes shifted to her bloody hands.

    “What happened?”

    She was still in shock and couldn’t speak, so Wu Jian spoke for her.

    “Three men tried to assault Miss Xiao, so she defended herself.”

    He saw everything?! She wondered how long he had watched her fought those men and turned to stare at him. He saw her facial expression and gave a short huff as he grinned.

    “I never knew that you could fight Miss Xiao…”

    Ching Chen couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Is that true Miss Xiao?” he asked to be certain.

    She nodded as tears fell again and quickly wiped them with her sleeve.
    Last edited by skoo78; 09-25-14 at 12:23 PM.

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    Anh Nam: I'm glad you are and everyone else too.

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    CHAPTER 16: IDENTITIES UNRAVELLED

    Wu Jian and Ching Chen walked with Cecilia back to the clinic to make sure she didn’t get into anymore mishaps. During their walk, she told them about her memory loss, but left the parts of her ability to heal and kill demons, so they could have a better understanding her situation. It was not their business to know more since she wasn’t close to them and she despised Wu Jian. They listened to her story with an open mind and pitied her. She was like a lost soul that wandered the world unknowing of her fate.

    “I’m deeply saddened about your situation. It must be very hard for you to adjust,” said Ching Chen.

    “It is, but I am glad to have friends to help me through this.”

    She thought about Xing Fu and the Physicians. They were the ones that helped her since the beginning. She owed a lot to them, especially Xing Fu. Then she started to think about her feeling for Xing Fu. It grew after she revealed nonverbally to him that she liked him. She touched the hand that held his and could still feel his warmth and softness of his skin. Her face started to glow.

    Wu Jian glanced down at her and saw her smiling. “What are you so happy about?”

    “It’s none of your business,” she replied.

    He gave a quick huff, “Like I want to know anyways…” and walked away from her.

    She sneered at him and then looked down at the crutches that helped support Wu Jian’s weight as he walked. Cecilia thought about his unexpected entrance after she fought with the men. It was strange that he appeared out of nowhere. Usually there would have been sounds of footsteps entering the place but none was heard. Moreover, he could have helped instead of watching her from a distance.

    She caught up with them and turned to him. “Why didn’t you help me back there?”

    “That’s a stupid question. Can’t you see that I’m handicapped? Also, you were doing fine without my assistance.”

    What he said was true. When she fought the three men, she felt that it was too easy. Their skills were mediocre compared to hers. She got chills just thinking about her ruthless skills and shook that feeling off.

    There was silence among the three. In her mind, she contemplated on how to explain to Xing Fu and the Physicians about her assault. She didn’t want to scare them if they knew she could fight; losing the people she cared and loved was one thing that she feared the most.

    Wu Jian kept glancing down at her, wondering about her real identity. A person that could use a knife like a sword to block every move must have very sharped eyes. Such skills as that would take years to master. When he stood on the rooftop to watch the fight, she fought with quickness, stabbing and throwing knives accurately at them. Then he saw her eyes; there was something about them that made his hairs on his skin rose. They were colder than his and merciless. Whoever she may be, he knew she was a woman no one should mess with. He wanted to know more of her background; but knowing that she lost her memories, it was harder to investigate.

    They were a hundred feet away from the clinic and she saw Xing Fu, Physician Wei, and Guo Jing at the gated entrance. Xing Fu looked worried and paced back and forth, scratching his head, while Physician Wei tried to calm him down. She knew what was happening. Xing Fu was worried about her ever since she went missing. She stopped walking and became nervous. Wu Jian and Ching Chen looked at her.

    “Why did you stop?” asked Ching Chen.

    “I…I want the both of you to keep my ability of fighting a secret. I do not want them to know.” None of the men replied and it made her anxious. She pleaded, “Please?”

    Wu Jian exhaled. “No. A person must always be truthful. That is one of the codes we as mortals live by.”

    She bit her bottom lips and couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She felt stupid to tell them about her situation. Now everything was going to be revealed. Her head tilted down, saddened from all of this. Wu Jian saw her sudden facial expression from the corner of his eyes and his lips curled up. He enjoyed toying with her mind and feelings, while Ching Chen knew he was only playing around with her, and kept quiet.

    Xing Fu turned and saw Cecilia stood there with Wu Jian and Ching Chen. He couldn’t understand why she was with Wu Jian, but was glad she was safe. He shouted her name, alerting Physician Wei and Guo Jing. They turned and saw them as well. Xing Fu ran toward her and quickly hugged her tightly in his arms. At first, she was astonished by the hug, but quickly warmed up to his affection and hugged him back.

    “I was so worried about you.” Then he slowly let go of her. “What happened to you?”

    “I…”

    She tried to find words to say but couldn’t. She didn’t want to lie; yet, she also did not want to tell them what happened.

    Again, Wu Jian spoke for her. “She was lured to a trap by the con artist and his men. They tried to assault her, but I came in time to help.”

    She was baffled by his words, wondering why he was helping her lie. What happened to his code of being truthful? She couldn’t figure him out and turned to Ching Chen. He had a big grinned on his face, and winked to let her know that her secret was safe after all. She exhaled in relief.

    Xing Fu got upset hearing about the con artist and clenched his fist. “Where is he?” he demanded.

    Knowing that she could fight, Wu Jian scoffed to see Xing Fu get worked up for nothing. He stared down at Xing Fu’s physique.

    “What are you going to do anyway? With no martial art skills, you’re just courting death.”

    Xing Fu didn’t say anything because Wu Jian was right. He could have been dead and left her vulnerable for the men to continue their assault.

    Physician Wei interrupted them. “Thank you Mr. Wu for saving Miss Xiao. Why don’t we all go inside and talk more?”

    Wu Jian leaned on his crutches, folding his hands behind his back. “Fine.”

    Ching Chen stared at Wu Jian in disbelief. Staying at Mu Village for a couple of days had already delayed their travel to their destination. Another day would be worse, worrying that Wu Jian’s father won’t be happy.

    He turned to him, “But Young Master, we need to leave…”

    “Another day won’t hurt.”

    All Ching Chen could do was to accept what Wu Jian said and bowed his head slightly.

    “Yes Young Master.”

    Physician Wei laughed heartily, “Great! Let’s go in!”

    Xing Fu lightly placed his hand on her shoulder as they walked. She stopped and looked at Xing Fu, “You go ahead inside first. I want to talk to Mr. Wu for a bit.”

    Xing Fu glanced at Wu Jian and saw his cocky grin. He didn’t want her to be left alone with Wu Jian, but he had to respect her decision also.

    “Fine, I’ll be at the gated entrance watching. I want to keep a close eye on him just in case he plays any dirty tricks.”

    Cecilia sighed and nodded, “Fine. Now go.”

    He left and stood at the entrance, watching Wu Jian like a hawk. Wu Jian signaled Ching Chen to leave also and left. Wu Jian playfully shivered in front of her as he looked at Xing Fu.

    “Your boyfriend is creepy.”

    Already being irritated by him, she replied, “He’s not creepy. He’s only protecting me from a**holes like you.”

    He scoffed at her remark and dived into the question. “So, what do you want?”

    She crossed her arms in front. “Why did you lie for me?”

    “I only did it because of your pity situation.”

    “Thank you,” and her lips tightened to a smile.

    Then his tone of voice harshened. “Don’t get the wrong idea Miss Xiao. I’m only letting you off this time.” He started to walk away from her, “I still need to deal with you for the humiliation that you’ve caused upon me,” and huffed angrily.

    She murmured, “A**hole.”

    ---

    Guo Jing and Physician Wei walked Wu Jian and Ching Chen to the backyard. They got to a little garden full of different flowers and in the middle, was a small pond full of koi. Then they saw De Ming kneeled in front of Guo Wei. His head tilted down while Guo Wei lectured him.

    “How many times do I have to remind you not to spend money for these fairies? The more you spoil them, the more materialistic they become!”

    “I’m sorry master,” De Ming said softly.

    Guo Wei took out his bottle of wine and raised it up to drink. He had forgotten that it was empty and got even more frustrated. “AIYA! Just when I need wine, it’s empty!” He paced back in forth in front of De Ming and then stopped. “You know the punishment so get into your position!”

    “Oh…” he nodded.

    De Ming stood on his knees, facing front, and raised his arms up to a ninety degree angle.

    “Stay there for three hours to think of your wrong!”

    “Oh...”

    Guo Wei turned to leave and saw them stood there. They had watched and heard everything what was said. Wu Jian recognized the magic sword that Guo Wei was carrying.

    “Isn’t that the Celestial Immortal Sword?”

    Guo Wei stared at Wu Jian and wondered who this young lad was to know his sword’s name. He walked toward them as he stroked his scruffy beard. When he got in front of Wu Jian, his eyes stared down at his masculine physique.

    Without any formal introduction, he asked, “Who might you be to know my sword’s name? Only a few knows it…” then he leaned forward, “…And these people are much OLDER than you…” He crossed his arms in front and started to twist his beard, continuing to stare at Wu Jian. “…Unless…you’re one of their kins…”

    Guo Jing dumbfounded by Guo Wei’s assumption and turned to look at Wu Jian. “Are you one of the Mortal Protector’s kin?”

    Wu Jian had a big smile and nodded. “I am the son of Wen Jian Tao, the Prince of Wu, Wen Long Wei.”

    Guo Jing and Physician Wei’s eyes bulged like they were going to pop out, hearing of Wu Jian’s royal identity. But what baffled them the most was Wu Jian’s identity as the kin of a Mortal Protector. Guo Jing, Guo Wei, and Physician Wei folded their hands in front and bowed their heads to address him.

    “Prince of Wu, the kin of Mortal Protector, forgive us for not noticing you during your stay here.” said Guo Jing.

    Wu Jian shook his head, “No need to worry, I prefer nobody to know my identity. Also, call me Wu Jian.”

    Guo Wei then formally introduced himself. “My name is Ma Guo Wei, the student of god Yu Ze Min; one of the five Mortal Protectors.”

    Wu Jian’s face lightened with excitement when hearing his name. He quickly folded his hands in front and bowed his head to Guo Wei.

    “Master Ma, I’ve heard so many demon hunting stories of your Seven Seas travel since I was a child. I am very ecstatic to finally meet you.”

    Guo Wei guffawed at his comment.

    “Hey Master, it’s great to hear that you’re well known!” De Ming shouted happily from behind.

    Guo Wei immediately turned to De Ming and raised his voice, “You are not allowed to speak when punished! An hour is added!”

    De Ming frowned and turned to face forward. Guo Wei turned back to Wu Jian and the others with a wide grin on his face.

    “Now, where were we…” Guo Wei said as he stroked his beard. “Ah yes! I’m glad to run into you Wu Jian. I’ve just gotten an urgent letter from Elder Tao of Taoist Sect and have to meet them at Wu Tribe. If you don’t mind, my student and I can travel with you back to your tribe?”

    Wu Jian was very happy to hear the request. “OF COURSE! Why wouldn’t I?”

    “Great. Then we will have to depart Mu Village as soon as possible.”

    “Alright.”

    Ching Chen reminded Wu Jian, “Your Highness, what about our task?”

    Guo Wei felt bad. “Wu Jian, I didn’t know that you had other priories to attend. I am not going to trouble you any further and will go to Wu Tribe alone then.”

    Wu Jian shook his head. “No. We are departing to go to Wu Tribe together. You’re a hero figure and I may not have the same opportunity to meet you again later in the future.”

    Then he turned to Ching Chen, “Go buy some lavishing gifts and I will write a letter to send it off to Chu Palace. King Chu and Princess Xiu Rong will understand my absence. As for father, if he sees my state of condition, he will understand.”

    Ching Chen bowed, “Yes,” and left.

    “Master Ma, when Ching Chen gets back, we can depart then. As of now, may you please enlighten me of this urgency?”

    ---

    After Ching Chen got back with a cart of gifts and some delivery men that he hired, Wu Jian handed the letter he wrote to Ching Chen.

    “Give this letter to the main delivery man to deliver this letter. Is the sedan ready for me?”

    “Yes.”

    Wu Jian nodded. “Good.” Ching Chen went and handed the letter to the man. He instructed the man what to do and the man nodded.

    Guo Jing brought a jug of wine and handed it to Guo Wei. “Here, take this. It is the 10,000 years old wine my friend.”

    Guo Wei’s eyes widened with excitement. “WHOA!!! He grabbed it from his hands and placed it under his nose to take big sniff of it. The plum aroma stung his nostrils, giving him the pure pleasure of sweetness. “Ahhh…The smell of heaven…”

    Cecilia was glad that Wu Jian was leaving. It was hell for her to listen to his smartass comments. De Ming walked to Cecilia and Xing Fu and hand each of them an item that he had bought from the vendors. He gave each an animal figurine made out jade-Xing Fu’s was a monkey and hers was a bird.

    “I want each of you to have this as a token of gratitude. I appreciate the both of you to take me touring of this wonderful place.”

    “Aren’t these for your fairies?” she asked.

    He sadly nodded; then he whispered softly so Guo Wei wouldn’t hear, “I got punished for spending most of our money, so he wants me to get rid of the items that I’ve bought.”

    “We’re sorry to hear this…” said Xing Fu.

    “It’s ok. It’s bound to happen sooner or later.” Then he took a deep breath and exhaled. “I hope to see the both of you again.”

    They nodded. Guo Wei shouted De Ming to hurry so De Ming bade farewell to them. Wu Jian got inside the sedan; Guo Wei, De Ming, and Ching Chen got on their horses. Wu Jian turned to stare at Cecilia from the veiled window. She was an interesting woman to know for a short period of time. Unlike other women, she was the only one that was bold enough to fight with him. Others bowed at their feet in fear or pretended to be friendly toward him to gain his favor. Cecilia was his challenge and he enjoyed her presence while it lasted. Wu Jian had to say something before he left.

    “Wait,” he ordered.

    Ching Chen and the others wondered what he wanted this time. He opened the veiled curtain from the window.

    “Mr. Yu, may I speak with you for a moment?”

    Xing Fu was stunned and looked at Cecilia. She signaled him to go and so he went. He got to the window and saw that Wu Jian had a closed-mouth smile.

    “Yes Mr. Wu?”

    “Between you and me, I wanted to tell you that you’re a lucky man to have a woman like Xiao Xing. Cherish her well or else I will steal her from you.”

    Shocked by his comment, Xing Fu couldn’t help but chuckled. “Don’t worry. I…I will.”

    Wu Jian nodded and let go of the veiled curtain. He shouted, “LET’S GO!” and they left the clinic.

    Cecilia came up to Xing Fu and was curious of what they were talking about.

    “What did the a**hole say to you?”

    “Oh…you do not need to know. It’s only man talk.”

    She crossed her arms in front and huffed upsettingly at him. “Now, you’re keeping secrets? Fine!”

    “Aiya…don’t be like that. Just be happy that he won’t be bothering you anymore…” Then he nudged her on the shoulder, “Let’s go home tomorrow ok?”

    She nodded and all of them went back to the clinic.

    ---

    That night, many thoughts lingered in Cecilia’s mind that she couldn’t sleep. She got up and decided to take a stroll around the clinic to ease her mind. In the middle of the small garden, she saw Guo Jing sitting on a stone bench, staring at the full moon. Its lights casted on him, illuminating his porcelain skin that he looked like a bright star. Guo Jing felt a presence and turned to see Cecilia stared helplessly at him. He smiled at her and knew that she was admiring his beauty once again.

    He patted the empty seat next to him, “Come and sit down next to me.”

    Surprised by his daring invite, she had to make sure, worrying that she may kill him. “Are you sure?”

    “Just don’t touch me,” laughed Guo Jing jokingly.

    It was great to see Guo Jing laughed freely and she was relieved to know that he trusted her. Happy, she quickly ran and sat next to him. Both exchanged smiles and gazed at the full moon to enjoy each other’s company.

    “You can’t sleep?” he asked.

    She nodded and sighed, “I have too many things going on inside of my head. What about you?”

    “Same here.”

    Surprised to hear that, she turned to him. “Care to tell me?”

    “I wish that I have my demon powers so I can help heal my patients.”

    She gave him a blanked stare. “Huh?”

    He saw her clueless face and explained, “When a demon becomes mortal, the demon loses all of his powers and immortality, making him vulnerable. That is the price a demon has to pay.”

    “Immortality?”

    “Just like gods, demons live for eternity Miss Xiao.”

    “I see…so why do demons want to become mortals when they could live eternity? Isn’t that a gift?”

    Guo Jing stared down at the ground and was silent for a bit. Then he turned to her with a sad look on his face. She could tell that he wasn’t too thrilled of her question and was going to tell him to forget it, but he spoke.

    “It’s a curse.” He saw that she was puzzled by what he meant and continued, “Becoming mortal is important for demons. You see, they tend to label demons evil, but they don’t realize that there are good demons also.” Then he sighed sadly, “But no matter what, if we are good or evil, we get hunted and captured…and even get killed.”

    She remembered Guo Wei and Guo Jing’s reunion and didn’t understand one thing. She had to clear it with Guo Jing.

    “Can a demon hunter still capture or kill an ex demon like you then?”

    He chuckled at her question. “No. Once a demon become mortal, the demon hunter cannot do anything about it.”

    She now understood and was relieved. She began to be curious of Guo Jing’s life and asked, “I know everyone has a story to tell. So, if you don’t mind, why do you want to become mortal?”

    His face lightened and had a genuine smile as he stared at the moon. “I found happiness from living among the mortal race. I cry when I see people’s pains and sorrows, I’m happy when I see people’s love and excitement, I get mad when I see injustice…I wanted to help…” then he turned to her. She saw the sparkles in his eyes. “…I fell in love with the mortal race.”

    She was touched by his story. He was a man full of compassion. His love for mortals weighed so much that he sacrificed his immortality to become mortal. This was his love story.

    “Honestly, I’ve never knew there are demons like you. In fact, I’ve never thought demons existed among us and thought they were only fairytales.”

    He laughed at her illiterate knowledge. “Now you know.”

    Still intrigued by his young looks, she wanted to know. “Physician Wei said you are forty years old, but you looked as if you’re only in your teens. How old exactly are you?”

    He chuckled from her question and glanced at her, “Which one do you want? Mortal age or Demon age?”

    She never knew that there was a demon age and answered curiously, “Both.”

    “Alright. I look really young because as demons, we start to age very slowly at a certain peak. But everything changes when we become mortals. We stop aging, but our years of living as mortals start and could only live an estimation of one hundred and twenty years. So for your question about my age, I’ve became mortal forty years ago, so I am indeed forty. As for demon age, I am 44,000 years old.”

    Her eyes widened in shocked. “40…44,000 years old?” then she slightly laughed, “That is VERY OLD…”

    “For demons, that is still young. There are some demons that I know who are in their 300,000s.”

    Her hands covered her mouth in astonishment, which made Guo Jing chucked from the sight. She couldn’t believe the high numbers and became speechless. There was a second of silence between the two. Then she was curious about his and Guo Wei’s conversation. She wanted to know what they talked about.

    “I saw a magical letter in the forest with Mr. Ma earlier this morning. I didn’t know what it said, but from his facial expression, I knew it was urgent. What did he want from you?”

    Guo Jing teased, “Miss Xiao, you’re a really nosy person. No wonder Guo Wei warned me about you. He knew you’re going to ask me about this.”

    “No I’m not! I’m just…curious and worried for the people I cared about…That is all…” She said and pouted.

    Hearing that she cared made him happy, but he could not tell her what their discussion was about. For the sake of Mortal Realm, he didn’t want to spread any fear amongst the mortal race.

    “It is great that you care, but some things are not meant to be said for now.” Then Guo Jing changed the subject. “Miss Xiao, inheriting these God-like powers is a gift, but it can be a curse as well. Demons fear it, but if any mortals or fallen immortals know that you have these powers, they may come after you to use or even kill you. So be extra careful.”

    She was glad that she didn’t tell Wu Jian or Ching Chen about her abilities then, but more weight had placed upon her shoulders again. She never knew that this special qi would have her life be at staked too. Now, she needed to be extra cautious of whom she talked to.

    She nodded.

    Guo Jing then saw the talisman hung from her dress and chuckled. “Why do you wear a talisman for?”

    She looked down at it and wondered why it was a joke to him. She looked at him confused, “Physician gave it to Xing Fu and I for protection…Why is it funny?”

    “Think about it Miss Xiao. Your special qi scares demons. You are a repellent so you do not need a talisman to protect you.”

    She never thought about that and laughed slightly. “I guess I do not need to worry about being attacked by demons then.”

    “Brother Wei…He may know a lot, but when it comes to demon realm, he knows the general information. I was the one that educated him, just like I am doing to you now.”

    “I did learn a lot. Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome.”

    There was silence for a couple of seconds again. Then he spoke, “It seems that you and Xing Fu are close now. I’m really happy that he found someone.”

    She began to blush.

    “That kid needs someone to take care of him. Living alone without starting a family can be lonely.” He turned to look at her, “So…you can help him with that right?” He joked.

    “We will see how this relationship goes…” she paused and thought about the faceless man. She held the heart necklace from her neck in her hand and Guo Jing saw it.

    “I’ve never seen such beautiful jewelry. Where did you get it?”

    “This is the only item that I have from my memory loss. Xing Fu and I thought it maybe a gift from the faceless man.” She paused a bit, not wanting to say her possible relationship, then continued, “He maybe my lost love…Kai.”

    He repeated, “Kai…so…what about you and Xing Fu?”

    “I really like him, but I’m afraid at the same time. I’m afraid if I ever regained my memories, my feelings for Xing Fu may change, because of my feelings for Kai.”

    He let out a short sigh, “Feelings, you cannot control…You’re a strong woman and will know what to do when the time comes.”

    Her feelings for Xing Fu weighed more than her lost love for the faceless man. Although she may not know what the future may be for them when she regained her memories, she mind as well cherished every bit of Xing Fu that she could now.

    “I hope so…” she said softly.

    Guo Jing yawned. “It’s getting very late, I’m heading to bed. You should as well.”

    She smiled and nodded, “I will. You go ahead first.”

    “Alright, goodnight.”

    “Goodnight.”

    He got up from the stone bench and walked away. She looked up at the moon. With the craters, it looked like a smiling face.

    She began to talked to it. “Moon, honestly I do not want to regain my memories and Kai anymore. The more I find out who I am, the more I am afraid of knowing my past…” She paused for a second as her eyes started to weld up with tears. All of these dreams, visions, unknown habits, burdens, and her feelings for Xing Fu had taken a toll on her. Trying not to cry, Cecilia took a deep breath and exhaled. She felt better.

    Then in her sad tone of voice, she said to the moon, “I only wanted to be Xiao Xing.”
    Last edited by skoo78; 07-18-14 at 12:12 AM.

  17. #37
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    Thanks skoo78
    Should be stone bench instead of stoned bench. Should be it looks like a smiling face instead of faces.
    Last edited by Anh Nam; 07-17-14 at 08:53 PM.

  18. #38
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    Anh Nam You're awesome! Thanks for the corrections.

  19. #39
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    CHAPTER 17: MOVING FORWARD

    Jian Tao was in his study room reading when Chief Wen entered in. His hands folded in front and bowed halfway.
    “Your Majesty, Prince Long Wei is back and he is outside asking for your presence.”

    Jian Tao stopped reading, “Oh?” and glanced off to the side to think. Why did he come back so early? “Tell him to wait until I am finished here.” Then he went back to reading.

    Chief Wen added, “Ma Guo Wei came with the Prince as well.”

    Surprised, Jian Tao glanced up at Chief Tao. “He’s here?!”

    Eager to see him, he stopped what he was doing and rushed out of the room; Chief Wen followed behind. Outside, the Elders were having a conversation with Guo Wei and Wu Jian when they saw Jian Tao approaching; they bowed to greet him.

    “Greetings Your Majesty.”

    “Greetings King Father,” said Wu Jian.

    Jian Tao saw that Wu Jian had crutches and his ankle wrapped with a cloth. He got worried. “What happen?”

    “I’ve sprained my ankle during my travel to Chu Palace.” Then he lowered his head and looked upset. “I didn’t make thus far to meet King Chu. Your son has disappointed you greatly.”

    Wu Jian tried to kneel down to Jian Tao, but he stopped Wu Jian. “You’re injured, so don’t kneel.” Then Jian Tao sighed. “I am a bit disappointed, but your health should be first priority. I will write a letter of an apology to King Chu then.”

    “There’s no need King Father. I’ve already sent lavishing gifts and an apologetic letter to King Chu and Princess Xiu Rong.”

    Jian Tao nodded and patted his shoulder, “Well done. We will have to schedule another day for you to meet the Princess again then.”

    Wu Jian didn’t like how he was forced to meet a princess that he had never known. He wasn’t ready to find a wife and wanted to explore the world first before settling down; but he had to, for the sole purpose of allying Wu Tribe and Chu Kingdom. Comparing to the small Wu Tribe in Wu Mountain, Chu Kingdom was one of the five largest kingdoms in the middle plains. Their territory extended ten times bigger than Wu Tribe, so if allied, both kingdoms can help defend enemies from the North.

    Wu Jian forced a smile, “Yes King Father.”

    Jian Tao patted his shoulder again. “Good.” Then he turned to Guo Wei; both were happy to see each other. They hugged and patted each other’s back, “It’s great to see you old friend,” said Jian Tao.

    “It is!” said Guo Wei.

    They let go of each other. Guo Wei stroked his beard as he stared at Jian Tao’s physique. “Look at you! Now that you’re a King, I cannot measure up to you.”

    Both laughed heartily. “My old friend, status cannot measure to our friendship.” Guo Wei nodded in agreement to what he said.

    Guo Wei introduced his student to Jian Tao, and De Ming formally bowed, “It is my honor to meet you Your Majesty.”

    “Your student is a bright young man,” Jian Tao commented.

    “Bright, but still need to learn his wrongs. Nowadays, the young ones only want to play…” Guo Wei said as he looked at De Ming.
    De Ming pursed his lips and scratched his head.

    After some light conversations, Jian Tao turned to Chief Wen, “Get rooms ready for our two guests, and tell the cook to prepare some fine dishes for tonight.”

    “Yes.”

    ---

    Jian Tao and Guo Wei stood at the shoreline of Bloody Devil Lake, staring at the Demon Realm’s seal. Guo Wei saw the big crack that was sealed by the Taoist Binding Spell. Like the others, he was also worried for the fate of Mortal Realm. Flashback of the Battle of Mortal Realm rushed into his mind. He could hear sounds of metal swords clanged as they made contact, and loud roars of demons echoed as they made their kill; but most of all, the horrendous deadly cries that came from the hundred thousands of their allies being slaughtered like meat by the enemies. This historical event was one of the bloodiest battles of Mortal Realm.

    When he and De Ming wandered the Seven Seas, they saw the aftermath from the battle. Many heroes lost a limb or two, some were still capable of functioning as a human being, while others became insane. Saddened by the traumatic event, his eyes welled up with tears. He grabbed his wine bottle from his belt and began to drink in gulps. Then he took a deep breath and exhaled to clear his thoughts. Guo Wei stared at the blood-like water.

    “This Bloody Lake reminded me of The Battle of Mortal Realm…Water and sky became blood, lightness turned to darkness, and Mortal Realm almost became extinct…”

    Jian Tao let out a sighed, “Although I wasn’t there to witness the battle, goddess Wu Li Ling told me what happened.” Then he patted Guo Wei’s shoulder to comfort him. “You’ve gone through a lot old friend. I wished that I was there to help.”

    Guo Wei shook his head, “I’m happy that you did not, or else who knows if Prince Long Wei would have existed.”
    Jian Tao slightly laughed, “You’re right.”

    Then Guo Wei took another drink and cleared his throat. “…Honestly, the broken seal is a small matter comparing to a bigger threat that may be on its way. Since we do not have the Celestial Immortals’ help anymore, this is going to be far worse than the Battle of Mortal Realm…Taoist sect will have to do their part and hopes HE does not escape.”

    “Taoist sect has bound the area and is heavily guarded, so enemies cannot enter in the area with the use of their spells and internal qi. Many enemies have tried rescuing HIM, but were unsuccessful.”

    He let out a big sighed and stroked his beard. “…I hope that you are right…”

    To make a living in fortune telling, Guo Wei foretold people’s future through his senses. If one asked him a question, he would sense if it was going to be good or bad. For this typical situation, Guo Wei felt very uneasy. He felt that something bad was going to happen, but he didn’t know when and what. All he knew was disaster awaited for Mortal Realm.

    Jian Tao began to think of their childhood years. “Old Guo, remembered when we were children, we had our dreams of wanting to become somebody important to the world? I said that I wanted to help people and as for you, you wanted to become a wanderer hero?”

    “Yes, I remembered. I guess our dreams did come true…in a weird and different way…” Both glanced at each other and burst out laughing. Guo Wei continued, “You became a King and I became a wanderer demon hunter.”

    Jian Tao snorted, “Right…”

    After their laughter died down, they sighed.

    “Now, we are really important to the world. Mortal Realm is in our hands to protect…” said Guo Wei.

    Then Jian Tao frowned, thinking about his incapability to continue being the Mortal Protector. Guo Wei noticed it.
    “What seems to trouble you old Jian?”

    Jian Tao folded his hands behind his back and looked at the colorful orange red sky. “I cannot continue being the Mortal Protector. My body cannot take it like it used to.”

    Hearing this saddened Guo Wei, but he understood the consequences of becoming the Mortal Protector. Comparing to Jian Tao, Guo Wei’s internal qi was stronger and have the ability to slow down the depletion.

    “Are you going to choose Prince Long Wei to be the next Mortal Protector then?”

    “Yes. In this way, I can focus on being the King for my people.”

    “That is a good idea,” Guo Wei took another drink from his wine and handed it to Jian Tao. “Here, drink this wine. It’s Mu Village of Chu Kingdom’s best wine, 10,000 Years Old Wine.”

    Jian Tao took it from his hand and drank it. The taste was satisfying to his like. “This is indeed the best wine I’ve tasted!” Both laughed boisterously and took turns to drink.

    ---

    At dinnertime, all the men and Queen Li Hua sat down to feast. The table was full of different meat-duck, lamb, and pork sautéed with hot and sweet sauces, and vegetables cooked to perfection. Everyone ate and drank fine wine with glee.
    Elder Tao sipped his cup of wine and then spoke, “Now that we have reunited two out of five Mortal Protectors, we will start our search for the others.”

    “Have you received news from Grandmaster Huang yet?” asked Jian Tao.

    Elder Tao nodded. “I’ve received it this late afternoon. He is going to send out forty Taoist’s best students to help with the search to cover most grounds. The other five are going be arriving shortly to Wu Tribe to help with the binding.”

    “That is great news,” said Jian Tao. Then he turned to Wu Jian, “Son, I have a gift for you.”

    Everyone, except Guo Wei, was anxious in what this surprised gift was. Throughout Wu Jian’s childhood life, his father’s gifts were only words of wisdoms or encouragements. Never once, he had received a physical gift from his father. The reason behind it was that his father wanted him to learn that wisdom was more important than materialistic thing. Puzzled, but at the same time, anxious like the others, he wondered what this gift that he was about to receive. Jian Tao called in Chief Wen and he came out with the Five Element Qi Sword. Chief Wen came and stood next to Wu Jian with the sword in front.
    “Son, I want to give you the Five Element Qi Sword.”

    Everyone and Wu Jian became dumbstruck and speechless. Guo Wei stroked his beard as he smiled, showing teeth, knowing that this was coming. Wu Jian didn’t know if he should be happy or upset about this. The sword was his father’s precious treasure and nobody, even him, could touch it.

    “What is the meaning of this King Father?” Then he looked at Queen Li Hua, “Step Queen Mother?”

    She was clueless as he and shook her head.

    Jian Tao explained, “I cannot protect Mortal Realm while I try to be Wu Tribe’s King. That is why I am handing it down to you as the new Mortal Protector of Mortal Realm.”

    Jian Tao took the sword from Chief Wen and offered it to Wu Jian. “Take this Five Element Qi Sword son.”

    Still with a sprained ankle, Wu Jian carefully knelt down with his arms raised up to receive the sword. Everyone was ecstatic by this moment and watched as Jian Tao handed the sword into Wu Jian’s hands. Wu Jian grabbed it and felt the heaviness of the sword.

    “You are now the chosen Mortal Protector of the Five Element Qi Sword my son, Wen Long Wei...” he said happily.

    “Thank you King Father. I will take the responsibility in protecting Mortal Realm from evil.”

    A gold glow came out of the sword and traveled throughout Wu Jian’s body, giving an aura; then it disappeared into him. He felt a warm and strange, yet powerful energy inside. It was the sign of new ownership of the sword.

    Jian Tao helped Wu Jian stood up. Then everyone also stood from their seats, folded their hands in front, and bowed their heads. Queen Li Hua and Jian Tao stood close by Wu Jian as they cheered.

    “Congratulations Prince Wen Long Wei, the new Mortal Protector.”

    Wu Jian couldn’t be happier of this gift that his father had given to him and held the sword tightly in his hands.

    ---

    Late that night, Wu Jian walked with his one crutch into the dark Memorial Room, holding the Five Element Qi Sword in his other hand. He saw a big name tablet, goddess Wu Li Ling, carved in gold on one of the finest wood, displayed on top of the alter. He knelt down on the round pillow and placed the sword on the floor. He stared at the tablet with a doleful look.

    “Father has chosen me to be the next Mortal Protector…” he paused for a second to take a deep breath and then continued, “…aren’t you proud of your son?” There was silence again, and his eyes started to get watery.

    He was four years old when his mother passed away from illness. The only thing he remembered of her was holding her soft and warmed hand when she died.

    Wu Jian wept uncontrollably, and his voice started to choke as he spoke. “I wish I could see your face to know if you are happy…I can only picture you in my mind of how you may look from father’s description…He said you were the most beautiful woman that he has ever met…” He sniffed and wiped his tears with his hands, but tears kept flowing down. “I miss you so much mother…”

    Outside, Jian Tao stood in the dark, hidden from Wu Jian’s view. Every night, before Jian Tao went to sleep, he would stop by the memorial room to speak to Li Ling. Tonight was his first time he saw his son came to the Memorial Room this late. His heart ached so much to hear his son’s conversation with his mother that he wept silently, wiping his tears.

    Flashbacks of him and Li Ling’s relationship came to his mind. He remembered the first time when they met.

    Wu Li Ling was taking a bath in a small waterfall lake. Jian Tao happened to walk by and saw two men peeked at her behind a nearby bush.

    “Hey!” he shouted.

    Startled by being caught, the men quickly fled. Li Ling also heard his voice and flew out of the lake. Big waves of water forced out of the lake as she flew up to cover her naked body, so nobody could see, as she got dressed in her white robe. Jian Tao froze in awe of her powerful skills, but that was not all, he saw the most beautiful woman dressing in front of him. Her ivory skin shined radiantly like the sun, hair as dark as night, and her eyes-big and golden brown that could capture anyone’s soul. She saw him gaped at her and got upset. She swung her arm sideways to direct water toward Jian Tao. He didn’t have time to react, and the next thing he knew, he was already drenched with water. As he wiped his face from being wet, she was already finished putting on her robe.

    “You’ve misunderstood,” he said as he squeezed water from his wet clothes.

    She flew out of the lake and landed gracefully onto the grass with her bare feet. She walked toward him as she spoke angrily, “If I misunderstood, then why didn’t you turn your head when you saw me?”

    He folded his hand in front and bowed in front of her, “I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to. I saw two men peeking at you and …”

    Li Ling didn’t let him finished and quickly grabbed one of his wrists. Jian Tao tried to pull his wrist away from her but her grip was too strong. With her quick fingers, she hit his acupuncture points on his chest to lock him in position.

    “What are you doing?” he asked.

    Her face, inches away from his face, as her golden-brown eyes gazed into his. She used her “Soul Searching” powers to search deep into his thoughts to find the truth about the incident. She saw his entire life flashed before her eyes and saw all of the goodness of him. There was no faults whatsoever in his life; only pure and innocence. Then she finally saw the incident of her bathing. She broke the trance and let go of his wrist.

    “You speak the truth.”

    He rubbed his wrist and asked, “Are you a fairy?”

    “Fairy; Mortals may call, but I am not. I’m a fallen immortal of the Celestial Realm, goddess Wu Li Ling, the queen of Wu Tribe.”
    He was shocked to finally meet the queen of Wu Tribe. From what he heard, due to her reputation as a fallen immortal goddess, most men dared to not make her their queen. Those who did tried, ended up being humiliated by her for their unsuccessful attempts. Due to a short life span, Li Ling rather not spent her time on Mortal Realm to be in a relationship. She had only one important priority, and that was to find a suitable Mortal Protector to protect the realm.

    He formally introduced himself, “My name is Wen Jian Tao.”


    Jian Tao’s face lit up. He couldn’t believe how fortunate he was to meet her. He was an ordinary man that she chose as her Mortal Protector and later fell in love, got married, and gave birth to their son, Wen Long Wei. Due to her rapid aging and vulnerability to diseases, she handed Fan Li Hua, her close Wu Tribe’s sworn sister, to him to marry. After that, she passed away shortly within days.

    He heard Wu Jian getting up, so Jian Tao darted out of the area before he was caught. Wu Jian left the room unnoticed of his father’s hidden presence.

    ---

    Somewhere up in Wu Mountain’s cliff, Wu Jian and Jian Tao stood in front of the small waterfall scenery. Next to it was a hidden cave covered with overgrown vines and wild flowers. Wu Jian was amazed of the place and never knew it existed.

    “Long Wei, this place was where your mother and I first met,” explained Jian Tao. Wu Jian looked up at his father in surprised. Jian Tao pointed at the lake and continued, “Over there was where she bathed when she saw me.” He slightly laughed as he reminisced the past. “She was upset that I peeked at her, but it was all a misunderstanding, and threw a big wave of water at me…”

    Wu Jian chuckled. It reminded him of when Cecilia threw a bucket of water at him.

    “This area became a sacred place where she taught me the Five Element Qi Sword techniques in complete isolation. After I mastered the divine skills, this place has remained untouched for many years.” Jian Tao placed his hand on his son’s shoulder, “Now, it will be your turn. Here, you’re surrounded by all the elements, so it will help you with your training.”

    “How long do I have to stay here?”

    “I’ve completed my training for a year and a half, just because your mother transferred her qi essence to me; but for you, it may be faster because you have inherited some of her qi essence. That is why you are able to learn martial arts faster than others and…” He looked at the sword that was in Wu Jian’s hand, “I believe that your internal qi won’t get depleted as fast as mine when using the Five Element Qi Sword.”

    Wu Jian looked at the sword and then his father. “Was this why you cannot continue to be the Mortal Protector? This sword has consumed your energy throughout all of these years?”

    “It’s a god sword that was created by your mother; so of course, any mortals will lose their energy by consuming it. But don’t worry; you will learn how to regenerate the energy that you have lost.” He turned to the cave, “Inside, you will find the hidden manual written on the walls. It was designed to only be seen by the Five Element Qi Sword’s chosen one. As you practice in total isolation, I will have a servant bring food and other necessities daily for you.”

    Wu Jian nodded.

    Jian Tao handed him a bag, “Here are your belongings. I wish you the best.” He patted Wu Jian on the shoulder and left.
    Wu Jian watched his father walked away until he disappeared from his sight. Now, he was alone with nature. It was peaceful and quiet, which he enjoyed the most out of everything that has been happening to him. Being a Prince, there were heavy burdens that he had to carry; allied marriage, reputation, and his people’s wellbeing. Here, he doesn’t need to worry about any of those. He closed his eyes, raised his arms up to his side, and took a deep breath to smell the fresh moist air that came from the foliage and the misty water. He could hear the rushing water from the fall and chirping birds nearby.

    “So this is how it feels to be free…”

    After relaxing, he walked toward the vines covered cave and stood there. Then he pulled down the vines that hung over the entrance to the cave until it was big enough to let light in. He went inside and to his surprise; the cave was small and there were few furnished furniture made out rocks-a flatbed was on the other end of the wall, a flat table with stools on each side in the middle, and on the ground were some old straw baskets. Then he saw light coming from a smaller entrance to a cave and walked inside.

    He noticed that the light came from above and not on the walls, so he tilted his head up to the ceiling and saw the writing was glowing.

    He read it, “To master the Five Element Qi Sword Techniques, a combination of deep meditation and physical strength will awake one’s mind, body, and soul. When mastered, one’s internal qi will control all five elements: Fire, water, earth, wind, and metal with the sword.”

    Then the words faded out, and a holographic image of a lady in white appeared in placed of it. Her beauty was exquisite and elegant-hair that surpassed to her knees, ivory skin, big golden brown eyes, and rosy heart-shaped lips. She started to show him sword moves. Every stroke that she made with the sword, it was smooth and filled with grace. The lady looked familiar to him and he wondered who she may be. Then it hit him.

    “Mother?”

    He finally saw how his mother looked like. His father was right; she was a very beautiful woman indeed. Sadness began to fill his heart and mind; but fought it, so he could concentrate on the moves. The moves finally embedded into his mind, yet tears continued to stream down his face. After showing him the moves, the image of his mother turned to little particles and it dispersed violently everywhere onto the cave walls.

    “No!”

    His heart sank, not wanting her to disappear, and the room began to dim down from the faded light particles. Then he wept in the dark. Seconds later, the room began to slowly light up again and he looked up. On the walls, he saw all of the sword stances that he just viewed, meditation techniques, and more writings.

    “The Celestial Immortal Sutra?”

    Days turned to weeks, and every day and night, he studied the Celestial Immortal Sutra and meditated it. In months, he began his sword trainings. His body moved with grace as if he was dancing-twisting and turning his body with the sword in his hand, flying midair with strokes and swings, and he felt his inner qi and strength increased.

    ---

    While Wu Jian trained to be the Mortal Protector, Guo Wei and De Ming left to search the other three Mortal Protectors. The other Taoist students came to Wu Tribe and help their Elders take turns to bind the Demon Realm’s Seal. Jian Tao and Queen Li Hua watched over Wu Tribe and had set another date, after Wu Jian mastered the Five Elements Qi Sword techniques, for Wu Jian and Princess Xiu Rong to meet again.

    As for Cecilia, she was taught to write, read, and cook by Xing Fu. Nevertheless, Guo Jing and Physician Wei taught her herbal medicines. As weeks turned to months, she had mastered all of the skills taught by them. They were impressed of her fast learning ability and knew it was because of her special qi. Her nightmares were also gone, so there was no more sleeping next to Xing Fu anymore. He was bummed at first, but he understood. Since their feelings for each other grew stronger than ever, it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to be physically that close. Her habits, they still accompanied her. She, Xing Fu, and the physicians learned to accept and deal with them. The only thing they did not know was her ability to fight; it still remained a secret and she hoped to leave it that way. Her interest in finding her lost memories and Kai faded through the months. It was replaced by hard work of learned skills and people she surrounded with, especially with Xing Fu. Their relationship bloomed and became inseparable. Everywhere they went; they were together. They held hands, cuddled, fed each other, however; through all of the affections, he had not kissed her yet. He wanted it to wait for that special moment in which he already had it planned.

    She finally had her wish. She no longer Cecilia Lin anymore; she was now Xiao Xing.
    Last edited by skoo78; 07-21-14 at 11:57 AM.

  20. #40
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    Thanks skoo78
    Should be Jin Tao froze in awe not awed.
    He saw the most beautiful woman dressing in front of him. not got dressed.
    I am only going to point out 2 corrections every time because the Ideas are whats important.

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