It took several weeks for Ye Hua to prepare himself to see Si Yin again. He thought of everything that had occurred and decided to tread lightly. During the weeks Ye Hua had not seen Si Yin, he’d grown to miss him. Yes, Ye Hua did miss his friend much more than he imagined he would. Ye Hua held off as long as he was physically capable before returning to Kunlun Mountain.
Si Yin’s response to Ye Hua’s appearance at Kunlun Mountain was much different from Ye Hua last remembered. Si Yin looked hesitant and reluctant to see him. It broke Ye Hua’s heart to see his friend in so much pain and felt bad for not visiting Si Yin sooner. Ye Hua never considered that Si Yin would be waiting for him.
Their greeting was awkward and uncomfortable. Ye Hua surprised to see Si Yin take him to a reading table instead of by the lotus pond. Si Yin pulled out a blank piece of paper and started to draw something that slightly resembled peach blossoms, so Ye Hua picked up a brush and added trunks and branches to Si Yin’s lonely flowers.
After a while, Ye Hua was drawing the beginning of a peach tree only to have Si Yin finish it with his blossoms and blooms. Ye Hua spoke first.
“Is there anything you’d like to say about the other day?”
Si Yin didn’t even bother looking up. Ye Hua realized the full gravity of his avoidance of Si Yin. He had broken Si Yin’s heart. Ye Hua continued to draw in silent reflection.
“No. Not really.” Si Yin replied without looking up at him.
“You asked me about love the other day.” Ye Hua noticed that Si Yin was suddenly looking at him intently. “I don’t know if this is love, but I did meet someone who was entirely different.”
Ye Hua suddenly had Si Yin’s full interest.
“Who was she? Was she lovely? What is her name?”
Ye Hua looked like a shy schoolboy and answered in his light voice. “I don’t know.”
Si Yin thought she could help Ye Hua with his love interest. That would make things much more convenient when she broke off her engagement to him.
“I don’t know her name. I don’t know how to find her. I only saw her once.”
Si Yin scoffed. It would be just like Ye Hua to fall in love with an imaginary mystery woman.
Ye Hua dropped his eyes and added softly. “I’ve never felt anything towards anyone before, but she was beautiful, wild and unforgettable. I can’t get her out of my mind. Sometimes I can still smell her when I close my eyes. She smelled like pea….”
“What about your engagement with Qing Qiu’s Bai Qian? If she’s from the Fox clan, then she will never tolerate a side consort.” Si Yin quickly asked, cutting Ye Hua off from finishing his sentence.
“It’s normal to have a harem. Li Jing, the Ghost Lord, has three thousand women in his harem.”
“What?! You want a harem of three thousand?!”
Ye Hua noted Si Yin’s surprise but felt this was the best way to deter Si Yin, from thinking that Ye Hua would grow to love him romantically.
“Yes. It is the way of the Dragon Clan to have many side consorts to produce as many heirs as possible.” Ye Hua added casually.
He could tell by Si Yin’s expression; he was going in the right direction. So he continued.
“It’s customary for the Celestial Tribe to have a harem. It’s very common and expected.”
Shaking her head, Si Yin looked at Ye Hua. He was barely old enough to marry, let alone think about his future harem. How could she even consider marrying him? How could he be so different from her Shifu?
“What about Bai Qian of Qing Qiu? Can she have a reverse harem since you’re going to have one?”
Ye Hua looked up at Si Yin in surprise. He’d never heard of a reverse harem. “Of course not. She will be my Princess Consort. She must have my children. She can’t be with anyone but me.”
What ridiculous question for Si Yin to ask, Ye Hua thought to himself. Si Yin held her brush in her hand, stopped drawing and looked at Ye Hua directly.
“So you can have an unlimited harem, love a woman who you don’t even know, and marry Bai Qian, the future Queen of Qing Qiu. She can only be intimate with you for eternity?”
Ye Hua nodded at Si Yin who looked at him as if he’d grown three more heads in the last few minutes of their conversation.
Si Yin shook her head in utter confusion. This infant had more audacity than anyone she’d ever met in her life. To even think about marriage with this womanizer brought a chill throughout her entire body. She would never concede to accepting such an unmatched engagement. The mere thought of it shook her to the bone. She reminded herself that Ye Hua was Shifu’s brother, so she softened her tone.
“That’s wonderful Ye Hua. It sounds as if you have some good plans for your future.” Si Yin forced herself to add a laugh at the end of her sentence.
Ye Hua sat a little closer to Si Yin after hearing his voice become friendly. Ye Hua knew he needed to be careful not to convey the wrong message to Si Yin. Something about him just pulled at Ye Hua without explanation or reason. Ye Hua just felt something inside his heart. Something in his heart for Si Yin?
Si Yin felt Ye Hua move closer to her and didn’t back away. She didn’t want Ye Hua to feel offended. She needed to stay friendly with him for Shifu’s sake, and she felt something inside from his closeness. Something warm and familiar. Something inside her ignited when she felt his presence. Did something grow in her heart?
While Si Yin seemed lost in thought, Ye Hua finally took his time to study Si Yin’s face freely. Si Yin was a handsome fox. Ye Hua was thinking about introducing him to his younger female cousin, who was quite cute in her special way. Ye Hua even thought about Su Jin who was closer to Si Yin’s age. If Si Yin married into his family, then he’d be able to see much more of him in Celestial Heaven. It would be easier than having to create excuses to see him at Kunlun Mountain constantly. It wouldn’t be long before Heavenly Lord himself would notice Ye Hua’s frequent absences.
He was deeply lost in thought when Si Yin, feeling Ye Hua’s stare, looked back up at him. They held eyes for a long time. Perhaps the longest since their first meeting. Ye Hua suddenly saw a flash of turquoise and smelled a subtle hint of blooming peach blossoms in the air. He rubbed his eyes, looked back at Si Yin and saw someone else within Si Yin’s face? Ye Hua suddenly remembered Si Yin was brought to Kunlun Mountain by High God Zhe Yan, from Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms. Perhaps he would know the mysterious goddess. Ye Hua was just about to ask Si Yin about the beautiful goddess that he’d met, when Si Yin jumped up, stretched and yawned deeply.
“Do you want to go drink some wine with me?” Si Yin asked Ye Hua nonchalantly.
It was then Ye Hua realized how long he’d been sitting beside Si Yin. His legs were cramped as he stood up. It seemed when Ye Hua was with Si Yin; time appears to move at a faster pace. Hours felt as if they were mere minutes and Ye Hua never felt himself tire of Si Yin, as he did with other people. He straightened himself up and asked Si Yin,
“May I come back to see you again Si Yin?”
Si Yin gave him a big smile and nodded an affirmative, and it was then when Ye Hua suddenly felt a sharp twinge in his chest. It felt as if someone had hit him with an arrow, but instead of pain, he felt as if his heart had instantly grown in size.
To be continued………