Ye Hua was entirely enraptured and euphoric to find her again finally. However, in his sweet recurring dreams, their loving reunion was much different. Now he was more afraid of what Bai Qian would say, and grievously his worst fears came to fruition when she just said, “I don’t love you anymore.”
It was one thing to suspect because Ye Hua had his doubts. How could he not? He was more than aware of all his many mistakes and complete failures. However, it was heart-wrenching entirely to hear the spoken words ‘I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love you anymore.’ Sharply, precisely, her blade-like cutting words echoed, resounded, and reverberated over and over again in his bloodied ears.
His searching, scrutinizing gaze followed her every physical movement because even the simple task of pouring the wine was as smooth and graceful as if she were dancing. Ye Hua’s judgment wasn’t due to his biased sentiments, but Bai Qian of Qingqiu was undeniable and unquestionably flawless.
There wasn’t even a minuscule or slightest indication of frailty, weakness, vulnerability, or lack of confidence in Bai Qian’s esteemed presence. Oh, no. Not even a sliver-like trace. She was completely his SuSu but strangely also not at all or at least not the SuSu Ye Hua remembered.
So faultless and impeccable was her perfectly regal, outer appearance that it was somewhat frightening. Bai Qian exuded nothing but the superior, all-powerful, cultivated, immortal life force most fitting of the only High Goddess in the world. Ye Hua found himself keenly studying her while looking for any remnants of the woman he loved and saw none.
The unsettling sensation was similar to waking next to a complete stranger after a lifetime of being together because Ye Hua suddenly realized he knew nothing about her.
SuSu the sweet, naive, gentlewoman he believed he knew from the inside out was merely a mortal shell. She was the external casing for the quiescent, and dormant immortal Bai Qian Queen of Qingqiu in temporary hibernation.
Again her words ‘I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love you anymore.’, echoed but now in his bleeding, tattered and shredded heart.
Politely Bai Qian handed Ye Hua his glass and eloquently in a rush of detached and impersonal words, explained her reasons for avoiding him after her return to immortality.
“Are you okay? Ye Hua, are you alright?” She asked concerned when he deliberately and forcibly shut his eyes tight to silence the overpowering, intense repetitive sound of her killing words. ‘I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love you anymore. I don’t love you anymore.’ Now took the place of his blood, moved haphazardly throughout the rest of his body and left slicing wounds everywhere.
Ye Hua tried to bite back the words but they flew out in a frenzied flurry when he asked, “Why don’t you love me anymore? When did you stop loving me? Is it because I took your eyes? What do I have to do to make you love me again?!”
Unshed tears swiftly filled her eyes. For the first time, he saw compassion because he saw SuSu and her voice was kind, “Ye Hua, there’s nothing you can do. I’m sorry but it’s too late. You see, your question is the very reason I need your help. Your grandfather and SuJin killed my heart. Once there was a place full of warmth, fire and life but now is barren, cold, dead like a stone. My heart no longer beats.”
“My eyes have been…are repaired but my heart unfortunately, can’t be fixed. Your sins? I absolved you of your mistakes long ago, because of three years of lighting punishment with three hundred years of profound guilt and longing. I consider us debt free. I told you that before I left.” Bai Qian’s voice was still soft and gentle.
He moved closer to her side and Ye Hua on bent knees desperately begged, “Qian Qian, I know it might be hard to believe but I… My love for you hasn’t changed. If anything, it’s increased so we can start again and let me mend your heart with my love. I’ll do everything right this time. I swear to you!”
With her small hands, she took his face and they were so icy cold when Bai Qian gently held him and replied remorsefully, “I think I’ve made a huge mistake. You weren’t ready to see me again. Goodbye, Ye Hua. Thank you for your time.”
“I’ll do anything you want! If you want revenge… I’ll do anything!” Ye Hua cried out with tears running down his face.
Swallowed back his sobs Ye Hua declared, “I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy. What’s first?”
“Three years of emotional torture for SuJin is first. Then, I’m going to tear her heart into a million unfixable pieces and the Heavenly Lord, your grandfather will be next. I want his eyes so I can smash them under my foot but that might be a bit extreme. Still, three years of lightning punishment for him too!” Bai Qian frankly professed without delay and the lifeless look in her dull, black, eyes alarmed Ye Hua because they looked identical to a shark’s dead, stony, gaze before rolling back to attack their prey.
He watched her as she lightly rested her hand on his shoulder, Bai Qian coolly added, “I need you to pretend to love me but only for three years, and then we’ll go our separate ways.”
“Only three years? Why do we need to separate?” Ye Hua swiftly questioned her reasoning confused even though in his throbbing, aching heart, he knew the answer too well.
Without a hint of expression and blank-faced, Bai Qian deliberately closed the space between them until they were mere inches apart, and apathetically declared, “Because that’s your punishment.”
A force of habit and the exact number instantly flashed hot red in Ye Hua’s brain. 94,608,000… That was his time allotment. He possessed 94,608,000 seconds to change her mind and hopefully restart her paused, cold, dead, lifeless heart.
To be continued…