A-Li smirked when he overheard his mother’s soft, giggly, drunken voice coming from his father’s room. It was that time of the night, when she and his father had their heated nightly conversations. Or perhaps calling it her nightly sexual confessions were more accurately.
Ever since his enchantment, she was like clockwork and spoke to his father before going to bed nightly. Their risque or her explicit disclosures made his face red and hot, so he tried his best not to listen in too often. Tonight he caught bits and pieces when she mentioned handcuffs, and having sex out in the open in a forest! Her comment caused an old forgotten memory to come to his mind.
It was that day long, long ago on Mount Junji when he with his mother were playing hide and seek. His father appeared and begged A-Li for time alone with her. Now he knew why she was so weird later that day and wouldn’t talk to his father. He apparently had his way with her out in the woods and their time was brief. If he recalled correctly, it was only 7.5 minutes! He had to give the old man some credit for being so gutsy and bold when he was younger. Now he knew he inherited his immense sex drive from not only his father but both parents.
Yuck! The recoil of disgust was involuntary and out of his control. He knew they had sex due to his existence, and he recalled catching them sleeping nude when he was young, but being a visual person, too many details made him want to throw up a little. He shuttered again but was highly impressed by his magic. His High Goddess mother wouldn’t have been affected by a standard or ordinary magic, so he knew his spell was incredibly potent.
He was busy patting himself on the back when their talk came to an end, and there was complete silence. A-Li snickered, hid more and watched his father’s door in anticipation, so he could see him run to Qingqiu as if his Dragon tail was on fire. The mental image was hilarious, and it was almost a shame he was the only one to witness such an act.
A-Li crossed his arms over his chest in wait. However, minutes passed and there wasn’t any movement from his father’s chamber whatsoever. He went to him out of concern. He worried perhaps his mother’s sexy discourse was too much, and his father had a heart attack. It was possible considering his father hadn’t taken another woman to his bed since she left. 40,000 years was an incredibly long time to be celibate, and he wondered if his father still remembered how to do it!
Holding back his desire to laugh, A-Li entered his father’s room half expecting to see him getting ready to go but instead, his father was at his desk. He had his head dropped in his open palms, and didn’t even notice him until he cleared his throat.
His father, Heavenly Lord Ye Hua, looked up, smiled falsely and tried to sound as usual but the rims of his eyes were red. His father wasn’t rushed out but crying alone in his room.
Annoyed A-Li exhaled sharply so his cheeks puffed out from pure frustration. What more did he have to do? Strip his mother down and hand her to him on a plate so his father would make a move?! His father had more courage than an entire army but when it came to her, he did nothing and that neutrality made him crazy with rage.
“Father, I’m sorry to say this but I overheard Mother talking, and help me understand your stance because I don’t understand your intentions. First, you basically hand her over to Uncle Mo Yuan and now she’s sending you all the signals! WHY aren’t you doing something, anything?!” A-Li charged as his sharp angled cheeks crimsoned with anger.
His father seemed to be searching for the right words and replied, “Son, it’s complicated and I’m not as rash as I used to be. I need to consider everything before I do anything.”
A-Li scoffed bitterly, “Consider everything?! Oh, so now you’re like Uncle Mo Yuan? No, you’re worse because you’re a coward! After everything that’s been done so you can waltz in to win her heart…you do nothing because you’re afraid! You think Mother loved him over you!”
“Father, you don’t know Mother at all! Maybe, I should have let Uncle Mo Yuan have her. At least, he tried to do something which is more than you did! You did and are doing NOTHING!” A-Li’s eyes watered due to his deep resentment and disappointment.
His father’s eyes narrowed as he commanded, “A-Li, on your knees and both arms up high! What have you done to your mother? What have you been doing?”
Almost proudly A-Li boasted, “Mother is under a spell and wants you! I’ve made it so easy for you, Father. All you have to do is show up. She might seduce you!”
“Did you enchant your mother with your fox magic?” His father demanded sternly.
Arrogantly he replied, “Yes.”
His father squatted beside him while he was on bent knees, and holding his arms straight up in the air. This particular position was one of the punishment that his father used, ever since he was a child.
He glared at him but his father sighed as if exhausted, tired and reprimanded in his soft voice, “A-Li, Son, you can’t and shouldn’t force love. I know it’s difficult for you to accept but your mother did love your uncle also. You were too young then to understand, but it’s very complicated so no more spells or magic. Do we have an understanding, Son?”
His voice became louder as A-Li declared, “You don’t know anything, Father! Mother loved you romantically but respected Uncle Mo Yuan. She had as in past tense, had some amorous feelings towards him in her youth when she was his disciple, and I’m not doing anything that goes against her wishes.”
“Son, I know that’s what you want to believe so do I. I do but we will never know what was going on in your mother’s mind? Love and life are very complex and we can’t assume anything.” His father patted his head tenderly with an expression of sorrow.
His father stood up and warned him further, “A-Li, this is a serious matter and not a joke or amusing. You’re grounded in your quarters until further notice. No more making your mother do things against her will. Did you even consider how unfair it is for her?”
The distinct sound of his teeth grinding was audible when A-Li stated with firm resolve, “Father, you don’t know anything and you’re wrong. Mother loved you and I’m only following her unspoken wishes.”
His father’s stubborn quality made him want to shout, when he reminded A-Li of her Fox ways which he knew better than anyone, and spoke down to him as if he were an infant, “Son, your enchantment spell could confuse her fox nature and her clan mate for life. Your prank could be detrimental to her so go to Qingqiu and break the spell. Come back right afterward. No more games. No more magic!”
It wasn’t his intention to disrespect his father, but A-Li debated back with what his father didn’t seem to know, by sharing his most secret influential information. It was the moment for his father to know everything… Well, almost everything.
A-Li said, “Mother did choose you as her life partner. She loved and considered only you as her husband. She admired Uncle Mo Yuan and felt trapped, obligated and indebted to him since he spent 70,000 years trying to return to her.”
“Her ending thoughts before she almost died were of ‘us‘ as in you, the baby and me! She lamented, regretted and grieved for our family but Uncle Mo Yuan never crossed her mind!”
He used the backside of his hand to wipe the hot, fresh tears running down his face, and A-Li continued to share her memories that hurt him still, “That entire week she was being tortured, she never cried out once! Do you know why? Because the physical torment wasn’t her most significant pain! Not telling you that you were the only one for her hurt her even more!”
“Mother loved, wanted and regretted not being fully honest with you!” A-Li cried most grievously and tears ran down his father’s face also. Her time of suffering was still a sore spot for them both.
His father placed his hand on his broad shoulder and whispered back, “A-Li, I know it’s hard for you to accept but we’ll never know what she was thinking. So making assumptions is the worst thing you can do and highly unethical.”
Sobbing so severely to the point that his nose ran, A-Li confessed to his emotionally shaken father, “I DO know precisely what she was thinking. I know because I saw them. I saw ALL her thoughts before she drank Zhe Yan’s potion.”
His bold statement caused his father’s eyes to widen before they narrowed on A-Li’s face. Openly his father shivered and shook uncontrollably from the revelation during his confession, as he wept and divulged more.
A-Li cried as he did when he was little, “I used my magic to see everything in her mind, especially everything that made her sad and miserable. I know all of her regrets, sorrows and I know you took her eyes because I saw it through Mother’s memories. And I’m only doing what Mother wanted to do but didn’t have the courage.”
“Father, do these words sound familiar? ‘I will marry you and I’ll become your eyes, SuSu.’ You said before you took her eyes, gave them to SuJin while she begged you and cried ‘Why?’ repeatedly. I’m not saying this to make you feel guilty but trying to make you see, and convince you of my claim when I tell you that I saw EVERYTHING.”
“I understand in the past you had your guilt so you felt undeserving of her. But, Father, you gave her an eye and now you don’t need to feel guilty. I gave up her knowing my identity as her son so you wouldn’t be at a disadvantage. I made it possible so you had the same equal chance as Uncle Mo Yuan.”
A-Li placed his fisted hands on his knees and continued in a cold, blunt tone identical to his mother’s hurtful style, “Now, you know the truth. Father, are you still going to ignore, dodge but keep chasing all other men away from her? Are you going to let Mother wither away because you’re too afraid? You won’t let anyone else near her but won’t go to her either! How is that fair or ethical?”
He dropped his gaze, turned his head when his father burst into tears cried loudly, before hugging him tightly and repeated, “I’m so sorry, Son, that you had to see such terrible things when you were so young. Why would you do such a thing? Why, A-Li, would you do that to yourself?”
“I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect everyone.” His father wept as A-Li cried like a baby while his father held him in his loving, tender and warm embrace.
Bai Qian awoke from intense thirst and dehydration after falling asleep, while rambling drunken nonsense to Ye Hua again. How ridiculous an old woman her age, speaking so lewdly to a young man his age about her sexual dreams. It was absurd behavior! She should have felt more ashamed or embarrassed, but strangely she didn’t because something about him made her feel warm, happy and tingly inside.
Especially, recently Bai Qian felt a strange, stirring sentiment whenever she thought of him and oddly she thought of him frequently, while privately wondered what kind of woman his deceased wife must have been.
She surmised his wife must have been an angel-like being with exquisite beauty. Their tender love for each other must have been like the ones in her romantic stories, for him to stay unmarried and devoted to her still after so many years. Yes, she imaged he was most likely a romantic, gentle and loving husband.
She could tell by his patient personality, that Ye Hua was probably the perfect husband. During their often one sided conversation, he barely spoke and only listened, but the light sound of his steady breathing was inexplicably warm like him. His mere presence and knowing he was there on the other side made her feel less lonely.
She imaged that’s how he would sound when he slept, but then her mind was going in that twisted, deviant direction again and thinking about him in bed. Her current line of mental imagery was going in a sexual direction again, and Bai Qian swallowed several cups of cold water, before heading outside to take a walk alone. Her flowery friend in the lotus pond ‘Red’ was making cooing sounds like a dove and calling for her company.
The sun wasn’t up yet but it wasn’t pitch dark neither. The sky was lighter but the night stars were still visible and twinkling about beautifully. It was quiet, peaceful and her favorite time of the day, somewhere between yesterday but much closer to tomorrow.
Bai Qian shook from the chilly air and inwardly wondered, if the cold weather was alright for Ye Hua’s lotus or if she should shield Red with her magic? She would decide after she asked her floating friend, who was waiting for her in the same place they usually meet.
Rushing up to the water’s edge she greeted her blooming friend affectionately, “Red, I heard you calling me. I meant to come to say goodnight but started talking to Ye Hua before I fell asleep.”
It could be her imagination, but the flower seemed to glow a bit at the mention of her favorite person’s name, Ye Hua. She knew the blossom was without a doubt a female. Because hearing his name had the very same effect on Bai Qian also.
She carefully tested the water’s temperature by dipping her fingertips, and used her magic to warm the freezing water slightly, “Hmm… I was right, you were cold. How’s that? Is that better for you?”
Bai Qian asked, smiled, sat beside the pond, stared intently at the lotus and continued to chat, “Red, I’ve been dreaming about Ye Hua every night. I’ve been thinking about him constantly. Do you think my body has finally selected my ‘one’ mate in life? Everyone always said I was a late bloomer.”
“Mother explained it to me once and said this was how it felt when it happens. Like an enchantment spell. I wonder if there’s a test or a spell to determine such a thing?” She conversed to herself when a soft, smooth voice called from behind.
“Qian Qian, what are you doing out here?”
She gasped and revealed, “Red! I can even hear his soft voice due to my obsession with him! Can a Fox go mad if our chosen ‘one’ doesn’t reciprocate?” She pondered aloud.
“Qian Qian, you’re already insane. You’re talking to a flower so you don’t need to worry.” Ye Hua’s voice made her bounce up startled as her huge eyes widened, before she suddenly dropped her gaze embarrassed and blushed wildly.
She wondered what the heck was he doing there at that time, and how long had he been listening to her carrying on?!
Bai Qian composed herself, smiled politely and said casually, “Ye Hua, what brings you here at this odd time of the day?”
Ye Hua smiled and replied playfully, “I came to visit my favorite girl and I figured nobody would be up.”
Bai Qian giggled and responded instantly, “You came to visit your crimson sweetheart, Miss Lotus, did you?”
Without hesitation, Ye Hua nodded his head ‘yes’ and Bai Qian laughed more at his sincere honesty, then teased, “So, is that your princess trapped in that flower? Maybe trapped isn’t the correct term. Protected.”
Almost disbelieving Ye Hua asked, “Why do you think there’s a person in that flower? Qian Qian, how do you know the gender of the one in the lotus?”
She hunched down, confessed warmly, “Ye Hua, she talks to me and I can hear her soft, subtle cooing. She wakes me up when she’s lonely and I wake her up when I’m lonely too. We’re good friends. She and I. You’re not here to take her away are you?”
“I’m only here to visit.” Ye Hua answered back.
Bai Qian glanced up at Ye Hua and he was gazing at her with an unreadable look in his eyes. It was difficult to explain but there was sadness and also something like longing? Was it yearning? Desire? She wasn’t sure but it was different than usual, then wondered if it was because of her new candid pillow talk.
This encounter was their first since she started the terrible, new, habit of drinking too much and then yapping endless nonsense. His youthful appearance made her consider, perhaps it was something she should stop doing.
Although it was downright annoying how handsome he was as she snuck glances covertly. There was something so damn sexy about his all black attire. Bai Qian wondered how and why she’d never noticed how shiny was his hair?
She was brazenly gawking and he caught her then stared back. She blushed and immediately lowered her sight to focus again on the flower.
Was it her imagination but Red glowed a bit brighter when Ye Hua sat beside her. Was the flower jealous of her and warning her to back off? It was possible. Discreetly she leaned in the opposite direction away from him.
He suddenly cleared his throat and asked offhandedly, “Qian Qian, can I ask you a question?”
“Huh? What?” Bai Qian replied in a tone several pitches higher than her usual due to her nerves. Being that close to Ye Hua made her feel oddly excitable and timid at the same time, either way, she was having trouble meeting his gaze.
His voice was soft, floated and hung in the air like music when he asked, “Can I kiss you?”
“What? Where? Here? Now? Why? Who, me?” She gasped then excitedly Bai Qian gulped nervously and half yelled, “No, absolutely not here! I think Red is jealous and furious at me for hitting on her man! Can’t you see how red she is now?! Much redder than before! I can’t believe you just asked me that in front of her! Didn’t you know she’s one temperamental lotus?!”
There was awkward silence but after a few moments, Bai Qian pointed to a tree in the distance, fluttered her eyelashes, and whispered shyly straight-faced, “Ouyay ancay isskay emay veroay erethay. Erewhay ‘Edray’ ontway eesay suay.”
Her strange, silly reply made Ye Hua snort, and chuckle and he asked in between laughs, “What language is that? Is that even a language?!”
Her eyes were big and round as she deliberately raised one hand to hide behind, moved by his ear, and whispered secretively, “It’s pig Latin. Ye Hua, don’t you know pig Latin? Everyone knows pig Latin!”
“Pig Latin? What the heck is that?” He asked and his smile made her weak-kneed.
Bai Qian’s keen stare never left the lotus pond as she scrutinized the crimson flower. She grabbed a handful of little pebbles, and discreetly wrote out in the grass with tiny rocks, ‘You can kiss me over there. Where ‘Red’ won’t see us.’
Suddenly Ye Hua laughed aloud after reading her secretive message, and Bai Qian never knew laughter could sound so beautiful. As she watched his handsome smiling face, with eyes that were shooting out little hearts everywhere……too bad this scenario was only in her mind.
Oh, dear! What a lovely picture but unfortunately pure fiction and all in her head. She snapped out of her trance. She was having a fantasy about him requesting to kiss her, which started right after Ye Hua asked, “Qian Qian, can I ask you a question?”
Ye Hua’s brows furrowed as he looked at her confused when he asked, “Can you teach me how to skip rocks again?”
Bai Qian smiled and nodded her head ‘yes’. It wasn’t a request for a kiss as she’d imagined, but it was still a reason to get close and touch him.
To be continued…