Part II: Ling'er and Xiao Yao - Can feelings be erased?

Written by DFlinger

After some happy times together and pledge of love, Ling'er and Xiao Yao's love is met with a difficult test. Members from Lunar Sect hunted Ling'er down and attempted to kidnap her. Xiao Yao memories in Divine Island had been erased by Lunar Sect members, making him "forget" about Ling'er, their pledges of love...their marriage....But what is a love without obstacles and tests? True love is one that can withstand any kind of test and separation.

When Ling'er met Xiao Yao again, she was devastated that he had forgotten about her. From Lao Lao, she learnt that Xiao Yao's memories had been erased. Quoting Ling'er "Memories can be erased...but can feelings be erased?" Apparently not and Ling'er had misunderstood at that time and doubted Xiao Yao's love for her. Although on the surface it seems like Ling'er has been "erased" from Xiao Yao's life, but the feelings he had for her was never erased which I will explain here.

Let us first take a look at and understand Xiao Yao's reaction to Ling'er's claim that they were married. Again, we need to look into the character of Xiao Yao. Frivolous as he might appear to be, Xiao Yao is not one who commits or fall in love easily. Quoting Xiao Yao, "If I fall in love with a girl, I will love her for the rest of my life (Yi Sheng Yi Shi). She can't run away even if she tried." In a way this explains why he was unwilling to believe Ling'er's claim that they were married. He himself couldn't believe he would fall in love and marry a girl during a short stay in Divine Island. It seems out of his character and illogical, but then again, not logical.

While he was doubting Ling'er's claim, unknowingly, the girl has once again crept into his heart. Falling in love with Ling'er in the mystical and romantic Divine Island was easy because of her beauty, innocence and unconditional trust. Falling in love with Ling'er the second time was because of mutual understanding, admiration and a sense of dejavu.

When they came back from Divine Island, Xiao Yao seemed "angry" at aunt's suggestion of them getting married. But was he angry that he was forced to marry Ling'er, or was it something else? Again, I choose to believe that his reaction was with good intention. Just like why he rejected the first marriage, he felt he was unworthy of Ling'er due to his hoodlum ways. At the same time, he was still confused over his feelings for Ling'er and he did not want to commit in a relationship he was still confused about. When Ling'er announced that they were not married but rather more like god brother and god sister, Xiao Yao started to see Ling'er in a different light. This is when he started to admire her, the little girl who was strong, considerate and kind hearted.

Ling'er has also grown up after going through Lao Lao's death and having to leave Divine Island, the place free from worries. The scene where Ling'er removed the spell from Xiao Yao demonstrated that Ling'er understood love. Yes she can cast a spell to have Xiao Yao treating her well, but that is not what she wants. She understands that love cannot be controlled and it comes from the bottom of the heart. Removing the spell also showed that she wanted to love Xiao Yao for what he is, not what he is not.

During their journey back to Nan Zhao, it was evident that Ling'er stand a significant place in Xiao Yao's heart. During the boat trip, Xiao Yao tapped Ling'er's nose affectionately. This is a very special action between the two.

For Ling'er, the first time Xiao Yao tapped her nose was when he traveled back to the past to rescue the young Ling'er. For Xiao Yao, the first time Ling'er tapped his nose was when he went to Divine Island seeking the pill for his aunt. Back then, Ling'er tapped Xiao Yao's nose saying he is the same Xiao Yao Ge Ge that rescued her when she was young. From then on, this action became the action showing their affection.

Yet, if feelings have been erased, why would Xiao Yao know about this action? Why did he tap Ling'er's nose on the boat so naturally? Again, this is evident that memories might have been erased, but the feelings and affection deep in his heart prevails. Everything comes very naturally, deep from his heart. I would like to bring your attention to this conversation between the two:

Ling'er: Xiao Yao Ge Ge, don't tap my nose like that.
Xiao Yao: Why not?
Ling'er: Because...I only let people who like me to do that.

Upon hearing Ling'er's words, Xiao Yao tapped her nose again. What does it signify? It means he already likes her and he wanted her to know that through his action. Ling'er understood, which was why she smiled. Here, we see their affection being rebuilt.

Another good scene that showed that they understood each other is the one where Lao Lao's ashes were spilled. One thing Xiao Yao did not like to see is Ling'er's tears. He knew Ling'er would be devastated seeing Lao Lao's ashes flying away. Thus he searched frantically for a new urn. We could see the panic he was in, a side of Xiao Yao we have never seen before. When everything else failed, he is still able to comfort Ling'er in his own ways by telling her that the wind is taking Lao Lao back to Nan Zhao first. Recall back in Divine Island, Ling'er once said, "Xiao Yao Ge Ge, you are wonderful, you always manage to make Ling'er smile." Again, we witness the trust Ling'er gave Xiao Yao. Because Xiao Yao said the wind is taking Lao Lao back, thus this must be what is happening. Here, we can see their bond and trust being rebuilt.

They carried on their journey and met new friends such as Jing Yuan and Yue Ru. The jealousy Xiao Yao displayed over Jing Yuan is another strong evidence of his feelings towards Ling'er. If there is not love, where comes the jealously?

During Yue Ru's Bi Wu Zhao Qing competition, Ling'er asked Xiao Yao to fight with Yue Ru, but Xiao Yao refused to because fighting would mean he has to marry Yue Ru. Given Xiao Yao's character, he would have long stepped onto the stage to deflate Yue Ru's ego if there is not a Ling'er besides him. Because Ling'er is with him, he thought about the consequences of going on stage and thus refused. Although eventually he did go on stage, he did make it really clear that he would never marry Yue Ru even if he had won.

On Ling'er's side, she remained firm about not leaving Xiao Yao despite threats and persuasion from both Yue Ru and Yue Ru's father. Both stand firm to their love.

However I must admit, the Xiao Yao at this point is still very immature and insensitive, which is one of the factors that made Ling'er decided to leave him (which I shall not elaborate now). On the contrary, Ling'er who is much younger, acts much more mature than him. While Xiao Yao was having juvenile jealous fits, Ling'er was undergoing some tremendous change. Scales began to grow on her hands and she was scared. Why did she not share her worries with Xiao Yao if they understood each other? Note that every couple has their moments of ups and downs. Ling'er wanted much to share this with Xiao Yao, but she did not really have the chance because everytime she wanted to open the door for Xiao Yao, Xiao Yao became impatient and said some snide remarks which made her back off. Finally, Ling'er's tail emerged, which greatly startled her and she ran away in a moment of panic. Xiao Yao then embarked on his journey to search for Ling'er.

This marked their first separation in the serial...another test they have to overcome. But what is physical separation, when their heart beat as one?