Chinese Paladin 2 - Fanfic by iheartu/crazylife123

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crazylife123
Hero Wannabe
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:54 am

Chinese Paladin 2 - Fanfic by iheartu/crazylife123

Postby crazylife123 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:00 am

iheartu and I wrote this story. it's a sequel to Chinese Paladin. I didnt go into great details on past storyline. wrote this story assuming everyone had the chance to watch the original series. this story takes place three months after the series end.

this story will focus on the next generation with a few new characters. the new leads will be Wang Liu Xiang(Wang Xiao Hu/Song Tian'er's son) and Li Yi Ru(Li Xiao Yao/Zhao Ling'er's daughter).


Chapter 1 - Love and Sacrifices


Yu Hang Zhen Town is a big town. These streets should be very lavishing and bustling during daytime. But now it was deep into the night, the new moon looked like a hook as it shined down onto the broken slab stone streets. Most of the townspeople were in their bed after a long day of work. Only a few wine shops were open. A young handsome man sat in one of the wine shops. One could tell that he had more than enough to drink.

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Li Xiao Yao poured another cup of wine but only a few drops came out of the bottle. He reached for another bottle but found it to be emptied. Out of frustration, Li Xiao Yao threw the wine bottles and cups onto the floor. He called out to the shop owner but had difficulty with his words.

Li Xiao Yao slammed his fist on the table and yelled, “Boss man, bring me more wine!”

The wine shop owner shook his head and said, “Young sir, I think you had enough wine for today. I think you should…”

“Are you afraid that I can’t pay you!”

Before the wine shop owner could reply, Li Xiao Yao took out a few tael of silvers out of his pocket and smashed them into the table. The shop owner was stunned. The shop owner thought to himself, “Even though this young man is drunk but his internal energy is still quite powerful.” He didn’t want to anger the young man
any longer and complied with his request.

Just as Li Xiao Yao was about to take another gulp of wine, a tall skinny man appeared behind him. He walked up to Xiao Yao and grabbed onto his shoulders. Xiao Yao clinched his fist ready to strike. Fortunately, the skinny man called out his name and patted him on the back. Xiao Yao rested his fist and continued to drink. Wang Xiao Hu wasn’t the most handsome man. However, no one could question his companionship toward his friends.

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Wang Xiao Hu sighed and commented, “Xiao Yao, I think you have enough for today. You should go home now. You should be with your daughter.”

Xiao Yao replied, “My aunt is taking care of Yi Ru so don’t worry.” He poured another cup and pushed Xiao Hu’s hands away.

Xiao Hu grabbed Xiao Yao from behind and pulled him off the stool. Xiao Yao lightly strike him on the chest and sat back down. If it was someone else beside Xiao Hu, he would have used full force and knocked him unconscious. The wine shop owner ran and hid behind the counter. He didn’t want to get involved with the two men.

Xiao Hu hesitated a bit and then asked, “Do you want to drink everyday the rest of your life?”

Xiao Yao didn’t answer. Xiao Hu continued, “You have lost your wife and Lin Yue Ru three months ago. I know it's hard on you but you have to let it go. I believe both of them want you to continue on with your life. I think…”

Xiao Yao cut him off and shouted, “THEY ARE MY LIFE! You don’t know how I feel! You didn’t lose anyone. Go back home to your wife!” Tears formed in his eyes. He walked out of the wine shop and disappeared into the woods.

The shop owner walked out of the counter and asked Xiao Hu, “Young sir, aren’t you going after him?”

Xiao Hu sighed and answered, “Just let him go. He needs to be alone for now. No one can change his mind now. People can’t have a clear mind when they can’t heal their own heart. Only he can help himself.” He paid the shop owner and left.

Wang Xiao Hu and Li Xiao Yao were good friends. True friends. If blood was thicker than water, their friendship wouldn’t be in this class. Their friendship was like fine wine instead. The older the wine gets, the better it taste. They understood each others’ feelings.

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On the outskirt of the town, a lantern was lit from a small house. The couple who lived in the house was still up and enjoying the night life.

Song Tian’er poured a cup of hot tea for her husband and asked, “Hu’er, did you get a chance to talk to Xiao Yao Da Ge?” (Da Ge = big brother)

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Xiao Hu sipped the tea and responded, “I did but he still needs time to get over it.”

He looked at his beautiful wife and continued, “Let’s not be concerned about this matter right now. You should worry about yourself.”

Song Tian’er grabbed one of his hands and placed it on her abdomen. She caressed his hand and said, “Our child is doing fine.”

“I’m glad both of you are healthy.”

“Have you thought of a name for our child?”

Xiao Hu gave her a smirk and replied, “I have. If our child is a boy, I will name him ‘Wang Liu Xiang’. As for a girl, I will name her ‘Wang Li Qi’.

Tian’er gave her husband a kiss on his cheek and shouted, “Great! You picked beautiful names!”

Xiao Hu chuckled, “I hope they look like you and not like me.”

Tian’er blushed and responded, “I hope they have a good heart like their father.”

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About two years ago, Song Tian’er was still working in a brothel. Wang Xiao Hu was still a poor lonely young man seeking for his first love.

One rainy night, Song Tian’er was spotted in dark alley drenched with tears. Her body was also covered in blood. She had a hard time breathing and keeping herself from falling down. After a few steps, she fell to the ground. Fortunately, Wang Xiao Hu happened to pass by that day.

Wang Xiao Hu was on his way delivering vegetables for the local restaurants. As he was pushing the wooden cart down the dark alley, he spotted a person on the ground. Xiao Hu walked up and saw a wounded woman. He checked her pulse and it was weak. Her body was half exposed. Xiao Hu face reddened when he saw her body. He took off his shirt and covered up her body. Then he put her down on the cart and carried her off.

Song Tian’er was asleep for two days straight. When she woke up, she was surprised to see herself in a small room. The room was small but the owner took good care of the place. Tian’er looked around the room in search of the owner of the house. She was about to get off the bed when a young man walked into the room.

Xiao Hu walked into the room with a hand full of vegetables. Song Tian’er was a little startled but kept her composure. She was used to seeing different men every day.

Xiao Hu placed the vegetables on the table and started to wash them. He looked toward Song Tian’er and gave her nice smile.

Tian’er grinned and asked, “Where am I? How did I get here?”

He replied, “You were unconscious on the alley near one of the inn. You were injured and I carried you here.”

She looked at her wounds and asked, “Did you dress me up with these bandages? And where are my clothes?”

Xiao Hu’s face turned absolutely red and answered. “I…”

He had never seen a woman naked. When he was treating her wounds the first day, he had a hard time undressing and covering her up with the bandages. Song Tian’er wasn’t even a bit embarrassed due to fact that she worked at a brothel. Xiao Hu didn’t know she worked at such a place.

He swallowed up his words and clearly answered, “I have to apologize to Miss. That day your body was wet and your clothes were covered with blood. Some parts were also torn. I had to replace them with the one you’re wearing now. I…I swear to you Miss. I didn’t offend you any way. Please…please forgive me if I did.”

Song Tian’er giggled and said, “Sir, I didn’t accuse you with anything. Why are you apologizing? I just wanted to start a conversation with you. Plus, I don’t even know the name of my savior.”

Xiao Hu looked puzzled and asked, “Who? Savior?”

Tian’er giggled again and replied, “You silly. You’ve saved me; therefore, you’re my savior.”

Xiao Hu scratched his head and started to cut the vegetables. He was a bit embarrassed for asking a stupid question.

Song Tian’er found Xiao Hu to be a bit amusing. She kept her eyes on him to see if he was looking at her. She thought to herself, “Most men at the brothel would drop everything and just stare at me. This man was different. Not only did he not want to sleep with me but he only took a few glances at me.

She was a bit upset because she thought he didn’t find her attractive. Every girl wants to know that she’s beautiful. However, Xiao Hu didn’t give the slightest gesture about her beauty. After awhile, she found out that he was a true gentleman. She’d never thought that she could find a man who treated her so well.

Tian’er looked at him again and softly said to herself, “He’s not a handsome man but he has a good heart.”

Xiao Hu cut her off, “What’s a good heart?”

She was startled by his question. She didn’t know that she was speaking out loud.

She continued, “It’s not important. So tell me…what’s your name?”

Xiao Hu replied, “Wang Xiao Hu. What about you Miss? What’s your name?”

Tian’er got off the bed and walked up right beside him. Suddenly, she got close to his ears and seductively whispered, “My name is Song Tian’er.”

Xiao Hu backed away a few steps and started to cut the vegetable again. Sweats were coming down his forehead and right down his cheeks.

She looked at him and gazed into his eyes.

The more Tian’er got closer to Xiao Hu. The more he started to sweat. His hands started to tremble.
Tian’er giggled because of his reactions. She looked at him again. All of sudden, she grabbed him and took him into her arms.

Xiao Hu yelled and cut his own finger. His finger was bleeding but he kept on starring at her. Only when Tian’er held his hand up did he notice the blood on his finger.

When Xiao Hu was about to reach for a cloth to cover up his wound, Tian’er grabbed his hand and put his finger in her mouth. He was shocked and also speechless.

She pulled his finger out and said, “There you go. See, everything is fine now. You don’t have to worry. I can take care of you too.”

The first time Xiao Hu saw Song Tian’er, he thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Now, he considered her to be a goddess in his eyes. Xiao Hu never had any confidence in himself. He thought no woman in the world would ever give him the slightest chance. Right now, he felt like he had died and gone to heaven.

Later on that night, Song Tian’er made an exquisite meal for Xiao Hu. She wanted to show her gratitude towards him. Xiao Hu was impressed by her culinary skills. Every dish was pleasing to the eyes and had a wonderful aroma in the air.

Xiao Hu picked up his chopsticks and filled his stomach with content. After a few bites, he asked, “Miss Song, something has been bothering me. Can I ask you a few personal questions?”

Tian’er had a big smile earlier on her face but it turned into a frown. She knew what he wanted to ask and was reluctant to answer, “Yes, I don’t mind.”

Xiao Hu placed his chopsticks on the table and inquired, “How did you get those injuries?”

She took a deep breath and said, “I wasn’t careful. I fell down from the stairs and cut myself. Don’t worry about it. Just look at me. I feel wonderful.”

Xiao Hu didn’t believe her. He looked at her injuries and wanted to investigate further. However, just when he was about to open his mouth, two knocks were heard from the door. A woman was on the other side of the door, kicking and screaming.

“Song Tian’er! You *****! Come out of that house now! Do you think you can hide from me and run away as you please?” The woman kicked the door once more.

Tian’er ran behind Xiao Hu. She was trembling and had sweats on her forehead.

Xiao Hu looked at her and asked, “Who are these people? And what do they want from you?”

She didn’t answer him. All of her attention was at the door.

The woman outside screamed even louder, “Didn’t you hear me? Come out now or I’m going to break this door down!”

Xiao Hu was about to open the door. All of a sudden, the door came crashing down. He escaped just in time from the crash. A big muscular man and a fat woman appeared in front of them. The fat woman was intimidating enough to scare anyone away. However, the big muscular man was worse. He was big as an ox. Whenever the big man breathes, one could feel the air coming out of his nostrils. His arms were big as his head.

Both Xiao Hu and Tian’er just stood there and were scared out of their wits.

The fat woman walked up and commented, “Well…well…look at what we have here. Not only did you work hard at my place but I can see you’re working hard here as well.”

Xiao Hu had his attention on the big man then turned his head towards the fat woman, “What are you talking about? And what do you want from her?”

She chuckled and pointed her fingers toward Song Tian’er, “Young man, do you know what kind of girl she is? She works for me. She’s a prostitute. I own a brothel in this town. You can call me Madame Hei Zhen Zhu. You’re a man. You should know about these things. I’m quite sure you’ve been to my place a few times.”

He didn’t respond, but just shook his head. Madame Hei continued, “I’m surprised. I guess you’re not like other men. Good! Come to my place sometime and I’ll give you a discount. We have many young beautiful girls there. They’ll treat you better than her.” She started to laugh continuously.

Suddenly Madame Hei walked up to Song Tian’er and was about to grab on to her.

However, Xiao Hu made a quick move and stood in front of Tian’er and blocked Madame Hei. “Wait! You can’t take her!”

A grunt could be heard from the big muscular man. The old woman signaled to him and said, “Show him what you could do, but don’t kill him.”

The man walked up to Xiao Hu. Apparently, Xiao Hu had to look up when the man got closer to him. The big ox was two feet taller than Xiao Hu. The man made a gesture for Xiao Hu to back off but he refused to move.
Tian’er backed away from Xiao Hu. She knew how strong her opponent was. All of a sudden, Xiao Hu made a surprised attack. He punched the big man on his stomach with all his strength. The big man just smiled. Xiao Hu tried again and his own hand became numb.

Xiao Hu turned around towards Tian’er and signaled her to run. Just when he turned around to face his opponent again; he felt a big blow on his stomach. He dropped right down to the floor. Tears were flowing down from his eyes. He had a hard time catching his breath. The pain was so horrendous that he wanted to die instead.

Madame Hei raised her hand and said, “Enough! Take her away!”

The big ox obeyed her command and carried Song Tian’er out the door. Tian’er didn’t resist because she knew the consequences. He would definitely hurt her severely.

The Heavenly Jade Brothel had the best entertainment in Yu Hang Zhen Town. Travelers from around the world would stop by the brothel whenever they come to town. Corrupted officials, criminals, and heroes of the world stayed at least once in this brothel. Beautiful girls were lined up to give service to the customers.

Madame Hei Zhen Zhu was the founder of the brothel.

Like every other night, the room was filled with men who couldn’t keep themselves from looking foolish. Some drank wine until they couldn’t hold it any longer and puke. Others chased women around like little kids. The men were enjoying themselves until a young man shows up, soaked in sweats.

The young man walked up to Madame Hei Zhen Zhu and demanded, “Where is Miss Song Tian’er? I came to take her back with me!”

Madame Hei sighed and said, “You again? You didn’t have enough? I see. I’ll make sure you can’t get up this time.” And then she signaled to the big muscular man.

Wang Xiao Hu saw the big man and shouted, “Wait! I want to buy her off!”

Everyone including the prostitutes started to laugh. Apparently, Xiao Hu didn’t know much about the brothel’s business. He was confused but yet determined.

He continued, “Give me a price!”

Madame Hei laughed and said, “Buy her off? You probably don’t have enough to have one night with her. Her worthless mother sold her for five hundred taels of silver.”

The room was quiet. Everyone was waiting for Xiao Hu to respond.

Xiao Hu gave Madame Hei a smile and said, “Good. I have five hundred taels of silver now. I want to buy her off.”

Madame Hei looked surprised. She thought to herself, “How can a poor man like him have so much saved up?”

She continued, “I didn’t say I’m going to sell her for five hundred to you. I’d purchased her for that amount but I’m selling her for fifteen hundred.”

Xiao Hu shouted in desperation, “That’s crazy!”

“Young man, this is a business. Do you know how much I would lose to give her up? She’s the best prostitute I have here. How can I take care of these girls and myself?”

He quickly answered, “Fine! Give me five months. I’ll have enough by then.”

Madame Hei coughed and said, “Five months? I can’t wait that long. I’ll give you one month.”

“I can’t…” Xiao Hu tried to explain but got cut off.

“If you don’t agree, you could leave now.” Madame Hei pointed to the door.

“I’ll be back within a month.” He walked out the door without saying another word.

Wang Xiao Hu had over twelve hundred taels of silver saved up. It took him nine years of hard work. Li Xiao Yao, his best friend would spend most of his money on women while he did not. Xiao Hu would probably do the same but he never had any luck with woman.

The local restaurants were the only source of income for Xiao Hu. He received twenty taels per month from his earnings. Even if he worked double shifts, he’ll only save up about fifty taels.

Xiao Hu decided to worked double shift. In the daytime, he’ll pickup vegetables for the local restaurants. At night, he would dig up graves for the local towns. He worked hard day and night.

One month passed. Xiao Hu managed to save up about fourteen hundred taels of silvers. Time was eating him up so he decided to sell his house and belongings.

Xiao Hu didn’t care what he had to go through. He just wanted Song Tian’er by his side. All he could think about was releasing her from that awfully dreadful place.

Madame Hei was behind the counter when Xiao Hu entered. He walked up to her and scattered the taels of silver onto the counter.

“Here are the fifteen hundred taels of silver I’ve promised you. Now take me to her.” He said full of confidence.

Madame Hei raised her eyebrow. She was surprised to see him with all the taels. She was quite impressed.

“I’ve changed my mind. I’m raising the price. I need five hundred more.” Madame Hei smiled with an evil grin on her face.

Xiao Hu was stunned. He stood there for awhile before saying, “We had a deal! You gave me your words!”

“Okay, I’ll make another deal with you. I’ll give you ten taels of silver in exchange for one beating.”

“What kind of deal is that?”

The people around the area didn’t take notice of the two until Madame Hei mentioned the beating. Some shook their heads and felt bad about the situation. They all knew it was unfair to the young man. They wanted to help but rather not stick into other people’s businesses.

Madame Hei walked out of the counter and explained, “I’m being fair here. Who can make five hundred taels of silver within an hour? You let me beat you fifty times with this wooden rod and you can have her.”

Xiao Hu hesitated.

She continued, “Young man, take back your silvers and leave this place.”

“No, I’ll do it! If you break this deal again, even in death I’ll come back to haunt you.”

Madame Hei clapped her hands and said, “Great! Spoken like a true gentlemen. Song Tian’er…Song Tian’er…you must have owed this young man in your previous life.”

Before Xiao Hu could respond to anything, two large men grabbed him and tied him up. They forced him onto the ground facing down. The large wooden rod rose up and slammed down against Xiao Hu’s body. In his entire life, he’d never endured so much pain. Every strike hurt more than the first. He cried in agony.

Some of the spectators shook their heads and walked out of the brothel. They couldn’t force themselves to watch this display of cruel punishment. Everyone had their respect for him but also thought he was foolish.

“There are still thirty more to go. Did you have enough? If you go any further, you might not live long enough to see her.”

Xiao Hu’s face changed color from red to blue but he managed to say, “I…I can go…go on."

“Men, beat him harder. Show him your…” Madame Hei was interrupted by a loud scream.

Song Tian’er ran down stairs. She went down on her knees and begged Madame Hei, “No! Stop! Please! You’ll kill him!”

Madame Hei pushed Song Tian’er to side and shouted, “Men, keep on beating him!”

Tian’er saw a pool of blood near Xiao Hu and fainted. After awhile, Xiao Hu’s body turned numb and he also fell unconscious.

“Enough! Take them into the room and treat their wounds.” Madame Hei commanded.

Xiao Hu was awake after three days of rest. He woke up to find Song Tian’er sleeping on the table in the middle of the room. Apparently, she stayed by his side the whole time. He tried to get up but was unable to move. His whole body ached. Tian’er heard him grunt and woke up.

“Miss Song, you’re here. Are you okay?” Xiao Hu asked.

She walked up and sat right next to him. “Don’t talk right now. You’re in worse shape than I am.”

Xiao Hu sat up and asked, “That one night when I found you in the alley. Was Madame Hei responsible for that incident? “

“Mother didn’t hurt me. It wasn’t her but someone else. I had a customer that day. He was one of the high officials of this city. Mother wanted me to serve him. My other sisters refused to do it so I had no other choice.”

“What did that customer want from you?” He asked.

Song Tian’er turned her head away from Xiao Hu and continued. “Certain men wanted different things from us. He didn’t want to sleep with me that night. All he wanted to do was punished me. He tied me up and whipped me. To him, I was only a wild horse. Luckily, my mother and sister were able to distract him. I escaped through the back door and ended up in the alley. I thought I was never going to make it out alive that day.”

He gently smiled and said, “I’ll never let anyone hurt you again. I’ll promise you that.”

Tian’er suddenly stopped and had tears in her eyes.

Xiao Hu raised his hand and gently wiped her tears away. He looked into her teary eyes and asked, “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t deserve this. I don’t deserve you at all. I’m not a clean woman. You…you could find someone better than me.” As she said this more tears came rolling down on her cheeks.

“I don’t care about your past. I just want you to be happy.”

After he said this, she ran into his arms and cried her heart out. She held onto his arms. Her heart raced and it was full of love.

Xiao Hu held her in his arms and said, “I’ll never let anyone hurt you again.”

She smiled and whispered, “I’ll never leave your side.”

He gently pulled her head up and softly kissed her lips.

Song Tian’er blushed and Xiao Hu’s face reddened as well. Just when Xiao Hu was about to kiss Tian’er again, a knock followed by a large woman appeared into the room.

Madame Hei walked into the room with a smile on her face. She had on a different smile. There was no wickedness behind those smiles.

“So how does the two happy couple feeling?” She still had on the same smile.

Xiao Hu was getting restless and couldn’t breathe. He was scared that Tian’er might be punished instead of him this time. He didn’t understand the whole situation. It was as if she turned into a complete different person. Suddenly, Tian’er answered with the same kind of gesture.

“Mother, we both are fine now.”

Madame Hei laughed and said, “You didn’t even have to tell me. I could see that you’re happily wrapped in your beloved’s arms.”

Tian’er blushed and hid her face.

Madame Hei continued, “Xiao Hu, you looked confused and worried. Well, worry no more young man. I’ll let you two go.”

Xiao Hu was elated. He couldn’t believe what he had heard and questioned her again, “You’re going to keep your words? I made it to fifty counts?”

She laughed and replied, “Fifty? You passed out before forty. I knew a skinny man like you would never make it to fifty. I admire your courage and love though. You’re probably the only man in this town who’s truly a gentleman and has a heart of gold. If I was twenty years younger, Tian’er would have a love rivalry. I could have any man I wanted.”

Xiao Hu also smiled now and asked, “Why a change of heart? I thought you wanted to keep Tian’er here.”

Madame Hei replied, “I wanted to test you out. I wanted to see if you were willing to give up everything for her. Not only did you give up your house, you almost gave up your life. Plus, I wanted Tian’er to find a good man. Some of my rich customers wanted to buy her out too. Some were willing to pay a hundred times more than the price you’d pay. It wasn’t always about how much taels I’ll make. It was about her happiness. Tian’er is like my own daughter. All of these girls here are like my daughter. I love them with all my heart.”

Xiao Hu sighed, “Even if I take her now, we don’t have a place to stay. I’ve sold my house and all of my savings are in your hands.”

“You worry too much young man. I purchased your house back. All of your belongings are still there. And here…” After she said this, she tossed a bag full of silvers onto the bed.

He picked up the bag and looked into it. There were five thousand taels of silver worth in the bag.

He questioned, “Why so much? I don’t think I could take this.”

Madame Hei frowned, “Do you think I’m that greedy? I have more than enough for ten life times. Plus, I wanted to give you this as a gift. Your wedding gift.”

Both Xiao Hu and Tian’er were surprised to hear those words.

She continued, “When you have a child, I want you to make me their god grandmother. Is that a fair deal?
Xiao Hu didn’t say another word but just had a huge smile on his face. Tian’er blushed once again and her face was red as a tomato. Madame Hei and Xiao Hu laughed when they saw Tian’er face.
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crazylife123
Hero Wannabe
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:54 am

Postby crazylife123 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:01 am

Chapter 2 - Two Mysterious Voices

It was late spring on a dark night...

Moonlight illuminated the parched dust on the ground as the spring winds kicked up dust, brushed through the chrysanthemum flower fields, and carried it to the melancholy woods.

No sound could be heard. Not even the calls of the wild.

Suddenly, an ominous sound echoed from deep within the shadowy woods. A young man was weeping alone. His cries sounded broken and torn, so hopeless that even the sweet scent of the chrysanthemums couldn't mend his injured heart.

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Li Xiao Yao was seated under a weeping willow. His hands covered his face as streams of anguish seeped through. He shivered. Would he ever wake up from these infinite bad dreams? A moonbeam shone on him, almost like an attempt to bring up his spirits. He lifted his head and slowly breathed in the crisp night air.

Suddenly, he felt a finger gently tap his nose. Xiao Yao froze. Rushes of memories were flooding back...divine spirit island...red dandelions..."take me home"...he knew that touch.

He scrambled up and looked around wildly. Had he really felt it or was his mind just playing tricks on a broken man?

All of a sudden, a gentle breeze swept through the woods. A soft voice caressed his ears.

"Xiao Yao Ge Ge..." He spun around, not daring to believe. He shouted out with hope anew.

"Ling’er...LING’ER!!!!!!!" he bellowed. No answer. He slumped down. When would the torment end? Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, a fog formed. Xiao Yao turned around slowly. What was going on?

A figure started to appear. Frightened, he called out, "Who's there?"

Then, a voice that he thought he would never hear again rang through the woods.

"Xiao Yao Ge Ge...It's Ling’er. I'm here now..."

Unbelieving, he stood up again on shaky legs and approached the smoky figure that was becoming clearer by the moment.

“Am I dreaming?” He asked himself.

This wouldn't be the only time when he thought he had seen Ling’er or his other friends appear to him. Was it true this time? He didn't have time to dwell on the thought though, because the figure then walked out.

It was so familiar. Her smile, her eyes, her voice. Everything that reminded himself of his lost happiness appeared before his eyes. It was Ling’er.

With a shaky hand, he reached out to touch her cheek. How he longed for it to be warm, full of life. Not cold, foreboding, final like the day he held her in his arms, feeling life leaving her. His heart full of anticipation, he reached forward...and felt nothing. He couldn't touch her.

"Ling’er, why...?"

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“D-Dui bu qi Xiao Yao Ge Ge," she stammered as tears ran down her cheeks. "Wo dui bu qi ni…” she whispered. Xiao Yao looked at her through confused eyes that were clouded with tears. (Dui bu qi = I’m sorry)

Ling’er didn’t answer his soundless question. She kept her eyes closed but tears were running down her cheeks.

“Do you know how much I need you?" he cried, tenderness etched into his words. "You made a promise! You said you’ll never leave me! Please...” he begged in a softer tone, "please don't leave me..." She couldn't leave him now. Just when he thought she had come back, she hadn't. Yue Ru had died, Ling’er had died...how many more disappointments did he have to suffer until heaven would grant him happiness?
Xiao Yao was overcome with sorrow and dropped down on his knees in despair. His tears formed rivers of melancholy and hopelessness. And pure, utter sadness.

He looked up towards Ling’er...only to find that she had disappeared. Until that point, Xiao Yao thought he understood agony. He knelt there in the ground, tears making a muddy puddle on the ground. He was hopeless and utterly alone.

Could it be that this was the price for being in love? For falling for someone?

“If this was...I wish I never did love Ling’er.” Xiao Yao thought bitterly. “No!” He corrected himself, “No matter what happened or happens; we will always have loved before. Always.”

Xiao Yao looked up towards the starless night, lost in thought. The past filled his memories as he recalled Ling’er leading him toward the tree...that night...the lily pond...the fireworks...Suddenly, a sweet voice echoed in the air.

“Xiao Yao…”

A woman stepped out of the mist. Xiao Yao couldn’t recognize the woman at first and squinted to make out the figure. He was entranced. She was beautiful, but her voice was even more beautiful. It was Wu Hou, Ling’er's mother. She walked up to him and lifted him up gently.

"I'm sorry," she said softly, "you've been through too much." Xiao Yao looked at her, pleading silently for something he could hope for, something he could wait for. This just makes the blow so much worse.

"I'm sorry," she repeated again, "but Ling’er...she's not destined....to be with you." Xiao Yao almost collapsed from the force of her words even if they were just whispered.

“W-Why not? I don’t understand!” he sobbed. Wu Hou looked concerned and placed a hand on his cheek.

“My dear child, Nu Wa Niang Niang, for thousands of years, has been the mother of earth. It’s her and her descendents' duty to look over all of mankind.”

"I know that already!" Xiao Yao burst out. "But what does that have to do with Ling’er?"

“Ling’er is the descendent of Nu Wa Niang Niang’s. She has been predestined to her duty and will soon take my place. No one can live forever. Not even us. I'm sorry, Xiao Yao." Xiao Yao stared into space, shocked. Ling’er...was really...dea- ...no, he thought, he couldn't think that word. He felt like he was suffocating. Ling’er, Ling’er...

"I do have a bit of good new though." Xiao Yao didn't look up. He couldn't get his hopes up. "It concerns Lin Yue Ru." Xiao Yao scrambled to his feet. He felt a pang in his heart as his hand hit the "mo shi mo wang" bells at his side. He hadn't heard an echo for so long. "Where is she now? Tell me, please."

“You can’t find her here in this world. She is in the Underworld. I was able to save her body just in time and it has been preserved at my place. However, I was late in saving her soul. If you could go down to the Underworld and bring her soul back, she’ll have a good chance to live again.”

Xiao Yao's spirits were boosted as he heard news of Yue Ru. "I'll do anything to get her back."

She sighed and replied, “I could easily get you there but…”

“I don’t care! Whatever it is, I'll do it! Anything to get her back!”

“I have a magic pill.” Wu Hou opened up her hand. A small golden pill glowed from her palm.
Xiao Yao squinted at the light that radiated from it. In wonder, he asked, "How does it work?"

“Humans can’t enter the Underworld. Only the soul of a man or a woman could enter. With this pill, you’ll have access to the Underworld. This pill will turn your body into a soul. You’ll be half dead and half alive."
Wu Hou continued, “I have to warn you: be careful down there. There are many watchers of the Underworld. If they find you, you’ll be trapped there. This pill will only last three days. If you can’t rescue Lin Yue Ru within three days, you’ll be trapped down there for all eternity.”

Xiao Yao hesitated. He closed his eyes and thought about his daughter. He knew he wasn’t a good father. His heart wasn’t in the right place. He didn’t want to be around his daughter because he didn’t want to hurt her. He should be the one to take all the anguish and sorrow, not his daughter.

Xiao Yao’s aunt took good care of his Yi Ru. Even though she wasn’t blood related she treated his daughter like her own granddaughter.

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Yue Ru...mo shi mo wang(bell)...evil woman...the kiss. He had to get her back. Xiao Yao closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and took the pill from Wu Hou’s hand.

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The morning light drew closer…

The desert wasteland appeared desolate. Yellow sands swept out in all directions inundating the morning light. The winds combed through the yellow sands like waves in the ocean.

Xiao Yao looked below him onto the parched Earth. He felt like the desert: lonely, dry, and hopeless. He and Wu Hou flew in the windy skies on his Master's magic gourd.

Suddenly, Wu Hou said “Xiao Yao, we’re here." She took a deep breath: "The entry to the Underworld is here.” She pointed to an area of the desert.

Xiao Yao squinted toward the direction, but could only see sand. "Where?" He questioned.

She didn't answer. Instead, she waved her arm. An image of a mountain appeared right before his eyes. It was taller than the eye can and the base was a quarter mile long.

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Li Xiao Yao’s jaw dropped. Then slowly, determination filled its place. Yue Ru was there. She needed him. Through their companionship, she had always helped him. Now it was his turn.

crazylife123
Hero Wannabe
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:54 am

Postby crazylife123 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:02 am

Chapter 3 - A Maiden in Distress and A King Indeed

It was once said that women had the strength to endure hunger, cold, and pain, and that they were stronger than men. How true this turned out to be. The girl looked at herself in the mirror. She had big eyes and full lips. The contours of her nose matched her cheeks, and raven black tresses framed her face. But on the inside…things were quite different. This girl was rash and boyish, yet kindhearted as well. She fought to defend the righteous, yet had a very playful nature. In the world that she knew, she had been cared for and loved. Now...

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“Guards!” The young woman screamed through the opening of the door from her room.

A man dressed in black walked up to the door and shouted with a strange accent, “Quiet woman! If ya don’t shut up I’ll gladly escort ya t’ the Hall o’ Torture,” the guard mocked.

“I have a name you know,” she replied with a fierce look in her eyes and a voice dripping with sarcasm. “You can call me Lin Yue Ru.”

“Ya think I have the’ time t’ remember everyone’s name here? In this section o’ the Underworld, they’re bazillion souls!” he exaggerated. “And it’s my duty as one o’ the imperial guards o’ the Underworld t’ watch over er’one here including you… unfortunately,” he muttered under his breath. Yue Ru glared at him. “Yan Wang Ye, king o’ the Underworld’ll take m’ soul away and put me in the Hall of Torture if I don’t comply t’ his majesty’s wishes.”

“Wh-What’s in the H-Hall of Torture?” Yue Ru was stammered, apprehensive.

The guard smiled unpleasantly, “The souls o’ the dead get punished in tha’ section. They received their punishments ‘cause o’ the sinful act they’d caused in their previous life. The murders’ll be convicted n’ tortured with knives, poisons, n’ all sorts o’ punishments. Ya could say it’s an eye for an eye, life for a life.” The guard cackled in glee. He continued, “Ya lucky t’ be here. It’s obvious that ya done a whole lot o’good deeds in ya past life. That’s why ya place here in the Hall of the Sinless.”

Yue Ru sneered at his comment and replied, “It’s still like a prison here. We can’t have visitors or go anywhere. Not to mention no abalones OR scented bubble baths! This is torture, TORTURE!!!” she screeched.

The guard clapped his hands over his ears to block out the scream, oblivious to the triumphant smile of Yue Ru’s face. He banged his spear on the door and yelled, “Enough woman! Gees! Listen up: no one can roam around the area without’r permission. We have rules n’ regulations. Plus, I don’t think it’s a good idea f’ ya t’ walk around the Underworld. There are many lost souls that’r dangerous. If ya walk int’ one, it wouldn’t be a pretty sight.” He laughed diabolically.

“Don’t say anymore. I’m not going anywhere. Don’t want to anyway. Some kind of freedom that is, taking a walk in a dingy place, walking into dead things,” she said. On the outside, she was tough. On the inside though, Yue Ru was frightened.

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Meanwhile…

A shadow could be seen jumping from the rocky cliffs. It was like a black shadow among the boulders, silent and undetectable.

The Underworld had not yet woken up: not a person was in sight, and not a sound could be heard. Serenity enveloped the land.

Li Xiao Yao jumped behind a large boulder. The confused expression on his face showed that he was completely and utterly lost. He had spent the last two hours in search of an entrance but to no avail.

“Where are you, e nu?” he said aloud to the air, exasperated.

Xiao Yao was about to make his next move when suddenly he heard a sound below him. Two trap doors opposite of each other rose up from the ground. Xiao Yao gasped. No wonder I couldn’t find it, he thought. It was fully hidden from view, and the doors looked exactly like the rocks.

Xiao Yao grew nervous. What could he do? Someone was obviously going to come out of those doors sometime soon. There was nowhere to hide. He broke out in a cold sweat. Trapped.

Xiao Yao stared apprehensively at the door. He was expecting an army to storm out and take him away. A hundred guards didn’t storm out. Not fifty. Not even twenty. Instead, ten people walked out one of the doors with two guards behind them. If you could call them people of course. They were so pale, he wondered if they’d ever seen the sun. They were dressed in white rags and walked like zombies. There was no life in their eyes. No hate, no hope, nothing. It was then when Xiao Yao realized. They were the lost souls of the Underworld.

Two guards were standing in front of the entrance, one in black and one in white. The guard in black looked anything but dangerous with a potbelly and round cheeks. The guard in black on the other hand, he was skinny but lithe with hawk eyes that noticed everything. They both had long sharp metal spears in one of their hand. Xiao Yao gulped as he stared at the spears. It looked like they could kill with one pass of the hand.

Xiao Yao had searched the surrounding area for the last two hours. He didn’t have the slightest idea that the two doors existed. The only way for him to get to Yue Ru was through one of the two doors. He couldn’t just walk up and asked them questions. All Xiao Yao could do was to stay hidden and wait for the opportune moment.

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The ten lifeless bodies wandered around the area. Hundred of stones were piled up and placed in one area. Stone after tedious stone, one by one. These stones were used to make the walls of the Underworld. Then Xiao Yao realized: the ten souls were working their shifts! He almost laughed…shifts!

Slowly, his humor turned to anxiety. Xiao Yao was a little impatient. No, he was more than just a little impatient. He had little time on his hand. The magic pill only lasted three days, he couldn’t afford to lost any more time! He wanted to jump out and attack the two guards, but still he remained crouched, not moving a muscle. He didn’t want to make any mistake. Yue Ru’s life depended on him, he couldn’t’ mess this up. Unfortunately though, he was losing patient and now hope as well. Suddenly, one of the workers walked up to him.

Xiao Yao held his breath, hoping and praying that the worker would not notice. However, to his surprise, the worker didn’t even look in his direction. His eyes were fixated on the stones. It was then that Xiao Yao knew his “opportune moment” had come. Right after the worker turned his head, Xiao Yao silently crept up behind him and knocked the man unconscious. Xiao Yao looked around. Good, nobody had noticed. Xiao Yao realized that he had to change his clothing so he couldn’t be recognized. His glance fell upon the worker’s clothes. They were relatively clean, so Xiao Yao hid behind a rock and changed clothes with the man. Then, Xiao Yao dragged the body of the worker behind a large boulder. His clothes were clean so he decided to swap with the man. He hid the body behind the large boulder. He was about to pick up some stones but was interrupted by the guards.

“That’s enough for today! Everyone form a line!” The guard in white commanded.

All nine workers dropped their stones and walked towards the guard in white without hesitation. Xiao Yao followed the same instructions and stayed behind the ten workers.

The guard in white continued, “Move ahead through the entrance!”

Everyone complied. However, the other guard in black interrupted.

“Stop!” he shouted.

“What is it? What’s wrong?” The guard in white asked.

“Something doesn’t seem right here. Something smells different now,” his eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“I think it’s me. I’ve had gas for a couple of days now.” He looked sheepish.

“Shut up you idiot! It’s not you! It smells like…human flesh.” The guard in black closed his eyes and took another deep breath. “It’s definitely human,” he decided. “But where is it coming from?”

“Human flesh? I can’t sense a thing.” The guard in white also closed his eyes and concentrated on the smell.

“Go search in that area and I’ll go to the other side.” The guard in black ordered his partner and searched the surrounding area.

A feeling of apprehension fell on Xiao Yao. His heart was beating fast. He knew the guards would eventually find the smell on him. Xiao Yao had to think of something, quick.

Xiao Yao was so nervous that he bumped into the worker in front of him. He immediately whispered a frenzied ‘sorry’, but there was no reaction from the worker whatsoever. Suddenly, a gust of wind blew through the area and Xiao Yao took a whiff of the worker’s smell. His eyes started watering and it seemed all of a sudden that there was a sudden lack of air. He wanted to gag and throw up. Talk about a bad smell! A combination of rotten eggs, pig feces, and dead animals couldn’t compare to the same smell of this man.

Xiao Yao winced as he realized what he had to do. He lifted up both of the man’s arms, placed both of his hands under the armpits, and rubbed the man’s body. Not only was the man’s armpits was wet but it was also sticky with sweat. Xiao Yao pulled his hands out gingerly and sniffed cautiously. The smell hit him so hard he almost puked. He looked at his hands yellow with globs of sickening green and swallowed nervously. He had no other choice. Xiao Yao quickly rubbed his face and shirt with his hands, smell almost making him pass out.

The two guards walked towards the workers, starting to smell each of them. Xiao Yao stood there, sweat building at his temples.

“Seriously, I think you’re wrong. I don’t smell anything.” The guard in white pouted.

“I can’t seem to smell it anymore. Maybe you’re right. It must be nothing,” he replied, eyes narrowed, “Forget it. Hurry! Take them away!” The guard in black ordered.

The white guard obeyed and walked through the same entrance with the ten men following.

As Xiao Yao walked through the doors to the Underworld, he thought to himself, if Yue Ru isn’t in this entrance; then she must be in the other entrance. If she isn’t there, then I’ll search everywhere for her. I’m coming, e nu, he thought…wait for me.
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A young man was dreaming. He was walking down what seemed to be the Hall of ****. In each cell, cries could be heard. One man was screaming in agony and another laughed eerily. The young man peered through the hole in one of the doors. He could hear a woman calling out someone’s name. Her son perhaps? Maybe her lover? The young man walked forward a few more steps. The young man heard the sharp sound of a whip cracking down on bare flesh. He heard metal groaning and creaking under the stress of human limbs. He heard a sickening thud of dull knife on wood as blood spurted out from a nearby door. He closed his eyes, but the sounds of incredible pain and agony still reached his ears. Argh, he cried mentally, wake up already! I want this nightmare to end!

The young man slapped himself a couple of times and tried to wake himself up. To his horror, the young man felt the sting of the slaps and realized this was no dream.

“What are you doing?” The guard in black had a puzzled look on his face when Li Xiao Yao slapped himself.

“N-Nothing, nothing at all.” Xiao Yao stuttered.

“Stop wasting our time and move into your cell.” The guard ordered and roughly shoved Xiao Yao into a dark cell. Xiao Yao fell onto the cold stone floor and before he could turn around, the door slammed closed. He got up slowly and inspected his surroundings.

The prison cells were made out of the same stones the workers worked on earlier. Each door was forged with iron metals. The door would be closed behind and locked by the guards.

He sat himself in one of the corner of the dark room. The only source of light was a narrow beam from the crevice underneath the door. Xiao Yao was exhausted. However, sleep was the last thing on his mind. He had to find a way to escape this godforsaken place and look for Yue Ru. Moreover, Xiao Yao was certain the attempts to sleep in this place would be futile. Screams could be heard every few seconds and that would be enough to drive a person crazy. He covered his face with his hands. A feeling of helplessness overcame him. Was he crazy? What was he thinking? How could he think that barging into the Underworld and saving Yue Ru was going to be so easy? There’s a reason this place is forbidden, he thought wryly. Suddenly, a memory flashed into his mind.

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He was leaning against a wall in a crowded, bustling city. The stone wall felt cold as he leaned against it, just like everything else…cold.

“So this is what its like, walking the Jiang Hu. Looks like I was too naive back then. I thought if I practiced with my sword, I could kill monsters and destroy demons. That I could be able to uphold righteousness. That I could help the people and become a great xia(hero) that everyone would respect, creating a place for myself in the world. But this world isn’t like that at all. No matter how great your martial arts are, you can’t do anything in the end.”

He felt completely and utterly hopeless. Suddenly, a warm hand slipped into his. He looked up and found himself meet the eyes of Yue Ru. They were filled with compassion.

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“Don’t think about it,” she coaxed gently. “There are some things you just can’t figure out. But there’s one thing that I know is right, and it must be done.” Xiao Yao looked at her quizzically. “We have to go to Mt. Shu and save Ling er.” Xiao Yao’s heart was touched in the deepest parts.

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Xiao Yao startled from his daydream. She comforted me when I felt lost and alone. I can’t leave her now when she needs me the most. Don’t give up hope Xiao Yao, don’t you dare give up.

He lifted his head up, fire in his eyes. There had to be a way out! Suddenly, a rustling noise could be heard in one of the dark corners. Xiao Yao slowly and hesitantly approached the dark area. What was going on?

A short old man with a long beard appeared out of the shadows. His hair was long and gray with white scattered through the strands. He was wearing ragged and torn garments with clumps on dirt and grim on them. Wrinkles seemed to cover his entire body, head to toe. It seemed like every wrinkle on his wizened face had swallowed up every sorrow and every happiness. And somewhere in those eyes, secrets lay.

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The old man raised his head. Xiao Yao peered into his eyes and saw a coldness there. It was as if each glare from the old man could freeze a person’s soul.

“Young man, you don’t belong here. I suggest you get out of here and go back to where you came from.” His voice was low and deep and the sound bounced off the walls of the cell.

“W-What are you talking about?” Xiao Yao stuttered, “If I don’t belong here, then where do I belong?”

“You can’t fool me. Not only do you not belong here…you don’t even belong in this world.”

Xiao Yao was in shock as words just plain refused to come out of his mouth. Who was this old man? And how did he know about him?

“How did you know that I didn’t belong in this world? And may I ask for old master’s name?” Xiao Yao put one knee to the floor and clasped his hands together.

“You’re not my disciple. Therefore, I’m not your master. I know you have more important questions to ask me other than my name, so ask.” The old man replied.

Xiao Yao nodded his head and asked, “Where am I and how long have you been here?”

“You’re in the Hall of Torture. All of the screams you heard earlier were made by men and women being tortured. Hence the name. As for me, I’ve been here far too long to remember.”

Xiao Yao nodded his head again. Now he understood the events he had encountered earlier.

The old man continued, “Why are you here?”

“I’m looking for someone.” He answered simply, not wishing to disclose any further information.

“Is this someone a woman?” the old man asked quiety.

“H-How did you know?” Xiao Yao stammered.

The old man cackled and replied, “Isn’t it obvious? Why would a man like you come here at all? This isn’t what you would classify as ‘utopia.’ Only a crazy man in love would risk his life to come here. He wouldn’t do it for his own family but for a woman? Well then, that’s a different story altogether, isn’t it”

Xiao Yao smiled and scratched his head with amazement.

The old man continued, “What’s her name? I might know where she is.”

“But there are so many people here! How can you tell one person from another?”

“I’ve been here longer than you’ve been alive. I could even tell you the number of rats in this cell right now. So…the girl’s name?” The old man prompted.
“Yue Ru…Lin Yue Ru.” Xiao Yao whispered.

“Lin Yue Ru?” He closed his eyes with an expression of deep thought on his face. “I heard from some of the guards that she’s in the other hall. I’ve heard them talking about her. They say that she’s a feisty one, but her beauty isn’t to be taken lightly either.

“You’ve heard about her? Where is she?” Xiao Yao asked, impatient. He had come all this way and finally, he was getting somewhere!

“Well, she isn’t around here. You could find her in the other hall.”

“Is it the other door that’s outside of this place?”

“Hmm…perhaps. I have never been out of this cell before, couldn’t tell you.”

Xiao Yao was excited but also deep in thought.

The old man looked at him and asked, “Are you thinking about a plan to escape from here?”

“H-How did you…?” Xiao Yao asked.

“Come here, I’ll tell you how to get out of this living ****.” The old man whispered into Xiao Yao’s ear. “Remember to do everything I tell you and you’ll be out of here in no time.”

The guards changed shift every four hours. Only one guard looked after one section of the hall. Fortunately, the guard that was working the shift was new worker. The old man knew this and explained everything to Xiao Yao.

“Guard! I need your help! Something is wrong with the old man!” Xiao Yao cried, urgency etched in his voice.

Footsteps echoed through the hall and a guard ran up to the door. Xiao Yao looked at this guard and noticed that he was a lot younger, and obviously not in the best shape either. Sweat drops covered his face and he was panting heavily.

“What is it?” The guard nervously asked through the opening of the door.

“A moment ago he was talking to me. Now, he’s not moving at all. Please…help him.”

“Wait for me here. I’ll be right back. I’ll get someone to help out.” The guard shuffled nervously away from the door but Xiao Yao called him back.

“No…wait! I think you need to check him out now!”

The guard hesitated but decided to open the door. He walked into the room and saw the old man was on the ground. There was no movement. The guard moved closer to the old man, but still detected nothing.

“I don’t see anything. I think he’s just…” Before the guard could finish, a loud thud could heard.

Xiao Yao had used his fist to knock the guard unconscious. Then he undressed the guard and switched garments. The old man sat up with a proud smile on his face.

“How did you know he would fall for our trick?” Xiao Yao asked.

“Young xia…when you get to my age, you’ll know every trick in the book.” He winked at Xiao Yao. “But we shouldn’t talk anymore. Get out of this hall as quick as you can. Go back to the same door you came in earlier and enter the other door. When you see the other guard, tell him that you’ll take over his shift. Since new guards come in and out every day, you’ll have no problems fooling them.” The old man explained.

Xiao Yao walked out the door and asked, “I could never thank you enough. May I know old master’s name so I could look for you when I come back here in the future?”

The old man laughed and said, “My name isn’t important. If we are fated to meet again, we’ll surely see each other. Now go…leave quickly!”

Xiao Yao smiled disappeared into the hall.

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Lin Yue Ru swung her sword towards Li Xiao Yao with renewed fury after he had touched her lower hip. She cursed as the blade missed Xiao Yao’s ears by inches. This wasn’t the only time he had made an attempt to touch her body without her permission. She was furious but there was something else in there too. Happiness? No, that wasn’t right. Excitement? Whatever it was, Yue Ru knew that now, some of the anger was just on the surface.

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Yue Ru slapped his hand away and shouted, “You’re just a perverted rotten egg! I’ll kill you, cut you up into little slices and feed you to the dogs!!!”

Xiao Yao grabbed the sword out of her hand and tossed it to the side. She raised her fist and aimed at his face with all the strength she could muster. He moved to the side to dodge the attack and grabbed her from behind. She was struggling to get free but he held on to her tightly.

“Let me go or else I’m going to kill you!” Yue Ru shouted.

“I’d like to see you try to do that when you’re in my arms. You know…You shouldn’t be so vicious. When you’re not, you can be quite the attractive young girl.” He whispered.

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“I…I…” She started to blush and could only make out a few words.

“But when you are vicious, you turn into a mother tigress who knows only how to kick and scream.” Xiao Yao laughed and ran away.

She ran after him and yelled, “Come back here you rotten egg! I’m going to chop you into little pieces!”

Yue Ru kept on chasing after him. She could hear his voice from a distance. Suddenly, everything went dark. The surrounding area started to disappear as well. The trees, rocks, flowers, and even the blue skies disappeared and turned into darkness. Yue Ru froze. What was going on? Her body shivered in fear as terror fogged her mind. She called out for Xiao Yao but he wasn’t there. Everything was dead silent. Just then, a few feet from her, a body was lying on the ground facing down. She cautiously approached it. What was a body doing lying around? She knelt down next to the body and found the clothes soaked in a pool of blood. Hesitantly, she turned the body around. Yue Ru screamed. She tried to back away but fell. She got up again and ran like she never had before. But no matter how much she ran, she couldn’t get the image out of her head. Xiao Yao. He was lying there, eyes wide open in a mixture of fear and surprise. His throat was slashed and blood flowed freely from the open wound. A trickle of blood hung at the corner of his mouth.

Yue Ru ran till she was out of breath. She fell to the floor and slowly slid into oblivion....
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Meanwhile…

Li Xiao Yao was still lingering around the Hall of Sinless. He went from door to door in search of Yue Ru. Suddenly, a guard dressed in black blocked his path.

“Halt!” The guard in black commanded. “What’re ya doin’ here?”

“I was in the Hall of Torture earlier. The section chief sent me here to learn a few things from you. He said that you’re one of the best guards in the Hall of Sinless.” Xiao Yao replied craftily with a smirk on his face.

The guard’s face turned from a frown to a wide smile.

Xiao Yao continued to appeal to the guard’s good side, “I also heard that you’re a hard worker. That’s why the section chief asked me to bring this to you.”

He handed the guard a bottle of wine and plate of delicious beef. The guard tried to keep his grandeur composure but his face showed otherwise. The smell of the wine of intoxicating and drool gathered at the corners of the guard’s mouth as the meat’s aroma drifted into his nostrils.

“I try m’ best.” He laughed with modesty. “It’s an ‘onor t’ work for the section chief.”

Xiao Yao gave him a wink and commented, “I think we’ll get a new section chief in no time.”

“I like ya young man. When I do ge’ promoted, I’ll give ya a reward.”

“Thank you kind sir. I’m sure you’ll be the best section chief yet!”

The guard laughed even louder.

Xiao Yao continued, “Sir, go rest and drink some wine. I’ll watch over this place for you.”

“Good! Take care o’ this miserable place. I’ll b’ back within n’ hour.”

The guard in black picked up the plate of beef and bottle of wine. He took a whiff of the wine and walked away. Xiao Yao waited till the guard was out of site, then made his move.

Xiao Yao quickly walked through the Hall of Sinless. Everything was so different from the Hall of Torture. This Hall was much calmer and full of serenity. No creaking torture machines. No screams of mercy or sobs of sorrow. He peeked through one of the doors that was slightly ajar and noticed a different atmosphere among the people in that room. Two people were actually having a simple conversation and laughing among themselves. Xiao Yao thought to himself, at least Yue Ru should be safe in this area.

One section of the hall consisted of thirty rooms. Xiao Yao had gone through two different sections. His was feeling weary from all the walking. He hadn’t eaten for an entire day. All of a sudden, his stomach proclaimed loud and clear that it had been four days. Xiao Yao groaned. All he had was wine and more wine. In fact, he consumed more in the last three months than a person did in a year.

There were only a few rooms ahead of him to check. Xiao Yao was running out of steam. He wanted to move on but his body felt heavy. However it seemed as if this young warrior had enough determination to spare. He trudged on, for Yue Ru’s sake. I don’t have any time to waste, he thought to himself. That stupid guard will be back soon and that pill doesn’t last forever. Suddenly, Xiao Yao was woken up from his thoughts by the sound of jingling bells.

Xiao Yao spun around wildly, then with a start found out the two bells that were attached to his waist started to jingle. He was surprised, yet confused. He had both of the bells on him. Xiao Yao thought to himself. How was it possible that the two bells moved all by themselves? Usually the two bells will only move if Yue Ru have one string of the bells. Could it be that Yue Ru was close by and the bells were reacting to her presence?

Motivated, he moved faster in the same direction. As Xiao Yao moved closer, the bells started to shake even more. He moved faster and faster towards one of the doors. All of a sudden, the bells stopped, as did his heart.
Xiao Yao peered through the door and saw a young lady sitting on a stool with her head down on the table. Her hair was spread around her like a fan, and her eyes were closed peacefully. The corners of her lips were curled up into a sweet smile. Her breathing was rhythmic and even.
Xiao Yao’s eyes fogged with tears as he realized that fact that he had finally found her. He had found his E Nu. He had found Yue Ru.

Xiao Yao started to stagger into the room when suddenly she woke up from her dream. Her eyes fluttered open then filled with a sort of subdued horror. Poor thing, he thought to himself, she must have had a nightmare. I’m sorry Yue Ru, he whispered in his mind. I’m sorry for all the things I’ve done to you. I’m taking you home this time, and I’m never letting you go.

“Yue Ru.” Xiao Yao whispered in a choked voice.

Yue Ru didn’t look up. Instead, she kept her eyes closed and held both hands on her ears.

“He’s not here. I’m not hearing him. I’m not hearing him. It’s only a dream. It’s only a dream.” She choked out, tears streaming from her eyes. “I want this dream to end…please,” she whispered, “I can’t take it anymore.”

Xiao Yao’s heart was filled with newfound love and pity for her and before he could stop himself, he reached out and touched her hand.

“Yue Ru, I’m here. Open your eyes. You’re rotten egg is here”

She slowly opened her eyes, then they widened in shock. She backed away a little bit, her mouth open in surprise.
“Yue Ru, don’t worry, I’m here,” He whispered still holding her hand.
“Ch-chou dan?” she breathed. Without another word, Xiao Yao took both of her hands and placed them on his face. “There,” he said quietly, “it’s really me, Yue Ru…”
Yue Ru kept both of her hands on his face, lower lip trembling. Her hands shook on his face. Then, slowly, realization took over.
“Where have you been?” she cried, “I’ve been waiting so long….so long…” she sobbed. She was crying and hitting him at the same time. Xiao Yao looked at her through his tears.

*****************************************************

A bustling city surrounded them. Carts rolled and dogs barked. But all Xiao Yao was watching was Yue Ru’s back facing him. He noticed her shoulders start to shake a little bit, and gloatingly said, “So, feel a little better?” Xiao Yao regretted it the moment the words had come out of his mouth, but it was too late to take them back. Yue Ru spun around, tears in her eyes.

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“Who do you think you are? Why should I cry? I won’t cry! These ten some years, I’ve been really happy! Why should I cry? I don’t need your pity and sympathy. I’m not like you! I’m the lady of the Lin family, and you’re just rotten egg! Who cares if you don’t have a mother?” Xiao Yao felt his anger rising in him with every words she said. “ I hate you I hate you I hate you!” she sobbed, punching his chest. Xiao Yao leaned against the pole, feeling every blow and taking it in.

****************************************************

She refused to cry then….and now? Here she was, still hitting him, of course, but crying freely. He felt a feeling his heart grow bigger and bigger….

Xiao Yao grabbed her almost roughly and pressed her to him. How long he had waited to feel her in his arms again. And this time, he would make sure he wouldn’t let go.

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“Yue Ru, I’m missed you too. I missed you so much that it hurts,” he whispered into her ear. “But I’m here now, and I’m never leaving you again,” He gently pulled away from Yue Ru and softly lifted her chin with one finger. He leaned in and his breath caressed her lips in the tremor of his kiss.

The sweetest kiss of man can turned a fierce tigress into a lovable kitten. Yue Ru couldn’t say another word. She was lost in the sweetness of the embrace and could only cling to his arms, lost in love.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Yue Ru, we have no time to waste. We must leave this place immediately.” Xiao Yao pulled her arm and headed toward the door.
She pulled him back and asked, “Leave? How we can leave this place when we’re both dead?”

“I’m not dead yet and so are you.”

“How is this possible? Only the dead are able to come down to the Underworld.”

“Ling Er’s mother gave me a magic pill. Right now, I’m half dead and half alive. I could only stay here for three days. If the pill wears off, I’ll be trap here as well.”

“I-I still don’t understand.”

“Yue Ru, just trust me. I’ll explain everything when we get back. Right now, we have to make haste.” He pulled her arms again and headed toward the door. However, Yue Ru released his hand and tossed it to the side. She had a different expression on her face. Tears formed in her eyes and she walked back to her bed.

She sat on the bed and said, “I’m not going. Just leave without me.”

“What’s wrong? Why don’t you want to leave this place with me? I came down here for you. I’m not going to leave without you.”

Yue Ru didn’t answer. She had her head down and quietly sat on her bed.

Xiao Yao walked up and kneeled down in front of her, “What’s wrong? You really don’t want to go back with me.”

“I can’t go back with you. I don’t want to get in between the two of you again.”

“What are you talking about? Between me and who?”

“Ling Er. It’s obvious she isn’t dead. If she is dead, then I would see or hear something about her down here.”

Xiao Yao shook his head and sighed.

“Why the long face?” Yue Ru asked with a puzzling look on her face.

“It’s true that Ling Er isn’t here but she isn’t in the real world either. She passed away a couple of months after you. She was killed in a battle. Her mother took her away.”

Yue Ru was surprised but remained silence.

“Ling Er will always be in my heart, but she has to take care of her kingdom, follow in her mother's footsteps.” Xiao Yao took a deep breath as he looked towards the sky, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Truthfully, I miss her calling me Xiao Yao Ge Ge in her sweet voice...I can't ever hear it again. But even though my heart aches for her, there isn't any hope that she can be with me,” he whispered.

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"And plus," he looked towards Yue Ru with a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth, "you have always followed me wherever I have gone, not asking for anything in return. I appreciate your kindness, diligence...I appreciate you. I have no one else in this world left except for you, Yue Ru. Please, follow me, and I'll take you home."

Yue Ru kissed Xiao Yao on his forehead and had a big smile on her face. With a shy expression on her face she said, “Xiao Yao Ge Ge, lets go. I’m ready to leave now.”

“Xiao Yao Ge Ge? I don’t think I could get use to it. It’s not really you.” He teased.

“Shut up! You rotten egg! You’re stuck with me now!” She retorted.

Xiao Yao laughed and said, “Now, that’s the Yue Ru I fell in love with.”

Yue Ru blushed and slightly bit down on her lower lip.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hundreds of footsteps rumbled throughout the Hall of Sinless and heavy pants echoed through out the air. Two people, and man and a woman, ran ahead of a herd of soldiers, running for their lives.

“Xiao Yao Ge Ge, are you sure this is the way out? We’ve been running for a while now!” Lin Yue Ru breathed trying to keep up with Xiao Yao.

“We’re almost to the exit. We just need to go through that exit. Hurry, before they catch us!” Li Xiao Yao held onto Yue Ru with one hand and pointed the other to an opening of Underworld. “Good, I can see the entrance to the outside world. Ling’er’s mother kept the entrance open for us. We should be fine once we get out of this….” Suddenly, Xiao Yao stopped dead in his tracks.

“What’s wrong? Why did you stop?” Before Yue Ru could ask another question, hundreds of soldiers lined up in front of the escape route. Yue Ru slipped behind Xiao Yao and looked out over his shoulder.

Xiao Yao managed a wry laugh. “Since when was the precious lady of the Lin family scared of death?”

“I’m not scared!” Yue Ru retorted, “I’m already dead. I could handle dying again,” she muttered.

“Good. I feel the same way. Any place is a good place for me. Even if I have to spend the rest of my life here, I would be happy. Just as long you’re here with me, I’m willing to die a million times over.”

Xiao Yao handed one of his swords over to Yue Ru. Yue RU smiled and took the sword from Xiao Yao. They turned into their familiar position, back to back and Yue Ru smiled, feeling his warmth.

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She felt confidence seep through her and felt ready to take on anything with him by her side. The Underworld’s soldiers surrounded the two young heroes. Some soldiers shouted and chanted like wild animals closing in on their prey. Xiao Yao and Yue Ru looked wildly from side to side as swords threatened them over and over. But for some reason, the soldiers didn’t attack. Then it hit Xiao Yao. They were playing with them before they went in for “the kill.”

“Stop! Retreat to the side!” a voice roared.

What seemed like a bunch of rowdy schoolyard bullies turned to disciplined soldiers. All of them stopped shouting and lined up to the side, standing as still as statues. The only sound that could be heard was from the heavy breathing of the two escapees, still back to back. All of a sudden a man walked out of an unknown entrance.

He was tall and had an august air about him. His white robes completely covered his frame. His shoulders were wide and he walked with a slight swagger. And on his face, a grandiose smile pulled at the corners of his mouth. The man was tall and had a grandeur smile on his face. All of the soldiers kneed down on their knees when he step into the area.

“Who is he?” Yue Ru muttered to Xiao Yao. But before he could give her an answer, the soldiers chimed,

“All hail to Yang Luo Wang, King of Underworld! May you live another 10,000 years!”

“Well, there you go,” whispered Xiao Yao. Yang Luo Wang lifted his hands up and all the soldiers rose to their feet. He then walked towards Xiao Yao.

“Xiao Yao, you’re an extraordinary young man.” Yang Luo Wang commented and continued. “I’ve been watching you since you stepped into this world. Do you think you can escape from this place unnoticed? To think a mere mortal like you coming here and causing so much commotion. I should make you one of my elite soldiers. What do you say?”

“King Luo Wang, thank you for your offer. It would be an honor to work by your side. However, I came to this world for other personal matters. Please forgive me.” Xiao Yao looked away and fisted his hands together to show respect.

“I was wondering what it could be to make a man crazy enough to come down here.” King Luo Wang walking around Yue Ru and gaving her a smile. Yue Ru tensed up and was about to strike out with her sword but Xiao Yao held her steady. “She’s a feisty one but also pleasing to the eye. I don’t know if I could let go of something like this. We don’t have much of her around here.”

Lin Yue Ru retorted, “Old man, I’m not a piece of meat! What are you looking at? If you keep on staring at me, I’ll poke your eyes out!”

“Yue Ru, don’t be rash.” Xiao Yao held her hands down. “What is it that you want from us?”

King Luo Wang smiled gently and said, “Young man, you have guts. No one around here would dare to speak to me like that. However, I like your attitude. To show you my appreciation, I’ll give you a chance to leave this place in one piece.”

“Fair enough. What do we have to do?” Xiao Yao asked.

“We’ll have three competitions. Whoever wins two out of the three competitions will get to do whatever he wishes with the other person.” Luo Wang explained.

“That’s fine with me. If we win, you have to let us leave this place without any harm.” Xiao Yao commented.

“If I win, you’ll have to stay by my side and work for me.” King Luo Wang replied.

“Fine, what’s the first competition?” Xiao Yao inquired.

“I’ll let you choose the first competition. Then I’ll choose the last two.”

Xiao Yao hesitated and answered with confidence. “We’ll drink. Whoever gets drunk first, then that person loses.”

Yue Ru tugged on his shirt and asked. “Xiao Yao Ge Ge, are you sure you could out drink him?” Yue Ru asked.

“I believe I’ve become immune to drinking. I’ve been drinking for past three months thinking about you and Ling er and all our friends. I think I could out drink him.”

King Luo Wang laughed, “Great! Bring the strongest wine we have here. Young man, lets drink until our stomach burst.”

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Two servants’ women came into the room dress in white. They each carried two jugs of wine to a table that was set with delicious delicacies. King Luo Wang and Xiao Yao sat together opposite of each other. Xiao Yao’s eyes flashed. He was ready.

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Chibi Jennifer
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Postby Chibi Jennifer » Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:24 pm

I remember this fanfic =D!!

very well written.. I love the descriptions...esp the part with Ling Er and Xiao Yao's paint...and I love how you added those pictures in too :)

Great stuff!!
♥Xiaoyao and Ling'er~~~
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zzXiaoyaozz
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Postby zzXiaoyaozz » Mon Oct 16, 2006 3:52 pm

nice... very nice this fanfic is wonderful


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