Perfect World Chapter 2 – A Final Test of True Love

on 08 21, 2010

Exhausted, Ling Er reached the outer courts of the palace. To her relief, Ah Nu and Tang Yu’s wish had reversed most of the damage caused by Bai Yue’s sinister summon.

“Lai ren ah! Lai ren ah! Jiu ming ah!” / “Somebody! Anybody! Help!”

Ling Er could barely move as she felt Xiao Yao slipping from her back. Falling forward, she used herself as a cushion to break his fall. Struggling to crawl along the ground, Ling Er continued to call for help until she lost consciousness. “Lai…ren…ah…” / “Some…bo…dy…”

The candlelight flickered to and fro as it came into focus. Turning her head, Ling Er realized she was laying comfortably on a small, wooden bed against the wall.

(Xiao Yao gege…)

Fully awake, her eyes scanned the room to find a figure asleep at her bedside. Across the room lay Xiao Yao, who was sweating profusely, tossing and turning under at least two layers of blankets. A washcloth lay across his forehead and a basin half full of water along with a candle took up most of the space on his nightstand. The moon’s erie glow shined through an open window and she could hear only insects in the night air. It was definitely long after midnight. How long had she been sleeping? A sudden movement forced Ling Er to avert her attention from watching Xiao Yao. The doorknob jiggled as it turned and a slight creak sang as the door swung open and in walked a tall man dressed in white. His hair was white from age and his posture and aura immediately reflected dignity and importance.

“Zhao gu niang, ni zhong yu xing lai le.” / “Miss Zhao, you’ve finally awakened.” said the man non-chalantly. “Jue de zhen me yang?” / “How are you feeling?” he added, walking towards Ling Er’s bed. The candlelight climbed up his body and to his face as he reached her side.

“Shi ni. Shi ni jiu le wo men? Ling Er xie xie ni. Wo men xian zai zai na li?” / “It’s you. Was it you who saved us? Ling Er thanks you. Where are we?” asked Ling Er as the sleeping figure began to stir.

“Sheng Gu, ta xing lai le.” / “Sheng Gu, she has awakened.” the old man told the figure. “Hai you,” / “And, “ he added, pointing to Sheng Gu, “shi ta jiu le ni men, bu shi wo.” / “it was her that saved you, not I.”

Sheng Gu and Ling Er exchanged glances. Some villagers had found them unconscious near the palace and had brought them to Sheng Gu a few days ago.

“Ling………Er…”

All eyes turned to Xiao Yao as he began repeating Ling Er’s name.

“Sheng Gu, ta zhen me le? Wei shen me hui zhei yang?” / “Sheng Gu, what’s wrong with him? How could it be like this?” asked Ling Er.

“Wo yie bu zhi dao. Shuo yi, wo cai ba Du Gu Jian Sheng cong Shu Shan gei qing xia lai.” / “I do not understand, either. That’s why I asked Du Gu Jian Sheng to come from Mt. Shu.”

Du Gu Jian Sheng walked over to Xiao Yao and replaced the washcloth. He had underestimated these young people. Though, studdborn to the end, he refused to admit, even to himself, that his past actions may have been wrong. Still, he felt compassion for his shi di’s / discipleship brother’s young disciple. He had wept for Jiu Xian Jian’s passing, wondering if he had found his dao / destiny and reason before he died. Only as a final act of respect and love for Jiu Xian Jian did Du Gu Jian Sheng decide to offer his help.

“Ni he Xiao Yao…gen Bai Yue jue dou de shi hou, ni men gen ben bu shi ta de dui shou. Ne ge shi wang ba dan, si dou bu gan xiang xin zhen ai ke zai zhe shi jie tuan jie. Cong yi kai shi ta yi jing dong le shou jiao zai Xiao Yao sheng shang le. Yi zhi dao Ah Nu he Tang Yu qu xian de shi hou, ta zhi xiang wan ni men. Ke shi, ne ge ya tou he Tang Yu bian cheng quan shuo de fei niao de shi hou, ta cai zi de ai shi shen me dong xi. Hou guo ne, jiu shi lang Xiao Yao sha le ta. Ke shi ta xiang wan de you xi hai zai. You xi de mu di jiu xiang ta gei Ah Nu he Tang Yu de yi yang – zhi xiang kan zhen ai de xian du.” he explained, sitting next to Xiao Yao.

/

“When you and Xiao Yao…fought Bai Yue in that final battle, you were definitely not his equals. That bastard, he would rather die than believe that true love can exist in this world. From the beginning, he had already made his own arrangements on Xiao Yao. Until the moment Ah Nu and Tang Yu appeared, he had only intended to play with you two. But, when that silly girl and Tang Yu became the birds of legend, only then did he remember what love is. The conclusion, was to let Xiao Yao kill him. But the game he wished to play remained. The motive behind this game is the same as those he gave Ah Nu and Tang Yu – to test the limits of true love.” he explained, sitting next to Xiao Yao. Du Gu Jian Sheng went on to explain that Xiao Yao was co-existing between worlds. His physical body remained here while his soul dwelled in a world created by Bai Yue in his mind. In Xiao Yao’s reality, his worst fears and nightmares would come true. One by one, the events and circumstances he dreaded the most would occur, until either his will breaks down and he decides to end his life, or until the stress and heartache caused his mind to decay and wither away. In both cases, it was a terrible fate and would result in Xiao Yao’s death. Every event that happened to Xiao Yao in that world would have an effect on his physical being.

Turning to Ling Er, Du Gu Jian Sheng offered his help, but only on the condition that Li Xiao Yao would become his disciple and move to Mt. Shu. Ling Er would not be welcomed there. He could send Ling Er into that dream world, where they would have to defeat Bai Yue once again when in that world.

“Ni zai shuo shen me ah? Ren jia yi jing shi qu le ta men jui yao hao de peng you. Ta xiang gong yie tang zai ne li deng si le. Ni you ne me hen xin ma?” / “What are you saying? They’ve already lost their closest, dearest friends. Her husband is now laying there, waiting to die. Are you so cold-hearted?” pleaded Sheng Gu.

“Bie xun wo, Sheng Gu. Zhe shi wo de yao qiu. Ta jie shou bu jie shou shi ta de xuan zhe.” / “Don’t lecture me, Sheng Gu. This is my stipulation. The decision to accept it or not is her own decision.”

The two elders stood from their chairs and argued on while Ling Er could only sit in her bed, her eyes transfixed on Xiao Yao. This is the same decision she was given in the tower on Mt. Shu, only in a different form. She couldn’t understand why Du Gu Jian Sheng desired so much to separate them. Am I not supposed to be happy? What does this life want from me? she wondered, as everything in the room seemed to fade into the background. She only saw Xiao Yao; only heard his murmurs; only thought of him and his happiness. Without thinking, Ling Er lifted her right hand and hooked her index finger. Tilting her head slightly, her lips parted as she made slow sliding motions where she saw Xiao Yao’s nose. A single tear slid down her cheek as she exhaled. Seeing her gestures, Sheng Gu and Du Gu Jian Sheng momentarily stopped bickering and tried to regain composure.

“Wo shi wei ta men hao, ni zhi dao ma? Ta men yi qi sheng huo xia qu zhi hui rang ta men geng tong ku.” / “I’m only thinking of what’s best for them, can’t you see that? Them being together will only result in greater suffering for them in the end.” reasoned Du Gu Jian Sheng.

Sheng Gu sighed knowingly and replied, “Ni ke lang ta men zuo zhi zi de jue ding ma? Wo men dou zhi shi ren. Wo men mei you shen me zi ge zuo Shen de xing wei.” / “Can’t you let them make their own decisions? We are all but human. We don’t have the right to play God.”

“Wo rang wo shi di zuo ta zhi zi de jue ding – ni kan ta xian zai. Ta si le!” / “I let my discipleship brother make his own decisions – take a look at him now. He’s dead!”

“Yi ge ren de hou guo bu neng dai biao mei ren de yi qie. Zui shao, ta si yi qian zhao dao le kuai le. Ta you yi ge hao tu di. Ta zhao dao ta de qin nu er.” / “One person’s end cannot represent the fate of everyone. At the very least, he found happiness before he died. He had a good disciple. He found his own daughter.” Sheng Gu paused for a moment, sitting down again.

“Ta yie…zhao dao wo…” / “He also…found me…” she said, as she stared at the ground and tried to stop the rushing flow of burning hot tears. “Ni dao xiang zhen me yang?” / “What exactly do you want?”

“Shui shi ta nu er? Ni you shi ta shen me ren?” / “Who is his daughter? And who are you to him?” demanded Du Gu Jian Sheng.

“Ne ge ya tou, Ah Nu, shi wo he ni si di de nu er…” / “That silly girl, Ah Nu, is the child I had with your discipleship brother…”

Taken aback, Du Gu Jian Sheng sat down again beside Xiao Yao’s bed. Turning to Ling Er, he asked for her response.

“Zhao gu niang, ni ru guo jue ding qu de hua, wo bu neng ken ding ni men de an quan. Yao kan ni he Xiao Yao de ai lai ow guo zhe ge kuen nan…Wo gang shuo de yao qiu…deng ni men hui lai zai shuo ba.” / “Miss Zhao, if you do decide to go, I cannot gaurantee your (guys’) safety. It’ll depend on the love between you and Xiao Yao to overcome this trial…As for my conditions just now…we can talk about it after you both return…” His eyes danced around Ling Er’s figure, afraid to look at her directly.

Ling Er looked at Du Gu Jian Sheng. “Du Gu Jian Sheng, wo bu neng bao zheng Xiao Yao hui shou ni wei shi.” / “Du Gu Jian Sheng, I can’t promise that Xiao Yao will accept you for a master.” Her attention shifted once again to the bed where Xiao Yao lay.

“Ke shi xian zai wo jue de jiu ren zhong yao… … …” / “But I believe that at this time, saving lives is more important… … …”

Without waiting to hear her entire response, Du Gu Jian Sheng stood up and removed the washcloth from Xiao Yao’s head. Placing his hand on Xiao Yao’s forehead, Du Gu Jian Sheng’s eyes closed. A bright light emitted from the contact between the two men.

Xiao Yao stared at the lifeless body of his only daughter. “Yi Ru…” he said, nudging her body again and again. “Yi Ru…” Her blood trickled down his hand with the same manner as Ling Er’s. His eyes shifted to the wild boar he had just slaughtered for trampling his daughter while they slept. His face had been nearly expressionless for days aside from solemn wonder. Without weeping, Xiao Yao rose from his knees and reached for his sword. He began to wipe the blade with his shirt to remove the stains from the boar…

Entranced, Du Gu Jian Sheng began to speak.

“I’ve uncovered my youthful clock of departing night.
To warmed winter minutes promised to tick-tock again.
The chirping spring invades cloudless love.
Its gardens brimming endless morning, as I say goodbye.
And as I turn towards the winding rainbow road,
Pure mourning shines down from widowed sky.
Its beams with heart’s rain to guide the way –
The journey away from blessed desire
So I march, with time in hand, pressing on,
Turning back the hands once more.
One by one the memories fade,
As leaves do fall from passing trees.
The final stretch,
Just one look back.
The setting sun
On broken hands.
I’m coming Yi Ru…Ling Er.”

Du Gu Jian Sheng’s eyes shot open. Xiao Yao was preparing to end his life. He was taking note of his final surroundings as his life flashed before his eyes. He was losing his mind, struggling to maintain his memories to take with him to the afterlife. Time itself seemed to stop and a vision of clock hands snapping off through a glass watch reached Du Gu Jian Sheng’s mind. Immediately, Gu Jian Sheng pointed at Ling Er’s bed with his index and middle finger. Tightening his fist, he swung his arm towards a spot right beside Xiao Yao’s bed. Ling Er gasped as she, along with her bed, slid across the floor and knocked against the opposite wall. The two beds were now side by side.

“Shi jian dao le. Zuen bei ba!” / “Time’s up. Prepare yourself!” yelled Du Gu Jian Sheng as he hit all of the major nerve points on Ling Er’s body, sending her to the dream world.



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