Perfect World Chapter 7 – A Way Out

on 08 21, 2010

…a couple weeks later

The wind blew across their faces as two figures moved swiftly in the night.  Silently, they scaled up and over the castle walls, one with the help of the other.  Although they had been fighting day after day against Bai Yue’s seemingly endless supply of troops, their bodies became refreshed at the thought of escaping this tasteless world.  The man smiled at his petite travelling partner as they hugged the sides of the castle walls.  If they weren’t wrong in their assumptions, the cult leader would be seated in the throne room, soaking in his would be glory.  The castle itself stood in the same place as it did outside of Xiao Yao’s mind.  Ling Er could even recognize where she carried Xiao Yao on her back in search of help.  Xiao Yao rolled his eyes as they weaved in and out between the multitude of Bai Yue statues, each made of real gold.  Torches lined the inner perimeter, one in between each pair of statues.

After Hu Die, the opponents Bai Yue sent seemed to consistently decrease in both strength and intelligence, being disposed of easily by Xiao Yao and Ling Er.  Cocky as he was, Xiao Yao explained it as being due to their continued growth in strength.  Ling Er, on the other hand, was uneasy…Bai Yue was and never will be that…simple.  She had expressed her thoughts to Xiao Yao before they reached Nan Zhao Guo castle.  Looking his way, Ling Er silently prayed that they were ready.

Half-way to the palace entrance, Xiao Yao abruptly stopped, causing Ling Er to bump into his back.  Wave after wave of Bai Yue jiao / cult members filed out and proceeded to surround the two intruders.  The two figures looked at each other.

“Sha jing qu.” / “Charge in.”

Panting, Xiao Yao didn’t bother putting his swords away.  Time did not allow him to, even if he wanted a break.  Disappearing and reappearing, a man dressed in white materialized between them and the throne room.

“Ni men lai le.  Huan ying, huan ying.”
“Oh, you’ve arrived.  Welcome.”

Bai Yue smiled at the couple.  Seeing this expression on his face made the couple, especially Ling Er, quite uneasy.  Without saying it, Bai Yue had extended his congratulations on getting this far, but warned that the game was just beginning.  The cult leader started pacing, occassionaly glancing at Ling Er.  Xiao Yao glared into their enemy’s eyes, which showed no emotion or gave any hint of what was going on in his dark mind.  Abruptly, Ling Er started walking slowly towards Bai Yue.

“Ling Er.  Ling Er, ni gan shen me?   Ling Er!”
“Ling Er.  Ling Er, what are you doing?  Ling Er!”

Xiao Yao grabbed her arm only to release it with a yell a second later.  Peering at his hand, he saw that it was red, pulsing as steam arose from his skin.  To his horror, Ling Er climbed the steps that led to where Bai Yue was standing.  Smiling at him, she hooked his nose and stood by his side.  Bai Yue smiled in return and patted her head, calling her a good girl.  Xiao Yao’s eyes widened and burned with anger as he took in what was happening in front of him.  Any reserve left in his body was about to break.  What kind of trance did that bastard put on his wife?

Bu yao cong dong. Bu yao cong dong.
Stay calm.  Stay calm.  Keep it together.

Xiao Yao tried desparately to control himself and his anger.

“Ze me yang, Li gong zi.  Ni kan qi lai bu tai hao eh.”
“How does it feel, Sir Li.  You don’t look so good.”  said Bai Yue, looking concerned, as he lifted Ling Er’s chin with his finger.  That did it.  He couldn’t stand it any longer.  He had to stop this sick and twisted man from gropping Ling Er.  Screaming at the top of his lungs, Xiao Yao was about to lunge at Bai Yue.  That is, until Ling Er stood between the two men and spread her arms out, shielding Bai Yue.

“Wo xiang, ta bu gou ai ni.  Bu guan zai na yi ge shi jie li, ni shi da bu guo wo de.”
“I don’t think she loves you enough.  It doesn’t matter what world we’re in, you’ll never beat me.” mocked Bai Yue, stroking Ling Er’s hair.

“Ni bian tai ah ni.  Na kai ni…zhang xi xi de shou zi…WO BU ZUAN NI PONG TA!”
“Are you perverted?  Take your grubby little fingers…off my wife…YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH HER!”

“Ni bu shi hen li hai ma?  Ba wo quan bu de shou xia yi ge yi ge da de pi gu niao liu – Li da xia, ni sheng wo qi la?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be so strong?  You beat up all of my underlings with ease – Master Li, you’re not angry with me, are you?”

Xiao Yao hated it when Bai Yue patronized him by victimizing himself.  But the fact remained, Ling Er was at his mercy.  He couldn’t do anything to jeopardize her safety.

“Ni zi hui li yong ren jia – bu guan shi yong bi de hai shi pian de – ni zi hui duo zai ren jia hou mian.  Mei tu xi!”
“You only know how to use people – whether by force or through manipulation – you only know how to hide behind other people.  Coward!”  cried Xiao Yao, pointing at Bai Yue.

“Wo rang ni hua cheng zhen.”
“May it be as you say.”  Bai Yue placed his hands on Ling Er’s shoulders.  Ling Er’s body began glowing black with such intensity that Xiao Yao had to shield his eyes with his sword.  When the blinding sensation faded, Xiao Yao looked to see two identical figures of Bai Yue.  Bai Yue calmly stepped back from Ling Er’s transformed body and placed his hands behind his back.  Looking at Xiao Yao, an evil grin cracked on his face.  Ling Er took her first step down the stairs towards Xiao Yao.

Stepping back, Xiao Yao tried to analyze the situation.  This world has been nothing but harsh illusions, using those he cared about most against him.  There had to be a way to stop all of this.  The Bai Yue in front of him made a move to attack.  Xiao Yao frantically dodged attack after attack while calling out to his wife.

“Ze me la, Li gong zi?  Bu xiang shang dao ni qing ai de xiao lao puo ah?”
“What’s wrong, Sir Li?  Don’t wanna harm your beloved little wife?”

Xiao Yao dodged a kick from Ling Er and pushed her away from him, leaping straight for Bai Yue.  Before he could reach the cult leader, Xiao Yao felt himself being dragged downward.  Looking behind him, he saw Ling Er holding onto his leg.  She swung downwards, slamming Xiao Yao onto the pavement below.  Bai Yue glided down the stairs and joined Ling Er in the assault against Xiao Yao.

Things didn’t look good for Xiao Yao, as he tried in vain to block or dodge each of their attacks.  Everytime he had an opening, he couldn’t take it in fear he may hurt Ling Er.  The two attacked relentlessly, sending Xiao Yao flying against the ground again and again.  Each time, he stood again valiantly.  He tried to keep in mind what Ling Er had told him before they reached the castle.  She had predicted that Bai Yue would use her against him and told him that despite what happened, to keep a clear head and to focus on the next step.  There must be a way out of this, to distinguish his wife from Bai Yue.  If this kept up, he would either allow himself to be killed slowly or strike and risk hitting Ling Er.

Each time they attacked, Xiao Yao tried to take note of any differences in the two, keeping tabs on any movement he saw.  Spitting out the blood that had accumulated in his mouth, Xiao Yao rose again after being punched into a statue.  He smiled as he had a breakthrough.  One of the Bai Yue’s attacks was always weaker than the other’s – slower, too.  It made sense to him that the stronger one was Bai Yue, who would want to hurt him.  Ling Er, on the other hand, was probably putting forth all the effort she could in not hitting him.  All he had to do was figure out which one’s attack packed more of a whallop and he would have found the real Bai Yue.  This rise from hopelessness gave Xiao Yao a temporary burst of strength and endurance.  He looked up and saw the figures flying through the air.

Ta men you lai le. / Here they come again.

Xiao Yao blocked an oncoming kick with his foot and another with his sword.  HA!  The one on the left struck harder!  Now to look for a chance to strike.  Xiao Yao tried to fixate only on one of them in order to keep them separate in his mind.  Seeing a rise in vigor and morale in Xiao Yao, Bai Yue inwardly smiled to himself.

Ta jue ding le / He’s made his decision.

If Xiao Yao wanted a chance to strike now, Bai Yue was certain he wouldn’t disappoint him.  He made Ling Er and himself charge blindly at Xiao Yao.  Xiao Yao glared at the Bai Yue now approaching on his right side.  There’s the strong one, he reminded himself.  He would be within range in three, two, one…

Xiao Yao screamed as he suddenly turned the sword in his hands, stepped backwards and stabbed the figure that was attacking on his left.  Red blood came rushing forth, turning the color of his attacker’s white tunic.  A fist landed on Xiao Yao’s face, sending him backwards onto the ground.  With Xiao Yao’s sword still impaled through the chest, the bloody Bai Yue struggled to remain standing.  The Bai Yue that had punched Xiao Yao groaned and fell on all fours.  Getting up, Xiao Yao rushed to the side of the one that had given him his last blow.  Holding the figure in his arms, he watched as Ling Er slowly appeared in front of him.  A giant smile cracked on his face as he laughed out loud.

“Ni…*cough*…ze me….*cough cough*”
“You…*cough* how did you…*cough cough*” demanded Bai Yue, falling to his hands and knees.  Helping Ling Er stand, Xiao Yao stared at him spitefully.

“Wo ne me ai Ling Er, wo ze me hui bu zhi dao.”
“I love Ling Er so much, how could I not know?”   said Xiao Yao triumphantly, shaking his head.  Ling Er looked at Xiao Yao questioningly.  She, too, would like to know how Xiao Yao knew which one was her and which one was Bai Yue.  Until the last split second, she was sure that her husband was going to run her through with his sword.  Seeing her stare, Xiao Yao smiled and tapped her nose.  He explained that it actually wasn’t until the very last second that he knew she was Ling Er.  His logic had seemed pretty sound until he considered Bai Yue’s tendancies.  If he wanted to, Bai Yue could have killed them both, given the circumstances they were in.  He, not willing to strike, and Ling Er, completely under his control.

“’Zhen zhen de Bai Yue shi da de bi jiao qiang de.’  Ne shi ta yao wo xiang de.”
“’The real Bai Yue was the one who hit the hardest.’  That’s what he wanted me to think.”  he told Ling Er.

“Oh, Ling Er dong le.  Ta yao ni sha le wo cai zhen zhen de gong zi ni.”
“Oh, Ling Er understands.  He wanted you to kill me before going full force on you.”

But Xiao Yao, who had stared into her eyes right before he made his move, saw the same panic and emotions as he did when Ling Er first entered the dream world in his mind.  Everything seemed to click; the obvious difference in strength, the quick, blatent strike opportunity after making his decision, the immense drop in combat ability in Bai Yue, whether it was as himself or as Ling Er, how he was cornered into striking or wait to be beaten to death by his enemy and his wife.  All pointed to wanting Xiao Yao to make a rash decision.

“Wo yie da ying guo ni, yao jing liang bu ne me cong dong, zi de ma?”
“I also promised you, that I would try not to be so impulsive anymore, remember?”  Xiao Yao asked her.  Walking over to Bai Yue, Xiao Yao removed the sword from his chest, telling himself that this was for his friends.  Whiping his nose, he sniffled and watched as Bai Yue took another breathe and closed his eyes.  Xiao Yao turned around and started walking back towards Ling Er.  As he approached her, her eyes widened and she quickly formed a ball of energy in her hands.  Xiao Yao stopped dead in his tracks as Ling Er released her attack and it was heading straight for him.  Turning quickly, he avoided the deadly blast to see it hit Bai Yue.  Groaning, the cult leader fell onto his knees.  Xiao Yao’s mouth hung open as his stare shifted from Bai Yue to Ling Er, then back to Bai Yue.  As he did previously, Bai Yue looked at the two that had defeated him and split into pieces.

Xiao Yao looked at Ling Er to see her smiling at him.  Scratching his head, he ran to her and picked her up.  It was time to go home.  After this night, they would wake in their respective beds in Sheng Gu and Du Gu Jian Sheng’s care.  They would see Yi Ru again.  Before leaving the castle, Xiao Yao nudged his wife and asked if she wanted to know another way he was able to tell the difference.

“Ni bi Bai Yue xiang duo le.”
“You smell way better than Bai Yue.”

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