As days went by, the two souls competing for dominance resulted in making the flesh weaker.
They were afraid that when Shaoqing appeared she would hurt the body, so when she did appear, Qin Yaotang would make her faint, preventing her from causing a scene. But this could not go on for long, because Du Miaofu emerged less and less. They became afraid that when she fell asleep it would be the last time. So they dare not let her sleep easily. She tried to be strong and not fall asleep, but Yaotang could not stand it, he pressed an acupuncture point and he made her sleep.
When she woke up again, ‘Don’t do the acupoint…’ she begged weakly. She was cradled in his arms. Her spirits were low and her eyes were sunken and bloodshot, the flesh of her cheeks were sunken. She was reaching her limit. Everytime she woke up she felt so tired. Everytime she closed her eyes she wanted to sleep peacefully.
But she wanted to hold on, she didn’t want to disappear, but she could not bear it.
‘Talk to me.’ She said to Yaotang, her voice almost inaudible.
Yaotang picked up her frail hand in distress, only two weeks had pa.s.sed and she had lost so much weight. He was angry. He and Jiang Chuwei had tried everything they could but they could not get rid of the spectre of Pei Shaoqing - she clung to the body stubbornly.
They knew it was Pei Shaoqing’s body and she wanted to return, but people were selfish; in their hearts, Miaofu was more important than Shaoqing. They wanted Miaofu to live, and Shaoqing to die.
‘d.a.m.n it! Is there no way?’ Chuwei shouted angrily, Jiang Yan was frightened.
‘Jiejie, don’t be so agitated, be careful about your belly.’
‘Be careful of the fart!’ Chuwei retorted, ‘Everytime I see Shaoqing’s madness, I get angry enough to have an abortion.’
She knew Miaofu could not keep going, when Shaoqing appeared, she laughed and laughed. That face made her so angry she wanted to beat her up. If it weren’t that it was Miaomiao’s body, yes she decided Miaomiao owned the body. Shaoqing had died when she fell off the horse. Why does a dead person want to reincarnate? (Zuben: Aren't you a dead person yourself?)
‘Chuwei, don’t be mad…’ Miaofu whispered softly seeing her friend’s anxiety.
‘You tell me why I should not be angry…d.a.m.n!’ Miaofu’s appearance made Chuwei unable to continue, she tried to hold back her tears and take a deep breath.
In the end, the culprit is this surnamed Qin. She turned to him wanting to vent her anger on him, but looking at the man’s appearance, she could not fight with him. Miaomiao was haggard and so was he. His handsome face was now sallow, and his brows wrinkled. When Miaomiao slept, he stayed by her side, not eating or drinking. It had just been a few days but he looked like he had aged a few years.
She thought that if Miaomiao should pa.s.s, this man would also go with her. (Zuben: That might be an exaggeration) Turns out, people who seem indifferent and ruthless were not always cold.
Chuwei sighed and continued gnas.h.i.+ng her teeth, ‘Where is that d.a.m.n Xiahou? Isn’t he coming? I going to kill him!’
‘I’m here, I’ve arrived!’ From far off, he had heard his wife's cursing. Xiahou Yin the Emperor was helpless.
As soon as she saw him, she rushed up to him and grabbed his clothes, ‘How? Have you found a way?’ she asked frantically. She had sent a letter to him a few days ago, asking him to find a way to deal with the situation. If the Emperor could not find someone, he should simply put himself to death!
His wife’s movement speed was so fast, Xiahou’s heart leapt. He hugged her quickly, ‘Weiwei, be careful of your belly.’
‘Don’t fuss about my stomach,’ she said dismissively, ‘What about the person? Did you find them?’
‘This…’ He hesitated, but his wife began to give him a contemptuous look, he nodded reluctantly, ‘They have come with me.’
Chuwei did not accept it and roared, ‘Where are they then? Where? There is no one! Who is it?’
Xiahou was about to reply, but another voice spoke before him.
‘The soul is fading.’
A short man stood before Du Miaofu’s bed touching his chin thoughtfully.
Qin Yaotang looked at him coldly, but the man looked at him innocently.
‘I am telling the truth.’
‘Who are you?’ Chuwei asked. Where did this green bud emerge from? (Zuben: The G.o.d of this universe, dear)
But the seer smiled, he looked ordinary, forgettable. He was dressed in rags. But his dark eyes were clear with no impurities.
‘I am who he found.’ The man replied pointing to Xiahou.
Xiahou touched his nose and said, ‘I posted a bill, asking for someone who could solve Miaomiao’s issue, and he appeared.’
‘Can you save our Miaomiao?’ Yaotang asked, his eyes bright with hope.
‘Possibly…’ the man bent over and looked at Miaofu, Miaofu smiled at him.
Seeing her smile, the man could not help but be surprised, ‘Aren’t you afraid?’
‘I am very afraid.’ She replied gently, each word she uttered spent a lot of energy, ‘But they…are more afraid than I am.’ (Zuben: So n.o.ble...)
She looked at Yaotang with love in her eyes, ‘So I can’t be afraid.’
‘Interesting.’ He said with a smile, ‘You’re strong, so you have been able to hold on for a while.’ (Zuben: Because I am ...the wonderful girl)
Miaofu turned to look at him with hope in her eyes, ‘Can you help me?’
He did not answer, just continued to watch her and then asked, ‘Have you been seriously injured?’
‘Yes.’ She replied.
The man snapped his finger, ‘That is the reason.’
‘What do you mean?’ Yaotang asked.
‘The original owner of this body has long since died. This is only a shadow of her remaining.’ He replied. But his audience did look like they understood.
‘A human has three souls and seven spirits. After death, the souls depart. But if the owner of the body has great resentment, a shadow remains in the body. Originally, this shadow should have no effect, it will fade away after a long time. But it happened that Du Miaofu got injured; when a person is injured seriously, their soul is also injured. At this time, their soul is most vulnerable giving the shadow a chance to take control.’
He turned back to Miaofu and asked, ‘Did you begin to have nightmares after the injury?'
Miaofu nodded, surprised, ‘But I never remember the dreams,’ just got awoken by them.
The man smiled and stroked his chin, ‘The dreams the shadow causing trouble, invading your mind day and night, to make you fearful. The key to her rousing was…’ he paused at Yaotang.
‘Was she obsessed with you, Gōngzǐ?
‘Deeply.’ Chuwei replied with a mirthless grin. She glared at Yaotang; she had known that he was the cause of all this!
Yaotang ignored Chuwei’s contempt and asked the seer, ‘As you say, a person has three souls and seven spirits, why isn’t that Miaofu hasn’t been able to compete with Shaoqing?’ (Zuben: She’s milksop, that’s why)
‘Hey!’ The man stood up to Yaotang and shook his finger at him, ‘Do not look down on a person’s deep resentment. Once a person leaves unsettled anger or grievance, that emotion can become a demon. So the soul of resentment cannot be provoked. And…’ he turned to Miaofu, ‘Girl, if you want to live, you cannot be kind.’
Miaofu looked startled, before dropping her eyes.
‘You may be kind, but the other person is heartless. If you are not ruthless, you will be devoured.’ He paused, and asked her earnestly, ‘Girl, let me ask you, do you want to live?’
Miaofu bowed her head, Yaotang clung to her hand, she looked at his eyes, they were quiet like water but she could see his obsession and attachment to her.
Her chest burned as she returned his hold, her lips rising. For him, for those who cared about her, she wanted to live, ‘Yes, I want to go on living.’ (Zuben: Not for yourself?)
‘Very good.’ The seer said, nodding in satisfaction. With a wave of his hand, seven lotus lanterns appeared in a circle on the ground.
‘Enter the circle. This is a battle, if you win, you will wake. If you lose, you will vanish.’
‘What?! How is that good?’ Chuwei asked agitated, if Xiahou had not been holding her, she would have cursed.
The others who had been watching were amazed, there was such a magical thing in their world.
Jiang Yan did not understand it at all.
Qin Yaotang calmly picked up Miaofu and put her in the lotus lamp circle, he caressed her face.
‘I will be waiting for you. Remember, don't to sleep for too long.’
‘Yes.’ She nodded; she gave everyone a smile and closed her eyes.
Yaotang sat by her side holding her hand, waiting for her to wake up…
A familiar darkness…
Miaofu stood in the darkness, a familiar fear crept up on her.
Every night in her dress, she was chased by the darkness. There was a ghoulish voice ringing in her ears,
‘Return it to me! Give it back to me!’
It was coming.
She closed her eyes and subconsciously wanted to run. She lifted her foot and paused.
No! She couldn’t run!
She steeled herself, clenched her fists, opened her eyes and looked around calmly. If she should run away, she would be conceding.
She will not be afraid. She was not afraid. There is nothing to be afraid of. This was her dream. In her dream she was the greatest-
‘Ah!’ she shouted as her feet was suddenly caught by a hand that came out of the ground. Miaofu screamed as she was pulled down. Miaofu kicked off the hand,
‘f.u.c.k off! Pei Shaoqing, come out! Don’t play tricks!’
She would not be afraid of her. Not afraid at all!
The shadow giggled. The crazed laughter echoed in the darkness. A figure appeared and mean eyes stared at her. The two of them stood opposite to each other like two sides of a mirror. The same look, but opposite temperament.
‘You thief!’ the shadow shouted, ‘Return my body to me!’
‘You’re dead.’ Miaofu said coldly, refusing to be soft, refusing to be weak, ‘the person who needs to leave is you!’
Shaoqing roared. She grabbed Miaofu by the neck and squeezed hard, ‘What did you do? Why did you get him? This body is mine! I should be the one with him! He’s mine!’ (Zuben: I’m sorry that you seem to be confused, he belongs to me, the boy is mine♪)
‘Oh!’ Miaofu was suffocating, her face became red. Shaoqing’s strength was too great. She could not pull her hand off at all.
No, she should not be defeated. She could not lose.
Miaofu thrust her knee up into Shaoqing’s abdomen. Shaoqing released her and grabbed her abdomen in pain, Miaofu kicked her hard. Shaoqing shouted, she hadn’t expected Miaofu to fight back.
Miaofu coughed and gasped, she looked at Shaoqing without sympathy
‘Qin Yaotang is a person with feelings. He is not an object. You can’t get him. He can only fall in love.’ She raised her head, ‘person he loves is me, he did not fall in love with your body, he fell in love with my soul, Du Miaofu!’
‘You!’ Shaoqing’s eyes glowed red. She could see the murderous intent in them, the desire to kill her and tear Miaofu into pieces.
‘d.a.m.n you!’ Shaoqing roared, ‘As long as you disappear he will be mine!’ She lunged at Miaofu, but Miaofu dodged and began to run forward.
Ahead of her she could see a glimmer, subtle, small, if she hadn’t been looking carefully, she would not have seen it. Her subconscious told her that glimmer was the exit.
‘Don’t even think about running out!’ Shaoqing said also noticing the light. She chased Miaofu and caught her by her hair.
Miaofu screamed, turned and bit Shaoqing’s hand. Shaoqing let go and continued to run forward.
She couldn’t lose. She could not lose!
She wanted to live!
In truth, she was not kind at all. She was very selfish, but she had always been afraid that he selfishness would be annoying, so she pretended to be kind. But Yaotang had told her, her selfishness did not matter. He would not hate her for it. He wanted her to live.
Maybe, she had been waiting for him to say that. She wanted to know he would accept the imperfect her. She was not so good, she also had selfishness (Zuben: ¬.¬)
Tears flooded her eyes as she ran, hard. The light in front of her grew brighter and brighter.
She…wanted to be with him.
He did not belong to Pei Shaoqing. He was hers, because he loved her.
And she wanted to be with him because she loved him.
She stepped into the light and turned to Shaoqing in the darkness. She smiled and raised her chin proudly.
‘You should die!’ she said. She reached out and saw a door.
‘No!’ Shaoqing wanted to catch Miaofu, but there was now an invisible wall blocking her. She slammed against the wall with force, her red eyes roared at Miaofu.
‘No! You can’t! This body is mine!’
Yes this body was hers, but…Miaofu’s eyes had a glint of firmness and ruthlessness; she was selfish, she wanted to live. She wanted to be with Jiang Chuwei, and stay with Qin Yaotang forever, she wanted her happiness.
And so…without hesitation, Miaofu slammed the door, shutting out Shaoqing’s screams.
When she opened her eyes, she was held tightly in his arms. He could always recognise her easily. She smiled and held on to Yaotang.
‘I was waiting for you.’ He said his voice was thick with emotion.
‘Yes, I have returned.’ She laughed and sobbed lightly, ‘Won’t leave again?’
‘Will stay with me all the time?’
‘A lifetime?’ he asked.
‘A lifetime.’ She promised.
Their hands were clenched over their vow; a lifetime.
Qin Yaotang took Du Miaofu back home.
When Old Master Pei saw Du Miaofu, he was astonished. She looked like the missing Shaoqing but she was obviously a woman. Miaofu and Yaotang looked at each other and told a good story. They told the Master; Miaofu was Shaoqing who had been injured and lost last year. She lost her memory, was rescued by the Empress, and was accepted as a sister by the Emperor.
As for the fact that she was a woman, the First Lady had concealed her true gender from birth. Miaofu’s memory is still incompete, she would be a bit strange facing father and second mother.
The story surprised the two elders. The disappearance of the son a year ago had made Master Pei worry, but he had not expected that he would come back as a daughter. (Zuben: with a new name no less) But anyway, it was good that she had come back safely. The fact that he had nearly lost a daughter made Master Pei feel a little more guilty, decided to compensate her greatly.
In the next moment, Yaotang informed the elders he wanted to marry Miaofu, the two elders were horrified. But there was more astonishment to come.
The emperor issued an edict marrying the Furong Princess to the Pei family, he sent tens of thousands of liang as dowry, the other gifts that came made a caravan a mile long and a banquet was held in the Kingdom for three days. (Zuben: Party hard!)
On the night of the wedding festivities (Zuben: Which one?), the bride sat on the happy wedding bed with her hands on her knees waiting for her groom to raise the red veil. After what felt like ages, the groom stepped into the room. He received the red envelope from Xi Niang who was accompanied by her maid. They were blus.h.i.+ng as Xi Niang told them a few auspicious words and then the left with a smile. (Zuben: You’d really be blus.h.i.+ng if you knew what your son likes in bed)
Yaotang picked up the wedding scale and took off the veil. His bride was bashful and embarra.s.sed, but her lightly made-up face was beautiful. He helped her take off the pearl phoenix crown and led her by the hand to the table.
Miaofu lowered her head, she smiled and her eyes flashed darkly for a moment then restored its brightness. (Zuben: Like a rebooting computer. But seriously, how do these characters do all this s.h.i.+t. I can’t make my eyes flash in the mirror. Can you?)
Yaotang stilled and his dark eyes turned cold. (Zuben: Dun dun dun!)
She approached him and softly snuggled into his arms, ‘Dear Husband,’ she said with a gentle greasy voice. It made one want to dissolve in her.
Yaotang was still, just looked down at her and whispered in her ear, he said, ‘It seems I owe you a lesson.’
The bride’s body stiffened, ‘Ah!’ she exclaimed as she got thrown into bed.
Miaofu rolled around and blinked innocently, smiling flatteringly at him, ‘It was just a joke,’ she said, ‘Why don’t you have a sense of humour at all?’
‘Joking…?’ He said with a smile. A smile that made Miaofu’s scalp go cold. He picked up the white jade jug and brought it to bed. An evil smile crossed his handsome face,
‘You haven’t had a drink yet…’ He said looming over her, and frowned, ‘Do you want to drink from the mouth above or the mouth below?’
‘No answer? Then both mouths drink.’
‘No! Don’t…’ Miaofu shouted but she could not rival the evil of her man.
The bridal chamber was lit all night, the bride was eaten thoroughly, no matter how much she begged for mercy.
She really did not like him…
Afterwards, Miaofu could not get out of bed for three days and three nights, she wept with grief and happiness.
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