Chapter 20: Lady Pothos in the tall tower (Part One)
In the tall tower, Lady Pothos was weaving cloth on a loom. Except for singing, weaving was the only thing to kill time in her onerous life. She wanted to weave a piece of cloth with blue threads for Hyacinth, but she only had green threads.
The ancient loom had been in this tall tower for as early as she could remember; maybe it had been in this place even before she came here. No one taught her how to use it, but she remembered how to weave when her hands touched the loom. Before she was born, her mother always sat here and weaved while singing a beautiful song. When Lady Pothos hummed this gentle tune, she’d feel less lonely in her imprisoned life.
She had known Hyacinth since long ago. At first, he seemed to be drawn to the tall tower by her songs. She looked at him stealthily through the half open window and found his presence was different from other people in this world. He was so beautiful that she couldn’t find words to describe him. He always played a bone flute to accompany her singing. Whenever he did it, she’d feel her world was full of color. Gradually, she got braver and opened her window to meet his eyes. As time went by, he entered her heart and formed the unspoken agreement that they’d meet whenever his flute music came.
Hyacinth led Xia Qiu and her companions to the tall tower and pointed at the tightly closed window near the top, saying, “That’s where Lady Pothos is imprisoned! She has been locked in there ever since Lady Flower left!”
The three youths understood more or less why the Yama King did this. Qianqi had been so sheltered by his father, the Ember Dragon King, that he wasn’t allowed to leave Dongyao. Whenever Ouyang Xiaoleng left the premises of the Old Ouyang Manor, Ouyang Hongye would be sick with worry. Xia Qiu knew the Yama King locked Lady Pothos due to his worry that she’d leave him as her mother had done; despite his extreme means, he just wanted to protect her.
“Pothos seldom opens her window, but she’s very sensitive to music. Whenever I played my flute, she’d open the window and sing along with it. Her singing is so beautiful; it’s like music from heaven that can purify people’s hearts.” Hyacinth pulled his bone flute from his belt and placed it against his lips. Then a melodious tune rose in the air.
Sure enough, the moment the flute music rose, the window in the tower was pushed open. She must have been waiting for him. Lady Pothos stuck her head out of the window. Dressed in a green robe, the petite girl had tender white skin and cloud-like thick hair draping down her shoulders like a waterfall. Her doe eyes were big and round as she looked down curiously at the strangers standing under the towner with Hyacinth. As they stared back at her unblinkingly, she hesitated and got uneasy; she stood back and was about to close the window.
Hurriedly, Hyacinth yelled at her, “Pothos, don’t close the window. They need your help, or they’ll be stuck here forever.”
Pothos blinked and looked like she believed what Hyacinth had said. She met their gazes again as if she was asking what she could do for them.
“Pothos has been locked in the tower for so long that she doesn’t know how to speak. But I think she understands what I said!” Hyacinth explained to Xia Qiu and her companions; then he turned to Pothos and yelled, “They need you to accept the Manzhu Shahua blossoms they brought and sing to them. This is the task your father wants them to do!”
When Hyacinth mentioned Manzhu Shahua, Lady Pothos revealed complicated emotions in her eyes. It was obvious that she liked this flower. After all, it was the only proof that her mother had existed in this world and her only bond with her mother. She hesitated and lifted her long raven hair; little by little, she lowered it from the window. The teenagers were astonished that her hair was so long that it could reach the ground.
Hyacinth lifted her hair and said to the youths, “Insert the blossoms in Pothos’s hair, so she can take them up.”
Carefully, they inserted the blossoms into Lady Potho’s black hair one by one. Then something miraculous happened; the blossoms which had shriveled a bit turned vibrant again when they touched her hair. When the bright red blossoms covered her beautiful silken black hair, Lady Pothos smiled radiantly. After the flowers were secured in her hair, Hyacinth waved at Lady Pothos and she slowly pulled her hair back up.
“Pothos, please sing a song for them!” Hyacinth begged her as he saw her shyness.
She plucked the blossoms from her hair and gathered them in a bouquet. Looking at the beautiful flowers, she thought for a moment and began to sing the tune that her mother used to hum. Each note was as beautiful and melancholic as the Paramita Flower, and her singing was full of sorrow and a sliver of hope; it contained her longing for her mother, her resentment and forgiveness for her father, and her fear of loneliness; at last, the tune changed with her expectation for love and being loved. Her singing contained so many feelings that it seemed as if they’d fill up the entire Yellow Spring Kingdom. Everyone shed tears; even Ouyang Xiaoleng’s eyes turned moist.
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