Chapter 32: A bond that can never be cut off (Part Two)
“When I was young, I was the God of Judgement specializing in executions in the god world. I was fed up with killing and asked to be assigned to this place. This distorted space looks cold but doesn’t have births or deaths. The souls coming to his place have to endure tortures for a long time but eventually they’ll turn into other forms; when they turn into a tree, a blood raven, or a particle of dust, their sins are absolved and cleansed. There’s nothing but void recycling in this place, but it gives me more peace than killing. However, the appearance of the Flower Lady broke the peace of my mind. Perhaps she was a destiny that I couldn’t escape from. I tried to avoid heartaches but ended up with a broken heart. She came into being because of me and I had to eat the fruits I planted.”
The Yama King took off his mask and revealed a noble face. With a chiseled profile typical of descendants of gods, he had a high nose bridge and golden-brown eyes; his melancholy face and grey temples made him look like the Ember Dragon King.
This was Pothos’s first time to see her father’s real face. Behind the mask, he hid not only his beauty and past, but his weakness and mercy. But today when he saw his daughter again, all his emotions and memories burst out of his cold veneer as if a dam was opened.
“Hyacinth, escort the three youths out of here through the rear door. I’ll talk to Pothos in private!” The Yama King ordered.
“Yes!” Hyacinth nodded and turned to them. “Come with me!”
The three youths said farewell to Pothos and the Yama King with gratitude in their hearts and followed Hyacinth out of the grand hall through the rear door.
After they left, the Yama King said to his daughter Pothos, “My authority over the Black and White Impermanences will weaken since I let the three youth leave the kingdom. I want to take the opportunity to take a break from my duty. In a while, I’ll announce that you’ll take over the management of the kingdom. I’ll enter the Forbidden Forest since there are many maze paths leading to alternate worlds. I’ve been wondering if there exists a path leading to the past. If I can return to the past, I’ll stop your mother the Flower Lady from leaving the Yellow Spring Kingdom.”
Pothos was startled by her father’s words. She had thought her father still resented her mother; but it turned out he was obsessed with the idea of going back to the past and stopping her from running to her death. However, she had little experience with the world; how could she take his place as the master of the Yellow Spring kingdom?
Alarmed, she said, “If you fail, you’d be swept into an unknown world and be lost in it forever. It’s too risky! Besides, what power do I have to rule the Black and White Impermanences and manage the world?”
“Well, in the past, I couldn’t walk out of my grief for your mother and never thought about what I could do to change the past. I sealed my own heart and kept even you out of it. But today when I saw the deep love between you and Hyacinth and the youths’ courage to save their world, I began to understand what I’ve been missing. So long as there’s a glimmer of hope, I want to return to the past and find her or stay with her in an alternate time and space.”
The Yama King had made the decision. He only felt sorry to and was worried about his daughter Pothos. She had been imprisoned for years by him and had just walked out of the tower; but now she had to take up the heavy burden of managing this world. It wasn’t easy to rule the Black and White Impermanences, but he was sure she could do it with Hyacinth’s help.
Pothos wanted to change her father’s mind, but when she remembered the agony of parting with Hyacinth, she understood how painful it was to miss someone; now she had a deeper understanding of her father’s deep love for her mother.
The Yama King watched as his daughter opened her mouth to say something and then stopped; he sighed deeply and gave her a faint smile, feeling lucky that he had taken Hyacinth into this world, so this man would accompany and guard Pothos in his stead, giving her the warmth and love that he had never given her.
He put on his gold scale mask and returned to his throne before summoning back the Black and White Impermanences who were waiting outside. He resumed his unpredictable tone and said, “I have an announcement!”
When they didn’t see Ouyang Xiaoleng and his companions, the Black and White Impermanences whispered among themselves in a language similar to Sanskrit and even Yama King couldn’t fully understand it. Pothos didn’t know what they were talking about but felt tension permeating the hall.
Then the tension was broken by her father’s booming voice.
“I have rejected the Spirit Fox King’s request for the land rune and sent them back to their own world! As you see, even the soul guarding soldiers outside the Lingque Palace couldn’t stop them. If I let them stay in the Yellow Spring Kingdom, they’ll cause chaos in our world. So I made an exception and let them leave to keep the order in our Yellow Spring Kingdom.” He paused for a second and continued after the whispering settled down, “I’m old and tired of managing the Yellow Spring Kingdom. Today I saw my daughter Pothos and it further strengthened my determination to take some rest. I plan to enter the Forbidden Forest and look for the miraculous force that might exist in a black hole, a force that can change anything.”
He could no longer conceal his emotions as easily as before and even heard a trace of hesitation in his own voice. He covered it and paused to see the responses of the Black and White Impermanences. When he saw they didn’t doubt his words, he continued, “I believe the Yellow Spring Kingdom will be as peaceful as in the past 1,000 years under the influence of the land rune, the management of Pothos and Hyacinth, and with your vigorous assistance! I’ll say farewell to you now. Pothos will walk me to the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and you must stay here and wait for her orders.”
Then he stood up in great dignity and adjusted his robe.
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
Fearing the land rune’s power, the Black and White Impermanences took his order and backed off, leaving a path for him to pass with Pothos by his side holding his arm.(read on noodletowntranslated dot com to support the actual translators)
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