Chapter 49: Farewell (Part Two)
Soul Departure was a weird experience in which the scenes she saw could be affected by her awareness which might conjure unreal things; if she wasn’t careful, she might conjure enemies that could harm herself, or even create false visions. Each time she did it, Feather Crane Immortal would shatter the illusions she had made. The Immortal had obviously become weaker in the past few days, and their conversations got shorter while his naps grew longer.
“Maybe I won’t wake up the next time; and the island will sleep with me indefinitely!” Once Feather Crane Immortal said the words quietly after he woke up; he didn’t sound sad, but unusually quiet.
Xia Qiu knew what he meant but didn’t want to think about t. As he grew weaker, more plants on the island withered. Afraid he’d be sad when he saw the sight, she gathered the fallen petals when he slept and planned to bury them in the ground around the stone pavilion.
In the past few days, she had sensed the great pain buried deep in his heart. He wasn’t afraid of the imminent death; what he feared was his unknown past. People without this experience couldn’t understand this feeling. Without memories, he was like a rootless lily pad floating without an anchor. His body was on this island, but his soul was roaming around, trying to find clues to his lost memories.
She didn’t regret her decision to stay on the island. She only hoped Elder Cheng and the people in the capital city would keep their promise and let Ouyang Xiaoleng ascend to the throne. He’d become the king of the spirit world. She hadn’t thought about what it truly meant, but now she realized that he might no longer be the boy she had known after he became the king of this world. When she thought about the huge gap between their positions, she felt agitated, and an unnamed pain gathered in her chest.
Feather Crane Immortal’s strength had weakened so much that he could only sit there leaning on the railing in the rare moments that he wasn’t asleep. When he woke up, he’d call Xia Qiu’s name in a weak voice. Only the flowers within their sight were still blooming and she couldn’t gather the fallen petals fast enough.
When Feather Crane Immortal woke up and found Xia Qiu was scrambling to bury the petals, he smiled weakly.
He struggled up and said, ”Let them be. They’ll melt into the soil or be swept into the lake by wind sooner or later.”
His voice was so weak that she was afraid that he’d die very soon. Like those flowers, he had spent only a very short time with her, but she knew how pure-hearted and peaceful he was.
He had become her friend and mentor. All through her life, no one had listened to her with so much interest as he did; he was fascinated with each word she spoke. She wanted very much to stop his death, but it went beyond her abilities. All she could do was telling him fun stuff; she told him about her grandparents, her best friend Lingmei; she told him that she had been a silent and moody child but later became open and cheerful; she told him how she met Ouyang Xiaoleng. Feather Crane Immortal was fascinated by her stories and would muster his energy to nod occasionally or ask a few simple questions.
“I think you can return to the capital city of Yonghuan very soon. Do you want me to send a crane and deliver the message to them?” Feather Crane Immortal asked suddenly. Seeing her moist eyes, he continued, ”Let me face the last moment of my life all by myself. I don’t want you to see how weak and ugly I’ll be.”
He had read her thoughts and knew her deep compassion and pity for him, but he was stubborn and wouldn’t change his mind no matter what she said. He knew his life was coming to an end and didn’t want his only friend in his life to see his withering body when he died. Like those withered flowers, no matter how beautiful he was, he’d decay eventually.
“My teacher in the high school manages the underground information bank for the Old Ouyang Manor and there are lots of records and books about the mysteries in the three worlds and beyond. Maybe we can find records about your past and a way to heal you,” Xia Qiu said.
She remembered that Dong Muya had found clues to the land rune and information about the Yellow Spring Kingdom in a short time from the information bank. Maybe she could find answers to Feather Crane Immortal’s mysterious past. Xia Qiu wanted to return to Yongchuan as soon as possible; she couldn’t watch anyone died, especially the people she liked.
“There’s such a place?” A glimmer of hope appeared in Feather Crane Immortal’s eyes.
“Yes. You must hold on until I deliver you the information I find. We’ll see each other again!” Xia Qiu answered firmly to give him courage.
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