Chapter 50: The Dragon King comes to witness the ceremony (Part One)
Feather Crane Immortal inhaled deeply and walked out of the stone pavilion with Xia Qiu’s help. He insisted, “I’ll take you to the bank!”
A pair of huge white wings appeared on his back again. His current strength could no longer sustain his form and white feathers began to grow on the sides of his face, neck and arms. He didn’t dare to meet her eyes, afraid to see fear in them.
But Xia Qiu thought his white feather looked as pure as his name, graceful and clean. She smiled and said without hesitation, “You’re so beautiful!”
Her simple praise eased much of his pain. After taking her to the bank, he didn’t know how to say goodbye to her; after all, he had lived away from the world all his life and didn’t know the words for farewell. Xia Qiu opened her arms to him, which was a gesture that needed no words to explain. He bent a little and hugged her. The simple human gesture expressing fondness for each other made his heart tremble. Humans had fragile physical bodies and short lifespans, but their body temperature was warm enough to melt him.
“Take care,” Xia Qiu instructed, “Promise me to hold on until I find information about your past!”
Feather Crane Immortal watched as she rode away and disappeared in the misty forest. He had sent a group of cranes to guide her so she wouldn’t lose her way on her journey back to the capital city of Yongchuan.
On the day of the coronation, everything got ready as Ouyang Hongye had directed; invitations had been issued two days ago and the North Star Palace was waiting for the ceremony to begin. Meanwhile, the city was about to receive its noblest guest—the Ember Dragon King. His entourage included guards, musicians, and dancers from his palace; he had also brought a present to Ouyang Xiaoleng.
On his way to the capital city, he had witnessed the desolation of the spirit world. His heart hurt when he saw the ruins of the previously prosperous cities. After his wife died, he had lived in seclusion in Dongyao and even vowed at her tomb that he’d never step out of the city again. But now, he still stepped on the soil outside Dongyao.
Before he left, he sat for a long time before her tomb which he visited daily. He had buried his wife in a field of peonies, which he had planted for her before they married. In his palace, he had even built rooms and a courtyard that exactly looked like her old residence. The field of peonies was in the center of the courtyard. Before he left Dongyao, he wanted to sit before her tomb and talk to her, as he did each day. He told her that he’d attend Xiaoleng’s coronation and see how their son, Qianqi, was doing after he left Dongyao.
That night, he dreamed of her. Standing in the field of peonies, she looked young and beautiful; she didn’t speak but he heard her words in his head.
She told him, “I feel your love. I’m so happy. But it’s time for you to let go the past and go to the places you want to go and do things you want to do. Don’t bury yourself in memories and grief! I hope you can return to your previous self, the handsome and loving young hero that you were when we first met.”
How he wished he could stay in the dream forever. In the dream, she looked the same as the first time they met; at that time, she also stood in a field of peonies and was more beautiful than any flowers.
Before he met her, he had been obsessed in searching all over the spirit world and the human world for secret scrolls on techniques to increase his spirit power and martial arts. When he heard that a precious scroll on sword techniques was hidden in a palace in the human world, he went immediately. In the maze-like city, he got lost in his impatience for the sword technique scroll and stumbled into a courtyard full of blooming peonies; there, he met her. When their eyes met, she didn’t scream or yell in shock. Later, he found out that she was the city master’s daughter and had lived in the palace all her life, seeing few people from outside. When she saw him, she felt no fear but curiosity; he was the most handsome guy she had ever seen.
Unlike her people, he had pale chestnut hair, brown skin, a high-bridged nose, and deep-set eyes. With an unusually tall figure, he wore a pale lake-blue robe which was of a style she had never seen before. At that time, she was only 16 years old, pretty, petite and elegant; the occasional shyness on her face was so cute, unlike anything he had seen. In his eyes, she was like a beautiful and fragile doe. They fell in love at first glance; he gave up his plan of stealing the sword technique scroll because he had found his priceless treasure.
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