Flying Eagles in the Ninth Month 20 Print
Friday, 04 July 2008 04:08

Chapter 20: New Year's Eve



The red chamber, the red window, the red table, by all accounts, everything was red.

Shangguan XiaoXian smiled very sweetly as she looked at Ye Kai, "You said you liked this nuptial chamber?"

"No."

Shangguan XiaoXian scoffed at him, "Why don’t you like it? Don't I look like a new bride?" She was wearing the red robe, the red skirt, the red embroidered shoes, even the face was also red.

Ye Kai’s eyes kept avoiding her eyes, "You look like a new bride, I actually do not look like the bridegroom."

He had his own robe, the sparkling face also looked red under the light of the candle.

Shangguan XiaoXian looked at him and charmingly said, "Who said you do not look like one."

"I said it."

"Why don't you go and look at yourself in the mirror."

Ye Kai lightly said, "Without the mirror I can still see that, moreover I can see very clearly."

"Oh?"

"My main strong point among this generation is that I can always see things very clearly."

He suddenly stood up and shoved open the window. Outside the window, the situation was peaceful. On the gate, there were couplets of the spring festival being posted. Some children wore new clothes and new hats to cover their ears. Some put the firecracker near the entrance.

All of these must have been obviously prepared by Shangguan XiaoXian for him, hoping that this kind of new year's celebration’s atmosphere would let him become happier. For the last two days he had become grumpy and restless.

Shangguan XiaoXian was asking him, "Do you like celebrating the new year?"

"I do not know."

"Why?"

Ye Kai was staring at the distant, lunar New Year's Eve night was just as dark as the other evenings. "I do not seem to like entering into a new year."

"Why?"

Ye Kai’s eyes had the emptiness and loneliness that could not be spoken. After a very long time, he slowly said, "You should know that there is one kind of people who do not celebrate the new year."

"What kind of person?"

"Someone who does not have a family."

For prodigal sons who roam about across the horizon, when other people were enjoying "the new year's celebration" gracious and happy for the new year, wouldn’t that time be also the loneliest time for them?

Shangguan XiaoXian suddenly gently sighed and said, "Actually I... I also have never had the new year's celebration."

"Oh?"

"You know what kind of person was my mother, but you would never know that regardless of how old she was at the time, while the others were celebrating the new year, she always hugged me and hid under the sheet, bursting into tears."

Ye Kai had not turned his head, nor opened his mouth. He could imagine that kind of situation - regardless of who she was, everybody must pay the price for her own sin.

Lin Xianer was not an exception, but Shangguan XiaoXian?
Did she have to beat the guilt as soon as she was born?
Why couldn't she be like any other child who enjoyed the happiness of the childhood?
That she turned out to be such a person today, who created it?
Whose mistake was it?

Ye Kai was also unable to restrain his gentle sigh.
"When two persons are divided by the horizon and met by chance – how would they became acquainted with one another?"

Shangguan XiaoXian was softly sighing: "Actually you should know that we are very similar persons, then why are you so distant to me?"

"That is because you have changed."

Shangguan XiaoXian walked closer: "What kind of person you think I have turned into?"

Ye Kai was silent, only silent. He was not willing to give a slap to someone’s face, to injure other people.

Shangguan XiaoXian suddenly sneered, "If you think I have changed ... She has also changed, you know."

Ye Kai also knew who she meant by "she".

Indeed he thought that Shangguan XiaoXian had became very similar to Lin Xianer, and even more fearful than her.

Shangguan XiaoXian suddenly moved closer and stared at him, "Look at me, I have something to ask you."

Ye Kai smiled bitterly, "Just ask."

"If I tell you that I have never had a man in my whole life, will you believe me?"

Ye Kai had not replied, he just could not reply to it.

"If you think that I behave similarly to any other man, then you are mistaken."

Ye Kai could not bear to ask, "You... Why do you do this to me?"

Shangguan XiaoXian bit her lips and said, "You don’t understand it in your heart? Why do you still need to ask?"

She looked at him, her eyes were filled with hidden bitterness. Anyone who saw her eyes should readily understand her sentiment.

Was she being sincere to Ye Kai?
Did Ye Kai really not believe her?
Certainly he did not disbelieve her. But he could not bring himself to believe it, nor did he dare to believe it.

Ye Kai has suddenly smiled and said, "Today is the lunar new year's eve, why do we want to discuss this unhappy matter."

"Because no matter what I say, you will still remain unhappy." She did not let Ye Kai interrupt her as she continued, "Because I know that in your heart, you will always think of Ding LingLin."

Ye Kai could not deny it, therefore he painstakingly said with a smile, "I continually remember her, because she was really a very good girl, and she is always good to me,"

"I am not good to you?"

"You are different."

"What is the difference?"

Ye Kai was sighing and said, "You are a very great woman, you have the ability, you also have the ambition, you also have very many things to take care, but... She actually has only me to depend on."

This was his real feeling from deep within his soul, this was also the first time he said it to Shangguan XiaoXian. He had no alternative but to say that now, because he was certainly not made of wood, a person who could not be moved at all.

Shangguan XiaoXian dangled a bait for him, "You think no matter where you are, no matter how long you are gone, she would still wait for you?"

"Yes..."

Shangguan XiaoXian suddenly sneered.

"You do not believe it?"

"I only want to remind you, that some women could not stand the test."

Ye Kai said, "I believe in her."

"Have you heard of Zhuang Zhou's story?"

Ye Kai waited.

Shangguan XiaoXian said, "They were originally loving husband and wife, but the day her husband died, his wife remarried someone else immediately."

Ye Kai smiled, "Luckily I do not have a wife, I also do not have Zhuang Zhou’s magical power and feign my own death.”

He did not want to continue arguing about this matter. To him, regarding Ding LingLin was something private, that should be discussed only between themselves. No one else need to understand about it.

*****

The sound of firecrackers was already sparse, the night was deeper.

Each family had all closed the door although the light through the window was still shining.  The children went back to their homes, impatient to look at the money they had gotten for  the new year.

Lunar New Year's Eve was the night for the revelry, but it was the night where people circled the stove and met with one another after some time. It should be a peaceful happy evening, except for prodigal sons like Ye Kai. They had to wait for another time until they could enjoy this kind happiness and peace?

He unexpectedly felt weary, feeling the urge to search for a cup of wine to drink.

At this moment, there resounded a slight and unsual sound of whistle. A pigeon flew by from afar, alighting on the opposite eaves. The feather was unexpectedly jet black, shiny black, just like a black hawk.

Ye Kai had never seen such an extraordinary pigeon. He could not help stopping in his footstep and looked again several times. Only then did he discover that Shangguan XiaoXian’s eyes seemed to have brightened.

Suddenly this black pigeon flew again immediately, entering the window, and perched on her palm. The steel beak, the sharp claws, the sparkling eyes, it really looked like a hawk, even more fierce than a vigorous and healthy male hawk.

Whose was this domestic pigeon? Ye Kai felt a twinge that the owner of this pigeon must also be a very fearful person.

Underneath the pigeon’s claw there was a pitch-black iron pipe. Shangguan XiaoXian was loosening this and took out a sheaf of paper from inside. The red paper was full of small writings.

Shangguan XiaoXian walked to under the lamp, very carefully she perused the paper. The way she was absorbed with it, Ye Kai seemed to have been forgotten.

Ye Kai kept looking at her, the light was illuminating her face, her bright red face had become pale, the face had become serious and stern. In this flash, she seemed to have turned into a different person, into Shangguan JinHong.

This correspondence was obviously extremely secret and important. Ye Kai certainly did not want to pry into the secret of other people, but he actually pondered about this pigeon curiously.

He looked at the pigeon, the pigeon was unexpectedly also maliciously staring at him. He wanted to trace its shining feather, but this pigeon suddenly flew and fiercely pecked at his hand.

Ye Kai sighed and muttered, "Such ominous pigeon...  this is really one of the most unusual bird in the world."

Shangguan XiaoXian suddenly moved closer and smiled, "This kind of pigeon is indeed very rare. As far as I know, there are only three of them in this world."

Ye Kai said, "Oh?"

Shangguan XiaoXian sighed, "Raising such a pigeon is really not an easy matter, therefore the people who can raise them cannot be more than three in the world."

Ye Kai felt strange, "Why?"

Shangguan XiaoXian asked in reply, "Do you know what this kind of pigeon usually eats?"

Ye Kai shook his head.

Shangguan XiaoXian said, "I know that you would never guess."

Ye Kai had reluctantly smiled, "It won’t have a person’s flesh for food, right?"

Shangguan XiaoXian had also smiled. She actually had not replied, suddenly she clapped her hands to call, "Small green jade."

A very young girl with a dimple came in, smiling very sweetly.

"Your knife?"

Small green jade put her hands inside her bosom and pulled out a silver knife inlaid with pearl.

“Very good, now you are allowed to feed it."

Small green jade had untied her clothes immediately, cut a piece of bloody meat from her body, although her face was covered with cold sweat from the pain, she still smiled very sweetly.

That pigeon flew away like the hawk. It held this piece of meat in the mouth and departed outside the window. Like many other people, when eating the meal, it was not willing to let the others see.

Ye Kai’s face changed countenance. He said, "It really eats a person’s flesh."

Shangguan XiaoXian said, "Not only any person’s flesh, moreover it needs to be cut fresh from a living person, and a young girl at that."

Ye Kai only felt his stomach contracting, nearly could not stop himself from vomiting.

"Do you know where this pigeon flied from?"

Ye Kai shook his head.

“It flew from a great distance, moreover it also has brought a very important news for me. Even if I have to shear a piece of flesh for it, I will do it."

Ye Kai could not bear asking, "What news?"

"The Devil Sect’s news."

Ye Kai was unable to restrain changing his countenance and said, “Is this pigeon's master the founder of the Devil Sect?"

“Not the founder, a princess, a very beautiful princess."

"How can she pass the news to you?"

"Because she is also a person. As long as it is a person, I have the way to buy her out."

"What does she know?"

Shangguan XiaoXian said, "She only knows that there are three great princes from the Devil Sect that will arrive in Chang An city. But she actually did not know how they will show up here."

"She does not know these three people's name?"

Shangguan XiaoXian sighed, "Knowing them would not be useful. Once they went inside the Sect, they must give up their own names and would never use their own name again, there.."

Ye Kai said, "Therefore she only knew the names of the three people that are used in the Devil Sect."

Shangguan XiaoXian nodded, "Devil Sect’s leaders are the four great princes, their old names have disappeared. The first one is called "Die-er-bu", the second one is called 'Duo-er-jia', the third one is called ' Bu-da-la', and the last one is called  'Ban-cha-ba-na'. These are all in ancient Tibetan. 'Die-er-bu' means conquering with bright wisdom. 'Duo-er-jia’ means conquering with powerful rule.' Bu-da-la' is the solitary peak. 'Ban-cha-ba-na' is god of desire and love."

Shangguan XiaoXian continued, "Now besides Duo-er-jia who needs to remain behind to take care of things in the Devil Sect’s mountain, the other three great princes have all arrived in Chang An city."

"This news is reliable?"

“Yes. Absolutely reliable."

"Can't you possibly guess who they are?"

Shangguan XiaoXian said, "I had only thought of one person, 'Ban-cha-ba-na ' the great prince, is very possibly Priest Yu Xiao."

Priest Yu Xiao’s life was indeed filled with love and desire.

"Can you extracted the information about the other two from Yu Xiao?"

"I cannot."

"You cannot?"

Shangguan XiaoXian said, "Even if I have the ways to handle any kind of people and force them to tell the truth, there is still an exception for a certain person."

"A dead person?"

Shangguan XiaoXian nodded.

Ye Kai said, "How did he die?"

"Someone has killed him."

"Who has killed Eastern Sea Yu Xiao?"

Shangguan XiaoXian lightly said, "This person is in this Chang An city."

Ye Kai was pondering for a while before suddenly giving a long sigh, "I have been here in only ten days. But there are many things that have changed in Chang An city.  Many, many things."

Shangguan XiaoXian was staring at him and gently said, "You do not want to leave?"

Ye Kai had reluctantly smiled, "My wound is better."

Shangguan XiaoXian’s face revealed some hidden bitterness, "Once the wound is better, you must leave?"

Ye Kai avoided her eyes, "Sooner or later I have to go."

"When do you want to leave?"

Ye Kai said, "Tomorrow... " He reluctantly smiled while saying, "If I leave tomorrow, I can arrive in Chang An city in time to leave the old year behind."

Shangguan XiaoXian was biting her lips, she unexpectedly had also smiled, "Besides paying the new year's call, you may also catch up on a drink for celebration."

"Whose celebration drink?"

Shangguan XiaoXian lightly said, "Certainly your friend, a very good friend of yours."