I held onto Yanwang’s tight and wept bitterly. I begged him to let me boil soup for a few more years in the netherworld. Yanwang looked very conflicted. He was soft-hearted and looked at the magistrate for a few times. The cold magistrate only said: “The netherworld has strict justice. People who are not to be punished, can’t be punished.”
I howled in pain: “I’m punishable. I beg you! You punish me for a few more years. It’s better if you punish me for thirty or more years. I’ll burn incense to thank you!”
The magistrate was unmoved. Yanwang sighed loudly, touched my head and said: “Xiao Xiang Zi, don’t cry. You can’t escape something that’s fated.”
I refuse to give in: “Why?! We obviously caused a mess again, why are we not punished?!”
Yanwang picked his nose.
“Well, there’s no protest from anyone and it didn’t have a big impact on the netherworld, so you won’t be punished.”
“I can now go lift the pan and pour away all the soup, delaying all the souls that need to be reincarnated.”
The magistrate looked at me coldly and said: “I advise you not to do it. That’s a serious crime for which you’ll be flogged.”
I lowered my head, crying form unfairness.
Yanwang bit his lips and said: “Well, celestial star Chu Kong needs to spend a love lifetime with you. Making you an idiot, he won’t have it easy either.
I wiped my tears and said: “He didn’t drink the soup of oblivion this lifetime. He’ll remember everything clearly, so he won’t like me anymore. If I as a fool fall into his hands, I’ll die a cruel death or an even more cruel death…”
“Well, you can’t be so sure,” Yanwang interrupted me.
He searched for a while on his desk and took a double-sided mirror out.
“Look, in the past lifetime celestial star Chu Kong loved you deeply.”
I didn’t dare to look at the Lu Hai Kong in the mirror. I was afraid that when I see him cry, I’ll cry too. I murmured: “That’s not Chu Kong.”
“Is or isn’t, is just a thought. Even he himself don’t know if he is or isn’t, how can you be so sure?”
Yanwang’s words were vague. It’s like those stupid gods in heaven speaking very beautiful, but with words that no one can understands.
I pinched Yanwang’s leg really hard and said: “Get to the point.”
Yanwang made a “sisi” sound and took two deep breaths.
“This thing called love is better if you, Xiao Xiang Zi, experience it yourself. “
I increased my strength and pinched his leg. Yanwang’s said very fast: “Magistrate, magistrate, quickly pull her away. Let her go back to boil soup. After three years, she can go and be reincarnated.”
I was ruthlessly dragged out. Before the door of Yanwang’s palace closed, I couldn’t help myself and peeked at the Lu Hai Kong in the mirror. He was still young, but his hair had turned white. He was in front of an isolated snow-covered grave. Slowly he poured wine onto the ground. He looked like his mind was somewhere else.
I felt like something was pinching my heart, making it unable to breath.
Each passing day, the days of making soup were more painful. But no matter what I did, three years passed really fast. The little ghosts carried me and thrown me into the circle of reincarnation.
“Fucking Chu Kong! Next time I see you in the netherworld, I’ll pull all your hair out!”
Hair…hair…hair…In the reincarnation circle those last words kept repeating.
After a while I lost my senses.
A sticky liquid kept dripping against my ears. It was silent for a moment and the next there were many voices.
I didn’t how much time has passed. The liquid stopped dripping.
Someone lifted the wooden lid above my head. The light of the sun was blazing. A boy’s face appeared before me. Mother said that seeing a boy older than me, I need to call him big brother.
I obediently said: “big brother.”
The boy was disgusted when I call him that.
“In this lifetime, we met at such an occasion! Bastard heavenly emperor Li1.”
I stared at him blankly. He frowned and also stared at me. He looked very confused.
Suddenly a gruff voice called: “Shaozu2.”
The boy bit his lips and put the wooden lid back above my head. The sound of his footsteps went further and further away.
I continued to sit down in the barrel, holding my legs. Mother said she wanted to play hide and seek. If she didn’t find me, I couldn’t go out. But it’s really strange…obviously, it was mother who put me in here. How come she still hasn’t find me after such a long time? Wass it that the adults were eating something delicious and didn’t tell me?
I used all my strength to push the lid away and climbed out of the barrel.
“Mother,” I yelled, while walking. I didn’t see anyone in the yard. There was only blood everywhere, it looked the same as when the cook killed a chicken. I was very unhappy: “Eating chicken and they didn’t call me?”
I searched in the kitchen and in my parents’ chamber, but I didn’t even see their shadows. I walked into the hall and saw a bunch of people in black kneeling on the floor. The only one standing with his hands on his back was the little boy. I was happy and yelled: “Big brother, did you see my mother?”
The people in black turned and looked at me. One person stood up and came to me while carrying a bloody sword. I blinked and asked: “Are you guests? Is it you who helped the cook kill the chicken? But where’s the cook?”
The man in black coldly said: “You’ll see them soon.”
He raised his sword. Blood dripped onto my face. I blinked and stared at him.
“Hey, drop the sword,” the boy said.
The man in black in front of me, hesitated for a moment. The boy continued: “Let her go back with us.”
All the people in black began to talk: “But shaozhu, she…”
“I said bring her back.”
The boy walked to me and stood beside the man in black. He stared at me for a moment. Suddenly his face was in front of me. He said in a soft voice: “Originally, I wanted to let you fend for yourself, but yet you fell into my hands yourself. With that being the case, I’ll kindly accept you.”
He pinched my cheeks.
“Xiao Xiang Zi, what do you say? Should we bully you or should we seriously bully you or should we severely bully you?”
“No matter what, thinking about the future days, is making me indescribable happy, haha!”
“My name isn’t Xiao Xiang Zi, it’s Yang Xiao Xiang.”
I blinked again and looked at him.
“Big brother, pinching my cheeks hurts.”
He loosened his hand and looked at me smilingly. It looks like when the cook caught a fat pig.
“From now on, your name is Xiao Xiang Zi. Be my…well, disciple. What do you think?”
“Not thinking,” I said. “Mother killed a chicken and she didn’t let me eat it yet. I’m not going with you.”
“Your mother went to my house to eat chicken. You need to come with me.”
I thought for a moment: “Are dad and cook also there?”
“Everyone is there.”
“Big brother, lead.”
I stuck my hand in front him. The boy paused. He hesitated for a moment before holding my hand. He coughed twice and said: “You have to call me Shifu3.. I’m now a generation higher than you. You need to respect me.”
“Yes, big brother.”
“I know, big brother.”
My forehead was in pain. He flicked my forehead. I touched my forehead. Feeling a bit wronged, I said: “Shifu…”
He nodded in satisfaction. He looks like he’s in a really good mood…
I haven’t seen my parents since the time I left home with shifu. Shifu said my parents entrusted me to him and that I only needed to listen to him.
I scratched my head. I didn’t understand the meaning behind those words, but shifu didn’t look like a bad guy. I’ll be obedient.
Only after arriving at shifu’s house did I know that his name is Chu Kong. He’s eight years old and the shaozhu of Shengling sect. All the people from the sect were full of praises about him. Wherever I went to, I’ll hear that he’s a genius, a prodigy. The praises went on and on.
But shifu didn’t take those titles to heart. He’s obviously only three years older than me, but he always pretended to be an adult.
He liked to order me around. Always making me do all sorts of things like making his bed. Even on a cold day, I still must fan at his bedside.
At the beginning, I didn’t think that there was something wrong. After all, the food shifu gave me was quite good. Every one of them has many meats.
But after a long time, I began to think it was very strange. Finally, one day, I realized the reason while hearing the sect people talk.
“Shifu, I should not call you shifu.”
At the time, Chu Kong was reading a book on the couch.
He lightly swept his eyes over me.
“What objection do you have, ah? No need to mention it. I don’t accept it.”
I was very frustrated.
“They said I’m your little wife, whom shifu is raising.”
Shifu’s body went stiff. He was silent for a moment, turned a page and asked without much feeling: “Who said that?”
“Next time, if someone said these gossips, just kick him directly in his crotch.”
“Alright, “I answered and continued to fan him.
Later, some people really talked about these “gossip” in front of me. I did exactly as shifu told me and bravely kicked his crotch. But my kick was only halfway, when he grabbed me. The martial arts of the people in Shengling sect were not bad. That day I suffered a hard beating.
I cried out loudly, making shifu who was reading in his room, come out. The moment he appeared before me frowning, all my grievances instantly broke out. I run to him and hugged his waist, making his clothes full of tears and snot.
Shifu’s body went a slightly stiff. He asked in a cold voice: “What is this about?”
I whimpered and vaguely told him what has happened. But it seems like shifu haven’t heard a word I said. He knelt. I took advantage, hugged his neck and put my face on his shoulder. I grumbled, told him the whole story and finally I only kept repeating “my butt hurts, my butt hurts.”
Shifu seemed very unhappy. He put his hand on my back and lifted me. My legs naturally held his waist. My whole body was attached to him. I was still crying. Shifu wasn’t very tall, but he still could hold me steadily. I heard him asking sternly: “Did you beat her?”
The man who beat my ass muttered for a long time before an “en” sound came out.
He muttered again for a long time: “She wanted to kick my…”
Shifu nodded. He seemed to understand everything at that moment. He took two steps forward and said: “Open your legs.”
I heard a pumping sound. I didn’t understand why, so I temporarily stopped crying. I rubbed my face against shifu and changed my position to look at the man who’ve beat me. The man’s face was green for a moment. He was in a squatting position. The man saw shifu’s flying kick. He shook, but still firmly stood there and did not move.
Shifu said: “This time is only a light punishment. Next time, if I hear that you’re talking about things you shouldn’t talk about, behind my back…”
Shifu stamped on the floor. The white jade brick broke apart with a “balabala” sound.
“Your crotch will be like this brick.”
Shifu turned around and walked away handsomely, while holding me.
But after two steps, he paused. His faint words were: “And do not bully something you shouldn’t bully.”
I didn’t understand his words, but after that day the way the people of Shengling sect treated me changed dramatically. While eating my bowl also had more meat. And also after that day, I got a few new requirements from shifu.
He held my face and said: “Why do you look more stupid in this lifetime…”
I was gnawing on a chicken foot. With a mouth of oil, I dazedly looked at him.
Shifu frowned disgustedly. He let go of my face. While wiping his hands, he said: “Well, you’re still young. However, someone that I, celestial star Chu Kong considers an enemy, shouldn’t be too weak. Even being bullied by a passer-by…you’re degrading me, the celestial star.”
“Shifu, can you speak words I understand?”
I tried to discuss with him, but shifu didn’t seem to hear a thing. He looked at me for a moment. Suddenly he said: “En, I’ve decided. You’ll start learning martial arts today. Celestial star, I, will personally teach you.”
“What’s learning martial arts?”
“It’s a magic skill for when in the future, if you want to kick someone’s crotch, you won’t be picked up and be beaten again.”
I thought for a moment and decided that this thing was really important. I obediently nodded.
- I decided to call emperor Li heavenly emperor Li. After all, he’s the emperor of heaven. I called him emperor Li for ten chapters. He may hold a grudge against me and make my next lifetime a hell. So I’ll now obediently call him heavenly emperor Li.
- 少主 (Shǎo zhǔ): 主 (master, lord) this is what the Chinese call a master of a sect. There’s 少 (little) before 主. Chu Kong is the little master of a sect.
- 师父 (shīfu): this also means master, but it’s used by disciples.