Edited by renderedreversed
‘Like’… Although it was a running joke between Chu Kong and I, suddenly hearing it from another person’s mouth was different. My face turned red.
“Is-is-is…is it like that, ah? So it was true, ah. I always just joked about it…So it’s true…he truly li…likes me, ah. Really…really hateful! I’m so shy!”
The magistrate’s mouth twitched. “Don’t pretend to be innocent. This isn’t like you!”
Dissatisfied, I said, “You just let me pretend for a little while. I’m still a woman, so suddenly hearing these things will make me shy. Give my feelings a chance to express themselves!”
“Fine. Carry on.”
I turned away. My cheeks were burning. I thought that perhaps…perhaps this was also one of the feelings that silly Xiang left for me.
I sat there for awhile, just thinking, and then I took out the Mirror of the Past. Who knew what my heart was thinking; I certainly didn’t have the time to guess before the mirror began to move. I could see General Kong’s face. He was sitting on an arm chair, legs angled. It was totally different from a few days ago, when I saw him on the battlefield. This time, he stood in front of a woman, who was bound and lying on the floor. I squinted and realized that it was actually Xinyun.
Chu Kong and Xinyun…
“Tell me, what do you like?”
Chu Kong sipped his tea as his eyes fell on Xinyun. Even while she was under such circumstances, in front of Chu Kong, Xinyun didn’t forget to smile. “Doesn’t General already know what this concubine likes?”
The implication was that she liked the general. I pouted. If it was me still inside the general’s body, I would’ve urinated on her, and then asked her whether she still liked me now. I’d definitely ruin the perfect image of the general that she kept in her heart.
Chu Kong listened to her words and nodded. “To be honest, I did carefully investigate the things that you like. Luomei hairpins, rosewood beads, blue and white velvet robes… If I remembered correctly, these are all things that I gave to you.”
Xinyun shyly nodded. Chu Kong narrowed his eyes and smiled.
If I remembered correctly, this smile of his meant that he was up to no good.
“You left in hurry the last time we saw each other, and all your belongings had been left at my other mansion in the capital. In the past few days, I have ordered people to bring them here for you. Take a look. Are these your most favorite things?”
Xinyun didn’t dare to look at Chu Kong directly. With dazed eyes and liquid warmth, she said, “General…”
I sighed. Lady, you’re too serious. How can you take Chu Kong so seriously? He is poison, ah. That’s something toxic you’re playing with!
“Are you sure that this is everything?”
“En, that’s right.”
The gentleness in Xinyun’s eyes turned into a mass of light.
“Very good,” Chu Kong nodded.
His voice changed and he said, “Smash them. Those that are made of cloth, burn them.”
Xinyun’s eyes turned blank. She could only watch as some rough man smashed her favorite things into pieces.
She looked at Chu Kong with a blank stare and asked, “Why? Chu Qinghui, are you taking revenge on me because I killed princess Qingling?”
She couldn’t conceal the hatred within her heart. Her expression turned crazy. It was the same way she had looked at “me” then.
“Do you want to take revenge on me so much?! For that bitch! You gave everything to her! Status, wealth, and a child! You gave her everything! Even during our only night together, you called her name! What’s so bad about me?! What is so bad about me?!”
Chu Kong stared quietly at her. “There’s nothing good about you. Voice too high, talk too much nonsense, heart too malicious. The worst thing about you is that your hands are too shrewd. You played with my toy and broke it. Xiaoye is in a bad mood. I also want to play a little and break you. Go on, keep talking; what more do you like? What more do you still care about? I will ruin them here for your viewing pleasure.”
“Hehe, you want to take revenge, then take it!”
I felt deep inside my bones that the difference between their dialogues was like the sky and the sea…not on the same level at all.
Full of hate, Xinyun spat, “Before, you two were separated by the affairs of the court. You couldn’t be together. Now, you can’t be together even more! You will never see each other again! In this life, Chu Qinghui, you won’t be able to live all nice and comfortable anymore!”
If these words fell on the real general’s ears, it might have been able to cause some harm.
Chu Kong frowned and dug around in his ear with a finger. “Gag her. Her shrewd mouth is too noisy.”
He circled around Xinyun and said, “Listen up. Xiaoye only wants to deal with you because you need to be dealt with. I will not use my hands against a woman.”
My heart silently said: “Liar.”
Chu Kong continued. “…So, after this life of yours ends, don’t reincarnate or appear in front of me. Otherwise, I’ll deal with you every time I see you.”
Chu Kong ordered some people to drag her out. He sat alone, drinking his tea in his armchair. Now faced with an empty hall, he sighed and then murmured, “She must not have kissed him yet, right?”
I was stunned to hear this nonsense sentence from him. Like a fool, I sat there and giggled in front of the mirror.
The magistrate beside me hit me on the head with a stack of files. “Work hard!”
In quite a good mood now, I put down the Mirror of the Past. Whenever I couldn’t see Chu Kong, he was so honest and cute, ah! He really was a child who says one thing but means the other.
If I couldn’t see Chu Kong, I would probably also miss him…right?
That being said, I seemingly also…like him…right?
I buried my head among the stacks of files. Suddenly, I was a little worried that the temperature of my face would set the whole room on fire. There was a lot of flammable material here, after all.
The days in the Netherworld passed with me taking a peek in the Mirror of the Past from time to time. In the blink of an eye, I had stayed in the Netherworld for more than two years.
In the Mirror of the Past, most of these two years had been of Chu Kong leading the army and reconquering the lands occupied by Wei Country. He also conquered five additional lands. The citizens of Wei Country who were living there handed down a decree declaring their surrender. Chu Kong tore down the decree, let them pay the damages, and demanded Wei Country promise to be under Qi Country’s control for fifty years. Wei Country’s monarch struggled a lot, so Chu Kong ate three more cities…and, well.
Finally, Wei Country’s monarch accepted Chu Kong’s conditions.
Under the summons of Qi Country’s emperor, Chu Kong triumphantly returned to the capital with his troops. This time around, there weren’t any bad rumors floating around about him.
The day he triumphantly returned to the capital, the ground was full of snow. Riding high on the horse, looking at the sky, he stopped for a long time and didn’t take a step forward. His figure made me feel desolate and lonely. Perhaps Chu Kong and this thing called snow simply didn’t go together.
After he won with such a success, he should’ve been able to enjoy his time and rest at least ten more years in the mortal realm. Then, he and I would really miss each other in the next lifetime…
After having such a thought, my days became listless. Whenever I could be lazy, I’d try my hardest to be lazy. I was only waiting for Yanwang to come back, receive my punishment from him, and then I could go.
In the Netherworld, where work is all year round without rest, I formed some habits. I would stroll around the bridge before going to Yanwang’s palace to work. When I strolled by the road to the Netherworld, I thought I saw a familiar figure. I stared at him and rubbed my eyes in disbelief. He saw me and his pace came to a halt.
Through the miasma of the Netherworld, we stared at each other for a long time. No one spoke. Eventually, he lifted his feet and walked towards me. He stood a mere three paces away. I stared at him for a moment. Suddenly seeing Chu Kong in person after two years of mirror-watching, all kinds of complicated feelings came to the surface. I had an impulse to run to him and hug him. This impulse surprised me. So instead, I restrained my feelings and just smiled at him.
In a blink of eye, I saw his hands curl into fists at his side. Tighten, then loosen; tighten, then loosen again. It looked like he was also restraining himself from acting on an impulse. Could it be…he also wanted to hug me?
The smile on my face turned even more brilliant. “Yo! Long time no see. You did pretty well in the human world…”
I hadn’t finished yet when a ghost suddenly came running into me. I staggered. Then a second ghost bumped into me. I staggered a step further. A third ghost bumped into me. I staggered again. My body couldn’t hold up and went straight in Chu Kong’s embrace.
The ghosts who bumped into me one after another bolted to the other side of the road. Not even their shadows were left, leaving me all embarrassed in Chu Kong’s embrace.
I felt his arms wrap around and hug me tightly…
Really, hugging, ah!
My face felt somewhat hot, but I didn’t break away from him. I let him hug me. Surprisingly, he also didn’t speak, didn’t let go, just kept holding me as tight as he could.
This…scene felt really loving, ah…
“Chu Kong,” I said after staying quiet as long as I possibly could. I hid my face and asked, “What do you mean…with this?”
Above my head, Chu Kong was also silent for a long time. Then, in his classically cold voice, he said, “Xiaoye…xiaoye’s hands got cramps. I temporarily can’t move them. Don’t think too much.”
“I…my legs are also cramping up. I’m just temporarily relying on you. Don’t think too much of it.”