Life is made out of choices. No matter how long your life is, you will always be met with irrevocable choices. The idea of "destiny" and "fate" plays a big part in mythology, but many times fate is merely a choice that the characters cannot avoid. The time has come for monumental choices that will change the fates of everyone in Once Promised...
Chapter 9: Heal the world but not one's self (Part 3 of 4)
The sound of the water boiling broke the silence. A'Heng quickly boiled the tea and hurriedly served the tea onto the table, "I will go and see what Ah Bi and the sika deer is playing". She wanted to leave the situation.
Chi You made her sit next to him, "You have the right to know why you have been poisoned." He gave a challenging glance towards the Yan Emperor, "Shi Fu, if you wanted to kill me, why do you still keep me?"
The Yan Emperor smiled at A'Heng and said, "Do you know how did Chi You become my only disciple?"
A'Heng shook her head.
The Yan Emperor held a tea cup and he gazed out of the window, "A few hundred years ago, at a government meeting, the official in charge of the South West said that the low class citizens of Jiu Yi were rebelling, they actually killed hundreds of people from the noble tribe and a member of the god tribe. Because my heart at that time was troubled by Yao Ji's illness, I ordered Yu Wang to take charge of this. A hundred years later, Zhu Rong reported to Yu Wang that it turns out the chaos from Jiu Yi came from a demon monster of unknown origins, because it had learned the ways of Nature, it could control the beasts and the Jiu Yi Tribe called it the Beast King, but it was more cruel and fierce than the tigers or leopards. Yu Wang pitied the low class Jiu Yi citizens and did not bear to kill the wild beast. But the wild beast was not obedient and had seriously injured tens of generals. For this, Yu Wang and Zhu Rong fought furiously, I found out about the killings by the wild beast, scolded Yu Wang and agreed for Zhu Rong to kill Jiu Yi's Beast King."
A'Heng had already guessed the wild beast was Chi You, although this matter had already passed, her heart still felt anxious and tense, Chi You had actually ran for his life for a hundred years from the skilled pugilists from the God Tribe, no wonder when he hid himself, even Big Brother with his great divine strength could not find him.
The Yan Emperor drank a sip of tea, he rested then continued his story, "I thought this matter had come to an end, but turns out that deep in the night, Yu Wang suddenly asked to see me, saying that the Jiu Yi Tribe had surrendered, they were willing to be low class servants generations after generations, the only condition was to spare their Beast King. Yu Wang painfully begged for me to command the return of Zhu Rong, I couldn't help becoming curious about this wild beast, so I rushed to Jiu Yi that night. I found them at a marsh - the situation was dangerous and yet funny, the wild beast had used himself as a bait and attracted the rash and proud Zhu Rong into the poisonous marsh. Inside were thousands of different kinds of poisonous worms, a few god generals had been poisoned, although Zhu Rong could had set fire to burn the wild beast to death, but if he had set the fire, this will cause the marsh energy accumulated for ten thousands of years in the marsh to explode, Zhu Rong is protected by his fire spirit and will only suffer light injuries, but the other god generals will die. At that time, Zhu Rong was cursing loudly saying that he must break the bones of the wild beast and incinerate him into ashes, the wild beast couldn't really speak, it only gritted its teeth and gave a cry, it kept beating his chest as if saying, come come, come and burn me to death!"
As the Yan Emperor spoke, he could not help smiling at Chi You, he told A'Heng, "At that time, my heart was very shocked, the wild beast was born in the wild and knew how to use the poisons of worms and snakes, the place where he chose for both of their deaths had a lot of thought put in to it, the marsh is a very strange place, since it was mixed of water and soil it could control the fire energy, but it was also filled with marsh air, just a little fire and it will explode, Zhu Rong could not control the situation in such a place. This wild beast that did not even know how to speak knew how to use the elements of nature to his advantage much better than many skilled members of the god tribe."
A'Heng thought about the crying formation earlier, she nodded in agreement. The Yan Emperor said, "I saw that this wild beast wasn't a wild beast at all, it was only a human who had been reared by beasts and had no mother or father. I commanded Zhu Rong to shut up, and started to communicate with the wild beast. He was filled with animosity towards me, he looked at me as if he was listening to my words, but he was also thinking of how to use the poisonous bugs and beasts to secretly attack me, trying to find out my weak point. But he did not know that I was well-versed in medicine, normal poison would not hurt me. The more I observed him, the more I was shocked by his natural gifts, but also the more terrified I was, that someone with such extraordinary natural gifts was so cruel and barbaric, in my joy at finding someone of such great gifts, I also felt that I should immediately kill him."
This appeared to be the first time Chi You realised that his life and death was only in that one moment of thought in the Yan Emperor's mind, he turned his head to stare at the Yan Emperor, there were no trace of emotions, one could not tell what he was thinking in his heart.
"As I was hesitating, suddenly a flower floated by, this wild and cunning monkey caught the descending flower, he looked left and right, the surroundings were all dirty, he appeared to be scared of dirtying the flower, so he carefully placed the flower on his head. I saw his wild messy hair and on top of it was a wild flower, he looked extremely humorous, but his two eyes were glaring at me. I couldn't help but break into great laughter, my killing intent disappeared."
"I commanded Zhu Rong and the rest to leave, I stayed with the wild monkey in the marsh alone for ten days and ten nights, finally I managed to win a little of his trust to let him go out of the marsh. I said I would heal his wounds and his leg injury but he would have to follow me back to Sheng Nong Mountain, and he refused. I finally realised that although he was cruel and violent, he was also naive, the only way to communicate with him was to be sincere, I straightforwardly told him he was very smart, he should not hang around with the beasts, I wanted to make him a person like me, he actually agreed to come to Sheng Nong Mountain."
Chi You gazed at A'Heng, his gaze was clear and bright, like the clear moonlight on a spring night, it was filled with the passion and romance of the wild flowers of the mountain, A'Heng was both confused and also panicked, she avoided Chi You's glance*, "This small wild beast became your disciple, he was named 'Chi You'".
The Yan Emperor gave a bitter laugh, "After we returned to Sheng Nong Mountain, I had to expend a lot of effort for him to become my disciple. First, I repeatedly told him the meaning of what a shi fu (teacher) and disciple is, when he understood he actually shook his head, saying he will lose out a lot. I agreed to elevate the low class of the Jiu Yi tribe and gave them the name of Jiu Li. I also promised the egg of the North Netherworld Kun (a legendary enormous fish and bird), telling him that when the egg hatches, it can fly in the sky, he finally grudgingly accepted."
A'Heng could understand the bitter laughter of the Yan Emperor, all the youths under the sky could only dream of becoming the Yan Emperor's disciple, but when he wanted to take Chi You under his wings, he had to bribe and attract him.
The Yan Emperor looked at Chi You with complicated emotions in his eyes, "His natural gifts were astonishing, each day he improved by leaps and bounds, on one hand, I admired this, on the other I was afraid. Since I decided to take you as my disciple, you had the same place in my heart as Yun Sang, Yu Wang and Mu Jin, my close kin, I was so happy at your improvement, but I was also the head of the country, as the Yan Emperor, I could not help but be afraid of you. I was scared that one day, because of provocation from Zhu Rong or some other matter, you will burst out in temper, and used all I have taught you against the citizens of Sheng Nong, so I poisoned you. No matter how bad-tempered and greedy Zhu Rong is, or how scheming and deep Hou Tu was, all of them had weak points and obligations, but Chi You had no father and mother, he had no ties in this world, his personality was wild and unrestrained, the sky could not hold him, the land could not bound him."
Chi You impatiently said, "Enough, I am too lazy to hear you nag, lazy to calculate with you the debt of this poison! After you heal A'Heng, I will leave here forever."
The Yan Emperor smiled at Chi You, there was a light gentleness between his brows, "One hundred and eighty years ago, you had left Sheng Nong mountain in anger, I thought there was no way you would change your mind, but Yu Wang managed to chase you back. At that time, I knew I had seen you wrongly, but I had a moment of hesitation, so I finally did not cure your poison. I was actually planning to tell you when you return from the Peach Banquet, personally tell you about this and cure your poison, but who would have thought you became heavily injured and caused the hidden poison to be activated. I commanded Zhu Rong and the rest to guard Sheng Nong mountain, to prevent anyone from coming up, not to obstruct you, but because I have been poisoned myself, I am going to die soon." What the Yan Emperor last said was too strange, it caused people to have the feeling that they had heard wrongly, but he said it clearly one more time, "Chi You, I have been poisoned, I will not live much longer."
Chi You grabbed the wrist of the Yan Emperor, the Yan Emperor did not defend at all, he let him hold his life meridian, "Xuan Yuan Tribe has Qing Yang, Gao Xing Tribe has Shao Hao, but Sheng Nong tribe does not have someone who can inherit this huge responsibility. Yu Wang's heart is honest, but his ability is ordinary, Zhu Rong is too greedy and cruel, his ambition is greater than his ability, Gong Gong is too conventional and strict, he does not know how to be flexible, Hou Tu has potential, but although he appears soft and polite, his heart is too complicated and deep, too careful and dark, this group of small asses also are not willing to yield to each other, I'm only afraid after I die, they will be too busy fighting and Yu Wang cannot stop them."
The Yan Emperor looked worried, "Xuan Yuan's Yellow Emperor has been preparing his army for a thousand years, at the news of my death, he will command his army to enter. Gao Xing and Sheng Nong has battled for ten thousands of years, at that time during the critical moment of the succession of the Jun Emperor, my father sent hundred thousands of soldiers to their borders, but if not for Shao Hao's strength, I'm only afraid the Jun Emperor would have become ashes, won't they avenge such a debt?"
Between the brows of the Yan Emperor was heavy worry after heavy worry, as if mountains after mountains were going to collapse, A'Heng's body started to become cold, her heart started to skip wildly, as if she could see the thousands of soldiers ten thousands of horses running at the angry commands, Chi You did not appear to have listened, he only concentrated using his divine energy to examine the Yan Emperor's body.
The Yan Emperor's tone was helpless and desolate, "The ten thousand years of peace in the great wilderness will be completely destroyed, the lives of everyone on earth will once again be caught in the midst of turmoil and war."
Chi You silently let go of his hand, the Yan Emperor gazed at Chi You, "Look at the fact that my life is for not much longer and forgive this old man?"
Chi You's face was cold and said, "You are not dead yet!" Although his tone was unkind, he did not speak of leaving again.
The Yan Emperor smiled, "I have decided before I die to bestow upon you the title of the Great General of the Country, not only will all the armies of Sheng Nong be under your command, you also have the right to go against the Yan Emperor's decision. But, the army of Sheng Nong is split into six divisions, one division is the Yan Emperor's personal army, only the Yan Emperor can control, the rest of the five..." The Yan Emperor let out a sigh, "It will be up to your own ability whether you can control the rest of the armies." He stood up, "I shall go prepare A'Heng's antidote."
When the Yan Emperor left, A'Heng immediately grabbed Chi You's arm, she stammered, "The Yan Emperor, he, he he, is what he said true, true true? His medical skills is the greatest, why can he not heal himself?"
Chi You lightly said, "He dedicated his life to heal people, to do so he had tried too many poisons, all these poison have mixed in his body and destroyed it. In the last two years, he has tried many unknown poisonous herbs, the poison in these herbs he has resolved, but the poisonous herbs have activated the residue poison that have accumulated in his body, now ten thousand of poisons are activated, there is no cure."
"Isn't there a way?"
Chi You lowered his head and looked at A'Heng, he lightly stroke A'Heng hair, he silently shook his head.
A'Heng quickly let go of Chi You, she ran out of the house, she lifted her head to the blue sky, she took in large breaths of air, she felt that she could not breath.
So many years, the Three Empires ruled independently, there was peace in the lands, all these were because of the great respect for the Yan Emperor, every citizen in the lands honoured him, even her ambitious father did not dare go against the heavens, but once the Yan Emperor died... A'Heng did not dare to think further.
Far away on the hill mound, the sunset turned everything gold, Ah Bi and the little deer were playing, one chasing one escaping, one hiding one dodging, the happy cries spread through the mountain forest.
Unconsciously, A'Heng had followed their footsteps, and entered the blue mountain valley, but she did not know where Ah Bi and the little deer had gone.
She sat at the high spot on the hill mound, and saw the red of the sunset covered the sky.
As the sun set slowly, this was the last beautiful peace.
She casually picked up two leaves, she placed it in her mouth and blew, the sound spread throughout the mountain valley.
Someone heard the song and came, he sat not far away, A'Heng did not bother and continued to play the melody.
Once the melody finished, she turned to see the Yan Emperor who sat next to the tombstones.
* Chi You's one softness in his heart is the beautiful flower of A'Heng, for her he will show kindness, for her he will show appreciation of beauty, for her he learns humanity? When the Yan Emperor speaks of Chi You deciding to become like the Yan Emperor and following him back to Sheng Nong Mountain, Chi You gave a look to A'Heng as if to say, "I wanted to be with you".
Comments: Chapter 9 is so beautifully epic and it's just going to get better! All my favourite parts in Book 1... Ah, I really like the Yan Emperor. Hold on to your hearts, this will be a wild passionate unforgettable ride!