Chapter 143: Street Lights of Jin City
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
During the festival moment of the new year holiday, along the bank of the mighty Yangtze River…
The Jin City was hosting a lantern festival, so countless lanterns lit up both sides of the river. People weaved in and out of the gleaming lights, enjoying the lively and colorful view.
A group of teenagers traveled together along the causeway that hugged the shore. They sampled BBQ skewers and dried fish and then went on to bargain with peddlers of colorful chintzy bracelets and earrings.
Among the teenagers was a young girl of exceptional beauty and elegance. She attracted many passersby’s attention in the streets.
Accompanying her was a handsome young man wearing a bespoke suit that made a gentleman out of a seventeen-year-old boy. His generous and confident demeanor made it obvious that he was from a powerful family. A group of teenagers surrounded him at the center.
“Xiao Qiong, look! There is a magic show, let’s go look.”
A girl held the elegant girl with one hand and pointed into the distance with another.
The girl looked up and saw at the other end of the causeway, where the street light was the brightest it set a stage where a magic show had just started. Unconsciously, she looked to her side and saw a man sitting in the shadows.
Beside the man was a flag, which read: “Destined Fate”
“A fortune teller?”
Fang Qiong was not superstitious by any stretch of the imagination. Although her friends were all enthusiasts of Tarot card readings and horoscopes, she was not like them. However, her legs started moving toward the fortuneteller without her command. Her best friend tried to stop her, but she managed to break free.
The fortune teller was sitting in the dark shadow and his face seemed to be covered by a thick mist. Therefore, Fong Qiong couldn’t see his face clearly.
“Hi, Mr. Fortune Teller. Are you open for business?”
Fong Qiong’s best friend caught up with her and asked the man in the shadow with an edge in her voice.
“I am not a fortune teller.” The man said.
“Then what are you doing with that flag?” The girl snorted.
“I am here waiting for the love of my past life.” The man said in an eerily even voice.
“Love of your past life?” The rest of the teenagers who accompanied Fong Qiong laughed.
They were from the educated upper class of Jin City, therefore they didn’t believe in things of supernatural. One boy put in half-jokingly, half mockingly:
“How do you know which one is the love of your past life? There are so many people here, I can pick anyone as the wife of my past life.”
“I have been waiting for her for five hundred years. Of course, I will recognize her when I see her.” The man said readily.
“Waiting for five hundred years? Are you immortal? “Someone asked with a burst of laughter at the end.
“I am the seventh true disciple of Cangqin. The perfected immortal from the True Martial Immortal Sect. My sect name is Chen Beixuan, and my Dao name is North Mystic Celestial Lord. What difference is there between me and an immortal?” The man said proudly.
His words piqued everyone’s interest. They formed a circle around the fortune teller and wanted to ask more questions.
Fong Qiong’s best friend plastered on a thick smile and then asked: “Mr. North Mystic Celestial Lord, Master Chen Beixuan, do I look like the love of your past life?”
She was wearing a black slim fit peacoat and a pair of tight jeans. Although she was only seventeen years old, her alluring beauty was already budding. She was considered one of the most popular girls in high school and had charmed numerous young boys.
To her surprise, the man in shadow shook his head and pointed to Fong Qiong.
“She is the one.”
Everyone was taken by surprise.
Hearing his words, the handsome boy also furrowed his brows.
It was evident the man was after Fong Qiong! Fong Qiong wore only very light makeup on her face, but her beauty was unmatched by any girl in China. Although the handsome boy had registered that the man had the hots for Fong Qiong, he kept his displeasure unspoken.
The young man was not only from a powerful family, but his personal abilities were also unrivaled among people of his generation. He was confident that a stranger on the street would not pose any threat to him.
Fong Qiong asked shocked.
“Indeed. Would you like to hear a story? It’s about North Mystic Celestial Lord and Goddess Zi Qiong.” The man’s body was a frozen ice statue, but his voice was deep and wistful. It was as if his voice could turn back time and bring his listener to a few hundred years ago.
“I would love to.”
Fong Qiong nodded.
Chen Beixuan and Goddess Zi Qiong were friends ever since they were kids. However, they were separated during their adolescence. When they meet again, both of them were adults. However, years of separation didn’t dull their friendship, instead, it gave birth to something more intimate between the two.
As Fong Qiong listened to the story, she suddenly remembered her best friend back at the little county of Jiang Bei.
She and that boy were the best friends ever since they could remember each other’s faces. Ever since she moved away from the county, she missed him greatly. She wondered if that boy missed her as much as she did.
“And then?” Fong Qiong’s female friend asked curiously.
“Then the two fell in love. However, families of both sides strongly objected to the union. Goddess Zi Qiong’s other admirer didn’t pass up the opportunity either and made their already difficult situation a living hell. Later, Chen Beixuan was struck by the tragedy of his mother’s sudden death. Ever since then, he was never able to get back to his feet again. When his life had finally reached rock bottom, he chose to bury his head in the sand.”
The man said slowly.
Everyone listened to the story intently. Although the story didn’t sound like something that happened five hundred years ago, it was an interesting and gripping tale so far nonetheless. Impressed by the tale, the crowd decided to linger a few more moments to learn more about what happened.
When the man mentioned the “other admirers”, the handsome boy’s eyes lit up with concern.
“They must have met again later.” Another boy put in.
“Yes, but by then, they were both in their thirties. Life turned Chen Beixuan into a homeless bum while Goddess Zi Qiong was still elegant and beautiful as ever. After having waited for Chen Beixuan for so many years, she finally gave up and accepted a family arranged marriage. She married to the suitor who had pushed Chen Beixuan off the edge of his former life.”
The man said heavily.
“Although the two were able to meet again, they already belonged to two different worlds. Ever since that reunion, Chen Beixuan numbed himself with liquor. After even his poison ran dry, he chose to jump off the roof of a building to put himself out of this misery.”
“What a sad story.” Fong Qiong’s best friend bemoaned.
However, the handsome boy asked with knotted brows:
“If you said that Chen Beixuan was dead, how come you were able to live another five hundred years?”
“Yea, why is that?”
Finally, people realized the hole in the story.
“Well, that tells us that Mr. Fortune Teller here is not Chen Beixuan.” Fang Qiong’s female friend put in with a smile.
“Chen Beixuan didn’t die.” To everyone’s surprise, the man in shadow shook his head and continued. “He was saved by Cangqin the Immortal cultivator who happened to be touring the earth. After Master Cangqin brought him back to his own realm, Chen Beixuan embarked on the five hundred years journey of cultivation.”
“It was an urban romance fiction, but now its Xian Xia. That’s quite a deviation from the genre!”
“What about Goddess Zi Qiong? Did she marry the other suitor in the end? Oh- and did she die because of melancholy or what not because she missed her true love so much?” Fong Qiong’s female friend pressed on with more questions.
Fong Qiong also started to get invested in the story.
Somehow, at the back of her mind, she felt that she was the Goddess Zi Qiong and this was her story too.
“Not at all.” The man said lightly. “When Cangqin left earth, he not only took Chen Beixuan with him but also Goddess Zi Qiong.”
Everyone was stunned by the turn of events.
What a rollercoaster storyline and what an unexpected plot twist!
“Then what? Did they live happily ever after?” Fong Qiong asked eagerly.
“If they did, why would I have to wait for you for five hundred years?”
The man rose to his feet slowly.
He was only about a meter and seventy centimeters tall, but he projected overbearing energy into the people’s heart, rendering them motionless.
Everyone watched as the man took a jade pendant off his neck and placed it in Fong Qiong’s hand. “Wear it, don’t let it leave you. It will protect you from harm.”
After he finished his words, the man turned around and started off.
Fong Qiong held the jade pendant in her hand and was rendered speechless. One of her friends shouted: “Hey, why are you leaving? Didn’t you say that she is the love of your past life? Haven’t you bee searching for her for five hundred years?”
“This is not the time yet.” The man replied, but his steps didn’t slow down.
“When will we meet again?”
The sound came out of Fong Qiong’s mouth uncommanded. Her own words startled herself.
“When you hear the name Chen Beixuan across China, you will see me again.” The man answered without turning his head back.
“What a wacko.”
The handsome boy snorted. When he saw the jade pendant in Fong Qiong’s hand, he said with a frown: “Xiao Qiong, I would throw it away if I were you. Don’t accept stranger’s gifts, god knows what’s in it.”
Fong Qiong hesitated.
She was perplexed but also elated by the strange encounter with an interesting person. She planned to keep the pendant as memorabilia for today’s event.
Even as she hesitated, she heard people around her shouted: “Oh shit! that man is going to jump into the river.”
Everyone looked toward the man who had already made his way to the lip of the causeway. There had been some construction at that section of the course way and therefore the railings were removed. The man was only a few steps away from falling into the roiling waves.
“Stop him! He is going to suicide!”
However, it was already too late.
Everyone watched as the fortune teller hopped off the edge of the dike and disappeared from their views.
Everyone rushed to the scene and looked down at the river from above. They saw an unbelievable scene that they would never forget.
The fortune teller not only didn’t fall into the roiling current, but he was also walking on the broken waves as if he was walking on land. Each one of his strides covered an incredible distance and in the time of a long heartbeat, the fortune teller disappeared.
“Did we just meet an immortal?”
Someone asked in a dazed and confused voice.
The crowd around Fong Qiong was also stunned by the development. Their gazes landed on the jade pendant in Fong Qiong’s hand.
“Is he really the Chen Beixuan in the story and you the Goddess Zi Qiong?”
Her female friend asked incredulously.
Fong Qiong was not any less confused than anyone else. She closed her fingers and clenched the jade pendant tightly. She knew that one day she would meet Chen Beixuan again.
When that happened, she would find out what was that all about.