Edited by renderedreversed
I was only half of the way to the Netherworld when I began to feel strange. The gate wasn’t even visible yet, but it felt like something heavy was pressing down on my heart, the weight of it reaching all the way to my feet. I could not move. Instead, I yelled, squatted down, and bitterly wept.
So shameful! Such a big shame!
When I closed my eyes, there would be a really stupid little thing in my mind; that thing’s large face would be full of excitement, calling out: “Shifu, Shifu!”
I covered my face. The long autumn leaves fell from the branches when a cool wind passed by.
That was me…that fucking person with that dismally low intelligence and dog-like obedience was actually me!
“I like Shifu the most!”
“I’ll go back with Shifu to Fengxueshan Manor. I’ll also fan you and turn the pages of your book and massage your legs and shoulders!”
Those words of that idiot kept echoing in my ears like Buddha’s scriptures. They were a reminder that I had lived without dignity for fifteen years.
I grabbed my hair and gnashed my teeth. This was the ugliest stain of my few-hundreds-of-years-long life!
That’s right, Chu Kong, you’ve done it. You really ordered me around as if I was an eunuch!
The soul collector next to me finally couldn’t stand it anymore. He patted my shoulder.
“Hey…are you still alright?”
I shed bloody tears, turned, and gave him a miserable smile: “All is fine. Everything has already passed. I’ve calmed down.”
The soul collector was scared and took a few steps back. He bit his lips a few times and said: “Then let’s go quickly. This time, don’t make a mess again. Heaven has sent people down accusing the Netherworld of being incompetent.”
I stood up and followed the soul collector while listening to him complain: “Ai, does Cloud Fairy and Celestial Star Chu Kong have something against our Netherworld? Whenever you two meet, you always create a mess in the Netherworld. We’re already very busy and you simply keep making trouble for us!”
I nodded. The words “I’m sorry” were just coming out of my mouth when I happened to look up. It was the River of Forgetfulness and that bridge again. By the bridge was that hateful man again. He stood upright, a bowl of soup in his hand as he talked to another soul collector. It looked like he was about to go into the reincarnation circle again.
I knew I should be calm. I also knew I should be rational. Wait till he drank the Soup of Oblivion and then kick him into the reincarnation circle. Then the next life would be easy to handle. But…I didn’t know why, but when I thought of him, it was all about him making me massage his shoulders and legs, turning the pages of his books, and fanning him…that shameful and hateful look. The most hateful thing is that while I was dying, I was still thinking about massaging his shoulder and legs, turning the pages of his book, and fanning him! And still I wanted to go back?
Go to fucking hell!
This was like slavery being buried deep inside my bones!
This lifetime! This humiliating lifetime! It was all because of that man. That coquettish celestial star…Celestial Star…
I clenched my fists. My body was shaking uncontrollably.
“I’m sorry, ah…”
I glared at Chu Kong and said to the soul collector: “I’m sorry ah, I’m going to give you trouble.”
I didn’t wait till I finished speaking. I didn’t wait for the soul collector to react. My body moved and in a blink of an eye, I was standing before Chu Kong. I saw that he was looking at me in shock. I also heard him angrily shout: “Fuck! That fucking stone demon cheated xiaoye!”
I smiled through gritted teeth. My fist hit his face; the strength was so great that it nearly broke his bones.
“Cheat you…? Today, I’ll make you disappear!”
All the ghosts saw Chu Kong’s body fly through the sky, making half a circle before he landed. With a loud “boom”, he fell beside the sixth reincarnation circle. Dust flew in the air. He slowly stood up and wiped the blood from his mouth, and then, with cold eyes, he said: “You dare to put your hands on Shifu? Xiao Xiang Zi, your gut is fat, ah.”
I raised my head and looked at him through my nostrils.
“Ah, you still dare to talk to me like that? Do you still think I’m that idiot?”
Chu Kong’s expression was truly terrifying. The scene was very quiet. The soul collectors took immediate action. They hustled to Yanwang’s palace, and another collector came to me with a chain. Yet another one tried to persuade us: “Calm down! Calm down! You two, by the gods, calm down!”
My whole body felt like it had been engulfed in raging flames, scorching me to the core. I jumped over the bridge and landed beside Chu Kong.
“Shifu? Only you have the nerve to let me call you such a vulgar title. And you enjoyed listening to it for fifteen years! Very well, very well! Since today we’re both in our right minds, let’s settle all the previous bad scores.”
Chu Kong stood up. He didn’t punch me back after I punched him. He patted his clothes, squinted his eyes, and said: “Xiaoye is broadminded. I returned the evil you did unto me in the previous lifetime with good, giving you shelter. Finally, I even saved your life, and now you’re saying you came to the Netherworld to settle scores with me?”
“Hehehehe, you actually dare to mention that previous lifetime to me! You actually dare to mention that previous lifetime!”
I laughed as if I’d gone mad.
“Good, good; so you’re broadminded. You saved me. I beg you to save me again. Save the Netherworld, alright? Go cut your heart out, then die, alright? Can’t do it? No problem, I can help you. Grab a knife and allow me to help you!”
While I was talking, I attempted to punch Chu Kong again. He was surprised and grabbed my hand. Somewhat angry, he said: “You shrew! Can’t you just talk for once?!”
I was also getting really angry.
“My mind is filled with fifteen years of you insulting me and those two Soups of Oblivion that tasted like blood that caused those fifteen insulting years! Besides, we also have a blood feud between us. It’s greater than you slaughtering my whole family. You want me to talk nicely to you? You go lie down and become a corpse first. I’ll sit by your side and talk nicely to you.”
“Ha,” Chu Kong laughed. “You make it seem like you’re the only one who’s suffered these past years! You were a fool! If you didn’t mention it, I still would think that you were pretending to be a fool to punish me! Xiaoye is broadminded and didn’t bother with those things you’ve done. Finally, I sacrificed my life to save you. In the end, you still dare to blame me?”
In my mind suddenly flashed an image of Chu Kong’s pale face. Inexplicably, my heart felt weird. I stiffened for a moment and immediately stamped down on those feelings with my anger.
“Save me? I thank you very much! Who wanted you to save me? Why pretend to be noble? What?! Want me to live a long and good life? You clearly just wanted to hurry up and go to the Netherworld and reincarnate to break the link of our next few lifetimes. Don’t think that I didn’t see through your selfishness!”
Chu Kong’s jaw tightened, which made him look all the more stern. His lips began to move, but he immediately closed them; his face was blue with anger.
I continued: “I won’t fulfil your wish. So, I came down to reincarnate together with you. I insist on bothering you till you die from anger. Hit me, hit me, hit me!”
“Xiaoye, I will hit you today!”
He was so angry that you could see smoke forming above his head. A hand grabbed my clothes. I was also very angry. I reacted very fast and put a hand behind his head, grabbing his hair.
“You let go! Otherwise, I’ll pull out all your hair today!”
“You dare to threaten me!”
“I am threatening you, so what?”
We took deep breaths at the same time. Big eyes glared at small eyes for a long while, yet no one hit the other first.
A very weak voice tried to interrupt us: “You guys, drink the Soup of Oblivion first and then continue your talk. After the talk, you can go and reincarnate. This is the best solution…”
My ears twitched. I turned and looked at the direction of the bridge. A ghost had ladled the Soup of Oblivion into a bowl. Behind him was many other ghosts. In the direction of Yanwang’s palace, many hasty footsteps were rushing over; it was Yanwang and the magistrate. I looked around and my gaze fell on the ghost holding a bowl of the Soup of Oblivion. A dark taste bubbled up in my throat. I turned and looked at Chu Kong. Chu Kong was also looking at me.
It was this man… It was this man who forced me to drink two bowls of soup, forcing me to suffer such a shameful lifetime. A fire started to burn in my heart. I said: “Drink, of course I’ll drink. This lifetime, I’ll sink three bowls into your throat!”
After saying that I raised my hand to grab Chu Kong. Chu Kong was startled, but he quickly bent down.
I couldn’t pull him up at that moment. Listening to him curse at me, I thought about the last time he forced me to drink the soup. How dare he say I was vicious! Wasn’t he the vicious one here?!
All at once, I was furious. I rose and bit him, my bite locking onto his arm. He growled, and with a pained voice, he shouted: “Dogs must be your relatives!”
He pinched my face and said: “Drop your mouth!”
My mouth wouldn’t let go and I punched his stomach hard. When I was about to give him a second punch, Chu Kong turned his body and escaped my punch. In fact, I couldn’t beat Celestial Star Chu Kong. That was why that, in a blink of eye, I felt pain assault my back. Chu Kong was pressing me against the well. He grabbed my neck and said: “Apologize! Otherwise, you can go and turn into an animal in your next lifetime!”
- 畜生 (chùshēng): animal. Chinese people use this word to scold and curse at people. They see animals as something less than humans.
Well, let’s see who will become an animal!
I bit him harder and kneed him in the stomach. Chu Kong curled over in pain. I gave a loud shout and used all my strength in order to pull him up. Chu Kong was stunned. I gathered more strength to push him into the well, and he plummeted headfirst into the reincarnation circle of animals. I could not help but rejoice. Finally, I got rid of Chu Kong for the next lifetime! I hadn’t yet had the time to laugh when I felt a painful yank on my scalp. Chu Kong had grabbed my loose hair at the same time that I had grabbed him. My focus had been too one-sided. Stiffening, the pain on my scalp only increased. Ominous alarm bells rang in my mind. I stretched my hand out to grab onto something, but I caught only empty air. Chu Kong’s evil laughter resounded as he dragged me down into the bottomless well.
“Come and enjoy it with me! Enjoy it with me!”
My eyes widened as I fell, watching as the darkness of the Netherworld moved farther and farther away from me. In my ears, I heard Yanwang’s emotionless voice say: “Aiya, bad, two gods fell into the Well of Animals. How will this end? Well, I better go and write a report.”
This lifetime will be a short one, with Chu Kong being more sure of his feelings and XXZ beginning to realize that she does feel something for Chu Kong.