#eternal love of dream
东华帝君 (Dong Hua)//Eternal Love of Dream
All photos found online. Credit to respective creators.
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Eternal Love of Dream - Chapter Next 6
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Xiaobai's body and spirit had finally recovered fully. Her wounds had healed and her cultivation had come back. She had started practicing martial arts again and was very happy about it.
With Dijun himself helping her, she didn’t need to worry. He would push her just out of her comfort zone, every few days. Only when she got comfortable there he would challenge her further. He was a very good teacher. She was an equally dedicated student.
Gungun would tag along with them all the time. He loved to watch his mom and dad practice. Dijun had made him a smaller wooden sword and every day his mom or dad would spend some time with him playing with it. He didn’t realize that while he thought they were playing, they were also teaching him many important skills. He was a happy and cheerful child.
Fengjiu had been making great progress on handling her duties as a monarch too. She set aside some time each day to go over various reports and work through them. Her father was delighted to see that for sure. She had also made several decisions to appoint capable citizens of Quinqui to take on more responsibilities around the kingdom. People were appreciative of her efforts. Overall things were settling well.
Dijun undertook several small trips back and forth to Sky Kingdom to handle his work. He was training Ye Quingti on different aspects of administration at Tai Chen palace. Fengjiu and Dijun had found that each time they would leave each other, they would be so anxious to meet again.
Tonight was just one of the nights when he had returned from Sky Kingdom. He had waited (im)patiently for Xiaobai to finish her day, to put Gungun to bed and to get to their room. As soon as she entered, he closed the door behind her and took her in his arms, kissing her all over hungrily. After her initial shyness, she kissed him right back. "Missed me?", he whispered in her ear, teasing her. She buried her face on his chest shyly and nodded. Very pleased with that, he let out a husky laugh, scooped her up in arms and took her to bed.
When Dijun woke up hours later, he realized they had not changed or tidied up the room or closed the windows. He chuckled softly. In the last several millions of years, Dijun had never felt this way about anyone else. He realized he was a completely different man now than before. This soft, frail little woman had melted his heart of rock. For someone who had been devoid of desires for centuries, she had become the one desire he could not give up on.
He waved his hand to fix the room and close windows. Then he pulled the quilt up on both of them and scooted closer to Fengjiu. Spooning her close to him, he closed his eyes.
As usual, Fengjiu woke up at the first light of the day. She turned to face Dijun who was still sleeping soundly. She reveled in the moment, shyly admiring her handsome husband. Out of habit she started playing with his silver hair. That woke him up. “You are awake? It’s still early, don’t get up yet”, he murmured groggily and pulled her close. She could hear his steady, rhythmic heartbeat. That was the best sound in the entire universe for her. She closed her eyes and slept some more.
After a while Dijun got up and got ready. He sat at his desk half reading, half watching Xiaobai sleep. Her delicate features looked exquisite while sleeping. He recalled how warm and soft her skin had felt under him last night and was very much tempted to get back in bed with her. "Stop. Let her rest, Dong Hua. She has been working hard lately.", he reprimanded himself.
When Xiaobai finally woke up, the sun was up already. When she stirred and opened her eyes, Dijun smiled at her. “Good morning, honey.” He teased. She made a face. She was still not comfortable hearing him say that endearment in broad daylight.
“Get ready, honey. I will fetch us breakfast and we can eat together. Would you like that? Honey?”, seeing her face, he continued to torment her. Frowning, she got up and came to him. She put her hand on his mouth to make him stop calling her that. He was only too glad. He grabbed on to her hand and started kissing each finger slowly, unhurriedly. She felt like her knees were about to melt.
“Mom, you are up! Why did you sleep for so long today?”, Gungun ran in bursting with questions. She snatched her hand back blushing all over. “I… Me.. We…”, Fengjiu fumbled for words. Meanwhile Dijun composed himself quickly, turned around and hugged Gungun. “I think you got too tired last night, didn’t you? Honey?” He asked her with a naughty smirk.
“Last night? But you put me to bed on time, why did you get tired? What did you do after?”, asked a confused Gungun. She turned a shade more pink at the mention of last night and was rendered speechless. First of all her brain had not fully woken up, then Dijun had turned it almost to a mush with his lingering finger-kisses and now this. All she could say was, “I don’t know how…”
Dijun, who was taking pleasure in her discomfort, finally decided to relent and came to her rescue. “Your mom has been working hard these past few days. She must have been tired and not realized it. Let’s go bring our breakfast here. Mom can get ready by then and we can all eat together.”, he said extending his hand to the boy. Together they went out.
“Phew”, she shook her head and sighed, watching their retreating figures.
While they were eating and chit chatting, Dijun started a topic with all seriousness. “Xiaobai, I think we have lived in Quinqui long enough. Your parents have been kind enough to have us. Do you think we should go somewhere else for the next few months? We can go to Tai Chen palace or Bihai Cangling. I can arrange for messengers to deliver important messages about your work to you every day. What do you think?”
Xiaobai nodded and agreed, “I have been thinking about the same thing. Give me 4 weeks to arrange my current work and make sure there are things in place for Quinqui while we are away. After 4 weeks, let’s go to Bihai Cangling. Gungun hasn’t been there at all. He should know that’s his home too.”
“Sounds like a good plan, hon....”, Dijun smiled and stopped halfway through 'honey' as he saw her expression. Gungun looked up, utterly confused. But both his parents were serving him food and they looked very engrossed in eating.
Based around the dress ‘Eternal Night Dream’.
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i really hate that sleeping with someone implies something sexual/romantic like no i'm just a really tired smol bean and i want to lie in a bed with someone else in it and absolutely ko, ça y est
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When you’re caught staring just a Second Too Long (tm)
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sometimes I think about this and how she said “The person I admired and looked up to was never only a god that I could simply ask for the love between a man and a woman. His shoulders carry the lives of the universe - I always knew that. “ in the extra chapter and I c r y
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Because who doesn't love some angst?
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Eternal Love of Dream - Chapter Next 5
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It was the most exciting time of the year in Quinqui. It was time for harvest festival. This was a 7 day long festival with parades, performances from acrobats and a grand fair. Every year anyone related to Quinqui, no matter how far from home he might be, would make it a point to come. Even visitors from all over would gather here.
Bai Xian, the crown prince Ye Hua and their little son Ah-Li had also come to the fox den for this celebration. Ah-Li and Gungun were both super excited to go to the fair. Chong Lin was trying to keep them interested in other things long enough so that they could go only after the sun would go down a little. Bai Xian was so not wanting to walk around in the hot sun and had tasked Chong Lin with this duty.
She herself had come to Xiaobai's room and was helping her bathe and get dressed. Xiaobai had recovered quite a lot, but her wound still hurt if she tried to move quickly or even tried to comb her long hair. So Bai Xian had taken it upon herself to look after her favorite niece.
Dijun had ventured to the kitchen asking his mother-in-law's help to cook something tasty and nutritious for his wife. His mother-in-law was only too happy to oblige. Finding not much else to do by himself Ye Hua had joined in too. They all chatted and cooked away a whole feast with sweet and sour fish, noodle soup, congee and various types of cakes. All of them were feeling very accomplished. Dijun and Ye Hua loaded two trays with all the food and decided to go to Xiaobai's room so they all could eat together.
When the two reached Xiaobai's room, she had finished bathing and getting dressed. Bai Xian was combing her hair and they were chatting. "Please don't tell whatever I am about to say, to Dijun. I don't want him to feel any more guilty than what he is already feeling.", Fengjiu was saying. Dijun signalled to Ye Hua to stop and not enter the room. They both placed the food trays on a nearby table and waited. Ye Hua signalled to Dijun that he will be back soon and left in search of their sons.
"Ye Hua is a true gentleman!", mused Dijun and continued to eavesdrop. His wife was about to tell something to her aunt that she thought would make him feel guilty. So? It wasn't going to be pretty. But he was quite thick skinned and he could handle it. At least that's what he told himself at that time.
Fengjiu continued reminiscing and talking to her aunt. She was talking about some of the hardest days of her life and it wasn't easy for her. But this was her aunt and she was one person Fengjiu did not mind being herself with.
"I waited for Dijun for 73 days. Each day was harder than the one before, but I waited. Everyone told me he had chosen to go to demon realm with Ji Heng. I chose not to believe them. I went to demon realm with Chong Lin to look for Dijun. There they told me he had been with Ji Heng. I was heartbroken.
I returned home here and was crying inconsolably in my room when medicine god Zhe Yan walked in. He sensed something off with me, checked my pulse and told me that I was pregnant. That moment! It changed my whole life.
I remember that night I did not sleep at all. But by the time morning came, I had made up my mind. God Zhe Yan had left me two pills - one that would abort and another that would preserve the baby. He also left a note saying he would support me no matter what I picked.
This was my baby. Mine and Dijun's. The only man I have ever loved. This baby was symbol of my unconditional love for Dijun. I knew he had loved me sincerely too. May be after seeing Ji Heng in trouble, he had decided to spend the rest of his life with her. But I knew when he had told me he loved me, he had meant it. I would keep this baby and live for the baby. This baby would be my whole universe from then on. I ate the pill that would preserve my baby.
Then I packed a few clothes, supplies to hide my birthmark, dress up as a man etc and left Quinqui. First I went to Sky Kingdom. Something in my heart was still not ready to let him go. I hoped to see him one last time. If he wanted to be with Ji Heng, all he had to do was tell me. I would get out of his way. But I didn't find him there. I knew I needed to be strong for this baby. Especially since I would be his only parent. So I let go of everything and left sky kingdom.
From there I went to Nether world, and checked up on Ye Quingti. I knew I would pay his debt no matter what. I left a trinket with Lord Xie Gu so he could reach me when he needed me to wake Quingti up. And then i went to mortal realm and stayed there until... "
"Why mortal realm? Didn't you know you would be all alone and you wouldn't be able to use your magic either? How could you have acted so foolishly, Fengjiu?", scolded Bai Xian.
"Aunt, I chose mortal realm because I did not want anyone to find me. I knew if any of you had learned that I was pregnant, you would confront Dijun and make him take responsibility for me and the baby. I knew what it was like, to stay away from the one I loved, I could never wish that for him.", Fengjiu explained.
Bai Xian rolled her eyes indignantly and continued with the questions. "How did you manage your pregnancy? Going into labor? The delivery? Did you take care of yourself properly at all?". She was seriously concerned.
"I did the best I could. I went to mortal realm and worked as a cook in a restaurant at that time. It was really hard work all day long. My body ached all the time and I was exhausted. But at least the owner who was an old lady, was kind to me. She let me eat leftovers and also let me take breaks often in my last month of pregnancy. She even revived me when I passed out from 3 days of labor pains and she helped me deliver Gungun safely. I am so grateful to her.
I was really sad when her son showed up 3 months later and wanted to force himself on me. I fought him, made him unconscious and ran away with Gungun. I did suffer physically and I was also very sad to leave the old lady to look after herself. But, I had no choice, so I did what I could.", Fengju tried in vain to make light of it. Bai Xian was appalled at what she heard.
And so was Dijun. He felt he had been too naive in thinking he could handle whatever he heard about her days in mortal realm. He had really underestimated her hardships.
Her days had been hard. When she had given him up, she had also given up her family and friends. All because of him. He knew he could never repay her for the things he had put her through.
"You are a Princess of Quinqui. You are the Monarch of this kingdom. You are the Empress of one of the most prestigious, powerful and revered god in the Sky Kingdom. Yet you had to work in restaurant and pass out from labor pains with no one to look after you. That's just so ...... ", Bai Xian was so furious, so flabbergasted that she could not find the right words at all.
"How can you love someone so much? How can you love him so much?", she asked incredulously to Fengjiu.
"Love is mysterious in its ways.", Fengjiu replied with a faint smile.
She knew her aunt was very angry. So Fengjiu reached for her aunt's hand. She hugged her aunt and wiped her aunt’s tears smilingly. Bai Xian's anger melted away. No one could stay angry at Fengjiu for long. With more tears in her eyes, Bai Xian planted a kiss on Fengjiu's head and held her close.
Dijun decided it was about time the ladies were interrupted. He wasn't sure he could bear to know any more of the hardships this delicate woman had toughed out because of him. He wasn't that thick skinned after all. He picked up the tray of food that had gone cold and heated everything back up with magic. He saw Ye Hua return with both the kids and together they walked in.
They sat in a circle and ate together. Both guys were pretty happy seeing their wives eat and praise the food they had prepared.
Dijun kept stealing weird glances at Xiaobai. She could sense something off about him. Was he worried about something? Was he about to go away soon and leave her for long time again? That thought scared her and made her very sad. But watching him smile at Gungun, she reasoned with herself that that must not be the case. She would have to ask him later when they were alone, she decided.
And she did get a chance to be alone with him soon. After the food was all gobbled up, Ah-Li reminded everyone that they had to go to the fair after lunch. So Gungun, Ah-Li, Bai Xian and Ye Hua all got ready to go.
“I will bring you sugar paintings, mom. Tell me what kind you want?”, Gungun said.
“Bring me back one dragon and one fox.”, she replied and exchanged a meaningful look with Dijun. That did bring back fond memories and a smile to Dijun’s face. She was happy to see her trick had worked to lighten his mood.
After they were all gone, Dijun closed the door behind them. He came back to her and helped her walk to the window. Although it was quite bright and sunny outside, the glorious willow tree in the yard provided just enough shade on the window seat. They both sat there with Dijun wrapping his arms around Xiaobai.
“What’s going on, Dijun? What’s been worrying you? Please tell me. And please be completely honest with me, ok? No matter how bad whatever that is, I want to know. And I want to work together with you to make it better. So tell me why you are so sad, so worried?” Xiaobai said looking into his eyes with sincerity.
“Xiaobai, I overheard what you were telling your aunt about the time of Gungun’s birth. I am feeling so guilty about that. As a husband I have failed you. Miserably failed you. I am so very sorry.”, Dijun’s voice cracked.
Xiaobai let out a long sigh and took his hands in hers. She looked at him, quite relieved that the worry wasn't anything about their future. She began to talk. “Dijun, what has passed is gone by. No matter what, we can never change it. So please let it all go. I do feel guilty about misunderstanding you, about talking to you coldly last time we met in the Sky Kingdom and keeping your son away from you for so long. But I am learning from it and learning to let it go. Let’s promise to always be completely honest with each other. Let’s start over, ok?”
A deep sigh left Dijun’s mouth as relief washed over him. His Xiaobai was still willing to give him another chance. She was asking to start afresh with him.
“When did my silly little fox become so wise?”, he chuckled and petted her nose. Hugging her, he let out a long sigh. She shifted to be more closer to him.
He pulled her close and said, “Are you tired, Xiaobai? Sleep a little if you are tired.” He planted a soft kiss on her hair, “Be a good girl and take rest for a while. We can take a small walk outside later if you feel better.”
“Hhmm..”, she said. Then she sunk her head on his chest and closed her eyes contentedly.
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My Vocabulary Did This To Me
“What are you thinking about?
I am thinking of an early summer.
I am thinking of wet hills in the rain
Pouring water. Shedding it
Down empty acres of oak and manzanita
Down to the old green brush tangled in the sun,
Greasewood, sage, and spring mustard.
Or the hot wind coming down from Santa Ana
Driving the hills crazy,
A fast wind with a bit of dust in it
Bruising everything and making the seed sweet.
Or down in the city where the peach trees
Are awkward as young horses,
And there are kites caught on the wires
Up above the street lamps,
And the storm drains are all choked with dead branches.
What are you thinking?
I think that I would like to write a poem that is slow as a summer
As slow getting started
As 4th of July somewhere around the middle of the second stanza
After a lot of unusual rain
California seems long in the summer.
I would like to write a poem as long as California
And as slow as a summer.
Do you get me, Doctor? It would have to be as slow
As the very tip of summer.
As slow as the summer seems
On a hot day drinking beer outside Riverside
Or standing in the middle of a white-hot road
Between Bakersfield and Hell
Waiting for Santa Claus.
What are you thinking now?
I’m thinking that she is very much like California.
When she is still her dress is like a roadmap. Highways
Travelling up and down her skin
Long empty highways
With the moon chasing jackrabbits across them
On hot summer nights.
I am thinking that her body could be California
And I a rich Eastern tourist
Lost somewhere between Hell and Texas
Looking at a map of a long, wet, dancing California
That I have never seen.
Send me some penny picture-postcards, lady,
One of each breast photographed looking
Like curious national monuments,
One of your body sweeping like a three-lane highway
Twenty-seven miles from a night’s lodging
In the world’s oldest hotel.
What are you thinking?
I am thinking of how many times this poem
Will be repeated. How many summers
Will torture California
Until the damned maps burn
Until the mad cartographer
Falls to the ground and possesses
The sweet thick earth from which he has been hiding.
What are you thinking now?
I am thinking that a poem could go on forever.”
-Jack Spicer, Psychoanalysis: An Elegy-
I’ve been asked about this. And yes, of course it deserves a post of its own. And no, there’s no reason to suppose that I don’t love it exactly as I’d love him – somewhere deep, beyond the cadence of the sun...
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ETERNAL LOVE OF DREAM (2020) dir. Yang Xuan
episode 52 » Meeting Fengjiu's Parents
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I would love Rhysand for an eternity just for these lines.
Despite being mates, and his primal instinct to protect her there is always a choice.
This is truly the difference between love and possession.
Too much love is a poison.
“You might be my mate,” he said, “but you remain your own person. You decide your fate—your choices. Not me. You chose yesterday. You choose every day. Forever.”
It is so important to be your own person in a relationship.
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Sweet & Sour Fish
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Culinary Science Magic
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Frazzled Fox Tryin’ to Fish
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Eternal Love of Dream - Chapter Next 3
(Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/469711436133487066/)
It had been somewhat quite these past few days. Dijun had settled into the Quingqui way of life slowly. His wife’s family, now his family, had slowly come around to understanding his past and forgiving him. They were never the ones to hold a grudge anyways. They knew he cared for Xiaobai deeply. He cared for Gungun deeply. There was nothing more they would ask of him.
Gungun had stayed with him all this while. Every time he looked at the little boy he was in awe. And he fell in love with his once lively, now comatose Xiaobai all over again. She had created this little miracle. For him. The two people in this room were his first ever real family in a few million years.
As Dijun watched Gungun read a book, he was surprised. Were little boys his age always this obedient and well behaved? Gungun had shown keen interest in reading as well as in learning new things. He had a natural curiosity to figure things out.
As evening came, Cheng Yu and Si Ming walked in. They greeted his majesty and Gungun. They inquired about the Little Princess Fengjiu. There wasn’t any change to report, but Zhe Yan had been to see his patient earlier that week and had sounded hopeful about her waking up soon.
”Would you like to come to the Sky Kingdom with me, Little Prince? I am about to head out and the Prince Ah-li had asked me to bring you along for a few days. Of course, if it is alright with Dijun?”, Si Ming asked politely after the initial conversation.
“Sure, Si Ming. I need to give you some instructions regarding things in Tai Chen palace. Gungun, say goodbye to mom. I will see you both out. Cheng Yu, do you mind staying with Xiaobai for some time? Gungun was reading to her, maybe you could continue?”, said Dijun.
“Sure”, said Cheng Yu gladly. She took the book from Gungun and patted his silver hair.
Gungun smiled and walked over to his mom. “Mom, please wake up soon. I miss talking to you. And I miss the food you make for me. I have been a good boy like I promised. Little Uncle Ah-li has invited me to Sky Kingdom. I will be gone for a few days. I will be a good boy. I will ask father to take good care of you. You get well and wake up soon, ok?”, he said as he held his mom’s hand and kissed it sweetly.
“Father, please take care of mom. Remember, don‘t let her get cold at night. Ok?”, he tilted his head and said to Dijun. Dijun smiled and extended his pinky in promise. Then they walked out hand in hand with Si Ming following behind.
Cheng Yu sat down near the bed and continued reading. It was a book about Buddhist Theories. Cheng Yu knew Xiaobai never liked that subject, but she didn’t know how else to keep Xiaobai company and make her presence felt. So she read on.
After some time, she felt Xiaobai‘s fingers move. Slowly Xiaobai opened her eyes. Cheng Yu bent over her surprised, excited and so happy to finally see her friend wake up. “Are you feeling better, Fengjiu? Are you still hurting?”
Fengjiu gave a faint smile and nodded. Then she mouthed her first word in several months, “Dijun?”, she inquired worriedly. Cheng Yu closed the book and said, “Well, Dijun... ” and glanced at the door.
Somehow this worried Fengjiu into a frightened fit. As if possessed, She mustered all her strength to cling tightly to Cheng Yu’s arm and pulled herself half up from her pillow. She asked urgently, “Cheng Yu, where is Dijun? How is he? Is he okay? If not, I don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to live without him. I can‘t live without him. I won’t... .“
Cheng Yu struggled to get over Fengjiu’s sudden outburst and tried to calm her down, “Shhhh... stop. Listen to me. Listen, please. Dijun is okay. He has completely recovered. He just stepped out to see Si Ming and Gungun off to Sky Kingdom. The Quixin toxic in his body has also been fully cured. Star Light ward has been broken and everyone is safe now. You are the only one still not recovered.“
Fengjiu let out a huge sigh and slipped back on the bed. A trickle of few tears still escaped from her eyes onto her pale face. “Dijun is alright? I am happy.“, she smiled. But then she caught on to something else that Ching Yu had said and asked worriedly again, “Wait, did you say Dijun went out to see Gungun off? You mean my Gungun? You know about my Gungun? Dijun knows about my Gungun too? Is Dijun very upset with me that I kept his son away from him for 200 years?” Fresh tears filled her eyes and her face was full of worry again.
”I am not upset. I am grateful. And I am so sorry, Xiaobai.”, Dijun who had just appeared in the doorway and had heard their last conversation, replied. He appeared to be in a daze as he ran to his wife and held her hands tightly. Cheng Yu made a smart and timely exit.
”Dijun, you are okay. You are really okay. I am so sorry, Dijun. I thought you wanted to stay with Ji Heng. I didn’t want my child and I to be a burden for you. I have known the pain of having to stay away from the one I love. I could never wish for you to go through that. I didn’t want my family to force you to take our responsibility either, especially if you had decided to be with Ji Heng. So I left. I am so sorry. I really didn’t do it to keep Gungun away from you.” Fengjiu said tearfully. She was tired from all the excitement of walking up and all the talking. She stopped to catch her breath.
Dijun helped her to sit up and supported her on his shoulder. He held her close and said, “Xiaobai, I am truly not upset. I am sorry. It was my behavior that led you to think this way. It was a miscommunication from my side that put you through all that. I can never forgive myself for it. But I do want to ask for your forgiveness. I will prove to you every single minute for the rest of my life that I am yours and yours alone. No one is more important to me than you. Please give me a chance to make it up to you. Please?” . Xiaobai held his hands firmly, dried her tears and nodded that she would.
Dijun felt like a heavy burden was lifted off his heart. He bent down and planted a lingering kiss on his beautiful wife’s delicate nose.
They heard footsteps outside their room. Cheng Yu had told everyone that Fengjiu had recovered and they had rushed to see her. Si MIng who had almost left had also come back with Gungun. There were words of congratulations and thankfulness all around. Everyone was trying to show her how much she was loved.
Gungun was the first one to rush to her bed and hold her hand. She kissed his forehead and smiled. Demon lord Xiaoyan could not stop boasting how powerful his friend Xiaojiu was. Third prince and Ye Quingti and Xie Gu were all bowing to her and showing appreciation.
Zhe Yan came forward to check her pulse. He declared that she was finally completely out of danger. “However, the recovery will be a slow process for sure.”, he explained. “You will be in and out of consciousness for the next few months. Try not to over exert yourself and rest as much as you can. I will modify your medicine for this next phase of recovery. Dijun, you need not give her any more of your golden blood. She can recover just with my medicines from here on out.”
Everyone was relieved to hear that. They saw all this excitement was tiring her out, so they all asked her to rest up and left. Dijun helped her lie back down and he laid down next to her himself.
After so many months, he was a bit relieved.
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Eternal Love of Dream (the sequel to ten miles of peach blossoms) was probably one of the best romances I have EVER watched. A fair few of my ships are “all powerful immortal falls in love with bubbly young girl”, but the is is the first time I really felt like it explored WHY. Why did Dong Hua, oldest and most powerful being in creation, change after millennia of ignoring romance?
And how can a young girl, no matter how powerful, really be his equal?
In this show, they did it. You can see how when the two of them are together, everything falls away - he puts aside his grave and grandiose bearing and can be petty and jealous and affectionate. She can set aside her family expectation, her Royal responsibilities, and her great-for-her-age power and just be a spoiled brat annoying her boyfriend into paying attention to her. They can just be themselves, their worst, most immature parts, in a private setting with no consequences.
Which isn’t to say they aren’t loving and supportive. Half the reason he loves her is because she doesn’t want him for his power and prestige- she insists on doing everything herself. And when he needs someone to stand at his side and understand the hard decisions he has to make, she’s right there.
And I really like that. It feels like a real, fulfilling relationship that helps each party be a better person.
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Eternal Love of Dream - Chapter Next 2
(Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/1829656087662319/)
The Bai household was bustling with activity today. The former queen of Quingqui and the future queen of Sky Kingdom, Bai Xian was visiting after a long time. Her son Ah-li was with her too. He had always been quite close to his Fengjiu Jiejie. Knowing that Fengjiu was in coma had had both Xian and Ah-li worried. So they had come to check on her.
Bai Xian and Dijun exchanged pleasantries. Dijun introduced Gungun. After the initial shock and surprise, Bai Xian and Gungun took an instant liking to this little silver haired boy.
Bai Xian checked on the sleeping Fengjiu and then excused herself. She went on to look for her mother.
Ah-li and Gungun took a seat at the window, watching the birds outside and started chatting. Dijun busied himself with preparing medicine for his wife. He could hear the little boys talk excitedly nearby.
“So, where have you lived all this while, Gungun? What’s your home like?”, asked the ever curious Ah-li.
“Mother and I lived in the mortal realm. Not in any one place though. Mother says I grow much slowly than mortal children so to avoid people talking and making more trouble, we move every few months or every couple years.”, Gungun explained. “We still do get into plenty of trouble anyways, but at least we have gotten better in the last couple years”, he added.
That just piqued A-li’s interest immensely and his eyes shone brightly. “Tell me all about it. I know when I went around with Fengjiu Jiejie we often got into trouble, but she always made an adventure out of it.”
Dijun was listening, he did get worried when Gungun said trouble, but on hearing Ah-li’s response, a tiny chuckle escaped him. Yes, that was true. His Xiaobai could turn a trouble into an adventure any time. That was one of the many things he admired about her. Curious to learn more, he diverted his attention back to the little boys by the window.
“Well, my earliest memory is of Mother fighting a bunch of roughs. Their leader wanted to hold Mother’s hand and take her away. He said he had never seen a beauty like her. Mother tried to reason with him to leave her alone, but when he didn’t listen, she kicked him. So they all came to fight with her.
Out of nowhere Mother took out a knife, made it into a sword and fought them all by herself. But the leader guy was sly. He picked me up and started threatening her. She was furious. She did something with her hand, a bright red light shot up and the guy holding me went flying backwards, while Mother caught me. That scared them all and they ran away shouting. But all that fighting had injured Mother too. She was bleeding all over and was also spitting blood. I was very scared. But Mother is brave. She smiled at me, told me not to worry, collected just a few things from home and took me away.” Gungun’s face showed all kinds emotions as he spoke. But most of all, you could feel the pride the little boy felt for his Mother. She was his hero.
Listening to all this perturbed Dijun’s heart. He should have been there for her. She had been all alone while he was still alive. He had promised her, over and over, that he would never leave her alone. That he would always be with her. He had failed miserably to keep that promise. No wonder she had not believed him and walked away, when he had said no one was more important to him than her. After what she had gone through, after what he had inadvertently put her through, how could she ever believe him? Why should she believe him? His heart broke at the thought. The ring on Xiaobai’s finger glowed again.
Ah-li’s eyes had grown as big as saucers. “Wow, what an amazing story! I am so proud of Fengjiu Jiejie. Tell me more.”, Ah-li said leaning closer.
“More? Well there are so many stories like this. A few months later, Mother had started covering up the Phoenix feather on her forehead with something she called cosmetics. She had also started dying my hair black so we could both look more like mortals. At that time she ran a small tea stall in a different town. One day it started raining heavily and before we could wrap up our stall and go home, we were both drenched. Her cosmetics had washed away and the Phoenix feather on her forehead glowed. I thought it looked so pretty, but there was a mortal nearby who saw and told everyone she was a demon. People gathered around us and wanted to throw all kinds of things at us. The bad guy jeered at us, he told everyone to capture Mother and hand her over to him. Mother did something clever this time. She did some magic to make the black snake come out of his sleeve. And then she told everyone that the guy himself was a bad wizard and he kept black snakes as pets. That scared everyone long enough and we ran away.”, Gungun recalled.
“You ran away to where? What did you do after running away? Did the bad guy chase you? Tell me, tell me, tell me....”, Ah-li begged to know more.
“He tried to chase us, but we were too fast for him. Mother flew us away to nearby forest and we took shelter in a cave that time. Her magic had hurt her though. She was spitting blood for so many days after that. She said it was because of backfire from her magic. Immortals were not allowed to use magic in mortal realm, so it was like a punishment. ”
“We began living in that cave. We did not have any quilts etc in there, but Mother made us beds with some grass and we kept fire running at the door all the time. Mother said it kept the wild animals away. She worked hard there too. She would take me on her back and go gathering fruits and hunting during the day. At night she would feed me first and eat only if something was left over. She used to get fever at night for several nights - may be because of the back fire or the cold in that cave. But at least we were safe from bad guys for the time being. In spite of all this, she always kept smiling and told me I was enough for her to be happy. I tried to help as best as I could. Slowly things got better as Mother recovered. We lived in that cave for several months, all the way till winter was almost starting.”
“That’s an amazing story! I wish I could have been there with you both. I would have also helped and would have also enjoyed the adventures.”, Ah-li sighed.
Chonglin came in at that very moment. He bowed to Dijun and the little ‘your majesties’. He had brought dinner for Dijun and a message for the boys. “Your grandma said you both need to come with me. I will help you wash up for dinner.”, he said.
Gungun looked at Dijun as if asking for permission silently. He didn’t really know Chonglin yet. Dijun smiled and nodded a yes. All of them left to go eat.
Dijun was alone with his wife. He left the food alone for the time being and gave her her medicine. He lovingly wiped her face and adjusted the quilt on her. He bent down and planted a soft kiss on the Phoenix feather on her forehead. Dijun sighed. Xiaobai did not stir.
He sat next to her bed as he started eating. His thoughts drifted again. He had wondered why she had stubbornly stayed away from him for almost 200 years. Even if she was mad at him, she could not have stayed mad at him for that long. She would have at least tried to meet him once. She would not have made a deliberate attempt to avoid him like that.
Her actions were becoming more and more clear now. When he did not show up for their wedding and also didn’t show up for over a couple months after that, she was forced to believe that he had given up on them. She must have believed that he had chosen Ji Feng and left her. She must have realized she was pregnant at that time. So to avoid complicating things, she had taken herself away. She had stayed away to protect his son and also to protect him.
It had been a huge mistake to hide things from her.
It had been his mistake.
It had been his love.
She had paid the hefty price for it.
And yet, she had come.
In spite of everything.
When she had heard Dijun’s side of story from Chonglin and found out about his battle with Miao Luo, she had kept everything else aside and rushed to protect him.
He recalled how her delicate, fragile frame had burst in through the Star Light ward wielding her Pottery sword in front of the fearsome Miao Luo. Her graceful, agile movements had showed no trace of hesitation. She was determined to save him. Even if it meant sacrificing herself.
How could someone love him so much?
How could she love him so much?
Love was mysterious in many ways!
He realized that while he thought he was protecting her, she had suffered so much. For him.
And in the end it had been her who had protected him. It was the blood from her heart, the heart of the only red nine-tailed fox in the universe, that had cleansed the immense negative energy from Miao Luo. It was her blood that had destroyed Miao Luo forever, cleared up all the negative energy, broken the Star Light ward and saved him. Saved Bihai Cangling. Saved this universe from chaos.
Yes, he had underestimated her grossly. He had been captivated by her ethereal fragile beauty, her innocence. He had completely missed her strength, her perseverance and her power. Yes, she was powerful. In her own right. She had not need him as much as he had needed her, he thought wryly.
Yes, she was the only one for him.
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I have watched two episodes of The Eternal Love and my big takeaway is:
Jing Xin needs a raise.
And also some popcorn.
Naught But A Fool In The Body Of A God
(Gore + existentialism warning) A foolish gamers... character study? I think?
Totems were funny things. Made of gold and emerald, looking both very much and not at all like their creator. You could go your entire life never seeing one of them. It is a rare person who needs to to face a powerful and dangerous raid, or to track down a mansion, all of which are filled to the brim with Illagers, just to get lucky and catch an Evoker off guard.
Totems are particular about who they save, seeming to despise their own holders. Evokers almost always held one, but they couldn’t seem to use them.
They seem almost heretical, as though Death herself is only tolerating their presence. She does not seem the type to let a method of escape slide. Though, she is simply a collector, and totems can only be used once. Perhaps she created them, to give some sense of hope as she waited at the finish line, merely extending the bridge into the void.
That is not the case, however. The creator was a young god then, full of spite and bloodlust. He carved them in his image, gave them to those who followed him through lava and storms, across oceans and land. He was not a god of death but a god of dying, a conglomerate of souls of those slaughtered in his name. He is of much the same stock as gods of war and blood, power growing from violence and destruction.
He was older, though. Older than the concept of war. War implies thought behind destruction, implies plans. Dying is a natural aspect of life. Everyone is dying, ever so slowly. He was an intermediary, an active force on the field of Death, who, for all those who fear her, is quite passive.
You, most likely, do not fear death. You cannot, for you do not know what awaits you in her loving embrace. You fear dying. Your last breath leaving your body, laying still, moving for the very last time, thinking your very last thought. You fear the unknown and the end, the change. You do not know what comes after death and that strikes fear into your heart. You do not know what it is like to take your last breath, and that haunts you.
This young god, so new and so primordial, hunted. If he stopped moving, stopped hunting, stopped killing, he’d fade away and die. He sent his followers to hunt, to pillage, his need for souls insatiable. They hunted, and they warped, skin greying and eyes darkening. They began to shift from human to something else, something other. Infused with his power, they hunted, leading groups to hunt down more sacrifices to their god.
He grew in power, grew in strength. Death herself watched, for he was just like his creations. He was a totem, serving a greater power. He was sculpted from gold, inlaid with emerald eyes, given the wings of all her favored creatures, and he engraved himself with stories of his past, his triumphs, his losses, things he wanted to hold close to him forever.
Blood runs through the canals of those engravings, a trident plunging into the chest of the next breathing mortal, and the god, whose name has been long since lost, laughs. Another one came for him, not learning the lesson of its companion, and a sword is driven through their heart, buried up to the hilt, freed moments later by the golden flames eating at its nervous system, reduced to ash in seconds. He brushes them away as one would brush away eraser shavings.
Bodies lay strewn across the field when he’s finished, a one-sided war, headed by a mortal he’s already forgotten, over some sin he no longer cares to remember.
A chuckle rings out from behind him, and he whirls, sword drawn. “That’s quite the display.”
They were half-buried in a fog, extremities concealed in the mist that he knows for a fact wasn’t there. Their eyes glow with hunger, with spite, with a thousand emotions he couldn’t even begin to untangle. It hurts to look them in the eyes too long.
“A lot of flair for some bodies nobody will even see. Nobody but me, of course.”
“What can I say, I’m an artist.”
“Or a zealot.”
“What’s the difference? You won’t have the breath to tell anyone.” He swings his sword, runes glowing. Whoever they are, they will soon be ash, soaked by their own fog, as fire eats them from the inside out.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. My father wouldn’t be happy, he’s not nearly as forgiving as me.” He whirls again, seeing white eyes and a ruffled shirt, mere feet from his face, leaning back against nothing. He gets the feeling that they’re looking at him, truly looking at him, and he chokes, breaking his gaze away from swirling, dancing white, blank but never empty.
“Foolish, that’s what you are. A fool.” The mortal- No, they are not mortal. No mortal stares a god in the eyes and calls him a fool. “Why do you fight?”
His companion smirks at him. He grins right back, rows of teeth glinting in the light of the enchanted blades. Centuries of fighting together made them a well practiced dance, a machine of blood and souls. Three arrows pierce the hearts of the guards, falling wordlessly from their towers. That’s all the warning they get. Before the night is out, blood flows so thick it sits for years, soaking the wood and drowning the now-ashen grass.
His companion’s footsteps wither and rot the wood on which they stand, warping it beyond recognition. They work their way to the center of the fortress, people charging to their deaths, impaled, sometimes, by naught but the thorny whips of their enchanted armor.
The stone crumbles beneath their feet, and the god would feel the effects, if he were not himself a statue, life breathed into him by the very goddess who steals it, made of pure gold, which doesn’t tarnish, doesn’t decay. Tapestries crumble to dust as his companion runs their hand along them. The god tosses a mortal to the side, its body lying crumpled, its soul buzzing as he adds it to his own. Another voice layered over his own, another voice to buzz with every angry word.
His companion grips a guard by their chin and laughs as it crumbles to dust beneath their hands.
The general of the army falls, and they dance in the blood of their enemies, spin in the blood of their victims. The hem of the smaller god’s dress sprays droplets of blood as they twirl, the god of dying laughing as his friend grabs his hands, dancing in victory, in elation, in completion. They propel themself into the air and spin him. They move as a unit, as they did in the heat of battle.
Later, the god will sit, stare at his companion, and say “You once asked me why I fight.” That day is not today. Today they will both fight, dance in the blood of their enemies, and move on, the fortress a shell of its former self, growing over with vines, breaking apart.
Two gods, a god of dying and a god of withering and ash, rest in a small village on the bank of a river. The withering god rests against a tree, long ago struck with lightning, telling a story to the village children, as the god of dying laughs, interrupting them with his own commentary on just how comically wrong they’re telling it.
It has been decades since they drew first blood, traveling for weeks at a time, collecting, remembering, rather than destroying. Fights found them, of course, mobs never learn, but fewer mortals have fallen to their stained hands in the past century than in their best year previous.
They still delight in the occasional bloodbath, if the chance arises, but as the world shifts towards calm, they drift away from senseless slaughter and towards traveling.
They pass by cities, or the ruins of what once were, and they ask themselves, “Was that our doing?” and they do not know, hundreds of civilizations having fallen to their blades, their arrows, and their fire.
But they sit, ancient, immortal warriors, telling stories to children, their hands still caked in more blood than these children will ever see.
Later, the god of dying will say to his companion: “I fight because destruction is control. Nothing exists that I cannot destroy, nothing exists that I cannot control,” but that day is not today. Today they laugh at incorrect accounts of tales they experienced, true histories lost, new memories formed. Today the god of withering and ash closes their eyes, and the god of dying makes the skies dance with light for the descendants of people they long-ago killed.
Later they will reflect. Today they will reminisce.
Two gods part ways, on a mission from Death. They will meet again, but it will not be the same. The god of dying, of storms, and of the ocean and all that that entails smiles down on his old friend, their white eyes glowing with hundreds of memories.
“I’ll see you soon, Old Pal.”
“See you soon.” They turn down different roads, one a path of explosions, of wars, of power-grabs and monarchies, and one down a path of self-reflection.
Their paths take them to the same destination: Redemption. Neither take the same road there, and neither path is straight, but it never is. And redemption is a place not easily found, but easily lost, easy to slip back into old ways for moments at a time, on a godly timescale.
The god of dying takes the name Foolish, a reminder of his past. He arrives in a strange land, full of holes and trauma and death. The place reeks of hubris. It makes him sick. It makes him hungry. The hunger curls in his stomach and the stench gives him a sickening headache, so he runs. Runs far away, and he builds.
Builds for control, builds for stability. Builds are his one constant, gigantic pyramids and sculptures and he can’t stop. His temple expands. A man, a man he has seen, a man who feels like too much and too little, too much in one body, a vacuum and a black hole, asks him for a kingdom. Simple enough. A child approaches him, telling him to build a mansion, a mansion larger than a country, for him, his husband and their son. He will be paid. He is not paid nearly enough.
A demon, a cat, and a not-quite-human man encroach on his summer home. They reek of vines and death, and Foolish loses his composure. They doubt his power. They threaten his home and he smiles with too many teeth and grows, grows to his full size. His eyes glow. They taunt him, threaten him.
“I’m a peaceful man, Ponk. But if I must defend myself, I can.”
“Defend yourself against this, then, Foolish.” Ponk hurls a trident at him, glancing off him, a mortal not strong enough to pierce his skin. He’s a fool, more a fool than the man who took it as his name. That is his weapon, carved of prismarine and ivory, more his domain than any other. For a moment, the god tastes blood.
“I may be a totem of undying, but in the past, I have been a totem of death.” He calls power to his fingertips, lightning in his eyes. “It’s not just one thing, Ponk. It's never just one thing. Have you ever tasted lightning? Smelt the ozone in the air, seen it dance across your skin before you black out from the pain?”
“Do you see where we are, Foolish?” In Ponk’s mind, the name is fitting. He has never seen a storm called from nothing before. Never seen a storm called at all, only harnessed. He disbelieves.
“It does not matter. A sunny day does not matter.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Let me show you.” He smiles, rows of teeth bloodied with the lives of thousands, millions of mortal souls. His voice layers, thousands of voices, screaming to be heard. The crack of lighting lands mere feet from the three. “Now begone from this place, and I don’t ever want to see you here again, am I clear?”
The vines must be resolved. The egg continues to hunger, but he has hope, hope that there is a piece of mortal soul left in them, a piece of morality that wishes to be free. He does not give up hope.
The gods’ paths cross again in a city, the totem and the king. A city drowning in red, twisting, oozing vines, calling out for blood. They spend hours weeding, burning red vines and laughing. His friend no longer flies, his friend hides their once-beautiful eyes, but they’re the same. They do not remember him, but they are the same.
“Foolish, have I ever shown you my eyes?” Of course they have, and he says as much. “I’m going to show you again, just in case.” Their eyes dance, with confusion and worries, and a deep-seated fear of rejection.
“Yeah, that’s the Eret I’m thinking of! The one with white eyes, the one with the netherite armor!” Foolish looks concerned, but this is nothing that they can’t fix. They’ve fought armies together, a few missing memories aren’t going to make him give up on them.
They attend a banquet. They dance for the first time in centuries, spinning in circles to the music played by that infernal catmaid. They attend a banquet and it goes south, hard, as all parties attended by gods do. It goes south and he makes use of his totem nature, wrapping around their heart, taking their place. They will not die to the monstrous egg before they get to dance together, and reminisce.
Soon, the god will say to his old friend, that he builds to replace. He builds to counteract the destruction he caused, and it will not replace the lives lost, but it adds something new, something beautiful to this harsh reality, but that is not the truth. The truth is, he creates for the same reason he destroyed.
Soon a mortal man in a cardboard mask will tell him that he let him die. Soon, he will be taunted by a mortal man, full of hubris, who says that his builds mean nothing, are nothing, bring nothing to the world, and a part of him will think the mortal man is right. A part of him whispers that he is selfish. That his ways are wrong. That he must pick up the sword once again, bleed mortals for their souls.
He will shove that part deep inside, and he will remind the man that no good comes of blood. He will tell the man that he too once believed that death was the answer, death would give control, but he will tell the man that he was wrong, and that he will be too.
You either die a monster, vengeful and wicked, or you grow. You adapt, you create, you reconcile. Some may never forgive, but many will. Mortals only get one lifetime, he must make the most of it.
He will not say that though. He will sit up against the side of his sphynx and sew hundreds of thousands of tiny dolls, breathing life into each one, giving each one a small hard hat and a job, so he will never be alone. He will build, children safe in the ender cradle, and he will give himself time to think. He will stop moving, for one moment, and he will not die. He may be the god of the seas, but he is not a shark. He keeps moving, a perpetual motion machine, purely out of fear of what his own thoughts bring, and he truly lives up to the name given to him so long ago. Foolish. For he is naught but a fool in the body of a god.
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Eternal Love of Dream - Chapter Next 1
"Gungun, I am your father!", Dijiun said with an unmistakable tremble in his voice.
It was Gungun's turn to be surprised. Based on what Mother had told him, he did not have a father. She had explained that since they were immortals, it was possible for a child to not have one. But this handsome looking uncle said he was Gungun's father!
Surprise, then confusion slowly gave rise to the realization that as long as this uncle was willing to be his father, he would be very happy. No more weird looks from his friends in the mortal realm, no more jeering questions.
And may be, just may be, this person would be willing to help his Mother too. Gungun worried about his Mother. She was all alone with no relatives in the mortal realm and had to manage everything by herself. He had seen his Mother tired, stressed, many times even fighting with a sword and getting injured. But still always smiling a brave, loving smile for Gungun. Since this person was sitting next to Gungun's mother's bed, trying to feed her medicine, may be he did care about Gungun's Mother. So, all in all, it was a happy thing to have found a father.
"Father!", Gungun said, with a smile lighting up his face and tried to wrap his tiny arms around his father in a tight hug.
Dijun pulled Gungun close in his arms and planted a kiss on his forehead. Then he hugged him some more. And planted some more kisses. The ring on Xiaobai's finger, which was made from Dijun's heart, glowed. It almost felt like Xiaobai stirred. But when Dijun looked at her, she was laying as still as before.
After the initial shock wore off, Dijun lifted his head above Gungun's silver hair. He held the boy at arms length, still keeping him close, still holding hands. Slowly he asked, "Gungun, where have you been? How did you come here today?". Gungun replied, "I have always lived with Mother in the mortal realm. At least that's what Mother calls it. It was Uncle Xie who brought me here today. He told me Mother was injured and that I had to be responsible."
“How did you meet Uncle Xie?”, Dijun asked a little bit perplexed.
“Some time ago, Mother took me to a place called the Nether world. She helped another uncle wake up and then had to leave for Sky kingdom. She promised me she would be back soon and asked me to be a good boy and stay with Uncle Xie.”, Gungun replied.
Looking at his Mother Gungun continued, “Father, when will Mother wake up? She never sleeps for so long. Can I stay with her? I don’t want her to sleep alone. She always kicks the sheets at night, feels cold and starts to whimper. I often wake up from the noise and pull the sheets up on her. When I am not with her, she might feel cold at night. So I want to stay with her.”
Dijun smiled a weak smile and said, “So she has not changed. I promise you, Gungun, I will not let her feel cold. I will stay by her side and take care of her myself. Don’t worry, ok?”
Gungun felt relieved. He lifted his little pinky and made his father promise properly. He was satisfied then.
[Picture source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/428827195773027503/]
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