Man from the Wild South - novelonlinefree.com
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Today is a short post with no major relevations. I like it that Feng In is not as powerful as he seems and that when he bleeds, he is quite at anyone's mercy. Weak though he may be, he is still quite level-headed and sets the stage to stake claim on his woman later. A bit of his true nature becomes apparent in his weakened state but Shang Guan Jing is too unsuspecting to see deeper. *sigh*
A picture of a spider talking to a fly comes to mind but I cannot find a nice picture on the web. Instead I attach a photo of a spider web which I took in Alishan (central Taiwan) some years back. The web is dangerous to insects, but oh-so-pretty in its natural environment, hope you like it.
Chapter 3 (Part 1)
Feng Jin tells Shang Guan Jing about his condition. "I will bleed, once a month without fail… since the day I was born. My clan elders said that this is a blood curse. There is an evil spirit who has followed me when I was born which gave me in my strange looks …. and this weird illness.." Although a bit breathless, he manages firmly. "Now please leave. Take it as if I'm begging you…. I will only bring you misfortune. Leave."
He closes his eyes tiredly and to his shock, he hears footsteps leading to the door.
Did she just leave?
He has been quite sure that she is going to stick to his side like glue and his blood rushes up his head at the unexpected turn of events.
His head spinning at the same time he tries to think of a countermeasure. No, he cannot accept this turnout. He must do something.
Unfortunately, the bleeding has fried his brain and no solution comes forth. His mental exertion causes him to bleed more profusely and at one point, he thought that he might just drown in his own blood any minute.
Suddenly, he feels a cool cloth against his face and he relaxes a little as she wipes the blood away from his eyes, nose, ears and mouth. He opens his eyes to look at her and she must have seen the question in the depth of his eyes for she starts to explain. "I have searched the whole house but I cannot find any servants. I tried calling for them but there is no answer too. This is really strange; I have thought that someone would be around since all the lights are lit. But there is no one so we are on our own. I have prepared a wet towel to wipe your face. If I am too rough, Master Feng must pardon my poor nursing skills for I am not very experienced."
If she can find a servant, it will be his turn to be shocked, but Feng Jin only says aloud: "I like the house to be quiet and my servants are aware of my preference. They will leave me alone at nightfall and you will not be able to find anyone." Pause. "You really should leave. If you stay but ends up regretting your decision one day, don't say that I have not tried to warn you…."
She covers his mouth with the wet towel and snuffs out whatever else he is going to say. She has thought that Feng Jin is a literal gentle man and this stubborn side of him is a surprise. Is he truly that independent or is he acting independent? But no matter which it is, her heroine instincts have been invoked and there is no way she is leaving him to fend for himself. Leave him alone? What a joke.
As she starts to wipe his other cheek, he gasps. "Why are you smiling?"
He tries to push away the annoying cloth from his face but she restrains his hand without much difficulty. His wrist may be bigger than hers, but with little flesh on them and in his feeble state, his protest is feeble at best - and makes him more vulnerable in her eyes. In her book, this man is thoroughly in need of tender loving care. "Nope, you are mistaken. I am not smiling."
"You are. I saw it. Do not think that I cannot see clearly just because I have blood in my eyes."
She nearly snorts. "You remind me of someone."
He presses his lips together tightly and his expression turns ominous. "I reminded you of someone? Who? A man perhaps?"
"Rubbish!" she snorts.
"Who exactly did I remind you of?" He discovered some energy left in him afterall and struggles to sit up.
He is really acting strange tonight, Shang Guan Jing thinks. It has not crossed her mind that he can be this stubborn - obstinate even – but then again it has not crossed her mind either that someone could bleed through his eyes, mouth, nose and ears on every full moon. She can only say that his core could be quite different from his outward easy-going ways, and she quells the urge to press him down by the forehead. "You reminds me of my Xiao Shi Mei. Her name is Du Qing Qing."
He stopped struggling at the unexpected answer.
"Both of you have the same stubborn expression."
"I am not stubborn."
Yes you are and I am looking at it right now with my own eyes. Wisely, she only said this in her head to prevent agitating him further and her thoughts move to Xiao Shi Mei.
For the nh time where is Xiao Shi Mei? She is only 15 years old and Shang Guan Jing has been worried sick since she realized that the girl has gone missing. She can only be certain that Xiao Shi Mei has not been captured by Da Shi Jie or Er Shi Siong but beyond that, she has no clues on her whereabouts. Shang Guan Jing can only console herself that Qing Qing is very bright and mature for her age and pray that Qing Qing is in good hands, and is not starving in a corner somewhere.
"I am… not your Xiao Shi Mei…." Someone sounds petulant.
"Of course not."
"Then don't go off day-dreaming in my face."
"I am not. Hey, what are you doing?" The man can barely sit straight and he is trying to take off his own clothes?
"I stink. The stench of mud and rotting leaves is making me nauseous. I… want to… lie down… I want to puke." The first sentence is meant to rattle her but the last sentence is the truth.
His insistence has caused more blood to flow from his eyes and nose, and Shang Guan Jing figures that she better lend a hand. She helps him remove his outer robes as he collapses on her shoulder with his black hair cascading over her front.
"Feng… Feng Jin?" He has wrapped his arms around her waist and is holding her as if she is an anchor in a turbulent sea.
"I like it when you call me by my name. I like it a lot. It has been a long time since anyone has done that."
Shang Guan Jing is getting more and more worried by his strange behaviour. Why is he pushing her away one minute and clinging to her the next? She can feel his irregular breathing and suspects that he could be trying to block off pain. "Are you in a lot of pain? You said that this happens every month. Does it mean that you have to suffer this pain once a month?"
She feels a faint nod on her shoulder. "Yes, it hurts like this once a month but I have learnt to endure it. It is just that the pain can be worse if I happen to invoke the qi in my blood just before the 15th."
He reminds her of an attention-seeking child but she dares not push him away despite him being too close for comfort. She can feel heat rising to her cheeks, and her temperature rose further when fanned by his hot breath. "Qi? B lood? If your blood circulation improves, will your condition improve too?"
He laughs at the thought although the sound is a little hoarse from bleeding. "Do you think that my condition is like a woman's period, where the discomfort can be reduced by taking tonic or by incalculating good habits?" When she has no reply, he continues. "It is really alright. I… I am very good at enduring pain. I am used to enduring."
His false bravado touches her deeply and makes her worried once more. He may need more than her help to survive the night and that she better search the whole house and its compounds once more until she finds some servants to tend to him. As she is lowering him onto the mattress, she hears his question. "So there is no one?"
"Back at Yu Ling peak. Is there no one…. no man waiting for you?"
She lowers her eyes so that he cannot see the turbulence within them. There was once a time when a man would be waiting for her. However, the past is only a dream and her dream has been shattered.
The man is unable to love her single-heartedly and she finds that she cannot settle for just half a heart. She feels a familiar ache in her heart and tells herself that the heartbreak is her cross to bear for severing their relationship. Since the person has forsaken her, she can forsake him too.
Could there be someone waiting for her?
"Of course not. I am going to look for someone to help you. Stay put and don't move."
His eyes shine like stars and they shine like the brightest stars she has ever seen. "Alright."
He can indulge her if she insists that he stays put.
But there is no way in hell that she will find someone in his house.