Lashes fluttering, Xuanji slowly opened her eyes, the rays of bright lights trickling into view.
Her head was swimming with heaviness, her shoulder burning with intense pain as if she had suffered an injury.
“She’s awake,” a clear, crisp voice issued with a hint of a smile, seemingly belonging to a young lady.
A wave of different voices issued there after, ringing with joy and relief.
As Xuanji’s eyes gained focus, what came into view was an unfamiliar room. There were a number of men and women present, both young and old, standing before her.
Behind her, a slightly rigid voice quietly called, “Xiao Qi.”
Xuanji tilted her head slightly, squinting her eyes to focus on the owner of the voice who was holding onto her tightly from behind, it seems he was the one that had called her Xiao Qi.
As she focused on his face, she could see he was an incredibly handsome man and he was staring at her, his phoenix eyes tinged with a look of sorrow.
“Who are you?” Xuanji asked in a low voice.
The man’s expression took a slight turn, his hands reaching for her shoulders as he questioned, “You don’t recognize me?”
The force of his grip was so strong, it seemingly had pressed against her wound, causing her to groan in pain. Instantly, the man loosened his grip on her shoulder, his hand reaching for her face, turning it towards his as he said with a smile, “Xiao Qi, be good, don’t joke around, how can you not recognize me?”
A clear, crisp sound echoed in the room, startling all those present.
She had slapped away his hand that was gripping her chin. This man was handsome with looks comparable to a lotus flower, but she instinctively felt she must resist him, hate him. Knitting her brows, she pulled herself away from his embrace and scooted towards the corner of the bed, her gaze guarded as she looked at him warily.
The man’s brows were tightly furrowed, his deep gaze flickering with pain and disbelief. The corner of his lips lifted in a faint smile as he asked incredulously, “Xiao Qi, you’ve forgotten me?”
Xuanji gripped her head which was buzzing with pain. She tried to search through her memory but came up empty. She couldn’t recall anything. She just instinctively felt that she didn’t belong here, that she seemed to have come from somewhere far away, a place that was different from here. As for who she was and how she got here, she could not remember a thing.
“Young Master(gongzi) Long, I suspect your wife’s memory loss may be due to her head knocking against the rocks when she fell over the cliff and plunged into the sea,” an old, white-bearded man said. He then sighed and continued, “This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen this happen over the years.”
After hearing the old man’s words, an elderly man dressed in plain clothes said, “That’s right, Young Master Long, Doctor Gong is hailed as a miracle doctor in our village. If that is what he believes, it must be true.”
The phoenix-eyed man was none other than Long Fei Li. His long, slender fingers balled into tight fists as he took to his feet and anxiously asked, “Sir, may Long mou ask when will my wife regain her memories?”
(t/n: Here LFL referred to himself as “Long mou” and “mou” just means “somebody or such-and-such”. So he just gives his surname Long and not his full given name)
Doctor Gong looked at Xuanji and said, “It’s difficult to say. What concerns me more is that your wife may have a blood clot in her head after suffering such injuries. If she does, it’ll be troublesome. It won’t just affect her memory but will afflict great damage to her body over time. I will have to make an incision on her head to release the clot but with such procedures I do not have confidence in the results.”
Long Fei Li’s eyes darkened. Even if the old man was sure of the results, how could he possibly let this unknown doctor from this small fishing village cut open her head to release a clot? He must return to the palace as soon as possible!
Long Fei Li nodded slightly and said, “Thank you, when my wife is feeling better, I will take her out for medical treatment.”
A middle-aged man suddenly stepped out and said in a loud voice, “Well then, it’s getting late, let’s all go home now so as not to disturb Young Master Long and his wife’s rest.”
Long Fei Li said with a faint smile, “I’ve troubled you, Village Chief. You’ve allowed my wife and I to stay at this house and even invited a doctor to treat us.”
The Village Chief replied, “Young Master Long is too courteous, within the four seas all men are brothers. Young Master Long, you and your wife traveled to your hometown to visit relatives but had encountered bandits on the road and fell into the sea. The waves are strong and deadly, it’s a blessing that you and your wife are still alive after that fall. Besides, our small fishing village is nested in a remote area, so it’s rare for us to have visitors. Later, Song mou1 will let someone cook some food and bring it over. I live in the courtyard next to this house, if you need anything, feel free to come and find me.”
(t/n here the Chief Village referred to himself as Song mou so his surname is Song)
“Thank you for your troubles,” Long Fei Li said as he clasped his hands to salute and show his gratitude.
“Young Master Long, there’s no need for such courtesy towards my father,” a girl shyly said, her head slightly lowered. She was the daughter of the Village Chief, her name Song Ni. She had a bright and lovely appearance and she was the same girl that had announced that Xuanji had awoken earlier on.
The people in the village proceeded to joyously exchange greetings with Long Fei Li before the Village Chief patted Long Fei Li on the shoulder and led everyone away. Several young girls secretly glanced at Long Fei Li and blushed before silently taking their leave.
While people were leaving, a delicate voice issued from the bed, “Can you take me with you?”
Everyone was startled when they realized it had been Young Master Long’s wife that had spoken. She was curled up in the corner of the bed, the blanket wrapped around her arms, looking quite frightened.
“Older sister, what’s wrong?” Song Ni curiously asked as she went to the side of the bed.
Xuanji bit her lip apprehensively, after some time, she pointed a finger at Long Fei Li and said, “I don’t want to be in the same room with him. Will you take me away?”
After everyone was gone, there were only the two of them remaining in the room. Long Fei Li was still standing there while Xuanji was still huddled in the corner of the bed, staring at the man in white vigilantly.
Long Fei Li stood there motionlessly, the hand resting on the wooden table trembling slightly.
Last night, she had pushed Murong Lin off the cliff and had fallen along with her. In that instant, Long Fei Li’s heart was seized with horror and pain, along with a sole thought, that he mustn’t let her leave his side.
In that moment of frenzy, he ran and jumped after her. She had fallen unconscious and before she reached the waters, he was able to take her into his arms. In that instant, he was overcome with a happiness he had never experienced before in all his 21 years.
After the age of seven, he had steered clear of the waters but last night when he had fallen into the sea with her, he seemed to have somehow overcome his fears, gaining the ability to continue on even in those deep waters. He didn’t even need to breathe, instead he continued to transfer air to her. He knew that if he did not support her, she would not make it. He had used all his strength to swim towards the shore with her in his arms before the fatigue finally overwhelmed him and he fainted.
But now she had forgotten him, was even afraid of him. The look in her eyes when gazed at him was deep with disgust.
She had lost her memory yet she still remembered the hate she had for him.