"Nonsense. Even if I allowed her to, she’s my niece after all. She’s the only person in the world who shares the same blood as me. I would subject Pei Zi Yun to a little heartache and testing, if not, how would he know what he’s missed?"
"Yes, yes, Senior Sister. You shall do all the nice things, and I shall handle all the bad people. When you came here to take Ye Su’er two years ago, and told me to inform Pei Zi Yun that they should only meet three years later, I had to be the bad guy and tell him this piece of news. I’m afraid he hates me now because of that. He probably thought I sold Ye Su’er off to someone else." The Monastery Leader spoke bitterly.
"Back then, I finally located my only relative and family left in this world, and was moved beyond rationale. I didn’t want her to be mixing with people who were not befitting of her. Who would’ve expected this Pei Zi Yun would rise up so quickly, and even cultivated up to the ninth level in the blink of an eye?" The Sect Leader sighed, knowing that she had missed out on a talented genius. She should’ve been more careful with her checks and investigation.
"Senior Sister, your meaning is, you still wish to subject him to tests and heartache? It’s just that true love is hard to find. I remember when Su’er was here with me, she would always long for Pei Zi Yun’s quick return. If you subject them to such tests, she might form a negative opinion on this matter." The Monastery Leader sighed.
"I dare her to!" The monastery chief said coldly. She said it with a finality to her sentence. She sighed as well, "I wonder if this silly girl knows that even the truest of loves do not last forever. Just like that, she gave her heart away. And back then, Pei Zi Yun was able to conceal his talents and didn’t show the slightest bit of it. He seemed like the most normal person around. How could I have allowed them to be together?"
"It’s different now though. They can spend the rest of their lives together happily and in harmony." The Sect Leader then thought to herself, ‘Maybe both the young couple might feel that I’m overbearing and strict, but my heart is full of love for her.’
"Your heart has turned soft." The Monastery Leader of Peach Blossom Origins looked at her Senior Sister and sighed.
"Hm, should we just allow them to be together, just like this? How can it be this simple? Even in the secular world, the parents of the bride will put the man to a series of tests to show his unfailing love for their daughter, much less us, people of the Daoist sects."
"Senior Sister, what should we do since we are people of Daoist sects?" The Monastery Leader smiled and asked.
"I’ve long heard of his renowned reputation and how he’s good with poems. I’ve even heard that appeared before the Grand Princess and composed a poem for her as well. Damn it. How could he compose poems for two women? For Su’er I will make things difficult for him. If not, he would use his talents and womanize to attract women to him and break Su’er’s heart." The leader was filled with anger as she spoke, somewhat unhappy with Pei Zi Yun.
"Pei Zi Yun ah, who asked you to open your mouth loosely, and sprinkle random flowers with water and offend my Senior Sister. You shall have a good time suffering." The Monastery Leader spoke, expressing her sympathy for Pei Zi Yun.
Just as the both of them were speaking, the flute melody seemed as if it was ending, quivering as though they could not bear to part with each other. Once it was concluded, all was still and quiet again.
Although the both of them hadn’t seen each other in two years and so much has changed, they managed to find a way back to each other with the melody of the flute.
Pei Zi Yun then hung his flute on the saddle of the horse before walking into the forest. He took a sharp turn before hastily parting all the leaves in his way and raised his head. Up ahead, a girl had simultaneously raised her head after parting the leaves as well.
When the both of them laid eyes on each other, it was somewhat different from their own memories of each other. The young girl before him was no longer weak and frail.
All of a sudden, Pei Zi Yun felt like all the tragic memories he had retained about Ye Su’er from the original owner had been shattered like glass, and was replaced by a colorful and joyous scene.
"Brother Pei!" The young girl’s eyes met Pei Zi Yun’s as she ran across to him, as fast as her legs could carry her.
When he finally caught her deep within his embrace, Pei Zi Yun exclaimed, "Su’er!"
In the two years that they had not seen each other, Ye Su’er had developed a certain womanly grace. Her eyes exuded a charm and an intelligence unlike anything he had seen before. It was almost as if her innate talent and aptitude was swimming within the recesses of her eyes, and was extremely captivating. At this very moment, all their memories of each other came floating back.
Pei Zi Yun did not hesitate any further and looked down lovingly into Ye Su’er’s eyes before kissing her full on her lips.
It felt like an eternity had passed, until Ye Su’er could barely catch her own breath. Her arms gently pushed Pei Zi Yun away, in a bid to speak, "Brother Pei, that year… That year, I…"
Seeing Ye Su’er stammering away, Pei Zi Yun stopped her from speaking. Who never had a silly moment? Especially after he had become an Elementary Scholar, and she was just an orphan…
"I really thought I would only be able to see you after three years. I didn’t expect you to give me such a surprise here."
"What’s happened, happened, let’s not bring it up anymore. It’s not your fault that you left, I believe you." Hearing Pei Zi Yun’s words, Ye Su’er held on tightly to him for dear life as tears rolled down her cheeks.
After some time, a small voice spoke, "My master told me that I would be able to find you after three years, when I’ve broken through the gates of heaven. These two years I’ve been cultivating to the best of my abilities. I’m now at the seventh level."
When Ye Su’er finished her sentence, her face showed a look of pride and accomplishment.
"You’ve already cultivated up to the seventh level?" Pei Zi Yun looked at Ye Su’er and was pleasantly surprised. He had known from the original owner’s memories that the Three Ye’s and Two Guo’s had immense innate abilities, and yet was still surprised that it took her this far and so quickly.
"Hm, speak about me, I know you’ve already cultivated up to the ninth level." Ye Su’er looked up at Pei Zi Yun as she was still in his embrace.
When Pei Zi Yun heard this, he forced a laugh. The only reason he made such progress was because of the original owner’s memories and the Plum Blossom, which was sort of cheating. Ye Su’er made it all the way to the seventh stage entirely using her innate talents. That was extremely scary.
"Let’s go and meet my aunt, she’s my benefactor and master." Ye Su’er dragged Pei Zi Yun as she spoke.
Hearing her words, Pei Zi Yun’s expression didn’t look too good. He remembered how she looked at him, and determined that he had no potential before dragging Ye Su’er away, and taking her out of his life. To open the gates of heaven within three years was a lie. The difficulty level of opening the gates to heavens was extremely high, and even the Three Ye’s and Two Guo’s might not even achieve that within three years.
The both of them headed towards the monastery. When they walked in, they saw the Monastery Leader speaking with a woman. She was dressed in a purple top and a skirt. She stood there quiet and calm. The woman before Pei Zi Yun was completely different from his impression of her. Pei Zi Yun could not help but force a laugh, "Even I’ve been influenced by the leader? A woman like that left an impression of a witch on me."
"Brother Pei, she’s my aunt." Ye Su’er whispered softly into his ears, blowing cold air onto his skin, causing his hair to stand on the edge.
"Okay!" Pei Zi Yun responded softly. Seeing the both of them so close together, the woman’s face was somewhat upset.
Ye Su’er and Pei Zi Yun stepped forward to pay their respects to the woman as she acknowledged coldly, "Arise, you dishonest scoundrel, Pei Zi Yun. It’s fine that you wrote a poem that captivated the heart of my Su’er, how could you compose a romance poem for the Grand Princess? You even included the line, "Suddenly I turn around and I see her there, that person standing beneath the dim lights". Were you trying to be the Grand Princess paramour? Why would you write something so ostentatious and pretentious?"
When Pei Zi Yun rose his head and looked up, he saw that Ye Su’er’s aunt had a nasty expression on her face. He then thought to himself, ‘At that point in time, I went to the capital city trying to get the additional title conferred on my sect and was an urgent and pressing matter. The Grand Princess had the power to determine the fate of my sect. I didn’t think the Sect Leader would be so sharp and to pick out a line from my poem.’
"Senior, this poem was composed solely for getting my sect’s Patriarch the title…." Pei Zi Yun tried to explain and was immediately interrupted by the woman, "I do not care for your reasons. Be it for the title, or whether you are interested in the Grand Princess. Why did you have to compose such a frivolous poem? Also, you didn’t recite it to Su’er but you recited it to the Grand Princess? What do you take Ye Su’er for?"
The Sect Leader of True Element Sect spoke out coldly as Pei Zi Yun listened. He felt a familiar feeling. Almost as if he was being interrogated by his mother-in-law in the previous life.
"Senior....." Pei Zi Yun was trying to explain.
"Master, Brother Pei was just trying to contribute to his sect, hence he wrote the poem. Don’t be angry with him!" Ye Su’er rushed forward and tried to placate her aunt. Her Aunt then regained some color in her face before saying, "Let me tell you, do not be blinded by men. Open your eyes wide and see clearly. If not, you would never know when they lie to you."
Hearing these words, Ye Su’er face turned red. Pei Zi Yun was slightly taken aback. In spite of Pei Zi Yun’s decisiveness, he could not fathom her thoughts, and his face was downcast.
"Cough cough" The Monastery Leader then spoke out, "Do you have any works for us today? If you manage to compose a good poem, who knows, maybe Ye Su’er’s master might forgive you for not loving her enough."
It was clear that she was extorting a poem from Pei Zi Yun. He gave a look of helplessness, not daring to speak out, in case he further antagonizes her. Should that happen, she might force them to split up forever, which could be disastrous.
Pei Zi Yun paced several steps forward. All the feelings and emotions from his previous life and current life fused together. All the regrets, longing and missed opportunities which he would never get back, all flashed past in his head and prodded his heart.
All of a sudden, he recalled something, ‘There was something in the original owner’s memories about the Sect Leader. She had fallen in love with a High Scholar once before. The High Scholar could not stand watching his country fall into chaos, and decided to aid the Imperial Court in restoring order to the world. Since her Dao career clashed with the Imperial Qi of an official, she had to leave him. It’s been said that he was later bestowed with the title of a Count. How did she feel after hearing he was happy years later?’
‘Since you insist that I recite a poem, I shall use the poem to teach you lesson, and see if you can endure this reminder and heartache.’ Pei Zi Yun then started reciting.
"Coincidentally, this zither has fifty strings, each string, each fret reminds me of a year that has gone by."
"Life is like a dream and mine seems illusory like beautiful butterflies, and pure as the love of a King."
"Suffering brings out tears in the vast sea, that under the moonlight glowed like pearls. Memories are like jade warmed in the hot sun, bringing great joy."
"All emotions have become memories, what could not be will never be, forever gone are the old times."
Pei Zi Yun recited extremely slowly, emphasizing certain words so as to create an impact. Especially at that part about fond memories. When he had finished reciting, the entire hall was quiet.
The Monastery Leader paused for some time, feeling that something wasn’t quite right.
"Hm, why did you compose a poem even before I could raise a topic for you. Although this poem is good, we can’t really relate to it."
The Monastery Leader spoke when she suddenly heard a sniffle. When she turned around, she saw the Sect Leader covering her face, her entire body was trembling violently in between sobs. This was the first time that Ye Su’er had seen her aunt act this way. Before she could say anything, her aunt turned around to leave.
"This!" Pei Zi Yun looked shocked, as the Monastery Leader chased after her. This was meant to be a testing ground for them, and yet only Ye Su’er and Pei Zi Yun were left.
"Brother Pei, this poem made my heart ache. I’m sad now." Ye Su’er tugged at Pei Zi Yun’s sleeves as she spoke, "This was a good poem that reminded me, even people who are in love with each other might fall apart due to the lack of fate. Just thinking of this scares me."
"Also, don’t blame my aunt. She fell in love with someone once, but he left for the capital city to assist the Emperor. I heard my fellow sisters discussing this. Aunt has only cried thrice these few years. The first was when she had to leave him."
"After hearing that he had wed and had kids, she cried again."
"The most recent time was when she heard that he had been conferred the title of a Count. She then mumbled to herself that he finally got what he wished for. That same day, she drank plenty of wine and cried once more."
"Don’t look at her to be so tough, she’s been having it hard."
"Su’er, don’t be afraid, I shall never allow you to end up like that!" Pei Zi Yun whispered to her, as he thought about the way the Sect Leader dragged her feet in sorrow, and felt a tinge of regret.