Nightfall Chapter 944
Anger was generated from difference. People had different points of view, different names, and different purposes of life. There could be sweet or salty beancurd, sticky rice cakes with meat or vegetarian stuffing, and there was life or death.
“You kill people just because they have different choices? You know I’m pretty heartless. It could enrage and upset me if you were to kill the Tang people. But it would never change my mind.” Ning Que stared at the market which had become a sea of blood with broken limbs scattered around, and said to her, “You were chosen by human beings. You would have never existed if it weren’t because of them. You should not do that to these people.”
Sangsang frowned and asked, “I was awakened because human beings had chosen me. But does that mean they can take my life whenever they want? Could parents choose to take the lives of their children?”
Ning Que said, “No one wants to take your life.”
She calmly and firmly said, “On the day I was born in the human world, the mistress asked their chamberlain to smuggle and drown me in the cesspit. On the same day in that store room, another chamberlain tried to kill you with a slasher. I was almost killed, and so were you. But you took that slasher from him, and I survived. I will never put my life in another’s hands again.”
Ning Que said after a pause, “Indeed, we should control our own fate.”
Sangsang said, “I am alive, so I don’t want to die.”
Ning Que’s anger gradually turned into helplessness. He did not know how to calm her down. She could kill people by slightly moving her fingers, or simply by thinking of it.
He came to her across the sea of blood, held her hands and pulled her into his arms. He murmured sadly into her ears, “I don’t want you to die either.”
Sangsang’s body slightly stiffened and then softened. She leaned woodenly onto his shoulders but seemed awkward. It was because they were about the same height.
“I’d rather die than watch you die.”
They held each other tightly in the sea of blood and surrounded by broken bodies. They were extremely calm, and even seemed holy. Numerous dim spots of lights drifted away from their bodies like stars.
With those light spots falling onto the ground, the blood stains started to fade until they completely disappeared. The bodies also disappeared as if they were purified by something holy.
It no longer smelled bloody, but rather a mixture of chicken manure, fish and tear-drawing onions, as well as green vegetables.
The green vegetables carried glittering dewdrops and looked refreshing and alluring. The newly harvested baby bamboo shoots were lined up in order and seemed charming despite of the mud they wore.
The peddling of the stall keepers started again. People were bargaining, parents were disciplining their kids, dogs were fighting over meat bones, and wild cats were being scared away. The sounds of clapping, barking, and meowing had revived the market.
“You see how fresh these spring onions are. Aren’t they cheap for only two pennies?”
Ning Que opened his eyes to see an auntie pointing a handful of fresh spring onion at him. She looked so eager that he would have felt embarrassed if he were to not buy some.
He smiled back and shook his head, then tapped on Sangsang to wake her up. He held her hand and walked out of the market. They did not buy any food, and was not worried about their next meal.
Love was all they needed.
Sangsang did not leave. She continued to live an ordinary life with Ning Que in Chaoyang City. They eluded from the outside world, enjoyed their daily journey between the courtyard and the market. They strolled by the brook from time to time.
Ning Que was in charge of cooking and Sangsang was in charge of feasting. When she was in a good mood, she would cook some noodle soup with fried egg for Ning Que. Same as always, there were four pieces of pepper and thirty pieces of finely chopped spring onion in her noodle soup.
To make an ordinary life less boring and tedious, they had to look for new fun, see new places or play yesterday once more.
Ning Que was clever enough. Recalling the taste from his memory, he learned to cook the hot and sour shredded noodles soup. According to Sangsang it tasted fairly good and reminded her of the diner on Lin 47th Street.
He buried two jugs of rice wine under the tree in the courtyard and stored a jar of pickles in the kitchen. The jar was filled with baby cowpeas and gingers as well as red and green peppers. It could have easily made people drool. Sangsang liked his pickles. But for some unknown reasons, she still preferred the vinegar-soaked cabbage heads.
They went on strolls from time to time, watched the sunset by the lake, listened to the bells in the temples, and walked through almost every street in Chaoyang City. Like the cozy city, their life became cozy too.
When spring brought misty rains, they toured the legendary seventy-two temples in the city. When the refreshing autumn came, they traveled to a few other bigger cities in the Yuelun Kingdom. In the stormy winter, they went to the north and stayed up whole night watching the snow storm at the Lan Pass. They went everywhere hand in hand.
Probably because they had traveled a long way, Sangsang was exhausted. She went to bed right after they got back to their house and became even more drowsy. She spent much more time sleeping ever since.
When she was sleeping, Ning Que lied beside her and read his books. He held a book in one hand and held Sangsang’s hand under the quilt with the other. Sometimes he forgot to place his hand back after turning a page, then Sangsang would subconsciously grab his hand back under the quilt and held it tightly against her chest.
One autumn day, people in Chaoyang City were talking about the respected monks from the White Tower Temple freeing captured animals. Ning Que heard that when tanks of mud fish and various other fishes were poured into the lake, they would fight to kill each other. He thought that might be fun and wanted to take a look with Sangsang. She was tired and reluctant to leave the house, so he went alone.
It was indeed a lively show. The fighting of the mud fish, eels, and other fishes were indeed bloody. What the respected monks did was indeed ridiculous. When Ning Que was about to head home he suddenly came across strange feeling. He stared at the lake and the White Tower on the other side. It felt like something was missing.
When the crowd was gone, darkness prevailed and the White Tower became quiet again. He stood silently and stared at the lake and the tower, and could not get rid of that strange feeling.
Right then, the bell of evening prayers rang from inside the temple.
It also rang from inside his heart.
The sounds of the Buddha bell could purify people’s minds and help them meditate. In Ning Que’s Ocean of Consciousness, there were fragments of Lian Sheng’s consciousness. Therefore his sensed this purifying power distinctively and subconsciously walked inside the temple.
Following the bell sounds, he arrived to the main hall of the White Tower Temple. He saw hundreds of monks chanting inside, and the Buddha statue seemed even more compassionate with their chanting.
The Buddha was watching him quietly.
The chanting sounded extremely charming. That was the sound of the Buddha.
Ning Que stood outside the hall and was obsessed.
Sangsang woke up in their house.
The crow that was previously perched on the branch made a weird caw and then flew away.
Her gaze followed the crow and then was on the sky.
She thought the sky looked familiar and charming.
She looked for a long while and became obsessed.
Obsession came from affection.
And affection made people witless.
While affection bore no cause, obsession brought ignorance.