Cao Hook carried Ahwu with Mulun rushed out of the woods, came to a stream and saw nobody chasing, they stopped. Ahwu still unconscious. Cao Hook checked her breath that was very weak. Cao Hook lost contact with his wives and son, he only have this daughter now. He however couldn’t let her die. He quickly puts his palms onto her back, transmitting his internal strength to revive her. After a while, Ahwu gradually came back to conscious. she opened her eyes and shouted: “Dad!”
Cao Hook listened to her shout, he finally sighed of relief, but immediately frowned. He saw Mulun was looking at him with sorrow, then he stood up and said: “After I met your father, I have never killed one person, Today I broke my promise was compelling. You have seen the situation. Why you looked at me like this.” Then he walked alone to the stream, looking at the water.
Mulun dropped her head and sighed. Ahwu said: “This fake priest was no damn good, if though you condemned my dad for killing him. Aunt Mu, why didn’t you blame me?”
Mulun shook his head and said: “Why do I blame uncle Cao? Why do I blame you? The more you kill, the deeper your sin. One day it will come back to you. Even the worst one is equal in the eyes of God. No one has the right to take his life.”
Ahwu heard that with great doubt, she stood up and said: “That means wait for the god to repair them! I am afraid at that time all good people will have die out. If anyone can’t protect himself, who can he rely on? My Dad didn’t teach me martial arts, he thought that I would not be harmed by it. As a result, did I almost die for it? Aunt Mu, if my Dad didn’t save me, will your god save me?”
Mulun couldn’t answer such a question but just exhaled. Ahwu grew up in the environment of big fish eats small fish, the principle of equality could never be applied.
The three did not dare to return to Chang’an City for now. They found an abandoned temple in the suburb stayed one night. The next day, they were trying to return to Chang’an, but found that many officers and soldiers were added inside and outside the gate. The people who enter and leave the city were being searched and questioned seriously. When they were suspected, they were whipped and slammed. The three knew that it must be the old thief Duan hunling’ s idea. They were deeply apologetic by disturbing the innocent residents. Mulun thought: If we can’t enter the city, you can’t go ahead Daxia for our horses were being detained. The three then hid in the abandoned temple for a period of time. Until One day, Mulun saw the messenger geese in the sky. She was informed by Qiman about Yueqiao. She immediately told the good news to uncle Cao: “Yueqiao is still alive!”
Cao Hook and Ahwu were elated. Mulun said: “Yueqiao fled from the Icy Jade Palace to Huigu. He is believed still alive. Rouxian is coming back to help us to get out of here.”
After a few days, Rouxian came back with camels and materials they needed for a long journey to Huigu.
Yueqiao and Qianqian were still stuck in the cave. Qianqian was getting weaker and weaker, but quietly sleep without complianing. For yueqiao, it seemed not a bad thing. The winter was long and cold. The gusty wind blew the flames, whirling up the dust, filled the cave. Yueqiao quickly piles up the pine branches to blocked the wind and snow from outside. He looked at Qianqian again after calm everyting down. She seemed didn’t care of anything. And she didn’t talk much to him either. So he just sat alone sewing a fur from the animals he hunted during the last few months. He soon made a short cloak and looked at it proudly. He saw the sun shining and the snow stopped eventually. He then pushed Qianqian and said: “Hey! Let’s go out!”
Qianqian lazily stood up, but did not look at Yueqiao still. Yueqiao put a new cloak on her shoulder, pushing and pulling her off the cave. Outside the cave, was still covered with snow, but red buds of plum has been already hanging on branches by the hillside. Yueqiao was happy and convinced the spring won’t be too far. He was excited, walking to the plum tree and picked a branch of it. The plum was just picked, he looked back and saw Qianqian, standing with her dagger in hand. Yueqiao was feeling awkark, then she lifted the dagger and try to stab her own chest. Yueqiao was horrified. He wanted to fly back to stop her, but found that his martial arts were all lost. Qianqian was just a few feet away, but he couldn’t reach at the moment. He fell onto the ground, broke the new branch of plum in his arm, and eat a mouthful of icy snow. He plainly watched the dagger she hold high was about to stab, but…. all of a sudden, the dagger was hit by a stone. It fell into the snow.
Yueqiao couldn’t be more relieved. He then looked over the trail, there were standing three people, they were Mulun, Cao Hook and Ahwu. Yueqiao felt even raptured. He quickly stood up and shouted: “Aunt Mu!”
They were finally reunited. They were greeting with joy without noticed that Qianqian was picking up her dagger, and tried to stab herself again. Cao Hook luckily happened to see then he at once jumped up to seize her dagger. Qianqian blinkly resisted with all her strength. She almost cut across the throat of Cao Hook in a moment. Fortunately, Cao Hook was sophisticated, and experienced enough to avoid it. But Qianqian just keep stabbing as if she was bewitched that she didn’t know what she was doing. Cao Hook was afraid of accidentally huring her. He has to be carefully dodging without hurted by her as well. Mulun watched for a while, then said: “She must be poisoned. She lost her mind totally.”
Yueqiao answered right away: “Certainly, she was poisoned by the seven layers hell of bliss. She has been went through four layers already.”
Mulun nodded, calculated for awhile, then she jumped over, with the help of Cao Hook, sealed her acupuncture points around the eyes, to make her calm and sleep. Qianqian then was taken back to the cave by them.
After returning to the cave, Mulun explained: “The last three layers of the seven-layer bliss are not painful, but the temperament of the poisoned person will changed greatly. She will sometime overjoyed, sometime frustrated, her mood is fluctuating. The last layer, she will has nightmares all the time, some people often die at the time of sleepwalking. This is the most dangerous moment. If she had to live through this one hundred and forty-seven days, there is no other way but tie her up all nights and all days until the poison has lifted for the last.”
When Yueqiao heard that he had to tie up Qianqian, he shouted: “No, don’t tie her up, I will keep eyes on her.”
At this time, Mulun and Cao Hook noticed that the cave was full of debris, firewood and bones. It looked so unbelievable for the two lived here more than half a year, struggling everyday between life and death. Cao Hook saw Yueqiao only wears a thin coat in such a frigid day. He wanted to pamper him by taking off his own fur for him. But when he tried to put it on his shoulder. Yueqiao sprung it off his shoulder, retreated aside, staring at him with wonders, said: “What are you doing?”
Cao Hook was instantly blushed. He felt very embarrassed. Mulun understood his action for he has already assumed that Yueqiao is his son, Bendt. She also comprehended the reaction of Yueqiao. She smiled and changed topic, said: “Yueqiao! you and Qianqian moved to our yurt down the hill over there by the lake!”
Yueqiao shook his head and said: “No, the people down there will hurt Qianqian.”
Mulun said with a grin: “They didn’t intent to hurt Qianqian. They have lived here in the mountains for more than a hundred years. They have never seen a Han Chinese. They suddenly saw Qianqian this Han girl appreared without a reason, they were just frightened.”
Ahwu also said: “Yes! Aunt Mu has communicated with them in Mongolian. These people originally belonged to a Mongolian tribe in the north, because of escaping from the wars between the tribes, their ancestors came to here…”
When Ahwu stopped, Mulun continued: “Yes, this grassland was an ancient battlefield. Once there had a war between the Mongolians and the Han army. It was said that a Han girl fell in love with a Mongolian soldier, but of course they finally died tragically and became ghosts… ”
When Mulun paused, Ahwu then said: “That is why when they saw you and Qianqian, they thought, you two were ghost, they were frightened, not because they wanted to harm you or Qianqian. Have you noticed that there are many stone tablets on the plain. Those are the tombs of the Han people, were killed in the war. The Mongolians buried for them.”
Yueqiao now understood why these people had to drive away them but then sent food later. He now knew that those food was actually a offering for ghosts, he then smiled agreeably.
Ahwu looked out to the lakeside, saw some Mongolians were building a new yurt, she said: “Well! Yueqiao, it seems that they want to build a new yurt for you, you don’t have to worry sharing a room with me now!”
Mulun bursted in laughter, and Cao Hook smiled too but pretended to scold: “What a girl you are, don’t you feel shy of saying this?” Yueqiao was feeling a bit awkward. He just standing looked stupid. Recalling the days of alone with Qianqian traveling to hell together, now the three of them in front of him, smiling, teasing, chatting like family, he felt that he just came to the paradise from hell. Even though Qianqian is still in coma, he can’t be more grateful for now.
Qianqian was moved to the lakeside yurt, lying in a warm blanket covered with fur. she looked soothing and comfortable. Mulun said to Ahwu: “You must to keep eyes on her all the time. Anything happened, just tap the gong. Don’t sleep!”
Ahwu smirked and said: “You are less fussy! Aunt Mu! Her dagger has been seized by you. Even if she woke up, nothing she can do.”
Mulun smiled, then took Yueqiao to another yurt. Yueqiao saw that Cao Hook has been sitting there. He glimpsed only then turned to ask Mulun: “Aunt Mu, how did you find us?”
Mulun answered: “It has been three months since we returned to Gaochang. I have never heard from you. Not long ago, I happened to hear two Mongolians talking about a man and a woman, a Han woman, and a great Daxia man. I immediately inquired about them. After hearing their descriptions, I believed must be you two, so I asked them to bring us here. ”
Yueqiao felt that he was so lucky, but also unfortunate, said: “Aunt Mu, you have saved me a lot of times, but I am afraid that I couldn’t pay you back throughout my life.”
Mulun and Cao Hook heard that, looked gravely and glanced at each other. Mulun asked: “Your poison?”
Yueqiao smiled bitterly: “It is no longer a problem.”
Mulun frowned and said: “Is it? I just found that your martial arts have been all lost, do you still want to lie to me?” while she said that she pulled Yueqiao over to check his pulse, then nodded and said: “No wonder your martial arts have been completely lost. You said that the poison is no longer a problem. That isn’t wrong. But once the toxicity has entered into your internal organs, it will eventually take your life. Do you know that?”
Yueqiao certainly knows, his chest has been painful from time to time. He was thinking if he died, who could take care of Qianqian in such a desolated wilderland! Now Mulun is here, He wanted to asked: “Aunt Mu, can you promise me one thing?”
Mulun already knew what he was going to ask, smiled. “Take care of Qianqian, right?” When she saw Yueqiao silently dropped his head, she said, “I will definitely, you can be assured, but you can’t just give up yourself easily.”
When Cao Hook heard that, he couldn’t help but interrupted: “Yueqiao, I use my internal strength to force your poison out.”
Yueqiao turned his head to glanced at him, then stood up and said coldly: “This uncle, I have just met you, how can I take such a favor from you?”
when Cao Hook heard that he said they have just met, he felt pain in his heart. He was silent for a while. He was confused now. He looked at the face of Yueqiao and thought of Elaine, he almost comfired that he is the son who has been lost for many years. He wanted to ask him more about his past, but he is so frigid to him. He seems to be born to hate him, so he swallowed back the words. Yueqiao saw he has no more to say. He flipped the curtain and strode out the yurt. Outside the yurt. On the frozen lake, there were a few egrets perching.