I immediately changed my fierce expression to a smile and asked Ao Yun, “Where’s my thorny skate fish?”
“The activity hasn’t ended yet. How could you get your fish?”
Ao Yun’s last name was probably promise-breaker. He had no intentions to keep his promise.
I wrathfully said, “You said there would be fish if I participated in the beauty pageant! You’re a bad person who lies to cats.”
Ao Yun sighed. With a face showing grievances, he said, “I didn’t decide the activity’s rules. Those old men have said that the fish will only be given after the entire performance is over. There’s nothing I can do.”
“Slaughter those old men who didn’t keep their word!” With a heart full of anger, I prepared to go over there to kill and steal.
Ao Yun stopped me and said, “How about this? I’ll go over there to plead for you. Let me see if there’s any leeway.”
I quickly, gratefully said, “Okay, you’re a good person!”
Ao Yun laughed, and then he left to talk to the group of judges. He pulled them to the next room. They quietly spoke for a long time.
I saw that it would soon be early morning. My heart felt anxious. I couldn’t help moving my tail left and right as I waited. After I had done this ninety times, Ao Yun finally came out from the room.
I quickly went over to ask, “How was it?”
Ao Yun stroked my head and said, “I asked them if it would be okay to let you skip the parade and performance.”
“What about my fish? Will I still get it?” This was the crucial point.
“If you go the palace to perform, you might become the concubine of the king or the crown prince.” Ao Yun didn’t answer my question. His hand slid down from my hair to caress my face.
I looked at his pitiful face and my heart softened. I apologized, “I misunderstood you. You’re a good person.”
“Someone wasn’t happy and hit my hand,” Ao Yun expressed his discontent.
“Miao Miao was wrong,” I quickly admitted.
“Then hold out your hand,” Ao Yun said without politeness.
My heart felt guilty, so I honestly held out my hand.
Ao Yun grabbed my hand, and then he carefully stroked the back of my hand for a long time. Suddenly, a burst of red light sprung out of the ring on his finger. I felt piercing pain on my hand.
“Meow wu!” I speedily took back my hand. I angrily looked at Ao Yun and waited for his explanation.
Ao Yun innocently explained, “Since you received the prizes, but don’t want to perform in the Dragon Place, you need to suffer a consequence. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair to the other contestants. I didn’t have any other way.”
“You didn’t have strike so vigorously.” I felt so pained that I almost cried. I lowered my head to look at the back of my hand. There was a pale pink, thumb-sized, dragon-shaped scar.
“It’s okay. It won’t hurt anymore. I’ll blow on it,” Ao Yun comforted me the same way he would comfort a child.
The pain had come quickly and had also left quickly. Although my heart felt a bit annoyed, since Ao Yun had put in so much effort to plead for me, I didn’t pursue this further.
I finally received the thorny skate fish. Then, Ao Yun led me out of the sea, and he also apologized a thousand times about the scar. I saw that scar was small, so I didn’t think about it further.
I called for the hellhound. As I prepared to leave, I saw Ao Yun standing in the waves. He gently smiled as he sent me off. I don’t know why. I thought his eyes held hope and a thread of sadness. At that time, I thought I misunderstood.
Many years later, when the scar on my hand had still not disappeared, I learned from Blue Feather Goddess that the scar held traces of a dragon’s soul. It wasn’t branded on my skin, but on my soul. The scar will never disappear.
I didn’t understand. Why did he do this?
I carried the thorny skate fish and rushed back by riding the hellhound. I hid the hellhound in a forest near the mountain, and then went home. In front of my home, I saw a cart loaded with many gifts. Xiang Qing was putting on his shoes at the entryway.
He saw that I had returned and was somewhat happy. “I’m going to the Ye’s house to break off the marriage. Stay here and be careful.”
I hastily hid the thorny skate fish behind me. I helplessly looked at Xiang Qing and said, “I want to go too.”
“That’s not a good idea. This isn’t an honorable thing. If you go, the other side will be even unhappier.”
I thought about it. I had promised mother-in-law that I would cook. If I went with him, I wouldn’t have time to cook. I still needed firewood and spices.
And so, I didn’t insist on going. I asked him to return early and cheerfully sent him off. Then I was to the backyard to wake up Yin Zi. He unhappily sat up from the wooden bed.
Yin Zi rubbed his eyes and complained, “This room is so small. The bed is too hard. This place is so uncomfortable. I couldn’t fall asleep until morning.”
I threw the fish at Yin Zi and told him to bring up water. Then, I head towards the door.
Yin Zi caught the fish. He dazedly asked, “You were gone all night. Where are you going now?”
“I’m going to Heaven Realm”
“Oh…” While holding the fish, Yin Zi walked towards outside as he was sleepwalking. As he walked, he warned me to come back quickly.
I rode the hellhound to Heaven Realm. I knew that at this time, the medicinal herbs that Mo Lin had spent three hundred years growing were mature. Those herbs would be very beneficial to Xiang Qing’s health and were very suitable to be used as seasoning. The only problem was Mo Lin treated the herbs as treasure. He wouldn’t easily give them away.
I had saved the world, found Jin Wen, cried, caused trouble, and threaten to destroy Mo Lin’s medicine room. And, I only received a little bit of these herbs…
Then, I went to the demon school to find the Feng Xiang tree that Blue Feather Goddess had spent over a thousand years growing. I stretched out my sharp claws and cut down several big branches.
At this time, Xiao Tian suddenly appeared. He stopped me from leaving.
“Miss Miao Miao, how could you damage Blue Feather Goddess’s most treasure tree?”
“I need it to make a fire.”
“You… you… Do you know that Feng Xiang tree only grows half a feet every hundred years? This tree is only twenty-five feet. If you smell it, it might increase longevity. If you eat a piece, it’ll cure your disease. How can you use it to make a fire?” Xiao Tian’s eyes were wide-open from disbelief.
I rubbed my head. I didn’t understand his question.
“Are all trees used to make fire? This tree is very fragrant. It should be able to make food more tasty.”
“This is too wasteful,” Xiao Tian anxiously said.
I pleaded with Xiao Tian, “I only cut a little bit. Just pretend you didn’t see.”
Xiao Tian looked embarrassed He stammered, “This… how could I do this?”
As I was preparing to leave, from behind, a fierce voice said, “Who dares to pretend he didn’t see anything? Hua Miao Miao, you have some nerve for a cat.”
I turned around to look and saw Huang Lao Teacher holding the ruler that had hit me countless times. He swaggered here with an unhappy Blue Feather Goddess.
My stealing has been caught.
Xiang Qing is definitely going to yell at me.