Edited by: Resmund & Zen
Hui Yue closed his eyes and turned his face towards the window. The warm wind was flowing gently through his messy hair, showing that summer was coming to an end. A tranquil smile was evident on the handsome face as he opened his eyes once again and looked at the surroundings. Happiness was the only word which could describe Hui Yue’s current feeling.
Hui Yue noticed two girls which were intently staring at him while they were whispering together.
A cheeky smile appeared on his face as he enjoyed the cuteness of the two girls, and he waved his hand at them, that instantly causing them to giggle and wave back. Their cheeks were turning crimson and they acted as if he was a celebrity, making the happy young man chuckle slightly.
Hui Yue, remembering where he was, gave an apologetic smile to the two girls who were still openly staring at him. Hui Yue would not mind flirting with the them, however he knew that classes were about to end, which was the reason behind his smile. The smile melted the hearts of the girls and their faces flushed with an even deeper crimson colour than before, as they quickly went on their way. One could say that they were trying to escape their embarrassment.
Hui Yue was used to behaviour like this. He had grown up in a wealthy family, and both his parents were beautiful people, passing down their genes to their only son.
Hui Yue had eyes as dark as a moonless midnight sky, and they seemed to contain as many secrets as the universe itself. The girls would feel as if their souls were exposed and they were attracted to his mysteriousness.
Those mysterious dark eyes were hidden beneath a slightly messy fringe. Hui Yue’s hair was shoulder length, and he usually tied up some of it, while leaving his fringe hanging, giving him a slightly mischievous and youthful look. His black hair and dark eyes were in sharp contrast to his pearl white skin and perfect body build. Even most men would admit that Hui Yue was a beautiful man, which often caused everyone who saw him to instantly take a second glance to ensure that they had not seen an illusion. His appearance caused both admiration and envy amongst his peers.
Hui Yue was grateful to his parents for his good looks, but more than that, he appreciated all the resources and possibilities he had been given. From very young age he had been given anything he had wished for, whether it was games and toys or books and home tutors. Those resources had helped Hui Yue achieve his current level of knowledge and understanding.
All in all, Hui Yue was very satisfied with his life. He stood up, and gathered his things, before finally getting ready to leave the university for the day. Everyone he met in the corridors greeted him, professors and students alike, and Hui Yue smiled back at all of them, proud of the recognition.
Suddenly footsteps started to approach him from behind at a rapid speed, clearly someone was running, however before Hui Yue had the chance to turn around, two hands had already landed on his shoulders, and the culprit was jumping onto his back, trying to force Hui Yue to give that person a piggyback ride.
The familiar feeling of the two small hands on his shoulders caused Hui Yue to smile content as he turned his head and looked straight at his childhood friend Li Fen.
Seeing Li Fen always caused a storm to occur within Hui Yue as his feelings for her was doing their very best to burst out, however no matter how fierce those feelings were, Hui Yue forcefully subdued them and behaved as if they did not exist.
Li Fen was the only person that Hui Yue treated differently. She was his special person, however that was also his biggest secret.
“Hey” Hui Yue said with a voice filled with joy. This joy was always bubbling within Hui Yue’s chest whenever he saw Li Fen and was able to spend some of his time with her. It was a bubbly feeling which he had experienced for the first time more than ten years prior to this day.
They had grown up together as neighbours, gone to the same day-care and kindergarten. Throughout the years they had been the best friends who shared everything with each other.
Well almost everything. Hui Yue had loved Li Fen for as long as he could remember, but he had never been able to tell her how he felt, as he was very well aware that she did not share his feelings.
Hui Yue did not doubt that Li Fen loved him, unfortunately the love was equal to that of a family member, and although it had caused him great grief in the past it was one thing which he had overcome. Currently Li Fen was the happiest that Hui Yue had ever seen, and he had no wish of destroying her world by confessing. Instead he had accepted that his love would stay unrequited forever.
“Will you be training today?” Li Fen asked with a melodious voice, a relaxed smile appeared and made her face shine like a beautiful sun, causing the bubbling feelings within Hui Yue to increase.
“No.” Hui Yue said gently and he decided to change his focus to the girls whom were looking at him with dreamy eyes and imagined that they were Li Fen. Those looks always made Hui Yue think of the irony. These girls wished to be the one girl who had no romantic interest in him.
Hui Yue practiced wushu; he practiced barehanded combat, short weapons and long weapons. He enjoyed how the training would allow him to solely focus on his body and on progressing rather than the one woman whom he wished to spend his life with. Also, he found that the feeling of improving his physique step by step was immensely satisfying. This had caused his usual days to consist of training, studying and spending time together with Li Fen.
“Going to meet up with Han Xia?” Li Fen asked with a cheeky grin on her face, which caused Hui Yue to sigh deeply. While Hui Yue was busy reminiscing about his emotional struggles all Li Fen worried about was Hui Yue’s girlfriend.
“No.” He shook his head, “She broke up with me a few days ago.” Li Fen looked at Hui Yue’s face, and could not hold back a small giggle as the said man did not look very sorry. Even after countless of different girlfriends did Li Fen show no signs of having noticed Hui Yue’s feelings.
“The usual?” Li Fen asked carelessly with laughter in her voice. She was casually looking at Hui Yue who nodded, followed by his reply.
“They say that there is no point in being with me if I am always busy with training or studies and don’t take care of my own girlfriend.” Hui Yue repeated what his previous girlfriends had told him so many times before that he now knew it all by heart. Li Fen giggled once again as he did not sound very sorry; both knew that he had a lot of girls to choose from after all.
The only girl that Hui Yue truly liked was Li Fen, however if he was not dating anyone, and a pretty girl confessed to him, he would not hesitate to accept. He was a young man after all, and living a life of abstinence was not something he was keen on.
“Well then,” Li Fen said while her smile widened into a grin and she grabbed Hui Yue’s hand, “Come shopping with me before we go back home!” She started moving towards the city centre before giving Hui Yue the time to answer, as she knew he would never say no to anything she asked of him. Instead he laughed helplessly and obediently followed suit.
Although Hui Yue might have placed his girlfriends second to training and studies, Li Fen was in a different league from those two, and he would gladly study less if it meant spending more time with the love of his life.
Hui Yue was standing outside a lingerie shop and felt quite uncomfortable as people were walking by. Li Fen had dragged him here as their first stop in their shopping spree, but as Hui Yue was a man, it was quite inappropriate for him to enter a shop that specialized in female lingerie. It would embarrass other customers that were present, along with Hui Yue himself.
Hui Yue sighed and leaned against the wall while quickly killing the jealousy he felt roaring inside of him. He did not mind going shopping with Li Fen, and he would have been quite excited if what she was currently buying was something she would wear while being with him, however it was obviously to celebrate the anniversary with her current boyfriend and that put Hui Yue in quite a bad mood.
Although Hui Yue had long since accepted that his love was one-sided, the pain had grown to feel even more stabbing now than it had been back when he still held a sliver of hope. The constant hope which kept being shattered and breaking his heart was much more painful than finally accepting the reality.
The young man decided to preoccupy himself rather than allowing him to drown in self-pity, and started to observe the surrounding area for anything that might grab his attention.
As he looked across the street he noticed an extensive amount of glances that was thrown his way, and he could not really blame them. He was standing outside of a lingerie shop with a rather uncomfortable expression on his face after all.
However, as his eyes swept over the area, he noticed an antique store across the road that piqued his interest. The uncomfortable expression on his face instantly lit up and he could not help but to furrowed his brows as he slowly started making his way towards the store that he had never noticed before.
Hui Yue was currently taking a master’s degree in ancient history and adored everything that had something to do with the subject. He had studied everything from war and tactics to cooking recipes and architecture from every nation throughout history. Studying these subjects had brought him great joy since his childhood, and even now was one of the things that gave him the most pleasure. Hui Yue had been certain that he had visited every antique shop in town, but somehow he had missed this one, and he wanted to correct that.
Who knows, he might even be able to find something of interest, so he was fairly excited when he opened the door to the shop and felt the stale air from the inside hitting his face.
An elderly lady was sitting behind the counter and was reading an old book while sending a long look towards the young man who stepped through the door. However, the elderly lady quickly determined that the handsome youth that had entered did not seem as a troublemaker, and she returned to reading her book.
As Hui Yue’s eyes swiftly adjusted to the dim light that was illuminating the place, his gaze swept past the elderly woman and focused on the rows of intriguing items. Even at first glance, Hui Yue felt excitement growing within him; the excitement as if he was treasure hunting and had just found the most valuable of treasures.
The first shelf that Hui Yue arrived at was completely filled with vases that ranged in age from five hundred years old for the youngest up to three thousand years old for the oldest. Hui Yue was shocked with the manner that these incredible treasures were shown off.
At first, the young man was sure that these vases were fakes and disdain was evident within his eyes. But something kept bothering him, and after spending some time examining the details, he was certain that they were genuine. Shock quickly replaced the disdain and Hui Yue felt his heartbeat grew erratic, causing his breathing to slightly hitch. If these vases were genuine, then what about the rest of the items?
Although Hui Yue adored vases, he had no actual use for them, so he slowly moved further into the shop eager to see what he would find next.
As he made his way through the shop he noticed one treasure after another. A whole shelf was filled with ancient paintings that had been rolled up and stored one on another, stacked up to three layers. Hui Yue felt deeply depressed when he noticed that old texts were lying amongst those valuable paintings, treated as if they were nothing even though their value might be truly priceless.
Although the shop looked dodgey and was quite dusty it was without a doubt a treasure trove. Hui Yue moved further into the shop and each step caused his heart beat to grow in speed, causing him to almost faint. The next he came across at a corner where where armour and weapons had been dumped on top of each other.
Hui Yue spent a lot of time looking through the weapons and noticed that some of them had marks of great craftsmen and which no doubt had been used by nobility and generals of the times long past. Having stayed in the shop for this long, Hui Yue had completely forgotten about Li Fen and was swallowed up by his interest in the ancient times of great heroes and wars.
Although Hui Yue knew that he was in a shop it was very much like when he was visiting a museum, except here he was allowed to actually touch and examine these treasures. Looking around, Hui Yue was certain that this shop had even more treasures than the actual museums which he had visited before.
Hui Yue had walked past the clothing, the emblems and the books and reached the counter where he saw jewellery. As soon as he arrived he saw something that made him freeze and take in a deep breath to steady himself mentally.
In front of him was one of the most beautiful phoenix crowns he had ever seen. An astonishing Fengguan. It was far more exquisite than the one that had been found in the tomb of the Wanli Emperor, and Hui Yue had never even heard of such a treasure being found before. This shop was filled with surprises.
The crown was put on display on the middle of a counter, it was without a doubt the most stunning piece he had seen in the shop so far. But the crown was not locked down or guarded with anything, it was just standing there, allowing the customers to look at it through a mere glass cabinet.
However, Hui Yue once again withdrew his gaze from this stunning piece and looked around the counter for other interesting items. A large grin was spreading across his smile as his eyes had fallen onto a box in a corner of the counter that had a sign that read ‘anything in this box ¥600’
Hui Yue had noticed a blue shade, much alike the one he had seen on the Phoenix Crown, and he instantly went towards the box and grasped the beautiful item.
It was a hairpin unlike anything Hui Yue had ever seen before. It was a blue phoenix. Its body was an oval white piece of jade, framed with golden swirls. The wings were made with blue gemstones and ended with more perfectly white jade. Jade, gold and sapphire was swirling around each other, creating elaborate patterns and beautiful tail feathers, and a long delicate neck towards a beautiful beak and face. Multiple pearls lined the face towards the wing, completing the look.
“Oh you like the Blue Phoenix?” an old voice sounded from the corner. Hui Yue was startled as he had completely forgotten about the elderly lady, but he quickly looked at her with a respectful gaze and noticed a complex expression on her face.
Hui Yue gave a short nod as an answer to her question, before once again looking at the beautiful hairpin. It had to be an exquisite antique, and he had no way of understanding why it would have been tossed into this cheap box. A worrying premonition appeared within his heart as he felt that he liked the hairpin more and more for each passing moment.
“Was it placed in the wrong box?” Hui Yue asked with a worried voice, and pointed towards the sign that had been displayed ‘anything in this box ¥600’. He could understand that she might feel cheated with taking such low price for that kind of masterpiece, however no matter the price, Hui Yue felt that he needed to own this particular piece of jewellery.
“No, the price is right,” The elderly lady said slightly hesitantantly.
Hui Yue frowned upon hearing the elderly lady answer, but said no more as he waited for an explanation. He was certain that it was either from the Tang or Ming dynasty, and most likely from the same place as the beautiful Phoenix Crown. How could it possibly be sold for such a low price? For some reason Hui Yue felt insulted that this crown was considered cheap. Insulted as if it was he himself that had been sold cheap.
“It is a cursed item,” the old lady finally said with a sigh. She had noticed how obsessed this young man had become after holding the hairpin for such a short time, “Death will descend upon the owner of this hairpin.”
Hui Yue was about to snort in disbelief, but managed to restrain himself. He understood that people would be superstitious when there was a lack of knowledge; however in this day and age, something like a curse could not scare him. Especially not since this beautiful hairpin felt as if it was a part of he himself. He could not bear to part with it already.
“Young man, do not make fun of the curses, they are more real than you might imagine,” the elderly lady warned, as she stood up and walked towards Hui Yue and the blue phoenix hairpin. Although Hui Yue had tried to contain his contempt, the lady had easily understood his way of thinking, and she wished for this man to survive. She did not wish for him to be another target for the Blue Phoenix.
“It arrived in our shop three hundred years ago,” the lady started, as she took the hairpin from Hui Yue’s hands and moved behind the counter, “We sold it almost instantly, but the owner died after three days. He had been assaulted by thieves.” Hui Yue kept quiet, as he did not believe that thieves could be blamed on the hairpin, unless they had aimed to steal it.
“Those thieves were then killed by relatives of the buyer and so the hairpin went to his oldest son, however he died from a thunderstruck.” Hui Yue crooked his brows slightly. It was very unlikely for anyone to die from a thunderstruck unless they intentionally sought out the locations where thunder would hit them. He chose to not believe the story so far, as it was more than hundred years ago, and the story had to have been exaggerated.
“After that,” the old lady continued, as she noticed that Hui Yue had doubt in her eyes, “it went from one person to another, and every one of these people died. Eventually they delivered it back here. We have sold it a few times since then, however the results have always been the same.”
The elderly lady sighed and hoped that Hui Yue would give up. She did not mind selling the cursed hairpin to wicked people, however she had seen the genuine excitement and admiration that Hui Yue had shown while looking at the treasures in the store, and she wished for him to live a long and prosperous life.
Hui Yue felt the hesitation and he sent a blinding smile towards the elderly woman, and took the hairpin back into his hands at once while politely saying:
“I wish to purchase this hairpin, and then I just have to hope that my luck is stronger than the curse.” His smile left no space for discussion and the elderly lady sighed once again as she accepted the money. After all, she had never personally experienced anyone being affected by the curse, so maybe the youth was right. Maybe the curse was just a superstition.
Hui Yue’s mood did not have any of the previous self-pity, and was instead great as he left the antique shop. He knew that no one would use such a hairpin in this day and age, however it was incredibly beautiful and he could only think of one person who matched the beauty. He could not wait to gift it to Li Fen and see her happy face, just thinking about it made him show a silly smile.
“Hui Yue!” A brilliant voice called for him the moment he stepped back onto the pavement, and he noticed that Li Fen had finished her purchases and had been waiting for him outside of the lingerie store. As she saw Hui Yue leave the antique shop with something in his hand Li Fen was overtaken by excitement. She wished to show Hui Yue what she had bought, and also see what he had found, so without thinking she stepped onto the busy road.
Hui Yue scratched his head slightly as he realised that he had most likely spent more time than expected within the shop, but coming out, he really felt like it had been worth it.
However, Li Fen’s happy smile was quickly replaced by a shocked expression when she heard a loud honking, and as she looked to the side she saw a truck heading straight towards her. The driver was doing everything he could to avoid collision, but Li Fen was frozen by fear and disbelief, and her body refused to move.
The silly smile and the happiness which had bubbled within Hui Yue was instantly killed. Seeing Li Fen frozen with the truck only a few meters away, Hui Yue’s body moved on its own.
Hui Yue’s heart was filled with fear that he might not make it in time and images from their twenty-four years of friendship was passing in front of him, enhancing his feelings for her.
Hui Yue jumped onto the road and arrived next to Li Fen within a second, the horrified expression on his face was scaring Li Fen, but as they were close to each other, the fear slowly subsided from Hui Yue’s face.
He had borrowed the power he had gained with his swift speed and quickly pushed the girl as far back as he possibly could. Li Fen ended up flying four metres back and landed safely on the pavement before realising what had happened.
Although the push was hard, and she was deemed to gain some bruises, she would be alive. A relieved smile appeared on Hui Yue’s face before the truck hit him, sending him flying over ten metres and rebound from the ground a few times.
Hui Yue had expected himself to be struck down by fear and horror, but the moment he was hit, he felt no fear, only relief that Li Fen was safe.
Hui Yue had tried to protect himself and had raised his arms before the initial impact, but his eyes widened as he noticed that he was still tightly grasping the Blue Phoenix Hairpin in his hands, and that it was shining with an odd blue light.
As soon as he was hit by the truck the impact against his arms caused the hairpin to pierce his skin, go between his ribs and pierce his heart.
Hui Yue felt as if time was standing still, shock filled his eyes as he had a sudden whimsical thought. Would he die because of the truck, or if it would be the hairpin? Suddenly, while looking at the hairpin, he noticed that it was disappearing, turning into blue flames that gathered just outside of his chest.
Hui Yue was shocked upon noticing how he could sense every single thing that was happening to him, and it all appeared to happen in slow motion. Fortunately, the impact from either the truck or the stabbing hairpin must have killed him instantly as he felt no pain from these injuries which he was looking at.
Hui Yue switched his attention from his injuries towards the odd looking fireball which was currently hovering above his heart, and a shocking sight met him. Not only was the fireball hovering above his heart, it also started to suck his blood, and Hui Yue was completely unable to comprehend what was happening to him. A chill ran through his already dying body, and his mind was filled with fear as he saw this unknown phenomenon happening to him.
Soon he felt his consciousness switch from the beaten up body into the ball of blue fire that was rapidly growing in size, causing panic to spread within Hui Yue’s mind. A futile struggle was started and no matter how hard Hui Yue tried, it was impossible for him to fight back against the suction force coming from the Fireball.
As Hui Yue had entered the fireball he was capable of looking down on his old body and noticed how people were rushing towards him, however due to the powerful impact not even the slightest sight of life was visible. Hui Yue was completely crushed and even he had a hard time recognizing his own body.
Even Hui Yue himself was perfectly well aware that his soul had departed the body, but he still felt an urge to linger around for longer. He did not feel as if he was ready to depart just yet. Hui Yue had a lingering regret whenever he thought that he would never see Li Fen again. To know that her smile would be lost forever. At least she was with him in his dying moments.
A profound sadness appeared in his heart as the image of his parents flashes in front of him. He could not help but feel saddened when he thought about his parents who had given him everything he could ever want, however now as he was dying, he would not even have the chance of saying goodbye.
Hui Yue looked at Li Fen who was crying and touching the bloody corpse, trying to convince herself that he was still alive, that there was still a possibility to save him, and a wave of sadness appeared in Hui Yue’s heart.
He had never wanted to make Li Fen feel this pain, and he was very aware that his parents were going to be as heartbroken as she was, but he was also certain that he had made the right choice.
Hui Yue was not a selfless person, nor was he a charitable person, however there were three people in this world that Hui Yue would give his life to save, and Li Fen happened to be one of those people, therefore Hui Yue had no regrets.
To save the woman he loved by sacrificing his own was the right choice, however death was a frightening thing.
“Live well,” Hui Yue whispered towards the crying Li Fen, before he tried to mentally fortify himself for the awaiting death that should be coming to claim him. However, instead of death, Hui Yue heard a mocking voice from within the Blue Fire which drawled
“What a sappy love story.”