Red Lotus Bracelet

Feng Tian waits in the courtyard for XiXi to finish cleaning up in the kitchen. He gently touches the carved box in his pocket, he can’t wait to slip the bracelet onto XiXi’s delicate wrist.

     Yun Tai hesitates but then picks up his tea cup walks over  and sits down at the small table with Feng Tian, “Tian I don’t think that girl Zhang XiXi should accompany us on this journey. She is inexperienced, it will be more trouble to try to watch her and take care of the Beast Hunters.

     She could stay here with LingLing or go to your family’s palace where she would be safe” ,Yun Tai feels her inability to follow any type of order, and the way she wanders off could prove deadly.

     “I have considered that myself, yesterday I discussed it with Zhang Yu. He wants to see how prepared she is after studying for the next two days before he makes a decision. He is afraid the opportunity will arise for them to return to their home when the mission is completed, he doesn’t want them to be in two separate locations.”

    Feng Tian doesn’t like to think of her leaving, but knows it is inevitable, she isn’t of this world. He wishes Yun Tai wouldn’t remind him, today he wants to give XiXi the red lotus bracelet.

     Feng Tian tries not to think of her leaving and continues, “There is a Feng residence just north of Waterfall Valley. My idea is to have her stay there, I’m anticipating the Beast Hunters will be the fiercest at the location of the Dragon.”

     “I have my doubts she will make it that far Tian! The Forest of Illusions she possibly could deal with if we prepare her mentally, But, when we enter The Mystical Plains she is so paper thin she could be swept away just by the wind, not to mention there are numerous areas that an ambush could occur. We do not have any idea of what our enemy looks like or what type of weapons they have brought with them.”

     XiXi is in a good mood after being complimented on breakfast, humming a tune she walks into the courtyard to meet Feng Tian. She can’t help but overhear Yun Tai. Why does he dislike me so much!

     XiXi glares at him with daggers shooting from her deep blue eyes, “Yun Tai I am going with my father whether you accept me or not! I want to go back home as soon as possible! Feng Tian let’s take that walk,” she grabs his arm and pulls him away from the table. As she leaves she turns around without Feng Tian seeing her then scrunches up her face and sticks her tongue out at Yun Tai.

     “…”  That little girl is very childish.. someone should spank her!

     He sits there watching her sway her hips provocatively as she walks away clutching onto Feng Tian’s arm. If Feng Tian knew how she flirts with every man she encounters..hmph… he crushes the teacup in his hand into dust.

      As they leave the courtyard Feng Tian says, “I want to show you something do you want to go to the other side of Falling Star Mountain?”

     XiXi is thinking isn’t that where the Mystical Moon Garden is I went to with Yun Tai?

     She nods her head and he whisks her into his arms, using his qinggong they fly to the top of the mountain. She looks down, I could come here everyday and admire these beautiful and unusual flowers. Feng Tian appears excited to show her so she doesn’t want to say Yun Tai brought her here last night.

     They briefly stand at the top then they fly past the garden she was in with Yun Tai. XiXi is wondering where they are going when they land at a large pond covered in lotuses. The lotuses seem to be sleeping their green leaves folded over making the pond look green. She has never seen a lotus pond this unusual, not one lotus is blooming in the stagnant looking water.

     She glances backwards to see the familiar gazebo, is this lotus pond what Yun Tai was staring at in a trance yesterday?

     There is a red silk cushioned bench to the side of the pond under a flowering willow tree. Feng Tian and XiXi walk over to it and sit down. The red on the bench compliments the dress she is wearing, the pure white flowing skirt and the vibrantly embroidered red lotuses on the bodice make her look like a goddess.

     Her black hair is falling onto her shoulders and she takes her slender hand to put it back up in the hairpin, exposing her flawless neck only a hand’s distance away from him. Feng Tian felt his heart beating rapidly as he wants to reach out and touch the few remaining strands of silky hair she hadn’t placed in the hairpin.

     “Feng Tian why are you staring at me like?” She languidly fixes her hair, is it still messy she wonders. He reaches over and removes a blue willow flower from her hair laughing at the way she is fiddling with the hairpin.

     She sees the flower in his hand and has an idea “Here help me fix my hair, without a mirror I can’t get it all up in this hairpin then put that blue willow flower in it.”

     He is excited at the prospect of touching his little beauty and immediately jumps up,“Turn away from me so I am at your back, this way I can fix it for you”

     Feng Tian lets her hair down and it cascades down her back. He looks at the ink black color contrasting the white of her shoulders and the pure white dress. He momentarily holds the long locks in his hands dazed as his fingers brush against the soft skin underneath. The sensation of touching her makes his body heat up, he doesn’t want to let go of the hair in his hand.

     “Hurry up Feng Tian, it is hot with my hair down like that.”

     “I’m just smoothing your hair first before I put it in hairpin so it doesn’t fall down again.”

     “Don’t forget to put the flower in by the top, it is so pretty.” XiXi is getting restless sitting there so still while he is arranging her hair.

     “Finished!”

     XiXi wishes she could see it, by touching it with her fingers though it feels like he did a good job.

     “Thank you Feng Tian”

     “XiXi..I..”

     She turns around on the bench too quickly when he speaks, almost falling into his lap, looking up at him with a startled look in her azure blue eyes . XiXi grabs onto his arms so she doesn’t fall off the bench.

     “ Ha, ha ha… so clumsy of me.“

     Feng Tian straightens her up and laughs, the blue willow flower wasn’t secured tightly, falls onto the ground. She glances at the flower and at Feng Tian.

     “Feng Tian!”

     He picks up the bruised flower then sheepishly  replies, “I’m not a palace maid, I did the best I could!”

     She giggles then smiles at him, almost making Feng Tian forget why he brought her here.

     XiXi laughs again, “Well at least my hairpin is still holding my hair, so I won’t deduct any points”

     “Points?..”

     Feng Tian comes to his senses and pulls the box out from his pocket.

     XiXi sees the exquisitely carved box and her eyes light up, “What’s in the box Feng Tian?”

    “It’s for you, I got it while I was in Myriad Cloud City”

     “For me? Not LingLing?”

     Feng Tian is thinking why would I give LingLing a present

     “For you”, he places the box in her small hands.

    “The box smells so good, what is that scent?”

     “It is an aromatic Cedar, open it.”

     XiXi is still admiring the lotuses that are carved on the box, running her fingers over the delicate workmanship. The craftsmanship is outstanding, she has never seen anyone be able to create such lifelike flowers.

     “Who carved this, he must be a genius at woodworking.”

     Feng Tian is getting impatient, it’s a box, open it.

     “Open it”

     XiXi is hesitant if this is just the container, what is inside?

     Feng Tian can’t stand the suspense anymore,takes the box from her light grip and opens it. She looks at the handsome man beside her acting like an impatient child. She starts to say something..

     “Shhh..” He takes the red lotus  bracelet from the cedar box and puts it on her tiny jade like wrist.

     XiXi gasps she has never seen jewelry this beautiful. The silver reminds her of moonlight, the red lotuses look so alive as if they came from a lotus pond . She looks towards the pond across from the bench and suddenly all the lotuses bloom in the pond.

     The pond is covered in scarlet red, beautiful lotuses blooming one by one in waves.

     She looks at Feng Tian who is staring at her , he looks in the direction she had been looking and sees the pond which has never had even a solitary lotus bloom. What is going on?

     They walk over to the pond admiring the beauty that appeared without warning.

     XiXi bends over picks a red lotus, well this goes better with my dress than the blue willow flower.

     She reaches out handing the red lotus flower to Feng Tian to put in her hair when she faints…

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