With Shi Yin in his embrace, Shi Yan walks upstream. He looks around, searching for something.
The path was beautiful. As the gentle morning sunlight shines through the canopy, the river shimmers. Gentle sounds of rustling and chirping could be heard. The forest was vastly different from Xiashan and the alleyways. This was a place that Shi Yan could relax in.
While searching, the scenery made him feel a sense of nostalgia. This was the place he was raised in. One of the few places that held his happy memories.
Suddenly, out of the lush greenery, a white coloured spot caught his eyes. His emotions became turbulent. Excited yet sad, happy yet in grief. He walks toward the white spot to find a white flower.
Shi Yan’s thoughts began to wander off as he recalls his past. A gentle female voice starts to play. “This flower is called Wilflow. Isn’t it beautiful ? Young master?” “You’re right this flower is quite nice. Li En, do your like it?”
The seventy year old woman holding a walking stick squats down. She picks the flower to pass it to the five year old boy. Her voice become soft “ young master. this is my favourite flower. It may not be the most beautiful flower in the world but to me this is the most precious flower in the world.”
The curious child couldn’t help but question “Li En. How can this flower be so important? It is not a rare flower. It is also not as fragrant as those flowers you put in my room.” Listening to those words, Li En fall into silence for a moment as she pats Shi Yan’s head. “ Young master, in this world, there is more than just physical beauty. Maybe one day you will understand. You will find that somethings are forever be irreplaceable.” Li En stands up. Without giving Shi Yan enough time to ask any further, “ Young master it’s getting late. Lets head back.”
Shi Yin stares at the unmoving Shi Yan. Unable to understand what is happening, she let out a loud cry to get his attention.
Shi Yan startled, immediately checked his surrounding. Finding nothing, he begins to question Shi Yin “What’s wrong?”
After hearing Shi Yan’s response, Shi Yin was baffled. He didn’t notice that he stood here for nearly 10 minutes? Shi Yin was worried for Shi Yan but was unable to speak in human language. She wished to talk to him, understand him and console him, but her inability left her only able to cuddle and lick Shi Yan in attempt to comfort him.
Shi Yin’s consolation made him understand her worries. Her actions left him touched.
It’s been a long time since I felt this way…
Shi Yan smiled gently, “Shi Yin, I’m fine. When we reach my home, I’ll let you meet someone.”
Shi Yan squats down, carries Shi Yin on one arm and with his free hand, he picks the Wilflow. “We are reaching soon. Please just bear with this position for awhile alright?”
After 7 minutes of walking, A waterfall was in sight. Shi Yan proceeded to the side of the waterfall, slipping pass the raging water through a gap formed by the overhead rocks. Once under the waterfall, a small entrance could be seen. This entrance leads to a small cave. The cave was dimly lit by the sunlight and decorated with dusty furniture. A large bed made of wood and sheep skin was placed on the left, a straw matt placed in the centre and a stone table on the right with two wooden chairs.
Shi Yan placed both Shi Yin and the Wilflow at the entrance of the cave. “Shi Yin, please help me take care of this flower for a moment. Let me clean this place up first.”
Cleaning up the dust was a simple task for Shi Yan. All he needed to do was to beat the straw matt on the ground repeatedly. The whole cave experienced a sudden dust storm as all the dust rushed out of the cave entrance. Poor Shi Yin got caught in the storm an became a dust bunny. With all that dust, Shi Yin let out a cute sneeze “Chuu”.
The cave was now clean, Shi Yan walked out to the entrance to find Shi Yin. Seeing the cute little fox transform into a dust bunny, Shi Yan let out a chuckle. Shi Yin dissatisfied with his response let out a loud “Eyyyyyahhh! Eyyyahh!”
“Kek Kek, ok… ok… we will take a shower later. Let me dust you off first.” Shi Yan takes his hand and gently pats on Shi Yin. The dust bunny soon reveal some white fur. “We need to meet someone first. Shi Yin come with me”
Shi Yan picked up the Wilflow and blew away the dust on it. He proceeds to the bed and takes out a leather bag hidden under the bed. Inside the bag contained a black rock and a small vase.
Taking out the vase, his eyes starts to water and voice starts to waver. “ Li En, This is Shi Yin… I met her… when I was away… in the orphanage…”
“I was a good boy… over there… Madam Cheng, the house mistress… normally praise me for being good… but the kids… They didn’t like me…” Taking a deep breath, Shi Yan continues “ I ran away… and stole some things…” He puts his arms out and hugs Shi Yin. “ On my way back… I found some lovely flowers… They are your favourite…” placing the flower into the vase, Shi Yan start to cry heavily. “You know… *sniff… I now… *sniff… Found something that’s irreplaceable… *sniff … *sniff…” He wipes his face, takes a deep breath and declared “I miss you so much…. *sniff… I don’t want to feel like this any more …”
Shi Yan caresses the little fox, “Shi Yin… *sniff… I will leave you with Li En for awhile.” He lets go of the fox and head to the waterfall to wash his face.
Understanding that he needs to be alone, Shi Yin did not follow him. Instead she bowed to the vase. Expressing her gratitude to Li En.
The countless tears were washed away as Shi Yan gradually regains his composure.