After miles of flying, Chi’s wings were killing herself, her teary eyes were swollen, and her stomach growled of hunger. Unable to control herself anymore, she landed near a gigantic pine tree. Her body laid low touching ground, weeping, stomach growling.
A warm hand touched her shoulder. A caring voice spoke. “Dear child, everything will be all right.”
Chi opened her eyes, spun to the sound. A lady whose beauty was ethereal. Her knitted white hair touching the ground, showing ages of longevity, yet her face was without any wrinkle, her eyes showed the wisdom of ages. She was wrapped in green hanfu, wearing a silver headdress, a colourless gem was socketed at the headdress. Her warm smile soothed Chi’s heart.
Chi threw herself to the lady and hugged her. The lady’s hands embraced around Chi’s shoulder. Tears streaming, she took comfort in a maternal embrace.
Once Chi was comforted, the lady took out a loaf of bread. “Dear child, you are hungry. Let’s share my bread.”
“Thank you, sister.” Chi smiled, taking the bread, delivering it to her mouth.
The lady put down her hand. Her movement showed vitality despite her age which was shown by her white long hair. She took another loaf from her baggage and bit it.
Last gulp of bread sunk down into her throat. Chi’s swollen eyes caught a trespassing bug, her eyes hinting the lady of her woes.
“Dear child, what is your name? My name is Nuwa.”
Chi took quite some time to concentrate her thoughts on words. “Chi.” Chi switched her view to Nuwa. “Why sister Nuwa isn’t afraid of a redragon.”
“Well, what I see is beyond the skin, into the heart. Redragon truly is a terrifying creature, but I had faced many creatures even worse than redragon. Redragon never cries. I saw you crying, and that proved that your nature is not of redragon. What sadden you, Chi?”
Chi sighed a depth breath. “Igniswing has tribal tradition of hunting every ten years. Didn’t join the hunting, saved a village from another redragon. That enraged the whole tribe and got expelled. Now, mama is going to be executed.”
“Don’t worry, Chi. We will save your mama.”
“Thank you very much, Sister Nuwa.” Chi smiled and wiped her eyes.
The smell of burnt debris entered Chi’s nostril. Chi looked at Nuwa. Nuwa’s nose sniffed. Nuwa smelt the debris too. Both of them glanced their surroundings. Their eyes captured billowing smoke and their legs brought them to a village.
Both eyes widened as they saw the village was burnt to ashes, lifeless bodies of raptors scattered around the village. Their coloured feathers were littered on the ground, their faces showed shock and pain, with their eyes widened and beak gaped. Their wound showed that they were slashed, stabbed and hit by sharp weapons. It was never the work of a redragon. If it were redragon’s doing, their wound should have shown bruises, claws ripping and burnt as redragon only weapons were fist, claws and fire.
“They died a terrible death. Their face showed that they were in agony. Chi, let’s give them a prayer. So, that they can find peace.” Nuwa spoke.
“I don’t know any prayer.”
“Any sincere wishing is a prayer. If the prayer comes from the bottom of your heart, then it works.”
“Sure, sister Nuwa.”
The duo closed their eyes, mouth whispered words. Soon, the raptors’ bodies disintegrated into sparkling entities, billowing up, slowly dissolving into the air.
Chi opened her eyes, saw all the bodies were gone. Her appalling eyes looked at the maiden. “Sister Nuwa, what happened to all the bodies?”
“It means that our prayer worked. They have found peace and now they are one with the Source.”
Chi’s eyes showed glisters of happiness and harmony. She was filled with joy.
Nuwa turned her face to Chi. “Chi, the joy you feel now is not the same joy that most redragons feel. Your very nature and your physical form are not in harmony. This has causes you much sufferings.”
Chi looked at Nuwa’s mouth, concentrating to Nuwa’s words.
“It’s ‘your’ past that gives ‘you’ the present form. Since ‘you’ have elevated, the present form, of course, is not compatible. It’s only ‘you’ that can control your form. Once form has been controlled, destiny is controlled. Chi, I shall guide ‘you’ to seek ‘yourself’ and ‘your’ physical form.”
Chi still faced Nuwa, she pondered deep into her brain to figure out Nuwa’s words of depth. Then, Chi smiled sweetly, she didn’t take very long to understand. “Thank you, sister Nuwa. Willing to learn.”
“Remember this Chi, kind heart will always have kinder retributions.”
Chi was filled with faith and hope.
“Chi, follow me.”
“Alright, sister Nuwa.” Chi smiled as she walked with Nuwa, leaving raptor’s village.
A raptor with hunter’s garb stood from a distant hill, he saw two lady killer were walking leaving the village. He just saw the killers disintegrated all his fellow villagers. All his families all were disintegrated and not a single body was left. How cruel, how cold-blooded were the killers. Hatred and vengeance soon sprouted from his heart. His fury eyes shot at the killers, his heart raged, and cursed. His right hand speedily took an arrow out from a quiver tied to his back, his left hand held a long bow, he shut his right eye while another eye aimed at Nuwa. The arrow was released speedily from the bow to Nuwa.
Nuwa’s ears twitched, she heard something incoming to her at great speed. Her right hand swept through the air, the air gusted the arrow away. The arrow dropped onto ground few feet away. She turned her head and saw the arrow. The arrow was made of wood and feathers, the tip was made of metal.
Chi was dumbfounded as she saw Nuwa raised her hand out of sudden. Chi, of course, heard a whistling sound as the arrow glided through the air but the sound was too fast for Chi. When Chi saw Nuwa facing the arrow, only that she knew what had happened. “Who wants to kill Sister Nuwa?”
Nuwa turned her head facing Chi. “Chi, the arrow looks only like villager’s arrow which was used for hunting purpose. An army’s arrow will look differently. Possibly, a villager spotted us and thinks that we had killed his fellow villagers.”
Chi gasped, her eyes widened. “Huh? He thinks we are the killer?”
“No worry, Chi. If that villager’s smart, he will not launch another arrow. Because it will be useless. And we just let him go. Possibly, he will realise that we are not the killer.”
Chi turned her head around, scanning for possible hidden place for the attacker. Then, Chi turned back to Nuwa. “Sister Nuwa, will he possibly follows us and ambush when we are not ready?”
“Chi, you think too much already. Let’s save you mama.”
Chi chuckled and nodded.
“Darn!” His arrow was swayed by the female serpent effortlessly. Surely, another arrow will be the same. Velox’s teeth gritted and cursed. His eyes blazed with vengeance and hatred. Hated the two lady dragons. And hated himself for incompetent to finish off the killer dragon, or the monster. His mouth muttered, cursing the monsters, hoping the bad will befall them.
Carefully, Velox descended on to the village. Silently walking, he wished that his steps would be unheard by the female killers. The first thing he needed to do was to search any possible survivors but there was not a single body to be found. He then unearthed any crumbled debris of the villagers’ huts to find any of his villager’s body.
He surely hoped that he could find any survivor so that he would be told of everything that had happened. He wanted to know about the two serpents, what they want from the villages. He searched every hut and place but there was no one. Every single body had been disintegrated and the killers had left without a trace. If someone could run and escaped during the attack, he would be back by now as the female serpents had left quite some time already.
Nuwa and Chi reached the floating islands. Chi was mesmerised by the majestic view of the islands. This was the first time she sees the islands from below. Nuwa was mesmerised too but wasn’t as mesmerise as Chi. She had journeyed the world for millennia. They flew to the Igniswing Island, landed on its cliff.
Two redragons who were on guard saw Chi and looked each other. “That heretic exile again? Now, what she up to?” The redragons though as they approached them.
“How dare you foul the sanctity of Igniswing, you beast! And now you bring along another foul beast!”
The words did not affect Nuwa at all. She knew the redragons didn’t know her, the redragons were like a frog living in the well. And of course, she knew that she wasn’t another foul beast.
“What can just two foul creatures do to your land? God Igniswing will surely damn us to hell!”
The two redragons looked each other and nodded.
“We come here to take this foul beast mother away from this holy land. Otherwise, this land will stay foul. Can you brethren lead us to your chief?”
The redragons said, “Hmph! We will not obey a weakling!”
Chi said to Nuwa. “Sister Nuwa, redragons only obey creatures who defeated them.”
Nuwa said, “I see. They still obey to their tradition.”
Chi was surprised at Nuwa’s words. Nuwa understood the tradition of Igniswing.
The redragons nodded and challenge Lady Nuwa and she accepted the challenge. The redragons prepare for the fight with a roar. Nuwa just stood casually. The redragons dashed towards Nuwa and directed their thorny punch to Nuwa. In a flash, Nuwa swiped her leg through the air and the redragons thudded violently on the ground. The redragons were surprised, wondering how could they ended up on the ground.
The redragons said, “Now you have rights over us.”
Nuwa then said, “I have no rights over you. Please lead us to your chief.”
The redragons hastily obeyed and led Nuwa and Chi to Rouge Tyran.
Rouge Tyran was shocked to see Chi again. “Dear foul beast, you wish to foul this sanctity land with your heretic idea again? Now you bring another friend to argue with us?”
Chi spoke calmly, “Dear chief, not wish to argue anymore. Want to bring mama away.”
Rouge Tyran said, “Shut up, you weakling. You are not qualified to speak before me! Get lost, now!”
Nuwa humbly said before Rouge Tyran. “Dear chief, I challenge you to a fight.”
Rouge Tyran laughed loudly. “You challenge me? A woman challenge me?”
The whole tribe of redragons laughed.
Rouge Tyran said, “You will never defeat me. Redragons is the strongest creatures on Cyaia and I am the chief! Or you just want to give yourself to me?”
Nuwa said, “If I win, we can take Chi’s mother away. If you win, I am yours.”
Chi turned to Nuwa with wide eyes. How could Nuwa made such condition? Do Nuwa knew what was she talking? If Nuwa loses, then Chi’s fate will be left unknown.
Rouge Tyran said, “Such an arrogance for a lady, who do not know her position. So be it, let’s fight!”
Rouge Tyran rose from his spiked bench and faced Nuwa. Rouge Tyran roared and it shook the island. Everyone closed their eyes tightly. Nuwa remained calm. Rouge Tyran flew towards Nuwa. Nuwa evaded Rouge Tyran. Rouge Tyran spun and delivered his furious fist to Nuwa. Nuwa parried the fist away. Rouge Tyran was furious, he jumped and presenting his leg for Nuwa. Nuwa ducked, she grabbed Rouge Tyran’s another leg and hurled Rouge Tyran onto the ground. Every redragon was filled with shock. Rouge Tyran’s furious had reached his limit. He gave his best and charged towards Nuwa with his maximum power. Rouge Tyran stopped suddenly when he saw Nuwa’s palm before his face.
Rouge Tyran spun and spat in anger. “Aargh! You can have my authority and the tribe!”
Nuwa withdrew her palm. “I have no interest in either the authority or the tribe.”
Rouge Tyran was surprised. “Then, what do you want from me?”
Nuwa said, “We just wish to bring Chi’s mother away from this tribe. Hope that dear chief can allow it.”
Rouge Tyran said, “Another foul and weak beast. Her wellbeing is not of our concern anymore!”
Chi frowned her eyes. “What do chief means?”
Rouge Tyran said, “Your mother had left us. When she left, she kept muttering your name, Chi. Probably, all she wants is to be with you!”
Chi’s face showed her despair, “Mama, where are mama?”
Nuwa’s hand embraced Chi’s shoulder, slowly pulled Chi towards her. “Chi, have faith. Affinity will meet you and your mother.”
Chi nodded as she looked up to Nuwa. Either Nuwa was like her mother or her sister.
Rouge Tyran was furious at Chi. “You have foul this place again with your weakness! Begone now or you will face Igniswing’s wrath! Begone!”
Out of sudden, the whole place trembled violently. The redragons were unable to stand on their feet straightly. The whole tribe roared, “Begone! Begone!”
“Chi, since we don’t know your mama’s whereabouts, let’s follow me back to my garden. Since the journey to find your mother is perilous which may get you killed, I will help you getting yourself ready to find your mother. And I will train you to be more powerful. Then, only that you are prepared to find your mother.”
“Allright, Sister Nuwa.”
As Chi finished her words, Nuwa and Chi flew out and left Igniswing.
Nuwa and Chi reached an entrance of two mountain peaks. Nuwa turned to Chi. “Chi, welcome to my garden.”
Beyond the peaks, laid a valley. The valley was like a heaven; the scenery was mesmerising. Leaves of trees, plants were coloured in green, red, yellow and golden. The sky was indigo at the zenith. There were lakes, the image of the sky, seen at the lake’s surface. The beauty was beyond expression.
The wind was blowing. Soft and soothing melody comparable to a phoenix singing. It was soothing to the ears and mind. Chi browsed around as she walked. Several hollow bamboo trees, trees with holes like a nostril, different sizes of holey rocks around, different thickness of branches knocking on hollow trucks. There were several puddles, dew dripped from leaves producing rhythmic beats. The music was melodious and accompanied by mythical creatures singing.
Mystical and auspicious creatures were living in the garden; gryphon, alicorn, millennium tortoise, qilin, phoenix and dragon. The creatures came near Nuwa and Chi. Every creature welcome Chi by its own respective sound; screech, neigh, woof, roar.
Nuwa smiled and turn her head to Chi. “Chi, all these creatures welcome you. They are not afraid of your redragon form. They can feel your inner nature. They all like you very much.”
Chi was delighted and raised her hand to greet the creatures. “Hi, nice to meet you all.” All the creatures made their sound to reply to her greeting.
A sudden roar startled Chi. Chi tilted to the sky and found that the sound came from a long azure dragon who was gliding through the sky miles away. The dragon was majestic. The dragon’s face and scales clearly even though it was miles away. This proved that the dragon was gigantic in size. Chi’s face reflected the light of awe.
“Sister Nuwa, what is that creature?”
“Qinglong, the Guardian of Eastern Heaven. I will tell you Cyaia mythology later.”
“Alright.” Chi nodded her head.
“Let’s head to my retreat.”
They reached before a pond with a huge tree. The tree’s lower trunk looked like a chair and some of its root curved upwards, forming an armrest. Probably, that was Nuwa’s resting place.
Chi was still being enchanted by the scenery and the music. “Sister Nuwa, this place is so wonderful! The music is so soothing. Wonder what is the music called?”
“It’s called the music of nature.”
“The music of nature?” Chi paused.
“Chi, you must have heard other Cyaian’s music? The music was produced from when the air moves through openings at a musical instrument. When the air moves in a flute, some of the openings are close and this produces different rhythms. The music of nature produced when the wind passes through openings in nature. You can see the wind blows through hollowed bamboos and holey rocks. That is the music of nature.”
“Looks like the music of nature is the grandest of all kinds of music.” Chi exclaimed.
“Not really. You haven’t listened to the music of heaven yet.”
“The music of heaven? How does the music sound like?”
“Well, the music of heaven is without sound. And it can be felt only inside us.”
Chi frowned her eyes.
“It’s getting late already. Here is your resting place.” Nuwa pointed at a flat trunk which was not far away from Nuwa’s resting place.
“Thank you, Sister Nuwa.”
Sol woke up, beginning of another day. Nuwa and Chi enjoyed their hearty breakfast with the ingredients gathered from Nuwa’s garden.
Once they finished, Nuwa said, “Do you still remember that I have spoken regarding seeking ‘yourself’ and ‘your’ physical form?”
Chi nodded. “Still remember.”
“Chi, today, you can let ‘yourself’ seek own form. Let me guide you to a place.” Nuwa held Chi’s hand as they moved on.
Chi saw Nuwa brought along a red garment, embroidered with floral motifs. As the duo was walking, Chi kept wondering where Nuwa would lead her to.
As they reached a lake, Chi eyes were widened. The lake was different was other lakes. Plants and bushes surrounding the lake were green, red and yellow. The water in the lake was crystal clear. Chi can see rocks at the lake bottom clearly. Vapour evaporated above the lake’s warm surface.
Nuwa looked at Chi. “Chi, this is the Lake of Transformation. The lake will transform your physical body into the one that harmonises with your mind. Do set your mind at peace. It’s ‘you’ that controls your physical form. It’s the condition of the mind that governs the body. The body will react to the thought. Chi, do enter into the lake.”
Chi stepped into the lake without the slightest hesitation. As her feet touched the warm lake, warm sensation tingling her feet. She continued descending the lake until she was completely immersed in the water. The warm sensation embraced her body. Her body changing, changing into a form that harmonies with her mind. A feeling of harmony and tranquillity blossomed inside her as pure energy pulsating within her. She no longer felt her blood-red wings and tail. Her redragon head transformed into a human head. Her body transformed a body that she felt graceful. Once her body no longer changing, she raised herself and ascended the lake.
While she ascended from the lake, warm sensation still enveloped her. Her skin dry. So, she took the clothes given by Nuwa and dressed. She turned to see her reflection next to Nuwa on the lake. Through her phoenix-like eyes, she saw her black hair was short. Her skin was rosy and she touched her smooth smiling face. Her plain face was pink and beautiful. Chi examined her newly acquired body thoroughly. She was clad in a beautiful red-white hanfu tops and pants.
Nuwa was pleased to see Chi in her new form. “Congratulations, Chi! You have sought ‘yourself’ and gained ‘your’ truest form.”
Chi was pleased. “Thank you, Sister Nuwa. Feel that liking this form. More harmony.”
“Your new form will help you to efficiently absorb and utilise practices that I will teach you, Mystic Chi.”
Chi raised her eyebrows. ‘Sister Nuwa, what is a mystic?”
“A mystic is someone who is in harmony with the Universe. Who attunes spiritually with the Universe.”
“But can’t feel anything. How can be considered a mystic?”
Nuwa giggled at Chi. “Chi, you just started your journey as a mystic. That’s why you don’t feel anything. I will guide you in your path to the universal harmonisation.”
Chi was filled with curiosity, her eyes showed enthusiasm and in the same time, her eyes to showed her sense of yearning someone.
With caring heart, Nuwa’s eyes met Chi’s eyes. Softly, her hand touched Chi’s face. “Chi, your mother is safe and sound. I can feel it. I need to train you to practice your skills. So, that you will be more prepared and skilled to find your mother. Finding your mother is a perilous journey. Once, you are ready, we will set off and find your mother.”
Chi smiled at Nuwa. “Thank you, Sister Nuwa. Know. Even have not strength to fight a single redragon, Sister Nuwa.”
Nuwa said, “Since, you have attained this physical form, it will make your training faster and more effective because your newly-attained body is more attune to the Universe.”
With a deep mind, Chi listened to Nuwa.
Nuwa said, “To begin, you need to focus and conscious of your breathing. You may feel a bit giddy, because of an excess of oxygen.”
Chi closed her eyes. Slowly, she inhaled air deep into her abdomen and exhaled the air slowly.
Nuwa said, “Good, Chi. Now do watch and follow me carefully.”
Slow and graceful, Nuwa moved her supple hands around the air. Her hand glided in the air. Her shoulder followed the hand movement and guided her torso flexibility.
Chi looked at every Nuwa’s movement. Her hand, feet and torso mimicked Nuwa’s. She lost when Nuwa moved fast out of sudden. She could able to follow Nuwa when Nuwa moved slowly.
As Nuwa glided her hands, “Water is the softest and the supplest substance in the Universe. It is the substance that is the closest to the Universe. It can melt even the hardest rock.”
Clearly and carefully, Chi listened and followed Nuwa.
“By incorporating softness in your movement, you can easily deflect any strong blow. You can even borrow opponent’s power and deflect it back to them.”
Back and forth, Chi’s palm moved. Her body movement guided by the movement of her shoulder. An energy of warmness circling around her, a fickle of wind moved between her palms.
Chi had been practising for several Lunes. She had grown more beautiful than before. Her hair now was long, streaming with the moving air. Gracefully, majestically, her hands glided through the air, a gust of leaves circling around her.
Nuwa concentrated a gust of wind, directing it to Chi. Trails of leaves followed behind the wind as Chi deflected the leaves back to Nuwa. Nuwa countered it and pushed a gale of wind back to Chi. By somersaulting backwards, she evaded it. The wind blew across the lake, creating huge waves and ripples. Spinning around, Chi concentrated on the lake. Streams of water, circling around her hand and Chi streaming it towards Nuwa. By the force of the wind, Nuwa countered it, pushing against water stream. Streams of water and forces of air met, bursting water. Tiny droplets drizzled the garden. Multiples rainbows be seen as Sol’s light reflected from droplets and spread throughout the sky.
Nuwa and Chi were both amazed at the newly designed scenery, although it was just temporary. Forgetting of what happened before, they were pleased with the moment.
Nuwa broke out from the silence, “Let’s harness the energy from the Universe.”
Nuwa concentrated on her palms and circling her hands, streams of energy following her moving palms. Chi upon seeing that followed and circling herself through streams of energy. Both spinning and exchanging energy and they were like performing cloth dancing. Nuwa and concentrated an orb of energy onto her palm. Nuwa guided the energy towards Chi and Chi countered by hurling the energy. Both energies collided and produced a flash bang. Both of them covered their eyes.
All the creatures waved in happiness as they saw Nuwa and Chi exchanging skills and improving themselves. Nuwa and Chi smiled and chuckled themselves.
Nuwa said, “Chi, you have learnt a lot in this few months. I am sure that you are now prepared to face dangers ahead when finding your mother.”
“Thanks a lot, Sister Nuwa. Couldn’t learn a lot without Sister Nuwa’s patience.”
“Just remember to keep your practice, Chi. Practice will improve you more.”
“Will remember that, Sister Nuwa.”