It had been a week dreaming of her.
Who is she? A vengeful spirit? No. She isn’t ugly. Her face angelic, her hair short, her eyes, beautiful like my idol, wearing a red hanfu like in Chinese fantasy drama. Dreaming of her gives me but a feeling of sweetness. I like that dream so much. Though it just a dream, it feels real.
I met my friends at a university’s cafeteria, telling them my dream and they replied me with a horrified grimace. My friends said she was a succubus, trying to suck the life out of me exchanging for my pleasure. A friend recommended me his uncle, a fengshui master and an exorcist and persuaded me to consult his uncle. I met his uncle and received some yellow-paper talismans to ward off evil.
I never placed the talismans as instructed. I want to dream of her. I know she’s not a malevolent but benevolent spirit. In my heart, I feel she has an affinity with me. I have faith in that.
The night I dreamt of her, again. She stood with her back facing me, before a white furless feline which stood on its rear legs, growling. A man in dark silhouette stood behind her, watching.
The feline leapt before her, throwing a deafening roar.
Her visage was calm as she swirled swift – away, evading the deafening range. She stopped and whirled her hands, hurling violent wave of air, pushing the beast several feet away. The beast fell to the ground with thud and shriek.
The beast grew furious, pulling itself up. It roared and then lunged forward, presenting its sharp paw.
She whirled her hand gently around the beast’s paw, gaining control of it and slammed the beast a distant away. She didn’t even use any of her strength, just borrowed the beast’s strength and deflected to its source.
The beast flinched, laying on the ground moaning.
The girl moved her head as if she noticed my presence. She glanced behind and gifted me a honey-like smile. My heart thudded, waking me up.
I opened my eyes, smiling. The sun shone, birds were chirping outside.
My friends and I decided to hang out at the Valley Mall. We reached a commuter station and waited at the platform. I told My friends were horrified as if they wouldn’t live until tomorrow when I told them.
“Do you remember to stick the talismans?”
“I never use the talismans. I believe she’s a benevolent spirit, not a succubus.”
My friends’ grimace like they were the ones being ravaged by the succubus. “Maybe the master is not powerful enough. I will find you a better one.”
A commuter arrived at the opposite platform, unloaded passengers and took off as the passengers lined up at the counter to check out. I spotted a girl in red blouse, walking just outside the commuter station.
I focused at the girl’s face. A feeling bloomed inside me. It’s… her. She’s… real! I know it! My friends told me she’s evil which I never believe. I trust only my feelings. Now I have seen her, I have faith that someday I will meet her.
A man in dark green jacket walked beside her. Asiatic and handsome, but with angry eyes. His face revealed his age, slightly older than her.
“I see the girl. There she is.” I voiced to my friends, finger pointing at the direction.
My friends turned to the direction, searching. “Where?”
They turned back to me, showing feelings of horror multiplied hopelessness. I know what they are thinking – my time is running out soon. But I know it’s not. I understand my own feelings, thrilled to see her. My friends never believe.
We returned at evening. As I entered my room, it was hot as if inside an oven – a result from the windows facing the sunset. I switched on the fan and jumped onto the bed. Despite the oven-like room, I soon fell asleep.
There she was again, stood in cold foggy night. I scanned around. Row of lamp posts emitted eerie orange light reminded me of a horror movie. The surrounding gave me a familiar feeling – the lamp posts, highway and a signboard, ‘Silicon Way’. It was a walking distance from the university’s hostel.
She looked at a man in dark green jacket who he stood like a warrior. The man was familiar, could be the one I saw him earlier this morning. She spoke something to the man but the words were blur.
As something thudding nearer, the man stretched his palm wide, golden glow materialised into a Chinese sabre, dadao on his palm. He gripped and swung the dadao, its green dragon embossment reflected blinding light.
A samurai appeared from the fog, walking toward the man. The samurai wore full armour, welding a large Japanese sword, odachi.
The warrior gasped. So was her. Quickly, she shouted to him in a familiar language. Probably, she was asking him to be careful. He turned to her, nodded and switched his serious grimace back to the samurai and spoke something.
The samurai replied as his grimace tightened and swung his odachi with great force.
The warrior raised his dadao, his body emitted golden glow and the glow soon formed a green and golden armour of dragon motifs on his body.
The samurai and the warrior ran toward one another, swung their odachi and dadao and exchanged their skills. Each swing, each skill, was intensified with loud clang and sparks. They were exchanging skills and swung so swift, so swift that my eyes could not catch the battle. I could catch it when the warriors paused with deafening clash and clang. But the girl could see through the battle as she moved her head along as how the battle progressed. When she paused her head, the battling warriors paused too, with spark and clang.
The fight lasted for many rounds, ended with a thunderous clang. In lightspeed, blade whirled toward me.
I shocked and woke up, panted heavily as cold sweat coated me.
The evening was hot but a cold night. Thanks to a sudden downpour that brought down the temperature. I took my cellphone and looked at it. It’s 4:34 am. In time, my breathing got steady.
In quiescence, tiny sound of clanking drew my attention. I walked toward the window, searching for the sound and caught a view of a fog, painted orange by lamp posts. How could there was a fog there? Out of impulse, I rushed out of my room, descended through the stairway, climbed off the fence and headed to the fog.
Once in the fog, déjà vu. It does feel as if it was a dream. Or was my dream not merely a dream? Had I been here minutes ago? I gasped as goosebumps pulled my hair straight.
A shout snapped me out. I swivelled my head and trod to that direction. A samurai, identical to the samurai from my dream, dropped on the ground. The girl and the warrior relaxed from each battle stance.
The girl chanted words of incantation and a gaseous spherical portal formed. The portal was drawn of beautiful landscape – primeval bluish green forest, towering mountains, floating islands, indigo sky.
A graceful lady in green hanfu stood beyond the portal. Her face was youthful, her white long hair was tied and her lower body of a long serpentine tail coiling on the ground. She’s Nuwa! I know because I have read Chinese mythology. She bowed slightly at me, smiling as her eyes radiating beauty and wisdom. I couldn’t mutter any word.
The warrior carried the samurai into the portal as Nuwa received the samurai. The girl in red muttered another incantation and the portal vanished into thin air.
As the warrior strode to retrieve his dadao, the girl informed the warrior of my presence. Now, both the girl and the warrior laid their eyes on me.
I trembled and couldn’t move my legs.
“Don’t be afraid. We are not evil.” She spoke, smiling.
Her sweet voice calmed me down. No longer afraid, I raised my head to glance her and bit my arm to ensure I wasn’t dreaming. Ouch, it’s not a dream. She’s even more beautiful than in my dream.
“Gentleman, are you alright?”
The warrior’s voice snapped me out. “Ye… Yes.” I forgot his presence and turned my gaze to him. Though his face hid behind his draconic helm, I could tell if he was handsome from his voice.
“Hi, what’s your name? Mine Chi.” She smiled, waving her hand.
“Jade.” The dragon warrior stood in solemn.
“… Ken.” I replied. Their faces – caring and concerned. Not their concerned face but my dream of her, their power and the strange beast invoked curiosity from me, wanting to know. “Err… Well, who are you two? Why are you here?”
Chi gleaned at Jade and I and she answered. “We come from Cyaia, a world far from your world and so we are called Cyaians. There were Cyaians came here thousands of years ago, before the dawn of this world’s civilisation. They helped to develop some early civilisations, introduced cultures, technologies and everything. There were Enki, Atum, Brahma, Gaia and much more. So is Sister Nuwa.”
Chi smiled when she mentioned Sister Nuwa.
I nodded. “Ya, I know. Goddess Nuwa that created human.”
She shook her face. “Actually, she never creates human. In ancient times, the society was matriarchal. She was just the leader of many tribes. Wonder how on earth they made Sister Nuwa a goddess.”
Jade said, “Chi, the primitives like Egyptians worshipped people from an advanced civilisation. Such advanced technology was but a magic to them.”
Chi switched to Jade and chuckled. “Oh, yes! How silly.”
“And how come you can speak English?”
She switched back to me. “There were Cyaians came here about hundred years ago, the language that they learnt was English. That’s why we know English. And we are familiar with Chinese too.”
“Oh, I see. So, now you come here to introduce something?” I tried to get some answers from Chi.
For a moment, Chi closed her eyes and then spoke. “Unfortunately, some Cyaians came here not to introduce new things but to wreak havoc. There were monsters like Nian and Sphinx as you may know. There are several Cyaian fugitives escaped into this world, to be free from Cyaia. And we are here to bring them back.”
“Chi, is there anything I can help?”
Chi glanced at Jade, seeing Jade shook his head and then she turned to me. “No.”
“Sorry, there is nothing you can help. These Cyaians are powerful than a human being. You may get yourself killed.”
“But, I can offer you…”
Chi raised her palm, halting me. “No, thank you. Next time when you sense anything strange, please stay away from it.”
“Remember, Ken. Please stay away.” Jade said.
Chi and Jade turned their backs to me. Both of the walked away, leaving me and getting transparent.
The Monday sun toasted my face, waking me up. I arrived late for my lecture. After the lecture ended, I had lunch at the cafeteria. A friend of mine trod toward me.
“Ken!” He greeted me, his voice was loud and clear. Tall and neat, his hair spiked upwards, smart and stylish unlike me and a popular student wannabe.
“I heard that you dream a girl recently?”
“Yes. I even met her yesterday night near the students’ hostel.”
He turned his head to another place, he returned to me and looked down. “I know this semester got lots of assignments. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Take some time to relax.”
“Okay, I will.” I gave him a long grin. He’s one of my friends who thinks that I’m under tremendous pressure. Everyone worries about me.
“Ken, do you know Lin? She’s in the same class with us this year. Her friends always call her goldfish. What do you think of her?”
“She’s nice and funny, I think. She is even forgetful. That’s why she is being called goldfish. Go ahead, I already have a dream girl.”
“Who’s your dream girl?”
“The girl that I met yesterday.”
He dropped his head. “Enough. That’s just your imagination.”
“She’s real. I really met her yesterday.”
He held his breath deep and released it. “Okay, some people can’t differentiate imagination from reality when they can’t handle rejection or shock. Were you being rejected?”
“Yes.” He probably thinks I am unable to handle rejection. My friends think I have met an evil spirit, but I believe she’s not. Now, this guy said I’m imagining things but I’m not, she’s real and I had met her.
So, he sat before me, eyes glinted with the wisdom of a love guru. “You know why a girl rejects you?”
He raised his index finger. “One, she may not have any feeling to you. Two, she already has a boyfriend.”
“Hmm.” I pondered. It feels right, though this guy doesn’t have a girlfriend. Probably, he’s desperate.
“For reason one, she has no feeling toward you. That’s because you look normal and tasteless. You need to change your appearance – hairstyle, clothes.” As he spoke, his hand showed my hair and clothes.
I scanned my shirt and his, but couldn’t sense any difference.
“Be stylish and fashionable. Or maybe, you haven’t done anything yet. Give her more attention by talking to her. When you meet her, smile and greet her. Have a talk, any topic will do and jokes can be useful. Just need to grab her attention. Make her feels she’s important. Sooner, she will have a feeling toward you.”
“If reason two, then you need to give up. Not good to compete with her boyfriend. Not good for her and you also. If you have girlfriend, you don’t want another man to snatch away your girlfriend, right?”
“Be happy and do you best. If you have any problem, just tell me. I will help you.”
“Okay, thanks.” I smiled. I know why Chi rejected me and asked me to stay away. Maybe. Or was it she really has no feeling for me? I think it’s better to listen to the guru.
The full moon shone, I stood at the Silicon Way with lamp posts accompanied me, waiting for Chi. Wanting to meet her, talk to her. As if I’m like the wannabe, desperate.
After some time, I sensed a sound of footsteps and the sound got louder as it closer behind by me. Yes! Chi has come to see me. Thrilled, I glanced behind. A feathered reptile, stood on its rear feet, with both forewings, its long-feathered tail swirling about. It was six feet tall, about my height, growling at me. What on earth is that creature? My heart thumped, my grimace was as I was struck with paralysis. I stepped backward as the creature paced forwards. Its growl grew deeper.
A sweet voice chanted something and fog exploded into the surrounding.
The creature was unaware of the fog, its target was me. It bent its legs and jumped to me – swift. Unable to move my body, I was struck in horror, gazing at the feathered reptile as it was moving in slow motion.
A sudden pressure of wind repelled the monster away. The creature hit the ground, flinching and raised its head to search for the source of the attack.
I was started and turned my head too.
“Raptor!” Jade shouted as he posed himself with his dadao, it seemed as he had displaced air to repel the creature with it.
“I am Veloc! Not just any raptor!” Veloc then threw its gaze toward Jade, growling.
“Ken, get away! This raptor’s swift and deadly!” Chi shouted.
Quickly, I ran to some distant away.
Chi switched her view to Veloc and she started her opening move.
Veloc lunged forward as Jade swung his dadao toward Veloc. The raptor’s fast reaction enabled him to detect the coming blow and he kicked it away with his talon.
Chi whirled her hands, pushing pressurised air to Veloc.
Veloc evaded the air pressure and hopped to Chi, opening his jaw wide to grab her.
Chi swirled away as if she was dancing, evading it.
As Veloc landed, he swung his tail to Chi and he swung it so fast that it almost hit Chi but she vaulted backward and escaped.
Chi vaulted until a distant away from Veloc. She then took a glance at me.
Jade whirled himself like a tornado moving toward Veloc, with his dadao and fist coming fast alternately.
Veloc detected the dadao and evaded it but Jade’s fist was coming faster that raptor’s reaction. The fist hit Veloc, repulsed him several feet away and ended with a painful howl.
The growling raptor stood up, he was mad. He changed his gaze to Chi.
Chi wasn’t startled but I was. I used all my breath to shout. “Be careful, Chi!”
Veloc then switched his deadly gaze to me, grinning. It then sped toward me.
Now my whole body got paralysed. What idiot thing I just did?
Chi made a huge somersault, landed between me and the dashing raptor. Swiftly, she prepared a defence.
Veloc broke his speed and responded with his talon. Veloc’s offence was faster. Chi realised it was late for defence and she withdrew her arm. Veloc’s talon scratched her hand, drawing blood.
“Ah!” Chi shrieked in pain.
Jade arrived in time and he delivered a fist to Veloc, sending him fainted several feet away.
I released a breath of relief and saw Chi and Jade panting.
Chi and Jade’s breathing returned to normal in short time. She then chanted words to open a portal. Jade lifted Veloc and placed him into the portal. Chi chanted another word to close it.
Once the portal disappeared, Chi threw her gaze at me. “Told you to stay away. No need to offer any help. You can’t help anything. This is very dangerous. You could have gotten yourself killed. You just got lucky to be alive.” Her words had a degree of annoyance but hinted care.
I dare not see her face. “I am sorry.” As Jade helped her wrapping her wound, I glanced at her face. “Chi, how’s is your hand?”
“Just a surface injury.” She spoke softly, her words showed a pleasant feeling. “Thank you.”
“Thank you, Chi. For saving me. I owe you my life”
“It’s nothing, Ken. Glad to see you safe.” She smiled, finally.
Jade looked at me. “Friend, better not be at the wrong place at wrong time. You are one lucky young man.”
Chi glanced at me. “Ken, please stay away. You are lucky because we arrived just in time. You may not be lucky next time.”
“Okay, Chi. I will stay away.”
As I finished saying, Chi and Jade disappeared from my sight and I returned to my hostel. Maybe I shouldn’t be there at all. I almost jeopardise her life and mission. Perhaps I should see her from far. Ah, what am I thinking? We are from two different worlds. Besides, she has Jade as her lover. Stop it!
For days, I kept dreaming of Chi, noticed fogs but I stayed away. Though my heart pumped with discomfort as I couldn’t see her for her sake, I should keep a distance. Can’t risk her life, her mission. Every day, only her in my mind, thought I became insane. My friends tried to help but to no avail.
One Sunday evening, I was jogging alone near the Silicon Way. Panting, I walked to a garden which wasn’t far away. Laying myself on the crisp grass, the surrounding was lush green and soothing and the azure sky lullabied me slowly.
I woke up and spotted a mass of fog within the garden trees. There Chi was, in the fog. Intense fighting unlike before, the clang of metal chopping wood, shockwaves and roaring echoed in my ears. It felt as if something bad was to happen.
Should I enter? What if I cause trouble instead? Just hide behind trees will not cause any harm. So, I entered, sneaking around trees. A tall blood red horned humanoid, gliding gracefully through the air as its large white wings were like dry ice, vaporising into thin air. His face was not angelic, demonic as if he had fallen from the heavenly grace. The dark angel was swift. Chi and Jade have been assaulting the angel as he evaded the assaults without effort. As the angel countered, Chi was as swift too, she could evade it while Jade was slower and had to block the blow. The angel, Chi and Jade had been launching an offensive as well as defensive for some time.
Chi perspired, her body was wet. The tension of battle trembled her. I never saw her so tense before. Her opponent this time was different, powerful and swift.
The angel accumulated a massive orb of black matter and hurled it toward Chi and Jade. The black orb accelerated and exploded, throwing Chi and Jade several feet away.
The angel drew his sword, dark vapour surrounded the dark blade absorbing light and he flew toward his nearest opponent, Chi as she was recovering from the fall.
As the dark angel flew toward her, her face hinted me her despair. The dark angel raised his sword as he was about to strike her.
“Hey! Monster!” I jumped out of my hiding and tried to grab his attention. “You, the bloody red one. It’s you!”
The angel turned his gaze to me. Sensing I wasn’t worth his attention, so he turned back to her.
“Hey, you!” I began my step to the angel. “Why you ignore me, you bloody one?” As I walked, I stumbled over a rock, almost fall. I lifted it high and tossed it to the angel.
The rock hit right on his head. He grunted and swivelled to me. His eyes narrowed, he clenched his jaw and fists and flew toward me.
Shit! I just did the stupidest thing ever. The angel flew in slow motion as my body trembling. I wanted to run but I couldn’t any muscle. Tears flowed from my terrified eyes. It was like a dream as all my senses were disconnected.
BOOM! Something loud hit the angel from behind. A bright radiating force consumed the angel as he shouted horribly, slowly disintegrating into thin air.
Chi had launched the final desperate blow, killing it. It was close move.
“That Cyaian was too aggressive. We have to destroy him. That’s the only choice we have.” Jade broke off the silence.
Chi smiled delightedly before me. “That was the last Cyaian. Our task is done. Thanks a lot, Ken. We owe that to you.”
Jade bit his lips, glancing at me. “Ken, I think I better tell you.”
Chi turned her face to Jade. “No, please.”
Jade switched to Chi. “Better to be clear, Chi. You weren’t at your best because of this matter. You risked our missions and lives.”
Chi dragged her head down. “Very sorry, Jade.”
Something in Jade’s eyes. “It’s all right, Chi.” Jade switched to me. “Since Chi came here, she always had a dream of someone and it’s you, Ken. And because of you, Chi couldn’t concentrate on her mission and almost kill us.”
“I am sorry.” I dare not look at Jade.
“It’s alright, Ken. Luckily, we are powerful for most of the Cyaians except the last one. The last one was way too fast. Even if Chi can concentrate, we can’t even touch the dark angel. We need to thank you for bought us time to finish off the angel. Thank you.” Jade’s fierce face turned friendly.
“Yes, Ken. Thank you.”
The sweet voice grabbed my attention. I looked at Chi, she gifted me an angelic smile. “Chi, I couldn’t believe that you have the same dream too.”
“Huh?” She widened her eyes.
“Chi, come with me, I need to tell you something.” As Chi walked by my side, I could glance her sweet blushing smile.
“Well, I am having the same dream too. In my dream, I saw you fighting. In one dream, you smiled at me.”
“Actually, really saw you there. Really. Then, you just disappeared like a smoke.”
“Chi. Every dream felt real. Even when I am awake. So, I do believe that it’s not just a dream. I do believe that you are not just a dream. I can feel that you are real. So, one day I really meet you.”
“It’s the affinity. Ken, Sister Nuwa had told me that will meet someone special here. So now meet that special one.” She chuckled.
Something prevented me from saying that following words, nevertheless I fought that something. “Chi. I do like you very much. I like you. I dream of you every single day.”
Her eyes turned lovely. “Ken, like you too. Dream of you every day too.” Chi rested her head on my shoulder.
I blushed and she ditto, struggling to speak. “Chi, are you a princess in Cyaia?”
She glanced at me and smiled. “Not a princess. Jade not a prince, like a brother. Just a commoner. Am a mystic. Jade’s a warrior. Some sort of peacekeeper.” She spoke as if she was whispering.
We chatted leisurely, laughed at each stupid joke, enquired each other lifestyles and even exchanged views on each world. It was a moment of tranquillity as we were chatting, feeling as if it was an eternity.
“Chi, will you ever come to this world again? Want to see you again.” I tilted my head slightly, looking at her lips.
Chi placed herself to me, her arms embraced me, her head rested on my shoulder. I rested my head on her shoulder, curled my arms around her waist. Her warmness comforted me, her beating heart gave me a hint. “Must return with Jade to Cyaia. Have another task to do. When my task is complete, there is no reason to come here. It is forbidden to enter your world without urgent matter.”
I really wish to follow her to Cyaia. Willing to forsake my life here, but what about my family? How do they feel, if I am gone? I sighed.
“Ken, don’t ever think to follow me. You have your life and family here. They are much more important.”
I widened my eyes. Can, can Chi read my thought?
“Ken, do promise one thing.”
“Yes, Chi.” I looked into her glittering eyes.
“Promise you don’t even think of me but live a wonderful life. You have dreams, pursue it, Ken.”
“Yes, Chi. I promise.”
With that, Chi greeted me farewell. I greeted her farewell and wish her luck. The longer we see one another, the harder to say goodbye. With her incantation, a portal opened. Chi and Jade walked into the portal. As she reached the opposite side, she turned to have the final glance of me.
“Ken, the Mother of the Universe will always loves you. Goodbye.”
“Chi, I will miss you!” I could see her glinted eyes for the first time. With another incantation, the portal slowly disappeared, so was Chi and Jade.
Realised that surrounding was dark as the sun had set, I returned to my hostel.
Since the departure, everything returned normal, no more dreams and my friends could feel it too. They pleased to see me lived a better life, having able to cope with pressure and handle rejection.
I missed Chi a lot and had her image in my mind, failing me of my promise to her. But, only half the promise, I did live better – pursuing my dreams. Chi and I may have many similarities but we live in such a different world. That made visiting another impossible, even to be together. I could only wish Chi and I could be together.
It was already few months. With my friends, we had lunch at the cafeteria and chatted about a new batch of students.
Then, a sweet voice radiated to me. “Hello, Ken.”
My friend elbowed me. “Is she your friend?” All of my friends widened their eyes. One of them leant toward me. “It’s rude not to answer people.”
I raised my head, seeing her face pinked. She was beautiful even in t-shirt and jeans.
She gifted me her sweetest smile ever. “Hi, Ken. It’s have been so long.”
“Hello, Chi.” I gifted her my smile, knowing my wish has come true.