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    Kong Wen Hui
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The Spirit of the Plum Blossom Tree (TSPBT) - 6. Chapter 6

Mild Language.

Hong Shen sank to a knee, breathing in quick, short gasps as pain raced along his veins from his heart. A dull buzzing resounded in his ears, and his heartbeat seemed to slow, until it stopped altogether for a single beat. Paralyzed from fear, he could do nothing but allow it to happen, time seeming impossibly long during that second of death.

After his body had experienced a third momentary shutdown, his heart suddenly thumped once more, incredibly loud as his trembling breath returned in full force, gasping for air like a dying animal. Only this time, his heart felt strangely heavy and lethargic, steady when it should have been racing in terror. Almost as if… it didn’t belong to him.

He slowly raised his head, and happened to meet the eyes of the other man who now clutched his chest, his breathing slowing to match Hong Shen’s. His irises were a surprising purple, not unlike the shade of a plum blossom. Why his mind suddenly came to that conclusion, he had no clue, but as he stared into them, he found it to be true.

The man’s midnight hair shone in the brilliant light of the torches mounted on the wall, the front held back by a silver ornament that wrapped around his head, and the part that extended across his forehead appeared to be reminiscent of soft waves. Long bangs framed the sides of his handsome face, extending the length of his hair that reached down to mid back. He wore a short sleeved robe that alternated between lilac and white over a pale hanfu, and a pendant similar to the one He Qing had swung from his sash.

“What.. the hell was that?!” Hong Shen grabbed the front of the man’s clothes with one hand, pulling him up as he stood albeit shakily. “Speak!”

“I tried to tell you. If you hadn’t been foolish and ignored me, none of this would have happened.” He coughed, glaring at Hong Shen as he smacked his hand away.

“What you just read was an Incantation; more specifically, the Twin Soul One Heart.”

“I know that, dumbass! Why did my heart feel like-”

“Let me finish,” The man growled, quieting him in surprise. Hong Shen raised a brow; something about this man sounded vaguely familiar, nudging his memory.

“This Incantation works in a unique way compared to others of its kind. Instead of casting a simple spell, it has been broken down into two parts, both of which can be performed individually or together for the desired effect.” Leaning over, he carefully picked up the scroll Hong Shen had dropped, placing it reverently on the desk as though it would fall apart with a slight touch. “When I healed you, I used the first half of the Incantation. Since you had been mortally wounded and your heart was failing, I transferred your injury unto myself, connecting my heart to yours in a one sided link.”

Pulling down his hanfu and inner garments slightly, he revealed an ugly red scar over his chest crossed with stitches, in the same place Hong Shen’s white scar was. He touched it self consciously, briefly remembering the pain.

“With only half of the Incantation, only the enchanter will be affected by it. However, if the receiver performs the other half, both will be affected and bound. Rather than just one heart being connected to the other, both hearts will connect and become one between the two bodies, now joined together as twin souls.” He released his hanfu and picked up the scroll, showing Hong Shen the side he had read, before turning it over and revealing more words inked onto the back, the other half of the Incantation that had already been read.

A dreadful feeling began in the pit of his stomach, and he ran a hand through his ivory hair. Now the pieces were starting to unite, forming a picture he didn’t really want to see.

“So you’re telling me you’re the divine doctor, Doctor Zi?” The words of He Qing came back to him, and Hong Shen grasped onto them like a lifeline in the storm he had created.

The man nodded, and he grimaced. Damnit, this was the one he had ordered to fall in love with him, humiliating himself in front of condescending Er-ge! No wonder he felt familiar.

Gritting his teeth, he recalled the rest of what Zi Sheng Shou just said-

“WAIT!” Hong Shen slammed a hand onto the desk, rattling the quill and inkpot and making the doctor wince. “Don’t say.. WE NOW SHARE ONE HEART?!”

“Precisely.” He paced around the room in a full circle. “Ordinarily, I would have never used that Incantation since it provides such a dangerous drawback, but you were on the brink of death and I wasn’t about to be executed for failure.”

Hong Shen marched over to the pacing doctor, snatching his robes and slamming him against the wall. Putting his glowering face close to his, he noticed he was a few inches smaller than the attractive man, and that only served to irritate him further.

“What does sharing a heart mean?! Tell me everything you know before I kill you!”

Zi Sheng Shou appeared unfazed, calmly looking him in the eyes as he spoke. “You can’t kill me, if you do it would kill both of us. Because we are now twin souls of one heart, everything physical you feel is what I will feel as well, and vice versa. It can be useful if one wishes to feel more of something so the other doesn’t have to, but it can also be deadly, for there are limits to someone’s sanity.” His face became dark, and Hong Shen felt a jolt of unease.

“Fucking hell,” he muttered, pushing away from the doctor. Now his fate was inexplicably tied to this irritating man who could easily kill him in his sleep and die with him if he so chose, and Hong Shen had no choice but to live with him unless he wanted to kill them both. It was a morbidly hilarious mutual agreement.

“Is there no way to break this Incantation?” He turned one eye upon Zi Sheng Shou, who was tidying the front of his robes that had been messed up in the earlier confrontation.

“..There is.” There was a slight hesitation in his clipped words. Hong Shen narrowed his eyes; it seemed there was something the doctor was hiding.

As he opened his mouth to interrogate the man some more, his stomach released a loud growl, rumbling and contracting in hunger. Annoyed, he scowled, placing a hand over his abdomen as Zi Sheng Shou turned away, hiding a snort in a cough.

“Well if you will excuse me, Your Highness, there are patients waiting for my attention elsewhere.” With a cold nod, he began walking towards the door.

“Hey! What do you think you are doing?” Hong Shen took an unstable step forward, faintly dizzy from lack of nutrients. “As my twin soul, don’t you think we should stick together to keep each other out of harm?” And so I can prevent you from injuring yourself on purpose to make me suffer!

The look the doctor turned on Hong Shen was similar to a shark looking down upon a fish. “You should be grateful that I carry all of the pain from your failed assassination, and stop pestering me.”

With those sharp words, he opened the door and left, the end of his colored robe vanishing around the corner. Hong Shen stood silently for a moment, before bursting into a rage and kicking the leg of the desk with one foot. “Damn him, damn him to bloody purgatory! I hope he suffocates on horse shit and trips down the stairs!”

Ranting more curses as he held his foot in pain and hobbled around, he suddenly paused at the figure of He Qing in the doorway, staring wide eyed at the furious man within. He held a silver tray in his hands that had a few uncovered dishes of food he didn’t recognize, but the aroma coming off them made his mouth water.

“Fourth Prince?” his small voice wavered nervously. “The Second Prince sent me with your favorite foods. Well, your favorite before you.. Ah.. lost your memory.”

Setting his foot down carefully, Hong Shen sat down on the rug with a sigh, motioning for the boy to come in. “Don’t just stand there, bring it in.”

With a deep breath, He Qing stepped inside, closing the door with his leg behind him. Setting the tray on the floor, he sat on his knees, watching in surprise as he dug into the food with ravenous hunger, too starved to check for poison. After a moment of silence, he bravely worked up the courage to whisper, “Did you really try to attack the Emperor?”

Hong Shen’s eye twitched, and he set the utensils down on the empty dishes with a clack. “And where did you hear that?”

“Oh, it’s all over the court! Apparently some servants were passing by and eavesdropped, and they spread the word. With that mark on the little princess, everyone knows it now.” He Qing’s small eyes seemed to brighten at the prospect of gossip, his mousy features more pronounced now that he wasn’t nervous.

He raised a brow at the boy. Who was the real eavesdropper, now?

He Qing seemed to realize just whom he was talking to, and his lips shut tightly as he moved to pick up the empty tray. Standing, he quickly moved towards the exit, but paused to gaze in concern at Hong Shen. “Your Highness… You may not believe it, but everyone is watching out for your assassin.”

Dodging the ink pot that went sailing after him, he squealed in alarm and left. The pot shattered against the door, a large black spot staining the wood and dripping like blood onto the floor. Hong Shen chuckled menacingly; the doctor would probably be enraged when he saw it. Good, he would much rather have anger and violence to fake concern.

Refreshed after the meal, he stood and made his way out of the room, stepping around the shattered pot. The hallways were empty, the walls decorated with the same designs he had come to associate with the South Palace.

He wandered his way through the twisting corridors, memorizing the layout from the doctor’s room. As he turned the corner into the next hall, there was a long plush rug extending towards double doors of dark wood, Zhuque carved elaborately across the expanse. Above the doors, a placard of red wood was painted with the characters for Dian Tang de Qiang Tuan Jie. How ironic, considering the broken state of the family.

Pushing open the doors with a grunt, he found himself outside the palace, standing in the dimmed light of the evening. Before him, long stone steps extended to the paved bricks below. From atop the steps he could see the rest of the Palace’s tiered roofs reaching into the orange sky, surrounded by the complexes and gardens that seemed small in comparison. A tall wall enclosed the entire Imperial Complex and guarded it from the outside world, keeping others out and the rest trapped inside.

It was a beautiful sight, but it did little to affect Hong Shen’s heart.

“A cage,” he murmured. “I am trapped in a cage between history and hell.”

His crazed laughter echoed around the structures, the setting sun his only audience.

⭑・゚゚・*:༅。.。༅:*゚:*:✼✿ Author's Translations ✿✼:*゚:༅。.。༅:*・゚゚・⭑

Zǐ Shèng Shǒu (紫圣手) - divine doctor Zi

Diàn Táng de Qiáng Tuán Jié (殿堂的强团结) - Hall of Strong Unity

 

Can you guess who the ML is? (¬ ‿¬ )

Copyright © 2020 Kong Wen Hui; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

The plot thickens...

A dreadful feeling began in the pit of his stomach, and he ran a hand through his ivory hair. Now the pieces were starting to unite, forming a picture he didn’t really want to see.

“So you’re telling me you’re the divine doctor, Doctor Zi?” The words of He Qing came back to him, and Hong Shen grasped onto them like a lifeline in the storm he had created.

The man nodded, and he grimaced. Damnit, this was the one he had ordered to fall in love with him, humiliating himself in front of condescending Er-ge! No wonder he felt familiar.

Gritting his teeth, he recalled the rest of what Zi Sheng Shou just said-

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23 hours ago, drsawzall said:

The plot thickens...

A dreadful feeling began in the pit of his stomach, and he ran a hand through his ivory hair. Now the pieces were starting to unite, forming a picture he didn’t really want to see.

“So you’re telling me you’re the divine doctor, Doctor Zi?” The words of He Qing came back to him, and Hong Shen grasped onto them like a lifeline in the storm he had created.

The man nodded, and he grimaced. Damnit, this was the one he had ordered to fall in love with him, humiliating himself in front of condescending Er-ge! No wonder he felt familiar.

Gritting his teeth, he recalled the rest of what Zi Sheng Shou just said-

Ha Ha! Perfect! Karma works in wonderful ways, doesn't it?

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There seems to be a limit on the sensations they share as the doctor wasn't hungry.

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1 hour ago, drpaladin said:

There seems to be a limit on the sensations they share as the doctor wasn't hungry.

That's true! It seems the doctor is still hiding some things from us..

  • Like 2
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