JOURNAL OF THE YELLOW DRAGON
The next day, Elisabeth decided to visit the market and confront herself with the relic merchant. If the stories about the undead were really true and she was the person who caused all this, she owed a big apology to the locals.
The relic merchant was discussing something with Sima Zhi, but as soon as she saw Elisabeth approach, she quickly disappeared in her shop.
“Oh, hello Elisabeth! It’s good to see you,” Sima smiled at her from afar.
“Hi, Sima! How come you’re at the market?”
“I needed to talk to Adaeze.”
“About the journal?”
“Ssh… nobody except of us knows about it!” Sima whispered and quickly looked around.
“Oh… I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay. Nobody heard anything.”
“I need to talk to her as well. I think I owe her an apology,” sighed Elisabeth.
“An apology? What for?”
“Haven’t you heard about the undead? Liang told me it has probably something to do with my… curse.”
“Hmm… he could be right,” pondered Sima.
“Wait, you knew?”
“I had that feeling, yes.”
“Why haven’t you told me?!”
“I didn’t want to be the person to tell you. Forgive me.”
“Very well, I forgive you. But just because you’re helping me with the translation,” Elisabeth smirked. “So why did you need to talk to her?”
“I have a side business dealing in jade and Adaeze is my business partner. She basically sells it for me. I’m currently running low, but getting out to find my own jade is so time consuming and tedious. I’d just rather pay those like you to get it for me. Oh, wait! Don’t you want to earn some money while you wait for the translation?”
“Hmm, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea!”
“I’ll catch up with you later then,” told he Elisabeth and went inside the relic shop.
“I owe you an apology, Adaeze. Actually, I owe it to all the local people.” The relic merchant looked at her, but didn’t say a word. “It’s because of me, that each month, when the full moon rises, the undead come and trouble you.”
“I appreciate your apology, but if you expect to be forgiven-” said the relic merchant, but Elisabeth didn’t let her finish the sentence.
“I don’t expect forgiveness, I only want to tell you that I’m sincerely sorry and will do anything to stop them.”
“Let your actions speak for you then. I wish you luck.”
Elisabeth felt better and worse at the same time. She apologized to the relic merchant, so hopefully, the next time she came asking for something, Adaeze would probably talk to her. On the other hand though, she just promised something she wasn’t so sure she could cope with.
Elisabeth spent the rest of the day searching for jade. It wasn’t as easy as she initially thought, but Sima warned her it would take some time. Luckily, she loved spending her free time outdoors.
Elisabeth came upon a pile of bones and broken pottery lying in the woods near the Dragon cave.
She took out a brush from her bag with hope of making her first archaeological discovery.
Elisabeth soon found out that the area was filled not only with sites of broken pottery, but also with lost ancient artifacts.
While on the walk in the mountains, Elisabeth came upon a blue lizard crawling amongst the grasses. After a few unsuccessful attempts to capture the animal, she finally caught it.
Elisabeth was admiring its beautiful coloring and gushing over its cuteness. She was very tempted to take the lizard home with her, but she quickly changed her mind the moment it bit her finger.
The following morning Elisabeth rang the doorbell of Sima’s house. After some time when nobody came to open the door, she headed to the market, but Sima wasn’t there either. Where is she? Elisabeth thought to herself. She took the phone and dialed her number. Sima picked up immediately.
“Hello Sima! I have your jade!” said happily Elisabeth.
“Impressive! I didn’t expect you’d be so quick!”
“I’m at the market, where are you?”
“Out of town.”
“Oh… So, uh… Do you want me to deliver the stones to Adaeze?”
“No, it won’t be necessary. I’ll be back this afternoon for my lesson of Sim Fu.”
“Sim Fu? Did I hear well?” Elisabeth burst out in laughter as she imagined Sima training at the Academy.
“What is so funny? I’ve been training for the past two years!” Sima sounded offended.
“I’m sorry, Sima.” Elisabeth felt terrible for mocking Sima’s training. It is true, that Sima Zhi didn’t have the body of an athlete, but maybe she was better that Elisabeth could possibly imagine.
“After the undead attacked some of the locals, Liang Yat Sen strongly encouraged us to learn how to defend ourselves,” Sima explained the reason why she started practicing martial arts. “I have to go now. Meet me at the Phoenix Academy at the sunset,” she added dryly and hung up.
The sun was setting behind the mountains when Elisabeth arrived at the Academy. She felt even worse as she observed Sima’s precise movements.
“I’m sorry I mocked you before, Sima. Please, forgive me,” Elisabeth apologized to Sima, who still looked upset. Sima gazed indignantly at Elisabeth for a moment, but decided to forgive her. “No harm done,” she said casually.
“I see you’re already wearing the green belt…”
“Yes. I am halfway to achieving the black belt,” Sima told her proudly.
“Wow! That’s amazing!” Elisabeth didn’t hide her excitement. She was truly amazed by her skill.
“If you are interested in learning Sim Fu, I could teach you!” Sima said enthusiastically.
“Thank you, but I don’t think it’s something for me.”
“You won’t know until you try. Come on, let’s see,” encouraged her Sima.
“Maybe some other time.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” Sima smiled at her.
“Here,” said Elisabeth and handed a package with the green stones over to Sima.
“Thank you so much, Elisabeth. Here is your reward.”
“Isn’t it too much?” asked her Elisabeth when she saw the bank-note Sima gave her.
“Too much? I worried you’d want more!” she laughed.
“Oh, well… I don’t exactly know much about jade,” told her honestly Elisabeth and put the money in her wallet. “If you’ll need more, you know who to ask,” she cheerfully winked at Sima.
“Good to know,” Sima smiled at her. “By the way, I finished the translation.”
“Yes. I had to do it as soon as possible. I couldn’t sleep because of it. It was haunting my dreams.”
“Uh oh… you’re scaring me.”
“I thought that taking it back to the place where you found it could stop my nightmares,” told her Sima and gave the original journal and its translated copy to Elisabeth.
“Okay. I will do it right away. I’m sorry for causing so much trouble,” Elisabeth said sincerely and put both books in her bag.
“Thank you, Sima. I couldn’t do this without you.”
“Let’s hope it helps you somehow.”
“Yeah. Let’s hope… Bye Sima. I’ll see you around!”
Elisabeth returned to the Halls of the Lost Army and placed Huang Loong’s journal back inside the chest hidden in the secret room. Afterwards, she headed towards a little camp in the mountains with hope that nobody would disturb her there. However, she couldn’t get rid of the feeling that someone was following her since the moment she left the Halls of the Lost Army. Elisabeth kept on looking back, but every time she turned around she saw nobody. She got a bit scared so she started walking faster. It didn’t take long and she heard someone running after her. Elisabeth quickly turned around. This time, he didn’t have enough time to hide in the bushes.
“Hey you!” Elisabeth called at the man. “What do you want? Why are you following me?”
“Please, excuse my manners. My name is Jiang Lu. I have been following you since your return to Shang Simla.”
“Oh. Why would you want to do that?”
“Because you are the first person who entered the cave since the great day when Mr. Vaughan sealed the dreaded Scourge of Three Kingdoms inside!”
The mysterious persecutor suddenly caught her attention. “Wait, are you talking about Dong Huo?”
“Hmm… So what do you need from me?”
“Wait, are you one of the local paparazzi?”
“Oh no! I am definitely not one of them!”
“Fine, fine… I was just making sure.”
“I would like to write a story about your adventure, Elisabeth. Great things are going to happen and what’s going on right now is just the beginning!”
“Huh?” Elisabeth felt confused. How does he even know my name?
“Don’t look at me like you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. Every citizen of Shang Simla knows the Prophecy of the Dragon Cave.”
“I see,” Elisabeth said recklessly.
“So when can we meet for the interview?”
“What? Oh, the interview… Actually I’m not really sure if I want someone to write about this…”
“Are you crazy? Children at school will learn about you from my book! I… I mean-”
“Tell me Jiang, what are you really up to?”
“I want to share this story with the world! People have the right to know!”
“Or rather, make money by telling people how I died? How does this sound to you, huh?”
“Look, if you don’t collaborate, you will… most probably… die.”
“Whoa! Are you trying to threaten me?”
“No. I’m just warning you, because without my help… well, you’re going to fail.”
“Oh really? Well, at least I will die without making you rich,” sneered Elisabeth. “And how come you know everything so well?”
“Please, just trust me.”
“I cannot just trust you, Jiang. Do you realize what you’re asking of me? Would you trust a total stranger that secretly followed your every step?”
“See? You wouldn’t! So, please, stop following me. Bye,” told him Elisabeth and tried very hard to sound as unpleasant as possible.
“We’re going to meet again, Elisabeth Loewe!”
Elisabeth heard him call in the distance, but she couldn’t care less. Who the hell he thinks he is! My personal manager of the death, or what?! She tried to clear her mind on the way to the camp, but Jiang’s words were still on her mind. “Without my help, you’re going to fail… You will most probably die.”
Elisabeth opened the fire and roasted some onions. Maybe the food will bring different thoughts in my mind.
When she finished the last onion, she cleaned her hands on the pants and picked the journal. Elisabeth took a deep breath. The time to learn Huang Loong’s secret has come.
My name is Huang Loong, the imperial sorcerer known as the Yellow Dragon. I don’t really know why I decided to do this because there is a very low chance that my journal finds its way to The Mother. If the wrong people manage to find my journal, then I failed the Emperor and I shall remain in the Wasteland until the end of time. I protected this journal with a very powerful magic. Only Mother’s hands have the power to break the protection spell.
“Only Mother’s hands have the power to break the protection spell,” Elisabeth read the last phrase of the paragraph. What is this nonsense? she thought to herself, but decided to read on. By the end of the following line, it all started making sense.
I realize that everything must sound very confusing to you, but maybe the Heart of the Dragon could help you remember how you became The Mother. Yes, I am speaking of the burial chamber located deep within the Dragon cave. That’s where we met. That’s where my soul entered your body. That’s how you became The Mother. Do you remember now?
The journal fell from her hands. Elisabeth could never forget the sharp pain that hit her chest when she opened the sarcophagus. She was afraid to read any further, but something was telling her it was better if she did, so she picked the journal from the ground and turned the next page.
The light will break through the darkness to turn death into life. What has been taken by the evil will return through the innocent. Death will consume life, however a life will be preserved. By now, you must have heard about the prophecy, but I’m not certain if you understand its meaning.
Elisabeth stared in the book for a long time while trying to understand the full meaning of the prophecy…
The light will break through the darkness…
“Huang Loong is dead. He was buried in the Heart of the Dragon, the burial chamber inside the Dragon cave. Okay, that’s a pure fact. Now, the light which came out of the sarcophagus was his soul entering my body? I guess it seems logic. I felt something that time… but The Mother’s body isn’t so clear to me… I don’t have children so why would he refer to me as The Mother?”
…to turn death into life.
“This doesn’t make sense, I’m still alive. I don’t understand this part.”
What has been taken by the evil will return through the innocent.
“What has really happened to him? Taken by the evil? Hmm… was he cursed himself? Gosh, this is so complicated…”
Death will consume life, however a life will be preserved.
“Okay. If he’s the death and I am the life it means that he is going to kill me, but how can he kill me if he’s already dead? This prophecy just doesn’t make any sense!”
The prophecy will be fulfilled once I am reborn. I’m sure you understand now, Mother.
When Elisabeth read the following sentence, her heart stopped beating for a moment. It suddenly all made sense. She wasn’t physically with a child, but Huang Loong’s soul was patiently waiting for the first occasion to come back to the world through her, through The Mother.
I can never get pregnant, Elisabeth thought to herself and a tear ran down her cheek. Even though she didn’t want to believe it, it was true. If she had a child, she would die at childbirth. Elisabeth quickly put out the fire and went to sleep it over.