A scrubbing sound woke me the next day. I slowly opened my eyes. The refreshing sunlight shone on my face and a fragrant gentle breeze whisked past. I rolled over. Underneath the morning sun, a girl in a white robe slowly swept the scattered flower petals. She had her back to me. Her black hair swayed gently as though it was a time keeper.
Flower petals were scattered all over the ground. After she swept them up, they formed a fragrant mound of flower petals. Detecting my eyes on her, she turned around and looked indifferent as usual. Her expression was different to Nier’s initial expression. Nier wasn’t expressionless; she made her hatred apparent. However, this girl didn’t have any expression.
Ying looked emotionless despite a rain of flowers overhead. There was no sadness or happiness on her face. She emotionlessly looked at me. In saying that, her red eyes weren’t dull. She finally broke her silence: “You’re up. Good morning. How are you feeling today?”
I replied, “Yeah, I’m fairing all right.”
There was the sound of the wind and an empty space between us; but nonetheless, the two of us could communicate without any hassles. She gave a slow nod: “I’ll go prepare breakfast for you. You aren’t a resident of this place. How was the food last night?
“Very good. Thank you.”
I wasn’t being courteous. The food was very familiar, though. I had a light porridge and a small plate of salted vegetables. The light taste was particularly nostalgic. It was the same dinner I had when I fell sick as a child. Mom said I had to eat lighter meals when I was sick, and that was exactly what she gave me.
I wasn’t too accustomed to sleeping on the floor as I did last night. That being said, the gentle sound of the wind, as well as the scent of the wooden floor, calmed my mind. I gradually fell asleep in spite of being worried about my two wives. I slept all the way through the night and only woke up the next day.
“I shall go and prepare breakfast for you, and then give you a check-up,” said Ying. She tidied up and placed the broom underneath the tree: “Don’t force yourself to stand up. You can’t recover that quickly. I’ve checked you. You don’t have any spirit energy. You’re just an ordinary person, aren’t you?”
“No… Even if I can’t use it, I can still use mana, right…? After all, I’m a hybrid. My mom also has an abundance of mana…”
Ying tilted her head. I froze for a moment before suddenly realising there was no mana on the island. That meant elves didn’t exist on the island.
“But she mentioned spirit energy. What’s that? Is it something similar to mana…? How are we able to communicate?” I wondered.
I could communicate with the anthropoids in the North thanks to mana. As long as there was mana, we’d be able to communicate. I guess that was a nifty use for mana. Humanity used a universal language, which was the Rosvenor Kingdom’s language. I seemed to be able to naturally speak humanity’s language after being reincarnated, so I presumed Troy knew it.
“So, how am I communicating with Ying?” I asked myself. In a serious tone, I asked, “Ying… Can you understand what I’m saying?”
Ying didn’t reveal a, “what are you talking about,” look. Instead, she maintained her emotionless look and solemnly replied, “Not everything; I can understand the majority of it, nonetheless. It feels as though we speak the same language but have different pronunciations.”
It finally struck me. I wasn’t speaking to her in humanity’s language or the elven language, but the language I virtually hadn’t spoken since being reincarnated – Chinese!! Ying could understand, though. She spoke Chinese except with a different pronunciation!
Ying looked at my shocked and speechless expression. She waited for a moment before asking, “Is something the matter?”
I came back to reality and everything in the past welled up in my mind. I never expected to have the opportunity to speak my own language here. I had given up on it, but Ying spoke the same language. Everything I thought I had forgotten returned to my mind. A surge of emotions surged up to my throat, choking me.
Ying turned to leave; she wasn’t interested in why I was emotional. I lied on the ground and looked at the lines on my palm. My tears welled up in my eyes, as a product of my emotions. I decided I needed to take a good look at the village I missed.
A short while after, Ying returned to my side and placed a tray down. There was a bowl of white porridge just as last night. The only difference was that there were two additional steaming small fishes. She placed the tray next to me then carefully helped me up. Then, she picked up a pot by the side with my medicine ready. She opened the fireplace and added firewood as well as wild teasels. Once the fire was hot, she placed the clay pot over it.
The small fish tasted average. It wasn’t a new taste. I couldn’t understand why it was stale despite this place being by the sea. I speculated if they had to salt their fish. With that said, I still ate everything. Ying slowly brewed the medicine by my side. Suddenly, she stated, “A few corpses were washed up to shore today. If my conjecture is correct, they shouldn’t have anything to do with you.”
I placed the bowl down, and then hastily inquired, “Were there women? Was there a girl with black hair and green eyes?!”
“I don’t know,” replied Ying, shaking her head. “I can’t leave the shrine, so I don’t know how the corpses on the shore look. I only heard it mentioned. The villagers placed the corpses in the centre of the village. Go and take a look once you’ve recovered.”
“I’m going there now! I’m going there now!!”
I hastily tried to stand up, but Ying pressed her hand down on me. She pressed her hand on my chest and explained, “You can’t get up yet. Your ribs are broken, and your back is injured. If you get up and move around now, you may never be able to stand again.”
“I still need to go!! I need to go, and take a look!! My wives were on the ship! I’m worried about them! I must ensure that they’re safe!!”
Ying emotionlessly tidied up the bowl and plate in front of me: “But is there a point to you going there now? Can you ensure your wives are safe if you see the corpses? Seeing corpses doesn’t prove they’re safe and sound. If they’re among the corpses, then you don’t need to worry. Thus, there’s no need for you to go and see. After drinking your medication, you should be able to move a little tomorrow. Then you can go.”
“Take me there now!”
“I told you I can’t leave the shrine.”
She stood up and went to the door. She didn’t turn around regardless of how much I called out. I struggled with all my might to stand up, but it felt as though I was restrained by a hand and couldn’t budge.
“Fuck!” I loudly cussed in my mother tongue language and then slammed my head onto the pillow. I looked at the roof. Despaired, I shut my eyes. However, my wives appeared in my mind…