Moonlight - Part 11
After the burning physical and emotional toll those recent events had caused me, I managed to stay concious as we ran through the dark forest. In the giant's arms, my tears flowed out of the corners of my eyes and danced in the wind, leaving glistening trails of moisture which shone in the moonlight. My mind was still blank, and all my body could do was to stare into the spherical source of light which had witnessed all the horrible scenes of the night. As Jiaoyu ran, my body shook. Front, back, front back. On and on this cycle continued, until it abruptly stopped. At this, I was temporarily forced out of my depression, and looked around at my surroundings.
When I looked back up at the man's face, he shone a melancholy smile and spoke words of sincerity and warmth.
"It seems like we've lost them....", he sighed, "Though I know I cannot relieve you of your sadness, the least I can do is offer you a nice meal and a place to sleep."
Carefully, Jiaoyu began to unpack his large bag, and proceeded to take out a great number of things which I had never seen before. He quickly set up a campfire, some beds on which to sleep, and a cloth roof above our heads. Walking about and gathering  a couple of  raw ingredients from around the site, and rinsed them in a nearby creek. After he had prepared everything, he began to cook with such speed, his hands were almost a blur. Though I almost dozed off two or three times, a delicious scent began to drift from the containers which he was working with. Even my heavy heart was beginning to lighten from the great aroma. A few minutes later, a bowl of some type of long stringy food placed into a light brown soup was procured in front of me.
"Try it! It's something from a far land, much farther in the east. This special dish, which is also one of my personal favorites, is called U-don."
I stared suspiciously at the strange dish.
"Yeah. Just eat it. Though, if ya tried ta eat it too fast, it'll probably burn your tongue. AHAHAHA!"
Once again, the gentle, bear-like man heartily laughed from his heart.
I grabbed the chopsticks which Jiaoyu handed me and attemped at large portion of the string-like substance.
At sharp, burning sensation pierced through my tongue.
I yelped like a mutt in pain.
Jiaoyu chuckled, and resumed eating his u-don.
Once again, I attacked my overheated foe. I blew on the food, and slowly began to eat it.
It was almost too delicious. This taste which I had never tasted before. Was this the true nature of the foreigners far to the east? I certainly think that they must be great magicians to make such a meal. I truly believed that this "u-don" was a gift from the gods. From this point on, I was greatly inspired to taste many different foods of many different countries. My eyes shone, and I looked up once again to the moon, clenching my fists in glee. Watching this scene, Jiaoyu laughed out loud.
"So ya like it, huh? Yeah, dem Japs can make some good food! Aha. Next time, I'll cook ya some food from Korea!"
And so, this miserable day was ended with a slight amount of peace.


Five years passed. During this long time, I saw many great sights, and I experienced many new things. Sometimes, it felt as though we would die, and sometimes, we felt blessed as Adam when he first recieved his wife. Every so often, the memories of the cruel raid tormented my soul for many nights. Though together, we faced thick and thin, and grew wiser everyday. Jiaoyu had always been a strange man. He seemed to have superhuman strength, knowledge and his senses were greatly sharpened. How he could have so greatly honed his natural reflexes were beyond me. He seemed as though he had mastered a large number of martial arts, yet he looked only as old as thirty and two years of age. Even so, no matter how much I got to know my gargantuous friend, I would never have expected what I was told on one sunny afternoon.

It was a hot day. Jiaoyu and I were traveling on a carriage pulled by two brown horses. As we sat there, I noticed the grim look upon the man's face. Worried, I beseeched to know what was bothering him. This man, usually freer of worry than a newborn babe, had not been acting ri9ht.
"What's wrong Jiao?"
He remained silent.
"...Jiao? What's wrong?"
"I... can't tell you."
If this was something he couldn't tell even ME, the only long term companion this vagabond has had in a long time, this was something very serious, most likely regarding his past. I decided to pry.
"Why can't you tell me?"
"It's... something, that if you were to know about, it would forever change your life."
"If this thing is bothering my closest friend, I must know. No matter what it takes. If I don't have you, I'm just a peasant girl who had a great stroke of luck, still greatly in debt to the man who saved her life."
"I see...", he muttered, "Then, I will tell you. But let me warn you. If you know this fact, yet cannot accept it, we can never meet again."
He said this sadly.
I was far from wavering from my decision. It should be obviously to him, yet he still asks me. Though I was beginning to become angry, I held it back.
"Tell me. I am willing to hear this 'deplorable truth'."
He took a long sigh, and the warm air around me froze, chilling me to my very bones. All was silent as the words which changed my life were uttered.
"I... am a Ghangshi."
"Ever wondered about my martial arts mastery? My knowledge? How I've managed to visit so many countries in a single life?"
"I am immortal."
"If you don't believe me, that's fine, but either way, unless you've intentions on joining our... family, we must part. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but soon enough."
"Part? Why? You said, we must part if I did not accept you."
A look of surprised placed itself on his face.
"Then... what is your answer?"
"I cannot say yet, but please, just give me one day to choose."
"...", he went silent and responded slowly. "Alright."


My sleep tonight was very distorted.
I dreamt of my old life. I woke up, ate breakfast, then quickly went out into the town sqaure to adverstise. But when I yelled, no voice came out. I saw the silhouette of Jiaoyu as he passed by the sqaure. Yet, my nonexistance voice could not reach his ears. He became farther and farther away. I ran towards him, yet I could never catch him. I then awoke, drenched in sweat. My past was still tormenting me. I knew that if I was not to accept Jiaoyu, I would be left alone in this cruel world. But, was this a good enough reason to live forever? After five hundred, no, even five thousand years, will I be able to continue living? I thought deeply until the great yellow orb rose up in the sky. Frantic as I was for time, I knew that I couldn't delay this forever. Mustering up my courage, I rose from my bed, added some wood to the dying fire, and walked over to the giant's side of our cozy little campsite. Unsurprisingly, he was already awake, making some breakfast. His eyes showed a large amount of grief, yet also, a large amount of hope. I walked over to the man.
"Yes?", he answered feebly without turning away from his cooking.
"I've decided..."
"I've decided that... I will stay with you Jiaoyu. I cannot survive on my own, and we are companions. What companions leave their friends to shoulder their troubles by themselves?"
He dropped his pot. Clearly, he was surprised. The grief from his pitchblack eyes disappeared. All that was left was happiness. The man, quickly realizing what had happened, regained himself, and picked up the pot.
"Aiya... that was our breakfast too."
He was hiding his glee. Even from his back, I noticed a change of mood.
Grinning at the oaf's embarrasement, I ran up to help him.
"Hey, gimme that!"
Now, as a new type of being altogether, my life was started anew.... again.

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Novel / Novella
writing zinzzaro
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