Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost - Chapter 4
Chapter 4: A Dream in the River of Forgetfulness
*I love how xiaoyuer translated the Moon God's place as the Estate of Conjugal Bliss, so I will use that phrase. I would have translated it as House of Matrimonial Fate instead but xiaoyuer's phrase is much more poetic.
Jin Mi arrives at the Moon God's place, the Estate of Conjugal Bliss. One of the Moon God's servants is surprised that Jin Mi has turned into a girl! Jin Mi commented that the Moon God has lost weight and he informed her it's because the birds are getting smaller. The Flower Leaders of the Flower World had gone to the Bird World to find a little flower fairy but could not find her despite searching all the eggs - so now the Flower World has cut off the flower supply to the Bird World unless they produce the little flower fairy. This is because it is said that a crow has taken away the little flower fairy (haha Phoenix).
When Jin Mi goes to watch chinese opera with the Moon God, she meets Lao Hu (the carrot immortal). Lao Hu wants to bring Jin Mi back to the flower world as he got scolded by the Flower Leaders for losing Jin Mi. So, Lao Hu brings Jin Mi back to Phoenix's palace and asks to take Jin Mi back. Phoenix asks Jin Mi if she wants to return to the Flower World and she says yes. Phoenix says very well since he has to go down to the Underworld as there has been disturbances down there. Jin Mi's ears perks up when she hears that Phoenix is going to the Underworld.
She tells Lao Hu that before she leaves she needs to take some Buddhist scrolls for her cultivation and Phoenix consents for her to take some scrolls. So, later that night, she turns into her grape form and hides in the sleeves of one of Phoenix's robes on his bed. Phoenix changes into the robe and goes to the Underworld (he clearly knows that Jin Mi is in the robe, and scares her for a moment by pretending he will wear another robe haha).
At the river in the Underworld, the old boatman asks if the immortal lady is steady before riding the boat. Jin Mi realises she is discovered and transforms back to her human self. Phoenix laughs at her. Jin Mi cups the water of the river and Phoenix whacks her hand - the water is from the River of Forgetfulness. The boatman mentions that he has guarded the river for hundred thousands of years but this is only the second time he has seen such a beautiful lady like Jin Mi. He mentioned that the lady was very sad and wanted to drink the water in the River of Forgetfulness but another guy came and pulled her away.
When they arrive at the shore, Phoenix catches Jin Mi who almost falls and he pauses when Jin Mi is in his embrace - then throws her off. Jin Mi catches up with him saying she is scared of ghost. Phoenix tells her that she is his maidservant, so he can protect her from ghosts. Phoenix casts a spell on Jin Mi to hide her real appearance.
They pass a stall where a demon is selling tails and ears that can change one's appearance. Jin Mi picks up a pair of rabbit's ears. As Jin Mi was going to walk away without paying, someone pays the demon for Jin Mi's rabbit's ears. This someone is his First Highness, the Night Deity. Phoenix is annoyed and throws the money back to the Night Deity and pays for Jin Mi instead.
Through Night and Phoenix's conversation, Jin Mi realises that Night Deity is actually the First Prince, the Dragon Night Deity and not a fish like she thought. Phoenix also realises that Jin Mi and Night met before.
Phoenix books a suite and Jin Mi as his maidservant sleeps in the outer room. When she collects a kettle for Phoenix, she sees Night's little deer in the stables and pities it (thinking it is also scared of ghosts) and brings him inside the suite to sleep. The next morning, she tries to feed the little deer grass and Night stops her saying the deer eats dreams and nightmares. The deer actually ate lots of dreams and nightmares last night and was bloated! Jin Mi brings out the deer and makes it spit out a dream.
The deer spits out something like a night pearl which dissolves into an image - it shows the old boatman on the river of forgetfulness... there is a man... who looks like Phoenix. A girl lifts up her head and gazes deeply at Phoenix. They kiss. They kiss for a long time until Phoenix finally releases her but still embraces her waist. She turns away delicately, her cheeks reddened.
Jin Mi thinks she looks familiar. She looks at her reflection in the little pond in the garden. After comparing, she realises that the girl in the image looks like her.
Chapter 4 is probably one of the best chapters of the novel - it captures all the best characteristics of the novel - funny, with magic, mythology, petty cute rivalry between Night and Phoenix and develops the mystery that surrounds Jin Mi.