Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Fish's Overflowing Fragrance Chapter 4: Fateful Encounter


The man was handsome and exuded an air of sophistication, but he was also as cold as ice, silently standing there. Just his visage alone was enough to mesmerize people, like a masterpiece. 

Ah Lian foolishly looked at the man before her in a daze, unable to hide her smile as she exclaimed, “High God Rong Lin looks much better than 200 years ago!” 

People like to be complimented. However, in such an embarrassing situation, who would actually enjoy being complemented? Initially he was irritated by her “offensive” actions, but after hearing her words of praise, he was at a loss and lost the will to berate her. 

Ah Lian, without any clothes and sense of embarrassment, was at his feet swishing her silvery fish tail excitedly. She was a carp with three hundred years of cultivation experience so her human form was equivalent to that of a (well) developing young girl; her development was better than most other carp demons. 

While Rong Lin was frowning slightly and tried to avert his gaze away from her,  a little fish was so happy and lost in her thoughts that she did not realize she was still holding onto Rong Lin’s pants. When she come to her senses and realized her misdemeanor, not wanting to offend her idol, she quickly released her hands and intended to get up to talk to him properly. 

Putting her thoughts into action, she immediately stood up. 

 Rong Lin was surprised and shocked by her actions. “High God Rong Lin….,” before Ah Lian could compose herself and complete her sentence, a snow colored robe suddenly appeared out of nowhere, draped around her and covered her semi naked body. 

As expected, the high god whom she idolized was kind and considerate. Ah Lian stared at the robe that covered her, her fingers running though the embroidered robe and exclaimed in delight, “This is High God Rong Lin’s robe!” 

To Rong Lin, it was nothing more than a piece of cloth, so he felt that it was nothing extraordinary. 

With her being covered, he could properly take a good look at her now. What returned his gaze were two large gleaming eyes filled with admiration, excitement and happiness, looking back at him. It was an expression that he was unfamiliar with. 

In the past, there were many immortal females who looked at him with coltish shy gazes, but to be so unreserved and daring, she was the first one. 

Out of natural reflex, Rong Lin displayed a strategic move he commonly used to deter such people. He narrowed his eyes coldly and intended to give her the cold shoulder, but just as he was about to turn around he noticed that something was holding onto his right sleeve. When he turned to look, he found a girl smiling from ear to ear looking at him intently; he was at a loss for a reaction. 

***** 

He was actually quite popular with the female population and approached countless of times in the past. However, his gentle temperament and consideration towards the reputation of the female did not help in such situations, so he developed a method to avoid and deter such unwanted attention – acting cold and aloof. Although it was not his style, this method had actually gotten him out of many sticky situations in the past and so he continued using this method. 

***** 

He was soon brought out of his thoughts and finally scowled, displaying displeasure on his face when his realized that the impudent little fish demon had actually started to grope him! 

Ah Lian had never ever expected in her wildest dreams to actually encounter the high god Rong Lin. Without any sense of shame or propriety, she started tugging at is sleeve and murmured, ‘If I had known that I would meet High God Rong Lin here, I would have swam here the moment I entered Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy!” 

Just so she could see her idol earlier. 

Left with no other choice, Rong Lin spoke up, “And what were you planning on doing when you meet me?” 

Ah Lian paused and tried to suppress her smile as she whispered, “Does High God not remember me?” 

An awkward silence filled the air, Rong Lin did not reply as he truly had no recollection of the fish demon in front of him. Despite feeling a little disappointed, Ah Lian understood that someone as noble as her idol would be a busy person, so where would he have the time to remember her? 

“Two hundred years ago at Dongze Lake, High God Rong Lin rescued me from a fisherman. If not for you I would not be alive today…. Do you remember? As you gently put me back into the water you told me not to be naughty and to stay in the water, not to get caught by anyone again. I remembered your words of advice and had stayed at the bottom of the lake, not daring to come up to the surface so often,” she explained. 

****

High God Rong Lin was certainly a busy man. It was his nature to be kind and gentle, not bearing to harm even the flowers and grass. So saving a fish or two, demons or humans, was second nature to him. Over the course of thirty thousand years, he had done many good deeds and saved a considerable amount of creatures. There was no way he could remember each and every one of them.

*****

Ah Lian tried very hard to describe the encounter at that time, just so she could jot his memories and make him remember her. Seeing that he had not a slightest bit of recollection, she furrowed her brows and sadly commented, “You really don’t remember?” 

Her originally fair complexion had flushed red, and her big round eyes emoted disappointment as her eyelashes fluttered against what seemed like tears forming at the rim of her eyes; quite a pitiful sight. 

Seeing such and expression, high god Rong Lin finally opened his mouth, “It seems that there is some recollection.” 

Upon hearing the answer, Ah Lian raised her head and looked at him excitedly, “Really?” 

“En”, Rong Ling grunted as if to confirm, looking at the little fish demon smiling happily before him. 


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Fish's Overflowing Fragrance Chapter 3: High God


Tian Luo might not be very knowledgeable, but she had long heard about this famous God of War, Rong Lin. In the heavenly realms, there were only two people who could be considered high gods: Xiao Bai, who was of the God race and had the blood of gods flowing through his vein, and the other, Rong Lin who earned the right to be called a god. 

During her time in the academy, Tian Luo learned that these two high gods had the admiration of many of the female disciples. 

***** 

The six realms of the past had a conservative stance, where the law was upheld to the upmost and it was taboo for different races to fall in love, let alone tolerate master (teacher) and disciple (student) relations. However, it has since taken a more liberal stance and it was no longer a big issue with the growing number of female disciples who admired and chased after the two high gods. Nevertheless, it still remained ingrained in the mindsets of the teachers. Even if there was no specific prohibition, most of the teachers choose not to get involved with the female disciples. For those who did get involved, it was nothing more than a short-lived love affair. 

***** 

While looking at Ah Lian, Tian Luo had to admit that although the other two girls had a higher social status, they were arrogant and unlikable. Ah Lian, on the other hand, had a gentle and calm disposition and was naturally charming and beautiful. It was hard to believe that someone from the carp species could have such outstanding features. Based on her features alone, Ah Lian could already compete with those two and stand a chance. 

Ah Lian’s porcelain white skin, ample bosom and slender waist prompted Tian Luo to enviously comment, “If only I was as fair as you….” 

There was saying that just by being fair, it could cover other flaws, and what girl did not like to be beautiful? 

Being born in a pond and of the snail species, it was natural for Tian Luo that when she transformed in to a human, she would have slightly tanner skin than the average girl. But Ah Lian thought that being slightly tanned made Tian Luo look better. 

A few days passed and Ah Lian still did not get to meet the high god, Rong Lin; not even his shadow could be found. As a result, today, a solemn and depressed Ah Lian was watering her flower pot. It contained a seed which could grow into a spiritual beast; all initiated disciples of the academy are given such a seed. The grade and quality of the spiritual beasts’ depend on their masters’ ability. Since Ah Lian’s ability was not very high, her seed would produce one of the more common types of spiritual beasts.

Seeing her all depressed, Tian Luo tried to comfort her, “Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy is mostly managed the high god, Xiao Bai. High god Rong Lin is rarely around unless he has lessons, but since those two are good friends they are sure to meet up. So you surely will have the chance to meet him.” Ah Lian was comforted by Tian Luo’s encouragement.

Once she was done watering her seed, they decided to go for a swim in the Blue Wave Pool that was behind the mountain. As they were leaving, their haughty roommates happened to enter the room. The girl in the dark green dress was ranting about how unfair the academy was, “Cousin Yi Gui, where do you think that little jujube demon is from? How is it that she can have a whole island to herself while we have to squeeze with these two country bumpkins?” 

*****  

The roommates names were Yi Zhang and Yi Gui. Yi Zhang’s temperament was unreasonable and aggressive, while Yi Gui was an aloof cold beauty. Although their personalities were not fantastic, their beauty made them quite popular in the academy. Within a few days of their arrival, many male disciples had already fallen for their appearance. 


***** 

Ah Lian and Tian Luo looked at each other helplessly, knowing that they were “country bumpkins” that Yi Zhang was grumbling about. Although Yi Gui looked like a pure fairy in her fluttering white dress, it could not hide her feelings as she looked at her cousin with mirth in her eyes hidden with distaste. She had grown up with this cousin of hers and knew that Yi Zhang was a tactless girl with very a low EQ. However, the more tactless Yi Zhang was, the more Yi Gui liked hanging out with her, because it enhanced her generosity and made her look like a good person. 

So in spite of Yi Zhang’s indignant rumblings, Yi Gui’s heart was not moved. Since she was young, Yi Gui has always been one of the favored (popular) children of the Eastern Seas, but the Ninth Pavilion Academy was not the Eastern Seas, so whatever arrangement made for them by the elders, they had to follow; even if it meant staying with two uncouth country pumpkins. This was an institution where everyone was treated as an equal without any bias, so they had to follow the rules.

However, now that they learned that a little jujube demon could stay on an island by herself, something which only high ranking disciples were entitled to, their perceptions were disorientated. Hence, the resentment.

Ah Lian and Tian Luo knew that their roommates were the type to be affected by gossip, quick to hear and speak, but they would not go overboard. So they did not bother about them and made their way to the pool.

On their way to the pool, Tian Luo said, “That little jujube demon, I’ve seen her couple of times already…..” 

Looking around and making sure no one was around, Tian Luo whispered into Ah Lian’s ear, “I saw her together with the high god Xiao Bai.” 

Ah Lian’s eyes widened upon hearing the news. 

***** 

Ah Lian was blessed with good looks, so even though her status was quite low, there were senior male disciples who were eager to take care of her since her arrival. However, since she is a little dim-witted and slow, she can never remember their names; she actually also never bothered to. The only one who she can remember and is interested in is the high god, Rong Lin, who has yet to make an appearance. 

But this high god Xiao Ba, she at least has some inkling of who he was. He was in charge of the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy, so it would make sense that he would be able to arrange for that little jujube demon to have such an accommodation. 

The only time Ah Lian managed to catch a glimpse of high god Xiao Bai was during the entrance ceremony. He had a fair complexion and seemed to have an gentle temperament. What was even more intriguing was that he had neither the flairs nor arrogance that came with being a high god. He was also known to be impartial, so how was it that he made such an exception for that little jujube demon? 

*****   

Tian Luo continued encouragingly, “I’ve seen that little jujube demon and her looks are ordinary compared to you. So Ah Lian if you ever hook up with the high god Rong Lin, you won’t have to tolerate living with those two haughty girls any more. I might even benefit too.” 

Ah Lian pouted and confidently exclaimed, “When did I say that I want to hook up high god Rong Lin?” 

“But don’t you like him?” Tian Luo quizzically asked. 

Ah Lian nodded, “Yes, I do like him.” 

*****

Having been spoiled by her parents since childhood, when she did not like to study Tian Luo's parents did not force her. As a result, her education was somewhat hindered so her understanding and use of words were basic and sometimes uncouth. She did not understand the degree of the words she used and assumed them to mean the same thing. 

*****

Soon the topic changed to how that little jujube demon probably had really high cultivation experience or maybe she had a mighty behind-the-scene sponsor. 

When they arrived at the pool, Ah Lian and Tian Luo started to disrobe, and jumped into the water with a ‘plop’ sound. The ripples caused by the two girls soon dissipated and the water returned to its original tranquil state. 

A few seconds later, a girl with emerged from the water, her luscious black hair half draped over her shoulders and half spreading out on the surface. Water droplets glistened off her face and meandered down her cheeks and neck; truly an alluring and mesmerizing sight. 

Even though Ah Lian could transform into a human, she was more comfortable in the water. With a smile on her face, she dived into the water head first with her tail making a big splash as it entered the water. She dived to the bottom of the pool and found the big river snail, Tian Luo, adhered to a rock. 

Sweeping her tail over Tian Luo, she said, “I’ll go for a swim, wait for me here. I’ll come and look for you later. Be careful not to let anyone discover you.” 

Tian Luo responded happily with bubbles that made a “gululu” sound. 

Having been without water for a few days, Ah Lian swam to her heart’s content in her mermaid form until she decided to change back to her original full carp form. Soon, a little plump white carp was swimming even more happily and vigorously in the water. 

Ah Lian did not know how far out she had swam, but she soon found herself in unfamiliar waters. She swam past layers of water plants upon water plants not knowing where she was heading. In a distance, there seemed to be two long pillars. 

*****

In the water, Ah Lian’s eyesight (in her full fish form) was not very clear in the water, so everything was quite vague; she assumed what she saw to be pillars. After all even the sea had a Stabilizing Needle, so what more a pool located in the majestic Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy? A pillar or two would not be an unusual thing.  Even if the pool was full of bricks she would not be surprised. Her days spent at the academy had blown her expectations out of proportions with its eccentricity and magnificence.

***** 

Curious, she swished her tail forward and made her way to further inestigate those two pillars. When she arrived, she tapped her tail lightly on one of the pillars. Thinking it would be fun, she meandered back and forth between the two pillars.            

After a few rounds of doing so,  Ah Lian soon discovered that in the middle of the two pillars was a moss like thing which resembled a bird; quite a unique structure. She truly believed that she was the country bumpkin as she was reminded of Yi Zhang's earlier sarcastic comment. She truly could not understand nor appreciate the sculptors sense of aesthetics! 

Wanting to try to understand this peculiar structure, she approached the foreign object and started pecking at it out of habit. Suddenly, the water around her started to swirl and a strong whirlpool threw her onto the shore above.

The impact caused Ah Lian to be dizzy and discriminated. A plump little carp landed on the ground and transformed in a mermaid, with the upper body resembling that of a young girl. The girl's face was dripping with water droplets and her long black hair stuck to her chest. That little face of hers was pale due to the severe bout of dizziness. She slowly opened her eyes and encountered a pair of shoes that had clouds embroidered on it. 

As her eyes moved upwards, her face lit up with joy as she immediately reached out and grabbed the leg of the figure in front of her exclaiming, "High God Rong Lin!"

Sunday, May 06, 2018

The Fish's Overflowing Fragrance Chapter 2: Yearning


Soon the female senior disciple brought Ah Lian to her dormitory.
*****
The Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy was an institution that treated all its new students as equals, regardless of their social status or background. Hence, all new students would have to share their quarters dormitory style, with mostly four to a dormitory. Only when they had advanced in their seniority,  and if they excel in their studies, then as senior disciples they would have the privilege to live in their own quarters; even having their very own island.
*****
As Lake Dongze is relatively far from the academy, by the time Ah Lian arrived, the other three roommates of hers had already been there for a couple of days.
When the female senior disciple made the introductions, the three girls politely and amicably greeted Ah Lian with enthusiasm; giving off a false impression that they would be easy to get along with. However, the moment the  female senior disciple left, besides than the girl who had a tanned skin tone and a timid disposition, the other two lithe and beautiful girls started laughing.
The one wearing a dark green dress, glanced at Ah Lian and mockingly commented, "With such a late and grand arrival one would think that it was some sacred guest, but it turns out to only be a fat headed fish."
The carp species (which Ah Lian belongs to) is a group sensitive to being called big or fat headed. However, due to Ah Lian's easy-going temperament and her interactions with Ah Pang, where she was often called the same in jest or frustration by the latter; she became somewhat immune to the name calling. Hence, Ah Lian did not take their words to heart.
While Ah Lian might look like someone who can be easily bullied, her nonchalance to the taunting made it unsatisfying for bullies; just like a hard fist hitting soft fluffy cotton. Seeing the lack of any reaction from her, the two eyed her and went out of the room.
As they were leaving room, Ah Lian stole a glance at their silhouettes: the two lithe girls were beautiful and elegant, obviously of a prestigious background. Totally unlike a fish like her from a small unknown lake.
Although the two who left the room were hard to get along with, there was still one more girl who remained in the room.  The girl was slightly shorter than Ah Lian and had a cherubic little face. Seeing Ah Lian look at her, the girl cautiously looked at her and waved a hello.

*****

The girl's name was Tian Luo and she was river snail born in a small lake. She had four hundred years of cultivation. As for the other two arrogant girls who left the room, they were from the Eastern Seas and from one of the most prestigious races in the water tribe. Although all were of the water tribe, their social statuses were vastly different because they were born in different places; like royalty vs peasants.
*****
After learning that Ah Lian hailed from Lake Dongze and seemed to quite easy to get along with, Tian Lou relaxed and looked at Ah Lian with her big sparkling eyes complaining, "Although all of us belong to the water tribe, those from the big oceans and seas have always looked down on people like us who are from the rivers and lakes."
Looking at Tian Lian it was obviously that she had been suffering at the hands of the two girls before Ah Lian arrived.
Despite her silliness, Ah Lian was clear that the lakes and rivers could never compete with the vastness of the oceans and seas. What more the Eastern Seas, which was one of the prestigious and famous (four) seas?

She replied saying that even those from Lake Dongze wanted to someday further their prospects at those places, thinking of all ways and means to get there.

Tian Luo was surprised by Ah Lian's reply and looked on with her big limpid eyes, curiously asking, "Aren't they not afraid of the incompatibility? How can fresh water creatures survive in the salty seas?"

While munching on some tidbits from Tian Luos’s hometown, with her cheeks full of food, Ah Lian answered, "That's why many residents of Lake Dongze would start feeding their children with salt from the moment they are born; with the hope their body constitution would be more resilient to salt."

After hearing that, Tian Luo somewhat understood but not entirely.

*****

Initially, Tian Luo had entered the academy in high spirits but her first few days’ encounter with her mean roommates shattered her dreams. She was but a lone insignificant little river snail and the days with such difficult roommates was torturous. So when she encountered the friendly Ah Lian, it was like she found her life buoy in difficult times, wanting to devote herself to her new friends and cling to her at all times.

******

When Tian Luo learned that Ah Lian had depended on her own capabilities to pass the exam and earn her right to enter the academy, she held even more admiration for Ah Lian.

Puzzled, Ah Luo was wondering why Tian Luo’s reaction was so abnormal. Since Tian Luo had one century more in cultivation than herself, she would definitely have more capabilities to pass the exam. Under her strong curious gaze, Tian Luo hemmed and hawed while trying to contain her embarrassment, murmured, “If I relied solely on my capabilities I wouldn’t have even stand a chance of entering the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy. It… It was my father who bought a position for me.”

Ah Lian understood the that money makes the world go round, but in her eyes, the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy was a sacred existence. To hear that someone could buy their way into such a sacred and prestigious academy, shattered the ideal perception she held. Temporarily dazed by the revelation, Ah Lian’s tidbit munching mouth slowed to a halt resulting in awkward silence.

The silence caused Tian Luo to panic and in a small voice, she asked, “Ah Lian, you won’t despise me, right?”

Although the revelation left a bitter aftertaste in her mouth, Ah Lian was not a snobbish person so she had no intentions of despising or avoiding Tian Luo. In this day and age, where only status and connections mattered, someone like her who had no parents, let alone a rich father,  the only way to succeed was to rely on herself. She was different from someone like Tian Luo whose loving family  treated her as a princess since she was young and ensured that her path in life would be as smooth as possible; reluctant to let her suffer in the slightest.

Once assured that Ah Lian did not despise her, Tian Luo heaved a sigh of relief and muttered, “I am starting to miss my male cousin. Before coming here, he was afraid that I would start despising him when I become an immortal.”

Tian Luo was such a chatterbox, she had mentioned this cousin of hers to Ah Lian multiple times already. They were childhood sweethearts and grew up together. Once she became immortal, they would get married and give birth to many children.

While thinking of her cousin, Tian Luo titled her head and curiously asked Ah Lian in a hushed voice, “How about you? Do you have any one you like?”

Ah Lian thought for a bit before nodding her head, but unlike Tian Luo’s blushing demeanor, she unblushingly smiled and replied, “Yes, I do have someone.”

The smile on enhanced her beautiful face, making her look even more charming. Lowering her voice, Ah Lian whispered, “He is the reason I came to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy.”


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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Chocolatier Zino, Paju (South Korea)

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Café Zino, Paju (South Korea)
From the outside, it is a pretty impressive looking mansion like building that was probably someone’s house in the past.

Chocolatier Zino appeared in the Korean drama – Goblin: The Lonely and Great God. The restaurant scene(s) which was supposed to be Quebec City in Canada was actually taken in Café Zino, Paju, Gyeonggi a province of South Korea. 

[The “Canadian Restaurant” in Goblin isn’t in Canada…but somewhere else entirely]

[Goblin's restaurant in Quebec turns out to be found in South Korea

Curious (and having two Korean drama fans with us), we decided to visit this place. It was quite a hilly route to get there and some mean driving skills driving up and down the slopes; the slopes were seriously steep. It is definitely a place that you need to have a car, but for the drama fanatics and the adventurous there is a location course for the drama that you can follow from Visit Korea.

Apparently it is quite accessible by public transport and a bit of walking to the café, but only if you intend to visit this one place. However, to travel through the whole recommended course, you would definitely need a car as the 4 attractions are at least 16km to 42km apart, and the total travel time by car is 3 hours just to get to the places; Chocolatier Zino being the last one on the list. [Read more about our experience here]

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Fish's Overflowing Fragrance Chapter 1: Ah Lian


Despite being mentally prepared, Ah Lian was still awestruck as she stood outside the extravagantly magnificent Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy which was shrouded in a shimmering glow. Heavenly pavilion indeed! 

Boasted to have one of the best scenery throughout the three realms, this academy was once closed off to the rest of the realms, only accepting disciples with innate heavenly talents fated with immortality. 

With the gradual harmonious relationship between the realms, the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion Academy started to recruit disciples from the other realms, even demons. However, even if demons did manage to become disciples, the condition for demons on their path to immortality is harsh and ridden with difficulties and challenges. Also, the number of acceptance each season is limited and only a handful of such disciples are accepted. 

This time the opportunity was given to the smaller places like Lake Dongze, with only two disciples being accepted. 

******

Hailing from Lake Dongze, Ah Lian is a little fish a little over three hundred years’ worth of cultivation experience. Out of all the creatures that live in Lake Dongze, Ah Lian is not the only fish in the lake and definitely not the one with the highest cultivation. When Ah Lian’s best friend, Ah Pang, learned that she was going to apply for the exam, she naturally give her two cents worth of advice and tried to dissuade her from going. “Ah Lian, you have already lived such a comfortable life for so long, why would you want to go to suffer?” 

However, Ah Pang was aware that the little fish Ah Lian was a stubborn creature insistent on her ways. Once she made up her mind, it was impossible to dissuade her. 

Ah Pang is a little freshwater crab with five hundred years of cultivation and Ah Lian’s only friend. They are the perfect pair. Despite her beautiful appearance, Ah Pang is aggressive and not very well liked, while Ah Lian is a timid little thing and rare ventured out, having little friends. 

Well, Ah Lian did have friends… fish friends who were unluckily caught by fishermen and landed on plates for dinner. As time went by, none of her friends survived and a rumor started to spread that Ah Lian was a jinx and misfortune would befall on her friends. She was hurt and decided not to make any more friends, until she encountered Ah Pang trapped between two rocks and was not successful in freeing herself. Ah Lian hesitated, but eventually went to help her and since that day the two of them were as close as real sisters.

After many failed attempts at trying to dissuade Ah Lian, Ah Pang gave up and knew that Ah Lian would only give up when she experienced failure. Unexpectedly, Ah Lian actually managed to get selected! 

Although Ah Lian passed the selection exam, she suffered quite a bit. Once originally a plump white fish, she became a battered fish riddled with injuries. Ah Pang’s heart ached when she saw Ah Lian’s condition, and gave her a good scolding. 

After a month of re-cultivation, Ah Lian managed to recover from her injuries. During her recuperation, Ah Lian was almost caught by fishermen. Fortunately she managed to escape the clutches of the fishermen. The more Ah Pang thought about it, the more she agreed with the saying that silly people have silly luck indeed.

******

Snapping out of her memories, Ah Lian took a deep breath and carried her little backpack. The moment she entered the academy, she was greeted by a male-female disciple pair. The other candidate from Lake Dongze who passed the exam was a male white ferret, notorious for his tyranny. So naturally, Ah Lian tried to keep her distance from him as best as she could. 

The white ferret went with the male disciple, while Ah Lian was led by the female disciple to the female disciples’ dormitory. The female disciple who was leading Ah Lian wore a light green dress, was tall and looked delicately beautiful. Ah Lian recalled Ah Pang’s advice to be friendly and took the initiative, sweetly asking, “Beautiful Senior Sister how should I address you?” 

Although beautiful, the senior sister was aloof and ignored Ah Lian’s query with a deadpan expression. Well, one cannot blame the beautiful senior sister as all the other disciples went to welcome new disciples who were elites and had prestigious backgrounds; they would definitely be big figures in the heavens in the future. As for her, out of all the new disciples, she was given the task to welcome a little fish demon from a distant and relatively unknown place like Lake Dongze. So when the senior sister heard Ah Lian’s question, it further added to the insult as it was obvious that Ah Lian was trying to lick her boots, reminding her of her lackluster task as Ah Lian was a nobody.

Having received no response, Ah Lian was a little embarrassed and awkward but she knew that the disciples were all elites from the three realms, so it would be understandable that they would look down on the little her who had no background and give her a cold shoulder. 

As they walked on, Ah Lian tried to break the ice again and asked, “Senior Sister, I heard that the God of War, Rong Lin, will be coming to teach at the academy?” 

The senior sister who was intending to ignore her, immediately halted and turned to look at Ah Lian, encountering those limpid big eyes, “You want to meet the God of War, Rong Lin?”
Rong Lin, was a famous character throughout the heavens; the unrivaled God of War. The senior sister already had a bad impression of Ah Lian, and the  question about the God of War made her disdain Ah Lian even more. 

Although a marvel existence,  Rong Lin was actually quite anti-social. He did not like to go out, and did not like to receive any guests. The only opportunity to catch a glimpses of him was when he taught at the academy. 

It was not the first time the senior sister was asked such a question. After all most if not all of the female disciples who entered the academy come because of him; hoping to catch a glimpse of this god. 

With contemptuous eyes she scrutinized the little fish demon in front of her, she had to admit the fish did have some beauty to her. But the God of War, being such a revered and high existence, how could she allow this little lowly fish demon to lust after him? 

She decided to let Ah Lian know her place, “The lessons are not given to new disciples. Even us, the older ones, hardly have an opportunity to meet him. I advise you to not waste your efforts and give up wanting to see him.” 

Ah Lian was relieved that she finally got a response out of the cold beauty, but upon hearing that he doesn’t give classes to new disciples she was a bit disappointed. The main reason she come to the academy was precisely because of this God of War.

When she was still at Lake Dongze, it was her ambition to meet this god and now that she was a little closer to where he was, she was not satisfied. Swallowing her disappoint Ah Lian thanked the senior sister, “Thank you Senior Sister for you advice”. 

Seeing her reaction, the senior sister took it that Ah Lian took her words to heart. What she said was the truth, the God of War really did not teach new disciples. Even for the older ones like herself, they have never been given the grace to be close to him. To be able to attend his lessons at such close proximity was already a luxury. 

Ah Lian had her doubts, seeing that this senior sister disliked her, even more so when she asked about the God of War. She made a resolution: since she has entered the academy officially, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet him in the future.


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鱼香四溢 The Fish's Overflowing Fragrance


Sypnosis from SSB:
Being an extremely ambitious fish with great aspirations, Ah Lian’s only wish in her entire lifetime was to become the main dish of the most beautiful man in the Celestial Realm – Rong Lin, the God of War.

Ah Lian invested enormous amounts of effort into eating, successfully grooming herself into becoming an extremely white and plump fish. However, just when she thought she would finally get cooked —

Ah Lian: Supreme God, do you like to eat braised fish or steamed fish?
Rong Lin: …… I’m a vegetarian.
Ah Lian: QAQ
……

After N amount of time has passed

#Amazing #TheMostHandsome,RichAndTallCelestialBeingRongLinWasFinallySnapped…ByAFatHeadedFish!

In short, this is a sweet and loving story about a silly and naive fish who spends every single day trying to convince her vegetarian idol to eat her. Of course …… Ah Lian would finally be "eaten" by the War God Rong Lin _(:з」∠)_

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Friday, December 22, 2017

A reflection of Shinee Jonghyun suicide note

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I was devastated and was in disbelief when I heard of Jonghyun passing. Having read all the articles related to him, I had tears in my eyes. Nobody expected this tragedy to happen and the heartache his friends and family felt could not be measured. Losing someone so precious was such a tragedy and to lose someone due to suicide caused more pain to the livings. The blaming game started online accusing others and blaming on things and circumstances is easy for the outsiders. However, to the close family or friends, it only add salt to the open wound. Let those who had never commit a sin throw the first stone! The moral of the story is to reflect on yourself and not be judgmental on other people. 

As some one who went through depression, I can almost identify and relate to the things that Shinee Jonghyun wrote in the suicide note. I can truly understand how terrifying depression can be and how it can silently take a person life. I was thankfully saved by the grace of God. The almighty God found me before I make the decision to end everything. Most of the time when I experience negative thoughts I would ask God to just take me away. The pain in my heart and the unending sleepless night, make me loathe myself and wanted to get away from myself. Twice in my life I wanted to put my thoughts into action. However, I was saved before the tragedy happen by either a phone call or a person happen to be around to stop me from committing suicide. 

The topic of depression can stem from childhood to the growing up process. There may be certain experiences and letdown that follow the star as he grows up. Trying to be ‘normal’ and fit into the society. The eagerness to please others at the expense of yourself. The need to be accepted for who you are and being praise by people. I experience that myself and it was so easy for people to just brush it off and say it’s your own fault. Let me tell the world depression is not so easy to handle and it takes God to untangle all the knots. The feeling is like walking alone in a maze and cannot get out of that darkness. People usually brush it off and say things that are irresponsible. Just listen to a depressed person if you don’t know what to say and pray for that person. 

Now as I am writing this article, I am also in the process of healing and feeling wholesome again. I was being neglected when I was young. My dad was an alcoholic and often came home in a drunken state and there were days I did not see him. He was an absent father in my life and I used to hate him. I hated my family a lot due to frequent fights and quarreling about financial issue. There was no peace in the family and I only see my Mother struggle to make end meets and to raise us up by herself. I was the youngest in the family but there were many issues and problems which I want to escape in life. In school I was bullied frequently and I don’t know how to handle the situation. I felt humiliated and angry with myself for being timid and unable to stand up for myself. I had low self-esteem and wanted so much to be accepted. However, I was disappointed again and again. Too much discouragement till I decided to isolate myself and my feelings from the world. That point of time i wanted so much to just disappear from the world and escape from everything. I live my life drifting away in my own world where there is no hurt and anguish as a way of self defence. 

There was once I almost jump down from my house because I can’t carry the burden anymore and I felt so tired of life. The weariness and disheartening situation cause my mental state to identify death as the only way to escape. I was in my primary school uniform when I was getting ready to jump down. My mother who was a baby sitter at that time took care of a little boy. I was going to proceed with my plan when the little boy suddenly appear behind me and ask me what am I doing. I did not want to scare the boy and said that I was looking out of the window. That was the first time I attempted suicide but was miraculously stop at the critical moment. 

The second time I truly wanted to commit the deed again was a few months ago that triggered my mental state again. I was facing some challenges at work. There was a friend that I look up to and respect due to her seniority. She was an ex-colleague that apparently seem concern about me. However, she started to poison my mind with words of condemnation. When someone is hurting inside, you should not throw stone at the person. After I share with her my pain, she told me that she will advice her son not to follow my path and not to be like me. I was so hurt and her evil tongue was like a sword that stab deeper into my wound. I was so angry at her but I hated myself even more for agreeing with her that I have a major problem. She only led me to look into my past and myself. Having experience the pain of self condemnation, when I read the article about Jonghyun seeking professional help, I was so angry. He could be save if only some one just counsel him with patience and lead him to God instead of himself. 

It was a social norm that as you grow older, people and the society have more expectation of you. At some point of time, i put on unnecessary stress on myself and compare myself with others. It’s the little things that accumulate, little by little till it explode one day like a bombshell. To describe depression, it just hit you like a heatwave. It overwhelms, suffocate and haunting you down. Having sleepless nights, anxiety, crying yourself to sleep. All these daily stress and mind game, just keep on replaying all the past failure and condemnation in the head. It is like a domino effect that start to hit all the bad experiences in life. Words that hurts, people who failed you, broken relationships, guilt and regrets. 

There was a point in my life where I was also desperate for help and wanted to die due to all the judgemental people. I felt that work demanded so much from me and I was so inadequate and incapable to handle it. My life seem hopeless and death seem to be the only easy way out. I was dealt with another blow in life and walk near the road aimlessly when I plan to step out to the road and get myself into a car accident. I hesitated and thought to myself, i will give myself a last chance to try and call someone and I decided that if no one answered the phone i will just go ahead and die thinking it was meant to be like this. I was meant to be gone and away from this suffering in my mind. It was a torture at that  point of time and I wanted to say my final farewell but I broke into tears when my friend answers the phone. The concern and shock in her voice till this day I still remember. I was guilty for scaring her with my sudden outburst. I told her I can’t live on anymore and I wanted to just say my goodbye. She kept asking me where am I and I just cried helplessly. There were so much pain in me that I just wanted to escape. It was a domino effect when I linked my past to this day and I felt so pain that I cannot breath anymore. 

Similarly, weeks before that fatal day, Jong Hyun had been crying for help in his own ways. He wanted to put on a brave front for the world and he cannot express his anguish and sadness because he need to project the perfect idol image to the world. He knew that he needed help and he was losing control. He had his breakdowns and he tried to pull himself together. Friends and family knew his condition but they believed that since he is seeking help with a psychiatrist, he will get better. He was neglected and was lonely all this while. The devil wanted human to live in a lonely island where he can be attacked and devoured totally. 

I believe the final straw was the ‘doctor’ putting the blame on him. The doctor whom he trusted and shared the feelings that he was tormented. In the end, the doctor stated that all the trouble was because of his personality. If he could help himself, do you think he need to see a doctor? He was supposed to give professional advice but what did he do? He press the final button to Jonghyun death. The last thing that a depressed person need to hear is someone blaming him for everything. He was already feeling lacking and the doctor keep asking him to dig deeper into his wound! I was extremely anguish when I read this part in the suicide note. He was experiencing self condemnation and what the doctor did drove him to his grave. If he can save himself, he do not need professional help! 

In my opinion, Jonghyun did not want to die and he was hanging on to the last hope, last second that something or someone can come and stop him from hurting himself. He did wanted attention and hope that people around will notice his struggle. But everyone is busy with their own life and since nobody knows what is going though his mind, his emotion too over. He did hesitated to go through his plan and he was having a fight within himself mentally and physically, till he feel the anguish again. This time he was determined to put his thoughts into action. He was stubborn till the end and insisted to end things in his own ways. Finally, he closed his eyes with hopelessness and gave up on this world.