(Continued from The Demon of Thất Diệu Mountain 3)The Princess Kim Đình continued to watch the old wizard with horrified fascination. She still had possession of her remaining three paternal souls, but perhaps that was because he had not completed the spell yet. The wizard Cao Sơn’s eyes were tragic, but his shoulders remained stiff and unyielding. Speaking into the air, he gave her his final words. Whether they were words of comfort or advice, she could not tell. Listen to me Princess. No matter what anyone thinks or how you will be viewed far into the future, you must do this for the good of your people. You are no longer just a minor princess of a fallen monarch. You are the protector of your people and the lands on which they live. There is no higher purpose that you can ever serve. Cao Sơn paused and then took a deep breath. This was it. Once he started the spell, he could not stop the process. He heaved a heavy sigh and began muttering words which she could barely catch, but it sounded to her like a prayer or a chant. Kim Điền began to feel her consciousness slip in and out between light and dark. As vertigo hit, she could hear his voice grow louder and louder, alongside a strange buzzing sound. Around the periphery of her vision, she could see stars twinkle and sparkle. She felt light-headed, on the verge of passing out. Suddenly, and without warning, Kim Điền gasped as she felt a tremendous light force wrap around her ephemeral form. She could see it as a rope made of light, the tail end of which trailed towards Cao Sơn, embedding itself within the package that held her detached head. To her, it looked like a tadpole, with its writhing, coiling light-emitting tail. Distracted by the vision, Kim Điền continued to stare at the rope with fascination, ignoring the wizard’s mumblings. How utterly amazing! It was to be her final thought as a disembodied soul. Immediately after Cao Sơn’s final utterance, Kim Điền felt herself become tightly bound to the yang realm via the bundle in the wizard’s hands, with no way to escape and pass into the next realm of existence. She began to panic. Was she to be stuck in this realm for eternity? But Kim Điền did not have to wait long. Cao Sơn had already begun muttering again, but this time, he was explaining to her what was to come. Do not be alarmed, Princess. I will remain by your side, and will be in your service for as long as you need me. For now, I will deposit your talisman into a safe place. Rest and relax. You will be summoned when the need is great. With the help of a soldier, Cao Sơn removed a capstone located in the northernmost corner of the cave, exposing a sunken basin that had been exquisitely carved into the rock for this purpose. He quickly took the wrapped skull, which was now officially the Thiên Linh Cái of Princess Kim Điền and gently placed the talisman into the basin. Then, with a grunt, the soldier replaced the capstone for the final time, sealing the Thiên Linh Cái of Princess Kim Điền into the small cavity. THUNK!!! And then all was dark.
~ The End ~
But wait!!! What happens next???!!! There’s more to the story, right? It doesn’t just end here, does it?At this point of the story, I must return to the present, for only the present can salvage this story from being a macabre horror-fiction to something far more enduring, and far more poignant. The question is thus: Aside from the oral retelling of the story amongst the villagers throughout the centuries, is there also concrete evidence that points to this event occurring? The answer is a surprising YES!!!
(to be continued)