Tian Tian’s Wish
Translator/Editor: Mr Voltaire
On the way home, Tian Tian lay comfortably on Ling Chen’s back, with one hand around Ling Chen’s neck and the other holding a small lantern. Inside the lantern were the fruits of their labour from the competition. Tian Tian also swung her legs around, accidentally kicking Ling Chen now and then.
Tian Tian’s body was extremely light, and it almost felt like Ling Chen didn’t have anything on his back. Despite this, Tian Tian’s kicks were still quite annoying, which he couldn’t stand. “Tian Tian, stop moving around. It’s hard enough carrying you like this, and you’ve kicked me at least 20 times!”
The little Tian Tian passed the lantern to her other hand, and the warm glow of the fireflies illuminated her delicate face. She retorted back in a self-satisfied tone, “It was you who challenged me to a competition, so you have to be punished since you lost. So be good and carry me home. No more complaints from you.”
“There were two of you and just one of me. This is way too unfair.” Ling Chen replied.
“Who told you to always bully me! Big sister’s always so good to me, so of course she would help me.” She leaned forward and laughed, “Apart from mummy, no one has piggybacked me before. To have the right to piggyback this Demon Queen is your glory. Even if… even if I’m not a great Demon Queen right now, as my big brother, you should treat me well like big sister does. I’m so tired after playing, so you should be piggybacking me home anyways.”
Ling Chen was speechless… he didn’t know that this girl was capable of saying such things.
Shui Ruo covered her mouth with her hand, and secretly smiled. Seeing Tian Tian lying on Ling Chen’s back, she could almost see herself lazily lying on his back in the past. Even after they got home, she was never willing to get off, and sometimes even fell asleep on his back. Despite the fact that he intentionally walked slowly, she still felt that those walks went by so quickly.
After walking through a street, they saw many paper lanterns encasing tongues of fire rising to the sky. Looking up, they could see many fiery dots in the sky. Tian Tian’s eyes widened, and shouted, “Look! Fireflies! Those fireflies are so big!”
Ling Chen and Shui Ruo laughed. Shui Ruo explained to Tian Tian, “Tian Tian, those aren’t fireflies. Those are lanterns called sky lanterns. After lighting the fire inside it, the lantern will rise up into the sky. We usually use these sorts of lanterns during festivals. Normally, you can also make one and write a wish on it, then let your wish fly high into the skies. Legend says that the higher a sky lantern flies, the more likely the wish on it will be fulfilled.
“Sky lantern… wish…” Tian Tian repeated to her as she gazed at the sky lanterns. Her voice was filled with curiosity and expectation.
“Ruo Ruo, let’s go buy a few sky lanterns.” Ling Chen said while smiling. It was always incredibly easy to tell what Tian Tian was thinking through her expression and voice. She was obviously incredibly interested in the sky lanterns.
After buying three sky lanterns, they wrote their wishes on the sky lanterns… however, Tian Tian adamantly wouldn’t show Shui Ruo and Ling Chen what she had written, no matter what. Afterwards, they taught Tian Tian how to light the sky lanterns, and lifted the sky lanterns into the air, watching them rise into the boundless night sky.
“Wow! Flying, they’re really flying! They’re flying so high!” Tian Tian excitedly exclaimed as she jumped around.
“Big sister, big brother, can sky lanterns really grant wishes?” Although the sky lanterns were almost out of sight, Tian Tian continued to stare into the sky.
“Our sky lanterns flew so high, so our wishes will definitely be fulfilled.” Shui Ruo said as she gently smiled.
“En!” Tian Tian vigorously nodded her head. She gently closed her eyes, “My will definitely come true, and everything will be perfect. Definitely!”
Although they didn’t know what Tian Tian had written, seeing how earnest and serious she was, it must have been something important and wonderful.
Finally, the sky lanterns completely disappeared into the night sky. After staring for a while longer, Tian Tian looked down and lifted up the fireflies lantern up, “Big sister, big brother, let’s release all of these fireflies, alright? They were definitely scared when we caught them, and if we take them home, their family will definitely be worried about them.”
“Hahaha!” Ling Chen couldn’t help but laugh out loud. He stroked Tian Tian’s hair while saying, “Tian Tian, did you know that since a long time ago, your big sister and I often come here to catch fireflies. We always catch a lot, but your big sister always set them free at the end of the night. What you said sounded a lot like what she would always say.”
“Tian Tian’s such a good girl. I agree that we should let them go. They all have their own lives, and we shouldn’t keep them locked up.” Tian Tian’s words caused Shui Ruo to feel incredibly happy, and she could feel herself liking Tian Tian more and more. She helped Tian Tian open up the lantern, and watched as the spots of light flew out like a stream, and dispersed.
“Fireflies, quickly go home. I’ll come and play with you guys next time, so try not to get caught again… goodbye… goodbye!” Tian Tian waved them goodbye and called out to them, sad to see them leave.
After spending more and more time with her, Ling Chen gradually found that there were likeable sides to Tian Tian. Seeing how she was behaving, Ling Chen chuckled inwardly… how can a little girl like you, who’s so unwilling to see fireflies leave, possibly conquer earth?
When they got home, Tian Tian was already sound asleep on Ling Chen’s back. She was sleeping especially peacefully, just like Shui Ruo back then… what was also similar was the large patch of saliva on his back. Ling Chen gently opened the door when they got him, and gently put Tian Tian on her bed without waking her up.
Ling Chen looked at the clock and saw that it was around 10pm. They had never come back so late before. After tucking Tian Tian in bed, Ling Chen gently said, “Ruo Ruo, I’m sure you’re tired too, so sleep early.”
“En.” Shui Ruo replied, lovingly gazing at Tian Tian. The feelings she held towards Tian Tian were becoming more and more like that of a mother to her daughter, although they were only six or so years apart in age.
Ling Chen knew that it was definitely too early for him to sleep. He quickly showered, then walked onto the balcony. He looked up into the night sky, and went through many things in his mind. Every day, he would have to consider not only his own future, but the future of many other people around him.
Just who was Tian Tian really? Ever since meeting her, Ling Chen felt that there was something mysterious about this girl. Although she could be mischievous, arrogant and short-tempered, she was still a very cute and kind girl. Moreover, now that Shui Ruo loved her so much, it should be fine to keep her around… plus, even Ling Chen himself wasn’t quite willing to let Tian Tian leave anymore.
In the distance, a dark shadow fluttered, drawing closer to where he was.
Ling Chen looked over, and under the moonlight, he saw something very familiar-looking made out of paper. He suddenly realised it was a sky lantern. After flying for a while, the flames inside sky lanterns would go out, and the sky lanterns would fall back down. Who knew who this sky lantern belonged to?
As if it knew that Ling Chen was looking at it, the falling sky lantern fell closer and closer to where he was. Finally, it fell onto the balcony, close to where he was standing. He walked over and picked it up… what sort of wish was written on this sky lantern?
Looking at someone else’s wish wasn’t a very honourable thing to do, but since it had fallen right on his balcony, he might as well have a look.
There were three lines of writing on the sheet of paper, representing three wishes. The writing was quite messy, and it was evident that the writer was still quite young, and wasn’t very good at writing. However, Ling Chen could tell that every single word was written with utmost earnestness and sincerity.
I wish that mummy and big sister and big brother will always be safe.
I wish that big sister and big brother will always love me.
I wish that I can quickly become a Demon Queen and conquer the earth.
Ling Chen stared at the paper in surprise, and couldn’t help himself from smiling. Before, he had planned to throw away the lantern after looking at the wish. However, seeing what was written on it, he carefully folded it and put it inside a drawer.
He was really quite curious what the future held for Tian Tian.
It was a normal night for him, but what was different was that he was standing on the balcony, as opposed to doing things in the game. What happened tonight wouldn’t become a significant memory to him. He felt that it was a pity that he only had a single back; because he was carrying Tian Tian on his back, he wasn’t able to carry Shui Ruo like he used to.
However, what he didn’t know was that in the very near future, the girl he had carried on his back would be using her own small body to carry and drag his body for a whole night, until she collapsed. Only then would he realise that he would have to carry this girl’s whole life on his shoulders.