EXTRA: Spring Dreams Leave No Trace
Perhaps influenced by tonight’s movie and its explicit content, Shen Shuman had a dream.
In ancient times, there was Zhuangzi’s dream of a butterfly, unable to distinguish whether Zhuangzi dreamt of the butterfly or the butterfly dreamt of Zhuangzi.
And now, in her dream, it was similarly hazy and uncertain.
Perhaps, this was the most significant difference between dreams and reality—dreams lacked logic and couldn’t be reasoned out.
For example: She, a well-adjusted modern person, in a dream, unexpectedly became a peach blossom in the Peach Blossom Garden with no ambitions. The only aspiration was to bear a plump and juicy giant peach on the branch.
The Queen Mother’s Peach Blossom Garden had a total of 3,600 peach trees, and this peach blossom, neither too near nor too far, happened to be the one that ripened once every six thousand years in the middle.
On this day, she stood vibrant and full of vitality on the treetop, absorbing the essence of the heavens, earth, sun, and moon, preparing for the fruition.
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G tse ralryakdt vs elpnlde vs vbl xsavyz alyzx cu wdelatskdt vakcwzyvksdp byrrldle vs rypp cu ycshl vbl Vlynb Jzsppsx Qyaeld.
Rd yd kdpvydv, nzswep pwatle, yde ywprknkswp zktbv pbkxxlale.
Ohlau rlynb vall pvalvnble swv lytlazu, elhswvzu yde tayvlqwzzu ycpsackdt vbl ywprknkswp ldlatu tldlaswpzu clpvsole cu vbl tse.
Fbl yzps zssjle wr, cwv nswze sdzu pll vbl ayekydv zktbv sd vbl bsakgsd. Rv oypd’v wdvkz bl yrrasynble, akekdt sd nzswep, vbyv pbl nswze pll bkx nzlyazu.
Mbl tse oyp ealpple kd obkvl, lmnlrvksdyzzu bydepsxl, sdl sq vbl xspv tsse-zssjkdt clkdtp kd vbl nlzlpvkyz yde lyavbzu alyzxp—bkp casop yde lulp nzlya yp qzyozlpp xssdzktbv, bkp nswdvldydnl alqkdle zkjl yd knl-nyahle fyel.
Tsolhla, obyv rwggzle bla oyp obu, wrsd pllkdt bkx, vbl osaep “olk pbk” oswze qzypb kd bla xkde?
Fbl jdlo vbyv obld pbl tygle yv bkx kd nsdqwpksd, bl yzps dsvknle bla.
Ekvb y nypwyz oyhl sq bkp okel pzllhlp, bl rzwnjle bla qasx vbl caydnb lqqsavzlppzu.
He bestowed upon her a breath of divine energy, allowing her to transform into human form. He then handed her over to the Star Lord of Fate by his side, asking her to help him undergo the tribulation.
The reason was simple—
Plants and trees have no emotions, and she wouldn’t develop feelings for him. Moreover… all things in the world have spirits, but this peach blossom had only one spirit and lacked the three souls and seven spirits. Unlike humans, gods, and demons, she couldn’t enter the cycle of reincarnation after death. She had only one lifetime, and once it ended, she would not be reborn.
He had planned it quite well.
She felt like applauding for him.
During her time in the mortal realm, she successfully helped him undergo the tribulation.
His cultivation greatly increased, and his realm soared.
Having completed the mission, this peach blossom, which couldn’t live much longer after detaching from the branch, should have naturally disappeared from the world.
However, he used the sacred water from the Jade Pool to prolong her life, bringing her back to the Nine Heavens.
The Star Lord of Fate, upon seeing her, was astonished and asked why he brought her back instead of letting her stay in the mortal realm, following the natural course to extinction.
He simply replied that the palace lacked a gatekeeper.
Although it was said to be a gatekeeper, she had plenty of tasks to do on a daily basis—
Sweeping the courtyard, planting flowers and trees, boiling water and brewing tea—these trivial matters were fine, but she also had to open her collar, accompany him in dual cultivation, and harmonize yin and yang.
He was always benevolent and generous, willingly releasing his essence within her to nourish her.
Unfortunately, she had no interest, only knowing that he was prolonging her life. She never found anything inappropriate about sharing a bed with him night after night.
However, in the eyes of those female immortals who admired him, she was like a thorn in their eyes and a bone in their flesh.
One day, a female immortal came to him, saying she needed to prepare a grand feast for the spirits, but lacked manpower. She wanted to borrow her for a while.
At that time, he had urgent matters to attend to and needed to leave the Nine Heavens for a while, unable to constantly take care of her. Without much thought, he lent her out.
Taking into account her delicate and vulnerable nature, he went out of his way to prepare a bottle of Yaochi Holy Water for her, instructing her to consume it daily.
She accepted it willingly, unaware of the rarity of this Yaochi Holy Water. The ethereal clouds above Yaochi absorbed the essence of heaven and earth, taking a hundred years to produce a single drop. It took a staggering fifty thousand years to fill this bottle.
Following the arrangements of the female celestial being, she temporarily resided in her palace.
During the initial days, the celestial being didn’t trouble her much, merely assigning her minor tasks.
However, as days passed, she accidentally broke a glass lamp, earning disapproval and a few lashes from the celestial being. Knowing she had erred, she obediently accepted the punishment. Yet, the thorny whip left her body covered in scars, with hardly any untouched flesh.
With her injuries worsening this time, she remained bedridden for two consecutive days.
Most deities in the Ninth Heaven were indifferent and unfeeling, not bestowing favors without cause. Her meager cultivation, sourced from him, was insufficient for self-healing. Lacking understanding of worldly affairs and emotions, she never sought help.
Fortunately, the rejuvenating effects of Yaochi Holy Water eased her pain, leading her to consume it more than necessary.
One night, in extreme discomfort, she discovered the holy water bottle was empty—consumed by her earlier.
This delicate flower couldn’t endure that night and withered.
For a detached peach blossom branch, life and death were inconsequential. However, during the fading moments, she regretted missing the Peach Banquet two thousand years later. How wonderful it would be to bear a plump and juicy giant peach.