Chapter Two

Sky started to have moon and stars.
Kangxi still stood at the window. He stared at the moon and the stars while the girl was still in sleep.
How could she sleep so long?
No one knew.
The emperor was waiting for the girl to wake up. Although, he did not wake or interrupt her. She could enjoy her sleeping.
Little Jin came into the room with quiet steps. He noticed the girl was in bed. He walked to the emperor, bowed and said, 'Majesty, dinner is already. Would I bring dinner now?'
Kangxi thought for a moment. He gave a watch to the bed then he claimed, 'Wait.'
Little said Yes respectfully then he withdrew himself from the room.
The king crossed his hands behind his back. Waiting at the window.
Time passed.
It was not late night.
The girl began to move her body little bit on the bed. Then she placed her hand on her eye and opened eyes slowly.
She moved her head looking straight. She saw ceiling. She felt it was different place she had slept.
The girl moved head. She saw figure of a man back before her. She got up to sit and looked at him. She was not familiar with him.
While her head was in question situation, Kangxi turned himself to her.
The girl opened her eyes as she saw his face. Who is him? She asked herself.
The strange man strolled towards her. His steps were in well and powerful manner.
The girl did not show her fear. She looked at the emperor. With eyes of brightening diamond.
Kangxi stood about 10 steps away from bed. He looked at the girl. Fairy girl. He looked at her eyes straightly.
Mostly, people did not dare to look up at him, but that girl was different. She up her head and looked straight into his eyes. No fear. No scare. Brave.
Their eyes met for a while. Then Kangxi smiled.
'Who are you?' The girl opened her mouth expressing beautiful voice like nightingale bird. Kangxi's heart was full of joy that he never had before. It was a kind of peaceful and full joy.
The girl looked at him with eyes of waiting his response. The emperor gave a gentle reply to her, 'I am emperor.'
'I know.' The girl spoke immediately, when he just finished his word. 'You are king of human.'
When she said it, Kangxi noticed excitement on her face. She looked really different from other women he ever met, she was straight, honest and innocent.
The emperor nodded his head replaced of speaking answer.
'So, this is human world.' She expressed with looking around the room.
'Are you not human?' Kangxi asked. He supposed that she would stay silent for a while, because she would confuse herself about her real appearance, but he was wrong, she gave a quick response with loyal voice, 'No, I am dragon.'
Her answer made Kangxi cocked his head. He felt she was something that he could not describe or explain... yes because she is not human, she is dragon.
The situation was little bit quiet.
Kangxi stayed silent. The girl stayed silent too.
They only looked at each other.
It was lucky that Little Jin came in or Kangxi did not know what to proceed conversation with her more.
Little Jin was little bit happy to see the girl awake. He was worried that his emperor would be hungry waiting for her wake up.
He moved gently to stay behind his king and said, 'Majesty, would you like dinner now?'
Kangxi did not respond yet. He gave eyes to the girl seeing her opened eyes big.
'Food?' She said.
Little Jin heard her word. He gave a bow to tell her yes.
Kangxi said to her, 'Are you hungry?'
The girl nodded her head rapidly.
Kangxi smiled when he saw her reaction. Honest girl.
'Then,' he exclaimed, 'we go to eat.'
The girl was happy to hear that. She got off the bed. She walked with her bare feet inside her long white gown to the door.
She led the emperor.
The emperor gave a small laugh before he followed her lead. Little Jin was after the emperor.
They were at table.
In fact, they should be at dinning room, but now they were sitting at library of the emperor which was part before his bed room.
Kangxi didn't blame or ask reason. His attention was to protect the girl, according to his promise with her father, he did not wish anyone to know her present. 
Little Jin understood his emperor mind like he was inside him. So he organized smaller dinner than daily and only him serving dinning alone.
The girl sat opposite of Kangxi. She looked surprise and glad to see food on table. Her expression was like she met treasure.
Kangxi did not mind calling Little Jin to prepare food for her first.
The girl tasted  and nodded head. She showed pretty big smile mean she favored the food. She ate a lot. The way she ate making Little Jin trembling inside his stomach. It was fortunate that he worked long time in palace so he could bare with it and did not show outside.
Kangxi ate and smiled. He looked at her frequently. Her action made him could not stop smiling. She was cute and innocent.
It was happy dinner that Kangxi ever had. He ate full with smiling face.
This made eunuch happy too.
Dinner was finished.
Little Jin carried plates to outside the chamber. There was one of his trusted pupil waiting outside to take dinner materials. He also helped his pupil to kitchen.
Now only Kangxi and the girl in the room.
The emperor initiated the conversation.
'Are you full?'
'What's your name?'
'I don't know.'
Kangxi cocked his head. It was strange that someone did not know their name.
'I was just born.' She explained reason. 'I stayed in egg for long time.'
'How old are you?'
'About hundred.'
Kangxi was surprised to hear that. Her look was like she was eighteen, but she said she was hundred. Far older than him.
'I was inside my mom for about 60 years then I stayed in egg for another 60 years before the egg was hatched.'
Kangxi listened to her smilingly. He did not need to ask her to explain, though he had wonder, she would describe later. He really adored her innocent and loyal personality. Like a kid. Beautiful kid.
'I just came out of the egg shell. My father brought me out then I slept under the tree. After, I got up and I stay here.' She pointed into his bedroom that she just slept in.
'So, you just born?'
'You meet your parents.'
'I just met my father, but not yet my mother.'
'I see.' Kangxi nodded head. 'So, your father did not name you?'
'Not yet.'
'He did not say anything to you?'
'Well, he just said when he brought me to the tree that I needed to stay in human world before I can become dragon.'
'Did he tell you why?'
'He said it is my Karma.'
Kangxi nodded head once. He seem understood why the king of dragon agreed to give her to him.
'You have spoken with your father, he did not tell your name.'
'No,' the girl shook her head.
It was little strange for Kangxi that father did not name his daughter.
At that time, Little Jin arrived. He gave respect to the emperor and stayed side.
Kangxi was looking at her, thinking in mind to find name for her.
Little Jin did not witness their conversation, so he could not help his emperor.
For the girl, she was curious about window on her right.
She sat up and crawled her knees to the window.
'What's that?' She asked.
'It is called window.' Little Jin replied.
'Window. Mean it is child of door. Door can open, so it can be opened too.' She said and tried to open it.
'Who tell you window is child of the door?' Kangxi said.
'I tell myself.'
Her answer made Kangxi narrowed his eyes-brow. He felt little bit funny.
'How can you tell yourself?' He said.
'I don't know.'
Kangxi expressed HAH. She was really a kid. Perhaps a baby.
'How can I open window?' She said.
'Why you want to open?' Kangxi stated.
'I want to go outside.'
Kangxi did not say anything yet.
'Ah yes.' The girl stopped. She reminded something. 'I can go through his mother.'
Little opened his eyes hearing the girl speech.
Kangxi laughed. He understood she meant the door.
'Yes, you can go outside through his mother.'
The girl looked happy. She moved down from the dinning place to the floor. She put her feet on floor then looked around to find where was the door.
'Over there.'
Kangxi stood up and showed hand to her about the door. The girl did not lead him this time, he led her. She walked after him to the door leaving the chamber.
Little Jin followed them.
No guard was outside because Little Jin called them retreated.
The emperor could walk his girl to tour park near his chamber.
When reach outside, the girl moved before the king. She was joyful. She jumped. She ran. She walked. She touched. Everything she saw.
Kangxi was after her. His eyes never away from her. He did not forget smilling.
Little Jin held lamp. He was after closely to the girl. He was cautious that she would slip or fall.
'My lady, please be careful. Don't run fast.' He called the girl.
'Little Jin, let her be.' Kangxi commented. Little Jin respected his word. He came to stay before the kind, to lighten route for him, but still he was worried that she would go wrong.
They reached at a pavilion where surrounded by lotus.
'Beautiful.' The girl said. 'That look like my pond where I stayed when I was in egg.'
She laid her hand to pick a flower.
'Let me.'
Kangxi called and the girl stayed still.
The emperor picked up a lotus flower and gave to her.
'Thanks,' said her.
She received from the emperor with smile. After, her face looked little bit sad.
Kangxi caught up. He asked her, 'What's matter?'
'I miss my mother.' said her.
'I bet you miss her and she is missing you too.' Kangxi said.
The girl nodded agree with him.
'She is pity that she does not have child around her.' He continued.
'No, she has my brothers.'
'Yes, I have four brothers.'
'So, you are the only girl in your dragon family.'
'Yes, I am.'
It was interesting. The king of human was attracted to know more about her.
'My father and my mother have four brothers. They are older than me. So older.'
'Are they married?'
'Not yet.'
'All of you live together?'
'Where do you live?'
'I don't know.'
'You don't know anything.'
'Because I was just born.'
The girl looked at Kangxi then she moved her feet to sit on chair under the pavilion. Kagxi followed her to sit on chair next to her.
'How can you know that you have brothers and they are not yet married when you don't ever meet them?'
'I could hear they talking while I was in egg.'
Kangxi nodded head. He understood more about her and also her family.
'Tell me what you have known.'
'Well,' she touched lotus petals, 'my father is king of dragon. He is responsible for sea and weather. Each of my brother is responsible for each sea and weather. My mother is responsible for our dragon palace.'
'What's about you?'
'My father did not tell me what I would responsible, but he said I am connected with the sky.'
'Just this?'
Kangxi nodded. He realized what he should name her.
'Well, start from now, I will call you Xiao Qing.'
'Xiao Qing. Hm.. sound good. I have name now.'
She got off to stay at handrail of the pavilion, 'Father, mother, my name is Xiao Qing.' She yelled happily with face to the moon. 
Little Jin hurriedly came to tell her, 'My lady, please. Don't yell. You can awake all people inside the palace.'
Xiao Qing covered hand her mouth.
Her action was lovely that Kangxi could not stop his smiling.
He walked to her and said, 'It is late night. You should go to bed.'
Xiao Qing nodded.
Again, she led Kangxi and Little Jin. She held lotus in hand, walked back to chamber of Kangxi.
Then Kangxi noticed that she had no shoes, she walked with her bare feet.
He suddenly felt not happy. Not with her or Little Jin, but with himself that he did not pay attention to her and allowed her to walk without shoes. He cared that her feet would be hurt.
He paused her, 'Wait.'
Xiao Qing stopped and turned face to him.
Kangxi marched toward her saying, 'You hurt your feet. Let me carry you.'
When he finished his word, he put his arms, right under her legs, left under her back and raised her body to carry her.
Xiao Qing stared at Kangxi.
Their eyes met.
Xiao Qing lowered her eyes for she felt she heard something from him. It was a sound that she wished to hear clearly. She knew it came out from inside of his chest. She was curious to know its saying so she placed her face and ear to. 
Kangxi walked with her in his hands to the chamber. Along with Little Jin walked before to light up the route.
It was happiness that both Kangxi and Xiao Qing had.
The girl was attracted to beating sound of emperor's heart inside his chest. It was just DUB DUB, but she felt she liked listen to it. It was beautiful. It was like music. Most beautiful music in the world. Also, she felt of warmness from his body and arms. The cold night could not bother her. She did not need blanket or cloth to cover her body. Warmth from him was enough. And she fell into sleep inside his arms.

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After Years

written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU It had been years that I decided to build up my cave and stay there. It was because I was scared ...