Amid the twinkling spirit flowers, the colorful painted door seemed like it had been sprinkled with blue fluorescent powder, appearing like the entrance to an exclusive night house party for fashionistas.
The door opened, revealing a wide tree branch that looked like a runway stage, lined on both sides with shining spirit flowers. The place was filled with artistic romance. At the end of the stage was an exquisite dining table, laid with equally exquisite silver cutlery as though everything had been prepared for me.
I’d become the only guest in the palace, in the artistic city.
A small round table stood covered by a white table cloth, on top of which was a slender vase holding a single spirit flower. Dim blue light spots danced over the white table cloth, tinting it with a translucent blue glow.
In the quiet palace, notes of melodious music resounded. From the depths of the darkness emerged a silver robot. It was wearing a chef hat, which was very funny looking.
Coming before me, the robot bowed. As it straightened, it quickly raised its hand with a flourish, and a plate of cake appeared in its hand.
I chuckled. “Is this magic?”
The robot placed the cake before me. Then, it spread its right hand, producing a fork and knife. When it spread its left hand, a wine glass appeared. It looked like it was performing a magic show.
Upon a closer look, I discovered that its body was actually quite big, like a refrigerator.
With a spin of its body, the robot took out a plate of steak for me. The aroma filled the air.
Placing the steak before me, it extended its right hand again, this time to pour black pepper sauce over my steak.
“Thank you,” I said as I looked around me, before I got up and bowed at my surroundings. Then, I sat down again and began to eat. The steak tasted delicious, whether or not it was from sixty years ago.
The robot raised its hand again, which now held a bottle of clear wine in its hand. When it popped open the cork, bubbles appeared like champagne. However, the liquid turned pink the very moment it came into contact with the air. It was a magical sight.
I picked up the wine glass and inhaled. It smelled like honey peaches. Taking a sip, it was truly as sweet as honey peach juice.
Inside this silent palace, I ate and drank alone, before my hands slowly stilled. I felt disappointed and heavy-hearted. They had treated me hospitably and welcomed me with such romance, yet none of them could have dinner with me.
One spirit after another appeared around me, watching me in silence. Across the dining table from me, a blue figure slowly descended from above, tentacles-like locks of hair fluttering in the air.
He stopped before me, giving me a confused look.
“What’s wrong?” The robot suddenly asked gently.
I smiled faintly as I looked up at the Spirit Prince. “Thank you. All of you have been very nice.”
Looking back at me, the Spirit Prince opened his mouth as if he wanted to speak, yet no words came out. His expression was similar to the Spirit Queen who had wanted me to set her people free back then.
I wanted to ask if they too wanted me to set them free, but I couldn’t ask because of the scrumptious meal.
They had welcomed me with food and wine, they had played me melodious music, they had hosted me in such a romantic and beautiful setting. But I was going to ask if they wanted to die.
I couldn’t break the spell of beauty before me.
With a glance from the Spirit Prince, the robot extended its left hand, which held an empty wine glass. Pouring wine into the glass, the robot lifted it before me. Then, the Spirit Prince and the robot looked to me simultaneously.
I smiled faintly. Then, I picked up the wine glass and clinked our glasses. As I drank my wine, the robot poured the wine it held over the Spirit Prince’s head. The pink wine passed through his body, tainting him purple.
I chuckled. “Hahaha, you turned purple.”
The Spirit Prince looked down at himself and laughed. The surrounding spirits seemed to have found something fun. Suddenly, yellow liquid poured down from the palace ceiling. In an instant, everyone had been tainted in green.
The music suddenly turned lively and the spirits leaped around among the yellow drops, sweeping past and through one another as though they were dancing.
They were so happy. They carried an entirely different mood when facing the end times compared to the people in Kro. Someone had helped them to find happiness within hopelessness!
I looked at the Spirit Prince in front of me. He was swaying through the yellow liquid as he moved along with the music too, laughing happily.
My skin began to be tinted with yellow too. The yellow liquid gave off a floral fragrance as it shimmered on my skin.
My head grew heavy. It must have been from the delicious honey peach wine. I felt an unprecedented happiness. The wine made me happy, made me excited, and made me sleepy.
I lay on the table as the music continued to play. Through my blurred eyes, I could see their moving figures. It seemed that I couldn’t just drink whatever other people offered me in the future. Of course, I was only kidding, I believed in these spirits. I believed in them more than any outsiders.
“Wake up.” A melodious guy’s voice sounded in my ear. I slowly opened my eyes to brilliant daylight, and a wide smile in front of me.
My sight gradually cleared. He slowly retreated and smiled at me. “I see. You are a girl.”
I saw him clearly now. A guy with fair skin, innocent eastern features, smooth lines, a pair of bashful eyes, a bright smile and an artistic temperament.
His hair had been woven into many braids with colorful hair bands. I extended my hand and picked up a braid that was hanging before his chest. “I see.” It turned out that his hair had looked like tentacles because of his hairstyle.
He smiled. “Did I look scarier as a spirit?” he joked. Even when he talked about his spirit form, he was still wearing his bright smile.
His innocence was like bright sunlight and clear water. No one could possibly taint him.
I looked at him sadly. I wondered what had made him so optimistic.
He immediately furrowed his eyebrows. “What’s wrong? Don’t be sad. Humans are bound to die one day. We are still alive. My art has to carry on. Art is our life. So, we need your help!” He grabbed my hands and stared at me with anticipation.
He was wearing an artistic, yet casually sexy, knitted short tee in rainbow blocks of color. The big round collar exposed one shoulder, and the short hem revealed his belly button when he lifted his hand. The tee was loose and free, gorgeously colorful without being garish.
He moved to the side and I immediately saw the crowd behind him. Just like back then in Kro, there were old people, children, men and women. They were dressed in a myriad of styles, but they shared one common point: they were all dressed freely to their own tastes.
Some were proper, some were messy, some were neat and some were tattered.
Just standing together there allowed me to see the various artistic styles among them.
Ancient, modern, post-modern, metallic, abstract, and many more artistic styles.
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