“Such a beautiful pair of eyes should be used for smiling, not crying. You aren’t filthy. If the others find you disgusting, their hearts are disgusting! I wouldn’t even bother giving that kind of man a second glance. It’s unnecessary for us girls to live dependent on men’s expectations. Elena, you love Xing Chuan too much! That’s why you’re worried about what he would think. Fortunately, Xing Chuan isn’t that kind of man. That’s why he’s worried about you. Elena, don’t lock him out and make him keep worrying. Let him come in to keep you company. That’s what you need right now.”
Elena looked at me for a very long time before she began to blush. She lowered her head, a complicated expression etched across her face.
She seemed neither to agree nor disagree. I knew that this was a girl fighting against herself. In reality, she hoped for Xing Chuan to come and keep her company. Girls often said one thing while meaning another.
I stood up and walked to the door, cracking it open and waving at Xing Chuan, who was waiting nearby. He walked towards me, all the stress draining away from his body. I pointed toward the room and a relieved smile bloomed upon his face. “Thank you,” he said.
“What are you thanking me for? She needs you.” I pushed him in and closed the door behind me after exiting the room. At the end of the corridor, I caught a glimpse of Xing Ya, who was smiling faintly. It seemed as though she was happy I came back.
She gently gestured with her chin, beckoning me to follow her. I walked towards her and we held hands. We went to the place where we would dine against the backdrop of the sunset.
The blood-orange sun seemed as if it were slowly dipping into the sea. The final rays of the setting sun tinted the fluffy clouds over us a startling and stunning shade of scarlet.
We sat on the glass platform protruding from the cliff while the robot waitress served us a delicious lamb steak, dripping enticingly with juices.
“Can you not go back to the Island of a Change of Heart for the rest of your time here? Tell me more about the outside world,” Xing Ya pleaded.
I thought for a while before I finally replied, “Sure.” There were few days left, causing a sense of sadness to well up in me. This island where I had lived for the last year, my peaceful haven... I was going to leave it behind.
“That’s great! Let me think…” Xing Ya cradled her face in her hands. Her eyes were twinkling with curiosity, as if she had a lot of questions to ask me. The elegant crescent moon gradually rose in the dark night sky behind her until it reached its apex, waves of gentle moonlight pouring over her. I realized that Hagrid Island had only one moon at any given time. It was as though the invisible plate hid the other moon. Or was Silver Moon City intentionally hiding from this region?
“What does your man look like?” Xing Ya asked, intrigued.
I bowed my head while a smile overtook my face. “Raffles has long bluish-gray hair.”
“Wow!” Xing Ya exclaimed in surprise. I looked at her, stunned. She urged me on with her twinkling eyes. “Continue! Go on!”
I pursed my lips, smiling. A blush overcame my face. “Oh yeah, you can look at this.” I recalled that our rings had another function, which was to store an image of us.
I took off my ring and touched our engraved names gently. Light poured out of the gemstone set in it, displaying a hologram of myself and Raffles together.
I had never told any of the people on Hagrid Island about my personal life, not even Xing Ya. It was the first time I ever shared information about my family and my lover, even showing her a picture.
“Wow! So this is Raffles!” Xing Ya’s eyes were wide. She abruptly turned to look at me, a quizzical expression on her face. “I always thought that you prefered manly guys.”
“Cough. Cough. That’s you, okay?”
“Raffles is so good looking!” Xing Chuan gazed at him adoringly like a fangirl. I immediately turned it off and Xing Ya pouted. “Let me look some more!”
I put my ring back on and began to eat my dinner. “Don’t even think about it.”
“Pfft.” Xing Ya rolled her eyes at me. “How about the other one?” She asked hesitantly.
I paused and slowly put down my knife and fork. I took off another ring I was wearing; this one belonged to Harry. After a gentle touch, it lit up. In the image, Harry and I were leaning against the dining table, standing close to each other.
“He’s so handsome!” She exclaimed in surprise the moment she saw Harry; but then, she immediately covered her mouth and peeked at me.
I smiled faintly, saying, “I’m okay now."
A complicated expression settled upon Xing Ya’s face. She watched the video of Harry “bullying” me. “His smile is so soothing. You must miss him a lot!”
I leaned closer to the table and touched Harry’s small body, replying, “How can I possibly not miss him? But we have to look to the future, not be lost in memories. He definitely wouldn’t wish for me to be disheartened, I’m sure. He will forever live on in my heart.”
Xing Ya stared at me for a long moment before she hung her head low. “I’m sorry, I kept forgetting that you have your own family and lover to return to. Of course you have to go back home.” She smiled gently. “You have my permission to leave.”
I smiled in return.
She lifted her head to look at the rush that was slowly forming. The people on Hagrid Island were rushing through the small remainder of their workday and the rest of their night. “If there are no incidents, everything should be completed by tomorrow. There will be a dinner banquet afterwards. Could you wait to leave until after attending the banquet? Consider it a farewell dinner,” Xing Ya said as she thoughtfully invited me.
I picked up the wine glass and nodded. “Of course, I will definitely be there.”
“Clink!” Our glasses met under the canopy of the stars. Both of our smiling faces were reflected in the glint of the crystal-clear wine glass.
The next day, Hagrid Island’s protective dome was finished. Everyone on the island cheered. They were either by the beach or in front of their houses. The sounds of celebration lasted for a long time, reverberating across the entire island.
Hagrid Island immediately began preparing to celebrate. Xing Ya and I went back to the Island of A Change of Heart in order to spray paint my spaceship.
I liked the idea of using blue and red, because it was the closest to Raffles and Harry’s respective hair colors; it reminded me of them. I spray painted the entire spaceship blue and decorated it with a flowing red pattern.
Xing Ya further decorated the plane by spraying her name on one of the wings, telling me to not forget about her. Then after a brief moment, she sprayed on Elena’s name as well. She moved to spray Xing Chuan’s name too, but I immediately stopped her. If the Xing Chuan in the outside world happened to see it, wouldn’t it cause misunderstandings?
“Hey, does the Xing Chuan from the outside world also have a cute sister like me?” Xing Ya smugly teased, grinning with a sense of victory.
“Boo!” Ghostie yelled.
Xing Ya immediately pouted and aimed the spray paint at Ghostie. She glared at him. “What do you have to say for yourself?!”
Ghostie immediately surrendered once faced with her wrath and continued to paint the spaceship.
“No. Only Elena was by his side, but she died.”
“That’s unfortunate. If he had had Sister Elena with him, he definitely wouldn’t have become a serial killer.” Xing Ya said, voice full of remorse. “My brother and I have always wanted to know the truth, but Grandma would never tell us. Grandma would throw a fit whenever we brought the topic up. Even our parents don’t know what happened. Grandma and grandpa had no idea as well. Grandma is turning a hundred years old soon. My brother and I will never know the secret for the rest of our lives."
“Is the past that important?” I asked Xing Ya in response. “Before I came here, you were living in peace. After I leave, your life will once again return to tranquility. So, I don’t really think that the past is so important.”
Xing Ya sulked. “Alright. Maybe the truth really isn’t that important to us.” Xing Ya had changed as well. Over my time here, she had become less stubborn about the truth.
After the war, I had witnessed the growth of the people on Hagrid Island.
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