My dad immediately walked to Elder Alufa and held Elder Alufa’s hand gratefully. It was as though he had seen a senior that he held in reverence, or an old leader he deeply respected, yet also like a war comrade he had not seen for far too long. Furthermore, from Elder Alufa’s age it was evident that he was from the generation before my dad, hence my dad was even more respectful.
“I heard from Lil Bing that this is her other home. Elder Alufa, thank you for saving Lil Bing and taking such great care of her. You guided her along the way so that she didn’t go astray when she’s here. You are her life mentor. Without you and Noah, she wouldn’t have become the Queen she is now!”
Elder Alufa’s eyes were moist with tears. He held my dad’s hand, saying fervently, “No… It is you who brought us hope… It is your and Lil Bing’s mom’s contribution… Without you, we wouldn’t have come across our hope. It is because of you, because of you…” Elder Alufa became more and more emotional. He even seemed like he was going to kneel, so my dad quickly stopped him.
I immediately went forward and held Elder Alufa with my dad. I told him, “Elder Alufa, my dad would like to see Noah City. Go ahead and bring him around.”
“Sure, sure! Hurry up and come in! Everyone, make way for our VIP!” Elder Alufa commanded, bringing my dad into Noah City. I glanced at Harry and Raffles, saying, “Take care of them and my younger brother too.”
Harry chuckled happily, saying, “I finally have a chance to lick my father-in-law’s boots.” Seeing his reaction, I couldn’t help but exhort my younger brother, “Watch your brother-in-law, Harry. Don’t let him act recklessly.”
“Waifu… How could you…” Harry glanced at me in distress.
Raffles looked at him, chuckling. Then, he quickly followed behind my dad.
“What about you?”
“Sis, where are you going?” Loki and Harry looked at me suspiciously.
I glanced at Loki then at Harry, asking the latter, “Didn’t you notice who else isn’t here?”
Harry’s eyebrows were tightly knitted. He had probably noticed long ago, and just hadn’t want me to feel awkward.
Just then, Pelos’s spaceship slowly descended. Both Sis Shirley, Xue Gie and the rest of the people went forward with anticipation. When the hatch opened, it revealed Uncle Mason and Sis Ceci.
The entire world sank into complete silence then.
Elder Alufa and Raffles, who had already brought my dad through the city gate of Noah City, turned around to look over at Sis Ceci and Sis Shirley too.
Sis Shirley and Sis Ceci were just like Arsenal and me. There was a great misunderstanding between us. The actions taken over that misunderstanding had hurt our sisterhood, and the grudge had rooted deeply in our friendship. The grudge left a crack in our friendship and we had yet to reconcile.
Sis Shirley and Sis Ceci gazed at each other for very long. The misunderstanding between them was actually the same as that between Arsenal and me. Elder Alufa was the one who had made the decision.
Somehow or rather, we could forgive Elder Aluda but we couldn’t forgive our sisters. It might have been precisely because we were sisters.
Uncle Akbu was standing next to Sis Shirley, while Uncle Mason was standing next to Sis Ceci.
Uncle Akbu nudged Sis Shirley gently while Uncle Mason nudged Sis Ceci too. They each took a step forward. Then, they slowly walked toward each other, stopping when they were one step away from each other.
Sis Ceci glanced at Sis Shirley, breaking the silence first. “Did you take care of Noah City when I am not around?”
Sis Shirley rolled her eyes at Sis Ceci, asking in reply, “Why don’t you go in and take a look at it yourself? Did you take care of my son?”
Sis Ceci smirked. She lifted her hand and snapped her fingers. Then, Pelos, Angelina and the rest of them swarmed out.
Everyone dashed out, passing Sis Ceci and Sis Shirley. They hugged one another tightly while Sis Ceci and Sis Shirley exchanged a smile among the crowd.
At the very moment they dispelled the unpleasant memories, I felt deeply inspired and empowered. I immediately ran over to Brother Qian Li, asking, “Where’s Arsenal?”
Brother Qian Li looked afar and smiled, “In the control room. Ming You is there too. Go ahead.”
“Dad! Don’t let this bad woman get close to mom!” The young boy became protective of his mom and the young girl followed closely behind him, holding his hand tightly.
Brother Qian Li squatted down with a smile. His eyes made it difficult for him to look at them closely. He could only look into a far distance like how he had looked at me earlier, explaining, “Luke, your mom made a mistake back then. What did I teach you? You have to admit your mistake with courage when you do something wrong. Your mom actually wanted to apologize to Aunt Luo Bing too.”
Aunt… Luo Bing. I am already an… aunt…
I could wait no more. I turned and ran towards Noah City, past Elder Alufa into the familiar tunnel. The long, dark tunnel had resounded with our voices and laughter in the past. The memory of us running, laughing, squabbling and competing replayed in my head as I ran.
I seemed to be running back in time, stripping away my outfit as a Queen and untying my braids. My clothes turned into the battle uniform I had worn back when I had been in Noah City, my long hair returned to the initial short hairstyle I’d had, and I was wearing the cloth shoes that Arsenal had sewed for me.
I stood at the door to the control room. It was open. Arsenal, who was standing in front of the console, went stiff. Slowly, she turned around. It was as though time had slowly brought Arsenal and me back to when we had first gotten to know each other.
We stared at each other in silence, just like Sis Ceci and Sis Shirley earlier.
Ming You held Arsenal’s shoulder gently. Then, she walked before me and gazed at me gratefully. She hugged me, saying, “Thank you for seeing her. She felt too ashamed to see you.” She let go of me and left, leaving me and Arsenal behind in this quiet world.
Arsenal looked stupefied, staring at me for very long before she lowered her chin. “Thank you for coming to see me.” She spoke first and I didn’t know how to respond.
She lifted her hand and said, “Let me finish…” With a gulp, she let out a heavy breath before she continued, “I always wanted to surpass you but I slowly realized that we were growing further and further apart. We were so far apart that I couldn’t catch up with you at all. Let alone surpass you…”
“Arsenal, you don’t have to surpass me. Everyone is at a different post, carrying out a different mission, and finding a different kind of success.”
She let out a cold chuckle, laughing at herself. “Bing, everyone viewed you as the goal. The same went for me. I’d already felt unsatisfied when we were not too far apart…” She paused and turned to face the console. She continued, “I was jealous. You even received His Highness Xing Chuan’s love. You promised me that you wouldn’t let him fall in love with you. I knew that you were so outstanding that His Highness Xing Chuan would definitely fall in love with you if he found out that you were a girl. You were just too outstanding. There was no other girl or boy in the world who he cared so much about…” Arsenal’s voice grew sorrowful.Previous Chapter Next Chapter