Other Tales 1: Foster Father Ke
A soft wind blew through the sky as the setting sun tinged the clouds with red light. The glow of evening turned the lands saffron, and wheatfields rippled with orange waves.
Everything was very beautiful.
The wheat stalks drifted in the wind, creating a splendorous scene that would fill anyone with wonder. It was like a celestial paradise.
The land here was fertile, the type that made it easy to harvest crops. As a result, the people who farmed it were rich. It was inhabited by mortals, the population was widely spread out through the lands. Everyone lived in their own manors, and cared for their own families.
In the highlands was one particular manor inhabited by a father and son. The son was very filial, and despite the wealth their family had accumulated, he did not act like a silkpants. The respect and love he showed his father could not be matched.
The father wasn’t very old, only about forty, but he was already spectacularly rich. Every day at dawn, he loved to go out into the courtyard and look up at the sky, or out at the fields of wheat. In the evenings, he would go out again to look at the warm, evening sky.
He was happy. The lush fields meant that his family had plenty to eat. Yet, what made him most happy was his son.
All of their neighbors knew how filial his son was; it was the type of attitude that seemed to seep out from his bones, something that was a part of his very soul. It was as if regardless of the time or place, his love for his father would be unsurpassable.
That man was Ke Yunhai, and his son was Ke Jiusi!
Because of Ke Jiusi’s deep desire, Meng Hao had ensured that he was reunited with his father after they were reincarnated.
They couldn't remember much of their past life, but in this life, both Ke Yunhai and Ke Jiusi were very happy.
They were mortals now. When Ke Jiusi got married, a huge banquet was thrown, and all the friends and family were invited. It lasted for several days, and filled the manor with bustle and excitement.
Time passed by for them. Day after day. Year after year.
Ke Jiusi grew older, and soon a new generation appeared in the family. Ke Yunhai grew older. No matter how much time passed, the manor was always a warm and loving place. Ke Jiusi always loved to go outside and look at the sky. He never changed that habit.
“Grandpa, what are you looking at?” His grandson would often ask this question, and Ke Yunhai would never answer. He would always just smile and shake his head. Ke Jiusi would tousle his son’s hair, but deep in his eyes, it was obvious that he knew the answer to the question.
Twenty years went by, and the grandson was now a young man. Ke Yunhai was even older, but his eyes were as clear as ever. In fact, they were clearer than before, as if he were now able to see back into his previous life.
One day, when his grandson asked him that same old question, he sighed.
“I'm waiting for your uncle.”
“My uncle?” replied the grown grandson, looking a bit shocked.
“I've always had the feeling that your father has a younger brother. He left a long time ago, and still hasn’t returned.” Ke Yunhai seemed to be thinking about the past, but deep in his eyes, a bright glow could be seen.
His grandson didn’t understand, but Ke Jiusi did. His eyes were glowing in the same way. It was the glow of... deep focus.
Many people who lived in this world were old friends and family of Meng Hao who had been reborn in the cycle of reincarnation.
Before leaving with Xu Qing, Meng Hao came to check in on all those people, visiting one planet after another, gazing once again upon all the familiar faces....
Wrapped up in his thoughts, he eventually brought Xu Qing to one particular land mass which floated out in the starry sky.
“You have old friends here?” she asked softly, looking out at the land mass.
He smiled and looked at the land mass for a moment. Eyes flickering with memories, he said, "There is someone here who I look up to. Someone I will never be able to forget. I need to go see him before we leave.”
It was winter. The sun was setting, illuminating the lands with redness. A gentle breeze blew as Meng Hao and Xu Qing appeared in the courtyard of a certain manor.
Apparently, the reincarnated Ke Yunhai couldn’t see Meng Hao. He stood there, looking up into the sky, accompanied by Ke Jiusi and his grandson.
Meng Hao looked at them, then walked forward and dropped down to kowtow to Ke Yunhai.
Although they couldn’t see him, he kowtowed nonetheless, touching his head to the ground. Memories flashed through his mind. He remembered how his Foster Father had cared for him in the Ancient Demon Immortal Sect. He remembered feeling fatherly love for the first time. Those same feelings filled his heart now.
He would never forget how his Foster Father Ke had cared for him. Back then, he had assumed Ke Yunhai thought he was Ke Jiusi, even though that wasn’t true.
He would never forget how his Foster Father Ke had been willing to pay any price for him. His hair had slowly turned white, and eventually he passed away. It was only in that final moment that Meng Hao realized Ke Yunhai had known all along that he wasn’t Ke Jiusi.
He would never forget what happened when he was sucked into the illusion outside the Vast Expanse. His Foster Father Ke had killed himself, all to help Meng Hao awaken from his stupor.
As Meng Hao kowtowed, these thoughts filled his mind.
Xu Qing stood off to the side, and when she saw what was happening, she understood. Walking forward, she also knelt to kowtow, as a daughter-in-law should.
“Foster Father,” Meng Hao said, “I just came to see you one last time....”
Almost as soon as the words left his mouth, Ke Yunhai suddenly looked down. The glow in his eyes intensified, and he smiled.
Ke Jiusi had a similar reaction, and a wide smile appeared on his face.
Ke Yunhai’s grandson, the young man who was Ke Jiusi's son, seemed confused by the smiles on the faces of his father and grandfather.
“I can feel it,” Ke Yunhai said, smiling. “Your uncle is here....”