Rhapsody of Death

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Chapter 64

Qian had now completed his mission to restore the souls that had been bludgeoned out of him by the angry ghost. He looked at the clock on the wall above the calendar and realized that he had found all his souls with only a short time to spare before the end of the 49 day time limit when he would have dissolved and dissipated into nothingness.

He returned the hulu containing his captured souls back to the landlord god of his district as instructed and was made a whole ghost again. Later, he was suddenly overcome by his good fortune and thought that divine intervention had rescued him for some greater purpose. But for what? He is a complete ghost now but there must be something more for him to do than just drift around for eternity.

He had just found his daughter and loves her deeply but she does not know her true father. Kaori, the true love of his life, does not know how much he loves her. Those are the most regrettable things in his mind and sadly, he only discovered them after he was dead and had no way to let them know.

“I think we have to contact your sister again. I want to find a way to let my daughter know about me.”

***

Qu-Fang had recently been so busy that she had little time to sleep. When she finally got to bed, she was plagued the entire night with nightmares of being chased by ghosts and visions of Shi Lin being beaten mercilessly by her father. She attributed it to excessive pressure from her boss at work and decided to ask for time off. But she never got the chance because the next morning she woke up with a severe cough and a high fever.

She tried to fight off her illness for a week and finally, at the point of total exhaustion, went to the emergency room at the hospital. But by the time a doctor was available to examine her, her symptoms had completely disappeared. On her way home, she was still puzzling over what had just happened. But more baffling and distressing was the return of her illness as soon as she walked into her house.

She was stressed out over this because the record company had agreed to give her an exclusive interview with Tan Lin and had scheduled it for the day after tomorrow. She wanted to focus all her energy on it and do her best to not screw it up but if she didn’t recover soon she would have to postpone the interview and risk losing the opportunity of a great scoop and possibly her best friend for good. Even with the inexplicable changes in her health, it had been so long since she had been contacted by the ghosts of Qian and her brother that it didn’t occur to her that they might be trying to get her attention again.

She tried taking every kind of medicine that she thought might help to no avail. In fact her symptoms got worse and spread to her stomach. The next day at work she had to go into the bathroom to vomit in the toilet. Her colleague was very concerned and offered her advice.

“I think you need to take leave from work to see a doctor. Your body can’t take much more of this.”

“I already went to the ER to see a doctor but when I got there, the symptoms were totally gone. He gave me a look like I was playing a prank on him. Or, I had a crush on him and wanted an excuse to have him examine me. But the strange thing is that when I returned home, I was sick again even worse than before.”

The story of the incident at the hospital made her colleague grin which quickly turned to a serious expression of concern.

“How could you get sick so suddenly? Has anything strange been happening to you lately?”

“I’ve been dreaming about ghosts a lot lately but I don’t believe in that superstitious crap. I think I am just overworked and too nervous to sleep well.”

“”Wow! You’ve been dreaming about ghosts? Have you considered that you might be haunted? Is this the first time you’ve had these dreams?”

“A while back, I dreamed that my dead brother was visiting me with his ghost friend. But I don’t care if ghosts are trying to get my attention. They will have to wait in line until I finish my interview with Tan Lin.”

The light hearted banter with her colleague did ease her distress somewhat and she returned to her desk to work. But in her heart she felt a little uneasy for joking about ghosts since she had already been contacted by them once before. She thought she had satisfied their needs and couldn’t imagine what more they could expect from her.

“Your sister is so stubborn Qu-Kai. How are we going to get her attention?”

“I know. She is a single-minded workaholic and right now, she can only focus on the interview with your daughter. I’m afraid that the only way we can shake her up is to make sure she can’t keep that appointment.”

Again, Qu-Fang did not sleep well all night due, she thought, to anxiety over the interview the next day. Each time she dozed off, she was awakened by cold air blowing on her face. She assumed it was the air conditioner and was about to get up to shut it off and then realized that it wasn’t turned on. Now she was getting seriously anxious but finally managed to get back to sleep. Suddenly she woke up; eyes wide open with her heart pounding from a rush of adrenaline. She wanted to scream but a heavy pressure was holding her motionless and the only thing that would move was her eyes. How could a ghost physically hold her down when they are as weightless as air?

When dawn arrived, she was feeling worse than the day before and on top of that, she was exhausted from the fitful sleep the night before. She called the office and told them that she was taking sick leave for the day and then called Tan Lin’s agent. She was hoping they would be understanding and re-schedule the interview but really didn’t know how they would react.

In the entertainment business, a star’s time is very precious and wasting it is like wasting their money and she suspected that no amount of apology would make a difference. The agent was irate and cursed her asking why the publisher couldn’t send anther reporter to do the interview. For all his bluster and posturing he knew that they really wanted Qu-Fang to do the interview so that she could nullify the bad publicity from the last interview.

He also knew that Tan Lin had been her good friend since childhood and imagined that she would welcome the opportunity to repair the broken friendship caused by that interview so, she would be willing to agree to their terms just to have that chance. He was pretty confidant that she would be willing to feature the new album release and let the company edit the article before it was published. There was not a better scenario imaginable so, he agreed to schedule a new interview date.

She was relieved that the agent didn’t cancel the interview completely. But finally accepting that she might be haunted by ghosts, she decided that all things in the tangible world would have to be put on hold until she could understand what the spirit world wanted from her. She didn’t understand how the spirit world worked but knew that it was time to get help to figure it out.

She asked her colleague how to contact her spiritual medium and she set up an appointment to see him. At the session, the medium easily connected with an eager Qian to find out exactly what he wanted Qu-Fang to do for him.

With complete understanding of Qian’s plan, Qu-Fang went to Tan Lin’s recording studio and waited in the wings for her to finish her music video recoding. When Tan Lin came out of the studio and saw Qu-Fang, her cheerful smile suddenly turned into a cold sneer.

“What are you doing here? It’s not time for the interview.”

She turned and walked hurriedly away.

“This in not for my work, this is for personal reasons.”

Qu-Fang chased after her and tried to grab her hand, but Tan Lin angrily brushed it aside.

“What do you want?”

“I have something very urgent to tell you about your mother. It won’t take very long but I want to tell it to you privately.”

Tan Lin motioned her assistant, who had been trying to shield her from Qu-Fang, to leave them alone in private.

Tan Lin crossed her arms impatiently across her chest and taunted Qu-Fang.

“Ok, ace reporter spit it out.”

“Your father wants to make contact you and your mother.”

“You call that big news? He’s been hounding me ever since I became famous.”

“You mean your mother never told you that Bing-Xiang isn’t your real father?”

“Sure, now that I am making money everybody wants to be my father. Who wants a piece of me now?”

“Your father is Yin Mo-Qian, the deceased chairman of Ying Yang Electronics. He died in a fatal car crash a little while ago and now his spirit wants to communicate with both of you. If you don’t believe me, go ask your mother.”

“That is such bullshit. I think you’re here just to create another scandal about me. Your last article accused me of being a stripper in a men’s club and now I’m supposed to be the daughter of a dead business magnate? When will you stop using me to fabricate sensational news articles for your paper?

“Please just go back to your mother and ask her. She will tell you that I am not lying.”

“You are just too much! I’m going to have my studio cancel the appointment for the interview. We’re finally through. Do you hear me?”

Then she turned away and angrily stormed off, back to the studio. Qu-Fang muttered into the air, “Sorry Qian, I tried my best!”

After she had talked to Qu-Fang, even though she suspected that what she said was a fabricated lie, she couldn’t get it out of her head. She recalled how Bing-Xiang had often said that she was another man’s daughter and how her mother insisted that she owed him for providing them with a home all these years. This made Qu-Fang’s claim seem reasonably possible so she decided to talk to her mother about it.

When Kaori heard her daughter say Qian’s name and ask if he was her father, she could not hold back her tears. Tan Lin knew in an instant that Qu-Fang was telling the truth. But how could she know this information?

Kaori began telling her the daughter the entire story of her relationship with Qian. She was emotionless, with a distant look in her eye, as if telling another person’s story. She told her that she never regretted living a submissive life and suffering the abuse of Bing-Xiang because she had used him to provide support for her and Qian’s child. Of course, he never knew it for sure so in a way his behavior was reprehensible. Hearing this repulsed Tan Lin. He had attempted to rape her and for all he knew, she was his own daughter.

When Kaori had finished her story, she opened the locket that hung around her neck and showed her daughter Qian’s picture. She was impressed by how handsome and masculine he looked and noticed how her nose and eyebrows resembled his while her other facial features resembled her mother’s. She felt a sudden pity for her mother, having to suffer so many years because of this irresponsible man. In her heart she felt that death was her father’s just punishment for deserting them.

A few days later Qu-Fang received a call from Tan Lin whose anger and resentment from their last encounter had been replaced by a humble and apologetic tone. She explained that she had talked to her mother and now knew that Qu-Fang was telling the truth.

“My mother and I had a long talk and I now know that you are telling the truth. But, the only way possible for you to know this is by having contact with the spirit world. If you have a way to contact my father, we would like to meet with you and your spiritual medium to hear from him personally. We will pay for the cost of course and it has to be kept confidential. But we must meet with you since you were the one contacted by him.”

The next day, Qu-Fang and the medium went to Kaori’s house. Tan Lin asked her how she knew about Qian so she explained what had happened to her and that she had been contacted before by Qian and her dead brother.

“That is why I couldn’t come to the scheduled interview. I was so sick and exhausted from their attempts to get my attention that I barely had enough energy to talk on the phone.”

Just then the medium began to speak.

“I sense two souls here with us and they are anxious to start. One is Qu-Kai and the other is Yin Mo-Qian. They have been haunting Qu-Fang for a couple of weeks now in order to get her to understand what they wanted.”

Everyone in the room was waiting with baited breath to hear what Qian had to say.

“Qian urgently wants to speak to Kaori.”

Kaori was overcome with emotion. After she had seen him in the coffin at his funeral, she never imagined that she would ever get a chance to speak to him again.

“”First of all, he wants you to know he loves you and it was only after he lost you that he realized how much. He now knows how much you suffered over the years to protect your child but at the time he broke off his engagement to Yan-Luo, he found out that you were already married to another man. He assumed you were happy and didn’t want to upset your life even though he missed you desperately. For the rest of his life, he never married because he missed you so much and regretted never having married you.”

Even though the medium was only a third party relaying the words of the dead, along with the words came the emotions of the sprits and tears began flowing down his cheeks. Qu-Fang reached over and handed him a box of tissues so he could dry his face.

When he began to speak again, his tone had changed and Kaori was shocked to here the familiar voice that she would never forget.

“The soul of the medium has graciously granted me permission to speak directly thorough the medium. It was too frustrating to tell him my thoughts and then wait for him to tell you. Kaori, I realized that you still loved when I saw you at the funeral looking into my coffin and I felt your warm tears on my cheek when they fell onto the face of my corpse. In these past few months since I died, I was fortunate that through the neglect of my family I was trapped in the ghost limbo world. Although I have struggled through many difficulties trying to prepare my souls for reincarnation and trying to find you, I am thankful for the chance to finally be able to tell you how much I loved you then and love you still. I never forgot you.”

“I want you to stay. Don’t leave me again now that you have found me.”

“I cannot stay here now that I have been made a whole ghost again and I have very little time to tell you all what I have to say. But, I won’t leave until I have said it all. In the second life I will try to find you and I promise I will be the good husband and father that you both deserved but never got.”

“You are dead and now you come into our lives to tell us you are sorry and talk about what you should have done?”

I know how angry you must be daughter but my deepest desire is that you can accept me and call me father before I have to leave this world.”

“Why should I recognize you? I have nothing in common with you. I’m supposed to welcome into my heart after you become my father overnight? How do you expect that to erase all the years of suffering endured by my mother and me?

“I am fully aware of your suffering and can never change that. But, I have great wealth and I would like you to inherit it all. With these riches, you can choose whatever life you want to lead and go anywhere you desire. If you want to sing, you can produce your on records. The possibilities for you and your mother will be boundless.”

“I am not short of money. Why would you think all your wealth would make up for the loss of my true family?”

Although Tan Lin still did not want to believe that all this was true, part of her instinctively knew that she was fighting with her father which caused tears of sadness and frustration to run down her cheeks.

“I don’t know how much longer I can hang on and postpone my transition to reincarnation. You can’t understand what a rare chance it is for me to be able to talk to you and I hope I can finish saying all that needs to be said. So, listen carefully because I won’t have time to repeat it.”

Now Tan Lin was shaken and could only cry.

“I want you to file a petition with the family court to declare you as my legal descendant which will entitle you to inherit my entire estate. Go to my mansion on Xinyi road and look for strands of my hair in my unwashed clothing. You can use this to match my DNA with yours to substantiate your claim. You need to do this because your mother is not my spouse and has no legal claim to my properties. My brother is trying to claim it all for himself but, he is only entitled to the Yin Yang company shares that he invested in. All my assets are frozen pending resolution of inheritance claims and disputes but the limitations on this will expire soon so you have to expedite the filing.”

“I don’t want your money!”

“This is not only for you. It is the last thing I can do for your mother. If you don’t want the money, fine at least do it for her. But for you, it means total emancipation from your step-father. He will have no legal claim to you and you will be free of his harassment forever.”

Tan Lin was visibly shaken and still crying but would not give Qian what he desired so desperately.

“In the bathroom, under the vase with the white orchid, you will find a key for a safety deposit box that contains my stock certificates, deeds to all my properties and the passbook to my private bank account. Once you are declared my legal heir, all these assets can be transferred into your name. You will also find two business cards belonging to my good friends; the Yin Yang company legal advisor and my personal accountant. If you have any questions, go to them. They can be trusted completely to protect your interests. I must return control of the medium’s body back to him. I can feel my energy subsiding and soon I must leave. Please grant my request so I can go in peace.”

Tan Lin still reluctantly refrained from calling him Father but no longer out of anger. She realized that once she had fulfilled his request that he would be lost forever and she was not ready to lose him after having just found him.

Now the medium began speaking in his own voice again.

“He is waiting for your answer.”

Tan Yin still refused.

“Kaori, you must persuade your daughter to comply with his wishes for the sake of Qian’s spirit!”

“Mother, I won’t say it. If I do, he will be lost to me forever.”

“When you miss him, you can go to his shrine to burn incense for him and talk to him. He will hear you and understand. Now, you must say farewell to your father and let him go in peace.”

Tan Lin finally erupted in tearful emotional outpouring spawned by the years of suffering and regrets and a newly acquired understanding of the depth of complete love.

“I will miss you father! I wish that you wouldn’t have to leave me and I want you to know that I will always love you and miss you.”

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