The young knight-errant wandered around the world riding a small donkey arrived in a new kingdom today.
It was a special kingdom, or at least, special for the young knight-errant, everyone was dressed specially, the houses were built specially, and even the beliefs were completely different from anywhere else.
She looked at the long line in front of the temple not far away, and didn’t think much about it, jumped off the donkey, ran to the side of the long line and started to watch the line.
The young knight-errant’s age was around seventeen or eighteen years old this year, her appearance was very pretty and lovely, with a pair of beautiful big and round eyes. A lady looked at this foreign girl poking her head in there, smiled, and waved at her, saying, “Little girl, would you like to make a wish? Our Goddess could make any wishes come true.”
The young knight-errant shook her head and laughed, “I don’t have to, I don’t have a wish, it’s better not to waste your Goddess’ divine power.”
The young knight-errant’s words weren’t a lie. Over the years, she had ridden her little donkey around the world every day, she could be said to be living at ease and free, and for her to suddenly have to make a wish, at this moment she couldn’t think of any wish.
Moreover, she wasn’t a citizen of this small country, and the Goddess here might not listen to her wishes. If she made a wish and got nothing, she would feel like losing something so she thought it was better not to wish.
The young knight-errant got in and sat watching the procession was moving slowly, just like the gorgeous golden statue of the Goddesss sitting on top, listening to one wish after another. A little girl wanted new clothes, that young man wanted a marriage, and someone send a prayer that he, who was about to go away on business, would be able to have a safe travel….
It was all simple and mundane wishes, she thought that the people of this kingdom should be living quite happily and peacefully, so none of their wish were overly extravagant.
It was just that after she sat there for a short time, she couldn’t help but start thinking of a question.
’Does this Goddess really have the time to listen to everyone’s wishes and help fulfill them all?’
She has only been here for a little while listening to the wishes yet she felt like her head is going to spin.
But whether this so-called faith was true or not, it was all depended on what they thought.
It was too boring to keep listening to people making wishes, and she soon lost interest, running away from this temple and then strolling the entire street.
Taking advantage of her pretty and cute face, she could eat anywhere. This one stall that was selling snacks gave her extra sweet, that one stall that was selling clever trinkets gave her a discount, and when she was eating a bowl of wonton on the side of the road, the shopkeepers were all smiling, they asked her if it was enough. If it wasn’t enough they would add a little more….
She ate until dark all the way home, hiccupping as she returned to the little inn where she was staying, slept in, and having a very sweet dream full of good food.
She ate too much on the street, she couldn’t wake up early, and it was only at noon that she finally opened her eyes reluctantly.
After stretching and getting dressed to get up, she trotted all the way out and bought herself a pile of large flat breads, delicious steamed buns, and a jar of pickles that she intended to use for food for her journey.
Yes, she was already planning to leave.
While this little kingdom was really special and she loved it, she was a young knight-errant who was determined to travel the world, ah! ‘Why would I stay at one place!?’
She bit into a large steamed bun and after packing all her luggage, she cheerfully went to pay her bill at the inn.
”Inn keeper boss, thank you for your hospitality!”
After saying that, she led her little donkey and cheerfully walked out fromthe city.
’Eh? Where is this!?’
The young knight-errant fiddled with the map in her hand, and then looked at the huge, almost labyrinth like forest she was now in….
It was written here that after getting out of this forest there would be another country? Why is it that she’s been around here for most of the day, but there’s not even a shadow of another country? Now, both she and the donkey’s little feet can be completely bitten by all sorts of snakes, rodents and insects.
As she fought the mosquitoes, her heart was racing, ‘Oops! What am I gonna do! Where is this? How the hell was I supposed to get out? Am I going to die here?’
The young knight-errant could not help but be anxious, this place was a paradise for snakes and insects, rodents and ants of all kinds of beasts, every tree was so tall that she couldn’t see the sky, and all the trees nearly looked alike! And the land was so damp and eerie that it made her chill….
While it’s true that she’s strong in martial arts, she’s only good at dealing with people! If she faced against poisonous snakes, centipedes, scorpions and the like, she became like another young and cute girl, could only scream although her martial arts skills were high.
She hugged the neck of the little donkey in front of her, which was also trembling with fear, and somehow, in a flash, she actually remembered the legendary Goddess again.
‘Oops, when that lady told me to make a wish, I should have obediently followed behind the procession and prayed for a safe journey ahead!’
’After all, whether it works or not, at least we’re prepared. What a blunder! What a blunder! What a blunder!’
When she came to this point, she hurriedly clasped her hands together, clung to her last hope, and struggled with devotion, saying: “O Goddess, I am your most sincere believer! I beg you, please help me to leave this forest! Even if I can’t leave, at least give me a place to rest for now.”
After saying that, she patted the little donkey’s head, “Hey! Hurry up! You have to make a wish too! One more donkey is one more power!”
She just wanted to have more psychological comfort, she didn’t expect that this legendary Goddess would grant her wish.
After circling around for another fifteen minutes, a shabby and old hut actually appeared not far from them.
Although that hut was really unsightly looking, the young knight-errant who found the human population was nearly blinded with joy. She jumped off the little donkey’s back and ran over towards the hut with a big smile on her face.
”Hey! Hello? Anyone?” She banged the old door so hard that a pile of dust fell towards her head.
’If no one was in there, I could have just gone in,’ she thought to herself.
The door is quickly opened, and to the little ranger’s surprise, the person who opened the door wasn’tt the old man or woman as she thought, but a fair skinned girl who didn’t look much older than herself, and unbelievably beautiful, completely out of place in this place.
And the beautiful girl was clearly more surprised than the young knight-errant when she saw her.
”Who are you? How could you find your way here?”
The young knight-errant was a simple-minded person, and as soon as she saw that there was a beautiful girl in front of her, she instantly removed all her defenses. After quirking her eyebrows and showing her trademark smile, she retelling the girl about everything she had experienced.
”It’s been many years since an outsider has come here.” The white clothed woman sighed.
She ushered the young knight-errant into the hut, and the crisp sound of metal clashing made the young knight-errant notice that the white-clothed woman’s feet were actually chained up with long, fine, iron chains.
The young knight-errant apparently wasn’t a complete fool, and with a rather vivid imagination, she instantly associated her with the terrifying forest outside.
She couldn’t help but frown, ‘Did someone deliberately lock this girl in this dreadful forest? It shouldn’t be, she was just a weak and harmless big sister, who did she provoke? What’s her crime?’
The young knight-errant was curious, but she was also a sweet girl, and she was afraid that if she asked abruptly, she would make the white clothed woman sad, so she decided that she would wait until they got to know each other a little better before asking.
”Big sis, have you been living here by yourself?” The young knight-errant looked naively and asked.
The white-clothed woman smiled and said, “Yeah, that’s why I’m so happy to see you today.”
The young knight-errant couldn’t help that her heart was beating faster at the sight of the fair skinned beauty’s wide smile.
In order to cover up this sudden thoughts, she lowered her head, lifted up her trouser , and showed her leg, “Big sis isn’t afraid of snakes, rodents and insect? There are so many venomous insects here, I can’t defend myself against them no matter how hard I try, the bites are so painful and itchy, I feel like I’m half-dying.”
The young knight-errant’s calf was indeed bitten by the poisonous insects, it was red and swollen, but fortunately none of the toxicity was too great, otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to sustain herself here at all.
Seeing her leg bitten like this, the woman in white was shocked, and she said with concern, “Are you in pain?”
’You don’t say!’
The young knight-errant flattened her lips and nodded. Then, she felt a pair of cold hands gently caressed her leg. What was especially strange was that the wound, which was originally very uncomfortable, was strangely painless after being caressed by the woman in white.
When the woman withdrew her hands, the red swelling and wounds on her leg had disappeared.
The young knight-errant bounced out of her seat as she looked at her restored fair skinned calf. After jumping around the room a few times in surprise, she turned around and exclaimed to the woman in white, “Big sister, you’re very awesome, you know? You are more awesome than this kingdom’s legendary Goddess!”
The white-clothed woman in front of her, who looked as if she was in her early twenties, was stunned and said, “Ah, but I am the Goddess of this kingdom.”
This time, it was the young knight-errant who was stunned.
‘The Goddess?! She said she was this kingdom’s Goddess!? The Goddess that everyone worshiped in the temple?!’
’But where in the world can there be such a poor and miserable Goddess? Living in an old, run-down shack like this every day, and having her feet chained…’
This kind of treatment was completely different from those gods with boundless magic power she remembered.
”If you’re a Goddess, then why are you living here? And why were you shackled?” The young knight-errant couldn’t help but ask what was in her mind.
The Goddess still smiled calmly, “This house isn’t that bad, it may be small but detailed. Why, must a God live in magnificent place?”
”That’s true, but! But you look like you’re locked in here! Who locked you in?” The young knight looked at her who was smiling, and for a moment, couldn’t help but feel anxious for her.
”You want to know about that? It was a long time ago, so long that, if you’d come any later, I’d probably have forgotten about it…”
At that, the Goddess had to look down at the shackles on her feet again.
”The man who locked me in this place died centuries ago. It was the first king of this kingdom, and I had helped him establish this kingdom here with my divine power. Later, he feared that I would choose to leave after his death and not sheltering the people of this land, he sent out many men to made this very special chain, and then together they locked me up in this forest that no one dared to enter.”
The Goddess spoke in a very flat tone, as if she was telling a story that had nothing to do with her. But the young knight-errant on the other side of the story was mad at the king in the story.
”What a damn son of a bitch! Goddess, can’t you get out on your own? According to you, that king is nothing more than a mere mortal, how can he lock you up?”
The Goddess smiled gently and said, “I can’t get out, my power can only be used to help the truly good and pious person in this world, and I can’t help myself.”
The young knight-errant stomped her foot again with hatred, “Oops! You’re a Goddess, and you didn’t punish them properly, at least, curse that king’s offspring!”
The Goddess looked at her in surprise and said, “Huh? A curse? Why would I do that? Because of my resentment, I’m going to go out of my way to make other people angry so that innocent people can get pain? That would be too cruel. What’s more, if I really did that, this kingdom would also fall into chaos, resulting in the loss of life and limb. You don’t understand how hard-earned a kingdom’s peace and tranquility is, and I would never bear to destroy it no matter what.”
She paused and added, “Time is like water, hundreds of years have passed. I think the secrets that I have been locked away here have been buried with those first generations a long time ago. In this land, no one will know that their legendary goddess has been trapped here, so naturally, no one will take the risk of and come into this huge forest to figure out how to let me go. I’m already happy that I can meet you today and talk to you like this.”
Seeing the Goddess in front of her so Buddha-like, forgiving and easy-going, the young knight whose feeling has been jumping all day felt an incomparable headache for the first time.
The Goddess had to work hard every day to fulfill the wishes of a large number of her subjects, why did she has no desire and demand? Even after being locked up for hundreds of years, she had no complaint, if the knight was in the Goddess’ shoes she would have turned the entire kingdom upside down.
The young knight-errant couldn’t help but sigh softly. This was the first time that she was actually heartbroken about a Goddess who was reverently worshiped by countless mortals, and it seemed that being a Goddess was not necessarily better than being a human being.
The young knight-errant had spent most of the day wandering around blindly in that huge forest before, and now that she had heard another depressing story, she was suddenly feeling hungry.
She sat down next to the Goddess with a sad emotion, taking a wrapped food from her baggage, the flat bread was still delicious even though it was cold, and wanted to eat it to ease her sadness and make herself the happiest young knight-errant again.
She held the big flat bread and was about to open her mouth to munch on it, but suddenly noticed a pair of bright eyes next to her was staring straight at her…no, at the flat bread in her hand.
”Goddess, do you want to eat this?” The young knight-errant silently handed the bread because of her gaze.
The goddess pursed her lips and took the flat bread from her, but instead of choosing to eat it, she turned it over and looked at it.
”What is this? Flat bread? Ah! It’s been centuries since I’ve seen your mortal food, it smells so good, can I really take a bite? Won’t it make you hungry?”
The young knight-errant shook her head, “It’s okay, I bought a lot of them, do you want a steamed bun?”
As she opened her baggage for the Goddess to choose from, she couldn’t help but think in her heart, ‘My Goddess really didn’t eat the food of common mortal.‘
After that, the young knight-errant relied on her own stuffed bag full of dried food, together with the goddess who was busy using her divine power to help people fulfill their wishes every day, and stayed (endured) living in this little shabby house for five whole days.
The young knight-errant never thought of leaving until her dry rations were gone, and the Goddess never urged the young knight-errant to leave quickly. This was the only little bit of selfishness that the Goddess had in centuries.
She was constantly listening to the prayers of the world every day, and now being able to meet someone who didn’t have any wishes and simply wanted to have a good conversation with her was so precious that even the Goddess would feel very reluctant.
It was just a pity that the limited amount of dry food would eventually run out, and the Goddess couldn’t conjure food out of thin air using her divine power.
The young knight-errant couldn’t damage the chain at all despite trying everything, laving with a heavy heart. The young knight errant, somewhat sadly, rode on her beloved donkey again, and she remembered the gentle gaze of the goddess and the pious prayers, turned back to the city.
Naturally, the young knight-errant didn’t immediately leave this kingdom as she had originally planned. It was because she found that she had suddenly become attached to this kingdom, or in fact, to that Goddess. She wanted to help her, no matter what, she has to think of a way to help her….
Because of this unexplained feeling, after tying up her donkey, she snuck into the most magnificent building in the kingdom in the middle of the night by herself.
The temple that always had a long line during the day.
She stood in the room full of candlelight, quietly looking at the noble and magnificent golden statue of the Goddess. It was the first time she noticed that the statue and the beautiful girl in the little shabby hut really looked very similar, both were so gentle-looking. So beautiful, with a little bit of naivety on her eyes.
As she was thinking so much about the Goddess’s many goodness, the young knight-errant began to feel that this kingdowm was unworthy of the Goddess. After all, such a beautiful and kind Goddess should live here to be looked up to! Instead, she was being hidden in a shabby hut, living a miserable life and had to cheerfully blessing these people who had no idea of her miserable daily life.
’It’s not worth it! This is really not worth it!’
The young knight sighed as she stopped looking at the golden statue, turned around sharply and ran off.
On the way back to the inn, the young knight saw a young beggar, no more than eight or nine years old, sitting on the roadside. Perhaps she was brainwashed by the Goddess’s Holy Mother’s attitude but she, who had never shared food casually, couldn’t help herself, so she divided the pastry she bought and shared half of it with the young beggar.
Seeing this, the young beggar who had been hungry for a while brightened up. He said, “Thank you big sister,” then sweetly gobbled up.
As she looked at this beggar’s cuteness, the troubled young knight couldn’t help but laugh softly.
After she finished the good deed, she was planning to return to the inn contentedly to continue thinking about her big plan to save the goddess, but suddenly she heard the young beggar muttered in a low voice, “The Goddess is so divine!”
The young knight-errant looked back in surprise and said, “Were you just referring to the Goddess? Is she really that good?”
The little beggar took a look at this beautiful big sister who was obviously not from this kingdom and nodded somewhat proudly, “Of course, the goddess has blessed us! We’ve been praying to her for hundreds of years, and if we truly prayed to her sincerely, we would get good luck. I just made a wish to eat the delicious food from Xiangyun Zhai shop, and then I met this big sister.”
The young knight-errant took a look at the oil paper wrapped around the pastry in his hand, and there were the name of Xiangyun Zhai shop…
As she took a big bite of the pastry in her hand, she said to the little beggar, somewhat unkindly, “Geez, you sure are all in good luck, But your Goddess was unlucky. She was chained by your first king, in some kind of magical chain, in a forest, and for hundreds of years she couldn’t go anywhere and have to stay in a small shitty hut, listening to your wishes every day and then stupidly trying to help you make them come true.”
If the one in front of the young knight-errant wasn’t an eight or nine years old child, but an adult.
If he was in a good mood when he heard this, he would probably immediately give the blasphemous young knight-errant a good beating and then walk away from there, and if he was in a bad mood, he would probably not only give her a beating, but also tie her up and hand her over to the government for punishment.
But it was good thing that the little beggar was only a little kid who was a whole lot shorter than the young knight-errant, and, moreover, a little kid who had just eaten the pastry the young knight-errant had given him.
So, he just glared at the young knight-errant somewhat angrily and then defended the Goddess, “Hey! What the hell are you talking about!? That’s our all-powerful goddess, how could she be locked up, and even if someone did dare to lock her up, can’t she cast a spell herself and leave?”
The little beggar’s thoughts coincided with the young knight-errant in the beginning as well.
The young knight-errant sighed and said, “But it seems that the Goddess can only grant the wishes of others, not grant wishes of herself, so she’s the one who’s been trapped.”
’What the hell kind of reasoning is that?’ The eyes of the little beggar looking at the young knight-errant suddenly took on a bit of pity, just like looking at a fool.
He ate his fill, patted the crumbs of pastry on his hands, slowly stood up, then, in the little ranger’s surprised gaze, turned towards the direction of the temple not far away, and plunged down on his knees.
He lay down on the ground and piously said, “O dear Goddess, thank you for the delicious pastries you have given me…”
Young knight-errant: ???
”And now, I pray with all my heart that you will fulfill one more wish of mine, please destroy the chain that holds you in place!”
When he finished, he straightened up, cocked his lip in a smug look to the young knight-errant, and said, “You’re so stupid, if the Goddess really is as you said, then you can just make a wish in her stead, right!?”
Such word awakened the girl who always thought of herself as smart and clever young knight-errant for the first time have to admit that her brain was actually not as good as a beggar’s!
The young knight-errant rode her little donkey, following the directions she remembered, all the way through the thorns and thistles to come back to the front of the huge, maze-like forest from before.
The little donkey was also suffering from poisonous insects before, and began to tremble at the sight of the forest. The young knight-errant was also trembling, but she still bit her teeth and ordered the little donkey, “Charge!”
After all, this little donkey had followed its master for several years and was loyal, seeing its master so anxious, for the sake of its master, it had to bite its teeth and fiercely rushed inside.
One man and one donkey, relying on their memories, ran through the forest for more than an hour before finally, they saw the familiar little shack again.
After the young knight-errant jumped off the donkey, she looked at the shack where the goddess lived, and suddenly, her legs were shaking. She was afraid, afraid that the more she hoped, the more disappointed she would be, so she was afraid to go forward.
Seeing that the knight-errant was dawdling, the little donkey whose leg had been bitten so badly got a little upset, and it lifted its front leg and kicked hard at her who was still in a daze.
The young knight-errant didn’t notice a single thing, so she was violently kicked into the Goddess’s little shabby shack.
The Goddess, who was silently reading a worn and old book, heard the noise and turned to look at the girl in front of her, she was startled.
”Is that you? Why are you back? Did you forget? This forest is very dangerous.”
Although she said that, her tone was hidden with some unspoken joy, and she herself was a little frightened when she noticed it.
The young knight-errant just gazed at her steadily and said, “Goddess, I also want to make a wish.”
The Goddess nodded her head and looked at the young knight-errant tenderly with her eyes, letting her to speak. That cheerful smile was like saying to the young knight-errant, “Hurry up and I’ll grant it, as long as you say it, I will truly pray and help your wish to come true.”
Looking at her expectant gaze, the young knight-errant also smiled. She slowly walked over to the Goddess and squatted down, so she tested it out and gently touched the long, finely made, iron chain.
She touched the once indestructible chain, and it instantly turned into a pile of fine silver powder.
The young knight-errant breathed a sigh of relief as she looked up at the disoriented Goddess and said, “Goddess, I am here to pray with all my heart that you will leave this place with me!”
At the break of dawn, the morning vendors staked out their stalls and began to wait for their customers to come.
And the young knight-errant, with her donkey in one hand and the Goddess in the other hand, was walking merrily through the streets of this kingdom. Apparently, no one was like her, who could see the resemblance between the Goddess and the golden statue.
”I must stay and protect my people…”
”You can protect them wherever you are.”
”I’m the Goddess they’ve been worshiping for centuries.”
”Don’t mind them, just be yourself now.”
”You’re such an irresponsible little rascal.”
”Oh my, Goddess, don’t say such thing, hey, don’t you ever wonder at all how much the wide world out there has changed over the centuries? Stop worrying and let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”
The ran away Goddess sighed at the sight of the energetic young girl beside her.
And yet she clearly felt joyous.
 Knight-errant: Wandering knight
 She brought flat bread (da bing), steamed buns (mantou), and pickles (xian cai)
 The sparrow may be small but all its vital organs are there (idiom) : Small, but detailed
 lit. not eating the food of common mortals; fig. placing oneself above the common populace
 Because the knight apparently didn’t wish of it, she couldn’t use her divine power for herself