The Quarry - The Loop
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|“||Every Cloud family will plant a begonia tree when their daughters were born, it will company them from childhood to twenty. Lunar watches the blossoms and fading of the night begonia, she won't see it in twenty third year...||”|
- Lunar: Nikki, that is the gate ahead. I have many things to attend to in the Silk Shop, so I can only say goodbye to you here.
- Nikki: Lunar, don't worry. We'll meet again later!
- Momo: Eh? What's so bustling over there? Some event?
- Nikki: All in red, perhaps a wedding procession.
- Lunar: Yeah. This is the unique marry ceremony of the Cloud, everybody wears red clothes with a begonia in their earlock.
- Nikki: Why is begonia?
- Lunar: In Cloud, when a daughter is born, her family would plant a begonia tree, and it will keep her company from childhood to youth.
- Lunar: When they get married, the tree wood will be used to make ornaments and makeup casket, so that it still stays with her, and the flowers will decorate the wedding.
- Nikki: So, Lunar, you also have your own begonia tree, right?
- Momo: Lunar's begonia! It must be the most precious and attractive begonia all over the Cloud Empire!
- Lunar: To celebrate my one-month birthday, my mom planted a Night Begonia seedling at the garden.
- Lunar: Night Begonia blooms in the summer night and its fragrance endures. Thus the poem, 'The fragrance is still there after the elements, nobody can paint its beauty with pigments'
- Lunar: In the legend of Cloud, twenty-year-old Night Begonia is the best marriage tree. The makeup box made of it is the dream dowry of Cloud maidens.
- Lunar: I also expect the day, when I, in a red wedding dress, under the blooming begonia tree, walks to my lifetime happiness...
- Nikki: Lunar...
- Lunar: Alright, no matter how long the journey is, there is a destiny. Nikki, I really expect your show on Fantasy Styling Contest.
- Nikki: Yeah, I'll do my best!
Letter from Cloud City
- (12 days later, Silk Shop)
- Sue: Lunar, your letter. Came early in the morning.
- Lunar: Thank you, uncle. Let me have a look...This is the letter from Cloud City? I've been waiting a long time for this letter.
- (But as Lunar reads the letter literally, her face grows serious.)
- Lunar: It says suspicious thieves disguised by North soldiers are found in Cloud City. Due to heavy business, the reply is late, sorry...
- Lunar: Uncle, is North planning to invade Cloud City again?...
- Sue: Heard no such news. Maybe just several roving rats.
- Lunar: I'm still worried. Hmm... I'll pay a visit to Cloud City. The North soldiers are mostly weapon designers, maybe my Nebula Dual Swords can be helpful.
- Sue: Again? You still remember how much trouble you have caused last time? Five years ago, you served as the chief designer of Cloud City. You grew fast there, indeed.
- Sue: But to face a whole North army alone? You were so imprudent.
- Lunar: It's an emergency. As the Chief Designer, I did what I have to do. I believe you would have done the same thing if you were me!
- Lady of Silk Shop: Okay, okay, that's enough. Lunar, we are very happy to see you travel and grow, but Cloud City is on the borderline. It's just too dangerous.
- Lunar: Don't worry, mom. I just go there to help deal with several bandits. I'll be back very soon.
- Lunar: There are conflict and clash berween the seven kingdoms, but the violent force is not allowed. And I promised to uncle that I won't get involved in things like last time.
- Lady of Silk Shop: Lunar, look, Night Begonia in the yard is about to bloom.
- (Lunar looks up, indeed, flower buds have appeared on the begonia tree. They dot green and cute foliage like the rouge.)
- Lunar: Mother...
- Night Begonia is beautiful as ever.
- Lady of Silk Shop: Eh, Begonia will bloom for one month. When you're back, we can enjoy the beautiful flowers in the moon night.
- Sue: Lunar, uncle understands your decision, but do you really have to do this?
- Lunar: Uncle, I have experienced many things during the travel. Cloud City is the place where I studied and grew up, it is very special for me...
- (The past of Princess Miror and Princess Diana floods back. Lunar feels a little sad but then relieved.)
- Lunar: When I was child, I really wish I could have a sister so that we can grow together, watch begonia bloom and wither, and design for each other...
- Lunar: I could be a designer and she sould become a stylist... But then I realized that my wish has been fulfilled in Cloud City.
- Lunar: In my journey, I met so many different stylist and accumulated much precious experience. I want to be the best designer!
- Sue: Then let's say how much you have progressed. Uncle remembers that when you were 5, you talked about a pen that can both paint and design.
- Sue: A truly great hero serves his nation and people. I heard that you won Nebula Dual Swords in Cloud City. Let's compete on heroine style and then you do whatever you want to do.
Darkness and Plots
- Lunar: (So I went back to Cloud City again. Like what the letter said, there is a dark cloud over the border. I can feel the omen, but cannot see through the conspiracy behind.)
- Lunar: (In the Cloud City, I help the citizens craft clothes to prepare for the war and help them deal with the bandits.)
- Lunar: (Through the efforts of designers, the people prepared enough weapons. As it's getting harder to win, bandits left Cloud City and the situation gradually turns good.)
- (Year 680, New Era. Cloud City)
- Mayor: Lunar, we owe you a lot.
- Lunar: It's the joint effort of people that drove the bandits away and protected Cloud City.
- Mayor: Now that the bandits are gone, I can handle things myself now. Lunar, Cloud City is too small for you. To be a greater designer, you should go to other places.
- Lunar: Mayor, these bandits attack and retreat orderly. Maybe things are not that simple. I'd like to stay some more time until things are fully clear.
- Mayor: Due to its special location, Cloud City becomes frontline whenever a war breaks. It's not safe for a girl like you. You should really go.
- Are these bandits related to North Kingdom?
- Mayor: No, I just think your family will be concerned if you stay here too long.
War in Border Cities
- (Nidhogg's rebellion was suppressed by the new king, but his target seems to be elsewhere.)
- (Nidhogg fled back to North and under his influence, the three warlords in the North Kingdom now unite. Leading the troops southward, his target is Cloud City.)
- Soldier: Mayor! There are too many of them! The defenders outside can hold no more!
- Lunar: Take these weapons. I'll be right there!
- Soldier: Lunar, thank you!
- (The soldier bows to Lunar and leaves in a hurry. Mayor gets his sight back, stares at Lunar, and sighs.)
- Mayor: Lunar, I told you to leave, but you just don't! Now it's too late!
- Lunar: Mayor, you knew this would happen at that time, right?
- Mayor: You are a smart child, but sometimes, you are so unreasonable!
- Mayor: Today is totally different, the Till League is not the bandits yesterday. You can never win on your own.
- Lunar: Mayor, but we are not alone! Lor River City won't just sit and watch, because if Cloud City falls, the next will be the stronghold Lor River City...
- (Mayor sighs and stands up. He looks at Lunar, smiling bitterly. The letter asking for help was intercepted? Or Lor River City simply didn't respond? Lunar understands.)
- Lunar: Mayor, the general that guards Lor River City is Huo Qizhou.
- Mayor: What do you want to do?!
- Lunar: We met before and he even invited me to serve in Lor River City.
- Lunar: Now Cloud City is besieged, someone has to send the message to Huo Qizhou for help before the main force of North troops arrives!
- Mayor: Lunar, you really don't have to do this for Cloud City!
- Lunar: I'm the Chief Designer of Cloud City. No one, except me, can break through! If the reinforcement comes before the Nidhogg, we can still stand a chance.
- (Ignoring the Mayor's hindrance, Lunar snuck out of the city in the night. Though she encountered several challenges, she secured the win and made haste to Lor River City.)
- Lunar: The train to Lor River City has stopped... It rained several days before and the road gets all muddy. Don't know if the people outside the city have found someplace safe.
- (Lunar tries to get the horse run faster, but the muddy rugged road makes it impossible.)
- Lunar: Wait, I was on the main road, but why...
- (Lunar stopped and scanned. The small path is littered with debris and felled treees. There is black smoke rising in the distance and not a single person can be seen.)
- What happened in Lor River City?
- Lunar: I have to go to Lor River City to report all these to General Huo.
Plead in Luochuan City
- Lunar: General Huo is still busy? I've been here for 2 hours. When can I get to see him?
- Soldier: Eh... We have no idea. Lady Lunar, why don't you find someplace in the city to have a rest. When the general is available, we will inform you in no time.
- Lunar: No. The Cloud City is now under the siege by North army. No time can be wasted. Would you kindly notify him again?
- Lunar: And I have other important things to report too. The fields outside the city have been burnt, the roads are desrtoyed, we have to take action instantly...
- (Suddenly, Lunar is interrupted by a burst of laughter. And as she looks that way, she finds Huo Qizhou walking out of the camp.)
- Hawk Chason: Lady Lunar! It's been some time! You refused to be a designer of Lor River City last time, and now you are here. Why? Did you change your mind?
- Lunar: No. General Huo, I'm here today for Cloud City...
- Hawk Chason: Ah! Right! Cloud City is in danger! I've heard of it. And I'm preparing my troops to fight northward!
- Lunar: ... If it's so, please send troops as soon as possible. I gladly offer help to guide the road...
- Hawk Chason: Eh, Lunar, you are still too young. There tens of thousands of soldiers in the city. To fight a war is not as simple as you say it!
- Hawk Chason: Lady Lunar, why don't you stay in the Lor River City for some time so that we can make an exhaustive battle plan!
- Lunar: What...! The iron hooves of Nidhogg's army are at the gate of Cloud City. There is no time... Thousands of lives of Cloud City are at stake. General, please take action now...
- Hawk Chason: That sounds no good. Thousands of lives of Cloud City. So what about the lives of Lor River? I'm general here and you have no place to order me.
- Lunar: ...Alright, alright. I understand. So... So what about the villages burnt down outside the city? There is no need to make plans to bring justice to the bandits, right?
- Hawk Chason: Haha, those villages? It's me! Lunar, wake up from your innocent dreams!
- Hawk Chason: The area between Cloud City and Lor River are rugged mountains. I've destroyed the road so that no matter how strong the North army is, they cannot just fly over!
- Lunar: You... You burnt down the fields and villages... Just to...
- Hawk Chason: That's right! As the North troops march into Cloud, the long trip makes the provision harder. There will be nothing for them after I burnt down the villages!
- Hawk Chason: How smart am I! When they are weakened by fatigue and hunger, I will strike out and snap them all! You should just sit and watch.
- (Lunar, surprised and angry, can't help stagger. At the same time, Zhong Lizi returns from outside the camp and walks over as he sees Lunar.)
- Zhong Lizi: Report, the new batch of supply has arrived at the station. Lady Lunar, why are you here?
- Lunar: ... It's you.
- Hawk Chason: You know each other? That'll make thing easier. Officer Zhong, help Lady Lunar settle down. She had a tough trip from Cloud City here. Let her have a good rest.
- (Zhong Lizi gestures to ask Lunar to go. Lunar silently follows Zhong outside the camp.)
- Zhong Lizi: Lunar, what's your plan now?
- Lunar: Lor River is the nearest military stronghold to Cloud City... The other cities are too far and General Huo has no intent to support. What can I do...
- Zhong Lizi: I've been persuading General, but he just doesn't listen... He came to power lately. It's not surprising that he wouldn't listen. I should not say this. Sorry.
- Lunar: ...
- Zhong Lizi: The communication to Cloud City has been cut off.
- Lunar: ...What are you talking about?
- Zhong Lizi: All the letters in the last month to Cloud City have been kept in Lor River.
- Zhong Lizi: General Huo orders the letters are detained in the military camp. I remember that there is a letter for you.
- (Lunar raises her head.)
- (She lets go worrying about the Cloud City, and thinks of mother's face, uncle's advice, flying Cloud Calico of Silk Shop and begonia in the yard...)
- Zhong Lizi: How about this, I'll get you the letter, and you calm down first.
- (Zhong Lizi left, leaving Lunar alone in the teahouse deep in thought.)
- Lunar: (I suddenly realized how weak I am. I aspired to be the greatest designer, but here I am, unable to protect a city.)
- Lunar: (I'm not as brave as I thought, I'm just like every ordinary girl who wants to live in peace for an entire life...)
- Lunar: (But, why, deep inside, do I feel sorry painful?)
- Zhong Lizi: Lunar, this is your letter.
- (Lunar wipes away her tears and opens the envelope. There is nothing in it except a design of hairpin.)
- (The hairpin is themed with Night Begonia; The design is very simple but very adorable.)
- Lunar: (This... This is my first design? Mom... Why did you send it to me?...)
- Lunar: (I made a wish to be the best designer. But now, do I have to give up?)
- Lunar: (Give up the people of Cloud City, give up the place where Princess Miror and Diana protected... Cloud City has not fallen, I cannot flee.)
- Zhong Lizi: Lunar, is there anything wrong?
- Lunar: Nothing, thank you. Mum, I understand you now...
- Lunar: (This season. Night Begonia should have blossomed...)
- Lunar: (Under the begonia tree, I drew my first work. To become the best designer, and to protect the person I care about with my works... My heart has never changed.)
- Zhong Lizi: Lunar, it's getting late. Please have a rest in the city.
- Lunar: No, Officer Zhong. There is no time. I'm going back right now. Before I leave, can you practice Combat Suits with me?
- Zhong Lizi: No problem.
City in Tear
Alternate name: Teardrops in Isolated City
- Soldier: Lunar is back!
- People: Are you Okay, Lunar?
- Mayor: Lunar...
- Lunar: Mayor, I'm sorry. I failed.
- Mayor: Then why do you come back? Why don't you go to Moonlit City? We have received the message Nidhogg is very close. There is no escaping.
- Lunar: Mayor, it's too early to give up! Last time you wanted me to leave, I refused. Today my answer is the same. I'll stay with Cloud City.
- Mayor: ...Lunar!
- Lunar: I have made up my mind. Don't persuade me anymore.
- (The mayor lets out a deep sigh, leading Lunar to the tower. The horn is blown and all the people and soldiers are rallied below.)
- Mayor: I hereby designate Lunar the general of Cloud City! Everyone has to follow her order and protect Cloud City at all cost!
- (Designers gather in the city. Every workshop in Cloud City is working around the clock to craft robes for the soldiers.)
- (This is a lengthy battle with no smoke or hope. The fabric and dye of the Cloud City is decreasing rapidly, and the food is going to be used up.)
- (The reinforcement of the North army is arriving continuously, while Lor River City still refuses to send troops. Rumors are shaking the morale of people.)
- Mayor: Lady Lunar... Nidhogg has arrived at Cloud City yesterday. Surprisingly, they didn't rush to attack, instead, they sent a letter that insisted you read it.
- Lunar: Really, let me see.
- (Lunar reads the letter quickly. A puzzled look appears on her face.)
- Mayor: Lunar, you seem to be in a very difficult position. Did Nidhogg ask something unreasonable?
- Lunar: No, very reasonable, on the contrary. He wants a duel with me, one on one, and the winner can ask the loser to do anything.
- Lunar: I just don't understand. Why does he give us a chance? Their force is overwhelmingly strong, he doesn't have to...
- Lunar: Is he so confident that he thinks he will surely win, or...
- Mayor: Whatever it is, it must be a trap. Nidhogg is very crafty and we cannot take the risk!
- (Lunar says nothing. She picks up a pen ans starts writing a reply.)
- Lunar: No... I will take this challenge.
- Mayor: Lunar, that's too silly!
- Lunar: Mayor, I have protected the Clod City once. Trust me once more.
- Mayor: It's a hard battle. Nidhogg is a genius designer, if you, the chief designer, lose, the Cloud City will...
- Lunar: Mayor, it's not the time to talk about this. Cloud City will hold on for some days, but without reinforcement, we will run out food and water sooner or later...
- Mayor: Lunar...
- Lunar: People of Cloud Empire don't surrender, right? I've thought it over, it's the fate. Sometimes, it just leaves us no choices.
- Lunar: No matter how many times we complain and pity ourselves, we cannot escape the abyss of fate.
- Lunar: Mayor, the target of Nidhogg is me. I can't stand to see the Cloud City fall while I shrink in the back.
- Lunar: ... I will win.
- (Lunar whispers, as if these words were said for herself.)
- (Year 680, New Era. Cloud City)
- (The rainy season of the Cloud City hasn't ended yet. Lunar carries dual swords and steps up to the tower in the rain.)
- (It's not a long way, but from this end to the other, it seems to take a thousand years.)
- (Princess Miror millennium ago, Princess Diana who sacrificed herself to craft the swords... Maybe everything is destined when she awakened the Nebula.)
- (She served as the chief designer here, helped Cloud City defeat waves of attacks. People here know her. They call her name with a smile. It's where she grew up.)
- (She thought of the Moonlit City thousands of miles away. There, begonia is blooming in Silk Shop and her mum and uncle are waiting for her.)
- (There, she met her love, she expected to stay with him and to make a lifelong promise in the begonia-blossom season.)
- Lunar: I have so many wishes, so many... people waiting for my return. I cannot lose.
- (It was a rainy day. When the dark sky was lit up by the lightning, it also revealed the figure with dual swords in hands on the wall. She shielded the whole Cloud Empire.)
- (That day, her unyielding figure was memorized forever by the Cloud City.)
Begonia Fades Silently
- (Year 680, New Era. Cloud City)
- (Nikki and her friends walk hard in the sewer, with Cali leading the way in the front and Nikki following her behind. Bobo is in no mood to chat.)
- Momo: Eh... The stench here... It's intolerable...
- (Though complaining, Momo tries his very best to follow up.)
- Bobo: Ah, there is light in front!
- Cali: Yeah, that is the exit ahead.
- Nikki: Let's get out quickly and find Lunar!
- Nikki: (After all these twists and turns, we finally get to the Cloud City. Lunar, hang on!)
- (Outside the Cloud City, a silver-hair young man appeared. He breaks into the North formation, defeating everyone that stops him, and moves to the south gate.)
- League Officer: Stop! No matter who you are, you can't walk any farther.
- Louie: ... Get out of my way.
- (South Gate is in sight, but Lunar is still unreachable. Louie makes a path through the crowd, and gets closer to the figure on the tower.)
- Louie: Lunar, wait me.
- (Year 680, New Era. Moonlit City)
- (Sue puts down the pen and looks at the overcast sky outside the study. It's about to rain.)
- Sue: The siege of Cloud City has lasted for more than a month. The communication to the north has been cut off and all the letters see no reply.
- Sue: ...If there is still no news, I have to go to the Cloud City by myself.
- (Sue makes up his mind and stands up. He flicks his sleeves, but knocks over an azure exquisite tea bowl on the desk. Tea spills on the ground drop by drop.)
- Sue: How careless am I today...
- (Night Begonia has been in full bloom in the Silk Shop. The flower is like a lotus with overflowing fragrance, as if it a gorgeous and grand dream.)
- (Lady of Silk Shop is embroidering under the tree. On her knees is a bright red dress, an heirloom marriage dress. On it newly embroidered begonias bloom like real flowers.)
- (Suddenly, the wind rises in the yard. When Lady of Silk Shop takes the frame closer and tries to thread a needly, it suddenly snaps and leaves a bloodstain on the finger.)
- Lady of Silk Shop: ...!
- (Lady of Silk Shop seems to feel something and raises up her head. The pink petals fly in the sky, brushing against her face.)