Within the thick dense fog was a small town suspended in the air. The floating buildings looked to be in a constant state of disrepair: the rubble and the run-down broken houses all looked as if their positions were fixed in the air.
Xinqing and Ah Can walked under the town. The rubble around them floated, as if they would never fall to the earth. She couldn’t help but stretch out a hand to touch a rock. When she touched it, the rock floated away.
“It’s said that this town will automatically restore itself once in a hundred years in this world, but after a period of time, it then becomes rundown again… for several hundred years, this cycle has repeated itself. It is like how a queen of the night blooms and then withers,” explained Ah Can.
”Restore itself?” Xinqing was astonished.
“Yes, that means it returns itself to how the town originally looked,” said Ah Can. “This town has been here since ancient time, it’s just that it doesn’t exist in the real world any more.”
“It’s just that, why did it become like this?” Xinqing still didn’t know why this town would repeatedly restore itself and then fall back into disrepair.
“This is like the real world and history: when an era changes, the new era will replace the old one, and the old era will die, thus forming a new look. A hundred years later, the new becomes old and fades away. A new appearance is then formed, and so on, never to change.”
Hearing Ah Can’s words, Xinqing had the look of someone who now understood something. Death would welcome birth, and the new era will replace the old era. Wasn’t that how it cycled?
Suddenly, a red butterfly flew past Xinqing. She was surprised: how could this place have butterflies? The red butterfly fluttered its thin red wings, light faintly shining off it. It then settled on one of the floating rocks.
Xinqing blinked, then curiously made her way over. That butterfly did not seem afraid of her, and it didn’t fly away. The butterfly fluttered its wings again, and then flew up in the direction of the floating town.
The rocks which were floating around her suddenly began to move, flying up to the town piece by piece and beginning to put themselves together. Xinqing was rooted to the spot; even Ah Can was seeing this once-in-a-lifetime event for the first time ever.
The broken rundown town turned back into its old self in a blink of an eye. The houses and roads appeared and spread out in the air, the withered trees grew green leaves, the withered flowers in flowerpots by the windows bloomed again brilliantly. A few red butterflies flew past the two of them, as if they were dancing. Under the azure blue sky, it formed a parallel world.
Xinqing had never seen such a wonderous happening before. She stood dumbfounded for ages, What attracted her was not only the butterflies, and was not only the scene of the town restoring itself, but the miracles that existed in this world.
Ah Can extended his hand, and a red butterfly settled upon it. However, Xinqing saw that his hand had turned transparent for an instant. Xinqing froze that instant: why did his hand turn transparent? Wasn’t he already dead?
It was only after the butterfly flew off that Ah Can took back his hand. He stuffed his hands into his pockets and walked over to Xinqing. When he saw Xinqing with her head low and her expression distracted, he was worried. “Is there something wrong?”
“No, let’s go,” Xinqing said as she squeezed out a smile, before turning to leave as if nothing ever happened. She walked in front of Ah Can, but her heart refused to calm itself. It was an indescribable feeling, as if she was scared of something.
Every time she got closer to Ah Can, she couldn’t help but want to see his worldm yet she was afraid to know. She clutched her hand by her chest: what exactly was this odd feeling?