“Xuyue, do you want a younger brother or sister?”
It was a very fine day with the breeze gently caressing Gu Xijiu’s face. She sat on a lazy chair, looking very cozy and relaxed.
She was only pregnant for three months, but her belly made it look as if she was eight months pregnant. She started to wonder if she had conceived a super baby.
The baby was conceived after Gu Xijiu, and Di Fuyi were both reinstated. She was the Creation Deity, and he was the Master of the Heavenly Law, so it should not be a surprise that their union would result in a baby with the best genetics. Hence, it was reasonable for the baby to grow extremely fast.
At her current stage of pregnancy, it was easy for her to tell the gender of the baby, but she refused to check. She would rather keep it as a secret, just like most other pregnant women. She felt that the anticipation should be part of the process, and even her little girl was intrigued just as much as she was at the moment.
Di Xuyue was already seven years old, so she knew how to behave well now. However, she was unusually stubborn when it came to the gender of the baby. “I want an older brother.” Her answer remained unchanged.
Patiently, Gu Xijiu explained to her, over and over again, “Xuyue, you are my first child, so the baby can either be your younger brother or sister.”
Di Xuyue pinched her lips into a thin line and protested, “No, I want an elder brother to look out for me!”
Gu Xijiu could feel a sudden wrench in her heart. She had a feeling that little Xuyue used to have an elder brother, but the illogical thought was soon dismissed. Little Xuyue was her first child, so there was no way that she could have an elder brother. Perplexed, she wondered how the thought came by.
Ten months of pregnancy can be compared to a melon. When a melon is ripe, it falls off its stem, just like overripe babies. But there was nothing special about that.
As far as Gu Xijiu was concerned, some legendary men were born in extraordinary ways. She had heard of the legend of Nezha, a divine warrior in Chinese mythology. His mother was pregnant with him for three years before he was born.
Another legend told about the story of Lao Tzu. His mother went through 81 years of pregnancy before giving birth to him. In other words, extraordinary babies tended to stay longer in their mothers’ bellies for longer periods.
Gu Xijiu had a feeling that her baby would take a long time in her belly as she and Di Fuyi were both deities, and the baby was the first union of their divine bloodlines. To her surprise, the baby had been growing really fast, and very soon, the baby was ready to be born.
Four months passed, and the baby was already eager to come into the world. Panicked, Gu Xijiu actually thought that it was a sign of a miscarriage. She tried many ways to keep the baby in her belly, but the baby disregarded her concerns and insisted that it was time for the delivery.
Anxiously, she grasped Di Fuyi’s wrist tightly and asked in a tearful voice, “Are we losing the baby?”
Di Fuyi had some experience of dealing with pregnancies. He first observed the size of her belly before he wiped away the cold sweats that broke out on her forehead. “Don’t worry, Xijiu. Although you have been pregnant for less than ten months, the baby seems large enough to be delivered. The baby has been growing at an observably fast pace, so maybe he or she is ready,” he explained.
Gu Xijiu was still worried, though. The baby seemed to rush into everything. Would it be healthy? She went into labor with an anxious heart. The pain lasted for an hour, and the baby was finally out. However, she found it unbelievable when she saw what came out of her body.
It was not a baby that came out of her body. Instead, it looked like a piece of kryptonite. The stone was about the size of a basketball with irregular edges. With a pale shimmer, it looked like a star in the sky that was viewed up-close. However, its surface was not as tough as it seemed. With a smooth and soft texture, it trembled even with the slightest touch.
Nezha’s story reminded Gu Xijiu that the legendary hero was also born in a ball of flesh. The emergence of the kryptonite from her body certainly showed parallels to that, and she realized that her baby might be inside the stone.
With no regard for the pain of her labor, she quickly cast a spell to summon a sharp blade on her fingertip and was eager to cut the stone open to take out the baby.
However, her attempt was immediately stopped by Di Fuyi. “Xijiu, don’t!”
“The baby has to develop from within and break the shell from within when the time is ready. We cannot do that right now.”
Bewildered, Gu Xijiu stared blankly at the kryptonite that was still shimmering in seven colors. “Have I just laid an egg? This is rather odd. We are both deities, not birds. Has evolution gone the other way? Are you sure that the baby can break free from within? Will the baby be suffocated?”
Di Fuyi studied the stone for a while and replied, “Don’t worry. The baby will be fine,” he emphasized once more and then carried the stone away.
There was a Star Formation in sight. Many stars flared up in the night sky, each in its own orbit. Simultaneously, the starlight was directed to a raised platform in the sky. The stone was securely placed on the platform, shining with sparkling light under the influence of the stars. It spun slowly to fully absorb the very essence of the starlight.
Di Xuyue came to visit again and again and sat down next to the wooden table made of a flamboyant tree. That was where the stone was placed. She stared blankly at it as it had been three years since it was first placed here. “Dear brother, you have been there for three years now. When are you going to come out?”
However, the stone continued to rotate in silence.
“Father and mother visit every day. In fact, mother is very worried about you; she wonders if you will not make it out on your own. She tried to help a few times, but her father stopped her.”
“I am told by my mother that you will be my younger brother. I cannot wait to see your face. You must look really handsome!”
“By the way, they finally have a name for you – Di Hao. Doesn’t it sound noble and refined? Father came up with the name for you. Mother, too, came up with a nickname. She calls you her little star. After all, you were born in a star stone.”
Di Xuyue talked on and on. She did not realize that the stone skipped its usual rotation and trembled a little when she mentioned its nickname.
“Little star sounds good. I am sure you will look adorable. I have seen a child whose nickname is little bun because he looks soft and cute, but I still prefer the nickname little star.”
Meanwhile, the stone slowed down its rotation.
“I have decided. From now on, I will call you the little star. I will visit you every day to call you by your nickname so that you can get used to it. I am sure you will like it,” Di Xuyue announced her decision.
The stone appeared to stop spinning as if it had fallen into quiet contemplation.
Di Xuyue talked on for a while before noticing that the spinning had come to a stop. Panicked, she leaned forward to get a better look. “Little star, why aren’t you spinning anymore?”
She was worried that something might happen to it, so she tried to study and see if there was anything wrong, but she could not find anything. She could not help but point her finger at the stone and gave it a gentle poke.
To her utter surprise, a few cracks started to form on the surface of the stone. Certainly, Di Xuyue felt a surge of anxiety. With a dumbfounded look on her face, she quickly called out loud for help. “Father! Mother! Come right here!”
Di Fuyi and Gu Xijiu both arrived in the blink of an eye. Together, they witnessed a miracle.
Under the stars, the stone opened up like a bud that was bursting forth. Every petal was in the shape of a pentagonal star. Layer by layer, the petals arranged themselves neatly on the wooden table before revealing the baby that had been secured within the layers for years.
Gu Xijiu held her breath until the very last moment of the revelation. At last, her heart was filled with immense joy.
The baby boy looked so beautiful with his exquisite features and looked to be about six months old. His body was covered in a tiny piece of clothing of royal blue, and his pitch-black hair was complete and soft.
He opened his eyes, revealing his crystal clear eyes that glistened under the starlight. He took a quick look at Di Fuyi, Gu Xijiu, and Di Xuyue before reaching out his tiny hands to his parents to ask for a hug. “Mother! Father!” As a newborn, he could already talk.
His sweet smile melted Gu Xijiu’s heart. Eagerly, she stepped forward to hug him. “Hao-Er!” When she called out his name, she could not help but feel a little sad, like she had finally found what she had been missing for so long. She felt as though she did not want to let go of him ever again.
Di Fuyi seemed relieved as well. He hugged the boy closely to examine his potential. Obviously, the boy was born with extraordinary spiritual power, which made him a quality successor to continue Di Fuyi’s work in the future.
“Little one, you have finally revealed yourself.”
He then pinched the boy’s arms and legs to determine his fitness before developing training plans to unleash the boy’s potential.
Di Hao was shocked to see the calculative look in his father’s eyes. Without further hesitation, he reached out to his mother for help as he found his father quite intimidating.
He was only a newborn, and yet his father was already planning to train him. Honestly, he was not ready to be a successor to such a powerful man. He was just a boy at the moment.
“Mother! Father! Let me hold him. Let me hold him!” Di Xuyue circled Gu Xijiu in excitement. She was eager to hug her little brother.
Gu Xijiu did not want to disappoint her, so after informing her of some precautions, she then passed the baby boy to her.
Excitedly, Di Xuyue stared right at the baby’s big, bright eyes. “My baby brother, you are so soft!” Eagerly, she then proposed, “Brother, shall we take a walk around the sky?”
Before she asked for her parents’ permission, she was already flying with her baby brother into the sky. After rounds of training, she could already keep her balance well. Steadily, her dress danced in the winds, while she glided in the air.
Worried that her baby brother might be uncomfortable in the winds, she set up a wizardry barrier to turn the gusts into mild breezes to make the flying experience a pleasant one for him.
“Baby brother, what do you think about my flying skills?” Di Xuyue excitedly asked.
“Good, but not as good as mine,” Di Hao answered.
Di Xuyue raised her eyebrow at him in disbelief. “You are a newborn. How can you learn to fly right away?”
“What if I can really fly?”
“If you can fly, I will refer to you as my big brother.”
With a smile, Di Hao let go of her arms and found himself standing on a cloud. Swiftly, he then grasped Di Xuyue by her wrist and led her higher into the sky.
Di Xuyue gaped at him, not believing that he could already fly on his own. “You!?!?”
“Come, Xuyue. Don’t forget to refer to me as your big brother.”
Di Xuyue said something else instead, “Little star!”
“Not this one! Xuyue, my flying is better than yours, so you must do as promised. Come. Call me your big brother.”
Di Xuyue was quite reluctant to call a newborn baby her big brother. She could not do it. However, she did not want to break her promise as well, so instead, she changed the topic.
She took a look and saw a happening market that was situated right ahead. Perplexed, she asked, “Where are you taking me?”
“I am getting you a set of nine rings.”