Qin feels restless whenever she comes to her father’s study and looks at his books.
She is twelve now, living with her father and her nanny, her mother died when she was 8 years old, and her father loves her so much that he has refused to the opportunities to remarry, despite that fact that he is a decent general of locale government in south of the country. They have a wealthy mansion, garden and pool are only a few minutes walk away from home.
She dreams of going to more advanced studies at the capital city, yet, her father always says NO, which makes her feel disappointed and hurt. Money is not the issue, her gender is, at that time, girls are not supposed to learn much due to tradition.
“I would say 100 YES if you are a son, my child.” Father’s words keep resounding in Qin’s ears, making her wish that she were born a boy.
Her nanny, Sue, is a smart young girl who is only 3 years older than Qin is. She knows what Qin wants, and she came up with an idea.
Together, Qin and Sue convinced the old general and they dressed up as males and started their journey to the North.
Qin has studied away from home for three full years, she met an intelligent classmate Bin and they call each other brothers….Bin has no clue of Qin’s true identity, yet, he enjoyed their time together, discussing problem during their studies, climbing mountains when they were free…They both earned many honors and ranked first class scholars .
By the end of three years, Qin falls madly in love with Bin. While Bin has no clue of who Qin really is and he took her passion in him as brotherly love.
Back at Qin’s home, her father worried about his only daughter Qin very much. He was busy with his duties, yet has kept in touch with Qin via hand written letters. And he had a huge plan for Qin: find a rich and highly ranked young fellow to marry his daughter, until then, he would not consider himself getting a wife, although he is old and does need someone to love and take good care of him.
Eventually, Qin responded to her old father’s letter and decided to come home. Her father truly needed her.
Bin and Qin walked a long way before their departure. Along the way, Qin wanted to tell Bin she is a girl in disguise and she loves him, yet, she could not do it. She pointed at the temple near by, asking for them to pray together, Bin is silly like a goose, he simply could not get her.
Finally, Qin is home and her father is excited to see her daughter grow taller, look more elegant, she is about 16 years old now, at that time, it is a good time for her to get married.
Bin went back to the same school, trying to continue another year of studies, yet he felt empty and lonely without Qin beside. And to his huge surprise, he discovered a letter from Qin, it says: come to see me in my house as soon as the winter semester is over. I have found a perfect wife for you. A necklace is inside the envelope…
Back at Qin’s home, Qin’s father dropped a bomb news while she was sewing and thinking of what’s Bin would think when he comes to see her and find out that she is a girl, not a guy.
Upon Qin’s father’s announcement of her arranged engagement with Mia, a man she never knows and feels for, Qin’s world turned upside down. She fell silent and irresponsive…All she can think of is Bin.
Bin flies all the way to see Qin. He has fears, yet his longing for Qin makes him brave. He finally figured out that Qin is the wife he is promised. And He treasured the necklace and looked at it whenever he thought of Qin and her wit and her care and her smiles…
Qin’s father repeated his standings to Qin once again before giving permission for them to meet face to face at Qin’s garden home: parents decide your marriage, no other options.
Seeing Bin smiling all over at her, her heart winces with pain. How wrong for her to say NO while she knows Bin is the one she truly wants…
Back and forth, they talked about their past, expressed how much they long for each other.
Yet, due to taboos set up by the society and his father, she could not marry him.
Bin was hurt and her spirits were killed half by the end of the meeting. He promised Qin to come back to see her when he gets better from his sickness, and Qin trusted his words, But she knew that the date for their meeting is nowhere to be seen, unless they die together.
Within a month, news came and Bin was gone.
The next week, Mia and his family sent people to welcome Qin into their arranged marriage.
The pain of losing Bin made Qin feel heartbroken and she became super sick.
She refused to get ready to go despite the urges from her old father. In the end, her father started to yell, heartbroken as well, he loved his daughter and thought that what he did was for her best, yet Qin has been drafting farer away from him, barely speaks to him ever since Bin left.
Finally, Qin made a request: she would coop to get ready for Mia unless she is arranged to make a stop to Bin’s tomb, wearing white…
Qin’s father said Yes!
And on this wedding day of her and Mia, she dressed all white, was sent to Bin’s tomb site.
She cried her heart out about his death and swore again:
we could not be together while alive,
yet I wish to be with you in Heaven…
As soon as her words fly out of her mouth, all of the sudden, dark winds blew, a loud thunder rolled over from distance and Bin’s tomb popped open with pouring rain and shouting thunder.
‘Bin, here I come.”
Qin flew all the way in and disappeared from Bin’s tomb site.
When the rain stopped, two lovely butterflies fly out of the bomb and danced cheerfully in the air.
People believed that they were Qin and Bin.
That’s the end of the story.
True love is beyond Everything! And this tale is retold by many generations and people never get bored of enjoying it.
This tale is inspired by a folk tale called the butterfly lovers…
I watched a movie version this morning, the ending sets me in tears, my eyes are red and i feel the urge to share it with English readers..it does fit magpie tale prompt in my view. Of course, I have omitted many details and changed the names as well. Enjoy!