Chapter Twenty-Two

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The typhoon roared towards the coast once more, a spinning maelstrom of rage. Ever-growing, turning darker and darker. Within this typhoon a dragon growled, its talons flashing like lightning and its tail beats thunder.

He was looking for his wayward daughter.


The rain pounded down the roof and poured into the river in torrents of water. The palace servants ran about, securing areas that were in danger of being inundated with rain. The laundry women cursed and said that the rain and howling wind was not seasonal. They warmed themselves with hot noodles. The air was cold, the wind bone-piercing. It was not even close to Qing Ming, the festival of Pure Brightness or Tomb Sweeping. Perhaps the ancestors were angry.

Ming Zhu had the skittishness of a frightened cat, jumping at anything and everything. Xiao Xiao knew that the dragon princess was scared. Why was she so frightened of her own father?

“We have to be bold,” Xiao Xiao said. “Both of us.”

“Be bold?” Ming Zhu thrashed within the silt of Xiao Xiao’s mind.

Xiao Xiao gripped the edge of her pao. “You believed in yourself, didn’t you? You left, because you believed.”

“Yes!” Xiao Xiao said loudly and Xiao Xin turned around to look at her, her toy dangling from her hand.“ You vowed to protect my sister!”

A soft sigh – and the stirring became calmer, as if the dragon princess had ceased worrying. “Yes.”



Noodles with Chinese Vinegar and Soy Sauce

(for one)


A handful of egg noodles.

Chinese black vinegar.

Soy sauce.

Scallions, sliced.

(or fried shallots)

Roast sesame seeds.



Blanch egg noodles in boiling water. Drain noodles and place in large bowl to cool.

Add in Chinese black vinegar, soy sauce. Toss/stir quickly to coat noodles with sauce. (Adding chilli paste or oil is optional)

Garnish with scallions and sprinkle sesame seeds on noodles. Serve immediately. (Fried scallions will also give the noodles extra crunch)

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