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String of Pearls (III)

String of Pearls (III)
In-game SlangQuest Item
In-game DescriptionOur heroine meets the young man again. They fall in love and are ready to live together happily ever after. But a despot who covets Zixin's beauty and virtue is putting the skids under their plans...
Item Story
Male Role: Fan Jie
Female Role: Zixin
Comic Role: Grandma Zhang
Villain: Wu Wang
Comic Roles: Wu Yi, Wu Er

Scene I
(Enter Zixin and Fanjie from either side)
Fan Jie: "The dogs do bark excitedly at dawn."
Zixin: "The sun shines, and the frost on the eaves thin."
Fan Jie: "Is that Ms. Zixin I see?"
Zixin: "Indeed, it is! Is that you, Fan Jie?"
(Dongtang, senza misura)
Fan Jie: "I dreamt of you fair last night."
Zixin: "I regretted our parting, though we meet again soon."
Both: "That my heart's desire should come true."
(Aside, unison)
Zixin: "O Hero..."
Fan Jie: "O Maiden..."
Fan Jie: The sun speeds westwards and high, and work begins at the docks. I must go and begin my day."
Fan Jie: "Ms. Zixin, I take my leave."
(Zixin salutes and watches him depart. Fan Jie turns back as he grows further away. Zixin lowers and raises her head again as Fan Jie exits. Zixin wrings her hands.)
(Dongtang, lento, innig)
Zixin: "Ah, to have turned cowardly at the last moment!"
(Exit Zixin)

Scene II
(Enter the playboy Wu Wang, open-collared and dressed in green, with his companions Wu Yi and Wu Er)
Wu Wang: "I am the great Wu Wang, master of these streets."
Wu Wang: "Today I am bored and idle, and thus stroll about looking for sport."
Wu Wang: "Wu Yi, Wu Er!"
(Same Aside)
Both: "Yes, sir?"
Wu Wang: "I have a mind to eat something new today. Have you any ideas?"
Wu Yi: "What about some Golden Shrimp Balls?"
Wu Wang: "I tire of fine meat and fatty fish. Golden Shrimp Balls seem alright."
Wu Wang: "Wu Er, go hence and find a store that sells a serving of those shrimp balls."
Wu Er: "I will."
Wu Wang: "Wait. It must be fried to a pure golden sheen, with not a speck of char-black to be found."
Wu Er: "Without a speck of char-black to be found, yes."
Wu Wang: "Hold. And they must be of size most equal. Not one shall be larger or smaller than the next."
Wu Er: "And they shall all be the same size, yes. Do you wish to go over the instructions again?"
Wu Wang: "No need."
Wu Er: "Do you have any other requests, sir? Just say the word."
Wu Er: "And if the store fails to meet your expectations, then let's do as we always do—"
Wu Yi: "What do we always do?"
Wu Er: "Not give them any Mora, of course."
Wu Wang: "No, no, come, look at the fish store yonder. Now there's a beauty more filling than a fine meal."
(Dongtang, lento, innig)
Wu Wang: "Let us go up and seek some details as we may... All the better to seize her with."
(Wu Wang turns to Zixin)
Zixin: "Would you like to buy fish, sir?"
Wu Wang: "Why, of course, of course. Which family do you hail from, miss, and where fare your parents?"
Zixin: "I grew up at the docks. My parents have grown old, and I run the store alone, selling fish to make ends meet."
Zixin: "Why do you ask, sir?"
(Turns, sotto voce)
Wu Wang: "Wonderful, wonderful. Her parents are not at hand. A fine chance to strike, indeed."
(Turns back, facing Zixin)
Wu Wang: "Then, miss, are you yet engaged, or pledged to be wedded?"
Zixin: "I have not, sir, for I have busied myself working all this time."
Zixin: "But sir, what has the matter of my marriage have to do with your business buying fish?"
(Turns, sotto voce)
Wu Wang: "Better still, excellent! She has plighted no troth. If trouble should come of this, no one will save her."
(Turns back, facing Zixin)
Wu Wang: "Then, miss, have you one you are enamored with?"
(Zixin lowers her head and says nothing)
(Dongtang, senza misura)
Wu Wang: "See, see how she casts down her eyes without speaking. So, then, there is no such person. Evil enters and masters my thoughts—"
Wu Wang: "Come, friends, take her hence — let us not waste precious time or beauty."
(Exeunt Wu Wang, Wu Yi, and Wu Er, taking Zixin with them)

Scene III
(Enter Grandma Zhang)
Grandma Zhang: "Now then, ladies and gentlemen, if you have listened oft to Yunjin's plays and become wise to the ways of theater, then you have likely guessed what shall come next."
Grandma Zhang: "Shall we not now accelerate towards a fight most fierce?"
Grandma Zhang: "But afore the hero steps forth, he must by fortune be inspired."
Grandma Zhang: "When evil beasts run amok, disturbing the lives of the people, or when times and tides are turbulent, that is when heroes arise."
Grandma Zhang: "If you should pluck up your courage, your deeds shall be remembered. But if you prove craven..."
Grandma Zhang: "Who then will remember if you were named Zhang Jie, Wang Jie, or Fan Jie?"
Grandma Zhang: "And what's more, we ordinary folk must show our mettle, and yet leave a tale of rescuing our fair lady."
Grandma Zhang: "Let us see how Fan Jie shall act."
(Enter Fan Jie)
Grandma Zhang: "Alas, why have you only arrived now?"
Grandma Zhang: "Miss Zixin here was just taken by the notorious hooligan, Wu Wang!"
(Dongtang, allegro)
Fan Jie: "Ah, alas!"
Fan Jie: "When I heard her words I was a-fright, but I never thought that catastrophe was so near to me."
Fan Jie: "This villain burns, steals, and kills as he wills. If I were to go forth..."
Fan Jie: "I shall, in all likelihood, not return."
(Grandma Zhang tosses the string of pearls to Fan Jie)
Grandma Zhang: "S—sir Fan, wh—whatever shall we do?"
(Dongtang, allegro)
Fan Jie: "As I see these pearls, my resolve hardens—"
Fan Jie: "How could I surrender a maiden to this villain?"
Fan Jie: "Pearl-string in hand, I draw my sword in fury — to make contrite that Wu Wang, and have him sue for mercy."
(Exeunt Fan Jie and Grandma Zhang)

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