As soon as Lien saw him again she knew that he had not kept his promise to her. 'You
must be besotted with love for this maid of the underworld, and you must want to die,' she told
him sorrowfully. 'Before long you will again suffer from the spirit sickness and this time I will
not be there to help you.' And with that she left him.
Lien's words came true and some weeks later Nui was indeed very ill once more. He lay
on his bed getting weaker and weaker, praying that Lien would come back to him and eventually
she did, but only to tell him that his end was near. He begged her to save him and she told him
that he had heeded her warning and why should she nurse him back to health so that he could
again go back to his ghost girl?
Nui told Lien about the shoe, saying that he would not summon Ying to him ever again,
and Lien must take the shoe and burn it. Lien took the shoe and no sooner had she touched it than
Ying appeared. Lien upbraided her. Saying that she was the cause of Nui's illness and why did
she not admit it?
'I do admit it,' said Ying with tears in her lovely eyes, 'and I have come only to beg you
to save him. If you do, I promise that I will return to the underworld never to see him again, for I
do not wish to be the cause of his death.'
Lien, somewhat mollified by Ying's obvious distress, for she was now on her knees
pleading to Lien to do what she could to save Nui, who was in great pain and having difficulty in
breathing. Lien agreed to try to save Nui and together they worked, making herbal medicines,
massaging his heart and lungs, but he still seemed unable to breathe properly.
Lien then put her mouth to his and forced her own breath into his lungs until she was
exhausted, but she had given him the breath of life and he was breathing now more easily, and
eventually he dozed off into a natural sleep.
Ying, seeing that Lien had indeed managed to save his life, told her that she must go now
and never would return. 'I thank you for your goodness,' she said to lien. 'I had no idea that
beings like yourself could be so forgiving and so clever in healing the sick.'
Lien looked at Lien in surprised dismay, for the ghost girl obviously knew her secret, but
see did not feel strong enough after her efforts on Nui's behalf to deny anything. 'We are just the
same when it comes to loving, and caring for the sick,' she said.
Ying told her that she need have no fear. Nui would never know from her. She would
keep her promise and would be happy knowing that Nui was in good hands.
Lien nursed Nui day and night, and as Nui regained his strength so Lien gradually lost
hers, until eventually it was Nui who was nursing Lien. But nothing he did for her could save her
and she became weaker and weaker.
Lien knew that she was dying and with her last breath she told him the truth about herself.
And so it was that her now wasted body lying on the bed changed into that of a fox.