Chapter 116 Longing
It was Shen Shu.
He walked in and closed the palace door. The faint light that peeked in died off.
Darkness shrouded the entire palace once more.
Shen Shu ambled to the bed and sat down.
He glanced over Ye Yunlan’s chain-bound wrist, lifted his head, and slightly bent his eyes toward Ye Yunlan, saying: “Master, you’re awake.”
Ye Yunlan’s hands quivered.
The chains were a reminder of that intolerable memory that also transpired in the Demon Palace many years ago. He raised his hand as if he wanted to slap Shen Shu’s cheek. However, his hands shook, and he curled up his five fingers when he faced Shen Shu’s ruby, smiling eyes. At last, he didn’t slap him.
“Shen Shu, do you know what you are doing?” He took a breath and squeezed out his voice word by word.
Shen Shu: “I know.” As he said this, he raised his hand to hold Ye Yunlan’s hand in the air. He pulled it to his palm and gently rubbed the lock on his wrist.
The slender wrist was fragile in his palm. He smiled, “Didn’t Master just want to hit me? Why stop?”
Ye Yunlan: “Shen Shu!”
The rising anger made his face appear stained with rouge. A thin red emerged from his neck to the tip of his ears.
He wanted to raise his hand again, but Shen Shu clasped his wrist.
The chains made a crisp sound during the struggle.
Shen Shu squeezed his wrist and said: “Master, don’t be angry. Anger isn’t worth impairing your body.”
“Although I’m ready to be used as a human furnace for Master, it’s still better to first avoid tossing around as much as possible with Master’s current physique. Otherwise, you’ll faint during dual cultivation, and the spiritual power instilled will be incomplete. It’ll make me worry.”
“The Ye Clan’s blood has been revived in Master. If Master also absorbs my power, Master’s body will definitely be much better. Then, it doesn’t matter how you want to toss me around.” He reached out his hand to brush the white hair on Ye Yunlan’s cheeks behind his head. He looked at his golden eyes, “As long as Master does not leave me.”
Ye Yunlan: “——Shen Shu, have you forgotten that I am your master!”
Shen Shu’s face restrained his smile.
“How can I forget? It was Master who saved my life back then. It was also Master who taught me the sword, guided my cultivation, and watched my growth. You are the most important person in my life.”
He held his hand, then lowered his head and kissed the back of his hand.
“I will never forget you.”
Ye Yunlan: “Your meaning of ‘never forgetting’ is to imprison your Master against his will and insist on dual cultivating with him?”
Shen Shu: “Because I don’t just treat you as my benefactor. I also see you as my lifelong dao companion.”
Ye Yunlan: “… Nonsense!”
“I’ve been wondering which one is more intimate: Master and Disciple or dao companions? Back then, I would be jealous every time I listened to you mention your former dao companion,” Shen Shu continued on his own, “But now I don’t have to be jealous anymore.”
“Now, only I am by Master’s side, and it will only be me in the future,” he whispered as if talking to himself, “I alone am enough.”
Blackness appeared within his red and cold eyes.
This time, Ye Yunlan could distinctly see that Shen Shu was clearly hiding his obsession and madness within his eyes.
Over the past thirty years, the piling up of his longing had turned into obsession and madness.
It was deep as the sea abyss with nowhere to pour out.
It would only gather in the body and burn into an ever-increasing fire, burning itself and hurting others.
Ye Yunlan felt a kind of horror. The type of horror when being stared at by a beast on the verge of madness.
Shen Shu held his hand, firmly entangling his five fingers with each of his fingers.
He came closer, then his hot breath gushed over Ye Yunlan’s face. His voice was muffled and low, “What should I do? I obviously want Master’s body to adjust before dual cultivating, but I can’t help it, Master.”
Ye Yunlan turned his head to avoid his touch. Unexpectedly, Shen Shu clasped his back with his other hand and pressed him firmly into his arms.
Shen Shu’s head was close to his neck. Buried in his hair, he took a deep breath.
“It’s this smell,” he said with a husky laugh, “Every night, this smell lingers in my dreams…”
The shadows scattered from behind him as if they were uncontrollable. Many climbed up along the edge of the bed, onto the snow-white bedding, and entangled themselves into Ye Yunlan’s white hair.
The man’s body was close to him. He no longer had the youthful vigor but was still as heated.
Ye Yunlan’s face was red. He rebuked “presumptuous” and tried to push him away. However, he suddenly felt a pain in his shoulder. It was the other party that bit his left shoulder.
The man bit extremely hard.
It seemed like he intended to leave a mark.
This action was akin to when he was trying to say goodbye to him at Yanhui Peak. He had reluctantly back-hugged him, then bit.
But then, Shen Shu bit his shoulder since he didn’t want to say goodbye.
And now, the man in front of him kept saying, “To be with him forever, to be Master and Disciple and dao companions; never to be separated.”
Ye Yunlan smelled blood. A sense of absurd rebellious emotions against the norm and the familiar qi of the other party’s body intertwined. The black shadow danced frantically in front of him, making it difficult to distinguish whether he should be angry or fearful… Or to indulge himself by following this familiar feeling.
He felt a fire burning on his cheeks. The sweet and greasy incense burning in the palace made his limbs weak, and his mind seemed to become groggy.
Dark shadows were winding into his snow-white outfit.
Can’t… Can’t continue.
“Shen Shu, when I wrote a letter to leave Sky Sect as your Master, it wasn’t… I didn’t mean to leave you behind.” He frowned, enduring the stinging of his shoulder. He said in a low voice, “Master was forced to leave. Master never thought…I could still live.”
The pain on his shoulders stopped slightly, and Shen Shu licked his lips, hoarsely saying: “Master lied to me. Only the blood of the Ye Clan can open the Immortal Boat of the Ye Clan. If Master did not go voluntarily, how can the Immortal Boat start smoothly and let you go to a place I almost can’t reach?”
He said this as he rubbed Ye Yunlan’s shoulder with his canine teeth.
A fine, itchy tingling came from his shoulder, and Ye Yunlan frowned. Barely repressing his anger, he said: “You let me go first, and I’ll tell you in detail.”
Shen Shu leaned on his shoulder for a long while silently.
Until the frantically swaying shadows around him slowly became a bit smoother. He let go of the hand pressing on Ye Yunlan’s back and instead stretched out his hand to pinch his chin. His blood-red eyes, like colored glaze, turned dark and murky.
“It’s best to say Master’s reasoning in one go.”
Ye Yunlan was forced to raise his head and meet his eyes. Fine beads of sweat covered his forehead, and his silver eyelashes trembled.
“Back then, Chen Weiyuan invited me to meet at the Immortal Boat. The Ye Clan’s Immortal Boat suddenly activating and leaving was his plan.”
Shen Shu pinched his jaw and looked at it. “Why did he want to meet Master? Why did Master agree to meet with him?” Even if it meant violating the promise he made to him with his own mouth, going at any cost?
The limited memory of being the Demon Lord told him that Ye Yunlan and Chen Weiyuan would become dao companions in the future. The particular associations caused by this made the surrounding shadows surge again.
Ye Yunlan was silent for a while, “He held something in his hands that I had to take back.”
At this point, he thought of the Demon Bones that had not been handed over even with Chen Weiyuan’s death. He frowned. The matter of the Demon Bones related to whether the Primordial Demon Refining Array could be formed. It would be fine If the Demon Bones disappeared with Chen Weiyuan’s demise. But, if it fell into other people’s hands…
His brows furrowed. His bloody eyes gradually narrowed while the man blankly stared at him.
“Something Master must take back? But in my impression, Master doesn’t seem to attach much importance to things. You’ve never displayed a sliver of interest toward magic weapons, spiritual pills, and diverse precious worldly objects.”
“Sometimes Master would make me think that you were originally an Immortal in the Immortal Realm who did not eat the food of common mortals (place oneself above the common populace). I thought this world of mortal affairs was all dust and filth to you, so you didn’t need to pay attention to it.”
Shen Shu squeezed his chin slightly hard with his fingers. His scarlet eyes neared, brimming with hostility like a nefarious spirit.
“So what can make Master give up his promise with me? To go to that ancient Immortal Boat with a savage man, fly in the void, and stay in the air?”
Ye Yunlan couldn’t bear it. “Shen Shu! You have already seen Chen Weiyuan’s body in the Immortal Boat, so why do you still have to say such a thing? You clearly know I loathed him back then. How can I stay and fly with him? Use your tofu-filled brain–” His chest tightened because of the excitement, and he couldn’t help but begin to cough.
The chain on his hand shook as he coughed and produced these sounds.
He felt that Shen Shu was a little unreasonable right now.
Shen Shu didn’t pinch his chin again but took him, coughing, into his embrace. He stroked his back with his hand and channeled his spiritual power.
His arms were warm.
His voice still sounded hoarse and empty.
“I’m just too jealous.” He said softly, “I envy that person being able to catch Master’s attention, whether it is resentment or disgust, and make Master leave me with resolution and leave to a place I nearly never found. ”
“I was so scared. I was scared Master deceived me, and if I blinked, you would turn around and vanish. ”
“Like now, using the chain to trap you and having the countless formations around the Demon Palace. My spirit dare not leave this palace for a second.” Shen Shu embraced Ye Yunlan’s thin body with great strength as if he was holding all he had left in the world. “Thirty years is too long. While you weren’t with me, I thought of too many things.”
“I thought all day and night about where you could be, if you were dead or alive, what your current situation was, and if you were used to not having me prepare food for you. I wondered how I should treat you if you were found so you would never leave again. I deliberated if you were dead and if there was any way in the world to resurrect you and allow me to see you again. I thought about what kind of look you would show when you found out I became a demon. Would you denounce me as a rebellious disciple and unworthy to be your disciple? I thought if we get married in the future, what kind of wedding should we have, how would you want it, and what kind of house would you like to build. I thought about what we would be doing after a hundred years. After a thousand years, would we still exist?”
“I thought about too many things,” his eyes suddenly hollowed slightly, “But I couldn’t stop.”
“…And if I didn’t, I’m afraid I would forget you,” he muttered, “Many foreign soul fragments filled with pain, hatred, anger, and fear were all in my mind. They reverberated inside my brain. I swallowed them, and they all wanted to drag me to h*ll.”
The dark shadows flew around, spreading and condensing.
He suddenly laughed.
“But I didn’t.”
He hugged Ye Yunlan tightly, sniffing the fragrance in his hair in fascination: “As long as Master is still in the world, I don’t want to go to h*ll. If I become a ghost, Master will not recognize me, then what would I do? What should I do if I find Master after all this hard work, but Master leaves me again?”
Ye Yunlan’s cough gradually subsided.
He was held in Shen Shu’s arms and didn’t speak for a prolonged duration.
Thirty years have passed.
The man’s figure had become taller and bulkier. It was almost identical to the person in his memory.
Regardless of body shape or qi.
Yet, at this moment, he hugged him childishly. His words were broken and frenzied.
However, each word wouldn’t leave him.
He slowly exhaled.
He raised his hand and covered it softly on the man’s back.
He opened his mouth.
“Shen Shu, I’m here.”