The young master who was the number one swordsman in the world was humiliated in public. However, Gu Louyin didn’t even respond; his gaze barely moved away from Mu Yingyang’s hairband. But when Mu Yingyang said the word ‘death’, Gu Louyin seemed to be stimulated by something and his voice changed slightly: “He is not dead.”
“Not dead?” The corner of Mu Yingyang’s mouth twitched, his expression resembling neither crying nor laughing, “Where is he if he is not dead, huh?”
The look in Gu Louyin’s eyes was blank, “I don’t know. He may… not want to come back.”
“Of course he doesn’t want to come back, do you know why?” Mu Yingyang said coldly, raising his voice, “Because you disgust him. Yunjian Pavilion prides itself on being righteous, saying they want to slay demons and fight evil spirits and benefit the common people in the world, but they ignore the lives of others for their own sake. My Shixiong cannot stand co-existing with you in this world, and neither can I!” He had been practicing desperately for two years, just so that one day he could slaughter everyone in Yunjian Pavilion and avenge his Shixiong.
If Yunjian Pavilion was gone, Shixiong might come back.
Xiao Yuan wanted to laugh a little bit. In the two years he hadn’t seen his Shidi, Mu Yingyang had grown taller but his temperament hadn’t changed much. He still had a mouth that could make you want to vomit blood. However, he was half right. He was disgusted with Yunjian Pavilion, but the reason why he didn’t want to come back was not just because of Yunjian Pavilion and Gu Louyin.
In the face of Mu Yingyang’s provocation, Gu Louyin still didn’t say a word, either because he was too lazy to argue or because he was forcing his own self-control. Shen Fugui couldn’t listen to it anymore. He had also heard of the entanglements between Xiao Yuan and Yunjian Pavilion before from his Jiejie, so he couldn’t help but say, “Hey, hey, it’s enough. There was a reason why Louyin did what he did in the first place.”
“A reason?” Mu Yingyang laughed loudly, “What’s the reason – because my Shixiong poisoned Lin Wulian? Not to mention that my Shixiong didn’t do this, even if he did, so what?! Ten Lin Wulians are not as good as a single hair of my Shixiong. Why did you use Shixiong’s blood to save his life?! Shixiong, he was afraid of pain most of all…”
The more Mu Yingyang spoke, the more difficult it was for him to control himself. His eyes reddened slightly. Probably feeling ashamed, he turned his back to them and said coldly: “My Shixiong was forced to jump off a cliff by you. You must give him back to me. If you can’t give him back, just use your lives to repay!”
Xiao Yuan’s mood was quite subtle. Looking at Mu Yingyang’s appearance now, it seemed that what he had lost was not an annoying Shixiong, but a very, very cherished Shixiong. Then what was he doing in the first place? When he was a child, he crushed the sugar figurine Xiao Yuan gave him, and when he grew up, he scolded him for being shameless and cheap. Now that Xiao Yuan ‘died’, he looked like he had lost his beloved – Xiao Yuan really couldn’t understand it.
Shen Fugui said in a peculiar voice: “Yo, what a big mouth. With just you, you might not even be able to enter the gate of Yunjian Pavilion but you still want the lives of Yunjian Pavilion disciples. Wake up, you think too much of yourself.”
Mu Yingyang suddenly turned his head and stared at Shen Fugui with vicious eyes, “Are you looking for death?”
Their group blocked the city gate, causing the people behind them to be unable to enter the city so they joined in watching the show one after another.
Those young men were a handsome bunch, each one better looking than the other. But for some reason the atmosphere between them was tense, and it seemed that they might start fighting at any time. Seeing that the situation was dangerous, the disciple of Baihua Palace asked, “Are the distinguished cultivators here to participate in the flower viewing party?”
Shen Fugui said, “Yes.”
Mu Yingyang said, “Rubbish.”
With a serene smile on her face, the disciple said, “Nowadays, there are many cultivators in Hongxiu, and people from all sects visit here. If any conflict arises between the two of you, word will spread, and it will not be good for the two of you and for Baihua Palace. I would like to ask you two to give face to Baihua Palace and refrain from stirring up trouble in the territory of the Palace.”
Gu Louyin said ‘forgive me’, took the red string and entered the city. Shen Fugui snorted coldly and followed him. Xiao Yuan walked past Mu Yingyang as if nothing had happened. Mu Yingyang, who always disdained paying too much attention to irrelevant people, glanced at him suspiciously and suddenly said, “Stop.”
Xiao Yuan stopped, turned around and looked at him hesitantly, “Did you call me?”
Mu Yingyang was even more confused than Xiao Yuan; his gaze wandered back and forth on his face, trying to find out why he unexpectedly stopped this person.
The man’s features were flat, his figure was flat and there was nothing extraordinary about him. An ordinary person who you’d forget right after seeing him, but why did this person give him an indescribable sense of familiarity?
Xiao Yuan smiled lightly and said, “Why did the young master stop me – does the young master know me?”
This man and Gu Louyin were in the same group… Mu Yingyang withdrew his gaze and said coolly, “No.” He turned to the disciple of Baihua Palace and said, “Give me a string, too.”
There were still two days before the flower viewing party but Hongxiu Prefecture was already crowded and bustling. As Shen Fugui said, most of the locals in Hongxiu were women, so the work done by men in other places was done by women in Hongxiu. Women hawked at the doors of the shops to solicit customers, women forged iron in a blacksmith shop and women patrolled the streets to prevent crimes. And a few men washed and cooked at home, taking care of their children at the same time.
A boy six or seven years old, about the same age as Xiao Bao, stood at the door of his house and cried loudly. When the three of them passed by, they heard him muttering, “I want to practice with my Jiejie.” His father sighed while rubbing clothes on a washboard: “Who is to blame that Baihua Palace accepts only women? It’s all your father’s fault. I was confused by your mother’s beauty back then, and I didn’t mind joining her family as her husband, and now you are hurting. Son, your only fault is that you’re not a daughter…”
Xiao Yuan said with curiosity: “This ‘Daughter Country’ is quite interesting.”
Shen Fugui said, “Baihua Palace does not accept men. Yunjian Pavilion, Xuanle Sect and other sects accept them. After they are finished, they can totally send the boys out.”
“Yunjian Pavilion and Xuanle Sect have strict requirements for accepting apprentices, and they can’t join even if they want to.” Xiao Yuan said, “Besides, how do you know they don’t send them? It is precisely because the boys are sent away that there are fewer and fewer men in Hongxiu Prefecture.”
Shen Fugui was enlightened, “That makes sense.”
Taking into account the identities of Gu Louyin and Shen Fugui, Baihua Palace must have already prepared rooms for them. But Shen Fugui was still thinking about the little shimei who had left, and he thought that the little shimei was probably still in Hongxiu. The three of them found an inn to stay in, so that they could inquire about the news of the little shimei in the city.
The innkeeper’s eyes lit up when she saw Gu Louyin and she glanced at his wrist at once. When she saw that Gu Louyin was wearing a red string, the light immediately dimmed. She repeated the same action with Shen Fugui and finally looked at Xiao Yuan.
This young man was unmarried and had no sweetheart. It was a pity that he was too ordinary. He didn’t even have a weapon and his cultivation base didn’t seem very deep. But his manners appeared to be not too bad.
The innkeeper personally served them tea and focused on Xiao Yuan without wasting her time on Gu Louyin and Shen Fugui.
“Dare to ask where the young master is from?”
Xiao Yuan thought that it was straightforward enough. “I’m from Tong’an County.”
“Are the young master’s parents still alive? How many brothers and sisters do you have?”
“No father and no mother. As for brothers and sisters… it seems that there is an elder brother.”
The innkeeper said in surprise: “It seems?”
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “I got separated from my gege when I was little and I don’t remember much about him.”
After regaining his freedom, Xiao Yuan also thought about whether to go to that elder brother. However, he really didn’t remember anything. The only impression was that his gege seemed to love wearing red, just like him; but finding someone with this characteristic alone was tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack. What’s more, he and his gege had been separated for so many years, so there was not a lot of feelings, it was better not to disturb each other’s lives.
“So that’s it,” the innkeeper asked then, “what school or sect does the young master belong to?”
Xiao Yuan said, “I have no family and no sect. I make a living by doing a small business and I can barely get by.”
“’Small business’?” Shen Fugui had a complicated expression, “That is called a ‘small business’? He just changed into Xiao Yuan casually and got 500 taels of silver!”
Gu Louyin looked at Xiao Yuan’s profile thoughtfully.
“He looks like he’s enjoying himself,” Shen Fugui said quietly, “He doesn’t usually get this kind of attention, does he?”
Gu Louyin frowned slightly, “Do you think he…”
Shen Fugui’s seat was facing the entrance of the inn and his face sank as if he had seen something. “Bad luck, why is he here too,” he said.
Gu Louyin looked towards the door, and Mu Yingyang, who had just entered the inn, also watched them with a look of disgust. He was about to turn around but felt that he didn’t need to avoid them, so he walked in confidently and said, “Boss, a room upstairs.”
Shen Fugui said, “Louyin, how can you really bear it? I would have slapped his face with my flute a long time ago.”
Gu Louyin said calmly: “What he said may not be wrong.”
“Huh?” Shen Fugui was stunned, “Where is he right?”
Gu Louyin didn’t answer the question. “It’s not late yet, let’s go find your shimei as soon as possible.”
Gu Louyin and Shen Fugui went to find his shimei. Xiao Yuan stayed in the inn alone and had a good talk with the innkeeper. At the end, the innkeeper said, “My little daughter, who is seventeen years old, is not yet married. I don’t know if the young master…”
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “I’m afraid that your daughter won’t be interested in me. Why don’t you take a few more looks, maybe there is someone more satisfactory? If not, it’s not too late for you to ask me again.”
The innkeeper said with joy: “Is there such a good thing?”
“Yes, I am a good person.”
After nightfall, Gu Louyin and Shen Fugui still did not return. Xiao Yuan went to his room and took an antidote to Acacia Gu – tonight happened to be a full moon night. After swallowing the pill, he had only one left. If he couldn’t get a ruthless hua on this trip, he would really have to find someone to help him with the Gu attack next time. It would be great if he could find someone he could be in love with; but if not, he would rather spend money to support an innocent, honest and loyal man than to endure the raging heat one more time
Xiao Yuan got into bed and laid with his eyes closed for a long time without feeling drowsy. The nine-tone snail that he put aside was flashing again. Xiao Yuan stopped trying to fall asleep, put on his shirt, walked to the window and opened it.
The bright moon on the 15th was clear and translucent, the night breeze was slightly cool and the light was clear like a mirror. On the eaves of the house, a young man dressed in black held a jug of wine in his hand and drank under the moon alone. Xiao Yuan looked at him from a distance, only to feel that there was an indescribable sadness in his figure.
It seemed that Mu Yingyang had read a lot of stories in the past two years and many of them featured a protagonist sitting on the eaves in melancholy. Xiao Yuan thought about it again, flew up to the eaves and said, “Young master is enjoying the moon?”
Mu Yingyang raised his head and glanced at him. In the moonlight, Xiao Yuan saw his red eyes and tears in the corners of his eyes.
“…” You’re eighteen years old, yet you’re still crying?
Mu Yingyang quickly wiped his face and said, “I accidentally splashed wine on my face just now.”
Xiao Yuan was silent for a while, “Oh, I didn’t see anything.”
“What are you doing here?” Mu Yingyang’s handsome face was unfriendly, “I said I didn’t know you.”
Xiao Yuan sat down not far from him, “My name’s An Mu.”
“I am not interested.”
Xiao Yuan said simply: “Goodbye.”
Mu Yingyang stopped him: “Wait.”
Xiao Yuan raised his eyebrows, “Didn’t you say you’re not interested?”
Mu Yingyang gritted his teeth and asked, “What is your relationship with Gu Louyin?”
Xiao Yuan said, “No relationship.”
“No relationship but he travels with you?”
Xiao Yuan said slowly: “It’s a long story.”
“Then stop talking, I don’t have the patience to listen.” Mu Yingyang raised his head and took a big gulp of wine from the jug. His eyes were red again and a little blurry, as if he was already tipsy. “Gu Louyin said that my Shixiong is not dead… is it true?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know your Shixiong.”
Mu Yingyang looked at the full moon on the horizon and said in a muffled voice, “I have been looking under the cliff for a long, long time, and I haven’t found him… But my master said that he is already dead.”
“If he is not dead, why doesn’t he come back to me?” Mu Yingyang’s nose felt sour, “Shixiong likes me the most.”
Xiao Yuan’s eyes widened, “Huh?” He liked Mu Yingyang the most? Why didn’t he know?
Mu Yingyang murmured: “When I was young, Shixiong would buy me a lot of delicious and fun things. Even if I said I didn’t want them, he would still buy them for me.”
Xiao Yuan remembered the sugar piggy that was brutally trampled by Mu Yingyang’s poisonous feet and asked, “Then did you want them or not?”
Mu Yingyang said in a small voice: “I want, I want. I like everything my Shixiong gave me, I like it very much…”
If you like it then crush it, I’m afraid there is something wrong with your brain. Xiao Yuan wanted to ask Mu Yingyang’s reasons for doing this but had to hold back in order not to reveal his identity.
Mu Yingyang lowered his head, holding the jug in one hand and covering his eyes with the other, his shoulders trembling slightly.
Xiao Yuan looked at the tears slipping through his fingers, only to find it ironic and ridiculous. Most people in the world are like this, they dismiss what they can easily get, but they regard what they have lost as a treasure.
“Okay, don’t cry,” Xiao Yuan said, “your Shixiong was not sincere to you. You don’t need to cry for him like this.”
If it weren’t for the [All Have] requirements, who would buy you a sugar piggy, a**hole.