Xiao Du’s tone was gentle and indulgent, but there was no room for Xiao Rong to say no.
A drop of sweat dripped from Xiao Rong’s forehead, as if he was not holding a brocade box but a death talisman.
After he hadn’t moved for a long time, Xiao Du urged, “Be a good boy.”
Xiao Rong’s eyes were fixed on the box, and his fingers trembled as he touched the switch. With a click, the box opened; there was a small piece of white bone inside.
Xiao Du said, “Pick it up.”
Sweat wetted Xiao Rong’s eyelashes. He closed his eyes, gritted his teeth and picked up the bone.
Xiao Du narrowed his eyes, leaned forward and looked directly at Xiao Rong’s fingertips.
For a long time, there was no reaction from the bones.
Xiao Rong’s body sagged, and he sat down limply at Xiao Du’s feet. He smiled and said, “Gege, you must have made a mistake. This, this is not the bone of my father.”
Xiao Du sat back, his face a little pale, his narrow eyes dark and dim. Xiao Rong actually saw a hint of fear in them.
The Demon Lord, who had always been arrogant and conceited and regarded others like dirt, was afraid.
It was always other people afraid of him, so what would he be afraid of?
Xiao Rong said timidly: “Gege?”
Xiao Du lowered his eyes and looked at him, and his slender fingers clamped his chin, forcing him to raise his head. “Ah Rong, did you lie to me?”
“I didn’t!” Xiao Rong said anxiously, “I… I have the warm jade and memories of my childhood. Can’t these prove my identity? How can gege doubt me because of a bone of unknown origin?”
Xiao Du’s fingers tightened slowly, almost crushing Xiao Rong’s chin. Of course he knew that when he was in Baihua Palace, someone deliberately led them to the Burial Garden for them to find Liang Ci’s tomb. It was unknown whether the bones in the coffin might have been replaced. But Xiao Rong’s reaction when he faced this bone was not fake.
The chill emanating from Xiao Du was daunting. Xiao Rong was so scared that he didn’t dare to take a breath, his body shaking like a leaf.
“You didn’t?” Xiao Du said slowly, “Then what are you afraid of.”
Xiao Rong’s eyelashes trembled: “Ge, gege, I…”
Xiao Rong shed tears of fear and shook his head desperately.
Xiao Du smiled with the corner of his mouth and said, “Ah Rong, gege loves you. No matter what lies you tell, as long as you admit it, gege will forgive you.”
“No, I really didn’t…”
Xiao Du’s patience was exhausted, and his hostility rose sharply. His pupils shrank and Xiao Rong screamed, clutching his stomach and rolling on the ground.
There was no wound on his body, but his internal organs seemed to be pulled together by an invisible hand. This was not a pain that an ordinary person could bear. Xiao Rong’s screams echoed in the empty hall, as if he was in purgatory, attracting Meng Chi who was waiting outside.
Meng Chi hurriedly walked in. The young lord who was used to being pampered lay at Xiao Du’s feet, his face hideously distorted, and his body seemed to have been broken, bent into an abnormal arc. Meng Chi only glanced at him and knew that he was being tortured. Shocked, she said, “Your Lordship!”
Everyone in Xingtan Sect knew that the Venerable Lord loved Xiao Rong deeply, but only Meng Chi, who was Xiao Du’s confidant, knew that the Venerable Lord only favored Xiao Rong. Xiao Rong was his younger brother, so he cared for Xiao Rong but it was very different from his caring for Xiao Yuan back then. Yet even if it was favor and not love, the Demon Lord would never use torture on his younger brother.
Xiao Du seemed to be extremely anxious, and his usual relaxed manner was gone. Meng Chi said, “What is Your Lordship doing?!”
“You came just in time,” Xiao Du said, “is there any trick that can make people tell the truth as soon as possible? Bring it.”
“No…” Xiao Rong groaned in pain, struggling to reach out to grab Xiao Du’s clothes, “I am your brother, I really am–ah!”
Meng Chi heard that Xiao Du was doubting Xiao Rong’s identity and couldn’t help but say, “Your Lordship was mistaken once, don’t tell me you’ve been mistaken again? Please think twice.”
Xiao Du whispered, “What if I wasn’t.”
Xiao Du’s voice trembled slightly, “What if that time I was not mistaken.”
Meng Chi was taken aback, knowing that it was useless for her to say anything. Once Xiao Du became suspicious, there were only two things that could stop him, facts or a massacre.
Xiao Du lowered down on one knee, raised Xiao Rong’s face and said, “Well, if you are really my younger brother, even if you are blind and crippled, I will take care of you for the rest of my life.”
Xiao Du’s fingertips approached Xiao Rong’s eyes, “Then let’s start with your eyes, okay?”
Xiao Rong felt the strength in Xiao Du’s hands and shouted frantically: “No– I, I’ll talk—I’ll talk!”
Two years ago, Xingtian Sect.
Xiao Yuan had nothing to do, sitting by the window reading a book. He was absorbed in it for a while and as Xiao Du had deliberately hidden his aura, he did not notice anyone approaching behind him. It wasn’t until Wuguan Fengyue at his side was picked up that his expression changed slightly and he turned around and said, “Who is it?!”
Before Xiao Yuan could make a move, his chin was raised by the fan, making him look into Xiao Du’s eyes.
With a smile in his eyes, Xiao Du asked, “What is Ah Yu looking at?”
Xiao Yuan took back his fan from Xiao Du’s hand, his eyes dodging, “It’s nothing.”
Xiao Du took a step forward, propped his hands on Xiao Yuan’s sides and trapped the red-faced beauty in his arms, “Show it to me.”
Xiao Yuan coughed lightly: “I advise you not to look at it.”
“Because,” Xiao Yuan got out of Xiao Du’s arms, “Gege, you don’t need to look… do you?”
Xiao Du became even more curious. While Xiao Yuan was not paying attention, he grabbed the book he had just read and saw four words written in large letters on the cover – Method of Dual Cultivation.
Xiao Du raised his eyebrows.
Xiao Yuan shrugged and said, “I told you not to look at it.”
Xiao Du flipped through a few pages casually, his mood a little subtle, “What are you doing reading this?”
Xiao Du smiled, “And did you get anything out of reading it?”
Xiao Yuan really thought about it seriously, “It feels vague and confusing. Gege, have you had dual cultivation with anyone? How does that feel?”
Xiao Du whispered, “Want to know?”
“It’s useless to read books and it’s useless to ask me.” Xiao Du said leisurely, “This kind of thing needs to be done to know it.”
Xiao Yuan agreed wholeheartedly: “That makes sense.”
Xiao Du casually threw the ‘Method of Dual Cultivation’ aside and said, “Tomorrow will be the Mid-Autumn Festival. How does Ah Yu want to spend it?”
Xiao Yuan said casually: “I’m fine with anything.”
Xiao Du thought for a while and asked, “Do you want to go out for a stroll?”
Xiao Yuan smiled, “Okay.”
The two spent the Mid-Autumn Festival of that year in Luling City. Influenced by his Shizun, every time he went to a new place Xiao Yuan would first look for local delicacies. Xiao Du accompanied him for the whole day, and in the end what amazed Xiao Yuan the most was not a restaurant’s signature dish, but the rice cakes sold by a street vendor. Xiao Yuan’s eyes lit up after just taking a bite. Once his face showed an expression of surprise, even Xiao Du, who was used to seeing beautiful people, couldn’t take his eyes off of him.
“It’s so delicious,” Xiao Yuan exclaimed, “if only I could eat it every day.”
Xiao Du said, “Is it enough for you to eat rice cakes every day? Other beauties need brocade, clothes, jade and fancy food given to them. By contrast, Ah Yu is really easy to raise.”
Xiao Yuan said without thinking: “I am your didi (younger brother), not a beauty.”
Xiao Du looked at his face and said, “You’re both my didi and a beauty.”
“Ah, okay… can gege buy another rice cake for your beautiful didi then?”
As a result, Xiao Du bought him three. Xiao Yuan barely finished one and couldn’t eat the remaining two. He saw a dirty little beggar by the bridge asking passers-by for food, so he stuffed the rice cakes into Xiao Du’s hand and said, “Gege, it’s time for you to accumulate secret virtue.”
Xiao Du had always scoffed at these kinds of good deeds, but Xiao Yuan asked him to go, so he went.
Xiao Rong was originally a servant in a large family and was expelled from the house for stealing his master’s money. He lived in the streets and relied on begging for a living. At that time, he had been hungry for two full days, so much that he was dizzy with hunger. On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival all he could ask for was just a bite to eat.
Then Xiao Du appeared, dressed in red, with his cold eyebrows and unparalleled beauty. Xiao Rong’s eyes widened when he saw him, thinking he was dreaming.
Xiao Du put two rice cakes in his broken bowl and said, “Eat it.”
Xiao Rong watched in a daze as he left and walked towards another young man in red who looked unreal. The two stood together, beautiful as a painting.
Since then, Xiao Rong had been waiting by the bridge every day. He hoped to see the red-clothed young master that gave him rice cakes again. Unexpectedly, his benefactor didn’t come, but a stranger came.
The stranger asked him, “Do you want an elder brother? An elder brother like him.”
He wanted; he dreamed about it.
The stranger fulfilled his dream for him. He got a piece of warm jade and memories that did not belong to him and came to Xiao Du’s side.
He replaced the young man in red and became Xiao Du’s only younger brother.