“That, that man who gave me the memories and the jade was wearing a hood and a mask, I… I don’t know what he looks like.” Xiao Rong said defeatedly, “I did what he said and came to Xingtian Sect, and then…”
Xiao Rong didn’t have the strength to go on, and Xiao Du didn’t need him to go on. He knew very clearly what happened after.
Xiao Du still remembered his mood at that time. After discovering that Xiao Yuan was not the younger brother he was looking for, he was angry because he was fooled, but he also felt lucky. He was glad that Xiao Rong came just in time, he was glad that he hadn’t reached the point of no return yet.
He was obsessed with Xiao Yuan. He liked to see Xiao Yuan’s face brighten up with surprise. He wanted to hold the most beautiful things in the world in front of him in exchange for a sincere smile.
But so what, he cared for his younger brother, not for Xiao Yuan. As long as that person was his younger brother, he would also hold him as a treasure in the palm of his hand.
As for Xiao Yuan… it was a pity, but those who dared to fool him could only go to the Yellow Springs (underworld).
Xiao Yuan had a peerless face, but he had a character of a boy next door and never showed his weak side in front of anyone. Xiao Du looked at him occasionally and couldn’t help but imagine whether he would cry if he bullied him severely or whether he would be coquettish with him like when he was a child. But he just thought about it; he was unwilling to do it.
Now, he was willing.
There was also a kind of enjoyment in watching a beauty turn into a withered flower, so Xiao Du decided to do it himself. He wondered if Xiao Yuan would be like other fragile and delicate beauties, with a half-smile in his eyes, a weak willow passing away with the wind when approaching the road to the Yellow Springs. He wanted Xiao Yuan to die in his arms. He wanted to watch the light in his eyes gradually fade and feel the warm, soft jade become cold and bone chilling little by little.
For Xiao Du, taking a human life was the same as killing an ant. He thought that he could make a move on Xiao Yuan without hesitation. He thought that in his heart Xiao Yuan was like everyone else. He kept thinking so until he saw Xiao Yuan’s table of dishes he had made for him with his own hands.
That day was his birthday, and Xiao Yuan was wearing his favorite red, so beautiful that it was breathtaking.
“Gege, I offer a cup to you. May your cultivation improve every day and your looks become more handsome every year.” Xiao Yuan said to him with a smile, his face as beautiful as a spring. He had no idea what was about to happen.
Xiao Du suddenly changed his mind. Xiao Yuan couldn’t die because… He couldn’t think of a reason for a while, but he was pretty sure that he couldn’t kill Xiao Yuan.
He ordered someone to bring Xiao Rong. Xiao Rong gave a complete account of his childhood memories and also took out the token of the Xiao family. Throughout the process, he kept looking at Xiao Yuan.
The young man’s face was quite unsightly. Was he suffering because he’d lost his gege?
Xiao Du asked, “Do you have anything to say?”
If Xiao Yuan cried and begged him, he probably would allow Xiao Yuan to stay by his side. Such a great beauty, if he was not his younger brother, he could just as well be a plaything to relieve his boredom.
But Xiao Yuan didn’t cry, nor did he beg him. The young man’s calmness was beyond his expectation, “Can I go back to my shimen?”
Xiao Du’s eyes suddenly darkened. Xiao Yuan still wanted to go back to his shimen? Was he not as good as Li Xianting and Mu Yingyang? How could Xiao Yuan want to go back?
“You can’t.” Xiao Du heard himself say, “You are still useful.”
He locked Xiao Yuan up and began to think about his reasons for not killing him. He thought about it for a long, long time, but he couldn’t figure it out. What made him even more puzzled was that even though someone had already taken Xiao Yuan’s place, he still thought of Xiao Yuan from time to time. Xiao Rong’s appearance was far inferior to Xiao Yuan but he was docile and well-behaved, always loved to cling to him and often called him “gege”. He pampered Xiao Rong like Xiao Yuan before, but why did he always feel dull when he saw a surprised smile on Xiao Rong’s face. Was it just because Xiao Rong wasn’t an incomparable beauty like Xiao Yuan?
Xiao Du took Xiao Rong to Luling City once and bought three rice cakes for him. Xiao Rong curved his eyes in a smile and said coquettishly ”Thank you, gege,” but he inexplicably recalled Xiao Yuan’s shining eyes.
Obviously, he hadn’t seen Xiao Yuan for a month.
He was confused by his reaction. He remembered that his father once told him: if you often think of someone uncontrollably, that person will become your weakness.
But his ambition had not yet been realized and Yunjian Pavilion had not crumbled yet, how could he afford to have a weakness?
Coincidentally, at that time he received news that Gu Louyin, the Young Master of Yunjian Pavilion, went down the mountain for a hunting expedition with his Shixiong. Right now he was near Luling City, and a plan started gradually taking shape in his mind.
Since ancient times, a beauty was a hurdle that a hero couldn’t pass. Gu Louyin might not be interested in an average beauty, but Xiao Yuan was different. Even he was almost bewitched by Xiao Yuan; how could Gu Louyin escape.
As long as Xiao Yuan could obtain the blood of the Gu family and help him regain Qingyan, he could let go of the past. And the only way to get the blood of the Gu family was to make Xiao Yuan and Gu Louyin become Dao companions.
Xiao Du hesitated for a while but soon put this hesitation behind him. The people of Xingtian Sect had never cared about chastity and reputation, and the love between men and women was nothing more than an everyday occurance for them. He was quite unhappy about sending Xiao Yuan to someone else’s bed, but it was nothing compared to Qingyan. It was just sleeping with a man, consider it a one-time bargain for Gu Louyin. Xiao Yuan would have countless other times in the future, and none of them would be with Gu Louyin.
This way, he made a decision that he regretted forever. He asked Meng Chi to give Xiao Yuan Acacia Gu and forced Xiao Yuan to seduce Gu Louyin.
In the two years since Xiao Yuan’s disappearance, he often looked at the nine-tone snail and wondered what he had done wrong. Everything he did to Xiao Yuan was in line with his consistent style of making the best use of things. Even if the ending was not what he expected, he shouldn’t have regretted it.
Since he took over as the Venerable Lord of Xingtian Sect, everything was under his control. He had always been decisive in doing things, had never lost and had never made a mistake. How could he admit that he cared about Xiao Yuan, that no matter whether Xiao Yuan was his younger brother or not, he wanted to be with him and make him smile.
He couldn’t admit it, so he couldn’t regret it.
Only now did he know that he was wrong, ridiculously wrong, completely wrong, so wrong that it was unforgivable.
He hurt Ah Yu, whom he liked, and he infected Ah Yu with a Gu and asked Ah Yu to become a Dao companion of another man. And Ah Yu was the younger brother he had been looking for for many years.
The two people he cared about most in his life were actually the same person.
There was silence in the hall, only Xiao Rong’s sobs could be heard.
Meng Chi was so shocked that she couldn’t speak. She didn’t dare to say anything. Xiao Du’s aura was too terrifying. His eyes were abnormally scarlet, just like his red clothes. There was no expression on his face, which was enough to make her feel cold all over. Even the torches on the walls seemed to feel the danger, going dim and then bright time after time, illuminating Xiao Du’s grim face.
It was not that Meng Chi hadn’t seen Xiao Du’s anger. Two years ago, Xiao Du used the nine-tone snail to connect with Xiao Yuan for the last time. After learning that Xiao Yuan used his own blood in exchange for a marriage contract with Gu Louyin, Xiao Du was furious and almost razed the main hall of Xingtian Sect to the ground, and seriously injured Xiao Rong who tried to dissuade him. Although he personally comforted Xiao Rong afterwards, Xiao Rong no longer dared to be as coquettish and clingy as he had been in the past, and there was a bit more trepidation in his eyes when he looked at Xiao Du.
But at this moment, Xiao Du did nothing and said nothing. Facing her Lord looking like that, Meng Chi felt that not only Xiao Rong but also she was balancing on the edge between life of death.
Suddenly, a torch rose like a jet of fire, illuminating the hall as if it were daylight for a moment, allowing Meng Chi to see Xiao Du’s face clearly.
Meng Chi was taken aback. Was she hallucinating? Why did Xiao Du look like a trapped beast to her; why did it seem to her that apart from his anger and cold murderous intent, there was also a hint of being at a complete loss.
Obviously, he had reached the point where few people in the world could compare with him. Obviously, he was the Lord of Xingtian Sect, and there were only Xiao Rong and Meng Chi beside him. He could kill them with a single finger, but he seemed to be in a desperate situation – he didn’t know what to do.
Meng Chi took a deep breath, plucked up her courage and called out, “Lord?”
She heard Xiao Du say “en” and asked, “Xiao Rong… what should we do with him?”
Xiao Rong didn’t know where his strength came from as he cried again: “Gege, you promised me as long as I tell the truth, you will, you will spare my life…”
Xiao Du recovered his senses and looked condescendingly at the young man begging for mercy at his feet. Only then did the blankness disappear without a shadow for a short moment, and his expression became cruel and distorted, “Spare your life?”
“I just wanted a brother and wanted to live a good life. I didn’t want to harm anyone!” Xiao Rong screamed in despair, “Gege, let me go, please…”
Before the second “please” was uttered, Xiao Rong’s eyes widened suddenly, full of horror. With his next breath, he vomited a mouthful of blood, and then another mouthful… Blood continued to overflow from his mouth, and there was a bloody thing in the pool of blood – it was his tongue.
Xiao Rong couldn’t say a word anymore and could only make painful sounds. Xiao Du said, “Take him down, keep him awake and alive.”
Meng Chi understood what he meant, lowered her eyes and said, “Yes.”
As soon as Meng Chi left with Xiao Rong, one of Xiao Du’s guardians, Li Yanzhi, came to see him. Xiao Du forced himself to detach himself from the extreme wretchedness of wanting to destroy everything and said in a deep voice, “Have you checked it?”
Li Yanzhi said respectfully: “My Lord, this subordinate found out that all the people of Tianhe Sect who participated in the flower viewing party are still staying in Baihua Palace at this moment, and have not heard of anyone missing.”
This news was not unexpected to Xiao Du. He glanced in the direction of the bed and asked, “Where is Shen Fugui?”
Li Yanzhi frowned and said, “This is something that this subordinate found puzzling. I found out that Shen Fugui had entered Hongxiu Prefecture ten days ago with Gu Louyin and another unidentified man, and the three of them settled in an inn. After that, Gu Louyin and Shen Fu went to Baihua Palace. Oddly enough, there was another Shen Fugui who still lived in the inn, leaving early and returning late every day, looking for the whereabouts of his shimei. I don’t know whether Shen Fugui in Baihua Palace or Shen Fugui in the inn is the real young master of Xuanle Sect.”
Xiao Du seemed to have a sudden thought, and something in his chest jolted abruptly. He bent down, picked up the bone on the ground and walked towards the bed step by step.
The man whose identity was a mystery was still asleep, his appearance unassuming and thousands of miles away from the word beautiful.
Xiao Du’s heart began to beat harder and harder. He took the man’s hand, opened his palm, stayed motionless for a long time and then slowly placed the bone into it.
The moment the bone came into contact with the man, red blood stains appeared on it, twisting like a poisonous snake, penetrating Xiao Du’s heart.