To worship, or not to worship, that is the question. Xiao Yuan remembered very clearly that his task was just to let Gu Louyin see him, make Gu Louyin let go of his obsession and get rid of his heart demon.
Before the soul summoning, Luo Lan assured him that Gu Louyin’s heart demon obsession came from his guilt. He only had to say, “I don’t blame you anymore” then he could successfully withdraw himself. Who would have thought that the illusion would be like this? Could it be that this unfinished marriage ceremony was also one of Gu Louyin’s obsessions?
Xiao Yuan hadn’t moved for a long time, and Luo Lan whispered beside him: “Master Xiao is in a daze, hurry up and worship to heaven and earth.”
Xiao Yuan recovered, took the red silk, turned around with the help of Luo Lan and bowed to the heavens and the earth. He felt that the person on the other end of the red silk made the same motion as him.
Luo Lan said again: “Second worship–”
Xiao Yuan turned around and bowed to Gu Louyin’s mother. Mrs. Gu’s voice was gentle and agreeable, and her “very good” was enough to demonstrate that she was extremely happy in her heart.
It seemed that Mrs. Gu was the only high-ranking lady in the wedding hall; Gu Hang did not show up. If Gu Louyin’s fantasy was to realize his dreams, it should have been his parents and friends, so why was there only Luo Lan and Mrs. Gu? Also, wasn’t this wedding hall too simple? The young master of Yunjian Pavilion shouldn’t have been wed like this. Does this prove that Gu Louyin had completely separated himself from Yunjian Pavilion and he didn’t even want to see any of them in the illusion? If this were the case, Lin Wulian and the people of Yunjian Pavilion would likely never show up to disrupt the situation. The ceremony of marriage between him and Gu Louyin would really be completed in the illusion.
Anyway, it was just a worship, it didn’t hurt to do it. If it could help Gu Louyin let go of his obsession, let’s just worship then. It was nothing more than a pipe dream. After waking up, he and Gu Louyin would still be strangers walking their own path.
“Worship to husband and wife–”
Xiao Yuan faced the person holding the red silk with him, and the two bowed, paying respect to each other at the same time. Xiao Yuan saw the other party’s cold jade-like hand and his silver hair hanging on his chest.
After the ceremony, Luo Lan said loudly, “Send the person to the bridal chamber –”
Xiao Yuan raised his eyebrows under the red veil. They wouldn’t do it for real, would they?
The time flow in the illusionary realm was irregular; just now it was a spring day and in the blink of an eye it was already the spring night lit with red candles.
After Luo Lan sent Xiao Yuan into the bridal chamber, he sneaked away with a smile. Xiao Yuan was sitting alone on the wedding bed, surrounded with brightly shining red silk and dim candlelight. He looked down at the colorful dragons and phoenixes on the wedding quilt and hesitated to lift the red veil and take off the crown that was so heavy that it gave him a headache.
Wait, why was he hesitating? They were not really getting married… Even if they were really getting married, he could do whatever he wanted, not to mention lifting the red veil, he had the whole room for himself.
Xiao Yuan decisively took off the red veil and was about to take off the crown when he heard footsteps approaching, so he sat upright and waited for Gu Louyin to perform the “meeting again after a long period of separation”.
The sound of footsteps stopped abruptly at the door of the bridal chamber. Xiao Yuan leaned forward and saw Gu Louyin’s silhouette under the door, motionless for a long time.
Xiao Yuan fel confused. Wasn’t Gu Louyin summoning his soul because he wanted to see him? Finally, they were only separated by a wall, and Gu Louyin was procrastinating again.
Xiao Yuan stood up and walked to the door. Gu Louyin probably also saw his silhouette, and his figure froze.
Xiao Yuan wanted to laugh a little bit. Just now, Gu Louyin pointed his sword at him on the snowy mountain, and from beginning to end, he said just two phrases, “Who are you” and “Get out”. Where was that might now?
After Xiao Yuan waited for a while, Gu Louyin still stood motionless. He ran out of patience and didn’t want to delay anymore. He walked forward to open the door and suddenly there was a gust of wind in the room. The doors and windows were closed tightly and the wind came inexplicably, blowing the red candles out and also blowing up the red veil that Xiao Yuan had placed on the desk. The red veil seemed to have eyes and landed on Xiao Yuan’s head precisely.
At this moment, the door opened. The thing that separated him from Gu Louyin changed from the door to the piece of red silk.
Xiao Yuan: “…” So Gu Louyin had to lift the red veil himself? Okay, then let’s do it.
He saw the hem of crimson clothes stopping in front of him. Gu Louyin’s raised hand paused in mid-air, and slowly, slightly trembling, uncovered the last layer of red silk. The two of them looked at each other.
Before lifting the red silk, Gu Louyin thought he would see the Xiao Yuan from two years ago, the Xiao Yuan who had been tortured and exhausted, pale-faced but still thrillingly beautiful.
He thought wrong. The man under the red silk had the most brilliant appearance in his memory.
At this moment, Gu Louyin felt his heart start beating again.
Xiao Yuan didn’t apply any make-up, but the corners of his eyes were blushing, his long eyelashes were slightly curled and the curtain of beads swayed in front of him, adding a sense of mystery and ambiguity. He was sitting in the happy red of his wedding dress and his eyes seemed to be those of an intoxicated beauty, greedy for a drink, already five points tipsy.
Gu Louyin looked at him intensely and said, “You are here.”
Xiao Yuan smiled slightly, “Were you looking for me?”
Five simple words plunged Gu Louyin back into the abyss again.
All this was an illusion, everything was fake, and all that was in front of him was just a ray of Xiao Yuan’s lonely soul.
“Yes.” Gu Louyin endured, “I was looking for you for a long time.”
Xiao Yuan looked at his silver hair, thought of his recent experiences and said, “You seem to be having a bad time.”
Gu Louyin didn’t mention his own affairs, only said, “Why?”
“Back then, why did you want to…” Gu Louyin’s adam’s apple rolled, “look for death.”
Xiao Yuan knew that he was asking about jumping off the cliff two years ago and said carelessly: “There were so many people from Yunjian Pavilion that day. Anyways, I was a dead man. It was better to end it by myself so that I could be happy and comfortable.”
Gu Louyin was silent. Xiao Yuan waited for a long time but he didn’t speak again. He couldn’t help asking: “You went to great lengths to summon me just to ask this?”
Gu Louyin said, “Did it hurt?”
“You mean death?” Xiao Yuan said with a smile, “It didn’t hurt, I didn’t feel anything and it was over.”
Gu Louyin said solemnly: “En.” He remembered that Xiao Yuan was afraid of pain the most.
Gu Louyin was speaking even less than two years ago. Xiao Yuan suspected that if he stayed alone in the snowy mountains like this, he might go mute before his life term ran out. Thinking about the purpose of this trip, Xiao Yuan said, “In fact, after all, it was my own choice to seek death. For me at the time, it was also a relief. You should be happy for me.”
“Happy…” Gu Louyin said softly, “Are you happy?”
Would Xiao Yuan be happy to be separated from him in life and death?
“Happy! I am great now, unfettered and free, how can there be any reason to be unhappy?”
Gu Louyin’s eyes narrowed slightly, “As long as you are happy.”
Xiao Yuan took the opportunity to say, “So you don’t have to worry about the things of the past anymore. Life is too short, you should have fun while you can. You are missing many things, it’s boring to summon me every day.”
Gu Louyin was quiet for a while and said, “I just wanted to see you.”
“See me? Why did you want to see me?” Xiao Yuan pretended he’d come to realize something, “I see, you must be having trouble getting past your heart knot and pushed yourself into a corner again, right?”
Gu Louyin neither confirmed nor denied it and his gaze did not move away from Xiao Yuan’s face for a moment.
Xiao Yuan continued: “If this is the case, you don’t need to. Gu Louyin, listen up, I don’t blame you for the past, nor do I want you to blame yourself. People cannot come back from the dead and I don’t want to take another person’s body. Forget about me and move on.”
These few words were taught to him by Luo Lan. After saying them, Xiao Yuan waited for Gu Louyin’s reaction with hope. In his imagination, Gu Louyin should have had an expression of relief when he let go of his obsession. However, Gu Louyin’s face remained unchanged and he said, “There are no complaints about me, nor blame?”
Xiao Yuan was not discouraged and made persistent efforts: “I have seen everything you have done for me. I know you didn’t want to hurt me either, but Lin Wulian is your shixiong after all and you couldn’t just watch him die.”
Gu Louyin’s expression finally changed. He frowned slightly and said, “I could.”
Xiao Yuan didn’t react for a while, “What?”
“I could watch anyone die, only you-” Gu Louyin murmured in a low voice, “but it just had to be you.”
Xiao Yuan regained his senses and said, “I know.”
Gu Louyin looked at him quietly.
“I know that you had your reasons that day, and I also know that you protected me as much as possible.” Xiao Yuan repeatedly emphasized, “I have no complaints nor hatred for you. I… I just hope you are well.”
Gu Louyin seemed to have been stabbed by something and suddenly took a step forward.
The two of them were wearing wedding clothes of the same color, looking at each other through the beaded curtain on Xiao Yuan’s crown. Although the two of them were talking just now, they still kept a respectful distance. Gu Louyin’s step made them almost press together; they could touch each other’s clothes if they wanted to. Since they met, Gu Louyin had always treated him politely and rarely got close to him unless it was necessary.
In the flickering candlelight, Xiao Yuan looked at his deep eyes and snowy silver hair, and suddenly felt that what he said was not necessarily enough to complete the task.
Even if he had no affection for Gu Louyin, he didn’t want Gu Louyin to die for him. He would not be happy if Gu Louyin died.
Just one Xiao Du was enough.
“Xiao Yuan,” Gu Louyin whispered his name, “are you unwilling to even hate me?”
Xiao Yuan was at a loss; Gu Louyin’s reaction was really unexpected to him. He couldn’t help but begin to doubt Luo Lan’s words – was it really Gu Louyin’s guilt about him that caused his demonization? This, this didn’t seem to be right.
Xiao Yuan pursed his lips and asked, “Do you want me to hate you?”
“You saved me and died because of me.” Gu Louyin’s voice trembled, “You should hate me.”
Xiao Yuan thought for a while, “What if I say that I have never saved you?”
Gu Louyin’s breath suddenly became erratic, “…what?”
Xiao Yuan took a step back and said indifferently: “I am from Xingtian Sect.”
Gu Louyin’s eyes widened slightly.
“The reason why I was able to save you is because the people of Xingtian Sect hurt you first.” It was the last resort for Xiao Yuan. If these words couldn’t make Gu Louyin let him go, it meant that Gu Louyin was really hopeless and they didn’t have to waste any more effort. “With the identity of your savior, I could get your trust and get into Yunjian Pavilion.”
Gu Louyin’s eyes reflected Xiao Yuan’s bright face, as if he was looking at a stranger.
“I wanted to use my face to win your favor and make you willingly become my Dao companion. I never thought that before you fell in love with me, Lin Wulian would be poisoned with withered bones. In order to save him and to save me, you had to take my blood. At that time I thought, since I had to give it, why not take the opportunity to force you to marry me. Everyone knew that the young master of Yunjian Pavilion was pure like a breeze and bright like the moon, very talented and elegant. As long as you felt you wronged me, you would naturally agree to my request.” Xiao Yuan said, suddenly chuckling, “Young Pavilion Master Gu, you have been deceived, don’t you understand? From beginning to end, I have been lying to you.”
The candles’ red light flickered and the bridal chamber was silent. Xiao Yuan looked at Gu Louyin without flinching, as if he wanted to appreciate Gu Louyin’s disbelieving and shocked expression. He wanted to watch Gu Louyin’s gaze cool down when he saw his true face with his own eyes.
Gu Louyin didn’t say a word, his expression was as cold as frost and snow. Xiao Yuan couldn’t see what he was thinking and didn’t even know if he was angry.
After a long time, Gu Louyin said, “You wanted me to fall in love with you?”
Xiao Yuan hesitated for a moment and said, “Yes.”
“Then why did you have to bear it alone when you had an attack from the Acacia Gu?”
Xiao Yuan was speechless. He had almost forgotten these things and he didn’t expect Gu Louyin to remember them.
“Why did you turn from hot to cold to me after I promised to marry you and didn’t even want to look at me anymore?“ There was a hint of aggressiveness in Gu Louyin’s tone, “Didn’t you want me to like you?”
Xiao Yuan said stiffly: “You agreed and my task was completed. Why would I still be kind to you?”
The corners of Gu Louyin’s lips twitched slightly. He seemed to want to laugh but he had forgotten how to laugh. “Xiao Yuan, how many more times do you have to lie to me?”
The feeling of being easily seen through made Xiao Yuan upset for a while. How did Gu Louyin become even more difficult than before? He was so obsessed that he deserved to be tortured by a heart demon for a lifetime.
Xiao Yuan took a deep breath and said cynically: “Believe it or not, what I am saying is true. I have never saved you.”
Gu Louyin said, “I believe it.”
Xiao Yuan was taken aback and said suspiciously, “Do you really believe it?”
“Since you were there for Qingyan, it makes sense for you to create a life-saving grace.”
Xiao Yuan smiled, “Then now that I am not your savior, do you still feel guilty for my death?”
Gu Louyin said, “If you don’t want me to feel guilty…”
Xiao Yuan immediately said, “I don’t want!”
Gu Louyin nodded lightly, “I will try to let it go.”
The surprise was too sudden; Xiao Yuan breathed a sigh of relief. Gu Louyin was not a man who made promises easily. Since he said that he would let it go, he would let it go sooner or later. It meant he had fulfilled the task given to him by Luo Lan on this trip.
Xiao Yuan looked out the window. The moonlight was bright and the shadows were sparse. He didn’t know what time it was in this world, whether Luo Lan and Fang Baichu were about to pull him out of the illusion.
Xiao Yuan said, “I should go.”
Gu Louyin’s eyes flashed. He reminded himself again that this was an illusion and the Xiao Yuan in front of him was the soul he had summoned from the underworld.
But so what.
Xiao Yuan walked towards the door and as soon as he opened the door, a cold white slender hand reached out and pushed the door back in front of him.
Gu Louyin was standing behind him; his back was pressing against Gu Louyin’s chest, and they were closer than ever before.
“Want to run?”
The sound in Xiao Yuan’s ears made him subconsciously try to dodge. He turned around, leaned against the door and raised his eyes to look at the silver-haired sword cultivator in front of him, “Is there something else?”
Gu Louyin said, “Yes.”
“You don’t feel guilty anymore, why is there something else?”
Gu Louyin said, “Apart from guilt, there are other things.”
Gu Louyin narrowed his eyes and did not answer. He looked at Xiao Yuan for a moment, then stretched out his hand, gently opened the bead curtain in front of Xiao Yuan’s face and tucked it on both sides of his crown.
Then he lowered his head and kissed Xiao Yuan’s lips.