Xiao Yuan’s mind was in turmoil; it was rare for him to feel so unsettled. Seeing Xiao Du standing alive in front of him again, Xiao Yuan unexpectedly remembered the last time they met – in the empty hall Xiao Du, covered in blood, closed his eyes and told him with a smile, ‘Gege is gone’.
A series of questions flashed through Xiao Yuan’s mind. Was it truly Xiao Du he was seeing? Was this small town where they were real? If it was real and it was truly Xiao Du, why did Xiao Du appear here?
Xiao Du, who had finished buying the lantern, seemed to be aware of Xiao Yuan’s gaze and looked up at the second floor. Xiao Yuan remembered that Xiao Du knew this face and immediately raised the cup to drink tea, letting his sleeve block his face. When he put down his hand and looked down, Xiao Du could no longer be seen in the crowd.
Seeing Xiao Yuan’s overly abnormal expression, Gu Louyin was in a delicate mood. It was not difficult to see that Xiao Yuan was inextricably linked to this man called Xiao Du. Whether it was love, hatred or a grudge, Xiao Du had to be a special existence for Xiao Yuan. But he didn’t know what had happened between the two. His time with Xiao Yuan was too short. He didn’t know many things about Xiao Yuan. He was like an outsider who might be kicked out at any time.
Xiao Yuan turned his head and looked down at the cup in his hand, as if at a loss.
Gu Louyin pursed his lips and said, “Xiao Yuan.”
Xiao Yuan said “en” absent-mindedly.
“What is he to you?”
Xiao Yuan swirled the cup and chuckled in a low voice: “He is my…”
He couldn’t say clearly what Xiao Du was. But after he had ‘killed’ Xiao Du once, the entanglements of the past seemed unimportant – their accounts were settled.
Xiao Yuan was silent for a long time; Gu Louyin did not ask, waiting quietly for his answer.
Gu Louyin was taken aback.
Xiao Yuan took a deep breath, “Gu Louyin, he is my… gege. However, we have long turned against each other. He probably regards me as an enemy now.”
Something that was blocking Gu Louyin’s chest eased a little. He remembered that Xiao Yuan had an elder brother he had been separated from when he was a child. It turned out to be this man. He thought of one thing and said, “Li Yanzhi calls you the ‘young lord’.”
“Yes, Xiao Du is the Demon Lord of Xingtian Sect, regarded as the great calamity by the three major sects. They would like to get rid of him as soon as possible but they don’t know his name or appearance; I am his younger brother, so I am the little demon lord, except that I took the big demon lord’s status and subordinates and eventually became the big demon lord myself.” Xiao Yuan spoke half truth and half false, “Now that you know my true identity and what kind of person I am, do you still want to accompany me?”
Gu Louyin said, “Yes.”
“But you are Gu Hang’s son, and I am Xiao Du’s younger brother. Since ancient times, good and evil have been incompatible…”
Gu Louyin asked, “Are you good?”
“Of course I am evil.”
Gu Louyin said, “En, me too.”
Xiao Yuan smiled dumbfounded, calming down a little bit. Cheering up, he said, “I suspect that the Xiao Du we saw just now is not a mirror person with a soul attached, but Xiao Du himself.”
“Xiao Du is accustomed to using his right hand. He just used his right hand to buy a lantern from the shop owner.”
Gu Louyin said, “Why is he here?”
Xiao Yuyuan shook his head, “I don’t know.” In addition, he had a lot of other questions. For example, how did Xiao Du ‘revive’? Since he was not dead, why didn’t he go back to Xingtian Sect to get revenge? What exactly did Xiao Du want to do coming to this soul city secretly?
Gu Louyin asked, “Do you want to find him?”
Xiao Yuan thought for a while and said, “Yes. He should have been in the soul city for a while and he must know something. Xiao Du’s mission always was to destroy Yunjian Pavilion and perhaps he also found out that Qingyan was in this city before he came here.” There was another reason that he didn’t tell Gu Louyin. He had a hunch that Xiao Du might know where his lost soul was.
After making up their minds, the two left the restaurant and asked the owner of the lantern shop where the man in red who had just bought the lantern from him had gone. The shop owner said enthusiastically: “Guests who buy lanterns from me usually go to the river to float lanterns. Young master can go look for them there.”
Xiao Yuan thanked the shop owner, and the man took the opportunity to say, “Everyone says that if you write your wish on paper, put it in the lantern and float it on the river, your wish will come true. Young master might as well buy a lantern and give it a try?”
Xiao Yuan thought that it would be good to use a lantern as a cover and smiled: “Okay, I’ll buy one and try it.”
Gu Louyin said, “Two lanterns.”
Xiao Yuan was a little surprised and said, “You don’t really believe this, do you? It’s obviously just a lie.”
Xiao Yuan’s voice was very low, but the shop owner had sharp ears. Hearing what he said, he immediately defended his lanterns: “Don’t believe me, young master? But do you know the famous immortal lady Lu of the city? She used to go to the river to float lanterns, wishing that she could marry the man of her dreams. Guess what happened?”
Xiao Yuan said, “Did she marry the man of her dreams?”
The shop owner patted his thigh, “No, but tomorrow she will marry her god-like husband!”
God-like… wasn’t it too exaggerated to call someone god-like – Xiao Yuan glanced at the man next to him in a flash of inspiration and asked, “The immortal lady Lu you mentioned is Lu Yueyao?”
The shop owner was surprised, “You, how dare you call the name of the city lord directly!”
Xiao Yuan asked, “Does the man of her dreams have white hair?”
Gu Louyin’s hand holding the sword tightened.
The shop owner didn’t want to tell them more and said, “How can I know this, I haven’t seen him before. Go, go as soon as you finish buying things, don’t delay me from doing my business.”
Xiao Yuan didn’t ask any more questions and left with a lantern. Gu Louyin followed him and said, “Why do you think it’s me?”
Xiao Yuan said lightly: “Because Lu Yueyao likes you.”
Gu Louyin: “…”
“Don’t tell me you don’t know,” Xiao Yuan’s tone contained a trace of sourness that he could barely detect. “She behaved so obviously, even a blind man could see it.”
Gu Louyin said truthfully: “I have never thought about it.”
“Not only Lu Yueyao, but I suspect Lin Wulian also…” Xiao Yuan paused and didn’t go on. It was not the time to talk about it. He changed his words and said, “Lu Yueyao turned out to be the ruler of the Soul City. I really didn’t expect this. However, since she is the city lord, she must be able to do whatever she wants in the city, and she must know about our souls being sent in. If I were her, of course I would also do what my heart wishes, and my god-like Shixiong would become my husband. Hehe.”
Gu Louyin couldn’t care less about this and said in a deep voice, “I fear your soul is in danger.”
Indeed, Lu Yueyao had always regarded him as a thorn in her eye. If his soul really fell into Lu Yueyao’s hands, he was afraid that he would be abused severely. But no matter how abused, Gu Hang did not directly destroy their earth souls and sent them to this city instead. There had to be some other use for the souls. It meant Lu Yueyao would not have the courage to destroy his soul.
After thinking about it again, Xiao Yuan said, “Let’s act separately. You go to Lu Yueyao and I will go to Xiao Du.” One of their tasks was the earth souls and the other one was Qingyan. They had to do both of these things, but they didn’t have that much time to do them one by one.
Gu Louyin also knew this but still did not immediately agree. Xiao Yuan guessed what he was hesitating about and said with a smile: “Don’t worry about me. Have you forgotten? I am faster and better than you.”
Gu Louyin suddenly smiled, “Okay.”
People like him who rarely smiled always made people look at them in a daze when they did. After a very short period of concentration loss, Xiao Yuan said, “You’d better move quickly and don’t really become friendly with Lu Yueyao. Even if it’s just a ray of soul, it’s enough to make… people feel uncomfortable.”
Gu Louyin nodded lightly and said, “At this time tomorrow, no matter what happens, I will wait for you here.”
Xiao Yuan agreed and said, “Then I’ll go.”
“Wait. “Gu Louyin handed his lantern to Xiao Yuan, “You can send it floating for me.”
After parting with Gu Louyin, Xiao Yuan changed to a face that Xiao Du hadn’t seen before and walked towards the river.
There were fewer people on the bank of the river than at the market and it was much quieter. The bright moon hanging in the night sky was the same as the one he had seen outside the city, and the moonlight was falling like flowing water. Lotus lanterns floated on the pitch-black river like stars in the sky.
Most of those who floated lanterns by the river were young men and women. Xiao Yuan glanced around but did not see Xiao Du’s figure. He carried two lanterns, squatted down like others and put the lanterns on the water.
A woman’s voice sounded behind him: “Oh my, young man, don’t you even make a wish when you float the lanterns?”
Xiao Yuan recognized this voice and looked back. It was indeed Miss Chang Lan from Baihua Palace. With a look of regret on his face, he said, “I don’t have pen and paper.”
“Then you can meditate on your wishes in your heart, and it will have an effect.”
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “Well, thank you for reminding me.” As soon as Chang Lan left, his expression became solemn. How many souls did Gu Hang take? Yunjian Pavilion, Xuanle Sect, Baihua Palace, Tianhe Sect… Had all those sects fallen prey to him?
Xiao Yuan’s gaze gradually followed the two lanterns. If a wish could really be fulfilled, then he hoped to solve this mess as soon as possible and then go to live his free life. Oh, there was also Gu Louyin’s lamp, so he made a wish for him to live for a few more years.
The two lanterns stopped by the shore without floating far, stuck in a pile of lotus flowers. Xiao Yuan didn’t care much, but saw a pair of hands reaching out and gently pushing the lanterns, then also carefully placing a lantern on the river.
Xiao Yuan followed the hands and looked at their owner. His heart suddenly jumped to his throat.
It was the face that was exactly the same as his; it was his soul and the mirror person.
After ‘Xiao Yuan’ was done, he got up and left. Xiao Yuan chased after him decisively, but he was still one step late. Instead of looking for him right away, he went to stop the lantern placed by ‘Xiao Yuan’ first.
Inside the lantern there was a note with a sentence written in his handwriting: ‘I wish to be with my gege for a long time’.