All this happened so quickly that everyone present was stunned, except for Gu Louyin. He put down the man in his arms and asked, “How are you?”
Xiao Yuan looked at the little Qingyan that bounced excitedly in Xiao Du’s palm and said blankly, “We succeeded?”
Gu Louyin said, “En.”
Xiao Yuan: “…” He was ready for an earth-shattering battle, and this was the result?
Xiao Du walked up to Xiao Yuan and said, “This is Ah Nian, do you remember?”
The little Qingyan whooshed high, hovering in front of Xiao Yuan’s eyes. Obviously it was just a flame, but Xiao Yuan seemed to see it making an expression of surprise and covering its mouth. Then it landed on Xiao Yuan’s shoulder.
Xiao Du smiled, “It really remembers you.”
Xiao Yuan tentatively stretched out his finger towards the little Qingyan. Qingyan took the initiative to lean over and rub against his fingertips.
Mu Yingyang said nervously: “Shixiong, be careful!”
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “It’s not hot at all.”
Gu Louyin asked, “Why would Qingyan recognize you as its master?”
Xiao Du joked: “What do you think, Young Pavilion Master Gu?”
“Because Qingyan was originally yours.” Xiao Yuan said, “Didn’t you say that before?”
Xiao Du raised his hand and Qingyan returned to his palm. He looked at Xiao Yuan with a rare gentleness in his voice: “It is not mine alone, it is ours.”
“Lord.” Li Yanzhi, Meng Chi and Fang Baichu bowed to Xiao Du together with the disciples of Xingtian Sect, “Congratulations to Your Lordship for successfully leaving the retreat.”
Xiao Du said meaningfully: “It turns out that I have been in retreat during these days.”
Xiao Yuan’s face did not change: “Haven’t you?”
Xiao Du smiled quietly, “Indeed.”
Li Yanzhi said, “Lord, what shall we do next? The souls in this city…”
Xiao Du said, “Obey Ah Yu.”
Everyone’s eyes turned to Xiao Yuan in unison. Xiao Yuan said, “First transfer them to a hidden place, and as for the rest… I will think about it later.”
After the matter was resolved for the time being, Xiao Yuan left some people in Pangu Mountain to clean up and the others went down the mountain. Xingtian Sect had a stronghold in a nearby city, so they settled there and inquired for news while resting.
One day, Xiao Du found Xiao Yuan alone and told him everything about Qingyan.
Before its demise, the Xiao family was just an unknown weapon cultivation family to outsiders, only the Xiao family themselves knew how rich they were and how much they could compete with the rest of the world. At that time, Xuanle Sect, Baihua Palace and Yunjian Pavilion, considered the three major sects in the world, didn’t have even one tenth of the Xiao family’s assets combined.
Xiao Yuan said, “Because the Xiao family had Qingyan?”
Xiao Du corrected him: “Because our family had Qingyan.”
Xiao Yuan shrugged, “Don’t bother with these details.”
“It is very important.” Xiao Du said, “Ah Yu is my family.”
Xiao Yuan: “Heh.”
“Hundreds of years ago, the ancestors of the Xiao family found the ancient Qingyan by chance. Because the Xiao family has been cultivating weapons for generations, their ancestors used Qingyan to refine artifacts so rare they could be seen only once in a hundred years. But the ancestors knew that a tall tree was the first to catch the wind, and if the world knew of Qingyan, the Xiao family would never have peace. Therefore, they made a family rule not to spread the story of Qingyan. The Xiao artifacts were sold anonymously in various ways, so it was important to keep a low profile.”
“This was making a fortune in silence.” Xiao Yuan said, “Unfortunately, the Qingyan’s matter was finally exposed, attracting the wolf that was Yunjian Pavilion?”
Xiao Du nodded, “Yes.”
“How was it exposed?”
“I can’t be sure about this, but I have two guesses. First, there was a thief, a mole in the Xiao family; second, in order to marry your mother, my father gave Baihua Palace a priceless dowry worth ten miles of festive clothes, which might have attracted the attention of Yunjian Pavilion. After all, they regarded swords as the treasure of Yunjian Pavilion, and the Xiao family had three of them at once.”
Xiao Yuan raised his eyebrows and said, “If it’s according to what you just said, then my mother is also responsible for the destruction of the Xiao family by Yunjian Pavilion?”
Xiao Du sneered: “What does it have to do with your mother? It is my father who coveted her beauty. However, it’s not that I can’t understand him. What’s the point of making so much money if you can’t spend it on your loved one. What’s more, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.”
“No, no, life is more important than beauty.”
Xiao Du smiled and said, “Someone like me who almost died for beauty doesn’t seem to be qualified to agree with Ah Yu’s words.”
Xiao Yuan didn’t answer his words, and it took a while before he said, “The Xiao family was destroyed in Pangu Mountain?”
The smile at the corner of Xiao Du’s mouth was wiped clean. “That summer, the heat was unbearable, so my father took the family to a villa in Pangu Mountain to escape the heat. The mighty men of Yunjian Pavilion rushed in, breaking several formations without wasting a single warrior. They even knew exactly where Qingyan was and knew how to seal Qingyan. Who would believe that they had no help from inside?”
Xiao Yuan said, “I wouldn’t.”
“The Xiao family resisted stubbornly but in the end they could not escape the fate of being wiped out. My father and his subordinates covered your mother’s escape with us and were later overtaken by Yunjian Pavilion. Your mother lured the enemy away and handed you over to me before leaving. We finally got rid of our pursuers and came to the city. You said you were hungry, so I went to find something to eat for you. I don’t know how what happened but when I turned around, you were gone. I was looking for you and on the way, I was taken by the people of Xingtian Sect and joined it. Later…” Xiao Du’s voice was low and hoarse, “I didn’t take good care of Ah Yu and made Ah Yu suffer.”
Xiao Yuan was relatively calm as he said, “Since I pierced you with the fan, it can be considered revenge.”
“You still couldn’t kill me in the end. And the Acacia Gu that I gave you,” Xiao Du stretched out his hand to cover Xiao Yuan’s heart, “will always be there.”
Xiao Yuan avoided Xiao Du’s touch, “What do you want to say?”
“Exchange hearts with me, Ah Yu.”
“Regarding this matter, I remember I gave you the answer.”
“I remember it too. I thould your answer might have changed.” Xiao Du hugged Xiao Yuan, stared into his eyes and asked bewitchingly, “Ah Yu, do you still hate me? Do you… want me?”
Xiao Yuan said, “I said that I would be a brother to you if you don’t persecute me any more.” He deliberately emphasized the words ‘persecute’ and ‘brother’.
There was a dull pain in Xiao Du’s heart and his eyes were full of bitterness. He let go of Xiao Yuan’s waist and said, “Okay, my heart is here. As long as you nod, I can cut it out for you at any time.”
Xiao Yuan didn’t care, “Oh.”
“Ah Yu, I hope you know that I want to be your brother, but not just your brother.” Xiao Du’s affectionate gaze was laced with a hint of coldness, “I like Ah Yu and I don’t want to see Ah Yu become someone else’s.”
Xiao Yuan said, “Then I will stay away from you and you will not be able to see it.”
As soon as Xiao Du was about to say something, a small cloud of cyan flame floated out of his sleeve, circled around the two of them, hesitated for a while and chose to fall on Xiao Du’s shoulder. Qingyan followed the Xiao family for hundreds of years and it regarded Xiao Du who had Xiao’s bloodline as its master. To him, Xiao Yuan was only like an old friend and naturally he could not compare with Xiao Du.
Xiao Du fiddled with Qingyan carelessly and said, “From now on, treat Ah Yu as you treat me.”
After Xiao Du’s words, the little Qingyan began to stick to Xiao Yuan. At the celebration banquet in the evening, he sat obediently on Xiao Yuan’s lap. Xiao Yuan felt that he had an extra pet, and it would be nice to be able to touch it.
“Should we feed it something?” Xiao Yuan said, “What does the fire usually eat?”
Mu Yingyang said, “Oil? Firewood?”
Xiao Yuan asked Xiao Du: “Ge?”
Even though he knew that Xiao Yuan called him that because of the presence of Xingtian Sect, Xiao Du’s heart still throbbed. “It eats, it eats the aura of heaven and earth.”
Fang Baichu burst out laughing, almost spraying a mouthful of wine on Li Yanzhi’s face. Xiao Yuan suddenly felt like a fool and said blankly: “Ah, it’s not special at all, that’s boring.”
Gu Louyin held the wine cup in his hand and smiled lightly when he heard these words.
Meng Chi sat next to Gu Louyin and caught his smile. She instantly felt a little buzz in her head and hurriedly drank a cup of herbal tea. The men at this table, every one of them, were incredibly beautiful. Not to mention the demon Xiao Yuan; Mu Yingyang, Xiao Du and Gu Louyin were all extremely eye-catching. She could barely look away, so she had to give up two and concentrate on one. Gu Louyin, whom she saw least often and who had silver hair and white clothes, was the most difficult to turn away.
Probably because her gaze was too explicit, Gu Louyin looked at her and said, “Guardian Meng, I have something to ask.”
Meng Chi was flattered, “What’s the matter?”
Gu Louyin said, “Acacia Gu, is there a way to remove it once and for all.”
The little Qingyan always remembered to share his favour and after staying on Xiao Yuan’s lap for a while, it went in through the placket to Xiao Du’s chest. Li Yanzhi drank some wine and made a strange joke, “This Qingyan is like a child of the Lord and the young lord.”
As soon as he said that, the room immediately became quiet. Mu Yingyang said coldly: “If you had a plate of peanuts, you wouldn’t get drunk like this.”
Li Yanzhi laughed loudly: “Just a few jars of wine, how can I get drunk. I’m not drunk, I’m not drunk, I’m sober.”
Xiao Du smiled and said, “If I had that ability, I would definitely have a few more children with Ah Yu.”
Xiao Yuan: “…”
Li Yanzhi was obviously too drunk to speak and said in gibberish: “It’s good to have more children! Make a red flame, a blue flame, a purple flame or something…”
Xiao Yuan said indifferently: “Someone come.”
Two disciples of Xingtian Sect lined up and said, “Yes.”
“Guardian Li is drunk, take him away to rest.”
The disciples of Xingtian Sect glanced at each other and said with a serious expression, “Yes.”
Meng Chi shook her head and sighed, wanting to see how Gu Louyin would react. She saw that the other party still had a cold and distant expression, as if he hadn’t taken this outrageous conversation to heart.
Being mature didn’t depend on age. Gu Louyin was not very old, he even seemed to be a few months younger than Xiao Yuan, but he was very mature, so he didn’t care to get involved in this kind of petty jealousy.
Meng Chi looked appreciative, lowered her head to pick up the food, then suddenly found that the liquor in her cup had turned into ice at some point and there was still a layer of frost on the edge of the cup.