A few days later, Shen Qianyan sent someone to Yunjian Pavilion to report, claiming that Xuanle Sect had captured Gu Louyin alive. Although Yunjian Pavilion issued a kill order for Gu Louyin, remembering that Gu Louyin was Gu Hang’s biological son, Shen Qianyan temporarily kept Gu Louyin alive and left it to Yunjian Pavilion to deal with him.
After Gu Hang heard that, he said with no urgency: “Gu Louyin can escape from Yunjian Pavilion. How did Xuanle Sect subdue him?”
Xuanle Sect’s disciple was neither arrogant nor humble: “When it comes to swordsmanship, Xuanle Sect naturally cannot be compared with Yunjian Pavilion. However, Gu Louyin has a heart demon and Xuanle Sect is good at prying into people’s hearts with music. As the saying goes, one thing leads to another, and it was only to be expected that Gu Louyin would fall into the hands of Xuanle Sect.” After speaking, the messenger raised his head and glanced at Gu Hang. He saw that neither joy nor anger could be distinguished in the other party’s expression. He couldn’t see any opening and didn’t know whether Gu Hang believed it or not.
Qian Sang said: “Master Shen once set up a guqin formation in Yunjian Pavilion but it only trapped Gu Louyin temporarily. Now that Xiao Yuan has come back to life, I am afraid that it is not that simple to use Gu Louyin’s heart demon.”
Before Gu Hang said anything, Lin Wulian couldn’t sit still. “Master, whether Xuanle Sect caught Louyin or not, we will find out when we go and see.” After speaking, he coughed violently.
Last time, Lin Wulian was severely injured by Gu Louyin’s sword in the secret passage. Then Xiao Yuan gave him some kind of medicine that even Han Mu could not identify. His injury did not heal for a long time and he could only linger on the sickbed. He was turned into a waste man, even unable to carry a sword. Today, he heard that Xuanle Sect was here and brought news about Gu Louyin, so he dragged his sick body out of bed. Gu Hang and Qian Sang were standing, but he was sitting, his face pale and his hip bones sunken. It was obvious he was seriously ill.
Gu Hang glanced at Lin Wulian, sent the disciple of Xuanle Sect away and said coldly: “You are actually quite energetic when it comes to him.”
Lin Wulian barely managed to stop coughing and said, “Qingyan was stolen and the remnant souls in the city have disappeared. Isn’t Master worried?”
Gu Hang said, “I hope you are worried about Qingyan.”
Lin Wulian’s face stiffened. Upon seeing this, Qian Sang said, “Urgent as it is, it is not something to be rushed into. Xuanle Sect is not an honest sect, with a young master like Shen Fugui. Now that Qingyan is in the hands of Gu Louyin and Xiao Yuan, it is reasonable for Pavilion Master to have some concerns, as it may be a trap.”
Lin Wulian clasped his hands and said, “If this is not a trap, won’t we lose the opportunity to get Qingyan back?”
Gu Hang thought for a moment and said, “Let’s first send a few people to Xuanle Sect to find out. Choose some that are neither too strong nor too weak.”
On the same day, Jiang Liuyuan, the eldest disciple of the younger generation of Yunjian Pavilion, leading a group of his junior brothers, set off for Xuanle Sect.
When Jiang Liuyuan and the others arrived at Xuanle Sect, they found that the atmosphere in the sect was solemn and the expressions of the disciples of Xuanle Sect were serious, as if they were deeply secretive about something unspoken. Jiang Liuyuan asked the disciple of Xuanle Sect who led them: “Is something wrong with Xuanle Sect?”
A disciple of Xuanle Sect hesitated and then said, “No, it’s nothing.”
A shidi named Xu Chengfeng who followed Jiang Liuyuan said, “During this time when Xingtian Sect has become arrogant like this, is there something about your Xuanle Sect that we in Yunjian Pavilion cannot know?!”
The disciple of Xuanle Sect smiled and said, “We don’t dare, don’t dare, it’s just that our family matters are ugly.”
Jiang Liuyuan asked, “Young Sect Master Shen…?”
The disciple of Xuanle Sect nodded with a wry smile: “Our young master made a lot of trouble because the Sect Master decided to return Gu Louyin to Yunjian Pavilion. He was locked up by the Sect Master but still did not stop, causing a mess in the sect.”
Xu Chengfeng sneered: “This is indeed like what your young master would do.”
Jiang Liuyuan dispelled some of his suspicions and asked, “Where is Gu Louyin now?”
“In the formation laid down by the Sect Master. Two immortal friends, please follow me.”
In Xuanle Sect’s Nightmare Prison, Jiang Liuyuan and others met their former young master. Gu Louyin’s whole body was wrapped in chains, his hands were suspended, his eyes closed tightly as he remained motionless.
Jiang Liuyuan asked, “Did he pass out?”
The disciple of Xuanle Sect said, “Gu Louyin has been trapped in a nightmare by the Sect Master for three days.”
Jiang Liuyuan wanted to take a closer look but was stopped by the disciple of Xuanle Sect. “There is the sound of the Sect Master’s se in the formation, you will be caught if you enter.”
Xu Chengfeng said, “Big Shixiong, this is Gu Louyin, right?”
Jiang Liuyuan nodded and ordered, “Go and call someone.” Even if Gu Louyin was behind bars and trapped by Xuanle Sect’s formation, they alone did not dare to act rashly against him.
The disciple of Xuanle Sect asked, “Who are you going to call?”
“There are several masters from Yunjian Pavilion and they will escort Gu Louyin back to Yunjian Pavilion tomorrow.”
The disciple of Xuanle Sect said curiously: “Why wait for tomorrow, why didn’t they come with you?”
Xu Chengfeng said, “Who knew whether it was true that you caught Gu Louyin…”
Jiang Liuyuan scolded in a low voice: “Xu Shidi!”
The disciple of Xuanle Sect put on a confused look, “If you doubt Xuanle Sect, you should find a powerful elder to take the lead.”
When he said it, the faces of the disciples of Yunjian Pavilion didn’t look good. Jiang Liuyuan said solemnly: “Let’s go.”
The corners of the disciple’s mouth curved slightly, “Forgive me for not seeing you out.”
After Jiang Liuyuan and the others left, Xiao Yuan, who had pretended to be a disciple of Xuanle Sect, walked into the formation and raised his hand to untie Gu Louyin’s chains. Gu Louyin whispered: “They may come back at any time.”
Xiao Yuan paused and said, “Shouldn’t be that fast.”
“No need to take risks.”
“Okay.” Xiao Yuan gently stroked Gu Louyin’s wrist, “Is it uncomfortable?”
Gu Louyin looked at him, “No.”
It was rare to see Gu Louyin’s ‘wretched’ appearance. Xiao Yuan became very playful, raised Gu Louyin’s chin with Bihai Chaosheng and said, “Look at you, you are tied up so tightly, now I can… do whatever I want with you.”
When it came to the words ‘do whatever I want’, Xiao Yuan suddenly approached and at the same time restored his appearance.
Xiao Yuan, wearing the yellow attire of a Xuanle Sect disciple, looked different from usual, bearing a trace of extravagance but still dignified and elegant.
Gu Louyin’s breathing became heavy, “No matter what, you can do it.”
Gu Louyin’s hand moved slightly, causing the iron chains to collide with a clanking sound. Xiao Yuan’s eyes darkened and he felt faintly excited. If it weren’t for the wrong timing, he really wanted to do something to Gu Louyin who couldn’t resist. Gu Louyin was always too cold and ascetic on the surface and his cultivation base was incomparable. Now that he was imprisoned, his appearance aroused some kind of blasphemy-like thoughts deep in Xiao Yuan’s heart. He was surprised to find that he had such a bad side.
Xiao Yuan raised his head and planted a faint kiss on the corner of Gu Louyin’s mouth, “Let’s wait for the matter to end.”
Gu Louyin’s adam’s apple twitched silently, “En.”
Xiao Yuan said half true and half false: “When the time comes, I will go to Master Shen to ask for iron chains.”
Xiao Yuan made Gu Louyin restless with a kiss and a few simple words. He was worried that if Xiao Yuan continued to talk nonsense, he would not be able to resist breaking free from the chains. “Go back,” he said.
Xiao Yuan had played enough and got down to business: “According to Jiang Liuyuan’s statement, masters of Yunjian Pavilion will come to get you tomorrow. If Luo Lan mingled into Xuanle Sect as we expected, he would definitely act tonight. Master Shen’s ‘Nanhuai Transcript’ is ready. If we know where Luo Lan is, we can get the answer tonight.”
Gu Louyin was quiet for a moment and said, “If the answer remains the same, what will you do?”
Xiao Yuan had been avoiding this question. He did not want to think about it, nor did he want to answer Gu Louyin.
No matter how heartless he was, he could not be with the son of the enemy who killed his mother.
Gu Louyin knew that Xiao Yuan had already given him the answer.
His chest seemed to be constricted by something. Gu Louyin breathed slowly and then asked, “And if I am not, what would you do?”
Xiao Yuan asked rhetorically: “What do you want me to do?”
Gu Louyin looked at him and said, “Name and status.”
(the relationship between ruler and subject, father and son, and husband and wife is called “name”, and the corresponding duties and obligations are called “status”.)
Xiao Yuan was taken aback for a moment, then smiled: “Okay. If you are not, I will give you a name and status.”
Throughout the day, Xiao Yuan could barely sit still. Seeing the sky gradually darken, he became more and more flustered, as if a sword was hanging above his head.
It was finally completely dark.
There was no light in the Nightmare Prison. It was pitch black inside and the moonlight could not penetrate there. In silence, Gu Louyin heard footsteps approaching.
He closed his eyes and felt the visitor stop in front of him, his gaze locked firmly on his face for a long time; then he sighed.
At this moment, Gu Louyin suddenly opened his eyes.
The visitor was so frightened that he stepped back, his face full of astonishment – this was Jiang Liuyuan’s face.
‘Jiang Liuyuan’ didn’t have time to react at all, and suddenly there was the sound of se, pulling him into the memories that had been sealed for many years.
In the fourth month at Yunjian Pavilion, willow fluff was floating. Gu Hang finished practising his sword and hurriedly went back to his room to change into a clean white robe. Without even having time to drink a mouthful of water, he flew towards Qiyue Mountain with his sword.
While still on the sword, he saw the figure that had haunted his dreams. When he landed, he first straightened his wind-blown lapels and called out, “Ah Lu!”
Yuan Lu looked back at him with visible traces of tears on her clear face.
Gu Hang panicked all of a sudden, “Are you crying? Why are you crying, did anyone bully you?”
Yuan Lu shook her head and said quietly: “Cheng, Cheng Shixiong… asked my master to marry me.”
Gu Hang’s eyes widened suddenly.
“Master, he agreed.” Yuan Lu said choking, “I can’t accompany Shixiong anymore.”
Yuan Lu had no father and no mother, and the major matter of her marriage could only be decided by her master. Gu Hang was silent for a long time, wiped away the tears of his shimei with his fingertips and said, “Cheng Shixiong can propose a marriage, but I can’t?”
Yuan Lu was taken aback.
“Ah Lu, wait for me, I will never let you marry someone else!”
“Shixiong, wait–” Yuan Lu recovered, trying to stop Gu Hang, but was a step late.
On his way to the showdown with his parents, a familiar voice sounded in Gu Hang’s mind: “You need to calm down. As the young master of the sect, it is okay to talk about love with an outer disciple, but talks about marriage…”
Gu Hang interrupted coldly: “Shut up, now is not the time for you to come out.”
“You and I share this body. If you want to marry your shimei, shouldn’t you discuss it with me?” The voice said, “If I don’t agree, can you marry her?”
Gu Hang slowed down, “What do you want to say?”
“Are you determined to marry her?”
Gu Hang did not hesitate, “Yes.”
“I can cooperate with you, but I have one condition.”
“One day, father and mother will find a way to solve the matter of the two souls in one body. It will not be me who will be separated, and you will not be able to take anything away, including her.”
Since the beginning of Gu Hang’s memory, there had been two souls in his body. For fairness, they took turns to use this body, for a day each. It was a secret, and only their parents in Yunjian Pavilion knew about it. For many years, his father had been looking for a way to separate the two souls but had never been able to do so. After many failures, Gu Hang didn’t dare to expect to have his own body anymore and he was ready to live with two souls in one body for the rest of his life.
The possibility of successfully separating the souls was minimal, and Gu Hang agreed to the condition of the other him.
Gu Hang explained to his parents that he was going to marry Yuan Lu, and unsurprisingly, he was opposed by the whole clan. For the sake of his beloved shimei, he did not hesitate to argue with the whole sect, threaten to leave the position of young master and finally forced his parents to agree – he got what he wanted and became Yuan Lu’s righteous husband.
After getting married, he and Yuan Lu were inseparable. The only thing that made Yuan Lu feel strange was that her husband would disappear for a whole day, every other day. The reason Gu Hang gave her was that the Dao he cultivated demanded an uninterrupted practice for twenty four hours. Yuan Lu never doubted him.
One day, he woke up in a strange bed and was surprised to find a sleeping woman lying next to him. Under closer inspection, the eyes and eyebrows of this woman were extremely similar to his shimei’s. In shock, he hurriedly got dressed and almost fled.
On the way, he woke up the other sleeping soul in his body and asked, “What’s going on?!”
The voice said softly: “I drank too much last night.”
Gu Hang was furious: “Can you do this kind of thing if you drink too much?”
“Why can’t I? If I can’t touch Yuan Lu, am I not allowed to touch others?”
For a moment, Gu Hang really wanted to strangle himself. The one who shared his body with him was obviously a sword cultivator who only had swordsmanship and the sect in his mind and was not interested in women. Gu Hang never thought that he would have a casual affair with a woman. He couldn’t accept it, but he couldn’t do anything.
After returning to the sect in a daze, he was called over by his parents again. His mother told him with joy on her face that they had found a way to separate the souls. They only needed a suitable body, and they could pull one of the souls out.
At this time, Gu Hang knew that he had made a terrible mistake. Unfortunately, he knew it too late.
When he got his new body, his shimei was already two months pregnant. His shimei was still the young master’s wife, and he had become the extra person, not even having a name.
In a different body, he stayed by his shimei’s side, watching her belly get bigger and bigger day by day and her smile become less and less frequent. On the day the child was born, the other Gu Hang found him.
Gu Hang said, “It’s time for you to leave Yunjian Pavilion.”
He looked at the man in front of him, both familiar and unfamiliar. “If you don’t want to be kind to her, why don’t you separate with her peacefully?”
Gu Hang said blankly: “Why should I leave her? If the Pavilion Master’s wife is not her, it will be another woman. As far as I am concerned, it makes no difference.”
He couldn’t bear it: “I want to take her away!”
Gu Hang smiled sarcastically, “You want to take her away, but will she go with you? She loves Gu Hang, and who are you?”
These words stung him fiercely. Yes, he was not Gu Hang anymore, and his shimei would not go with him.
Before leaving, he sneaked into Yuan Lu’s room and looked at his pale and weak shimei. Suddenly, he had a thought – if he still had the same face, would he and shimei be able to return to what they had been?
He didn’t go far, he hid on Qiyue Mountain where he and his shimei first met, frantically seeking a way to change his face. Several times, he even wanted to peel off Gu Hang’s face and use it on himself.
When he finally succeeded and hurried back to Yunjian Pavilion, his shimei was already gone. He searched the entire Yunjian Pavilion, but couldn’t find her. In a daze, he saw Gu Louyin, who looked a bit similar to Yuan Lu, and Lin Wulian, who was carved from the same mould as the woman who had a casual affair with Gu Hang.
The sound of the se stopped, and Xiao Yuan took the lead in returning to the present world. ‘Jiang Liuyuan’ fell to the ground in a daze, frowning, with a look of pain on his face. Obviously he hadn’t broken free from his memories. Xiao Yuan couldn’t take care of him; he rushed to Gu Louyin and untied the iron chains on him.
Gu Louyin slowly opened his eyes, his pupils dilated, and his eyes seemed to be covered with mist. He moved his lips, and Xiao Yuan heard his name.
His heart felt sour and soft. Xiao Yuan held Gu Louyin’s face with both hands and whispered softly, “I’m here.”