Behind Xiao Yuan, Mu Yingyang stood on the left and Gu Louyin stood on the right. Xiao Yuan could feel a wave of anger coming from the left and at the same time the right side felt freezing cold. He was caught between ice and fire, and there was also Xiao Du, hiding a knife in his smile, in front of him. It was supposed to be an embarrassing situation, but for some reason Xiao Yuan wanted to laugh a little.
“It’s not that he ran away from home,” Xiao Yuan said indifferently, “it’s that he went out to do business.”
Xiao Du said, “Leaving without telling your elder brother, wearing someone else’s face, is it not called running away from home?”
Xiao Yuan said, “Where I want to go and who I want to accompany is my free choice.”
“Yes, it is your free choice and I didn’t stop you.” Xiao Du stared at Xiao Yuan intently, and Qingyan that he had ignored floated on Xiao Yuan’s shoulder. “I just hope that before you leave, you can let me know, and let me know where you go and when you will be back – is this too much?”
Mu Yingyang smiled sarcastically and said, “Why should my Shixiong tell you where he is going?”
Xiao Du said word by word: “Because I am his elder brother.”
To be honest, Xiao Du’s words did sound like the ones of an elder brother who is like a father. Xiao Yuan was used to doing as he pleased for the past two years and had never really thought that anyone would care so much about his whereabouts. He didn’t know what it was like to have a home and a family. In an ordinary family, it seems to be a matter of course for the younger brother to say goodbye to the elder brother before going out.
Seeing that Xiao Yuan hadn’t spoken for a long time, Xiao Du smiled at himself: “You can’t even do that much. Do you think it hinders your freedom?”
Xiao Yuan said softly: “No.”
There was a trace of joy in Xiao Du’s eyes, but there was also an indelible sadness. He was so pathetic that a little trivial sweetness could make him ecstatic.
“In the future, as long as circumstances permit, I will tell you where I am going in advance and I will not leave without saying goodbye.” Xiao Yuan’s eyes curved slightly; he looked at Qingyan on his shoulder and said, “I also hope you can keep your promise and no longer restrict my actions.”
Xiao Du smiled, “Good Ah Yu.”
Gu Louyin’s eyes darkened slightly.
Mu Yingyang took the opportunity to say, “I also want to know the whereabouts of my Shixiong in the future!” After thinking about it, Mu Yingyang added: “No, I must go with Shixiong. There is no need for Shixiong to tell me…”
Xiao Yuan: “Hehe.”
“He should be awake,” Gu Louyin said in a low voice, “let me go and see him.”
Mu Yingyang asked, “Who’s awake?”
Xiao Yuan knew that Gu Louyin was referring to ‘Gu Hang’. In Xuanle Sect before, he ordered Fang Baichu to secretly take ‘Gu Hang’ back, and now ‘Gu Hang’ was in their stronghold. “You go first, I’ll be right there.”
Gu Louyin’s eyebrows twitched slightly, as if he was a little upset, but he still listened to Xiao Yuan’s words.
After Gu Louyin left, Xiao Yuan said, “I’m going to see Gu Louyin’s biological father.”
Xiao Du narrowed his eyes, “What do you mean?”
“It means that Gu Hang of Yunjian Pavilion is not Gu Louyin’s real father,” Xiao Yuan said with a smile, “Gu Louyin is not the son of my mother’s enemy.”
Xiao Du: “…”
Mu Yingyang: “???”
Qingyan hadn’t seen Xiao Yuan for a while, so it stuck to him and wandered around him non-stop. Looking at its silly form, it was really difficult for Xiao Yuan to associate it with the majestic and daunting cyan dragon.
Xiao Yuan allowed Qingyan to stick to him and went to the place where Gu Hang temporarily stayed just in time to see Fang Baichu coming out of there.
Xiao Yuan asked, “Has he woken up yet?”
“He woke up,” Fang Baichu nodded at the room, “now he is staring wide-eyed at Master Gu, speechless and choking.”
Xiao Yuan’s scalp began to go numb just by imagining that picture. What would Gu Louyin think of ‘Gu Hang’? In terms of blood, Gu Louyin had nothing to do with ‘Gu Hang’s’ current body, but ‘Gu Hang’ was indeed his father. ‘Gu Hang’ had concealed his two souls from Yuan Lu at the beginning. After the souls were separated, seeing Yuan Lu suffer from being treated coldly, he still walked away. Tracing back to the roots, Yuan Lu’s suicide had nothing to do with him. But how could right and wrong in this situation be stated clearly in one or two sentences?
Xiao Yuan thought for a while and said, “Then I won’t bother them, we’ll talk when they finish their introspection.”
Fang Baichu said: “I didn’t expect that the Master of Yunjian Pavilion would be someone with two souls in one body. I have only read about this phenomenon in books.”
Xiao Yuan asked, “Do you think they are two people?”
“Young lord asks a good question.” Fang Baichu said, “Does being a person refer to a body or a soul?”
Out of selfishness, Xiao Yuan said, “A person should be a complete soul. The earth soul that was separated from me before could not be considered as a person. But the two Gu Hang have two complete souls, so they are two people.”
Fang Baichu nodded approvingly, “What young lord says makes sense.”
“What do you mean, ‘makes sense’, it’s obviously a fact.” Xiao Yuan could not be refuted, “They are two people.”
Inside the house, Gu Hang wearing Jiang Liuyuan’s face looked at the ice-cold silver-haired sword cultivator in front of him and squeezed out a few words with difficulty, “You know everything.”
Gu Louyin’s expression was quiet. He said, “Use your own face.”
“My own face…“ Gu Hang’s mouth was full of bitterness, “Do I still have my own face?” Having said that, he still restored the original appearance of his body in front of Gu Louyin.
It was not easy to find a suitable body for the soul. Back then, his parents searched hard for many years before they found the body of an old man for him. His hair was white, his right eye cloudy and his face was covered in deep wrinkles. Compared with the other, immortal Gu Hang, his appearance was worlds apart.
Gu Louyin looked at him silently.
Gu Hang didn’t dare to look directly at Gu Louyin with his good left eye and said softly: “The original owner of this body was a man with extraordinary cultivation skills. Although his appearance was unassuming, his golden core was very good. My parents… that is, your grandparents never valued appearance, so I got a new body like this.”
Gu Louyin said, “I remember you.”
Gu Hang’s heart jumped suddenly and he looked up.
“When I was little, when I was alone, you would show up occasionally.”
Gu Hang was so excited that he was incoherent, “You still remember.” When he wasn’t practicing the face-changing technique, he often hid in the dark just to look at his wife and his child. Gu Louyin was only three or four years old at the time. Gu Hang thought he wouldn’t remember anything and occasionally appeared when there was no one beside him. Sometimes he instructed him on his swordsmanship, sometimes taught him to read and write and sometimes brought him some toys that ordinary people used to play with their children. The little Gu Louyin was well-behaved and sensible, not mischievous as he had been when he was a child, but more like the other Gu Hang.
He had also plucked up the courage to talk to Yuan Lu. Yuan Lu only regarded him as an elder who had come to Yunjian Pavilion as a guest, said a few polite words to him that a junior should say and quickly left with an excuse.
Gu Louyin asked, “Why didn’t you tell her the truth?”
Gu Hang raised his hand and touched his right eye, showing a smile that was uglier than crying: “What do you want me to say?”
Gu Louyin said, “She was not someone who judged people by their appearance.”
“I know what kind of person she was better than you.” Gu Hang said, “But if it were you, would you be willing to meet Xiao Yuan with such a face?”
Gu Louyin: “…”
“When my parents were still there, I was free to enter and exit Yunjian Pavilion. He… Gu Hang also referred to me as his brother. Later, your grandparents tried to push their sword dao but accidentally became demonized, and both died. The only people in the world who know the secret are him and I. He had no more scruples; Yunjian Pavilion, your mother and you were all in his palm. I originally planned to take your mother away after I had mastered the face-changing technique. Unfortunately…” Gu Hang’s voice trembled, “I was too late.”
Gu Louyin sat quietly for a long time and said, “What are your plans for the future?”
Gu Hang met his cold and distant eyes, lifted the corners of his mouth and said with a wry smile: “Louyin, although you are mine… but your temperament is not like mine at all. You are better than me, much better than me. I’m sorry for your mother. After learning of her death, I thought about following her, but you were still there. The reason why I live in this world is just to be able to protect you when you are in trouble.” But he didn’t even do this well. Over the years, he watched Gu Louyin suffer from heart demons and almost die several times. Although Gu Louyin had an unfathomable cultivation base now, it is at the expense of his own life. He couldn’t protect his wife and he couldn’t help with his son’s heart demon. He was garbage.
Gu Louyin said, “It’s up to you to decide whether to leave or stay.”
Gu Hang watched him get up and walk out and couldn’t help it anymore. “Do you hate me?” he said.
“You saved him,” Gu Louyin said, “I don’t hate you.”
Gu Hang panted slightly, his eyes locked on Gu Louyin’s back, “Then… do you acknowledge me?”
Gu Louyin was quiet for a while, then opened the door and walked out.
Outside the door, Xiao Yuan stood in the sparse shadow of the moon, with Qingyan floating over his shoulder. With his bright face, his long hair like ink and his spring-like clothes, he raised his eyebrows slightly, as if saying: why did it take you so long? I have been waiting for you.
Gu Louyin could be sure that no matter what face Xiao Yuan had, his obsession with him would not change, but he didn’t know what Xiao Yuan would think of this issue.
Xiao Yuan said to Qingyan, “Go find my gege”, and Qingyan floated away obediently. He asked Gu Louyin, “Have you finished talking?”
Xiao Yuan didn’t ask him what he talked about with Gu Hang, but said, “There is still an hour before dawn, so go to sleep for a while.”
Xiao Yuan followed Gu Louyin to the door of his room and said, “You can go in.”
Gu Louyin didn’t say anything and pushed the door.
Xiao Yuan said, “Then I’m leaving?”
Gu Louyin looked at him and said, “Come in.”
Xiao Yuan pursed his lips and smiled. As soon as he entered the room, he was hugged by Gu Louyin and pressed against the door.
His lips were blocked suddenly; Xiao Yuan hummed in a low voice, his eyes gradually blurring. Tonight’s Gu Louyin was more domineering and intrusive than the previous few times, sucking his lips and twisting his tongue, making Xiao Yuan’s breathing heavier and his body softer. He could feel that Gu Louyin was a little strange. He didn’t think much about it, only that Gu Louyin was still anxious and worried about his origin.
When Xiao Yuan was about to run out of air, Gu Louyin finally let go of his lips and said in his ear, “Ignore them.”
“En?” Xiao Yuan felt a bit dizzy and didn’t understand what Gu Louyin was talking about.
Gu Louyin said no more, picked up Xiao Yuan and put him on the bed. The bed curtain was pulled down, and Gu Louyin leaned forward and pressed down. Xiao Yuan put his arms around his neck and his heart beat faster as the two of them looked at each other.
Gu Louyin was so beautiful, with clear eyebrows, a jade-like face, graceful like the moon; anyone who looked at him would have their hearts moved.
Gu Louyin lowered his head and placed a kiss on Xiao Yuan’s lips, his voice muffled: “What are you looking at?”
Xiao Yuan smiled softly and replied truthfully: “At you.”
Gu Louyin paused slightly and asked, “Do you like my face?”
Xiao Yuan teased him, playing with a strand of silver hair, and said without thinking, “Nonsense, of course I like it.”
Gu Louyin: “…”
Noticing that Gu Louyin’s expression was a little complicated, Xiao Yuan rose up and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Gu Louyin lowered his eyes, “It’s nothing.”
“You’re lying again, Master Gu.” Xiao Yuan rolled over and pressed Gu Louyin down, “You obviously have something on your mind.” He found a comfortable position in Gu Louyin’s arms, put his face on Gu Louyin’s chest and asked, “Am I heavy?”
Gu Louyin said, “You are very light.”
Xiao Yuan felt relieved and relaxed, and his whole body was pressed against Gu Louyin. “Don’t think about it,” Xiao Yuan said, “it’s been so many years since those things happened. It’s useless for you to think about it.” In order to comfort Gu Louyin, Xiao Yuan presented to him his equally miserable life experience. “Look at me, after so many years without a father and a mother, there is only one brother who is blind and arrogant and infected me with a gu…”
Gu Louyin said, “Stop talking.”
Xiao Yuan yawned and said with a smile: “I mean, I’m not moping and depressed about all this either. You are so dead set in your ways, you should learn from me.”
Gu Louyin asked, “What do you think I am thinking about?”
After working hard all night, Xiao Yuan began to feel sleepy. He fought to keep his eyes open. “You… you’re thinking about Gu Hang.”
Gu Louyin sighed faintly, “Xiao Yuan.”
“Name and status.”
“Oh yes, I need to give you a name and status.” Xiao Yuan squinted his eyes, his voice getting smaller and smaller, “How do you want me to give it to you? Um… shall I pick an auspicious day to ask your father to let you marry me?”
Gu Louyin was taken aback and lowered his head to look at Xiao Yuan. Xiao Yuan’s breath was gentle, his eyes closed and he was about to fall asleep completely.
Gu Louyin took a deep breath, pulled on the quilt and covered Xiao Yuan.
The moonlight outside the window was like a light mist, and the full moon was just short of one segment.
Gu Hang stayed with Xingtian Sect for the time being. He locked himself in his room and stayed behind closed doors. Xuanle Sect had turned away from Yunjian Pavilion. On the surface it was respectful to Yunjian Pavilion but secretly tested other sects that had people with their souls stolen. There were many sects that looked up to Gu Hang, and they did not need to waste time on them. Xiao Du’s intention was that the souls could be returned to those sects that were willing to submit, and as for the remaining souls, there was no harm in leaving them in the hands of Xingtian Sect.
Xiao Yuan had no objection to this. Now that Xiao Du was left to worry about the affairs of Xingtian Sect, he wanted to go to Lizhou before the final battle between Xingtian Sect and Yunjian Pavilion. He told Xiao Du his plan, and Xiao Du said, “Ah Yu will stay for a few more days and then leave after the Winter Solstice.”
Xiao Yuan said in surprise, “Winter Solstice?” Since he became the young lord of Xingtian Sect, it was a life of running around and living in a state of uncertainty, so he didn’t realise that the year was about to end.
Xiao Du smiled and said, “I missed the Qixi Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival. Ah Yu will stay with me for the Winter Solstice, okay?”
“You seem to like holidays very much.”
“Because I spend holidays with my family.”
The word ‘family’ touched Xiao Yuan. “Okay, I’ll leave after the Winter Solstice.”
It snowed all night before the Winter Solstice. Early in the morning, Meng Chi sent Xiao Yuan a new set of clothes and said, “This fabric and style were personally selected by the Venerable Lord. You can try them on.”
“Is there a custom of wearing new clothes on the Winter Solstice?”
“They say ‘The Winter Solstice is as big as New Year,’ so what’s wrong with wearing new clothes.”
Xiao Du’s choice of clothes was too rich and beautiful, with three layers inside and three layers outside, and various jade belt decorations that dazzled Xiao Yuan. After Meng Chi put it on for him, he felt that he weighed at least ten catties more. He looked in the mirror, not knowing whether to cry or to laugh: “How can I take off this dress?”
Meng Chi smiled and said, “You can’t take it off, you will have to let others take it off for you.”
Xiao Yuan didn’t think Gu Louyin would take off such clothes.
Meng Chi looked at Xiao Yuan and sighed, “Are you sure you didn’t just walk out from a fairy tale?”
Xiao Yuan said modestly: “Meng-jiejie is too kind.”
Meng Chi thought of one thing and asked, “This year’s Winter Solstice happens to be the 15th. The Acacia Gu in your body…”
Xiao Yuan said, “I have the antidote with me and I can use it for a few more months.”
Meng Chi nodded, “That’s good, I hope I can find a new ruthless hua before the antidote is used up.”
Xiao Yuan looked at himself in the mirror and suddenly asked, “Am I really good-looking?”
Meng Chi choked, “…really.”
Xiao Yuan raised the corners of his lips, “Then I’ll go and show Gu Louyin.”
Meng Chi’s expression was subtle, “You want to show Master Gu your good-looking appearance… Do you like him?”
Xiao Yuan said without thinking: “Yes.”
Meng Chi’s mind had always been sensitive and she had long seen that there was something unusual between Xiao Yuan and Gu Louyin, but she did not expect Xiao Yuan to admit it so readily. He was happy, but she didn’t know what to say. At the end, she asked, “Does the Lord know?”
Xiao Yuan didn’t care: “What if he knows and what if he doesn’t? This is my own business.”
“Then what are you going to do?”
“Prepare…” Xiao Yuan curled his lips and smiled, “to give him a name and a status.”
When Xiao Yuan found Gu Louyin, Shen Fugui and Cai Xunnian were also there. Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “Is this young couple also here for the holiday?”
Cai Xunnian looked at Xiao Yuan in a daze and forgot to be shy about the term ‘young couple’. Shen Fugui was the first to recover and said, “You… why are you dressed so grandly, are you going on a blind date?”
Xiao Yuan said, “What are you yammering about, I didn’t wear it for you to see.” He looked at Gu Louyin and asked, “Does it look good?”
Gu Louyin looked at him quickly, “Good.”
Cai Xunnian said, “Shixiong and I sent weapons to strengthen with Qingyan – Master Xiao, where did you get this dress? I also want to make one like that for my shixiong.”
Shen Fugui quickly refused: “I can’t handle this style, I don’t want it!”
Xiao Yuan said, “I have to ask my ge. He chose the clothes.”
Gu Louyin asked, “Is it heavy?”
“A little bit.”
“Then don’t wear it next time.”
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “I’ll wear it once in a while, but I won’t dress like this every day. Young Sect Master Shen, Miss Cai, today is the Winter Solstice. There is a banquet in the evening in Xingtian Sect. It is too late for you to return to Xuanle Sect, better stay and spend the holiday with us.”
Shen Fugui consulted with his shimei, and Cai Xunnian said, “Shixiong, I want to stay and watch the beauty.”
Shen Fugui nodded: “Okay.”
Xiao Yuan still overestimated himself. He couldn’t stand wearing this dress for the whole day, he felt uncomfortable all over. The waist was very tight and he knew he would panic if he ate a little more. In order to have a good time at the Winter Solstice banquet, he decided to change his clothes before going to the banquet.
Unfortunately, however, he really didn’t know how to take off these clothes and he couldn’t even untie the jade belt for a long time. Xiao Yuan looked down and worried: did he really have to get help to undress, that would be too silly.
At this moment, he saw Qingyan floating beside him and said, “Can you take off my clothes?”
Xiao Yuan just asked casually and didn’t really expect the cloud of flame to help. He continued to fight with the jade belt, and suddenly a cyan light lit up on his body. Before he could react, his clothes were burned to ashes. He was fine and he didn’t feel any pain.
The corner of Xiao Yuan’s mouth twitched, “Thank you.”
Qingyan floated around Xiao Yuan, as if it was excited about what it had done. Xiao Yuan changed into the clothes he used to wear, touched his chest, and his expression suddenly changed.
He has always carried the antidote for Acacia Gu with him and put it in his clothes.
Xiao Yuan slowly raised his hand and covered his face with his palm.