The Winter Solstice was the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Thinking of what he was going to face during this long night, Xiao Yuan couldn’t wait to bring a pot of cold water to pour on Qingyan’s head.
Ruthless hua that was needed to prepare the antidote to the Acacia Gu was extremely rare. The previous few plants were exchanged by Gu Louyin for his natal sword at Baiflower Palace. After searching for so long, Xingtian Sect did not find any more ruthless hua. Xiao Yuan was counting on having the antidote for a few more full moons, which was good enough, but now it was burned cleanly by Qingyan.
It happened so suddenly that it took Xiao Yuan a long time to recover and look out the window. It was getting dark early on the Winter Solstice and the banquet had not yet begun. The sun had already set, and the full moon was looming behind the clouds – he didn’t have much time.
Xiao Yuan lowered his hand, looked at the frisky Qingyan blankly and said, “Do you know what you have done?”
Qingyan obviously didn’t know and danced even more happily.
Xiao Yuan knew that now was not the time to be angry at the little cluster of fire. Without the antidote, to get through the night he needed to find a place where he would not be discovered by others, but where could he go now? Or should he stay in his room, lock the doors and the windows and say that he was not feeling well and could not go to the banquet?
Xiao Yuan made up his mind and called, “Someone come.”
“Coming, coming!” Fang Baichu walked in, “What is the young lord’s order?”
Xiao Yuan frowned, “Why is it you?”
Fang Baichu said, “Oh, the banquet is about to start and I was told by the Lord to invite the young lord to the banquet.”
Xiao Yuan felt a wave of heat, a precursor to the Acacia Gu’s attack. It wouldn’t take long before his whole body would go soft, smell strange and he would be delirious. Xiao Yuan made his long story short: “I’m not feeling well and I’m not going anymore.”
“Not feeling well?” Fang Baichu said with concern, “Where does the young lord feel discomfort, let me take a look for you?”
Xiao Yuan took a step back and calmly said, “No, it’s okay, I’ll just get some sleep. Go and deliver the message, let Xiao Du start the banquet , no need to wait for me.”
Fang Baichu hesitated and said, “Young lord, do you know that you are behaving very suspiciously right now? Something is wrong, something is quite wrong.”
Xiao Yuan said indifferently: “Take Qingyan and go to the banquet.”
Xiao Yuan watched one person and one fire walk to the door, feeling all the time that something was wrong. He suddenly opened his eyes wide and blurted out, “Wait!”
He had a man, so why did he have to endure the torture of the Acacia Gu? Does he think Gu Louyin is dead or does he think he can’t get hard?
Xiao Yuan’s heart beat like a drum; he sat down at the table. “If you can send a message to Gu Louyin for me, just say…” Xiao Yuan swallowed, “just say that I want to ask him to do me a little favour.”
“What little favour, can I help young lord?”
Xiao Yuan sent him an eye-dagger and Fang Baichu immediately became obedient. “I’m going now!”
Xiao Yuan added: “Tell him quietly, don’t let others know. Also, if someone wants to visit me, just say that I have fallen asleep. If someone disturbs me, I will not talk to that person for a month.”
Fang Baichu smiled: “Don’t blame me for saying this, but does the young lord really think this will threaten people?”
Xiao Yuan said, “This may be more useful than putting a knife to their necks.”
When Fang Baichu arrived at the banquet hall, it was already completely dark and the full moon was hung in the night sky.
Xiao Du’s original intention was for him and Xiao Yuan to spend the Winter Solstice alone. But Xiao Yuan said that it would be too deserted with just the two of them. It was better to call Fang Baichu, Meng Chi, Li Yanzhi and the other confidants. They were all their family anyway. After Xiao Du agreed, Xiao Yuan moved forward, saying that it was better for all of them just to get together at the table and to add Mu Yingyang and Gu Louyin.
Xiao Du raised his eyebrows when he heard this and said: did Ah Yu think I might agree?
Xiao Yuan said: it’s a big holiday, can’t gege follow my wish?
Xiao Du was bewitched by this ‘gege’ and nodded reluctantly. As a result, Xiao Yuan also invited Shen Fugui and Cai Xunnian and the large table was full. Xiao Du sat in the main seat on his own and drank tea, without even giving a look to all the inexplicable people at the same table.
Since Xiao Du didn’t speak, Meng Chi and Li Yanzhi naturally didn’t dare to say a word; Mu Yingyang looked at the door frequently, with the words ‘where is Shixiong, why hasn’t Shixiong come yet’ clearly written on his face; Gu Louyin sat quietly, his whole body silent and cold, seemingly untouched with mortal desires; Xuanle Sect shixiong and shimei who joined temporarily looked at each other, sending each other eye signals secretly.
Cai Xunnian: I regret agreeing to stay. I really can’t stand this weird atmosphere!
Shen Fugui: Shimei, calm down, this stalemate should be solved when Xiao Yuan comes.
Cai Xunnian: Well, Shixiong, move back, I can’t see Master Gu anymore.
At this moment, footsteps came from outside, and everyone looked towards the door at the same time; Mu Yingyang even stood up.
Fang Baichu was shocked by this show, his foot stopping in mid-air, “My, my Lord?”
Mu Yingyang asked, “Where is Shixiong?”
“The young lord said that he was unwell, so he went to bed first. He asked us to eat and not to pay attention to him.”
Even before he finished speaking, Gu Louyin had stood up. Xiao Du’s expression changed slightly, he put down his cup and said, “How exactly is he unwell?”
Fang Baichu scratched his head, “This subordinate doesn’t know, and the young lord won’t let me check. But he said he would be fine if he slept.”
Xiao Du said, “I’ll go and see him.”
Mu Yingyang said, “I will go too.”
“Absolutely not! The young lord also said that if anyone disturbs his sleep tonight, he will not talk to that person for a month.” Fang Baichu said, bursting out with laughter. The young lord was really a child, how come he didn’t see it usually?
Mu Yingyang sat back silently. Xiao Du looked helpless and said, “Nonsense.”
Fang Baichu was stunned – this trick really worked!
Gu Louyin asked, “How does his face look?”
Fang Baichu said: “It’s the same as usual. When he asked me to report the news, he was also very energetic. It shouldn’t be a big problem.”
Mu Yingyang sighed: “Shixiong, really, do you want to worry me to death?”
Gu Louyin looked at the bright moon outside the window thoughtfully.
Meng Chi smiled and said, “The young lord has always had a sense of measure. He said that he would be fine, then he would be fine. Let’s not think too much about it. Lord, the dishes are almost cold.”
Xiao Du said with lack of interest: “Move the chopsticks.”
Fang Baichu picked a dumpling, and while eating, thought about how to deliver the message from Xiao Yuan to Gu Louyin. He watched Gu Louyin stand up and say, “Excuse me.”
Xiao Du narrowed his eyes and said, “Didn’t you hear what was just said?”
Gu Louyin said calmly: “I heard it.” After speaking, he walked out.
Fang Baichu quickly swallowed the dumpling in his mouth and chased out the door, calling, “Master Gu, wait!”
Mu Yingyang couldn’t sit still when he saw this and hurriedly left the table. It was okay if Shixiong didn’t talk to him for a month. Shixiong’s safety was more important.
Meng Chi said suspiciously: “My Lord, that…”
Xiao Du said, “Let’s go and have a look.”
Everyone left one by one, leaving the two guests from Xuanle Sect staring wide-eyed.
Cai Xunnian asked, “Shixiong, shall we still eat?”
Shen Fugui said blankly: “I don’t know.”
Fang Baichu used all his strength to finally catch up with Gu Louyin and said breathlessly: “Master, Master Gu, the young lord asked me to bring you a word.”
Gu Louyin’s pace slowed down.
“He said he wanted to ask you for a little favor.”
Gu Louyin’s eyes narrowed. A touch of moonlight flickered in front of Fang Baichu’s eyes, and when he looked up, there was no longer Gu Louyin in front of him.
Gu Louyin rushed to Xiao Yuan’s room, opened the closed door and smelled a strange fragrance as soon as he stepped into the room. There was no light in the room, but fortunately, the moonlight was very bright tonight. He walked around the screen in front of the bed and as soon as looked at the scene on the bed, his breath hitched.
A warm hand grabbed him and pulled him into the warmth and softness.
Xiao Yuan buried his face against Gu Louyin’s chest and said sullenly, “Why are you only here now?”
Gu Louyin stretched out his arm and hugged Xiao Yuan. He found that Xiao Yuan’s body was extremely hot and fragrant, and the breath he exhaled was also hot.
“Xiao Yuan,” Gu Louyin whispered, his voice full of excruciating hoarseness, “the antidote.”
Xiao Yuanan raised his head and looked up at him with a pair of breathtaking eyes, “You are my antidote.”
Gu Louyin’s eyes darkened and he looked at Xiao Yuan quietly. Xiao Yuan could feel the thing in his chest beating extremely fast. He didn’t know what Gu Louyin was waiting for and wriggled eagerly in his arms.
Gu Louyin suddenly clasped Xiao Yuan’s face and asked, “Do you want me?”
Xiao Yuan was sweating profusely; the corners of his eyes were moist, and he was forced to look into Gu Louyin’s eyes. Gu Louyin’s eyes seemed to be burning red and there was a trace of evil spirit that shouldn’t have appeared there. Xiao Yuan only felt that the place he touched was as hot as if being scalded.
Xiao Yuan hadn’t reached the point of delirium yet. He nodded and said, “I want you.”
Gu Louyin bowed his head and pressed his lips to the ink black of Xiao Yuan’s hair.
Xiao Yuan: “…” That’s it? Gu Louyin, are you incapable?
This moment was like the tranquillity before the storm, and an instant later, everything whirled in front of his eyes. He laid on his back on the bed, feeling a slight chill on his lips.
The peculiar fragrance lingered between them, and Xiao Yuan’s body trembled at the sound of his clothes being torn apart. He heard Gu Louyin ask him, “Cold?”
Xiao Yuan nodded and shook his head again. He was a little cold, but the Acacia Gu was still burning his body, as if he was between deep water and scorching fire. Fortunately, the only person who could save him was by his side.
The slightly cool soft touch followed down Xiao Yuan’s neck. Xiao Yuan was a little confused by this unexpected feeling. Suddenly he couldn’t look directly at the silver hair scattered over him and raised his hand to block his own eyes.
Gu Louyin propped up and smiled softly, “Dare not look?”
“No.” Xiao Yuan whispered stiffly, “It’s just some small wind and small waves.”
Gu Louyin said, “I want to see you.”
When Xiao Yuan took his hand away, the Acacia Gu began a new round of attack. This attack wiped out the last of Xiao Yuan’s sanity and he couldn’t keep talking back anymore, begging: “Can you hurry up, I feel so uncomfortable…”
“Yes,” Gu Louyin resisted, “but you have to promise me one thing.”
If Gu Louyin said this in normal times, Xiao Yuan would definitely kick him out of bed. But now he was begging for his help and he had to be soft: “What, what’s the matter?”
“Exchange hearts with me.”
The Acacia Gu’s attack became more and more fierce; Xiao Yuan was tortured enough to give up and cried out softly: “I promise you, I promise you everything!”
Gu Louyin finally didn’t have to endure.
This was a feeling he had never had before, stranger than anything before. Xiao Yuan felt that his life was in Gu Louyin’s grasp. Gu Louyin’s hands were slightly cool, with slender knuckles, as cold as jade, and there was a thin cocoon in his palm from sword practice.
The smell became heavier; Xiao Yuan grasped Gu Louyin’s other wrist tightly and murmured, “Gu Louyin?”
Gu Louyin kissed the corner of his eye, “I’m here.”
After a long time, Gu Louyin felt the body of the man in his arms soften, paused and said, “Someone is coming.”
Xiao Yuan was completely dominated by the Acacia Gu and didn’t understand what Gu Louyin said. He grabbed Gu Louyin’s hand, pressed it to another place and said in a daze: “It is uncomfortable here, too.”
Gu Louyin’s heart jumped wildly. He looked at the door and took his hand away. “I’ll go and return.”
After being left by Gu Louyin, Xiao Yuan suddenly felt extremely lonely. He grabbed Gu Louyin’s clothes and said, “Don’t, don’t go…”
Gu Louyin paused, “Okay, I’m not leaving. We continue.”
Xiao Du, Mu Yingyang and Fang Baichu stood at the door, and no one wanted to be the first to knock.
Xiao Du glanced at Mu Yingyang, “Go knock on the door.”
Mu Yingyang sneered: “Why do you want me to do it, can’t you do it?”
Xiao Du ignored him and turned to Fang Baichu, “You knock.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Fang Baichu’s face was full of bitterness. He had tried his best to stop them. Although he delayed for some time, he still couldn’t prevent the two of them to come here. He hoped Xiao Yuan would not be angry with him.
Fang Baichu knocked on the door, but there was no movement inside. “My Lord, I think the young lord should be really sleeping,” Fang Baichu said, “Let’s not disturb him.”
Xiao Du thought for a while and asked, “Where is Gu Louyin?”
Fang Baichu didn’t dare to lie to Xiao Du and hesitated: “He seems to have gone on an errand for the young lord.”
“Yes, the young lord said that he needed his help with something.”
Xiao Du looked at the closed door deeply, raised his hand and was about to open the door when he suddenly heard Xiao Yuan’s voice: “What do you want to do?”
Xiao Yuan’s figure appeared in front of the door, and Mu Yingyang’s eyes lit up, “Shixiong, you are awake! What’s wrong with you, can I go in and see you?”
“No, I’m sleepy, I want to sleep.” Xiao Yuan’s voice was not the same as usual, with a little nasal sound, as if he had caught a cold or had just cried. If you listened carefully, you could realize that his voice trembled slightly. “You all go back.”
Mu Yingyang was quite unwilling, “But…”
Xiao Yuan raised his voice, as if he was angry, “Go back!”
Mu Yingyang was taken aback, “Shixiong…”
Fang Baichu was embarrassed and said, “My Lord, if you don’t leave, young lord is really going to be angry.”
Xiao Du pretended to be calm and put his hand on the door. With just a little effort, he could push the door open.
Fang Baichu was still babbling on the sidelines: “This is a big holiday, the young lord just wants to get a good night’s sleep…”
Xiao Du slowly clenched his fist, his nails deeply embedded in his palm. He let out a deep breath, forced himself to put down his hand and turned around, “Let’s go.”
The footsteps of the three of them got further and further away. Xiao Yuan could no longer support himself and fell into Gu Louyin’s arms.
Gu Louyin picked him up and put him back on the bed, “You did well.”
“But you did not do well at all.” Xiao Yuan whimpered, “I feel so uncomfortable, you don’t care about me.”
Facing such a Xiao Yuan, how could Gu Louyin stay otherworldly? He said hoarsely: “I care.”
The breath of the two gradually merged together. Gu Louyin said, “If it hurts, you can bite me.”
So Xiao Yuan bit, bit into Gu Louyin’s shoulder.
Gu Louyin’s cold and calm face finally distorted a little but he still didn’t look like a mortal. The silver hair fell on his shoulders, his chest was undulating and his eyes were full of desire.
He didn’t say anything, just looked at Xiao Yuan. Then he lowered his head and gave him a kiss.