In the western part of Tong’an County, just one wall away from the most prosperous and lively street in the county, there was a large mansion. The house was decorated with carvings inside and out, making it look extremely luxurious, and it was clear from a glance that its owner was a man who was used to enjoying himself. It was a pity that such a good house was there but its owner had not been home for a long time. A girl named Ah Chu took care of the affairs of the mansion.
At the beginning of the year, the owner who was always travelling finally returned home and brought along a silver-haired sword cultivator. In the past, when the owner went home, he had to leave after staying just for a few days. This time he stayed at home for half a year.
Ah Chu expressed great joy about it. First, the new co-owner of the house was indeed attractive and could be compared to her young master; second, although the young master left them a lot of money when he went travelling and the household didn’t need to worry about food and clothing, sitting and eating all the time was boring. Now that the young master was back, they could finally be open for business again.
In a few years, Ah Chu had grown from a chubby little girl to a slim big miss. But the young master was still the young master, lazy and with a peerless face. He fished for three days and basked the nets for two days. Picking up business only depended on his interest and preferences. Ah Chu endured it for a while but still couldn’t hold back. She took the ledger to find the young master and solemnly exhorted: “Young master, if you continue to be so leisurely, in another two hundred years, our mansion will go bankrupt!”
Xiao Yuan, who was resting on Gu Louyin’s lap with a book on his face, said casually: “Let’s talk about it in two hundred years.”
Ah Chu stomped her feet anxiously: “Young master!”
“Ah, I’m so sleepy.” Xiao Yuan put the book away and yawned, “I want to sleep again.”
“Young master only got up an hour ago!” Ah Chu felt angry and amused, “The seven-month pregnant lady next door doesn’t sleep as much as the young master.”
Xiao Yuan made an excuse: “The auntie next door needs to work, but I don’t need to.”
Gu Louyin said, “Come here.”
Ah Chu pointed to herself, “Me?”
Ah Chu immediately felt flattered. The silver-haired sword cultivator rarely talked to anyone other than the young master, let alone take the initiative to start talking to others. Ah Chu hurriedly walked over and said respectfully: “Master Gu, what are your orders?”
Xiao Yuan was amused by her reactions and said half true and half false: “You are respectful to Gu Louyin, but you are bossy to me. Who picked you up in the first place, little white-eyed wolf?”
Ah Chu blushed and argued: “I wasn’t, the young master framed me!”
Gu Louyin’s tone was helpless: “Don’t make trouble.“ He handed Ah Chu a small piece of hibiscus stone, “Use it for household expenses.”
Ah Chu had been taking care of Xiao Yuan’s property for many years and had extensive knowledge. She could see at a glance that this was a priceless hibiscus stone. This small piece alone was enough for them to wear brocade clothes and jade for five years.
Xiao Yuan said, “He has a mountain of stones like this. So it’s not too late for me to start working hard after two thousand years.”
Ah Chu: “…excuse me.”
Since then, Ah Chu had never mentioned the word ‘work’ in front of Xiao Yuan. His husband had money, so it was not her turn to worry about it.
That day, Ah Chu returned from going out and saw a young man in black clothes standing outside the mansion. The young man looked at the words “Residence Xiao” on the gate and seemed to be lost in thought.
Ah Chu stepped forward to talk to the young man: “Dare to ask the young master, are you here for business?”
“Business?” The young man said, “No, I’m here to find my Shixiong.”
Ah Chu asked, “Who is the young master’s Shixiong?”
Ah Chu had followed Xiao Yuan for many years and it was the first time she had heard that Xiao Yuan had a shidi. She didn’t dare to be negligent and invited the man into the house.
Mu Yingyang sat in the front hall and looked around, feeling that this place was worthy of being Shixiong’s home, revealing his preferences everywhere.
After two sips of tea, Xiao Yuan came. Mu Yingyang stood up, his eyes shining with a smile: “Shixiong!”
Xiao Yuan: “En.”
“The five-year period has come to an end, and I am here to ask Shixiong to go to Penglai together to welcome Shixun and Shizu out of the retreat. I want the first thing Shizun wakes up to see is me and Shixiong…” Mu Yingyang was talking for a long time but Xiao Yuan didn’t react at all.
A strange feeling rose in Mu Yingyang’s heart, “Shixiong?”
Xiao Yuan: “…”
Mu Yingyang said suspiciously: “Are you Shixiong?”
“Ah, Master Mu is here!”
He heard the voice even before he saw the man. Gu Louyin walked in and said enthusiastically: “I haven’t seen you for a long time, Master Mu has grown taller again, so why don’t we call you Master Gao in the future!” (gao – tall)
Mu Yingyang looked at ‘Xiao Yuan’ and then at ‘Gu Louyin’ and vaguely suspected something: “You… exchanged bodies?”
“It’s not an exchange,“ Xiao Yuan, who used Gu Louyin’s face, said, “I’ve taught Gu Louyin the face-changing technique. He looks like me and I look like him.”
Mu Yingyang didn’t know how to evaluate this behaviour for a while, so he said, “Is it fun?”
“Of course,” Xiao Yuan said seriously: “You can’t imagine the fun of being able to change your face at will.”
Gu Louyin said, “We’ll change it back at night.”
“I know.” Xiao Yuan touched Gu Louyin’s face and couldn’t help but sigh: his skin was so good. However, no matter how crazy he was, he likely would not be able to do it looking at his own face.
Xiao Yuan invited his shidi to stay at home for a few days and then the married couple went to Penglai territory with him.
For five years, Xiao Yuan and Gu Louyin had often visited Penglai. True Lord Ji Ming was too busy with the soul summoning to get out, and the soul-calling grass all over the island was taken care of by them on a regular basis. When they were away, the snow fox that Xiao Yuan had subdued would guard the soul-calling grass and the small wooden house by the sea to prevent them from being destroyed by beasts, birds and insects.
Mu Yingyang went to the soul summoning island. Xiao Yuan and Gu Louyin went to their house and saw the snow fox with a feather duster in its mouth, helping them clean. Xiao Yuan touched the fox’s head and said, “Thank you for your hard work.”
The snow fox’s eyes were resentful but its body rubbed against Xiao Yuan’s palm.
Xiao Yuan opened the closet; the clothes they had left behind were clean and intact. He took out a set of red clothes and said, “I will wear red to see Shizun so that I look festive.”
Gu Louyin nodded and said, “Okay.”
Xiao Yuan took off the white clothes and put on the red clothes. When he was tying the belt, he felt a little breathless and wondered, “It seems a little tight.”
Gu Louyin said, “You have gotten fat.”
Xiao Yuan’s eyes widened: “Impossible!”
How could he be fat? Yes, he had eaten and slept quite a lot but he couldn’t get fat!
Gu Louyin didn’t expect such a big reaction. After thinking about it, he asked, “You don’t want to be fat?”
“Then you are not fat.”
Xiao Yuan raised his eyebrows and said, “Do I look easy to deceive?”
Gu Louyin: “…”
Xiao Yuan’s ‘fatness’ was relative. He was just a little fatter than a few months ago and still relatively thin overall. Gu Louyin liked him to be fatter. He had seen Xiao Yuan at his thinnest, when he was skinny and bony and his sleeves were empty when he wore clothes. A glance at him would make Gu Louyin feel as if a knife was twisted in his heart.
“I’m afraid it won’t work if this goes on,” Xiao Yuan said, “From now on, I will keep my mouth shut and my legs open. Why don’t you teach me swordsmanship, I think that’s more laborious…”
Before Xiao Yuan had finished speaking, he was suddenly hugged by Gu Louyin. Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “What are you doing?”
Gu Louyin said, “You are still very light.” He put Xiao Yuan on the table and held his waist with both hands, “It’s also very thin here, so you can keep eating.”
In this position, Xiao Yuan was taller than Gu Louyin. He lowered his head and kissed Gu Louyin’s mouth, “I won’t.”
They only knew that Li Xianting would wake up, but they didn’t know when and where he would wake up. The three of them guarded the soul summoning island, waiting for so many years. The thing they had was patience.
It was a spring day, with a slight warm breeze, and the wisps of soul-calling grass floated in the wind like transparent flakes of jade. The warm breeze made one person and one fox yawn again and again. After watering the soul-calling grass, Xiao Yuan used the ground as a mat and the sky as a curtain, and laid on the green grass drowsily. The snow fox laid by his side, wagging its tail leisurely.
In a daze, Xiao Yuan heard footsteps coming closer. He knew Mu Yingyang’s footsteps and Gu Louyin’s footsteps, but it was not them. Who would it be?
On this isolated island, except for the three of them, there was only one person.……
Xiao Yuan did not perceive the slightest malicious intent from the visitor. He tried hard to open his eyes but his eyelids seemed to weigh a thousand catties, and he couldn’t open them.
He heard someone calling his nickname: Ah Yu, Ah Yu.
Finally, he opened his eyes.
The spring light was dazzling, and he instinctively blocked his eyes with his hands. In the fine light, a figure gradually became clear in front of his eyes.
Shizun seemed to be the same as he had been when he was a little boy, humble and gentle, looking into his eyes with warmth and tenderness. He was holding a folding fan in his hand; it was Wuguan Fengyue he had left behind back then.
He bent down and stretched out his hand to Xiao Yuan: “Ah Yu, come to Shizun.”
Xiao Yuan was stunned and slowly put his hand in Shizun’s palm.
——It was real.
It was not a fantasy, nor was it a dream.
Shizun was really back.
In a sense, Xiao Yuan’s ‘Dream of Golden Millet’ partially came true.
He and Li Xianting sat opposite each other in the pavilion, separated by a chess board. When Xiao Yuan was in a desperate situation and was about to admit defeat, Li Xianting said, “Teacher lost.”
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, “Sure enough, Shizun’s reaction is exactly the same as I dreamed of it.”
Li Xianting said, “Does Ah Yu often dream of Shizun?”
“Yes,” Xiao Yuan looked at Li Xianting’s face, “I often dream of you.”
Li Xianting smiled, “I didn’t care for you in vain.”
After Li Xianting woke up, he returned to Xufu. His soul had been separated from his body for too long, and even if it returned, it was going to take a long time to restore his previous cultivation base. During this time, Xiao Yuan, Mu Yingyang and Gu Louyin were with him in Xufu.
Today, two people who would usually cook were playing chess, and the three meals of the day fell on the two people who couldn’t cook. Xiao Yuan and Li Xianting played three games of chess and the meal was not ready yet.
Xiao Yuan lowered his eyes and whispered softly, “Shizun, do you regret it?”
Li Xianting leaned over, stroked Xiao Yuan’s long hair and said, “Ah Yu’s character now is hundreds of times better than what I saw in the Dao of Heavens back then, a thousand times better. Shizun is more than relieved, how can he regret it?”
“Shizun’s soul that stayed with me for so many years most often said to me not to trust others and not to let anyone into my heart. But I finally gave my heart to Gu Louyin.” Xiao Yuan said anxiously, “Shizun won’t blame me, will he?”
Li Xianting said slowly: “I really didn’t expect that you would end up with Gu Louyin in the end…”
Xiao Yuan said pitifully: “I didn’t want to at first, but he gave too much.”
Li Xianting smiled, “You’re so big and still acting so coquettish?”
“Shizun,“ Xiao Yuan sat next to Li Xianting, “Gu Louyin is very good. I like him very much. Shizun, don’t dislike him.”
“What’s the use of Shizun not liking him?” Li Xianting said, “Didn’t you become his Dao companion?”
Xiao Yuan was surprised and said, “How does Shizun know?” He obviously didn’t tell anyone about this.
Li Xianting said, “You have his smell all over you, can’t you feel it yourself?”
“Ah, that…“ Xiao Yuan, whose face was thicker than the city wall, blushed. “Having said that, I still hope that Shizun can accept him.”
Li Xianting smiled and said, “As long as Ah Yu likes him, Shizun naturally doesn’t mind.”
Li Xianting didn’t know much about Gu Louyin. In his opinion, choosing Gu Louyin was at least much better than choosing the unreliable Xiao Du. But even if his little Ah Yu wanted to choose Xiao Du or someone else, he would not object.
He had done so much just so that his little apprentice could live his life free and easy, do what he wanted to do and like the people he wanted to like.
Xiao Yuan breathed a sigh of relief and asked, “Then what are Shizun’s plans for the future?”
“Teacher is thinking,” Li Xianting said with a smile, “Maybe I will accept two more apprentices.” Mu Yingyang and Xiao Yuan had both grown up and could not stay by his side for the rest of their lives. “The world is so big, maybe there is another little Ah Yu, waiting for me to save him.”