Chapter 89: Meet-up
Translated by Rikko of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Sometimes, even though a dead end had supposedly been reached, a sudden appearance of an exit might be discovered at the darkest hour. That was what Bai Zhi Ao thought. He assumed that he wouldn’t be able to meet Gu Ting Yu ever again in his entire lifetime. Initially, he felt he should be satisfied with the short, blissful time together with him. However, now he was wholeheartedly thankful to the heavens. Not only was the man sent back to his side, but most importantly, there was a continuation of their time together. Bai Zhi Ao thought, even if it was selfish, he never wanted to leave that man ever again. The embrace they shared, and the stifling pain… Yet he still wanted more, more, more… “Da Shu… I missed you so much.” Gu Ting Yu leaned his head on the young man’s neck and nodded gently. Memories surged into his mind.
The moment Gu Ting Yu entered the palace of the sacred beasts for the very first time, he was nervous and completely at a loss. With the young man accompanying him, Gu Ting Yu unconsciously made him his first reason to keep going. When he saved that injured white canine in the locust forest, the dog fixed his glistening pair of eyes at him… He said that the guardian of the place couldn’t even fend off intruding beasts. The bleakness of his tone made Gu Ting Yu crease his brows… When facing danger, he used his shoulders, which weren’t really broad, to shield him. He told him, “I’ll hold it back. Hurry and run for it.”
After that, Gu Ting Yu found out he was that white canine. Shocked that he had sexual relations with such a being, only hatred flashed in his eyes as he heartlessly rejected the confession of the blushing young man. With lips trembling, the young man begged fearfully, “…Don’t go.”
The young man followed behind him in silence. The moment he collapsed feebly, something destroyed the tranquillity between them. The irresistible sincerity of the young man knocked down the sealed door to Gu Ting Yu’s heart. He was just that straightforward and simple. No-one could guard against him or leave him alone without feeling any bit of heartache.
Before they parted, Gu Ting Yu placed an amulet around that young man’s neck while promising in his heart that they would reunite. Now, the young man took off that amulet and put it carefully around Gu Ting Yu’s neck before prudently planting a kiss on that tiny, delicate amulet. “I couldn’t wait any longer, so I came over to look for you. Don’t be mad at me…”
Gu Ting Yu flashed a smile at him. Bai Zhi Ao didn’t change one bit; he is still a silly boy. With his eyes squinted, Bai Zhi Ao rubbed himself persistently against Gu Ting Yu. All of a sudden, he felt there was something wrong. Once he opened his eyes, he was met with a few hair-raising, chilly glares. He thought, perhaps they are the rest of the powerful sacred beasts? Why do they look so fearsome? Then… then… Did they bully Gu Ting Yu…? After a few blinks, Bai Zhi Ao stared back at them with as much intensity as he could foster. He was not afraid them outnumbering him at all; he had to protect Gu Ting Yu well. Thus, his embrace with Gu Ting Yu grew tighter.
“… Huu.” Someone sucked in a breath of chilly air and uttered out bitterly, “You finally reunited with him, huh…? You sure are hugging him firmly.”
This voice is… Once Gu Ting Yu lifted his head, his brows rose higher out of amazement. He stammered out, slightly at a loss due to joy, “Xiu… Xiu Er…”
As expected, the second person walking out of the cave was Xiu Er, who was showing discontentment on his face clearly. A complex look clouded his grey eyes as he eyed Gu Ting Yu. He pursed his lips, his irregular breathing revealing his nervousness. Xiu Er knew Gu Ting Yu liked Bai Zhi Ao; it was something he had known right from the start. When he first met that human, the name he called out in a stupor was precisely that one’s. The unpleasant memories made Xiu Er lower his head. He had once harmed the human, so would he…not want to… see him now?
The moment Xiu Er came back to himself, he met with a pair of gentle eyes. Gu Ting Yu’s hands stroked Xiu Er’s stiffened cheeks tenderly and reached upwards to his hair; Xiu Er’s hair was a bit longer than before. Gu Ting Yu tidied up Xiu Er’s slightly messy hair, seemingly straightening his disorderly state of mind while doing so. Xiu Er’s stiff body gradually relaxed; his breathing grew steadier… The human seemed to be different from before, but Xiu Er couldn’t quite put his finger on what the change was. The only thing he knew was that the pair of soft eyes in front of him was much more resolute and collected. “I know why you played that song for me,” Gu Ting Yu said.
“…” Xiu Er froze on the spot. Never did he expect Gu Ting Yu to mention that Doomsday March upon meeting again. [As I march towards doomsday, I will always be with you. So, fear not, my dearest, for doomsday will never be scary.]
No matter where his soul drifted to, the only thing Xiu Er wanted was for someone to be with him. He once said that people would return to the place they belong to after death, but he had no idea where he would be when he died. Only when Gu Ting Yu recalled Xiu Er’s apprehensive expression did he realize the words expressed by those pair of eyes. He gazed deeply at him every single day, as though asking him, “Can you be by my side…? Stay by my side.” To any other person, it was something easy and simple to pursue, but to someone alone for thousands of years like Xiu Er, it was an indulgent request.
Suddenly, Gu Ting Yu thought back to the night with him. Supporting each other in silence, they twirled round and round gently accompanied by music… The light kiss from Xiu Er, and all the unspoken words. In the early morning that day, while separated by a thin door, Xiu Er asked shakily, “Will you love me?” With those reddening eyes, the look he had then was strikingly similar to how he looked now. Currently, Gu Ting Yu’s caressing made Xiu Er reveal, again, an expression displaying his inability to cry even if he wanted to. Gu Ting Yu couldn’t help but to smile and let out a light sigh, “I’m right here.” I’m standing right in front of you… s-so… “Don’t you understand what I mean?”
Before Gu Ting Yu’s sentence was finished, Xiu Er was roused abruptly, as if being violently struck. He enfolded Gu Ting Yu in his arms, lifted the man’s skinny chin and seemingly used all his might to give him a kiss.
“Mn…” Gu Ting Yu forgot how he should respond to the abrupt frenzied, overbearing kiss. He lightly pressed onto the sturdy chest of the person in front of him, feeling his strong heartbeat. In his trance, his tongue was tossed and turned repeatedly, evoking bursts of shivers to his body. When he could finally catch his breath after being released from the kiss, he stared blankly with a flushed face. How did that happen? Weren’t we having a fine conversation just now? Why did he kiss me suddenly…?
Unbeknownst to Gu Ting Yu, his defenseless, perplexed expression, coupled with his slightly swelling lips, almost flung Xiu Er into madness again—but a sudden gust of wind forced him to dodge sideways. Once Gu Ting Yu turned that way, he found Liang Yue glowering at him fiercely, “You… you seriously have to be disciplined!”
“…” Gu Ting Yu was a little stumped for words.
Liang Yue yanked Gu Ting Yu over and forcefully wiped his slightly parted lips with his sleeve. Complaints poured out of his mouth in murmurs, “So dirty… It’s so dirty.” As Gu Ting Yu’s lips swelled more and more from the aggressive rubbings, they began dully aching. Moments after he weakly struggled, he felt a cool sensation coming from his lips. Liang Yue realized he was too forceful with the wiping, so he awkwardly swept his fingers across the swollen area lightly in a seemingly apologetic manner, with remorse and regret on his face.
Gu Ting Yu recalled the last memory he had with Liang Yue was when Liang Yue held him in his arms while yelling out with every bit of his energy after he fell down a cliff. Then, he couldn’t stop himself from recollecting the time when Liang Yue hung him up in his prison cell and the scene when he was tortured again and again by him. Awkwardness was plastered on Gu Ting Yu’s face as he thought, This kid’s personality… is indeed rather nasty.
Liang Yue’s face grew paler then. Before him, there was Bai Zhi Ao, who could have a hug with Gu Ting Yu, and Xiu Er, who got to kiss Gu Ting Yu, but when it was his turn, the only thing Gu Ting Yu gave him was a perplexed expression. “You…” although he finally got to meet the person he had been longing for, all the things he was about to tell him could not be voiced. Liang Yue found it excruciating to hold it, storing unspeakable grievances in his chest. After a deep sigh, he pulled Gu Ting Yu’s hands towards himself and wrapped them carefully in his palms. It was all right; even if Gu Ting Yu wasn’t fond of him, he had his mind dead set on him. That would never change in this lifetime of his. “Sorry,” Liang Yue muttered out, as though apologizing for his impudence just then, or perhaps to the headstrong human who never once begged for mercy under his torments long ago.
Gu Ting Yu only returned to his senses after dazing for some while. He tilted his head in mild astonishment as he looked at Liang Yue. Somehow, he found Liang Yue’s look with his head sinking akin to that of a child awaiting punishment after making a huge mistake. His reddened eyes made him surprisingly cute. “Ahem…” Gu Ting Yu thought, Although his personality is slightly lousy, he isn’t a bad kid. He reached out to stroke Liang Yue’s head while thinking.
“Gu Ting Yu!” an irate voice rang out. Gu Ting Yu raised his head just to see Qian Lü leaning by the cave; he’d been staring daggers at him for quite some time. His lengthy silver hair danced in the wind, his face was a little pale. However, his cheeks were puffed up, looking rather amusing. A smile spread across Gu Ting Yu’s face. Wonderful, everyone is finally back in one piece.
In contrast, Qian Lü was not in the mood to smile. During the whole journey, he had been saving Bai Zhi Ao and the others, and that wore him out. In the beginning, he thought it would be fine after seeing how thankful and moved Gu Ting Yu would be, but never would he expect the people he saved to turn out to be his love rivals. He must have been as thick as two short planks for bringing those scourges back.
“Qian Lü…” Gu Ting Yu hurried over and grabbed Qian Lü’s wrists only to notice Qian Lü’s once delicate fingers were badly damaged to the endless playing of the zither. Figuring out that, in the rush to save everyone, Qian Lü didn’t even have the time to heal his wounds, Gu Ting Yu’s heart wrenched in pain, “Qian Lü …”
“Hmph!” Qian Lü shook Gu Ting Yu’s hands off, “Why bother caring for me? Just continue playing around with them for all I care.”
Not knowing what to reply, Gu Ting Yu clasped Qian Lü’s hands yet again, utilizing Ming Lei cautiously to heal him.
“I don’t need you meddling with me! Go away…” Qian Lü attempted to shove Gu Ting Yu away, but the strength of his hands was abnormally weak. A faint whimper could be heard from his voice, “You know I hate you being intimate with others, don’t you? Why are you so annoying?!”
“…” Gu Ting Yu bit down on his lips, his body quivering a little. In reality, he knew full well the emotions contained within those stares focusing on him. However, he wasn’t able to give them a complete love, so he couldn’t promise them anything at all. The guilt locked in his heart gushed out again. Gu Ting Yu’s eyes drooped down sorrowfully. He couldn’t face those who had devoted themselves to him.
After a long while, Qian Lü tugged onto Gu Ting Yu’s sleeves, muttering in slight resignation, “… Don’t… don’t be upset. This is within my expectations… I can only count myself unlucky… I followed you willingly; don’t overthink it.”
“Qian Lü…” Gu Ting Yu opened his eyes. The tears in the corner of his eyes glistened in the light.
“Tsk… Yes, I hate it when you are hugging others, but that doesn’t mean that I hate it when you hug me… You… Why are you so dumb?” he said, and he wrapped Gu Ting Yu’s shoulders in his arms in exasperation over giving in, embracing him forcefully, “I’ve been working myself to the bone for so long, can’t you just let me be wilful?!” In response, Gu Ting Yu hugged him even tighter.
The surrounding area around the two was oddly silent; everyone behind them was harboring an ulterior motive. Some were indignant, some were jealous. A few were basking in the euphoria of their reunion, and a few had already started scheming ways to snatch Gu Ting Yu to their embrace. However, everyone’s train of thought shared a surprising common ground. After the great war with Evil Source, there would still be an endless fight for love among them. When that time came around, to rise up and become Gu Ting Yu’s true love, all of them would have to win over Gu Ting Yu’s heart in their own right!
“Oh, I almost forgot about it!” Qian Lü recalled abruptly that there was still a person inside the cave. Due to his serious injuries, the man in black had no choice but to lean against the stone walls of the cave. Currently, he was staring fixed at Gu Ting Yu.