Xiao Yuan went home with the auntie’s face and was stopped by the guard at the door of the mansion: "Who is it?"
Xiao Yuan cast a knife-sharp look at him. The guard flinched and said hesitantly: "Young master?"
"It’s me," Xiao Yuan said, "but if I weren’t your young master, I would have said the same thing anyway."
The guard was about to cry: "Young master, don’t make fun of this little one, this little one really can’t tell…"
Xiao Yuan smiled, changed back to his usual face and walked into the mansion.
In the past two years, under the pseudonym ‘An Mu’, he had earned a lot of money relying on his face-changing technique. He bought a big house in Tong’an County, took in many homeless people to serve as handymen and hired several famous chefs paying them a high salary. He spent his days eating and drinking, listening to songs and looking at the beauties in the entertainment district. When he was bored, he changed his face and went out to do something. The main reason why he was able to live so freely, apart from his personality, was because he had money.
Today, he promised a kid to pretend being his mother to meet his teacher. Not only did he not get paid, he also met an… old friend in the inn.
This old friend could not affect his good mood, but he more or less stirred his memories of two years ago.
——No way, Gu Louyin didn’t really regard him as his fiancée, did he? He didn’t need to carry that reputation on his back and acknowledge the marriage contract. If Gu Louyin kept talking nonsense like that, how would he find a Dao companion in the future?
Fortunately, for most people, Xiao Yuan had fallen off a cliff and died. And as for a small group of people, they probably wouldn’t give up until they had seen his body. Even if they saw his corpse, they might still expect him to come back in a borrowed body. What was the point of all that? Was the food in the restaurants no longer delicious, or were the beauties in the entertainment district no longer beautiful? Why did someone have to hold on to the past? Forgive him for not being able to understand.
However, it was not a coincidence that Gu Louyin appeared in Tong’an County. After all, the flower viewing party at Baihua Palace was about to start. To Xiao Yuan’s surprise, Gu Louyin was not accompanied by Lin Wulian and Lu Yueyao, but by a young man who didn’t seem to be very smart. That young man was not a disciple of Yunjian Pavilion either. That… they were probably negotiating something about marriages between their Shimen.
Xiao Yuan walked into the front hall, and a fleshy girl with a round face immediately greeted him.
The girl’s name was Ah Chu. She was originally a girl who did rough work in the entertainment district. She was disliked and bullied in all kinds of ways because she was too good at eating. Xiao Yuan considered her pitiful, so he redeemed her and brought her back to the mansion.
"Hey, young master is back so early today. Have you eaten yet?"
"I ate at the inn." Xiao Yuan said, "Hurry up and get me my clothes." He was still wearing the auntie’s coarse linen outfit that made him feel uncomfortable.
Xiao Yuan never required his servants to wait on him personally. Ah Chu brought his clothes and retreated outside the screen, saying, "Today, another matchmaker came to the door and wanted to make a match for young master. The target seems to be the third son of the Du family…"
"Oh, then tell them that I like girls." The face commonly used by Xiao Yuan was extremely ordinary, indistinguishable in a crowd. But he was too rich and he had magical skills, so there were not just a few people interested in him. He would like to keep a low profile, but his strength did not allow him to do so.
Ah Chu pouted and said, "Last time they wanted to match young master with a girl, young master said that he liked men. So does young master like men or women?"
Xiao Yuan walked out from behind the screen and said, "For me, it doesn’t matter whether it is a man or a woman, top or bottom. It depends on the person."
Ah Chu blinked and asked curiously: "What does ‘top or bottom’ mean?"
Xiao Yuan looked at Ah Chu’s tender face and coughed: "It’s okay, treat it as if I never said that."
Ah Chu asked again, "Will young master be open this afternoon?"
"I don’t know." Xiao Yuan yawned, "Let’s take a nap first."
Xiao Yuan slept until sunset, then got up slowly and opened the door to do business.
"Ah Chu, let the guests in–"
"Young master, young master! "Ah Chu ran in with a bang, her face flushed with excitement, "A god-like immortal master came from outside and said he wanted to see you."
Xiao Yuan said absent-mindedly: "A god-like immortal… how god-like is he?"
"Anyway, I have never seen anyone better-looking than him in my life!"
"That’s because you haven’t seen much. I must be better-looking than him."
Ah Chu rolled her eyes while Xiao Yuan couldn’t see her and asked, "Then do I bring him in?"
"Let him wait in line, does looking good give him privileges?" Xiao Yuan said, "Let the clients in front of him come in first."
Ah Chu conveyed Xiao Yuan’s meaning to the god-like immortal master: "Two immortals, please go to the side hall to get a token and wait patiently."
Shen Fugui glanced at the side hall. There were already many people waiting there, it looked like fishes and dragons mixed together. He said with displeasure: "Tell me straight, how much do you want for us to cut the line?"
Ah Chu was neither humble nor overbearing and said with a smile: "I am afraid that I will have to disappoint the immortal master. Our master does not accept cutting the line."
Shen Fugui’s face flushed, "You–"
Gu Louyin said, "Let’s wait."
Ah Chu: "Two immortals, please come here."
Shen Fugui had to join the crowd and said dissatisfied: "He is just a low-level cultivator who knows a little disguise technique. What’s that attitude?"
Gu Louyin said, "To be able to transform himself to such an extent would never be possible with just a disguise."
"Then I’m afraid it’s just a wicked man with a cut-off face?"
"Then why would there be so many people looking for him?"
Shen Fugui admitted defeat: "Well, even if this ‘Master An’ is really so powerful, what does it have to do with us?"
Gu Louyin lowered his eyes and said, "I want to know his true face."
Shen Fugui had an expression of ‘here you go again’. "Whoever he really is, it won’t be the person you’re looking for anyway!"
Gu Louyin was silent for a moment and said, "Just in-." He couldn’t let go of any ‘just in case’. During the past two years, the only thing he relied on to make himself go on was the words ‘just in case’.
Shen Fugui facepalmed. "How did I end up with a friend like you?"
Absolutely anyone could be among those who came to do business with Xiao Yuan. Xiao Yuan’s pricing was arbitrary. He would only take a tanghulu for the job he wanted to take, and he would decline a mountain of silver if he didn’t want to take it.
Sitting in front of him at this moment was a man with a fleshy face and a big belly. "My old wife always suspected that I had someone on the side. Every day, she keeps making trouble with me and she follows me wherever I go…"
Xiao Yuan had just woken up from a nap, so his whole body was lazy. He raised his eyes and said, "Then do you have someone or not?"
The man smiled: "Men are men, you surely understand."
Xiao Yuan also smiled, "I understand."
"Tomorrow is the birthday of my mistress and she is clamouring for me to celebrate it with her. However, my wife also wants me to accompany her back to her parents’ house to visit her sick mother…"
Xiao Yuan said, "So you want me to turn into you and accompany your wife back to her parents’ house?"
The man hurriedly flattered: "Master An is truly a god!"
Xiao Yuan said modestly: "I dare not, dare not– someone come."
Two strong men pushed the door in, "What does young master want?"
Xiao Yuan pointed at the man and said, "Throw him out."
The man was strung up, his feet off the ground, his voice shocked and anxious: "Hey hey hey – what are you doing! I have money, I have money, I have as much money as you want!"
Xiao Yuan didn’t want to say a word to such a person, so he waved his hand. The bouncers understood and quickly dragged the man out.
Xiao Yuan said, "Ah Chu."
Ah Chu had been following Xiao Yuan for long enough, so she occasionally could guess Xiao Yuan’s thoughts. "I know, young master, I will send someone now."
Xiao Yuan knocked on the table, "Next."
As soon as he said that, a pair of slender, jade-like hands pushed the bamboo curtain open, and then two figures, one in plain white and one in bright yellow, walked in one after another.
Xiao Yuan was taken aback for a moment and then smiled: "Two immortals, please sit down. Ah Chu, serve tea."
Ah Chu made three cups of tea, and when she served Xiao Yuan, she leaned to his ear and said, smiling, "Isn’t he beautiful?"
Xiao Yuan: "…"
They hadn’t seen each other for two years. Gu Louyin was taller and thinner than before. He still had that cold and alienated look. The clarity in his eyes had long been gone and they looked like pools of stagnant water, with no trace of vitality in them.
——How did Gu Louyin find his mansion? Was it a coincidence or intentional?
Ah Chu served tea to Gu Louyin and Shen Fugui, "Master Immortals, please take your time."
Gu Louyin nodded lightly and raised his eyes to look at the man in front of him. His face was obviously extraordinarily ordinary, but he inexplicably felt his heart throb slightly.
"You, who are you?"
Xiao Yuan calmly said, "My surname is An and my single name is the character for wood."
"An Mu…" Gu Louyin muttered the name quietly and inexplicably remembered the first time he and Xiao Yuan met. Xiao Yuan had said a lot of things then, but he had only responded with a few words.
Gu Louyin stabilized his aura that was about to turn chaotic and said solemnly: "Gu Louyin."
Shen Fugui didn’t know why Gu Louyin wanted to report his name in front of an unknown minion but he did report it, so he also introduced himself. "Xuanle Sect, Shen Fugui."
Xiao Yuan looked surprised: "It turns out the immortal master is the head of Xuanle Sect, no wonder he is so extraordinary. I don’t know what the immortal masters have come to seek in my humble abode."
Shen Fugui said straightforwardly: "We are very interested in your face-changing technique and want to find out how it is done."
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, "This is a unique secret technique, so I can’t tell you."
Shen Fugui squinted at him: "You didn’t cut off someone’s face, did you?"
"Of course not," Xiao Yuan pretended to be frightened, "I am the one who is most scared of seeing blood. I faint when I see blood. How could I do such a bloody thing."
Dazzling bright red flickered in front of Gu Louyin’s eyes, just like in his countless dreams in the past two years. Bright red turned into a sharp blade that slashed him again and again. No matter how many times he experienced this sudden dull pain, it still could make him overwhelmed and vulnerable in an instant.
Shen Fugui was taken aback by his expression, "Louyin?"
Xiao Yuan also felt strange. Gu Louyin would have such a big reaction because of just a few casual words. He wasn’t injured, was he?
Gu Louyin slowly calmed down and asked, "Whose face are you using now?"
Xiao Yuan said without thinking: "Of course it’s my own."
Gu Louyin looked at him with deep and dark eyes. No one knew what he was thinking, not even he himself knew.
Xiao Yuan was firmly locked by his gaze full of scrutiny and inquiry and said in horror: "Why is the immortal master looking at me like that?"
Shen Fugui said indifferently: "Oh, he often does this, don’t worry."
Xiao Yuan didn’t want to have too much contact with these two people, so he said tactfully: "If the immortal masters have nothing else to discuss, there are other clients behind you…"
"Yes," Gu Louyin said, "There is something."
Shen Fugui said blankly: "Do we have anything else?"
Gu Louyin said, "Sect Master Shen asked you to go to the flower viewing party, but your shimei doesn’t want you to go."
"Yeah, and then what?" A flash of inspiration flickered in Shen Fugui’s mind, "Are you going to make him look like me and go to the flower viewing party?"
Gu Lou hummed "en".
Shen Fugui hesitated and said, "Is this feasible?"
"You can give it a try."
"I don’t think so." Xiao Yuan said, "I know the flower viewing party mentioned by the two immortals. I heard that it was attended by all the prestigious cultivators, so a small person like me would not dare to go to that kind of occasion."
Shen Fugui said, "Yes, Louyin, what if he behaves improperly and causes trouble."
Gu Louyin didn’t force it but said, "You choose by yourself."
Shen Fugui was deep in thought making his choice, and Gu Louyin didn’t seem to have the intention to leave yet. Xiao Yuan spread his hands and said sincerely: "If the immortal masters don’t leave, it will really affect my business."
Gu Louyin couldn’t find a reason to stay, so he got up and walked out with Shen Fugui.
When he went out, he stopped and glanced back at Xiao Yuan. Xiao Yuan didn’t avoid his gaze either and said generously: "The two immortals, take care."
Gu Louyin withdrew his gaze, his emotions hidden under his half-lowered eyelashes.
If it was Xiao Yuan, whether it was hatred or resentment, he would never face him so lightly.
So, it wasn’t him? As countless times in the past, did he recognize the wrong person again? But why was he so affected? Just because this person had the same tastes as him? Had he fallen to the point where he had to hold on to such a pitiful similarity?
But that was the only thing he could hold on to.
Both Xuanle Sect and Yunjian Pavilion had residences in Tong’an County; however, Gu Louyin did not live in the courtyard of Yunjian Pavilion but chose to live with Shen Fugui.
At night, Gu Louyin was meditating on the couch bed as usual. It was the most basic method of cultivation, the only thing needed was to be calm to settle down.
All members of Xuanle Sect were music cultivators, and Shen Fugui was no exception. The sounds of the flute were melodious and lingering, resounding through the night sky with the sentimentality of a young man.
Gu Louyin frowned slightly, a layer of sweat covering his forehead. His eyelashes were wet.
Feeling ill at ease when entering the state of meditation was the most taboo thing. Since the beginning of his training until two years ago, Gu Louyin had never made such a low-level mistake.
It was as if a hand in his head was pulling at his memories, forcing him to go back over and over again.
"I am Xiao Yuan, a casual cultivator who happened to pass by during my travels and saw you unconscious under a tree, so I brought you here."
"It’s him! He tried to kill Lin Shixiong!"
"Answering Pavilion Master, apart from using blood for medicine, there is indeed…… another faster way."
"Why don’t you just kill me and bleed me, won’t it be more convenient?"
"I want you to marry me."
"Between you and me, there seems to be no need for this."
"Xiao Yuan’s cultivation base and spiritual veins are ruined and he can’t use weapons. If he falls off such a high cliff, he will undoubtedly die."
"There is a long river under the cliff. Xiao Yuan’s corpse was probably washed away."
"Xiao Yuan is dead, he is already dead! If you look for another ten, twenty or fifty years, you will never find him!"
Gu Louyin’s heart was full of sorrow. He knew he was in danger, yet only at this time could he see him.
Wearing the wedding dress he had personally chosen for him, Xiao Yuan slowly walked towards him. Bright and beautiful, he could not be confused with anyone else.
He couldn’t bear to pull away.
"Louyin?" Shen Fugui’s panicked voice sounded in his ears, "Gu Louyin–!" "
Gu Louyin suddenly opened his eyes and vomited a mouthful of blood.
Shen Fugui said in disbelief: "You are… you are not crazy, are you?"
Gu Louyin looked at the stain of red on his palm, as if he had already become accustomed to it, "It’s okay."
"Okay? You are vomiting blood, are you telling me that you are okay?!" Shen Fugui said worriedly, "Louyin, you are not okay at all, you’re very not okay. I suggest you not go to Baihua Palace but go back to Yunjian Pavilion first…"
Gu Louyin wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth and said, "Baihua Palace has what I’m looking for."
"What is it? Tell me, I’ll get it for you."
Gu Louyin shook his head and said, "I must go in person."
In An Mansion, Ah Chu brought Xiao Yuan a late-night snack and put the washed clothes in the closet along the way. She saw a glimmering thing in the closet and said, "Young master, this thing is on again."
What Ah Chu meant was the nine-tone snail Xiao Yuan kept from two years ago. For two years, this nine-tone snail lit up with spiritual power from time to time. At first, Xiao Yuan carried it with him as an amulet. Later, he was so annoyed that he threw it into the closet. However, the owner of the other nine-tone snail seemed to have never given up.
Xiao Yuan ate his snacks slowly and said, "Don’t worry about it, let it glow."