Xiao Yuan had met this young man in blue, and that was when he was in Xingtian Sect.
One day, who knows whether intentionally or unintentionally Meng Chi told him that Xiao Du’s birthday was coming. Xiao Yuan thought that no matter whether he was willing or not, he was always taken care of by Xiao Du. He had called him ‘Gege’ for more than half a year and now that he knew about Xiao Du’s birthday, he had to express something. So, he worked in the kitchen for a whole day, without any use of formations, and personally cooked a table of delicious food for Xiao Du.
At night, Xiao Yuan ordered someone to invite Xiao Du, poured two glasses of wine and said with a smile: "Gege, I offer a cup to you. May your cultivation improve every day and your looks become more handsome every year."
Xiao Du raised the corners of his lips and smiled, "Thank you, Ah Yu."
Although he was smiling, there was no smile in his eyes. Xiao Yuan just thought he was unhappy about the affairs of the sect. He didn’t ask much. He served him a bowl of pig trotter soup and said, "Gege, you can try this. I stewed it for two hours, it should be very soft and tender."
Xiao Du took a sip absent-mindedly. Xiao Yuan looked at him expectantly, "How is it?"
"It is delicious."
The corners of Xiao Yuan’s lips fluttered, "If it’s delicious, drink more."
Xiao Du put down the soup bowl and said, "Ah Yu, do you really not remember anything about when you were a child?"
Xiao Yuan shook his head, "I really don’t remember."
"Really." Xiao Du looked at him intently, "All the members of the Xiao family had a piece of warm jade in their hands. Did you lose it?"
Xiao Yuan said helplessly: "Gege, you have asked several times. I don’t have any jade. When Shizun picked me up, I had nothing but tattered clothes."
Xiao Du sighed softly, "It’s a pity."
His voice was as low and sultry as ever, but Xiao Yuan felt a little uneasy inexplicably, "Gege? You are…"
Xiao Du said, "Let him in."
A thin young man walked in, his face frightened and trembling and his big dark eyes full of anxiety and looking endearing.
Xiao Du asked him, "I heard you were looking for me?"
The young man swallowed and took out a jade pendant from his sleeve, "I, I’m here to find my gege."
Xiao Yuan’s heart missed half a beat. He was thinking about the arrival of this day ever since Xiao Du welcomed him to Xingtian Sect. But he didn’t expect that this day would be so slow to come; so slow that he had almost accepted Xiao Du as his brother.
It would be great if it came earlier.
The young man’s memory was very clear and he still had the token of the Xiao family. After Xiao Du finished listening to him, he looked at Xiao Yuan and said with a smile: "Do you have anything to say?"
Xiao Yuan calmly said, "Can I go back to my shimen?"
"You can’t." Xiao Du said slowly, "You are still useful."
When his thoughts returned, the face of the young man in blue gradually overlapped with the face of the young man in his memory. He was Xiao Du’s younger brother, Xiao Rong.
Compared with when they first met, Xiao Rong’s complexion was a lot better. His cheeks were pink and white and his delicate fingers were as white as bamboo sprouts. At first glance it was obvious he was pampered.
Xiao Du squinted at them, his long, narrow eyes sweeping past Gu Louyin and Mu Yingyang and finally stopping on Xiao Yuan.
Xiao Yuan looked at him calmly. He was now wearing Shen Fugui’s face and there was nothing to be nervous about.
Seeing that Xiao Du ignored him, Xiao Rong cautiously pulled Xiao Du’s sleeve, "Gege?"
Xiao Du retracted his gaze from Xiao Yuan, and his voice was low and lazy: "What?"
"I saw a flower with a strange color and shape over there," Xiao Rong said with interest, "Gege, let’s go and have a look."
Xiao Du patted Xiao Rong’s head and said with a smile, "Okay."
Xiao Du walked two steps with his arm wrapped around Xiao Rong, paused slightly as if to look back, but then turned away and left.
Mu Yingyang muttered to himself: "Why did he come here?"
Xiao Yuan said in a voice that only he himself could hear: "I also want to know."
Gu Louyin asked Chang Lan: "Who was that man just now?"
Chang Lan said: "It seems to be a casual cultivation without any school or sect."
Xiao Yuan said, "Why would a casual cultivator have an invitation to a flower viewing party?"
"The flower viewing party is intended to allow cultivators from all over the world to see all kinds of rare and exotic plants and rare medicinal herbs. Although Baihua Palace is at the top of medical and medicinal cultivation, it dare not say that it owns all the treasures of the world. I remember that Young Pavilion Master Gu personally came to Baihua Palace for a medicinal herb two years ago, but it was a pity…"
Gu Louyin lowered his eyes, his gaze hidden under his long eyelashes, "En."
"In order to collect more treasures, Baihua Palace has a rule. Those who take the initiative to donate medicinal herbs before the flower viewing, regardless of their status, will be given invitations and treated as guests in Baihua Palace."
Xiao Yuan nodded, "That’s it." He thought Mu Yingyang’s invitation card was also obtained in this way.
Xiao Yuan’s room had Gu Louyin’s room on one side and Mu Yingyang’s on the other. Fortunately, Xiao Du and Xiao Rong lived far away, otherwise, no matter how big his heart was, he might not be able to sleep well.
In the evening, the disciples of Baihua Palace brought dinner to the guests. It was still Chang Lan who delivered food to Xiao Yuan. Chang Lan asked, "The shimei that Young Sect Master Shen is looking for is a girl called Cai Xunnian?"
"Exactly." Xiao Yuan said, "Miss Chang saw her?"
Chang Lan frowned slightly, her expression puzzled, and she said, "This Miss Cai entered Baihua Palace a few days ago and lived in Xiyuan with other female cultivators. But when we went to find her, she was not there. I asked the female cultivator who lived next door to her. The female cultivator said that she went out last night and never came back."
Xiao Yuan said in surprise: "Such a thing happened. Did she leave the palace?"
Chang Lan shook her head and said, "During the flower viewing party, when guests enter and exit the palace, it is registered. I checked, and Miss Cai did not leave Baihua Palace."
"Does that mean she just disappeared in Baihua Palace?" Xiao Yuan felt that things were quite strange. According to Shen Fugui, the little shimei thought that he was going on a blind date with a fairy of Baihua Palace and that was why she took the invitation and left in a bad mood. Since she came to Baihua Palace, it proved that she was willing to be found by Shen Fugui, otherwise she would go to a place where Shen Fugui had no clue about at all. In that case, why did she still run around?
Chang Lan agreed: "Miss Cai must still be in Baihua Palace. However, Baihua Palace is comparable to a small city. There are several forbidden places, and recently there have been a lot of people. If she is intent on hiding, I’m afraid it will take a lot of work to find her."
Xiao Yuan pondered for a moment then said, "She might have strayed into some place that she can’t get out of, such as the forbidden place you just mentioned."
Chang Lan said: "Young Sect Master Shen, rest assured, if Miss Cai really disappeared in Baihua Palace, Baihua Palace will definitely find her and give Xuanle Sect an explanation."
"Thank you, Miss Chang."
After Chang Lan left, Xiao Yuan went next door, wanting to inform Gu Louyin about Cai Xunnian’s disappearance. Unexpectedly, what he saw after knocking on the door turned out to be——
Mu Yingyang was eating when he was suddenly disturbed, and he was disturbed by that person hanging around Gu Louyin. He was extremely dissatisfied and said with a cold face: "What do you want?"
Xiao Yuan blinked, took a step back, looked around and said, "Sorry, I made a mistake."
"You are blind."
Xiao Yuan didn’t want to pay attention to him but suddenly remembered the days when he was dominated by [All Have]. In those years, no matter how difficult Mu Yingyang was, he had to be a good Shixiong who was tolerant and magnanimous. Now that [All Have] was gone, he would feel sorry for the anger he had suffered in the past if he didn’t reply now.
Xiao Yuan smiled slightly, "Your mouth is so toxic, does your Shixiong know?"
Mu Yingyang’s face sank suddenly, and he said angrily: "What are you, are you worthy to mention my Shixiong in front of me?"
Xiao Yuan said calmly: "I heard Louyin say that when your Shixiong jumped off the cliff, you were right next to him, right?"
Mu Yingyang’s eyes widened, as if he was in a nightmare. His sullenness was replaced by despair and pain. He even lost the power to counterattack and could only stand still, allowing the words of ‘Shen Fugui’ to pierce his heart like a knife.
"He didn’t even look at you, didn’t say a word to you when you were so close to him." Xiao Yuan said slowly, "Haven’t you ever wondered why?"
Mu Yingyang squeezed out a few words from his lips: "You… shut up."
"I think I might know, do you want me to tell you, huh?"
Mu Ying raised his red eyes, his lips trembling, "Shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up!"
Xiao Yuan took a step forward, leaned into Mu Yingyang’s ear and whispered softly: "Because you have talked to him like this for so many years. He said he didn’t mind but he hated you in his heart. He hated you so much that he didn’t want to look at you before he died."
After saying this passage, Xiao Yuan was ready to be attacked. However, Mu Ying Yang did not pounce on him as he had thought. It was as if he had been seriously injured in some way, as if his body was riddled with wounds and he could not even lift his hand.
Xiao Yuan was shocked by Mu Yingyang’s reaction. He didn’t expect that the power of his words would be even better than Xiao Du’s palm blow back then.
Mu Yingyang gasped for breath; every breath he took was accompanied by pain. He didn’t know how to bear this pain at all. Shizun didn’t teach him and he didn’t have a way to relieve it.
The scene of Shixiong jumping off the cliff was so vivid. He remembered the flaming red wedding dress, the scattered silk of black hair, the hairband flying in the air. He remembered it very clearly, so clearly that the picture would appear in his mind as soon as he closed his eyes.
Shixiong jumped off the cliff with a smile. Before he jumped off the cliff, Mu Yingyang asked him if he was cheap.
In the past two years, he had avoided it countless times, he didn’t want to face a terrible thought deep in his heart. Today, stimulated by ‘Shen Fugui’, he opened his heart and faced this thought for the first time – it was not only Yunjian Pavilion and Gu Louyin that Shixiong wanted to escape, but also… him.
Mu Yingyang took a deep breath, and slowly, slowly held on to the door, as if only in this way could he stabilize his body.
He lowered his head, his voice so low that there was no trace of vitality in it: "Leave."
Xiao Yuan hesitated for a while but chose to leave, letting Mu Yingyang struggle with remorse.
If you did something wrong, you must bear the consequences. Mu Yingyang might not be able to bear it, but he was telling the truth.
Adjusting his mood, Xiao Yuan came to Gu Louyin’s room and told him about Cai Xunnian’s disappearance.
"Since we are unfamiliar with this place, we can only wait for news from Baihua Palace."
Gu Louyin nodded and said, "En."
"Okay, then I’ll go back for dinner."
"Wait." Gu Louyin stood in front of Xiao Yuan, his eyes lowered slightly as he looked at him quietly.
Xiao Yuan remained calm under his scrutinizing gaze, "What else do you want?"
Gu Louyin’s Adam’s apple moved lightly as he said, "You say you are from Tong’an County."
"Hmm? Did I say that?"
"That’s what you said at the inn."
"You are lying." Gu Louyin said, "You only arrived in Tong’an County a year ago. Before that, there was no such person as you in Tong’an County."
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, "Did you investigate me?"
Gu Louyin admitted very simply, "Yes."
Gu Louyin stared into his eyes, "I suspect that you are not you."
"I am not me, then who can I be?"
Gu Louyin did not answer. He was afraid that once the words were said, they would become empty.
"I am indeed not a native of Tong’an County," Xiao Yuan said disapprovingly, "but I only chatted with the innkeeper for a few minutes. Do I need to tell every detail about myself in casual conversation?"
"Then tell me," Gu Louyin said solemnly, "who are you and where did you come from?"
Xiao Yuan said calmly: "My name is An Mu. I am an orphan. I have been fortunate enough to learn the art of changing faces and regard the four corners of the world all as my home since I was a child. A year ago I arrived in Tong’an County. I thought it was a very good place, so I bought a house and settled down. I’m telling the truth, but if you don’t believe me, there’s no need to ask anymore."
Gu Louyin whispered, "I will check it out."
"Then you can check it." Xiao Yuan looked indifferent and pushed the door to go out when the voice suddenly came from behind him: "Is it you?" "
Xiao Yuan turned his head, his expression just the right level of blank, "Huh?"
Gu Louyin closed his eyes, "It’s nothing, just go."
When he returned to his room, Xiao Yuan’s expression showed a rare solemnity. Gu Louyin obviously suspected him. It was because he had been free and unrestrained in the past two years and he had become accustomed to it, so he didn’t bother to act. Gu Louyin was a smart man and always believed that he was not dead; it was only a matter of time before he started doubting him.
Speaking of which, it was all Luo Lan’s fault. If he hadn’t revealed to Gu Louyin that he might still be alive, how could there be so many problems?
He finally got rid of Yunjian Pavilion and Gu Louyin, he never wanted to have anything to do with them again. When he got the ruthless hua, he will definitely pack up and run away, but before that, he still had to dispel Gu Louyin’s suspicions in order to have no worries.
Xiao Yuan made up his mind and wrote a secret letter, preparing to send it to Huaizhou at the foot of Yunjian Pavilion – Luo Lan would go down the mountain to Huaizhou for purchases on the 20th of every month. It shouldn’t be too late to send the letter now.
There were only two words in the letter, and he believed that no one could understand it except Luo Lan.
Xiao Yuan took the letter and went to the city to hand it to a super speedy messenger. The messenger’s skills were no worse than those of ordinary sword cultivators and he could go from Hongxiu to Huaizhou in a day and a half without incident.
When Xiao Yuan returned to Baihua Palace, it was already late, and most of the cultivators were meditating and resting in their rooms. Xiao Yuan entered the flower garden and walked towards his house. Passing around the corner he coldly saw the back of a man in red.
He paused and retreated.
Xiao Du was sitting alone under the porch. He didn’t wear a crown and his black hair was hanging down. He was dressed in a long, loose purplish-red dress, appearing a bit romantic and wanton.
Xiao Yuan took a look and then retracted his gaze, intending to take a long detour back with another road. He never thought that as soon as he turned around, the nine-tone snail earring hidden on his chest would light up faintly.