Xiao Du dismissed everyone and sat alone guarding the man on the bed until dawn.
When Xiao Yuan woke up, he realized that the fragrance that he was always faintly feeling in Baihua Palace had disappeared, replaced by a familiar, cold aura. He slowly opened his eyes, his eyelashes trembling. The eyelashes of this body were short and sparse, so this movement didn’t resemble the awakening of a beauty at all.
"You are awake."
Xiao Yuan slept for a day and a night and still was in a daze. He struggled to sit up and a pair of soft hands supported his back. He raised his eyes to look at the owner of the hands. It was a sweet girl with a pretty face. He seemed to have seen her somewhere before.
Xiao Yuan asked in a dumb voice, "You are?"
"My name is Le’er," the girl said, "Elder Meng ordered me to take good care of young master."
Elder Meng… Xiao Yuan’s eyes cleared and his expression changed as he looked around.
He was in Xingtian Sect, in the room he had lived in two years ago. Even the maid who served him was the one from the past.
There was no doubt that Xiao Du brought him back. However, Xiao Du didn’t actually put him on death row but placed him in the house where he had lived in the past. What did that mean?
Xiao Yuan said, "Do you know who I am?"
Le’er shook her head, "I only know that young master is very important to the Lord, so I will definitely serve young master well."
Xiao Yuan was puzzled: "Important?"
"His Lordship never allowed others to step into Chanxin Courtyard. On the contrary, he has been here often in the past two years, sitting in this room for half a day." Le’er said, "Now that he lets young master live here, it is obvious that young master is a person that the lord attaches great importance to."
Xiao Yuan turned over, got out of bed and walked out of the house. The scenery and the objects in the courtyard were exactly the same as two years ago, and the beam of light shining on his face was as warm as in his memory.
Le’er chased after him and asked, "Where is young master going?"
"Out of here."
Le’er said in surprise: "But Elder Meng asked you to rest in Chanxin Courtyard."
Xiao Yuan didn’t care what Meng Chi asked and said solemnly: "My apologies."
Le’er felt pain in her neck and fainted before she could react to what had happened. Xiao Yuan took her back to the house and took off her clothes.
He had just taken off his robe when a low, hoarse voice sounded behind him, "Ah Yu is so good-looking, why does he always have to use someone else’s face."
Hearing the long-forgotten name, Xiao Yuan paused and turned stiffly.
Xiao Du’s tone sounded as usual, but his expression was tired and dispirited, as if he had just survived a great tribulation, and the eyes that looked at him were full of restrained sorrow.
But even so, this man was still dangerous and powerful, and the vicious arrogance engraved in his bones made him look not the least bit humble.
Xiao Yuan’s heart tensed, "Who are you calling?"
Xiao Du walked up to him, bent closer to his ear and said, "I’m calling…" His breath was hot and warm, "You."
Xiao Yuan made a desperate effort to calm down: "You’ve recognized the wrong person."
The nine-tone snail alone was not enough for Xiao Du to determine his identity, especially since he was still wearing someone else’s face. Xiao Du probably just had suspicions and wasn’t sure yet. The reason why he called him Ah Yu was to test him.
Xiao Du curved his lips in a smile, saying, "Ah Yu is very smart, but it’s a pity that he can’t fool me."
Xiao Yuan also smiled, "You probably think I am Xiao Yuan. You are not the first person to make this mistake but I am indeed not him."
Xiao Du’s eyes were fixed on him, making him feel as if a storm was coming.
"Someone recognized you before I did," Xiao Du said with a slight frown, "Who? Gu Louyin or Mu Yingyang? Don’t they both think you’re dead?"
"It was Young Pavilion Master Gu." Xiao Yuan, "But does it matter?"
Xiao Du thought for a while; it really didn’t matter but he still cared. Two years ago, he could send Xiao Yuan to Gu Louyin without hesitation, but now he cared that Gu Louyin was the first one who recognized him. It was really ironic.
Xiao Du smiled at himself, stretched out his hand to Xiao Yuan and said. "It’s fine – give me your hand."
Xiao Yuan did not move, full of vigilance. "Master Xiao, I don’t know where this place is or why you brought me here. I’m just a businessman, I took money from my client and went to Baihua Palace to do business…"
Before Xiao Yuan had finished speaking, he suddenly felt his waist grabbed forcefully. Xiao Du pulled him into his arms.
Xiao Yuan frowned and wanted to push Xiao Du away but felt Xiao Du’s arms tightened, as if he was trying to integrate him into his body.
Xiao Du bent a little, with his chin lightly pressed against Xiao Yuan’s hair, breathing in Xiao Yuan’s scent almost greedily. Even though Xiao Yuan was now using someone else’s body, the aura and the scent of his body still seemed to be the same as in the past, like sweet deadly poison pouring into his heart bit by bit.
Xiao Du took a deep breath and said softly, "It doesn’t matter if you don’t admit it, I also like Ah Yu’s deceptive look."
Hearing Xiao Du say the word "like", Xiao Yuan almost laughed out loud. In fact, there was nothing to be surprised about. Xiao Du liked his appearance. He had said before that he liked to see his eyes when he smiled. But what Xiao Du should like the most would be the way he seduced Gu Louyin when his love Gu kicked in.
Xiao Yuan said, "Then do you want me to become Xiao Yuan and deceive you?"
Xiao Du was a little surprised, "Will you be willing?"
"Yes," Xiao Yuan said slowly, "This is my business. As long as you pay enough, I can satisfy you."
Xiao Du said, "I will give you whatever you want."
"Really." Xiao Yuan said without any hope, "Then you let me go, I want to leave here."
Xiao Du was stabbed severely, "This is the only thing I can’t do."
Xiao Yuan smiled, "In that case, just do whatever you want to do to me, no need to waste any more words."
Xiao Du let go of Xiao Yuan and his thin hand with distinct joints came to his chest. His eyes were dark, and he couldn’t hide his heartache, "You haven’t had an antidote for the past two years. How did you get through Acacia Gu’s attacks?"
Xiao Yuan was speechless. Xiao Du still had the face to ask him this?
Xiao Du endured as long as he could but still was unable to hold back and asked, "Did you look for a man?"
Xiao Yuan didn’t know what exactly Xiao Du knew, but he had obviously determined that he was Xiao Yuan. Xiao Du was not Gu Louyin or Mu Yingyang, and no matter how cunning he was, he couldn’t deceive him. Xiao Yuan didn’t bother to pretend and said, "Look for a man? Of course I looked for them. Sometimes one was not enough, so I found several more. Speaking of which, I would also like to thank you. Thank you for your Acacia Gu that let me experience the carnal bliss of dual cultivation."
Xiao Du’s face looked extremely unsightly. He wanted to say something but couldn’t make a sound. What Xiao Yuan said might not be true, but it was enough to make him furious. He couldn’t believe how he could have wanted to push Xiao Yuan to others in the first place. Now just hearing Xiao Yuan mention other men, he couldn’t help but feel the desire to kill people.
"Who were they? Who were those people?!" Xiao Du roared in a low voice. But as soon as he spoke, he was afraid that his murderous intent would scare Xiao Yuan. He couldn’t bear to do anything to Xiao Yuan, but he also couldn’t bear the thought of someone who had touched his younger brother to live in this world either.
Xiao Yuan said lightly: "There are too many of them, I can’t remember their names."
Xiao Du was tormented to the point that it felt as if all his internal organs were burning. He resisted his anger and said, "That’s it, Ah Yu. I will remove Acacia Gu from your body and then you can leave Xingtian Sect."
Xiao Yuan looked at him silently.
Xiao Du’s eyes turned gentle for a moment, "But you can’t leave me – I will accompany you wherever you want to go."
Xiao Yuan said indifferently: "Even if it is the netherworld?"
Xiao Du was taken aback. For a moment, he felt the murderous intent that burst out of Xiao Yuan’s eyes.
When Xiao Yuan was under house arrest, he behaved calmly; when he was forced to seduce Gu Louyin, he also accepted it. Why now when Xiao Du wanted to compensate him and spend the rest of his life with him, it seemed to have touched Xiao Yuan’s inverse scale. There was a fierce storm brewing in his eyes, as if… As if what he was offering was something that made Xiao Yuan feel he would rather die than endure.
Xiao Du’s heart seemed to be stabbed with a knife, his eyes full of bitterness. "What do you think I will do to you, I just want to…" He paused and didn’t go on. He originally wanted to go back to the past with Xiao Yuan but he knew very well that he could no longer treat Xiao Yuan as his younger brother like before.
"Yes," Xiao Du said, "Even if it is the netherworld, I will accompany you there. Then, I will bring you back."
So what if Xiao Yuan wanted to kill him; he was confident that no one in this world could take his life. Xiao Yuan might be able to make his heart ache unbearably but he couldn’t injure him.
Xiao Yuan didn’t say anything. He knew that neither Xiao Du nor the others could understand the meaning of the word "freedom" to him.
No matter who it was, they had to pay the price for their pride and arrogance, and Xiao Du was no exception.
Xiao Yuan temporarily dispelled the idea of fleeing Xingtian Sect. On one hand, looking at Xiao Du’s posture, he couldn’t escape even if he wanted to; on the other hand, Acacia Gu in his body had always been a hidden danger to him, and if it could be completely removed, it would not be a bad thing. He was not a proud person and there was no need to refuse a chance to heal because of Xiao Du.
Not long after, Meng Chi was ordered to go to Chanxin Courtyard to remove Xiao Yuan’s Gu. Meng Chi glanced at Xiao Du and said, "Please Master Xiao restore yourself to your original body, otherwise it will be difficult for me to examine you."
Xiao Yuan hesitated for a moment, nodded and returned to his original body in front of Meng Chi and Xiao Du.
Xiao Du’s gaze was firmly locked on his face. In the past two years, Xiao Yuan had grown taller and his appearance had become even more glamorous and breathtaking. Did Xiao Yuan use this body when he was dual-cultivating with a man? He had seen the way Xiao Yuan looked when the Acacia Gu attacked; even he couldn’t control himself, so what to say about other people.
Xiao Du’s expression changed from intoxicated to grim in just a few moments. After checking Xiao Yuan, Meng Chi whispered, "Your Lordship, can we take a step to speak."
Xiao Du closed his eyes and said to Xiao Yuan, "I’ll be right back."
Xiao Yuan didn’t answer, looking down at the faint marks on his wrists.
Walking outside the house, Xiao Du asked, "Is there a solution to the Acacia Gu in his body?"
Meng Chi smiled bitterly and said, "My Lord, when you wanted to use Acacia Gu on Xiao Yuan, I told you that the Acacia Gu is extraordinary. Although it is harmless for the cultivation base, it is extremely difficult to remove and it can be suppressed only by taking medicine during the attack. The Venerable Lord didn’t care at that time. It also didn’t matter if the Gu couldn’t be removed, it was harmless anyway. It was just bedroom fun, does Your Lordship remember?"
Xiao Du’s chest was tight and painful. He remembered, and he also remembered that at that time he was eager to prove that he did not kill Xiao Yuan in order to make the best use of things. He thought that Xiao Yuan would come back to him after the business was completed. He… He had planted his own retribution with his own hands.
"You don’t need to remind me." In front of his subordinate, Xiao Du could still act tough, "You said it is ‘extremely difficult to remove’, so there must still be a way to do it."
"Yes," Meng Chi looked embarrassed, "but…"
"But what precious medicinal materials do you want?"
Meng Chi shook her head and said, "Acacia Gu is a parasite living in the heart. If you want to remove the Gu, you can only remove the heart, but the person whose heart is removed will die, so you can only exchange his heart with another. Exchanging hearts will transfer the Gu to the body of the person whose heart is used in exchange and in this way, the Gu will be removed."