Xiao Yuan looked at this short sentence and some kind of indescribable emotion floated in his heart. He was afraid that the wish of ‘Xiao Yuan’ would not come true.
Xiao Du and himself both had unforgettable looks, and such a pair of brothers should have attracted the attention of others in the city a long time ago. Xiao Yuan inquired a little nearby, and as expected, he got some clues. Relying on these clues, Xiao Yuan found a secluded deep alley.
In the alley, it was as dark as outside. Under the dim light, an elderly man holding a broom was cleaning fallen leaves in front of the door. Xiao Yuan stepped forward and asked amicably: "Old man, is there a pair of brothers who often wear red clothes living in this alley?"
As if he hadn’t heard him, the old man continued to sweep the ground without any reaction. Thinking that the old man might be hearing impaired, Xiao Yuan raised his voice and asked again but the old man still did not respond. Xiao Yuan probed his spiritual consciousness with the jade fan and realized it was indeed a low-level remnant soul.
People have three spiritual souls and six physical souls. The higher the cultivation level of the body, the deeper the spiritual knowledge of the soul. The remnant souls of ordinary people might be just puppets at the mercy of others, but the remnant souls of cultivators would more or less inherit the consciousness and memories of the body. If someone wanted to control them, they could only use soul-attracting lamps and the ancient mirror that transformed resentment into a body. The person created by the mirror was an extremely subtle existence. For example, that ‘Xiao Yuan’ had his own body and an incomplete soul. Was he considered a part of Xiao Yuan? Could the mirror person be called a "person"?
Sounds of footsteps interrupted Xiao Yuan’s thoughts. Xiao Yuan dodged and hid behind a corner, sealing his spiritual sense and concealing his aura.
The sound of footsteps became clearer and clearer, and there were two human voices that he couldn’t be more familiar with. Xiao Du and ‘Xiao Yuan’ came back from visiting the market. ‘Xiao Yuan’ seemed to be in a good mood, humming nursery rhymes as he walked. Xiao Yuan couldn’t help frowning; could his soul be so childlike?
There was a smile in Xiao Du’s voice as he said, "Is Ah Yu very happy?"
‘Xiao Yuan’s’ smile bloomed like a flower, "Yes."
"Why are you happy?"
‘Xiao Yuan’ said seriously: "Because I made a wish to the river god to be with my gege forever."
Xiao Du chuckled softly: "Did the river god agree?"
‘Xiao Yuan’ became nervous, "Will he refuse? If he doesn’t agree, will I not be able to be with gege?"
The corners of Xiao Yuan’s mouth twitched when he heard the words. This ‘Xiao Yuan’ was obviously mentally incomplete and not at all like him now, but rather like when he was seven or eight years old.
Xiao Du comforted: "It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t agree. I’ll just promise Ah Yu."
While talking, the two walked hand in hand into a large courtyard that seemed to look quite rich and glorious. It was Xiao Du’s style; he would not wrong himself anytime and anywhere. What Xiao Yuan didn’t notice was that before entering the door, Xiao Du glanced towards the corner seemingly aimlessly.
In any case, his earth soul fared much better in Xiao Du’s hands than it would in Lu Yueyao’s hands. Judging the situation, Xiao Du treated his earth soul very well; so well that it actually made Xiao Yuan feel vaguely uneasy. If he wanted to get his earth soul back, he needed to destroy the body of the mirror person first. Without an additional carrier, the separated soul would return to his body. Two years ago in Luling City, he and Gu Louyin also regained their souls after they killed the mirror people. In other words, he had to kill ‘Xiao Yuan’.
However, would Xiao Du allow him to do so?
Xiao Yuan didn’t dare to act rashly. The best way right now was to wait for ‘Xiao Yuan’ to be alone then attack him. He was thinking about countermeasures when he suddenly saw a familiar shadow on the other side of the alley. He stepped forward without hesitation and whispered, "Where do you want to take me this time?"
The charred fawn blinked, took Xiao Yuan around several corners and came to a remote, uninhabited place, where someone had been waiting for a long time.
The face of the person was hidden in the dark and Xiao Yuan couldn’t see it clearly, but just looking at her graceful figure was enough to confirm the guess in his heart. Xiao Yuan smiled slightly and said, "Meng-jiejie, I haven’t seen you for a long time, how are you?"
"Young lord is still so clever." Meng Chi slowly walked out of the shadows. The makeup on her face was exquisite and glamorous but it couldn’t hide the fatigue in her eyes. She asked Xiao Yuan: "How did you guess it was me?"
Xiao Yuan said, "You disappeared with Xiao Du that day. Isn’t it normal for you to reappear with Xiao Du today? I have to say that jiejie’s medical skills really amaze me. You can even bring people back to life. I can’t say anything else to jiejie but the word ‘concede’."
Meng Chi slowly said, "Young lord thinks too highly of me. The Lord has come back to life on his own. He has made many enemies, and with a younger brother like you, he naturally prepared a way out for himself in advance. I just helped him a little."
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, "As expected of Xiao Du. Let me ask, since Xiao Du is not dead, why didn’t you guys go to Xingtian Sect to settle accounts with me and why did he bring you here to Pangu Mountain instead?"
Meng Chi looked at Xiao Yuan meaningfully and said, "Don’t you know? Pangu Mountain is the burial place of Xiao family and your mother."
Xiao Yuan was taken aback. A scene he had seen in his mind before entering the city reappeared – the sky full of flames, shrill screams and distorted shadows.
Xiao Du’s family and his mother.
"After the Venerable Lord woke up, he was very calm. He didn’t mention Xingtian Sect or you, as if nothing happened. This calm made me a little scared. One day, he said that he was going back to Pangu Mountain, so I went with him." Meng Chi said, "We stayed in Pangu Mountain for a while and found a stone formation by chance, and then we came here. The Venerable Lord noticed at a glance that this city was weird, and we saw many familiar faces. In order to find out what was going on, we wandered around the city to inquire about the news and unsurprisingly found Yunjian Pavilion. The Venerable Lord guessed that the reason why Gu Hang collected the souls of cultivators from all over the world was because he wanted to use them for his own purposes; at the same time, he wanted to weaken the power of other sects. With their remnant souls in hand, he could prevent them from mutinying in the future."
Xiao Yuan was in a daze, and Meng Chi’s words sounded to him as blurry as if they came through the water. He closed his eyes, forced himself to calm down and said, "Then do you know that Qingyan is here too?"
Meng Chi was surprised and said, "You know that too?"
Xiao Yuan said calmly: "If I didn’t know, what would I be doing here?"
"Qingyan has not been in Pangu Mountain all the time. A few days ago, Gu Hang personally sent Qingyan to the city. He sent Qingyan and…"
"The remnant souls of Gu Louyin and I."
Meng Chi nodded, "Your Lordship managed to get your remnant soul from the city lord Lu Yueyao. He took it with him and took care of it. He…" Meng Chi said, her face becoming weird, "he seems to regard that remnant soul as a real person."
Xiao Yuan was silent for a while after hearing that and said, "Meng Chi, since you chose to go with Xiao Du that day, you should be completely loyal to him. Now that you have lured me and Gu Louyin here without his knowledge and told me all this, what exactly are you trying to do?"
"Loyalty… heh. "Meng Chi showed a very sarcastic smile, "Looking at what I have done, do you think I am still loyal? I just keep doing what I think is right. The Venerable Lord clearly knows that the ‘Xiao Yuan’ around him is just a remnant soul. He also knows very well that if the remnant soul does not return to the body for a long time, the body will be in danger of collapse. He still ignores my dissuasion and continues to keep your remnant soul by his side. In the past few days, he has been inseparable from ‘Xiao Yuan’ and has not even cared about Qingyan. I am worried that if he goes on like this, he will sink deeper and deeper."
Xiao Yuan smiled, "Xiao Du really hasn’t changed at all. As long as he is happy, nothing else matters."
Meng Chi said solemnly: "He is not selfish, but… crazy."
"What do you want me to do?"
Meng Chi asked rhetorically: "Do you want to get your soul back?"
"Then go and kill ‘Xiao Yuan’, other than that, you have no choice." Meng Chi said coldly, "Only when Xiao Yuan kills ‘Xiao Yuan’ can the Venerable Lord fully wake up. If others try to do it, I am afraid that they will die in the hands of the Venerable Lord before they approach ‘Xiao Yuan’."
The reasons given by Meng Chi seemed sensible at first glance, but once you thought about it, you would find some far-fetched places. Was Xiao Du crazy? Just now he had seen Xiao Du and ‘Xiao Yuan’ talking and laughing, looking quite normal. If this was crazy, what about Gu Louyin who had been summoning his soul in the snowy mountain for months? However, despite his suspicions and doubts, ‘Xiao Yuan’ still had to be killed. No matter what Meng Chi’s purpose was, as long as she could help him kill ‘Xiao Yuan’ and get his soul back, nothing else mattered.
Xiao Yuan said, "It sounds like you have already figured out a way for me to kill myself? Let’s hear it."
Meng Chi’s eyes lit up, "Do you agree?"
"I have no other choice, do I?"
In the second half of the night, it suddenly rained heavily. There was violent gales and thunder. Once the lightning struck down, the courtyard seemed to be bright like daytime for an instant. The young, inexperienced Xiao Yuan was most afraid of this kind of thunderous rainy weather. He was tossing and turning on his bed but eventually couldn’t stand it. He knocked on his gege’s door holding a pillow.
The door opened quickly, and the wind and rain poured inside. Xiao Yuan looked up at the tall man and before he could call out "Gege", Xiao Du stopped him and hugged him.
Xiao Yuan hurriedly put his arms around Xiao Du’s neck, "Ge…"
Xiao Du carried him inside, and gently put him on the bed, "Why didn’t Ah Yu wear shoes? The ground is so cold. What should we do if you catch a cold?"
Xiao Yuan curled up his toes, pulled Xiao Du’s open placket and said, "It’s thundering, I want to sleep with gege."
Xiao Du’s eyes darkened and he said with a low smile: "So clingy."
Xiao Yuan didn’t say anything and silently got under the quilt, leaving only a pair of bewildered eyes that looked at Xiao Du expectantly. Xiao Du opened the quilt and laid down. Xiao Yuan moved to his side like a child, his eyes full of dependency.
Xiao Du stroked his brother’s black hair, "Does Ah Yu know, as long as two people become Dao companions, they will never be separated for the rest of their lives."