Xiao Yuan curved his lips, trying to lean over and kiss Gu Louyin. On second thought, he thought better of it, so as not to delay the business. He told Gu Louyin everything about [All Have], and when he came to the day he got rid of [All Have], Gu Louyin suddenly interrupted him, "You didn’t jump off the cliff to die."
"Yes," Xiao Yuan said, "[All Have] promised me that no matter what I did at the time, I would not die. In order to get rid of Yunjian Pavilion, jumping off the cliff was the fastest way."
Gu Louyin looked at him with a complicated expression.
Xiao Yuan smiled and said, "I cherish my life so much, how can I easily seek death?"
Gu Louyin adam’s apple rolled, "I always thought that you were forced to die."
Xiao Yuan waved his hand, "No, no, no."
Gu Louyin choked and suddenly pressed Xiao Yuan against the stone wall, lowered his head and took a bite at the corner of his mouth. He wanted to press harder but couldn’t bear it. In the end, Xiao Yuan gave a soft "ah".
"What are you doing…?"
Gu Louyin said hoarsely: "Kissing you."
"You are clearly biting." Xiao Yuan touched the corner of his mouth, raised his eyes and said, "Why are you so stimulated all of a sudden? Would it be possible that if you knew that I was not forced to death by Yunjian Pavilion, you would neither feel guilty, nor would care so much about me, and thus would not get demonized?"
Gu Louyin felt helpless, "No."
Xiao Yuan deliberately said in a skeptical tone: "Oh? When did you start to like me?"
Gu Louyin said, "Very early on."
Xiao Yuan said to himself: "If it was before I jumped off the cliff, I really didn’t notice it at all."
"You were very interesting." When Gu Louyin said that, he didn’t look at Xiao Yuan, as if a little shy, "and also very… good-looking."
Xiao Yuan gave a muffled chuckle, "In the end, you also just looked at my face."
Gu Louyin corrected him: "It’s not just your face." He thought for a while, and then said, "At that time, you and Mu Yingyang were very close."
"Were we? I don’t remember."
"Yes. Every time I saw you together, I…" Gu Louyin pursed his lips, "my mood deteriorated."
Xiao Yuan looked at him in surprise.
"But I had no right to be angry." So he never showed it.
While the two were talking, it was already dark. In the afterglow of the setting desert sun, Xiao Yuan’s face looked gentle, his eyes like autumn water. He rarely showed such an expression, and Gu Louyin’s heart throbbed as he saw it.
"You have it now." Xiao Yuan said, "But I won’t give you another reason to get angry."
The desert was so big; they didn’t know when and where the landscape in the painting would appear, so they decided to stay in the desert for a day and a night. After nightfall, the cold hit but they were not afraid of the cold, since having warm jade with them. Xiao Yuan released Qingyan that grew to the size of a fire, shining brightly in the dark.
Xiao Yuan rested comfortably on Gu Louyin’s lap and said, "If Li Xianting had really been here and saw something like that little beggar, what would he do – go with the flow, or go against the Dao of Heavens?"
Gu Louyin said, "It depends on what he saw."
Xiao Yuan nodded, "That’s true."
Overwhelmed with drowsiness, Xiao Yuan yawned. Gu Louyin said, "Sleepy?"
Xiao Yuan rubbed his eyes, "A bit."
"Go to sleep."
With Gu Louyin’s lap as a pillow, Xiao Yuan slept soundly, having no dreams all night.
Gu Louyin’s voice sounded in his ears. Xiao Yuan’s eyes were bleary, and he said vaguely: "…huh?"
Gu Louyin took his hand, "Follow me."
Xiao Yuan said "oh" and closed his eyes again.
Xiao Yuan occasionally dawdled in bed and Gu Louyin would stay with him. Today’s situation was different. Gu Louyin did not try to wake Xiao Yuan again but directly picked him up and walked out.
Half dreaming and half awake, Xiao Yuan vaguely heard the sound of birdsong – where did the birds come from in the desert?
Xiao Yuan opened his eyes abruptly.
"You are awake."
Xiao Yuan looked at the scene in front of him and murmured, "There is really such a place."
The mountains and the lake were beautiful, the fields green and lush, insects and birds chirping – it was exactly the same as the landscape in the painting.
Xiao Yuan was lost for a while, and asked, "How did you find it?"
"I saw it."
Xiao Yuan looked at Gu Louyin and said slowly, "Are you particularly talented in finding things?"
Serpentine beauty in the extremely desolate land, the ice crystal of the Wuchuan Sea and the hibiscus stones were all rare things seen once in a hundred years, but Gu Louyin could find them. He hadn’t expected to find the place in the painting easily, but to his surprise, Gu Louyin had found it again. The more Xiao Yuan thought about it, the more he felt that Gu Louyin was possessed by a koi carp that brought him good luck.
Gu Louyin said, "I am even better at finding people."
Thinking that no matter what face he used, Gu Louyin would see through it, Xiao Yuan couldn’t agree more.
The two of them walked through the bushes and the fields, feeling an inexplicable sense of emptiness, as if the grass under their feet was not the grass but the sand like before. Xiao Yuan squatted down, touched the ground with his fingers and said, "Do you think we are still in the real world?"
Gu Louyin looked at the lake in the distance, "Let’s go to the lake and have a look."
The surface of the lake was calm and free of ripples, as quiet as a pool of backwater. Xiao Yuan and Gu Louyin stood by the lake; the breeze blew the tips of their hair, but there was no movement on the lake.
Xiao Yuan looked down at his reflection in the lake and asked, "Do you feel it?"
Gu Louyin said, "What?"
Xiao Yuan shook his head. This was an indescribable, weird feeling. He felt that his reflection was staring at him, his eyes like a whirlpool, trying to suck him in alive. His reason told him that he shouldn’t look anymore, but there seemed to be a pair of hands firmly holding his neck, making him unable to move his gaze away.
His eyes became more and more blurred; everything around him disappeared, and only the reflection in the lake was still there in the darkness.
Gu Louyin’s worried voice seemed to come from far away. Xiao Yuan wanted to respond to him, but inexplicably he couldn’t speak. At this moment, the person in the lake suddenly smiled.
Xiao Yuan understood what he should do.
In a whirlwind, Xiao Yuan felt that he had changed positions with himself in the lake. He slowly sank to the bottom of the lake, without hearing or seeing anything, feeling only the cold and biting touch of the lake water.
In the boundless darkness, Xiao Yuan finally saw a trace of light. He struggled to swim towards the light. The light became more and more intense, and soon he could hardly open his eyes. Just as he raised his hand to block his eyes, the light scattered into tiny particles and passed through his body.
He saw the life that was his. But this time, he became a spectator.
After the death of his biological father, he followed his remarried mother to the Xiao family and had a gege who loved him dearly. A few years later, Yunjian Pavilion destroyed the Xiao family, and his mother protected him with her life, letting him and his gege escape. On the way to escape, he and his gege were separated and he was picked up by Shizun. Later, there was also a foul-mouthed shidi.
When he grew up, he was taken back by Xiao Du and then Xiao Du recognized another person as his younger brother. Xiao Du infected him with Gu, forced him to approach Gu Louyin and infiltrate Yunjian Pavilion.
Later, Lin Wulian was poisoned, and his blood was taken by Gu Louyin for ten days and his cultivation base was lost.
All this was almost the same as his previous experience, with only two differences.
First, he didn’t have [All Have], so whether it was Shizun, his shidi, Xiao Du, or Gu Louyin, he had given them all his sincerity. Being abandoned by Shizun, the poisonous tongue of his shidi, Xiao Du’s infecting him and the pain caused by Gu Louyin all made him miserable.
Second, he did not survive on Dongguan Mountain that time.
——This was his established destiny.