"I... I... Hello, Lu Ying."
Editor(s): juurensha, namio
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Lu Ying and Xiao Shan were arranged to stay in a small tent in a secluded valley, while Chong Ming had flown to who-knows-where after entering Chi Le Chuan. When Chen Xing returned to Xiang Shu's royal tent, which had been set up again, he suddenly felt like he had just returned home. He lay down on the blanket and said, "Aaaaaaaaaah, I'm finally back!"
Xiang Shu, also very tired, sat down on one side; he had gone through too many things along the journey. An attendant soon came bringing food and water.
"It’s not like you’ve been here before," said Xiang Shu.
Chen Xing, holding the blanket, rolled around and let himself be wrapped by it. He looked at Xiang Shu and smiled. "I came here in a dream."
After a moment of silence, Xiang Shu poured himself two cups of milk tea. But when he was just about to come over, Chen Xing, who was dead tired, had already fallen asleep.
The vast sky of autumn was bright and clear; there were still two more days before the Autumn Close Festival. The Hu people, who had left Karakorum and now returned to their homeland, looked as if they had recovered their lives. For some reason, it seemed that this year's Autumn Close Festival was going to be held in a particularly grand fashion. When Chen Xing woke up, he only felt that his whole body was going to fall apart. They had been traveling far and wide for days and nights in Saibei for nearly a month, with practically every day on horseback; even his whole body was bouncing about in his dreams.
"Wooooow——" Chen Xing went down the hillside and saw tall poles being erected all over the place, with banners in a multitude of colors, each embroidered with one Hu tribe's sacred beast decorating heaven and earth. Totems were raised one after another, and soon, every Hu camp had its own hustle and bustle.
Camping in front of the mountains was the Rouran. Known for their outstanding forges, their sturdy fire columns would illuminate the all-night merriment of the Autumn Close Festival. The Tiele, who were great at hunting, put up a platform filled with bows and arrows inside their camp alongside feathered stakes a hundred paces away, ready to be used for testing arrows. The master at rearing horses, the Xiongnu, fenced in the hunting ground within a 10 li radius in preparation for horse galloping and racing bets in Chi Le Chuan, while the Xianbei, the experienced herders, set up a large tent for the herding god with ghees and cow horns. The Qiang, adept at mounted warfare, opened up a field for horseback-fighting competition. And the Mohe, combat experts, penned in the wrestling field.
And neatly arranged in the center surrounded by all of the camps, were thousands of long tables. By the start of the Autumn Close Festival, each of the tribes would bring out their best kumis, richest milk tea, ghees, pastries, roasted meat, fish, geese, and other quarry for any guests to eat.
Outside the camp in the distance was the ancient tree of Chi Le Chuan, fluttering red silk ribbon wrapped all around it. Legend had it that lovers who pledged their love beneath this tree would have their love stretching as far as the mountains, an affection that lasted for a lifetime.
Chen Xing walked through the camp and asked, "Where's the Great Chanyu?"
"He's dealing with an official matter!" a Tiele who knew of Chen Xing's identity said. "Divine Doctor, shall I take you there?"
Meeting, meeting, always in a meeting. Chen Xing waved his hand, indicating to just forget it. He was walking into the camp, intending to see many of his old friends, when he heard a voice coming from behind him.
"Chen Xing!" Tuoba Yan came over.
Chen Xing cheerfully asked, "You've also returned?"
On the bank of the Barkol Lake, Chen Xing had asked Sima Wei and Tuoba Yan to take the Akeles back to Longcheng. Che Luofeng rushed over after all of the tribes had finished evacuating. Carrying out Xiang Shu's order, they once again went south to return to Chi Le Chuan.
Tuoba Yan had gone to see Chen Xing last night, but unfortunately, Chen Xing had been sleeping like a pig then, so today, he had waited outside for Chen Xing to wake up early in the morning. The two people briefly exchanged new information, and Tuoba Yan became flabbergasted after hearing what Chen Xing said. Smiling, Chen Xing said, "I'm planning to pay a visit to people one by one. Want to come with?"
Tuoba Yan nodded and followed behind Chen Xing, seeming as though an awkward matter hung between them. The two traversed the golden-yellow prairie, already cleaned out of wine barrels, with Tuoba Yan carefully protecting Chen Xing and not letting him be touched. Chen Xing studied his expression and, guessing that he had something to ask, probed in, "Do you have something you want to say?"
"Emm..." Tuoba Yan thought for a while before he finally decided to ask, "Chen Xing, can I become an exorcist?"
Chen Xing: "…..."
Tuoba Yan said, "I want to learn how to do magic, just like you. That way, perhaps I can be of help in the future."
Chen Xing had wanted to dispel him of this idea. No matter what, you are still the most reliable military official by Fu Jian's side. While the matter of Fu Jian going insane is truly abrupt, but given enough time, he should eventually recover. Once that happens, wait until Wang Ziye has been exorcised, and you can return and resume your duty as the Regular Mounted Attendant, okay?
But with Xie An's case as the precedent, Chen Xing now instead felt that everyone might have their own desires. After seeing the world, it was also common for people to be unwilling to return to their original life.
"It's very tiring to be an exorcist," replied Chen Xing. "Are you sure you wish to be one? For what reason do you want to learn magic ne?"
Tuoba Yan smiled. "Only after leaving Chang'an did I know that the world is so big. I want to do my utmost for His Majesty and repay his kindness of recognizing my worth. After the matter here is finished, I will not stay in the court anymore; instead, I want to take a walk all over the place."
Chen Xing knew that Tuoba Yan had always been a person with a rather free temperament. Had he not been taken in by Fu Jian in the beginning, perhaps he would have lived a different life ba.
Tuoba Yan: "I don't know whether you're willing to accept me as an apprentice..."
Chen Xing was spooked out of his mind the moment he heard this and hurriedly replied, "I'm not qualified to accept you as an apprentice. I can, however, introduce my shixiong to you. He's in the South, and if you don't mind this, you both may be of kindred spirits. He likes studying magic the most."
"That's great!" Tuoba Yan said at once. "Write me a letter, and I'll leave for the South to find him after the Autumn Close Festival."
While Tuoba Yan had actually seen Xie An before, the situation had been so chaotic at that time, and he still didn't know that Xie An was Chen Xing's cheap shixiong. Since Chen Xing didn't have time to teach him magic, nor did he know how to teach an apprentice, he was afraid it would delay his progress. Letting him go find Xie An was, in all likelihood, a good option. It would be up to Xie An to either formally accept him as an apprentice or consider him as someone of the same generation.
And thus, the two people reached an agreement. Chen Xing arrived outside of the Xiongnu camp and shouted inside, "Xiao Shan!"
Xiao Shan was currently playing with Chen Xing's dog, teaching it how to jump in circles. He smiled the moment he saw Chen Xing and greeted him with a "hey!".
Chen Xing felt displeased. "Now that you have Lu Ying, you don't pay any attention to me anymore?"
Xiao Shan: "I wanted to go to sleep with you yesterday! But Gege kicked me out!"
Also familiar with Xiao Shan, Tuoba Yan smiled as he came over and exchanged some words with him. Chen Xing, looking into the forest on one side of the tent, seemed to hear Chong Ming and Lu Ying conversing in a low voice.
"I'm coming over." Chen Xing gave an early warning, as to not accidentally overhear unpleasant words Chong Ming was saying about him, before going straight into the forest.
This was a remote corner of Chi Le Chuan. Xiang Shu had specially arranged a residence for them, a place with trees and streams away from the Hu camp, to avoid Lu Ying getting disturbed by the noise.
Lu Ying was currently plucking leaves off a tree, while Chong Ming, folding his arms, was leaning against another tree as he said something to him.
Daylight streamed down gently upon the forest, its radiance seemingly coming from some kind of divine light that had gathered into visible beams. Lu Ying, dressed in a white robe with a handful of leaves on his hands, looked like an ancient god of the forest.
"Woke up?" Lu Ying said. "Did you sleep well? We even paid you a special visit last night, in order to give you a dreamless night."
Chen Xing's vitality had been completely restored. Not only was there no need for him to burn his hun and po in order to use the Heart Lamp, he could also use it more freely this time around. But nonetheless, if he used it too much, it would drain him of his vitality. His sleep last night had been extremely comfortable and far from all kinds of strange dreams, which made him brim with energy.
Seeing Chen Xing come over, Chong Ming's face turned agitated. Upon arriving, Chen Xing surmised that the topic two people had been talking about was most likely related to "the third wish." Chong Ming might have also been complaining to Lu Ying, asking why had he given the amber containing his own nirvana ashes to Chen Xing in the first place, which caused him to be tied down now.
"Let's confirm," Chen Xing smiled as he said, "Your Majesty the Yao King, the third wish is still yet to be fulfilled, right?"
Chong Ming became angry. "Gu is the Yao King, how could he go back on his words?"
Lu Ying couldn't hold back a smile. "What exactly do you want to wish for? If you could be considerate of my face, please let him go as soon as possible ba."
Chen Xing gave them a sly smile. In fact, he had already thought well about this third wish.
"Then, I'll make arrangements once the Autumn Close Festival is over," replied Chen Xing. "Lu Ying, what do you plan to do? What are you doing?"
"Plucking off leaves to be used as herbs," Lu Ying answered, "to cure the mortals in Chi Le Chuan."
Thus, Lu Ying cleverly avoided the topic by not giving Chen Xing a direct answer. From Chen Xing's perspective, he was naturally eager for Lu Ying to follow their party, and based on how Xiao Shan looked, he certainly was unwilling to be separated from him too. However, the previous time around, Lu Ying had mentioned that he wanted to leave the Central Plains and pursue the traces of Buddha in those moments before he scattered into stardust. Moreover, the Grey Wolf's complete departure must've left him with a lot of regrets. So, right now, Chen Xing would rather respect Lu Ying's choice and let him decide.
Xiao Shan, bringing Tuoba Yan, also came into the forest and said, "Lu Ying, this is Tuoba Yan, my friend."
After plucking off the last herb, Lu Ying smiled while giving Tuoba Yan a nod.
At this time, Lu Ying was bathed in the mottled shadow of the trees, a gentle ray enveloping his handsome face. His long hair, let loose, framed the side of his face. With his refined and perfect side profile, his fair complexion, and the long pale robe he was wearing, he looked like an immortal banished to earth, elegant and graceful.
"I am under your care," Lu Ying gently said.
Tuoba Yan: "…..."
Tuoba Yan stared at Lu Ying in a daze, and the two people just looked at each other.
When Lu Ying saw Tuoba Yan, he too felt slightly dazed all of a sudden, causing a leaf to flutter away and fall down from between his slender and fair fingers.
After another moment of silence between the two, Tuoba Yan immediately strode forward and bent down to pick up the leaf before handing it back to Lu Ying.
At this gesture, Lu Ying beamed.
Chen Xing introduced them to each other, "This is Lu Ying, Tuoba- you..."
Tuoba Yan's face flushed red in an instant. He subconsciously turned to Chen Xing before returning his gaze to Lu Ying, while the rest of the people appeared puzzled as they looked at Tuoba Yan. Xiao Shan, in particular, was completely at a loss.
Lu Ying: "Let's go sit inside the tent?"
"O... okay," Tuoba Yan hurriedly replied. "Sorry to intrude."
Lu Ying suddenly thought that this person was very interesting. He turned around and walked ahead, unable to contain his laugh. After returning to the tent and sitting down, he personally made them milk tea. Looking at Lu Ying, whose corners of mouth were still carrying a faint hint of smile, Chen Xing was also stumped. He had only seen his face in passing back in Carosha, so he hadn't realized it then, but after getting acquainted with him nowadays, Chen Xing felt that this White Deer transformation of the ancient deity indeed had some kind of mythical personality.
It was as if, so long as one stayed by his side, they would get this feeling as if their surroundings were welcoming the spring back to earth, brimming with life.
Tuoba Yan: "I... I... Hello, Lu Ying."
Chen Xing immediately understood what had happened. This is just like when he had first met Tuoba Yan in the Yuwen residence back then!
Chen Xing's heart couldn't help but thump. Tuoba Yan falls in love at first sight again!
"I... will go out for a walk." Tuoba Yan, who seemed to have turned a bit silly, turned around and left the tent.
Xiao Shan: "???"
Chong Ming: "…..."
Chen Xing stroked his forehead; he really couldn't bear to see it, nor did he know whether this was actually a good or a bad thing.
Lu Ying said, "He's your friend?"
Xiao Shan was puzzled. "He's not usually like this ah. Tuoba Yan?"
Chen Xing took a deep breath and said with a smile, "Lu Ying, you seem to have made him... slightly... slightly..."
Lu Ying understood and laughed heartily. Chen Xing thought in his heart, This is troublesome. Poor Tuoba Yan, what are you supposed to do?
"It doesn't matter," Lu Ying said, his face plastered with an intoxicating smile. "He'll forget about me soon."
Chen Xing: "You still... ah, forget it, do as you see fit ba."
Chong Ming silently drank his milk tea, seemingly thinking of another matter, before he suddenly got up and left the tent. Chen Xing, remembering his purpose of coming over, asked Lu Ying, "What should I do about Xiang Shu's memory? Lu Ying, you have to help me with this."
Chen Xing had originally wanted to wait for Xiang Shu to inquire after the event in the stone tower, and take the opportunity then to tell him about all kinds of things that had transpired between them in the past. However, Xiang Shu's bewilderment and restlessness interrupted him; looking at his reaction and mood, Chen Xing felt a little worried that he would receive a big blow from it. But again, it was not at all easy to put it aside for the time being. And so, Chen Xing continued to hesitate: Should I or should I not come clean and tell him everything that happened in the past?
Lu Ying just smiled. "No need to worry, you will soon see the result. With him experiencing all manners of things with you these days, Shulü Kong has remembered past matters one by one. Now that the three parts of dragon power had blended in once more, given time, he will surely be able to remember."
Chen Xing interjected, "But time waits for no man ah!"
Lu Ying smiled mysteriously as he raised his index and middle finger to make a shushing gesture. "Let nature take its course. The solution might be close at hand ne?"
This remark was equal to "I'm not saying anything." Tuoba Yan came in once more and sat beside Xiao Shan, his movements stiff.
"I... Chen Xing? Lu Ying?" asked Tuoba Yan. "You... what were you talking about? Who is that brother that had just gone out?"
"No one," Chen Xing dully answered.
"No one," Lu Ying carefully looked at Tuoba Yan's expression as he said with a smile.
Being observed like this, Tuoba Yan suddenly blushed again; Chen Xing even saw the top of his head sending out smoke. Lu Ying, as a great yao that had lived for several thousand years, looked at Tuoba Yan as if looking at a child. He perhaps didn't take him seriously at all, much less feeling the slightest bit embarrassed. This was truly fatal for Tuoba Yan.
"All right ba," Chen Xing thus said. "Then... let's just celebrate the festival in Chi Le Chuan for these two days ba. I'm really tired after all this journey, and only wish that tomorrow I can just think about nothing. I'll take my leave first, I still need to make my visit to the Akele people."
"Please wait," Lu Ying said. "At tomorrow's Autumn Close Festival, in case you're not busy, could we, en... could you spend time with me and Xiao Shan?"
"I can!" Tuoba Yan interjected. "I'm always very idle. I'll come looking for you tomorrow?"
Chen Xing: "He didn't ask you! All right. Lu Ying, if Xiang Shu isn't busy, I'll..."
"Xiao Shan and I will wait for you in front of the Rourans' fire dragon before the sun sets," Lu Ying gently said. "If things go contrary to how you wish, there's no harm in bringing Shulü Kong as well."
Chen Xing: "?"
Lu Ying, however, had already made a "please" gesture. Chen Xing, who still didn't probe into the meaning of the words "if things go contrary to how you wish," had to politely get up and take his leave.
Yet Tuoba Yan was still sitting as before, giving out a bright and elegant smile as he looked at Lu Ying.
Lu Ying: "You... your friend has already left. You're not going to follow him?"
"Ah, yes, yes!" Tuoba Yan responded at once. "He's very busy today, but I'm not."
"Tuoba Yan! Come out here!" Chen Xing said, his voice somewhat angry.
Lu Ying laughed again, and only then did Tuoba Yan realize that Lu Ying meant to see the guest off. He hurriedly nodded while saying, "Then I... I will come to find you tomorrow."
Xiao Shan watched Tuoba Yan's figure leaving, and suddenly sensing a strand of huge crisis, he turned his head to examine Lu Ying.
"What? Jealous?" Lu Ying said to Xiao Shan, a smile plastered on his face.
Outside the tent.
"You just forget your friends when smitten with a new love!" Chen Xing simply didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
Tuoba Yan defended himself, "I don't! I just suddenly felt he was particularly dear for some reason. I have absolutely no other meaning..."
"What's inside your mind is all written on your face, okay?" Chen Xing was helpless. "Everyone can see it at a glance."
"Ah?" Tuoba Yan stood in a daze. "Is it that obvious?"
Chen Xing, losing his temper, just turned around and walked down the mountain road. Tuoba Yan hurriedly caught up with him and asked, "Wait, Chen Xing, Tianchi! What person is he? His surname is Lu, is he a Han?"
Chen Xing: "It's impossible for him to respond to your..."
"Exorcist," Chong Ming's voice suddenly rang out.
Chong Ming folded his hands across his chest as he leaned his back against the tree by the road. He then snapped his slender fingers impatiently as he casted a seemingly meaningful glance at Chen Xing.
Chen Xing halted his steps.
Chong Ming said, "Gu will wait for you in front of the Rourans' fire dragon tomorrow evening. Come over if you are free."
Chen Xing let out an "oh" and suddenly felt he had experienced the same thing before. This was just like what happened during that Autumn Deity the first time around.
"Where is he from?"
Tuoba Yan, unwilling to give up, inquired once Chong Ming had left, "Is he your friend? How long have you known each other?"
Chen Xing, who had wanted to tell Tuoba Yan about Lu Ying's identity, suddenly had a second thought. "Why don't you ask him these questions yourself? The answers coming out of his own mouth are definitely better than the ones from outsiders, am I right?"
Tuoba Yan suddenly felt enlightened and smiled. "What you said is correct.
"He appears just like an immortal...
"An immortal who stands well-above the common people. He's very beautiful..."
"You're so noisy!" Chen Xing said. "I don't want anything related to Lu Ying passing through my ears anymore. Tuoba Yan, since you're really idle with nothing to do, just go help the Akeles prepare for the horse race. Go, go, go."
Chen Xing listened to the point he felt his ears grew calluses, and only when they at last arrived outside the Akele camp did he finally manage to drive Tuoba Yan away before coming inside for a visit. King Akele had gone out to prepare for the Autumn Close Festival, since it was the first time in years they had returned to Chi Le Chuan to celebrate it, ever since their relationship with the Rourans had turned hostile.
After listening to Chen Xing's narration and learning that Youduo was guarding Carosha on the Deer God's behalf, the consort nodded as she smiled.
"Nadoro?" Chen Xing smiled. "Your big brother is still here, and might even come over to see you one day, too."
The consort said in a soft voice, "Thank you, thank you, all of you."
After hurriedly replying with "you're welcome," Chen Xing stretched out a hand and gently poked Nadoro's little hand with his little finger, which the baby grabbed as a response.
"Can I carry him in my arms?" Chen Xing asked.
"Of course." The consort smiled and gave Nadoro for Chen Xing to hug, but Chen Xing just barely held him when a series of sounds rang out from behind him. "The Great——
"——Chanyu has arrived!"
Xiang Shu, who had already rushed into the tent like a gust of wind even before the announcement was finished, angrily said, "What are you doing here?!"
Nadoro, startled, was scared to near tears. Chen Xing immediately turned his head and ordered Xiang Shu to keep his voice down so as to not frighten the baby.
"What are you doing?!" Holding Nadoro, Chen Xing turned around and saw Xiang Shu roll up his sleeves, looking as if he was about to hit someone. The consort immediately got up and saluted while trying to explain, "Great Chanyu, please quell your..."
"Why did you leave without leaving a word?!" Xiang Shu incredulously asked.
"Where could I have gone to?" Chen Xing asked. "Am I not perfectly fine in this place?"
Opening his eyes, Nadoro looked at the two people and suddenly burst out crying. Chen Xing immediately reprimanded, "Xiang Shu, if you don't coax him today, I won't let this pass!"
When he saw Nadoro crying, Xiang Shu suddenly felt totally embarrassed. The consort hurriedly said, "It's okay, it's okay. He cries all the time, just give this to him..."
Without any better option, Xiang Shu rushed to coax Nadoro. He stretched out his finger and gently stroked his stomach, only for Nadoro to end up kicking his wrist and crying even more.
"Is this how you coax a child?" Chen Xing criticized. "Can you do it or not? Make some funny faces ah."
Xiang Shu: "......"
"Pull the corners of your mouth up," Chen Xing said, "and push your nose up. Can you pull a face or not? I'm going to be angry!"
Helpless, Xiang Shu had no choice but to use his hands to pinch his own face for Nadoro to look at. Seeing it, Nadoro was stumped.
"Yes, yes, yes, just like that." Chen Xing laughed so wildly in his heart.
"Tilt your mouth to the left! Yes! That's it!" Hugging Nadoro, Chen Xing came closer to Xiang Shu. Nadoro reached out and, catching him off-guard, he managed to firmly grasp Xiang Shu's ear.
"You... let go!" Xiang Shu, whose ear was pulled by Nadoro, also couldn't force him to let go for fear it might hurt the baby's tender wrist. At this, Chen Xing burst into laughter so big that even tears came out.
The consort came out and saw her son pulling the Great Chanyu's ear, not wanting to let go. She then rushed over to coax him by handing him something: a necklace packed with beeswax and turquoise stone.
"Youduo gave it to him before he left," said the consort.
Sure enough, Nadoro stopped bawling after receiving his elder brother's belongings. Hugging the necklace, he gradually quieted down.
After leaving the Akele camp when the evening fell, Xiang Shu and Chen Xing followed the pathway as stars filled the whole sky of Chi Le Chuan.
"When I returned to the royal tent, I didn't see you." Xiang Shu frowned deeply as he angrily said, "When I ask again, there was also no trace of Tuoba Yan! Where have you been?"
"I've been in Chi Le Chuan all along!" Chen Xing said. "No need to be so anxious, okay?"
Xiang Shu: "Guwang thought you just left without saying anything again... you really, seriously made me burst with anger."
"Have I ever done such a thing?" Chen Xing was between laughter and tears.
"You really have!" Arriving under the ancient tree, Xiang Shu felt annoyed. "Not just once!"
Chen Xing: "When?"
Chen Xing recalled that it had happened only once, which should be that moment he had gone to Carosha. Several more occasions after that were clearly because he had been kidnapped, but Xiang Shu surely was including all of those in his head as well.
Xiang Shu suddenly turned mute again. Since he had known Chen Xing, he indeed didn't seem to have done anything without letting him know.
"You're just fond of becoming extremely anxious," Chen Xing said. "Are you sick?"
"Yes!" Xiang Shu lost his patience. "I am! Guwang is sick!"
"If you know, then that's good." Even though Chen Xing was totally amused in his heart, he said this with a serious face.
Xiang Shu obviously had gone to look for Chen Xing because he had something to say, but he had already forgotten about it. When he returned to the tent and found that Chen Xing wasn't there, a scene of Chen Xing leaving to a distant place without saying anything, Tuoba Yan in tow, somehow inexplicably appeared inside his mind. While he knew this was illogical, there seemed to be a deep-rooted shadow inside Xiang Shu's mind. He immediately felt irritated and looked for him all over the place, even dispatching guards to search down south. But knowing that it was a mere false alarm now, he hurriedly ordered the guards to come back to celebrate the festival.
"Go back to eat dinner." Xiang Shu was still not content.
Chen Xing: "There's still someone I want to see. Accompany me ba."
Xiang Shu didn't inquire more and just followed behind Chen Xing. The two people went around the Akele camp toward the easternmost part of Chi Le Chuan, to the far-end camp bordering the Yin mountains.
Hung in front of several abandoned carriages were animal hides to resist snow. There was a campfire in the middle, on which there was a stove currently boiling amber-colored sweets. The huge wolf White Mane lay on one side, its tail sweeping leisurely back and forth on the grass.
Sitting by the campfire was Sima Wei and...
"Youduo?" Chen Xing was surprised. "You came back?"
Youduo and Sima Wei, who were looking at the sweets inside the iron pot, both got up and saluted Chen Xing.
Sima Wei spoke on Youduo's behalf, "He came to see his former family and will go back to Carosha right away."
Youduo set forth, but Chen Xing said, "You’re not going to see your parents and little brother?"
Sima Wei replied for Youduo, "He already looked at them from far across the camp today."
Chen Xing knew that Youduo must've been worried about his family's living circumstances after they had moved to Chi Le Chuan. Now that he had seen it with his own eyes, he could feel at ease.
"What is this?" Chen Xing asked again.
"Sweets," Youduo opened his mouth and spoke this time.
Sima Wei: "Food for children to eat during the Autumn Close Festival."
Saying so, Sima Wei picked out some sweets inside the pot using a bamboo stick and gave it to Chen Xing. Xiang Shu said, "I won't eat."
Sounds of children playing in the night could be heard coming from the distance. This place wasn't far from the Xiongnu camp, and it seemed that the children weren't afraid of the drought fiend Sima Wei. Chen Xing saw that he had finally settled down and nodded. "Since tomorrow is the Autumn Close Festival, paint your face a little and go to Chi Le Chuan to celebrate the festival with them."
"Thank you," Sima Wei replied.
Xiang Shu had already told the Hu people not to mind Sima Wei. Since the people living in Chi Le Chuan had not experienced the drought fiend chaos like those in Chang'an, their understanding of living corpses was only that of bones of the dead. Naturally, they were not also afraid of him; on the contrary, the young children found him very interesting and often came to play with him.
Winds so strong it could level the land blew across the thousands of li prairie outside of Chi Le Chuan, yet the Yin mountains encircling this paradise on earth gently prevented it from wreaking havoc.
After finishing his visits, Chen Xing ate some of the sweets on the bamboo stick before handing it to Xiang Shu.
Xiang Shu's anger had completely subsided, but he was still feeling impatient. "I really don't want it, I'm not a child."
Chen Xing knew that Xiang Shu was the type who would deny with his lips but affirm in his heart. He had obviously eaten sweets during the Autumn Deity Festival, so Chen Xing just poked it to his face and said, "Try it ma. This is the 'drought fiend sweets' the drought fiend king has worked hard to make; you really aren't giving him any face like this."
Seeing that Chen Xing would poke the sticky sweets on his nose again, Xiang Shu could only resign. "All right! Don't paste it on my face!"
"Eat here," Chen Xing said. "I haven't bitten this side."
But Xiang Shu instead took a bite from the side Chen Xing had eaten. He frowned after one bite. "Too sweet."
It was quiet on the eve of the Autumn Close Festival. Chen Xing suddenly blushed, and borrowing the glimmer of the stars, he also saw Xiang Shu's face flushed all the way to the base of his ears.
Xiang Shu: "How about now? Let's return?"
"Your ear is so red," Chen Xing said.
"Because Nadoro pulled it," replied Xiang Shu. "That small boy is very strong."
Chen Xing: "But how come I remember that he was pulling the other side?"
Xiang Shu: "......"
Xiang Shu is 100% whipped confirmed.
Also for people who are not on Twitter, here’s a small cameo of them on Feitian 2021 Mid Autumn Extra. Although they didn’t make any appearance in the main story, they showed up right at the end!
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Elestrea.