Xue Wei was as puzzled as everyone else present, though his reasons were completely different.
The many spectators were of the impression that this young woman was infatuated with Xue Wei, and that she had feared that the love of her life had been gay, but Xue Wei knew better.
The killing intent that Chu Huiyin had shown in their last encounter was not for show. Xue Wei was certain that this woman wished to rip him to shreds at any given moment, so the infatuation that the others saw was clearly just a method to get close to him.
Why was she so interested in him? Why was she in such a panic when she thought he was into guys? It was clear that that had been no act but rather her actual emotions as she had moved almost with a frenzy.
She had not cared the least about her reputation by cutting his arm and tasting his blood. It was strange indeed.
Meanwhile, Xue Wei grumbled about the fact that he had been cut. Her nail had cut him as if he was made from tofu, and she had not cared about his wellbeing at all.
Furthermore, how was she capable of determining whether or not he had pure yang energy within him by simply tasting his blood? Xue Wei was certain that even if he tasted his own blood, he would not taste anything else other than the metallic taste of blood itself.
Chu Huiyin's face, which previously had an expression of extreme anger and malice, turned calm once more.
"Please don't spread false rumors," she said to the man who had said that Xue Wei had long since lost his purity, that he had given himself to the prophet. "Young Hero Xue Wei is a true dragon amongst men. Why would he fancy another man?" she asked coquettishly, as if she was a young woman that had been wronged.
Everyone was rather unsure of what had happened. Only a few experts, the Crown Prince and Tie Haolong included, were frowning and looking at Chu Huiyin with distrust; everyone else had long since dismissed her violent reaction as mere jealousy.
Xue Wei knew that talking with this Ice Harpy about the Wayfarers would be unwise. He could possibly reveal her true identity this way, but then he would run the risk of revealing the fact that he cared for someone among the caravan of Wayfarers that Wang Xiaoyun belonged to, which would lead to her unleashing her fury upon them.
It was clear that she hated Xue Wei. That hatred would extent to anyone he cared for, and thus they would become easy targets. Xue Wei was not willing to see this, so he kept his mouth shut about the Wayfarers.
Then a thought hit him. The strongest person he had met was without a doubt Lan. Although this Chu Huiyin was strong, she did not seem as strong as him, so was it possible for Xue Wei to perhaps get some help from an unexpected front?
Just as Xue Wei was about to proclaim his rather dubious love for Lan, he stopped.
Chu Huiyin suddenly turned around and looked at him; her eyes were sharp like two swords, and she seemed to be trying to swallow him with her eyes alone.
"Do not even think about that," she said with a warning voice. "Lying to me will do you no good. Now be a good boy and accompany me," she ordered. Xue Wei, who had schemed to put Lan and Chu Huiyin up against one another, could only breathe out and shake his head. The words he wanted to say were forever buried in his chest.
"Please enjoy the evening," Xue Wei said to his four newfound friends before he allowed Chu Huiyin to drag him with her towards a remote corner.
There were a few places to sit down, and the Ice Harpy sank herself into the soft cushions once she took a seat, after which she patted a cushion next to her. "Sit," she said. However, although a warm and soft smile played on her lips, Xue Wei could sense the murderous air behind it.
He had no choice but to sit, and he felt exhausted. This woman would not leave him be, but she would not talk straight either.
"So, are you close to Prophet Lan?" Chu Huiyin asked after a bit of time. Xue Wei, who now knew that lying would get him nowhere, just shrugged his shoulders.
"We spent two weeks together," he said, and then the Ice Harpy nodded her head. "Makes sense," she said, "he has always had a peculiar attraction to the odd and strange, the rare and the abnormal."
"Well, thank you," Xue Wei said dryly, clearly understanding that he was the one being described as odd, strange, rare, and abnormal.
"It was not a compliment," Chu Huiyin said smilingly. Xue Wei said nothing as a maid approached them, bringing with her snacks and drinks.
Both Chu Huiyin and Xue Wei accepted a cup of rice wine and a few snacks that they placed on the table that was next to the cushions. The maid went away shortly after.
Neither spoke for some time, just drinking the sake and eating snacks.
"You know I will kill you one day, right?" Chu Huiyin suddenly said. "I hate you. I hate you more than anything else in this world, so you will have to die by my hands. I want to savor the feeling of hunting you. I want to experience you being in despair. I want you to beg for mercy before you die."
Chu Huiyin’s eyes had an insane gleam to them, and her voice was getting lower and lower, as if she feared that someone would listen in on her abrupt confession. Each and every single word was filled with malice; her eyes were lit with madness, and her lips were curled into a sinister smile that seemed to already feel the pleasure of torturing him throughout.
"I don't believe that you can," Xue Wei said hesitatingly, almost surprised at the discovery he made, and his words caused the smile on Chu Huiyin's lips to freeze. Her maddened eyes looked at him. "Why not?" she asked with a raspy and hoarse voice.
"If you could kill me, you would have done it already. I know you hate me, and when we were alone in the Tie mansion, you could have killed me with no one being the wiser as to what had happened.
"You could have killed me at any time in Tiankong City, and all the blame would have been on the Li family. On the way here, we encountered beast hordes and bandits, no doubt roused by you, but even then you did not kill me."
"So even when you dream of killing me – you clearly want to do it more than anything else, even now you wish to kill me – why don't you just do it?"
"Could it be because of Uncle?" Xue Wei was speaking lowly too, ensuring that no one heard them. When Xue Wei mentioned his uncle, Chu Huiyin’s face changed; she grimaced and looked away.
"Don't mention this ever again," she said through gritted teeth, and stood up. "I better go and greet the Crown Prince again. Being with you is such a bore," she continued, and then she walked away, vanishing into the crowd of people.
Xue Wei stayed in the corner for a bit of time. "It seems that Uncle is not as weak as a Heavenly Warrior," Xue Wei muttered to himself. "For this woman to fear him, he might even be a Saint?" Xue Wei was unsure. He had never before seen anyone above the initial three Warrior ranks, but he understood that it was not as simple as it seemed.
Still, this woman had feared his uncle, so was the hatred she felt for him also due to this Uncle, or was there some other reason?
Xue Wei was deep in thought for a long time before he shook his head and smiled wryly. With the information he had, it was simply impossible for him to be able to reach any conclusions. Since he could not do so, thinking about it was a waste of time.
Downing the rest of the rice wine in his cup, Xue Wei left it on the table and started mingling with the many geniuses in the hall.
All of the ones from the last year's Genius Camp looked at Xue Wei with a mixture of reverence and fear, while the ones who were to go into the following year's recruitment camp were filled with curiosity and burning with an urge to battle him.
Unfortunately for all of them, he was at the fourth layer of the Earth Warrior rank, a rank way above any of them. This meant they did not even have the qualifications to challenge, and none of the fourth layer Earth Warriors from the previous year's Recruitment Camp were silly enough to challenge him either. They knew of his might; challenging him was the same as asking to have their faces slapped in public.
The rest of the banquet happened without a hitch. Many of the younger geniuses spent most of their time on the stage that had been prepared, sparring against one another and displaying their skills.
The older geniuses all chatted and did their best to build friendships and find comrades.
They all understood that now it was time for them to enter the real world. It was time for them to engage in frenzied battle for the land, its people, and its resources.
In their coming life, they would encounter Beast hordes time and time again, so the more friends they had, the more people were likely to assist them in the war.
With more allies, they were also more likely to survive. Tie Haolong had also spent the entire night chatting with one captain after another, trying to get new allies and good friends.
Everyone knew that Xue Wei was in Tie Haolong's group, which meant everyone had been polite and friendly towards him. To be able to fight with Xue Wei would prove beneficial to them all.
It was well past midnight when Xue Wei and Tie Haolong reunited with Xiao Jie, Gu Dixing, and Song Yuyan. Together, they headed back to the Tie mansion.
Just as they were about to leave, Chu Huiyin appeared again. She was beaming at Xue Wei this time. "We will see each other again soon," she promised, and waved her hand delicately at Xue Wei as they withdrew from the party.
For most of the time on their way back, no one spoke, but as soon as they had left the royal grounds, Tie Haolong looked at Xue Wei and asked with a low voice, "That woman, she is not a good one. Do you truly know her?"
"I have encountered her a few times," Xue Wei acknowledged, "but I dislike her as much as she dislikes me," he continued.
"We both wish to kill each other with a hatred that I cannot really explain. She hates me to the bones, but the feeling is mutual. Just sharing a room with her today has made me feel uncomfortable."
Xue Wei was not overreacting. His uncle was a Primordial Beast Hunter, and Xue Wei wished to become one too. He truly wanted nothing more than to kill this Ice Harpy, but he also understood that he did not have the strength to do so right now.
In fact, the entire capital did not have the power to deal with her, and thus he had stayed quiet. But in his heart, he had already decided that there would be a day when he would kill this Ice Harpy.
He would never let her kill him, but one day he would become stronger than her and kill her. This he vowed to himself while walking back to the Tie Mansion.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
There was no chapter yesterday and there will be 2 chapters today instead. I was at a convention where I was promoting my books, it took a lot longer than I had expected, for that I apologize.
ART PAGE! come and have a look at Xue Wei! - New art of Wang Xiaoyun is up!
Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking