The restaurant was nearly empty as most of them had left earlier to watch the "show". The "show" was now over, but not many of them returned. Thus, Xiang Shaoyun was able to enjoy some peace when he returned with Gong Qinyin and Lu Xiaoqing.
The three sat down, but none of them spoke first. The mood turned heavy. Xiang Shaoyun remained silent because he did not know who he should speak with first. Gong Qinyin remained silent because she did not know what to say. As for Lu Xiaoqing, she had too many things to say and did not know where to start. The thoughts of these youngsters could be pretty elusive at times.
Ultimately, Xiang Shaoyun was the first to break the silence. After taking a sip of liquor, he said, "Are both of you well?"
"Yes," the two replied at the same time.
But they sank into silence afterwards.
Xiang Shaoyun smiled helplessly and said, "Since both of you are not saying anything, let's drink in silence, then. I don't really mind either way."
"You...," Gong Qinyin and Lu Xiaoqing said at the same time again. They then looked at each other and said together, "Senior sister (Xiaoqing), you first!"
That caused the two to burst out laughing. And finally, the awkward mood was lifted. Xiang Shaoyun stared at the two women who looked like two flowers blooming when they smiled. Their beauty radiated like the sun. He couldn't help but praise, "When the two of you smile, even flowers lose color. How beautiful!"
"Are you mainly praising Senior Sister Gong and are only including me just because I am here as well?" Lu Xiaoqing asked bashfully.
Her question revealed the lack of confidence she had before Gong Qinyin. Gong Qinyin was a natural beauty with a flawless face and figure. In terms of strength, she was also stronger than Lu Xiaoqing. Thus, Lu Xiaoqing found herself completely incomparable to Gong Qinyin.
The only thing Lu Xiaoqing could compete for was that she had met Xiang Shaoyun first. She could sense that this Senior Sister Gong had some sort of feeling toward Xiang Shaoyun as well, which caused Lu Xiaoqing to instinctively feel a sense of crisis. Her way of coping was to compare herself to Gong Qinyin.
"Xiaoqing, what are you talking about? You are as pure as the purest lotus. Men would fight each other for you. Of course his praise is directed to you," said Gong Qinyin with a smile.
"Alright, stop praising each other. Both of you are beautiful in your own ways," said Xiang Shaoyun.
He thought those words could placate the two, but the two actually rolled their eyes, causing him to inwardly grumble, I'm praising them right? What is that reaction?
Finally, they managed to start a conversation when Lu Xiaoqing asked about Xiang Shaoyun's disappearance at the Golden River Valley and his appearance at the Cloud Margin Pavilion.
Xiang Shaoyun thus repeated the same story he told Xia Liuhui and Wang Zhenchuan. Like the two before, Lu Xiaoqing also sighed endlessly at the story. At the same time, she also lamented the excellent luck Xiang Shaoyun seemed to always have. Beside her, Gong Qinyin had some questions as well. But since Lu Xiaoqing was present, she was too embarrassed to ask anything.
The three continued chatting while the crowd in the restaurant grew. More and more people started paying attention to the three. Of course, most of the gazes were in fact focused on Gong Qinyin. There was no helping that as she was a disciple of an Emperor.
In fact, wherever she went in the Cloud Margin Pavilion, she would be the center of attention. As for Lu Xiaoqing, due to her pure and adorable appearance, she attracted many gazes as well.
For the disciples here, she did not feel as unreachable as Gong Qinyin, who was on a pedestal so high up they could only look up at her. For them, Lu Xiaoqing would be an easier woman to court.
Meanwhile, gazes of astonishment were also centered on Xiang Shaoyun. They had no idea who this young man was who had obtained the favor of the two beauties. The three couldn't stand being stared at, so they quickly paid the bill and left.
While strolling along a trail in a forested area within the outer pavilion, Gong Qinyin asked, "What do you plan to do next?"
"No plans for now. I will probably look for a place I can continue my cultivation in peace," said Xiang Shaoyun after rubbing his nose.
"You said Elder Long Hui wanted to accept you as his disciple, right? Why don't you agree to that? You can then stay and cultivate with us!" Lu Xiaoqing said expectingly. She was afraid that Xiang Shaoyun would leave once again, and she hoped dearly that he would stay.
Gong Qinyin also echoed the sentiment, "The Cloud Margin Pavilion is the best cultivation spot in the entirety of Cloud Margin City. If you stay, I believe your cultivation will skyrocket."
"Hehe, you really want me to stay?" Xiang Shaoyun asked with a faint smile.
"Yes," the two answered.
"Fine, I'll stay," Xiang Shaoyun agreed.
"Great! We can cultivate together in the future!" said the overjoyed Lu Xiaoqing.
A smile also bloomed on Gong Qinyin's face. Evidently, she was happy to hear that as well. Xiang Shaoyun then told the two to leave first as he could sense that Long Hui had arrived nearby.
Lu Xiaoqing couldn't bear to part with him. Before leaving, she reminded him repeatedly to stay. She also told him that if he was going to leave, she was willing to wander the world with him.
Xiang Shaoyun could sense the sincerity in her words, causing him to have a heavy feeling as he couldn't decide what to do about her. The current him had no romantic interest in any woman whatsoever. It was too hard to heal the wound he suffered from the woman he once loved.
After the two left, Long Hui met Xiang Shaoyun and brought him to a spot with no other people. There, he bowed slightly and said, "Greetings, young master. I'm done settling my affairs."
Xiang Shaoyun smiled and said, "You spent quite a while in there. Have you been looking for ways to break the curse?"
Long Hui shivered and quickly said, "N-no, young master."
"I can sense everything you do clearly. You won't be able to fool me," said Xiang Shaoyun with a sneer. He added, "Not even Emperors can break the curse. If I am unlucky enough to die, you will die as well. Think very carefully about what you will do next."
By this point, Long Hui was completely drenched in sweat. He did not dare to question any of what Xiang Shaoyun had told him and quickly declared his loyalty, "Long Hui will not dare to pull something like that anymore! In the future, I will stay deadly faithful to you, young master!"
Facing the prospect of death, the dignity of a King seemed so inconsequential.
"That better be true," warned Xiang Shaoyun. He added, "I need a suitable identity to stay and cultivate at the Cloud Margin Pavilion. However, I don't want to be a disciple here either. Any idea how to accomplish that?"
Long Hui thought for a bit before saying, "Then I will have to trouble the young master to assume the identity of my follower. But the resources a follower can enjoy is not comparable to what an inner disciple can enjoy."
"That doesn't matter. Follower it is then. So long as I can maintain my freedom, I don't mind," said Xiang Shaoyun indifferently. He would only stay temporarily anyway. He did not care about his identity here.
"Alright. Please come with me to the inner pavilion, then, young master. I need to tell you more," said Long Hui.
Thus, Xiang Shaoyun followed Long Hui into the inner pavilion. Little did he know that his decision to stay would court himself quite the amount of trouble in the days to come.Previous Chapter Next Chapter