The light from Xie Xie's Twin Dragon Dagger faded, and Xie Xie stared blankly at the expression of delicate indignation on Yuanen Yehui's face.
He couldn't believe that this was real. In this moment, Yuanen Yehui was so alluring to behold; it was as if she'd become a completely different person compared to her normal cold and aloof self.
Despite how cold and emotionless she always appeared, she was still a human, and thus, she was plagued by human emotions.
Looking at the dumbfounded man before her, Yuanen Yehui couldn't help but want to give him a slap to the face.
The two of them descended from the sky and landed on their respective lotus leaves.
Yuanen Yehui's cheeks were slightly flushed as she let go of him.
Only then did Xie Xie truly understand what had just happened, and he let loose an abrupt howl as he leaped high up into the air.
He then immediately recalled back to how Xu Lizhi had turned elation into tragedy by falling into the water, and he hurriedly controlled his own body as he drifted back down onto his lotus leaf as gently as a feather.
"Yuanen! Yuanen, I love you! I'll do whatever you say from now on! From this day forth, I belong to you!"
Instead of landing on his own lotus leaf, Xie Xie landed on Yuanen Yehui's leaf instead. Xu Lizhi may have been a lot fatter than him, but Xie Xie had far thicker skin than Xu Lizhi could ever hope to acquire. At this moment, Xie Xie had already thrown his arms around Yuanen Yehui and was crying out with elation.
"Hey, hey! Watch yourself! We've not even up to the final segment yet," Tang Yinmeng said with a smile on her face.
Tang Wulin also heaved a long sigh of relief upon seeing this. Finally! After so many years of extensive effort, Xie Xie had finally obtained Yuanen's heart.
He was genuinely happy for them, and at the same time, he reflexively cast his gaze toward the distance.
Lizhi had succeeded, Xie Xie had succeeded, what about him?
In a rare display of tolerance, Yuanen Yehui didn't immediately send Xie Xie flying. Instead, she was merely putting up token resistance in his arms as she whispered, "Put me down! If you keep embarrassing me like this, I'm going to change my mind!"
"You can't!" Xie Xie hurriedly let go of Yuanen Yehui, and his breathing was accelerating noticeably as he appraised her gorgeous features from close quarters. He had finally succeeded after so many years of painstaking effort!
Xie Xie held onto Yuanen Yehui's hand with his left hand, while drawing his own lotus leaf over using his soul power with his right hand. He then stepped onto his own lotus leaf before leading her back to his original spot.
All of his uneasiness, dejection, and anxiety had vanished, and his eyes were practically glowing. He was looking a lot like a triumphant rooster, and Yuanen Yehui was beginning to wonder whether choosing him had been the correct decision.
At this moment, there was only one woman left who hadn't made her choice.
"According to our rules, any female participants who haven't removed their veils can only make their choices at the end. Girl Number 17, would you like to choose a man?"
All of Tang Wulin's awkwardness instantly vanished in that instant. He cast his gaze toward the veiled woman around 100 meters away, and everyone else also had their eyes on her, especially those who had already deduced who she was.
Xie Xie and Yuanen Yehui had also fallen silent as they appraised Girl Number 17. They then glanced at the three women by Tang Wulin's side, and grim expressions appeared on their faces.
Why was she still unwilling to reveal herself? Wasn't she supposed to be elated by his return? Just what had happened between the two of them?
Following a brief silence, Girl Number 17 gently shook her head right before everyone's expectant eyes.
It was only a very minute shake of her head, but Tang Wulin felt as if he'd been plunged into a glacier upon seeing this.
She had shaken her head. She hadn't chosen anyone, which meant that she hadn't chosen him. She didn't even take off her veil.
This undoubtedly indicated that she had no love interests, and nor did she have any intention of finding a mate during this match-making convention.
Tang Wulin felt as if his heart had been constricted by something, making it difficult for him to breathe.
Tears welled up in his eyes as a wry smile appeared on his face.
Memories of the past began to surface in his mind.
Why? Why didn't you choose me?
All encounters were reunions following lengthy separations.
He was written off by everyone due to his lackluster aptitude, he got into a fight with his roommate on his first day of school, and he was split into the worst class, class five. Everything had been designed by fate.
He had once been lost and helpless. Regardless of how much mental fortitude he had, in the darkness, he was still only a vulnerable child.
All of a sudden, a ray of light shone down onto his life.
It was a beautiful day with only a few light clouds in the sky, and the gentle breeze carried with it the faint fragrance of flowers.
He was sweating profusely on the running track when he had a chance encounter with a girl in white. She had a set of delicate facial features, a head of long black hair, and a pair of bright black eyes. There seemed to be a unique presence about her.
"Why are you wearing metal chains?"
"To improve my physical constitution! The teachers are a bit stricter with me. You're really impressive, though."
During mealtime, she seemed to have noticed his astonishing appetite and gave him her steamed bun.
"I can't finish this; you can have it."
It was a simple gesture, but it immediately brought them closer together. Everything was so natural, as if she were an old friend of his.
Her name was Gu Yue. She had secrets hidden deep within her like an ancient well, yet she was also like the bright moon that lit his way as he traversed through the darkness. [Gu Yue's name literally means "ancient moon" where 古(gu) means ancient and 月(yue) means moon, hence the reference to an ancient well and the moon is kind of like a play on words that dissects her character.]
He was a pitiful blade of Bluesilver Grass, while she was blessed by the elements. He was struggling to keep himself afloat, while she was constantly on the ascendancy, and they met again following a long separation.
No matter what your agenda is, I'll always love you.
Their cooperation during the Class Promotion Tournament and the mutual assistance they gave one another in the Spirit Ascension Plane had cemented their friendship.
After he'd returned with his entire body smelling like roast meat, she was able to immediately detect that he'd met another girl. When his crystallized body had plummeted from the sky, she'd caught him without any hesitation so his body wouldn't shatter.
She was cold and aloof to everyone else, but she always had a warm smile for him.
When asked whether she wanted to join the Tang Sect, her answer was no.
He was afraid, afraid that she would leave him, just like his parents and his little sister had.
"Who says I'm leaving? I'm only choosing not to join the Tang Sect; it's not like I'm leaving class zero. The organization I'm joining doesn't change where I'll be. I won't leave; I'll always be with you."
During their youth, their relationship had been like a gentle nurturing stream.
On the soul bus, the sea was situated to the north, and a vast expanse of blue stretched for as far as the eyes could see as the sky fused as one with the sea on the horizon.
Beautiful scenery flashed past the window as he dozed off, and he called out his little sister's name as a silver figure flashed through his dreams. When he reopened his eyes, he was greeted by the sight of a surprised Gu Yue.
She gave him a gentle smile and handed him a glass of water that was of just the right temperature. It was only plain water, but it nurtured his heart and soul.
The sunlight shone down onto her face, giving her skin a translucent appearance. He suddenly realized that she was so beautiful.
She gently lay her head on his shoulder, and her breathing became slow and steady.
Before he knew it, he'd also closed his eyes, and all of his exhaustion seeped away in her warm and comforting presence.
This was a completely wordless scene, like the silent films of old.
For you, I can die with a smile.
During the Skysea Alliance Tournament, she was targeted by a surprise attack that was too abrupt for her to evade, and she could only resign herself to a horrible fate.
All of a sudden, her body was enveloped by warmth. He'd used his own back to shield her.
Crimson flowers of blood blossomed before her eyes, but there was no sorrow nor regret on his face; only a faint smile.
He really wanted to be with her forever, but if one of them had to die, he'd much rather let it be himself. He really wanted to protect her for all of eternity, but this would be the final time.
She panicked. She unleashed life’s light of the highest degree of purity, repairing his grievously wounded body at the expense of her own life force.
She didn't care about anything else; all she wanted was for him to live.
There was no bond in this world stronger than that forged between two people who had been through life and death together.
Even after growing up, you're still you.
Time flew by like a speeding arrow.
Three years passed, and for some reason, her attitude toward him had changed. She wasn't as close with him as she'd been in the past, and she'd grown quite distant.
They passed the sternest test, but she was unwilling to accept her reward.
“She hit Wulin so I don’t want to be her disciple.”
She turned to him without any hesitation nor regret, and gave her reason in a completely calm yet implacable manner.
Thank you, thank you for still being the same person who would do anything for me. I can see now that nothing has changed.
I'll return when I obtain the power to fight for fairness.
She was picked on, and he remained completely fearless in the face of the elder's authority, standing by her side in a manner that was neither arrogant nor humble. He was fearless because the one being picked on was someone whom he had to protect no matter what.
"Is there fairness in Shrek Academy?"
The answer was final and disdainful.
He felt completely powerless. In the face of absolute power, was he really unable to protect even his closest companions?
He raised his head.
"Esteemed elders, I relinquish the right to enter Shrek Academy. I'll return someday when I have the power to fight for fairness."
For her, he was willing to give up on his dreams.
Even if the entire world were to turn its back on you, I would remain by your side.
He didn't return for an entire night, and she waited in complete silence.
Her body was leaned against a large tree, and she had her eyes closed. There were several drops of dew on her long eyelashes, under the light of the morning sun, she was like the most beautiful artistic masterpiece.
He stared blankly at her, and that scene became a memory that would remain with him for the rest of eternity.
"Why are you sleeping here?"
"You didn't come back last night, so I came to look for you. I saw that you were still meditating, so I didn't disturb you."
She had said this in a calm and nonchalant manner, as if she hadn't done anything worthy of note.
He wore a smile on his face, and for some reason, as he looked at her, he didn't want to say the words "thank you".
Life didn't need to be filled with excitement and exhilaration. At times, peace and serenity were enough.
Even if we disband, I'll still follow you.
There was a dispute in the group, and everyone else opposed his opinion.
To everyone else, using spirit alloys to construct battle armor was far too much of a distant pipe dream.
However, she believed in him unconditionally and stood by his side without any hesitation.
"Alright, maybe I really am being overly ambitious."
"No! I won't use any metal other than spirit alloy to make my one-word battle armor!"
Her stubbornness and determination had filled his entire heart with warmth.
With you by my side, I'd have nothing to fear even with the entire world as my enemy.
Soul fusion, I become a part of you, and you become a part of me.
In the face of an unfathomably powerful opponent, he still stood resolutely before her. He knew that defeat was certain, but he wasn't fearful in the slightest.
He was a man who could accept her haughtiness and wilfulness.
He was a man who could lay down his life without any hesitation to protect her.
Her eyes gradually glazed over, and she spread open her arms before enveloping him in a tight hug from behind.
There was no hesitation; only unconditional trust and sacrifice. It was as if they were back to their childhood days again.
At the time, he was still a little boy who admired his senior disciple sister, and she was a little girl who liked to get into verbal arguments.
It was as if the boundless sky were hanging above their heads to bear witness to their glory.
They had won, yet they were also unconscious. Even so, her hands seemed to have become a part of his body, and they refused to be pried open no matter what. Thus, they sealed their victory and glory with an unbreakable embrace.
Their affinity may be severed from time to time, but there was an eternal connection between their hearts and martial souls. They were like each other's unbreakable chains that clung tightly onto one another.
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Gosh dang it, these stupid onions, why did I have to chop onions while translating 😠