All of those scenes flashed through his mind in the instant she shook her head. All of those scenes came crashing down upon him like a divine blade capable of severing heaven and earth.
For more than three years, over 1,000 days and 1,000 nights, she had been the only person in his heart, yet when he returned to see her during this Sea God Fate Match-making Convention, she wasn't even willing to remove her veil for him.
A sense of bitterness welled up in his heart, and it quickly transformed into an indescribable sense of agony.
"Big Brother..." Na'er called out gently from beside him, and Tang Wulin turned toward her in a wooden manner before giving her a smile.
Na'er was rooted to the spot. She'd never seen a smile like this from her big brother. It was stiff and awkward, and tinged with a hint of dejection and despair. Her heart suddenly began to throb with excruciating pain. It was so painful that words failed to describe her suffering. She reflexively held on tighter to his hand.
Meanwhile, Gu Yue looked on at him in the distance from beneath her veil, and unbeknownst to him, there were already tears in her eyes. Unbeknownst to him, her long eyelashes were trembling.
She wanted so badly to remove her veil, but she knew that she had to sever all ties with him in the most direct way possible.
On the train, they were discussing their future aspirations. There were lofty ones like Xie Xie's, plain ones like Xu Xiaoyan's, and serene ones like Xu Lizhi's.
There was also...
"Get married to you."
It was just a joke, but it had clearly made her very dejected. It was the first time he'd seen her so depressed; she was like a dead leaf shivering in the autumn wind.
Just what had happened to her? Perhaps her aspirations truly were very very heavy, so heavy that she had to continue carrying them even in the face of all of the doubts and objections she received from everyone.
She didn't want to hurt this group of friends, so as opposed to lying to them, she simply refrained from telling them anything.
"Everyone has their secrets; you don't need to force yourself to tell us something you don't want to reveal."
"What are your aspirations?"
"I want to join the army."
He wanted to become more powerful so he could find his parents and Na'er. He cast his gaze out of the window and smiled as he envisioned a bright future ahead.
She seemed to have noticed his expression, and a series of scenes flashed before her eyes...
On that night, her hair was drifting in the wind, and her eyes were no longer black. Instead, they'd taken on a faint purple hue.
There was a ball of light flickering over her palm, and a final hint of purple rose up before vanishing in a flash.
She was as beautiful and intriguing as a mystery on a moonlit night, and her eyes were like a pair of deep ancient wells.
Life was a journey, and there were passengers and scenery along the way.
I'll get off one day, but before that, I want to leave you with the most beautiful memories.
I want to live forever in your mind as I am now, and I wish I could be immortalized in the passing scenery.
The fourth segment of the match-making convention, Affinity Spanning Three Lives, drew to a conclusion.
However, the moment that Tang Wulin had been waiting so eagerly for was dashed by a gentle shake of her head.
Her wordless rejection filled his entire world with darkness. At this moment, all he wanted to do was leave this place as quickly as possible, then find a place to bury himself.
"Alright, seeing as Girl Number 17 doesn't wish to make her choice, we certainly won't be forcing the issue. However, there is still one final segment left, so you can't leave for now. Girls, please return to your original spots. All of your choices have been recorded, and now, we'll be commencing the final segment of the Sea God Fate Match-making Convention, Happily Ever After. According to the rules, the initiative will go to our male participants during the Happily Ever After segment, and the men will be able to make the final decisions. If you choose one of the celestial maidens who have chosen you, then we offer you our sincerest blessings and congratulate you on a successful match made.
"During this segment, our celestial maidens who have chosen a man for themselves will have 30 seconds to say anything they want to the man of their desires. In particular, if multiple celestial maidens have chosen the same man, then they'll need to work hard to fight off the competition and seize their man's heart. If a male participant chooses someone who hasn't chosen them, then they'll be given a minute to deliver a confession. However, I have to warn you that according to past statistics, there's a very high chance of failure if you choose a woman who didn't choose you. During the past editions of our Sea God Fate Match-making Convention, the failure rate under such circumstances hovers in excess of 80%.
"At the same time, there's also something else I need to tell you. During this final segment, even successful couples could be challenged by others to steal away the male or female party. Couples must work together to fight off all challengers, and you'll have reached the finishing line after successfully arriving on the shore of the Sea God's Lake. Alright, without further ado, we'll be commencing our Happily Ever After segment right away. I'll be drawing numbers to determine the sequence as usual. First up, is... Xie Xie! Ah, I didn't think we'd get to you so quickly. Looks like we can offer you our congratulations in advance. However, do take note that your challengers may issue their challenges now."
Xie Xie looked around at all of the male participants in a vicious manner. One of the men standing beside him wore a resigned expression as he said, "Don't worry, bro, no one's going to challenge you; you're the only one among us with enough balls to marry a Titan Giant Ape!"
Xie Xie gave that man a vicious glare before slowly drifting forward the front of the group atop his lotus leaf in an elated manner.
"I choose Yuanen Yehui!" he yelled even before his lotus leaf had come to a complete standstill.
"Oi oi, it's not your turn to choose yet," Lan Muzi chuckled.
Xie Xie puffed out his chest in a justified manner, and said, "I don't care! I'm choosing her no matter what; there's no other choice!"
Yuanen Yehui also drifted forward atop her lotus leaf, and said, "I don't know whether it was the right decision to choose this embarrassment of a man, but all I want to do is get out of here as quickly as possible."
Xie Xie immediately burst into laughter. "I'm yours from now on!"
He gently tapped the tip of his foot onto his lotus leaf, propelling himself directly toward Yuanen Yehui.
Yuanen Yehui really wanted to slap him into the water, but in the instant that he held onto her hand, she knew that she couldn't continue treating him in the same manner as she had in the past.
Even after so many years, he never gave up, and he was constantly working tirelessly so he could be worthy of her; how could she have failed to see all this? Just because she didn't accept him didn't mean she paid no attention to him.
He had many flaws, but his greatest strengths were his perseverance and his loyalty in love. He had never expressed any interest toward any other woman, and was constantly hanging around her.
Perhaps he didn't know this, but what had truly moved her wasn't all his confessions, and nor was it the painstaking efforts he'd made to cultivate for her sake. Instead, it was the bucket of water that he left on her doorstep every morning back when she was living in the dormitory for working students.
She liked the sight of him working for her sake. She liked the calm and earnest expression that was tinged with tenderness in his eyes as he filled the bucket for her.
She had unintentionally caught sight of that expression on his face one day, and it had tugged directly on her heartstrings.
In her heart, she'd already chosen him long ago, but she was afraid; afraid that she was just an impulsive crush for him.
However, he had stood the test of time, baring his determination and loyalty for her to see day after day, year after year. His efforts finally bore fruit, and he secured the heart of the woman of his dreams.
"Alright, I hereby announce the first successful match made during this Sea God Fate Match-making Convention, Yuanen Yehui and Xie Xie! Congratulations to the two of you; you two will be blessed by the Sea God and congratulated by the entire academy. We hope your love spans the next three lives, and that you may live happily ever after."
Specks of light erupted into the air from around the lake, exploding in the sky to form vibrant fireworks.
Xie Xie's face was illuminated by the light of the fireworks, and his usual nonchalant smile had completely disappeared. He held onto both of Yuanen Yehui's hands, and whispered, "Yuanen, I'll be good to you; I promise. I'll use my life to protect and cherish you, and I'm willing to give up even the entire world for your sake. I love you, my heart is true, and I've only ever loved you in my entire life."
Yuanen Yehui stared blankly up at him, and her heart fluttered at the sight of his serious smoldering expression. She lowered her head slightly in a shy manner, and made an affirmative sound in response.
Xie Xie was unable to control his emotions any longer, and he abruptly enveloped her in a tight hug. On this occasion, he wasn't pushed away. Instead, a pair of arms gently wound themselves around his waist.Previous Chapter Next Chapter