Gu Qingyu and Mo Bai walked along the path. Eventually, they arrived at the top of the imperial city walls. She saw the crowd gathered at the base of the wall. About a hundred or so men were gathered there, leading them was a handsome man dressed in dark green.
That person felt oddly familiar...who is he? And where is Xie Zang? He's late, isn't he going to help me recover my memories?
Qi Wan saw her as well, he shouted in glee, "Boss!"
"Mo Bai, he is..." Gu Qingyu turned to him with furrowed brows, but Mo Bai smiled and shook his head. He took her hand silently, and she returned his gesture reflexively with a tight grip.
Qi Wan watched their interaction with a frown. "Boss! What's the matter with you? Why are you wearing Nanyou's phoenix robe?"
"Because..." Gu Qingyu stared into Mo Bai's eyes, and his eyes were full of joy. "I am...the empress of Nanyou..."
"What?" Qi Wan's beautiful green eyes were full of disbelief. Then the realisation hit him, and he turned to glare at Nanyou's emperor. "Mo Bai, you bastard! What did you do to her?"
"You have called me a bastard. Tell me, what can I do?" Mo Bai smirked at Qi Wan then turned back to Gu Qingyu. "Yu'er, this is your coronation ceremony."
"What?" Gu Qingyu was puzzled.
"It's a formal ceremony, to crown you as my empress." Mo Bai's fingers gently swept across her cheeks. His eyes were soft despite the shadow cast on his face by the harsh sunlight.
Gu Qingyu squinted a little against the sun before she had to look away due to discomfort. "Okay."
Qi Wan was skilled in magic, so he could hear their conversation. As soon as he heard this, he immediately took two steps forward and called out to her. "Don't go! You're Gu Qingyu! I'm Qi Wan!"
Gu Qingyu stopped in her tracks. Suddenly, a blurry face appeared in her mind. Although she couldn't see his face clearly, she could feel him smiling at her. He wore a dark green robe most of the time, and no matter what she asked, he would always help her. She could almost make out his face, it's as if the fog in her mind was clearing. He was quite good looking, like a handsome young master from a noble household. His hair is tied up with dark green ribbons, and his face always had a warm, sunny smile. He seemed to have helped her a lot and went through many things with her. The moments that they spent together trickled into her mind. He seemed to call her...
“Boss!” Qi Wan shouted again from the base of the wall.
Gu Qingyu followed the voice and whipped back. "Qi Wan?"
Qi Wan was also shocked, and he was immediately overjoyed, "Yeah, it's me! Qi Wan!"
Mo Bai's eyes flicked, and he looked at Gu Qingyu with some worry. His medicine has failed? Faint black lights appeared in his hands.
But right then, Gu Qingyu turned back again, took Mo Bai's hand and beamed at him. "Mo Bai, let's go!"
"Well, okay." Mo Bai breathed a sigh of relief and walked away with Gu Qingyu in tow.
"Boss!" Qi Wan called after her again and again.
When Qi Wan's voice eventually grew distant, Gu Qingyu looked at Mo Bai and pleaded sweetly, "Mo Bai, I'm hungry! Can we go and eat something first?"
"Whatever you want." Mo Bai stroked her head lovingly and led the pair in a different direction.
Yay!" Gu Qingyu smiled at his reply and touched the ornament above her head. "This is so heavy..."
"Then we'll take this off first." Mo Bai said after a short pause.
"Yes please!" Gu Qingyu concurred. She gently plucked the crown-like ornament from her head and a maid waiting at the side immediately rushed over with her head down and stretched out her hands to hold the accessories. The maid held up those accessories as her head remained lowered, as though she had been holding up Gu Qingyu's head instead.
After a short walk, the pair arrived at the dining hall. Gu Qingyu drooled as she watched the maidservants bring out plate after plate of delicacies.
Mo Bai laughed at her animated enthusiasm. "Dig in, Yu'er."
"Righty-ho!" Gu Qingyu said without a word, she immediately picked up the chopsticks and began her feast.
Mo Bai didn't touch his set of tableware. He just sat quietly and watched her with gentle eyes. It took Gu Qingyu quite a while to finish all the food on the table. She finally set her chopsticks down with a soft snap, wiped the grease from her lips. "I'm done, let's go."
"Sure." Mo Bai nodded and stood up, gently taking her hand in his again. Gu Qingyu also held onto Mo Bai's hand and followed him.
Outside of the dining hall was a magnificent lobby that made Gu Qingyu feel a little emotional. She looked around curiously and played around with things.
"Yu'er, if you like it, it's yours." Mo Bai patted her head lightly, "Go."
"Um..." Gu Qingyu nodded, one of the maids had returned with that ornament and handed it to her.
At this moment, a strong gust of wind swept through the lobby. Mo Bai immediately stood in front of Gu Qingyu, his imperial robe billowed in the wind. After the wind subsided, Mo Bai smiled softly and held her hand. "Long time no see, Leader of Ye."
Ye Jin walked in from the entrance of the lobby, with hints of rage on his face. "If I could, I never want to see you again." But the anger in his features dissipated the moment he saw Gu Qingyu, and he flinched. "Xiao Yu'er!"
"Xiao Yu'er?" Gu Qingyu pondered a little, then blurted out, "You're Ye Jin!"
"It's me! Xiao Yu'er!" Ye Jin was estatic to see her, he summoned Ghost Howl and cast caution to the wind. "Don't worry, I'll save you right now!"
"Yu'er, be good, hide behind me now." Mo Bai lowered his head and looked at Gu Qingyu, his eyes full of tenderness. "I will protect you."
"...Hmm!" She returned his gaze with one of complete trust. She turned around and hid behind Mo Bai.
"You've gone too far, Emperor of Nanyou. I warned you what happens to people that cross me!" Ye Jin's eyes seemed to be set ablaze in an instant. He waved his sword and sent a blue wave of energy flying towards Mo Bai.
Gu Qingyu was shocked and shielded Mo Bai without thinking. "No!"
Ye Jin was also shocked, and immediately withdrew his attack. The wave stopped a hair's breadth from Gu Qingyu. But taking back such a strong attack came with consequences, even for someone as powerful as Ye Jin, blood trickled from the corner of his lips.
"Yu'er!" Mo Bai immediately came up, grabbed Gu Qingyu by her shoulders and pulled her back. "Are you all right?"
"I'm fine..." Gu Qingyu looked at Mo Bai, then turned around to look at Ye Jin, with a little guilt in her eyes. "I'm sorry..."
"Xiao Yu'er, you don't need to apologize." Ye Jin smiled, that smile tugged at her heart.
"Do you still want to fight? In her presence?" Mo Bai never expected Gu Qingyu to shield him. He raised his head and glared at Ye Jin.
Ye Jin pursed his lips and smiled at Gu Qingyu. "Xiao Yu'er, wait for me." And with a gust of wind, he disappeared, leaving behind only a wisp of blue smoke. Gu Qingyu stared blankly at the place where he had originally stood.
"Yu'er, what's wrong? Did he actually hurt you?" Mo Bai looked at her with concern while checking her pulse.
Gu Qingyu shook her head. "No....I'm a little tired. I want to rest first."
"Okay, I'll bring you back to your room." Mo Bai nodded and took Gu Qingyu's hand again.
Gu Qingyu kept up with Mo Bai, and cast a longing at the lobby. Everything looked the same.
On the way to her room, Mo Bai suddenly stopped in his steps.
"What's wrong?" Gu Qingyu looked around in confusion, nothing seemed unusual.
"Yu'er, thank you..." Mo Bai turned and wrapped her in a tight hug. "Thank you..."
"Don't need to thank me." Gu Qingyu patted his back. She tried to lean back to look at him, but he wouldn't loosen his grip. "What's wrong?"
"I'm sorry, Yu'er." Mo Bai's voice trembled slightly. "I'm sorry."
"Why are you apologising?" Gu Qingyu tilted her head in doubt. Mo Bai's chin rested on her shoulder, even after tilting, she could not get a look at his face.
"Yu'er, you know, this is the first time anyone has tried to protect me like that..." Mo Bai's shoulders were shaking as well. "I'm sorry..."
You, why are you apologising? Are you feeling guilty?
Gu Qingyu smiled and circled her arms around him. "It's okay, Mo Bai. I would be devastated if you died."
"Devastated?" Mo Bai echoed her words in a whisper. Then he suddenly pushed her off him and turned his back towards her. The fierce sunlight beat down on his golden dragon robe. His gentle temperament had faded, replaced by a stern, kingly air.
"Mo Bai?" Gu Qingyu grabbed onto a nearby tree, she almost lost her balance.
"Yu'er, I will prove everything to you! I am the emperor and I will give you everything! The world is yours, even my throne!" The tremble in his voice was replaced by determination. "If you still want to leave, after recovering your memories, I...I won't keep you. But before that, please, just give me some time."
The maid on the side of the path immediately knelt down when she saw them and lowered her head to the ground, but her eyes were filled with disbelief. What did his majesty just say? Even his throne? Does he plan to give up the entire kingdom just for her?
Gu Qingyu watched his back, her eyes filled with shock and horror. Finally, she replied with raised lips. "Okay!"
Mo Bai no longer stood rooted to the ground, he strode off. Without that mask of gentleness, he was just an emperor who wanted to give everything to the one that held his heart. He dared not look back because he was afraid that he would regret it. He was afraid that if he turned around, he couldn't help but imprison her again and make her miserable. Afraid that if he saw her, he couldn't help but hurt her again, and become that insane, obsessive version of himself.
In that moment, he simply wanted to give her everything, including freedom. Including Ye Jin.
That’s why he did not dare to look back. He was afraid that when he sees her, he will disregard everything and go back on his own word.
Therefore, If you still want to leave, after recovering your memories, I... I won't keep you. But before that, please give me some time. Give me time to prove that I am just as good as him. I am just as, if not, better than him. Just like him, I am deeply in love with you.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
*beleaguered sigh* I feel like a D&D GM watching my party make very terrible decisions and not being able to stop them. Well, onto the next chapter.