"Boss, why are you crying?" Qi Wan frowned as he took out a handkerchief and dabbed the corner of her eyes. "What's wrong? Was it another nightmare?"
The sun was still beating down on them, and casted a shadow on her face as Qi Wan leaned over her.
"Yeah, I guess that was a nightmare." Gu Qingyu exhaled and Qi Wan continued to wipe her face. "How long have I slept?"
"Ah, not very long, just 3 hours." Qi Wan looked at the sky, "It should be noon now."
The realisation hit her and she said excitedly, "Does that mean it's lunchtime?"
Qi Wan was speechless. Can you think of anything else? Boss, you still have tear streaks on your face!
He cleared his throat and asked, "You dreamt of Ye Jin, right?"
Qi Wan watched her intently, his face was just inches away from her. She turned away and avoided his pale green eyes, "Yeah." She has to admit that sometimes Qi Wan knew her better than herself.
"If you want to see him, I can bring you to him tomorrow." Qi Wan said with a determined look in his eyes, as if he had made up his mind about something.
"Really?" Gu Qingyu was overjoyed and immediately turned to look at Qi Wan.
Qi Wan looked into her eyes. After a few seconds, he nodded and then turned over and laid down next to her again. "Ah, I really don't like this feeling of giving up my favourite things!"
Gu Qingyu frowned at his statement. Qi Wan saved her, and she was now in his care, so she had avoided mentioning Ye Jin, let alone suggesting to go to find him. She was also worried that it would upset Qi Wan. But, even if he did not mention it, she had planned to leave tomorrow. She has to go to Ye Jin and face the inevitable. There would never be enough time for her to clear her mind and find the perfect answer that she would not regret. Sometimes the answer would appear right in front of you and slap you across the face like a cold fish. It would be better to prepare to face the answer head-on before that happens. If that dream was true and he is really looking for her, then she will have to go to him.
Yechen, do you know how much I missed you?
How long has it been since I heard you call me "Xiao Yu'er"?
When I see you again, I would wrap you up and hug you as tight as I can. Then I would tell you, "I missed you, Xiao Zhezhe."
I really miss you, so please, just wait for me for a little while more.
"Okay, it's about time. And I'm hungry too, let's go grab lunch!" Qi Wan stood up and held out his hand to Gu Qingyu. "The food here is great too, Boss. And it'll be covered if you join us, would you give it some thought?"
"Well, it's worth considering." Gu Qingyu nodded. She took his hand and stood up with his help.
Qi Wan laughed heartily, "No exams or interviews. The opening for the high-paying Queen of the Mountains is just waiting for you!"
"All right, I'll consider it. I'll let you know again in a few hundred years." She rolled her eyes and walked away.
"Alright! You have to get back to me, ok?" Qi Wan did not appear to be joking at all as he caught up to her with a skip, his pale green orbs sparkled under the sun.
"Huh." Gu Qingyu agreed casually. They were back at the springboard, the way that they used to come to the pastures.
"Boss, do you still want to use this?" Qi Wan frowned. "There is another way, it will be better. Do you wanna use that way instead?"
"No, I actually like this. I was just caught off guard." She shrugged. "Let's get going, I'm hungry."
"Huh!" Qi Wan stomped on the springboard. The springboard shook hard and then dropped down. Gu Qingyu gasped and at that moment, a ribbon flew out of Qi Wan's sleeves, jammed straight into the wall next to them, and pulled against the springboard, slowing their descent.
The springboard gradually dropped to the ground and the palace was in sight again. Qi Wan gently retracted his ribbons and they disappeared back into his sleeves.
"Let's go." He smiled at her slightly and walked forward, without a care of the fact that he forcibly turned the springboard into an elevator. Some actions are just subconscious. Some feelings are just beyond control.
Gu Qingyu leaned back into her chair. "Ah, life like this is great."
"So, as long as you are with me, all you need to think about is playing and eating. You don't have to worry about anything else. I'll take care of everything else. My job is to feed you till you're all round and fat." Qi Wan narrowed his eyes and smiled, which was really good-looking.
Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes. "Round and fat, do you think I'm a pig?"
Qi Wan laughed, "It's good, even if you're a pig."
Gu Qingyu didn't intend to fight with him on this issue, but looked at Qi Wan with expectation. "Come on, where to play in the afternoon?"
"Well, there are really a lot of good places here. Where do you want to play..." Qi Wan thought with his hand on his chin and leaned on the table. After a while, he snapped his fingers, "Ah-ha!"
"Where are you going?" Gu Qingyu immediately became interested.
"Come with me, your uncle guarantees that you'll have fun~" Qi Wan gave a conniving smile. He stood up, grabbed a piece of fruit and held it in his teeth. "Let's go, pretty~"
Gu Qingyu smiled innocently. "Sure, if your 'pretty' doesn't find this fun, then she just might end you~"
Qi Wan's body stiffened and wiped the cold sweat from his brows. "Boss, you really refuse to be short-changed at any given moment..."
"Yeah, that depends actually." Gu Qingyu nodded matter-of-factly, "Like if I get a full roast chicken for free, then maybe I can be short-changed a little."
Qi Wan was speechless. Boss, can I confess that I can no longer keep up with your mind twisters?
He nodded. "It's good not to lose anything. If anyone charges you, just stuff it in their mouths!"
"Good idea!" Gu Qingyu also nodded in conviction and opened the door, "So, shall we, uncle?"
Qi Wan looked at Gu Qingyu in horror. "No, Boss, please just call me Qi Wan!"
Gu Qingyu quickly answered. "Good uncle, no problem uncle!"
Qi Wan waved his hand weakly, and stretched out his hand to hold the door for Gu Qingyu. "Let's go, my queen."
"Alright~" Gu Qingyu looked at Qi Wan with a smile and walked out of the door. Qi Wan followed her out, then led the way.
They walked up a flight of stairs until they came back to the ground above and the lush forest. Qi Wan held out his hand, "Here, Boss. This area is a lot bigger, it would be really bad if I lost you."
"Lost me?" Gu Qingyu snorted, but she still held his hand, "I'll be thankful if you didn't get lost yourself!"
"Ahem, how could that be possible..." Qi Wan coughed unnaturally, obviously a little guilty, "To be honest, I really did get lost the first time I came here."
"Yeah, exactly." Gu Qingyu wiggled her eyebrows. "So where are we going?"
"We'll be there soon." Qi Wan smiled as he gripped her hand, then he tugged it gently and ran, pulling her with him.
Before she could react, she was running along with him and they ran through the forest. "Hey, hey, slow down..."
"Qi Wan, you... you should have told me...that you were going to run... Just you wait... I'll show you..." Gu Qingyu bent down as she panted. When she raised his head and wanted to "educate" Qi Wan, she was shocked by what she saw.
The afternoon sun shone radiantly, and in front of her was a small river. It glistened and shimmered under the light. The river was clear, the stones at the bottom of the river were clearly visible, and she could see fishes of different colours resting in between the stones. The wind passed through the woods, and colorful butterflies danced along the wind as they surrounded their own flowers.
"It's so beautiful..." Gu Qingyu sighed. Suddenly, she heard music playing behind her. She froze, then whipped back. Qi Wan held a leaf in his lips and played. As the song rose and fell, it followed the wind and traveled through the trees. Slowly, the singing of birds surrounded them. Birds of all shapes, sizes and colours gathered around Qi Wan and sang with him. The whistling leaf was not drowned out by the birdsong, instead it added to the song and created a perfect harmony. The breeze lifted his hair, his eyes were closed gently, and his lashes quivered with every breath.
Gu Qingyu could only watch and stare at the sight before her. It was as if he was singing the song of nature itself, flowers bloomed to its melody, and rivers twisted and turned to its beat. Life surrounded them. The song was almost magical, yet it was only played for her. Some time later, Qi Wan removed the leaf from his lips and opened his eyes. He had a teasing grin as he looked at Gu Qingyu. "So, Boss, have you finally fallen for me? Do you feel your heart pounding with love?"
"Yes, my heart is definitely pounding." She nodded. "Goodness me, I thought there was a ghost behind me..."
"Do you have to say that?" Qi Wan rolled his eyes. "These things don't come easy, enjoy it while it lasts, Boss! Well, we won't be able to finish the tour anyway, we're leaving tomorrow. But we'll come back once we've collected all of the Spirit Gems, there is still a lot more to see and more places to explore, and only I know where they are!"
Gu Qingyu was also delighted. "That sounds really nice." She walked to the side of the river and dipped her hand into the water. The cool water gently parted at the back of her hand and then closed at her palm. Even her heart had turned clear. The fishes didn't seem to be wary of her. They swam over and gently touched her hand curiously, tickling her.
"I like being here. It always opens up my mind, and calms my heart." Qi Wan sat on a large rock and leaned back slightly. He looked relaxed, lounging on the rock and basking in the sun. "Every time I'm here, I'll find something new. This place is truly full of surprises."Previous Chapter Next Chapter