"Huh? Are you that kind?" Gu Qingyu looked at Xian Di in disbelief.
Xian Di looked at Gu Qingyu with an expressionless face. "Whether you believe me or not, you'll have to come with me."
"Dream on! If you want to take her away," Qi Yichen closed his fan and pointed at Ye Jin. "Then you'll have to cross over his dead body first!"
Gu Qingyu stared at Qi Yichen flatly while Ye Jin looked at him and laughed softly. "Dead body? I have no intention to die. I will protect Xiao Yu'er, and I will always be with her."
Gu Qingyu turned to look at Xian Di instead. "Where are you taking me?"
"Oh? Didn't that fellow Yan Zun tell you?" Xian Di paused, "Once upon a time."
"What?" Gu Qingyu said with some doubts, but also remembered what Yan Zun said last night. But what does Once Upon a Time mean?
"Have you been there?" Xian Di narrowed his eyes slightly, "to the faraway past."
"No." Gu Qingyu shook her head frankly. "I've been to the distant future... to be precise, I stayed there."
Xian Di raised his eyebrows with interest, and then looked at Gu Qingyu and said, "You can bring the others."
"I can?" Gu Qingyu also knew that Xian Di's words were true, because there was no need for someone as strong as Xian Di to lie to her. He would not bother to, anyway, given his past record of kidnapping her.
Xian Di turned around. "Why would I lie to you?"
"Kitten, do you really believe him?" Xie Zang looked at Gu Qingyu with a glint in his eyes.
Gu Qingyu replied calmly. "He has not given me a reason not to believe him."
"That's right." Xie Zang narrowed his eyes. "It is beneath him to do that."
Xian Di glanced at Xie Zang, and then looked at Gu Qingyu again. "Tomorrow noon, I will be waiting for you at the river where it all began." And he vanished like a gust of wind.
Gu Qingyu blinked and then recalled, he must be referring to the river where she first woke up in this world, and the meeting place when she, Ye Jin, Qi Yichen, and Xiao Qi were going to find Qi Yichen's teacher and get the Lifeblood Jewel of Destiny.
"Looks like everything worked out." Gu Qingyu gently nudged Ye Jin to release her, but he would not let go.
Gu Qingyu patiently said, "Okay, I'm fine, Xian Di is gone." Ye Jin still didn't let go, his grip on her tightened instead.
"Xiao Zhezhe?" Gu Qingyu finally realised something was wrong.
"Yeah." Ye Jin lowered his head, his head buried in the crook of her neck.
And suddenly, that spot on her neck felt damp. Her eyes widened in surprise. Ye Jin was crying. She wrapped her arms around him in silent comfort. The others walked out of the room automatically and closed the door behind them.
"Xiao Zhezhe, what's the matter?" Gu Qingyu broke the silence. He hugged her tightly and did not answer.
She prompted him again. "Xiao Zhezhe?"
Ye Jin raised his head, his eyes were slightly red, and he pressed her against him. "Xiao Yu'er, I'm sorry."
"Why are you apologising?" She also felt a slight stinging in her eyes.
Why was he apologising? Was he blaming himself for not protecting her?
"You were right in front of me, and I didn't notice a thing, even though you were in trouble. You were trying too hard, and you were in so much pain, but I couldn't do a thing to help." Ye Jin bit his lip, "Xiao Yuer, I want to protect you, but it scares me when you are so determined to shoulder things on your own."
Gu Qingyu blinked puzzledly. "You're...scared?"
"You worked so hard, and all on your own. It makes me feel like you are pushing me away, that I can't even try to help you." He ran his fingers through her hair. "I don't have any room to protect you. Every time something happens, you charge in head first, at complete disregard of your own safety. You just give and give as you try to protect everyone at your own expense."
"Yeah." She nodded and listened carefully to him.
"I know you are different, Xiao Yu'er. And I want to shield you from the storms of the world. But I know you don't like to rely and depend on others, that you want to have achievements that you can call your own. You want to be stronger so that you can protect others. But please, count on me once in a while. Rely on me. You don't have to do things on your own, you don't have to walk this path alone. I want to not just see you soar, but to soar with you. I want...to be part of your world."
Her heart swelled as tears threatened to fall from her eyes. She never expected Ye Jin to know her so well, and to love her so deeply.
"I see. Xiao Zhezhe." Gu Qingyu smiled. Her hands were tightly wrapped around Ye Jin as she buried her face in his chest and she inhaled his scent greedily. "I get it now."
He returned her embrace. "Yeah."
Finally, after a long time, Gu Qingyu remembered that she was going to take Qi Wan out for a walk. She also had something that she needed to wrap up before their departure tomorrow. She looked up at Ye Jin abruptly and broke the spell. "Um, Xiao Zhezhe, I have to go."
"What's the matter?" His stormy blue eyes stared back at her.
"Um..." Gu Qingyu thought slightly, "I'm going out to do something!"
"Huh?" Ye Jin raised his eyebrows slightly.
"My mother's death should be related to my sister." Gu Qingyu lowered her eyes. "But Gu Yan would never be able to pull this off alone, she must have had help."
Ye Jin nodded approvingly. "Yeah."
"Even though Gu Yan's death would make investigations difficult, I still want to find out the truth, and uncover the real culprit. On my own. Is that okay?"
"Of course." Ye Jin stroked her hair lovingly and told her with a soft voice, "As long as there is anything that Ye can help with, you can use the Divine Tune on your neck to mobilise its members at any time and ask for whatever you need." Gu Qingyu blinked a few times, her boyfriend is really overpowered.
"I have something to do as well. Stay safe." Ye Jin smiled, his smile bewitching as always.
Gu Qingyu immediately covered her nose, nodded, and walked out.
She came all the way to Qi Wan's room and opened the door without an extra thought. Qi Wan was lying in a pool of blood on the floor with an outstretched hand, as he was reaching out to something.
"Qi Wan!" Gu Qingyu screamed and immediately ran over to pick him up and rest his body on her thighs. "What happened?"
Qi Wan frowned slightly, then opened his eyes at the sound of her voice. He replied with a faint, hoarse voice, "Boss...are you...alright?" And then his eyes rolled into his skull.
"I'm fine! Stop talking!" Gu Qingyu clung onto him as she shouted towards the open door. "Mo Bai! Mo Bai! Help!"
Mo Bai heard her shouting and rushed over in an instant. His eyes sank when he saw Qi Wan and he bent down to take his pulse. Gu Qingyu didn't dare to speak, for fear of disturbing Mo Bai. Her lips quivered as she forced them close.
Finally, Mo Bai took Qi Wan from Gu Qingyu and placed him on the bed. "He was just caught in Xian Di's power. And, perhaps he was anxious and tried to rush out of bed, but his body was still too weak to handle it. So he collapsed and his wounds reopened."
Tears swirled in her eyes. She had hurt him, again. Even though he was grievously injured, even though he knew that his body could not handle it, he still risked everything and tried to rush to her side. Even if he collapsed, even if his wounds reopened, he was still trying to crawl to the door and get up to find her. He was afraid that she would get hurt. Even a small cut would tear him apart.
Gu Qingyu stepped outside in order to not disturb Mo Bai as he worked to stabilise Qi Wan’s condition. She paced about as she waited anxiously. After a while, Mo Bai walked out.
"How is he?" Gu Qingyu approached him immediately.
Mo Bai sighed softly, "He's alive, but he has lost too much blood..." If it was just a wound, Mo Bai could speed up the healing process with magic. If there was some minor bleeding, he could easily close the wound without leaving a scar. But he could not conjure blood from thin air, let alone enough blood to save Qi Wan.
Gu Qingyu flinched for a moment then held out her arm with silent determination. "Use mine." She and Qi Wan once asked for each other's blood type when they were chatting. It so happened that they share the same blood type, type B.
"You..." Mo Bai was taken aback.
"Trust me, he can use my blood." Gu Qingyu nodded and pulled Mo Bai into the room.
Mo Bai was hesitating, but Gu Qingyu sat down in a chair and rested her arm on the table next to her. She pulled up her sleeves and revealed her fair skin. "Please, Mo Bai."
"Yu'er, we may need more than what your body can take..." He frowned.
Gu Qingyu gave him a soft smile. "Maybe. But Qi Wan became like this because of me, right? The least I should do is try."
Mo Bai finally relented with a helpless sigh, his hand closed over her inner elbow and he made a small incision with a leaf. He did the same on Qi Wan's arm and began the transfusion. Gu Qingyu's face began to turn pale, and Mo Bai looked at her worriedly. "Yu'er, you have to tell me if your body can't hold it up anymore."
She nodded. "I can still keep going."
Mo Bai sighed again. He knew that Qi Wan was just a friend to her and that if it had been any one of them, even him, in need of a transfusion, she would do the same and offer up her own blood to save them. It was precisely because he understood her that he continued the transfusion.
Gu Qingyu's vision began to blur as tiny bright spots danced before her eyes, and she kept trying to force her eyes to stay open. No, not enough. He still needed more, she could not fall now. Her jaw tightened as she pushed through the exhaustion and the dizziness.
"Yu'er, don't force yourself." Mo Bai reminded her, worry evident in his voice.
"I'm not..." Gu Qingyu just opened her mouth to reply, but her head fell against the table before she could say a word. Mo Bai's voice suddenly sounded so far away.
Gu Qingyu opened her eyes, but instead of Mo Bai, it was Yan Zun that stood before her.
"You reckless, stupid apprentice." Yan Zun walked over and flicked her forehead.
She hissed and massaged her forehead. "Ouch!"
"Ah, so you can still register pain through that thick skull of yours." Yan Zun raised his eyebrows as he chastised her, "Are you so powerful now that you can just give up your blood freely?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter