A flash of lightning pierced the sky, followed by rumbles of thunder. The storm grew heavier. Gu Qingyu watched Rain as her power slowly grew right in front of her. It had exceeded all of her expectations. The power of a divine beast was truly phenomenal.
Cloud coughed out a mouthful of blood as Qi Wan retreated to Gu Qingyu's side. He pulled her back to a safer distance. "Boss, don't stand so close, it won't be good to be infected by some bird flu or something!" Gu Qingyu just frowned at him. That was a sudden change in mood, whatever happened to their plan of being serious?
"Boss, how about that? Was I good?" Qi Wan looked at Cloud, who was at a distance from them, with a satisfied smile. Then he turned to Gu Qingyu with an expectant look, as if he was a child waiting for his teacher to praise him.
"Yeah, yeah, really amazing." Gu Qingyu ruffled his hair with a bright smile. "The person on the other side is uglier than me. What should we do? Shall we run?"
"Um..." Qi Wan looked at Rain and sensed her growing power as well. He turned to Gu Qingyu and winked.
Just as Gu Qingyu was trying to figure what he meant, he grabbed her, spread his wings and darted into the woods! It took her a long time to finally process that they were flying. She dragged her fingers across her face. "You know my heart can't take this kind of shocks..."
"My bad, couldn't exactly preempt you. I'll take note next time." Flying through the woods was quite dangerous. Once Qi Wan believed that they had reached a safe area, he released Gu Qingyu and set her down on a large rock.
"Next time?" Gu Qingyu groaned, "Dude, can we just not fight them next time?"
"Sure." Qi Wan answered with a smile and knelt down in front of her. He untied the makeshift bandage on her shoulder, and blood oozed out from the gash.
It had been throbbing the whole time, but Gu Qingyu did not complain, until now. She glanced at the gash and pouted. "It hurts."
"I know I know..." Qi Wan leaned in and carefully undid the buttons on her shirt and peeled back the sticky fabric near the gash. Gu Qingyu looked down, her shoulder was now completely exposed and she could see the full length of the wound. It trailed from the end of her collarbone to her arm. She could even see a bit of the cartilage of her shoulder joint. It was mortifying to see. Yikes, Cloud did not hold back at all. Qi Wan closed his eyes and opened them again, they were a little red.
"What's wrong? It doesn't hurt, I'm fine." Gu Qingyu stretched out her other hand and stroked his head.
"I know a little bit of healing magic. Tell me if it's too much." Qi Wan wiped his eyes with his sleeve, his fingertips glowed faintly with a pale white light.
"Yeah." Gu Qingyu looked up and away as she let him slowly heal her. It was still pouring, but the rain fell on a pale green dome of light above her. The dome of light formed a barrier that encapsulated them. Droplets of rain fell against it in pitter-patters and slid down to the ground.
Such a wonderfully strange feeling. She was in the middle of a storm, under the pouring rain, without an umbrella. The droplets of rain should be pelting down on her, but she was dry. At that moment, it was as if she was in a bubble that separated her from the world. She was just another soul, watching the world go by before her eyes. But she did not feel lonely. Her kindred spirit was right beside her, and he watched the world with her. He went through hell and back with her. They might be stuck outside in a storm, but at least they were stuck outside together. She didn’t need an umbrella, because he kept her dry and warm. He would shield her from the rain and the storm for all of eternity. And no matter what happened, he would always be at her side. He volunteered to shoulder her pain with her, to carry her burdens with her. Before she met him, she was in a sea of darkness, searching for someone that would understand her. And now, she could see the path ahead of her, because his presence had lit up each and every step of her path.
“How do you feel?” Qi Wan looked up at her, a faint blush bloomed across his cheeks. She looked down at her shoulder, the wound had closed, and the throbbing had eased into a dull ache. Qi Wan was dabbing and cleaning the dried blood with a damp cloth.
“Yeah, much better.” She nodded, as a flush crept up her neck as well. She was used to wearing off-shoulder tops in the modern world, but she had been in this world for so long that revealing her bare shoulder felt like she was showing too much skin. Maybe the local customs had rubbed off on her.
"Alright." Gu Qingyu gently pulled up her sleeve. "It's alright now, thank you Qi Wan."
“Sheesh, how many times do I have to tell you? You don’t need to thank me.” He kept the cloth and helped her button up her dress delicately. “I should have killed that copycat.”
"Pff! I have to say, although you two behave differently, but you really look exactly the same. But from the vibes, you’re much more handsome than him.”
“Yeah! It’s, what’s that word? Ah, the Apple of your eye!” Qi Wan stood up and sat down next to her. He tilted his head up and looked at the sky. “What a storm.” Only then did she look up again, the rain was so heavy that tiny waterfalls slid down against the barrier. But there was not even a sound, that must have been Qi Wan’s doing.
"Speaking of, why are you still here, Qi Wan?" Gu Qingyu looked at Qi Wan with some confusion.
"Me? Do you not welcome me?" Qi Wan looked at her with sparkling amber eyes.
"No, no, I just think it's weird..." Gu Qingyu shook her head and murmured, "Xian Di is gone, Yan Zun is gone, and Xie Zang is still missing in action. They were from this era, so I thought you won't be here too. That black-clad person that sent us to this world did mention that you were from the past, maybe you would be gone to avoid any weird time paradoxes.”
"But I'm not them." Qi Wan said softly, "Boss, I'm just Qi Wan, your guardian."
"I'm a reincarnation of the divine beast. The real divine beast in this time should be Rain."
"No, to me, you are just Gu Qingyu. You're my boss and I'm your guardian. Not her. Who cares about divine beasts!" Qi Wan snorted. "That copycat can do all the protect-divine-beast thing. I'll get rid of him soon anyway. Boss, you're the only one I care about."
Gu Qingyu smiled, and ruffled his hair. “Hm, well said.”
"Speaking of which, Boss, why are you here?" Qi Wan asked too.
"Me? Do you not welcome me?” Gu Qingyu mirrored his tone.
"No, it's not..." Qi Wan stammered a little, "Boss, you know I’m not good with words...”
Gu Qingyu burst out laughing. “Just kidding! I was going to go find you guys at Xiqian’s capital.”
“Find us?” Qi Wan frowned. “On your own?”
"Ah no, there is also Brother Murong." Gu Qingyu narrowed her eyes slightly, "He is talking about Yangcheng, guarding the spirit orb."
"Spirit Gem?" Qi Wan was even more puzzled.
"Well, the next Spirit Gem is the city itself." Gu Qingyu nodded and hopped off the large rock, "Let's go, maybe the rest are waiting for us at the capital.”
“Okay. "Qi Wan also jumped down, looking at Gu Qingyu with some worry, "Boss, your injury..."
"Don't worry, I hurt my shoulder, not my leg!" Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes. But right then, he picked her up and swept her off her feet.
"You're going to strain your shoulder if you use your wings. Let me do the flying." Qi Wan replied with a grin. His dark green wings flapped behind him, and the pale green barrier encapsulated them.
Qi Wan avoided where they fought against Rain and Cloud as they flew towards the capital. Strange, they must have taken a while to regroup. Why haven’t Rain and Cloud caught up to them? Were they going to let them go? No, that was impossible. Gu Qingyu lay in Qi Wan's arms and looked at Qi Wan, her lips pressed into a thin line.
"What's the matter?" Qi Wan felt her stare, he looked down and gave her a toothless smile. "Am. I that good looking?"
"Yes, you're quite easy on the eyes." Gu Qingyu nodded nonchalantly, it was true.
"Boss, why are you so honest today?" Qi Wan looked at her in disbelief.
"No, today is my only dishonest day actually." Gu Qingyu sighed softly and lamented.
Qi Wan sighed when he registered the "joke".
Gu Qingyu smiled, and from the corner of her eyes, she caught a glimpse of the crossbow sleeve on her forearm. The gifter of that weapon popped into her mind. His smiles, his frowns, and everything in between. He would call her "Xiao Yu'er", his cooking skills was first-rate, and his voice tugged at her heartstrings all the time. He was not the great hero in the world of martial arts, or the Leader of Ye, or the Shadow of the monarchs. He was just her Ye Jin.
Qi Wan knew what she was thinking about when he saw her wistful gaze. He shelved away his disappointment with a smile. "You'll see him soon, Boss."
"Huh?" Gu Qingyu didn't react for a while. And then it clicked in her head and she answered. "Yeah."
"Speaking of, you said you met Xian Di and what's-his-face in this era. How are they like?"
"What's-his-face?" Gu Qingyu was a little speechless. "That's Yan Zun. You don't know him, but he's also very powerful. It's hard to imagine that they used to be like this."
"Be like what?"
"Ah, it's a little tragic." Gu Qingyu shook her head, somewhat regretful, "No, it's very tragic."
"It's very tragic? What, they used to work in a brothel?"
Gu Qingyu's eyes widened. Was that really just a random guess?
Qi Wan lowered his head in surprise as Gu Qingyu remained quiet. "Right on the money?"
"Yeah." Gu Qingyu nodded, but she didn't tell him who it was. "It was horrible, I can't believe he grew up in such an environment."
"Ah, right..." Qi Wan looked forward.
"Oh yeah, how did you find me?" Gu Qingyu was a little curious. If it weren't for Qi Wan's timely arrival, she might be dead by now.
"Do you know that there is something called telepathy?" Qi Wan grinned. "Or I should say, we were in sync."
"Enough." Gu Qingyu dismissed his jesting with a wave. "I mean it."
"Me too." Qi Wan looked at her with serious eyes.
Gu Qingyu pointed forward. "Eyes ahead, you're going to hit that bird."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I know this is a great departure from the previous chapter, but this is what’s in the original novel. It looked like there was a missing chapter and I have been trying to find it, but my efforts so far have not been successful. Don’t worry, Cloud (not to be confused with Cloud Strife) would be explained soon. From what I can tell, he should be Qi Wan’s equivalent in the faraway past. And just like how Rain looked like Gu Qingyu, Cloud also looks exactly like Rain.