Qi Wan immediately raised his head, but before he could swerve out of the way, he collided face first with an unknown flying object. "Ahh! Boss, help! What the hell was that?!" He let go of Gu Qingyu’s legs and reached up to smack away whatever that had been on his face. Meanwhile, his grip along her waist tightened as he stopped mid-air.
Gu Qingyu felt her legs drop, and she pulled herself up against him before she could fall. Right then, a sharp pain shot through her shoulder. Her brows knitted in pain, but she pushed it aside as she reached up, smacked away his hand and freed the screeching bird. The bird flapped its wings and flew up after regaining its freedom. It circled over Qi Wan’s head for a moment before a white substance splattered onto his hair. And then it flew away happily.
"What the hell!" Qi Wan screamed in disgust and pointed at the bird as it flew away. “Hey, get back here! You’re not gonna get away with this!”
That bird seemed to have understood what he said and turned back immediately. It zoomed past Qi Wan and added to the pile on his head.
"F***! That's harsh!" Qi Wan covered his head and groaned. "It’s tough to fly these days!”
"Yes!" Gu Qingyu lamented with him.
Qi Wan then realised just how tight he was holding onto her, and how her arms strained around his neck. He tucked his arm under her legs again. “Sorry, sorry, that must have been painful.”
"It's okay, it doesn't hurt." Gu Qingyu smiled as she glanced at her shoulder, blood had seeped into the bandage.
"It's my fault! It's my fault!" Worry and self-blame was clear in his voice as his eyes darted between her shoulder and their surroundings and his beating wings kept them in the air.
"It's okay," Gu Qingyu pursed her lips, "Really, I'm already much better. Let's just get to the capital already."
"No!" Qi Wan decided and began to fly downwards. "Hang in there. Just scream if it hurts too much."
Gu Qingyu felt her lips twitch. "Huh?"
"Oh man, then it must be really painful." Qi Wan landed and set her down. His hand closed over her injured shoulder and a faint white light glowed against her wound. A steady stream of warmth poured into that spot. It felt like he was just pouring his own magic into her, and through the wound, it flowed through her veins and warmed her whole being. Qi Wan’s healing magic was very different from Mo Bai’s magic. Actually, it did not feel like healing magic at all. Qi Wan doesn’t know any healing magic. He was really just pouring his magic into her and using it to speed up her own healing.
And when she finally realised that, her hand clasped over his hand and she said, "Qi Wan, stop."
"Boss, it's okay, I have more than enough." Qi Wan smiled indifferently. "It's just magic. And, it's only on these occasions that I'll be glad that I have too much magic for myself."
Gu Qingyu felt something twist with guilt in her chest. "Qi Wan, enough. Let's go, it's getting dark."
Qi Wan looked up at the sky. It was about 4-5 pm, but because of the horrible storm and that they were in mid-winter, the evening had crept upon them. He nodded, picked her up and started flying again.
"Can you speed up?" Gu Qingyu grew antsier as she watched the rain. The sight reminded her of when she first arrived at this time. At that point, what had appeared before her was a pair of pristine, white boots. His eyes were clear and spotless, soft and beautiful.
The sun had disappeared into the horizon by the time they landed again. They were in the woods just outside of Xiqian's capital, to avoid unwanted attention and walked into the city.
As they passed through the gates, Gu Qingyu sighed as she watched the bustling crowds that weaved through the streets. "I wonder just how much suffering is just hidden beneath the surface."
"Yes, a lively tragedy." Qi Wan raised his eyebrows. "The more prosperous the place, the lonely they feel, do you feel their loneliness? Each and every one of them?"
"No, I guess only they themselves can truly attest to that." Gu Qingyu shook her head, "Let's go and find an inn for the night."
"Okay!" Qi Wan was full of smiles and seemed to be very happy, matching the atmosphere of the city.
"What? Full?! Are you serious?" Qi Wan looked at the boss in disbelief and gesticulated, "We've been to ten inns, how are they all full?"
"You must be from out of town, aren't you?" The innkeeper glanced at Qi Wan in a strange way. "It's a good day today. There are not many people sleeping on the streets."
Qi Wan scoffed and opened his mouth to fire back.
Gu Qingyu stepped forward and tugged on his sleeves. "Forget it, let's go."
The innkeeper seemed to only just noticed her presence, and his eyes widened. "Divine Priestess?" Qi Wan glanced at her and made a mental connection.
"Ah..." Gu Qingyu was a little embarrassed, she was not sure of how she should reply.
"Divine Priestess, is that you?" The innkeeper's eyes were as wide as saucers, as a smile split across his face. "Do you wish to stay here?"
Gu Qingyu took a gamble and nodded. "Yes."
"We have two suites available upstairs! This way!" The innkeeper bowed before he led them upstairs.
"Thank you." Gu Qingyu smiled slightly and handed him a piece of silver.
"No, no, no! I cannot accept it!" Who knows, the innkeeper immediately bowed and stuffed the piece of silver back into her hand. "Divine Priestess, I cannot even begin to repay you, you have saved my life! I can only help with this humble inn, how could I take your money on top of that?"
Rain had saved his life? Maybe she was not a villain after all. Perhaps she just did not appreciate the sudden appearance of a doppelganger.
Gu Qingyu nodded and withdrew that piece of silver.
"Tsk, tsk, talk about double standards." Qi Wan followed Gu Qingyu and the innkeeper.
The innkeeper opened the suites for them, then he bowed again and retreated downstairs. Gu Qingyu and Qi Wan sat in her room, Qi Wan sighed and shook his head. "Boss, it seems that you are more than popular here."
"No, it's not me." Gu Qingyu also shook her head, "It's just Yu'er, or Rain, looks exactly like me. She's the real Divine Priestess."
"Even your names are so similar..." Qi Wan pursed his lips. "Alright, let's just begin the search tomorrow. We've been out all day, and you're injured, you need to rest now."
"Not yet," Gu Qingyu corrected. "We've not eaten."
"Ah!" Qi Wan's eyes lit up in realisation. "Stay here, I'll head down and bring something up right away."
"Yeah, go go." Gu Qingyu waved and lay down on the table to rest. "Get enough for the both of us, okay?"
"Okay!" Qi Wan hurriedly got up and walked out, his loud footsteps echoed through the corridor.
Not long after, Qi Wan came back with two trays full of dishes. He placed the trays on the table, clapped his hands and sat down with satisfaction. "Boss, here! Eat up!"
"Good." Gu Qingyu smiled, picked up the chopsticks and started eating.
Qi Wan stood up and opened the windows. A cool breeze blew through the room, everything felt more refreshing. "Need to get some air circulation." He said as he returned to his seat next to her. "Boss, I finally learnt that it's not just enough to have franchises all over the continent. Imagine having shops in the past! Now that's truly impressive!"
"So? What do you want to do?" Gu Qingyu asked with a side-eye as she kept eating. "Don't tell me you plan to start a business here?"
"Haha, nope~" Qi Wan laughed.
"Oh stop staring, eat." Gu Qingyu tapped his empty bowl with her chopsticks. "I'll eat everything if you don't start soon."
"It was meant for you." He reached over and ruffled her hair. "Eat up."
"Oh, that won't do. Eat, now. Or else, I'm not eating too." She rolled her eyes and put down her chopsticks.
"Fine, I'll eat." Qi Wan picked up his chopsticks and gradually filled his bowl. "By the way, after I came here, I saw a person who looked like Ye Jin."
Her eyes lit up. "Where?"
"It's here, in this city." He nodded. "but I don't know why, it feels...off."
"What sort of off?"
"I can't put a finger on it." Qi Wan shook his head. "I still remember that place. We'll check that place tomorrow, together."
"Alright." Gu Qingyu nodded as Qi Wan cleared the table.
Qi Wan wiped the table with the cloth, then picked up the tray full of dirty dishes and bowed. "Goodnight, Boss!" He was like an excellent server.
"Good night." Gu Qingyu waved as she watched Qi Wan leave the room and close the door behind him.
Gu Qingyu laid down on the bed in her room, the soft mattress dipped against her weight as she settled under the covers. She rolled over and closed her eyes, but all she could think of was Ye Jin. Qi Wan said that he saw someone that looked like him, but would that really be Ye Jin? What if that person is another doppelganger? But, if that person Qi Wan saw was really Ye Jin, then why would he not find her? What if? Oh no, what if? A sinking feeling settled in her stomach, she could only cross her fingers and pray that whatever premonition she was having would turn out to be wrong.
She sighed, and then she heard the sound of rustling fabric. She immediately sat up and checked the room. The room was completely dark, aside from the moonlight that flitted through the curtains. Her eyes glowed in the darkness as the Soul Chain appeared around her. The runes etched into the chain's metal emitted an eerie light as it encircled her, ready to strike at a moment's notice.
"Goodness, that's scary. Yu, you're really powerful." A crisp, familiar voice answered with a silvery laugh that gently broke the silence of the night.
Gu Qingyu looked at the person in front of her that was clad in a red dress. She exhaled, "Xie Li." Her chains disappeared from view, but it still remained hidden around her, she was still on alert. Thanks to that lesson from Rain, she no longer trusted anyone other than her own friends that came to this era with her.
"Cautious?" Xie Li grabbed a chair and moved it to sit near her bed. Her red dress looked almost like blood under the cold moonlight. "Why? Was it because of that Yu'er?"
"I guess." Gu Qingyu gave a short answer. After all, she was not familiar with Xie Li in this era. The Xie Li she knew was a sickly, but sweet and kind little girl. The Xie Li in front of her was healthy, but also witty and dangerous.Previous Chapter Next Chapter