Xie Li chuckled lightly. "Yu, I told you I would help you, I'm not about to eat my words. Although I have to say, as much as Rain tried to hurt you, she was not a bad person."
"That's just from your point of view." Gu Qingyu laughed as well. "And from my point of view, she's just someone who tried to kill me."
"Yeah, you're right." Xie Li shrugged. "I can't say anything to make you believe me, Yu. I don't have any evidence, you would just have to take my word for it. Both my word that I would help you, and my word that Rain is not as bad as she appeared."
"Okay, thank you anyway." Gu Qingyu pursed her lips.
"I found a trace of the last spirit gem." Xie Li gently closed her eyes. "It is very close to you."
"Very close to me?" Gu Qingyu was a little surprised.
"Yes, very close." Xie Li nodded. "Yu, many things have changed since your appearance. I came to just make sure that you are mentally prepared for...certain things."
"What...what does it mean?" Gu Qingyu had a bad feeling.
Xie Li sighed softly, "Yu, I can only say so much, I have to go already."
"What, so soon?" Gu Qingyu asked before she could stop herself.
"I have something that I need to do." Xie Li stood up and walked away in a red dress. Gu Qingyu sat in her bed and watched with wide eyes as Xie Li left the room via the window. She turned to the closed door, there was no knocking. This means that Qi Wan did not notice the arrival of Xie Li?
When Xie Li showed up the last time, Murong Zuoyu also showed up only after she left. That leaves two possibilities. Either that she was more powerful than all of them, hence she could conceal her powers so skillfully and that only Gu Qingyu's heightened sense of hearing would notice her, or that Xie Li did not have any magical powers at all. And her divination was something she could do without magic. Perhaps it was a talent that she was born with.
Gu Qingyu sighed again. Ever since she came to this era, she became more suspicious and alert about everything. That may not be a good thing. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep, but the gears in her head kept turning. Too many thoughts. Too many questions.
Since Xie Zang, Xie Li, Yan Zun and Xian Di were all from this time period, then how did they live so long that they could meet her? Why was there someone that looked exactly like her? What would happen to Yan Ruhuo that turned him into Yan Zun? Why would Murong Zuoyu dream of this time? Was he from here as well? Then why didn't he lose his memories? Or maybe it was not memory loss, their old memories overwrote their new memories instead.
What about her? Is she from this time period as well? But why does she not have any memories from this time? Was it because of Rain? And what does that mean for Qi Wan and Cloud?
The more she tried to solve the puzzle, the more irritated she became about the missing pieces. And she has not even begun to unravel Ye Jin's mystery. Forget it, she'll just have to figure it out when the time comes. Who knows, maybe everything would work out when she finds Ye Jin. Gu Qingyu sighed, turned over again and fell asleep.
Her dream was quiet and cold. She was in the middle of the main street in Xiqian. The streets were filled with the bustling crowd heading to and fro, but they walked past her without noticing her presence. It was as if she had turned transparent. She could see people haggling and bargaining for goods at the street stalls, but she could not hear them. As she weaved through the crowd, she saw Ye Jin. He was at the end of the street, and he was looking at her. He could see her! And, oh, he was staring at her with such soft eyes.
Time seemed to have slowed down to a crawl. Centuries may have passed before she tried to run to him and wrap her arms around him. But something kept her rooted to the ground. She could not move a single muscle. She opened her mouth and called and screamed his name, but the only thing she heard was silence. The air had been sucked out, was this how vacuum felt like? Ye Jin smiled at her, and then he mouthed, "Goodbye, Xiao Yu'er."
No... Where was he going? She pulled and tugged against her invisible bonds, but the more she struggled the harder it was for her to move. She could only watch Ye Jin walk further and further away. No! She broke free suddenly, but fell to the ground severely. Ye Jin did not turn back, he did not even slow down. "Ye Jin--" Her voice came back at that moment, and she opened her eyes-
A tangy, familiar scent surrounded her and she was wrapped up in someone's arms. But that was not how he smelled like.
"Nightmares? Don't worry, I'm right here." Qi Wan gently patted her back and whispered. "What did you dream of?" His voice seemed soft in the dark night.
"Ye Jin..." She choked a little and tears poured down her face. She missed Ye Jin so much.
"Hey, it's ok. We'll see him tomorrow." Qi Wan's voice was gentle as he squeezed her a little and he looked at her with tender eyes. "I promise."
"Yeah!" Gu Qingyu raised her head. Qi Wan had a giant wet spot in his chest now. She rubbed her eyes in embarrassment.
"Okay, go to sleep, or you're not gonna have enough energy." Qi Wan rubbed the back of her head gently. "I'm right here."
"Good!" Gu Qingyu laid down obediently.
Qi Wan sat on the side of her bed and tucked in the corners of her quilt. "Go to sleep." Gu Qingyu closed her eyes. Ye Jin, you're waiting for me, right? You must be thinking of me as well, she thought before she fell asleep again.
The next day, early morning
Gu Qingyu woke up to the same scent that surrounded her last night. Qi Wan sat on the bed, his back leaning against the headboard. His head was propped up by his right arm, which balanced on his knee. His eyes were closed and he took even breaths. He was still sleeping. Her eyes stung a little. Sorry, Qi Wan. I'm sorry, I owe you too much.
She pulled her hand out from under the covers to rub her eyes, and it was this tiny movement that jostled him. His arm slipped off his knee and his amber eyes snapped open. "Boss?"
"Yeah, I'm awake." Gu Qingyu smiled at him, then sat up and stretched lazily.
Qi Wan yawned as well, and he said with bleary eyes, "Let's go, breakfast."
"Okay." Gu Qingyu said with a smile and followed him downstairs.
The innkeeper saw the pair descend the stairs and bowed. "Good morning, Divine Priestess!"
"Don't call me that, just call me Qingyu." She pursed her lips.
"You wished to be addressed by your name? Very well." The innkeeper pointed to the table beside, "Please, take a seat. We'll serve breakfast immediately."
"Okay, thank you very much!" Gu Qingyu nodded and sat down at one of the empty tables with Qi Wan. He held up his head with one hand, his dark hair was tied up with a ribbon that fell loosely onto his shoulders.
"Actually, they may not all be in Xiqian." Her sigh came out as a whisper.
"I know," Qi Wan concurred. "They could very well be in the three other major countries or any of the other smaller countries. But think about it, Xiqian is in chaos right now. That would draw everyone here; that was what drew you here."
When Gu Qingyu noticed their server setting porridge on their table, she ended the conversation. "Yeah, I hope so."
Breakfast ended quickly, other guests at the inn gradually streamed out of the inn.
Gu Qingyu and Qi Wan also stood up, nodded to the innkeeper, and walked out of the inn. As soon as they walked into the main street, Gu Qingyu couldn't wait and asked, "Where's Ye Jin?"
"Just follow me!" Qi Wan kept his leisurely pace. He caught a stall from the corner of his eyes, it sold something red and glossy, from the sugar. He beamed at her, "Boss, do you want some candied hawthorns?"
"Not really..." She was still deflated from the dream, but she picked herself up. The thought that she would see Ye Jin soon was enough to cheer her up.
Qi Wan watched as she went from deflated to forced energetic, then to genuine hope and joy. He smiled and turned away, hiding the disappointment in his eyes. "Then I'm just gonna get some for myself. Don't steal mine, okay?"
He quickly returned with a bunch of candied hawthorns. As they walked down the street, Gu Qingyu finally caved and stole one of the sticks of candied hawthorns.
"Didn't you say you're not eating?" He shot her a glare as he pouted.
She hmphed as she chewed, the sugar cracked and popped with each bite. "I changed my mind, it's a sudden craving."
"Fine, whatever you want." Qi Wan just indulged her. "I took a bite out of that one though."
"I don't care." She shot him a glare and took another bite.
Qi Wan chuckled. "Okay. Let's go then, it's just up ahead."
Ahead? She raised her head and was greeted with the sight of a...golden palace.
"This is..." She asked in a daze.
"Yeah, that's right, it's the royal palace." Qi Wan said with a smile. The two guards outside the palace watched them with hostility. If they had been any closer, the guards would have stomped over and chased them away.
"Divine Priestess, your humble servant suggests that you could consider wearing some sort of mask. Would be kind of bad if someone recognised you." Qi Wan leaned in and whispered into her ear. She agreed and turned around. Then, her whole body stiffened. Qi Wan was wondering what was taking her so long. He turned around with a smirk, ready to tease her but his smile vanished when he saw what she was looking at. Ye Jin.
"Xiao..." Her voice trembled.
Ye Jin walked right past her. Gu Qingyu froze in place as she stared at the empty spot before her in disbelief. He was still standing here a few seconds ago, and then he just walked right past her. He didn't say anything, he didn't even look at her. Qi Wan's jaw was going to drop to the ground as he watched Ye Jin walk into the palace. Ye Jin was dressed in a black robe with golden embroidery of mystical patterns. Cold air surrounded him as if he did not know them. The guards at the door immediately lowered their heads respectfully. "Emperor Ye!" Ye Jin didn't answer and strode through the palace gate.Previous Chapter Next Chapter