Qi Yichen decided to try something that could dissuade her. His eyes rolled into his skull as he pretended to faint. Gu Qingyu pouted and kept the ribbon in disappointment. She turned her focus to Ye Jin. "He's all yours."
"Okay." Ye Jin held up Qi Yichen, staring at him while rubbing his chin as he planned just how to handle Qi Yichen.
Qi Yichen "woke up" instantly, in shock. He pointed at Gu Qingyu while covering his heart. "Brother Zhu! How could you do this to me?"
"Precisely because it's you." She answered with fluttering eyelashes.
Qi Yichen yelled, "%$#&……"
Ye Jin narrowed his eyes dangerously and said with a faint hiss. "Xiao Yu'er."
"Okay, okay, I'll shut up now! You do your thing!" She whirled around and walked to Suzaku.
"You too, just you wait." Ye Jin said, before turning back to Qi Yichen.
Gu Qingyu stole a glance at Qi Yichen, he probably won't be able to walk away from this. She turned to Suzaku, since she did feel some sort of connection to him. "Do you want to help him now, Miss Suzaku?"
"No." The avian divine beast shook her head firmly.
"Huh?" Gu Qingyu did not expect that answer. A woman's heart was ever changing indeed.
"It's better for him to swallow that bitter pill. How else would he learn to never flirt with a married woman again?" Suzaku explained with a huff. Gu Qingyu stared at her quizzically. That sounded as though there was a story behind it.
"Alright, I'm tired. You all can leave now." Suzaku yawned lazily, then walked up to Qi Yichen. "Here, your weapon." She stuffed the item into his hand. It was his fan.
"Thank you, Miss." Qi Yichen said with a smile. Although he was still dangling in the air, held up by Ye Jin, he was still smiling as if nothing was wrong with the world.
Suzaku blushed. "It's, it's nothing." With that, she left the cave in a hurry.
Gu Qingyu sighed secretly, then walked over to Ye Jin and patted his shoulder. "We should go too."
"Okay." Ye Jin nodded and put down Qi Yichen.
As soon as Qi Yichen's feet touched the floor, he latched onto Gu Qingyu immediately. "Qingyu~"
"Shut up, get lost." Gu Qingyu glared at Qi Yichen without hesitation, and almost gave him a kick.
"You went through so much to save me, and I'm still so weak and feeble, do you really want me to get lost?" He grinned at her.
Gu Qingyu massaged her temples as she looked at him. "Qi Yichen, the weather is really cold today. I would not mind taking back my robe myself if you keep talking." He shrank away and went silent when she said that, that threat seemed to have scared him quite a bit.
"I mind." Ye Jin chimed in, but it was the only thing he said as he walked beside her. He was still brooding.
"Um...Xiao Zhezhe, I was just kidding..." She told him immediately. But still, Ye Jin was such a tsundere!
"Well, I thought so too." Ye Jin glanced at Qi Yichen, smiling.
They took a turn and arrived at the cave's entrance. The sudden brightness stung Gu Qingyu's eyes as they stepped out from the cave. She squinted slightly. A group of black-clad assassins was waiting for them outside. She, Ye Jin and Qi Yichen were completely surrounded. The leader was dressed in a purple robe, a sword was strapped to his waist.
"Brother Murong!" Gu Qingyu called without thinking.
She was about to greet him when Ye Jin stopped her, blocking her with a raised hand. He walked forward instead and shielded her behind him. "It's been a while, General Leng."
"It has been a while, Emperor Ye." General Leng greeted him with a ghost of a smile.
Tension hung in the air like a thick fog. Gu Qingyu shuffled back and pulled Qi Yichen along with her. "Any bright ideas?" She asked with a hushed voice.
"Nope. We can either hope and pray for reinforcements, but that's near impossible since not even we know where we are. Or we can fight our way out. "
"Good idea." Gu Qingyu began to concentrate her powers again, but the pain from her bones returned and it was more severe than the last time. Was it because she used her powers too recklessly in order to break the crystal? She tried to push through the pain again, but it was too painful and whatever power she had gathered in her hands vanished.
"Qingyu, what's wrong?" Qi Yichen asked with knitted brows.
"Nothing much. Just something that your not-secret-admirer did." She laughed wryly, glanced towards Ye Jin and General Leng, and asked casually, "Hey, what's his name anyway?"
"Something along the lines of Leng Xuanyu." Qi Yichen answered softly.
She felt like she had been hit by a stray bolt of lightning. Leng Xuanyu was the alias or pseudonym that she gave to Murong Zuoyu at the beginning of their adventure. Were fate's hands involved in all this? Murong Zuoyu, Leng Xuanyu. Maybe they were one and the same all along.
Gu Qingyu exhaled and leaned into Qi Yichen, with a low voice. "You go first, I'll cover you."
"How can I do that?" He frowned. "Qingyu dear, did you forget that I have my powers back now?"
"Oh, right." She nodded, but still insisted on her plan. "But no, you've just got them back, your body still needs time to adjust."
"Don't worry, at least you know that I won't drag you down. The same thing would not happen twice." He reached over and patted her on the shoulder, it eased her worries a little.
She walked up and stood next to Ye Jin, her focus remained firmly on Leng Xuanyu, who then said with a cold voice, not unlike Murong Zuoyu. "Just so you know, Emperor Ye, that poison has suppressed a great deal of your powers."
"Are you threatening me?" Ye Jin narrowed his eyes dangerously in response.
Leng Xuanyu tugged his lips. "That depends on Emperor Ye's interpretation."
"Even if my powers have suppressed, it's still more than enough to exterminate all of you!" Ye Jin waved once and a gust swept through them, while Gu Qingyu summoned her chains despite her pain.
"Xiao Yu'er," Ye Jin said as he stared into her eyes. "I will protect you."
"I know." She smiled. She did not need convincing, he would always protect her. He would never let any harm come to her.
Leng Xuanyu's eyes narrowed into slits as his hand slowly raised above his head, poised to signal their attack. Gu Qingyu also lowered her body to relieve the pain in her bones. The Soul Chain wriggled in the air like a cobra's head, ready to strike.
Leng Xuanyu's army outnumbered them by the thousands, they were in for the long haul and still they did not stand a chance. What else can they do? Right then, Qi Yichen tapped her lightly on the head with his fan. "Turn into the White Tiger first."
"What do you mean?" She whispered back, confused.
"Idiot! Turn into the White Tiger and scare them!" He rolled his eyes in disdain.
"Would it work? So what if they get scared?"
"Perhaps they would be scared enough to run away?" He clarified with another tap to her head. "Idiot!"
"Tch. Fine, we'll try your bright idea. But if it doesn't work, you'll have to call me Dad." She pouted.
Qi Yichen opened his fan and agreed. "Deal! If my plan does work, you'll have to call me Dad."
"Enough, both of you!" Leng Xuanyu glared at her, the temperature around them plummeted.
"Okay, okay! Let's do this!" She dismissed Leng Xuanyu's threat with a nonchalant wave. The great general was rendered speechless by her behaviour.
Gu Qingyu took his momentary lapse of attention to pull Ye Jin behind her and focused all of her powers. He frowned and reached out to stop her, but Gu Qingyu turned into a ball of white light that exploded and blinded all of them. She used the same method as the last time she transformed into the White Tiger, just releasing all of her powers in a giant blast!
The light gradually faded and the dust settled. A giant White Tiger towered over Leng Xuanyu and his troops with piercing eyes. Atop of the beast's head was a motif, the brand of the White Tiger. Leng Xuanyu stared at the monster before them with a slack jaw. Gu Qingyu looked at her feet, the ground suddenly looked very far from her. The sight made her head spin. Leng Xuanyu looked at the white tiger, then lifted the edge of his robes and dropped to his knees. "O great Divine Beast."
His soldiers followed suit. "O great Divine Beast!"
Gu Qingyu could not believe her eyes. What was happening? Were they really spooked out of their mind, just like what Qi Yichen had said?
"Qingyu~What do you think of the name Qi Qingyu?" Qi Yichen took out his fan and lightly tapped the White Tiger's leg.
Qi Qingyu? Well, they did have that agreement. If Qi Yichen was her dad, then it would make sense that she would be called Qi Qingyu rather than Gu Qingyu. Ye Jin squinted as he stared at the White Tiger. Gu Qingyu kept her attention on Leng Xuanyu. Maybe she should just scoop Ye Jin and Qi Yichen into her arms and make a run for it. With her current size, she could outrun them.
Leng Xuanyu spoke again. "Forgive, great Divine Beast. Your servant has failed to recognise you."
The arrogant and cold-hearted Leng Xuanyu, the invincible stone-faced war god, just kneeled at her, called her great and apologised to her. It looked that things had taken a turn for the ridiculous.
Leng Xuanyu pursed his lips and continued. "Your servants are in debt to you, for your protection of Xiqian throughout the years. We implore you to aid Xiqian through its crisis once more!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter