Yan Ruhuo. Has Rain's hostility towards her affected him? How would that affect him? He looked so innocent and pure the last time they met, just what sort of trials and tribulations does the fates have in store for him that would make him turn into Yan Zun? She sighed and relaxed against Ye Jin's chest, seeking comfort from his warm arms and familiar scent.
He gently stroked her hair. "We'll find him, Xiao Yu'er." Frankly, he did not appreciate someone else taking such an important place in Gu Qingyu's heart. But he had helped her a lot, and he stayed by her side when Ye JIn himself could not. Ye Jin only had himself to blame for this outcome.
"Yeah, we'll find him." Gu Qingyu pursed her lips and looked out the window.
The ignored Qi Yichen coughed slightly. "Wow, I'm really a third wheel here."
"Yep, you are." Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes and waved. "Bye, have a good rest."
"Are you chasing me out, Xiao Qing Qing?" Qi Yichen bit his lower lip as he cried. "I just got my powers back, but I'm still feeble and weak, yet you would chase me out like this..."
"Precisely, you need to get some rest too!" Gu Qingyu looked at him kindly. "Your fan seems really nice by the way. If you insist on staying, you can give it to me and I'll help to fan you."
Qi Yichen immediately stiffened, and then closed the fan. "Ahahahahaha, I'm suddenly really tired. Thank you for your concern, I'll take my leave now, hahaha..." Gu Qingyu watched as Qi Yichen almost glided out of the room like a spirit, it did not help that he was dressed in white.
"You too, Xiao Yu'er. Rest well, then you're have more energy tomorrow." His voice was soft and tender against her ears.
"Yeah." Her own voice turned mushy and soft in response as she closed her eyes. Ye Jin's embrace felt like the safest place in the world. And his scent was like a cool balm that healed her weary soul. Maybe all of this was simply because he was Ye Jin. After he sensed her breathing gradually smoothened, Ye Jin breathed a soft sigh of relief. He gently helped her lie down on the bed, tucked her in and left the bedroom.
As soon as he stepped out of the room, he was greeted by a kneeling soldier. "Your Majesty, the man that you have been looking for has arrived!"
"Good. Take me to him."
"Yes, Your Majesty!" The soldier stood up and led the way.
Ye Jin followed the soldier to one of the tea rooms in the palace. A man in a pale turquoise robe had been waiting for them. He was staring at the empty teacup on the table, almost in a daze. The man noticed Ye JIn's arrival and stood up, he pursed his lips and greeted the monarch. "Emperor Ye."
"It's been a long time, Cloud." Ye Jin greeted the man that had an uncanny resemblance to Qi Wan with a half-smile.
"I'm just here as a messenger this time." Cloud met Ye Jin's eyes without fear. He was not intimidated by the monarch at all.
Ye Jin lifted his head slightly. "Speak." He commanded Cloud, as a monarch should.
Cloud simply said, "My lady says that the person you are looking for is with her. She and that person are waiting for you in Yan Yang City."
"That's all?" Ye Jin asked with raised brows.
Cloud lowered his head and laughed. "That's all I can say. I'll be on my way now."
"That's all that you can say. What about the things that you could not say?" Ye Jin smirked, and within seconds, Cloud was surrounded by his troops.
His complexion turned a little pallid. "Emperor Ye, you..."
"Since she asked you to deliver the message on her behalf, she must know that you would not be able to return, right?" Ye Jin mocked as he watched Cloud with disdain. "How sad."
Cloud stiffened at his comment and he went silent. Ye Jin's words had hit a sore spot in his heart.
"Take him away." Ye Jin waved once, and his troops sprang to action. They cuffed Cloud's arm and took him away, their prisoner did not resist at all. He may not know the true depths of Ye Jin's powers, but the world must fear him for a reason. And he was still too weak. That's why he could not protect Rain. That's why she sent him to this place. He was not disappointed or angry at her. He felt empty, numb, his heart had been hollowed out. If he wanted to blame anyone, he could only blame himself. He was too weak to protect the person he cared about. He felt powerless.
Ye Jin closed his eyes and turned back, only to see Gu Qingyu standing barefoot in the hallway, dressed only in her pajamas. It was early spring, but the weather was still cold. A harsh wind-chill remained despite the change in seasons. He never expected to see her. "Why did you come here, Xiao Yu'er? Go back to bed, you're going to catch a chill!" He rushed over, wrapped her up in his own thick robe and carried her before she could protest. His arms tightened around her when he felt her shivers.
"Is that true, what Cloud said? Qi Wan is really in Yan Yang City? With Rain?" Gu Qingyu mumbled as she tried to process what she had heard.
"Xiao Yu'er, just go to sleep tonight. I'll take you to meet him tomorrow, I promise." He brought her back to the bedroom and sat down on the bed, she was still cradled in his arms.
Gu Qingyu spoke, her voice a shaky whisper. "Just now... I felt Qi Wan... I dreamt of him... He said he was never going to leave... He sounds so determined..."
"Yes, he won't." Ye Jin murmured as he rested his chin on the top of her head.
Gu Qingyu wriggled her hands free and wound them around his torso. "Xiao Zhezhe, none of you would leave, right?"
"Yes, that's right. We won't leave you, Xiao Yu'er. None of us will." He repeated after her, his words offered both comfort and a promise. "Trust me, none of us will leave you."
"I believe you." Gu Qingyu slowly calmed down and fell asleep in his arms again.
My beloved, if I can, I want to grow old in your arms. But the most uncertain thing in this world is "if", so I chose to face the uncertainty instead. I will face this world; face reality as I walk beside you.
Ye Jin listened until her breathing slowed, and sighed when he confirmed that she fell back to sleep. This time, he didn't leave. He too fell asleep, with her in his arms.
If I can, I want to grow old as I hold you in my arms.
Gu Qingyu woke up to Ye Jin's familiar, comforting smell. "You're awake?" His voice was still husky from sleep.
"Yeah." Gu Qingyu looked out the window, the sky outside looked like the sun was just rising.
She suddenly remembered their original plans for the day and looked up at him. "Um, about the wedding, can we..."
"Of course." Ye Jin stretched out his hand and gently stroked her hair, "We'll find Qi Wan first."
"Thank you, Xiao Zhezhe."
His smile was tender and gentle. "You don't need to thank me. It would be nice if my rival could witness the entire process of my marriage to you." Gu Qingyu was rendered speechless by his reasoning.
"Okay, are you awake?"
She nodded and tried to stand, but her legs were still asleep. They gave out under her weight and she fell backwards and into Ye Jin's arms again.
"Be careful!" He caught her. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." She mentally slapped herself at her stupidity, she could not even stand up properly.
"Be careful." Ye Jin massaged her numb legs, and pulled the blanket that had slipped down up and covered her. "It's still cold outside."
Gu Qingyu quietly nestled in Ye Jin's arms. He pampered her as if she was a little girl, just like her father once did many years ago.
A few minutes, after the pins and needles in her legs had subsided, Ye Jin set her down into the soft bed and got up. Only then did she realise that he had been holding her for the whole night while sitting on the bed.
"Where are you going?" She reached and grabbed his hand the moment he got out of the bed.
Ye Jin was taken aback for a moment, then smiled at her and gave her hand a slight squeeze. "I'm just going to get you your dress."
"Oh." Gu Qingyu let go of his hand at once, and looked down awkwardly.
Ye Jin chuckled at her sudden bashfulness. He unfolded a dress that had been lying on the table and showed it to her. "What do you think about this one, Xiao Yu'er?"
It was a pink dress, layered with chiffon. It was similar to the dress he had commissioned for her, just without the skillful embroidery.
"Very-very beautiful." She said as a shy smile flashed across her face.
Ye Jin placed the dress next to her. "Here, change into this, then we'll go and have breakfast. I'll be outside, let me know once you're ready. Oh, there's also a thick robe on the table, make sure you wear that as well. It would ward away the cold."
He was such a worrywart that he was nagging at her like a father reminding their child to pack the day before their school trip. She could not help but laugh. "Alright."
She watched him leave the room, slipped into her clothes just as he said, and stepped outside.
The cold winds nipped at her cheeks the moment she opened the door, but it carried the faint fragrance of flowers. Ye Jin stood outside and looked into the distance. The corners of his lips were raised as he waited for her. In that moment, she felt that she had stepped into a painting.
"Ready? Let's go." He held out his hand.
She took his hand and walked next to him. Her head only reached his shoulders, he was just so much taller than her. She pouted, "Why are you so tall anyway? I'm gonna look even shorter when I stand next to you." She was never self-conscious about her height, but Ye Jin was at least 1.85m tall.
Ye Jin chuckled, the wind carried the rumble in his voice. "I happen to like how short you are, Xiao Yu'er. You're just the perfect size to bundle up in a thick robe and carry everywhere."
"Tch, am I just a portable heater to you?" She rolled her eyes. With a turn, they arrived at the dining room.Previous Chapter Next Chapter