Gu Qingyu and Qi Wan left the firewood storeroom in the backyard and walked into the inn together. As they entered the main hall, they saw Qi Yichen walk down the stairs.
"What's wrong?" Gu Qingyu asked Qi Yichen.
He shrugged. "Qingyu, I've not had a proper bath in a long time."
"Oh yeah..." Gu Qingyu nodded, her voice trailed off as she pondered for a while.
Suddenly, she glanced at Qi Wan. There was a sinister glint in her eyes. Qi Wan met her eyes and all of the fine hairs along his nape stood up. "What is it, Boss?"
"Qi Wan, didn't you mention that you wanted to visit the baths?" Gu Qingyu smiled and stared into his eyes.
Qi Wan felt that his mouth had turned dry. "Ahahaha, suddenly I don't want to take a bath..."
"Ah? What? I can't hear you." Gu Qingyu tilted her head left and right, a 'crack' sound popped from her neck. "Are you going to bathe?"
"Yeah! Yeah, I will!" Qi Wan replied with a wince.
Gu Qingyu nodded in satisfaction. "Very well, I'll leave Qi Yichen to you."
Two wails sounded at once, Gu Qingyu patted Qi Wan's shoulder before she leaned in and whispered in his ear. "Brother, take good care of him! Seize the opportunity! Ah ha ha ha ha!" She suddenly laughed maniacally, as if she just thought of something.
"Boss, you laughing like that unsettles me." Qi Wan turned weakly. "Come on, Brother Qi! I'm ready!"
"Alright, Younger Brother Qi." Qi Yichen also walked downstairs reluctantly. Gu Qingyu tailed them.
Qi Wan turned around and beamed at Gu Qingyu. "My dear, do you want to bathe together?"
"Eh? If you don't mind, of course I..." She caught Jia Qizhe in her peripheral vision, he had just stepped out from his room upstairs, and immediately changed her words. "Of course I would not be joining you two! Go, quickly!" Qi Wan and Qi Yichen rolled their eyes again.
Qi Wan and Qi Yichen walked away, and Jia Qizhe ambled down the stairs.
Gu Qingyu looked nervously at Jia Qizhe. "Hero Jia, I think you can increase the pressurizing vibe around you!"
"Oh? Really?" Jia Qizhe raised an eyebrow. "I'll try my best, Xiao Yu'er."
I'll try my best……
Gu Qingyu swallowed nervously. "Jia Qizhe, is there anything wrong?"
"Nothing." Jia Qizhe smiled, "I think Xiao Zhezhe sounds better."
"Fine, fine, Xiao Zhezhe..." Gu Qingyu went along with his flirting. "I still need to pack, I'll be heading up first?"
Jia Qizhe simply nodded. "Sure."
Gu Qingyu escaped to her room. Actually, she had already packed her luggage, but the pressure surrounding Jia Qizhe was just too much… It was enough to make her cry.
After a while, the room became stuffy, so she went out. Fortunately, Jia Qizhe was gone. Gu Qingyu's heart leaped with elation, but she was more and more curious about Qi Wan and Qi Yichen. She tip-toed out from her room, and as soon as she closed the door, someone tapped her shoulder. She yelped and turned behind. It was Xie Zang, she patted her chest. "That scared me!"
Xie Zang smiled with amusement. "Why, what did you do, Kitten?"
"No, nothing." Gu Qingyu immediately held up her hand. "Really."
"Okay, Kitten, are you going to 'check on' those two?" Xie Zang's smile became more ambiguous.
Gu Qingyu nodded honestly. "Yes!"
"They're already out." Xie Zang jutted out his chin and pointed to behind her.
His words sent a sinking feeling to her stomach, she looked back and was shocked. "What the hell...?"
Qi Wan walked towards them, dressed in a white robe, and with a paper fan in hand. Qi Wan may be all sunshine and full of jokes usually, and his sunny personality was heightened by his usual dark green robe. But his entire vibe changed when he wore white. He did not look like Mo Bai's gentle, ethereal beauty, or Qi Yichen's clean, pristine grace. He looked like a god, the most sinister and devious in the pantheon, who put on white robes to hide his true form, but yet revealed more of his rebellious arrogance.
"My God!" Gu Qingyu stared at him blankly.
Qi Wan looked at Gu Qingyu for a while and then took out a handkerchief from his sleeve, which was also white. With a friendly smile, he said to Gu Qingyu, "Boss, your nose is bleeding, please wipe it!"
Gu Qingyu snapped back to her senses and rolled her eyes at Qi Wan. "Why are you wearing Qi Yichen's clothes?"
Qi Wan looked at her with astonishment. "Goodness me, Boss! You can tell these are his clothes? Are you sure you didn't peek?"
Xie Zang looked at her with astonishment as well. "So you had already checked on them, Kitten! It seems that I underestimated you!"
I swear to the heavens on my conscience, I was really just joking about peeking.
Qi Wan leaned into her face and opened his fan to cover his mouth. But his eyes and his voice betrayed his intention to tease her. "You didn't see anything you should not have seen, right?"
Gu Qingyu felt the corner of her lips twitch. She was just about to snap back at him, but a dark green robe in her periphery drew her attention.
It was Qi Yichen. His clean face exuded anger, but the dark green robe changed his vibe as well. He looked like nothing like a scholar, more like a handsome young master from a noble household. "Wow! I did not expect that your relationship has reached this level!" Gu Qingyu clicked her tongue and glanced between the two of them.
Qi Yichen became even more angry. "What am I to do? This little twerp stole my clothes!"
"It's a grab. I grabbed them, twat." Qi Wan straightened his back and replied righteously.
"Hm... I did not expect you to have this kind of hobby..." Gu Qingyu shook her head in defeat. "Forget it, if you want to, you two can keep wearing whatever you're wearing, we have to go!"
Finally, it's the afternoon. Gu Qingyu brought her luggage to the entrance of the inn. Everyone was ready. Qi Yichen and Qi Wan were both visibly upset, but they had changed back their clothes. Gu Qingu shook her head as her tongue clicked again. Her eyes hovered on Qi Yichen and Qi Wan, and finally shook his head again with a sigh.
"Say something, Boss!" Qi Wan almost cried. "Did I ever say that you not saying anything scares me the most!"
Gu Qingyu smiled knowingly. "Yes."
"Also, please don't smile like this..." Qi Wan tried to appear as affable as possible, "Yes, open your mouth a bit wider..."
Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes. "Wow, hahahaha!"
"Forget you, don't talk, just whatever. Forget it." Qi Wan covered his eyes weakly. Gu Qingyu gave Qi Yichen and Qi Wan another long look.
They left the city on horseback and arrived at Sha Wukong's house at dusk.
"Brother Wukong! We are here to visit you!" Qi Wan called out excitedly.
Sha Wukong rushed out and welcomed them. "Hey! It's you lot!"
He looked around. "Huh? What about Brother Zhu Fan?"
His wife, who was next to him, looked at Gu Qingyu curiously. "This girl looks familiar...?"
"I'm Brother Zhu Fan!" Gu Qingyu admitted to them, at least they recognised her voice.
The lady smiled in surprise. "It's really Brother Zhu Fan! No, how should we call you now, young lady?"
"... Gu Qingyu." She struggled for a while before revealing her name.
Let's hope that I at least have a less infamous reputation here.
To her surprise, the lady nodded approvingly. "That's a good name."
Good name? Gu Qingyu softly released her breath. Oh, that's good!
"Well, don't just stand there! Come inside!" Sha Wukong gestured at the front gate.
"Then we'll accept your kind offer." Qi Yichen greeted the lovely couple.
As soon as they entered the house, a sense of warmth enveloped them.
"We have a small fire going, now that it's winter." Sha Wukong scratched his head sheepishly. "You can all stay here overnight. So, have you finished what you came to do?" He asked Gu Qingyu.
She nodded. "Yes. Thank you for your help."
"Oh, it's nothing. I'm just glad that I didn't cause you all more trouble." Sha Wukong immediately waved his hand.
Gu Qingyu shook her head: "No, no, really, thank you for housing us!"
"Ah, enough with the thanks, we're all friends!" Sha Wukong looked out the window. "It's getting late, haven't you had dinner yet? It'll be ready soon!"
"Erm, I'll help!" Gu Qingyu stood up.
Xiao Qi also stood up with a shy look. "I, I, I’ll go too..."
Sha Wukong merely waved and turned them down. "Please, sit down, these are what the hosts should do! You're guests, just sit tight." But Gu Qingyu insisted and walked towards the kitchen, Xiao Qi followed her hesitantly.
When they entered the kitchen, the woman smiled heartily at Gu Qingyu. "Came to help?" Gu Qingyu nodded.
"Sure, no problem!" The lady embraced their help and Gu Qingyu and Xiao Q were quickly assigned tasks. The three worked together and before long, dinner was ready. Gu Qingyu and Xiao Qi brought out all the dishes, the lady filled each bowl with rice. Just like that, dinner was served. The group sat at the round table, their meal was a beautiful and joyous occasion.
After dinner, Gu Qingyan said to Sha Wukong, "Brother Wukong, we are here to say goodbye to you. I don't know when we can meet again. We will come back to see you when we have time!"
"We welcome you anytime." Sha Wukong's wife smiled. "It's getting late, go to sleep first. You can set off tomorrow morning!"
"Ok, thank you!" Gu Qingyu also nodded with a smile, and walked into the room.
That night, she chatted with Xiao Qi till late at night. When Xiao Qi finally dozed off, she went to the spiritual realm and trained with Yan Zun.
I just want to protect my happiness. I don't want to be so weak and powerless anymore. The feeling of watching the people I want to protect be in pain, and yet not even able to lift a finger to help, I never want to go through that again. I never want to see anything like what happened to Qi Yichen again. I want to be strong. I want to be stronger.Previous Chapter Next Chapter