Xin Lan took a deep breath and fought himself back to his feet. He swayed slightly but after taking another deep breath, he had already stabilized himself. He jumped upward and back into the restaurant before Xiang Yu could open another gate and vanish. “Can we talk about it?”
Xiang Yu raised his chin. “No.”
“Tian was right. You’re no good. I don’t want anything to do with you.”
Xin Lan’s lips twitched. “I’m no good?”
“No. You didn’t even pay.”
Xiang Yu pointed to the other side of the road again. A woman was kneeling next to the broken stall, covering her face with her hands and crying.
Xin Lan’s brows twitched. “Who was the one who threw me over there?”
Xiang Yu didn’t look like he felt any guilt. He only stared at Xin Lan, his expression getting gloomier by the second. He couldn’t believe that the man that finally fell in love with him was this kind of person. Doing something wrong and still not owning up to his faults. Despicable!
Xin Lan ground his teeth. He didn’t need to be a mind-reader to feel the utter contempt Xiang Yu had for him. The last time somebody directed this type of gaze at him … hadn’t it be when he challenged that asshole Tian? And now even a fallen god hated him because of something that guy had said. Splendid!
He turned around, jumped back onto the street and threw several pieces of silver onto the ground. “Will that suffice?” He bit out the question, scaring the crying woman even more.
Xin Lan tsked. Humans. First, she cried because her stall was demolished. Now, she still cried even though she received money. And this should have been enough to get an even better stall. He took out a whole bag of silver and threw it in front of her. “Stop crying already.”
He didn’t wait for her to actually finish and leaped back up, staring at Xiang Yu. “Are you happy now?”
“You have no empathy at all!”
Xin Lan took a deep breath. “I don’t think I want to hear that from a fallen god.”
“You shouldn’t talk like that to the person you like.”
“Right. But that person isn’t you so why do you care?”
Xiang Yu froze. “What … What do you mean?”
“I said you’re not the person I like so don’t bother with how I talk. Now, let’s —”
“Liar! You obviously like me!”
Xin Lan touched his forehead, feeling the beginning of a headache. This guy! Why was he being so difficult? He had already said that he didn’t like him. So why was he still insisting? “How did you even come up with the idea that I like you?”
“It’s obvious.” Xiang Yu lowered his gaze and smoothed out his sleeves. How had they gotten this crumpled? And why did this have to happen in front of the person that liked him? Not that he would like him back … So he didn’t have to care anyway but still. Since someone had taken the trouble to start liking him he should look presentable. He wanted to reject him, after all! He couldn’t risk that this fake dragon fell out of love with him before that!
Xin Lan leaned against the intact part of the wall and observed Xiang Yu. This fallen god … wasn’t behaving normally at all. “I’m afraid I lack the knowledge you possess. Just how is it ‘obvious’ to you that I like you?”
“You went to the big river and looked at my life. Obviously, it must be because you like me.”
“You didn’t consider that there could be another explanation?”
“No. And I’m not the only person who thinks so! The reincarnation of that crown prince said the same!” He stared at Xin Lan, making sure that he knew he was right. It was obvious to two different people. He couldn’t argue with that.
Xin Lan sighed. “The reincarnation of the crown prince … So you took the relationship advice of somebody who is currently mortal, has barely come of age and doesn’t even know whether he loves his fiance or not?”
Xiang Yu pondered. Somehow … this sounded very insulting. In the end, he decided not to answer.
Xin Lan sighed again. “He was wrong, alright? I was looking into your life to figure out where you were.”
“Then … if you don’t like me, why would you want to know where I am?”
“To get the reincarnation of the crown prince back that gave you such ridiculous advice.”
“That can’t be. He … He’s the lover of a dragon. His lover even joined his soul with his. It can’t be you!”
Xin Lan clenched his fists. “Thank you for pointing out the obvious!” Did he need to let a fallen god insult him? Well, he still needed something from this fallen god. So the answer was probably yes.
He took a deep breath and pushed his own feelings aside. So what if he couldn’t join his soul with somebody? He was the strongest warrior of the dragon race thanks to that. He didn’t have any weakness. He held absolute strength among the three immortal races. Everyone respected him and a lot of people wouldn’t care whether he could join his soul with theirs or not. How many women and men had there been in his life? Even one short night with him was an honor to them. He didn’t need anything else. And even if he did … a fallen god was certainly not the person to tell him so.
He forced himself to smile. “So since we’ve established that I don’t like you, why don’t you let me take the crown prince’s reincarnation with me? I’m sure he’s nothing but a bother to you and you’d love to get rid of him. I can bring him back to his lover and everyone can go back to their normal lives, yes?”
Xiang Yu shook his head. “No.”
“Come on. Don’t make things difficult for me. He’s in the demon realm, isn’t he? Just bring me there and I’ll take him away. As simple as that.”
“No. I can’t. He isn’t there anyway. I brought him to heal his soul. You know it’s cracked. It should be repaired before he goes back to his lover.”
Xin Lan wanted to argue back when the true meaning of Xiang Yu’s words finally registered. “Wait. You … Know how to heal an injured soul?”