Shao Hai stared at Xiao Dong, his eyes getting bigger. “You …” He took an angry breath and then pulled at Xiao Dong’s label with force. “You’re shameless!”
Xiao Dong merely gave an indulgent smile. “I’m shameless? I’m just saying it as it is. Am I not doing this because I like you?”
Shao Hai let go of him and stepped back, snorting loudly. “Hmph. You’re saying you like me? If you really liked me, then you wouldn’t be bothering me right now. I have to go to Xiao Yi and make sure that he doesn’t do anything wrong.”
Xiao Dong looked at him, seemingly intrigued. “Why? You think if you like somebody, then you have to let them do whatever they want? Even if you disagree with them?”
Shao Hai nodded once again. “Well, obviously. If you love somebody, then you’ll always give in to them.”
Xiao Dong’s lips curled into a dangerous smile. “Well, then I’m really wondering why you want to go and bother Jing Yi. Aren’t you doing exactly what I’m doing right now? You’re saying you like Jing Yi but you won’t accept his decision.
“In the end, which one is it? Do you like him enough to let him do what he wants to do? Or are you so narrow-minded that you’re not able to accept that he likes another man more than you?”
Shao Hai stared at him, thunderstruck. That … That wasn’t true! He wasn’t being like Xiao Dong! He definitely wasn’t. No, this was different. “But Xiao Yi and I have known each other for several years already.”
Xiao Dong crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I know you almost as long as you know Jing Yi.”
“That …” Shao Hai’s gaze darted around. It was true. Xiao Dong had only come a few months later to the capital than Jing Yi. And considering that he had spent several weeks alone with Xiao Dong when they were traveling to the Yun Zou Sect and then spent more time with him while they were in the Yun Zou Sect because they were both practitioners while Jing Yi was a cultivator, it might even be that he had spent just as much time with either of them. After a while, he would probably have spent more time with Xiao Dong as he had spent with Jing Yi.
Still, he didn’t want to accept it. “That’s not the same.”
Xiao Dong wasn’t in a hurry to dismantle Shao Hai’s poor arguments. “Oh? I’m afraid I don’t get it. Why don’t you explain to me just how it is different?”
Shao Hai furrowed his brows, looking away. “It just is.”
“Oh? So it’s different because you say so and because you feel that you’re more love with Jing Yi than I’m with you?”
Shao Hai wanted to nod but he couldn’t bring himself to do so. Actually, Xiao Dong treated him almost the same as he treated Jing Yi. Well, in fact, Xiao Dong might be even more direct than he was. So that excuse probably couldn’t be used. He didn’t know how else to explain though. “It’s just different.”
Xiao Dong took a long look at him and then sighed. “You’re deceiving yourself. You’re not doing this because you love him. Well, in a way, you do but you’re not doing it for him. You’re doing it for yourself.”
“I’m not!” Shao Hai once again grabbed Xiao Dong’s lapel, wanting to shake him. Xiao Dong’s knowing gaze stopped him though. Shao Hai let go of him and stepped back again. “I … I’m doing it for his own good! That senior martial brother Qiu isn’t good enough for him?”
“But you are? I don’t think so. Even if you were, you’re not the one who gets to decide that. Jing Yi does. All this talk about how you want to advise him and help him because you care about him is nonsense. You’re just angry that Jing Yi likes somebody else more than you and that he might really consider marrying him.
“If you really liked him and if you really meant what you said before about how you shouldn’t interfere with somebody you love, then you’d let him make his own decisions. At the very least, you’d keep your thoughts to yourself and wait until those seven days are over and Jing Yi was able to make his own decision.
“If he still feels that he doesn’t like senior martial brother Qiu by then and rejects his proposal, then you can continue to try to win his love. Nobody’s going to hold you back. But don’t go around spouting nonsense about how much you love him if you don’t honestly want to consider what’s good for him. Because you’re clearly not thinking for him. You’re thinking of yourself.”
Shao Hai looked at the ground, his gaze complicated. He didn’t want to believe this but … it sounded logical when Xiao Dong said it like this. “But … but I’m also his friend. Can’t I have an opinion on who he marries? I just think that senior martial brother Qiu isn’t any good.”
Xiao Dong snorted. “You just think so because you think he’s your rival. Honestly, I’ve said it before: What’s not good about him? He’s handsome, he’s talented with the sword, his Master has a high position in the sect … Haven’t you see how all these martial sisters reacted to him? They’d obviously love to marry him! And Jing Yi might want to even more considering how much senior martial brother Qiu cares about him.
“Just stop being a spoilsport. If Jing Yi likes him, you’ll have to accept it sooner or later. Instead of agonizing senior martial brother Qiu and ruining your friendship with Jing Yi, you might as well be happy for them. Anyway, it’s none of my concerns. If my feelings for you aren’t welcome, then I won’t say anything more. After all, I do care about what’s important to you.” With that, Xiao Dong turned around and left, feeling as if he had achieved a lot.
Meanwhile, Shao Hai continued to stand there in a daze, wondering if he had really gone about this the wrong way. In the end, he could only tell himself that Xiao Dong must be right and that he at least had to give Jing Yi a few days to think things through. Afterward, he could still go and talk to him. Mn, he also had to apologize for his behavior this morning …
Little did he know that Jing Yi had already been dragged away by Qiu Ling and would likely leave the Yun Zou Sect even before the seven days were up.