Xin Lan looked at the back of Hua Lin Yu’s head, his gaze tracing the black strands of hair. Imagining him in a red wedding gown as it was customary for the humans, he couldn’t help but feel weird.
He had been in love with Jinde for millennia. He couldn’t imagine to ever get over him and settle down with somebody else. All this time, he had quietly imagined how it would be if Jinde ever decided that Chun Yin was not worth it. If he would just see that Chun Yin was not willing to put him first and take him as his most important person. If he only he could do so … With time, wouldn’t he have seen that there was somebody much more dedicated to him close by?
In fact, he wouldn’t have cared that Jinde could never fall in love with him. Just being able to spend every day at his side with the title of his husband, caring for him, loving him … Wouldn’t that have been great?
He had imagined such days to come. He had envisioned how they would get close for the first time, how he would gently take him into his arms, kiss him, and then marry him the dragon way. The way his robes would glide over his smooth skin, the way his golden hair would soon be slick with sweat …
Xin Lan closed his eyes, his mind very unhelpfully conjuring up the image of how exactly Jinde looked in that state. Unfortunately, he knew. Unfortunately, he had seen him exactly like that. Unfortunately, the one that had made him look like that had been another man and it would be another man for all eternity.
He knew that. He knew that there was no way to change the state of things between them. But still … finally abandoning that idea and marrying somebody else … Even though this marriage was just to make true on his promise to Xiang Yu and save his soul from being torn asunder, it hurt a little to think that the one that would finally lie at his side would be another person.
Xin Lan sighed and tried to push the thought away. It was not a real wedding, not a real marriage. This youth was even just that fallen god’s trial. It had no meaning, much like those people that were a fleeting visitor in his life. A moment of enjoyment, nothing more. This Hua Lin Yu … he would be just like that.
Xin Lan turned onto his back, staring up at the ceiling. He would indeed just be a fleeting moment for him but he wondered what it would mean for that fallen god. Suddenly going on a trial like this … this kind of impulsive decision was probably not strange for a fallen god but who knew what the effects would be?
Obviously, that Xiang Yu had fallen because of a trial of love. Now, he wanted to live a life where he would have a lover. Was he trying to make up for his past? Then what would happen after he woke up?
Xin Lan glanced at the person next to him again, feeling slightly intrigued. He had hooked up with a few people of the god race before and over time, he had gotten at least a rudimentary understanding of their trials. Usually, each of them would bring about a change in the god’s life. They would help them make decisions, find the right path for themselves, and make them steer clear of some mistakes. That was what the intention behind them was.
But for a fallen god? If a trial was the cause of their fall, then it had already gone as wrong as it could. What use was there in taking another one? Or could it be that this would stabilize his soul somewhat?
Xin Lan felt intrigued by that thought. What made a fallen god into what it was, was the instability of their soul. The soul would crack and finally crumble and then they would transform, their soul taking another shape and the mark of wisdom form as a visible sign that they were no trueborn gods anymore.
From that moment on, they were damned to forever remain in that state. They would not age, not physically, and in most cases not even mentally because despite the new knowledge they could gain, their soul, their innermost core, was not working as intended anymore. Whatever trauma they had suffered, it would forever stay present in their mind, shackling them down.
That kind of person … were they able to overcome this problem if they went on a trial? Was that why Tian had allowed Xiang Yu to come here? Was there a real chance to heal a soul even after it had been so badly damaged?
Xin Lan turned back onto his side, pulling Hua Lin Yu up against his chest again. Maybe it was because Jinde had also injured his soul but thinking of this possibility, he felt that he should take this a little more seriously.
Even if the chance was small, as long as it was there, he couldn’t disregard it. Even if he couldn’t truly love Xiang Yu’s reincarnation, he should do his best to act as his lover. So whatever he had previously imagined doing for Jinde, he would do for this person instead. Maybe … just maybe, he would truly be able to change his life. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Imagining that brought a small smile to Xin Lan’s lips and he finally closed his eyes and fell asleep with the fallen god’s reincarnation in his arms. Unbeknown to him, Hua Lin Yu was still awake, his thoughts having wandered off to a completely different place.