Xin Lan held back the whole evening, making sure that he didn’t take any of the limelight away from Hua Lin Yu. This evening was to welcome him back. Nobody else should be the focus of attention unless it was Hua Lin Yu himself who asked something.
The Hua family hadn’t seen their younger son in a long time though so there was an almost endless stream of questions, making sure the youth had to use the whole evening to recount his experiences in the Jian Yi Sect down to the smallest of incidents. The hall was filled with laughter, making the gathering feel very intimate despite the fact that there were actually three strangers present.
Huo Cheng and Huo Hai helped out with recounting some tales from when Hua Lin Yu had been younger that he didn’t quite remember and they also shared some anecdotes from their own view.
It was quite a few hours past midnight when Helian Nuan motioned to the windows to remind everyone of how late it had gotten. “I think we should stop here for today. Anyway, Xiao Yu is back now and he will stay here for quite some time I presume. We will have many more chances to ask him about his experiences outside. But today, we should give it a rest and go to sleep.”
The others all agreed even though Hua Ning Shun and Hua Ming Jun hesitated for a while, not quite sure if they should bring the idea of a journey to the dragon realm up at this moment. In the end, they shared a glance but decided against it.
Anyway, Helian Nuan was right in that it was already very late. It wouldn’t do to bring this up now and have everybody overthink. No, it would be best to let everybody go to sleep first and then talk about this another day. Anyway, the children likely wouldn’t want to leave immediately. So they could still talk about it later on.
Thus, the Hua family got up, ready to retire for the night. Xin Lan got up as well but this time, he didn’t stand back. He had kept quiet for most of the night and just spent his time at Hua Lin Yu’s side, keeping close to him to show him his support. Now, it was time to make his move though. He could probably wait for a while longer or at least until the next day but he still felt that it was best to get things out with immediately. That way, there could be no misunderstandings.
He went forward to where Hua Ning Shun and Fa Min Juan were standing and inclined his head. “I know it is late and you probably want to go and rest but there’s something I feel the need to say.”
Hua Ning Shun gave a strained smile. He could imagine what this was about. He wasn’t quite sure if he was really ready to give an answer to that though. While he knew that his son would probably end up being married to Xin Lan, he had hoped that it wouldn’t be this soon. They had just gotten Xiao Yu back. To actually have him leave again now to live with his husband … it was a pity. But, well, fate couldn’t be changed. “Please go ahead then.”
Xin Lan kept quiet at first and glanced at Hua Lin Yu, making sure to hold his gaze for a moment before he turned back to his parents. “You do know what I said to your son when we brought him over to the Jian Yi Sect. I haven’t forgotten my words. I want to make true on my promise and marry him now that he’s come of age. I’m asking for your blessing.”
Hua Ning Shun barely held back a sigh while his wife raised her brows, not actually having expected this that fast.
“Do you expect us to give an answer immediately?”
Xin Lan shook his head. “A wedding is something that will decide the rest of one’s life in the best case. Naturally, I won’t mind if you take some time to think this through. Anyway, I know that this is rather sudden. I just wanted to make my intentions clear.”
Hua Ning Shun nodded. “Then we will discuss it tomorrow and give your answer by then.”
Xin Lan inclined his head before he turned around and then walked back to Hua Lin Yu. He reached out and lightly brushed his cheek with his fingers, giving him a smile. “If your family allows it, I will definitely keep true to my words. Just have some patience.”
Hua Lin Yu smiled and nodded, feeling that this was already very good. “I will.” Anyway, he didn’t think that his family would say no. So now, they only needed to wait another day to get the final decision. It seemed like a beautiful dream.
Xin Lan leaned closer as if he wanted to kiss him but finally stopped a hair’s breadth away from him before he pulled back. “Then I will return home for tonight. I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded and then watched him leave, only pulling out of his thoughts when his brother tugged at his sleeve.
All eyes were on him. The Huo brothers looked as if they wanted to complain but didn’t dare to in the presence of the other members of the Hua family. In the end, they could only mumble that they would retire for the night as well and then leave, unhappy that they wouldn’t be able to stay there to find out what was going on.
As for the members of the Hua family … They immediately sat back down, motioning for the two children to do the same. Well, sharing some memories could be put off but discussing a wedding couldn’t. They would use the rest of the night for this if they had to.