When looking at what was happening back in the dragon realm, it didn’t seem like things were working out as well as Jinde and Fei Bai Mu hoped. The change in Xin Lan’s mood after being called special by Xiang Yu was subtle and with the two Hua brothers curious about this new place they had arrived at, neither of them noticed what was going on at first.
At first, Hua Lin Yu looked around with sparkling eyes, trying to take in everything up until the last nook and cranny as if he could make up for the years that he hadn’t spent with Xin Lan in this way.
The place that the building stood at was indeed quite far away from any other people of the dragon race. In fact, on the way there, they had stopped seeing any kind of dwelling several hours ago. It seemed a little desolate at first glance but there was also a certain comfortable quietness. That made this a good place to retreat to if one didn’t want to be caught up in all the troubles of the world outside.
The building stood in the middle of a meadow, with a small grove not far from it and the gurgling of a small stream could be heard from nearby. As for the building itself, it didn’t seem that different from what he had seen it the human realm. In fact, there seemed to be only a few details that separated the looks of buildings in the realms.
The overall layout of the site was pretty much the same: There was the main building with some smaller side buildings grouped around it while a garden with a small pavilion enclosed the whole complex. The buildings shared several elements with those in the human realm like the gates with window lattices, the stone beast atop the ridge of the roof, or the beams supporting the eaves.
It was just that the shapes and forms varied slightly starting from the carvings on the doors to the kind of beast on top of the roof and ending with the fact that the beams had a natural finish instead of the red paint that was so popular in the human realm. Combined with the fact that the wood used was of a darker shade than what would be used in the human realm, the building looked more imposing, making him feel even more awed.
Hua Lin Yu turned to Xin Lan and gave a bright smile. “It’s a really nice place. I could imagine living here.”
Xin Lan slightly raised his brows and then pulled Hua Lin Yu into his arms, kissing his temple, his lips lingering on its skin for a moment. Over and over again, there were some small surprises, making him feel that maybe this wouldn’t be too bad. And maybe, even though this wasn’t the person he was really in love with, it would indeed be nice to have somebody else live here with him. To spend their days just with the two of them together, that wouldn’t be too bad, would it? At the very least, he likely wouldn’t be so lonely anymore.
Hua Lin Yu chuckled and rubbed Xin Lan’s chest, finally turning his face and giving him a peck on the lips. He didn’t say anything but motioned over in the direction of the main house, clearly requesting Xin Lan to show him around.
Xin Lan smiled and then took his hand, pulling him along. “I don’t know what to tell the two of you. I haven’t been here in quite some time. Originally, I just wanted a place to myself where I could spend my time without somebody turning up on my doorstep all the time. This place has quite the dense spiritual energy and it’s quiet. So it seemed like the perfect spot.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded, trying to look around but still glancing at Xin Lan’s face every now and then while Hua Lin Rong mostly looked around and tried to get a feel for the place.
“The spiritual energy here is really very dense.” He had already been surprised when he came to the immortal realms in the first place but Xin Lan’s home was even more astonishing in that regard. “No wonder dragons are of such a high level. If I cultivated here, I could probably promote to the next level in no time.”
Xin Lan smiled faintly at that. “To be honest, while it does have to do with that, that’s not all. Contrary to humans, the people of the immortal races are all born with the ability to cultivate. Or rather than calling it cultivation, it might be better to say that we have innate abilities.
“From the moment we are born, dragons can command the air and water. It is just that a small child will not be able to do much since they haven’t figured their abilities out yet. When they get older, that changes. By the time we reach adulthood, we are normally all able to do so to a large degree. There’s no painstaking cultivation involved actually. We normally don’t even have to take in spiritual energy.”
Hua Lin Rong turned to him, raising his brows. “How so?”
“Rather than using spiritual energy that is stored in our body as cultivators do, we use what is around us.” Xin Lan raised his hand and the winds around them started to move but looking closely, it obviously wasn’t that he actually used any energy of his own but he was just commanding the energy around them.
Hua Lin Yu and Hua Lin Rong couldn’t help but be intrigued. Hua Lin Yu grabbed Xin Lan’s hand, turning it around as if he could find out how things were working this way. “But how do you do it?”
Xin Lan laughed at that and put an arm around his waist. “As I said, it’s just an innate ability of ours. On the other hand, the demons are normally able to do the same with fire and earth while the gods are able to control all the elements. Normally, it’s not even something that requires conscious thought. It just comes naturally to us.”
The two humans weren’t quite satisfied with that answer yet but they weren’t sure if Xin Lan would explain any further than that. Obviously, it was a little difficult for him to explain something that was just second nature to him. If they wanted to know, they would have to ask some more pointed questions.
Hua Lin Rong also stared at his hand before finally looking back up at his face. “Then … do you really never take in spiritual energy?”
Xin Lan shook his head. “Not normally. We would only do so to actually make use of it. For example, if one of us gets hurt, then spiritual energy can be used to help with that. To us, it is really just that: energy. We can take it in to replenish our own whether it’s because we’re tired or hungry or injured. It isn’t really needed for using our magical abilities though. That is really just dependent on talent.”