Hua Lin Yu didn’t know what was going through Xin Lan’s mind but he felt like the way that his lover was currently embracing him was different from before. It felt as if they were connected in a slightly deeper way as if they had gotten a new understanding of each other. Especially considering the argument they had had just a while before, he was really happy about this.
He snuggled up in Xin Lan’s arms, looking out at the lake in front of them, with his eyes squinted into sparkling lines, enjoying the moment. If their stay in the dragon realm could always be like this … he didn’t think that he would ever want to leave.
The two of them didn’t move until there was a knock on the door.
Xin Lan glanced over his shoulder but was too lazy to call out and just pulled Hua Lin Yu closer, slightly tilting his head to kiss his cheek. “We should just ignore other people.”
Hua Lin Yu laughed and reached up, rubbing Xin Lan’s cheek. “You seem to forget that there aren’t many people that even know that we are staying here. This could only be my brother, the person that brought us here, or that acquaintance of yours. Don’t you think it would be the polite thing to at least let them know that we are in?”
Xin Lan gave an unenthusiastic hum. “As I said, that person from before was nobody. That other guy … he’s just an adviser of the dragon king, nothing for us to take note of.”
Hua Lin Yu raised his brows. “That still leaves my brother. And you wouldn’t want him to go out and get into trouble on our first day here, would you?”
Xin Lan sighed, a little unhappy with this. He really hoped that it would be Hua Lin Rong or he’d get angry at whoever dared to stand in front of his door. “Alright, I’ll be back in a minute.” He let Hua Lin Yu out of his arms and then got up, going over to the door himself. Just on the off-chance that it was Bai Mu again, he didn’t want Hua Lin Yu to take a glance at him.
Opening the door, the one he found in front of him was Hua Lin Rong. Xin Lan gave a hum and then stepped to the side, letting him in. He would’ve liked to spend some more alone time with Hua Lin Yu but it was true that he couldn’t leave his future brother-in-law out there just like that.
Hua Lin Rong looked around, checking whether this room looked any different from his. In fact, the differences were only minimal though. “It’s really nice here. What is Xiao Yu saying?”
Xin Lan motioned over to the courtyard. “You can go and ask him yourself.” He walked back outside and then sat down next to Hua Lin Yu, pulling him back into his arms. Anyway, this was a conversation that the two of them should have with each other and not with him. Nothing of this surprised him after all.
Hua Lin Rong followed him outside and then sat down on his brother’s other side. “I just said to Xin Lan that it’s really nice here. What do you think?”
Hua Lin Yu nodded and his gaze wandered over the courtyard. “It really is. I think I especially like this courtyard. Xin Lan said that there are courtyards for almost every room. So do you have one as well?”
Hua Lin Rong nodded. “I do. It’s pretty similar in the layout actually.” He leaned forward and glanced at Xin Lan on the other side. “The people that actually live here and aren’t just guests … do they get to decide how their courtyards look?”
Xin Lan nodded. “Of course. Depending on which room you get, it could also be that they are already different when you move in because the one living there before had a different taste.” He thought back to Jinde’s courtyard that had housed quite a few rare herbs that he liked to use for refining pills and his expression turned a little blank. That courtyard … most likely, nothing was left of it anymore.
Hua Lin Yu glanced at him and then reached out, taking his hand again and interlacing their fingers. “Well, I guess we won’t be here long enough to do something like this. But the garden around your house is also very nice.” He leaned over and pecked his lips, managing to make Xin Lan forget about what he just thought about.
“Well, if you want to change anything, you can do so. I don’t really care about the garden too much. It was just something that I felt should be there.” That had been his original thought when he had that place built. He had only put some more effort into it later on after he met Jinde. He probably had the thought that should Jinde ever realize that Chun Yin wouldn’t be a viable option and adjusted his expectations and actually decided on him, then he would like him to feel at home in his house. Well, it had been an idiotic idea. He should’ve known that it would never happen.
Xin Lan gave a wry smile and then leaned closer to Hua Lin Yu, brushing through his hair. Looking at the black strands helped a little with not thinking of Jinde. The contrast between the two of them was just too big. Especially since he had seen Jinde mature a lot over the years.
Now, when he thought of him, he would usually remember more or less the face that he had right now and not the one of the youth that he had originally met. While he would never forget that first moment when he opened his eyes in Jinde’s study, he had lived at his side for too long to only fixate on that. And the growing maturity had definitely been one of the things he loved the most about Jinde.
Well, maybe Hua Lin Yu would show him such an interesting change sometime in the future as well. He really hoped so. That would make living together that much easier.