Arriving at his destination, Liu Cheng started to stroll through the streets in a happy mood. He couldn’t show up empty-handed when going to confess his feelings, so he first had to find a gift for his junior martial sister.
Hong Bao wasn’t very demanding. Even the simplest of gifts would be able to make her happy just based on the fact that it came from the person she liked. Also, as demon hunters, they both wouldn’t need anything fancy. Something simple would be great.
For a moment, he even considered if he should get her something practical like a new weapon but he finally discarded the idea. Anyway, this was a special occasion and one that had nothing to do with their profession as demon hunters. It would feel wrong to give her something like that. No, instead, he should try to find something that could express his sentiments.
Finally, Liu Cheng noticed a pretty hairpin. It was only wooden but some flowers were engraved on it. It seemed playful and girlish as if it had been tailor-made for Hong Bao. At the same time, it still had a practical use and since there weren’t any tassels, it also wouldn’t get in the way when she fought.
Liu Cheng smiled at the vendor and bought the hairpin, not even thinking about the price he paid. He put his gift into his spiritual bag, and slowly made his way over to the Phoenix Inn. By now, it was almost noon. Hong Bao should have arrived already and was probably waiting for him anxiously. He couldn’t let her wait.
He arrived at the door and looked up at the front of the inn. As far as he knew, this was the best establishment in the town. Since the Chun Feng Sect was located just up the mountain, he had heard a lot about it. It was established by a local family and had been operated for three generations already. Whenever there was a bis festivity in one of the wealthier families of the town they would almost always come here.
The Chun Feng Sect’s disciples didn’t really have a reason to take a room in an inn here since the sect grounds were nearby but those with a bit of background still liked to go to town every now and then and would at least eat in the inn. As far as they had told him, there were only a few rooms in the inn to give the customers a more exclusive feeling. Other people could still go to eat there though and the inn even invited musicians to play in the evening. It should be pretty lively at that time.
Liu Cheng gulped and took another deep breath. He couldn’t botch this up. From the moment he entered that room, to the words he told her, to how he finally gave her his gift, everything had to be perfect. After everything she had gone through, Hong Bao certainly deserved that.
He straightened out his robes, squared his shoulders, and then strode into the inn, directly going up to the boss. “Someone asked me to meet here at noon. They should have reserved a room.”
The boss looked at the green robe, immediately recognizing it. Just to make sure, he asked though. “You are from Chun Feng Sect, right?”
Liu Cheng nodded, his heart jumping. He knew Hong Bao quite well. She was talkative and didn’t have a problem telling a stranger the story of her whole life upon meeting them the first time. Maybe she had even told the owner of the inn about whom she would meet and what for. Well, an upcoming marriage was a happy occasion, nothing to be embarrassed about.
The boss smiled brightly at Liu Cheng’s nod and motioned to the staircase to the upper floor. “Please. The guest is inside. I will bring you there.” He hurried around the counter and then led the way.
Liu Cheng followed the boss until the door and waited for him to knock. He didn’t really pay attention to him though. All of his thoughts were with Hong Bao. He touched the pendant around his neck and breathed deeply once more. Now that he was so close to her, he felt unsure of how to proceed. Everything was clearly prepared but … he still couldn’t help but feel nervous. It had never been like this when he was out to hunt demons. Hong Bao really was special to make him feel like this.
There was a murmured assent from inside that Liu Cheng didn’t notice because of his chaotic thoughts. The boss dutifully opened the door for him and smiled once again. He couldn’t help but think that he would also be nervous if he was faced with such an important-looking person. Who knew what they would be discussing?
The boss closed the door as soon as Liu Cheng had stepped through and then went back down despite his curiosity. He really hoped that that guest would be satisfied with his service and come by more often. He had already spent a large sum of money after all.
Liu Cheng stepped into the room. He couldn’t see Hong Bao though. Instead, there was a beautifully painted folding screen in front of him. He could vaguely make out some light sounds from behind it. Ah, that Phoenix Inn really was something different. The room looked incredibly elegant. Hong Bao really had done a lot. He couldn’t disappoint her.
Liu Cheng took the hairpin out of his spiritual bag and stepped closer to the folding screen. He didn’t go any further though. If he did, he might not have the courage or maybe Hong Bao wouldn’t be able to hold back and start talking before him. He didn’t want to let that happen. Thus, he stayed where he was and cleared his throat to announce his presence.
“I can already guess your intentions. But there is something I have to tell you beforehand. Actually, I have wanted to tell you this for a long time already but it never seemed to be the right moment. Now, though, I feel that I am ready.” He made a slight pause and closed his eyes. “I love you.”
The person on the other side of the folding screen didn’t answer, making the silence in the room seem to stretch into eternity.
Liu Cheng gulped nervously. “I … Did you not hear me? I said that I loved you. Do you not want to tell me how you feel?” He finally stepped around the folding screen, wanting to see Hong Bao’s expression. As a result …
The person on the other side unhurriedly sipped the tea in his hand before looking up at the petrified Liu Cheng. “I’m sorry but I don’t swing that way.”