Hua Lin Yu just stared at him, not sure what to do. His expression was so shocked that Xin Lan couldn’t help but chuckle lightly. He reached over, and cupped his cheek, gently rubbing his skin with his thumb. “What are you doing, ah? It’s been a long time since then. Things are different now. You don’t have to worry.”
Hua Lin Yu woke up from his stupor but he still felt a little strange. “Still …” Just knowing that there had been a time like that in Xin Lan’s life made him feel sad. He shouldn’t have needed to live through something like that. His life should have been better than that. But unfortunately, life wasn’t always fair. “You must be really close with Jinde. I mean that is the kind of debt that is difficult to pay back.”
Xin Lan nodded, his expression turning serious again. “That is true. Back then, I promised that I would dedicate my life to him. Whatever it was he needed, he would just need to say the word and I would do it for him. He could’ve asked anything of me. With no exception.”
Hua Lin Yu’s heart thumped and he lowered his gaze, feeling a little strange inside. No matter what … it was probably good that Jinde had found somebody else to marry. To think that … He hurriedly shook his head at himself, wondering what exactly he was thinking here. Jinde had saved Xin Lan’s life. He had probably just done that because he was a nice person. He hadn’t had any other thoughts. And even if he had, a relationship formed on gratitude to be repaid wouldn’t be a good one anyway.
Also, this really wasn’t the issue at hand. He should be more worried about Xin Lan’s condition. “Well, is it really alright again? Something like that … it sounds pretty serious.”
Xin Lan smiled and his fingers once again brushed Hua Lin Yu’s skin. “I’m not alone anymore, am I?”
Hua Lin Yu’s ears turned red and he reached up, wanting to hide them only for his fingers to brush over the edge of the earrings that Xin Lan had made for him. He grabbed onto it, his heart only beating faster.
How strange. Back in the dragon realm, he had hardly been able to think of anything else but Bai Mu. Now that they were back in the human realm, and he was getting so close to Xin Lan, he suddenly felt a bit like before. It wasn’t that he had forgotten Bai Mu but he could see again what he had been seeing in Xin Lan. He glanced at him only to look away after a moment, unsure of how to deal with this.
Xin Lan laughed and leaned down, kissing his cheek. “Don’t overthink it. I said that I would give you time so I will be giving your time. To be honest, you’re just a part of this.” He leaned back and went to sit down opposite his lover, not even looking at him. Instead, he looked out of the window in the direction of the dimension where Jinde was currently with his husband. “Back then, I felt like meeting Jinde at that juncture was a sign. I honestly believed that maybe the two of us were made for each other.”
Hua Lin Yu felt a sense of dread but he hurriedly fought it down. In any case, it had turned out differently and Xin Lan was also speaking of the past. This had also saved him. Naturally, he should be happy about it no matter how bad it sounded.
“Well, as luck would have it, he had already fallen in love so that naturally was impossible.” Xin Lan gave a wry smile that made Hua Lin Yu’s heart squeeze even more tightly.
He had already fallen in love so the curse dictated that he couldn’t do so again. If that hadn’t been the case, Xin Lan would’ve tried his luck, wouldn’t he? He had really thought of Jinde like that. Well, that was a given. Jinde was really beautiful. And he was a nice person obviously. Who wouldn’t fall in love with him? Still, he was a little unhappy hearing that.
Xin Lan pretended not to see just how distressed Hua Lin Yu was. “I felt down as soon as I found out. For the few weeks before I realized, I had thought that maybe this would be it. That maybe the two of us could really become a couple for eternity. In any case, he had saved my life. And I did like what I saw. To be honest, back then even more so than now, Jinde definitely struck my fancy.”
Hua Lin Yu’s face fell further. “Struck your fancy? You mean you … have a type?” Then was he also striking that fancy?
Xin Lan glanced at him, giving what seemed to be a wry smile. Actually, he was smirking to himself. “Well, I can’t deny it. Since I’m not bound by the curse, there have been a few people over all this time. And I guess it would be a lie to say that there weren’t a few similarities between them.” He shook his head as if it wasn’t much and then returned to the original subject.
“Well, in any case, as it turned out, there was no use in trying to win Jinde’s heart. It had already been won over by somebody else. But my debt was still there and my wish to support him was as well. Because of that, I just stayed on as his follower.
“And I guess that since I followed him for a long time, I got to know him closer than a lot of other people did. Save for his husband, I was probably the person closest to him.” Well, he and that child. But that was really something he didn’t like to think of. Even though he wasn’t in love with Jinde anymore, he still loathed Jin Ling. In any case, the affection Jinde had held for the three of them had always been a different one.
“In any case, I’m happy that he found what he wanted. As for me … he has helped me already to get over this. Gaining him and gaining a direction in life, a task that I could strive for, was something that was important to me. It was what I needed at the time and I think Jinde slowly realized that too. So he never really tried sending me away.
“Now, there is also you. But … I don’t want you to think that you are responsible. I have my life and you have yours. If you don’t want to marry me after all, then you don’t have to worry that I will do anything stupid again. I’m not like that anymore. I’ve already realized that even though life might look dark sometimes, there’s always a way to carry on. So I will. One day, I’ll be able to have the one that I want. I’m sure of it.”