Seeing that Hua Lin Yu was happy with his plan, Xin Lan led him further into the spiritual beasts’ territory. Just like back in the mortal realm the youth looked around curiously, taking in every new sight and asking whenever there was something that he didn’t understand.
To be honest, there weren’t many of these things. Over the years of their travels, Hua Lin Yu had gained quite a bit of experience and put the theoretical knowledge from the Jian Yi Sect into practice. While his wealth of knowledge couldn’t compare to Xin Lan’s he definitely wasn’t ignorant of the world. Thus, it was merely the things that were only native to the immortal realms but not the mortal one that really stumped him and needed Xin Lan’s explanations.
Soon enough, the path in front of them opened up to the first settlement of spiritual beasts. At this time, Hua Lin Yu couldn’t help but become a little nervous. The spiritual beasts were one of the things that he had no idea about. What if he did something wrong?
With other humans, no matter where they came from or what kind of life they had led, they were still the same on the most basic level. So there was always a way to relate to them and find a way to communicate and something to talk about. With the spiritual beasts, he really wasn’t sure if the same would hold true. In fact, he doubted it a little.
Seeing that his lover was pressing against him a little more than usual, Xin Lan’s lips curled up in a smile and he held him close. “Don’t worry, with me here, none of the spiritual beasts would dare to do anything to you.” He grabbed his chin and leaned down, giving him a faint kiss.
The supple feeling of his lips made Xin Lan hum. Despite their relationship getting better again after the years on the road, they still hadn’t gotten married yet. By now, he really regretted that fact. If he could, he would love to take the next step.
It had already been so long but their physical contact was never more than this. As somebody who had usually focused on that side of his relationships, Xin Lan really felt like it was quite strange. If he could, he would’ve changed the status of their relationship already but it seemed that it was still too early for Hua Lin Yu. Well, it was still best to wait longer. After giving it more time, the reward would be even sweeter.
Hua Lin Yu lowered his head, his cheeks flushing pink. Recently, he had also thought more about how it might be time to finally seal the deal. In any case, hesitating any longer was wouldn’t change anything.
After this stretch of the journey, he told himself. After they had made their way through the spiritual beasts’ territory, then he would tell him that it was alright to go ahead. He didn’t even need an elaborate ceremony back at his family’s place. Just settling the matter with Xin Lan himself was enough. That was definitely the right decision.
Even though he thought that himself, Hua Lin Yu didn’t mention the thought yet. In any case, the more he talked about it, the more could go wrong. Who knew how the situation would really be by the time they left the spiritual beasts’ territory? If something else had come up and they wouldn’t be able to do what he thought of Xin Lan would also be disappointed. Thus, he kept quiet and just made that promise to himself.
Xin Lan gently tugged at his hand and then pulled him over to the village ahead. One of the spiritual beasts was resting not far from the entrance and opened his eyes when he heard the people approaching. Seeing that it was a human and a dragon, he immediately sat up, his eyes becoming vigilant.
This kind of village was the one that had been the most impacted by what the demon-hunting sects had done before. So even now, after everything had been dealt with, they couldn’t help but be a little wary when they saw humans. The fact that this one was accompanied by a dragon was a little reassuring but still not something that would completely ease the spiritual beasts’ minds. After all, it had taken quite a long time until the dragons finally did something about the situation and it had not been because they noticed the plight of their subjects. For quite a few, that had left a sour aftertaste to their relationship.
Well, there was nothing Xin Lan could do about that and he also didn’t intend to care about it. That matter was something Qiu Ling had to settle, not he. He just wanted to spend some leisurely days with his lover. What anybody else thought about that was completely unimportant to him.
He led Hua Lin Yu forward, glancing at the spiritual beast while he passed by, but didn’t acknowledge him otherwise. The man tsked, feeling that this really was to be expected of the dragons. That image of them being arrogant and partly tyrannical really was still etched into quite a few minds.
Hua Lin Yu couldn’t help but glance over curiously but he didn’t dare to stare and instead looked up to Xin Lan after a moment. “Is this really alright?” That man hadn’t looked at them too friendly so he couldn’t help but be worried again.
Xin Lan reached up, brushing through Hua Lin Yu’s hair with his lips still hooked up in a smile. “Didn’t I say that already? In any case, we won’t stay long. Just have a look around, maybe stay for the night if you like it, then go somewhere else. You really don’t need to worry.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded, calming down when Xin Lan said so. In any case, he had to trust him on this. And he never doubted Xin Lan’s honesty. Thus, he put his worries away and just followed him around, curiously looking at everything.
Although, he did have to say that there wasn’t that much to see. Just like the dragons, the spiritual beasts also had two forms. One looked pretty similar to the humans save for a couple of distinguishing characteristics that had to do with their other form which was hardly distinguishable from some animals. So looking at them, if not for their high level of cultivation that he could feel, he would’ve thought that this was a normal human village that somewhat took care of some of the wild beasts around. It was actually a bit of a disappointment.