Wu Ya didn’t say anything for the time being and just took out some flasks of wine, handing one to Xin Lan and keeping one for himself while he put the others on the table. Then, he opened his own and just started to drink, looking up at the sky that was dotted with stars.
Xin Lan looked at him and then followed suit, staring at the flasks of wine between them in a daze. It sure had been a long time since he got drunk. Those memories … they weren’t pleasant.
Wu Ya looked back at him and faintly raised his brows. “What are you thinking of?”
Xin Lan didn’t really want to talk but then again, he reconsidered. “I’m not really lucky in love. Before this, the person I liked was Jinde. But he had his heart set on somebody else already and in the end, he even died. I was the one to bury him.” He felt unwell bringing that up and took another gulp, hoping that the alcohol would finally calm those feelings but it didn’t. Instead, he merely felt overwhelmed.
Wu Ya stared at him, not surprised. “Jinde was probably liked by a lot of people. I always thought Chun Yin liked him too.”
Xin Lan gave a hollow laugh. “Just because they didn’t end up with each other, what makes you think that there were no feelings involved? In any case, you could probably call them a pair of star-crossed lovers.” Although, those stars had now aligned in their favor but that wasn’t something he could tell Wu Ya. It was only his own star that might stay lonesome forever.
Wu Ya’s expression was a little lost. “Oh. Well, I guess it figures. I was a little weirded out when I heard that they hadn’t ended up together. I didn’t say it back then but I actually liked Chun Yin a lot. I just felt that he really liked Jinde so there was no reason to speak up.”
Xin Lan put the flask of wine down with a thump, staring at Wu Ya disbelieving. “Out of the two of them, you actually think that Chun Yin was the better one?” This was … he really couldn’t understand. In the dragon realm, no matter who, most people would have had designs on Jinde, not necessarily Chun Yin. While it wasn’t like he hadn’t been well-received by anyone, given the choice, who wouldn’t want to be with Jinde instead? He was beautiful, charming, in a position of power, just perfect all around. But maybe it was his own bias telling him that.
Wu Ya’s lips twitched. “Well, what can I say? In any case, that was how I felt. I also didn’t really have luck after that so I can kind of see where you are coming from. But anyway, you have a fiance. Even if you aren’t married yet, isn’t that just a question of time? So I really don’t get why you’re moping. I’m not even moping. And between the two of us, I surely have more reason to do so.”
Xin Lan picked up the wine again and took another gulp, squinting his eyes. “I call him my fiance but when I proposed in earnest, he ran away. We’ve been traveling for a few years now, trying to make up. But no matter how I try, I’m not sure if it can last. When I ask him the next time, maybe the same thing will happen. Maybe he’s just forcing himself to be with me because he feels indebted.”
This was something that he could somewhat understand. In the same way that he could understand why others in the dragon realm would want to be with him because of his status. It wasn’t wrong looking from their perspective but that didn’t mean that it wouldn’t hurt him.
If he could, he really wanted to have somebody who could love him for himself. It was just that somehow he was never able to find such a person. Who knew if they were actually out there? Something told him that, for sure, they were never the people that he fell in love with. That was so … maddening.
Wu Ya suddenly didn’t know what to say. That kind of situation … it probably really was something to feel bad about. “Well, in any case, I feel like the two of you were getting along rather well.”
“I thought we were getting along even better back then. I spent so much time getting that gift for our engagement ready and actually said quite a few heartfelt words. In the end, it still fell on deaf ears. I wasn’t even that straightforward with Jinde.”
In his whole life, he had only ever really liked these two people. Everyone else had been a short adventure, something to pass the time. But Jinde and Hua Lin Yu, they were different. They had brought light to his life. He could imagine being together with either of them for eternity.
But one had already been in love with somebody else at the time they met, unable to ever change the target of his affection. And the other one … he didn’t even know what it was. Hua Lin Yu just didn’t seem willing to commit to him.
Maybe this was because of his identity. Maybe because Xiang Yu had fallen due to his love trial, his mortal reincarnation wasn’t quite ready to love again. Maybe it was impossible to make him fall in love deeply enough or give him enough security to make this happen.
Come to think of it, he still didn’t know what had happened in Xiang Yu’s trial. There were some conjectures, some things he had noticed but he didn’t have the full picture so there wasn’t really much that he could draw any conclusions from. He could only hope that it would be enough. But what was hope in a situation like this? He was afraid that it counted for nothing.