Luo Lin stared at the guy in front of his door in confusion. He couldn’t say that it was strange for men to knock on his door but it definitely wasn’t something that had happened recently.
When it came to the lovers he had had, Shen Lei was definitely somebody who would never joke around in regard to their relationship. The person he was with would only be with him, other men shouldn’t get any ideas. If somebody indeed dared to try something, he would show them what he thought of that. Thus, these random male visitors had stopped coming long ago.
Although, looking at this person, he felt that this probably wasn’t his intention anyway. “You are …?”
Ao Jing gulped and had to lower his gaze. To be honest, he had always looked down on the relationship between Shen Lei and Luo Lin. From the bit that he knew, Luo Lin had had relationships with pretty much half of his senior martial brothers. Because of that, in Ao Jing’s eyes, this person wasn’t worth anything and a relationship with him could be entertained for a while but was only meant to allow yourself a bit of fun.
It definitely wasn’t something that he himself would ever have been able to treat seriously. But he knew for a fact that Shen Lei had been different. That wasn’t a secret in the sect. Every single disciple knew that he was crazy about this youth. That was why Ao Jing had come here in the first place.
He didn’t know if it was because Shen Lei had given his all to allow them a chance to flee but he felt that since he hadn’t been able to help him at all, he at least had to go and do this one thing for him. He had to let his lover know because he was sure that Shen Lei would have wanted that. He wouldn’t have wanted this person to wait for his return without ever knowing that there was no chance for that to happen. It might be too little to do just this but it was the only thing he could do.
Ao Jing took a deep breath and then looked back up, not even bothering to answer Luo Lin’s question. “Senior martial brother Luo, we were on our way back to the Teng Yong Sect with senior martial brother Shen today when we got ambushed.”
Luo Lin continued to stare at him but he reached out for the frame of the door next to him, holding onto it. Even though this guy hadn’t said it directly, he already knew what he would be told in a moment. Shen Lei … he wouldn’t come back. He would never come back to him.
Ao Jing saw his expression turn cold and suddenly felt ashamed to face him. He lowered his head again and curled his fingers around the hem of his sleeves, wishing that he would’ve been stronger to be able to make a difference in the fight. “They trapped us and he made sure that we could escape but … I’m afraid he didn’t manage to make it out himself. I’m sorry.”
Luo Lin closed his eyes. As soon as Ao Jing had started talking, he had expected it. Now, there was really no surprise. “Thank you for telling me.” He didn’t know what else to say. In any case, he probably should’ve expected that things turned out this way. There was no way that it could have gone on like this forever.
Ao Jing dared to glance at his face and then lowered his head again, not sure what to say either. He had never needed to do something like this before. He didn’t know if he should try and comfort him but even if he tried, it would probably be ridiculous.
In any case, they had made trouble for Luo Lin’s junior martial brother before and it wasn’t like senior martial brother Shen hadn’t known. And still, at that time, he had helped them without hesitation. Their personal conflicts hadn’t meant anything to him. He had just looked at the situation objectively and he had known that he was the only one that could allow them even the slightest chance at survival. And he had seen it as his duty to give them a chance as a disciple of the same sect.
That was how a cultivator should be. A righteous one anyway. Compared to somebody like Shen Lei, what was he really? Bringing back this kind of message, it was the least he could do. But up to this point, he had never really done anything for anyone. And this was merely trying to pay back a little of that life-saving grace that had been given. In the future, he should really do better.
He closed his eyes and then reached out, taking Luo Lin’s hand for a moment and squeezing it. “I’m sorry. I really am. Everything went so fast. There wasn’t any time to go back and get his body so I don’t know … well, I just thought that you should know. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.”
Luo Lin pulled back his hand and just nodded stiffly. “I know already. Thank you. If you wouldn’t mind, please leave now.” Right now, he really couldn’t stand anyone else in his presence. He just wanted to be alone. Well, he would’ve given a lot for Shen Lei to be at his side but it wasn’t like he’d ever have the chance.
Ao Jing also nodded and stepped back, just nodding again before he turned around and left.
Luo Lin stepped back into the house and closed the door behind him, leaning against it. He stared into the empty corridor and didn’t know what to do. The house had seemed empty since the moment Shen Lei had left for that mission. But now, he felt that there was a deafening silence to it, never to be replaced again.
He went back to the bedroom as if in trance and sat down on the edge of the bed, not sure what to do with himself. They had … spent so much time here together. And even though from the outside, their relationship had never seemed like more than just passion, the fact that his heart hurt so much told him that there had definitely been more.
He closed his eyes and got up again, sitting down in front of his dressing table instead. He grabbed the small box on the table and opened it up, looking at the wooden hairpin inside.
In his life, the people that meant something to him would always inevitably leave him. He shouldn’t have expected it to be any different with Shen Lei and yet, here he was, feeling like in just a moment, he might not be able to hold back the tears. But then … what would he do? He didn’t know. He just didn’t know what to do going forward if there wasn’t Shen Lei anymore in his life.