When he left the High Heavens, Xin Lan was in a complicated mood. Tian hadn’t told him what he originally wanted to know, saying that he didn’t need to be aware of the exact story between Xiang Yu and Yan Xia since that wouldn’t help him anyway and insisting that it also wasn’t his story to tell. Instead, he was supposed to wait for Xiang Yu to do so himself whenever he was ready.
After that, Tian hadn’t thrown him out as usual. He had opened a portal to the immortal realms though, one that was not-so-coincidentally leading exactly to the spot that Jinde had originally sent him to gather the ingredients.
Looking at it, Xin Lan had known that there was no need to ask any further. If he did, he was pretty sure that the next moment, he would be thrown through the portal after all. So in the end, he stepped through himself and then went on his way to gather the ingredients that Jinde would need to start healing his face so that that would be taken care of whenever his lover wisened up.
Doing so wasn’t difficult. In any case, there was nothing he hadn’t fought in the immortal realms yet, and right now, he was even stronger than he had been back then. He wasn’t quite there with his mind though. No, inwardly, he couldn’t help but continue to think about the matter with Hua Lin Yu.
He had known that there had to be some kind of influence from his previous life. Before that matter with Bai Mu and Xiao Li happened, he had already had such a guess. After all, Hua Lin Yu’s reaction to him when he had still been a child had been … odd.
Now, he had the confirmation from up above. But in the end, even though he could be certain now, that didn’t change anything. Yes, no matter whether he knew or not, it wouldn’t get him Hua Lin Yu back. Not until his lover himself realized that Xiao Li was not the right person for him. As for when that would happen … he was afraid it would be later rather than sooner.
He sighed, looking around for the place where he could find the last ingredient and shook his head at himself. Previously, he had been patient. But that had been because he had always figured that as long as he behaved well, as long as he was the best possible lover he could be, he would be able to win the person he loved over.
He had never been in a situation where that was impossible unless the other person was an already bound dragon. And even then, there was usually still the possibility of at least tempting the other person to spend a night or two. Because love alone did not always mean faithfulness to one’s partner. Sometimes, people could betray somebody even if they loved them.
And also, to think that all dragons were in happy relationships was definitely too big of an assumption. Sometimes, you fell in love with the wrong person. In a race that couldn’t fall in love again, that could make for an astoundingly high number of dysfunctional relationships. He had definitely taken advantage of that more than once.
Well, with Hua Lin Yu, even though he wasn’t a dragon and had instead been reborn as a human that wasn’t afflicted with Tian’s curse, he was still in almost the same situation.
His soul recognized only one person as his fated lover and that was Yan Xia but the covered memories made it so that Hua Lin Yu felt a certain sense of belonging with anyone who looked like Yan Xia or reminded him of this person. Any decision he made was based on that.
This was why he would fall in love with Bai Mu at first sight but then also let go of those feelings as soon as he met Xiao Li, believing him to be the right one now. The feelings were transferred from one person to the other. As long as there was a recipient, everything was alright for Hua Lin Yu. For Xin Lan, that only made things more troublesome though.
He finally reached the entrance to the caves that Jinde had specified and walked inside. His last ingredient was some type of wood. It didn’t grow aboveground and could only be found in this type of place. It was easy to get so this also wasn’t something that could help him take his mind off this matter.
Xin Lan walked down the path leading further and further down until he finally reached the last cave. A group of trees was nestled at the side of an underground lake, and he went over with a sigh, taking out a small ax from his spatial ring. He carried it around because, well, Jinde had often asked him to bring him ingredients in the past. And he usually liked to stress that it wasn’t good to damage the plants in the process or it would become more difficult to find the right things in the future.
After acquiring the wood he needed, Xin Lan put everything back into his spatial ring, turned around, and walked out, not giving the place a second glance.
Something like this, he hadn’t done it with Hua Lin Yu. Whether he would have the chance in the future … he didn’t know. He really wanted to do it though. Whatever was part of his life, he wanted Hua Lin Yu to see. Well, maybe not the bad things but something like this that could be used to show that he was a helpful and caring person was something that he really wanted him to know.
He sighed and made his way back to the dragon king’s palace, walking over to Leng Jin Yu and Jinde’s room. It was already turned late in the afternoon by now, so he knocked carefully, not wanting to disturb anything. Most likely, Zheng Yin was still in there and the two of them were just studying, but with a married couple, you could never know.
A moment later, Leng Jin Yu already opened the door and motioned for him to come in. “Qiu Ling and Jing Yi are already back as well. They got the other ingredients. Jinde and Zheng Yin are talking the details over right now. I guess you can start whenever you are ready.”