Yue Lin gave a hum but seemed pretty unsurprised. “Well, you wouldn’t be the first.” His lips twitched in amusement but he pressed the corners down immediately as if he didn’t want to be caught.
Niu Hai’s expression was pretty dark though. Not in an angry way but more as if he was really devastated. “Indeed! How does this always happen to me?!”
Jing Yi blinked his eyes in surprise, not sure what was going on. Feeling that Niu Hai wouldn’t be of much help, he instead turned to Yue Lin to get an explanation.
That smile returned for a moment before Yue Lin put on a nostalgic expression, stifling a yawn while he was at it. “Ah, I remember … Long ago, another junior came to the sect and wanted to join our alchemy division.
“He had a quiet temperament, steady hands, and patience that the gods would envy. He was simply the perfect candidate for our division. After seeing this, we naturally accepted him and it turned out that he was quite talented. He definitely had the chance to become the head disciple of one of the houses.
“Come to think of it, just like you, he was mostly interested in the House of Healing. Maybe we should see that as an indicator of just who is a spy from the righteous sects.” His expression turned thoughtful. He hadn’t bothered about the spies before because, frankly, they were harmless. But it sure seemed like a dead giveaway when slightly older disciples came knocking on their door and then only showed interest in the House of Healing. Who were they supposed to be if not disciples from the righteous side that were trying to stay undercover?
Jing Yi felt uncomfortable when Yue Lin said that but then, he kind of deserved it. He was a spy after all. Well, he had been more than a millennium ago. By now, he wasn’t even sure if he could still be considered a disciple of the Yun Zou Sect where he had originally started his journey.
Yue Lin finally shook his head to get rid of the thoughts and rubbed his face to wake himself up a little, making the ink stains worse. “Either way, that was when Niu Hai started to run over here every single day. He was always gushing about how pretty and docile that junior was and how he would take him under his wing and protect him. It was clear at a glance that he didn’t have good intentions.”
“Hey!” Niu Hai furrowed his brows, not happy with what he was hearing. He had been sincerely in love, alright?!
Yue Lin ignored him though. “Well, unfortunately for Niu Hai, things turned out differently. You see, Niu Hai has never been subtle in his approach. He’s more the type who will grab a drum and bang on it to get attention and then loudly announce that he has a thing for you. It’s … one way for sure but not necessarily the type those younger disciples like.
“As it so happened, Niu Hai wasn’t the only one going after that specific junior and the other person was …” He tilted his head, trying to find the right word. “Let’s say that person was going about wooing that junior a bit smarter. As a result, that junior fell in love with him and not Niu Hai.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Jing Yi glanced at Niu Hai, feeling that he really had bad luck when it came to these things. He hadn’t been able to land with him and apparently, he had already had the same problem before. That probably wasn’t easy to accept.
Niu Hai’s eyes lit up when somebody finally felt some pity for him instead of making fun of his experiences. Just look at this! He needed more friends like Jing Yi and fewer friends like those hateful guys in the division of blades.
Yue Lin smiled faintly, clearly not feeling any pity either. “It’s even worse than that. Even though that junior was clearly in love with the other disciple, he actually left the sect. As it turned out later on, he was the disciple of one of the righteous sects and had also been sent here as a spy. Niu Hai was devastated when he found out.”
Jing Yi raised his brows. “Well, I guess that is worse than them deciding on somebody else. You probably felt like you didn’t know him at all?” Because he had felt something similar regarding Qiu Ling when more about Jing He’s story came out. Because they had already known each other much better by then and had also been a couple, they had made up fairly easily but there had been a hint of resentment for sure.
To his surprise, Niu Hai shook his head though. “No, that wasn’t it. You see, I always thought I might still have a chance. Anyway, while they might have been together, couples break up all the time. So I was just biding my time until they did. Then, I could have swooped in, comforted him, and we might have ended up together after all.
“But when he left the sect, there was no way to do so. After all, I didn’t even know where he went at first. It was only until his lover also left the sect and somebody spotted him at that righteous sect that I found out. And needless to say, by then, they had already gotten back together.” He sighed, almost sounding as if he still wasn’t over it.
Next to him, Yue Lin just gave a hum. “So that was that. Definitely not the grand love story that Niu Hai had imagined at that time. But it really wasn’t surprising. He has … a difficult taste to say the least. He always shoots for the moon and as a result, it never ends well. Just ask him about his latest escapade.”