Hua Lin Yu continued to stare blankly for a while before he reached up and touched Xin Lan’s cheek. “Your face …”
Xin Lan suddenly froze. Right. He had forgotten about that in his hurry to get to Hua Lin Yu. His face … “I went to the dragon realm to have a friend heal it. I … I asked him for that the night I … suddenly vanished.”
Hua Lin Yu’s fingers brushed over his skin. He felt the faint marks on the skin where only a short while prior, a deep wound had been. Even though he couldn’t see it any longer, it gave him a rough guess of how badly injured Xin Lan’s face had really been. No wonder he hadn’t wanted him to see.
His eyes reddened and he wrapped his arms around Xin Lan’s neck, hugging him closely. “I’m sorry.” He hadn’t wanted to hurt him. Not when he got together with Xiao Li, not when he ran away, not when he tried to take his mask off either. He just … he hadn’t understood. Although that was no excuse. In the end, the outcome was still the same, after all.
Xin Lan wasn’t even sure what Hua Lin Yu was currently apologizing for but he didn’t care either. He simply hugged him and stroked his back, closing his eyes. He had missed this person. If they could just remain like this, it would be great. Unfortunately, he knew that that wasn’t going to happen.
No, right now, Hua Lin Yu was scared. He was looking for something, anything to hold onto, and he had been there. So for the time being, Hua Lin Yu wouldn’t mind clinging to him. But as soon as that half-demon returned, he would likely be cast away again.
It hurt thinking about it but at the very least, he had been able to help him when he needed help. He had stopped him from seeing more of whatever it was he had seen. That was worth it.
Hua Lin Yu continued to hold onto him for a while but then slowly moved back. He didn’t let go though. He simply … held onto his shoulders. Right now, he couldn’t convince himself to leave Xin Lan’s side.
The two of them looked into each other’s eyes, suddenly realizing that nobody else was around and they were as close as they hadn’t been for a long time.
Xin Lan cleared his throat, feeling that in just another moment, he would be rejected again. It really was a pity. “So … that vision … how did that happen?” He knew he shouldn’t do this but he just wanted a few more moments. Just … a little more.
Hua Lin Yu lowered his gaze, unable to look into his eyes any longer. He couldn’t be sure what Xin Lan was thinking but they had also traveled and lived together for several years. It wasn’t wrong to say that they understood each other even without words sometimes. So, of course, he was able to read from Xin Lan’s gaze how much he was currently struggling.
He got it. He really did. Because right now, he didn’t feel any different.
If it had been previously, maybe he would have given in to the urge and just gone for it. But he was starting to realize that whenever he did so in the past, it had never ended well. No, he needed to sort out his thoughts for a bit. Only after that … only after that could he decide. And then, he needed to stick with that decision.
He hesitated but then lowered his hands, grabbing Xin Lan’s sleeve instead of his shoulders. He didn’t want to completely give up the connection they had right now but he also didn’t want to lead him on. Before he hadn’t decided, he couldn’t be too close. “Grandmaster Shen gave me a fruit of the beguiling night tree. I … well, after eating it, I started to have a vision. I knew it would happen. I just … I didn’t think it’d be like this.”
Xin Lan also lowered his gaze, watching Hua Lin Yu play with his sleeve. It reminded him of how he had been as a child. Back then, he would also grab his sleeve as the part that he could get to the easiest and then hold onto it with a death grip.
He smiled faintly and then leaned closer, pulling the youth back into his arms. “I’m sorry you had to go through that.” He kissed his temple before he sighed. “Qiu Ling found you but didn’t know what to do. So he … contacted a friend who then send me a message, telling me that you were in trouble. I rushed over immediately. I’m glad it’s … it’s just this. I was afraid it would be worse. But I guess you were still quite shocked.”
Hua Lin Yu had to admit that he was indeed shocked. Not just because of the vision but also because of what was happening right now. He had fallen against Xin Lan’s chest and could faintly hear his heartbeat. It felt so … familiar.
He closed his eyes and leaned into his embrace against his better judgment. “It’s alright. I was glad you were there. Otherwise …” He sighed and twisted Xin Lan’s sleeve. “I wouldn’t have known how to get out of it. You don’t know but in that vision, I killed a person.”
Xin Lan’s brows furrowed together. Killed a person? From what he knew, the fruit of the beguiling night tree showed you things from your subconscious. Not necessarily true things but they were fused with actual matters. In Hua Lin Yu’s case … it had likely unearthed something from his life as Xiang Yu.
He sighed deeply when he thought of that. “Whatever happened, I am sure there will have been a reason for it. I know you. You’re not a bad person. If you killed somebody, they likely deserved it.”