Xiang Yu was only sad for a moment and then perked up again. “What about mum and dad? And grandfather and grandmother?”
Hua Lin Rong looked at those shining eyes and felt a pang in his heart. “Well … they are eating right now.”
Xiang Yu wanted to rush over there immediately but Hua Lin Rong hurriedly grabbed his hands.
“Ah Xiang …” He shook his head slowly. “Please, wait a moment. This … this isn’t easy to take in. What happened to my brother’s body? Can you tell me?”
Xiang Yu stopped in his tracks and finally nodded. “Mn. Xin Lan took it and went to bury it.”
Hua Lin Rong nodded. Of course, he should have realized that the body was with Xin Lan. Xiang Yu had said that he had been there after all. Knowing this though … “This matter, can you let me go and tell … our family? I think it would be easier to take that way. I … I will introduce you afterward but … please give them the time to first find out about my brother, yes?”
Xiang Yu looked at him a bit unwilling but finally nodded. “Well, I also know I’m not Hua Lin Yu. You probably can’t love me like you did him.”
Hua Lin Rong didn’t know what to say. This person … he was a bit similar to his brother. It wasn’t even just his appearance, even his behavior bore some resemblance. And yet, he wasn’t exactly his brother, not the person he had watched grow up for several years before he had to hand him over to the Jian Yi Sect. It was hard to say what he felt but yes, there was a difference.
He closed his eyes but finally opened them again and brushed back Xiang Yu’s hair. “I don’t dislike you if you’re afraid of that. It’s just that … Xiao Yu was my little brother after all. Knowing that he died, I also feel guilty.” He sighed and finally pulled Xiang Yu into his arms.
Xiao Yu was gone. He would have to live with that. The things he wanted to tell his younger brother, he would never have the chance. Still, there was somebody who shared those memories with him and Xiao Yu, somebody who was … somewhat the same. Even though he couldn’t replace Xiao Yu, he was still like a small piece of him that lived on.
“I should have been there. Even if I couldn’t have saved him, I should have been at his side when it happened. He must have been scared and confused. At that time, how could I be so far away, completely unaware? Xiao Yu … do you think he would forgive me?”
Xiang Yu hugged the person back, feeling his whole body fill with warmth. “There is nothing to forgive. I … He just regretted realizing things so late. He never blamed you for not insisting more or not being there. He knew it was his own fault for believing in something like fate where there was none.”
Xiang Yu fell silent for a moment after saying that before he leaned back slightly and looked up at Hua Lin Rong with a faint smile. “Actually, you advised him several times. Even though he didn’t get it, you still did the right thing. Don’t blame yourself. Your brother … he knew how much you loved him. I … I am a bit envious of him.”
Hua Lin Rong managed to squeeze out a small smile himself and rubbed Xiang Yu’s head. “Well, you can come around in the future if you want to. Xiao Yu …” He shook his head, not sure what to even say. His brother was gone, he wouldn’t come back. Maybe it would be comforting to see that he could live on in this way but that also couldn’t bring back the person he actually wanted to see.
Xiang Yu also got what Hua Lin Rong was thinking. He lowered his head and then stepped back further, motioning outside. “You should go and tell your family.”
Hua Lin Rong nodded and then left the room, once again wiping at his eyes to get rid of the tears that stubbornly wanted to fall again. Xiao Yu … he had never loved another person as much as he had loved his younger brother. Even his own life could have been given for him in a heartbeat and it wouldn’t be a lie to say that all members of the family would have been willing to sacrifice themselves or the others to keep him alive. That was just how much they had all cherished the youngest member of the family. Now, that person was gone.
He soon reached the hall again where everyone else was sitting and entered with a serious expression.
His parents and grandparents looked up, all feeling apprehensive when they saw his face.
Hua Lin Rong stopped in front of the table and took a deep breath, trying to make sure his voice wouldn’t break. “Xiao Yu … he was killed.” He had to stop there and looked down, his brows furrowing tightly. “It was Xiao Li. He … Xiao Yu broke up with him and wanted to get back together with Xin Lan. I don’t know all the details but it seems he killed him in retaliation. Xin Lan … he buried the body in the dragon realm.”
The rest of the Hua family kept quiet. Just like Hua Lin Rong, they couldn’t believe it. Xiao Yu had always been well-protected. How could he simply be killed? And if Xin Lan had been there … surely, he would have done everything he could to save Xiao Yu. How could that child be dead?
“This …” Fa Min Juan reached over and clasped her husband’s arm. “Is this for sure?”
Hua Lin Rong nodded. “Yes, I’m afraid so. The person who came …” He shook his head, not sure how to say it in a few words. “Well, it seems there was more to Xiao Yu than we knew. It seems, originally, he was of the god race. Now, he has returned to being one of them.”