Xiang Yu noticed that Jinde was laughing but since he usually assumed the best in people who weren’t demons, he felt that he should simply be very happy. He didn’t care much and instead continued to gently rub the shell.
He had finally had an older brother in Hua Lin Rong but now, he felt like having a younger sibling also wouldn’t be too bad. He could teach them lots of things, protect them, and just be there for them. A life like that probably wouldn’t be bad.
Well, he didn’t have that chance anymore. Who was going to give him a younger sibling, after all? Although maybe he could have another trial if Tian didn’t mind.
Xiang Yu’s hand paused on top of the shell and he stared into the distance blankly. Originally, he had asked for that other trial because he wanted to have a second chance, to really fall in love with a man that was worthy of those feelings. To a degree, he had gotten that. Unfortunately, it hadn’t held up and he had died too early to really see those feelings come to fruition.
Now, he was back here but Xin Lan wasn’t ready to be with him and most people he had known in his trial weren’t willing to spend time with him either. Of course, he could try to wait. He could pop up every now and then and see if they had changed their minds. But the truth was that they might never do so.
Yes, a fallen god was difficult to accept. He also knew that. Most people were afraid of them and looking at the others, he felt like they had reason to do so. Just look at how mean that Leng Lu usually was to him! And they were even the same kind. He would probably bully the humans even worse.
But even though he understood that, it didn’t mean that he was alright with being ignored like this. Of course, he could stay here and be with Jinde and his husband who didn’t seem to mind him. But then, this was the capital city of the dragon realm. Other people likely wouldn’t accept him either and he might even cause panic if he went outside. That simply wouldn’t do. No, he wanted to be free to do whatever he wanted.
Xiang Yu continued to stare blankly. A place where he could do what he wanted … as a fallen god, there was only one such place: the High Heavens. That was why most of them went to live there even though there was nothing much around and they would get onto each other’s nerves. Outside of that place, they would always be seen as a danger, no matter how they acted. That was the sad truth of it.
It seemed that the only way to escape that fate was to go on a trial and become a mortal for however long they could. For that duration, they were somebody else, somebody who wasn’t weighed down by the identity of their real self. All the things they couldn’t have were possible as a reincarnated soul.
Xiang Yu was deep in thoughts. With him suddenly going extremely quiet, Jinde stopped chuckling and turned around, taking a look at his expression. Seeing him lost, he actually had a guilty conscience.
He patted his husband’s chest and let go of him, going to crouch down next to Xiang Yu instead. “I hope you don’t mind that I just laughed. I didn’t mean it in a bad way. You were just really cute when you greeted the little one.” He hesitated for a moment but then reached out when he didn’t get a response and rubbed Xiang Yu’s head.
Whenever he saw him, he thought of him as a child instead of the millennia-old fallen god he was. Thus, whatever he saw him do felt simply cute beyond belief and he had the urge to treat him just like he had Qiu Ling or Jin Ling back then. It was as if he couldn’t help himself.
Xiang Yu was finally pulled out of his thoughts when he was touched and looked up at Jinde curiously. It took a moment for his words to register but then, he simply shook his head. “No, it’s alright. I was thinking about something else.”
He turned back to the shell in front of him and rubbed it again. Actually, he could feel the energy inside. It felt really nice. Warm and fuzzy as if being in there had to be the most comfortable you could be. Well, it didn’t seem too strange. He didn’t know if all shells would be like this after the ceremony but he was sure that Jinde would make sure his child would have a comfortable time even before being born. He simply was like that.
Xiang Yu looked up and observed Jinde’s expression, feeling that being his child was too lucky.
Jinde raised his brows in return. “What’s the matter?”
Xiang Yu pouted and turned away, rubbing the shell again. “It’s nothing. Just … I would also like to have a family like you.”
Jinde’s gaze softened and he reached out, rubbing Xiang Yu’s head again. “You know, family isn’t always who you are related to by blood. Often enough, it is more about people you meet along the way. Just look at me: My husband is my family and I consider Qiu Ling my son even though I’m not the one who gave birth to him. For you, there are people like that as well. Everyone has them.”
Xiang Yu rubbed the mark between his eyebrows, still pouting. “But I’m a fallen god. People don’t like us. Even Xin Lan … he didn’t even look at me.”
Jinde’s brows climbed higher when he heard Xiang Yu bring up Xin Lan of all people. “Well … Xin Lan can be a grumpy bastard sometimes. Don’t take that attitude too hard. It’s nothing personal.”
Xiang Yu nodded, although he still felt that Xin Lan’s attitude actually wasn’t that bad. At the very least, it hadn’t been when he was Hua Lin Yu and the two of them were in love. It kind of made him wonder … how would things be if he shook off the identity of a fallen god once again?