OMF V11C1 Not Dead After All

Xin Lan opened his eyes to an expanse of white. He furrowed his brows and blinked rapidly, finally making out the shape of clouds in a pale blue sky above his head. Groaning, he rolled to the side and then sat up, furrowing his silvery brows even further when he saw the ragged stones close by.

“Doesn’t look like the afterlife.” He rubbed his head that still hurt from whatever Tian had done to him instead of killing him and then exhaled lightly.

Well, he wasn’t dead. That was a plus in his book. Even though he hardly had anything to live for left, that didn’t necessarily mean that he wanted to die. He just … didn’t care all that much about living. Now, the question was whether that meant that Tian had indeed helped Jinde or if he hadn’t since there had been no exchange.

Xin Lan slowly got to his feet, still swaying on the spot. He would have liked to curse Tian but, right now, it might still be that he had done him a favor so he’d hold off on that. He instead took a moment to get his bearing back and then traveled back to the dragon realm in the south.

Reaching the capital city, he stopped outside the gate, feeling hesitant. He wanted to know whether Jinde was alright or not but … there was still that fallen god around him. He’d rather not see Xiang Yu right now. His presence reminded him too much of what he had lost and he didn’t want to entertain his delusions either. Xiang Yu had been annoying at best before the trial and now, his presence was simply grating.

Xin Lan pursed his lips and finally didn’t enter the palace. Instead, he went to the place where the soldiers usually trained. He looked around, trying to spot one of Qiu Ling’s advisers. Since Jinde lived in the palace, at least those guys should be aware of his identity. In that case, they’d probably know about how he was doing as well. Unfortunately, even though he looked all over the place, he couldn’t spot either Fu Heng or Fu Min.

Xin Lan furrowed his brows, wondering how his luck could be so bad. It seemed he might need to enter the palace after all. Just as he wanted to turn around and leave, a woman stepped up to him.

“Senior Xin Lan, can I help you?”

Xin Lan turned to look at her. He didn’t know her but she seemed calm talking to him so she probably really only wanted to help. “I’m looking for one of the king’s advisers.”

“Ah.” She shook her head. “You’re too late then. General Fu Heng and his husband left about an hour or two ago. Seems like the king called for all his advisers.”

Xin Lan’s brows shot up. “Did something happen?” He roughly knew that Qiu Ling had apparently wisened up and took his position seriously now so working wasn’t unusual. Calling all of his advisers at once was out of the ordinary though. Even Jinde had seldom done that back in the day.

The woman shook her head, her moss-green hair flying. “Not that I know of. The servant that came over to call them didn’t seem like he was too much in a hurry at least. Since the general didn’t return yet, I’d assume they’re still in the throne room. Sorry I can’t help more.” She shrugged her shoulders but didn’t look too apologetic.

Xin Lan simply nodded. “Well, I’ll look for them there then.” Anyway, as long as he didn’t get too close to where Xiang Yu was, it shouldn’t matter.

The woman inclined her head and then left, going back to her work.

Xin Lan also turned away and went to the palace after all. The people along the way gave him odd looks but he ignored it. Anyway, he could imagine why they were looking: For thousands of years, people had wondered why he was wearing a mask covering half his face all the time. There had been some guesses close to the truth but also some ridiculous theories that bore no need to be repeated.

Now, the mask was finally off and while his forceful changing of his form to try and save Xiao Yu had caused new injuries, it wasn’t even close to the original injury. Thus, everyone probably felt that he had been making a fuss over nothing. After all, scars weren’t seen as something bad in the dragon realm. Instead, they were proof of your strength. That even went for scars on your face.

Yes, scars didn’t mar your beauty, they enhanced it and now, after his Master had tried to heal him, that certainly went for him as well. Before, that naturally would have been different. Nobody could have looked at his face and still pretended to think he was handsome. It was a pity he had asked for it too late.

Xin Lan exhaled, feeling frustrated. He tried to push the thought away and instead hurried to the throne room. When the guards opened the door for him … he found the room empty.

Xin Lan raised his brows and turned to the guard on the left. “I was told the king was having a discussion with his advisers over here. Do you know when they have left?”

The guard turned to look into the room and also realized that nobody was left. “Uh … I’m sorry, no.” The throne room was set up with an array that kept the sounds inside. Thus, he naturally hadn’t heard when the people inside left. As long as they didn’t leave through this door, he wouldn’t be aware. “That … Should I go and ask around for you?”

Xin Lan hesitated but then shook his head. “No, need. I’ll try his private chambers.” Of course, the room he would try wasn’t Qiu Ling’s but Jinde’s. If he had to go over after all, he might as well check on him directly, that fallen god be damned.

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