“Secrets? What are you talking about?” Wang Erguan’s tone was fraught with inexplicable urgency.
“Xiao He’s secret,” Lin Shouxi glanced out the window and continued, “Perfected Yun was interested in her spirit root, but for some reason, he didn’t want to ask her about it directly.
Instead, he came to me at night and knocked on my window.”
“I relayed Xiao He’s words to him.”
Lin Shouxi looked contrite, as if the incident had really happened.
“You are this kind of person?” Wang Erguan was shaken.
“But if you did what he told you to, why the need for punishment?” Ji Luoyang asked, more puzzled.
Lin Shouxi lowered his head and said, “Perfected Yun is capricious.
After hearing what I had to say, he nodded then suddenly poked me in the chest, saying ‘I abhor secret tellers.
If there’s another time, I’ll execute you on the spot.'”
Wang Erguan and Ji Luoyang exchanged a skeptical glance.
“I didn’t expect you to do such a thing,” Ji Luoyang said, disappointed.
“I didn’t think there was anything to hide,” Lin Shouxi replied.
“But she…,” Ji Luoyang’s voice trailed off as Wang Erguan scoffed.
“No wonder you were in so much pain,” Wang Erguan said, shaking his head.
“You were being punished for being faithless.
I’m going to tell Xiao He about this and see if she still wants to be with you!”
Lin Shouxi made no move to stop him, watching silently as Wang Erguan prepared to stomp out of the room, his bulky figure shaking with emotion.
But just as he was about to leave, Lin Shouxi spoke up.
“Don’t forget, you’re a secret teller too,” he said at Wang Erguan’s back.
Wang Erguan’s steps stalled at the accusation.
He spun around to face Lin Shouxi, his fleshy body trembling with indignation.
“Me? A secret teller? Don’t slander me!” he exclaimed, his voice rising in defense.
“Aren’t you? You told us about the diviner’s divination without Perfected Yun’s explicit permission, didn’t you?” Lin Shouxi asked.
Thinking of the intense pain Lin Shouxi had just suffered from being a secret teller, Wang Erguan’s bravado faltered.
He gritted his teeth, but couldn’t find a response to Lin Shouxi’s pointed question.
Finally, he said in a quiet, almost desperate voice.
“You… there’s no way Perfected Yun would treat me the same way,” he said.
“I am the most valued person in his eyes, the person he is grooming to be the first young master’s divine servant.
He needs me!”
“He doesn’t,” Lin Shouxi said matter-of-factly.
“”There are four of us, and he only needs three.
That makes you as expendable as the rest of us in Perfected Yun’s eyes.”
Wang Erguan’s face alternated between red and white, his mind swirling with images of his brother’s death.
A wave of nausea washed over him, making him feel like he was going to be sick.
The two of them stared at each other for a moment.
Finally, the chubby youth let out a sigh and looked out the window at Xiao He’s busy figure in the distance.
“Okay, I’ll keep your secret.”
“Good,” Lin Shouxi immediately replied.
“Also, don’t ask me about my injuries in front of Xiao He anymore.
I… I won’t do anything to harm Xiao He again.”
“Mm…” Wang Erguan slumped in a chair, looking utterly exhausted.
“Then it’s settled.”
Lin Shouxi turned to Ji Luoyang, preparing to persuade him with the logic of “if you reveal our conversation, you will also be a secret teller.” However, Wang Erguan spoke up for him.
“Don’t worry, Ji Luoyang won’t say anything,” he assured.
“Really?” Lin Shouxi was somewhat surprised.
“Yeah, I’ll keep your secret too,” Ji Luoyang replied.
With a single glance at them, Lin Shouxi immediately understood that they must have some secret between them.
Before he could think any further, Xiao He returned with the hot water.
Ji Luoyang tugged on Wang Erguan’s arm and said, “Let’s go.”
“Since Lin Shouxi’s wound is better now, let’s give them some alone time,” Ji Luoyang said with a smile.
“You’re always being too considerate.” Wang Erguan forced a smile and followed him out.
Xiao He frowned at them, feeling that something was off.
Without giving it a second thought, she handed the cup to Lin Shouxi.
“I’ve cooled it down for you.”
“Thank you.” As Lin Shouxi took the cup, he intentionally or unintentionally brushed his fingers against hers.
Xiao He’s eyelashes trembled, and she drew back her hand.
After taking a sip, Lin Shouxi suddenly exclaimed, “It’s hot.”
“It’s still hot?” Xiao He asked in confusion.
“If you don’t believe me, try it,” Lin Shouxi handed the cup back.
Xiao He took a sip, then frowned.
“It’s not hot.”
Lin Shouxi took the cup back and drank from the same spot where Xiao He had sipped.
Xiao He was briefly stunned, then balled up her fist.
However, she seemed to be worried about Lin Shouxi’s injuries, so she didn’t hit him.
Finally, she just grumbled out of habit.
“Why do you follow such a frivolous person like me every day?” Lin Shouxi asked.
Xiao He turned her head to the side.
“I’m not telling you.”
Lin Shouxi gently covered her hand with his.
“I know why even if you don’t say it.”
Surprisingly, Xiao He didn’t resist.
She lifted her eyelids and looked at Lin Shouxi with watery eyes.
“What do you want to do?”
“I… ” Lin Shouxi hesitated.
Xiao He bit her lip, her impatience evident.
“Hmph, you’re so indecisive.
Show some backbone.”
Taking a deep breath, Lin Shouxi said in a low voice, “When I thought I was going to die, all I could think of was the time I spent with you these past few days.”
“You’ve been with me these past few days, what else could you have been thinking about…” Xiao He trailed off, unconvinced.
I…” Lin Shouxi hesitated before saying, “I want to continue being with you.”
Xiao He withdrew her hand.
“You’re still in shock.
What you say right now doesn’t count.”
“But it does,” Lin Shouxi insisted.
“Humph, I don’t believe it.
I…I dress so plainly and I’m not pretty.
How can I compare to an actual fairy?” Xiao He lamented.
Like a young daffodil, born from dining in the wind and drinking dew, Xiao He was pure and spotless, without a trace of dirt.
Her words sounded absurd and eerie in this context.
“No, you are beautiful,” Lin Shouxi declared firmly.
“I’m beautiful?” Xiao He lifted her head in surprise, her eyes flickering with a strange color.
“You’re beautiful in my heart,” Lin Shouxi said with a smile.
Xiao He’s eyes narrowed, her cheeks puffed up with anger.
“So you mean I’m only beautiful in your heart?”
“Well…” Lin Shouxi hesitated again.
“That’s what you think, right?” Xiao He interrupted.
“No, listen to me…”
“No need to say anything.
I know the answer,” Xiao He huffed and got up.
Whether she was being stubborn or angry at Lin Shouxi was unclear.
After saying, “Take care of yourself,” she left without looking back.
After closing the door, she leaned her slender back against it and took a deep breath.
Gradually, her expression softened into a smile.
Her heart, which had been suspended in mid-air, finally settled down.
Ji Luoyang and Wang Erguan had long since left.
“Could you really detect the flow of energy in his spirit veins?” Wang Erguan asked curiously.
“No,” Ji Luoyang replied.
“I only said that because I thought there was something suspicious about the whole situation.
I never expected my little trick would actually work.”
“You are quite cunning,” Wang Erguan exclaimed before sighing.
“I used to think that Lin Shouxi cared about nothing, that he had the mindset of a transcendent being, but it turns out he’s just a small person.”
“Everyone has their own worries,” Ji Luoyang replied.
“But it’s good that he’s like that,” Wang Erguan said, patting his belly.
“If he is really that kind of person, then there’s nothing to worry about.”
Ji Luoyang nodded and then sensed something.
He turned around and saw Xiao He walking towards them quickly.
“How is Lin Shouxi? Is there something you need from us, Miss Xiao He?” Ji Luoyang asked.
“No, he’s fine.
I asked him to rest,” Xiao He replied.
Ji Luoyang then asked, “And what about you?”
Xiao He tilted her head and said, “I just wanted to ask what you guys were talking about earlier.”
Ji Luoyang explained, “Not much, just telling stories.”
Xiao He questioned, “Just telling stories? I thought I heard something about a female ghost…”
Ji Luoyang chuckled and replied, “You heard right.
We were telling the story of a female ghost.”
Wang Erguan joined in with laughter.
“And when we were telling the story, Brother Lin got scared, like a coward reincarnated.
Haha, Xiao He, you have a poor eye for picking husbands.”
Xiao He pouted and turned around quickly, saying, “You guys… hmph, who said he was my husband?”
The courtyard returned to silence.
Lin Shouxi lay in bed, watching the night engulf everything outside the window, his heart finally feeling calm.
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