Lin Xiao encountered many things as he traveled the mainland, some good, and some bad.
Happily, he met many interesting people, and was able to carefreely cultivate.
The negative was that no matter how diligently he practiced, his cultivation had apparently hit a bottleneck. He was unable to advance any further. And he was also encountered many individuals who harbored unfathomable motives, whom he had to battle against.
His fighting experience grew a great deal.
Then he gained a companion, a lovely young lady named Mu Shaolan.
He had rescued her while on the road. Unexpectedly, she had followed Lin Xiao, saying she wanted to repay him.
Appreciating her gratefulness, Lin Xiao did not try to leave her behind.
After Mu Shaolan joined Lin Xiao in his travels, Lin Xiao did think some things were odd…
For example, before he had confronted a lot of devious persons who wanted to cheat him, kill him, or steal his belongings. However, now he didn’t meet them at all…
Another example was that, except for Mu Shaolan, he saw no more women on the road. Had all the local girls gone missing?
Lin Xiao observed Mu Shaolan beside him, as she blinked her big, innocent eyes. Pondering a while, Lin Xiao couldn’t pinpoint an actual problem. He could only forget about it.
Perhaps it was all just a coincidence.
One day, Lin Xiao and Mu Shaolan bumped into a gang of sturdy, middle-aged men seemingly bullying a delicate, pretty young man.
As Lin Xiao came nearer, he realized the formidable men were actually trying to take liberties with the youth.
Lin Xiao felt it a pain in the neck.
Just when had buggery become popular on the continent?
Hesitating, Lin Xiao couldn’t decide whether to interfere or not, when the young man’s eyes met Lin Xiao’s. The youth’s expression was bleak and he quickly looked away…
Best to assist, Lin Xiao decided, feeling unexpectedly tenderhearted.
The group of men looked as tough as nails. But in the end, their fighting strength was in the dregs.
Without much effort, Lin Xiao got rid of them. Watching their backs fleeing into the desert, Lin Xiao didn’t bother chasing to kill them.
“Thank you.” The young man gazed at Lin Xiao in gratitude.
Lin Xiao thought those clear eyes seemed inexplicably familiar.
Then shaking his head, Lin Xiao figured he was imagining it.
“It was nothing,” Lin Xiao told the youth.
“My name is Luo Lin,” the young man exclaimed suddenly.
Luo Lin? Bit of a strange name.
Lin Xiao nodded and turned to leave. However, Luo Lin caught Lin Xiao’s sleeve. Luo Lin was silent, just looking at Lin Xiao pleadingly.
Sympathetic Mu Shaolan, who was standing next to Lin Xiao, said: “You should take him with you.”
Exasperated, Lin Xiao inwardly fumed that he had gone to the mainland to cultivate, not take a sightseeing stroll!
But Lin Xiao was helpless. Luo Lin, catching Lin Xiao’s resigned expression, assured Lin Xiao: “I will not give you trouble!”
Luo Lin scrutinized Lin Xiao intently, still seemingly afraid that Lin Xiao wouldn’t agree. Lin Xiao just sighed to himself. He already had Mu Shaolan following him, what was one more?
So Lin Xiao’s solitariness turned to a group of three.
They continued to explore the mainland. Luo Lin took on the responsibility of Lin Xiao’s food and clothing, all his basic needs. Lin Xiao considered that he’d gained a full-time nanny. Yet Luo Lin was cold to Mu Shaolan, and would subtly block her approaches to Lin Xiao.
Mu Shaolan wasn’t blind to Luo Lin’s attitude. And as she observed Luo Lin and Lin Xiao together, her perception sharpened.
Only Lin Xiao was foolish, feeling nothing was amiss.
Enjoying Luo Lin’s meticulous care, Lin Xiao thought it a little overboard, yet nothing to be concerned about.
Eating and drinking, Lin Xiao happily relished each day.
Mu Shaolan, however, decided to say her goodbyes to Lin Xiao.
Lin Xiao didn’t try to persuade her otherwise. Instead he gave her some dan medicine, and departed with Luo Lin.
Separation was a part of life on the mainland. Perhaps fate would allow them to see each other again some time.
“Can you bear to part with her?” Luo Lin asked quietly.
Lin Xiao took a moment, then shrugged. “Yes, why shouldn’t I?”
The tension in Luo Lin’s eyes dissipated, and he smiled at Lin Xiao. “Alright.”
Lin Xiao gave Luo Lin a quizzical look.
From the beginning Lin Xiao had found Luo Lin familiar, and that sense was only growing.
Lin Xiao buried these thoughts in the bottom of his heart.
Some days later, Lin Xiao and Luo Lin found themselves in danger. They encountered a lunatic, cultivated to the prefecture-level. When the madman saw them, he immediately rushed over to attack.
Lin Xiao’s cultivation was at the same level, but in the face of the maniac’s all-out assaults, Lin Xiao gradually became overwhelmed and fell back.
Luo Lin jumped forward, and the lunatic responded quickly, wildly striking out. Lin Xiao dodged out of the way, the blow hitting Luo Lin hard.
Luo Lin retaliated extremely quickly, and the madman couldn’t block the jolt of Luo Lin’s palm.
A loud clamor of wailing and bawling ensued, as the crazy stranger made his getaway in a series of flashes.
“I’m sorry,” Luo Lin acted contrite to Lin Xiao.
“Why are you apologizing to me?”
“I…didn’t protect you.”
Lin Xiao didn’t reply for a long time. Then, “Isn’t your name Luo Lin?”
Lin Xiao couldn’t ignore it anymore. Luo Lin defeating that man with one blow. Luo Lin’s comfortableness. Acceding to almost all Lin Xiao’s requests. Taking such good care of Lin Xiao. How Luo Lin knew so many of Lin Xiao’s small habits from the beginning.
“You’ve been lying to me,” said Lin Xiao.
“I’m sorry,” Ling Luo said again, and took off his face mask. “I was afraid for your safety, and I didn’t know how to approach you. When I saw Mu Shaolan with you, I thought of this method.”
“I could stay by your side,” Ling Luo continued, “and take care of you. As long as you didn’t find out about me…I didn’t expect that loony to suddenly appear.” Ling Luo covered his mouth and coughed, then put his hand back down.
Lin Xiao, sharp-eyed, caught the blood-stain on Ling Luo’s palm.
That lunatic had been fairly terrifying, and even if Ling Luo’s cultivation was high, he’d still absorbed the madman’s strike. Ling Luo was bound to be hurt.
“Heal first.” Lin Xiao spoke resignedly. He didn’t know what else to say.
Lin Xiao had experienced many things now, and he had ruminated a great deal.
About his relationship with Ling Luo, Lin Xiao thought they were both at fault. For his part, he wouldn’t pretend anymore that he didn’t have feelings for Ling Luo deep down. Lin Xiao should have found sleeping with Ling Luo that last time disgusting, but Lin Xiao didn’t.
Just…Lin Xiao had thought the mainland too big. He hadn’t expected Ling Luo to find him, believing their fate was over. Yet Ling Luo did locate Lin Xiao…
Ling Luo swallowed a dan medicine, healing his wound.
“How did you find me?” Lin Xiao asked.
Ling Luo smiled bitterly. “I was looking for you constantly. Everywhere on the mainland. Until finally…If I hadn’t found you, I thought I’d fall apart.”
Closing his eyes for a moment, Ling Luo pleaded: “Lin Xiao, even if you don’t like me the way I like you, can’t you let me follow you? Only that. I’ll be satisfied with taking care of you, even if you’re cold to me. Just please don’t ignore me.”
Listening to Ling Luo, Lin Xiao’s mood was complex.
In the end, Lin Xiao agreed. He couldn’t harden his heart anymore. Perhaps he felt lonely? After all, wandering the mainland, who wouldn’t want someone to accompany them?
When Ling Luo had been pretending to be Luo Lin, Lin Xiao hadn’t experienced any discomfort. And in the following days, an ecstatic Ling Luo was even more considerate to Lin Xiao. Ling Luo’s cautious attitude, apparently afraid of making Lin Xiao angry, made Lin Xiao feel helpless. But, they were slowly making their return to the way things had been before.
Encountering dangers, Lin Xiao fought in the front, Ling Luo standing behind and watching. Unless Lin Xiao was unable to hold fast, then Ling Luo would swoop in and kill the other party.
Lin Xiao needed to grow in strength. Ling Luo didn’t want Lin Xiao to become weak in battle, being under Ling Luo’s protection. They both tacitly recognized this, the understanding between them growing by the day.
Except when Lin Xiao had amorous pursuers.
Anytime a bright-eyed girl fluttered her lashes at Lin Xiao, Ling Luo stared at Lin Xiao with an aggrieved expression.
As if Lin Xiao were a cheating husband.
It embarrassed Lin Xiao. He wasn’t doing anything wrong!
A long time passed.
They had traveled all around, Ling Luo firmly stuck to Lin Xiao’s side. Where Lin Xiao went, Ling Luo followed.
Some hurts faded from memory.
Lin Xiao found the days spent with Ling Luo to be good.
One morning as the sun was rising, Ling Luo stood at the edge of a cliff. A breeze blew over his face, comfortably refreshing.
Lin Xiao stood beside Ling Luo, contemplating the dawn, and then softly said: “I think we could try…Being together.”
Hearing Lin Xiao, Ling Luo regarded Lin Xiao in disbelief. Then joy.
“Really?” Ling Luo needing confirmation.
Lin Xiao nodded. “Yes.”
Ling Luo almost cried from excitement. His patient waiting had paid off, and he couldn’t even put his happiness into words.
Without restraint, Ling Luo embraced Lin Xiao.
Lin Xiao’s long-lost warmth, Ling Luo couldn’t bear to let go. The sunshine beamed gently, birds chirped crisply, and Lin Xiao didn’t try to break free from Ling Luo’s arms. Ling Luo knew the reward of his perseverance.
Sincere repentance had brought forgiveness.
Lack of cautiousness and sensibleness had wrought many setbacks. Heaven didn’t grant bliss, it rested in their own hands.
Lin Xiao and Ling Luo understood these truths now.
They would journey far and wide together, fates entwined.