Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_Ghost
Beta read by OEE
Jiang Yao looked at the sleeping Luo Xiao. He was still a mortal and only at the Low Earth Rank. Although he could cultivate whenever he wanted, he still needed to eat and sleep to keep his body functioning.
Jiang Yao stared, mesmerized by Luo Xiao’s appearance. It was as if no matter how much he looked at this younger boy, he could never get enough.
Right now, Luo Xiao was deep asleep. He never spoke much when Ling Mo was around, but as soon as it was just him and Jiang Yao, he threw away all signs of pretense and said exactly what was on his mind.
This honest boy was a welcome change to Jiang Yao’s life of schemes and dishonest people, who would do anything to benefit themselves.
As he looked at the sleeping Luo Xiao, Jiang Yao noticed that some dust had settled on one of his eyelashes, and he couldn’t help leaning forward to observe it closer.
His eyelashes were so long and beautifully curved. They were even more beautiful than any women’s eyelashes Jiang Yao had ever seen.
Jiang Yao moved his face so close to Luo Xiao that he could feel the younger male’s breath on his face. It warmed him up and sent shivers through his body.
He felt electrified; it was as if this feeling would make him lose his calm. He didn’t know what it was he wanted to do, but before he had the time to think about it, Luo Xiao opened his eyes which were still cloudy from sleep.
However before he had time to wake up, his eyes widened in surprise. He tried to sit up from the shock of looking into the most alluring and handsome face he had ever seen, especially so close.
The results were as expected, his sudden movement caused Luo Xiao’s forehead to hit Jiang Yao’s face, and soon a red, swollen bump appeared. This caused Luo Xiao to sit with his head cradled in his arms whimpering in pain.
Seeing the miserable expression on Luo Xiao’s face, Jiang Yao couldn’t help but laugh out loud. He had not felt any pain from the impact as his body was many times tougher than Luo Xiao’s. Such a small collision could not cause Jiang Yao any harm.
“Don’t laugh,” Luo Xiao muttered grudgingly, as he glared fiercely at Jiang Yao.
“I’m sorry,” Jiang Yao said as he realized that it was indeed a little improper for him to be laughing like this when it was his fault in the first place.
“Do you want me to kiss it and make it better?” he continued teasing Luo Xiao, who couldn’t handle it anymore and stuck out his tongue at Jiang Yao.
Unfortunately, little did Luo Xiao know that such a gesture just made Jiang Yao even more amused. Just how old was Luo Xiao? That was something a child would do, not a fifteen-year-old youth.
Jiang Yao was puzzled. Why was he entranced by the appearance of a small child? He had seen every handsome and beautiful creature in the world, but none of them had caused him to be so fascinated by them before. But, just now, Luo Xiao succeeded with just his sleeping face, and he hadn’t even made an effort to be cute!
Jiang Yao didn’t know why this young man made his otherwise dull life filled with color, and he could suddenly overcome things that seemed impossible before.
Luo Xiao was petrified when Jiang Yao asked if he should kiss it to make it better, but then he saw that Jiang Yao was thinking deeply and breathed a sigh of relief. It was likely he would forget about the matter when he woke from his thoughts.
If Luo Xiao had known that Jiang Yao was thinking deeply because of his feelings for him, then he would have been frightened to death and so embarrassed that he dared not show his face in front of Jiang Yao for some time. But he didn’t know therefore he started packing and tidying up the room so they could set out. They were after all in a hurry to reach this legendary Moon Anise.
When they were about to leave, the duo met up with Ling Mo at the counter to check out. Ling Mo was as uncharacteristically silent as he had been the day before.
Jiang Yao was as cuddly with Luo Xiao as he could be. He touched him all over, held him by the shoulder, and they walked together out of the inn, but no matter how touchy he was, Ling Mo completely ignored them.
Although Jiang Yao was slightly disappointed by Ling Mo’s lack of reaction, he did not feel too bad since he was able to touch Luo Xiao as he pleased.
Why do I feel this way? Jiang Yao thought to himself. Once again he was stuck wondering about why he was so keen on touching and spending time with Luo Xiao. Why was he so overprotective and gentle with him.
It wasn’t that Jiang Yao was dumb, but he had never been in love before. He had lived for a millennia, but he had never experienced the feelings he was experiencing now.
Since he had never experienced anything like this, and no one had taught him what real love was, he was at a loss. It had never crossed his mind that he could fall in love with a mere mortal, much less someone he had known for such a short time. For this reason, love was never on his mind.
Not until now. I want to touch him and be by his side every second. I want to keep him safe from all harm and tease him so I can see his cute reactions, he thought.
Did it really happen to me? he thought, feeling confused while taking a long glance at the young man.
Luo Xiao walked by his side, holding hands with Jiang Yao while they walked out of the village as he had done throughout their whole trip, but for the first time, Jiang Yao felt how his hand was getting warm, and a comfortable feeling spread from his hand through his entire body.
I don’t know what love is, but isn’t it described like this? A deep feeling of affection towards someone? Isn’t that exactly how I am feeling about Xiaoxiao?
Jiang Yao was utterly stunned, and thinking about this, he stopped in his tracks. He noticed that when he stopped, Luo Xiao also stopped, naturally since they were holding hands. The young man looked at him with eyes that sparkled like gems, displaying his confusion as to why he had stopped.
Jiang Yao did not think about what he did, he just dragged Luo Xiao into his embrace and buried his face in his hair smelling the scent of Luo Xiao. His heart swelled with joy, and he suddenly realized all the changes that had happened to him since he had met this young man.
At first, he had taken an interest in him, but he knew that at that time it was just an excuse. The moment he had laid eyes on Luo Xiao, his heart had been captured.
This useless young man that couldn’t handle life alone was without a doubt so dear to him that he couldn’t contain it, but he also knew that he should not tell Luo Xiao yet.
Who cares, right now he is acting like my lover. I’ll just never let him stop and eventually change it from an act into reality, Jiang Yao thought with a smirk on his face.
It never occurred to him that Luo Xiao might not share his feelings. He believed that if he continued to treat him well, then the younger man would eventually fall for him too.
Ling Mo frowned when he saw this sudden display of affection in front of him, but he said nothing. He just waited for Jiang Yao to let go of the boy he had in his arms.
“Jiang Yao?” Luo Xiao called his name with a trembling voice. He was thoroughly embarrassed and also surprised. Why was he suddenly so affectionate towards him? This gentleness made his heart beat faster.
“Just a little longer,” Jiang Yao muttered in Luo Xiao’s hair, and after hanging on to him for a bit, he finally straightened up and helped the younger man straighten out his hair.
“Why would you do that?” Luo Xiao asked furiously, “I just did my hair! I didn’t think you were so deprived that you need to assault me in the middle of the street.”
Usually, Luo Xiao would have said nothing since they were pretending to be lovers, but this was indeed over the top and so embarrassing that he couldn’t help but scold the other man.
“I might be sexually deprived,” Jiang Yao smirked as he looked into Luo Xiao’s eyes. This caused Luo Xiao’s heart to beat rapidly, and fear snuck into his eyes. Was he just messing with him?
Seeing his stunned expression, Jiang Yao chuckled, “Don’t worry,” he said gently, “I’m just messing with you. But you smell so good, it’s impossible for me not to want to smell you all the time.”
Hearing this, Luo Xiao was even more embarrassed and decided it was getting to be too much. Their actions had caused a whole scene, and many had stopped on the street to watch. Many of the townspeople were listening in on their conversation, including Ling Mo.
It sounded like a lovers drama, but thinking of this, it just made Ling Mo even angrier. For them, to banter like this while he was with them, was it not too disrespectful?
Luo Xiao had no face to stay in the village any longer, and he dragged Jiang Yao away as fast as he could. He had his head down and dared not look at anyone they passed.
Jiang Yao felt much calmer now that he understood his emotions, and they left the village continuing on their journey.
A handful of days went by like this. Every night would be spent in an inn at various towns and villages, and Jiang Yao would use every excuse he had to be close to Luo Xiao.
Luo Xiao noticed that he was getting more and more persistent and that the touching and teasing would continue even when it was only the two of them.
He came to the conclusion that Jiang Yao had taken a liking to teasing him as much as he could, that he enjoyed seeing his flustered face.
Luo Xiao was not completely wrong. Jiang Yao did enjoy watching him when he was embarrassed; he liked seeing all the various expressions that Luo Xiao would make.
He enjoyed seeing him fighting back like a meek kitten, trying his very best to avoid all these situations that made him so embarrassed.
As time went on, Luo Xiao became more outspoken and less scared of Jiang Yao. He came to feel that this man was his only rock in a chaotic sea. He now felt that Jiang Yao was the only one he could trust, but he felt that the man was too hateful.
Embarrassing him time and time again just for his own amusement made him bear a grudge, but he could never get anything for his injustice, instead, Jiang Yao continued to take advantage of him.
After being on the road for close to two weeks, the group finally arrived at the Chengzi Empire where the Moon Anise was rumored to be located.
The group had been traveling for two weeks just to reach the Chengzi Empire. This showed how vast the continent of Tiandi truly was. Both the Empire of Chengzi and the Kingdom of Zhanshi were on the edge of the continent and considered backwater countries. They were not far from one another, but it still took this long to travel from one to the other.