Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_Ghost
Beta read by OEE
Despite his petrified state, Luo Xiao couldn’t help but turn around to see the source of the voice.
Behind him stood… No, not standing, Luo Xiao instantly noted. The man was actually floating in the air a few centimeters off the ground instead of standing on it.
He had regal, black-colored long robes with embroideries of dragons made with golden thread. While these clothes would look way too extravagant on Luo Xiao, on this man, they fit perfectly.
It wasn’t the clothing, nor was it his long black hair, which was tied up in a ponytail on top of his head, but the man’s perfect face which stood out to Luo Xiao. He had stunning, youthful looks and a refined air radiated out from him.
His deep, dark phoenix eyes exuded a charm and allure that was unlike anything Luo Xiao had seen so far in his life, leaving him completely awe-struck.
The handsome man, with the likeness of an immortal, also found himself looking closely at Luo Xiao’s features. The perfection and pure white skin of the other’s face did not escape him, and neither did the deep black eyes that the boy in front of him had.
He could tell that Luo Xiao wasn’t as simple as his naive appearance suggested.
His perfect smile slightly widened, and while it seemed warm, Luo Xiao could somewhat sense that there was something more profound behind it.
“I repeat, did you do that?” the man spoke once more, sending a tremor through Luo Xiao’s body. The regality and the power contained in his voice was too overwhelming for him to handle easily.
His already weak body was suddenly overcome with waves of exhaustion. His arms, which were supporting him until this moment gave out as he fell into the dirt on his face causing him to breathe heavily.
The smile on the alluring man’s face didn’t fade from seeing Luo Xiao’s exhaustion; instead, it became even wider as his gaze was filled with interest.
One of his hands which was jade white and as perfect as the god of beauty’s reached over. It touched the blood on Luo Xiao’s body before grabbing the weak boy’s arm and forcefully lifting him up.
“Indeed, it was you. How could you do such a thing? That corpse puppet was comparable to a Heaven cultivator! Fourth Brother has cultivated it for years. Such a shame,” he spoke while he shook Luo Xiao, whom he was holding by the arm, while seemingly lamenting the loss of the murderous puppet.
Through his eyes which were as deep as an abyss seemed to say the opposite, within traces of a mocking glimmer coupled with some sick joy could be perceived as he looked at Luo Xiao, studying the other carefully.
“Your body seems fragile… And your soul is quite weak too. Did you exhaust all your energy killing Fourth Brother’s corpse puppet?”
Luo Xiao had no idea how to reply. He himself did not know what had happened, as his vision deserted him just as the corpse puppet disappeared.
He could feel that the man had an unusual interest in him, and despite his weak instinctive attempts to try and wriggle free, he knew he would not be able to get away.
“It seems you used all your soul power to destroy the puppet. That means you actually have some strength… Maybe you could be of use to me?” speaking like this, the expression on his perfect face gained an almost sadistic feel to it, though it was quickly hidden.
Luo Xiao’s body froze as soon as he noticed this fleeting expression causing fear and terror to once more rise up. Now it was more profound than when he felt he had to escape this man that held him tight.
“Well, since the puppet was destroyed, I no longer have a reason to linger,” the man said as he surveyed the destroyed village. His smile was just as perfect as before, “But of course, since I’ve found you, you’re coming with me!”
Effortlessly holding the fifteen-year-old boy in his arm, the seemingly immortal man chuckled as he lightly tapped the air he was standing on, and he suddenly flew off in a direction to Luo Xiao’s shock.
Luo Xiao was too weak to protest. He was only able to watch as his home vanished far into the distance seconds later. Endless forests soon replaced the bloody scenery, and the cries of beasts occasionally passed the flying duo.
As the handsome man flew with Luo Xiao over the forests, the sun disappeared behind the horizon in the distance, leaving the youth with just the last memories of his father and his ruined home.
Just like that, it became night. While Luo Xiao weakly stared into the distance, his tired mind was still reliving the shock and horror of the corpse puppet. Meanwhile, the man holding him kept moving, flying through the air with ease as darkness enveloped them and the stars began to shine above them.
Luo Xiao slowly began to regain some strength because he was literally being carried by a gorgeous immortal without any effort whatsoever. He knew that he was powerless against this person, so he didn’t resist but just watched the spot where his already disappeared Jinwei village had been.
Suddenly, lights sprung to life in the distance making the handsome man’s smile widen slightly, “And we finally arrived at Xiyang City!”
The name grabbed Luo Xiao’s attention, making him finally move his gaze away from the direction they came from towards the front. Seeing this massive city, even in his current mood, he couldn’t help but feel slightly better.
He had never been outside of Jinwei village, at most he just went to the edge of the forest. Therefore he had never seen the outside world, and so the sight of Xiyang City made his eyes widen with surprise and curiosity.
In the darkness of the night, an enormous city, hundreds of times more massive than his small village, appeared which was situated in the middle of the forest that covered a large part of the kingdom. As the immortal descended towards the city gates, Luo Xiao could make out more and more of the buildings and the people living within the city.
Xiyang City had at least ten million inhabitants. It truly was a vast city considering the size of the Zhanshi Kingdom. Luo Xiao’s eyes turned wide as he took in the sights and sounds of the city at night, almost letting him forget that his hometown had just been slaughtered down to every last man.
As that thought crossed his mind, his mood instantly dropped and he looked away. Any interest and excitement from seeing Xiyang City had evaporated.
Naturally, the handsome man that was carrying him around like a bag of potatoes noticed this but did not say anything. He knew it would be useless to say anything anyways.
A few seconds later, the immortal stepped on the ground, and suddenly, without any prior warning, Luo Xiao found himself falling to the ground. Waving his hands desperately he made a surprised sound and barely managed to keep his balance. His arms spread wide as he struggled to stand up straight.
“Follow me and don’t try anything,” the dark-clothed man spoke as he began walking as a perfect smile adorned his face.
Luo Xiao was just about to turn around and try to flee into the darkness, but the words spoken by the older man forced him to realize that his actions would be pointless. Defeated, he followed the other, his gaze dark and lacking any joy.
The two of them landed around a bit away from the road, mostly unnoticed, but the moment this alluring immortal stepped on the stone road, leading into Xiyang City, everyone seemed to take note.
As the two made their way towards the gates silently, various people gazed at them from late-night arrivals to what seemed to be rogue cultivators. The taller man was too perfect – in fact, both of them were, however, the blood covering Luo Xiao’s face and clothes hid his beauty, making him seem almost normal.
Naturally, blood also covered part of the immortal’s clothing, but the darker colors made it harder to spot, especially at night. His confident, perfect smile made Luo Xiao even less noticeable, as everyone’s gaze was focused on this seemingly otherworldly cultivator and even the women appeared to be fawning over him.
After a few suspicious glances from the city guards and casually paying the fee for entering with a flick of the taller man’s sleeve, the two were allowed inside the city. Immediately, Luo Xiao’s senses were bombarded with even more noise and sights than before.
Vendors, even late into the evening, were still open, doing their best to sell their products and treasures to mortals and cultivators alike.
Naturally, Luo Xiao couldn’t help but look around a few times as the tall man lead the way deeper into Xiyang City and twice he even attempted to escape amidst the crowds. However, every time he tried to take a step away, the man instantly looked at him. His gaze was both cold and slightly amused, making Luo Xiao’s blood freeze from fear before he gave up.
He would have to find a different way to escape from this man, yet even though he should have been thinking about this, he couldn’t help but be distracted by the city’s sights. His mood once more improved after the man stopped watching him and his eyes hungrily took in everything saw.
His deep eyes didn’t miss the many men and women shooting glances at the handsome man he was following. While many of their gazes were filled with adoration and fawning, some were brimming with jealousy. Luo Xiao naturally knew why, however, as he thought of the man’s perfectly handsome face, he was suddenly reminded once more of his village, and his expression darkened.
As they walked deeper and deeper into the city, Luo Xiao’s thoughts were interrupted as he suddenly ran right into the immortal that had forced him here. His eyes instantly widened with fear as he backed off. Thankfully, the man didn’t spare as much as a glance as he walked into what looked like a luxurious inn.
Luo Xiao’s breath almost stopped from how much extravagance was displayed on the outside of this building. Precious gems that spanned the colors of the rainbow and the purest jade decorated the building’s facade.
“A room on the top floor with one bed,” hearing the faint voice from inside the inn woke Luo Xiao from his dumbfounded gaze at the beautifully decorated exterior.
Momentarily, he thought about running away once more, however, remembering the cold gaze of the man every time he had attempted to do so, his body shivered then he walked into the inn.
The innkeeper’s nodding and bowing at the handsome man stopped as he noticed the dried blood on this commoner who had just entered. His eyes moved between the man and Luo Xiao unsure whether the two were together. However, a simple smiling nod from the alluring immortal was enough to clear any doubts. Right after, the innkeeper gave them the key before going back to his other tasks.
After the man received the key, Luo Xiao noticed that he flipped it between his fingers for a bit before he turned around to face him. Once more, he felt in awe at how perfect the man’s face was and once more was reminded of the fate of his village. His body instinctively moved backward as he tried to escape from the man in front of him.
Predicting his movements, the man’s arm shot out, grabbing Luo Xiao’s hand as his smile became dangerous for a moment. Seeing this was enough to erase any thoughts of trying to escape entirely for Luo Xiao. The fifteen-year-old boy let himself be half-dragged up beautifully decorated stairs, to the highest floor where only three doors revealed themselves.
Opening the leftmost door, the scene inside revealed itself to Luo Xiao. It was a gorgeous, luxurious room with perfect decorations, intricate murals on the walls, and a breathtaking sight of the city even though it was not a very tall building.
However, he had no time to marvel at this as the handsome man dismissively tossed him onto the bed after closing the door. A weak and surprised yelp escaped from Luo Xiao.
“Go to sleep,” the handsome man nearly sounded as if he were giving a command, expecting it to be immediately executed. Luo Xiao’s eyes briefly moved to meet the other man’s gaze, but a second later he flinched away as far into the bed as he could doing his best to stay away from the man.
He didn’t even bother to cover himself with the sheets.
Flicking his sleeve, the man sat down on the floor cross-legged, and all the orb that provided light were instantly extinguished. The room was now only lit by the mild light from the window.
That night, the immortal could hear Luo Xiao’s quiet sobs. The youth had been unable to fall asleep until the sun began rising for a new day, and he swore that his own chest felt heavy – despite no apparent cause for such a phenomenon.