Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_Ghost
Beta read by OEE
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Luo Xiao gently accepted one of the spiritual oranges from Jiang Yao.
They had a sweet scent making him eager to taste them. He had never before smelled such a fragrant fruit.
Jiang Yao chuckled when he saw Luo Xiao’s eagerness. At the start, Luo Xiao hadn’t seemed too excited about eating them, but after smelling the fruits and sensing how his spiritual energy became turbulent, he started to hunger for them.
Jiang Yao bought all the spiritual oranges he could find in the small town, and all of them were now in his embroidered bag, apart from the one in Luo Xiao’s hand.
They were in the carriage. Luo Xiao quickly took his boots off before sitting down on a floor cushion as he started to peel the orange.
Peeling it, he was assaulted by the sweet scent of the fruit.
Jiang Yao watched curiously. Although spiritual fruits were beneficial to Qi cultivators, the spiritual oranges had the most benefits for soul cultivators.
Although Jiang Yao could enjoy spiritual oranges, it wouldn’t cause his internal energy to stir as it did for Luo Xiao.
Looking at Luo Xiao, he imagined that such a good cultivating resource was incredibly hard to resist. Smirking, he was happy to discover something that Luo Xiao seemed to have a weakness for.
As he peeled the fruit, Luo Xiao could hardly wait to sink his teeth into it. He’d completely forgotten everything else because his internal energy ran rampant, begging to be united with the sweet scent.
He finished peeling it but when he sat with the fruit in his hand, he hesitated. He wanted to taste it but he also remembered that it had been bought by Jiang Yao, and after getting his hands on the fruit, he had completely forgotten about him.
He glanced at Jiang Yao who smiled back at him. “Try it,” Jiang Yao urged him, and when he heard the urging, he could no longer hold back.
He timidly picked a wedge of the fruit and placed it in his mouth. The moment it touched his tongue it melted and turned into a sweet liquid that slowly trickled down his throat.
From his throat, it spread through his entire body. He felt as if he were bursting with energy and quickly started cultivating.
He’d never expected that the fruit would contain so much energy. It was clearly made for enhancing one’s cultivation, not just eating for pleasure. Only now did he realize why Jiang Yao wouldn’t let him in on how much they cost. Fruits like these couldn’t possibly be cheap.
But now was not the time to consider such matters. He consumed the fruit wedge by wedge and felt a surge of energy engulf his soul. The amount of energy made him feel as if he were almost ready to explode.
As he ate the last wedge, the energy finally exploded, and he broke through to the High Earth Rank.
One fruit had so much energy that he had increased his cultivation so much that he could feel a change in his Soul Palace.
Jiang Yao licked his lips as he looked at Luo Xiao. The younger boy had his eyes closed, and he was completely focused on sensing the changes to his body and soul.
Seeing him place the wedges of spiritual orange within his mouth, he was tempted to claim those lips for himself, but he knew that Luo Xiao was at an important moment while breaking through and now was not the time to play around. He didn’t want to see Luo Xiao have any complications during this crucial moment. If something disturbed Luo Xiao’s concentration, it could cause lingering problems for his future cultivation, so he held back.
When Luo Xiao opened his eyes the first thing he saw was Jiang Yao’s face looking at him with a great smile.
“Congratulations on your breakthrough,” he said with a smile, but the smiling expression made Luo Xiao’s hairs stand on end.
“Thank you,” he said timidly. He looked at Jiang Yao with vigilance. He had gotten to know Jiang Yao rather well throughout their travels and most times when he had been this happy, he had made Luo Xiao quite embarrassed.
Jiang Yao lifted his hand and within was the book that he had bought for Luo Xiao in the bookstore.
“What about letting me taste those spiritual oranges?” Jiang Yao asked, his smile even bigger now than it was before.
“You have them with you,” Luo Xiao said not understanding what Jiang Yao wanted.
“I don’t want to peel them and get my hands dirty,” Jiang Yao answered.
“I can peel them for you,” Luo Xiao said happily, and suddenly, Jiang Yao reached out and embraced his waist, dragging him so close that their bodies were tightly pressed against one another.
Jiang Yao said no more but leaned down and captured Luo Xiao’s lips for himself.
The kiss was deep and passionate. It lasted until Luo Xiao’s legs went limp and he was only held up by Jiang Yao’s strong arms.
Luo Xiao gasped for air, his face deep red. He shot a long, displeased glance at Jiang Yao, but his displeased expression just made the older male chuckle as he held Luo Xiao close to him.
“It was sweet,” he said with a nod of his head. “Here you go, don’t hold back,” he said as he tossed the book to Luo Xiao alongside another spiritual orange.
Luo Xiao dared not eat another fruit since he had just been assaulted by Jiang Yao so he placed it on the ground next to him.
He then picked up the book, and his eyes gleamed as his lips parted into a smile.
He opened the first page and began reading. The book was old and it contained information about the demon race.
Demons were the most talented amongst all the races. There were some who cultivated their body and Qi, while other demons cultivated their soul and spiritual energy.
They had a human form but also a demonic form. Their demonic form was very different from their human one. They had horns and tails. Some just had different skin colors while others transformed into shapes that resembled beasts. Some were more beast-like in their demon form while others were more human-like.
Demons preferred not to use their demonic form unless absolutely necessary.
Luo Xiao looked at Jiang Yao curiously. Was he really a demon? Did he really have another form?
He was suddenly shocked. What was his true appearance then? Had he been tricked up until now? Was he, in fact, kissing some terrible looking monster?
Luo Xiao blushed furiously when he thought of such a thing. He had already accepted their relationship as being somewhat normal.
Jiang Yao’s lip curled up into an amused smirk. Luo Xiao was so easy to read, his thoughts were basically written on his forehead.
Seeing the horrified yet embarrassed expression on Luo Xiao’s face, he could easily guess his thoughts.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, wanting to hear what excuse Luo Xiao would come up with.
He found that he was incredibly attracted to every expression on Luo Xiao’s face, and now he wanted to see him troubled.
Luo Xiao was quite troubled. He didn’t want to say what he thought but he couldn’t ignore Jiang Yao either.
“Uh, are you a demon?” he finally countered the question with another question that he had wondered about since they had first met.
Jiang Yao smiled gently and gestured for Luo Xiao to come closer.
Luo Xiao inched closer and closer until he sat in front of him. Jiang Yao was seated on the bed while Luo Xiao was seated in front of him on the ground.
Jiang Yao reached out his hand and gently caressed Luo Xiao’s cheek.
“Does it matter if I am human or demon?” he asked after some time. He suddenly felt nervous inside.
This was a new experience for Jiang Yao. He had never before felt nervous about anything, but right now his heart was hammering with worry.
“No,” Luo Xiao said as he shook his head, “If I’m okay with you being a man, then what does your race matter?”
Only then did he realize what he had said, and his eyes widened in horror. He clasped his hands over his mouth and his heart started beating fast. Had he said too much? Would Jiang Yao realize his emotions?
Jiang Yao narrowed his eyes and a smile spread on his lips, a genuine smile filled with happiness as his mood lifted.
Now it was Luo Xiao’s turn to feel uneasy. He was unable to take his eyes away from the handsome face in front of him.
Jiang Yao lowered his head. “Are you entranced?” he asked with a slightly hoarse voice, a gleam in his eyes and a snicker on his lips.
“No! Not entranced!” Luo Xiao denied it from reflex and shot backwards out of range of Jiang Yao.
The older male laughed out loud at the fact that Luo Xiao’s mouth said one thing but his heart meant something else.
“I need to cultivate now!” Luo Xiao stammered out as he turned his back to Jiang Yao. His face was red, and he was filled with shame.
He closed his eyes and started cultivating. Soul cultivators cultivated their soul and had three ways of increasing their strength.
One was external factors like spiritual fruits, herbs, or pills.
Another was to absorb soul energy from the world around them then refine this energy to spiritual energy and claim it as their own.
The final option was one that Luo Xiao still hadn’t done. It was to absorb the soul of another expert. The stronger the soul of the expert, the more spiritual energy that could be taken from their soul.
Body cultivators had three options of cultivating their bodies as well.
One was the normal and simple strengthening of their body.
Another was external methods such as spiritual herbs, fruits, and pills.
And finally, the last one was to consume the heaven and earth essence in the air and refine it into Qi.
Luo Xiao was currently cultivating the energy from the surrounding air and refining it into spiritual energy.
He was deep in meditation when suddenly someone knocked on the door.
Having been in a deep trance, Luo Xiao jolted up. Jiang Yao frowned and went to the door, opening it.
Outside was the owner of the merchant caravan. “Esteemed guests, we have prepared dinner, please come and dine with us,” he said.
Jiang Yao looked at Luo Xiao with questioning eyes, “Do you want to eat, Xiaoxiao?” he asked.
Jiang Yao could easily go without food, so the one who decided was Luo Xiao. The merchant leader was stunned. He had never expected that the weak one of the two would have the final say.
Luo Xiao pondered for a short while. He had already gotten a spiritual fruit, and he felt full, but he wanted to hear some gossip from the merchant group; therefore, he eventually decided to accept the invitation.
Jiang Yao was fine either way, so he didn’t mind going to eat. Together the two of them left the carriage and followed behind the merchant leader, but as soon as they left the carriage, Luo Xiao regretted his decision.
There were many women in the caravan, and they were all clearly affected by Jiang Yao’s otherworldly appearance.
Jiang Yao was not much happier as many of the innocent and younger women looked at Luo Xiao curiously and with a bit of infatuation.
Seeing that they looked at what belonged to him, Jiang Yao reached out and grabbed Luo Xiao’s hand in his. It was as if he were telling everyone that this was his and many of the women blushed when they saw such a forceful gesture.