Written by Tinalynge & Blue Jay
Edited by ONI_Ghost
Beta read by OEE
Chapter 24 – Moon Anise
Luo Xiao was now used to being carried by Jiang Yao, but this time he was filled with a new feeling unlike any he had ever felt before.
He was giddy but embarrassed. He felt lightheaded but, at times, he also felt heavy-hearted. He was now starting to understand his emotions.
He dared not think about the word love, but at the same time, he already knew that this was the emotion he experienced whenever he thought of Jiang Yao.
Fortunately, he didn’t have too much time to think about his raging emotions that left him giddy and lightheaded one moment then depressed and heavy-hearted the next.
Jiang Yao saw how the young man’s facial expressions alternated between pale and blushed causing him to feel incredibly satisfied. It was clear that the only thing on Luo Xiao’s mind now was him.
They made their way to the location where Ling Mo waited for them, and as they descended, they saw a figure in the distance.
Ling Mo expected the sight that appeared in front of him. Luo Xiao was being carried like a princess, his arms hooked around Jiang Yao’s neck as if they were impossible to separate.
“Where is the Moon Anise?” Jiang Yao asked. He had no interest in waiting for Ling Mo to cause problems. Luckily, Ling Mo had already given up all intentions of causing any more problems and pointed at a stone not far away from them.
Being placed gently on the ground, Luo Xiao went closer to the stone and observed it curiously. He used his spiritual energy and saw that behind the stone was a translucent image of a herb.
This herb had silver leaves and black petals with silver dots. The dots resembled stars in the night sky and the silver leaves resembled moonlight that lit up the darkness of night.
Jiang Yao walked to the stone and picked it up. The moment he picked it up it trembled and shifted shape becoming a branch. Then from a branch, it became a daisy and from a daisy, it turned into a faded leaf.
Finally, it took on its original shape of the herb that Luo Xiao had seen behind the stone with his spiritual energy. The herb was small, but Jiang Yao deftly plucked the four petals before he placed the herb on the ground again, and the herb turned into a leaf that fluttered in the wind, vanishing into the distance.
“You let it go?” Luo Xiao asked curiously, and Jiang Yao chuckled, “The entire medicinal property of the Moon Anise is contained in its petals. I already took four petals, the rest can be allowed to live on and sprout new petals for others to use. Nature gives us these things, but to needlessly destroy them goes against the code most martial artists hold dear. It is generally something that is frowned upon, and I agree with the sentiment,” Jiang Yao said casually.
“What does the Moon Anise do?” Luo Xiao couldn’t help but ask curiously, and Jiang Yao looked at him with tender eyes. “Are you sure you want to know?” he asked gently, and Luo Xiao cocked his head looking confused.
“Of course I want to know! Otherwise I wouldn’t have asked,” he said after some consideration. Maybe there was some amazing secret hidden within the Moon Anise?
“Come here and close your eyes,” Jiang Yao said mysteriously. Luo Xiao, who thought he was going to be bullied again, hesitated. However after thinking about it, he knew that he had asked for the answer, so now he had to do what he was told.
He begrudgingly went to Jiang Yao’s side and closed his eyes as he lifted his head toward the other older male.
Looking down on Luo Xiao’s face, Jiang Yao was once more overwhelmed by the urge to kiss those beautiful, luscious lips that were right in front of him. But, he held back.
“Open your mouth,” Jiang Yao ordered, and Luo Xiao, who was completely clueless, did just that.
He slowly opened his mouth unsure what this person wanted from him. Suddenly, he felt something placed on his tongue.
Luo Xiao’s eyes opened in surprise. He didn’t know what Jiang Yao had just put in his mouth, but he had an urge to spit it out; however, before he had the chance to do so, he suddenly felt a strong hand behind his neck, pushing his head forward.
A soft sensation suddenly appeared on his lips, and Luo Xiao’s eyes widened as he saw Jiang Yao’s tongue lick him on the lips. Right after, he locked their lips together making it impossible for Luo Xiao to spit out the thing that had been placed in his mouth.
He was incapable of breathing as whatever was in his mouth turned to liquid and trickled down his throat.
Suddenly, he felt his body grow hot and a pain stabbed into his stomach.
He groaned, and the moment the groan escaped his lips, Jiang Yao withdrew from their kiss.
“What did you just do?!” Ling Mo’s voice suddenly sounded extremely shrill and filled with malice.
Luo Xiao only briefly heard the voice as right then his brows were filled with sweat and his body was wracked with pain.
Despite the pain, he didn’t fear that Jiang Yao had fed him poison. Right now he trusted Jiang Yao with his life so if he had given him something then it would only benefit him.
Since he reached this thought, he quickly sat down on the ground and tried to calm his mind from the excruciating pain.
“You actually gave the Moon Anise to this… this child?! You have been looking for a Moon Anise for many years, and now that you finally found one you are using it to feed some weak Earth Rank soul cultivator?!”
“Are you making fun of me?! Why would you make me search high and low for something that would be given to that disgusting little toy of yours?!” Ling Mo screamed at the top of his lungs. His face was red from anger and hatred was obvious in his eyes as he glared at Luo Xiao.
“I never said what I needed the Moon Anise for,” Jiang Yao said casually. “Who I wish to give it to depends on me. If I don’t want to eat it, I can feed it to whomever I want, and currently, Xiaoxiao needs it more than me,” Jiang Yao said, not really in the mood to answer Ling Mo’s stupid questions.
Jiang Yao knew that Ling Mo hated Luo Xiao. Although he knew that he could protect Luo Xiao when they were together, he couldn’t help but feel that Luo Xiao needed some friends for when they were not.
It was obvious that Ling Mo wouldn’t be his friend. He needed to just die, but he knew that Luo Xiao would blame him if he really killed Ling Mo since Luo Xiao wanted to prove his own strength.
Right now, Luo Xiao didn’t notice what was going on. His full attention was focused on getting rid of the pain in his body, but he also felt that accompanying the pain was a flood of spiritual energy that caused his soul to shake.
He trembled, his consciousness turned faint and his vision blackened.
Jiang Yao didn’t waste any more time on Ling Mo. He rushed to Luo Xiao. He placed a hand on Luo Xiao’s forehead and feeling how he was trembling and his sweat.
He grew worried. The Moon Anise was a magnificent herb that even someone at his level could benefit from, but in theory, it should be possible for a low-level soul cultivator to consume it as well.
But now he was worried. He wanted to carry him towards a stream and wipe the sweat off his body, but he dared not move him when the potent medicinal properties were running rampant throughout his body.
Ling Mo gnashed his teeth. He currently felt more hate and anger now than he ever had before.
The Moon Anise was a herb that refined one’s body and raised one’s rank by a whole realm.
Jiang Yao had wanted it to raise his rank. He was close to reaching the apex, so the Moon Anise could help him a great deal.
Although he had wanted to use the Moon Anise to raise his strength by a star, the reason he decided to give it to Luo Xiao was not because it would raise his strength by a realm, but because it would help refine his body.
Luo Xiao was weak and sickly all the time. He could barely walk a kilometer before he was exhausted. Seeing Luo Xiao like this, Jiang Yao wanted him to have a stronger body and to get that he fed him the Moon Anise.
Luo Xiao still didn’t know what he had been fed. However, the pain started to subside as his strength soared.
His soul suddenly became larger, and before he knew it, Luo Xiao felt not just one but two breakthroughs as he reached the high Earth Rank.
But what he sensed more than his increase in spiritual energy were the changes to his body. He had always had fair skin but now his skin felt like that of a newborn. He had always been sickly and weak but now he felt an abundance of energy within his body.
He slowly rose to his feet. He wasn’t yet used to this strange feeling… This feeling of being healthy. He did not have his strange and constant fatigue that was ever present before.
The feeling of always being able to sleep and never getting enough rest, the feeling of physical exhaustion these had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember, but now he actually felt vigorous.
Luo Xiao had completely forgotten that he had been kissed twice by Jiang Yao just before, now all he felt was astonishment and curiosity. Just what had he been fed to change so much?
“Jiang Yao, what was that?” Luo Xiao couldn’t help but ask as he looked at the older man with big eyes that were filled with wonder. Jiang Yao was doing everything for him. He was giving him everything that was good and treating him with such gentleness that he wanted to drown in it.
“You said you wanted to know what the Moon Anise did,” Jiang Yao smiled, “so I fed it to you.”
Luo Xiao’s eyes widened in shock and disbelief. “Didn’t you need the Moon Anise?” he asked confused and filled with hesitation.
“I did,” he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
“Then why would you feed it to me? Did you only need one petal for yourself?”
“I gave you all four petals. Don’t you feel great now? Your body looks much healthier than before. It was definitely worth it.”
Luo Xiao felt his eyes turn red and moist. Jiang Yao needed the Moon Anise but he had still given it to him. By now Luo Xiao could no longer deny his emotions for Jiang Yao, but he was of the impression that Jiang Yao wanted him because of his Astral Soul.
“Even if that’s the reason, I will gladly stay and follow you for the rest of my life,” Luo Xiao muttered to himself finally finding peace in his heart.
“Did you say something?” Jiang Yao asked Luo Xiao. He heard him mutter something but he didn’t catch what it was.
Luo Xiao looked at Jiang Yao and smiled gently before shaking his head. “Nothing,” he said with a slight smile on his face.
Jiang Yao walked a bit away from Luo Xiao and observed the surroundings when Ling Mo sprung into action.
He rushed towards Luo Xiao with an outstretched hand like a claw. His eyes were red and filled with malice and hatred that could no longer be contained.
“Die!” he screamed as he soared at Luo Xiao.