“You have been tossing me about all these years just to see more of Chunning in me. I have been with you for so many years, and you’ve been holding me back for too long. I can’t stay here all my life just for you. So mother, from now on, I will no longer be with you.” Xiao Chunmian sighed.
Mrs. Xiao shook her head desperately. Her long nails scratched Xiao Chunmian’s arm, but he couldn’t reach his body.
“Mother, what would you do after I leave?” Xiao Chunmian asked. “Continue to be trapped in the guilt of Chunning’s death? No mother, that’s too painful. If you really want to pay back Chunning, why don’t you just go down with her?”
Xiao Chunmian’s grip was too tight. Mrs. Xiao struggled, but after a while she rolled her eyes and could only convulse.
It was only until then that the frightened people finally returned to their senses and rushed in a panic, trying to save her.
When the nearest man was only a step away from him, Xiao Chunmian let her go and watched her fall to the ground. By the time someone had finally grabbed his shoulder, Xiao Chunmian’s hand was already on the hilt of his sword that was by his waist. Turning around, he wielded the sword while still in its scabbard and struck out with a momentous wave. The people who pounced on him were chopped and sent flying in a strong breeze, blowing the pages on the desk.
The body of the sword returned to his side as his clothes gradually fluttered down. “This is between me and my mother. You better not intervene.”
Some people struggled to rise from the ground and wanted to keep attacking. Mrs. Xiao also took advantage of this time to revive and tried to crawl away.
Xiao Chunmian’s left hand reached for the body of the sword, grabbed onto the scabbard and smashed it at the disobedient servant’s face. It hit his nose and blood immediately ran down, making everyone else shiver and wonder if he had broken his nose. Then Xiao Chunmian lightly and skillfully turned around, the tip of his sword pointing towards the ground. The blade was just right next to Mrs. Xiao’s neck. It was ice-cold.
Mrs. Xiao trembled and didn’t dare move again. The others had lost their heads out of fear and didn’t dare rush in recklessly.
“Mother.” Xiao Chunmian still had a gentle smile on his face. “Do you want to go down with Chunning? If you want, I’ll give you a ride. Although a person’s death cannot bring her back to life, it is nevertheless better than staying alive. And since you’re already like this, perhaps your life is already worse than death.”
Although Mrs. Xiao was mad, she still knew to be afraid at this moment. She couldn’t help gasping for breath, her face was gasply, and her eyes were full of fear of death.
“Are you willing or not?” Xiao Chunmian slightly tilted his sword, grazing Mrs. Xiao’s neck. “Mother, I just need a word from you. I will never ignore your wishes.”
Mrs. Xiao was terrified. She couldn’t help but shiver, letting the sword scratch her neck.
“Don’t kill me!” At last, Mrs. Xiao cried out in great panic. “Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! I don’t want to die! Don’t kill me!”
“Oh?” Xiao Chunmian narrowed his eyes. “Mother, are you serious? You have a chance to be reunited with Chunning, but you don’t want it? You’re so crazy for Chunning, but you would rather live in a world without her? Is there anything more important than Chunning?”
“I, I…” Mrs. Xiao stuttered for a while before she finally shouted. “Chunsheng! I still have Chunsheng!”
Xiao Chunsheng was the baby she gave birth to ten years ago. However, after Chunning’s death, she was maddened by the heavy feeling of guilt. Everyday, she’d be absorbed with Xiao Chunmian that she subconsciously ignored the baby. Now she remembered.
“Ah yes, you still have Chunsheng.” Xiao Chunmian sighed with relief. “So even if I choose to leave, even if I can’t continue to replace Chunning in your eyes, can you still live well?”
“I can! I can!” Mrs. Xiao repeatedly said.
“That’s good.” Xiao Chunmian smiled, tapped Mrs. Xiao’s face with the blade, before finally taking the sword away from her neck as he stood up.
He took care of the clothes that had gotten messed up, turned around, and walked out slowly. “This way, I can finally leave with a peace of mind.”
The sword dangled on the side of his body, reflecting a cold light and the traces of blood on it. No one dared to stop him as he passed. They all discovered for the first time that their gongzi, who had always seemed kind and gentle, unexpectedly had such a terrible side.
But even now, Xiao Chunmian still had a kind and gentle face.
He went to the man whose nose was still bleeding and threw down a silver ingot. “Quickly go to the doctor in case of a more serious injury. Buy as many medicine tonics as you can to make up for it, and don’t even think about saving money.”
The man was stunned as he took the silver ingot.
Xiao Chunmian smiled and continued to walk out.
“Young master…” Someone in the back trembled and said. “The Master is about to come back.”
Xiao Chunmian shook his head and didn’t stop. “Father? Father doesn’t need me… As long as my mother doesn’t make trouble, what difference does it make?”
To the people who didn’t need him, he will not stay for them.
He felt for his bag and walked out of the house and across the street. He had an appointment with Yu Qiu within ten days, and today was the last day.
But when he finally walked into Guanglai Inn, the shopkeeper told him that Yu Qiu had checked out early this morning and had just gone out.
Xiao Chunmian’s heart was thumping. He rushed out and looked around, but where could he see Yu Qiu’s shadow? Could it be too late… Was he too late!
Xiao Chunmian walked back and forth in front of the door of the inn and suddenly felt helpless.
After a while, Xiao Chunmian laughed. Even if he did miss Yu Qiu, so what? He had finally made up his mind and got rid of the shackles of his family. If worst comes to worst, he’d just go to the capital to take the exam. As for the immortal path, since he had started it, then as long as he carefully fumbled through it, there’ll always be a chance to find the next step.
It’s just that when he thought about Yu Qiu, the first person he saw when he woke up from illness that day, that grace and warmth in his eyes, and how he would never meet him again, his heart inevitably felt a sense of loss.
But at this moment, Yu Qiu hadn’t actually left Yulian County.
In fact, the moment Xiao Chunmian stepped out of the Xiao mansion gate, Yu Qiu had just climbed over the courtyard wall and went into the mansion.
If it wasn’t for Xiao Chunmian, Yu Qiu would’ve left early. It was already the last day. Yu Qiu waited in the inn for a while, but Xiao Chunmian didn’t show up, so he couldn’t keep calm.
Yu Qiu knew that Xiao Chunmian must be trapped by family affairs and he couldn’t help thinking: People are easily bullied these days. Xiao Chunmian was the kind of person who tried to be on good terms with everyone. And if he had to face that crazy mother and black-hearted father, then wouldn’t he obviously suffer losses? The ten-day deadline had arrived. If he really left like this, could he just unfeelingly watch a sheep get trapped in a tiger’s den and see a cultivation genius die?
After thinking about it several times, Yu Qiu couldn’t wait any longer. He broke into the Xiao mansion again, determined to take Xiao Chunmian out, even if he had to knock him out directly!
It was not until he sneaked into Xiao Chunmian’s room that he discovered that Xiao Chunmian was not there. A letter was pressed under an inkstone on the table, which was what Xiao Chunmian wrote to the father who was the magistrate. There were only a few words in the letter. Apart from explaining that he was determined to leave home and asking his father not to worry, there was nothing else.
Yu Qiu looked a little dazed, and was unsure whether he was shocked or happy.
He placed the letter under the inkstone again, and was about to leave when he heard the noise in another corner of the house.
Yu Qiu was curious. He sneaked in and saw that Mrs. Xiao was going crazy again.
Mrs. Xiao threw down everything she could throw, crying and shouting at the same time. She screamed, “My daughter! You’re so cruel! How could you leave your mother! Daughter, my daughter! I miss you so much. I’m sorry! You come back. Come back to see your mother in a dream.” Then she fell down to her knees and cried loudly.
Yu Qiu looked at her from afar, only to find that she seemed to be more crazy than usual. The cold wind made him shiver, so he hurriedly continued to run out. Because he was too far away to see clearly, he didn’t find that Mrs. Xiao’s madness was quite different from that of the past.
But the people of Yulian County knew that the Xiao family had only two sons. What was Mrs. Xiao talking about and where was this daughter? As Yu Qiu thought, he turned over from the courtyard wall, and without taking a few steps, he saw a figure standing outside the inn where he had been staying.
Xiao Chunmian had been waiting for a long time. The young man had a tall figure and as he stood, he casted a long shadow. With the sun sinking in the west, he was dyed with a soft layer of gold, his head down and eyes on his feet. He seemed to be contemplating, but it was more like he was lonely. At first glance, he looked pitiful.
Yu Qiu walked quickly. It was not until he was close to him that Xiao Chunmian woke up with a start. He looked up and was stunned for a moment. Then his eyes narrowed into a smile. “I thought you didn’t wait for me.”
It goes without saying that he was a good-looking man, but when he smiled like this it could make a person go dizzy.
“I thought you couldn’t come out!” Yu Qiu grinned and raised his hand to pat him on the shoulder but stopped himself. He quietly took his hand back and asked, “The path of immortality is difficult. Have you really made up your mind?”
Xiao Chunmian nodded his head firmly. “Certainly.”
Yu Qiu carefully looked at him from top to bottom. Although Xiao Chunmian’s clothes had been sorted out, they were still a little wrinkled. There were even more sweat stains on the back. When he wanted to leave the mansion, he must’ve been caught up. After staring, Yu Qiu planned to take his eyes back, but he suddenly looked back and glanced at the other person’s arm. When Xiao Chunmian raised his hand, he revealed a scratch which had been concealed by his cuff.
“Are we going there?” Xiao Chunmian asked, pointing to the north.
Yu Qiu nodded, but his heart was heavy. Through this scratch, he imagined the scene of when the other party left home and thought that Xiao Chunmian must’ve been bullied again.
In such a short time, Xiao Chunmian had already taken a few steps towards the north. He looked back at him. “Xiao Qiu?”
Yu Qiu shook his head and caught up with him, but he was still worried.
After a while, Yu Qiu suddenly said, “I just passed by your house and heard your mother … who was screaming for a girl there.”
Xiao Chunmian stepped forward, sighed softly, and continued to move forward.
“I thought things were strange that day. You’re the eldest son of the Xiao family, so how could you fall into such a situation? But when I heard your mother calling for a daughter, I can finally confirm your identity.” Yu Qiu looked at his picturesque eyebrows and eyes. “Since you’re going to follow me, why hide it from me? In fact, you’re not…”
“Yeah.” Xiao Chunmian said in a self-deprecating smile. “Indeed, I’m not the eldest son at all.”
Yu Qiu looked at him having a lonely smile. He couldn’t help but pause and swallow the rest of his words.
Yu Qiu waved his hand. “Don’t say it when you’re upset. I already know.”
Xiao Chunmian sighed and nodded. He swallowed the rest of the words and only thought about it in his mind.
Xiao Chunmian thought: Actually, I’m just the son of a concubine.
He didn’t know, but what Yu Qiu thought was: You’re actually a woman disguised as a man!
Yu Qiu’s face was a little hot when he thought that he had accidentally and recklessly abducted the young lady of someone else’s house.