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Chapter 36:  Passed Out

Seeing Gu Yunlan sleeping soundly next to him, Xuanyuan Ying pressed on his temples. His head hurt Since when did he care so much? To think he would actually fuss over her so patiently.

It rained the whole night but stopped at daybreak. Gu Yunlan slept very warmly last night and woke up just as light started to fill the sky. Xuanyuan Ying had already left the tent by the time she woke up. The two futons were both blanketed over her. She immediately sat up and tossed on her outerwear. She casually combed her slightly curled hair, folded the blankets properly, and opened up the tent to look all around.

Her boots were placed neatly outside the tent. She reached out her hand to put on her shoes, then made her way out.

“Here! Rinse your mouth!” Just as she stood up, a slender hand carrying a cup of water set it down in front of her.

“Thanks!” Gu Yunlan stretched out her hand to receive it, a porcelain cup? She lifted her head to look at the hand’s owner. She stared blankly, “It’s you?”

“Go ahead and use it! I’ll go fetch some water for Nana to wash up with!” Yangjin smiled at her, then turned to leave.

“He couldn’t have fetched some water just to give to me, right?” Gu Yunlan looked at the cup in her hands in bafflement. She certainly wasn’t used to sharing a cup with someone else.

“What do you think? He was waiting outside since five minutes ago!” Xuanyuan Ying’s voice sounded out from above her head.

Gu Yunlan lifted her head to look over, just to see him leaning lazily against a tree. His completely  black clothing showed off his white and smooth skin. His close cut hair seemed to not change his complexion at all.

Did he fly up? She cleared her head and looked at the cup within her hand. She whispered, “I don’t really want to wash up using a shared cup…”

Xuanyuan Ying’s pupils deepened, then hooked up the corners of his mouth evilly. With a lift of his hands, the cup quickly broke away, directly dumping the water on the ground.

Gu Yunlan stared blankly and immediately turned her head to look towards Yangjin’s tent. She saw him standing next to the tent, carrying a cup of water and staring at her blankly. He had clearly saw what had just happened. Lowering his head, he turned and stooped into the tent…

Gu Yunlan idiotically stared at the cup in her hand, then immediately turned her head to look at Xuanyuan Ying. Just like that? How bold!

Xuanyuan Ying leaped down and ran over. Standing in front of her, he took the cup in her hand and replaced it with another cup and a towel. He then pointed behind a boulder, saying, “Are you unwilling? There’s a big rock basin behind there. It’s full of water, go ahead and go by yourself!”

“No, I’m not!” Gu Yunlan hurriedly held the things as she ran over. Sure enough, a rock basin behind the boulder was filled full with water.

After washing her face and rinsing her mouth, she couldn’t seem to find Xuanyuan Ying. The inside of the tent was completely empty. She placed the the cup inside, then turned around to stand up, only to be frightened by the person behind her.

“Yunlan! Time to go! The sun is about to come out. I’ll bring you to go see a rainbow! It will definitely be pretty!” Xuanyuan Meng pulled on her, walking towards the other side of the boulder.

The two people carefully sat by a ledge where the bottom couldn’t be seen. They faced the sun, which slowly started to peek out. At that moment, the sun started to dazzle the eyes. Gu Yunlan lifted her hand to block the dazzling rays.

“Look! There!” Xuanyuan Ying extended her hands to point at the western side of the ledge.

Gu Yunlan looked west towards where she pointed to, just to see white fog filling the air. Slowly, a beautiful rainbow appeared. The rainbow was both long and arched, like colored silk that started at the ledge and hung at the other side of the skies. It was  like witnessing a large and beautifully multicolored bridge form. Incomparably beautiful.

Surrounded by the rainbow, a secondary rainbow floated up. The secondary rainbow was bigger than the first one and was shaped like a large half circle. It seemed a bit hazy. The array of colors was an exact inversion of the first rainbow’s.

The two people were deeply drawn in by the beautiful scene. So much that they dared to not believe their own eyes. It felt like a fairyland within a dream as they foolishly gazed at the beauty in the sky.

She didn’t know why, but Gu Yunlan was incredibly moved, “Thump!” Something in her heart seemed to have burst out from its shell and she sunk into a mysterious, fantasy-like imagination.

“Wow! So beautiful!” An Jiaona’s voice sounded behind the two.

Gu Yunlan’s body trembled. It was as if she had awoken from a dream. A shred of regret flashed in her heart. She turned around while smiling and said, “Little Sister woke up so early? Why don’t you sleep a bit more? How did you sleep last night?”

“It was great! Big Brother Yang really knows how to take care of people!” An Jiaona lowered her head shyly and sat down next to them. “He prepared a cup of water for me to rinse my mouth with this morning!”

“Cough cough!!” Xuanyuan Meng suddenly choked on her own spit. If she knew that her Big Brother Yang’s first cup of water was given to her big sister and was even rejected, what would she be thinking then?”

“What happened, Miss Xuanyuan? When you slept alone last night, did you catch a cold? General Xuanyuan really is mean, to actually let you sleep alone!” An Jiaona looked at her with a face full of concern, and warm-heartedly said, “Why don’t you let Big Brother Yang take a look. He’s a medical expert!”

“No need, no need!” Xuanyuan Meng hurriedly waved her hands. It was definitely not Big Brother who had her sleep alone It was she herself who asked for it. “I choked on my own spit! I didn’t catch a cold!”

“Since everyone is awake, pack up and continue on the road!” Xuanyuan Ying’s ice-cold voice sounded from behind the group.

“But, there will be heavy fog if we go down the mountain now. It’ll be slippery because of all the rain last night!” The three, including Gu Yunlan, helped each other down the ledge. The mud underfoot was a bit sticky.

“Unless you guys still want to sleep outdoors, we will leave now. We can hurry and reach there at least by evening!” Xuanyuan Ying tossed out a few words and walked towards the tent, taking it apart.

When the sun had completely risen above the horizon, the few people had already headed down the other side of the mountaintop. The mountain was damp as Xuanyuan Meng’s body gracefully led the way in front. The other four paired up, holding hands and helping one another.

The group hiked across a mountain peak, then climbed a few smaller mountain tops. Finally, by the time the sun started setting, they had climbed up the last mountain peak.

Standing atop the mountain, they looked towards the setting sun. The huge red sun seemed to be right in front of their eyes. At its last glow, a wisp of chimney smoke rose up slowly. Between the red and green, one could vaguely see blue-green colored houses and could hear the sound of yelling voices.

“We’ve arrived! Look over there!” Xuanyuan Meng grabbed onto Gu Yunlan excitedly.

In those continuous hours of rushing through the road, beads of sweat had already appeared on Gu Yunlan’s forehead. Her cheeks were flushed red. “We’ve finally arrived!”

“Aiyou! We’ve arrived! My feet!” An Jiaona cried out, and her body collapsed on top of Yangjin.

“Hold on a bit longer and we’ll arrive!” Yangjin slowly pushed her aside, smiling wanly while saying, “Nana! You’ll be able to rest after walking down there!”

“But Big Brother Yang, I’m so tired!” An Jiaona pouted, saying coquettishly.

Gu Yunlan’s pupils flashed and trembled hatefully for a moment. She couldn’t help but sigh. How could she have been tricked by this woman? So fake. It was all because of Yangjin’s warm welcoming towards her. How come it seems like he wasn’t even trying now?

“Could it be that you thought of him as sticky candy, sticking to you everyday?” Xuanyuan Ying’s cold voice appeared in Gu Yunlan’s sea of thoughts. He glanced at the few people and directly walked towards the bottom of the mountain.

He suddenly felt like being able to hear her thoughts was a very irritating thing. This was a side effect from exchanging blood with her. An indescribable jittery feeling disturbed him. How come he was so concerned with what was happening in someone else’s mind?

“That’s not it! Wait for me!” Gu Yunlan hesitated, what did he mean? She hurriedly jogged up to him.

Xuanyuan Meng and the group looked in bewilderment at Xuanyuan Ying, who headed down the mountain silently, then hurried to follow along.

The color of the sky started to slowly darken. The light of fire from within the villages lit up. Xuanyuan Ying’s footsteps were very fast, like he was very familiar with this place. He lead everyone quickly down the mountain.

What couldn’t be told by simply looking down from the mountain was that this isolated place was unusually lively. One could hear the sounds of yelling and cheering from afar. The feeling of familiarity rushed through their minds. The group couldn’t help but follow Xuanyuan Ying, speeding up their footsteps.

“Xuanyuan!” Gu Yunlan finally caught up to him at the rim of the village. The color of her face was incredibly pale, to the point of being frightening. Her voice held some panting, “What happened to you?”

“Halt! Who is it?” a voice yelled. A man wearing hemp garments slowly appeared from the lights. He held a hunting rifle in his hands, his face full of caution.

“Nothing happened. I want to get into the village early!” Xuanyuan Ying glanced at the guy in front of them, answering coldly. His words were very light, and were directed at Gu Yunlan. Yet, his eyes were on the man at the village gates.

“Hey! Who are you guys? If you don’t say, I will call for more people!” The man yelled out angrily. Seeing some people catching up behind the two of them, he immediately retreated back in and shut the defensive gate.

“Clang! Clang! Clang!” Three beats of drums sounded within the village.

“Big Sister!” An Jiaona yelled out in fear as she looked ahead at Gu Yunlan, who slowly fell over. How come she collapsed?

Xuanyuan Ying heard the shout and hurriedly turned his head to glance at Gu Yunlan, just to see her fall over on the ground.

He hurriedly kneeled on the ground, holding onto her. He saw that her face was pale to the point of being frightening. His hands pressed on her arteries, oh no! She felt like her veins were on fire traveling, letting the corpse poison break free from its restrictions! He immediately bit open his finger, some red-tinted blood flowed out. One drop at a time dripped into Gu Yunlan’s mouth…

“What happened to Yunlan?” Xuanyuan Meng was very fast. When Xuanyuan Ying hugged onto Gu Yunlan, she stood by his side. Seeing the color of Gu Yunlan’s face, she became frightened.

“The corpse poison broke free from the restrictions. I had temporarily used blood to suppress it for an unclear number of hours!” Xuanyuan Ying’s brows creased a lot. This time really was troublesome!

“Big Sister! What happened to you? How can Nana explain this to Father?” An Jiaona hurried over with a face full of worry. She still hadn’t seen Gu Yunlan’s appearance, but tears were already starting to drip down.

“Shut up!” Xuanyuan Ying snarled without even lifting his head. His hands continuously poked at Gu Yunlan’s body. After that, her facial color slowly started to recover its rosiness.

“Halt! Who are these people” A deep voice sounded out.

“Village head. It’s those people!” The man pointed at Xuanyuan Ying’s group.

Xuanyuan Ying held onto Gu Yunlan and stood up. A row of men stood in front of him, wearing the same grey colored robe, holding onto shotguns. They all looked at them cautiously while a middle-aged man, with his hands clasped behind his back, stood in the back row.

Xuanyuan Ying slightly creased his brows and said to the middle-aged man, “Old Lie! I want to see Bai Yinran!”

The middle-aged man, Old Liu, stared blankly. He was the village’s head. The number of people who dare to yell towards him like this weren’t many. The number of people who even know the High Priest’s name were even less. The only one who dared to yell out these names… was him!

Under the light of the moon, Old Liu came closer to look and yelled out happily, “Mister Xuanyuan! It’s you! How come you didn’t even tell us you were coming?”

“Apologies! There wasn’t much time. First take us to meet Old Bai. We must hurry to save a person!” Xuanyuan Ying’s brows hadn’t loosened at this time. He could only feel the corpse poison eroding his restrictions one inch at a time!

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