The sky was unexpectedly drizzling with a fine rain, despite the scorching summer heat.
The raindrops fell onto Lin Shouxi’s neck, sending chills down his spine.
As he stood there, memories of his interactions with Xiao He flashed before his eyes.
Xiao He was pure and gentle, like a flower untouched by dust or dirt.
She harbored an indescribable affection towards him, and this subtle connection drew them closer.
However, Lin Shouxi had always felt that there was a veil of mystery surrounding her.
Today, he had finally uncovered the truth behind the veil.
Xiao He was beautiful, with a delicate and charming air that reminded him of sakura blossoms floating on the surface of a jade pond.
He couldn’t help but feel slightly moved by her.
However, he noticed that Wang Erguan and Ji Luoyang, both young and full of vigor, didn’t seem to have much of a reaction towards Xiao He.
During the times when he hung out with Xiao He, only Wang Erguan would occasionally display a trace of jealousy.
This phenomenon was not because they had seen that Xiao He was interested in him alone, and so they had been keeping a respectful distance.
Rather, it was because the Xiao He he saw was not the same person they saw!
And as for Xiao He…
“Why do you keep looking at my hair?”
“Do you think I’m pretty?”
“Is this question really that difficult? Why are you taking so long to answer?”
“Did you call me…lǎopó?”
“Is that the same thing as lǎopópo?”
Even Xiao He had noticed.
All those questions were tests.
She had become suspicious and repeatedly tested his opinions on her appearance and hair color.
But he had never noticed.
Fortunately, he had come to this new world with the intention of hiding and disguising himself, so he had lied a lot.
His answers at the time didn’t seem to have any flaws.
The last image in his mind was of Xiao He tilting her porcelain-white face up towards him, her eyes sparkling as she said, “Well… how about letting me eat you.” The words that he had brushed off so easily back then now sent shivers down his spine.
Who was she really? What did she want?
And how had he managed to see through her?
As Lin Shouxi remembered the grotesque spirit he had seen while crouching by the window during the storm, he realized that he possessed the ability to see things that others couldn’t.
This ability allowed him to easily see through Xiao He’s delicate disguise, to the point where he didn’t even realize it himself.
Was this ability due to the White Pupil Black Phoenix Sword Scripture, or…?
Xiao He stood behind him, and her gentle questioning sliced through his thoughts like a knife.
“Hey, what are you guys whispering about?” Xiao He giggled, her eyes curved like crescent moons.
“You’re not talking behind my back, are you?”
Xiao He’s sudden appearance startled Ji Luoyang and Wang Erguan, with the latter even letting out a cry and almost using his newly acquired ring.
“How come we didn’t hear you walking?” Ji Luoyang asked.
Xiao He chuckled softly, then bent down and placed a hand on Lin Shouxi’s shoulder.
Her delicate brows furrowed with concern as she asked, “What’s wrong? Your face is so pale… and your neck is so cold.”
Wang Erguan was about to mock him for being so timid, when Lin Shouxi’s head suddenly jerked up.
His face contorted in pain as he clutched at his chest and began coughing uncontrollably.
“What’s wrong with you?” Xiao He quickly grabbed his wrist and checked for any black and purple lines, but thankfully there were none.
Lin Shouxi’s pale lips trembled as he struggled to speak: “My injuries… they’re relapsing.”
“Your injuries? How could…,” Xiao He anxiously patted his back and asked about his condition, but his coughs only grew more intense and his face turned from white to blue.
He tumbled off the stone chair and writhed on the ground in agony.
Wang Erguan was also frightened by this sudden turn of events, but before he could react, Ji Luoyang had already bent down to check on him.
Lin Shouxi groaned, sweat pouring down his face.
“Quick, help him back to his room!” Xiao He urged.
Ji Luoyang and Wang Erguan carried him, one in front and one behind, and rushed him to his room.
Xiao He, extremely anxious, continuously asked him about his condition, but Lin Shouxi could only respond with a few painful syllables.
The three of them stayed by his bedside, taking turns infusing him with true energy.
Half an hour later, Lin Shouxi’s breathing finally stabilized.
He lay limply on the bed, his eyes unfocused for a long time before he finally spoke: “I’m fine.”
“You’re fine? You’re not fine at all!” Xiao He frowned anxiously.
“What happened to you?” Ji Luoyang asked.
“My… true energy, it was running amok in my body.
It felt like… knives cutting through my internal organs,” Lin Shouxi weakly explained.
“Hmph… much better.”
“This is a sign of energy deviation,” Wang Erguan frowned.
“By continuing to cultivate despite your injuries, you have been courting disaster.”
Lin Shouxi pressed his lips together and wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth, his complexion having improved somewhat.
Seeing him recover, Wang Erguan turned to Xiao He and joked, “Xiao He, you haven’t even gotten married yet, and you almost became a widow.”
Xiao He let out a cold snort and ignored him.
Then, she sat on the edge of the bed and said in a commanding tone, “From now on, until your injuries are healed, you’re not allowed to cultivate.”
“Okay,” Lin Shouxi nodded obediently, having learned his lesson the hard way.
Xiao He sighed, like a sulking child, and reached out to touch Lin Shouxi’s cheeks and forehead, repeatedly checking his condition.
“I… want some water,” Lin Shouxi said.
“Okay, I’ll go heat up some water for you,” Xiao He sat up on the bed, but then frowned, “But where can I get fire?”
A moment of silence followed.
Ji Luoyang and Lin Shouxi both looked at the ring on Wang Erguan’s finger.
“I just got this treasure and the first thing you want to use it for is starting a fire?” Wang Erguan was indignant.
In the end, Wang Erguan couldn’t handle the pressure from the group, especially not from Xiao He’s dominant and intimidating gaze.
He handed over the ring obediently.
“Don’t lose it, and be very careful!” Wang Erguan repeatedly warned.
“If you’re so worried, why don’t you do it yourself?” Xiao He asked.
“Hmph, starting a fire is a servant’s job.
I’m the third young master of the Wang family!” Wang Erguan declared.
Xiao He took the ring with a sneer and walked outside.
Once she was gone, Wang Erguan looked at Lin Shouxi and asked, “Should we tell Perfected Yun about this? With your hidden illness, it’s only a matter of time before something happens.”
Lin Shouxi shook his head.
“There’s no need.”
“How come?” Wang Erguan asked.
Lin Shouxi remained silent, unable to provide an answer.
“Speak up and tell us what’s really going on,” Ji Luoyang said, his gaze cold and unsympathetic.
“I just examined your body, and the flow of your true energy wasn’t smooth, but it wasn’t chaotic either.
Your injuries didn’t relapse at all, so… what are you up to?”
“What?” Wang Erguan was stunned.
“You were faking it?”
“No,” Lin Shouxi shook his head.
“Then what’s going on?” Wang Erguan pressed.
Lin Shouxi remained silent.
“If you don’t want to say, we’ll have Perfected Yun force it out of you,” Ji Luoyang said calmly.
“I…,” Lin Shouxi lowered his head and seemed to gather his courage.
He spoke with difficulty, “You’re right, my old injuries didn’t relapse, it was… it was a punishment from Perfected Yun.”
“What did you say?” Wang Erguan was taken aback.
“A punishment from Perfected Yun? Why would he need to punish you?”
“Because I told him secrets,” Lin Shouxi said.
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