C96 – Please and Loathe
Zheng Xuan whispered, “You mentioned wanting to be with me forever.”
Mo Yi responded impatiently, “Back then, I was just a kid. How could I have taken that seriously? And the whole marriage thing was just a childish fuss. Besides, we were never really lovers.”
Zheng Xuan gazed at Mo Yi, unsure of how to respond.
Mo Yi flicked his sleeves and walked ahead. Zheng Xuan trailed behind.
Irritated, Mo Yi turned back and warned, “I told you not to follow me anymore. Can’t you understand plain words? I’m warning you, if you keep following me, I won’t be nice.”
Looking at Mo Yi with a pleading expression, Zheng Xuan whispered, “Xiao Qi, please don’t be angry. I’ll catch some fish for you, okay? I’ve learned how to do it.”
“I don’t need you to catch fish for me. If I want fish, I can catch them myself,” Mo Yi replied, annoyed.
With hopeful eyes, Zheng Xuan rubbed his hands together and asked, “Then what would you like to eat? I’ll go find it for you.”
Mo Yi glared at Zheng Xuan, saying, “No need. Just go away.”
Zheng Xuan bit his lip but chose to keep following Mo Yi.
Mo Yi felt increasingly agitated as he watched Zheng Xuan, who was like a persistent shadow.
Despite Mo Yi’s frustration, Zheng Xuan refused to leave and continued to tail him.
Night fell, and Zheng Xuan started a few bonfires by the lake.
Mo Yi sat by one of the fires, looking dejected. Zheng Xuan occasionally turned to observe Mo Yi’s expression. Even though Mo Yi’s face was partially obscured by the Wry Face Flower, Zheng Xuan could sense his unhappiness.
Offering a grilled fish to Mo Yi, Zheng Xuan said, “Xiao Qi, this is for you.”
Mo Yi stared at Zheng Xuan coldly, his eyes chilling under the night sky. Zheng Xuan felt hurt by Mo Yi’s gaze.
Trying to break the silence, Zheng Xuan said, “Do you remember when you caught a chicken in the Hidden Dragon Secret Realm…”
“I remember,” Mo Yi interrupted. “You gave me a chicken, but I didn’t want to pluck its feathers or gut it. Instead, I roasted it directly over the fire, making it taste awful. You don’t need to remind me of how foolish you were back then.”
Disappointed, Zheng Xuan lowered his head and confessed, “I caused you a lot of trouble during that time. I nearly got you bitten by a snake, and you never held it against me.”
Mo Yi responded dismissively, “I didn’t know how you looked at that time, but I had to find someone to rely on. I had no idea you’d turn out like this.”
With a forlorn expression, Zheng Xuan asked, “Am I less attractive than Yin Feiquan?”
Mo Yi scoffed, “You’re far less attractive than Yin Feiquan. Your looks can’t even compare.”
Zheng Xuan sighed in disappointment, then perked up with a playful idea, saying, “What if I get some plastic surgery to make Yin Feiquan look like this?”
Mo Yi stared at Zheng Xuan in disbelief and retorted, “Come on, don’t make things worse by making it even uglier.”
Observing Mo Yi’s irritation, Zheng Xuan realized that plastic surgery was not the solution.
Brimming with enthusiasm, Zheng Xuan suggested, “How about taking a bite of the fish? You mentioned you enjoy eating fish before. I’ve been looking forward to the day when I could grill some for you.” After leaving the secret realm, he even consulted a chef on how to make the fish taste delicious.
Mo Yi reluctantly took a bite of the grilled fish, then disdainfully tossed it into the fire, commenting, “It’s terrible.”
Watching the fish sizzle in the flames, Zheng Xuan felt as though his heart was being roasted repeatedly.
Mo Yi’s heart ached as he saw the sadness on Zheng Xuan’s face. He contemplated his feelings for Zheng Xuan and questioned his own mindset.
Adjusting his mood, Zheng Xuan inquired, “Xiao Qi, you’re also a participant from the Top 100 Contest, right? Which academy do you represent, and what’s your name now?”
Mo Yi coldly asked, “Why do you want to know?”
Zheng Xuan gazed at Mo Yi and replied, “I’ll come find you once we’re out.”
“No need, I don’t want any further involvement with you,” Mo Yi firmly declared.
Mo Yi stood up, preparing to leave.
“Where are you going?” Zheng Xuan stood up and positioned himself in front of Mo Yi.
Mo Yi launched an attack toward Zheng Xuan. Startled, Zheng Xuan wasn’t prepared for Mo Yi’s sudden aggression.
Unable to muster an offensive, Zheng Xuan found himself on the defensive, taking several hits from Mo Yi.
Mo Yi kicked Zheng Xuan and questioned, “Why didn’t you dodge? Clearly, you could have dodged.”
Zheng Xuan blinked at Mo Yi and replied in a nonchalant tone, “It’s good that you’re venting.”
“No need to put on an act; I won’t fall for it,” Mo Yi said, grinding his teeth while looking at Zheng Xuan.
Faced with Mo Yi’s relentless assault, Zheng Xuan had no choice but to defend himself to some extent.
“Hmph!” Mo Yi grunted and retreated, clutching his shoulder.
Hearing Mo Yi’s stifled groan, Zheng Xuan was immediately alarmed and anxious, asking, “Xiao Qi, what’s wrong? I didn’t use excessive force!”
The severe injury from the previous day, which he hadn’t had a chance to treat, had finally aggravated, causing fresh blood to seep from his shoulder.
Mo Yi sat on the ground, clutching his wound.
“You’re injured,” Zheng Xuan rushed to Mo Yi’s side, concerned and wanting to examine the wound.
“Get lost,” Mo Yi glared at Zheng Xuan with intense resentment.
Suddenly, a realization hit Zheng Xuan, jolting him awake as if from a dream. “Were you the one who attempted to assassinate Xiao Mei at the Xu Family’s place yesterday?”
Mo Yi clenched his lips, pain coursing through him as he covered his wound and drew in a sharp breath. He didn’t respond to Zheng Xuan’s question, but Zheng Xuan had already inferred the answer.
Anxiety washed over Zheng Xuan, and he couldn’t believe what he had just learned. What had he done? He… Zheng Xuan felt a sense of despair creeping in.
“I’m sorry, I had no idea it was you…”
It made sense now. Zheng Xuan had felt a peculiar connection when his knife had pierced the assailant’s shoulder. They had both absorbed the Twin Water and Fire Spirit Pearls from the Ice and Fire Pool, forging an extraordinary link between them.
Mo Yi averted his gaze, ignoring Zheng Xuan.
Anxious, Zheng Xuan scratched his head and asked with genuine concern, “Are you okay?”
Mo Yi, still nursing his wound, gazed at Zheng Xuan. After a prolonged silence, he said, “I saw some icy-blue flowers on the way here. Fetch them for me.”
The Ice Blue Flower had the power to heal injuries caused by fire source energy.
Mo Yi’s request left Zheng Xuan deeply touched, and he nodded vigorously. Without delay, he replied, “I’ll go get them right away. Wait for me; I’ll be back soon.”
As soon as Mo Yi saw Zheng Xuan leave, he laboriously departed from the scene.
When Zheng Xuan stumbled upon the icy-blue flowers, his unease grew stronger. He hastily gathered a handful and rushed back to his original location.
An unsettling feeling gnawed at Zheng Xuan. Upon his return, he found the place deserted.
Biting his lip, Zheng Xuan felt a mix of disappointment and bitterness welling up inside him. The icy-blue flowers slipped from his grasp, littering the ground.
Frustrated, Zheng Xuan took a deep breath and slapped his forehead. He realized that Xiao Qi had likely asked for his help not out of hatred but to eliminate him.
Annoyed, Zheng Xuan mustered his courage and began following a trail.
“Zheng Xuan,” a surprised voice called out.
Zheng Xuan looked up to see Wu Shangyong, a student from Navy Tide Academy, approaching. Wu Shangyong was known for his obsession with battles and his penchant for challenging experts.
“Zheng Xuan, let’s have a duel,” Wu Shangyong exclaimed eagerly.
“I still need to locate Xiao Qi. I’m busy; find someone else to challenge,” Zheng Xuan protested with a determined expression.
Wu Shangyong grinned confidently, “Are you avoiding me? If you’re scared, just hand over your identity tag.”
Zheng Xuan cast an indifferent glance at Wu Shangyong. He didn’t have the time for arguments, so he retrieved his tag and tossed it toward Wu Shangyong.
Wu Shangyong stared at Zheng Xuan in disbelief as he accepted the identity tag.
“You’re really Zheng Xuan? There’s no chance it’s an imposter, right?” Wu Shangyong questioned with an odd tone.
Impatiently, Zheng Xuan looked at Wu Shangyong, “Are you finished? Move out of my way!”
Wu Shangyong displayed his pride, baring his two canine teeth, “Today, I won’t let you off the hook.”
Clenching his fist, Zheng Xuan’s eyes turned icy, and flames began to envelop his body.
Wu Shangyong’s expression shifted. He had assumed Zheng Xuan was injured and rushing to escape when he handed over his identity card, but now it seemed he was perfectly fine.
With Wu Shangyong blocking his path, Zheng Xuan’s pent-up anger finally erupted. In a cold and ruthless tone, he warned, “Even if you want to leave now, you won’t succeed!”
The skyward flames surged toward Wu Shangyong, who hastily employed his source energy to defend himself.
A metal barrier sprang up before Wu Shangyong. The fiery dragon circled it once before reducing the metal wall to molten slag.
Wu Shangyong’s face drained of color. He enjoyed a good fight but wasn’t fond of risking his life. Seeing Zheng Xuan’s fierce determination, he contemplated fleeing, but Zheng Xuan remained resolute.
Wu Shangyong’s fear mounted. While he had heard of Zheng Xuan’s power, he hadn’t expected this level of ruthlessness. Zheng Xuan typically didn’t humiliate opponents during combat.
Confronted by the fire dragon closing in to incinerate him, Wu Shangyong was left with no choice but to crush his teleportation talisman.
Zheng Xuan watched Wu Shangyong vanish before him, his anger smoldering.
“Who’s there? Reveal yourself,” Zheng Xuan demanded coldly.
Two female students from Snowfly Academy emerged from the shadows.
Zheng Xuan regarded the two young women icily, “Did you witness the person with the Ghost Face Flower?”
The two female students hastily shook their heads, “We didn’t see anything.”
Slightly irritated, Zheng Xuan snapped, “If you didn’t see anything, why are you still here?”
Frightened, the two young women fled in haste.