Trying To Tame An Evil Overlord - novelonlinefull.com
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"I'll get that b.a.s.t.a.r.d," he grumbled miserably and whined when he saw that the other two were already okay.
The Ivory Sword Saint was quickly at his side and offered a hand and shoulder to help him stand up straight. Yuan Xuelan, though embarra.s.sed by his show of weakness, also dipped his face greedily into the curve of Liu Sumeng's neck with his headache as an excuse.
Could anyone blame him? Liu Sumeng smelled amazing…
"We should catch up," Liu Sumeng said bluntly, eyeing the staircase that Zhao Fanyu went up. He could already feel the thicket of spiritual energy that coated the floor above. It was undoubtedly the traps that Li Zheng had told them about earlier.
But they had a key so there was nothing to worry about…right?
"Wait…" Li Zheng stopped them again and this time jogged up to the pair. He looked between them and was reminded of something strange. Ah, no. Why was he thinking of those bygone days? Full of falsity and lies. Li Zheng handed over a crumpled sheet of paper and said, "Zhao-ge gave this to me…"
Liu Sumeng took the folded paper and saw what appeared to be a map quickly drawn with blood. A few characters scribbled onto the page's edge as well read, 'Please help'.
Li Zheng was pale and knew this had to be the reason for Zhao Fanyu's odd behavior. While he didn't truly understand why his sworn brother had attacked him earlier aside from secretly handing off this map, "We have to go…Zhao-ge is trying to tell us something important."
But Yuan Xuelan was not so easily convinced and crossed his arm. Aside from Liu Sumeng, he didn't trust anyone, not even Li Zheng who was standing in front of him. "And what if it's a trap? He just punched you! Aren't you angry?"
"There has to be a reason! If you know Zhao-ge then…"
Yuan Xuelan only scoffed in disgust, "Hasn't he been missing? You know that he was supposed to show up in Muguan Province right? Why is he back here? Have you thought he might not have been the person you thought he was?"
Maybe he was being a little petty, but seeing Li Zheng so trusting after how strangely Zhao Fanyu acted was really getting on his nerves. He couldn't help but see himself from just a few nights ago idiotically defending that piece of s.h.i.t cousin of his. Yuan Xuelan felt unreasonably annoyed!
Next to him, Liu Sumeng was a lot calmer as he a.s.sessed the situation. Zhao Fanyu was a man that suffered a lot but Liu Sumeng never thought he was outright evil, only extremely pitiful. The Hui clan girl was also a strange character who had yet to do anything that showed animosity toward any of them so far.
The Ivory Sword Saint did not rule out the possibility that Zhao Fanyu might be trying to divert their attention. But it made little sense that he would willingly collaborate with those that killed his loved ones and destroyed his home. Especially not after Zhao Fanyu had done everything in his power in attempts to restore what little glory and honor the Wayward Wind had left.
Which led to the possibility that Zhao Fanyu was being manipulated.
That seemed like the most likely theory but of course they shouldn't act simply based on a.s.sumption. "It is worth checking," Liu Sumeng said but frowned. "But we cannot completely trust him."
Li Zheng and Yuan Xuelan had mirroring expressions with slight unhappy frowns.
"Can we really leave Zhao Fanyu alone?" Yuan Xuelan asked, trying his best not to make his voice sound too accusatory, "I thought the Ten Thousand Eternal Star Bead might be up on the top level or something, that kind of sounds like a bad idea no? What if he's working for my s.h.i.t cousin…!"
"That's not possible!" Li Zheng cried which only earned him a sharp glare from the Ascending Dawn disciple.
"You are right," Liu Sumeng said, backing Xuelan up. It really shouldn't have made the younger beam but it did, "We can't leave him alone."
"But you said-" Li Zheng said impatiently.
Yuan Xuelan frowned, he looked at the two that were standing in front of him. The idea of separating from Liu Sumeng did not appeal to him in the slightest but he had a bad feeling that Sumeng wasn't going to send this dumb weakling off on his own.
But it didn't hurt to try, "Okay, then Sumeng and I will go chase after Zhao Fanyu. And you," he pointed at Li Zheng, "you can go to this place on the map!"
Li Zheng blinked but he was saved by the Ivory Sword Saint, "No."
Yuan Xuelan pouted, "But then what? One of us will…" end up alone. Yuan Xuelan realized that it had to be him. He definitely did not want Liu Sumeng to be running around by himself. He glared at this Li Zheng.
Ugh! He immediately clicked his tongue in distaste. How was this dumb idiot going to keep his Sumeng safe!? Of course he won't but a dumba.s.s was still better than nothing. "Okay then! I will chase after Zhao Fanyu and you two can go to the place on the map."
He wasn't surprised to see Liu Sumeng frowning in disagreement but this was something he definitely wasn't going to let up on. He had to come up with a good excuse, something that wasn't, 'I really wish you could stay out of danger for once!'
"Well, I have the key so of course I'm the one who should go!"
"Xuelan," Liu Sumeng sighed. He was about to continue but an unexpected voice cut him off.
"Hmph. I will go with the rude-boy," Huo Tang nudged her way out of Liu Sumeng's robes and flew over to Yuan Xuelan's shoulder.
Liu Sumeng was still frowning with uncertainty, "Huo Tang…"
"Matters concerning the Ten Thousand Eternal Star Bead are of interest to me," Huo Tang explained, "And if the rude-boy has a functioning head on his shoulders then he will be obedient and graciously feed this divine one with his abundant amount of spiritual energy."
"Wait a second!" Yuan Xuelan bellowed as he reeled from her words, "You want my spiritual energy…Don't tell me you want us to form a contract or something!?"
She rolled her beady little eyes, "Are you deaf? Or perhaps you are simply lacking in brain matter. Of course, I'm proposing a contract! How else could we share our strengths? Learn to be grateful, rude-boy!"
Liu Sumeng was surprised as well. Entering a contract with a spiritual beast was not so easy of a feat to pull off and often involved a long period of trying to win the beast's favor. A wicked person can easily abuse the contract and put the beast at risk. And for Huo Tang to be the one to suggest it with a person that she got along with so poorly came completely as a surprise.
"I can handle myself just fine!" Yuan Xuelan grumbled in annoyance, "Do you think I even want to have a contract with a divine chicken? Just think of the humiliation I'll have to suffer being stuck with this thing!"
"What humiliation!? You little-"
Before their childish banter could continue any further, Liu Sumeng cut in, "It is a good idea."
Yuan Xuelan pouted at him, "But…"
But what? He didn't really have a good excuse. In truth, Yuan Xuelan's spiritual energy was extremely abundant but he just used the majority of it to swing around Silei with abandon. He crossed his arms, unhappy but defeated.
Although he was reluctant, they parted ways.
"Wait-" Yuan Xuelan called, stopping them before they exited back down the winding staircase.
But when Liu Sumeng turned back around, Yuan Xuelan forgot what it was he wanted to say. And maybe if he was a little younger he would have just yelled at him and cursed him out with never mind or something but he was older now and…perhaps a bit more brazen.
Before he allowed himself the chance to think over his actions he rushed over and pulled Liu Sumeng in a hug.
Heat immediately rushed to his face but there was no time for regret! Yuan Xuelan committed to his actions and tightened his hold even as he felt the Ivory Sword Saint stiffen under him. Like a fool he blurted out, "Stay safe, okay!?"
And he almost expected Liu Sumeng to push him away or something but relaxed when he didn't. Yuan Xuelan coughed awkwardly as he pulled back, regret festering as he tried to come up with some dumb excuse for his actions.
But Liu Sumeng only smiled at him and patted his head. "You too."
Li Zheng had gone ahead, saving himself from bearing witness to second-hand embarra.s.sment and Huo Tang was giving Yuan Xuelan the biggest side-eye.
When they finally parted and Yuan Xuelan was climbing up the next set of stairs, she couldn't help but complain, "Are you his lover or his dog!? Which one is it?"
Yuan Xuelan wanted to scream and toss her off his shoulder, "Neither! Sumeng is my… my…!" His what!? "My…gege." It was about time to bite his tongue off.
"... I am speechless." Huo Tang glared at him.
Yuan Xuelan was helpless for he, as well, was speechless.
Embarra.s.sment was hot on his face and he could hardly focus on the stairs he was meant to be climbing.
"Is this your way of wooing him? Silly boy, I will guarantee there shall be little success in your childish methods! Now listen to this divine one. If you so wish to win his heart then you must swiftly claim him as your own, lest he be taken by someone else! In my experience, I have found that men, in fact, love being pushed down."
Yuan Xuelan really did scream this time, "Shut up! He's not- I won't-!"
Further down the temple, Liu Sumeng paused in his steps, he could have sworn he heard Yuan Xuelan's voice.
Li Zheng frowned at the Ivory Sword Saint, "Is something wrong?"
Surely, it was just his imagination, right? Liu Sumeng shook his head. "No. Nothing. Let's go."