When Sui Yuan wakes up, he feels as though he is having an out-of-body experience, and his soul has returned to a body that isn’t his own. His limbs feel extremely heavy and incapable of the slightest movements. The rear place where Xuan Ling penetrated is so sore that he wants to cry whenever he thinks about it.
Naturally, Sui Yuan is not alone in this bed. As his senses gradually stir, he can feel an equally naked body hugging him from behind. Said person is already awake and lazily playing with a lock of Sui Yuan’s hair, absently twisting it around his finger.
Staring dully at the fingers in his peripheral vision, Sui Yuan shifts his body a little, turning his head to look at the person behind him.
Xuan Ling smiles gently, placing a soft kiss at the corner of his mouth, then tightens his arms around Sui Yuan’s waist.
As the other man did not let go of his hair, Sui Yuan is somewhat displeased when the small action of turning his head causes a tingle of pain in his scalp. “What are you doing?”
“Binding your hair,” Xuan Ling replies lightly. “Once this act is done, both will be eternally joined, to our final days and beyond.”
Sui Yuan falls silent, still unable to accept the touching words falling from the other man’s mouth as well as his sweet attitude. Not when he is wearing the face of the stern, unsociable Xuan Ling. Even if he knows the soul residing inside is Zhao Xihe, Sui Yuan feels this situation is too surreal.
“I feel very unwell.” Sui Yuan gathers up his long, free-flowing hair. The silky strands between Xuan Ling’s fingers slide away following his movements. Looking unspeakably sorrowful but maintaining an unfeeling façade, this appearance causes Xuan Ling’s eyes to darken for a split-second.
Considerately helping Sui Yuan to sit up in bed, Xuan Ling flicks a wrist, materialising a bottle of Jade Pearl pills. Removing one, he holds it out in front of Sui Yuan’s mouth.
Although this is a very precious item and it is a little wasteful to use it like this, Sui Yuan doesn’t reject it as he remembers who exactly is responsible for his current ‘injuries’. As soon as the pill dissolves in his mouth, his sore, aching muscles instantly vanishes. Feeling rejuvenated, Sui Yuan prepares to get out of bed and throw on his clothes when he is once again dragged back into Xuan Ling’s embrace.
His struggle is cut short thanks to Xuan Ling’s next words. “What do you plan to do after?”
Frowning, he tilts his head in question. “Plan?”
“I succumbed to my inner demons for you, and you gave your body to me in order to return my sanity,” Xuan Ling answers. “Don’t tell me you intend to break off our relationship just like that?”
“……What else do you expect me to do?” Sui Yuan’s guard goes up immediately as he recalls 5237’s warning – everything he did is to rescue Zhao Xihe, there is no other meaning.
“Let’s become cultivation partners,” Xuan Ling replies bluntly.
An urge to touch Xuan Ling’s forehead and check if the other has a high temperature rises in Sui Yuan. Are you sure you are fully awake? Suggesting this kind of unreliable proposal! Or should I ask if you are really sober, thinking I will approve of this plan which will further mess up the storyline?!
“If you have anything to say, feel free.” Understanding the myriad of emotions flickering across the youth’s face, Xuan Ling offers him a smile. “I already told 0007 to convert this place into a separate zone.”
Hearing this, Sui Yuan’s worry eases and he turns around with a solemn face. “Don’t try to create more trouble. You are this world’s male lead!”
“It’s not necessarily me.” Zhao Xihe quirks an eyebrow, an expression Sui Yuan is particularly familiar with surfacing. “From the beginning to the end, the original text never explicitly said who the male lead is, isn’t that so? There are only a few vague descriptions, and I am not the only one who fits them all.”
“Push another up to replace me as the male lead,” Zhao Xihe states in a matter of fact tone. “As long as your story doesn’t change too much, you will not be penalised too harshly. The one who will bear the brunt of being replaced as the male lead is me, not you.”
Sui Yuan is still hesitant. “You mean…you will give up completing your story to help me complete mine?”
“Correct.” Zhao Xihe nods. “Your character will have to die near the end anyway. If you become my cultivation partner, I will not hinder you from here onwards, and will even help you if you face any difficulty. You can go about completing your task however you wish. Trap the female lead, fall in love with her, setting up the last trap and be killed by her…I will help you as long as you require it. After all, the plot is already a mess. I killed He Lianyu during my berserk state so you have no one else to collude with. Wouldn’t it be difficult operating on your own?” He stares at Sui Yuan with eyes full of absolution. “Therefore, I am willing to take He Lianyu’s place and assist you to the end.”
Truthfully, Zhao Xihe’s words were very reasonable. Sui Yuan can’t help but be pleasantly surprised, and his wavering heart eventually falls thoroughly by Zhao Xihe’s next sentence.
“If you reject my proposal, I will give you all sorts of trouble. But if you are my cultivation partner, everything will be smoothly completed with my help. Which will you choose?” In order to tie this person to him, he has already planned everything in advance. “It is impossible to return this storyline back on track, so you should just focus on what’s in front.”
And thus…the Sui Yuan whose gaze is firmly fixed on the cave’s entrance in front nods stiffly, agreeing to his proposal.
It is only until a white-robed, clear-headed Xuan Ling exits the cave and walks through the doors of the temple, hand in hand with Sui Yuan that every Elder present finally realises they have been living in a dream. But no matter how much they try to, they can’t seem to grasp this new development.
Where is the promised Master-Disciple pair?! Where is the treasured female student?! Isn’t this scene as flabbergasting as the groom being snatched away by a handsome interloper on the day of his wedding?!
“……What exactly is going on here, Junior Brother Xuan Ling?” Sweeping his eyes over the hall, his gaze lands on the tottering Shen Jiayi, who looks as though she has been struck by lightning. With supreme effort, he suppresses the overwhelming urge to wash his hands off everything and walk away, plastering on a calm, steady façade that a sect leader must have. “Why is it Minghui? I never knew you…the both of you have become so close.”
The sect leader really wants to cough out blood. Although he already harbours worry that Xuan Ling has become a victim of love, if it cannot be avoided, he will naturally accept this development. However, never did he expect the target of this infatuation is not Shen Jiayi like they all thought, but his beloved eldest disciple who harbours a somewhat ambiguous feeling for Shen Jiayi.
Regarding this matter, the sect leader is undoubtedly suffering from a double bad news attack. There wasn’t even a foreshadowing omen! He didn’t have even a little bit of time to mentally prepare himself! This common love triangle featuring a woman and two men has suddenly ended with the two men getting together and the female lead being tossed aside!! How can such a story be acceptable?! Miraculous developments shouldn’t be used in this way ah!
“I am unsure if Senior Martial Brother believes in fate.” Whether or not he notices the sect leader’s mental breakdown, Xuan Ling’s icy, indifferent expression doesn’t waver in the slightest. Only when his eyes settle on Sui Yuan does faint warmth seep into those dark eyes. “I too, do not understand why, but my heart is unable to let go of him the moment I first laid eyes on his person.”
“…The moment you first saw him?” The sect leader murmurs in contemplation.
“It was that very day I called him over to the Heavenly Blade Peak after receiving news that Minghui saved my succeeding disciple,” Xuan Ling answers. “From that day onwards, his shadow constantly lingers in my heart. No matter how I try, I was incapable of forgetting. Understanding how poor an image I would be presenting, I repressed the urge to seek him out, enduring the ache in my heart and meticulously distanced myself.”
Thinking back to how Xuan Ling indeed didn’t interact with Minghui for a long while after that day, the sect leader nods, still muttering to himself.
“However, when I heard he was trapped within a mirage array in the Eternal Bliss Heavenly Ground, I realised I cannot hide any longer.” Xuan Ling’s eyelids slide close, fingers holding Sui Yuan’s hand tightening, as though extremely afraid the other will suddenly disappear.
“…Therefore, you took the initiative to reduce his sentence, and went to see him at the first available moment after his terms of isolation commenced. By chance, you were there when he nearly wandered off the Righteous Path and insisted he remained in the Heavenly Blade Peak until his injuries heal. You even helped him straighten his meridian every day without fail…” The sect leader’s words trail off, ending in a heavy sigh. Xuan Ling has been openly displaying his feelings for the world to see, but he missed every sign and was blindly deceived into believing otherwise. “Afterwards, when I proposed letting Minghui and your succeeding disciple be cultivation partners, you strongly opposed it. It wasn’t because of your disciple, but for Minghui?”
“Yes.” Xuan Ling nods.
Not aware that something like this occurred, amazement paints Shen Jiayi’s face. Her gaze towards Xuan Ling and Sui Yuan becomes increasingly complicated.
Both are clad in snow white robes, one stern and cold, the other warm and gentle. Indeed a pair created by the Heavens for each other. As a cultivator’s lifespan is exceedingly long, most desire a cultivation partner in order to avoid loneliness. Producing offspring is not their main concern. Hence, not everyone sticks to the conventional male-female pair. Still, the natural order is a man and a woman. Although male-male couples are not considered taboo, very few proclaim themselves in public. With one being her deeply respected Master and the other the Senior Martial Brother whom she is enamoured with…
Shen Jiayi knows that she would probably need a period of time before she can accept this fact.
“When Minghui was recuperating in the Heavenly Blade Peak, I visited him every day, but never dared to linger. For I gradually sensed problems arising due to my emotions.” Xuan Ling tilts his head down to glance at Sui Yuan. “I dared not allow myself to interact with him more than what was necessary. I had hoped to control this danger as quickly as possible. However, I unexpectedly fell deeper.”
Sui Yuan can’t help recalling Xuan Ling’s wan complexion whenever he came to treat him. At that time, Sui Yuan wanted to ask but was brushed off. He had thought since the other is Zhao Xihe, there wouldn’t be any problems, so he tossed it to the back of his mind. It is only until much later when 5237 explained that the actor cannot be separated from the body of the character they are playing as does Sui Yuan finally understand. In the original text, Xuan Ling nearly succumbed to his inner demons because of Shen Jiayi. Now, Zhao Xihe genuinely fell to the Demonic Path because of Sui Yuan.
As of now, there is a clear explanation for Xuan Ling’s berserk state. All this time, he has been repressing his feelings of love, too busy to care about anything else. However, when he received news of Sui Yuan being snatched away by He Lianyu, his self-control faltered. And in this crucial moment when he teeters on the edge, he personally witnessed He Lianyu and Sui Yuan…ahem…that scene. Thus, Xuan Ling’s restraint shattered, and he stepped firmly onto the Demonic Path.
What Sui Yuan can glean from Xuan Ling’s words, the Elders are naturally able to as well. The fact that Sui Yuan’s presence is able to pull him out of his berserk state evidently shows that his feelings for the youth is too deep to free himself from. If they do not give Xuan Ling consent, he might just succumb to his inner demons again.
…Heh, a berserk Sword Cultivator who is at the last stage before Ascension is not something anyone wants to imagine.
Nonetheless, joining hands to be cultivation partners is not a matter of only getting the consent from one half of the pair… The sect leader’s gaze rests on his beloved succeeding disciple, partly afraid that he will refuse and partly hoping that he would. Ai…his current state of mind is extremely complicated. “Minghui, Junior Brother Xuan Ling wishes to be your cultivation partner. Are you…willing?”
Seeing the concealed anticipation on the sect leader’s face, Sui Yuan turns to glance up at Xuan Ling, who is also paying him undivided attention. Thinking back to their prior agreement, a firm, bold resolve settles in his gut. Calmly, he nods. “Disciple…is willing.”
“I understand.” The sect leader’s tone is regretful, but his tense expression relaxes as he chuckles lightly. “Then, the both of you may retire and rest. A few days from now, the sect will prepare a dual-cultivation ceremony for you.”
Xuan Ling and Sui Yuan bows in agreement as one.
Hence, not only has Sui Yuan’s virginity been offered up to Xuan Ling on a silver platter, even his first marriage ceremony – and his first time acting the part of a bride – is also taken by this man. This ‘good news’ causes 5237 to cry ‘tears of joy’ as soon as it is informed. In its heart, it really wishes to vent against the multiple worlds.
– The male leads in BG worlds are mongrels! None of them are virtuous at all!
 In ancient times, one will bind their hair once they come of age. The act of binding a lock of hair together also exists between a newly wedded couple. The bride and groom will intertwine a lock of hair together to signify their eternal union.