The candle light in the hall flickered on and off, and above the bed, the tent was hung up, the dim candle light reflecting the two of them in close proximity to each other.
Xuan Long was sitting on top of Yan Yuan, his hands were wrapped around his neck, barely supporting his body.
The wound on his arm dripped bright red blood as it was constantly bounced around, falling onto Yan Yuan's taut, snow-white back and settling into the bedding.
Xuan Long's brow wrinkled slightly, his lips pursed and did not make a sound, and even his breathing was stoic and firm as Yan Yuan clasped his hands around his slightly rounded waist, making bruises and strangulation marks.
His eyes touched his slightly bulging belly and he frowned, "I don't like the way you look now.
In a few days, I'll send someone to the Flower Spirit to get an abortion pill, so you can get rid of the baby before it's too late."
Xuan Long was so thin that the child looked a little pitiful, smaller than a normal pregnancy at over four months, but it was enough to make Yan Yuan feel like it was an eyesore.
He did not know that for Xuan Long, it was the only warmth left in the world.
Whenever he felt he could not hold on, the baby in his belly moved gently and he had some strength again.
In his last life, his only wish was that he could find a stable environment for his child to grow up in and be with him during his last journey, hoping that the child in his belly would not follow in his footsteps.
That was the only thing he could give him, even if it cost him his life.
But Yan Yuan felt that this child was a burden.
A child born from Ning Zhiyu's womb would have pleased Yan Yuan.
The long raven-black hair covered Xuan Long's thin back and a few strands fell in front of him.
He was tense and his belly hurt a little, his turquoise eyes lowered, his forehead touched Yan Yuan's chin from time to time, and his voice was unsteady, "You are not qualified...
to decide whether he stays or goes."
Yan Yuan was displeased, "I am not qualified, who is qualified"
Once Yan Yuan was upset, Xuan Long was going to suffer.
He gasped more and more, and on a rare occasion, he fought against Yan Yuan and broke away, "You do not want him...
he has nothing to do with you.”
"Shut up." Yan Yuan pulled his face down, trying to keep him from ever saying anything he didn't like again, "Everything about you is about me.
If you say something like that again, I'll-" The threatening words reached his mouth and suddenly cut off.
Xuan Long curled his lips, "You'll...
Yan Yuan felt a little panic in his heart.
His eyes flickered a few times and he spoke in a hard voice, "I'll...
I'll kill that fox spirit."
Xuan Long indeed stopped talking.
Yan Yuan succeeded in telling him to shut up, and in turn became even more upset, fiercely picking up the man on top of him and flipping him over, pressing him down onto the bed.
Xuan Long had never looked at him much at such times, always closing his eyes and tilting his head to one side, suffering in silence as if being with him was a terrible thing.
Yan Yuan pinched Xuan Long's face forcing him to turn around, his gaze grim, "Look at me.
Don't stop looking at me."
He had been with Ning Zhiyu all day, but he looked like a hungry jackal.
Xuan Long didn't know what Yan Yuan was thinking, as his beloved was right next door, but he still had to pester him to do these meaningless things.
Seeing Xuan Long looking at him distractedly, Yan Yuan frowned and said, "I'm telling you, don't think I'm obsessed with you just because I'm like this.
It's because A'Yu is not well, so I reluctantly vent my frustrations on you."
So that's how it is.
Xuan Long lowered his eyes and said in a low voice, "Then it's really been hard for you."
Yan Yuan hummed, “It isn't."
"Wake up." In the middle of the night, Xuan Long's body was pushed around in his drowsiness.
He opened his eyes tiredly and met Yan Yuan's cold expression, "It's time for you to go.
It would be bad if A'Yu found you here."
Xuan Long propped himself up on the bed and sat up, moving sluggishly to get out of bed and pick up his clothes from the floor.
He fastened his belt and turned around with a pale face, “Hu Le…"
Yan Yuan heard this name so much that his ears were calloused, and he was reflexively repulsed, "Don't worry, I will return him to you tomorrow.
As you wish."
Xuan Long was silent for a moment, "You can send someone to send him out of the palace...
I don't want to see him anymore."
Yan Yuan hooked his lips, "Impossible, who knows if he will go out to find some kind of help.
You better break off the idea of leaving me."
Xuan Long knew that Yan Yuan probably wouldn't let Hu Le go if he didn't hand over the inner elixir, so there was no point in saying more right now.
He turned around and was about to leave.
"Wait." Yan Yuan's gaze was fixed on the red brocade bag at his waist, "What is that hanging on you"
Xuan Long looked down and saw that it was a gift from Hu Le.
From time to time, his stomach felt uncomfortable, so he carried this scented pouch with calming and nurturing properties to somewhat ease the discomfort.
He reached out to cover the pouch and squeezed it tight, "It's nothing."
"Stop." Yan Yuan rushed over from the side of the bed in a few steps and ripped the pouch from his waist.
The red cord immediately snapped, the movement so fast that Xuan Long was too late to stop it.
Xuan Long frowned and held out his hand, "Give it back to me."
Yan Yuan stared at the pouch in his palm, the veins on his forehead throbbing.
He had seen this style of brocade bag at the night market during the Qixi Festival, and it was clearly meant to be a token of love.
"Who gave you this"
Xuan Long had no idea what the other man was angry about.
The soul-devouring pain was attacking more and more frequently, and he was trembling in pain, just wanting to go back and rest, and he said in a muffled voice, "It's none of your business, give it back to me."
Yan Yuan slammed the pouch to the ground, "Are you that cheap Do you accept every gift you get from anyone"
Xuan Long replied in a low voice, bending down to pick up the pouch that had landed at Yan Yuan's feet, “En, I'm just cheap."
Before his hand could touch it, Yan Yuan lifted his foot and stomped on the pouch, "A cheap person is not worthy of such a thing."
The pouch was eventually crushed by Yan Yuan's foot, and the spices inside spilled out and scattered all over the floor.
The delicate red satin surface was covered in dark footprints.
Having ruined Hu Le's good will, Yan Yuan left.
Xuan Long twisted his fingertips around the tattered and torn casing of the brocade bag in a vain attempt to pat the dirt clean from it, but could not do so.
"Are cheap people...
unworthy of such things..."
He muttered and repeated what Yan Yuan had said just now.
It turns out that cheap people are not worthy of using such things.
The night was dark, and when Xuan Long went out, Yan Yuan had already entered Ning Zhiyu's door.
He braced himself to walk back to Qiankun Palace and collapsed outside the door.
When he woke up again, it was still dark.
Candles were burning in the palace, and Xuan Long was a little confused about the time.
Someone was at the side of his bed, holding his hand, which was warm.
you're awake." Hu Le was fine when he called his name, but the second half of the sentence was muffled.
Xuan Long looked at the sound, his icy turquoise eyes vaguely soft, his throat not quite able to make a sound due to the high fever, "Hu Le...
"Mmm." Hu Le replied with a strong nasal tone.
Xuan Long's eyes fell down to Hu Le's bloodstained prison uniform, his long hair cascading, his white face dirty, and looking at the marks on his body, it looked like he had been whipped.
"They beat you."
Hu Le laughed, holding his hand tightly and saying, "This little injury is nothing, I can stand it, Young Master."
Xuan Long twisted his head and closed his eyes, "I'm sorry.
I shouldn't have brought you here."
Hu Le: "You should have brought me here.
If you hadn't brought me here, I wouldn't have known what kind of trouble you were in here.
They went too far to let you just pass out outside the door like that.
If I hadn't come back, we don't know how long you would have been lying out there."
Xuan Long opened his eyes and looked up, "… He wouldn't let you go."
Hu Le said dumbly, "I like being with you, I'll be wherever you are.
You’ve already dumped me once, you won't get rid of me again this time.
Don't you lie to me...
I forbid you from sacrificing anything for me.
We both must live, and as long as we live, we can hope to leave."
Xuan Long looked at Hu Le, his demonic eyes glowing red in the candle flame, with a hardened light in them.
"There is a respected elder of the Fox Clan who is well versed in astronomy and geography who will surely have a way to prolong your life and keep you alive.
Don't you want to grow up with Shui Shui..."
Xuan Long opened his lips, "I want to..."
Hu Le took the opportunity to say: "Then promise me that you will never do anything stupid, don't give in to that bastard...
even if it's for me."
Xuan Long was silent for a moment, "Okay."
At this moment, there was hope in Xuan Long's heart.
With Hu Le by his side to accompany him without fail, all the hardships before him seemed to be nothing.
However, he never imagined that one day, Hu Le would leave this world before him.
Since Xiao Dezi was replaced, the new eunuchs, perhaps because they saw that Yan Yuan had left Xuan Long here unattended and because of the prestige of their old master, always brought over spoiled food, intentionally or unintentionally, which would cost him half his life if he ate it.
It is not always possible to steal something from the imperial dining room, and if they could not, they would have to eat the mouldy food.
At noon on this day, the little eunuch proudly tossed in two steamed buns that had been sitting on the table in the outer hall for a few days and left.
Hu Le smashed the steamed buns on the ground and his eyes turned red with anger: "This is outrageous, he is the emperor and he won't even give us a bite of fresh food."
When he returned to the inner hall, he saw Xuan Long leaning against the bed with his eyes dazed, his face bloodless and full of sweat.
Hu Le knew that he was suffering from another attack of soul-devouring pain, and went over to him in pain, wiping his sweat with his sleeve.
"Does it hurt badly"
Xuan Long closed his eyes and shook his head, saying weakly, "It's bearable."
There was nothing Hu Le could do at such a time but to stay with him quietly.
After the attack, Xuan Long weakly fell asleep.
Hu Le tucked him in and went out of the palace, returning with two red carp in his arms.
Qiankun Palace has a small kitchen.
Hu Le carefully cleaned the fish, one with the bones removed and cut into fillets, and the other steamed.
“A'Po… it's time for dinner."
Xuan Long was pregnant now and it would not be good for him to not eat on time.
Hu Le woke him up and the fox and the dragon sat at the table together.
Hu Le put a piece of raw fish into Xuan Long's bowl and smiled, "The fish was brought from the imperial kitchen.
I forgot to take the fish sauce, so the taste is inevitably bland, you can eat it as you like."
Xuan Long shook his head, "This is good enough.
You eat too."
Xuan Long knew that Hu Le liked it cooked, so he put a large piece of steamed fish into his bowl.
The two demons in the hall were eating their meal comfortably when the door was suddenly pushed open.
The eunuch called Xiao Chenzi came in, followed by a tall, cool and solemn palace maid and two guards with swords.
The whisk in Xiao Chenzi's hand was pointed at Hu Le, his dangling triangular eyes were full of darkness, and he said with a high voice, "He is the one who stole the Queen Dowager's beloved red carp.
The fish scales are still sitting in the kitchen, the nail in the coffin of proof."