Block the Sword
The next day Yan Yuan rose early to go to court as usual.
Chen Yan came in to help him change, Yan Yuan opened his arms and let him put on his dragon robe, and said to the closed tent on his side, "Today is A'Yu's birthday.
Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow there will be a visit from a delegation from a foreign country.
These days are very busy and I should not have time to come and see you."
"......" Xuan Long lay flat in his bed and did not say a word.
The jade and beads of the imperial crown draped over the edge of his face clinked together.
"If you miss me, send for me.
If I'm in a good mood, I might make some time to come over."
Xuan Long closed his eyes, "No need."
Yan Yuan's face darkened, and he got up angrily and left.
Having tossed and turned until midnight last night, Xuan Long was physically and emotionally exhausted.
After bracing himself to get up and have breakfast, he drifted off to sleep, and when he woke up again, it was already dark.
The soul-eating pain flared up without warning.
His vision blurred with pain, he was covered in cold sweat, and his turquoise eyes were laxly open.
A hole had been gouged in the bedding beneath him, and his fingers were bloodied, but he felt no pain.
Hu Le grabbed his hand to stop him from continuing to hurt himself.
Xuan Long unconsciously tried to break free, and Hu Le clutched his wrist tightly, coaxing in a muffled voice.
"Be good, A'Po, it won't hurt in a while...
it won't hurt in a while..."
Xuan Long did quiet down, his out-of-focus eyes struggling to gather on the stunningly beautiful face of the person beside the bed.
“En, it's me." Hu Le's eyes were bloodshot at the corners.
"It won't hurt in a while."
So many times, Xuan Long had had attacks of illness and pain and had pulled through in this way.
Apart from comforting him in this way, there was nothing Hu Le could do.
There was nothing anyone could do to help him.
Nothing could be done to help him, except to find the fox elders and give him a chance of survival.
His attacks were getting longer and longer.
At first it was only a quarter of an hour, a few cups of tea, and Xuan Long's consciousness was still clear when he had an attack.
But now it was hardly ever less than an hour each time, and he was in so much pain that he sometimes couldn't even recognise himself.
Today's was a light one.
Hu Le took a handkerchief and gently wiped the cold sweat from the corners of Xuan Long's forehead, talking to him in a casual manner, not knowing if Xuan Long was listening or not.
"We'll be able to leave soon..."
"Bear with it a little longer...
it will be fine..."
Xuan Long could vaguely hear him, but he didn't have the strength to answer him.
Closing his eyes made him feel better, but he couldn't avoid the sharp pain that mingled with every breath, like a knife stabbing him repeatedly in the throat.
Every inch of his veins hurt, not just the flesh on the surface, but the unbearable tearing from the depths of his soul.
But he endured it all.
If it were a normal person, they would have been so distressed by one attack that they would have committed suicide to relieve themselves.
He had endured numerous attacks...
and for the sake of his unfinished business, for the sake of his duty, he had to live.
He had to live at least until the moment the child was born.
Whether man or god, once the heart has faith, all the suffering of the outside world will become unimportant.
Hu Le knew that Xuan Long was strong enough, and because of this, his heart went out to this man who could bear any suffering in silence.
Is it true that those who do not cry out in pain do not suffer...
About half an hour later, the man who was shivering from pain finally quieted down, his profane clothes drenched with cold sweat and chilled to the bone.
Hu Le changed him into dry clothes and wrapped Xuan Long tightly in a quilt, revealing only a pale face.
“A'Po, you can sleep a little longer, there is still an hour left, I will call you when the time comes.”
Xuan Long's eyelids were too heavy to lift, and he responded in a trance, "Mmm..."
Hu Le was distressed to the core: "Do you have anything to pack I'll go and put it away in advance."
No." Xuan Long took a long time to move his lips.
When he came, he was all alone, and when he left, he would not take anything with him.
Although some things in this hall were given to him by Yan Yuan, they did not belong to him.
For example, the gorgeous basalt robe in the wardrobe, or the silver hairpin Yan Yuan had forcibly left behind in front of the bronze mirror.
"Okay." Hu Le said in a soft voice.
"When we get out, I will support you, and I will feed you and the baby until you are plump and healthy."
Although he had lost his Tao, his hunting skills had not diminished, and there were plenty of fish and fowl in the mountains, forests and streams, more than enough to feed two dragons.
He could almost foresee that good life already...
After they go to the fox clan for medical treatment, they will choose an untouched valley where the woods are lush and the water is clear, so they can build a hut by the stream.
It doesn't need to be spacious, just big enough for the three of them to live in.
If Xuan Long gave birth to a son, he would teach him to shoot arrows and hunt, if he gave birth to a daughter...
if he gave birth to a daughter, he would still teach her to shoot arrows and hunt, after all, he did not know how to do the female jobs.
Thinking of this, the corners of Hu Le's lips curled up and he looked at Xuan Long's raised belly beneath the bedding and began to anticipate the birth of that little thing.
Even if the little thing had human blood in it, he would treat it well once it came out of Xuan Long's belly.
A gust of wind swept past behind him and Hu Le felt a chill run down his back, shrinking back and not caring until a cold, sarcastic voice rang out from behind him.
"You've got a good place to hide."
The sound of footsteps slowly approached from behind, each step stepping on Hu Le's heart as if insects were crawling across his skin, raising goosebumps.
He stiffened, the demon who had always been unruffled by heaven and earth, at this moment, had panic appear in those beautiful fox eyes.
After escaping from that hell, he would dream of the man who had mistreated him like a beast, who had used scissors to cut off his tongue when he was disobedient, who had said that fox demons were lascivious by nature, and that in order to prevent him from going out and harming good women, he had cut off his weapon and scalded the wound with fire so that he could not be a man.
He said that he was unworthy of being a living being in the world, so he used a knife to carve the word 'skinny' onto his heart, venting himself on his body and humiliating him wantonly...
Two months had passed and most of the wounds on his body had healed, but the word 'skinny' on his heart could not be removed unless the skin was cut away with a knife because of the special potion poured on it when it was carved.
The small part of the tongue that had been cut off had grown back because of the blood from Xuan Long, but the fear at the bottom of his heart had become a permanent nightmare in Hu Le's mind, like the broken artefact beneath him, and the fear that had been suppressed for months erupted at this moment like a volcano gushing out lava.
Hu Le's face was pale and he turned around slowly, very slowly, to meet a face with sword brows and starry eyes, his tall nose almost touching the tip of his nose, his cool hand gently climbing Hu Le's face, sliding like a snake.
"You have made this poor monk search so hard.
Tell me, what would be the best way to punish you this time."
There was no trace of warmth under his eyes as he said this, and his whole being radiated an ice-cold chill that chilled Hu Le straight to the core.
The voice was a low and sensual tone that did not match his youthful appearance.
Hu Le's jaw was tightened by the man's excessively long and strong fingers, and a bone-crushing pain came over him as he gasped for breath, "What the hell do you want..."
Not to kill him, just to torture him...
Before he escaped, he would have preferred to die in the temple's meditation room than to have his limbs chained and be abused day and night.
But now he could not die, he had to take Xuan Long to the fox clan for medical treatment, he had to see the baby born by Xuan Long and raise it together...
"You've done all this to me..."
"Isn't that enough..."
"Enough" The man fiddled with the skin at the corners of his mouth, "How can it be, it is a great gift and mercy for this poor monk to keep you alive.
After being comfortable out here for so long, it's time to go back and receive the punishment you deserve."
Hu Le lifted both hands to clasp the hand containing his chin and struggled to push him away, "No...
I won't go back to that place even if I die..."
The man shifted his large palm around Hu Le's neck, forcing him to stand up.
This was pretty much what happened to a pig about to be killed; the butcher would stab the pig in the neck with a long, finger-thick hook, drag it brutally towards the slaughterhouse, drain the blood from its neck, and then gut it.
There is not much difference between the two; they are both treated like animals.
Hu Le was being held by the neck by the man who was half a head taller than he was, strong and dangerous in his grey robe emblazoned with the fan mantra.
As he let his guard down, Hu Le jerked the dagger hanging at the back of his waist and stabbed the man in the side of his waist.
It was something he had prepared to use for defence when he left this evening, but he never thought it would come in handy here.
The blade sliced through the air and the man's ears twitched slightly as he let go of Hu Le's neck and struck him hard in the heart with his palm laden with spiritual energy, all in one fluid motion.
Hu Le flew back and hit the wall hard, landing on the floor with the dagger, his internal organs hurting so badly that he sat up on his feet, covering his heart and coughing up a large mouthful of blood, soiling the floor.
The man looked down at him from above and said in a deep voice, "Seeking death."
The man was a cultivator with a rare talent in the world, he was only in his twenties, but his cultivation was better than the centuries of Tao that Hu Le had cultivated.
In the beginning, he had taken Hu Le back alive, and it was not easy to escape his watchful eyes.
Being struck, Hu Le was not surprised and raised his head with a ragged gasp, letting blood drip from the corners of his mouth as he said with red eyes, "I don't want to die..."
"I told you...
your people, I did not kill them."
He has always only killed those disgusting humans who were not right-minded, how could he possibly have slaughtered his whole clan But this stinking monk took a piece of rag and insisted that the rag was the clothing he wore when he slaughtered his clan fifteen years ago, and based on the smell on it that was similar to his, he insisted on putting a groundless charge on him.
"Still arguing..." The man said with danger flowing from his eyes as he stepped closer to Hu Le.
On the bed, Xuan Long heard the movement and woke up in a daze, sitting up and looking for Hu Le's figure in the hall, wondering if he had heard the loud movement just now: "Hu Le..."
The man's footsteps stopped and he turned his head to look in the direction of the tent, "Is that your lover"
"In that case, if I kill him, you will follow me back obediently, right"
As he spoke, Xuan Long had already gotten out of bed and was coming this way with weak footsteps, searching for the sound.
A silver sword appeared in the man's hand, and in a flash he was in front of Xuan Long.
He had already lost his Tao and was no different from an ordinary person, and had just suffered a painful attack, so he couldn’t escape.
Before he could react, he heard a 'poof' and the long sword entered flesh.
It was not Xuan Long who was stabbed, but Hu Le who suddenly rushed over.