It turns out that in Yan Yuan's eyes, the life of the child in his womb was not as important as his beloved's joy.
He was nothing to him after all, perhaps even a dead leaf outside the window was more precious than him.
Their conversation that day ended unhappily.
To be precise, it was Yan Yuan's unilateral declaration of anger as well as an expression of dissatisfaction that failed to achieve its purpose.
Xuan Long did not say anything more after he knew the other party's true thoughts, knowing that persuasion was useless.
Something unimportant will not change its ending because of a few words.
If weeping and begging on his knees to the other party had worked, his mother would not have been cruel enough to throw him away.
Going around in circles, fate seemed to keep repeating itself...
from the moment he was born, it seemed that he had never been truly accepted by the world.
Whether as a child or as an adult, he was always redundant.
Hu Le was locked up, Xiao Dezi was transferred out of Qiankun Palace, and there was no one at his side all of a sudden.
Xuan Long should have been used to being alone long ago.
Perhaps because he was nearing the end of his life, he found the soul-devouring pain a little unbearable when he was alone, and he often woke up in a cold sweat after hours of continuous severe pain, looking at the empty hall and asking himself why on earth he was here.
Why did he cocoon himself and fall in love with someone he shouldn’t
Why was he foolish enough to think he really deserved to be loved
Well now he has lost everything.
Everything he had was worthless anyway, and if he loses, he loses, but Hu Le can't risk his life over it.
He was still young, still very young, and even if he lost his Tao for the moment, he could still start all over and cultivate again.
He had to save him.
The setting autumn sun was cutting through the gradually balding branches of the trees and falling on the carved dragons on the edge of the hall.
It was already evening, and after a while, it would be dark.
If Yan Yuan did not come, he had no choice but to go to him.
Supporting his weak body after the attack, Xuan Long got out of bed, changed his robe, put on his black hat, and went out the door.
"Where is Yan Yuan"
The little eunuch guarding outside the hall was the one who replaced Xiao Dezi, and he came from some unknown palace.
He didn't even look at Xuan Long when he saw him, and with a whisk in the crook of his arm, he said in an ominous manner towards the sky, "At this hour, the Emperor should be in Luanfeng Hall with the Empress for dinner, he can't stay here every day to watch something dirty that came out of nowhere."
Xuan Long paused and walked away in silence.
The eunuch looked at his back and uttered a contemptuous “Cowardly".
He had thought he was some kind of seductive demon, with the way he looks, and he dared to steal the Emperor from the Empress.
That day, he snuck in to take a look at the ugly creature while he was sleeping, and the large scar on his face didn't upset him at all.
Even the Emperor had the guts to talk to such an ugly creature.
Earlier, when he still had his Tao, he had gone to Luanfeng Hall following Yan Yuan's scent, and Xuan Long remembered the way.
He walked there slowly.
The palace staff on the way saw that he was wearing clothes that did not look like palace attire and a black veil hat that covered his face, and they were curiously hiding at a distance and whispering.
He lifted his hand and pulled the hat down over his head to make sure the veil in front of him was properly covering his ugly face, and only then did he feel more at ease.
"I think he came out of Qiankun Palace, so he must be the male pet that the Emperor has hidden in Qiankun Palace, right..."
"I heard Xiao Chenzi say that this male pet looks scary, how could the Emperor keep such a person around ah, is the Empress not good enough"
"That's right, the Empress is elegant and noble, and treats the palace staff well, where can other people compare to that ah, I guess this person may know some kind of evil magic and just charmed the Emperor...
Poor Xiao Chenzi, he stayed by the Empress' side, but now he has to go to Qiankun Palace to serve this forbidden creature that cannot be seen.
"Why did he leave the palace and come out to run around..."
A few small palace maids carrying food boxes followed not far behind Xuan Long, looking at his back and constantly chattering.
At first they restrained their voices, but when they saw that he did not react, they became more and more bold, speaking loudly and unpleasantly.
He didn't even notice that someone was approaching.
"Who gave you the guts to talk about the Emperor in private"
A male voice with the texture of ice came from behind him.
The palace maids shivered and instinctively turned to look, only to see the man in a python robe, with long eyebrows that entered his temples.
His handsome face was clearly expressionless, but his long, narrow black eyes sent shivers down the spine.
Everyone knew that the King of Zhennan was ruthless, killing without blinking an eye.
The palace maids fell to their knees as soon as their feet went weak, tears sprouting from their eyes in fear as they kowtowed and begged for mercy.
"Your Majesty, the King of Zhennan..."
"Your Highness, the King of Zhennan – the servants, the servants did not know that Your Highness was here, so they spoke nonsense for a moment, and they are begging, begging for Your Highness' forgiveness."
"The servants will not dare to do it again..."
Yan Huo Heng lowered his eyes to look at them and spoke out coldly, "Behave yourself."
The palace maids did not know what these words meant, and raised their faces in a daze with tears streaming down their faces, no longer looking smug.
The man dressed as a lieutenant general behind Yan Huo Heng bellowed, "The King has spared your lives! Get lost!"
"Thank you for your forgiveness, Your Highness...
Your Highness..." The palace maids trembled and kowtowed several times, then lifted the food box, got up and ran away.
When Yan Huo Heng raised his head, his gaze coincidentally met with a man in dark robes in the distance.
The man's face was covered with a black veil, but Yan Huo Heng knew that he was looking this way and must have been attracted by the commotion just now.
Xuan Long averted his gaze and turned around.
Yan Huo Heng called out to him, taking advantage of the gap when Xuan Long stopped and quickly stepped over to him, pulling out a dark gold mask engraved with Sanskrit from his broad sleeve and handing it to him, "Your mask...
fell on the promenade that day."
The slanting sun fell on the unsmiling face of the King of Zhennan, actually lightened the gloominess at the corners of his eyes and eyebrows a bit, inexplicably showing a bit of sluggish tenderness and anxiety.
Xuan Long naturally did not notice the other party's difference, and raised his hand in bewilderment to accept the mask, "Many thanks."
His heart was somewhat complicated when he saw Yan Huo Heng, after all, he was going to kill him that night, and things turned into such an embarrassing scene, with him witnessing the whole thing.
“No trouble at all.
Don't take what just happened to heart, women are born with broken mouths."
Xuan Long realised as an afterthought that Yan Huo Heng was comforting him, and curved his lips, "… Not all of what they said was false."
He does have an ugly face, what would Yan Yuan like him for if it wasn't for the dignified and elegant Empress.
He kept him, but only to save that man's life.
Yan Huo Heng was speechless for a moment.
"Thank you for returning this mask to me."
The two should have never crossed paths, and there was nothing to say when they suddenly ran into each other.
Xuan Long was no longer able to get rid of anyone for Yan Yuan.
He had no hatred nor liking for the person in front of him, he could only stay away.
Yan Huo Heng looked at Xuan Long's distant back and subconsciously took two steps after him, murmuring the man's name inaudibly, “A'Po..."
There was a notable fondness and complexity in his eyes.
"Your Majesty, who is this" The lieutenant behind him asked curiously.
"The Emperor's person." Yan Huo Heng said in a low voice.
"A real male pet" The lieutenant said in surprise.
Yan Huo Heng pursed his lips and did not answer.
Seeing that he was still staring and that the man was long gone, the lieutenant whispered and urged, "Your Majesty, let's go, the Empress Dowager is waiting for you to have dinner."
Only then did Yan Huo Heng withdraw his gaze.
There were eunuchs guarding the main palace gate of Luanfeng Hall, and idle people were not allowed to enter at will, they had to be announced.
Xiao Dezi recognised Xuan Long as soon as he saw him outside the gate and spoke with suppressed delight, "Master Han, what brings you here"
"Is he here" Xuan Long asked in a low voice.
Xiao Dezi's smile faltered and he said in a lighter voice, "His Majesty is dining with the Empress at the moment, so wait a moment while I go and tell him."
"Why don't you follow me to the palace gate first"
"En." Xuan Long answered and followed him through the door.
There were palace maids and eunuchs guarding outside the palace.
Xiao Dezi could enter and leave the bedchamber at will, his status here must be not low.
He entered and came out not long after.
His face was a little troubled, "His Majesty says he is not available at the moment and asked you to wait outside until he has finished his evening meal."
Xuan Long nodded: "Okay."
He didn't say much, and after answering, he stood by and kept quiet.
The meal went extraordinarily long, until the sun was setting and the moon was over the trees, but Yan Yuan had not yet come out.
The eunuchs and palace maids outside the hall had all returned from their meal.
Xiao Dezi, who could not bear it in his heart, whispered to the person under the tree, "Master Han, come up and wait, it's windy down there."
Xuan Long stood there without moving, his voice a little hoarse coming from under the black veiled hat, "It's fine.
Xiao Dezi continued with a sad face, "Why don't you go back first, the Emperor may not see you today."
Xuan Long shook his head and looked at the bright moonlight through the black veil, "I can wait."
If he did not wait, Hu Le would have to suffer even more in that cold dungeon.
There was no telling what those people would do to him.
After Ning Zhiyu had fallen asleep, Yan Yuan gingerly exited the hall door, his cold gaze sweeping over Xuan Long's figure, his tone warmless, "Come over here."
Xuan Long followed Yan Yuan and entered the adjacent side hall.
The structure of the side hall was the same as the main hall, only slightly more simply furnished.
Chen Yan lit the candle and retreated, gently closing the door behind him.
Yan Yuan sat down in the outer hall's noble chair, expressionlessly looking at the man standing not far away, "Aren't you very proud of yourself, why have you now taken the initiative to seek me out"
Xuan Long knew that Yan Yuan was angry.
The day before yesterday, when Yan Yuan had returned to Qiankun Palace, he said he did not want to have conjugal relations with him, and the man had left in a huff, slamming the door.
They were not married in the first place… so why did they have to perform that act
Release Hu Le."
Yan Yuan curled his lips, a sneer flooded his peach blossom eyes, “Why"
Xuan Long pursed his lips and spoke in a low voice, "Release Hu Le, and I will have intercourse with you."
Yan Yuan gave an abrupt laugh, and his face went cold, as if he was even angrier, "Do you think I really value this body of yours The sight of your face turns my stomach.
Xuan Long lowered his head and did not move: "What do you want"
Yan Yuan: "Where is the inner elixir"
Xuan Long: "...
I said I would give it to you when the child is born."
Yan Yuan said in a cold voice: "I have also said that I do not want the child."
This time Xuan Long did not speak for a long time, and only after a long time did he speak in a muffled voice, "...
I didn't ask you for it."
"Heh, that's not what you said that day.
If you don't have it removed now, can't we wait for it to be born and then drown it"
"Stop talking." Xuan Long's voice suddenly hoarsened to a different pitch, like he was about to cry.
Yan Yuan froze.
Xuan Long tilted his head slightly, and the posture seemed quite inexplicable to Yan Yuan.
"Set him free...
Keeping him won't do you any good."
Yan Yuan had been waiting for Xuan Long to come looking for him for the past few days, but as soon as he came, he mentioned another man, so how could he not be angry.
The fingertips that kept tapping on the armrest suddenly stopped, "After all that nonsense, you should show some sincerity."
Xuan Long nodded in a daze and pulled the dagger he had brought with him from his waist, lifting his sleeve to reveal his slim arm, and without hesitation he laid down the blade.
"He's running out of dragon scales, isn't he… I can give you more, fifty… a hundred, all of them...
as long as you let him go."
The blade was embedded in his flesh and blood, catching the dragon scales and applying force fiercely, and a dragon scale was pulled off raw.
Xuan Long's face was white and blood was flowing.
Yan Yuan rose to his feet and snatched the dagger from his hand, throwing it to the ground, an angry light glinting in his eyes, "I didn't say that."