Chapter 2 : Crossing Paths

Title : Luo Yu’s & Qin Jianyue’s Story

Author : PurpleLy

THIS IS FAN FICTION!!! Click here to read the full disclaimer


Luo Yu was startled. 

His first instinct was to turn around, but the bottom of the pool was slippery, so his feet gave way and he fell, splashing ungracefully into the water. As he was floundering around, two strong hands gripped the sides of his arms and hauled him to the surface.

Luo Yu coughed and spluttered. The other person seemed to feel sorry for him and patted his back. When he had more or less calmed down, Luo Yu pushed away his wet hair from his face, wiped his eyes with his hand before blinking them open.

“Are you alright?” Qin Jianyue asked gently.

“F-Fine.” Luo Yu managed to sputter out.

Abruptly, he became aware that both he and Qin Jianyue were totally naked! And they were standing so close to each other!

Thankfully, the pool water was deep enough that it came to their waists. If it was any lower, Luo Yu felt that he would combust then and there out of embarrassment.

He gave a nervous cough and pushed Qin Jianyue away, then retreated a few steps to lower himself into the water until only his neck and head were visible.

Luo Yu tried not to look at the wet, sculpted body standing in front of him. “Why are you here?” he asked in an accusing tone.

The corners of Qin Jianyue’s mouth curled up and he replied, “Taking a bath, of course.” Then he began to wade over to Luo Yu’s side.

Luo Yu saw him moving nearer and shrank deeper into the water. He hurriedly mumbled, “Wh-What are you doing?”

Qin Jianyue said, “Coming over to sit next to you. You don’t mind, right?”

Luo Yu mentally told himself to stay calm and muttered under his breath: “Why can’t you stay over there?”

By that time, Qin Jianyue had already reached Luo Yu’s side and slowly lowered himself to sit next to him.

Luo Yu found his towel floating nearby and used it to scrub himself as he turned away a little to ignore Qin Jianyue. Hopefully, he could quickly finish his bath and return to the safety of his room. That’s right! He didn’t feel safe here at all! Especially when there was this wet, naked person’s magnetic aura messing with all his senses and making him extremely uneasy.

Qin Jianyue said, “I’m sorry for scaring you just now. I had no idea you’d be coming here.”

Luo Yu: “I only just discovered this place. I didn’t know you’d be here either.”

He heard Qin Jianyue let out a light laugh and say, “Why are you so anxious when you’re with me?”

Luo Yu didn’t look at him and continued to wash. “I’m not anxious,” he retorted.

Qin Jianyue leaned over and whispered into his ear, “Yes, you are.”

Luo Yu jumped as he hadn’t expected that. Qin Jianyue hurried to pull him over in case he slipped again.

All of a sudden, Luo Yu didn’t dare to move. He was pressed up against Qin Jianyue’s body with his hands on his chest. Qin Jianyue had also stopped moving and was staring down at Luo Yu. He wasn’t smiling anymore. They were skin on skin without any gaps. Luo Yu could hear the pounding of his heart and his quickened breaths.

He’d never been so physically close to anyone. Although he was a prince and had been attended to by servants most of his life, this was something else entirely. He was totally naked with someone who was also just as naked and there were body parts touching. 

Luo Yu swallowed as he stared back at Qin Jianyue.

He noticed Qin Jianyue’s head slowly leaned closer and his gaze dropped to Luo Yu’s lips.

In an instant, Luo Yu came back to his senses and shoved Qin Jianyue away. He rapidly sloshed his way to the shore, grabbed his clothing and ran off without a backwards glance. He didn’t care if he was still wet or if Qin Jianyue was watching him dash away without any clothes on.

Luo Yu didn’t stop until he was back in his room and had shut the door behind him. He sat down at the table in the middle of the room and released a pent up breath. Then he began to dry himself and used his internal strength to dry his hair.

Back in the hot spring pool, Qin Jianyue stood still for a while after Luo Yu left. He looked down at his hands then back up to the corridor where Luo Yu had fled through. Then he got out, put on his clothes and made his way back to his own room.

……

When Luo Yu awoke the next morning, he sat up in his bed and rubbed his weary face as the previous night’s events came back to him.

Qin Jianyue was right. Why was he so flustered around him?

He was very handsome, to be sure. And that body……he looked like someone who diligently trained. But the way he stared and the things he said……

Luo Yu abruptly stood up.

Enough was enough. After so much trouble, he’d finally made it into Lesser Jade House and he was here to cultivate and train.

Most importantly, he was an Eluo Ghost Tent prince and Eluo was a hostile nation in the north. Therefore, he couldn’t get too involved with anyone from here. Once he’d completed his discipleship, he’d return to Eluo and apologise to his brother, the king, for sneaking out.

Having made up his mind, Luo Yu left the room to wash up. After he returned, he tidied up his bed, changed his clothes and went to the dining hall for breakfast.

As Luo Yu arrived in the dining hall, Gu Ruohai caught sight of his entrance and hailed him over to sit together. Immediately. Luo Yu noticed that he wasn’t alone. Qin Jianyue, Su Huaizhu and Wang Ke were also sitting at the same table and Qin Jianyue was staring at him again.

Luo Yu held his head up high, went to pick some food from the long table, then reluctantly made his way over to the group. There was one empty seat between Qin Jianyue and Su Huaizhu, as if they had been expecting him and had reserved him a place. He put down his tray of food and sat down while greeting everyone good morning.

After Gu Ruohai introduced Wang Ke, Luo Yu began eating. He didn’t want to look at Qin Jianyue, so he glanced over to his left at Su Huaizhu. Su Huaizhu was also eating and hadn’t uttered more than two words since Luo Yu had sat down. He appeared uncomfortable and sullen, as if he didn’t want to be there anymore than Luo Yu did.

Luo Yu didn’t know much about the Devil Sect except that it was in the Wasteland and that the martial arts circles deemed them as those from the Evil Way. He’d never paid much attention to the matters of the Jianghu anyway.

He glanced over at Gu Ruohai who was eyeing Su Huaizhu earlier and realised he didn’t know much about Tengyun Pavilion either. He did know that they were the biggest Righteous Way sect in the Central Plains and had many branches scattered here and there, but that was about it.

As Luo Yu looked over to Wang Ke who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his breakfast, he recalled Gu Ruohai saying just now that Wang Ke wasn’t from any sect or school. Yesterday, he noted from the distribution of disciples that Wang Ke’s family was known for their dagger skills and had been assigned under Fu shixiong who was a weapons expert.

No one spoke much during breakfast. Each person was engrossed in their own thoughts or excited about starting their training here. Once they were done eating, they all left the dining hall. Just as Luo Yu was about to make his way back to Shuang Ju Garden, he was stopped by Qin Jianyue.

“Luo shidi,” he said softly, “Are you still upset about last night?”

Luo Yu had been avoiding looking or talking to Qin Jianyue all morning and it had been fairly obvious to the latter that Luo Yu was still bothered by what had taken place the night before. 

But Luo Yu decided to pull himself together. Since Qin Jianyue had brought it up, he would just go along with it and settle the matter once and for all. So he looked him straight in the eyes and replied, “No matter, Qin shixiong. It’s in the past. We should return to the courtyard. I don’t want to be late on the first day.”

Qin Jianyue visibly relaxed. “I’m glad you’re no longer ignoring me. Come, let’s go back to the courtyard.”

Once they reached Shuang Ju Garden, Ru shijie was already waiting for them. 

Ru shijie: “I forgot to mention that there’s a small courtyard in the back with a hot spring pool. I’ve never used it but both of you are welcome to.”

Luo Yu’s ears became slightly red and Qin Jianyue nodded. 

After that, she brought both of them to Wanjuan Pavilion where all the methodology, technique and skill manuals were housed. 

Upon entering Wanjuan Pavilion, Luo Yu was struck by the amount of rare texts and manuscripts available there. He took his time to browse through each aisle and every floor. The look on his face was one of pure rapture.

Qin Jianyue had chosen a methodology called ‘Trimming Full Sands’ and he had just walked out from the shelves with the manual in hand when he saw Luo Yu a few feet away, skimming through the scrolls and books with the most elated expression. That sight made Qin Jianyue stop and observe Luo Yu quietly without being noticed.

By noon, Luo Yu had ultimately settled on a methodology called ‘Grounding Sap Cores’ and selected another scroll on acupuncture.

Ru shijie then informed them that their training would commence after lunch, so Luo Yu & Qin Jianyue returned to the dining hall to eat. They didn’t see Gu Ruohai, Su Huaizhu or Wang Ke there at the time and decided not to wait. They took their food and sat down together.

As they began to eat, Qin Jianyue said, “I saw how enthusiastic you were in Wanjuan Pavilion just now. Do you not have many books back home?”

Luo Yu sipped some tea and replied, “We do, but not as many as here and the ones I’ve read were all banal. The manuscripts here are beyond anything I’ve ever seen.”

He took a bite of food, swallowed, then added: “You’ve managed to settle on a methodology pretty fast.”

Qin Jianyue smiled, “I’m not a novice martial artist. This manual caught my attention and upon closer inspection, I found it to be exactly what I need.”

Luo Yu looked at him and blinked in surprise, “That simple? How do you know you won’t find something even more suitable if you’d spent more time exploring?”

Qin Jianyue’s gaze turned warm, “I know what I want, what I need. When I find the thing I know is meant for me, I’ll seize it and hold onto it right away.”

Luo Yu looked down at his cup he was holding and asked, “What if you were wrong? What if you made a mistake?”

Qin Jianyue said in a low voice: “I’ve made the decision, I’ll deal with the consequences.” He hesitated, then reached over to touch Luo Yu’s hand and said, “No matter what, I won’t regret it.”

Luo Yu abruptly looked up and hurriedly removed his hand. He cleared his throat, “Weren’t we talking about methodologies?”

Qin Jianyue replied softly, “Weren’t we?”

His gaze was so intense that Luo Yu couldn’t meet his stare anymore. He felt his cheeks going warm. It seemed that his tongue was stuck in his throat and his brain was incapable of stringing two words together. Then he sensed that his heartbeat had sped up again and was slamming against his chest. What was this feeling? 

Luo Yu decided not to answer, instead he turned back to his lunch and said, “We should eat. Ru shijie will be waiting for us.”

Qin Jianyue paused for a moment. Then he gave a small smile and proceeded to eat.

When they’d returned to the courtyard after lunch, Ru shijie and Old Qi were already in the compound. Since Old Qi had returned, Luo Yu began his training with him and headed into the left courtyard. Ru shijie started teaching Qin Jianyue the tenets of the ‘Trimming Full Sands’ methodology.

…….

The sun was setting and Luo Yu had just finished his first lesson with Old Qi. They had gone through a few types of herbs for a start and since the sky was getting darker, Old Qi called it a day. Just as Luo Yu had finished putting away the processed leaves and roots, he turned and saw Qin Jianyue waiting for him at the round archway of the courtyard.

Qin Jianyue asked: “Shall we go to the dining hall together?”

Luo Yu hesitated, then nodded, “Alright. Just give me a moment to wash up first.”

Qin Jianyue waited patiently for him and once he was done, they left the courtyard.

“How was your first class?” Qin Jianyue asked as they walked.

Luo Yu replied, “Not bad.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask, why is he called ‘Old Qi’? He doesn’t look that old.” Qin Jianyue commented as he pushed open the door to the dining hall for Luo Yu.

Luo Yu went in and stepped aside for Qin Jianyue to enter, “I don’t know either. I’ll have to ask him some day.”

They took their food and sat down at a table to eat. When both of them had finished, they left the dining hall and returned to the courtyard.

Luo Yu turned to Qin Jianyue and bade him goodnight before walking to the left courtyard and back into his room.

As he closed the door behind him, he let out a breath. He could do this. Qin Jianyue was just a person. The more he socialised with him, the less awkward he would feel. Yes, that’s right. That’s all there was to it.


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